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How to Become a Survivalist


The origins of the survivalist movement in the United States and Britain may have been triggered by the Great Depression in 1929 and expanded during the Cold War when the civil defense programs were instituted. Fallout shelters were encouraged and children were taught to duck and cover. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages their members to keep a year’s worth of food in storage in case of a catastrophic event.


Survivalists are individuals or groups that are preparing for the disruption of normal day to day activity due to a natural or man-made disaster. Future possibilities of regional, international, local or political order are some of the events that survivalists are preparing for.

Their goal is to become self-sufficient by training for emergency medical, stockpiling food, building underground shelters or a survival retreat.

Anticipated disruptions include:
  • Collapse of society
  • Pandemic
  • Chaos/apocalyptic events
  • Chemical spills, nuclear war or government oppression
  • Natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, severe thunderstorms and blizzards

Meet ups

Meet ups occur in different areas of the United States and around the world. Discussions could include preparing for business interruptions, survival skills, amateur radio operators and community response. You can find a group by logging on to:

Survival Preparedness Meetup Groups


Survivalists use blogs to share information and new ideas.

The Survivalist Blog

Suburban Survivalist Blog

What is the mindset of a survivalist?
  1. Aliens and artificial intelligence will rise up and the survivalist will need to know how to survive and defend themselves from this intrusion.
  2. The survivalist that believes that there will be a medical crisis is one that donates blood, stockpiles medicines and is focused on helping friends and family survive medical emergencies.
  3. James Wesley Rawles is the author of survivalist fiction and non-fiction. Those who follow his practices are called Rawlesians and emphasize practical self-sufficiency and homesteading.
  4. Monetary disaster survivalists are preparing for paper money to become worthless. They promote buying gold, silver and other precious metal investments such as shares in mining.
  5. Wilderness survivalists pride themselves on being able to stay alive in the wilderness for long periods of time.
  6. Unintended consequences of genetic manipulation, transgenic crops, cloning and artificial intelligence are worries of some survivalists.
  7. Malthusians believe that the uncontrolled growth of the population will impact the availability of food, water, health care and that disease will spread.
  8. Survivalists plan for natural disasters that may be short term, long term or indefinite periods of time. They store tons of food, can seeds and may even have a greenhouse.
  9. Biochemical hazards such as swine flu, Lhasa virus, Dengue Fever, Anthrax, Cholera, Ebola and Botulism often encourage survivalists to own NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) full face respirators, plastic sheeting and duct tape, Nitrile gloves, PVC boots and polyethylene coveralls.

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