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Apocalyptic Survival Basic Questions  RSS feed

 
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Hello All,

I saw the Apocalyptic Survival thread and read some of the responses.  The question that seems to jump out to me and which I did not see asked:

What are you trying to survive?

What do you see as the threats to your current lifestyle?

What or who is the potential cause of these threats or cataclysmic events?

I guess my thought is that if you do not know what you are trying to survive, how will you ever even begin to prepare for it?

Bombs away everyone!  I mean that in the sense of bombing this post, not our countryside.  ;-)

Sincerely,

Ralph
 
pollinator
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These are some huge questions with very long and complex answers. Here are a few thoughts.

This is just a guess, but I imagine that many people are concerned with economic collapse, often directly or indirectly related to the environment and declining resources. The US in particular seems to be in a state of decline, and has been for a while.

As to lifestyle, I think a lot of people fear their income being compromised, which could happen even in something as "mild" as a recession. For me, a big threat to my lifestyle is loss of infrastructure, and also community/regional/national instability that could come from that. In the US we just don't generally have the infrastructure to survive without electricity, which makes grid infrastructure or solar panels a necessity for almost everyone. Running water is dependent on electricity, for example, and a lot of homestead agriculture is dependent on running water in turn.

It's hard to put into words, but...it's difficult to prepare to transition into a new economy. It's easy to be "before your time." What I mean, is that it's hard to find something relevant and economical right now that will be relevant and economical in a changed (more sustainable, possibly post collapse or post decline) economy. For example, I know of a woman who raises lard pigs for a living. Another friend described her as being "before her time." In other words, lard pigs totally make a lot of sense for sustainable, low impact, permaculture life, but they just aren't in demand yet. It's really hard to set up every aspect of your life so that it can make that kind of a transition. Does that make sense to everyone? I'm not sure how to convey what I'm trying to say
 
Ralph Kettell
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James Landreth wrote:These are some huge questions with very long and complex answers. Here are a few thoughts.




I knew that when I asked it, but rather than starting the post with what I view are my version of all the permutations and combinations, I figured I would sit back and see what the collective comes up with.  Then I can watch and comment periodically.  

Good summary of the potential economic collapse scenario!  Thanks.
 
gardener
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Ralph Kettell:
Good questions! Those questions are what people who are into this tend to ask first. The answers are specific to each person. Hearing other people's answers might give you ideas about what your own are, but in the end, we all have our own answers, and our own reasons. I say this to head off any possible "well that's a bad reason" type response from anyone. Because we can all have different ones. It's like " what do you want to get out of Permaculture?" There are thousands of good answers, and your mileage WILL vary.

:D
 
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My thoughts on this are fairly simple.  No matter the disaster or emergency,  humans need certain things to survive.  Water,  food,  and shelter are needed whether you are trying to survive a temporary power outage,  or an all- out end of the world scenario.  Those need to be the first focus to prepare for any disaster.  I think most people would agree that a means to defend your family or community is important.  That can mean being unobtrusive,  armed,  fenced in,  protected by guard dogs, isolated,  or a combination of these and other things. Smart money in my opinion is to prepare for whatever you think the most likely disaster is and build from there.  Many people will do nothing,  and that seems the worst choice to me.  Some people will have some food,  water,  a way to prepare food,  and a means to stay warm if that is an issue in their area.  Probably some light source and a few other creature comforts.  This type of preparing is just common sense to me,  and covers the most likely occurrences.  After that,  you're only limited by your time,  imagination,  and income.
 
Ralph Kettell
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Trace Oswald wrote: My thoughts on this are fairly simple.  No matter the disaster or emergency,  humans need certain things to survive.  Water,  food,  and shelter are needed whether you are trying to survive a temporary power outage,  or an all- out end of the world scenario.  Those need to be the first focus to prepare for any disaster.  I think most people would agree that a means to defend your family or community is important.  That can mean being unobtrusive,  armed,  fenced in,  protected by guard dogs, isolated,  or a combination of these and other things. Smart money in my opinion is to prepare for whatever you think the most likely disaster is and build from there.  Many people will do nothing,  and that seems the worst choice to me.  Some people will have some food,  water,  a way to prepare food,  and a means to stay warm if that is an issue in their area.  Probably some light source and a few other creature comforts.  This type of preparing is just common sense to me,  and covers the most likely occurrences.  After that,  you're only limited by your time,  imagination,  and income.



Hi Trace,  You are absolutely correct, but the reason for my question is to frame the problem or types of problems and then later look to solutions.  For example, if the problem is or includes a high altitude EMP then your plans would need to address that one way or another.  So if you are depending on off-grid solar your response/preparation would have to be different under an EMP scenario.
 
Ralph Kettell
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Ralph Kettell:
Good questions! Those questions are what people who are into this tend to ask first. The answers are specific to each person. Hearing other people's answers might give you ideas about what your own are, but in the end, we all have our own answers, and our own reasons. I say this to head off any possible "well that's a bad reason" type response from anyone. Because we can all have different ones. It's like " what do you want to get out of Permaculture?" There are thousands of good answers, and your mileage WILL vary.

:D



I already know what my answers are and there are no bad answers to these questions.  The obvious ones will be obvious to many people but others less so.  I did not want to color the answers by posting a lengthy list to begin with.  I hope it is enlightening.
 
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This is a website read by people around the world. So the answers to what apocalypse to prepare for differs depending on what continent or country you reside in. For some the problem will be ice increasing, for others ice melting. Some could have volcanoes, others drought, still others flooding and some, -fires.

But the one thing that will bring an apocalypse like event to any country is the imposition of socialism. (Merriman-Webster Dictionary:  1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.) Every single time socialism has been tried anywhere in the world, it has failed spectacularly, and people, lots of people, have died. Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, Kampuchea under the Khmer Rouge, Cuba, East Germany, and most recently, Venezuela. All terrible failures. And far more millions of people have died as the result of that system, than by any other form of gov't ever.

So, what is the best way to prepare for, and stop, a possible socialist Armageddon? Know it's evil. Guard against it taking root. And possibly read the documents of the American founding fathers, and The Constitution of the United States of America. It is Liberty, Freedom and Equality for All that is the best guard against an apocalypse.
 
master pollinator
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I'm prepping for Tiger Attack, and the Zombie Apocalypse, both of which are equally likely.

(Actually I prep for likely natural disasters such as floods and ice storms, both of which we've already experienced here. I'm also beginning to prep for my old age. )
 
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I think when the frog got placed into the pot with the rising temperature was the moment he entered the apocalypse.  "Gee, it kind of feels better in here!  Everyone else climb on in!"  The trick to me isn't surviving the coming apocalypse, it's climbing back out because we're in it and trying to help others do the same, otherwise gradualism will take out almost everyone.  Setting up a Permie paradise is a way to demonstrate to others that there are other options that are so, so much better.  I think a lot of folks want to get out of the pot but they can't see the better alternative.  We need to show them.
 
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I'm a believer that luck/location will have more to do with a catastrophic world collapse survival situation.  Something like rapid climate change, meteor impact, nuclear war, zombies?,  etc.  
The point being the most prepared person with the best setup, will not outlive the least prepared person assuming the point of impact lands directly on the most prepared.....
obviously, given the same general location, the most prepared would most likely do better than the less prepared.  
Those scenarios seem unlikely to me, and seem more like a place where the people who died outright might have been the "lucky" ones.  The survivors of those scenarios probably won't be enjoying life much, and happily homesteading.  IN MY OPINION.


The most realistic reason I could think to want to prepare for a change in lifestyle (by no means "apocalyptic") is the oncoming of automation/a.i.

Artificial intelligence will displace millions of people from paying jobs, and those people will need a way to survive in a simpler less $$$ driven world.  Learning to coexist with the land, and have tight knit communities with common goals makes sense in that kind of scenario.

Maybe permaculture will play a large part in how these people are able to cope with that change.

Or something like that.  You get the gist of what I'm trying to say.
 
Tyler Ludens
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It's remarkable that few people mention prepping for loss of a job/career, even though that is a common "disaster." (my industry virtually disappeared, and so did my career).  Prepping for serious illness is also important but more difficult.  Most prep-worthy scenarios benefit from including community in our plans, in my opinion.

 
Ralph Kettell
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I'm prepping for Tiger Attack, and the Zombie Apocalypse, both of which are equally likely



Actually Tyler I live near to a large cat sanctuary, so the chance of a Tiger attack is significantly higher, although there is a small family cemetery plot close by.  ;-)

Sincerely,

Ralph
 
Tyler Ludens
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You're right, Ralph, I was in error.  According to data, there is a statistical chance of being attacked by a tiger in the US, though unless one owns or works around tigers it is extremely low.  We don't know the chance of Zombie Apocalypse since one has not yet occurred. I'm guessing, and planning on it being, extremely low also.

 
pollinator
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Jim Fry wrote: And possibly read the documents of the American founding fathers, and The Constitution of the United States of America. It is Liberty, Freedom and Equality for All that is the best guard against an apocalypse.



Though I am a fan of the U.S. Constitution and don't believe it needs to be re-cast, I do take objection to the many of the documents of the founding fathers, namely the Federalist Papers. I don't believe they are a reflection of their altruism for starting a nation. Ever wonder why we don't study equally the anti-federalist papers? Most people don't even know there are equally compelling and quantity of anti-federalists papers. The winners get to write history. Motivations of the founding fathers who were federalist was not primarily to stem slavery, but to support large urban businesses that has already established themselves. They did not originate the Bill of Rights. Most of these federalists were simply wanting to protect market share by being able to control the legislature of a federalist government. And, since they won out because of a constitutional compromise by the agrarians (anti-federalists) who fought for personal rights, we ended up with a large centralized government. Federalizing systems is not much different, in my opinion, than socializing them. Which, as you've pointed out, has failed miserably. I love this country, a bit less than I used to, but I also don't have any delusions about the truth of what has happened to us from the very founding of our nation. Powerful interests will always be self interested no matter what their messages are. This truth has always been, and will always be, even after some type of SHTF situation. The secret is to either be unnoticeable if you're against the self-interested power or to be mobile enough to avoid it. The current abdication of the citizenry from participating in civic events and government has paved the way for a class of rulers who perpetually protect their position in government by legislation and regulation and provide protection for businesses in the same way. There are no statesmen. This is what we must prepare ourselves for even now.
 
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A pandemic like the pneumonic plague will kill a lot more people now than in the middle ages, cities are super dense. The insect collapse of 70% in 30 years is extremely underreported. They phyto plankton in the oceans has greatly diminished. The bee collapse is tied in to these. People do not care for the small, they fail to see that the bottom of the food chain is collapsing and how that will ever influence them. Mass extinctions of endangered species. Chinese drive up the hunt for endangered species to freeze them in and eat sell them for the rich to eat. Habitat extinction is driving this. Desertification, oceans devoid of fish, trailers with miles long netting catching everything creating dead zones. Plastic soup, miniscule particles of plastic in mothersmilk. Deforestation, the EU has been cutting Oregon old growth to ship to Europe for incinerators to create "green" energy. The EU is generally considered tough on environment. Bolsonaro wants to industrialize the Amazon rain forest. The magnetic field of the earth is weakening because of the beginning of the pole shifts, a huge solar flame directed at earth could take the grid out for ten years.
The misconception politicians can change this general direction. Even in the extremely unlikely case we do tackle climate change, we will not escape the wrath of the small list i concocted above. Small i say, because would i have tried i would have been able to make it a lot longer and scarier, but i got to stay happy and smiley all through the day squeezing dollars out of my fellow humans , supporting this insane global death machine.
Gardening and permaculture is the solution, it supports all life systems, it keeps active, it keeps depression at bay, it cuts through political clutter, it keeps health cheap, it is basic ,real and complete, with or without apocalypse.
 
pollinator
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The biggest thing is to prep our body and mind. Sure marksman hand-eye coordination shooting practice is good, but even better is daily dose of healthy nutrient dense food, extra water, flexibility+strength+cardio exercise, 8hrs of sleep, etc. If we mentally cant handle a stress day at 'work/school/home' without freaking out/smoking a pack/popping some pill/lashing out at the kids or partner/etc, etc, how are we suppose to react and lead in a truly stressful SHTF. We have to do zone 0 our body before we do others stuff.

Now lets say our zone 0 (self) is optimal, our next focus would be:
Air, Water, Food, Shelter, Touch/Community, Security. and lastly Energy/Money/Consumables.

AIR: Greenhouse/Air Purifiers.
Water: water use reduction, Onsite Low tech and high tech purification/recycle system. Rain catchment, hand powered well.
Food: Onsite production of soil, medicinal and culinary herbs, veggies, nuts, tubers, fruits, honey, fish/etc and storage/preservation
Shelter: A backup location at friends/family/wilderness/different state or country, with low tech creature comforts.
Touch/Community: We are social creatures, so start making/joining groups
Security: All of the other needs require some protection/backup. Hide in plain site, play the numbers games, redundancy, trade and self defense
Energy: Redundancy/Multi source, onsite production with grid backup. Low tech and high tech versions
Money/Trade: have money/food-consumables/services/skills/equipment and property available on hard to trade with.
Consumables: learn how to repair and produce consumables onsite.

Do drills often to test your system. Only eat food grown onsite for 30-60days. Go off-grid SHTF level for a 'vacation-week'. Use only the generator for a weekend.
 
pollinator
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Another thing rarely stressed when talking about what is essentially rebuilding society after a civilisation-compromising global disaster is "Why?"

I am not suggesting we ask what the point of survival is. Rather, I wonder what everyone is thinking they can do to preserve at least tiny bits of the art and culture we take for granted today.

What books would make up your long-term survival library? What music, and what method of storage and playback would you choose?

I mean, obviously, I would want a copy of the Big Black Book, but what non-fictional and technical manuals would be most useful, and what fiction of any stripe would be chosen to encapsulate our history and the people we were, and who we aspired to be, before the lights went dark?

And apart from survival, which could easily result in humans reverting to an animalistic state, or at very least to the state of lice-and-tick-infested illiterate nomads with barely enough language skills to make themselves understood, what would we look towards, to build ourselves up again?

-CK
 
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Let's start with prepping for small/more likely scenarios:

1-3 days:
Localized Power outage
Plumbing/water supply outage(broken pipe, etc)
Severe cold/hot weather spike
House fire
minor flooding from severe rain on YOUR property.
local, low-level crime - mugging, robbery, home invasion.

1-3 months or significant disaster:
Weather event most prone in your area(wildfire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, blizzard, terrorism, river flood.)
Sudden loss of employment/income
loss of life of partner or child
Contracting a debilitating disease/loss of limb or mobility
Eviction

Very unlikely, but still technically possible:
Volcano/Avalanche/Tsunami(if applicable)
Economic Collapse
War/Invasion
Nuclear(whether power-plant, bomb, EMP)
Plague
Famine
Space Disaster(Asteroid, CME, ...Aliens or whatever)

If you've "prepped" your supplies, knowledge, home, finances, and/or family for the first section(or they don't apply to you somehow?), move down to the second; if you NEVER get to the third/"unlikely"/"modern culture scoffs at the idea" section, you will be more sure and secure in your future than 90% of the population.
 
James Landreth
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I would want to preserve multiple copies of The Encyclopedia of Country Living. I really think it is a work of art. It has an enormous amount of information, especially because of all of the letters she published within. It also sheds some light into her personal life over the years, which could be great for future generations to have some idea of how things were and what life was like. It's not a perfect book, but it is, at the same time, very complete.
 
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Ralph Kettell wrote:Hello All,

I saw the Apocalyptic Survival thread and read some of the responses.  The question that seems to jump out to me and which I did not see asked:

What are you trying to survive?



I approach the answer to this question more in terms of learning how to live a good life in an evil world.

What do you see as the threats to your current lifestyle?



There is no greater threat than me, for I'm the one who determines how I live.

What or who is the potential cause of these threats or cataclysmic events?



Life itself is an assumed risk, so it's my responsibility not to add any more risk than there already is.

I guess my thought is that if you do not know what you are trying to survive, how will you ever even begin to prepare for it?



Someone else referenced adapting to present conditions over preparing for future doom...

...and I like that general approach because it seems to me to be more positive and constructive



 
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