Thoughts on some prepper issues for your consideration

by M.D. Creekmore on December 16, 2013 · 22 comments

by Neal

I am a person that is trying to learn how to “see” from the many perspectives on preparedness planning and the many ways that set off an SHTF situation. So I have devoted a lot of thought to the following ideas that may or may not have found traction in the prepper community.

Let me address a couple trains of thought that might help some of the preppers get past looking for specific events that they anticipate putting themselves into the SHTF mode. Bear with me, because visualizing this may be challenging. First off, many opinions concerning the SHTF event assume that it is only one event that will kick off all the collapse, but truth be told, that ANY collapse in any part of any SHTF situation will automatically cause a cascade reaction possibly complete failure of society (picture a large spider web..)

Here is why (just 3 examples):

Pandemic:

If you have an outbreak of pandemic there will be an almost simultaneous breakdown in essential services (utilities, power generation, transportation, waste and water treatment, sanitation crews) as personnel get sick, or out of fear stay home, or run for the hills to get away. Now, I’m not talking the preppers necessarily, I’m talking the rest of the masses, and these will have secondary ripples among preppers…But the resulting impacts of this event will cause a run on medical and food and all aspects of the economy..it is not a standalone “people just get sick” event , I do think that all the related ripple effects will set off a cascade of failure as essential services personnel are affected (particularly if the pandemic is very contagious and crippling (not necessarily fatality wise)virulent).

Natural Disaster:

An earthquake, large regional storm, or flood: for the same reasons as listed above as people struggle to cope with the local effects of the disaster there will also be the ripple effects here as most essential emergency services will also be concerned with their own again when they determine that relief efforts are slow in coming or servicing the affected, and mass defections of public service personnel happen (ala Hurricane Katrina), but the ripples of personal effects essential personnel will also affect local services…particularly as health conditions fail rapidly after the onset of the disaster (ala the Philippines recently with the Typhoon)…Not only were ALL areas of the supply economy devastated but in this case pandemic rapidly set in too)…the cascade of failure widened very quickly.

Economic Collapse/ Grid down (Sudden announcement of Bank Holiday or EBT and Electronic banking failure/ banks seizing confiscating deposits (bail-in)):

I don’t know many who work for free(except for some very hungry folks sometimes) but most people don’t work without a paycheck, that said the moment a rippling failure to pay hits and desperation for the “just in time” supply system begins to fail (ala recent EBT failure) because people don’t have money to spend for the stuff they need, the stores cant order what they can’t sell, the police can’t protect what is on the shelves as desperate folks get hungry…you can see that this goes badly quickly…but take into account that the lack of food and money to buy it will also affect all aspects of economy (fuel delivery, essential services….etc)…Do you see that these systems are all interconnected and all related and effected by shockwaves when a failure happens in any one small areas….so a wide spread banking “holiday” would impact all aspects of economy equally as the pain rapidly spreads..

This same scenario applies on an electrical grid out situation as well as all essential services are reliant on electrical power….but so is all banking, so is all commerce (because of credit card and debit card use, so few systems are NOT reliant on mechanical transactions anymore so even if you have cash, retailers still cannot keep up with the transactions for what they do have much less run pumps for fuel)…..

The point I’m trying to make is ANY SHTF scenario will lead to a ripple collapse of social society (maybe not overnight(save a supervolcano or asteroid strike event) but very rapidly onset (in ALL SITUATIONS) to the announcement)…media is doing its level best to NOT keep people informed of what would be happening just to prevent a rapid spread of the nature of the emergency (hence the govt control of all media sources (internet too), as a means of crisis management and PR control. But the collapse may be drawn out over the space of a month or a couple weeks….couple days depending on the initial publicity and information spread of an event. All the societal systems are interlocked in a web, any tug on any thread will set off ripples across the WHOLE fabric (if severe enough and not quickly contained by govt)

**** Please note I am NOT advocating any GOVT control or intervention…I’m merely making it understood that INFORMATION control would be it primary REACTION to an event to slow down or try to contain the impact)in order to save its overwhelmed self, and marshal the various agencies resources into Self defense mode (continuity of govt and its power). It will and has plainly laid out that govt will put its own survival first to any citizenry concerns (and likewise the mentality of all government officials will see their OWN safety and survival paramount to anyone else because they are the ones to MANAGE the problem and are therefore entitle to first come first serve of resources…

The second thing I wanted to address, was the psychology of people aftera SHTF events….Patriot Nurse briefly talked about it in one of her videos on Youtube.. I don’t think the prepper base REALLY considers just how radically different life will be without the technological materials they will use or the really long lasting effects of collapse of society would bring….and that it would be long time until self organizing communities arise (because of the huge trust issues and skill values will have to be sorted out to achieve half way stable communities (this is seldom addressed how these things would take place but it ignores completely the HUMAN NATURE ASPECT as it is expressed daily in a technological functional society, never mind one where technological enhancements are GONE!!) The huge psychological weight of HOW radically different society will be going into the desperation aspect of collapse or in the rebuilding phase after the huge impact of so much damaged infrastructure, crop production loss, utilities loss, energy and fuels loss. Any post collapse world will suffer a technology withdrawl…but I don’t know if people give serious consideration to this withdrawl within their own family/close circles..

On top of the already huge psychological burdens our spouses (who many times are reluctant and resistant to WANT to understand the prepper mindset, preferring their “red pill” matrix world instead) and our kids(particularly teens) and how they will handle that kind of blow, never mind the horrors of the collapse alone.

I even have times when I think to myself “What is the point of prepping to survive it if the aftermath is going to be so hugely difficult and overwhelming (particularly lacking competent and equipped medical services)? When real disease and pandemic arrives during the collapse (it will, it CANNOT NOT happen when you lose essential sanitation control and services of water treatment/sewage/ garbage disposal) and subsequent non handling / mishandling of corpses….

]Just some thoughts that need some circulation…I just think that these are necessary considerations and self educating points that preppers need to think about beyond the “I’ve got a stockpile and am ready” mindset.. How many and how well do we really think we are to handle the MENTAL and PSYCHOLOGICAL impacts of the collapse. Mitigating the psychological wounds (the horror of all our experiences and possibly necessary actions for our individual selves (never mind trying to be protector and healers of our spouses and kids as well) and have to deal with them without meds or doctors or therapists. Or the huge tasks of trying to restore/rebuild some or any basic manufacturing, food production or textiles industry.

Agree / disagree please let us know how you feel in the comments below…

22 comments

Ghost December 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

You forgot an invasion of Aliens, from either Mexico or Mars, take you pick! (goofing off, my sincere apologies to the Author)

tommy2rs December 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

“What is the point of prepping to survive it if the aftermath is going to be so hugely difficult and overwhelming ” If you gotta ask…..

People survived for millennia without all the things you describe. Plenty of places in the world today where they still do. Check out the colonias in South Texas for a home grown version. No power, no running water, no sewers, no garbage pickup yet life goes on.

We’re all under a death sentence from the day we are born, the point is to keep trundling along the best we can. To do so in adverse conditions the strong will adapt, improvise and overcome, the weak will fall by the wayside as a more natural order asserts itself in the absence of the crutch of technology.

Hecate December 16, 2013 at 7:41 pm

“Like” :)

Larry December 16, 2013 at 1:34 pm

It’s my opinion that the odds of any collapse on a scale so large that it would have an impact on society as a whole is pretty remote, and any ripple effect that did happen would be absorbed by the shear numbers of those who were not in the path of destruction , Katrina, the EBT card failure , MT. Saint helens, the typhoon in the PI, and hurricane sandy on the East coast although they were catastrophic in their own right to the people exposed, It seems to me that none of it had much impact on the rest of the world ripple affect wise. Of coarse the media reported all of it as if we were all shoveling mud out of our basements and starving to death because of a broken food stamp system, at the same time hauling radioactive ” made in Japan” debris out of our front yards..

That said, we haven’t experienced anything man-made yet on a national scale. No nuke attack , no financial crisis, no nationwide grid down scenario. God help us in that situation because Im pretty sure human nature will be at it’s worst.

Fenland Prepper December 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I’m not hearing anything I hadn’t already considered. I think now and always have done that it will more than likely be a chain of events sparked by one. That one event may even be small.
If it goes far enough it would take very little to push the system on its “just in time” logic to go over the edge. We all no what a bad round of flue can do to the workforce. imagine what would happen on an eighty percent infection rate with a twenty percent death rate? Any country would stop, full stop. And yes this could be the cause or it could be caused by a different effect which results in broken sanitation, bodies in streets etc.
Our whole way of life revolves around everyone doing their bit at the right time. Kick out a few dominoes and the whole lot can fail.
As for do we really want to be the ones that survive, and what do we have to look forward to post SHTF? My answer is yes because I am not a quitter and in general I don’t think preppers are.

Bam Bam December 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I think it is certainly true that whatever event precipitates a collapse, other events will follow like dominoes. Just look at what happens when a winter storm rolls in–the shelves of grocery stores are wiped clean and because the roads are iced over, trucks can’t get in to restock.

Larry December 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm

true, but that winter storm isnt likely to be nationwide so the REAL effects that Im assuming this subject is taking about is going to be local… a paralyzing winter storm on the entire east coast doesnt have much impact on the availability of snow shovels and Ice-melt in spokane

Donna in MN December 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Preppers in the most part are resillient, educated and experienced people and will invent they way out of bad situations or have solutions prepared ahead of time.

Yes I would miss technology like movies on TV, but it will come back sometime and while I am waiting, I will read books. I am not addicted to technology or computers. Yes, I will lose friends and possibly family members to disaster, but I don’t dwell on the worst and woe on me or them, I think of preventing losses, making plans, praising God I made it through, and look towards the future even if it is one day at a time.

I will still laugh as I made my family crack up at my mom’s funeral service last spring during a very sad time, and will go on with my life the way she wanted me to. I have lived without modern conveniences as many of us have. We will get through disasters as mankind has since the world began.

Nebraska Woman December 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

While I agree with you on your basic premise, I still fear that most of our population do not have the skills necessary to survive.
My son, for instance, lives the high yuppie life. When he needs something done, he hires it. I had to show him how to use a screwdriver (he knows how to drink ‘em, not use ‘em). Ask him about computers he can tell you anything. Ask him how to plant a garden and he will tell you just go to the store and buy everything. I fear for him.
The daughter is a little better…she can cook, can, garden, etc. But as she lives in Arizona, I do fear for her because of the water situation and proximity to bad neighborhoods. She thinks guns are for anti-gun legislation.
Yes, we on this link will live on for the most part. But our siblings? Children? I do not know.

livinglife December 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm

most likely we will see another great depression. Many adapted and continued their lives although greatly differently than before, others took their own lives.
Regardless of the spark, I see a repeat of history. The only wild card is will people boot out the government that lead down the path by voting or other means. Its not out of the real of possibilities that the US breaks up into smaller countries if we have a political collapse and we end up looking like Europe. Common currency but very different beliefs in each ‘country’. Red and blue countries.
The prepared, adaptable and mentally strong will survive.

patientmomma December 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I wonder if there will first be some sort of disaster to push things over the edge; and while it may begin regionally, eventually TPTB and the dictator will probably declare martial law and take over the area. Gas, food, water, medicine will be rationed/controlled and banks closed. The general public will be totally dependent on the government; cities may be isolated and closed off, and survivors swept up into FEMA camps. MSM will report the dictator’s wishes, but the truth will slowly leak out. That’s when the rest of society may (should) wake up, some will panic, others will slip quietly into their retreats, off-grid locations or a prepper community. Others may organize and quote Paul Revere.

Mrs. B December 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm

The best in any situation is to survive. Nebraska Woman is correct about wondering about the younger generation. My kids and her kids must have grown up together! No matter how self sufficient I become, they don’t prescribe to the same sense of urgency that we do.

A pandemic is very much a possibility in our lifetime. Statistically, we are “over the allowable limit” in sustainable world population. We are more than overdue. Throw in out debt crisis and we are looking at a new Country. The morale decline and political correctness will be the death of our great nation if we don’t do something at some point.

There are many variables to an individuals SHTF situation. If I don’t make it, so be it. I have my trust in the Lord and he will see me home. Just Saying. I will do my best to educate, caretake, and communicate until then.

Hunker-Down December 16, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I’m kind of simple. Visualizing a confluence of events that would cause a national SHTF event, in my mind is simply the fuel tank on a semi.
When they are all empty our ‘just in time’ society will be in total collapse. Period (just like TDL says).

If there is a bank collapse the truckers cant get credit to buy fuel.

AN EMP device lobbed at us from any one of the countries waging a religious war against us, that we are ignoring, would shut down the pumps that deliver fuel to the semis. An EMP from the sun will have the same effect.

A pandemic will keep the fuel pumpers and the truck drivers home.

I think we have never had a natural disaster widespread enough to shut down the delivery system, so any effect from that front would be temporary.

When those trucks stop we will consume in 3 days all the groceries on store shelves. In a week all the pharmacies will be looted. When sanitary trucks stop picking up our garbage, plague and cholera will become common.

The government cant respond in any half effective way to a local disaster; in a nationwide emergency will they legislate full fuel tanks?

How will the empty stomachs respond to anyone with a can of beans?

Tomthetinker December 17, 2013 at 9:40 am

Hunker…. Your response is kinda like a mirror for me. I read these posts and start asking myself questions… and find myself sitting someplace and ‘thinking’ out the possible answers… Conflict Game…

I got my ‘Stuff’… I got my skill sets as time allows.. I only hope… I got my head wrapped around the reality… or the potential.

grandma bear December 17, 2013 at 10:20 am

Lots to think about. In the end I feel the drive to survive will be upmost in importance. In the end it is all in Gods hands! Hang in there we are all in this together!

N2Y December 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

Never know what will ultimately be the first Domino. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinad is credited with the beginning of WWI.

OhioPrepper December 21, 2013 at 11:52 pm

N2Y,
The assassination was only the spark that lit the fuse on an already existing powder keg.
We often look at things like the attack on Pearl Harbor as coming out of the blue, but if you know the history and pay attention to current events, the “surprises” become inevitable outcomes. In the case of the Japanese, we (the US) had taken measures to cut off much of their imported oil supplies so it was really only a matter of time.
The same can be said for all but the immediate natural disasters such as earthquakes, or tornados and tsunamis. Quakes currently give no real warnings, while tornados and tsunamis can give a little, but often too little warning. Hurricanes or blizzards with many days notice should generally have less effect on things than they do; but, only if those living in their path have some preps on hand and take appropriate actions.

riverrider December 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm

the term perfect storm comes to mind. you point out a great weakness in the prepper mindset- that we’ll only have to deal with one disaster at a time. well done. i totally agree in the cascading nature of e vents and that many preppers will be caught psychologically off guard. being ready for anything means being ready for everything, at once. fortunately, the prep for one thing is much like the prep for the next. i also think that many preppers under estimate the scale of events. this country has been very fortunate to never have a nation wide event like the philipines. the law of averages says that can’t last.

LukeAlaska December 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I think everyone should prepare for as many disasters as possible and leave the rest in God’s hands. I come from very humble beginnings and a TEOTWAWKI scenario will be just like reliving my youth. The thing is, when times were at their worst and we didn’t know where the next meal was coming from we were the happiest and relied on each other completely. I miss those feelings and secretly hope for SHTF and TEOTWAWKI. As long as the house doesn’t burn down…

GoneWithTheWind December 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm

The history of the world prior to the end of WW II has been one catastrophy after another, one war after another and one social, economic, natural, or man-made disaster after another. In the years since WW II “wars” have been mostly local skirmishes with the West watching on TV as our soldiers or the UN helicopters in and out of the fray. Most people who are able to read this article or comment on it have never had these experiences where they live (except an occasional tornado or hurricane) and we are living in a unique period in time. I don’t see any reason to believe this will continue forever. I do believe humanity will revert to the old system where the strong take what they want from the weak and the megalomaniacs prosecute massive wars where millions on all sides die and many millions more suffer. It’s really not a question of “if” something disasterous will happen but more a question of when and what. There are more then enough warning signs; pick your SHTF situation and the signs are there. Our economy is tettering on a precipice, China, Russia and a handful of smaller tyranical regimes are building up their war machines and WMDs. It seem likely that we will have an economic collapse and it is equally likely that as we cut our military to pay welfare bums not to riot that one of the many nations aligned against us will commit small or large acts of war because of our lowered defensive capability. We are on the verge of a great reset and I’m not sure anythng resembling the USA will be around after all is said and done. Prepping for this may be more about surviving the early throes of this series of disasters only to succumb to the end game. The Barbarians are not yet at the gate but they are preparing while we are sowing the seeds of our own destruction.

Antizombie December 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm

As has been said, folks lived a more “simple lifestyle” before and are indeed living it now in other places. The depression is an example, as well as Katrina and others. Some people choose to simplify their lives well ahead of any SHTF situation. I would like to trim technology in my life to a greater degree and may still if my health and life allow it. Being self sustaining without technology at an advanced or advancing age becomes more difficult as each year passes, but as you trim the “extras” from your life there is also a corresponding increase in the time to devote to the simpler pleasures of life. You are no longer tied to the cell phone, the computer, running into town for this or that. You can plan more and execute on your own time frame. In other words, make that adjustment to a new lifestyle.

The only thing I worry about is watching my family or clan die with none of the current medical systems available. To deal with a family members death is hard enough, but to watch a grandbaby or DW die a slow painful death knowing that there may be no way to help would be the worse thing I can imagine. Couple that with the stresses of a SHTF situation and I’m not sure how any of us know how we will react. One thing for sure, those that are prepared at all will undoubtedly be far ahead of the sheeple.

mom of three December 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Boy, do I agree being in our mid 40′s we are really the last generation that knew the WW2 generation. My younger niece’s and nephews, all are getting into debt over homes, cars, clothes, they need to have the latest and greatest gadgets. Only one niece, has done some preparation, and is not going into debt to school. You can only do what you can do and if you have tried to talk, to your adult children about saving, prepping and it falls on deaf ears, you did what you could you do. You grandchildren, if your lucky may listen but in the long run to each his own.

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