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How to Survive a Disaster

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  • How to Survive a Disaster

    Here's a brilliant article that explains something that I have thought a lot about recently, and it gives solid examples to back up the premise. This is what to show to those who prefer not to ever think about anything bad ever happening!
    ASurvivor likes this.

  • #2
    Really interesting and helpful article, thanks for sharing with us! I think the main reason people fail to survive a disaster is panicking. People should be trained to be prepared in case of the incidents.


    • #3
      Originally posted by FuZyOn View Post
      I think the main reason people fail to survive a disaster is panicking.
      Excellent point. To quote a short and to the point statement from the outstanding book The Survivors Club: "Panic is the enemy."
      fcphdJim likes this.
      "Success is survival." ~ Leonard Cohen


      • #4
        Originally posted by ASurvivor View Post

        Excellent point. To quote a short and to the point statement from the outstanding book The Survivors Club: "Panic is the enemy."
        Or, to quote an even shorter and to the point statement from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "Don't Panic!"

        One important part of the article is that many people don't really panic. They simply can't adjust to the suddenly-changed situation of a disaster, so they enter the "mental paralysis" state where they continue as usual. This may be a coping mechanism, but is not panic. In an emergency it can be fatal though.

        I saw this type of reaction a few years ago when we had our freak county-wide straight-line windstorm. I was in the hospital (where I work) at the time it hit, so after watching the destruction through the windows I assisted maintenance in checking that our generator and other emergency systems were working. After that I thought I should go down to the attached clinic to check on them, since I knew at the time that they did not have backup power. When I got down to the clinic (about 15 minutes after the storm ended) all the employees were milling around in the lobby (in the dark) peering out the windows. The clinic manager - who was responsible for providing leadership in that situation - had a dazed look on her face. She asked me (a lowly IT assistant) if they would be able to resume business that day, or if employees should go home. Looking out the window, she could clearly see big trees laying on top of multiple cars, a couple of snapped-off power poles, and a transformer laying in the parking lot. It should have been obvious to anyone that it was a serious situation and that the clinic was done for the day, but the manager and other employees were mentally paralyzed by the shocking destruction, and unable to make a simple decision. Although there were multiple people in the room who were higher on the chain of command, I gave the order to close up and go home, and they all gladly accepted the direction.

        Fortunately in the aftermath of our windstorm nobody was in immediate danger. But, I realized that if those employees had been in danger they would have been completely incapable of saving themselves without someone to guide them. We do have several other employees who deal with emergencies or who have that mindset (volunteer firefighters, EMTs, veterans, etc.), so I am far from the only one there who reacts to danger. It is kind of scary though to see that group paralysis in action and to realize that the vast majority of people would do the same thing. That's why I always encourage people to think about "what-if" scenarios. The more you run through potential emergencies in your mind and think how you would react, the more likely that you can avoid that paralysis if something does happen. Even if it is an emergency you haven't thought about, a prepared mind will react much more quickly and make reasonable decisions based on the reality of the incident.

        Please avoid the "I don't want to think about that" mindset. It is neither morbid nor paranoid to prepare your mind to react during a disaster. Hopefully it will never be something you need to use, but if the worst-case were to happen, isn't it better to be ready to make life-saving decisions for yourself and others? Panic is the enemy, but so is paralysis. Either one can kill you.


        • #5
          If you are always cool , calm and collected , You will be able to face any hurdles and challenges. No matter how hard they were. I remember a story where its the rookie soldier who survived in the end. The more experienced soldiers ends up dying while it is the rookie who survives. People also need to be resourceful on what is available. Picky eaters will have a hard time to survive a disaster. People needs to be less sheltered. It is all n the head.