Morale in a Post-Disaster World

You’ve got your food and water reserves put away. You’ve got plans made that you hope will help you deal with the chaos you will face when a disaster happens. You have ways to cook when the grid goes down. You’ve looked at what your sanitation needs might be and you’ve got a way to deal with them on a temporary basis. You’ve talked to your neighbors and you have an idea of how prepared they are. You also feel that even those neighbors who are minimally prepared will not likely pose a danger to you and your family. Probably what you haven’t looked at yet is how grim the world will seem after a major disaster.

Survival in a grid-down urban environment will not be fun. In fact, it will be quite dangerous. You will need to use everything you know and every skill you have practiced to keep yourself safe, clean and fed. Post-disaster survival will be your new full-time job and it will be hard work, very likely the hardest you have ever done. There will be little or no leisure time. You will find yourself busy twenty-four hours a day with the necessities of life. Depending upon the magnitude of the disaster you could be without almost all public utilities which include electricity, gas, water, phones, and cell phones. Without electricity, the gas station can’t pump gas into your car, you air conditioner and heater won’t work, your phones won’t work, your computer won’t work, and when the sun goes down it will be very, very dark. Your water pressure is dependent upon electric pumps, so very soon you will be without water. Without water there will be no baths or showers, no way to water your garden, and no way to flush your toilet unless you use the water you have set aside for drinking. You will have to live off of the supplies you have had the foresight to store for just such a contingency. There will be people who don’t have supplies and they will come looking for yours, so you will also have to think about how to keep your supplies so that you do have something to eat and drink. As I said, it will not be fun.

Perhaps your worst enemy will be your morale and the morale of those around you. Apathy and despair will not help you survive. You will need to be alert, aware and fully functional to stay alive. How are you going to maintain a survival attitude when faced day after day with the problems of finding somewhere to dispose of your sewage, of dealing with the bodies of those who die, of dealing with the scavengers who would kill you and take what you have? It would be very easy to give up. Those that do will quickly succumb. You will have to do better than that.

How will you keep your morale up? Realize one thing, right now. You are already way ahead of anyone who hasn’t given a thought to being prepared for a disaster. Just by looking at what you might have to endure and what you might need to survive, you have taken a big step in the direction of handling anything unexpected that might befall you. Morale is dependent upon your ability to do something about the situation in which you find yourself. If you can do something to help yourself and those around you, you will have no problem with morale. If you can create a hot meal and feed your group, everyone’s morale will improve. If everyone keeps themselves and clean as possible, still maintaining adequate drinking water supplies, morale will improve. If everyone has a job that helps the group survive, you will have no problem with morale. Morale problems will only arise with those individuals who refuse to do their part, who don’t contribute to the survival of the group. If you have a group where everyone has a job and is working hard to help each other, you will have no morale problems.

As a part of getting prepared, you ought to talk to your neighbors. Find out what skills they have. Help them get started putting their supplies together. Begin forming your survival group. You can’t survive alone; there will be way too much to do. You will need lots of help. If you’ve laid the groundwork for survival after a disaster by getting yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors prepared, then you will have that help. You will have a group with the ability to do something for themselves in the event of a disaster. As a bonus, you might find that the morale of your whole neighborhood has improved as a result of your efforts to help everyone be prepared.

Fear – Its Cause and Its Cure

Fear, Its Cause and Its Cure
By Brett A. Fernau

What is it that we fear? Nothing. No, I don’t mean that there isn’t anything that we fear. I mean that what we fear is nothing, the absence of anything. In the case of a living thing, what we fear is the absence of life. More precisely, we living things fear the absence of the awareness of the state of being alive. We fear death. Death of what? Death of our own identity, death of our personality. We fear becoming nothing, we fear the loss of our personal identity. This is true of all living things. We fear that we will not survive. That fear is what gives someone or something else power over us. If that someone or something can put an end to our existence, then we are subject to fear. If you can be killed, you can be controlled. If you fear death, then a threat of death can influence your behavior.

How you react to force or a threat of force depends upon how much you fear death. The magnitude of your fear depends upon how much you have agreed that you can be killed. If you have agreed that you are a biochemical machine with no ability beyond those inherent in the machine itself, your level of fear will be the controlling factor in how you live your life. In other words, if you are convinced that you are born, live and die just this once, that this life which you are currently experiencing is a completely unique experience, then you can be made to be afraid of dying. You can be made to behave in any number of ways because you fear death. You can be convinced to act against your own self-interests and those of your fellow living creatures because anything is better that nothing. That is the key to the whole subject of control of behavior. Anything is better than nothing.

Fear is based upon agreements which you have made. You have agreed that being nothing is bad. You have agreed that you have an identity; that you have a personality. You have agreed that you are dependent upon your body for your identity and your personality. You have agreed that you are your body and that when the life of your body ends, so does your identity and your personality. You have agreed that you can die and you fear death because death is nothingness and nothing is bad. You are surrounded by these agreements; everywhere you look you see them. Everything around you is fighting desperately to survive, you, your family, your friends and neighbors, mankind, plants and animals; all the living things you see are seeking survival in one way or another, either as a species or as individuals. This is the reality we all agree upon. Survival is something one does, an activity, the most important of activities. We are controlled by those things which threaten our survival.

Every day on television, radio, the internet, in newspapers and magazines you are bombarded with reports of events and eventualities that seem to be a threat to your survival; floods, fires, disease, famine, climate change, crime, financial collapse, societal breakdown, terrorism, and more. Every day you are asked to agree that in order for you to live you ought to let someone who knows more than you do tell you what to do. You think, perhaps, that if you give up a little of your freedom to make your own decisions you will be more secure, more likely to survive. You shift responsibility for your own survival onto other things; the police, your doctor, the fire department, city, state and federal government.

How much of your life or your freedom are you willing to surrender in order to survive?

There is something you should know. You are you, no matter what happens to you. And nothing can happen to you unless you agree to it. To you. Not to your body. Because you are you. You are an identity. You are a personality. You are your soul. You can only be controlled by threat of force. What if force can’t affect you? What if you will still be you, even if your body is destroyed? What if survival is your defining characteristic? Imagine yourself without form or substance and yet possessing your present identity and personality. Imagine, too, that you have been so for a very, very long time. Imagine that survival in inherent in your very nature, as is creativity. If this is you, what could make you afraid? Nothing. Nothing but your own agreements that you are something other then what you actually are.

Look around you. Examine your agreements. Change your mind. Know yourself. Know that you are inherently good, inherently creative, inherently helpful, curious, playful, loving, moral, faithful, truthful and be yourself. You have nothing to lose but your fear.