Social Collapse

It might be a good time to discuss the possibility of social collapse.  As a risk manager I always tell my clients “it my job to consider the worst-case scenario”.  While conducting some research I ran across an article written in 2008 by Dmitry Orlov.  https://www.resilience.org/stories/2008-02-26/five-stages-collapse/ Below I have quoted a specific passage however as you read it think how you can put each one into context today.

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost. The future is no longer assumed resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out, and access to capital is lost.

Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down, and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.

Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost. As official attempts to mitigate widespread loss of access to commercial sources of survival necessities fail to make a difference, the political establishment loses legitimacy and relevance.

Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost. As local social institutions, be they charities, community leaders, or other groups that rush in to fill the power vacuum, run out of resources or fail through internal conflict.

Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost. People lose their capacity for “kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity” (Turnbull, The Mountain People). Families disband and compete as individuals for scarce resources. The new motto becomes “May you die today so that I die tomorrow” (Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago). There may even be some cannibalism.

As a security professional and as a father I am considering the real possibility that we may face a serious social break down.  I am not a conspiracy theorist or a “prepper” however having a plan is not such a bad idea.

With all that said I have not lost complete faith in humanity however it is possible to see how each stage is being realized.  So, I have started to make some basic preparations which I will share.  This is by no means a perfect list and I welcome comments that will help me and others on items missed.

First you have to realize your restrictions.  Meaning you cannot pack your entire house up if you need to leave. So, keeping the list simple and executable is important.

  • I contacted my home owners insurance carrier and bumped up my coverage.  The thought was that if I had to leave and upon my return my home was burned down what is the worth of everything I would need to replace.
  • A check list – I started my prep with a check list of items I have on hand, items I need to buy and where those items are located.  This will help if you need to leave quickly.
  • Exit strategy – If I have to leave where am I going?  I have a pre-determined location where I can meet up with others.  Simple rule Safety in numbers…
  • Food and Water, non-perishable food items and plenty of water.  I didn’t mess around with water bottles rather I purchased the big water cooler style bottles of water.  Everyone is buying cases of water and these jugs are left unpurchased
  • Clothing- no need to pack all your cloths grab functional clothing, not clothing for fashion. Durable shoes, jackets socks and underwear
  • Personal Hygiene products – enough for a long period of time how long is up to you
  • Medications, pain killers, vitamins
  • Flashlights, with spare batteries
  • Pocket knives preferably utility tool such as a Leatherman
  • Refillable water bottles
  • Medical kits, gauze alcohol, bandages, tourniquets, band-aids, Neosporin
  • Lighters and candles.  Candles should be in containers so when burned the melted wax is contained. Candles are fore light not for fragrance.
  • Pet food, collars, leashes if you have pets.
  • Trash bags, zip locks bags
  • Fuel Cans for vehicle gas, filled
  • Sleeping bags, blankets and pillows
  • Towels, hand and bathing
  • Plastic cups, bowls, plates, forks, knives, spoons
  • Pot, Pan and minimal cooking utensils
  • Paper products – Paper towels, toilet paper, wet wipes
  • Soap – dish soap and laundry soap
  • Physical Cash – minimum of $100
  • Charging cords for your devices
  • Backpacks
  • Spare reading glasses or prescription glasses
  • Personal items, laptops, paperwork, jewelry etc.
  • Optional items if you can, camping stove with propane, generator, ice chest

Lastly guns and ammo and personal protective kit.  Some may see this as controversial however if you are put in the worst-case scenario how else to you expect to protect yourself and your family?

Once you have packed what you can, stage it for easy access.  This list is by no means everything you could consider however I believe it is realistic and executable by anyone.

People are smart, mobs of people are dumb.  Be safe out there… Remember plan and prepare for the worst and hope for the best….