Why Is Chaos During a Disaster So Surprising to All?

Dec 30, 2014 by

This week a Greek ferry caught fire in the Adriatic Sea with 437 people on board and at least 10 people have died already.   The fire has come with stories of complete chaos and panic from the survivors.Many have recounted that the crew was not helping at all but fending for themselves.

Ferry chaos

Image courtesy of Africa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There was fighting over seats in lifeboats and helicopter baskets.

 “The jungle law prevailed,” said another Greek passenger, Irene Varsioti. “There was no queue or order. No respect was shown for children.” – Daily Journal

Jungle law.  Surprised?

Back in April 2014, a Korean Ferry sunk and 304 of the 476 people on board died.  There were stories of people saving themselves including the captain of the ship.

In 2012, a Swedish study was done on 18 maritime disasters and men were found to have twice the survival rate of women and children fare even worse.

Yet, the media reports these stories with utter surprise.  Why?

During a crisis, the majority of people will revert to the basic instinct to survive.  Your body automatically goes into survival mode.

The be surprised by this is naive and dangerous.

As preppers, we focus on having the tools and skills necessary to survive dangerous situations.  However, we also need to focus on preparing ourselves when put in situations where people can be just as dangerous.

A few things you can do to prepare for a crisis…before it happens:

1) Prepare Mentally

When in a situation with a large group of people, run through the scenarios that could happen – BEFORE anything does.  For example, on a train what to expect during a derailment or fire.  Thinking ahead can avoid you making a bad decision in a stressful situation.

2) Identify Your Safest Place to Be

Considering how you think people will react, locate a place that will likely be the safest when disaster strikes.  This is similar to locating the exits on a plane closest to you.

If you have a plan, you can make a direct route to that location when the time comes.

3) Plan For Your Loved Ones

If traveling with family, consider what you will do to get them to safety in the most effective way possible.  If you have small children, who will carry them?  If with elderly, how will account for them?

Again, having a plan in mind will save you time and perhaps avoid a fatal decision.

4) Do Not Expect Help

Finally, as we see from the above, don’t expect the calvary to come.  Assume people will fend for themselves.  If you receive help, that is great but do not count on it.  Don’t be one who perishes waiting for the helping hand.  It may never come.

Remember, having tools and supplies is necessary for peppers, but having the right mindset is just as important.

As Ben Franklin said, by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.

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