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Our Surviving a Natural Disaster Experts

Cody Lundin

Cody Lundin

Survival expert and author of When All Hell Breaks Loose

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Dr. William  Waugh Jr.

Dr. William Waugh Jr.

Professor of public administration and urban studies at Georgia...

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James Lee Witt

Former FEMA director and author of Stronger in the Broken...

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The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Survival 101

Survival 101

According to author Laurence Gonzales, when it comes to surviving a natural disaster some of us are better equipped than others. In his new book Deep Survival, Gonzales contends that it's not necessarily the elite Navy Seal or the boy scout with the most badges who come out of a traumatic event alive and kicking, but humble folks who have developed a positive attitude towards life. 

"These are people who tend to have a view of the world that does not paint them as a victim," he says. "They're not whiners who are always complaining about the bad things that are happening to them and expecting to get rescued."

Gonzales interviewed everyone from a woman who survived days stranded at sea on a raft by repeating the Lord's Prayer, to a man from China who survived seven days in earthquake rubble by eating paper and drinking his own urine. He says that the common thread is that people in these situations didn't waste a lot of time on panicking or energy on trying to perform heroic acts.
Gonzales' research is great news for us regular folks. It means that we don't have to be a He-Man or She-ra in order to make it through a natural disaster. What we can use is a sense of optimism and a will to survive.

So you think you'd have a positive mindset in the midst of disaster? [CNN]

Posted: 9/10/08

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I was recently without power for over a week due to hurricane Ike. This hardly compares to the traumatic earthquake described above.

However, a positive attitude helps almost every situation. If you can't change the fundamentals of your situation, why worry?

When our power was out, my wife and I just pretended we were 'camping, but with porcelain.' We cooked out every night, hung out at the bookstore for cheap entertainment, and burned candles for light in the evenings.

With the computers not working, I wrote by lamp light for entertainment. My wife spent a lot of time knitting outside.

We didn't really lament the lack of electricity but instead changed our lifestyle to match.