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spirit animal / unicorn
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We'll know it's (near) the end when the first American metropolis falls. Because if you can't keep order in one of them, things have probably gotten so bad, that they're not coming back.

Right now, crime is pretty bad, but still not as bad as the 80s.

Imagine if crime in New York was two or three times as bad as it is now. That would be pretty wild.

Now what about 10 times as bad. That would be a pretty bad sign.

A diesel shortage and a formula shortage... dominoes like that might be what helps it along. I don't think it's going to happen this time, because the govt and the media would be telling us something like that already. But when it does happen, it will look something like today.
 

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In an area that is naturally cold and wet, my critical supplies are gasoline for cars and generators, and diesel fuel (heating oil).

With a full tank of heating oil, and a working gas station somewhere nearby, I can live fairly well for a time. Scariest part of the video was the image of cash being used, because the credit card feature at the grocery store or gas station was not working.

Cash is difficult to stock-up on because it is so tempting to spend, and gasoline is too dangerous to store in any great quantity. Solve those two problems and I have many other things covered for much of the time-line shown in the film.
 

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I don't love this guy's YT channel... building a big amount of bug-in stuff in a city is pointless. It would just end up being somebody else's cashe later on (probably very soon, actually). There are pearls of good info in some vids, but like most popular YouTubers, he does overly general stuff to get clicks and views (most people live in cities, so pitch to that audience).

In reality, the cities will be a real mess real fast. A city dweller can't just lock the front door deadbolt and be safe for weeks and months. We see it again and again with various localized SHTF. People were cooking food in the streets and being pushed out by army in Ukraine within a week of the invasion starting. It would be much worse in an actual event where the cavalry wasn't coming, huh? In any real SHTF, the plan is always to stay the heck away from others... I wouldn't plan to head back into any city until at least after the first winter was over (and even then, that'd only be if I was pretty hard up for supplies or it seemed very safe to do so and I wanted to scavenge stuff like antibiotics, tools, etc).

I truly don't see the point to prepping beyond a month or so of food and supplies for those who live in a city or a metro.
Either the city's structure is a bit damaged yet core services like hospitals remain and utilities will be patched back up (blizzard, hurricane, etc) and you can ride it out for a couple weeks (2-3x that to give buffer),
OR grid and societal order is severely and totally screwed (drought, contamination, war/riots, flood, fire, bad pandemic, nuke/EMP, etc)... in which case you bug out fast while you might be able to use vehicles and roads if you move fast. The ones who survive are the ones who GET OUT. Those who choose to dig in and 'defend the fort' are fools... or part of an army and supplied unit paid to defend it. For individual homeowners surrounded by the desperate masses, they just end up burned out, chased out, or worse. Ken and Karen would have been 100% toast in a real SHTF and not just a nearby march. Be smart.

If anything, city people who are survivalists could use any prep money to have a better living location for survival (small town, or at least suburbs). If they truly like or have to be in a city, then having a bug out location (cabin full of preps and vehicle) would be better than prepping heavy in a bad city location, but that's unlikely to work also... because you don't know where you'll go since you don't know which way SHTF will arrive from and what ways will be open.

The best thing to have is skills and options: the ability to create tools, water and food, shelters, survival group of rural enough to potentially stay local awhile, ability to head out to wherever seems like the best place given the circumstances, etc. That could be another country, continent, or just the woods outside town.

Have you ever watched the tv show "alone" they are all starving before 90 days
Great show... as far as TV shows go. It gave a good glimpse of they psych and logistic problems of survival and high-level buscraft. Mitch Mitchell from season 1 is a very legit guy and well respected in the bush community; he and the winner of season 3 (Fowler, in Patagonia) were the best long term planners: great shelter and sustained fishing and fire. Some of the others were more novice, but they all had teaching value are still much better than the average Joe - most better than I for sure.

You have to realize they put those guys in tough locations at the end of fall (winter looming) and they start with zero or maybe a day's worth of food, depending what they chose for 10 items. That's as tough as it gets... most big game is hibernating, it's wet and getting cold, fires are tough, ground is tough to dig. If they would have put them summer camping in Tennessee or Carolina or NoCal, they'd obviously all survive quite awhile, use summer to save up and fatten up for winter, and it'd be a pretty boring show to watch. They intentionally created a sense of urgency right from the start... so it's easy to play armchair QB, but the show still has good skill and thinking value to it in my eyes.

Under same rules and supplies (10 items plus a few core items), only a small fraction from the general population could even survive a couple weeks camped outside their own home area... in good weather. And most general population doesn't even have those good supplies or know how to use them... so consider that :)
 

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spirit animal / unicorn
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3,107 Posts
I like comment #9, except that I think that after the first winter, everybody really might be dead in a metropolis. If any were still around, it might have to be due to something really quirky, like just an amazingly bulletproof survivalism plan.

In New York, everyone's on islands. There's just no easily reaching the places where food is produced. When things get anarchic, nothing's going to be shipped in.

Certainly, not all cities are on islands, and normally reached by long bridges, tunnels, and ferries. But the highways into all the other metropolises are going to be totally stuck.

Supporting a crazy group of gangsters in a huge city is going to be really attenuated... maybe the easiest way they could eat their way through a winter would be if they steal loads of food, very quickly...

Another idea might be if they're located right on the edge of the city...

Cannibalism? I don't know...

You might say, where there's a will there's a way and everything, but right now I think environmental hazards will more be the problem after the first winter, than the people. If you go back to a city, there might be things you are tempted to do, and they might have become a little unforeseeably unsafe, for all kinds of reasons.

A city will be completely full of corners, that each might have just anything waiting behind them.

A city full of a few million skeletons is unfathomable.
 

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I think cannibalism would break out. People are weird now.
It would for sure. It is simply a numbers game. Check out The Road if you haven't seen it... very dark but also pretty likely.

The world is totally overpopulated. You are way more likely to run into a human than a deer or boar or quiet fishing spot or something like that (and most people don't even know how to clean and cook an animal if they got one).

In cities where people live literally on top of each other, you'd see them eating pets, each other, whatever they can. Your "zombies" are the dude or lady who was in the next line over at CVS last week... except now starving, panicked, and off their meds. Food supply from stores dries up within a week or two without re-supply. Again, that's why you want to get the heck out and avoid people. Do it fast.... never wrong to bug out, can be detrimental to fail to do it fast enough. 1 in every 5 or 6 Americans takes psych meds to handle the unbearable stress of even normal non-SHTF days. Do you want to try to bug in inside or near a city once SHTF? Heck no.

Even the rural preppers need to be prepared to leave pretty quick too. It's only a matter of time before any house with a bunch of preps might have desperate folks with rifles and molotovs and lareg amounts of crazy are headed their way looking for food and water. You have to sleep sometime, and you always have to beware of people with nothing to lose. The bug-in castle that lasts indefinitely is a fantasy, even if you're near a desolate mountain top.
 

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Comm Monkey
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734 Posts
We'll know it's (near) the end when the first American metropolis falls. Because if you can't keep order in one of them, things have probably gotten so bad, that they're not coming back.

Right now, crime is pretty bad, but still not as bad as the 80s.

Imagine if crime in New York was two or three times as bad as it is now. That would be pretty wild.

Now what about 10 times as bad. That would be a pretty bad sign.

A diesel shortage and a formula shortage... dominoes like that might be what helps it along. I don't think it's going to happen this time, because the govt and the media would be telling us something like that already. But when it does happen, it will look something like today.
I'm not exactly disagreeing but I highly doubt the government or the media would be saying anything, they both have a vested interest in not rocking the boat until they have already jumped ship and are safe in their life boat while everyone else is looking for a way out.

As far as crime, if people stop reporting it because they know that nothing is going to be done about it then the measured rate will not be accurate or likely even close.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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I graduated college in 1982, and my first engineering job was located in the Los Angeles Basin. Within six months, I learned enough about seismology and earthquakes to worry about living there.

I already owned some basic camping gear, but once I started making real money, I started shopping at places like REI and I upgraded everything. Then I bought a Suzuki 400 dual sport motorcycle, and a US Forest Service Ramcharger, and started spending weeks at a time camping in the desert.

I only lived in the basin for two yrs, but by the time I was able to leave, I had the gear and the knowlege to escape from most potential events. I major part of that capability, was learning to find water, and how to travel (4WD truck, dirt bike, feet) off the paved roads.

I found a great engineering job at a NWC China Lake, 3 hrs north of LA. This allowed me to learn about the Eastern Sierra, and how to travel from the Mohave desert, to Nevada, to Southern Utah, all without using major highways.

I hope good folks dont get trapped in the collapse of our major cities, but I suspect that is inevitable. I also supect that hungry crazy folks will turn to arson, and burn down their own homes and neighborhoods.
 

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spirit animal / unicorn
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3,107 Posts
One more point about the cities---

Let's say they cross one of the epic bridges from NYC. Use Google maps street view and take a look at places like Linden, Palisades Park, Paterson, Elizabeth, and Union City (all NJ), to name just a few.

For starters, you could look at the area around Penn Station, Newark (Newark and New York each have their own Penn Station). Or just Google for a public school or a tattoo parlor, and check out what the hood around it is like.

Some sides of NYC have miles of urban, congested stuff beyond them that are about the same as NYC.

Probably one back stoop tomato plant for every few hundred people. If even.

I haven't been everywhere, but I wouldn't fall out of my seat in astonishment if other well known cities like Philadelphia, Chicago and Cleveland are much the same. Just ringed or nearly ringed by lots more area that's also city.

Maybe when shtf, a lot of people will try to get to long Island, Staten Island or Westchester. The orcs could be waiting there to ambush them. It wouldn't be that hard to figure out to do it, if you wanted to be mean. Plus, you all know how competitive things will often be after shtf. Just because you got to a place where there are suburban guys won't necessarily count for a lot.

Some places are becoming gentrified, but others getting worse. Surprised by news stories I see sometimes, and other locals will know what I'm talking about. Loads of nasty kids in some places now.
 

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1) First, call those who are welcome / pre picked.

2) Load all my mags & weapons prepositioned.

3) Secure my land / house as much as possible.

4) Change the location of my cameras.

5) Fill my 80 gallon RV water tank

Cook up a bunch of food and continue to keep the harvest right going. 24 7 as long as possible.
 
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