Letter Re: Considerations for Longer Term Survival

Dear Mr. Rawles,
I have become increasing concerned that many survivalists do not take longer term survival seriously and in many case appear to give it no consideration at all. They seem to be more concerned with stocking their retreats and being able to hold out against all until things return to normal.
The majority of what has been written about survival originates from the USA but there is literally none of this information that considers the longer term. By longer term I mean after surviving the initial disaster, whatever the cause. I am also talking about an event that completely rules out the possibility of a return to the way we are now and something that affects a significant section of the world’s population.
To simply survive would be to revert to a state of savagery genuine survivalists must avoid. The rational idea of survival is to make the transition from our civilisation to the next with as much benefit to one’s self and posterity as preparation can insure. It should also be to ensure that future generations do not just exist but have as reasonable quality of live as possible.
Whilst we should preserve as much of the modern technology as we can we must remember that if an item uses more energy than our home power plant can supply, or more importantly, if it will require replacement parts later on, forget it. This does not mean that we should not use all that we may have at our disposal, even if for only a short time. Use it wisely and use it to get us to a future without it. May be that future will be a little better with our planning and forethought.
When a civilization goes splat, the technologies that supported it tend to go with it. This is particularly true of systems that are based on highly interdependent technologies such as ours today. We are the generation that landed a man on the moon and yet we will not have the skill to make an iron spear head. Our reliance on technology has robbed us of the simplest, most basic skills. We have to look ahead to the time when we do not have the convenience of modern civilisation. There’s no doubt in my mind that when the crunch comes we’re going to regress very quickly.
Much that has been written on survival is useful into the long term but much of that written also assumes that things will get back to normal. Survivalists seem loath to discuss or even contemplate that things will not ‘get back to normal’.
The real survivors will be the ones who come through what will follow the collapse. Those of us who come through and there may not be many of us, will be left to face the aftermath and it will be more terrible than we can imagine.
You got to your well-stocked retreat replete with manuals, plans and procedures, and you survived. Now, what are you going to do?
This is not a moot question; this should be the true objective of your preparedness efforts. One must prepare for the “afterward” as thoughtfully and thoroughly as preparing for survival.
This is where you must also assess your post-survival requirements so that you and your family can not only survive but also prosper. This effort will also impact all the goodies you can buy and the skills and knowledge you need. It may also affect how you plan your short term survival. It will also have a very definite effect on future generations.
As an example, you have a wood stove for heating your retreat. If there is no source of gasoline and oil, how are you going to cut the firewood you need? Ever use an axe and bow saw to cut a season’s worth of firewood?
What about food when the “Year’s Food Supply” is gone? What about your water supply? Your assessment must provide for the recommended skills, plans, procedures, equipment, and spare parts to these and a host of other “afterward” issues and questions. And where are is all this going to come from?
To do this properly requires a well thought out approach and process that leads to an integrated preparedness plan with the specific objective of surviving and prospering afterwards.
There is a lot of information available on various parts of the preparedness equation but it must be integrated into the whole equation of your preparedness based on the threats with the prime objective of living well beyond bad times.
Too many today who call themselves survivalists look no further than preparing to get through the initial stages of any crisis. In most cases this may well be sufficient. But is it a question of the misplaced faith and expectations that are commonly placed on technology. One problem with placing too much faith in technology is that nature will always provide an event greater than the specified design criteria, at some point in the future. That “some time” could be tomorrow. Another problem with technology is that it sometimes fails-after all, it is designed by human beings and mistakes can be made in design, materials, or construction or even in the operation of any system by those same human beings.
Is it not time that survivalist discussed more concerning longer term survival rather than concentrating on short term subjects that although valid and needed to help get us into the longer term are themselves going to be of no use once we reach the long term. Yours truly, – Norman.