When preparing for a catastrophic event, your first challenge is to survive. However, if you can’t thrive after you survive, you only delay your own destruction.
Survivors must be prepared for various types of situations that follow catastrophe. It’s not enough to just survive an incident, your mindset must be prepared to thrive in a long-term situation where chaos, danger, and adversity always exist.
Understanding and being capable of the survivor mentality is essential. We are not built to simply survive, stay alive, or exist. All that means is that you are not dead…yet.
Odds are, a disaster will happen in your lifetime. Once you survive, the really hard work starts.
You must have unwavering dedication and determination to the reality that you WILL adapt, win, and lead. You must be mentally, emotionally, intellectually, and physically willing and prepared to do what it takes to thrive. Those who do will surpass, rule, and prosper over those who just survive. Be committed to those you are responsible for and those who will gather around you to contribute to the solutions. Be a protector, provider, and teacher. Be calm, logical, confident, and intentional. Maximize, sustain, and defend your people and resources. Commit your life to the mission.
Thriving follows and expands upon survival. Focus on growing and gaining wealth, possessions, assets, resources, and strategic goals. Failing to plan for post catastrophe life is short sighted, and detrimental to your capabilities after surviving the initial event.
You must transport, make use of, and defend anything you accumulate. Figure those needs into your plans.
Wealth Among Disaster
Wealth is defined as abundance of valuable material, possessions, resources, supplies, property that has a money value, exchangeable value, or economic utility. Wealth can apply to money, but depending on the scope of the catastrophe, the financial system might be unstable. In a post-disaster, wealth could be defined as skills, tools, and capabilities that are in short supply and high demand.
Skill is defined as the ability to use ones knowledge effectively and readily in execution and performance, coordination in executing learned tasks, a learned power of doing something competently, a developed aptitude or ability.
Tools are defined as devices that aid in accomplishing a task, items used to perform an operation of professional function, or natural ability.
In chaos and social breakdown, we often see the best in people but under extreme stress we are just as likely to see people at their most dark and desperate. We must understand that where human nature and survival are concerned the highest degrees of generosity and love are matched by extreme selfishness and brutality.
To defend your life and prosperity, you must accept the highs and lows of humanity. For your safety, you must be willing and able to meet depravity with overwhelming force. You must have the means and skill to exert force appropriately and effectively. Prolonged conflicts are more dangerous and more difficult. Your actions must be calculated, swiftly carried out, and executed with overwhelming force and determination.
Be prepared to commit both offensive and defensive actions. Because we live in a civilized society, this is a difficult concept for some people.
Let me be clear. You may not be in a civilized society anymore! You may have to take offensive or preemptive actions to ensure your family’s survival. If you can’t or don’t think about this possibility, and prepare yourself for it, you will not be able to make decisions at the level that will be required of you.
Mission-centered planning involves identifying needs, defining tactics to meet needs, identifying wealth, skills, or tools needed to support the tactics being applied to meet the needs, and using the gathered information to plan and provide for missions to facilitate thriving or whatever the designated mission might be.
Mission-centered planning is a style of approaching a situation or goal.
A Process For Thriving in Disaster
S.T.A.R.E.S. is a thought process, an explanation, or checklist to help emergency responders and civilians alike make plans, processes, or procedures associated with responding to emergency situations. While not a specific solution to all possible scenarios, this method is an example of mission-centered planning and provides responders or survivors with tools, plans, skills, and resources to meet a variety of needs and overcome expected obstacles.
- Strategy: a calculated application of tactics, assets, and resources to accomplish and support the ability to accomplish a mission. An example of a “mission” would be self-sufficient food production.
- Tactics: combinations of purpose-driven and effective practices, methods, or procedures used to accomplish desired results.
- Assets: skills, wealth, and tools used to execute tactics and supporting tasks.
- Resources: anything possessed, built, grown, created, or collected to support the mission.
- Execution: the completion of an operation that contributes to the overall strategy by employing tactics supported by assets to build a supply of appropriate resources that facilitate the ability to thrive.
- Sustainability: sufficient materials to support life, lifestyle, needs, and basic functions of a community without needing outside assistance and support. It requires safety and security from harm, and a healthy enough environment to continue growing and succeeding.
Plan Now or Fail Later
A “catastrophic event” can describe any number of occurrences, and varies greatly in scope. What doesn’t usually change is that after a disaster, chaos and adverse conditions will follow. To simply survive will not be enough. To flourish in times following a disaster, a certain level of mental preparation and a shift in attitude will be essential.
Pre-planning, organization, and a tactical mindset always benefits survivors. Create a blueprint with scenarios and goals for responding in critical and high stress situations before they happen.
Being organized increases your effectiveness when taking actions that are essential to surviving and thriving after a catastrophe. A plan doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it needs to be thought out. Moreover, it needs to be within arms length. A plan on a flash drive does no good if there is no electricity.
About the author: Jeremy Dewberry is the owner, director of training, and K9 handler at Legacy Safety & Security, a one -stop shop for safety products and safety trainer. Legacy offers various safety products such as body armor, as well as firearm safety and training and evaluation in home protection and community awareness. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunflower Photo Credit: American Psychological Association; Unprepared Photo Credit: One Call Now