Thursday, May 12, 2005

The survival mindset

A lot of electrons have been expended on various Usenet survivalist-oriented grounds and web discussion boards on the "survival mindset". It seems like a simple subject--as we train our bodies, and as we train our skills, we should train our minds for survival.

Of course, right after this, things get a bit sticky--just exactly what is a survival mindset, and how does one go about training oneself and members of one's support group? Like I said, a lot of electrons have been expended.

While I don't have a lot of use for Time Magazine, the April 25 edition has a highly useful article, How to Get Out Alive--From hurricanes to 9/11: What the science of evacuation reveals about how humans behave in the worst of times.

The primary thing that struck me was how those who had survived 9/11, various plane crashes and other disasters had either
  • thought about the situation in advance ("What would I do if...")
  • had an experience in their past that prompted them to follow certain behaviors, such as always noting where the fire exits are located
This equates nicely with the oft-mentioned Jeff Cooper Color Codes for state of awareness. As Col. Cooper advocates, these people are living in a perpetual Code Yellow--their alertness of their surroundings is heightened.

There is also a though that occurs to me about this article--most of the research is aimed at the time frame encompassing the time just before, during, and just after the disaster. If, as many in the survivalist community believe, the disaster could actually last for years (decades, centuries), the dynamic will likely be quite different. Points for research might include Beruit, the former Yugoslavia and Somalia, as they have went through some pretty drastic long-term situations in the past few decades.

While the article is a bit light on details, a serious survivalist should be able to use it as part of a base to build on for his or her own training regimen.

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