Still alive, still busy. Haven't even touched Notrium in a month.
Level 4 claws.... You should be able to make Omega Claws by level 4 or 5, which would hopefully tide you over until you have Devour and can use the more potent weapons in your arsenal. Failing all else, just use Scavenger claws. Remember, your early life should preferably involve a lot of scavenging. Making a blow torch and skulking around the Mining Fields is a good way to accumulate early food for a scavenger, especially with the changes to Thermal Heat Packs and rations.
Instant metal x 3, Metal Rods x 3: Use at a fire. Boom! Tools.
Myself, I've never had too many problems with Dire Reapers in either the original or this expansion, it's pretty easy to pick up a dual pistol as a human, and that's one of the best weapons you can have, especially since Dire Reapers are very resistant to energy weapons (including Omega Claws). And as the stowaway, fire breath will tide you over for quite awhile.
As for turrets.... I recommend the Laser Rifle along with the targetting beam. You'll outrange every turret. Failing that, laser pistol, clever positioning and the targetting beam will let you take out turrets from a position they can't hit you from.
Incidentally.... Behind the force blocks on the Explorer is the Ship's Armoury. It's technically impossible to get anything from it with any character and still make it out in time, but it contains weapons, supplies and materials vital to survival in Notrium. Life is cruel.