Systemic Risk Of The 80 Percent Who Live In Urban Centers

urban-center-systemic-risk

We are witnessing major societal disruptions around the globe while financial and geo-political tensions are growing in all Western democracies. The Western world is essentially bankrupt and the cumulative total debt is politically and mathematically impossible to repay. The enormous systemic risks surrounding this fact alone should be enough to motivate a critical-thinking person into action – but unfortunately most are asleep.

There is a looming and never before seen crisis about to hit us square in the face. Many can ‘feel’ it, and some of them are doing their best to insulate themselves and their families from the societal and supply-chain disruptions that will hit us all when the bubble bursts.

I have viewed surveys and census which show that apparently and approximately 80% of Americans today live in urban / metro centers. That’s more than 280 million people. Think about that for a minute… All of these people depend absolutely and fully on a very sophisticated supply chain system in order to literally sustain their life and their way of life.

How many of these people have ever considered their utter and total vulnerability of these supply chains (and the serious and potentially deadly risks that are intertwined within)?


 
How many meals away from chaos, hostility, and rebellion are we? Think about that! I’m serious. Please imagine how long it would take from everyone around you missing meal after meal before it turns critical?

We as a modern society are very dangerously complacent and far too assuming.

I would speculate that when everyone around you has entirely missed three to six meals, that the hunger and desperation will trigger societal chaos. If you would like to experiment for yourself, stop eating. See how long it takes before you become quite hungry. And then add in the stress that everyone would be under during a time of supply-chain disruption or breakdown – making it even worse.

Supply chain breakdowns would quickly lead to wide-scale looting, rioting (especially urban centers), and worse…

Think it can’t happen here?

We DEPEND upon prompt and timely deliveries of tangibles including fuel, food, water, and other consumable ‘necessities’. Modern technology is the underpinning of these deliveries and is the underpinning of our modern existence. You are the tight-rope walker. The rope is the bundle of technology and supply-chain. Think that rope will never fray or break? Think again…

What will happen to these supply chains as the terrible global economic realities begin to ‘get real’? I’ve been seeing and reading more and more headlines and articles warning us of what is coming… The end game is here and it’s all coming apart. The powers-that-be, the FED, the central bankers, they have lost control. They are out of ammo. They have manipulated the data for so long, that even they are panicking (because it has not worked!).

The financial system is bankrupt. Everyone knows it and it can no longer be hidden. It is coming apart (thankfully not all at once – yet…) and any day we could face a rapid domino collapse.

As the collapse deepens, the supply chains will be further strained. The natural order of things during the collapse will surely bring about disruptions. Should it happen quickly, then it will be much more severe.

With so many hundreds of millions of people depending upon today’s modern sophisticated supply chain and its modern technological underpinnings, they are all walking a high-wire tightrope over the abyss. I suggest that you do your best to get off that rope and over to relative safety on solid ground, because I see that the rope is fraying and unwinding…

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70 Comments

  1. Thank you Ken for another thought provoking article.

    I am SOOOO glad that we moved to an extremely rural area 12 years ago, and built our home cash and carry!.
    I will be passing this article along to ALL of our many children, ALL of whom live and work in metropolitan/suburban areas. Unfortunately, this is where their jobs are. If the system fails them, they know where to come for safe haven. That is the best we can do at this point.

    Such a shame, what I am watching. This is NOT the America of my birth. (Or, my age has removed the rose colored glasses I worked so hard for all my life!) LOL

    1. @ cossack55
      You have GOT to be kidding, I have not checked it today, 337? Holy poop-o.
      That is a HUGE problem, AND the Dow was going up, a little higher, is now down another 276 points….. down 1653 in one month

      What could ever go wrong?
      NRP

    1. Baltic Dry Index “The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is an economic indicator issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange. Not restricted to Baltic Sea countries, the index provides “an assessment of the price of moving the major raw materials by sea.”

  2. Interesting and timely article; while intently watching the “World Markets” for the past few months with expanded interest (Basically timing when to dump the 401’s), I happened to miss the first of the years worldwide crash (already bailed out). I believe if memory serves me correctly we (the USA) is somewhere around $19 Trillion ($158,276 per tax payer). As Ken stated there is absolutely no way of paying this back, I have no intentions of writing the .gov a check for $158,276, how about you? The Economy will crash, along with it so will the JIT inventory, and society as we know it.

    I know I get really grumpy when I don’t get my lunch around 12:00 how about the 280,000,000 that would/could not get lunch, dinner or breakfast tomorrow for a week or so? Although I know where my next meal would be coming from how about those without preps? Ohhhh Never mind, FEMA has asked everyone to store 3 days of food, and I would bet only 10% do. And does anyone reading this Blog think that some radical country/leader/people would not just LOVE to see the USofA starve, riot in the streets, loot our stores empty, become a 4th world country, and literally destroy ourselves without them even laying a finger in the US.

    Here is an example, a good friend is in the Restaurant Business, He sells “Hot Wings” at his place, I was talking with him yesterday at 3:30 and asked if he would pick me up a 40 pound box of the BIGGEST dang chicken wings you have ever seen in your life, his reply, “Sure, I’ll bring them by tomorrow”. Think about that, he can order at 3:30 and receive the very next day. Is there anyone out there that does NOT see a problem with that? The entire country is on next day delivery, if anything were to go wrong……. Poof.

    So yeah, the system is very fragile, with that said; I’m taking the time to reevaluate my preps, just going over things (is 3 days of food stored enough?). Thinking it may be a good idea for y-all to do so also? Missing a meal, every meal, for a week at a time could put some of us in a slightly foul mood.

    I mean, what could ever go wrong?

    NRP

    1. You think you can’t pay off that small “national” debt, our unfunded liabilitiy debt for EACH US person is $843,621 and overall it rises 2 million every second now! Crazy isn’t it? (http://www.usdebtclock.org)

      1. @ Stardust
        I kinda like the “total personal debt” $17,339,832,564,231 Not bad America, not bad at all, as you said going up 2 million per SECOND

        What could ever go wrong?
        NRP

    2. On January 18, 2016 my wife & I went to the Fred Meyers store in our area to pick up just a few items. As we walked through the store I started to realize that there were many gaps on the store shelves.

      Normally we have 2 ships a week dock at the port of Anchorage, Tote Maritime Alaska, The Northern Star on Sundays and the Midnight Sun on Wednesdays. The Northern Star had mechanical problems just before it was to sail from Tacoma, Washington and didn’t make the run.

      Alaska depends on these ships for everything from food to construction and missing just one ship quickly showed on the grocery shelves. On Tuesday we went shopping again, not because we needed anything but to see how Carrs/Safeway was handling the loss of a shipment.

      The shelves had a few blank spots but near as many as Freddies. I attribute this to Carrs/Safeway having a large warehouse/distribution center here in town and they had some stock on hand.

      On Tuesday January 26 we went to Freddies again and while the shelves looked full I could see the product faces on the shelves were expanded and there wasn’t much on the shelves behind them. In today’s paper there was an article that The Northern Star still wasn’t repaired and may be another week before it can sail. That now makes sense on the conditions of the grocery shelves.

      Let’s now add Sunday January 24, 2016 1:30 AM wake-up call with a 7.1 earthquake and we now have the potential for some serious problems. I went to Freddies at 9AM Sunday and looked around. The smell of disinfectant still hung in the air from the floors being mopped because of stockage falling on the floor.

      Here in Alaska the port of Anchorage receives 90% of everything coming into the state and it is then broken down and shipped to the other towns in the state. If we lost the port Alaska has about one week’s worth of food in all the grocery stores. In Anchorage alone we have 3 Super Walmart’s, 4 Fred Meyers, 6 Carrs/Safeway’s, 2 Sam’s Clubs and 2 Costco’s plus several smaller Boutique and Oriental groceries . A lot of customers for the Sam’s and Costco’s are bush and stores in smaller outlying communities.

      Just in time shipping is very noticeable when the system breaks down.

    3. Most of the world will jump at the chance to pick over the corpse of USA. The biggest thing holding them back will not be the US government, but the armed People they would face at every turn.

    4. NRP-My friend, you are extremely optimistic if you opine that perhaps 10% of the population has the FEMA recommended 72 hours worth of personal supplies on hand, I think it’s LESS than 1% of the populace has that at best.
      Sorry for the pessimism,but I just don’t see the Sheeple coming around to sensibility anytime soon.

  3. Our ancestors were much different than today’s population, given that modern populations don’t know how to grow/raise food. They lack a moral compass that existed long ago. So when the supply stops or there’s a lack money to buy food (like what happened in the 1930’s) most of these 280 million city people will find any violent way to survive, and yep, the authorities/police will be in the same Donner party.

    Grateful I was led here far away from the cities as I watch the world go down, I am prepared. Israel’s power grid was just hacked and shut down by terrorists on the coldest day of the year. I wonder what else will happen on the US news as their comfortable, gov’t dependent, head in the sand lives turn into a science fiction/horror movie.

    1. Hey Stardust,

      I think you hit on the most important issue when things go bad. I don’t know many people that were alive back in the 30s but have read most people had morals and tried to help each other. I’m sure there were bad people as well. But nothing compared to what we have today.

      In today’s world you have to really watch yourself even if you are trying to help someone out. Those your trying to help would kill or rob you in a heartbeat just because that’s how they are. No morals or values. The only life they care about is theirs end of story.

      I blame this lack of morals from TPTB pushing God out of everything and the lack of 2 parent families.

      I went through a time when I was not following Christ like I should have. But my parents (even though they divorced when I was 10) taught me morals and values and in my early years when I went to church regularly, etc it helped guide me.

      Take care.
      Adapt and Overcome.

      1. I realized that my last post was incorrect in regards to when I mentioned a 2 parent family.

        It doesn’t matter as much if you have 1 or 2 parents as much as the parent/s being involved with their children and take responsibility of raising them properly.

        Even though my parents divorced both were involved in my daily life. Even if by phone.

        But there are a ton of single dad’s and single mom’s that have raised great kids on their own. I beieve some on this site if memory serves me right. With no help from the other parent. I apologize for any single parent that I may have offended.

        BTW- My wife reminded me that she raised her 2 sons on her own and I have never met a better pair of boys that have great values and morals. How quickly my mind forgets things.

        I’m sure I will hear it from my wife for some time how she corrected me and she was right. Darn it. Lol. Gotta love her.

        Adapt and Overcome.

          1. Thanks NRP.

            I was trying to say something and the words just came out wrong. I hope most people knew what I meant but I had to make sure.

            Adapt and Overcome.

        1. 11HE9,

          I don’t think those of us who have raised them alone, will take offense. Don’t worry about that. I am a widow, husband died years ago, and all my family is across the pond in Europe…His family, well, no idea where they are…they only called when he died to see if they can grab his military retirement pay ( I don’t even have it-he never signed the papers for that. ) With that being said, all I can say is that it is up to the parent how the kids come up.

          I know when I write here I talk about my kids. Its not bragging or anything else. I am very pleased and surprised at how mature they have become and now that they are both over 18 and telling me thank you for being their mom and appreciating me, is all it matters. It fills my heart with pride and hope and satisfaction knowing that if something happens to me, they will carry on with their lives and do their best to survive. Big kudos to your wife…:)))

          And for those of us out there raising kids alone, it feels good to know that there are parents out there who have done the same and got good kids :)

    2. “they lack a moral compass…”
      is exactly WHY we prepare. Spot on observation!!!!
      Excellent point, Stardust!

  4. Great article Ken.

    I would have to agree that 3-6 missed meals sounds about right before things start to get chaotic. Of course those that have lower or no morals and are part of the FSA then it would be closer to 1 missed meal. Especially when they see others around them that look like they are handling the crisis better. To them they perceive that as they have this or that and decide to come take what they think is entitled to them.

    Unfortunately we are not as rural as we would like to be. But we have a BOL that is about 50 miles away so that is reassuring. We have been looking for about 6 months to buy a place that is all rural, but still have not found what we want. We are being a little picky not just settling.

    Like you mentioned unfortunately most people are asleep and dont care about what is going on in the world or even their own backyard. I think there are a lot of people out that think the .gov will come in to rescue them.. HA GOOD LUCK.

    Others see what is going on in the world and just assume that there will always be food at Walmart or the local grocery store. They have no idea how many trucks those stores get a week. I worked in retail (Walmart) for about 8 months while I was in between jobs. Specifically on the night crew and that store received on avg about 5 trucks a week and about 95% of each truck would go straight out on to the floor. I think people look at Walmarts, etc. and see these huge buildings and just assume that the back rooms are loaded to the gills with food and water. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Very little on the grocery side is in the back. Probably not even enough to fill a semi trailer.

    Times are getting scary and yes I have a gut feeling that something major is going to happen this year. Hopefully I’m wrong and some how this ship gets turned upright but I lose more and more faith in that happening everyday.

    Stay safe Ya’ll.
    Adapt and Overcome.

    1. NRP….that GUT feeling is what keeps us all on this blog! DOW ended down 222.76 today….I believe a proper ending is somewhere around 12k. I HOPE I am wrong, but with a BDI of 337 and nothing on the railroads, and oil carriers parked in the bays….where else can it go?

      Thanks to all who participate in this site. Nice to have the info and the camaraderie.

      1. @ Pioneer Woman
        I bet we see more of a drop than that, Asian markets are down ore than 25%d the Japanese markets are following suit.

        FYI, follow that “gut” feeling.

        Really, What could go wrong?
        NRP

      2. You are much more optimistic than I am. I see the DOW at 7000-10000 within 18-24 months.

        1. Like most of you all I always tend to look at the DOW and how it performs daily. But remember the DOW is just the top 30 publicly owned companies out there. If 1 starts to go bad they will replace it with another that is doing better.

          The real one to keep a eye on is the S&P. For years that has been a good indicator of the US economy. It is comprised of 500 large companies compared to only 30 in the DOW.

          Of course all of the markets are being propped up till TPTB decide to let nature take its course and then as my dad would say “Katie bar the doors it’s gonna get ugly”.

          Adapt and Overcome.

          1. @11HE9
            Agreed, but the S&P is looking very ugly also.

            But, what could ever go wrong? We have the .gov watching out for us :-)
            NRP

          2. NRP. Now that’s funny. The .gov looking out for us. You crack me up.

            Adapt and Overcome.

    2. Many of those stores receive three or more trucks a week carrying just bottled water. How many trucks are they receiving to stock everything else? At some of the larger stores, shipping is 24/7. And yet it still goes out as fast as they can get it in. One breakdown will take out the whole system.

      1. Lauren,
        all you say (and others) is true.

        have noticed some of the same in Canada. Maybe even a lot of the same.

        any of you notice these tactics by the stores (which I have seen here).

        –a entire floor area of a store, large enough to display, say, a seasons’ worth of lawn furniture and equipment, filled with plastic storage bins, set side by each (usually they would be stacked fifteen high).

        -half of an Isle, all the shelves filled with one brand of cookie, nicely set out, but only one deep

        -shelves seemingly “filled” nicely set up, but goods only one item deep

        etc.

        1. Sure. Produce in a single layer rather than filling the bins, usually with other boxes underneath so the bin looks full. Higher shelves and lower shelves spaced further apart. Shelves at eye level to an adult are more likely to be full, while the upper and lower shelves often have only one layer. Sometimes entirely empty. Shelf space taken up by advertisement displays, product spaced further apart or offset so the shelves look fuller than they are. Bakery taking up more space (mostly empty shelves), fewer displays at the end of the shelves, displays stacked in front of the shelves instead and the shelves behind them empty. Fewer of any one item and more space between the groups. Price hikes or product reduction (as in smaller cans holding less of the item) are often done during a “sale” so people don’t compare. And so on. Yes, all of that.

  5. If you have the means, stock up while you can.
    Amazon emergency buckets of white rice 28 lb only has 19 left and 42 lb has 10 left. With this current shipping crisis, things might not re-stock as quickly.
    Honeyville Grain Co. had a sale 1/20-1/26 thankfully that beat either of the Amazon prices.
    Again, it used to be that you could buy 5 gallon pails of back-up emergency cat food.
    We got some a few year ago. I cannot find a seller now (pretty sure it was from Costco).
    Though I have a simple recipe I could use if necessary.

    I am finding that certain items that are selling quickly.
    Is any one else finding staples selling out quickly these days?

    Peace n Out

    1. Shepherdess
      Yes, I have to use special food with off the shelf to feed my husband. Winco where I could find it, they have slowly let that food vendor disappear from the shelf. In checking the other stores it is going byebye, the only place it is available is through Amazon.
      Their selections of certain foods have been eliminated or filled in with other products on the shelf but looks like they are full. Said something to the neighbor about it, and she said she had not noticed. Told her to look next time she went shopping for groceries.

  6. Very good thought provoking topic and good talking points about what is about to happen. As I was reading all of the additional comments a news flash comes on Fox news: Obama plans to resend plans to pull out of Afganistan!! Thinking outside the box!!! Obamas reasoning would be: Why bring US solders back to the mainland just to have them turn against his tyranny that he has planned. He’s planning on abandoning them where they are!!!!

    Things are very close to breaking loose!!! I hope any soldier who comes home on leave from a foreign post soon thinks about this!!!

    1. That’s a good point. Plus I think you will start to see many more troops heading over there in the next few months.

      My BIL step son is in the Army. In the infantry. He has orders that he will be shipping out in April to Afghanistan.

      Also over the holidays I got a chance to speak with my wife’s nephew who is in the Marines. He’s a helicopter mechanic. The word he has heard that April or May they will be going over to Afghanistan.

      This spring things will start to get very scary. Especially with Russia and their failing economy. With the price of oil so low they are not doing very well at all.

      Take care.
      Adapt and Overcome.

      1. My oldest Grandson is a Marine stationed in South Korea!! I guess all we can do is prepare as best we can and PRAY!!

        So many people are NOT Awake yet!!! I can only hope for your sake that something will happen to prevent those you mentioned from going abroad!!

        Perhaps something along the lines of a revolution!!!

        Stay Safe!!

        1. You are right all we can do is Pray and Hope things will calm down and we will get back on the RIGHT track.

          I hope your Grandson stays safe and comes home very soon.

          As far as a revolution. I still can’t believe our military has not seized control of the White House and other .gov buildings and arrested all the politicians and their cohorts for treason. But then again our military has be relieved of all those generals that are loyal to the Constitution.

          Be well.
          Adapt and Overcome.

          1. 11HE9
            Not all of them have been fired by the B O. I am sure there are those who are ‘Days of May’ but timing is every thing. Keep the faith.mho

  7. In a total break down of law and order. Any person that was dangerously mentally and was acting out toward others would be dealt with quickly. It’s sad but they would probably be the least of the problems.

    BI

  8. My brother in law works for a large construction company in NY City. Today was there give back to the community, he and other of his co workers worked & his company donated money towards food at a food pantry in the Bronx… He said they went thru approximately 50,000 lbs of vegetables and about 500 family were in line for hours. This is a wake up call, the numbers of hungry is increasing…

  9. I’m not sure of the percentages; but, I’ve a question for all here. A serious one. One that has really disturbed me.

    Have you ever walked outside in your own neighborhood and wonder “who is it that I’d have to shoot/kill to stay alive myself?”. Or some permutation of that?

    I settled here some 25 years ago. Raised my family, went through losses, gains, celebrations and family tragedies. Watched most of my neighbors do the same. From cancer, to senility. From joyous occasions and neighborhood block parties to the inevitable falling-outs of friendships. Lawns, houses, people all older, a neighborhood ‘settled in’. The majority of the people around me I’ve seen each week for the entire time. A low-turnover place on this earth.

    And I ask the question, knowing all of them so well. Honesty compels me to realize that over 75% of them are not ready for a damned thing. Ostriches. Denial of the events coming upon us all. And knowing them, seeing the facts, I know that I pray they attempt to just leave for some “greener pastures” if it all starts to collapse. That way, I’ll not be the one to have to say and insist – “no, you cannot have what is mine”.

    Am I cruel man? Same guy here who works for charities, prays in observance of his faith, helps all of them – those same neighbors. I’ve the keys to over half the houses around me to keep watch on them and the pets when they’ve vacationed. I don’t want to say the ‘no’. But, I realize there will be no other choice.

    Systemic risk. Yep. Sure is. And I, we – are all a part of the system whether they are right next door or 50 miles away. Still, I’d like an answer from you all.

    1. Glad to see I’m not the only person that struggles with this question. Most of my neighbors are good people, but are oblivious to what is happening in the world and how fragile the system is. As much as I hate to say it, I could not or would not help most of them.

      While I have been frugal and planned for bad times, most of them have lived well beyond their means and are one missed paycheck away from disaster. Of the 14 houses on my street, there are maybe 3 I would be willing to help. They are people I can trust with my life.

      I realize if looting becomes rampant, I alone will not stand a chance in the long run by myself. I realize alliances MUST be made to survive long term. I truly hope it doesn’t come to this, but I honestly believe it will. By the grace of God, I can only hope and pray that we make it through what may be coming our way.

      1. I remember the Golden Rule:
        Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
        It didn’t say:
        Do unto others that which they chose not to do for themselves.
        And hopefully it won’t come down to:
        Do unto others before they can do it to you!

      2. My son & I also have had this conversation We have targeted which houses will be burned or torn down for firewood or barricade construction. Also who we could trust and the answer to that is out of 8 houses MAYBE 2 plus us. Not good odds.

    2. I have a sister that lives just a few blocks from me. Head totally in the sand. If I feed her/husband she will feel sorry for her neighbors and give them some of the food. She will tell her grown middle age kids that live on the brink of disaster. In a matter of days I would/will easily have a mob at my door.

      Who to try to help would be a nightmare. It’s something that I think about daily. Basically ok people but already have a fair size sense of entitlement.

      I’m about an hour from a city of around 650,000. Wish I was farther away.

    3. Yeah, I’ve thought about it. Worse is knowing that there are family members out there who will immediately think of me in the event of. I’m doing what I can to be ready for that influx, but the fact is that there’s no way I can take care of them, no matter how much I prepare.

      I was thinking about it this morning, running through scenarios in my head. We’re surrounded by people who will expect to be fed, clothed, taken care of, because that’s the way it’s always been. There’s always been someone there to pick up the pieces, pat them on the head and tell them what a good job they’re doing.

      The wealthy are even worse (in my opinion) than the welfare recipients in that sense, because they’ve never had to scrape and struggle. Their money has always been there to cushion the fall. I have both in my family, and if anything, I dread seeing the wealthier family members on my doorstep more than the other because they’ve been taught from day one that they’re important and should be catered to. They’ve been taught that they DESERVE whatever they want.

      Ironically, they all live in condos where their yard-work is done for them and they have tiny pocket gardens where maybe a few carrots would grow. The poorer members of the family all have their own homes and some sense of reality.

      The neighbors are both harder and easier. I’ll help them set up gardens, catch rain water, dig up their lawns, figure out how to heat their houses. If they come to my door they will get seeds to plant their own gardens, they will get the benefit of my knowledge, but I will not feed them. If they come to my house with guns, they’re no longer my neighbors.

      Written out like that it sounds selfish, but if I help one I have to help them all, and it would be impossible. So they’ll get seeds until they’re gone, and information after that.

      1. Lauren,

        What you said may sound selfish but it is far from selfish. I read it as you are willing to help those that will help themselves. Those that come and expect care or come to take what is yours then they are being selfish.

        I have in-laws that do not prep. But I know we will have to help them. But I also know they will get their hands dirty and do what needs to be done. Why they won’t prep now we have no idea. Both my wife and I have spoken to them. But they won’t listen. But push come to shove I know they will do what is necessary. They just have not woken up yet.

        As far as neighbors. We have some that we will help because they can be a asset. Others I will try to educate and help but other than that you are on your own.

        Adapt and Overcome.

        1. I have found that a lot of older people feel why prep when they’ll be dead before the unspecified disaster strikes? Or they feel that it hasn’t come during a long life and it’s unlikely to hit while they’re alive. Which is just another way of saying the same thing. But they have life insurance for their descendants, and carefully take care of their finances to leave the most when they die. Why not have part of that be physical preparation as well as financial?

          1. Lauren, Good question. I have an older brother and an aunt who thinks “they had a good life” as an excuse not to prepare. In other words, they don’t believe any disaster will come their way or don’t want to believe you.

            There is a natural fear lacking in many liberal thinking people, and this has been proven in 16 scientific peer group studies with MRI scans of their brains. Liberal thinking people have more tolerance to uncertainty (bigger anterior cingulate cortex), while Conservative thinking people have more sensitivity to fear (bigger right amygdala).

            Genetics does have a play on who survives a disaster for those who fear the inevitability of one by preparing for it, while those who don’t have this fear don’t plan for it. I am speculating this may be why those who depend on gov’t to give them handouts are liberals who voted for Obama. They are the many “sheeple” who will be caught unaware.

            I also believe during development in the course man took to survive over thousands of years, it took a natural fear to keep them alive and prepare for those adverse conditions. Many of those who had no fear perished. However, the last 100 years in technology and modern social advancements has allowed those who have no fear to survive under welfare and social programs and they adapted well to them in their poverty and their EBT cards. Brain structure differences will play a part in the next disaster who will survive and who will receive the Darwin Awards.

    4. I think this has to be a situational decision. Will giving increase risk? Will giving actually help? Are these individuals asking for help for themselves, or for some unspecified “other” at a distance? Are these people starving, or just hungry?

      While giving will help stave off hunger, that’s only one meal (or two, or three) and unless this person is going to be part of your inner circle giving under these circumstances really does increase risk. Exponentially, depending on the situation.

      To use a scriptural analogy, I doubt that the Widow of Zarephath advertised her unending supply of food. Nor did the prophet demand that of her. That miracle was intended for the benefit of her and her son. Were they selfish? Possibly, but they lived to give another day.

    5. Yes, I’ve also wondered who in my neighborhood would be a risk to me, but the bigger question has been who I will help. I want to help those who need it. Maybe someone doesn’t have food, but they have skills I need. Maybe they’re kids whose parents haven’t prepped. Can I just sit around and watch them die? I don’t think so. Will that get me killed/starving sooner? Perhaps. Part of the reason I prep is to help others.

      Hopefully, there are more out there prepping than we realize. I would guess that if there are any other preppers around me (I don’t know of any), they probably think that I am not one. Single mom, teacher, small salary, probably living paycheck-to-paycheck is what they think. I drive an older car and don’t go out much, so I’m sure that they think money is super-tight. Do I have tons of money to prep with? No, but my house is paid for and I have no other debt. Money that they’re pouring into mortgages, I’m putting into food and such. Hopefully, the day we fear will not come in our lifetimes, but if it does, may we all be pleasantly surprised to find that there are others around us who are more prepared than we think.

      1. We started thinking about the issues surrounding whom we help and whom we don’t when we first started prepping 15 years ago. Over the years we have honed our perspective. We agreed that no one is an island, therefore we are stronger in like minded numbers. The tickets to our show are these things: 1. If you don’t work then you do not get food, shelter nor protection. 2. You will contribute NOW either in tools, supplies or sweat equity. 3. You will learn a skill NOW. 4. Our show, our rules. You are a guest on our place. We are saving your butt so contribute, don’t bitch, keep your head down and pony up.
        Pretty simple really……

  10. A systemic collapse is possible as we have been in a controlled collapse since 2008. Many of the executive orders and acts of congress over the 16 years are because collapse is becoming probable in certain cities. Our government has been buffering the rate of collapse so we don’t have rioting. Don’t Think when we collapse (its happening now) it’s an issue of speed. As preppers we have to adjust quicker to the speed of economic collapse than those around us. Those that are un prepared and suffer “normalcy bias” will be the hardest hit .

  11. My wife and I have lived in the same house for 22 yrs, raised 2 kids and sent them to college. The sub-division that we live in has a lot of renters(military) so there is a high turn over rate but, some home owners here are retired military so we have some stability. But most people here live for the moment/short term. I look at them and ask myself “how long will he/she live if we have a collapse?” Or ” how many of these people am I going to have to kill” to keep my family safe?” I don’t want too but, I have seen the “thin veneer” of a CIVILIZED SOCIETY in the past and it is not very thick… not thick at all.

    1. Civilized society is a construct based on a shared morality and acceptance of shared laws. When the morality goes, and the law goes, civilization goes. At that point, the only people who remain civilized are those who have internalized the morality and the law. Those who have no internal morality and are simply bound by fear of a law…

  12. We have a lot of families with small children in my neighborhood. Nice people, but if their children are hungry, they will become monsters.

    I am lucky that I live in a town that is 60 miles from the nearest supermarket so most people buy a month’s worth of food at a time and about half the people here have at least a small garden. About a third are Mormons so they probably have enough to last their own families for a while, but might not share with others. I think we will be good for 2-4 weeks; then the monsters will appear.

  13. Thanks all. Not sure if I got “an answer”; but, it is a good thing to know I’m not alone in the moral and ethical struggle within.

    Should the crisis come upon us all, upon me right here in this neck of the woods – I gained one important point from this question. That some ‘test’, rule of thumb, must be a part of my preparations as regards value for the future. Inclusive with that I think I’ll fall back on of all things – morality. If the people in need show and have always shown a degree of real reflection of an inner guide I’d most likely give them as much assistance as I could. Those I know who have maintained a lifestyle of selfishness and personal greed…….. nothing. I reckon that the piper’d played the tune that they’d then have to dance to.

    1. @ Heartless
      Tis an interesting question no doubt.
      Unfortunately there is no answer for what you are asking. There are too many variables, too little information to base a “real” answer on.
      One’s gut instinct answer would be “you better have practiced a LOT of OPSEC and nobody knows what you have unless you are willing to share at your own discretion”. Unfortunately in a full blown SHTF that nice neighbor or family member with 10 kids and 3 wives WILL kill you for that food/water you have, without a doubt, do NOT make the mistake thinking people will have morals when it comes to survival. Humans are vicious animals that can and will destroy for their own welfare, make no mistake, simply look at history and what we have done in the past.
      Like your question, this may sound heartless, but the truth usually is. Even if we would like to sugar coat it.
      NRP

    2. yeah I’m looking at a soon to be ex of 17 years who has ridiculed and hindered my prepping/homesteading…who moved his sweet but helpless and entitled city parents into our small town before the split was inevitable. My ostrich parents, grandfather and adult learning disabled brother are in the next town over. (Rural area on the coast/lots of military, biggest small city 2 hours away and 4 hours away from the interstate.) I’ve been prepping for all this family (not nearly enough gathered) and I expect I’ll be the first one said ex heads for…with his family and his friends. He’s not judicious in his friendships and some of our ideological differences included the notion of OPSEC (or lack there of). I don’t have any back up as far as close friends or neighbors. Sheesh, I feel your dilemma.

      1. @ MickieB
        Ouch, sounds like a heck of a predicament.
        Time for a long distance move to another state.
        NR

  14. In 2012….I started to “walk the walk” sold my castle in Phoenix closest to the biggest nuclear power plant in the U.S and moved to a remote mining town of 200 souls in North Central Nv….80 miles to a town with gas, food, etc have a warm cozy cabin with $300 a year for property taxes, no debt, and it is so remote that people in Nv ask “Where is your town, never heard of it” the county is 22,000 square miles with mountains old mines springs, forest areas and vast areas with no homes or people……..In a crunch situation not many Zombies will be traveling to this location………..and country folks can survive I pray that others here will do the same before the storm hits.

    1. @ icecathook
      You are second person here I have heard talk about Northern NV.
      Retiring in 2 years, looking for a good place to retire, Might look up that way.
      NRP

  15. As I see the question being asked is. What do you first say to the starving neighbor or stranger that shows up at your gate begging for food? I thought of asking what they might have to trade so that a shared meal was not free. These will be the times to test a persons soul so better to think it out now than after the shtf. Never enough time to do all the things needing done. Hoping for the best but….

  16. If you need a barometer indicating what we can expect as a controlled decline takes place, look no further that the oil industry centers. Rising crime rates, suicides, fire-sales, bankruptcies, – just starting. Hopefully, the decline will continue slowly so we do not get the total panic of thousands of sheeple.

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