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Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Colony Part 1

I just stumbled across "The Colony" on the Discovery Channel as I was writing my last post. Looks like a fairly interesting series. The scenario is that a group of people will be stranded together for a period of ten weeks in an urban area in order to simulate what would happen after a major global disaster. Here's some notes:
  • The group has in interesting mix of people: scientist, martial artist, handyman, doctor, nurse, ex con, etc.

  • Prior to beginning the taping, the people were deprived of sleep, food, and water for 30 hours to simulate what would happen to people immediately after a disaster.

  • The people scavenged what they could as soon as they were set loose.

  • Secure shelter is important. These people are using an abandoned warehouse.

  • They immediately located a water source (a disgustingly dirty river in Los Angeles)

  • They filtered the water with sand and charcoal then boiled it to make it safe to drink.

  • Basic needs: fire, water, shelter, security, sanitation, food.

  • To protect their feet while their shoes and socks were drying out over the fire, they made "shoes" out of shipping envelopes and duct tape.

  • Cleanliness and sanitation are important so as not to spread disease. Toilets were flushed manually with water.

  • Beds were made out of pallets, cardboard, Styrofoam, drapes, and rags.

  • People were rotated on two hour security watches

  • A quote: "people will attempt to get supplies and resources by any way possible after a disaster." Security is a must and will be a continual effort.

  • Assume you are not alone and will have other survivors to contend with.

  • A quote: "In survival mode you may have to let go of your moral compass".

  • If you have limited resources will you share with other survivors who are strangers? This was a contentious scene for both the "inside" group and the new survivors put in the situation.

  • After the basics were taken care of, the people moved on to power. They used scavenged batteries which were "daisy chained" then converted to household AC for power.

  • One man kicked alcohol, tobacco, and coffee when he started the challenge--he wasn't a happy camper for the first few days. Somehow coffee was found on Day 4.

  • Water is budgeted to one gallon of water per person per day. The average American uses 144 gallons of water per day (!).

  • The warehouse had lots of useful materials and supplies for their various projects.

  • Storage of water in the shelter was valuable.

  • During a rain storm, they devised a system to collect water from the gutters (it's easier than traveling to the river and hauling it back to the shelter).

  • Baking soda was used for laundry soap and corrugated steel was used for a washboard in order to wash clothes.

  • Jobs were pretty much divided up along gender lines.

I will definitely watch this show next week. While I usually find a lot of technical faults in these types of "reality" shows, the random bits of information gleaned even from TV shows may prove valuable should I find myself in this type of survival situation.


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