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7 Assumptions Concerning the SHTF

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We make them on a regular basis.  Principally unconscious, just like the grocery retailer shall be open, absolutely stocked of bread, milk, bathroom paper, and our favourite ice cream.  The fuel station shall be up and operating to fuel up our automobiles and possibly get a scorching cup of espresso or a fats tablet (doughnut).

Then there are different aware assumptions we make about issues,  like our retirement accounts doing nicely, loads of cash out there for presents beneath the Christmas tree, or not having to resort to utilizing a bank card to make the month-to-month payments.

A few of our assumptions are made primarily based on historic information.  Others from more moderen occasions or experiences.  Then, we even have unconscious bias assumptions.

On the subject of the SHTF, I feel now we have some which are fairly logical or frequent sense primarily based.  Others – nicely, I’ve learn a couple of which are actually on the market – corresponding to Military-grown lab assault canines skilled to eat our kids.

Yeah.  Actually.

Based mostly on a number of of Selco’s articles and another books on numerous subjects, historic and up to date occasions are some assumptions I’ve made.  Your mileage could fluctuate.  This isn’t an entire record, as I’m certain I’m forgetting quite a lot of.

One factor I need to point out is that OP commenter Backwoods Squirrel wrote “Simply perceive that what works in a single space gained’t essentially work in one other.”

He was referencing the variations between the Balkan Struggle Selco went via to what SHTF might appear like right here within the US.  There could possibly be similarities, and there could possibly be variations between states, areas, and even cities.

From Taylor to Tina.  Or, From Rule of Legislation to Thunderdome.

How briskly we go from Shake It Off to Thunderdome is an fascinating assumption.

I’ve learn some who suppose will probably be almost instantaneous or in a single day.  Others say a number of days to weeks or someplace in between.

There are some more moderen occasions we are able to look to as examples.  Hurricane Katrina.  The lawlessness some main cities are at present experiencing.

Selco famous quite a lot of occasions in his writings how by the point they realized that SHTF, it was too late.  The place they have been is the place they have been.  From panic-buying on the grocery retailer to outright looting.  From civil normalcy to stabbings with no EMS or LEOs responding.

It occurred slowly.

Then out of the blue.

Rule of Legislation (ROL) broke down.  As a society, we’re solely pretty much as good because the legal guidelines written and people who observe these legal guidelines.  As soon as ROL is gone, chaos and anarchy rule.

It is just with the specter of punishment and to a level, the social contract {that a} society capabilities.  When ROL has damaged down, those that would implement these legal guidelines are simply as helpless as the remainder of us to the chaos and anarchy.  In that case, I can not blame Legislation Enforcement Officers (LEOs) any greater than I might anybody else.  They’re simply as fearful for his or her lives and the lives of their households as everybody else.

One other takeaway Selco mentions is the necessity for household or group.  He notes it takes a bunch to keep up not solely bodily safety from invaders but additionally psychological safety.

Selco additionally mentions those that have the numbers and the firepower to manage territory or components of the black market.  These could possibly be within the type of gangs, warlords, or tribes.  What we might even see as a neighborhood now when issues are regular, possibly the subsequent tribe or gang, relying on the way you have a look at it.

Hey!  Who Turned Off The Lights?  Or, When The Grid Is Gone.

That is one assumption most make and agree on.  If our electrical grid have been to go down for a protracted time period – weeks, months, and even longer – we might have some critical issues. Some suppose violence could be the most important explanation for dying in a SHTF scenario.  Traditionally (and even to today globally), sanitation points have been a few of the largest causes of dying.  Grid-down, the bogs don’t flush, and nothing comes out of the faucet.  Selco wrote an article about water through the Balkan Struggle, and I wrote about it with my experiences in Afghanistan and my very own water experiment.

Different points are heating, cooling, and cooking.

Relying in your location and the time of yr, all three current their very own points.  Clearly, heating within the far North within the winter may be a problem for individuals who don’t warmth with wooden.  Within the South, cooling is its personal concern through the summer time.  Most individuals would have the ability to cope, though it is probably not snug.  In each instances it’s the very younger and the very previous could be essentially the most weak.

Cooking over a wooden hearth is doable.  However first, you want wooden for the fireplace.

Then you definitely want meals.

Grid down, until you will have a generator, your perishables within the fridge and freezer are solely going to final a couple of days at most.  Even then, you might be depending on the gasoline provide.  For these within the North, within the winter, nature is your freezer.  I’ve carried out it earlier than.

What’s that odor?  Or Sanitation points.

Sanitation is the one of many largest causes of dying globally, even to today.  Selco’s article on the subject highlights precisely the problems that occur when the facility goes out and the faucet now not flows, the bathroom now not flushes.  I noticed it occur in Afghanistan within the midst of a drought when numerous individuals gathered round a single supply of water and somebody defecated in it.  The outcome was a cholera outbreak. If it was not for a humanitarian help effort of hydration options/salts, lots of people would have died.

Within the feedback part of that article, various individuals famous how the sewage system would again up if the facility was out.  Unable to flush, the place would individuals defecate?  Because it has been famous, we Individuals are one thing of a lazy bunch.  For those who suppose San Fran is unhealthy now, think about a number of individuals simply defecating in a bucket and tossing it out of a seven-story (or bigger) house constructing.  And nobody goes to wash it up.  Not my job, proper?  In one of many feedback, somebody talked about up to now there could be individuals who would accumulate waste buckets and get rid of them pre-modern sanitation strategies.  Who’s going to volunteer for that job, and what are the remainder of us going to pay them?

Hey!  The place Did Everybody Go?  Or, The Mass Die Off.

Within the feedback part, The Lone Canadian talked about the EMP Fee, and within the occasion of an EMP assault, an estimated 80-90% mass die-off might occur inside 4 to six weeks.  Once I first learn the estimation of a die-off, it was too surreal.  Give it some thought: go to a mall, a giant field retailer, the grocery retailer, and rely off 8 or 9 of Individuals lifeless.  The ninth or tenth is a survivor.  Then I received to pondering of how dependent we’re on our Simply-In-Time/Enterprise As Ordinary (JIT/BAU) paradigm.

This method permits for max effectivity at a modest revenue and lowest prices.  Sadly, this method is extremely depending on all the things working excellent and extremely depending on a available provide of low cost vitality.  Take the COVID shutdowns.  Just a few meat packing crops closed as a result of works testing constructive for COVID, and out of the blue we noticed rising costs and empty cabinets.  Shopping for limits.  And it was not simply meat.  Pasta.  Flour.  Rice.  Yeast.  Bathroom paper.  The provision chain was in horrible situation, and quick. The Lone Canadian additionally notes that at regular consumption charges, there are solely three days of meals on the grocery retailer cabinets in any given metropolis. Selco mentions how rapidly individuals went from panic shopping for to looting.  As soon as that offer is gone, the place is the resupply?

Once more, think about 8 or 9 out of 10 Individuals lifeless.  A few of these could be individuals who produce the meals, individuals who course of the meals, individuals who transport the meals, individuals who inventory the cabinets, and people who ring you out.  The identical individuals who additionally pump oil out of the bottom, transport it to refineries, refine it right into a usable finish product, and people who once more transport that finish product to your native fuel station.

One other half that few point out is the availability of Rx medication.  There are lots of people who’re depending on these medication for on a regular basis life with no pure natural various.

Then there are different Rx medication that individuals is probably not life depending on however want for simply functioning.  Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and so on.  How would they operate?

Then there are the unlawful medication.  Can we assume the drug cartels would proceed to ship medication North if SHTF and there’s a mass die-off?  Who would their prospects be?  We already know to what lengths unlawful drug customers will go to to get their subsequent repair.  Think about when there isn’t a subsequent repair.

Instances Sq. vs Mayberry.  Or, City vs Rural

This can be a debate that continues to rage.  Some are of the opinion that city areas will command the preponderance of provides and rural areas will run out of meals and different provides first.  COVID could have proven a level of perception into provide chain points.  If we proceed with the mass die-off assumption in 4 to six weeks there could possibly be some provides nonetheless throughout the city areas.  And there could possibly be nothing left.  Based mostly on present developments, most Individuals solely have every week’s value of meals readily available at any given time.  COVID shutdowns did show the necessity for having a well-stocked pantry.  Sadly, in our present inflationary surroundings, many Individuals have gone via these stockpiles to make ends meet.  As talked about above, we’re extremely depending on our JIT/BAU system in numerous levels.  Take out anyone half, and the tip shopper is at a loss.

Nonetheless, those that are closest to native manufacturing have the least to lose.

Selco notes how briskly issues went from regular to SHTF.  By the point they realized it, it was too late.  The place they have been is the place they have been.

One commenter talked about how he lives in a rural space not removed from a large city.  He additionally talked about how he and his neighbors are prepared and keen to arrange armed roadblocks and even drop a bridge to maintain these urbanites from coming into their areas.

One thing else that must be addressed is how many individuals might make a significant migration from one space to a different with out some form of fashionable logistical provide. How many individuals have the abilities to really reside off the land whereas they hike it?  How far might they vary a day?

Within the early days of COVID, we learn various articles about individuals from main metropolitan areas, fleeing to their second properties in locations just like the Hamptons.  The locals who reside within the Hamptons yr spherical, usually referred as “townies” by these with their second properties, didn’t admire these fleeing to carry COVID with them or shopping for up provides and groceries.  Tensions have been excessive.  How do you suppose that will go if ROL went out the window?

How a lot for a carton of eggs!?!  Or Commerce and Barter System.

In one in every of Selco’s articles, he mentions that PMs within the type of jewellery really went down in worth as they didn’t have a right away use. Nonetheless, The OP has famous the worth of PMs as a way to safe wealth in the long run and never essentially for on a regular basis buying and selling. (Go right here for extra info on gold and silver.) As Selco famous, the market drove the worth of all the things on any given week: meals, anti-biotics, alcohol, cigarettes and so on.

Through the Balkan Struggle, there have been provides coming in from different nations within the type of UN convoys and US air drops.  Attempt to think about a UN convoy getting even a couple of hundred miles into the inside of the USA or an airdrop to Topeka KS, from the East Coast. Think about the UN’s observe report of success in earlier endeavors. Not excellent.

Selco additionally mentions expertise.  Some expertise may have a better worth than others.  One of the vital generally famous ones is medical and pure natural treatments.  After that, the flexibility to restore clothes and even make clothes from uncooked supplies.  Sneakers.  Weapons restore.  I’d assume issues like alcohol or tobacco manufacturing would even be excessive on the record of those who have a excessive worth.  Folks will nonetheless have their vices even in SHTF.

With the present scenario within the Mid-East, the Israel-Palestinian battle, there’s a very actual chance of unrest within the area, with some analysts suggesting passive-aggressive help for Palestinians of an oil manufacturing reduce (extra so than now we have seen up to now) and even a potential oil embargo of pro-Israel nations.  What does $300 a barrel of oil translate into the price of fuel on the pump?  What could be the second and third-order results of such a bounce in gasoline costs?  For those who suppose inflation is unhealthy now, contemplate that chance.  Even the supply of gasoline on the native fuel station needs to be thought of.  Don’t suppose it might occur?  Recall the oil embargo within the early Nineteen Seventies.

The Day After Tomorrow.  Or, Rebuilding Society.

What does rebuilding society even appear like in a post-SHTF world in America?

I do not know.

I could make some assumptions.

Our illustrious elites emerge from their bunkers after years of ruling from afar, whereas us unwashed lots have moved on and inform them to pound sand if they’re fortunate.

From what I noticed in Afghanistan, some will kind up their very own tribes round pure assets.

Others will develop into one thing like what we now name warlords.

And nonetheless others could develop into nomadic-like tribes, shifting to observe sport or the seasons like Native Individuals did.

Some could kind walled cities or small cities with a symbiotic like relationship with close by farmers to help these throughout the partitions.

What is going to these society legal guidelines appear like? Know-how?  A mixture of previous world with a smattering of issues like photo voltaic panels to look at a film or take heed to Taylor or Tina?

How would the world from the surface have a look at a fallen US?  Invade?  Keep the hell away?


This previous weekend, the spouse and I went to an area diner for breakfast.  As I sat ingesting my espresso, having fun with the breakfast sandwich, I regarded round on the individuals milling about. I requested my spouse if WWIII broke out, would this diner have the ability to keep open?  Would individuals have the ability to come to it and pay for breakfast?  We simply is perhaps having fun with a seemingly frequent outing that, in a couple of days, weeks, or months be an excessive luxurious.

As I write this, we’re 90 seconds to midnight on the Doomsday Clock, with midnight representing nuclear annihilation.  The closest it has ever been.  And the Science and Safety Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists haven’t even factored within the latest Hamas terrorist assaults in Israel and the occasions unfolding now.

Now, there’s potential WWIII not solely in Japanese Europe with the Ukraine-Russian battle, but additionally with battle breaking out within the Center East.  If China have been to benefit from the scenario, we might be taking a look at a potential third entrance WWIII.

Issues look a bit unsure.  With uncertainty, the unknown turns into concern.

“I have to not concern. Concern is the mind-killer. Concern is the little-death that brings complete obliteration. I’ll face my concern. I’ll allow it to move over me and thru me. And when it has gone previous I’ll flip the internal eye to see its path. The place the concern has gone there shall be nothing. Solely I’ll stay.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune

We should maintain calm and stick with it.

What are your ideas? What assumptions do you will have about how life would actually be as soon as the SHTF? Are there some assumptions you suppose are incorrect?

Let’s speak about it within the feedback part.

About 1stMarineJarHead

1stMarineJarHead is just not solely a former Marine but additionally a former EMT-B, Wilderness EMT (courtesy of NOLS), and volunteer firefighter.

He at present resides within the nice white (i.e. snowy) Northeast together with his spouse and canines. He raises chickens, rabbits, goats, often hogs, cows and generally geese. He grows numerous veggies and has a bizarre fondness for rutabagas. He enjoys studying, writing, cooking from scratch, making charcuterie, goal taking pictures, and is at present increasing his woodworking expertise


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