Devin Lavign wrote:
5th If SHTF consider what that really means and think about all the toxic gick humans create. A lot of chemicals typically need to be maintained. But if SHTF a lot of places that need constant cold or heat or pressure etc... would be left unattended. This means large areas would be extremely hazardous to go through. Traveling into an area you don't know the potential toxic hazards is not really a good idea. Seriously there is a lot of toxic stuff out there that even people living near them don't know about. It is one of the big things I think a lot of preppers forget to think about. The factories and industrial plants that use and create this stuff are all over, and without constant monitoring and intervention these things will get out and be harmful.
I agree with most of this, but one thing that stands out for me is the 5th point above. I have long thought about the potential for nuclear reactor meltdowns when there is no one left to monitor those systems. (It is my main reason for being against nuclear power plants as cheap energy sources.) We don't need an all-out nuclear war to suffer from the effects of nuclear radiation. When these plants go -- and they will eventually when things fall apart -- we are in for some REALLY tough times.
Along with that threat is the less dangerous, but no less urgent problem of a deteriorating infrastructure for those folks not lucky (or providential) enough to live in a rural setting where well-water and composting toilets can alleviate some of the problems city dwellers will have when sewer and water systems fail. Losing the electric grid is not a big deal unless you are on some kind of life-support apparatus because we can always use candles or lanterns for light (or just go to bed when it gets dark as our ancestors did) and most of us really can do without the appliances we think we need, but water availability is critical.
I am particularly concerned about the millions of people who live in high-rise apartments who will be coming out to find those resources they no longer have at their fingertips. These are people WITH homes who will have to leave them because they are no longer functional spaces. Think of the thousands of people living in each and every sky-scraper in each and every city across this country. Many will die in place because they will be too frightened and unprepared for the struggle outside their doors and simply stay where they feel safe. Others will be ruthlessly "culled" outside their apartments before they can go further or go back. But ... a lot of them will survive and will soon move out into the countryside in search of resources that will quickly disappear from store shelves after the crowds have moved through. THOSE are going to be the invading hordes of looters and desperate, thirsty and hungry people those of us in rural areas will have to be on the lookout for.
I also do not discount the possibility of running into that tiger Devin mentions. Zoos and research facilities will have a lot of hungry animals not being cared for. Someone is going to open those cages one day and let them out. By many people, it would be considered an act of kindness to release them so they don't die of starvation or thirst (I will probably be one of those people thinking about doing just that), however, I am aware that there are problems associated with wholesale release and in many cases it would be kinder to simply euthanize them humanely. Of course, we can't dismiss the idea that there will also be people looking at them as resources for feeding their families, as well. Either way, some animals are going to get out and will be roaming the streets and parks of suburban neighborhoods, so yeah, you may find yourself face-to-face with a tiger some day.
It isn't a pretty picture and I hope it never comes to this sort of scenario, but knowing it could happen someday definitely gives me reason enough to devote time to devising ways to deal with it. I have my own plan that seems reasonable (as I am sure most of you do) but nothing is fail-safe. I work on improving things every day and spend a lot of time hoping they will never be needed. That may be all we can do if we don't find a way to come together and head off the potential disasters looming over this planet.