The Crisis and Coping Periods
An individual or group’s ability to properly deal with stress and severe hardship will mean the difference between life and death in a major survival situation. Understanding the scope of the situation and accepting it as reality is called the crisis period, and along with the coping period are two of the most important mental stages that each survivor must go through.
Many people will be unable to come to grips with the new reality and will not advance beyond the crisis period. A lot of people will remain in denial for so long that by the time they decide to face reality, it will be too late. Some will never come to grips with the situation, and will wither and die in a sate of denial. A collapse of society is going to cause shock in a way that none of us are going to be fully prepared for. This is a normal reaction to such a catastrophic event. Each survivor will recover from the shock in their own way, but they will recover. People who aren’t able to recover from the shock of the event won’t be among the survivors, they’ll be among the dead.
Accepting the reality of a situation does not mean giving in, abandoning hope, quitting, or losing the will to survive. It simply means that you accept the current situation, regardless of how bad it may be, as the new normal, and you are prepared to confront that reality head-on. Once the survivor does that, they have entered into the coping period.
The coping period begins when the survivor embraces the new reality and prepares, mentally and physically, to triumph over adversity and hardship, to win and to live. During the coping period, the survivor takes stock of the situation, identifies assets, prioritizes tasks, plans, and works towards achieving the goal of survival. In a traditional survival situation the coping period begins once the survivor confronts the situation and endures and ends when some form of rescue is achieved. In a post-collapse survival situation, the coping period may well last for the rest of your life. Whether the rest of your life lasts a few days for for years to come will depend largely on how well you are able to cope with the stress of a post-collapse world.