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The anatomy of any cataclysm by day: what and how happens


In an interview with British Vogue, American singer Ariana Grande admitted that she still can’t cope with the post-traumatic stress disorder that she had during the terrorist attack in Manchester (during the explosion that took place on May 22, 2017 at her concert in Manchester Arena, they died 22 people and more than 120 were injured). “It is difficult to talk about this because many people who came to the concert left him with a heavy and irreparable loss. But yes, it was, and yes, it is real, ”the girl said.

“Time is the only thing that can help here,” she added. - It constantly seems to me that I should not talk about my own experience, because there were people who in the end were several times worse than me. I guess I shouldn't say anything at all. And I don’t think that one day I can talk about it and not cry. ”

Feeling guilty that someone was hurt where you survived is the survivor’s guilt complex (also “survivor syndrome” or “survivor syndrome”).

This is a mental disorder that occurs in a person when he considers himself guilty of having survived some traumatic event, while many others did not survive it. The survivor’s guilt complex is often confronted by people who survived after terrorist acts, natural disasters, epidemics, as well as those who remained the only living person from the whole family whose members died under certain circumstances.

According to experts, the manifestation of the guilt of the survivor depends on the psychological profile of the person. It is important to keep in mind that some time ago the disorder was removed from the list of “specific diagnoses” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and then defined as “one of the main signs” of post-traumatic stress frustration.

On his Psychology Today blog, psychologist Nancy Sherman describes this phenomenon as “a vicious circle of thoughts about what you should have done but not done, despite the fact that there really was nothing in the situation that you did wrong or wrong. ” She adds that the survivor's guilt complex is a normal response to a stressful situation and, especially, to loss. There is evidence that some of us are more prone to this disorder - for example, people with depression and low self-esteem.

There are other factors responsible for the predisposition of people to the guilt complex. A 2005 study showed that people who experienced traumatic experiences in childhood were more susceptible to any stressful events in adulthood.

“Watching other people, dead or injured, is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone,” says Refinery29 Ph.D. Nancy Kaser-Boyd, adding that this is exactly why It is important to seek the help of specialists from events that will help to cope with guilt at the initial stage, while it is not yet capable of seriously harming its “carrier”.

Caser Boyd also recommends talking more often with friends and family so that injury does not poison you from the inside.

The fact that other people have suffered more does not mean that those who survived are not injured at all. Psychotherapists say that people from the last group tend to devalue their experience and torment themselves, forgetting that in this way they do not bring other people back to life and do not make life easier for their relatives. And, perhaps, this is exactly what should be remembered in the first place.

Phase 1. Warning.

Some cataclysms cannot be foreseen - for example, earthquakes cannot be foreseen in advance. Also, Yellowstone is likely to explode to half the planet in just a few minutes or hours, and it will not be possible to warn people.

But you can warn about various natural disasters, solar flares with electromagnetic radiation. The government does this in many ways - on the radio, through its websites, through loudspeakers on the streets, etc. In this case, we can talk about evacuation - such warnings cannot be ignored.

It should be noted right away that many citizens, not knowing the real state of affairs, or succumbing to panic, will immediately begin to buy up warm clothes, food, bottled water, etc. Most stores will not be ready for such an influx, and the police and army will not be enough to ensure order. There will be chaos.

In fairness, it’s worth saying that it’s easier with us - our people are more hardened than in the West. In the same Crimea during the blackout, the inhabitants, on the contrary, tried to help each other and massively remained calm, despite all the inconveniences.

Many benefited from their survival products — portable batteries, spare light sources, candles that made coffee and tea, and so on. A plus was the understanding that blackout is still possible, and many residents pre-stocked the necessary accessories at the Warning stage.

Phase 2: Shock and awe (1-2 days).

This is the stage of adaptation to inconvenience. Normal conditions of existence have become impossible; a transition to autonomous existence is underway. At the same time, many will begin to bother the local authorities in order to meet their needs at the same level.

The authorities have a lot of work during such periods. Therefore, just do not contact them - only in emergency cases. Especially when you realize that the fallen power transmission line supports cannot be restored in a day, or that mudflow from the only road to the region cannot be removed in a day. Therefore, the supply of water, food, equipment is extremely difficult. So it was in the Crimea, when transport was carried out on sea vessels during winter storms, by helicopters and airliners.

Phase 3. Breaking (3-7 days).

There is such a phrase "humanity is separated from anarchy for three days." Before uncontrollable chaos begins under the conditions of a cataclysm, three days will pass. This will happen when people realize that the situation will not resolve quickly, that the resources are running out, that you need to really think about survival on your own. And this is panic, crime, robbery.

In fairness, it is worth noting that this is massively observed in the West after hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. But here, people who survived the 1990s are more mentally stable.

The following factors act on the possibility of a social explosion:

  • Inaction or inadequate government action.
  • Moral hopelessness and panic.
  • Lack of normal living conditions.
  • Population density.
  • Disaster size, etc.

That is, after three days, subject to these conditions, the mood of the population turns into a “powder keg”. For example, in New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina, the government failed to take appropriate measures, and within three days the city was mired in robberies and complete anarchy. Add to this the deterioration of sanitation, the increase in disease due to poor water, etc.

Phase 4: Recovery (8-30 + days).

Despite the desire to believe that the consequences of the cataclysm will be quickly eliminated, you need to understand that the disaster that has affected millions of people cannot be quickly eliminated. This will take weeks and months.

For example, Crimea remained without light for 2 weeks. A small amount of electricity generated by a local thermal power station and delivered from mainland Russia DGU covered the needs by 15-20%. First of all, electricity was supplied to life support facilities - boiler houses, water systems, hospitals, so houses and streets remained dark.

Only after the introduction of the first string of the energy bridge did electricity appear in most homes. But the energy bridge itself began to be built 8 months before the first string was commissioned, and the second string was introduced only in May next year. That is, it would take more than a year to completely stop the situation if construction had not begun in advance!

How to survive after a cataclysm and disaster

On how to survive in different disasters, we have a series of articles in the corresponding section (tab at the top of the site). Just in case, we recall that in each house there should be a minimum NZ for all occasions.

Think of a specific set of things yourself, based on individual needs. But the general directions are as follows:

  • Food products and alternative cooking methods (gas burners, ovens, vacuum-packed products, canned food, etc.).
  • Drinking water (at the rate of 2 liters per day per person).
  • Fuel for generators, kitchen stoves and fireplaces, charcoal for outdoor grills.
  • Batteries and chargers (portable solar panels, traveling wind turbines, etc.).
  • Generator (gasoline or diesel engine).
  • Emergency lighting (candles, lights, flares).
  • Medical supplies (medicines, bandages and other consumables, respirators, etc.).
  • Baby food (and baby stuff).
  • Sanitary and hygiene items.
  • Radio for receiving emergency messages.

More information about stocks and survival in the Apocalypse can be found in a special section. We also have articles about leaving the city during hostilities, surviving in disasters, etc. - everything in the section "How to survive."