Author Topic: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.  (Read 396 times)

Offline Erick

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The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« on: July 19, 2017, 05:46:19 PM »
I often see folks arguing over what to do "during SHTF" and often they are all correct even though they worry about different things due to thinking about different aspects of surviving a collapse.
This is often due to thinking about a different timeline.

So I see timeline of (attempted?) survival may best be understood as occurring in 3 broad stroke phases:

- Phase 1 SHTF has started but in away thats not yet provoking the population at large to react yet.

In phase 1 of a major pandemic (just as an example) power may still be on... gasoline may still be available, but hospitals are full and infection spreading., maybe schools closed.. The population at large will stay where they are and try to maintain jobs as long as possible. They usually have nowhere to go anyway.
Preppers will start to retrograde to their BOL (if they have them and not living there already) or making final preparations if they live at the BOL .

Or in a grid down situation (again just as an example) in phase 1 the bulk of the population may still be waiting for the power to come back on..
But preppers would be bugging out.

So in summary Phase 1 is a time where the start of of a quick slide is obvious to some but not to all, a sense of moderate normalcy is still had by most .....police still operates and road travel is still possible without firearms.
I would say this phase could as short as a couple of days days (grid down) or a slong as a few weeks (pandemic). (I am deliberately excluding a economic slide because that can take decades and doesnt meet what we are trying to describe

So in phase 1 of a collapse preppers will be enroute to their BOL or if living in the BOL buying their last supplies before hunkering down.

In this phase travel by vehicle in the may still be possible in the country without excessive risk (given proper armed precautions and a bit of stored gas) . Some small degree of police coverage may also still exist.


-Phase 2 will be the highest physical threat phase.

This phase will be marked by the population centers emptying themselves.. and millions of people are on the march to "the countryside" or "the hills" where they feel they may be able to survive.
.
And the nice friendly family father you chatted with at a rest stop 100 miles away a couple months ago, will now be a raving beast willing to kill anyone who stands in the way of feeding his family....

Some guys banding together may form dangerous but small gangs who may act collectively.

(though they are likely poorly trained... and the groups wont be very large as feeding a large group via scavenging is near impossible.... the ex-military trained or led 200 member biker gangs so beloved of novelists may never materialize in our county..even in this phase.... especially as bikes too need gas and if such large groups ever do exist they can be expected to invariably break up eventually since in order to feed a large group via scavenging you need to cover distance.. impossible w/o a reliable gas...so there is a physical ceiling for group marauder size in a collapse and its not a high ceiling... especially for mobile groups not possessing a reliable source of stored food....)

Those large populations are now fanned out from the cities... out over the countryside and "into the hills".. No matter how tucked away in the hills ...many starving people will come find us in this phase.....and by this point many of them will be armed in some fashion....

Even though numbers may be attritted already there will still be a LOT of them potentially overwhelming poor armed or trained homesteads.

Another marker of phase 2 is any semblance of collective security as provided by police/gov't will have broken down completely (no more gas for police cruisers etc) and police cannot be relied on in any way to do anything positive.

But on the whole this phase will be marked by the greatest threat of physical violence to us and one can expect frequent shoot outs and near daily/nightly attempts at our animals or other assets..

Luckily preppers should still be able to still operate 100% on stored food at this time making our tactical burden more manageable.. as we can afford to (and likely must) focus on that threat as no one will be able to perform agriculture...
Going out with a tractor or a horse drawn plow on the field would immediately unleash hordes of starving people form the bushes that will kill you to eat your horse or take your fuel.

With so many people still alive but starving security will be everything.

Expect some retreats to have changed owners after phase two.

This phase will likely last many months and phase 2 is essentially that by now everyone has figured out collapse is happening but most are still alive and fighting for survival.

3) Phase 3 will be marked by the disappearance via starvation of most unprepped people..

In other words.. the industrial society that existed before.. allowed for many more people to be supported than after a collapse. A collapse of society will also mean the collapse of the ability to feed a lot of people.
When the population number have collapsed due to starvation and violence to a point where the much reduced size of the population now matches the resources of food production.. then you have entered Phase 3.

This will GREATLY diminish the constant threat .........and firefights should be very rare at this point ...(even though retreats perceived as week may still be victimized by other less scrupulous folks)

Agriculture will have started up again to the extent capable to feed the now much reduced population.. the disappearance of the starving masses will make it finally possible to till a field with a horse without being attacked by 100 starving people wanting to eat your horse.
IMO that is a key marker of Phase 3.
Food production is possible again on a larger scale due to diminished violence has the great majority of the population had died.

Via fair trade one might even cross level some specific specialized supplies or skills.

Again those retreats without enough boots-on-the-ground or too little ammo or too untrained in use of modern firearms.. will likely have changed owners during phase 2.

A just moderately competent group can overtake almost any retreat that doesn't not have proper security at night.... with little difficulty even if the attackers are not many..

....in many cases they will have simply taken over a retreat in a surprise attack at night and killed most of its inhabitants likely sparing only very few ......the young women as non threats will almost certainly be kept and may even adapt into relatively loyal members of the "new" retreat , (Stockholm syndrome as a common survival mechanism) especially once they had children from the attackers...,

.. look for society becoming much more medieval in culture as medieval society was adapted to a low resource pastoral lifestyle+ plus violence)

So in summary the final and only stable phase, Phase 3 will be marked by a roughly functioning society that has found a balance between the number of people alive and the ability to work the land via reduced efficiency in grid down.
Its hard to say what timeline might be
...

I think the fundamental reason folks on internet often argue what the best survival strategy is after a collapse , is they are all thinking about different phases of a collapse as the SHTF based on the novels they read the most.

PS: I do Disaster Analysis for a living.
PS#2: Edited for typos grammar and general clarity. More edits likely coming.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 09:58:32 PM by Erick »
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Offline Jackalope

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Re: The phasing of SHTF - My cut at it.
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2017, 06:55:47 PM »
Erick, I agree with your assessment regarding the phases, for the most part.  I think of phase II as "hunker in a bunker".  However, I'm not sure how large the roving population will be.  I would imagine that the scarcity of fuel would limit travel, so folks are going to be traveling on foot.  That brings additional problems to these roving survivors, as there will be extreme competition for food sources initially, especially in heavily populated areas, and there are the physical limitations of the refugees.  I imagine too that there will be a significant die-off due to sanitary conditions, water contamination etc.  Depending upon the time of year and the topography, that will also cause attrition to the "golden" horde.  Winter weather conditions in the northern latitudes will severely limit travel, and only the fittest will survive.  It will be much better to be hunkered down in a well defended position, rather than being a starved refugee.  Being on the defense is not necessarily bad, as it takes a larger force to overcome a well defended location, and in this case, distance/remoteness can be your friend.  Vigilance will be necessary, and force multipliers will be helpful. We can only imagine different possible scenarios, but I think I can say without question that it will be hell on earth.

Offline JoJo

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Re: The phasing of SHTF - My cut at it.
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2017, 07:44:59 PM »
 Though I generally agree with your assessment of SHTF in every section of the country the die off will be totally different and even different at different times of the year. There will be plenty of staples on the DELMARVA, wheat, corn and soy beans from June until October. Plus millions of chickens and fishing, crabbing also digging for clams, oysters and crabbing. If SHTF in winter there will also be full silos of grain and chickens.   
 We are one tank of gas from large populations and in summer and I think the vacationers would head home. That is if SHTF isn't a nuclear war.
Then I will have to hope sanitation or lack of will decimate them quickly.
 I think your right on on everything else. I feel everyone should take stock of their area for what is there at each time of year.

Great post ERICk.       
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Offline Erick

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 07:45:05 PM »
Good comments jackalope and JoJo!  :thumbsUp:
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Offline JohnyMac

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2017, 08:18:18 AM »
I saw that you posted this assessment earlier in the week but I was to busy to give it the time to read and then comment.

First off Erick, I too like JoJo and Jackalope, agree with your assessment. One other thing IMO to add to Phase Two is internal strife within the compound and community. People living together under stress would or could cause problems - Same roof or localized community.

Many cultures have no problems with multiple families living and sharing a house whether they be friends or family. Fore the most part, this is not the case in the American culture.

To add to your great write-up Erick, I would love to read what you and others think will be the greatest threats like: Pandemic, economic, EMP/CME, other?

« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 06:35:03 AM by JohnyMac »
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Offline JoJo

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2017, 12:41:18 PM »
Quote
To add to your great write-up Erick, I would love to read what you and others think will be the greatest threats like: Pandemic, economic, EMP/CME, other?

 I think an EMP would be the most devastating because it will come without a warning. First off the people would not understand what happened. No radio, cell phone or TV to tell them. The criminals would start looting first and have the majority of the food. By the time they figure it out it will be to late. 
 Preppers have a pretty good idea what is needed to survive, they will have no idea. Hunters and fishermen will last longer but they will also succumb after awhile.   
"Political correctness is a doctrine,
fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and
rabidly promoted by an
unscrupulous mainstream media,
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
to pick up a turd by the clean end."

Offline Erick

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2017, 03:08:13 PM »
CME should give some warning of a couple of days.
Enough for us preppers to take a day off from work and head to the BOL , unless we already live there.
of if neither then at least buy extra food/fuel and/or get the Silver/Gold out of the Bank lock boxes.

EMP attack like JoJo said will be hard on everyone even preppers due to its surprise characteristic.

I am changing my job to one where I will no longer do all that international travel I did in the past ( remember my Chernobyl/priyat picture thread?)
International travel can be fun+educational but from a preppers perspective is very risky.

Pandemic is a threat we know is coming eventually.
there is no way around it.
Humanity has never been as connected as this, never as mobile , never as densely populated and never has so much live-stock living in close proximity to each other in high density "range".
Unless a different catastrophe ends the factors above a pandemic will come.
Question is.. is it in 4 weeks? 4 years? or 40 years? Its impossible to tell

But this is IMHO on of the most likely causes the other one is societal unrest.

I direct everyone's attention to Matt Bracken's brilliant essay "when the music stops" which see.
Thats the other high likelihood mechanism IMO.

 :zombitron:
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 03:17:02 PM by Erick »
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Offline Jackalope

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2017, 04:13:17 PM »
    I see Pandemic, EMP Strike, and Financial Collapse as the three most likely, in that order.  However, one major event may not be enough to cause an apocalyptic situation.  I believe in the domino failure theory, or cascading failures, which are best illustrated in Roberto Vacca's tome, "The Coming Dark Age".  Vacca was an early computer systems analyst who has excellent insight as to the interdependence of civilization and how unintended consequences can disrupt society.
     Jim Kunstler's fictional apocalyptic "World Made by Hand" novels use a flu pandemic, and nuclear attacks to cause a world wide collapse.  Kunstler's novels are realistic because they demonstrate how difficult it would be to survive on a day to day basis, while reverting back to 19th century technology.  Erick's proposed second phase is mild in these novels, because travel is limited, and the population has greatly diminished due to a pandemic.
      I don't know if it's because of the internet or what, but it seems as though there are more global hotspots than ever in history.  I've been an active survivalist since the late 70's, and it just seems like more tension than I can ever remember.

Offline JohnyMac

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2017, 06:52:50 AM »
As Jackalope wrote, "I don't know if it's because of the internet or what, but it seems as though there are more global hotspots than ever in history." Yupper!

As you also wrote Jackalope, "However, one major event may not be enough to cause an apocalyptic situation.  I believe in the domino failure theory, or cascading failures, which are best illustrated in Roberto Vacca's tome, "The Coming Dark Age"." Yupper again. Its called "The Perfect Storm."

At home here in the USofA we are seeing a quite coup going on by the elites in the press and in Washington, DC. Mr. Trump is this factions target. Remember, I did not vote for Trump however even I can see it.

Add to this action another one or two events and who knows what could happen. The event (s), like has already been mentioned, could take a period of time to come to fruition.

What will be the catalyst? Not unlike whipping up egg whites - Add a dash of cream of tarter and you get to hard peaks much faster with less effort.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 10:09:07 AM by JohnyMac »
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Offline Kbop

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2017, 09:57:53 AM »
Erik, nicely done  :thumbsUp:
sounds a little like the Rise and Fall or the Roman Empire.
i just hope that the phase one into phase 2 goes fast.  if not the powers that be will start to cannibalize itself in an attempt to survive.  Long wars, over resources, wiping out entire generations.  raising taxes to levels that impoverish the masses (i seem to be a member of 'the masses').  look at what happened to the Ukrainian farmers just after the Soviet revolution.  the state starved its farmers to keep the state controlled cities alive.

i think the faster phase one and two go, the better off the survivors will be. Phase 3 will just be a mess - history shows that nothing dies easy - it is always a mess.
...
Phase 4 - rebuild.
-
its all about available energy during P1-P3.  Like any complex system the energy is gathered during P1, used up during P2.  P3 is just the inevitable fall out of an adjustment to a new norm.  'resetting civilization to a new carrying capacity'
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oversimplifying;  prepping is saving energy for the low energy times.  a cheap morakniv will be very valuable when wallyword or amazon is no more.  food is one example - today wheat & rice is cheap to buy.  trying to grow and prepare to eat an acre of it by hand takes hundreds of man hours of labor - saved for a time when that labor isn't available, it's priceless.
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My goal it to survive or my heirs to survive phase 3 and try to hit the ground running during the rebuilding 'era'.
-
@Erik  :bravo:
Murphy was an optimist.

Offline Erick

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2017, 09:21:38 PM »
Thank you for the kind words Kbop  :cheers:
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Online CJS06

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2017, 10:42:57 AM »
Great subject and thought from everyone.  As Erick pointed out in one post a travel and the frequency in which society now moves about will add an interesting dynamic.  First if you are the one traveling then many of your best plans and preps become ineffective.  Of course this does depend on the purpose, location, and method of said travel.  No matter how you look at it if you are traveling frequently it is not ideal.

Also as Kbop pointed out much will be determined by the pace from Phase 1 to Phase2.

 The longer this takes the more the central gov will try to dig in to maintain some semblance of control. The more that goes on that will strain the resources of even the most "prepared".  If the remaining power structure makes the hoarding of gold/silver illegal then it loses its viability for trading for a potentially significant period during a time when resources will be strained past most comprehensible levels.

Offline Erick

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Re: The phasing of a society's Collapse - My cut at it.
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2018, 03:35:24 PM »
Bump!

Since the subject came up in another thread  :dance:
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