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How to Respond During a National Crisis



Most people think of a crisis as an intense situation resulting from trouble, danger or trauma. What they don’t realize is, a crisis can also be a turning point requiring a significant action or decision – on both a national and individual level.

People experiencing a crisis on an individual level might face situations like the death of a loved one or the loss of a job. They might even experience crisis at a community level, thanks to natural disasters or humanitarian emergencies.

However, despite history saying otherwise, many citizens don’t expect crisis on a national level. They ignore the probability of things like an economic depression, large-scale natural disasters, terrorist threats and even epidemics.

But for us survivalists, there’s nothing more important than being prepared. This leads to the first step in surviving a national crisis:

1. Be Prepared

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As with any emergency, a national crisis will hit unannounced. For this reason, you need to be prepared in every possible way.

For example, during a national emergency, you can’t rely on emergency response. Police will be running amok; trying to save the entire population simultaneously. It will be up to you to secure your own safety and survival in the midst of widespread panic and/or disaster.

As such, experts agree families need to create disaster plans and practice them regularly. A proper disaster plan will address what to do not only during a national crisis, but also during severe weather, long-term power outages and even threats like an active shooter.

Another key strategy for crisis preparation is maintaining a personal and/or family disaster kit. There are several essential items to pack well in advance, including:

• Water
• Food
• First-Aid Kit
• Lighting (specifically solar-powered)
• Batteries
• Spare set of clothes
• Lighter
• Battery-operated radio
• Flashlight
• Can opener

Pre-assembled disaster kits are also available for purchase.

Maintaining a disaster kit includes updating it periodically; check expiration dates, item quality, etc.

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2. Stay Informed

“The most terrifying moment in my life was October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I did not know all the facts – we have learned only recently how close we were to war – but I knew enough to make me tremble.” – Joseph Rotblat

During times of crisis, we are often overpowered by fear, and thus, react accordingly. These debilitating reactions to trauma and threat make it difficult to cope and behave rationally.

Responses can range from emotional panic to physical distress, both of which worsen the situation. Though it is difficult to fight fear responses, there are ways to productively manage them.

One method is gathering information. Information, when collected from reliable sources, can bring clarity and reason to crisis situations.

However, in times of constant news and social media updates, sifting through the noise can be difficult – especially when disaster strikes.

For this reason, rely on national security platforms that provide accurate and helpful information. And when all else fails, pull out that battery-operated radio.

3. Help Others

John F. Kennedy once said: great crisis produces great men and great deeds of courage. Courage in the face of crisis often manifests in helping others.

In emergency situations, many people focus on the safety of themselves and their family – and that’s not a bad thing. However, it’s also important to remember those less prepared and/or more vulnerable to danger.

Nothing is more heartwarming than stories of sacrifice during times of disaster, especially in the name of neighbors and community. And such devotion to the well-being of other citizens is what keeps the fabric of nations like America together.

That being said, helping others in times of emergency doesn’t always call for heroic actions. Checking on neighbors, providing necessities to those less fortunate, volunteering for clean-up or even a caring smile can make a difference.

Ultimately, sharing what we have during emergencies is as healing for the self as it is for others – and a productive reaction to crisis at any level.


No one wants to expect a national crisis. We put hope in our leaders and local officials to guide and protect us.

But we must also take responsibility for our individual reactions to disaster. Being prepared, staying informed and helping others are productive ways to navigate large-scale emergencies in a way that promotes safety, security and community.

The bottom line: Don’t wait to prepare until after a national crisis strikes. Start now and thank yourself later.

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