Whether the end of the world is near or not, it is an interesting experiment to find out if we have the right mental features to cope with a life-threatening situation. Surviving a natural catastrophe is part of being a natural being; humans are part of nature and surviving is hard-wired into the brain but civilization has had a big impact on mankind´s survival skills. Lots of people don´t know how to cope using basic things like raw ingredients to make food. Today, lots of people don´t know how to bake bread given the ingredients to do so, let alone find these and prepare them for food. You could always stock up on mountain house food…
Keeping a cool head
What you need for survival in any circumstances: the right attitude. It is imperative to keep your reasoning abilities at the right level to deal with the situation. First and foremost is keeping cool, not letting the horrific situation you are in get to you and stay calm, this will help the rest of the people you may be with calm down and leadership patterns start falling into place, this enables the group to start quickly assessing what needs to be done and who should do what and when.
Surviving a catastrophe
It is critical not to let the trauma of a natural disaster overwhelm you and leave you helpless to deal with the situation at hand. Most survival situations require rapid thinking and quick solutions. The more devastating and dire the situation, the more crucial it is to keep your cool in the first hours following the initial impact. Surviving a great catastrophe such as a huge tsunami or being out in the wild when a great storm creates a life threatening situation is as much to do with the state of mind of the people involved as it is with the material assistance to hand.
Psychological features you need
The best survivors are going to be those that are calm and collected, constantly assessing the situation for potential benefit and not letting immediate circumstances get the better of them. People that stay level-headed will be more able to reach out for a solution than those swamped by panic and overwhelmed by fear. So before you stock up on material necessities for your survival project, start stocking up on mental attitudes, these could ultimately save your life.