I remember when Fallout 3 came out.
I’m still (thankfully) a little to young to recall much about the release of the original Fallout.
But the third installment of that game was ahead of its time and, as I recall, a massive amount of fun. There were also a ton of weapons and survival gear involved, as you would expect from a popular first (and third) person shooter set in the nuclear apocalypse.
And as a grown man I can still appreciate all the gear that our hero (whoever he/she may be – you created your own persona) toted around.
Moreover, it was all about survival, which (as a concealed carry permit holder) I totally dig.
What can Fallout 4 actually tell us about survival?
I understand, the application is a bit flawed.
Because most of us don’t have an underground vault, complete with electricity, tons of food and a ventilation system to turn to in the event of an apocalyptic disaster.
Having said that, there were plenty of subtle reminders in this fantastic game of what might come into play, should the end of the world draw near and we’re left to fend for ourselves in every capacity. Gentle reminders of survival gear that we might find ourselves needing are littered throughout.
I’m going to highlight and amplify those reminders with screenshots and corresponding “real life” products.
Just so you know we’re not throwing video-game fodder around carelessly, we’ll also match suggestions up with the basic disaster supplies list from Ready.gov.
Let’s get started.
#1: Extra Water
An obvious, if not overlooked, disaster preparedness item is extra water.
You can buy up to 128 pouches of DATREX emergency water pouches to keep handy for when and if the faucet isn’t running or if it’s poisoned with radiation.
The typical package of bottled water is also a good way to go.
#2. Extra Batteries
The makeshift batter constructed from wood, lead and acid is a fun video game idea, but useless and impractical in a real-world scenario where you need to power either a radio or flashlight. In most survival situations, having extra batteries on hand is an incredibly valuable asset.
I’d advise keeping a few extra stored away in bulk, for whatever devices you plan to use most.
Opt for putting away a couple 48-pack cartons of alkaline batteries.
Check the battery type for your radio, flashlight and whatever else you want to power and buy accordingly. AA batteries are typical for most devices.
Ready.gov describes this as a mask to “filter contaminated air” though I’d recommend going with something a little more robust, since the potential of nuclear fallout or biological terrorism are understood to be risks in a number of catastrophic scenarios.
Something like an N95 particular respirator mask is your best bet. Having one for you and each of your loved ones is a wise practice.
Here’s a closer look at the non-video game alternative.
It doesn’t look as cool as the Fallout 4 versions, but it’ll do the job.
Moreover, it’s fairly cheap.
A couple things to note here:
First, a disaster, even of apocalyptic proportions doesn’t necessarily mean that the maps on your iPhone will be entirely worthless. If you can at least charge your phone (more on that next), Maps and Google Earth will still run, though probably won’t be able to pinpoint your location.
A good rule is to simply have a hard copy backup stored in your car or bug out vehicle.
Rand McNally releases an updated road map every year, most of which will still get the basics (interstates, main roads and most established back roads) for many years to come.
Grab one to store in the glove compartment of each vehicle.
A solar cell phone charger is pretty self-explanatory.
They’re usually small (about the size of an iPhone) and can be easily transported, with obvious benefits. Whether you have to travel for a long period of time or are simply without electricity (both of which were true of our hero in Fallout 4), being able to charge your cell phone will be a huge plus.
It’s also surprisingly cheap.
This one has a sturdy casing, is made for the outdoors and only costs a bit over $20.
I’d recommend buying one and then stocking a few extra cables with it so you don’t have to go cable hunting without electricity.
Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of wuestenigel