Survival instincts vs. real strategies

Published on June 9th, 2021

The need for survival methods. Events in our lives that we’ll need survival tactics to continue our lives. Whenever we talk about Survival, it’s when it’s a major event, or we’ve heading off to the woods for a long weekend. We bring up the subject when there’s a huge natural disaster and we are left without power without our resources without food those types of things. However, all too often we failed to remember that it’s the little things or the smaller events that will get us in the end. With this in mind, I’d like to open up our discussions this week and talk about survival verses real strategy for getting through an event safely, and healthy. There are those amongst the Survival genre, who feel that constant practice is the only key to success, more like muscle memory for the activities necessary to survive a natural disaster. But, that’s not always a necessity. With some proper planning, and immediate access to critical resources necessary, you can actually provide a stepped plan for your way through a natural disaster into a quick recovery with documented cheat-sheets. These cheat-sheets must contain clear, precise steps to take, starting from worst-case scenario all the way through to recovery.

Ginger from Tennessee asks “the backwoods preppers stereotype doesn’t fit me, can I be prepared without those negative connotations?”

Gary from New York asks “isn’t a bug-out plan an absolute necessity for survival?”

John from Arizona points out that “you seem to cover survival from natural disasters, but recently we have seen carnage being created in urban settings more frequently, how can one prepare for that?”

Tina from Boston “if the event is cataclysmic enough will society fail?”

Finally Mike from California asks “what’s the difference between being a prepper, versus being prepared?”

Greetings to all my friends (both new and old), to my wonderful family, my fellow Alaskans, and my fellow Americans, wherever you are. Welcome to the Alaska Outlaw podcast, I am the Alaska Outlaw, thank you so much for joining me this week. This week I hope to introduce you to a topic to consider to add to your preps. Critical thinking about your prepared steps to recover from a large-scale, natural disaster. Let’s take some time today to consider the differences between muscle memory and a better preparedness plan.  Before we get after it today, I’d like to make sure that, for those of you who seek peace and harmony, or lessons in coexistence, be sure to check out the Alaska Outlaw Forn-sidr podcast at After 30 years of spiritual searching and discovery, I have arrived home. Home to the ideology of of my ancestors. I am a proud Germanic-Dane. Some good stuff for you there. Also, another second just to give a shout-out for our sponsors and affiliates:

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Shout out to all of them for supporting the mission here at Alaska Outlaw, we greatly appreciate taking a risk by supporting an “Outlaw” show. Please visit their links on our webpage and show them some love, they, like each of us, needs to pay their peeps.

Let’s talk about the difference between being prepared with a strategy, versus just being prepared. What it means to be prepared for a large scale event? In most cases when I discuss survival and recovery, it’s in reference to a natural disaster, such as a large quake, tornado, hurricane, floods, or any myriad of other naturally occurring events. However, the strategies involved in surviving a natural disaster should be pretty dang close to the skill set necessary for surviving a man-made disasters.

For the record, for surviving mass shootings, it is a matter of knowing your environment. By being able to gauge and react to the environment, and the dynamics involved in them, we can we can increase the potential of our success. We’ve done several shows that talks about moving through open space, by the numbers, that talks about, identifying threats coming in and out of unique zones between two points. Understanding that methodology is how we can increase our potential for success.


With that out-of-the-way, let’s talk about constant training for survival skills. When discussing constant training, we’re talking about physically going through the motions. Very much like the fire drills that we did in school, they are to develop a muscle memory, allowing our body to instantaneously react to a developing scenario, whatever that might be. Very much like fire drills, earthquake drills, active shooter drills in school, by constantly reminding your muscles how to respond, you can increase the level of the potential of successfully escaping. This is the whole idea behind constant training. You are always making sure that your body and mind can instantly react to a developing situation based on active steps that you have outlined during a peaceful time.

The other side of this equation, is the whole idea that I have of strategies documented in what I referred to as cheat-sheets. These documents allow us, with our foggy brain wrapped in adrenaline, to be able to clearly execute steps in order to arrive at success. I have witnessed on many occasions the institution of these stepped instructions, to be able to guide us in a more defined, controlled method for successful outcomes, many times. So, the first question is what’s the event, and just as importantly, is the understanding of the dynamics within that event, as it unfolds. A good example would be the aftershocks following a large scale earthquake. By calculating that you’re going to have to get through these aftershocks after the quake itself, sets us up for success, by already having plans in place to deal with this other element.

So, understanding the two different strategies for dealing with preparedness, we could now identify which strategy we want to deploy. Strategies implemented at the time of an event should contain the flexibility to change during that event. Remember, the event is dynamic, the way we handle that event needs to be just as dynamic. 

Strategies available

  • Constant Training and/or immersion. Remember, these are the physical activities. Akin to fire drills, quick drills, active shooter drills. They require physically exercising them.
  • Cheat sheets or instruction worksheets. These are cards we can carry on or persons that are laminated, that contains the stepped instructions from event to recovery. They may also be stored somewhere convenient.

Situations involved

Let’s look at several scenarios where you will have to rely on your survival strategies to ensure you stay alive.

  • Weather related. These are the naturally occurring events. Events like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and a myriad of other naturally occurring events. They may provide warning, or not.
  • Society related. This is another topic with a whole lot of bullet points in it. Whether it be terroristic threats, mass shootings, societal breakdowns, or the Celtics win the whatever championship.
  • Man-made disaster related. I typically reserve this topic for weapons of mass destruction. For example,  the Boston marathon bombing,  or the Oklahoma federal building bombing, those types of events are man-made disasters.

The other point that I really want to stress when constructing your emergency preparedness plan, is start to finish. When planning how to be prepared, one needs to remember that there’s a starting point, and there’s a recovery, those are your mileposts. To gauge a successful survival one has to make it all the way to recovery. Recovery is that place where life is back to normal, or pre-event anyway. Stores are open, roads are drivable, power is on, resources are available. In addition, your preparedness, and your preparedness plan, starts long before the event happens. Your plans should be in place, your steps understood, and/or practiced, by all those with whom you reside.

The evening news channel provides plenty of examples of individuals with whom were not prepared, and are therefore now pressed into a panic in an attempt to save them selves and their family members. This is a bad place to be. Bring a plan in place, having all your family members know the plan, and what to do, long before the event happens, increases your chance of success greatly.

I encourage each of you to do the research, and make a written plan that all the members of your family knows their role. Determine whether it needs to be muscle memory, or cheat-sheets, or a combination of both. Remember younger children will need muscle memory, even if they can read. So practice.

As always my friends, I am humbled that you have taken the time to spend with us. I hope I have given you some food for thought that you consider alternatives to relying on the US power grid, in your overall survival plan. Remember, be safe out there, keep your head on a swivel…. Peace.

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