Survival preparedness starts with the basics, the things you hear or read about all the time in this niche… stock up on food, water, ‘bullets-beans-and-band-aids’. All of these basic survival provisions (and many others) are indeed essential if planning to stand a reasonable chance of surviving a longer term major disaster. But what about when much of your supplies (particularly food) are running out? After all, your supplies won’t last forever.
Most people believe that the odds are quite low or insignificant of being thrown into a disaster of great magnitude – large enough such that the results of which would actually and truly become apocalyptic. We have not experienced it in our lifetime, so it is not conceivable. Most are absolutely convinced that it either could never happen, or if it did… that somehow it would be ‘fixed’ quickly enough to suffer little. The fact is, the very fact that most people think this way, is the very thing that could bring it on. We rely totally on our mostly invisible systems of supply-chain and distribution. If these systems break (which would never happen, right?), then the S will HTF.
It is true that a disaster of sufficient magnitude to bring on a worst-case-scenario, is less likely to occur than otherwise, the odds are not zero. A black swan event could turn our world upside-down in an instant. So having said that, what are some of the issues we would have to face given a worst case scenario where we would somehow need to survive without our existing working infrastructure for a period of time beyond say, 3 months?
Even well before 3 months, the majority of people will have run out of food. In fact, the majority of the population (since most people live in cities or suburbia surrounding those cities) will run out of food in a few weeks or less. Grocery stores could theoretically be cleaned out in 3 days due to their current ‘just in time’ supply chain. But for the sake of considering the issues of long term survival (after most people’s canned foods, etc. runs out), how will these same people keep themselves alive?
The primary issues as I see them are Water, Food, Security, Trade.
By the way, three interesting thought-provoking good reads about this subject are the books, One Second After, Lights Out, and Patriots. They are novels based in reality. It really gets you to think about these issues. I highly recommend them to anyone who is interested in this subject.
Most of us know that we cannot live without water for very long at all. We take it for granted. It ALWAYS comes out of our faucet. When the day (days, weeks, months) that it doesn’t, this will be the most significant of all shortages and will bring on the most deaths the soonest. Lack of water. The cities of millions upon millions of people will become desperate within days following the last drip of water from their faucets. No water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, flushing the toilets… yes it will be bad. Very bad.
What will be the long term solution? If you live in the city, you will NOT survive unless you get out and find a safer place with water. If you live in suburbia, UNLESS you have well water (most in suburbia do not) and UNLESS you live next to a clean source of water (stream, river, lake), you will NOT survive long term unless you find a safer place with water. Many parts of America will be okay in this regard as their are plenty of regions with regular rainfall and bodies of water. However there are also many parts where this is not the case (you know who you are).
How many preppers have 6 months of stored food or more? Probably a lot less than those who may have 3 months or less. What will these people do when the reality of the collapse sets in, that it may go on for a time well beyond your food reserves? Again, those in the cities will already have have been ‘thinned out’ due to lack of water, but for those who have survived elsewhere, what is the plan?
It will be very difficult for most people to successfully grow, manage, and preserve enough of their own food to survive a very long time. Success will be had in numbers, and teaming up with those who have experience in this area. Contrary to what many people believe, we can survive without meat and livestock – so growing a diversified field of vegetables (and those which are high in protein) can keep you alive. You may not like it, but you will survive. Sources of meat will rapidly be depleted as most big Corp livestock will die due to lack of food and water. What wild animals remain in the forests will be rapidly depleted from hunting. There will be those who know how to raise and manage their own livestock, and this will be the main source for implementing meat into the diet, assuming that these people have adequate security.
Which brings up security… Once we hit ‘long term’, those without adequate security will NOT make it. Very desperate people will do very desperate things, and you WILL become a victim during very desperate times. UNLESS… you have adequate security. Again, read the books that I mentioned above, and you will understand.
If we enter the phase of collapse which we may call ‘long term’, people that have survived until then will need to be banded together in sufficient forces to repel others who WILL try to take what you have. When it comes to desperate survival, and when you realize that you could die unless you get what you need, your survival instinct will kick in big time. This is when things get very dangerous. The sad and hard truth is, you will be forced to make serious decisions, the consequences of which will be life or death. It’s not easy to contemplate or not a pleasant thought to consider, but the fact is ‘IF’ we enter ‘long term’, then we WILL be faced with these decisions.
Security in numbers. To protect a group of families, a neighborhood, etc., you will need enough people to share in the responsibilities of controlling the perimeter of your geographical space. And it should go without saying… you will need weapons and ammo. The methods chosen and the products used are open to infinite debate. But the hard cold fact is that you will need them.
Once your group is secured with water, food, and security, it’s just like ages gone by… in order to progress from there you will need to trade and barter. The very basics of trading require that you have ‘stuff’ or skills to trade in the first place. The larger the group (community), the more ‘stuff’ and power you will have to get the things you need to begin to bring your lives and comfort level up a notch. It will be community rebuilding – starting over – the great reset.
Eventually, after the initial die-off, people will have mostly reformed and reshaped their groups and communities, and everyone will sort-of know the new rules. That is, they will have learned how to survive or how to co-operate with others to barter and trade what they need without resorting to desperate violence. The beginning stages of ‘long term’ will be when most of the violence will occur in my opinion because you will have ‘idiots’ who are too dumb to realize that human interaction and co-operation is the only way to rebuild and survive. Once they are mostly ‘gone’, things will settle down.
That’s basically how I see it regarding if we ever are unfortunate enough to have to truly face an apocalyptic ‘long term’ survival in a collapsed modern world. Volumes could be written on the details (and has been written in many books and blogs), but simply understanding the fundamental ‘what if’ and understanding and having solutions for the basic necessity for water, food, and security before one can even begin to consider trade and barter… is what you need to know.