Beck: Will You Be in 'The Survivors Club'?

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This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," February 11, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK: Snow. In the winter. On the East Coast. Everybody is freaking out. Who would have seen it coming? There is a cover of The Wall Street Journal today, photo of a cleaned-out supermarket in northern Virginia. Wow! Wow! I warned you. I'm, you know, I'm afraid something might be a little worse that's coming than a little bit of snow. Like economic collapse. Are you prepared?

By the way, anything that I say today, anything, if I got it wrong, White House, call me. I know, I may be in Los Angeles and all these phones doesn't have a cord, but show the New York — show the New York studio, please? She is just this — she is watching the snow. If the phone rings, we're there. And I'll patch you right through. So, White House, if we get it wrong, you can call.

We have Ben Sherwood here, he is the author of "The Survivor's Club." I had Ben on —

Hi Ben, how are you?


BECK: Did we ever meet in person before?

SHERWOOD: Never in person.

BECK: Yes, I didn't think so. You, this book, when it was sent to me, I don't know how long ago. When did it come out? A year, year-and-a- half ago?

SHERWOOD: Year ago.

BECK: And it came out right as the plane landed in the Hudson.

SHERWOOD: Flight 1549.

BECK: Yes.

SHERWOOD: A week before.

BECK: And so, I thought, I don't want to read that. And then that happened and I had you on and I have to tell you, your book changed the way I look at everything. Explain why. Can you?

SHERWOOD: I would never be so bold to tell you why...

BECK: Well, we talked about it before.

SHERWOOD: I think that the book looks at the world's most effective survivors and thrivers. And identifies why some people when the worst happens, deal the best. Why they can cope? Why they can overcome? And it identifies the qualities that you need when everything falls apart.

BECK: OK. Look, America, I have to tell you, I know what — I mean, I read the blogs — I know what people say about me. That's fine. I don't really care. They're wrong.

I don't want to come to you — you know, the blogs say, you know, he's just an entertainer. They're right. I'm an entertainer. That's what I've always done. September 11 made me go: Wait a minute, maybe I should pay attention, maybe I should learn something. I didn't know jack about American history until recently. I've changed my life because I think this is important and I think we should prepare.

I don't want to be the doom and gloom guy every day. But those who prepare actually survive. They're the ones — explain, explain if I'm, if I'm dangerous because I'm telling people what could possibly happen, why do we tell people what could possibly happen on an airplane?

SHERWOOD: If you talk to the world's most effective survivors and thrivers — people who have survived plane crashes, people who have survived cancer, people who survived foreclosures, firings at factories — these people have situational awareness. That's what the military calls it. They are aware of the situation that they're in. And when the worst happens, they perceive accurately the threat that they face. And they have a plan "A" and a plan "B" to deal with it.

So, when you say on an airplane, ladies and gentlemen, we're about to fly from New York to North Carolina and you may need to get off this plane in a hurry because there is a possibility that when we're flying we could hit a flock of geese, how are you going to get off the plane? What are you going to do in an emergency? That's not irresponsible. That's responsible.

BECK: And there is a reason why they say and the exit exits — they use their body — located here, here and here. And please look at the closest exit now. Right? They say that every time.

Why do they tell you to look at it?

SHERWOOD: There are two reasons: First of all, interesting science of survival. People typically think that the only exit is the entrance they came in.

BECK: Like the Great White fire in Rhode Island?

SHERWOOD: The Station fire in Rhode Island.

BECK: Yes.

SHERWOOD: That if you came in one entrance, that's the way you get out. As you know, in Station fire in Rhode Island, it cost many people their lives. Why? Because there were other exits to get out off, they'd been trying to get out. And when they pulled the bodies from that fire, people were wedged into that one entrance trying to get out of there.

So, they tell you to look at all the exits and they tell you to memorize, they tell you, where is the exit? It could be behind you. Look at it.

When I went to the airplane crash survival course in Oklahoma City, they tell you to memorize how many rows you are away. Because, in event of an airplane crash, you may be upside down, the cabin may no longer look like a cabin anymore and you may need to feel your way through smoke and dark to find that exit. It's not going to be an orderly place. It's going to be disorderly and chaotic. And so, they say know where your exit is. And the same thing applies to every survival situation.

BECK: But is there something to be said for — when I was thinking that when they say, look at the exit because you do process it differently. It's not just in your ear and out. You're not just hearing it. When you engage your eyes and your ears, you do process it differently.

SHERWOOD: So, some people are visual learners. And what we find when we look at the statistics, 60 percent of us pay no attention to that safety briefing — don't even look.

So, when they say look, what they're saying is imprinted in your mind because if something bad happens, you'll know where to go.

BECK: OK. Back in just a second. I want to tie this together and really it's kind of an explanation on why we do the things we do and what you should be doing, if you want to be in the Survivors Club, should things go awry.

Back to Ben Sherwood.


BECK: We're back with Ben Sherwood, the author of "The Survivors Club." A book — does the book have the test in it? It's been a while since I've read it.

SHERWOOD: It does.

BECK: It does, it does have the test in it. It tells you exactly what kind of survivor you are, what personality trait you have.I'm trying to take people, to take them to a place to where they will think out of the box. Because, I think, that's the only reason why I get stuff in advance. It's because, I'm not looking at it like everybody else is looking at it.

How do you prepare for an economic downturn?

SHERWOOD: There are two things at work. First, there's something that we all engaged in — some of us engage in — which is called, the normalcy bias. The normalcy bias is this tendency for all of us to just want things to be OK. So, when the fire alarm goes off, the normalcy bias is it's just a fire alarm, it's just a drill. That's not a real fire.

The second piece of it is this problem with the way we're wired to deal with things that are low-probability, high-consequence events. Things that are very unlikely to happen, but if they happen they're a big deal. So, today you're in Los Angeles. We're sitting on the San Andreas Fault. We know that there is going to be a very big earthquake...

BECK: Thank you for making me think of this now. Did I need that? I didn't need that.

SHERWOOD: But if you live in Los Angeles. And you live in California, for 30 years, they've been preparing us to prepare for the inevitable.

BECK: Why is it that we listen to people who say everything is OK? Especially when it's their jobs that matter if it's not OK. We listen to them when it's OK and it seems to me almost every time they're wrong. If people wouldn't have listened to the voice of the authority on 9/11, more would have gotten out. Because, go back up in the tower, everything is fine. Right? Why is it we listen to them? Is that the return to normalcy?

SHERWOOD: Well, there's the normalcy bias, but the world divides up to three groups, Glenn. In every disaster, going back 100 years when they studied the personality types of people in crisis — economic crisis, natural disasters — 10 percent of us are calm, cool, collected and focused. We see clearly. We know what to do. We understand the problem. We take action.

BECK: Right.

SHERWOOD: Eighty percent of us — that's most of us — we become bewildered, we don't know what to do. We wait for someone in the position of authority to tell us what to do. We're in a stupor until someone snaps.

BECK: Most important thing because I really got now less than a minute. Most important thing, that you found survivors have in common?

SHERWOOD: It's a tough one, but I'd say that the surprise, the surprise in my research that the leading experts in this field, the guys who have trained Marines and SEALs to survive.

BECK: You're going to love this, because he's a journalist from New York. Go ahead, say it.

SHERWOOD: These guys say that in the end: Faith and family are the two greatest and most powerful survivors.

BECK: Say it again because I would like to make it to New York journalist say faith.


BECK: Faith. Ben, thank you very much. We'll see you in a couple of weeks. We have special show that you do not want to miss in a few weeks. I put together a thread between Ben and two of his friends. And it's amazing what they stumbled onto, the three of them without knowing it. We'll do that in a couple of weeks.

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