We have discussed stress in many articles and will continue to assist in maturing your understanding and, most importantly, managing your stress. Just as the title suggests, I want to introduce inoculation of a stressful situation. As I have mentioned in other articles, the biggest phobia and stress inducer is interpersonal aggression. Think of a how many times a week police officer is placed in a stressful situation; sometimes in real life or death situations and, at other times, simply dealing with disgruntled people. The police officer certainly is well inoculated to such situations and handles them in the moment like a proven professional. Later, an officer may need to protect his well-being through stress-relief mechanisms (that’s for a different article).
Stress inoculation is more multiple situational training (reality-based training sessions) that assist you and your family to manage or become inoculated from stressful situations. With such training, you learn your body’s biology functions and are ultimately able to function in a stressful event. To truly be the best at what we’re set to accomplish, you must understand the only way to get there is to practice. Practice…. practice…. practice. OK, so how do you practice the combat mindset of stressful situations we are preparing for? Really, how does one become immune to the stress of using lethal force to protect themselves or their loved ones? Well, the first thing to should clear up is we’re not striving for immunity from the consequences of stress; we’re simply aiming to inoculate the surprise and uncomfortableness of any stress situation. To accomplish this, we need to experience highly stressful situations; move waaaaaaay beyond our comfort zone. I learned late in life how to downhill ski and the first thing my wife taught me was I needed to be able to ski the mountain without a trail map; meaning I could tackle everything the mountain has to offer (moguls, glades, triple black diamonds and bowls). In the beginning, I was way out of my comfort zone and spent more time clearing snow out of my goggles than I did skiing. But I started to become inoculated from the challenges of the mountain and could get down any run… although it was not always pretty.
So, let’s examine a few areas that may pertain to your life. I always like to start with something most of us can understand, driving a car. I can quickly put someone out of their comfort-zone using vehicle dynamics. If I explain to you as your car feels like the back end is slipping out of control in a turn the last thing you’re thinking about is applying more gas. Most want to reduce speed and get out of the weird feeling sensation, yet in many cases applying gas or power to the vehicle is exactly what the situation calls for. How can I prepare you for that experience with words? I can’t (wouldn’t it be cool if I could?). So, I need you to feel it and do it in a safe manner so you can make mistakes and spin out of control until you eventually get the feel for what we’re trying to achieve. Once you feel that or become stress-inoculated you can manage your actions in a real-life situation where you need to swerve and avoid an obstacle. Another example is medical training, you’re not going to get deep medical training at your local first aid course, you need to seek a real medical course. Applying critical care with real injuries to a person is difficult enough, but imagine you need to do this to your child or spouse? Talk about stress, right?! With them in pain, bleeding, and perhaps starting to go in to shock. This can occur at any time in our lives, vehicle accidents, natural disasters, home accidents, animal attacks, or other dangerous situations.
It should go without saying that managing your stress in such situations is critical. I’ve seen foreign military members given accurate medical reality-based training in which they completely froze up as their buddy bleed out. I had one young soldier actually look me in the eyes and tell me he wants to help his friend but has no idea what to do. This is not where you want to be, nor where you want your family members to be. Remember, you may be the one who requires medical care from another family member so you must share this training. There are great resources available for reality-based training and, with a little guidance, you can conduct your own family training for free… just be careful not to induce more training scars. What’s a training scar? It’s something you’ve been taught to do incorrectly and fails to represent reality of the situation you are trying to teach. I see them all the time in my work and it is extremely difficult to reverse them, especially with limited time to make corrections. So, beware and do not introduce new training scars into your life.
Finally, I want you to think about the top ten things you want to improve in your family’s lives regarding disaster preparation. Once you get that top ten list narrow it to five, then to three priority items and start there. This provides you a realistic visual tool to manage your goals, budget, time, and money to achieve a standard you can be happy with. I understand everyone has different priorities and budgets but, trust me, you can get started today just by recognizing where you need the most attention. If you live on the Gulf Coast and hurricane season is a month or two away, then that’s a great place to start. Do you have your home ready for a major storm? Do you have a week, month, or more supply of food? Do you have a 24, 72, 96 hour or longer bug out bag ready to go? Do you have a plan? Cool, now does everyone in the family know the plan? Simple things make you better but get overlooked the most. Once you check off the easy items you can start really digging deep in to the other SHTF moments in life.
American Society of Preppers assists you in locating the best training available within your price range and provides you with the resources and tools you’ll need (without the silliness of useless items others may push on you). Spend your resources well; time and money are precious and you want to be sure you’re getting what you want out of gear and training. For more detailed information go to www.americansocietyofpreppers.com
Stay alert, stay alive!