It Is All About Attitude
When Disaster strikes, there are a wide variety of responses that people naturally will have. Whatever the nature of the disaster, most people will experience at least one or more of the following emotions:
These are natural reactions to bad situations. What is important is how you choose to react not only to the situation you find yourself in, but how you choose to respond to these emotions as they impact your life. Depending on your personal situation, your reactions may not only affect you, but they may affect those who are with you.
You can start developing a survival attitude right now. The sooner, the better it will be for you and those who will depend on you for their survival. Because when you find yourself in a survival situation, it is critical that you have a solid mental foundation. For this article, we are going to assume there is some type of economic or systemic meltdown in society. Not a complete collapse, but a breakdown in the norm that will create situations that need to be confronted in a different manner than the current life you are living. But remember, any of the ideas presented here can be applied to any type of disaster, whether that is a societal collapse, a natural disaster, or some type of wilderness survival situation. Here are some things you can begin doing today:
First, begin to know who you are. Understand what skills you have, and even more important, understand which skills you don’t have. If possible, begin to develop those skills that will be critical for you to survive through a disaster. A good idea is to plan with loved ones that you live with or close to so that you can each develop some complementary skills as well as plan for some overlap of skills. It is important to realize that there may be loss of life in any type of emergency situation–which means you need to have some redundancy in your team. If only one person can provide medical assistance, and that person is absent for some reason, then your group, family, or team is going to be in some trouble. Create a list of skills you believe are critical and make a list. Assign these skills out among the group based on preferences and current skill levels. And then get developing some survival skills. Some areas you may want to focus on are (in no particular order) medical assistance, dental, food production, food procurement (hunting and trapping), defensive skills (shooting, traps, etc.–this is perhaps an ugly one to think about but not everyone is going to stick with the “rules” in a true societal collapse situation and you should be prepared to defend you and yours), water preparation, cooking, shelter (in an urban situation this can include repairs and basic construction skills–it will amaze you how important basic repair skills may become when the repairman is no longer available), and the list goes on. Feel free to comment at the end of this article and add ideas and concepts that other people may want to focus on to build their skill sets.
Next, develop a positive but realistic attitude about life in general. In any situation, we can decide to look for the good or for the bad. It is critical to learn the skill of looking for the good opportunities that surround us. If you say “it won’t work” then I can guarantee you that it probably won’t. With a negative attitude, you train your mind to not look for creative solutions to problems. Your mind will say, “well, I guess I can’t–so that’s that and now I will focus my energy somewhere else.” On the other hand, if you begin to look for what is possible, your mind will find lots of solutions that you may have otherwise overlooked. Along with this positive attitude, it is also critical to be realistic. Don’t try to see things as you want them to be, make an honest and critical appraisal of the true situation. This will make it easier for you because you won’t always be having your hopes dashed if things aren’t quite as rosy as you had originally thought. But if things turn out better than you thought, then the pleasant surprise will buoy your spirits and make things much better. Learn to see what the true reality of any situation is and then keep a positive attitude about solving problems that may exist.
Third, begin to anticipate the fears and concerns that may confront you. If you plan out in your mind for various survival scenarios and one particular concern keeps popping up, that is your mind telling you that this is something you need to work on. Train and plan accordingly. If you biggest concern is food procurement, then maybe you should develop some urban trapping and hunting skills. Or, maybe you should begin to raise rabbits. It is said that one good doe (female rabbit) can produce 200 lbs of meat in one year. That is a whole lot of food. If you don’t want to start raising rabbits in your backyard, at least identify where you can get all the materials you would need to do so as well as how to properly care for, raise, and then butcher rabbits. It is a skill you may later need to survive. Or, do the same with chickens, or goats, or bees. Even better, learn how to care for all of them. Even if you never need the skills, the learning will do you good.
Finally, learn how to deal with stress. Many people begin to buckle under pressure. Especially people who haven’t prepared, built skills, or adequately thought through a variety of situations that may confront them. Even if the particular situation that you prepared for isn’t the one that you one day face, the fact that you prepared and learned how to deal with survival needs will build your confidence and give you the psychological edge you may need to stay calm and survive. Some good mental skills that you may want to learn and practice are time management (it will surprise you how much time basic survival demands when things aren’t the same as your everyday life), assertiveness skills, relaxation and meditation skills (this gives you subconscious the ability to send your conscious mind critical hints that may be life savers. If nothing else, it allows you to unwind), and cognitive restructuring skills–this is a fancy way of saying controlling how you choose to view the situation.
Building some or all of these skills will make your team’s survival much more likely if and when the need arises. The will to survive is all about your ATTITUDE. Build your skills and your attitude and when the time comes, the skills you develop now will work to your advantage.Tags: disaster