Disaster Survival
Strategies and Mitigation Methods

Most disasters, whether man-made or natural, are not usually preventable. Enter the concept of "mitigation". It is defined as a means to moderate the force or intensity or to alleviate a crisis, making it milder. Since we can't avoid the occurrence of most crises; hopefully, if we strategize in advance, we can reduce the danger and harm of a calamity. That's why we have insurance companies for our property and businesses. That's why insurance companies, in turn, require firemen and fire hydrants!

The odds of a residential fire occurrence can be reduced by certain prevention safe guards but fires cannot be totally eliminated. However, building fires can be detected early with fire alarms if the equipment is installed and operating. But, these types of alarms only provide advance notice to people to extinguish the fire in the fastest way possible.

Another example would be a tornado. It certainly can't be prevented. You just have to deal with it successfully. But, if the people in the area are given advanced warning through current emergency technology and information sources then utilizing an underground cellar is a wonderful structure to have on a property to preserve your life, essential documents, and cherished possessions. Not much can be done to save the home or farm when a tornado decides to touch down in your neighborhood is there? Mitigation does have its limitations! Imagine being awakened in the middle of the night and you get up to see what all of the noise is about and what's causing the dogs to bark. You step out on your back patio and look up and see this sight in the picture below in the moonlight headed right towards you! What's your plan? You'll only have several minutes at the most.

Night Tornado & Lighting Strike

Night Tornado & Lighting Strike

The examples above represent mitigation tools and strategies for reducing the level of damage on property and the preservation of life. Saving lives is the most important objective you have. Material possessions can be replaced.

As noted in the other sections discussing specific types of disasters, there are things that you can do before, during, and after an emergency that both reduces the damage and greatly improves your chances of survival and injury.

But, in this section we are discussing how to deal with disasters that produce catastrophic events with long periods for recovery--potentially spanning many months or even years. A great example if this type of calamity might be a national, financial failure of our Federal Government, a war on our soil, or a particular, well-aimed terrorist event such as an attack on our electrical grid system.

Fortunately, some the disasters with long term impacts and suffering can be seen coming on the horizon if you are paying attention to the right factual sources in a timely and cumulative fashion. But, certain terrorist events are most unpredictable and their impacts can be immediate and long lasting.

The best way for you to approach mitigating a major, future calamity in your life, would be to address each of the topical exercises listed below. Please apply the following exercise topics to formulate your personal plan of action for each type of disaster you could potentially face where you live.

  • Assessment
  • Strategy Formulation
  • Mitigation Actions
  • Escalation Scenarios
  • Collective Consensus
  • Documentation

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Global Resources

Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness

Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets, and Parents: Disaster Survival for the Family

When All Hell Breaks Loose—Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes

Patriots—Surviving the Coming Collapse

Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival