Have you ever been truly hungry?
Have you ever been truly thirsty?
Do you know to what limits you are willing to go in order to satisfy those basic needs?
The recent typhoon that hit the Philippines show just how quickly things can go from bad to worse…
I have family and friends in the Philippines and, while they were spared from the brunt of the typhoon, they were able to relay messages that were not exactly spread on the open media.
Below is an excerpt from an article originally posted on Reuters that lays out how bad things had gotten (if this is what’s being told, imagine how things really are over there):
Desperation gripped Philippine islands devastated by Typhoon Haiyan as looting turned deadly on Wednesday and survivors panicked over shortages of food, water and medicine, some digging up underground water pipes and smashing them open.
Five days after one of the strongest storms ever recorded slammed into cities and towns in the central Philippines, anger and frustration boiled over on Wednesday as essential supplies dwindled. Some survivors scrawled signs reading “Help us”.
Controversy also emerged over the death toll. President Benigno Aquino said local officials had overstated the loss of life, saying it was closer to 2,000 or 2,500 than the 10,000 previously estimated. His comments, however, drew skepticism from some aid workers.
Some areas appeared to teeter near anarchy amid widespread looting of shops and warehouses for food, water and supplies.
There were reports of gunfire between security forces and armed men near a mass grave in worst-hit Tacloban in Leyte province, but city administrator Tecson John Lim denied the clash based on information he had received from the army.
Eight people were crushed to death when looters raided rice stockpiles in a government warehouse in the town of Alangalang, causing a wall to collapse, local authorities said.
Other looters still managed to cart away 33,000 bags of rice weighing 50 kg (110 lb) each, said Orlan Calayag, administrator of the state-run grain agency National Food Authority.
Warehouses owned by food and drinks company Universal Robina Corp and drug company United Laboratories were ransacked in the storm-hit town of Palo in Leyte, along with a rice mill in Jaro, said Alfred Li, head of the Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Tacloban city administrator Tecson John Lim said 90 percent of the coastal city of 220,000 people had been destroyed, with only 20 percent of residents receiving aid. Houses were now being looted because warehouses were empty, he said.
“The looting is not criminality. It is self-preservation,” Lim told Reuters.
Some survivors in Tacloban dug up water pipes in their desperate need for water.
“We don’t know if it’s safe. We need to boil it. But at least we have something,” said Christopher Dorano, 38.
“There have been a lot of people who have died here.”
Resident Rachel Garduce said the aid – 3 kg (6 lb) of rice and 1 liter (34 ounces) of water per household a day – was not enough in her ravaged Tacloban neighborhood.
Her aunt in Manila, 580 km (360 miles) to the north, was traveling by road and ferry to bring supplies. “We are hoping she won’t get hijacked,” she said.
Rice and water may get them by for a while, but from what I was told, many of them do have canned goods.
Canned goods will provide them with much needed protein, vitamins and additional water.
There is just one problem.
Many of them don’t have traditional can openers.
So that begs the question…
How do you open a can without a can opener?
Actually it’s pretty simple.
Modern cans are sealed using a roller that bends the top of the can over the wall and the bends it again to form a leak proof crimp in the can. This leaves only a small amount of metal around the top lip of the can that actually seals the contents.
If you ever find yourself without a can opener simply find a large flat rock or piece of concrete, the rougher the better. Simply place the can upside down on the rock and press down slightly.
Begin sliding the can back and forth across the rock until you begin to see moisture from the contents being left behind.
Once you see the juice, it means that the seal on the can has been broken and you should be able to use a knife or other sturdy utensil to pry the top of the can off.
If you are not concerned with saving water and only want the food, you can keep sliding the can across the rock to further erode the seal and make opening the can easier.
Sure, you could poke holes in the can and try to cut it open.
But that leaves a huge risk of injury to your hands.
And in a survival situation, risking a debilitating injury to your hands is just foolish…
Not only would it severely cripple your ability to functionally use tools, but in a survival situation sanitation and hygiene are major issues and infection can spread rapidly.
It is tips and tricks like these that will hopefully spread and be used to save lives.
Do you have any that you want to share?
Please leave a comment and let me know below.
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