The Survival Mindset: More Tacitcs & Tips from A Failure of Civility

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USA --( Last week week touched upon the advantages of sheltering in place instead of “bugging out” for most events leading to a failure of civility.

Yes, certain extreme natural and man-made disasters may force you to leave your abode.

We’re not advocating that you stay in your home to face down a wildfire raging out of control, the churning waters of an inevitable storm surge, or the radioactive fallout from a nuclear accident. Doing so would be suicidal.

Those allowances made, however, “there’s no place like home,” for lesser events, especially if you combine forces with like-minded families in your neighborhood to develop a Neighborhood Protection Plan (NPP) and combine forces to make it through a crisis. An important part of preparing for such a disaster is mastering what the authors of “A Failure of Civility” call, “the survival square.”

Imagine a box with four sides, each labeled with a component of what you would need to survive in the event of a disaster:

  • Equipment/Provisions. Your food, water, weapons, medical supplies.
  • Knowledge. Knowledge in the use of your equipment and supplies.
  • Training. Actual physical training with your equipment combined with tactics and coordinated movement of Group Members.
  • Survival Mindset. The determination and resolve to accomplish the mission.

Each side of this square is dependent on the others holding it in place. If one of the sides is absent, then the square collapses.

Where sheltering in place typically has advantages over “bugging out” in terms of the survival square are the two sides labeled “Equipment/Provisions” and “Survival Mindset.”

The advantage of sheltering in place when it comes to equipment and provisions is obvious; you can store far more food, water, weapons, and medical supplies in your home that you can hope to carry on your back or in your vehicles. In most anticipated failures of civility, natural or man-made, scarcity of these key provisions due to a failure in our current computerized just-in-time (JIT) shipping model of everything from gasoline to food are what leads to want, fear, and social instability. If you have these items set aside in reserve, you won’t suffer the panicked desperation of the masses with the pumps and shelves run dry.

Knowledge and training of course, are important to both those who shelter in place and those who bug out. Merely having gear doesn’t mean that you can use it in any effective way, any more than buying paint and a canvas makes you Monet. Knowledge and training, however, are relatively portable, and technically, the survival mindset is, too.

But is it really? Refugees from wars throughout human history suggest that it can be, but the fact remains that many people suffer anomie, a social normlessness that saps the will to live, when ripped out of what they view is their place in society. There have been countless anecdotes of people who simply ‘gave up” after a catastrophe because they simply lost the will to go on.

Sheltering in place helps individuals and groups hold on to the concrete and tangible, the familiar and comfortable. Being in your home, in your neighborhood, among friends and family, helps provide a vital sense of community and normality in even extreme circumstances. This gives you a huge psychological advantage of displaced persons, and can contribute strongly to maintaining a survival mindset long after those who have been forced to become refugees through their own lack of preparation have physically and psychologically given up.

Reprinted with permission from

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