You know people have their priorities mixed up when they buy a tent for the first time to sleep in it in front of an electronics store so they can be the first in the door to fight over a big screen TV. To buy a tent, because they may need to survive in it during a crisis never crossed their minds. They after all, have their priorities.
You know the world has turned upside down when people punch each other, and beat each other over the head with chairs, shoot each other, and then trample to death the weaker ones as they stampede toward the retailer’s doors on Black Friday, on Black Eye Friday.
Everyone wants to be the first inside the store, because their world will end if they cannot get that Crockpot, or that TV or that doll or shoes that every little girl has to have, otherwise, they will be ridiculed by the other kids in their kindergarten class.
Fights over a steam cooker, dying over a pair of sneakers, and a physical assault over a place in line, sounds like the SHTF, but no, it’s just Black Eye Friday.
Makes one wonder what will happen when there is a real calamity. A real calamity when there is no food on the shelves, when the only water available is in stagnate oil slick puddles in the streets. When the snow falls, and collects in drifts against abandoned buildings, leaving the sidewalks impassable, where garbage is piled ten feet high along the street, where bodies lay stiff from rigor mortis and the cold.
Where will the campers be that spent more on a tent and food for their camping adventure than they saved on that big screen with HD surround sound? Where will you be?
You might have some idea of how it would be if you have ever visited a third world country. A country where children play near fields dotted with land mines. Where filthy water is dipped from brown puddles called wells in the public square, and where the public latrine is a tarp flapping over a trench dug in the ground just feet from the well.
Where men in uniforms or sometimes not in uniform jump out of their jeeps and trucks, with cheap cigarettes dangling from their lips. With machetes in hand and rifles at the ready they begin stabbing bags of wheat, flour and rice in every hovel they enter with their bayonets, and dump over the only cooking oil the village has seen in weeks. The soldiers are looking for insurgents, malcontents, young girls, or boys or they are simply bored.
The young children hear a scream, a thump, the cracking of bone, and they turn away as someone is dragged to one of the trucks and dumped in the back. Interrogation the soldiers shout, and the implication is you may be next. The next time they come through the village, you had better stare at the ground, or hide, or have gifts ready. Be ready to give up your dignity, your possessions, your children, or your life.
The military in many countries runs the country, and their charter, their missions if you will, is not to protect the citizens from invading armies. Their mission is not to go to foreign lands to fight evil, so evil can’t come to their shores, no their mission is to sustain their power in their own country, so they can be self sustaining without ever fighting for their way of life, for what is right. They sustain themselves off the backs of their citizens, who have nothing to begin with, so in essence they have nothing to lose, and yet the soldiers’ come back for more and more and it is never enough.
Back Home in the United States
You can find articles on the Internet that state that within a short period after the grid goes down millions will die. The authors make a good case, but we, and most of the authors, simply do not know, because no one has lived through a sustained grid down scenario. It is all speculation, but we can assume certain things based on past events.
We can assume, based on what we see every year on Black Friday. People have their priorities wrong, and it may catch up with them sooner rather than later. We can assume by what we see in other countries as well.
Regardless of how prepared you are it will be a shock. The change from one day to the next will be catastrophic in and of itself. It will take days for some people to even come to the realization that the world has changed, and not for the better. Some will stare wide eyed and slack jawed in disbelief unable to comprehend, waiting on someone, somewhere to tell them what has happened and what to do. The shock will take days to wear off, and for some it may never wear off.
Many of your worldly possessions are now gone or rendered useless. Electronics like big screen TV’s are just so much clutter underfoot. It will take time to get used to the silence, no hum of air conditioners, no rush of heat from the vents, no blaring TV’s, no sounds of motor vehicles, no ringing of phones, and no more music playing in the background.
You will now know what darkness is really like, you thought you knew before, but you didn’t. Now you can’t see your hand in front of your eyes, it’s so dark it feels like a blanket, so dark you are not sure which way is up.
Those prepared will obviously fare better than those unprepared will, but supplies will run out, so as soon as you realize the SHTF, you have to plan for the next phase. All the plans for bugging out for greener pastures are forgotten.
You realize now that the extent of the disaster is more than you expected, and yet how could you have known, because it has never happened before. There was not any history to research, no lessons from past disasters. It’s a new world, and history is now being made. Your plans seem silly, and ever so inadequate.
Thousands dead in your own community in just a matter of days, and that is just the beginning. They died because their oxygen machines and the dialysis machines in hospitals stopped working. The ones brought into emergency rooms with chest pains died on gurneys in the halls. Those in operating rooms died in place, and more still yet waiting to die, because the electricity stopped.
People will die, because they could not get their medications, their insulin was depleted, and the pharmacies were ransacked and then shuttered, and because most of the doctors have been commandeered by the government, for the greater good according to the government’s philosophy. Some may even decide a crisis is a good time to settle old scores, and a few more will die at the hands of others, as revenge rears its ugly head. Never let a crisis go to waste.
You are cold, but you still refuse to light the small propane stove, because you know it will get colder, so you conserve, and suffer the cold knowing you haven’t seen the worst of it yet. Just maybe when the worst is upon you, then you will use some of your precious propane.
You sit in the dark, because candles, batteries, and lantern fuel are a commodity that can be traded for medicines or even for clothing, tools, and a game for your child. You sit in the dark because you know the worst is yet to come, so you conserve what you have.
The only motor vehicles allowed on the road are government ones and those with governmental connections. You dread the sound of the engines, and yet you dread even more the engines going quiet in front of your house.
The stomp of boots, the bang on the door and the shouts, the demands you offer up some supplies, for the greater good and all that, but you know anything you give up will only end up on the black-market. The government shills are already hawking precious wares, supplies taken by force from the citizens and then sold back to them, for the greater good of course.
The first week will be the worst. It will take that long for the stores to be ransacked, for the weakest among us to die. It will take that long for the local authorities to establish order with limited resources. The federal government has gone into self-preservation mode, and it will take weeks if not months for them to emerge from their bunkers and safe havens to declare a crisis is upon the land. Police officers and other first responders in local communities will be looking to their own families, so your family’s safety is not a priority.
It will take several months for the strong ones to emerge and try to lead. Small groups will form villages, others with skills will begin to offer them up, and those alive realize what it really means to be alive in the new world. You will see some semblance of order emerge, and it will be a natural progression, no one demanded it or protested for it. It happens naturally because after all we are human.
Certain people will begin to think about what it will take to feed and house those in the village. Tasks will be assigned based on skill. Farmers, will farm and carpenters will build and leaders will lead. Doctors will treat the sick and others will cook, sew, and tend to the old and the weakest in the group. No one demanded this. No one held up signs and protested for it. It is natural, and life begins anew, in the new world.
Society will change and yet will remain the same. At first everyone is equal, but soon society will break into classes. There will be those that have more, because they prepared, and have more skills and ambition, and then there will be those that help those in need by giving some of what they have, and then you will have those that cannot get all of what they need or want, and thus, will demand things from those that have more.