After the collapse, I expect the survivors will come out of the following groups:
- The extremely rich
- The very well prepared
- Those who are self-sufficient
- And the very lucky
Those who fit into multiple categories are even more likely to survive.
Which one are you in? What can you do to improve your odds or survival?
I’m not talking about wealthy people who live in New York or London penthouses and get driven around in SUVs. They’ll die pretty quickly if they can’t get out of the city. Those who have large estates in the country will also be targets when the have-nots reach the inevitable decision to steal from the haves.
The rich folks who will survive will be the ones who have looked at the situation and planned to bug out. They have 12,000 acre ranches, private guards, and huge stores of food in sparsely populated states where they can eat their own cattle and food from gardens tended by paid botanists. Many Silicon Valley elites have bug out locations you and I could only dream of, including homes reachable only by boat or air. They can live there in relative comfort for years until things settle down.
The elites in our federal government will be rushed off to underground bunkers and guarded by the military. They may tire of eating MREs, but they’ll be fine. There are bunkers under the White House and below the Vice President’s house, but there are also underground military installations and military bases that should be secure as long as the personnel don’t go AWOL. In a severe disruption, much of the apparatus of governing will be gone.
Don’t expect state and local officials to fare well. They may have a few police officers for close protection, but that’s not going to save them from a riot at the end of the world. That also assumes their security team doesn’t abandon them to protect their family instead of the governor or mayor.
I doubt any of my readers fit into the above category, but I would hope they are all prepared, or at least preparing. Being prepared puts you ahead of 90 percent of the population. Having a plan, a place to go, people to team up with, and supplies once you get there puts you ahead of 99 percent.
This is where you can improve your odds of survival. Keep preparing, keep stockpiling, keep stacking it deep, but also plan. Team up with friends and like-minded people because the lone wolf survivalist is at risk. If you live in the city, find a place to escape the urban crowds and determine how you will get there and when you will bug out. Have a plan for self-defense and a way to communicate.
The best prepared will have a nucleus of skilled people, including medical personnel, tactical leaders, gardeners, engineers, and experts in wild foods. They will have enough food and equipment to survive for years, and land on which to raise more food. It’s possible their presence as a tactical force could create a protected zone in which others can survive. It’s equally possible that their goods and quality of life could attract an attack by rovers looking for a big score. There are no guarantees.
There are poor farmers and goat herders in third world countries who are more self-sufficient than most Americans. The world you and I know and enjoy could collapse and these folks might not notice for months.
There are also people in Alaska who could no doubt survive a few years. The lucky ones will already have a dog team because their gasoline and snow machines won’t last long. The ones on the water where they can harvest hundreds of salmon or other fish to help feed them and their dogs will do best. Paddling their boats and chopping wood by hand will be a major change for most, but it is doable. I just hope they have a lifetime supply of ammunition.
There are people in tropical areas where fruit grows on trees and gardens produce well because of the weather. They may not need much heat or shelter, making them self-sufficient without even knowing it. It cuts both ways.
Down here in the lower 48 states, even the most self-sufficient among us go to the store from time to time. The Amish still engage in commerce. Homesteaders still need equipment repaired, animal medications, a new set of boots, and so forth. But if you are relatively well-prepared and somewhat self-sufficient, going to the store becomes less of a necessity. The combination of being a prepper and a homesteader is a natural one I encourage.
If there is a huge die-off because of the disaster, people may be able to salvage goods like clothing and footwear for a decade or more. The key is surviving long enough that it becomes safe to salvage.
There are some people who will survive by happenstance rather than planning. They are going to be at the right place at the right time. By sheer dumb luck, they will be parking their car in the lowest level of the parking garage under their office tower when the nuclear bomb hits. They will be resistant to the super virus that kills 98 percent of the population. A prepper who needs an additional set of hands will take them in.
We can’t count on being lucky, but we can improve our odds by moving to a secure location and by building our skills.
Of course, there’s bad luck as well. You could live in a remote corner of the high desert, but that happens to be where a chunk of space rock lands.
Can you imagine what it will be like a few years after the SHTF? The rich will come out of hiding, only to realize they own nothing and have no useful skills. No longer able to pay their employees, they will have to fend for themselves. Some will, but many won’t.
The military may be the biggest danger if they haven’t killed themselves off fighting an enemy, real or imagined.
Those self-sufficient farmers and goat herders will be happy to one day have some imported goods again.
The preppers will be the ones rebuilding society. They will have the print library that tells how to make penicillin, refine gasoline, purify water, and build common mechanical devices. The preppers will have the blacksmith and provide the seeds that help the recovery along. They’ll be the ones that get pockets of electricity working again so that we can emerge from the 1880s lifestyle.
Maybe the military will help. Maybe a few of the rich can contribute. The lucky may still be around to enjoy the benefits.
Let’s just hope the political class will have died out.