I have never lived through a national scale crisis and like most people, I hope I never have to. That said, with the growing instability present in the state of the world today it would be rather foolish to assume that the near future holds nothing but fairy dust, unicorns and gumdrops. Preparation is a necessity.
Many Americans cannot yet relate to the concept of full spectrum crisis, but most of us have at least experienced localized disasters. In order to understand what a national emergency might look like, one simply needs to examine the microcosm of localized disasters and then imagine the same exact problems but magnified 1,000 times.
From my personal experience with local crises, I can say that the worst threat comes not from the event itself, but the ways in which people choose to deal with the event. That is to say, for smart, courageous and prepared people with the right traits and skills, there is no such thing as a crisis. For stupid people who overestimate their abilities or who let fear dominate their thinking, any crisis becomes an insurmountable moment of utter terror.