Two Letters Re: Will Things Get as Bad as Described in “Patriots”?

Dear JWR,

I think it’s great when people stop and think after reading your novel “Patriots”. I[‘m writing] in reply to Thompson’s question and your reply. (OBTW, I applaud Thompson’s double six pack purchase). In my opinion, some aspects of a collapse/terrorist attack aftermath can get as bad if not worse than in your novel, depending on where you live. Those of us that do have relatives with their head in the sand or somewhere else, you will have to make some tough decisions if and when the SHTF. Do you take the time to help out the ones that ignored us and our warnings, or do you take care of your immediate family and bug out? I for one will bug out with my immediate family, that is where my obligations are and yours should be too. But are you mentally prepared to do that ? Now is the time to think about that scenario, not when the time comes!

I also think that your average criminal element and the people that panic WTSHTF can be overwhelming for those of us that live in large cities but [that] have retreats on stand-by. Hence my preceding statement. If you do live in a large urban area, you don’t have any time to waste dealing with family and friends that chose to ignore you and their own obligation to be prepared. Hours and even minutes could be what saves you and your immediate family–[the difference between] surviving or becoming someone’s victim. That’s my 2 cents. Time for me to re-read “Patriots”. Sam in Dayton,Ohio

Hi Jim.
Recently, in a reply to a question as to whether you thought the situation would get as bad as described in your novel, you said you did not think it would. Could you elaborate on that? Why are we storing all these beans, Band-Aids and bullets? Thanks. – Joe

JWR Replies: I believe that in the near future we will see a deep economic depression similar to the 1930s, with massive unemployment and major stock market losses. It will most likely be triggered by the current Liquidity Panic, or perhaps by a Dollar Panic that will follow soon after. Crime rates will increase substantially, particularly in urban and suburban areas. This depression may last a decade or more. But the chance of a complete societal collapse (with long term failure of the power grid and total breakdown of law and order and long distance commerce) is not very likely. There is perhaps a 10% chance of that. Be ready, nonetheless. Your storage food may come in very handy if you lose your job.