The Thin Veneer

Editor’s Introductory Note: This is a re-post from the early days of SurvivalBlog, back in August, 2005. Blog Years are like Dog Years. To explain: SurvivalBlog has been published since before most people had even heard the word “blog” for the first time. A piece this old has probably never been read by 90% of the current SurvivalBlog readership. So we feel fairly safe in re-posting it. BTW, we recommend that any new readers take a look through the archives of SurvivalBlog’s first year, to come up to speed on our jargon, core beliefs, and unique acronyms. – JWR

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In my lectures on survival topics I often mention that there is just a thin veneer of civilization on our society. What is underneath is not pretty, and it does take much to peel away that veneer. You take your average urbanite or suburbanite and get him excessively cold, wet, tired, hungry and/or thirsty and take away his television, beer, drugs, and other pacifiers, and you will soon seen the savage within. It is like peeling the skin of an onion—remove a couple of layers and it gets very smelly. As a Christian, I attribute this to man’s inherently sinful nature.

Here is a mental exercise: Put yourself in the mind set of Mr. Joe Sixpack, Suburbanite. (Visualize him in or near a big city near where you live.) He is unprepared. He has less than one week’s food on hand, he has a 12 gauge pump action shotgun that he hasn’t fired in years, and just half a tank of gas in his minivan and maybe a gallon or two in a can that he keeps on hand for his lawn mower. Then TEOTWAWKI hits. The power grid is down, his job is history, the toilet doesn’t flush, and water no longer magically comes cascading from the tap. There are riots beginning in his city. The local service stations have run out of gas. The banks have closed. Now he is suddenly desperate. Where will he go? What will he do?

Odds are, Joe will think: “I’ve gotta go find a vacation cabin somewhere, up in the mountains, where some rich dude only goes a few weeks out of each year.” So vacation destinations like Lake Tahoe, Lake Arrowhead, and Squaw Valley, California; Prescott and Sedona, Arizona; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Vail and Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and the other various rural ski, spa, Great Lakes, and coastal resort areas will get swarmed. Or, he will think: “I’ve got to go to where they grow food.” So places like the Imperial Valley, the Willamette Valley, and the Red River Valley will similarly get overrun. There will be so many desperate Joe Sixpacks arriving all at once that these areas will degenerate into free-fire zones. It will be an intensely ugly situation and will not be safe for anyone. In some places the locals may be so vastly outnumbered that they won’t survive. But some of the Joe Sixpacks will survive, and then the more ruthless among them will begin to fight amongst themselves for the few remaining resources. They will form ad hoc gangs of perhaps 6 to 30 people.

Once the Golden Horde has been thinned (and honed to ferocity) and they’ve cleaned out an area, the thugs at the pinnacle of ruthlessness will comprise the most formidable rover packs imaginable. They will move on to an adjoining region, and then another. But the inverse sqaure law will work in your favor: Imagine that you take a jar of marbles turn it upside down on a wooden floor and then lift the jar suddenly upward. The marbles will spread out semi-randomly. But the farther from the mouth of the jar, the lighter the density of marbles. Hence, the rover packs will attenuate themselves into a huge rural expanse that is peopled with well-armed country folks. By the time the looters work their way out 150 miles from the big cities, they will be thinned out considerably. The rover pack is your primary threat in a total collapse, no matter how remote your retreat. Here are your potential adversaries: A squad to company size force (12 to 60 individuals), highly mobile, moderately well armed with a motley assortment of weapons and vehicles, and imbued with absolute ruthlessness. Be prepared.




41 Comments

  1. I started following the blog just after I saw what happened during Hurricane Katrina…a great example of how thin that veneer really is. I actually changed careers from multimedia to paramedic during the recession because I learned what about “recession-proof” jobs from the blog (and reading Patriots). Thanks JWR for re-posting this and all you do with the blog, it has definitely helped me on my preparedness journey

  2. Spot on, just as much today as it was in 2005, maybe moreso. There are a lot more guns out there now than there was when I was in Baghdad back then. But this type of behavior is precisely what I witnessed in Iraq at the time. Bands of dozens of thugs swarming into neighborhoods and annihilating the inhabitants. Only those neighborhoods who banded together and developed an effective defensive strategy survived. Police stations with 25 men or more would get burned out by the bad guys, with most of the officers killed or missing. This veneer, or I refer to it as a veil, is very easily pierced. I can’t stress this enough; if you aren’t prepared for war, you aren’t prepared. Things will go from normal to FUBAR so quickly you will not have time to sit and think what to do. You better have an effective plan now, or you probably aren’t going to make it. That’s just the way it is, and there are exceedingly few exceptions.

  3. I see this and agree with that potential reality. But I’m not sure roaming groups are going to be “highly mobile”. From my experiences in hurricane ridden Florida, I know how quickly fuel disappears. I think most people will be topping off their fuel in their cars and gas cans during a SHTF scenario. Trying to keep mobile, trying to keep generators running. I think the fuel will be gone relatively quickly. A roaming hoard of thugs may have a car with gas, but once they run out, it’s not like there will be gas in the next town. They’ll be tapped out. So Rover packs would be on foot pretty quickly. By the time we get to the Rover packs, we’ll probably be a 2 weeks in (maybe longer if we’re lucky). Most food and resources outside of individual homes will be gone and pretty much all gas will be gone at that point and desperation will start setting in for most people

  4. James, this is an interesting read. To apply a critical perspective to this anticipatory predictor of human behavior, it is interesting how this type of narrative seems to always associate human behavior to materialism. That is to say that human’s are only able to act civil if they have, not just food and water, but as you detail here, toilets, TV, beer, drugs, gas stations and banks. But yet, it is also many of these modern comforts that many of us dislike and also think is and has been pulling apart the fabric of civil behavior.

    What is interesting is that there is quite a bit of research that details how in less developed nations, those in a position of power are concerned about people, or the golden horde, migrating FROM the country TO the city. But, in the Western perspective, the narrative is reversed with people fleeing the city to the country. Why is that?

    These narratives have been reproduced for so long that they become familiar and feel right. But yet, there is little to no evidence absent of government and corporate propaganda, that the entirety of these familiar narratives has ever taken place. Some characteristics have, but also some have not.

    The reason I believe a critical approach is useful, to not only survival discussions and technique, but also everyday living, is that it reduces panic. It also provides a more clear understanding of how the world works and has worked with a possible view of how it may work in the future. I think it is useful to consider how these narratives associate materialism with human behavior in relation to how often nostalgia of the past also plays a part in survival narratives.

    If materialism does predict human behavior, but yet we also value or become nostalgic for the past, does this conflict in that our ancestors were savages because they did not have the internet, social media, online banking, drive-through banking, ATM banking, black Friday sales? The point is, does the idea of linking human behavior to materialism ever end? Or, are we going to be associating human behavior with future technology, too, so that if pizza delivery by drone fails, people are going to be fighting in the streets?

    This comment may be a bit too critical, but it may also be refreshing from another bug out bag focus.

    1. Muddykid,
      Excellent points! I’ve raised these same questions over the years and have come to the conclusion that there is primarily one culprit to blame for the most common misconceptions within the preparedness community: survival fiction.

      The endless supply of fictionalized stories showcasing super-human bravery and heroics have come to dominate the thinking of the current culture of preppers to the point where most have simply accepted them as truth despite actual conditions proving them, for the most part, untrue. I enjoy reading them as much as anyone, but after doing my own research I found them to be, well, fiction.

      I have linked to this article from SurvivalBlog, circa 2011, multiple times in the comments. It remains, for me, one of the most insightful pieces ever written here and is as relevant today as it was almost eight years ago.

      “The Unrealistic Mentality of the Modern Survivalist”

      https://survivalblog.com/the-unrealistic-mentality-of-t/

      1. DD, thanks for the reply! I look forward to reading the older article you linked in your comment.

        I absolutely agree with you about survival fiction. In that same thought, I am not suggesting “survivalism” is not useful, as evident by my daily reading and comments on this site. I just question if certain aspects could be more useful than others.

        In fact, I think I am going to write a article for Sblog linking nuclear fiction to climate change fiction in relation to government reports and security in effort to demonstrate how certain narratives become reproduced.

      2. I tried to make friends with my neighbors. One total psycho, two respectable criminals, one in lala land all the time, and a few other vicious, untrustworthy types, including the guy with the skull and upside down cross in his front yard. One nice, solid citizen who is friendly, a good hunter, and believes that people who have different political opinions than himself should be silenced (he might be workable). One trustworthy, honest disabled woman with no survival skills at all. One tough, reliable guy who is in his eighties, and can barely walk up a hill.

        Yes, I’ve been trying for years. And will continue to. But at this point, I have to plan on functioning only with a couple of personal friends who may be invited for a long visit.

        I agree the best choice is to make friends with neighbors. But you may not have that choice.

        This used to be a forgotten old blue collar nook. Then the urbanites moved in.

      3. Muddykid

        I feel what you reference as materialism is more properly described and the known vs the unknown. People in so called civil society know comfort. They rarely know anything about going without. That know entitlement and convenance. You are correct that in many poor countries they have no trouble living without 200 cable channels, tailgate parties, beer and hot wings lol. That is primarily due to the fact that they have never had them. Furthermore they have never had them on a daily basis for their whole life long. One cannot discount the psychology of having your life turned upside down and the absolute need to reset that balance. People will work to their (known) norm or as close to it as they can find. Our society will not simply act like those folks in a poor underdeveloped country once they are poor. Furthermore many city and suburban neighbors aren’t so much traditional neighbors such as one might find in rural areas. They are more accurately defined as people living in proximity to one another. There is plenty of research on the psychology of living in a city, being surrounded by people and feeling isolated and alone. Proximity to hundreds of thousand of people does not make them friends and neighbors. You are correct to advocate for this early before trouble presents itself. Large numbers of people also means a larger criminal population in our cities than in rural areas. Taking all this into consideration one can start to see a situation as described in the original article. Not due to government propaganda or survival fiction but simply looking at the current state of civil discourse in our nation and expanding that to crisis event of any kind. Our Civilized society at least as far a large population centers are concerned is but an illusion.

      4. Muddykid – Apples and oranges because of the facts that never before have systems that prop up civilization become so fragile. Food is at an all time distance from metro centers. Life is centered around electricity and most urban dwellings are now set up to be unsustainable without it. Never before (since 60 years or so) have we been so dependent on petrol. Never before have we been so dependent on the internet (who do you know who still has a landline?) And finally, never before has man been so far removed from and bereft of the skills to produce what sustains him. Their only salvation is for the government to come in and rescue them. And when that doesn’t happen with enough oomf?
        And DD, it isn’t super human; it’s called being self sufficient, sustainable, skillful, having a full bag of common sense, and right thinking = we have never been so far from that than in today’s society. I think it would be foolish not to plan for what this article illustrates. God bless.

    2. The difference is a generation ago, you could walk to the country, and we didn’t have “Just In Time” logistics, so stores would have lots in the back room and be replentished weekly or even less frequently. Today the supply chains are both long and tight. Someone coined the term the 3000 mile salad.

      And “the country” has receded. Before there were chickens in he suburbs, but ordinances, and HOAs banned them in most places, and except for a rare garden, much of the art has been lost. Farms are now multiple days walking away, and many are the big-ag producing ethanol (and there are seasons).

      Even in the suburbs, there are birds and rabbits, and even deer, but who knows how to hunt, and even how to properly gut animals so you don’t get diseases? How many city millenials were Boy Scouts (or equivalent)?

      And the culture is not materialism per se, but the loss of the ability to be independent, or even minimally dependent. Dennis Prager complains that they are used to “just google it” instead of learning. So what happens when there is no google? People who can simply go hunting, fishing, and camping are ahead of the game, but they are also in the receded “country”.

      In the 1970’s with the Arab embargo, there were long lines for gasoline though everything else worked.

      In the case of Hurricanes, the foolishness was not to leave a known below sea level area.

      Even for Y2K, some prepped and although nothing happened, it was a useful drill.

      I was also in the great midwest blackout just over a decade ago. One of the first things I did was find out where the nearest gasoline was and went there and filled up one vehicle, then another the next day and went to get groceries. It wasn’t TEOTWAKI, but my thoughts were to figure out how to insure safety and not wait hoping everything would come back on. Even without the internet, radio and TV worked, but who has AM/FM radios or TVs that don’t need AC power? So I immediately tried to think – Bug in or Bug out and this was before I was any kind of real prepper. But my mindset was to think and to get out and not rationalize or hope. I might make a wrong decision, but it would be one based on the conditons.

      Right now, too many are sheeple.

  5. Survivalblog readers share a wide variety of views/interest in preparedness. Some plan only for the disruption of a hurricane by setting aside perhaps a couple of weeks of food and water. Others prepare for a complete and total societal meltdown. The “Golden Horde” concept applies only to the latter situation, but it will likely be a reality when things get bad enough.

    Perhaps I am overlooking a historical example that someone can bring to my attention, but I do not recall one instance where the delivery of food, water, sanitation, and electric power has failed a major city for several months. Even looking at examples such as the fall of Berlin, within weeks, at most, many of the city services were restored, at least to some extent, and supplies began to flow into the city from the Allies.

    Should an EMP attack or even a massive solar event take place, there is the possibility that the urban landscape will be turned upside down for months and even years. The massive societal impact of a global flu pandemic could have a monstrous impact, as well, although in a different manner.

    Regardless, once electric services are terminated, once sewage begins to back up, and once trucks “stop rolling,” the cities of this country will be in large part unlivable. Without power, water cannot be pumped. Without power, sewage cannot be disposed of. Without power, fuel cannot be produced. Without power, food cannot be produced or delivered to the cities.

    In the West, cities such as LA, San Diego, and Phoenix (as well as hundreds of smaller communities that are part of their urban sprawl) will fare more poorly than cities in wetter climates. These cities are, in so many ways, like moon bases. They are, even more than most cities, simply consumers of the basic necessities of life, not producers.

    In the more desirable coastal communities of Southern California, one almost has a God-given right to expect blue skies and sunshine from mid-April to mid-October. What this means is that there is no rain, period. Roof top collection of water is not an option. If water is not being delivered because the power is not available to pump it to the population, things will get ugly very fast. As a result, people will have little choice but to abandon the urban centers in order to get to more sustainable areas.

    The inner city population of every large city in America will be hit the hardest by the denial of services. It will turn to looting and violence far quicker than more affluent areas will. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either living in a fool’s paradise, or never reads newspapers or watches TV. The Golden Horde phenomenon will begin there first as the inner city population moves into the more affluent areas of the cities looking for resources. As a result, those in the more affluent areas will find it necessary to flee for this reason alone, much less the denial of services that will be affecting everyone.

    I doubt that the Golden Horde will consist of several hundred desperate people moving across the landscape. As an historical example, in the Civil War, an invading army that did not have a long supply line needed to keep moving across the landscape because it consumed the resources in the area through which it marched. I do not see an ad hoc band of urban refugees having either the collective sense of purpose or the discipline to adequately manage resources it has gathered.

    The threat to those in the path of the Golden Horde will likely come from much smaller bands with a recognized leader, but these smaller bands will pose a very serious threat to those in their path who appear to be the low hanging fruit, either because they are poorly armed or are poorly organized with others for self-defense.

    For those who read this fine blog daily, the preparedness mantra has always been “Beans, bullets, and band-aids.” They would also do well to pay heed to Rudyard Kipling who said, ““A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition.”

    1. @ Survivormann99, the part where you talk about the civil war, supply lines and the golden horde is just right. In my research, the earliest reference that indirectly links the golden horde is during the transition from feudalism to democracy. Large armies were often made up of thieves, mercenary’s and criminals as paid for by a king, and often these armies became so large that they were referred to as migratory cities. Because they lacked a supply line, it was common that these armies would branch out and rob and pillage to obtain supplies. Excellent point you made here.

    2. Good point… if you want a preview of societal breakdown after SHTF, just look at most inner cities today… welfare dependence, family breakdown, violence, lack of law and order, organized crime and drug cartels (and this is during the good times!)
      Take away the welfare credit cards, well stocked grocery stores, water and sewer services and presto… instant chaos.

    3. I expect the inner cities will first turn upon themselves. Why loot the Walmart in the suburbs when you can loot the dollar store, the liquor store, and the convenience store down the street? Individual residences will not be the primary target until the stores are stripped and opportunist will only look outside their comfortable city confines when there is nothing left worth taking. And without the rule of law “taking” will includes, lives, women, and revenge. Woe to the unarmed!

      Also worth considering: A savvy group — such as a gang that already had an established chain of command and loyal well-armed members — could bypass the suburbs and go right to the closest cattle ranch where there is enough meat on the hoof to last them far longer than the food they could get from 1000 individual residences, and likely with less losses.

  6. I started prepping many years ago following an accident, surgery and weeks to recuperate , how fast the little pantry and cupboards emptied! I vowed to never have to shop coupons for groceries to provide for my family again. Since then, I am on acres, with livestock, garden, fruit trees, wild berries, two water sources and lots of canning jars and lids that get used. As well as an avid hunter, shooter, hunter and fisher. If I remember correctly, following WW II the corridor along the autobahn was stripped of resources for something like 5 miles, the Golden Horde is more fact than fiction. I constantly ask family and friends that the interstate in the cities is a parking lot after an accident, what will they expect to see if a major evacuation, due to natural disaster or terrorist action puts on the area (I-5 corridor, Puget Sound )?

    1. book recommendation;

      “Wine & War – The French, The Nazis & the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure”
      Don and Petie Kladstrup
      Broadwaybooks.com

      Interesting insight into how french wine producers dealt with the german occupation. They experienced both outright confiscation and business contracts forced upon them by Nazi officials.
      There may be some lessons here for preppers who will stay with their farm/ranch/retreat.

  7. The notion of civility being a thin veneer is illustrated by the most recent losing presidential candidate of a major party, Hillary Clinton, saying that “we cannot be civil to Republicans” until they win again. And look at the insanity of democrats PROTESTING the presence of the President going to Pittsburgh to express sympathy for the victims of a deranged shooter at a Jewish synagogue. And all of the other expressions of outrage at the election of a president they did not vote for.
    If so many people can be totally unhinged by the results of an ELECTION, imagine what they will be like when their smart phones quit working, their credit cards don’t work anymore, and their addiction to overpriced chain-store coffee kicks in. Not to mention when they can’t find such minor items as food and water. After a week, they will be killing each other for a hamburger or a pair of gloves. They will not be able to get out of town, much less walk 150 miles while foraging and pillaging.
    There will be a huge die-off, and most of them will not be missed.

      1. As long as you are prepared to answer to Jesus Christ for that belief. Those silly and deluded people are also people He loves. It would be better to pray, and to grieve for them. He does.

        1. Very true. As much as those people do make my blood boil at times, they are also His children. I do not wish to do them any harm, if at all possible. If course, I recognize that there will come a time when I’m faced with a difficult situation and I hope that I’ll face it first with deliberation andprayer and if I must do what I think I might be forced to, I also pray for His mercy. We will all need it.

  8. The recent changes do not look good for anywhere in the US. In the 1940’s on a small farm in Minnesota we at all times had the reources to live for several years on the farm well. seeds that were replanted, horses that reproduced, cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens, gardens, fire wood, etc.

    My brother lives on the same farm, 100 percent into corn and syabeans, not one animal on the farm, no garden, and heats with propane. In 1 week he will be in serious trouble for food, etc, and probably dead in a few weeks in one of the most productive farm land areas in the world. But all the small farms are gone, replaced by mono culture agribusiness so when the golden hoard arrives, they had better bring their food, seeds, tools, etc for a couple years before they can become self sufficient. My cousin, who farms the next farm and is a prepper, has his bug out location 200 miles away in a remote area with very poor soil and deep food storage. He doesn’t see any way to survive in the good farm land

    1. Don’t misunderstand, I have no intention of causing ANY harm to these people. Or ANYONE unless they come after me or my family. After all, if they are American CITIZENS they have the right to live their lives in any way they wish without intruding on the rights of others, whether I like them or not. I was merely pointing out that they will thin THEMSELVES out most likely. I am sorry that some took it to mean malice towards anyone.

  9. All excellent points and easily dismissed by the unprepared. I believe when the juice runs dry (water/gas/electric/circuits) you’re pretty much stuck where you’re at with what you have. Anyone trekking to there go-places with their go-bags are a target. Good luck! I think JWR, in his books, and the author of “One Second After” attempted to depicted life as it will become when things go south. Unfortunately, as dark as those books were, reality will probably be darker. It truly will become a dual between those who have prepared for survival and those who know no limits of depravity to take what is yours. The moral dilemma is do you become as depraved as your opponent in order to survive. There will be some hard choices for even the most prepared to face. But the most important thing is to be prepared.

  10. Thin veneer indeed…
    Even in a major SHTF situation the government and military will not disappear. Unfortunately the first response will be for the government to gather up all available resources to itself. Fuel, food, etc will be distributed to government officials and the military in order to insure “continuity.” (you don’t think the Deep State is going to go hungry do you?) It goes without saying that martial law will be imposed and the Constitution suspended.
    I can envision skirmishes between the military and roving bands of looters, as both groups will be competing for the same resources. The dangerous aspect is, there will be a “yer either fer us or ag’in us” mentality. Anyone with any kind of weapon will be considered one of the roving looters (see your average hurricane situation). If you resist the “law” confiscating your stuff, you will be put down.
    As muddykid said, historically, armies supplied themselves by looting the countryside. This has been the case from the beginning of human history.
    The prepper who has stockpiled any supplies is likely to squeezed by both sides, unless you are either far enough away from the “action”, or can hide your stuff, or can move faster than the bad guys.

    1. George Washington paid for all of the supplies for his army, unless they were freely donated by patriot supporters. That was why he was always begging Congress for money, and why the troops were starving at Valley Forge. They could have taken the local farmers’ food. They didn’t.

      Evil is a choice.

    2. Risk-reward cost-benefit analysis just aren’t there for military to go after resources in individual homes. They’ll go after producers, warehouses, depots, etc, low risk and high reward, benefits that outweigh multiple the costs.

      Only exception is if you’re in a combat zone and troops have inadequate supplies or you have something troops find particularly tasty during security patrols, etc. In that case, yes, they’ll help themselves.

      Also, most troops are unlikely to report for duty to fight folks who look like their family when their own family is at imminent risk. Exception would be if military provided safety and security, and provisions like food, for family so that those troops could operate.

  11. Don’t we have a series of golden hordes approaching our southern border from Guatemala and Honduras as we speak? They are coming from over a thousand miles away. Some are driving, but many are just walking!

    1. A note about the ‘Caravan’ of potential SQUATTERS – They are not walking here unassisted. They are being helped and enabled by those with political motives.
      People in foreign countries which are poor, are that way because while OUR American ANCESTORS were founding a country that makes prosperity for citizens possible, THEIR LEADERS WERE either filling their own pockets or INSTALLING socialism. They are now paying the price for the acts of their FOOLISH ANCESTORS .
      We are not obligated to fix their problems. If they want to be as blessed as us, they must change their own countries, NOT INVADE OURS.

      1. Nathan,

        Please look to the history of our country overthrowing elected governments of those countries you reference. Look also to the appropriation of the land farmed by humble families. Maj Gen Smedley Butler, USMC addresses the way he and his troops stole farmland from local people in service to Wall Street.

        1. Once a Marine- When we were “overthrowing elected governments of those countries” were we on the side of giving them opportunities for free markets and self-determination, or were we trying to cement them permanently into the ways of socialism and poverty ? It sounds like you are not on the side of the Angels. Are you saying that they are better off under socialism ? If so, they should go back home and live under their beloved socialism. Do you believe that WE are ? If so, you would be happier somewhere else.

          1. Nathan, my tagline Once a Marine… is part of the phrase that ends “Always a Marine”. As such, someone’s opinion of whether I am “on the side of the Angels” is of little concern to me.

            Now, would I be happier somewhere else? Good question.

            In the meantime, let’s discuss socialism for a moment. When I was eighteen, about fifty years ago, I entered a different country. This country had its own governmental system, legal system, and economy. It was assuredly NOT a democracy. Indeed, after residing there awhile, I noticed something more. While in this country, I was given free food, housing, clothing, transportation, even medical care. No charge. Well, I did have to do what I was told or face severe penalties.

            Yep, in 1968, I entered what looks to me like a socialist country, the U.S. Marine Corps. MCRD San Diego. Lock and load.

            Sure, you might disagree with my definition of “socialist”. Would you then describe the Marine Corps, and indeed the entire military as capitalist? Upon what evidence?

            Okay, this “socialist” organization depends on the money given by a capitalist country to function. Most socialist countries do.

            Perhaps, someone will join me in expanding the conversation to any organization, system, or country that looks to trample the rights and liberty of us and our neighbors.

            Carry on.

  12. Lots of times in the past I bemoaned being one of 8 children from parents born in 1915 and 1918. Our dad grew up in Portland but every summer visited his grandfather in rural far eastern oregon. In the city there were shortages of all sorts, but at grandpa’s no such thing. Food especially was always plentiful in our household. A 100×200 garden, fruit canned, meat in the freezer. Dad thought us how to fix things and problem solve our own challenges. Mom thought us how to cook and clean and can the produce. We had an 80 cow dairy, so we made most of the dairy products. we needed. Work it certainly was, in spades, but now I’m happy to be the son of depression era parents. Their struggle and knowledge passed to us is invaluable indeed!

  13. I look around me each day. From the way, people act while driving in traffic. How they act in stores. watch the stories on the morning news. About half the country is angry and violent about losing the elections and refuse to accept the election results. I picture all these angry immature people who are totally unprepared for much of anything. Losing their minds and resorting to taking other peoples food and supplies. I recommend moving to the country while you can.

  14. This article is backed up by the collapse in Argentina. Ex cops, ex soldiers, etc formed semi professional gangs. They would saturate abate questioning everyone. They asked where do you see lights after dark, hear sounds of generators, who has clean clothes, is well fed and who has lots of guns. And then the would close in on a target moving into probing attacks. The lone panicked female in trouble was used to lure victims in. Opsec is paramount in these situation. People better seriously evaluate amount of ammo, gun skills etc.

  15. I remember reading that back in the day; as we lived in lake arrowhead ca at the time. Before y2k, we choose arrowhead as a place to live to better our chances of riding out the wave of violence we anticipated.
    We were so naive back then!
    Now we live in the redoubt do to JWR advice. We have been thriving ever since.
    Thanks survival blog!

  16. We live in a formerly farming county which has been thoroughly californicated in WA.

    The challenge of giving charitably and maintaining OPSEC remains. In our well to do county even the food bank is repeatedly broken into and vandalized weekly.

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