Great and interesting thread. Very thought provoking. Do you think this break down will take place in 20 days or so? Quoting: Harper77
I fear for Americans if anything comes down in the way you point out. We are so pampered. None of my real time friends will even talk about any form of societal breakdown. I wish there were ways to wake up Americans to think beyond Walmart shopping and American Idol and dancing with the stars. I might need their help one day. I have the feeling most of us in rural areas will wake up the next day after a collapse and be fine except for having no idea what struck. No skills. No plans. The shock and awe will be so overwhelming to most that they will die so to speak without a start to survival.
First question: No. I'm not a Mayan calendar proponent. If it does, it does.
The more important question is the original one about survivability. I hope you prepare an answer for that one.
Winter though is the worst time, and truthfully the lean time for most tribal people for much of history. Why? Water, enough food, and disease. From November-June was an extremely tough period with many deaths. The best prepared suffered least as long as contagion didn't take hold. That wasn't as likely due to limited travel. People who were hunter/gatherers didn't venture out very far from winter camps for there is such limited food supply versus expended energy to harvest it. You could easily be disabled by an accident especially if alone. You could snowblind. You could fall into a crevasse in the ice sheet.
For supply chains, a consideration is weather and its affect on transportation. Ice and snow can make traffic perilous on declines. Of course bad weather in the scenario will only worsen the supply chain disruptions. It also would limit anyone bugging out. It also would delay military and technicans deploying to regions. If rivers are frozen, then it limits barge traffic. They often bring in more salt upon higher demand, and likewise issues of less coal coming in.
Rural folks do have agriculture, at least the potential for it, as well as a few who do raise crops. But there's a flipside, isn't there? Warehousing for items will largely be in urban locations and scattered hubs. Most of those rural people are needing supplies too.
Consider this: as refugees flee, where do they go? The likely answer is a little down the road to a place where they wipe their brow and think, "It's probably far enough." The problem is they'll buy whatever they can from merchants in that location. Because initially this will fuel a temporary massive sale of inventory, a lot of rural merchants will be pleased. At some point, they'll be concerned as massive amounts of credit cards and debit cards are no longer going through.
A lot of franchises are in these rural areas, and those companies have administrators watching. They'll wonder if those bills will ever get paid by the banks and by people on credit. The same with check transactions.
Rural folks who are not worried could suddenly see empty grocery, drugstores, restaraunts, gas stations, use up all their supplies. Motels will be sold out. How will you evict people taking up residence and using your water resources.
Some smart motel user will sell water out of their motel room. Wait and see.
The refugees will be like locusts consuming up rural inventory. Rural people are not safe from this, not unless their city is far far away from the main interstate.
As there are progressively longer traffic jams, many will pull off to secondary roads with typically slower traffic, but will actually go faster. They'll do the same things to these smaller communities who don't normally get so many sales, and the same things will play out.
At some point, alarmed residents will rush to also buy up items...what few remain.
Some residents, and most likely county sheriffs will consult with their mayor and probably block off exits. They don't want to get hammered with new residents that may shoot livestock for food, a very likely scenario versus hunting. Think about it. Isn't it plausible?
Try to imagine the events in the scenario, then think of reasonable things that would happen.
Let's go back to items in stores and service stations. Some people will have cash. Store owners will be glad for it. One in every a hundred transactions is done in currency today. It helps the merchant reduce handling it, and registers being "short". However, they may not have the capability to make change. So if that happens, then sales stop.
Think outside the box, but in realistic ways.