Why I think far more people will die in a collapse in the first few weeks
When I was young, I saw a documentary about fire troopers. They're the brave souls who rush into a forest that's on fire to help control it. They sure can't put it out. I'd never thought of that before. It made sense. There's so much fuel, oxygen, and lots of sparks, how could they hope to haul enough chemicals and water to extinguish it?
So how did they do it? They deliberately burned a zone in front of the fire's direction. The fire must seek new unburnt fuel to continue. It can't go back, 1)unless it burns roots underground and travels that way, or 2)jumps across a zone like an extinguished match will reignite when above a fire. This deliberately burned area is called a firebreak.
[link to farm6.staticflickr.com
It doesn't always work, but it works a lot of the time.
Over here, we're talking about urban areas and the need for supply chains to provide food to cities, and supplies to purify water, and supplies to run the utilities or transportation. Thread: Human survivability with supply chain disruptions and its effect on populations
Now earlier this week, I posted an image of population density and discussing why I felt that the Northeast was particularly in a rough spot for bugging out.
[link to mapcollection.files.wordpress.com
I want you think about why these areas are so dangerous when the SHTF and moving toward collapse. As people began to realize that the government cannot move fast enough to source water, food, fuel, and generators plus soldiers and technicians to an affected area, then people will either bug in or bug out. The ones who bug in are either a)preppers or b)hardy souls who are trying their best or c)sociopaths hoping to loot enough. The ones who leave (bugging out) are either a)preppers who feel it's hopeless b) refugees c)sociopaths looking for survival and hoping to live off of fleeing people.
Either way, as people leave they can only take enough food, water, supplies, and themselves to perceived safe zones. At some point, they'll run out of some supply, most likely fuel first. Or they might get stuck in the world's worse mass traffic jam. Of course the people ahead of them have also taken their stuff. It's a domino effect for the people in the back. Whoever is in the front of the line, might make it.
Those who stayed will see a lot of brief violence as non-preppers seek loot and survive for a time. I imagine that smart mayors and critical infrastructure folks who are trying to maintain order will commandeer supplies and pay through promissory notes to merchants. This means a lot of things which are very valuable will be taken and unable to be looted. It's the logical thing to do.
Think of supplies as fuel as a metaphor. If the supplies are taken like a fire trooper creates a firebreak, then the fire will burn out. Sociopaths who intend to loot will find less and less, and unless skilled unable to source more. They'll die of dehydration and starvation, not to mention illness and violence. Truthfully the lack of water and fluids will kill most.
Those who bugged out will also be unable to source supplies and that fire (coming from the Horde of refugees) will burn out.
I truthfully think that if you have even a month or two of supplies, that if you can consume them and not have them taken, that most of the unorganized refugees and sociopaths will perish during that period.
That's not enough however, and this is why I've been putting up tips. There are lots of supplies around us, but with current population levels, the areas are not adequate enough...based upon the carrying capacity. Those who bug-in may survive longer than 2 months if they have even more supplies, skills, and seed. As the sixth month mark comes around, very few refugees and sociopaths will still be alive...only the hardest toughest ones, and hence extremely dangerous.