While it's possible that when the SHTF it will occur all at once, I seriously doubt that will be the case. Most of the time, when anarchy raises its ugly head, it comes on through various signs, ratchets up, and then enters our awareness.
We're conditioned by Hollywood. A film must tell a story that will be compelling and make a return on its investment. There are very few films, made by a dedicated group of artists, that are made to tell a story to inspire or educate or to simply evoke an emotional response. The only way such independent films can be made is if those same investors can or will make other money in blockbuster films.
In Hollywood, we see a story that takes place over two hours. There isn't time for a gradually developing story. Such a story would be boring to most of the audience. Even the medium of television generally tells a compelling story within an hour frame work, though many have a gradual overarching theme.
As such, we're conditioned to expect a sudden change in any disaster. That's how it is usually told and revealed on the screen. That portrayal is false. Things don't generally just happen. An earthquake could destroy suddenly, but clues generally occur, infrastructure is not properly built, and preparation not made, and all of these contribute to it.
Do you see any signs that a looming earthquake, such as we have not ever seen, may be coming? Have you built up any infrastructure to help you cope? Have you prepared in any way that is adequate to the task?
Fear is the least effective motivator of preparation. Why is that?
Part of it, is that is foolish. Bad things happen. Sometimes they happen randomly. Assigning import to random events and making a conclusion based upon it, is extremely flawed.
Fear generates exhaustion. Every time you spike your adrenaline, you get a burst of energy, but then, tiredness follows. Do a cycle of this over and over in wasted fear, will lead to exhaustion and a lack of resolve in preparing.
Buying odd things that we do not need, will not help us, and may waste our income, is not preparation. Many of us have less income today than we normally do. Our spouses are watching, as are our children. Wasting money and effort at this point is folly. Suddenly buying a year of rice or beans if our families do not eat rice and beans will strike them as odd behaviour. It is.
I eat what I buy. I don't buy food that is expensive generally. I might on rare occasions. I eat rice and beans to save money. It is ordinary behaviour for me. Eating prudently and not wasting God's resources is a life choice. That hasn't happened suddenly, but gradually, and goes back to my early adulthood.
What does preparation mean?
People think preparation implies a future event. NO NO NO. We should be constantly preparing. It is about the now, not the future.
Living in the now implies the importance of the present. What is occurring now is vital. The person in my life is important now. My friends are important now. The people I disagree and don't get along with are important now. God is important now. Jesus is important now.
You are preparing yourself to be the best you can be now. Every act is important now. The kindness that you fail to offer up without hope of return is important now. Lavishing affection and love and friendship on your loved ones is important now.
The skills that you learn today are not set. We all can learn, and we constantly are learning, in a dynamic way to improve ourselves now. Anyone who think they've got it all figured out, don't need to change, and have done enough, have lost the WAY. They are far more lost than anyone lost in the woods.
Figuring out that you have lost the way, or that you are not doing enough, is preparation. You prepare yourself moment by moment. You learn to hunt now so you can take care of yourself and loved ones now. You identify the plants in your immediate area, look for more, read books, take classes, talk to wise ones, because you wish to live more fully and completely in the love of the Source...NOW.
You take care of the body that the Source gave you, right now, not waiting for a more opportune moment to do so. With every breath, you draw closer to a final time to be with the Source. Now is the time, not later as you grow weaker.
You know what folly is? We want to be accepted by people and valued and loved. That is all good. We want however for them to like and love us BEFORE we transform into whatever better self we can be.
Do you do that with the ones around you? Do you accept them for who they are, and who they are becoming? Or do you wish they would get over themselves and grow up?
A lot of people criticize others. They see the things in themselves that they most despise, project that in the things that others do, and hate them for it. Why? It is wasted effort.
What possible importance is that? Spend that time which is now wasted, make yourself better, now.
If you don't like someone, what they represent, and its perceived affect on you, then do something now to minimize their effect on you. There will always be _____. I hope and pray that my limits of wisdom don't ever obfuscate the fact that whatever philosophy or spiritual beliefs that I possess are NOT so superior that I am the pinnacle of the Source's creation.
There are billions of souls on this planet. Someone is better than you. Get over it. If someone is better than you, you are better than someone else. Who cares? Who is better is not important.
A huge amount of time, effort, and money is spent on adoring some entertainer or sports figure. Do a little reading. They often have so much attention, so much adoration, so much wealth, that they self-destruct. The illusion falls away. They were not better than us. Instead we often feel a momentary sadness for their tragedy. More money, lavish lifestyles, and more adoration doesn't make us happier.
When you adopt a sense of the now, and are constantly preparing to make yourself better, you spend a lot of time thinking. The more that you prepare, the more you wish to pass along the information. You realize how important these skills are. You realize how inadequate you are to the task. You realize the immensity of Creation. The interconnectedness of all things.
You become aware of a deep abiding Love and Grace. I call that the Source. It is a well of living water. Sometimes I wake with tears of gratitude. I feel so humbled that such a Presence knows my name.
Is it a delusion? If it is, and I live my whole life being kind, as good as I can be, share my love without hope of return, and teach others about the Source, but don't impose my will on them, what does it matter if it is a delusion?
What is a greater delusion? Taking money from another to have more toys is far worse. Despising another based on who they love, what they believe, and imposing my philosophy and spiritual beliefs on them. That is a wretched delusion.
You cannot change the past. We have very little control of the future. You can only prepare for the now. Live in the now. Teach your children to love completely now. Do it yourself.