Not many people actually know what survivalism is. It is a movement concerned with actually preparing people for future possible disruptions, such as political disorder, social disorder, natural calamities, and nuclear attacks and so on and so forth. Survivalists often like to prepare for these anticipated disasters by attending all sorts of prep courses, like emergency medical training, self-defense training, self-sufficiency training. They are often concerned with building and learning how to use certain buildings and defense structures that would allow them to survive in difficult conditions such as calamities and nuclear disasters.
The disruptions that survivalists usually anticipate are: natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and thunderstorms, blizzards and other natural disasters. A disaster they would also expect is one created by humans, and this is not just about nuclear disasters, but it can be the intentional spread of pandemics, of radioactive materials and so on and so forth. A shortage of food and resources could also cause a collapse of society, since in such circumstances people would be very likely to fight each other ruthlessly for survival.
Survivalism was quite popular in the 50s and the 60s when the Cold War was perceived as a constant menace to the Western society. Governments were issuing brochures and manuals that contained useful information for the population, in the sense that people were taught how to react in cases of nuclear attack or if other disasters occurred. In the following decades, the popularity of this current significantly decreased. Survivalism is not only spread in the U.S., it can also be found in Canada and Europe, in countries such as U.K and Switzerland.
Also, the survivalist theme was largely explored and used in motion pictures, books , works of art and even in comics magazines. The attacks on The World Trade Center and the other terrorist attacks that happened in recent years across the world, together with the occurrence of hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters caused a revival of survivalism.