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How long do you think the unprepared would really be able to survive and be a real threat to those of us who are prepared?

If an unprepared can't survive more than 3 days without water, will it all be over in a few days to a few weeks? Do you think the human spirit will force people together to help each other as we saw in Japan's catastrophic last earthquake? Or will it be every man for himself?

If the unprepared die off in a few weeks, then what? Do we need to worry about those of us who didn't lay in sufficient supplies to last the duration or get the training they really need? Or do we invite them in and form small communities for self defense and our common good?
 

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The human demand to survive will give them more than a few days even weeks. I'm glad I have such a distant place to go; I figure anyone strong enough to reach my territory is worth considering for being taken in.
 

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I think it depends on which scenario is in play, and what region one finds themselves in. You couldn't pay me enough to live on the Eastern seaboard since I predict mass chaos when the liberal majority is faced with having to fend for themselves. In all fairness, this also applies to pretty much any major population center, espcially in a grid down situation.
 

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How long people will survive and how many casualties depend on the type of event that happens. Without the infrastructure (power, water, and fuel) most people will learn very quickly what they can do to survive. Some of it won't be pretty but it will be better than watching your family die. Those that don't have the will or strength of character to demand survival for themselves will perish in the first weeks. Those who are not in the right mindset will either join gangs or be killed by them in the first months. After that the gangs will last as long as they have folks to prey upon but they will lose members through attrition and those that leave when they find the price too high to pay.

Those who are prepared and execute their plan before it is too late (probably in the first 3 days following news of the first riots) will have a much better chance - but this is no video game and it will be hard, dangerous, work all day and every day. some will die from infections of small cuts and scrapes, others from illness as their immune system collapses from exhaustion and others will fall into deep depression when they find out that what they have to live with is not what they expected.

Altogether I would estimate that 30 - 40% of the urban/suburban populations will die. The rural populations will do slightly better (purhaps 10 -20%) and the "preppers" will do just slightly better than the others at up to 10%.

If there is combat involved - organized combat - then the numbers of dead will, of course, be considerably higher. The longer any event lasts more of the population will just get tired of living. If hope fades then people will lose the will to fight to stay alive. No matter what events unfold we have to be as mentally and emotionally prepared to keep going - train yourself to see the light at the end and not the darkness of the moment.

It will be a different world when the blades of that fan stop turning.
 

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It really depends on the nature of the event, and the scope and magnitude of the damage to infrastructure.

Hurricane Katrina provides some lessons on what happens to the unprepared in a large metropolitan area affected by a major disaster.

The unprepared were mostly inner-city poor folks who did not have the funds to stock up beforehand, or evacuate. They ended up on their rooftops surrounded by water, or were rescued and sent, or made it to, the Superdome as the main public shelter.

Within three days, food and water was running out. Old people who needed medicines to live began to die. By the fourth day, sanitary conditions inside the building were so disgusting people began to stay outside to avoid the odors, worsened by the heat and humidity. People were still stranded on roofs while corpses floated by, since many people did not know how to swim. In the flooded areas, it took five days for organized rescues to begin, although many were rescued on days one and two.

Then the gangs and thugs began shooting at authorities and rescue vessels and vehicles. Rescue efforts were curtailed while the gangs roamed the streets of downtown looting jewelry stores, drug stores, pawn shops, liquor and grocery stores, completely unopposed by police, 50% of which had failed to report for duty. Parts of New Orleans did not see a police presence for ten days and nights.

1800 people died, mostly from drowning and exposure. By the 10th day, the National Guard and military arrived in force.

The stories of evacuees were even worse. People hit gridlocked evacuation routes, ran out of gas, and gas stations were emptied of fuel or without power to run their pumps. Anyone dumb enough to pull into rest areas were immediately robbed by gangs that took them over.

If you made it out, street gangs were using "bump and rob" techniques to loot your belongings - two cars would pull up on you, the one in front hit its brakes, the one in back rear-ended you, and when you got out, you had a gun in your face and your family and pets were ordered out of the car, and the gangs drove off with all your valuables inside.

If you lived along the evacuation routes, once people ran out of gas, they went house to house looking for more. That quickly escalated into home invasions. Anyone not armed was picked clean, or worse. Sometimes much worse.

The unprepared human swarm spread out, looking for supplies, and not politely asking for help.

If you were ready, you could defend what was yours, and the horde moved on; otherwise, you got stripped clean of your belongings.

While there were numerous episodes of people helping their fellow man, there were far more occurrences of every man for himself.

Your biggest problem may not be the disaster - it may be dealing with the evacuee hordes and the aftermath.

Now, project that out in a situation where multiple cities are hit. It was hard to get resources into one area; imagine that on a scale of ten times the damage path.

The unprepared are going to come, and they will want your stuff when they get to you. It is just how things work in a true crisis situation.
 

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In the USA In a major collapse, 50% of the population will be dead on the first 90 days, here are just a few of the ways it will occur:

Almost 40 million people currently on anti- depressants, these will not be rational functioning humans when they REALLY have a reason to be depressed

4 million people in nursing homes and assisted living, who is going to care for them?

People lead to lawlessness by necessity or habit:

Drug addicts
Food stamp recipients
Prison inmates either left to rot in cells or released(somewhere around 7 million)
Welfare recipients
Almost the entire democrat party though I realize I am repeating myself.
Unemployment receiptients

The best chances of survival will be homeless people, states that produce food with rural populations, states with lots of guns, states without a border with Mexico.
 

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It depends how one defines, "unprepared." The mentally unprepared will find it hard going, especially those in high population density areas and areas with harsh climates.

One might expect large cities to collapse quickly, but I doubt this will be the case. I would expect neighborhoods to band together quite quickly in some cases. Cities with a "Little Italy" or "Chinatown" section, for example, might tend to pull together along cultural lines. There are many such cultural groupings in most cities, and might also include existing gangs. This isn't sustainable, of course, so these groups will eventually be forced to leave the city en masse once their local supplies are exhausted.

Don't make the mistake of underestimating the survival instinct. People are resourceful, creative, and ruthless when survival is on the line.

Those who are mentally prepared for such an event will find ways to survive, no matter how physically unprepared they might be. I would expect many of these will have everything they need within days or weeks of any major SHTF event. Of course, many of them will die trying to take what they don't have too.

Small communities will tend to band together for mutual defense. This would be especially true in low population density agricultural areas where food pressures aren't as great. I would expect local militias to aggressively patrol their surrounding areas. I would expect these patrols to be in radio contact with a larger rapid reaction force. I would expect "justice" to be harsh and swift.

I would not expect many "outsiders" to be invited into such communities unless they had skills or supplies the community needs, and even then it might be unlikely. They simply pose too much of a security risk.

So do I expect the unprepped to simply lie down and accept their inevitable fate? No. In fact, that's the last thing I expect.
 

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Folks up north will freeze. Folks down south will survive.
Folks up north that are prepared will have a couple years wood stocked up and enjoy a nice quite safe warm winter.
Folks down south will be on constant guard and will have less of a chance of survival. Dealing with all the masses that swarm down south because it's warm and they can't handle the cold. Can't see to many big gangs prying on helpless victims with 3 feet of snow on the roads and they aren't plowed. Enjoy that nice warm weather and all your new "friends".
 

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Actually, the FBI 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment shows that most Southern states and Michigan have the same number of gang members per capita (2 to 4 gang members per 1000 people).

The states with high concentrations are Illinois, California, Nevada, and Arizona (6+ per 1000).

Down South, we really don't have a large gang presence.

But we have a lot of well-armed rednecks and good ol' boys to help hold down the fort.

And a whole bunch of wild-eyed country boys who can really shoot.

So let all them snowbird gangbangers come on down.... We won't leave a light on.
 
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