Today’s cuppa: iced raspberry black tea

A shorter version of this story is available in syndication this week, but just because you’re special, you get all the Cade Courtley you could want and more. And after the story, a little treat..

Courtley is a Navy SEAL, but he’s not playing one on TV in his new series,
“Surviving Disaster,” premiering Tuesday, Sept. 1, on Spike TV.

He says,
“It’s not, ‘I’m a Navy SEAL, and I’m going to get dropped somewhere, and I’m
going to get out.’

“I’ll let
Bear Grylls (of Discovery Channel’s ‘Man vs. Wild’) do that, and he can drink
his pee, and that’s his show.

“But we’re
taking people who might accidentally get in a situation, that don’t have 15
years of military experience and training. And we’re going to show them, step
by step, what they need to do to get out of it.”

Disaster” uses re-enactments to illustrate catastrophic scenarios that might
strike ordinary citizens. Courtley then shares knowledge and demonstrates
techniques to help people get through the events alive.

The series
launches with an episode about a plane hijacking, and the rest are a mix of
human-caused and natural disasters – and it’s hard to say which are more

“We just
finished shooting an episode that we call ‘Pandemic,'” says Courtley over lunch
in Pasadena, Calif., in early August. “It was
(appropriate), considering half the cast got sick the last day of shooting from
craft services.

“In the
first few minutes, we dealt with a chemical attack. ‘What would happen if this
happened to you on the subway?’ It started with chemical, but the heart of this
episode dealt with a biological attack.

“In the
chemical attack, you’re able to get away from it and scrub down, and hazmat
teams were there. But what if Patient Zero had been injected with something and
didn’t even know it?”

The show
tracks the pandemic over months, as the spread devastates the population and
causes survivors to huddle in isolated groups to prevent further infection.

Courtley, “I was asked, ‘Which one of these (scenarios) seems scariest to you?’
It’s definitely the pandemic. It’s the enemy I can’t see.

“You could
be the most physically fit, in the best shape of your life, and you still have
just as much chance of getting struck down.”

Of course,
anyone stuck in an emergency situation would like to have a Navy SEAL on hand, but in “Surviving
Disaster,” it’s a mixed blessing.

“The joke
is,” Courtley says, “every time Cade shows up, these people are getting ready to have
the worst day of their lives, because it’s never one thing. It’s compounding
things in these episodes.

“The one
that we shot in Montana
starts off as snowboarders and skiers that go backcountry and get involved in
a whiteout, so they’re stuck. Then one of them falls off of a cliff and breaks
his leg. Then they have to get him into a snow cave.

“Then they
get attacked by a bear. It’s the worst-case scenario.”

Even if
there wasn’t a bear involved, Courtley would be thrilled to hear that he saved a

“To get an
email here and there,” he says, “in a couple of months, from somebody who says,
‘Hey, you know, I watched the show, and I did that and made it out,’ or ‘My
family made it out,’ just one of those emails would be enough for me.

“You don’t
want to create a hyper-vigilant attitude. You don’t want people to walk around
freaking out, with a thousand pounds of ammunition in the basement, to be
smart, be prepared.

“You don’t
want to live scared, but to be prepared is good, too.”

interviewing Courtley, I visited him and the crew on location in Inglewood, Calif., while they were
shooting an episode called “Earthquake” (where I took the pic of Courtley above). I was hoping to see the crew drop a
power pole on an SUV, but had to head out before the stunt was staged. But,
Spike was kind enough to send a few pix…



Posted by:Kate O'Hare