It Can Happen Just Like That – Real World Survival Story

You can be placed in a real-world survival situation in a flash!  And that’s why we prep!

I’ve been talking about gardening on the podcast, but I also know that many of my listeners are up North and are still dealing with cold and snow.  The cold and snow can be very unforgiving. An 85-year-old grandmother found that out just recently when she took a wrong turn and found herself stranded in her car on an old back road for 5 days!

Ruby Stein was on her way back home to Akron after visiting family on March 21 when she took a wrong turn near Gypsum, 50 miles west of Denver, and got stuck in mud and snow.


‘I was keeping myself very, very calm,’ she told the Denver Post. ‘I knew I either had to or it was over with. I have too many great-grandkids and grandkids. I didn’t want it to be over with.’

Source: Daily Mail



This little old grandmother found herself in a survival situation she wasn’t really prepared for. The good news is that she made it through.  There are a few lessons we can learn from Ruby Stein’s real life survival story!

Something to Live For

Ruby mentioned that she had great-grandkids and grandkids.  She didn’t want it to be over. She still had memories to make and kids to love.

Many people underestimate having a purpose to live for.  When you have a purpose, even if it is perceived purpose, you will push through and make an extra effort to not give up!  This is one common denominator in many survival stories.

Don’t Panic!

Ruby made an extra effort to not panic!  Panicking never does any good.  It causes people to make bad decisions and potentially get themselves killed.  What if Ruby started to panic and started walking down the mountain?  The cold and snow would have killed her and her granddaughter would be burying her instead of celebrating with her today.

It’s important to learn, NOTICE I SAID LEARN, to react in a calm manner during serious situations.  Learning breathing exercises can help.  Stopping and sitting for 10 minutes before making a decision can help.  Having skills and knowledge can help to take the fear and panic out of the equation too!

Be Resourceful

Ruby was resourceful!  She used safety pins to make a blanket for herself.  She was so layered when rescuers showed up, that they thought the car was abandoned.  It took a while to get to her.

Ruby was lucky to have clothes for donation in her car.  Her situation could have ended a lot differently if she wouldn’t have had all that extra clothes with her.  But nevertheless, she did have the clothes and she used them to stay warm!

Ruby also used snow to stay hydrated.  Many survival articles will tell you not to eat snow because it causes your body to lose its heat and work overtime as your body heat is used to melt the snow in your mouth.  But, we don’t know if Ruby allowed the snow to melt in the car or not?  Either way, she was probably pretty warm because of all the layers of clothes in her backseat.

Missing Preparedness

In this situation, a little preparedness would have gone a long way!  Some bottled water, granola bars (Datrex), a blanket and a little heater, made from a toilet paper roll, a tin can soaked with alcohol or even a few candles for heat would have been very helpful.

Here is a cheap heater that can be made and stored in your car using two tin cans, dirt, cotton balls and alcohol.



One thing those of us who are prepared can do to help our loved ones who are not prepared is to ask them “what if” questions.  For example, “Grandma, would what you do if your car got stranded in a snowstorm?”  Or, “Son, what would you do if your vehicle broke down in the middle of the dessert in the middle of Summer?”

Asking questions like these aren’t necessarily “prepper” or “survival” questions.  They are questions from one loved one to another.  They are questions that show you care and are concerned.  And hopefully, they would get the other person to think through that specific scenario.

One last thing you can do is to provide a small survival kit for loved ones to place in their vehicle.  Of course, any kit needs to be tailored to the climate and season.  But a small kit, like the one I mentioned above, wouldn’t take up any room.

Final Thought

We never know when we are going to be in a survival situation.  We never know when our loved ones are going to be in a survival situation.  Things can turn in a flash.  That’s why we prep!


This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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  1. Harry April 5, 2017
    • Todd Sepulveda April 5, 2017
  2. Harry April 5, 2017

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