This is a satirical article I wrote for another website a few years ago. That website disappeared a long time ago, but I found this article on one of my backup drives and uploaded it here. Intended to be taken as a joke, in case you don't get it from the content. Enjoy!
Surviving the collapse of society
The Greek Empire was huge. It was stable, was way more advanced than anything that had come before it ... and it collapsed. The Roman Empire was huge, had great advances in technology, huge cities and its citizens enjoyed long healthy lives (compared to other civilisations of the time). It too collapsed. Likewise the Babylonians, the Huns and many other great and powerful civilisations have collapsed.
Most recently, the British Empire collapsed, though in a much slower and less self destructive way. Most of the colonies are now independent, its navy is barely in the top ten navies worldwide and it has much less influence than it used to. Its Monarchy can't even order executions on a whim any more (at least not publicly).
So there is a good precedent on societies collapsing. How prepared are you?
The time to prepare is now!
There are many things that you can do today to help prepare yourself for the collapse of society. It has often been said that "society is just three missed meals away from collapse". Picture this scenario:
There are some basic things that you can do to prepare yourself in order to survive.
- Stockpile Food: But not just any type of food. You need to have a good supply on hand of non-perishable food (remember that the fridge won't work). And food that you are used to eating. There's no point in hoarding canned peaches if you don't like to eat canned peaches.
- Go into Lockdown: If you are going to be stockpiling food, then it will be too much for you to carry around with you. So you wll need to asses where you are living and decide how easily it can be defended, how exposed you are, how dependent you are on others and so on. Also, what resources will be available if you need to forage.
- Stay Mobile: If you decide that you current dwelling is unsuitable to ride out the collapse of society, then it is a good idea to be able to move at a moments notice. A car is good because you can travel far and carry a lot of stuff with you, but what happens when you run out of gas? A bike is a better idea, but you'd need to pack light. If you are going to have to walk, then make sure you start getting fit now. A little extra flab will fight off starvation for a bit longer, but it'll slow you down and make you a more tempting target to those who turn cannibal.
- Lock and Load! Get a gun. If you can't get a gun, get a knife - or better yet, several knives. Can't get a knife? Aluminium baseball bats are light enough to carry and strong enough to bash heads in. The sound of a shotgun pumping is a great motivator to request trespassers to leave your property. And have loads of ammo on hand! An empty gun is only a threat until you need it - then it will go very badly for you, because if you needed the gun, it's because you were up against someone you couldn't beat physically.
- Get a Family: This one sounds kind of odd, but it makes sense. It does not have to be your blood family, any group of people who stick together will do as a "family". More eyes means that you will see trouble from further away. A group will be able to fight of invaders more easily. You will be able to take turns sleeping so everybody is rested whilst always having someone to keep an eye on everyone. It worked for the Neanderthals, it can work for you!
The best way to stockpile food is to simply buy more of what you are eating today. Just put the new stuff at the back and take from the front. That way you don't have to stampede down to the mall with everyone else and risk getting injured over the last bag of dog food. Most shops will have specials on certain items at different times. Just buy more of what you would normally buy. Bulk purchases at Costco or other bulk shops are a great way to save money. Plus, if society does not collapse, you'll still be covered for the lean times.
When you are assessing your current dwelling there are many aspects to consider. Windows are always a weak point. How many windows do you have? How big are they? If you live in an apartment building, then living above the ground floor is an advantage, but it will make you vulnerable if the building is attacked. Marauders setting fire to the lower floors will make it a bad day for you. Do you have enough supplies so that you don't have to go out very often? If you need to constantly forage, then you will be giving other people the advantage of knowing where you are based.
On the other hand, if you decide that you want to stay on the go, then you will carefully need to consider your mode of transportation. A car is good, but you will need to buy an old one that you can easily repair yourself with minimal tools. There is a reason that there are so many old cars driving around Cuba. Also, diesel is easier to stockpile, is less prone to blowing up on a hot summer day and won't go off as fast (most people don't know that regular petrol only has a six month shelf life - after that it won't work too well).
Another thing to consider is a motorbike. They are more manoeuvrable than a car, can go places a car can't, have a longer range than a bicycle or walking and have some load carrying capacity. The disadvantages are that they are easy to steal, easy to fall over, don't come in diesel versions and are very noisy. When there is no Johnny Lawman to call, noise is the last thing that you want.
Guns are great. You can hunt with them, you can discourage unwanted visitors with them, you can steal stuff from people and when push comes to shove - you can make sure that someone won't annoy you ever again. There are some places where it can be hard to get a gun. If society collapses overnight, then it's as easy as going to the local gunsmith and stealing one or two (don't forget the ammo!), assuming that the shop owner isn't there to discourage you from taking his guns. If society is collapsing slowly, then that might make it harder. You'd still need to go through the normal procedures for buying a gun - which might exclude you from being able to get one. There are usually plenty available on the black market, though if that is your only option then it is best to get one now before the prices go up.
And humans are a pack animal. Although there is the occasional individual who prefers to "do it alone", most people prefer to hang out with other people. If you don't have a blood family to hang out with, strangers with similar goals can do just as well. Normally when strangers get together, they will first look at the outward appearance, then look for common ideals and finally get together to face a common enemy. If none of these apply but there is still danger lurking about, then people tend to not trust people they don't know and will fear strangers. Be wary of approaching groups of people when you are on your own - one of them might be a gun-toting maniac.
In conclusion, you have two options. First, prepare now and be ready for when society collapses. Second, don't be prepared and get caught up in the last minute panic when society collapses. And if it does not collapse, then at least you'll make the local paper with "nutjob builds bunker" headlines.
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