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Surviving Disaster

4 Ratings: 2.3
A television show

Protecting oneself in the event of an accident or natural disaster.

1 review about Surviving Disaster

Possibly the Greatest Television Show Ever Produced

  • Oct 4, 2009
  • by
Before I review the television show, Surviving Disaster on SpikeTV, let me begin by saying by virtue of my job on a college campus I have seen countless emergency preparedness videos, been involved in numerous emergency planning committees (including pandemic protocols, flood scenarios, tornado and fire, and active shooter scenarios) so I have a pretty good idea of what makes an effective training tool and I also know a lot about the survivor mentality.

I had seen a number of ads for Surviving Disaster and had always wanted to see it, but since I don't watch a ton of TV I never made it a priority. But, as luck would have it, a couple weeks ago I caught one episode of Surviving Disaster: Being aboard a Hijacked Airplane.

I was completely captivated with the show and totally engaged with the information and content presented. The most effective part of the show in conveying the necessary information is the angle to show is presented: following the host as he is in each situation, having him (and the others) play out exactly what to do from the prospective of actually being in the situation. I found this method exceptional because it wasn't teaching you how to react, but rather showing you exactly what needed to be done to increase your chances of survival. The camera work is exceptional, and at times I really felt like I was on board the plane with all the terrified victims.


The host, Navy SEAL Cade Courtley, obviously knows what he is talking about, and in areas where he is not an expert, the show cuts to interviews with knowledgeable personally (NORAD supervisors, EMTs, etc.) providing a comprehensive look at each and every possibility and decision that needed to be made in the given scenario.

Another important facet of Surviving Disaster is the fact that the show is not a playbook for guaranteed survival during a disaster, but how to increase your chances of survival by doing things, staying calm, and doing whatever is necessary. During the episode, Surviving a Plane Hijacking they touch on a very important aspect of disasters, and that is the survivor mentality. Cade Courtley explains what to look for to determine the goals of the hijackers and how the hijacking mentality has changed since September 11, 2001. Once you realize that the scenario is such that the goal is your death, the only person you have left to save you is you. Survivor mentality is an important mentality in any situation, and it is the mindset that you just might die even trying to save yourself. Surviving Disaster discusses this to great detail, in an effective way: by teaching calmness while also preparing yourself to increase your chances of living through the incident. As Cade Courtley says, in a fight between two people, the one that bleeds the least will be the one that wins; so tips are provided to minimize blood loss, such as wrapping your arm with a jacket when attacking someone with a knife and utilizing anything around you as a weapon, like a book, car keys, or a computer.

Surviving Disaster is a phenomenal show. I say it might be the greatest show ever produced because it gives important information that some people will certainly need (since the disasters include things like hurricanes and being trapped in a tall building on fire) in a captivating manner. It is entertaining to watch, and after the hour is over you will feel completely satisfied.

Season One episodes include (so far):
  • "Airplane Hijack" (9-1-09)
  • "Fire" (9-8-09)
  • "Hurricane" (9-15-09)
  • "Home Invasion" (9-22-09)
  • "Avalanche" (9-29-09)
Out of sheer coincidence, after viewing the Hijacked Airplane episode my wife and I were going flying to Hawaii, so beforehand I was telling her about the show and how exceptional it is. She asked what we needed to do if our aircraft was hijacked. I gave her the rough lowdown such as using a cellphone as a distraction, wrapping our arms with coats, and how the show instructed the viewers that if the both pilots were dead (or unable to fly) how the calmest person on the plane needs to jump into the pilot seat as soon as the cockpit is reclaimed.

I told her I was ready to step up if necessary. She said, if you do anything that gets you killed I'm going to be so mad. I asked, what if I save the day and everyone would've died had I not died retaking the plane, and she responded, I don't care, I would still be mad.

I guess that's the price you have to pay to survive disasters.

Surviving Disasters should almost be required viewing. As they say on the commercials, it just might save your life.

Good surviving,

Plants and Books

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4 Ratings: +2.3
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Genre: Educational
Original Air Date: September 1, 2009

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