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General considerations for prepping Part 3 – Preparedness is about the people

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People during SHTF

“It is about the people” is a sentence that mediocre managers sometimes use to make them feel better about themselves. Nevertheless, there is truth to it. In case of an emergency or disaster other people may become both an asset and a potential threat. Other people will likely have the biggest impact into whether you will make it through a disaster well or not. The problem with that is that the behaviour of the people around you can be unknown, especially during a SHTF. At the beginning of a disaster or when it is apparent that its consequences are only limited, things will likely be as close to normal as they can be. People will be friendly, and help each other out. Crime may even decrease slightly as potential criminals are busy tending to their people. However, during a prolonged situation of uncertainty or after a more severe disaster that took out most of the infrastructure with it, people will be more desperate.


So, what type of people will you going to be facing in an emergency situation?

There are a few stereotypes of people that you will potentially encounter. Please keep in mind that people are different and everybody might share a few of the below outlined traits in certain situations. Also, situations change, and so do people.


The prepared

Some people will be prepared, either because they had some inside information of what’s coming or they were just sensible beforehand. Now not all of those people will have everything they possibly might need, but they will have their immediate needs covered plus maybe some surplus suitable for bartering. As it is generally advisable to not tell everybody about your level of preparedness, you will likely mistake them for “normal” people, unless they are trusted friends or family. As we have learned from the march lockdown, even the prepared people might be surprised by the speed with which events unfold. They certainly will feel stressed out and anxious too before the new normal settles in. Take that into account.


The already pretty much self-sufficient lifestyle (small) farmers

A special case of the prepared are rurally living smaller farmers and lifestyle enthusiasts, that live self-sufficiently to a certain degree. They likely live too far away from any major city to be bothered too much about what is going on there. Due to the isolation and the fact that help will be far away in any case they will have certain preps lined up anyway. For them live will probably continue as if nothing had happened and they are too busy caring for their farm to be worried too much anyway. If you take the whole disaster preparation seriously, this is probably the person you hope to be in the future. These will be the people, who even during a prolonged crisis will have enough food, and basic supplies available to them. That makes them invaluable assets in a situation, where you would have to barter for your food. However, they will become prime targets of desperate or ruthless people, as they have no way of hiding what they have. Mind you bartering does not only involve goods, it can involve services. Maybe that farmer will be happy to give you a piece of mutton from his freezer if you help him guard the rest of his livestock?


Big industrialized Farmers

Big industrialized farming relies on a vast amount of chemicals, fertilizers, drugs and a shitload of motorized vehicles (how else do you travel around on a 5000-hectare farm?). Most of these things require resources that are imported from overseas. Should a disaster disrupt the supply chain their local stores will likely run out very quickly. That means for short disasters life on those farms will go on as usual. But if there happens to be a more severe breakdown of the supply chain their business will be heavily disrupted. They will eventually vastly scale down their operations to only sustain their own family and maybe staff. The rest of the land and livestock will have to be abandoned. The livestock will probably live on for some time, until diseases and lack of food (overstocking) finish most of them off. Any crops might die from lack of nutrition, or diseases or just not get harvested because there are no means to do so. They will also be potential targets of poachers and thieves if things get more desperate. However, that also depends on where they are located and how accessible their farm is. In such circumstances, I would not expect it to be possible to grow any meaningful amounts of crops anywhere near a public road.


The nutjobs

There certainly are extremer versions of the prepared people. These are the people the mainstream media often report about when referring to “Doomsday Preppers”. And to be fair they make a far more interesting story than grandma with her years’ worth of supply of apples from her own trees. We are talking about the massively armed crazies here, that have all the gear, bug out bags, camps, maybe even bunkers and 1000s of $ worth in freeze dried survival food because the zombie apocalypse is just about to begin. These people probably will overreact and make stupid decisions. However, I think should a serious disaster strike they’ll probably not be an immediate threat as they are stocked up. You generally will want to keep clear of them as they will likely be armed and ready to shoot at anybody getting close to their property. If you leave them alone, they will likely do the same to you though.


The average unprepared person

The average voter. This group consists of the majority of people, that lived on their life and did not care about disaster preparation, for as long as there was no coverage on the mainstream media. They will reject any warnings of looming disasters as fearmongering and might even become hostile when you talk to them about these topics. However, as we have seen earlier as soon as there is even the slightest hint of a toilet paper shortage they will fight for every roll, as if their life was at stake. Any disaster will strike them either completely un- or at least badly prepared. Their lack of preparation against even the most basic disasters is of course not going to be their fault. If you happened to try and warn them before a particular situation happened, they will probably blame you now. Sadly, some of your friends and family might be among this group. Apart from that keeping a low profile is probably your best approach if you want to be left alone.


The beneficiaries

Personally, I am happy to pay for the benefits of people that have entered a time of hardship either through accidents, sicknesses or other unforeseen events. It is a good thing that people, that lose their income can depend on the society to help them out for some time while they try to recover (if they can). However, the group of people I am talking about here are those that have given up on trying to get a new occupation, or have even lived all their life on the benefit. These are people that have learned that they do not have to give anything and still are being cared for by society. Should society however, stop caring for their needs for whatever reason they will likely feel they have a right to forcefully take what is rightfully theirs. It is of very high importance that you keep a low profile when facing them. If during an extreme situation they find out that you do have more than them, expect repercussions.



What do you think will happen to people that already are engaged in crime during normal times when society breaks down? During the first few days after an event they will likely be just as shocked as everybody else and crime might even slow down. After all they will be with their families and busy trying to figure out what is happening. However as soon as a “new normal” emerges, and should this new normal mean that there are no more police on the street’s things will get far worse. Gang activity will likely increase vastly and it will be much less hidden than it was before. If they start running out of supplies it is very likely they will start paying visits to all those fancy lifestyle farmers in the richer suburban areas.

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