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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am hoping we can keep this a serious discussion about what to expect, if we can anticipate anything. I've certainly read enough books about EMPs, the Enemies Foreign and Domestic series, World Made by Hand, etc. However, I've never lived through anything like the extended issues that took place in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

Obviously, if we lose power, water, or communications, things are going to be very bad. That all seems unlikely. And if they manage to pass the stimulus bill, things will probably be okay. Our stores still have food on the shelves (not everything), but many items are available, even if the stores are limiting quantities.

My wife and I have been gaming out "what if" scenarios. We live in a small community with many people not making much money. Our county deputies make less than $16.00 per hour. How long will a person with no job and no savings who is unable to feed their children go before they become desperate enough to steal from a market, hold someone up in a parking lot, or break into a home to obtain food or things to sell?

What do you guys and gals think? If you lived through Katrina or something similar I would be especially interested in hearing your perspective.

Note: Perhaps I was not explicit enough when I posted this last night? My question is, "When does society begin to break down?" What do you think will be the trigger points? We've seen it before under different circumstances. I apologize if there is any confusion in anyone's mind about what this thread is supposed to be about.
 

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As I said on another thread, it has only been three weeks since the first states declared emergencies. It has only been two weeks since this was declared a pandemic. We are less than a month into this and people are already talking SHTF.

The stock market lost half its value in 2008-2009 and society did not collapse. Both my wife and I lost our jobs, as did a lot of other people. It took three years to come back to where it had been, but then it started going up again and went way up. This drop is not nearly as severe percentage wise and there was no SHTF then. Crime rates were on their way up this year until the pandemic hit. Since the pandemic, crime rates are down, even in NY and LA. You can get food and other necessities. This current situation is preventive, to "flatten out the curve" as they say. The death toll itself is not that high and the country is taking steps to keep it that way. First responders are still employed and they are still on the job.

I think everyone should generally always give some thought to SHTF and have some preparations, don't get me wrong. But I don't see it here. I think the thing that will cause SHTF will be something we totally don't see coming. This isn't it.
 

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From what I see and have studied, all it will take to start a mob is one desperate, and mentally unstable, person, listening to the fake news, and not even listening correctly, and he goes on a rampage. If one or two others, empowered by this one person, join in, it can easily escalate from there. I forget the sociological term for it, but all it takes is one person affecting someone else's weak resistance. As the numbers grow, they draw in exponentially more people. Examples are the LA riots and Ferguson, MO.
 

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If the gas stations close because they can't get fuel deliveries and the grocery stores close because they can't get supply trucks and law enforcement is overrun by crime because 1/2 or three fourths of the department is in quarantine, that's when society begins to break down, & fast. Imo.



But I don't see that happening.
 

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I believe most people will tend to work together for the common good during a time of crisis. The ones who were lone wolves before the crisis will be even more so during a crisis. Panic and hunger will make people look for help - or look for potential victims. Call me a Pollyanna, but I believe most of us would help each other, including banding together for protection against the wolves. FWIW, I don't think we will see those extremes this time around.
 

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As I said on another thread, it has only been three weeks since the first states declared emergencies. It has only been two weeks since this was declared a pandemic. We are less than a month into this and people are already talking SHTF.

The stock market lost half its value in 2008-2009 and society did not collapse. Both my wife and I lost our jobs, as did a lot of other people. It took three years to come back to where it had been, but then it started going up again and went way up. This drop is not nearly as severe percentage wise and there was no SHTF then. Crime rates were on their way up this year until the pandemic hit. Since the pandemic, crime rates are down, even in NY and LA. You can get food and other necessities. This current situation is preventive, to "flatten out the curve" as they say. The death toll itself is not that high and the country is taking steps to keep it that way. First responders are still employed and they are still on the job.

I think everyone should generally always give some thought to SHTF and have some preparations, don't get me wrong. But I don't see it here. I think the thing that will cause SHTF will be something we totally don't see coming. This isn't it.
No its not yet but it could very easily be.

Wyndham Destinations laid off all of their 39,000 employees for a minimum 30 days and will extend it if needed. Marriott and Hilton (just to name a few) also did the same. The tourism industry supports 15.8 Million jobs and nearly every single one of them are non existant right now. The city of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the surrounding area depend 100% on tourists. Every single attraction is currently closed, hotels are empty, national park is shut down and most people are out of work. Many other industries have also been crippled by this virus/shutdown. Extend that 2-3 months and where will we be?
 

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I am hoping we can keep this a serious discussion about what to expect, if we can anticipate anything. I've certainly read enough books about EMPs, the Enemies Foreign and Domestic series, World Made by Hand, etc. However, I've never lived through anything like the extended issues that took place in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

Obviously, if we lose power, water, or communications, things are going to be very bad. That all seems unlikely. And if they manage to pass the stimulus bill, things will probably be okay. Our stores still have food on the shelves (not everything), but many items are available, even if the stores are limiting quantities.

My wife and I have been gaming out "what if" scenarios. We live in a small community with many people not making much money. Our county deputies make less than $16.00 per hour. How long will a person with no job and no savings who is unable to feed their children go before they become desperate enough to steal from a market, hold someone up in a parking lot, or break into a home to obtain food or things to sell?

What do you guys and gals think? If you lived through Katrina or something similar I would be especially interested in hearing your perspective.
A business owner told me that is happening right now in Las Vegas where his daughter lives.
 
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No its not yet but it could very easily be.

Wyndham Destinations laid off all of their 39,000 employees for a minimum 30 days and will extend it if needed. Marriott and Hilton (just to name a few) also did the same. The tourism industry supports 15.8 Million jobs and nearly every single one of them are non existant right now. The city of Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the surrounding area depend 100% on tourists. Every single attraction is currently closed, hotels are empty, national park is shut down and most people are out of work. Many other industries have also been crippled by this virus/shutdown. Extend that 2-3 months and where will we be?
Why do you use a phrase like "has been crippled" for something that has been going on for three weeks? Tourism and hospitality will come back as soon as this eases up. Those industries have slumps for weeks and even months seasonally. And why should I mentally extend that for 2-3 months? I don't have a crystal ball. Do you?

One thing I learned about being in desperate situations in the military is never panic, ever. Think and plan about "what ifs," but don't worry about them until they happen. It saps your energy and clouds your mind. Don't try to cross bridges until you get to them.
 

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I agree with jmf, I don't see it here. Just another recession. And if things do start to break down, they can always modify the restrictions as necessary.

For example, in MN the governor just issued a "stay home" order. It sounds like economic catastrophe, but it turns out that 78% of the workforce is employed in critical industries that are exempt from the order. So, yeah, it's damaging, but most people are still working (though many from home).

Some people will be harder hit, and some may even turn to crime, but I doubt it will impact the statistics. I believe that crime rates aren't driven by desperate people trying to feed their families, but by gangs and habitual scumbags.
 

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As long as critical issues like power, water and the supply chain continue to operate, things will be "fine." Not great maybe, depending upon areas that rely on tourism, travel, etc. But as long as the basics are there, society will continue to run. The helpers will help, the thieves will still thieve. If the basics stop, then all bets are off. But, other countries who've been hit harder than we are, continue to function as a society.
 

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Maybe don't invest in fragile economies?

Anyone working in businesses which rely on peoples' disposable income ought to be aware that if the economy sneezes, they may get pneumonia.

More than ever, Americans need to have respect for the farmers, truckers and factory workers without whom we'd find ourselves in some pretty desperate times. I don't think Tom Brady, Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift and Leonardo DiCaprio do much to actually sustain or improve the lives of Americans as much as those involved in manufacturing, agriculture, communications and retailing of basic needs.

There's no disrespect intended for anyone adversely affected by business closures and layoffs due to the current virus panic. I'm in aerospace and we were told yesterday that we will have two unpaid weeks of leave in the next month, due to the drastic drop in air travel. But all but our newest hires understand that aerospace is cyclical, depending on air travel and national defense spending, and that overall it's a good biz to be in. I do think, however, it's a good time to re-think career plans and have fallbacks in place if primary income is highly dependent on someone else's discretionary spending.
 

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I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. In my life I’ve been through 18 Hurricanes including Andrew which flattened half of Miami-Dade County and Katrina which hit us as a strong CAT 1 storm before ripping across the state and into the Gulf and then powering up into a true killer storm. Back during Andrew I was still an officer in the Army Reserves. When my wife volunteered with our Church I called ARPERCEN and asked if I could lend the Florida Army Guard a hand without any pay. They approved and so I offered my services to the HQ of the 1/124 Infantry. They took a look at my military resume and made me the S3-Air. They gave me control of all the air assets available to the battalion. Most of the county was without power for weeks and water was a serious shortage item for the lower income areas. Looting in the central and South was bad, too. But nothing like Katrina because our local government wisely didn’t mess with gun ownership. The Cuban community would have hanged them from the city lamp posts. Seriously. They knew it, too.

I got my own personal UH-1H helo and initially used it to recce for LZ’s that would allow for multiple lifts of CH-47 cargo birds in case we needed a rapid deployment of troops into a riot or mob scene. These were usually high school athletic fields. I also set up PZ’s whereby the lift capability of the CH47 could be put to good use. I had supplies palletized and rigged to sling load and then I assigned an able Lieutenant (I know, oxymoron) to supervise rigging sling loads for distribution deep into the disaster zone.

In the meantime,?the other part of the state constitution militia clause came to life and began to operate in concert with both local law enforcement and the organized militia (National Guard) this second group is specifically mentioned in the state constitution as the UNORGANIZED MILITIA which is every citizen with a gun! The hardest hit neighborhoods in the southern part of the county got local crime interdiction forces up and running and they weren’t afraid to shoot! They preferred it if the real cops or Guard handled things but they were always ready to act. It was not unusual for a marked police car to stop and check with such a citizen strolling his neighborhood with either an AR15 or AK47 slung casually over a shoulder but with a magazine inserted and a round chambered. The cop and citizen-soldier would exchange info and not a word was uttered about the slung rifle. I have a ton of stories about that month or so before the schools reopened and I had to go back to work as a teacher. All I can say is that a well armed populace will take care of itself if there’s still hope that society WILL someday return. But on the other hand, look what happened to “society” in New Orleans when local government seized the guns from the population by force. It all went to HELL damn fast!
 

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I thought it had been slowly breaking down for quite a few years. As for our current situation, as much as I have said I don’t think we would see any sort of civil war, I think if we are ever going to see any sort of armed conflict in our life, our current lockdown, drug out over a few months will be what kicks it off, at least in the more liberal states.

Yes I think we can recover from this quickly, however, I don’t think we will recover entirely. I think there are going to be industries that are forever changed. When those who are still unemployed around election time hit the polls, they are going to be thinking about this.
 

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MSM are not the only ones hyping the pandemic :wink: Look guys and gals, I do not foresee the supply chain being totally shut down, I do not see the loss of power, internet, water, and gas resulting from this pandemic. Those WOULD be the conditions to set off a societal breakdown. Until then, we are fine.

One thing the US has, and will always have is natural resources and industrial might, a large population distributed over a large landmass, and for better or worse: an educated public. We can recover eventually from any recession or depression because of these reasons.
 

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Why do you use a phrase like "has been crippled" for something that has been going on for three weeks? Tourism and hospitality will come back as soon as this eases up. Those industries have slumps for weeks and even months seasonally. And why should I mentally extend that for 2-3 months? I don't have a crystal ball. Do you?

One thing I learned about being in desperate situations in the military is never panic, ever. Think and plan about "what ifs," but don't worry about them until they happen. It saps your energy and clouds your mind. Don't try to cross bridges until you get to them.
You completely missed the point. Yes this area expects a slow period in January and February. That has now been extended until May. Not many people have enough savings to withstand not get paid for an additional 2-3 months. It was on national news that this area is shut down until May. People are not going to come flocking back until then, even if they announce an end to the quarantine early. Unimployment is $275 a week minus taxes. That isn't even enough to pay rent or mortgage payments in this area. My mother in law got laid off from both of her jobs until May and my father in law was laid off as well. Most families in this area are in the same boat.

Maybe where you are won't be as affected, but this area is going to get hit hard.

Am I saying blood will run in the streets? No, but it's not going to be a walk in the park either.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
jmf552 and maxwell97, I appreciate your optimism, I truly do. I hope we all end up sitting around the campfire together singing Kumbaya.

I hope things go the way you think they will. But, you did NOT answer my question. I did NOT ask, "Do you think society will break down?" I asked, "At what point do you think society will break down?"

I realize that what I have asked is an ugly question, and one that's not happy to consider.
 

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jmf552 and maxwell97, I appreciate your optimism, I truly do. I hope we all end up sitting around the campfire together singing Kumbaya.

I hope things go the way you think they will. But, you did NOT answer my question. I did NOT ask, "Do you think society will break down?" I asked, "At what point do you think society will break down?"

I realize that what I have asked is an ugly question, and one that's not happy to consider.
I answered the question one post before yours! :smile:
 
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