How to Survive World War 3

A common theoretical survival scenario that is regrettably one of the most plausible is that of World War III. The Next Big One.

Be it in the form of a society-shattering Civil War or a global conflict with several major superpowers fully involved along with dozens of smaller participants, anyone who is caught in or near the conflict zones of a major war will have all of their survival skills put to a severe test.

knitted hat lying among debris in Ukrainian city
knitted hat lying among debris in Ukrainian city

It’s difficult to overstate the wide-reaching effects and threats that a World War will present to civilians. History furnishes us many examples, sadly, of just how badly and for how long civilians in war zones can expect to suffer.

Aside from the physical danger of open conflict with modern weaponry you can expect disease, shortage and exposure to be ever present threats to your safety and the safety of your family and loved ones.

But those same historical examples can also provide us with lessons, hard-learned and often paid for with blood, on how one can survive, or at least increase your chances of surviving, the next big World War.

In this article we’ll provide you with guidance and advice gleaned from the experiences and observations of wars past where civilians had to survive in the most terrible conditions.

Where You Wouldn't Want to Live if World War 3 Starts

War is Always Hardest on Civilians

You might be thinking that you are advantaged against being directly affected or harmed by war if you are a civilian, and not in military service. That sounds fairly logical on the surface, except that it just isn’t true.

Note that I’m referring here to civilians that are in and near actual conflict zones, not half the globe away while your country’s military conducts small, localized “police actions” within tightly defined boundaries in various theaters of operation.

No, if you are near the front lines of actual battle, in or around contested cities or just in the path of troop movements, you had better believe you are in danger, directly and personally.

Military strikes on targets of importance, deployment of tactical and strategic weapons, mistaken identity shootings, being shot for being suspected of being a partisan or spy, and predation by criminal enterprise and the truly desperate that invariably occur in such troubled times are all constant and certain threats.

Even if you aren’t, and you’re just in the country that has seen war within its borders you’re still probably going to suffer from second and third order effects that war brings on.

All civil services will be disrupted or greatly reduced in both availability and efficacy. You will likely see shortages that were previously unimaginable.

All utilities are likely to become unreliable at best and completely compromised at worst. Exposure, dehydration, starvation and death from otherwise easily preventable injuries and wounds will become very common.

If one knows where to look and cares to examine the data, you will see that all major open warfare in the 20th century resulted in a staggering death toll for civilians in, around and near the warzones.

While you might think that the majority of the casualties would be limited to the soldiers and sailors actually doing the heavy lifting of the fighting, the sad fact is that hapless civilians are most often grist for the mill.

It is all too common for governments, even well-intentioned ones, to focus on keeping their fighting forces fit, healthy and well-supplied so they may keep on fighting and hopefully bring the conflict to a close in short order.

That means what supplies are available and known to governments will be earmarked and prioritized for those that are currently, actively helping the war effort, not civilians who are little more than targets of opportunity for the enemy.

What Might Cause the Next World War?

It is difficult to say what might cause the next World War.

Certainly major acts of aggression are always one possibility, though in this emergent era of fourth-generation warfare, conduction of hostilities by proxies and the overall trends of reducing standing military power as well as stocks of strategic weapons this seems less likely all the time.

Nonetheless, it is difficult to imagine how certain black swan events would not result in a worldwide conflict.

The deployment of any nuclear weapon for any reason is very, very likely to result in “disaster dominoes”, a chain of response and riposte that invariably sucks all concerned nations that are able to participate into a massive conflagration.

You might say the same for the mass deployment of a chemical or biological weapon against the civilian population. At least, against a Western or first world civilian population…

Another cause may be something seemingly innocuous…

A small conflict or localized skirmish may snowball, with smaller belligerents seeing their neighbors and allies get involved, each drawing upon a long, interlinked succession of agreements and guarantees for aid until major superpowers are forced to intervene personally.

All it might take then is the accidental destruction or attack against a target considered off-limits for the hostilities to grow geometrically.

Ultimately, there are dozens and dozens of scenarios that could plausibly lead to World War III.

It is not important that you codify all of them, only that you understand that the possibility exists and is as real as ever even in these increasingly peaceful times.

Dealing With the Shadow of War

It is difficult to predict exactly what kind of situation you’ll find yourself in when directly threatened by war.

That being said, historical analysis shows us what threats are typical and if you are wise you will do your best to be prepared for all of them.

In the following sections I’ll provide you with advice for countering or at least mitigating many of the most common threatening factors brought on by war and all that surrounds it.

If you are lucky, you might only have to deal with a few of these. But if you are not, you might be plugging one hole in the boat, so to speak, only for two more to appear at the same time.

As I said in the beginning, it will be the direst test of your survival abilities.

The outcome will never be certain. All you can do is what you can do with what you have. You’ll have to take your chances just like anyone else.

Nonetheless, with the right knowledge, determination and the steadfast courage to endure the unbearable you can survive a World War and the wake of ruin it leaves behind it.

The Children of War: Participants, Opportunists and Other Players

During times of War, there’ll be all sorts of people running around that can hurt you or just take what you have.

Obviously, soldiers, especially soldiers of the enemy nation, are likely to shake down civilians for supplies, valuables and luxuries and do all sorts of nasty things to them.

Many atrocities throughout history have been perpetrated by soldiers against civilians on a personal, face-to-face level.

As awful as it is to think, do not forget that the perpetrators may be the soldiers of your own nation.

Unless you are well away from the front lines and being processed through military checkpoints for travel, aid or other such administrative functions you must make it a point to stay well away from soldiers at all costs.

If the war is slowing down or you are in an area that does not see much action, it might be possible to trade with soldiers who are policing or staging in the area.

This is never without risk though, as many soldiers are on edge in any warzone, and there will always be a risk that you could be mistaken for an enemy spy, saboteur, person of interest or just the hapless victim of an accidental weapon discharge.

With the number, type and quality of weapons that will be all over an active conflict zone, this will be a constant threat.

Soldiers aren’t the only people you’ll have to worry about in a warzone. It never fails that criminal activity spikes, sometimes surprisingly so, during and after the passage of war.

Gangs will form, and what gangs already exist will likely see a swelling of membership and move to overt activity as they set about pursuing whatever whims they will.

This could come in the form of direct robbery and burglary, racketeering, setting up brothels and engaging in outright mayhem.

Lastly, you won’t truly be able to trust anyone that is not already inside your circle of trust.

You can rest assured that the war will hit all civilians equally hard for the most part, and those who are desperate to provide for their families may do desperate, even evil, things in order to do so.

You can never let your guard down around anyone you don’t already know and know well.

Your Response: Bug-In or Bug-Out?

Generally, if you can flee from a conflict zone, you should. On the other hand, you might not have a choice. In our modern era battle can erupt quickly and with very little warning.

Depending on the situation, you might be forced to shelter in place in order to survive an attack of one type or another.

By the time it lifts and it is safe to move outside, your escape routes could be irretrievably clogged, blocked by wreckage or debris or you might be overtaken my fighters on either side setting up shop, making movement extremely dangerous.

If you do decide to bug out, hopefully you will be prepared. before it starts You’ll know where you’re going, how long you can expect to stay there and what is required to live there for the duration.

Becoming a true refugee, a person who is at the whims of whoever will harbor you, is far from ideal, but sadly becomes reality for many civilians fleeing warzones.

Bugging in might be ideal or it might just be your default (read “only”) choice depending on how the war unfolds. If you are in an out-of-the-way place that has very little strategic importance bugging in might be ideal.

This is not to say you will not be affected or threatened by the war, certainly not, but you can stay someplace where you have home-field advantage.

Keep in mind people in your area and can take advantage of all your carefully laid preps you’ll certainly have more advantages than someone that is forced to live life on the road or as a refugee.

What I can tell you definitively is this: you must have solid, concrete plans including alternate and contingency plans for each eventuality if you hope to survive the onset of World War III.

Shelter Considerations

Where you decide to live and stay during the war will greatly impact your chances of survival. Living in or around any city that contains crucial strategic targets for the enemy will drastically reduce your lifespan.

Precision and saturation bombing from the air, direct strikes by missiles and other major weapon systems, and simple ground invasion by swarms of tanks and infantry will all present massive threats, especially when you’ve left your home and are moving around outside.

That being said, typically people who live in remote and rural areas fair little better during wartime, since their isolation makes it entirely too easy to be preyed upon by malicious soldiers as well as criminals.

One need only to look up accounts of the unspeakable atrocities committed against civilians living in remote areas during all of the 20th century’s major conflicts for confirmation.

Perhaps the only exceptions to this sad outcome are small villages or compounds occupied by larger, coordinated families or groups that are able to shelter together and provide for mutual defense and security.

Even so, it is very difficult to stand up to organized and professional soldiers when you have only small arms.

Your best bet is likely living somewhere on the outskirts of a small to mid-sized city, preferably one with no important strategic targets like military bases, major industrial centers or transportation hubs.

When you have human threats all around you, the best way to counter them is to stay in a group that can provide for mutual protection.

If you move to an isolated area on your own or with just your survival buddy or family, you might be able to hide for a time.

However, whenever you have to leave the safety of your remote shelter location you are extremely vulnerable to attack or interception, and more so to being followed back home discreetly.


Should You Prepare With a Bunker?

Bunkers are popular ideas with preppers for just such an occasion. What could be more appealing in a time of War then retreating to your own fortified, underground and seemingly impenetrable bolthole?

The notion of riding out the war in your own little burrow is attractive and does have merit, but we’re many preppers go wrong on the topic of bunkers is thinking they do not have any drawbacks.

The single biggest drawback of a bunker is that you’re confined in one place typically with no way out unless you have the foresight to install a well concealed emergency escape tunnel.

Additionally, bunkers are extremely expensive to construct, and very difficult to keep quiet and hidden during construction.

Anybody that learns of your bunker prior to wartime is likely to keep that in mind for trouble ever break out. Their survival plan that maybe rating your bunker or taking it over before you get there.

That is a simple puzzle as to why: bunkers are invariably stocked with all manner of survival supplies and provisions. Therein lies another problem.

No matter how well stocked your bunker is, unless you are truly made of money and it made a proper underground habitation, you will likely have to leave at some point to resupply it.

And leaving the bunker, you’ll be extremely vulnerable and if you are followed or someone sees you coming and going you can be assured that your bunker is going to be a point of Interest, especially to military forces will likely suspected of at least having tactical significance at the local level.

As we mentioned above, the appearance of fortification and habitation says the same thing in every language: there is good stuff contained within.

That is attention you definitely don’t need. If you have drastic amounts of resources, a bunker may serve as something of an ace in the hole when war breaks out, but it will also put you into the classic “all eggs in one basket” situation.

If you decide to go that route, secrecy must be paramount both before and after the onset of hostilities. Only you and your very, very closest confidants should know about its existence.

Martial Law and You

Martial law is what is declared by the government when they want the military to assume control over civilian functions of the law enforcement and localized governance.

Martial law will absolutely be declared as soon as a country is threatened by war within or near its borders. It is typically preceded by a state of emergency, but not always.

Both martial law and the Declaration of a state of emergency will grant the government extraordinary powers to curtail your rights.

Living under martial law means that military troops will be responsible for law enforcement in a given area, and their restrictions and regulations may be significantly more intense, especially during times of conflict, then the typical laws you are used to.

You can definitely count on being detained indefinitely if you are suspected of being a troublemaker, enemy agent or partisan. Not a good place to be as a citizen.

Practically speaking, checkpoints, inspections and the curtailing of travel will be commonplace.

Aside from keeping tabs on who is coming and going, this will be another way you can be shaken down for “contraband,” meaning stripped of your possessions and supplies.

Soldiers manning checkpoints are often on edge since they are in a fixed position, highly visible and easily attacked, meaning they man overreact and shoot you if you make the wrong move. 

Martial law will only further complicate an already difficult situation leading up to and going through a World War.

explosion in military camp

Moving Around Safely

Moving around an active conflict zone as a civilian is a very, very touchy thing. If you go anywhere alone you are extraordinarily vulnerable to being picked off without consequence and having your body or vehicle looted for supplies.

The comparatively recent civil conflicts in southern Europe and the Balkans have shown out ample evidence that people were shot for their clothing and boots and no other reason.

Snipers, military or otherwise, will always be watching, and might take shots of opportunity at anyone moving in a certain area. If you’re going to travel, you need to take someone with you, preferably two or three other armed and capable people. But no more.

Setting out in a large group makes you more visible and also significantly more conspicuous to militaries in the area.

Especially when going armed (which you should be) is entirely too easy to be mistaken for hostile combatants by any concerned party.

You had better believe that there will often be shoot first and ask questions later policies in force.

A small group of a few individuals is much more discreet overall, being less likely to draw hostile attention to itself and providing enough security for its members the smaller outfits may decide you aren’t worth the trouble.

Deciding when to move is also a major consideration. The most obvious factor will be the tempo of actual fighting in your area if it is still occurring.

Obviously, if a battle is raging out of doors you should only leave the safety and security of your shelter if it is absolutely necessary.

Assuming things are a little quieter, you should generally try to move in times of reduced visibility to lower the chances that you will be seen at all.

That being said, moving after dark will do little to conceal you from military forces that have night vision and thermal optics, though the vast majority of civilians will lack such technology.

If you do have to move during the day, make sure to go by routes that are less traveled and less frequently watched.

Main routes, especially ones that enable the movement of large and heavy military vehicles, are also disproportionately more likely to be mined or studded with IEDs.

Running into checkpoints is bad news, too: If you have to go through a checkpoint your vehicle can be searched, your belongings confiscated and you can be incarcerated.

If you decide to turn around and flee the checkpoint ahead, you might be pursued or just shot to pieces by heavy weapons and emplaced machine guns.

helmet and ammo

Security: Have Guns and Plenty of Ammo

It goes without saying that no matter what the government and the military says you had better be armed if you want to survive in a warzone.

This is a tricky proposition since being armed is by itself a great way to paint a target on your back both literally, for bullets, and figuratively, as a target for theft.

Still, the alternative is being helpless in front of the guns of those who would hurt you, or steal from you.

There are some special considerations to going armed in a warzone. Even if you were not in an area that is seeing heavy or even regular low-intensity conflict, they’re very likely to be searches, checkpoints and confiscations of guns out of the hands of non-combatants.

This is bad news for you since you definitely don’t want to be without your firearms at a time like this. What is the solution?

A clever prepper will keep as many guns and as much ammunition stashed (and I do mean well hidden) as they can.

The gun you keep close at hand should not be anything special, and by that I mean something that you cannot bear to part with.

In the event there is a knock at the door by investigating soldiers, or you get stopped at a checkpoint that is looking for contraband, you may be able to give up one gun and keep the rest, assuming you do not get detained.

The same strategy also works against criminals and muggers. Just make sure you don’t get sighted moving a ton of gear and guns around at once, lest you find yourself moved rapidly to the top of someone’s targeting list.

Security: Stay No-Profile

One of the most vital security procedures you’ll need to implement during a time of war is to remain no-profile, and by no-profile I mean looking just like everyone else in every respect imaginable: down on your luck, ragged, tired, dirty, broke and unthreatening.

This will definitely not be the time for you to jock up with all your tactical gear. It’s a funny thing: if you look like military personnel you are likely to be treated like military personnel and that means shot at with no warning and with no remorse.

Don’t forget that your gun and gear does not belong to you- it belongs to whoever wants it the most, and it is entirely likely that you will be picked off just for carrying it so someone else can make better use of it.

The same goes for big bulging backpacks or vehicles that are heavily laden with supplies.

It is easy to underestimate now how much material luxury will simply vanish in the wake of war. Even the simplest of commodities, which we will talk about in detail later, will suddenly be in very short supply indeed.

You should not die because you have them, but that is exactly what might happen in times of lawlessness and lack.

The same goes for your home or shelter…

If you upgrade your shelter with obvious security enhancements, things like tall fences or walls topped with razor wire, barricaded windows, lights, cameras and so forth you are just going to raise your target profile to a level that cannot be resisted by curious soldiers and criminal looters alike.

Nevermind the fact that such simple obstructions are of little concern to professional soldiers deployed en masse.

The more intact, taken-care-of and lived in your home looks and a conflict zone the more likely it is to be investigated, and that means you’re more likely going to have to fight for your life to protect it or accept whatever a more powerful group chooses to dole out to you.

Your home should look like the homes around it, and if you are in the middle of a warzone that likely means dilapidated, boarded up and strewn with trash.

If it is at all possible to use an entrance that is not on the street or visible to those on various avenues of approach, you should make all attempts to do so.

Likewise, when occupying your house you must maintain noise and light discipline, since either will tip off the fact that the house is inhabited and that is also a great way to attract gunfire.

Be Wary of Following Government Instructions

This may be a shocker for some of you but the government does not always have your best interests at heart.

During many of the smaller, localized civil wars in Europe and even the larger World Wars, civilians were given instructions by their governments that turned out to be either short-sighted or even deceptive.

The government’s objectives are often amoral by any stretch of the word, and the only person you can truly rely on to see yourself through this mess is you and yours.

For instance, during the Bosnian conflict in the early 1990’s the government was telling citizens that everything was under control and they should remain where they are in the cities literally a day or two before hostile forces got in range, shelling and then invading the cities.

It sure would have been nice if those citizens really knew what was going on so they could have made their own decisions.

This means it is imperative that you stay abreast of current events as best you can. Make use of all possible methods of communication to piece together what is really going on.

Unfortunately, rumor spreads faster than the speed of light around conflict zones, and it can be very difficult to make sense of an otherwise hazy situation report. You’ll have to do the best you can, make your own decisions and then live with the consequences.

Many preppers are highly wary of FEMA after seeing how badly they have botched disaster relief and coordination efforts in the past and you should not chisel in stone anything they say in response to a military attack on U.S. soil or outright war.

Large, bureaucratically-mired agencies rarely react with speed or accuracy in response to rapidly changing conditions, exactly the kind of conditions that will be evolving in the outbreak of war.

Listen to what they have to say, use what intelligence you can, but ultimately you must trust in your own decisions.

Similarly, if you are going to follow government instructions or recommendations, if there’s any way that you can scout out your destination prior to committing your entire group to a movement, then it must be done to prevent catastrophe due to bad information.

Be Prepared: Knowledge, Skills, Manpower

You must be prepared for a survival situation this severe, just like any other. This is not one of those things that is so big you should just plan to lie down and die.

The material preps will run the gamut of most you are thinking of, things like food, water, medicine, hygiene products, clothing, arms, ammunition, tools and so forth.

Skills too are just as important. You should know how to filter water, treat wounds, fight, find food by scavenging and by hunting, how to barter, how to lead, how to remain concealed, how to get what you need and get where you are going with little in the way of technological assistance.

Many of the classic prepper skills will definitely be useful, and more than a few primitive skills, like fire-making, shelter construction and more.

Probably the most overlooked and underestimated prep that will be needed for surviving in a warzone is manpower.

The fantastical idea that you can be a lone survivor if you’re good enough, strong enough and tough enough to take on all comers or remain low profile enough so that no trouble will come to you is overwhelmingly a fantasy.

You will need people you can trust on your side to stand watch while you and others are sleeping, help with work, assist with defense and to takeover with duties when people get sick or injured.

Your family is most obviously going to be a part of your group, and you should not wait to start roping in extended family like aunts, uncles and cousins.

Close friends and their families should likewise start building strong bonds now so that everyone can pull together in the gravest extreme.

It is not an impossible idea then if you are a solo prepper or part of a very small family that you can fall in with another like-minded group after conflict comes to your region, but considering the stresses that everyone will be under and the lack of trust this will be extremely difficult.

Stockpiling for Success

In every area but those undergoing the most intense fighting, commerce will continue, as shabby as it will seem. In the new wartime economy, trade is king.

Cash will likely not be worth very much, so instead you should trade in useful, universally valuable goods and potentially even precious metals. That means you will need a sizable stockpile in order to have plenty of bartering fodder. 

While all kinds of things are valuable to the right customer, people going without while suffering in a conflict zone have more basic, essential needs and you should stockpile accordingly.

You should also tailor your stockpiling to certain criteria in order to make your life easier and more profitable.

Obviously, you and yours will need many of the same things that you’ll be bartering, so you should also institute an inviolable reserve that is only for your group.

Beyond that, you should treat the rest as emergency spares and currency for trade, nothing more.

You can likely think of many of the items that are good for trade right off the top of your head, things like:

  • Ammunition
  • Food
  • Medical supplies
  • Guns

Those are just a few items that are universally valuable all the time, and triply so to those living in a region at war.

But there are other things that will be just as important and will be in vanishingly short supply, things you might not think of, like:

  • Disinfectant
  • Soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bleach
  • Batteries
  • Disposable cutlery
  • Buckets
  • Small, Pocketable EDC tools
    • Knives
    • Multi-tools
    • Ferro rods
    • Nail clippers
    • Lighters (especially lighters!), etc.

Some items taken utterly for granted today and not necessarily survival-centric will be luxurious indeed inside the bounds of a region at war, things like shampoo, cologne/perfume, spices, alcohol and tobacco in one form or another.

The longer the war drags on the scarcer and scarcer things will get people will always be looking for a way to take the edge off and reduce stress, so don’t write these items off as frivolities.

You notice a common factor among all the items I listed above? I’ll tell you: they are all small, easy to carry and easy to transport.

Large, bulky big-ticket items don’t make as much sense for stockpiling because they’re much harder to transport, very difficult to conceal and expensive.

Believe me, talk to people that have lived in and around warzones, and they will tell you just how valuable things like lighters and pocket knives can be.

The ability to start a fire reliably is priceless when electricity and natural gas are distant memories and every scrap of locally produced tobacco has gone, literally, up in smoke.

Considering that whatever fiat currency is in use in the region affected by war is likely going to be plummeting in value to “tinder” (unless you are very far from battle on the front lines) it makes sense to have a stash of gold and silver in small enough portions to make it easy to trade for small goods.

No matter who you were talking to, no matter where they are from, they know that gold and silver will be worth cashy-money anywhere else in the world they care to go after the war.

That universal value is what makes these precious metals so appealing and so important for preppers.

Trading on Knowledge Alone

There’s another, secondary benefit to buffing up your survival skillset, and even your non-survival skillset in preparation for enduring a warzone. As it turns out, you can trade with your skills alone.

Many practical skillsets, like medicine, repair, automotive, electronics, gunsmithing and more can be extremely valuable to people who are in need and lack those skills.

Remember that you will be in a barter economy. Trade will be the name of the game.

Consider a scenario where you need to pay for vital supplies or “field” medical service, but you lack the necessary goods for services rendered. It is entirely possible that you could in fact pay for what you receive with skills of your own.

Does someone have a car that is in good shape but won’t start for some mysterious reason? If you know how to work on automobiles, you are probably in good shape.

How about a gun that gave up the ghost? Some gunsmithing knowledge may pay the bills.

Other survivors might be more than happy to trade you hard goods for your expertise, skills and knowledge. Don’t be so quick to trade away your physical commodities if your skills and knowledge alone, which cost you nothing at this point, can be traded in exchange so long as it is favorable.

Hygiene Concerns

Contrary to the belief of some preppers who think they’re going to give up their daily routine of taking care of their bodies you will not long be able to slack off on your personal cleanliness regimen.

The nastier you get the more likely it is that you will get sick, develop skin ailments or even get infections that can lay you low or worse…

Keeping clean is a virtue no matter how difficult it is in the middle of a conflict zone.

Why might this be difficult? Consider for a moment that any municipal utilities are likely to be disrupted soon after the conflict brews up if not immediately.

You likely won’t have any electricity, you certainly won’t have any natural gas and you can count on water, if it is still flowing from the taps, being contaminated.

This means you’ll need alternate plans when coming up with water suitable for bathing, brushing your teeth, cleaning and doing laundry.

If you are in a rural setting and lucky enough to have a well you’re in good shape unless an artillery barrage damages your well or your aquifer with shockwaves.

Assuming you don’t have that at your disposal, you will need to keep water stored in abundance or collected via some natural source.

Using bottled and other container water is not sustainable long-term, especially not for serious washing and bathing.

You can collect water from ponds, streams and rivers but such waterways have a tendency to become extremely polluted during wartime.

As gross as it is to think about, bodies of animals and people are often dumped into waterways to get rid of them quickly and with little fuss.

All it takes is one of either to make your otherwise clean local water source hideously contaminated.

How much trust do you have in your water filter? How confident are you about your skills to purify contaminated water? You cannot afford to be wrong.

If you lack a well, probably the best way to store a considerable amount of water is a rain catching system that diverts the water to barrels or other containers, but this will be difficult to configure and keep concealed if you are living in a suburban or urban environment.

No matter where you are living if you choose to make use of such a system, it is a good idea to boil the rain water and keep the system as concealed and low profile as possible.

Make plans for taking care of the personal hygiene requirements of all members in your group a dedicated component of your preparations. No exceptions!

Dealing with Illness, Injury and Wounds

It is absolutely essential that you are prepared for dealing with injuries great and small completely on your own using nothing but the skills and resources of the group if you hope to survive a long-term scenario in a conflict zone.

You can bet you won’t be able to run down to the doctor’s office, you won’t be able to go to a hospital and you surely won’t be able to bounce down to the local clinic.

Comparatively minor injuries can become life-threatening when left untreated, especially without the benefit of modern medical facilities and care.

You’ll need the skills, the materials and the equipment necessary to render care in any conceivable situation. Those living in a conflict zone will likely find skilled medical practitioners and medical supplies pretty scarce.

There is one thing that will not be in short supply, however, and that is injury.

Wounds of all kinds will be common, either lacerations from the rubble and detritus of ruined cities, piercing wounds from bullets and shrapnel, or burns from blazing fires and scorching phosphorus.

And you don’t just have to be worried about these major injuries alone. Boo-boos that would be nothing more than an annoyance in normal times can take on grave new significance if you’re forced to survive in a war zone.

Sprains, strains, fractures and sicknesses of all kinds can easily prevent someone from working, moving or defending, endangering the entire group.

If you have medical skills from a past career, or a past life, careers like EMT, nurse practitioner, paramedic, doctor or even veterinarian, or if someone in your group has them, you will be much better off and able to survive than parties without them.

Lacking them, you’ll be left to do the best you can with what medical manuals and supplies you are able to source or left to the mercy of those people who have those skills and are willing to help. That is assuming of course that you can pay for them…


Surviving a World War scenario will be the severest test of your survival skills imaginable.

Civilians who are forced to endure and persevere within or near conflict zones will often be facing incredible lack, constant lethal threats from fighters and criminals alike, and deteriorating health brought on by a lack of clean water, hygiene and health care.

Combating all of these factors is a battle in itself, and only the most resourceful, determined and well-equipped preppers will stand a chance of getting through okay.

Make sure you’re spending the time and the resources to prepare yourself and your group for this direst of eventualities.

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4 thoughts on “How to Survive World War 3”

  1. While I agree with everything you are saying and are giving good advice, I have one thought! Don’t you think that this is a really rotten time to post this kind of article while there are people already freaking out over this [edited] might be just too much for those people to handle???!!!!
    I mean no disrespect towards you Dan, I like to read all your articles but I don’t want to have to think that we’re going to be in WWIII any day now as well as worrying whether I should stay home or go out because I am 69 and know that my immune system isn’t the strongest

    1. Dan F. Sullivan

      Hi Julie,

      I agree that most people are freaking out but it’s the same people who would have laughed at the idea of a pandemic a few months ago. Maybe we should at least consider SHTF events including a war as more likely to happen, especially since we’re heading for an economic depression in 2020?

      This and other articles I’ve published after the outbreak have been in the queue for some time, I’m actually staying away from posting anything about the current madness because Google, Pinterest and others suggest we should all listen to official sources and to the doctors..

    2. hi julie, hope you’re doing well at this point now (june 2020). just finished this article and agree with some of what you said. I’m 71 yrs old, luckily good health for now, and concerned also…..all this prep info is great, but looks like things are changing into something we havent seen….so do we, as pre-seniors, go thru all this prepping for whats coming? and it is….quickly it seems.
      I’m prepped as to basics, some extras, most of what dan talks about, but I have nowhere to bug out to, probably couldnt survive being out there anymore, so I’m prepping for the bug in. growing up in 50/60s, we learned how to camp, survive, shoot, etc. but dont know how much of that I have retained…so question is dan…..what exactly should us “seniors” be doing short of basic stockpile? thanks for good info, good for the up and coming folks….take care

  2. dan, russia has threaten a world war 3 , few hours ago, i hope we will all survive, this article is super helpful thank you <3

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