The many faces of disaster, and how people react to them.

Hello my friend and welcome back!  First, let me say that I want to say Thank You to all of my readers, who have sent their well wishes and prayers for my family and as we recover from a devastating flood. You rock!   This was the first flood that has ever forced me to leave my home and it was a real eye opener to say the least.  I also used it as an opportunity to see how it affects different people.  This is the subject of today’s post so grab a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.

I am no stranger to disaster having seen it first-hand while in the Military and as a Deputy Sheriff.  The thing is how many  people react differently to it. Some get that thousand-mile stare, while others seem to find strength by helping others or finding a way to fight back.

So what determines how people do react? I wish I could tell you that I was a Dr. and could tell you for sure, but I’m not.  I have only my experience with dealing with this type of situation.  Why do different people react differently?  I have my own idea about that.

The recent flood gave me a unique opportunity for the first time to talk to different people and try to analyze just why the acted the way they did.   There are the obvious reasons such as “I have just lost everything I own and have no idea where to begin.”  These are the ones with the thousand-mile stare. They are truly lost and it’s not so much because of their age, but because they just never believed it could happen to them.  Their mind just simply was not prepared to face what they were seeing… the loss of everything they held dear.

Another group of people were also there, the ones who just simply don’t want to face the realization of what had actually occurred, even though it was right there in front of them.  These are the ones who were able to evade the damage caused by the disaster.  They were easy to spot because they were the ones who turned their back on others and simply walked away thinking it wasn’t their problem and went on with their life.

There were also the Care Givers such as the Red Cross volunteers of which there were many.  These were the people who you could tell have faced tragedy and used it to make themselves strong and a better person.  They are the true heroes after the storm and the ones who are well-adjusted, able to  handle what they encounter.

It goes pretty much without saying, that there also those who see any disaster as an opportunity to cheat and steal from those who have already lost so much.  You will be able to find them in any disaster so be prepared. Someone in the shelter stole from others, can you imagine?

There are also those who become angry at the situation because there is nothing they could have done to stop it from hurting themselves and their loved ones.   They lash out at everyone because they know that it was their own fault that they were complacent when they should not have been.

One such example is a couple who had lamented that they were supposed to buy renters insurance at the beginning of the month, but had put it off until next month.  This can be a hard thing to face but hopefully will wake them up to the need to prepare now, and not later, because it really can happen to you.

I was also amazed at how well I was able to handle it when the world was falling apart around me and my loved ones were hurting.  I had to ask myself why that was.  Did I lack compassion, or empathy for these people who were hurting so bad?  No, my heart was breaking for them and I was compelled to be in the middle trying to help all that I could.

So what was the difference that set so few apart from all of the others?  I think it was the mental mindset that comes with being a Prepper.  While others go through life thinking it could never happen to them.  Preppers are not only keenly aware that it could happen to them, but they constantly prepare and train for such disasters.

Now I will admit that I have softened up quite a bit in my later years.  With all that I have seen in my life, nothing has ever touched me so deeply as seeing my elderly in-laws crying as they searched through their belongings trying to salvage a lifetime’s worth of memories that had been ravaged by flooding water.  For a few minutes there I was beside myself with grief for them.

The really sad part of all of this is that most of the people affected by this flood will rebuild and never think twice about preparing for disasters because of course it could never happen to them a second time.  So why am I telling you all of this?  It’s because I need you to understand the importance of preparing.

I spoke to one Prepper who actually said, that he just didn’t see this coming.  He said he was prepared for a lot of things but never really gave flooding much thought because his land had never flooded before.   He was devastated because he had lost a lot of his preps.  You see, Prepping is not just about preparing to have skills and stock piled goods, but about preparing yourself mentally as well.  It is every bit as important to your survival as water because without a strong mental attitude, you may not survive for twenty-four hours!

Well that is it for today and I hope you have found this post helpful.  I also want to thank all of my devoted readers for standing by me the last couple of days without a new post.  You are the reason I do all of this.  Until next time, stay safe, stay strong, and stay prepared.  God Save America!

-The Sargent-


5 thoughts on “The many faces of disaster, and how people react to them.”

  1. I was near a flood as a child by Johnstown Pa. Luckily not to near but saw the devastation after the water receded. A few years back we had a small flood were I live now. I had a hard time going to work that day due to my normal route was flooded out so I tried other routes until I got out and to work I went. I never thought it would get higher than it was as the rain seemed to be slowing down but I took the 4X4 anyway. I could not get home that evening and wished I had taken the kayak with me in the back of the truck. Luckily my house was at the top of the hill and the water didn’t come above the curb. I was blessed. I think as a prepper, it is best to know what your most possible disasters are your first concern when prepping and work towards the next possible disaster and so on. Just remember,what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, not because you services but because you know what to expect next time and prep accordingly. The bad ones are the people who make no changes to their conditions. I mean if I lived in tornado alley I would have a concrete dome home with iron shutters on the windows. Good luck my friend.

  2. I, too, wish to welcome you back and pray that outside of the inconvenience and certain financial and property loss, that you and your family continue to have good health.
    While I don’t live in your region, I do live in what is considered a “flood plain” (for insurance purposes) here in southern AZ.
    There is only two ways into my subdivision with both routes in and out bisected by washes that run to overflowing whenever we have a heavy rain.
    One route is over a one-lane bridge with the wash proper dangerously filled with sand, and whenever there is a heavy rain, the other tributaries meeting it cause a backup of immense magnitude that the flow will back up then flow around the bridge and has undercut and washed out the roadway leading to it in the past.
    Given sufficient water, the water will actually cover the flat areas around and leading to the wash and that is where my property is located.
    Had I been told of this phenomenon prior to my purchase of this house and property, I doubt I would have gone through with the purchase.
    Coulda, woulda, shoulda I guess but here I am.
    So each of us must prep for the most likely of disasters and roll with the punches when/if they occur.
    My prayers will continue to be with you and your family, including your inlaws, and hope you all will be made as whole as possible within the shortest amount of time as possible.
    Welcome back, God Bless and Good luck.


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