Have you ever wondered what life would be like if the unthinkable happened and society as we know it suddenly collapsed? Many people believe the first 90 days after a societal collapse are the most critical for survival. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through what to expect and how to survive if the world you know gets turned upside down without warning.
The First 24-72 Hours: Initial Calm and Slow Realization
In the first 24-72 hours after a major disaster that disrupts society, an initial sense of calm and disbelief settles in. People start emerging from shelters trying to process what just happened. There is an expectation that the government and emergency services will quickly intervene.
However, by the end of the second day, the realization may start to sink in that help is not coming. Panic buying and looting for supplies will likely start. By the 72 hour mark, we’ve entered a whole new situation. Those who prepared may bunker down while others desperately scavenge for resources before systems completely fail.
The key decisions now are whether to stay or go, and then acting quickly before the roads are impassable. Here are some tips for this critical window:
- Stock up on water immediately – Fill every container because running water will quickly stop.
- Gas up vehicles and gather cash – Credit cards won’t work if systems fail.
- Decide whether to stay or leave – Consider your location, supplies and personal situation.
- Act decisively – Be prepared to leave immediately before mass gridlock occurs.
End of Week 1: Deteriorating Conditions
By the end of the first week, conditions will have markedly worsened. Grocery store shelves will be empty. Hospitals, police, fire and emergency services will be overwhelmed. Whispers of martial law emerge as the government attempts to control the spiraling situation.
Neighborhoods will begin to band together for security as lawlessness spreads. Those who need medications may be in dire straits with pharmacies emptied. Having necessary supplies and skills becomes critical for survival.
Week 2: Increased Crime and Scarcity
In the second week after the collapse, looting will be rampant. clean water may now be scarce. Abandoned vehicles litter roads as many will be stranded from mass exodus attempts. Hospitals and emergency services will be extremely taxed if still functioning. Martial law and curfews are likely instituted in many places.
Skilled survivors are now retreating to their neighborhoods turned fortresses for security. Having a community with a variety of skills like medical, defense and engineering will be vital. The focus turns to protecting resources like food, water and medicine by any means necessary.
Week 3 and Beyond: Reliance on Community
By week three, survival will depend largely on your community. Traveling alone outside secured zones will be extremely dangerous. Communities will have to organize, share resources and have each other’s backs.
Anyone with specialized skills like medical, defense or engineering will need to serve critical roles. Food, water and other resources will need to be pooled and rationed. Tough decisions will have to be made for the good of the community.
Lone wolf mentalities will not survive. Rebuilding a semblance of society becomes a main priority. Defense against external threats will still be crucial. Training, knowledge sharing and teaching practical skills to others will be essential.
First Two Months: Long-Term Survival
After two months, the focus shifts to long-term survival. Any hopes of government intervention or a return to normalcy are gone. Food and water rationing within secured communities becomes paramount. Tough decisions are made daily for resource allocation.
Bartering goods and services with other communities helps provide missing supplies and skills. Specialized roles like security, medical and engineering are full-time jobs now. Hard decisions must be made for the continuation of the community. Material goods and practical skills become the most valuable commodities.
Some may have left cities and populated areas by now for better security and resources if able. Many unable to adapt to the harsh conditions will unfortunately perish in the lawlessness and violence. But for those still alive, the strong community bonds and resourcefulness of survivors keep hope alive in these bleak times.
Key Takeaways: How to Maximize Survival
- Act quickly in the initial 72 hours – gather critical supplies, gas up vehicles and decide on evacuating or staying.
- Being part of a community with diverse skills and resources is essential.
- Share resources, knowledge and training with each other. Survival is a team effort.
- Specialized skills like medical care, engineering, and security are extremely valuable.
- Defend against external threats. Security of the community comes first.
- Ration resources like food and water. Long-term prudent use is crucial.
- Tough decisions need to be made – the needs of the community outweigh the individual.
- Barter goods and services with other communities whenever possible.
- Adapt mentally and physically for the harsh new long-term reality.
Surviving up to 90 days and beyond after a major societal collapse will require resilience, community and resourcefulness. But with proper planning and cooperation, even the bleakest situations can be overcome. Stay vigilant and never lose hope.