Topic Progress:
We feel free when we escape—even if it be but from the frying pan to the fire. Eric Hoffer, Philosopher


“Why me?” That is often the initial feeling when disaster strikes. Why was my house destroyed, but my neighbor’s house is still standing. Why is my friend calling me looking for food and water, when he should have planned ahead? Why did my husband get injured during a tornado, at a time when I needed him most?

These kinds of questions are normal because we feel personally attacked during a disaster or crisis. One fact you can count on is that a lot of seemingly unfair events will surround disasters.

The nicest person in the neighborhood is mortally wounded trying to help someone escape a damaged house. The 3-month old infant loses an arm when it is crushed by falling debris. Your house burns to the ground due to a gas leak caused by an earthquake, while everyone else in the area suffers minor damage. The looters try to rob you of your food and water but leave your neighbors unharmed.

The first thing to remember is that a disaster or crisis can strike at any time, but it is not targeting you or your family or your friends. Therefore, you must strive to avoid falling into the trap of thinking that it is “you against the world” and that you now must stand alone in your defense of all that is important in your life.

Here is a fact: Survival applies to one person, but recovering and thriving takes a village. We opened the discussion on survival by pointing out that “it takes a village” or teamwork to move beyond the damage, fear, and stress that inevitably accompanies a disaster. To survive means to you stay alive and healthy. To thrive means you rebuild a community and move forward with life.

Humans were not meant to be alone. We are social creatures and without the interaction and teamwork with other humans we would have never made it this far up the food chain. Think about it, we are not the biggest, nor the strongest. We don’t have razor sharp claws and bone crushing teeth. We are small, fragile, pink animals that need each other to continue on.

Rebuilding is a group effort, and people need to help each other. Ten pairs of hands can build a shelter in a fraction of the amount of time it would take you to do it on your own. Five pairs of hands can remove a large tree from a road in a matter of hours, as opposed to days for a single person.

The people who manage the best during a disaster are those who maintain the right state of mind. Negative thinking will impede the ability to make good decisions and to solve problems. Keeping your family safe requires the ability to adapt to conditions and to keep a “can do attitude”. It is quite possible that you will have to deal with the basic problems of thirst, hunger, cold, or heat. However, as a prepper, you have planned ahead and those problems should be temporary.

To ensure you maintain a “can do attitude”, first assess your skills for several reasons:

  • Identify personal capabilities
  • Identify need for additional training
  • Assist community with rebuilding.
  • Supplement group efforts by contributing missing skills

In addition, you will have to learn how to work within the community to get what you need to survive and then thrive. Do you know how to network and barter? Those skills could be as important as being able to repair a roof or cook food over an open fire. It just all depends on the type of disaster and how long recovery takes. In the meantime, the most useful tool in your inventory is a positive mental attitude. This is of as much importance as your physical, body for survival. While you may start off the end of a disaster fighting off hordes of looters or whatever else may be thrown your way, ultimately, once you know your family is safe and secure, it is time to rebuild the village.