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Survival in a Post Catastrophic Environment

How often do we hear people say “Aw that will never happen to us” or “we live in a modern age and civil society and you’re just being an alarmist.” I wonder how many people in New Orleans used to think the same way before Hurricane Katrina. I wonder how many people in besieged cities and countries in the last century thought the same thing. Are we as Americans so arrogant to think that we are immune to the calamities that struck other countries? Are we that brainwashed into thinking that there could never be a civil war or revolution in our country?  Let me remind you that we had both at one time and at the rate we are going, another one could be around the next turn.

Survival Paradigms: The “Thriver” and the Survivor

There will be two kinds of people in the next major catastrophe: the “thriver (sic)” and the survivor. The Thriver will stay ahead of the threats because he already prepared for their eventuality. The survivor will live a reactive role where he is always trying to hastily defend, recover, or reconstitute his well being. Multiply that by, let us say a family of four, and as a survivor there is a lot of responsibility to manage under duress.  As a Thriver that has prepared for surviving disaster, his management is at least four times easier because he and his family have taken steps to ensure their survival by learning and preparing strategies to help them.

The following tenets are basic principles that must be considered, if one is to develop a “Thriver” strategy. You see I use the descriptor “Thriver” over “Survivor” because one implies proactive process to deal with adversity whereas the other implies a reactive process to deal with what will no doubt be unforeseen adversity. The point is, you have a choice to be offensive or defensive.  I assure you the offensive mindset will increase not only your morale but also your well being.  A defensive mindset will be demoralizing and filled with anxiety.  So the following is a guide to help you start thinking about thriving in the next catastrophe:

Emergency Preparedness Guide:

1.     Develop an Intelligence Picture. Conduct an area study of where you live that includes topography-terrain, demographics, political inclinations, law enforcement capabilities, and LEA’s predicted courses of action and attitude toward the populace and especially you, first responder capabilities, cultural norms and tendencies under different possible scenarios. Think “Baltimore riots”, and you are the innocent family that lives in the middle of such as chaos.

Locate and know where potential assets and resources can be found if needed to exploit (i.e. food, water stores, facilities, gas stations, fuel points, sporting goods and firearms stores) and anything else that can provide logistical support in dire circumstances. Of course you will have to decide if exploiting said resources is something you want or need to do from the outset, or if your situation deteriorates to a point where your existence depends on this, and then you take action. Include anything and everything that will provide you a clear picture of your operational environment. Continue to update your intelligence plan and learn it, because any change in your environment could affect your Thriver strategy.

Check out my American Bad Ass Survival Guide Here.

Special Forces Operator Dr. Dale Comstock

Dr. Dale Comstock is a former Delta Force Operator, Green Beret – Light and Heavy Weapons Expert, Paramilitary Operative, and former professor that taught Psychology of Violence, Technical Surveillance, and Area Study Analysis. See more about him at

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5 thoughts on “Survival in a Post Catastrophic Environment”

  1. Hi,
    I have a couple of massively important questions. I am a disabled female because of idiots that can’t even normally drive. I can’t physically bend forward or crouch easily. I’ve learned ways to crouch,and no offense,but why aren’t there women fighting back. In a bad situation if you don’t have a male and are disabled but pretty Damn strong,what other moves may be performed. I refuse to be a sitting duck or just lay down and die and if I have to get out I’ll fight. I’ve even taught my dogs a stealth command. Dogs could be a curse or asset with backpacks and Kevlar. How do I know? I used to train police k9s . And with my dogs it’s the same motto of no man left behind. It is with many people. But why not videos of someone caught by surprise that has to use forearm crutches or God forbid a wheelchair and the people that help them? I certainly won’t be victim to anything else,but it would help to bring in scenarios for people with balance issues…the plants that ease pain etc. Sorry lol got carried away

  2. Hi Bob,

    I love your tips.
    However I would like to know more tips on how to prepare children and how they can play an action e role instead of just being completely vulnerable.

    I have already taught my children the basics of CPR and sticking together as a unit I would like to prepare them as much as possible for in cases do you hve any other tips. We are in the midst of a revolution and full scale violence is a norm. My children already had to deal with attempted hijacking/kidnapping and with being prepared got out the situation unscathed and emotionally fine.

    Any tips would be much appreciated from all of us.

    South Africa