There’s a new series making waves on HBO Max that’ll teach you a lot about surviving emergencies and disasters. Station Eleven takes place before, during, and after a flu pandemic that wiped out billions of people all over the world. The series revolves around the lives of a number of survivors and it shows how they managed to survive such an apocalyptic disaster and all other challenges after.
Read further to learn some tips and lessons on how to survive the apocalypse according to Station Eleven. The TV show is based on the novel of the same name by Emily St. John Mandel but a lot has been changed. This article is based on the TV version so even if you have read the novel but haven’t seen the HBO series, you should already know that this is filled with major spoilers.
Be Aware of What’s Happening Around You
In the first episode, Jeevan Chaudhary was watching a King Lear production with his girlfriend. He noticed that the main character of the play, Arthur Leander, was having a heart attack but no one else did or at least no one acted as fast as Jeevan did. If Leander’s fellow actors or production crew realized what was happening sooner, there’d be a chance Arthur could still be alive. Well, unless the flu got him, too.
When Miranda Carroll was in Malaysia with Jim Felps to do a presentation, she noticed that some people were in panic and hurrying off to someplace else. That’s when she started realizing that something was wrong. It needed a call from her superior back home to confirm her suspicions but this is still an example of situational awareness. If things went as planned, she could’ve made it to the boat and survived the flu pandemic. Bottom line is that you’ll have a better chance of surviving the apocalypse if you develop your situational awareness right now.
When Jeevan’s sister Siya, a doctor, told him about the flu and that he should go to his brother Frank’s place and barricade themselves inside, he knew that he had to get some supplies first. It was risky since anyone they encountered could be infected already but his decision turned out to be a lifesaver.
The supply Jeevan and Kirsten Raymonde managed to stockpile, along with what Frank had in his place, was enough to last them 90 days. Now imagine if they didn’t have that much food. Surely, they’ll die of hunger or thirst. They’d be also forced to leave the safety of their home earlier than they did.
Also, it was smart of Jeevan to max out his credit card knowing that the world was coming to an end. That allowed him to “buy” $10,000 worth of food, drinks, and other necessities. There are some loopholes here, though. For example, it would need the approval of someone from the bank before he can complete the purchase. Let’s skip that fact for now and learn from Jeevan’s quick-thinking ways.
So the survival lesson you can learn here is to always have a supply of basic necessities. Jeevan and Kirsten were fortunate that no one else has gotten wind of what was to come so the grocery store was basically empty. In real life, people would’ve crowded such stores for some last-minute supply runs.
Build your prepper pantry now so you don’t have to worry about braving the crowd when the time comes. Start with an ample supply of drinking water and non-perishable food. Next, stockpile other basic needs such as condiments, toiletries, feminine products, cleaning products, and survival gear.
Learn Survival Skills
Human beings need food, water, air, and shelter to survive. Jeevan and Kirsten stocked up on food at the start of the pandemic. We’ve already established that stockpiling food and water for emergencies is vital to survival.
Aside from your emergency food supply, you should also know how to hunt, fish, and build traps. Kirsten learned how to build traps while both can handle the rifle well. That’s likely how they caught the wolves that Jeevan was butchering at the cabin.
The Prophet offered the older Kirsten some Chicken of the Woods. This shows that he learned how to forage for edible mushrooms. Kirsten also knew how to forage since she caught the Prophet lying about where he found the Chicken of the Woods.
As for water, one community built their homes near the lake. That’s the one with the statue of St. Deborah of the Water. If you’re looking for a place to settle in after the apocalypse, find one near a non-salt water source. Even if the lake is dirty, you can filter and sterilize the water to make it safe for consumption. Remember, three days without water and you’ll die of dehydration.
Aside from having a water source, you also need to stock up on portable water filters, water purification tablets, and iodine. Make sure you have different ways of starting a fire, too. Fire is necessary for boiling and sterilizing water.
As for shelter, most of the survivors decided to shelter in when the flu pandemic struck. Kirsten, Jeevan, and Frank barricaded themselves inside the apartment and even covered the doors and vents with duct tape to keep the flu from floating into their airspace. Miranda and Jim did the same with their hotel rooms though it was kinda too late.
When post-pan Kirsten was looking for the Prophet with the intent of erasing him from the face of the earth, she was all alone in the woods with limited gear except for lots of knives. When the rain poured, she was lucky to find a large plastic sheet she can use to build her emergency shelter. It was obvious she knew how to make do of what she can find around her.
While building a shelter without proper gear is a good skill to have, you should never take risks. Always have a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tarps, thermal blankets, and ponchos in your emergency kits so you’ll protection from the elements.
Survival is Insufficient
On the truck that the Traveling Symphony used, you’ll see the words, “survival is insufficient.” The group’s motto, a nod to Star Trek: Voyager, simply means it’s not enough to survive. You also need a reason to survive. You need to live for something.
The Traveling Symphony wanted to “just try to make the world make sense for a minute.” They gave people something to look forward to. At the same time, it gave them something to live for. The Symphony wished to share music and theater with the communities within the “circle.” They wanted people to create and appreciate art in whatever way they could.
When prepping for disasters and other emergencies, don’t forget about items that will provide entertainment. These include books, magazines, activity books, journals, or diaries. Card games, board games, and toys will also be necessary to keep people, especially children, entertained. In the process, these things help with the survivor’s mental health.
Young Kirsten dealt with the situation by writing and staging a play based on the book she’s been reading. She also did the costume and props. All these were necessary to entertain the young girl and keep her mental health in check.
Be Wary of the Actions of Strangers
There was a time when parents warned their children of strangers. Kids were taught not to talk to or accept anything from people they don’t know. There is still some truth to this since you never know what a person’s true intentions are.
However, that’s not always the case. We depend on strangers on a daily basis. We personally don’t know the people who drive the taxis or buses that we ride in. Those who make the coffee at the nearest cafe or take our orders at restaurants are practically strangers.
In the first episode of Station Eleven, a young Kirsten went with Jeevan to look for her wrangler, Tanya, after the chaos that followed Arthur’s death. The two met again and Jeevan offered to take Kirsten home since Tanya left her all alone.
First of all, Tanya would’ve been fired from her job if the pandemic didn’t happen. Second, Kirsten was right when she said she shouldn’t go with Jeevan because she didn’t know him. While this chance encounter proved to be harmless and vital to their survival (and the story), a young girl shouldn’t easily trust strangers.
What we should learn is to look for red flags in strangers. If they appear suspicious, crazy, or act in any way that makes you feel unsafe, then leave the situation. Jeevan appeared to be a nice person who just couldn’t help himself from helping others.
The same can’t be said about the Prophet. When the Prophet and Cody approached Alex at the lake and the rest of the Traveling Symphony before that, the post-pan Kirsten was weary of the two. Rightly so since she didn’t know anything about them and they had this creepy aura.
While talking to the Prophet, Kirsten realized that he was lying through his teeth. This alone is obviously a red flag. Before she left, the Prophet mentioned a line from the book, which further made Kirsten doubt his intentions and see the two as threats.
Keep Your Door Locked
With things getting gloomier by the day, a stranger managed to get inside Frank’s apartment. The man, armed with a survival knife, threatened the trio and later lunged at Frank. While they were already talking about leaving the place, the unlocked door proved to be the end of Frank. Global pandemic or not, you should always keep your doors and windows locked. While you’re at it, take other steps to fortify your home and keep threats out.
When SHTF, you’ll need weapons to defend yourself and your property. When a stranger entered frank’s apartment, he was holding a survival knife. He knew it was important to have a weapon though he used it in a not-so-nice way.
Aside from forgetting to lock the door, Frank and Jeevan failed to arm themselves and it caused dire consequences. With a weapon, they could have at least fought back against the intruder.
While they did have kitchen knives, they still could’ve used firearms, blunt weapons, or even stun guns and pepper sprays. Learn from their mistake by stocking up on both lethal and non-lethal weapons.
Twenty years post-pandemic, Kirsten still has the same knife that killed Frank. She uses that along with a bunch of other knives to protect herself and the rest of the Traveling Symphony. In one scene, Kirsten, The Prophet, and the children of the Undersea were attacked by members of the Red Bandana. Thanks to her knives and fighting skills, she managed to kill them all and survived the ordeal.
Don’t Go Out At Night Alone
Every suspense or horror movie has a character who goes out alone in the dark. You already know what happens to this person, right? Jeevan shouldn’t have gone outside to look for Kirsten’s beloved book. Even if it was that important to the girl, he shouldn’t have risked his life to get it back. At the very least, he should’ve waited for morning to retrieve Station Eleven.
Learn New Skills
Aside from the survival skills mentioned earlier, there are other skills you can learn to better your chances of surviving the apocalypse. Going back to the first episode, the death of Arthur proved that CPR is a valuable skill. If Jeevan or the other actors knew how to do CPR, they could’ve increased Arthur’s chance of survival. Everyone needs to learn basic first aid, at least.
Young Kirsten was a thespian who learned how to shoot a rifle and throw a knife when she got older. Jeevan was a “journalist” who later thrived as a hunter considering he caught and skinned some wolves.
Jeevan, by some weird twist of fate, did become a doctor like Siya (and a cripple like Frank). He was forced to learn how to help deliver babies when he was mistaken for a doctor (which was hugely his fault). Jeevan eventually learned medicine and was likely self-taught since he could be seen with a copy of Gray’s Anatomy, a medical textbook. He might’ve also gone back to the birthing clinic and learned under Deborah aka Terry, a doctor who survived the pandemic and later known as St. Deborah by the Water.
Severn City Airport later called the Museum of Civilization, thrived because the group learned many valuable survival skills. Luckily, Miles was an engineer so he knew how to set up the solar panels. This was a huge deal for the survivors since they could still enjoy different amenities thanks to the power of the sun. With electricity, the airport survivors managed to build their community. They had food, water, and shelter. The group also managed to have vertical gardens, a hospital, a school, private quarters, recreational areas, and a space for their theater.
Avoid Taking Risks
When Tyler made contact with the lone survivor of the doomed Gitchegumee plane, the others feared he was infected. This is not an unusual reaction. In fact, it’s right that they were scared despite Tyler insisting the person was immune from the flu.
Even if that was established quickly, it’s still possible that he still carried the flu virus. That means it’s still possible for him to infect Tyler. The group voted to quarantine the boy and his mom, Elizabeth. This was the right thing to do. Avoid taking risks. If there is a safer option, take that route first.
Station Eleven hits too close to home as the world is still experiencing a pandemic two years after the first reported case. While we’re in no apocalyptic scenario, one can’t help but worry that such a thing could happen. I mean, the coronavirus pandemic happened and we had to deal with a number of variants now. Who knows if the next variant is similar to the Georgian Flu in the TV series and book?
The point is that we should take what we can from Station Eleven and other such shows and apply it in real life. Start by stockpiling food, water, and other supplies. You’ll need every piece of survival gear you can think of, too. If possible, build an emergency shelter that is safe from airborne diseases and nuclear attacks. Visit Gentleman Pirate Club to learn more about prepping and survival.