Surviving Disaster

Common Sense Media says

Navy SEAL demonstrates how to handle dangerous situations.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show suggests that the world can be a dangerous place -- so it’s important to be prepared for the worst. It demonstrates that a little training and planning can help people survive terrible disasters.

Positive role models

Host Courtley is the picture of calm in the face of catastrophe. He exudes confidence and is an inspiring leader who gives people the strength to survive natural disasters and violent crimes.


The series features simulated natural disasters and violent crimes, some of which include very realistic hand-to-hand combat sequences, bloody knife attacks, close-ups of serious injuries, and more. It all looks real, which is exactly the point -- it's all part of teaching people how to survive these terrible events.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series is designed to teach regular people how to survive natural disasters and violent crimes. The extreme situations range from avalanches to bank robberies to airplane hijackings and, while simulated, are very realistic -- including some very intense fighting sequences and graphic shots of grisly injuries. On the plus side, there's little in the way of sex, drinking, or language to worry about, and the host is a model of strong, capable leadership.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

The world can be a dangerous place, but Navy SEAL Cade Courtley can help you learn to make it through the worst. As host of SURVIVING DISASTER, Courtley guides viewers through realistic simulations of a variety of natural disasters, accidents, and violent crimes -- including airplane hijackings, bank robberies, bear attacks, and avalanches. They aren’t common events, but they do happen -- and, as Courtley makes clear in this entertaining and educational series, few people know how to handle themselves in these kinds of situations. But the simple techniques and common-sense tips he presents could make the difference between life and death.

Is it any good?


Courtley exudes confidence and competence as he explains what to do in a potentially deadly crisis. His calm demeanor makes viewers believe that, sure, they could fend off a bear or land a plane, if they had to. (Though, happily, the vast majority of viewers will never need to use any of these skills, and most would never want to try.)

But Courtley’s bigger point is important -- people should be prepared, and a little bit of training can make a big difference. Viewers may not have much use for his advice about how to help the victim of a knife attack or what to do if they’re taken hostage in a bank robbery, but car accidents and muggings happen all the time, and Courtley’s basic advice on first aid and survival techniques might prove invaluable. Watching this highly trained warrior is both fun and inspiring; he makes you want to prove yourself.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about planning and preparation. Are you ready for a disaster? Do you think you could survive any of these situations? Do you think the techniques featured on this show could help you survive?

  • How do the realistic simulations on this show compare to similar disasters in other movies and TV shows?

  • What’s the most dangerous or frightening thing

  • that’s ever happened to you? How did you handle it? Did you learn

  • something here that you could have used then?

TV details

Cast:Cade Courtley
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Surviving Disaster was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byPlague January 7, 2010

Surviving Disaster

Really cool show. Courtley explains in great detail how to survive various disasters that could go from every-day, to apocalyptic. I would recommend this show for all those mature enough to be able to handle these situations and understand Courtley's tips and concepts to survive.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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