Truly, your ability to survive in a world that has been turned upside-down — a world which has been thrown into severe hardship and social chaos — a world in which the ‘wheels have come off’ — a SHTF world, will to a large extent, depend upon your proximity to the this…
Life existing within today’s modern civilization, is a life which is in all probability, ENTIRELY dependent upon a complicated and fragile set of systems, and is a life which exists precariously close to the edge of a very steep cliff (although most people don’t see it or know it).
As has been written here many times before, our cushy existence depends upon many systems coming together in synchronicity to provide us not only with our life’s luxuries, but even our most basic needs for survival. Think about it. Most of us would literally die without these basic needs being available for us every day (grocery store food, electricity, clean running water, our jobs, security, etc.). We take it for granted.
As our world grows in population, as our energy sources are consumed, as more strain is put upon the (debt based) financial systems that have enabled the apparent growth of our modern civilization, many of us have recognized the systemic risks and dangers which we face together, and are doing the best we can to prepare for a time when life may not be so pleasant and luxurious as today – a time in which there may be partial or total collapse.
In fact, life as we know it could turn downright awful.
You’ve probably heard this before, but desperate people do desperate things. During a systemic SHTF collapse your preps could be stolen by gangs who will rule the cities. ALL of your things, your security, will be at high risk due to the simple fact that there will be large numbers of desperate people all around you – many of them hoping for government rescue while many others will be starving and angry, and will be turning to desperate and dangerous means to survive. There is always a bad element, but during collapse it will be greatly magnified.
Consider the population density of where you live.
(Please read that sentence again)
While no man is an island, and no man can truly make it on his own (except for a very rare few), during a time of social chaos and collapse when the luxuries of today have vanished from the population at large, there will be power in numbers. This is both good, and bad. For the right people with the right preps and skills, and if you have the right ‘group’, you stand a better overall chance of a more comfortable survival. But there will also be bad groups – those who have not prepared and those who will be willing to fight and steal from others.
The common denominator will be population density. It may be difficult to ‘make it’ in a population dense region. It’s possible of course, but will require planning for it.
It stands to reason that the higher the population density, the higher the probability of danger in a time gone bad.
On that note, I have copied a population density map from census.gov of the United States – by County, which illustrates your region where you live. Have a look…
Do you live in an area where there are 250 or more people per square mile (red)? Or close by? If you do, this is a worst case scenario for you, and one you had better seriously address in your planning.
If you live within the 50-250 people per square mile density (orange), you are at similar risk unless you live near the ’50′ end of the scale. However it is likely that you could be overrun by danger from the red zone next door.
It seems to me that the 10-50 people per square mile density (yellow) is desirable, provided that you have enough support via your preps, skills, and a minimal infrastructure.
The least dense zone, less than 10 people per square mile (beige), will certainly require that you have the ability to make it on your own to a large extent. While these regions will provide the most distance between you and the Zombie hoards or roving gangs, you will also be at risk in other ways by being very alone with little support infrastructure around you.
U.S. Population Density (by Counties)
If you live in the red zone, or even the orange zone, your best long term solution (prior to SHTF) for survivability will be to move to the yellow zone. If that is not possible, then you may consider a bugout plan to a yellow zone location where you’ve established an agreement with someone you know living there, or have your own bugout retreat there ready-to-go.
While it may seem like there’s little likelihood that things will ever get so bad that the red/orange zones will become dangerous places to live, don’t let your normalcy bias get in the way of critical thinking. Don’t assume that you could not get a job in the yellow zone and therefore an excuse not to move, etc. Perhaps you could choose to pull back your high-cost lifestyle and live a simpler life out of the red zone…
You could choose to stop thinking about the reasons why you “can’t” move, and start thinking about the “can do” things which will eventually help you move. If you want to badly enough, you WILL find a way. You may have to give up some things in your red/orange-zone life, but you will gain other things in your yellow-zone life.
While there’s more to it (survival and preparedness) than simply population density, it is a very important consideration and it’s something to think about. I thought that this map would be useful for some of you to examine where you live, and to be aware of how many people are around you.
Other useful resources:
Pioneer Survival - Lessons We Should All Learn
Alive After The Fall (Advice onto handling crisis situations )
US Water Revolution (Have Plenty of Water when others don't have any!)
Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)
Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )
Backyard Innovator (All Year Round Source Of Fresh Meat,Vegetables And Clean Drinking Water)
Liberty Generator (Easy DIY to build your own off-grid free energy device)
Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)
Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )