So you’re headed for paradise. You might be flying to a tropical location, or perhaps you’re sailing on a cruise ship to an island getaway. Along the way, though, something goes terribly awry.

Whether it’s a hurricane or the Bermuda Triangle at work, your plane or your ship loses its way and you end up stranded on an uninhabited island. How likely is that to happen? There are thousands of small, uninhabited islands around the world, so it’s certainly possible!

Now that you’re stranded, what do you do? First of all, don’t panic. Stay calm and take stock of the situation you now find yourself in. Figure out what supplies you have and begin to make plans.

It may also help you to remember that you’re in good company. You’re not the first person ever to be stranded on a deserted island. Daniel Defoe’s classic 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe remains a popular story of a man stranded on an uninhabited island. If you’ve read the story, the main character’s struggles may give you insight into your own situation.

Of course, if you’re a fan of old television shows, you may have seen Gilligan’s Island a time or two. That show featured the crew of the S.S. Minnow and their tourist pals who became shipwrecked on an island. Their adventures amused millions of American viewers for years.

If you become stranded on a deserted island, though, you probably won’t find it very humorous at first. It could be a scary situation that you want to get out of as soon as possible. Here are a few survival tips that you might want to keep in mind in such a situation:

  • Look for a source of fresh water. Given today’s advanced technology, most lost people are found within a few hours to a few days. You can survive for up to 2 weeks or so without food, but you’ll only last 3-4 days without water.
  • Use whatever resources you have to build a shelter to keep you out of the sun and any bad weather.
  • Start a fire. Fire will allow you to purify water and cook any food you may be able to find. You can also use fire to signal for help. A message in a bottle may be tempting, but planes and ships in the area are much more likely to notice a large fire burning in an area thought to be uninhabited.
  • Gather rocks or wood together to form the letters of a distress signal on the beach. You never know when a plane flying overhead will see your message and send help.
  • Search for food. In addition to edible roots, berries and fruits, you may also be able to find all sorts of edible marine life nearby.
  • Stay positive, relax and never give up. Keep yourself busy with the process of survival and maintain a positive attitude. We’re sure you’ll be back to society in no time!

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