The Rule of Three

Hunter & Austin Getting Water

Preparing for emergencies either large or small can seem like an overwhelming task to many people.  Luckily, there is a simple solution to help you prioritize…the Rule of Three:

In an emergency situation, humans generally have…

  • 3 minutes to live without oxygen
  • 3 hours to live without shelter in cold or extreme conditions
  • 3 days to live without water
  • 3 weeks to live without food

The “Rule of Three” is not absolute and is just a general guideline to help you prioritize your emergency plans or response.  Whether you are preparing for natural disasters, remote survival situations, or the zombie apocalypse…the Rule of Three always applies.

3 minutes without oxygen refers to breathing, but also addresses other health related issues and the subject of personal security… because if you are injured, beaten, stabbed, or shot, you may cease breathing.  This rule suggests that your immediate safety, security, and health are your first priority.

3 hours without shelter underscores how important shelter is to human existence.  Whether it’s shelter and fire to protect you from cold, or a shelter to protect you from desert heat during the day, the rule still applies.  Hypothermia will kill you in just a few hours.

3 days without water means you need to secure safe & clean drinking water.  Whether dehydration or sickness from bad water, either way it can shut you down for good.  Humans require regular intake of water for body systems to function normally.  Bad water will make you sick, which brings diarrhea, which then leads to further dehydration and subsequent debilitation.  Either way, no clean water – no life.

3 weeks without food tells you that while food is important, the need for it is not as great as the aforementioned items.  However, with that said…human bodies need fuel and humans without food will begin to experience a drop in energy, a reduced ability to operate, and other health problems brought about by starvation conditions.  Humans don’t require a lot of food to survive, but a base level of protein and fat is required to keep all systems on go for a good while.

If you are feeling overwhelmed in preparing or if you find yourself in a survival situation, use these rules to set your priorities as you formulate a plan.  Watch for further information on how you can plan for and obtain things that you have prioritized using the aforementioned information.  Understanding the Rule of Three will help you prepare and put you one step closer to being Every Day Ready!