Topic: Options and Likelihoods in the Event of System Meltdown

Lately I've been thinking out my own particular options in the event of either a major geological disaster (earthquake--we're overdue for the Big One in Salt Lake City) or in the wake of war or abrupt system meltdown.

If I had to leave my apartment or the city, where would I go?  Or where would I go if I didn't want to be in the city after meltdown?

Option #1
Luckily (in one sense) my parents--being faithful Mormons--are Apocalypse-ready.  They live 40 miles away, a thirty minute drive if there's gas and if the roads are intact, or, if not, a long two-day walk.
They have food and water provisions for over a year, firewood for two or three months, candles, blankets, plenty of room, etc.

Option #2
My buddy, and his parents in Southern Utah, have offered help to me if the event of meltdown, too.  They live, probably, 260 miles away.  They're trained backcountry rangers for Zion National Park, know the wilderness around them, and are used to extended stays outdoors.  They have gear.  They also know how to grow a garden, almost without a garden hose, in the arid desert.

If the roads were in tact, with maybe a few bumps and detours, and I had gas--and was allowed to travel--I could be there in five or six hours.  If I had to walk...I'd be looking at two weeks.  I'd probably have to have provisions backed in advance for a trip like this, and would have to filter water along the way if possible.  ...I'm not ready for a trip like that.

I've also been thinking about likely scenarios in the event of a meltdown in my city (or all cities, I guess).

As I think about it, it seems there are at least three, obvious, big avenues for surviving a meltdown if you live in the city.

#1: You have a buttload of supplies on hand, like my parents (water, food, gas and gas stove for cooking, emergency candles, blankets, etc.)

#2: You throw yourself upon the local, or federal, authorities...You walk yourself down to the Superdome asking, please, for a foodpack and juicebox and a cot.  You deal with panic and whiny kids and stressed out police officers. 

(In Salt Lake City I know the Mormon church, a pretty big presence here, has a network of support ready to be deployed.  I could probably turn up at a Mormon church--there are about ten within a thirty minutes' walk of me and I could get my instant noodles and juice box from them.  That option may, however, include having to listen to Bible or Book of Mormon-reading.)

#3: You scavenge--either alone or in a group.  Most likely, this option will be illegal and you could be harrassed (or jailed) by authorities. 

...I just thought, homeless people probably thrive in the event of disasters.  For them it's same old, same old, but even easier...

There are other options, though.  I just can't think of them right now. 

Leave town, be prepared, throw yourself on FEMA, or scavenge.  Wilderness survival is, I guess, another option--but not a smart one for me, currently.  I was a boy scout, but the only knot I remember how to tie is a square knot.  I can start a fire with only one match--most times--but I hated most of my instructors and can only think of one flower that I know for sure is edible and wouldn't cause me freak diarrhea.

Also: for those of us who aren't disposed to, or in a position to learn wilderness survival, what exactly are Urban Survival Skills?

Obviously, one needs water, food, clothing and shelter, but if there were a list of Urban Survival Skills, what would they be?

You can't change a tiger's stripes,
but you can avoid its teeth.

2 (edited by Risen 2005-12-20 23:07:09)

Re: Options and Likelihoods in the Event of System Meltdown

#1 -- supplies -- is an excellent option we should all be doing anyway.  Its just being prepared with the basics.  Not sure how much it'll help in a major catastrophe, but it's a good idea to have all these basics anyway!  Even just in the event of an extended power outage you would need many of these things. 

#2 -- big brother will take care of me -- good luck with this one.  Recommended only if you like living in camps that would make Hitler drool.  Don't worry, I'm sure FEMA will make certain there is *plenty* of food and clothing for everyone.  I'm also certain you'll be free to leave anytime without being harrassed.

#3 -- scavenge -- By far the best option.  You have a better chance on your own (or small groups) than with #2.  While you could be harrassed or jailed, one could probably avoid this by being very familiar with the area and knowing back routes (woods etc, stay away from roads).  But in the event of radiation or bioterror, speed will be of essence.  In that case, best if you could drive as far as possible then walk the rest.  Or the opposite, walk out of immediate area then hitch a ride somehow.

For most people, wilderness survival isn't going to be a long-term option.  Prepare the best you can for a few nights worth of survival, but make it your goal to get to some other civilized area as quickly as possible.  If you are worried about fire, they do sell those nifty magnesium(?) sticks now -- beats the heck out of matches.  A decent filter and some iodine will do nicely if there is a nearby stream etc.  But otherwise you need to be prepared to get water elsewhere. 

Something like this might do enough to get you through:  Solar Still

[edit] Fixed URL.  One day I'll learn BBCode. [/edit]

This is no time for the righteous
Only the wicked survive
Bake up a batch of the Yellow Cake
Bake up a batch of the lies
- - - - -[ Yellow Cake - Ministry - Rio Grande Blood (2006)

Re: Options and Likelihoods in the Event of System Meltdown

*Having such techniques that quiet the mind (meditation, yoga, ancient eastern ways, etc..) that help one become one with all, connect to itself which in turns lead to the ability to be aware of the moment, thus being able to do... anything.  Along with being guided intuitively in any such event.

"Beyond the stars a new world awaits me now" - Wintersun

Re: Options and Likelihoods in the Event of System Meltdown

I've had a discussion along these lines with a friend of mine, and we both more or less determined that it is impossible and pointless to prepare.  (I'm not 100% convinced on this, though.)  What that means is that if its time to die, then you can have 3 years worth of food and have a sudden stroke and die anyway.  Or, you could have not prepared at all, but the day before it gets crazy you just happen to be called on a business trip to Nebraska (picked that at random just now) and end up in the exact right spot, which you could have never predicted, and all your needs will be met there, and safety.

This of course is kinda based on the idea that we all have a mission in life and if we have completed it we can die at any moment (despite preventative measures) and if we haven't finished our job then synchronicities and serendipity will protect us.  THat may not be correct.

"Isolation, mis-education, and for the very clever there is looming liquidation."  -Catch Twenty-Two "Bad Party"

Re: Options and Likelihoods in the Event of System Meltdown

thoughtcrime wrote:

I've had a discussion along these lines with a friend of mine, and we both more or less determined that it is impossible and pointless to prepare.  (I'm not 100% convinced on this, though.)

Same here... although I guess extremes either way are risky. What I recommend is preparing as much as you can without sacrificing your higher order priorities. There are simple things you can do and obtain which require little input for maximum eventual output.

For instance, back in Florida we once decided to buy some walkie talkies in case we had to bug out in both cars, perhaps during a social meltdown or something. A year later the hurricanes hit and these walkie talkies were crucial in helping us evacuate. So a little bit of preparation paid off. However, we did not go to extremes by spending all our time, money, and energy on preparing for the end. If so, I would be holed up in a cave with a rambo knife and cyanide pill instead of living a more constructive life. Also, during our evacuation, it was a series of synchronistic opportunities and timing that got us through the gridlock... so there I had both a case for some preparation, and an example that things do work out in unexpected ways.

So it may not be about preparation vs faith, but extremist survivalism vs rational prudence vs naive vulnerability. There are things you can do that do not infringe upon your current life. So what if you get a walkie talkie, tent, first aid kit, camping stove, potassium iodate, bug-out cash, phone card, case of MREs, etc... that can sit in your closet, out of sight and out of mind until the time comes to use them, if ever.

I guess it depends on your goals for being here, whether you sacrifice or achieve these goals, and whether you can do each thing at its proper time. For example, it may be in a person's cards to do non-survival things for the first half of his or her life, and then do some communal survival things later after the world has drastically changed. To jump the gun and spend most of the first half obsessively preparing and waiting for the second would not be smart, unless preparations are made that do not require sacrificing the goals of the first half.

One thing to watch out for is disinformation and programming that puts one into a dark, doomy, obsessed, and materialistic attitude of survival. The "sell everything now, stock up on guns, and head to the hills" mentality. I believe this is a common mind programming tactic used by military and alien forces to place a "frequency lock" upon their targets, dragging them deeper into STS territory and making them increasingly ignorant of principles that help one transcend matrix limitations. In the event of a timeline split, it's precisely this mentality that gravitates one towards the doomiest scenarios, the ones where STS forces have an upper hand due to survival of the strongest.

For me, preparation is all about balancing priorities and good timing.

Acquiring fringe knowledge is like digging for diamonds in a mine field.

Re: Options and Likelihoods in the Event of System Meltdown

montalk wrote:

For me, preparation is all about balancing priorities and good timing.

That sums up my thoughts about preparing for a possible crash, too.  Although none can say for sure what a possible crash will look like, and what it will be like for each individual, I think it's reasonable to expect that the more your life is out of balance at the time of a crash, the harder it will be on you. 

Then again, your imbalance within the system-as-it-is might be balance in the same system after a change...

Yet, it's difficult to imagine the type of man or woman who spends all their extra dough on video games, CDs, DVDs and gadgets, and spends all their time playing games or watching movies having a smooth transition into a world without a stable power grid--or no power at all.  What will they do if their mall job and the mall disappear for five or six years?  Of course, I don't think that's likely to happen.  Gaming will go on.

Preparation, for me, not being a run to hills type, is being slanted more along the lines of making it smoother on my future self to adjust.  For instance, I recently bought a bike and have been biking and driving alternately.  I was in decent shape to begin with, but biking around did require an adjustment period for my body.  Now, if I have to rely completely on my bike, I probably won't have to deal with a physical crisis on top of mental/emotional crises.

You can't change a tiger's stripes,
but you can avoid its teeth.

7 (edited by tenetnosce 2005-12-24 23:22:49)

Re: Options and Likelihoods in the Event of System Meltdown

I have found it helpful to not think in terms of if I will survive, but how I will survive.

There is something that changes within us when we really think about survival issues, and I believe it is one of the primary control tactics to create a lot of fear and intellectual poo-pooing about these ideas.

Survival is the primary paradox of life.  How do we reconcile the biological impulse to preserve the physical lifeform with the spiritual awareness that the life itself is eternal and that survival is not really an issue?

A couple of years ago I worked on a project to determine which foods were the best choices to stockpile for a possible system meltdown. 

I took into account nutritional content and shelf life, and I also performed an analysis of the food in terms of energy content.

The amount of energy stored in food is described in terms of calories.  It also takes a certain amount of energy in the form of money to get the food.  So basically what I did was take a list of nutritious foods and then determined how much they cost in terms of calorie content, rather than weight.

The results indicated that some of the most nutritious foods were also some of the cheapest.  When you start to look at food in terms of energy exchange, junk food looks more and more expensive.

Here's the bottom line for choices of foods in case you are interested:

Flax seed
Steel-cut oats
Canned greens
Canned sweet potatoes
Canned black beans
Canned sardines

A person could live on these foods for a long time, and rather cheaply.

But what was even more interesting to me was when I started to expand this process of thinking out beyond physical food to other forms of physical energy, as well as emotional and mental energy. 

When I get back home I can dig up the article I wrote on the topic if anybody is interested, however the point is this.

By going through the process of addressing these survival issues within myself, I arrived at some more profound spiritual concepts, and also got through a lot of the fear I had around survival issues.  As a result, I feel I am much less likely to find myself in a situation where I am struggling for physical survival.  So in a sense, by going through the preparation process for a system meltdown, I have reduced the probability of experiencing a meltdown.

There is much to be said for trusting that I will be in the right place at the right time with the right people, but to do that I need to be fully grounded, and for me, that involves delving into these types of root-chakra survival issues and clearing any blockages that I may find.

As a result of going through this process, I am finding city life less and less desireable.  Not because I am afraid of staying in the city and getting caught in a meltdown, but because I find that my value system has been restructured such that the things that I once considered high priority when choosing a place to live have slipped down a few notches, and other things have moved up.

When I was looking to buy a place to live five years ago, I wanted to get a townhome because I wanted to minimize the amount of maintenance to the property that I would have to perform myself.  Now I've found I actually want to learn how to maintain a house and land.  Before I wanted to be in the city so I would be minutes away from the necessities of life.  Now I don't consider as many things to be a necessity, and I don't mind driving a half-hour or 45 minutes into town to work or buy some groceries.  Before I thought that the big city was a perfect place to network, personally and for business.  Now I think that it is easier to get things going in a smaller town where a few people can more easily make their presence known.

And yes, I've also got my finger on just about every system meltdown scenario.  Financial collapse. Civil war. Foreign invasion. Alien invasion. Earth changes.  I've heard it, read the report, talked it over with friends, and read some more. 

There are 101 reasons to head for the hills.

Yet what I've found fascinating is that, for me, making the choice to walk away from the city life isn't about heading for the hills, as much as getting in touch with something within myself that finds the city repulsive.  Not in a judgment sort of way, but as an awareness that it doesn't accurately reflect who I really am.

There is too much interference.  Too much activity.  I can't see my reflection in choppy waters.  It keeps changing. People.  Cars.  Cellphones.  All buzzing around making noise.  It's nauseating.

There is a teaching about the Initiation in the Temple of the City.  I'm not going to comment on that mystery here, but would simply point out that once the Initiation is complete, the Initiate is free to leave the temple.

Perhaps the Initiation is the realization that the Initiate was always free to leave the temple.

I am reminded of a story about when some anthropologists went to visit a Mayan village.  The anthropologists asked the villagers what happened to their ancestors that lived in the great cities.  Their reply: they left the cities behind and walked into the next world to prepare for the arrival of the rest of us.

It is not for us to understand love, but simply to make space for it.