Letter Re: Retreat Region Demographics and TEOTWAWKI

Hi James,
Thanks much for the exceptional information you provide. Your book “Patriots” and your site have been tremendously helpful in my preparation efforts. I’m not there yet, but well on the way.
As far as a retreat location goes, I’ve heard you and others cautioning folks away from poorer areas. I think you might want to re-think this somewhat, and for one simple reason: Poor folks are already used to doing without.

Consider two post-TEOTWAWKI scenarios:

One, an affluent or even typically middle class family suddenly has little food in their pantry and no grocery store from which to stock up, no restaurants open, no gas to put in the BMW, no X-Box to play or HDTV to watch, and no mall to go to. Their credit cards no longer work, and the personal “connections” they’re used to being able to make use of to get what they need are no longer available. Used to being self-contained (which is different than being self-sufficient), they may not have meaningful relationships with their immediate neighbours.

Two, a poorer or lower-middle class family, already used to partially getting by on their homestead garden, the basics of life, a 20-year old beater of a vehicle or none at all, and none of the unnecessary trinkets of modern city life. They have no credit cards to begin with, and are accustomed to working on a limited cash basis, even bartering with neighbors. Poorer country folks in particular are used to being relatively self-sufficient out of sheer necessity, and often have a strong sense of defending what is theirs and the means and willingness to do so while remaining willing to help friends and family in times of need.

In short, I see the first family rapidly shifting into freak-out mode, resorting to whatever daddy thinks necessary in order to make a flailing attempt to continue their prior lifestyle. As you rightfully say, civilization is but a thin veneer.

I see the second family getting by with far fewer and less lifestyle-shattering modifications.
Do any SurvivalBlog readers have thoughts on this? – CH