At 76 years old Gerald Martin survived for 18 days after hurricane Katrina on only a gallon and a half of water.
In September 2005, Mr. Martin’s family complied with evacuation orders, but he stayed behind. He told NBC that on the day the storm hit he went to church, took a nap, and then woke to find his home filling with water.
Martin fled to the attic, where he stayed for 16 days, living with just a small supply of water in 90-degree heat. After 16 days the water began to drain and Martin was able to return to the lower floors of the house, though water still surrounded the building. He had run out of drinking water at that point.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency rescue squad that found Martin had given up hope of finding survivors. He was the first living person they had found in 12 days.
The team heard Martin yelling for help, and broke into his house using a sledgehammer. Though very weak and thirsty, he was able to walk out of the house with only a little assistance, and jokingly asked if the medical helicopter could stop off at Taco Bell before airlifting him to the hospital.