Would you be able to survive the end of the world?

Predictions abound that the end of the world as we know it will happen this year. Whether the existence of humankind will end through massive solar flares, continents overthrown by water, killer earthquakes, epidemics, zombie infestations or man-made devastations such as economic downfall or nuclear accidents -- the thought is frightening.

For some self-reliant folks, prepping for the apocalypse is a reality, as shown in the new National Geographic Channel series "Doomsday Preppers" premiering Monday, September 17 at 9 p.m.  With the show, viewers get to see how these people use a wide assortment of preparation styles and approaches to train themselves for the worst. In each episode, the progress of the preppers' survival plans are reviewed, assessed, and their overall preparedness and chances of survival are rated by a team of experts.

So how about you, do you think you have the skills, know-how and common sense to survive an apocalypse? Take the quiz, courtesy of National Geographic Channel below to find out. (Answers can be found below.)




1.    Which of the following is most important when faced with any survival situation?
a.    A radio
b.    A comprehensive survival kit
c.    A positive mental attitude
d.    Training

2.    Which list of survival tasks is prioritized in the correct order?
a.    Locate food, locate water, build shelter, build fire, tend to injuries
b.    Address injuries, build shelter, build fire, locate water, locate food
c.    Tend to injuries, build shelter, find food, find water, build fire
d.    Locate Water, build shelter, tend to injuries, build fire, locate food    

3.    How long can a person survive without food?
a.    Three days
b.    Three minutes
c.    Three weeks
d.    Three hours

4.    You're on a commercial sight-seeing flight over the Rockies when your light aircraft develops engine failure and crashes on a hillside. Apart from minor cuts and bruises you are uninjured but the other passengers and crew are dead. Your best chance of survival is to do what?
a.    Gather some wild herbs to season the co-pilot
b.    Gather your equipment and walk to safety, you're uninjured!
c.    Scavenge survival equipment from the wreck and remain nearby
d.    Get as far from the crash site as you can - it could explode

5.    Finding and rendering water safe to drink is essential to survival. Which of the following methods is considered to be the best way to make water safe to drink?
a.    Strain it through a sock lined with moss, charcoal and sand
b.    Boil it
c.    Just look for a running stream - if it's flowing it's safe to drink
d.    Leave it in the sun - UV radiation will destroy any bacteria

6.    Plants are one of the best sources of nutrition for an ordinary person in a survival situation.
a.    True
b.    False

7.    Which of the following should be avoided when selecting a site to construct a shelter?
a.    Provides protection against wild animals and rocks and dead trees that might fall
b.    It must contain enough material to make the type of shelter you need
c.    Should be next to a river - water is vital
d.    It must be large enough and level enough for you to lie down comfortably    

8.    You are walking through the woods when you encounter a bear. The best course of action is to avoid eye contact and slowly back away.
a.    True
b.    False

9.    It's a cold dark night in the woods after you've walked all day looking for rescue. You build a quick shelter and find yourself beginning to fall asleep. What should you do?
a.    Stay awake-if you fall asleep, you may freeze to death
b.    Go ahead and fall asleep
c.    Close your eyes for 30-second intervals
d.    Get up and start walking again

10.    An important survival skill is knowing how to light a fire. Fire provides warmth, light, protection from predators and a psychological boost. Which of the following items could be used to start fire in a survival situation?
a.    Flint and steel
b.    Bow and drill
c.    Ammunition
d.    All of these


Correct Answers:

1.    c, A positive mental attitude.  While training and equipment are important, mental attitude is paramount. In a nutshell, survival is a state of mind.

2.    b, Address injuries, build shelter, build fire, locate water, locate food.  Remember - protection, location, water & food in that order.

3.    c, Three weeks.  The average human (with some exceptions!) will survive without air for three minutes, water for three days and food for three weeks - the rule of 3's.

4.    c, Scavenge survival equipment from the wreck and remain nearby.  By remaining with the wreck you stand a far better chance of being located by search and rescue assets who will scour your known or estimated flight path. The crash site itself is more visible from the air that you are on foot and the wreckage can provide many useful items to prolong your survival.

5.    b, Boil it.  Boiling water is the best way - the others will suffice in a pinch. Think running water is always safe? What about that deer carcass you missed 100yds upstream! Drinking untreated water can invite the following conditions - Cholera, Botulism, Hepatitis A, Dysentery, Cryptosporidiosis, Polio and Giardia. During average daily exertion when the atmospheric temperature is 20 degrees Celsius (C) (68 degrees Fahrenheit), the average adult loses and therefore requires 2 to 3 liters of water daily. A 5 percent loss of body fluids results in thirst, irritability, nausea and weakness. A 10 percent loss results in dizziness, headache, inability to walk, and a tingling sensation in the limbs. A 15 percent loss results in dim vision, painful urination, swollen tongue, deafness, and a numb feeling in the skin. A loss greater than 15 percent of body fluids may result in death.

6.    b, False.  Unless you're a botanist, don't mess with the flora and fungi! While some provide an adequate source of nutrition many more can make you sick or even kill you. All fur-bearing animals, all six-legged insects and most fish and reptiles are safe to eat and will provide more nutritional value. Ounce for ounce insects contain more protein than steak. Bug burger anyone?

7.    c, Should be next to a river - water is vital.  Many areas can be subject to flash floods causing rivers to rise - especially in areas like canyons. The shelter should be situated near to water but a sufficient distance to prevent it from flooding. Another common mistake in shelter construction, especially in cooler climates, is making the shelter too large thereby allowing valuable body heat to escape.

8.    a, True.  Never run from a bear - unless you happen to be with a partner who is a slower runner than you!

9.    b, Go ahead and fall asleep.  Don't worry about freezing to death. When you start to get cold, your body will shiver involuntarily and you'll wake up. Only in the later stages of hypothermia do you need to worry about drifting into unconsciousness and dying. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering (although, at extremely low body temperatures, shivering may stop), weakness and loss of coordination, confusion, pale and cold skin, drowsiness (especially in more severe stages) and slowed breathing or heart rate.

10.    d, All of these.  A flint and steel works to produce a shower of sparks at over 5000 degrees even when wet. The bow and drill requires more practice and generates a "coal" through friction between soft and hard woods. Finally ammunition can be used when the bullet is removed from the cartridge case, the case plugged with cloth and the weapon is fired into some kindling or tinder. A lesser known but equally practical method of fire starting without matches is to use a car or aircraft battery and wire wool. The electrical current from the battery is passed through the wire wool causing it to glow red hot. If all these fail - just break out the zippo!