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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments I know the world is full of peaceful, benevolent leaders and responsible politicians, so it's probably a silly thought, but would stocking of tinned/canned food, flash light, candles and other survival stuff look bizarre and far-fetched?


message 2: by Uri (new)

Uri Norwich | 33 comments A Sometimes Strange Story

You forgot, the guns. Check out Chapter 3 "Nana Got A Gun."


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments Sure, but these require license or black market (caution: usually a criminal offence, don't do it), maybe domestic Iron Domes even -:)


message 4: by Uri (new)

Uri Norwich | 33 comments The Second Amendment to our Constitution grants this right, with obtaining a legitimate license. Most importantly, it safeguards the citizens against our own government going rogue. If one could recall the V.I. Lenin's pearls (I may not quote it exactly but paraphrase), "First order of business in the communist revolution is taking away the guns from the population---you own them physically. Then the media will do the brainwashing after..."


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments Uri wrote: "First order of business in the communist revolution is taking away the guns from the population---you own them physically..."

Don't remember hearing the quote, but I imagine weapons were available only to aristocracy...
Anyhow, hope you'll never need to use arms -:)


message 6: by Uri (new)

Uri Norwich | 33 comments I thought it was mondatory to study Lenin where you come from, unless you skipped that class...
In any case,"... if you don't know your enemy..." you fill the blanks. Again, I think it was one of his pearls lifted from Confucius.


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments Uri wrote: "I thought it was mondatory to study Lenin where you come from, unless you skipped that class...
In any case,"... if you don't know your enemy..." you fill the blanks. Again, I think it was one of h..."


It was mandatory to study about most notable figures in history. Yes, even Lenin's b/d was celebrated.. I believe I'd heard most of the famous phrases attributed to him. The one you've mentioned doesn't ring the bell, but good to know -:)


message 8: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments FWIW, "Preppers" is a huge genre in self-publishing. They've never been served by trad publishing--and distrust it, to some extent--and I know several authors making big money by writing for them. (Look up Joe Nobody on Amazon for instance.)

On the other hand, unless you know a hell of a lot about guns, food preservation and wilderness survival, it's not a great idea. They're like historical fiction readers, absolute sticklers for accuracy.

I'm not a prepper though, and don't currently have any guns in the house, but I had a rather unusual for this day and age upbringing, I'm a pretty good shot with both a rifle or a bow, although sorely out of practise with the latter, I expect it would come back pretty quick. I live in a wildlife dense area (moose, boar, roe deer, fish) and I know how to can and cure most fruits and/or vegetables and how to smoke meat and fish. Oh also I live on an island. Very near a 13th century castle, complete with arrow slots, that I fully intend to commandeer the second the crap hits the fan - and between me and the castle is a trotting horse stud, so I'll stop in there and liberate as many of them as I can - horses already trained to both harness and saddle will be super useful in post-apocalyptic world, I think.

So I like to think I'll do fine if I survive the first wave of the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Also, I think I may have overthought this whole thing, just a tiny bit.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments The stocking of tins of food, etc, is quite common here. I do it myself. The reason is I am close to a major fault line, and if it goes, it will probably be approaching a 9 in force. (We just had a 7.8 and survived that easily enough.) But with a real major one, we have to assume roads and rail access etc will be out, and Wellington really can only be approached from the north. Even the harbour might be in trouble, so the advice is, you will have to look after yourself for at least a week, and maybe significantly longer. Of course we don't need guns. More civilised here :-)


message 10: by M.L. (last edited Jan 25, 2017 03:00PM) (new)

M.L. California is earthquake country. You need to be prepared on some level, it goes with the territory. It's pretty common here too. Station Eleven is good reading if you're thinking survival (or who doesn't survive/or how). Station Eleven


message 11: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Ian wrote: "Even the harbour might be in trouble, so the advice is, you will have to look after yourself for at least a week, and maybe significantly longer. Of course we don't need guns. More civilised here :-)

Dangit, you went straight to an actually feasible potential disaster instead of the zombie apocalypse. Now I look like the crazy one :)

Actually, I just wanted to comment that it is indeed a kiwi thing to be fairly prepared and as self-sufficient as one can manage, without making a big deal of it. NZ is long and thin, and essentially has one state highway that runs the length of the country like a spine north-to-south - and most utility lines more or less run along it and branch out from there. In Northland in particular, where I grew up, it's the only directly north-south road for stretches of hundreds of km and even then it's only a two lane road. When, not if, it goes out, it can be quite isolating.

Additionally, NZ is not heavily rail-reliant (for the same reason: There's essentially only one main north-south railroad, and it's freight, only running one or two passenger trains a day). Sure, everyone is pretty close to the ocean due to that geography, but that doesn't necessarily mean near to a port deep enough to take bulk freight of necessities after a natural disaster, so distribution of supplies would still be a major issue.

Just to illustrate exactly how fragile the infrastructure can be, this is what State Highway 1, literally the main (or in the north, only) road to everywhere looks like once you get far enough out of the cities:
http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/nati...


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments Just to illustrate what Krazykiwi was saying, recently the town of Westport was totally isolated, and there were road blockages all over the West Coast. One, at Arthur's Pass, had a dead minimum of 300,000 tonne of rock piled onto one point. There were about a dozen similar closures. Following the recent Kaikoura 7.8 quake, it took four days to get any access, and then through a back road that was more easily cleared, but then it was only passable by the big army trucks that go virtually anywhere reasonably flat. It is estimated to take the rest of the year to get the State Highway 1 back into proper shape. As an aside, the whole land rose up on average by two meters, but unfortunately it didn't all rise up evenly.


message 13: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I went through the 1998 Ice Storm that took out most of the electrical grid around the province of Quebec, twisting high voltage pylons like simple matches under the weight on tons of ice. My area was out of power for ten days and my house is all-electric, save for a wood burning fireplace (since then condemned). We had to survive on canned food and the occasional restaurant takeout and getting fire wood and fresh water often meant waiting in long lines where tempers easily flared. Being ready for an extended emergency always makes sense.


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "I'm a pretty good shot with both a rifle or a bow, although sorely out of practise with the latter, I expect it would come back pretty quick. ........ I know how to can and cure most fruits and/or vegetables and how to smoke meat and fish. ...... Very near a 13th century castle, complete with arrow slots, that I fully intend to commandeer the second the crap hits the fan ..."

Boy, you seem prepared! -:) Where is the castle, so I'll know where to look for a protected fortress in case of any eventuality?


message 15: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments I live in central Sweden, just about an hour west of Stockholm by road, much less by water.

Heh, you're in the Ukraine right? You could be here in a few hours, if you can get your hands on a boat. Head for Stockholm, then into Lake Mälaren west, looking for Selaön (the island). Then just sail around it in a circle, you can't miss the castle - it's called Malsåker - it's 15th century btw, daughter corrected me, but either way it's got meter thick stone walls, and it's got it's own pier :)

I'll save you a horse.

(If it really all goes to hell, everyone else is most welcome too, of course. Good luck getting yourselves to Sweden though, can't help with that.)


message 16: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "I live in central Sweden, just about an hour west of Stockholm by road, much less by water.

Heh, you're in the Ukraine right? You could be here in a few hours, if you can get your hands on a boat...."


Thanks, KrazyKiwi, appreciate!
I'm in Israel, so it makes for a little longer travel, but fortress and now horse make it still worthwhile -:)


message 17: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "I live in central Sweden, just about an hour west of Stockholm by road, much less by water.

Heh, you're in the Ukraine right? You could be here in a few hours, if you can get your hands on a boat...."


I'll pass - too far for me to row :-)


message 18: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments Do you feel prepared for any eventuality ?


message 19: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments We lived in the cyclone prone north of Western Australia for sixteen years, so we were generally well prepared then with food, lighting supplies and the ability to store a bit of water just in case.

Nowadays, we definitely have simple things like torches, some water storage, there's always some canned goods in the cupboard and basic staples, but we're definitely not 'preppers.'

Both my husband and I do have some basic survival skills - mostly as a result of having been volunteer fire fighters and State Emergency Service Volunteers in the past. We're also reasonably experienced campers and walkers.

So, not any eventuality, but definitely a little above average 😊 (We're quite well known for sorting out neighbours' flood issues, for example.)


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments I live on the side of a hill with a major fault line running underneath the river down below, so I am prepared for some substantial discomfort, with spare food, water, etc. but you can't be prepared for everything. You just have to do the best you can when the tie comes.


message 21: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5976 comments Luckily, I live in an area where the only natural threats are tornadoes and the occasional hurricane that causes some wind damage. I keep a supply of water and some non-perishable food that will last a few days. I used to worry about stocking up for the apocalypse but, after giving it some thought, I've decided to take my chances. It just takes too much effort, time, and money to do it right.


message 22: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2266 comments Ian wrote: "The stocking of tins of food, etc, is quite common here. I do it myself. The reason is I am close to a major fault line, and if it goes, it will probably be approaching a 9 in force. (We just had a..."

We get the occasional hurricane/tropical storm. Had a massive tornado rip through 6 or 7 years ago and I was without power for 2 days. Think of what the people of Puerto Rico went with having to deal without power for months, food and water shipments to the island slow to arrive because everything has to come via ship. Prepping is not a crazy idea because it might actually save your life.


message 23: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments We also get winds over 150 km/hr at least a couple of times a year, and power outages are not entirely uncommon. (Actually, we hardly had any up until the 1990s, so maybe this has something to do with global warming.) i keep plenty of firewood in case this happens in winter.


message 24: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) I make sure to have enough food in the house during the winter months to last for five days in case of a blizzard or ice storm.

I don't worry about a large scale disaster. I live in farm country, surrounded by renewable food resources.


message 25: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Our biggest problem in Québec is the damn ice storms. Yes, they are infrequent, but when they come, we usually end up with broken power lines and massive power cuts that often can take a day or more to repair. Spending days in an unheated house (mine is all electric) when it is - 30 C outside is no fun, believe me.


message 26: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments Michel wrote: "Our biggest problem in Québec is the damn ice storms. Yes, they are infrequent, but when they come, we usually end up with broken power lines and massive power cuts that often can take a day or mor..."

It's hard for me to imagine a day (or days) that cold. We're pretty excited here when it frosts 😝 Having said that, I've had plenty of practice with the other end of the spectrum. ie. 40 degrees Celsius and upwards.


message 27: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments Michel, I for one believe you. I spent a year in Calgary, so I have some idea what the cold can be like, although my apartment had central heating powered by gas, so fortunately my experiences of the cold were voluntary, when I went outside.


message 28: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin About ice storms in Québec, the worst one happened in Dec 1999 and struck most of the province, plus parts of the adjacent provinces. Hundreds of big power pylons simply collapsed under the weight of ice and most street power and telephone poles snapped and broke or were downed by snapping tree branches heavy with ice. My town (Boucherville) was out of power for twelve consecutive days, with outside temperatures going down as low as - 30 degrees C. The only thing I had to heat the house was our fireplace (it has since been shut and sealed due to maintenance problems) and I once roasted over the fire chicken legs impaled on one of my collection swords. Firewood became very sought after and there were long lines for wood distributed by the Canadian Army at firewood points, with waiting drivers being very aggressive in not letting any queue jumpers pass. Our mayor then had a stroke of genius and had a big diesel-electric locomotive pulled up next to the city hall (which is situated close to a rail line), then plugged the locomotive's power to the city hall, which allowed the emergency services to operate normally. That was an adventure I am not willing to repeat.

One lesson I saw from this ice storm: people tend to become very selfish when it comes to survival. Some people will still help others, but some others will act as if they are the only ones around. A (sort of) funny incident happened when one high income resident living near the shore of the Saint-Lawrence River in Boucherville used his emergency generator to power his external christmas lights (lots of them), even though all his surrounding neighbors were in the dark! It didn't take long before he got a visit from the city police, who told him to shut his f...ing lights off! Strangely enough, when that same rich resident ran out of gas for his generator, nobody accepted to sell him extra gas.


message 29: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments Interestingly, a few years ago we had a really bad winter storm that knocked out power lines, and while it was cold, nothing like Michel's cold. Claire and I huddled around the fireplace and went into some of our earthquake provisions, so we were OK, but one of our neighbours came over and offered to have a neighbourhood cookup on some camping equipment he had. WE told him we were OK, so he could offer to anyone else, but I did not see the sort of aberrant behaviour Michel noted. I guess there are always some selfish idiots around, but hopefully there are more who are not.


message 30: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5976 comments Michel said: "People tend to become very selfish when it comes to survival." I'm wondering about that statement. Evolution tells us that the fittest survive, but I guess that applies to biology. Will those who survive a breakdown of society (if it comes) be those who are best prepared and most selfish?


message 31: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Sadly, numerous examples in the past, including many recent ones, have shown us that, when facing a life or death survival situation, where there is no more law and order and everything is in ruin, many of us will act like animals. If they don't have what they need to survive, they will go take it from others who have. Yes, some will have the decency to share and help others, but many others won't.


message 32: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments Michel wrote: "...people tend to become very selfish when it comes to survival. ..."

That may be true and we know that some people are 'individualists' and others - 'tribal', some 'animalistic' and others - 'domesticated'/ cultured . Not only survival, but 'lines' too have this effect of bringing the worst out of people to the fore -:)


message 33: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 0 comments Most nations and communities in the end survive on collective survival so bands of survivors can exist on more than survival of the fittest.
I did my own dystopian breakdown in one of my stories and a mix of survival types.
I think in reality the initial stages of disaster are peppered with survival of the fittest - look at people fleeing burning buildings as examples. But even then there are cases of people helping the less able.
We also have the children issue. We are genetically programmed some would say to breed and protect children. Survival therefore needs carers for our children hence family groups, tribes and broader societies including welfare states.
I don't think any of us know how we would cope or if we could cope.

In my scenario a virus wipes out most of humanity. All the preparedness in the world did not help in that scenario.

For the Earthquake planners or volcano hiders you are still gambling that the fault line, lava flow, explosion doesn't impact your hiding place. Even in the Nuke example who do you presume that the bomb falls on some big city not in your back yard? Why will you be spared in the first place?


message 34: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5976 comments I've said that I'm not wealthy enough to prepare for some apocalyptic event, so I'll be gone. I'm wondering what you guys think about people who do have lots of money, e.g. Elon, Bezos, Zuckerberg, etc. Do you think they're preparing for the worst? If so, how?


message 35: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin The most obvious move for those super-rich would be to fly away to some isolated private island off the continent. Nobody would waste a nuclear missile on such a target, while many islands are not subject to earthquakes or volcanic activity. Once on their private islands, the super-rich will be able to wait out the catastrophe in utter luxury.


message 36: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments Michel, the super rich on such an island would have to grow their own food, etc, and their wealth would be meaningless apart from what they already had in equipment. They would actually have to work to stay alive, and that might be worse hell for them as they discovered they knew squat about survival.


message 37: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I am sure that they will have plenty of servants, bodyguards and farm hands on their private island to live well for at least a few months. After that, it will depend how intelligent and organized they are...and on how their employees like them/dislike them.


message 38: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments Hmm, they can't pay their help because money is useless so how would this island be governed? If organised by the most capable, the rich dudes might still be getting their hands dirty


message 39: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin If that catastrophe is global and massive, with billions of casualties and most of Earth rendered unlivable, then those rich survivors will eventually end up at the same level as everybody else...or will transform themselves into local robber barons, using their bodyguards to grab by force the few supplies and food still available and forcing others to work for him. Those bodyguards could in turn be paid by getting a portion of the loot.


message 40: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments Ha, Michel sees a dystopia, with the worst of people coming to the fore. Unfortunately, he may be right. Of course there is the problem for these rich guys of getting to this survivor relative paradise, and when they get there, presumably that will be where there are survivors who were already living there. I see a novel plot mixed up here.


message 41: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 0 comments For the current rich their wealth will be useless. Any major catastrophe will result in financial collapse. Food, water and protection from calamity. Why would a currently rich person be lucky enough to survive in the first place. Then why would their minions support them. As Ian states. Unfortunately, it will be survival of the fittest at first with a few exceptions. My disaster had very very few survivors after a virus. Behaviour in the few that do make it varies enormously but cooperation and communities develop


message 42: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments The nearest I had to the sort of thing we are discussing in a novel involved a total economic collapse, but where the rich did live in gated communities, holding on to what little still worked, while the majority had to fend for themselves and live of what the richer sent their way as a means of pacifying them. Not quite the same thing because the basic situation arose not from a thermonuclear war, but from terrorism that manage to blow up an awful lot with the 'bots that were in another discussion.

After a thermonuclear exchange you can only survive if you weren't anywhere near a blast. The US seems to believe that they can use small bombs and win, keeping things more or less going after a massive death toll to the opposition. The Russians seems to have gone for the giant blasts. If one of their big hydrogen bombs went off near the surface of New York, say, the city would be replaced by a crater several hundred meters deep. The information I have actually comes from consideration of asteroid strikes, but they were modeled on the hydrogen bomb effects (and scaled up). So the survivors would be people that were somewhere else, and they would not be interested in rich people because money would be useless. Civilization really would have to start again, and the new "rich" would be those who had or could do useful things, those who could lead, or those who could defend the group from pillagers. It may not be very nice place.


message 43: by Michel (last edited May 26, 2018 06:30AM) (new)

Michel Poulin Many of those new rich may end up being farmers situated far from target areas, in which case their fields, crops and livestock may be intact and not contaminated. However, I could then see hordes of famished city people descending on those farms to grab what they could, while the farmers would have to either defend their farms with lethal force or lose everything. It would not be pretty and those farmers better be well armed.


message 44: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2266 comments Ian wrote: "Hmm, they can't pay their help because money is useless so how would this island be governed? If organised by the most capable, the rich dudes might still be getting their hands dirty"

Depends on how stupid their help is...Look at these countries where hyperinflation destroys the currency, and you still find people trying to use it to buy food when most of the nation has pretty much given up and switched to bartering.


message 45: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments I guess if they got rich by trading on others' stupidity, they might have a chance because whatever else happens, the world will not run out of stupidity.


message 46: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Stupidity is a commodity in infinite supply.


message 47: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15382 comments There are quite many places in the world where super rich are surrounded by a sea of poverty and nothing happens. So are you saying that the money is the major stabilizing factor? -:)


message 48: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments Right now, the police/military will stop the very poor from revolting. They are fixed. But on Michel's Island, there will be no such police, and whoever haas guns and the ability to use them may well prevail. The very poor won't be there because they can't get to this island - they are stuffed - but those already there will presumably be armed and be prepared to deal with new arrivals that don't follow their rules.


message 49: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 0 comments On the guns issue this lasts as long as ammo is available or the weapons work. After a major catastrophe manufacturing anything will become dependent on skills remaining and access to the factories to keep going. Yes there will be scavenging and this will prolong force for longer but won't produce or rebuild a long-term society. We have a very interdependent world (even within nation states). With no society, no worker bees and no law enforcement it might well be survival of the fittest for a while, but not for long.
I can barely do DIY - how will I repair my home? I cannot manufacture a measles or smallpox vaccine let alone carry out dentistry. I need a new component part for my computer. Most circuit boards won't last more that 30 years. Anyone know how to run an Intel processor plant to create new ones?


message 50: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11235 comments Philip, if we are talking about a major nuclear war, scavenging will be a problem. If you take a city like New York, it could be replaced by a crater over a hundred meters deep. The huge Russian H bombs have extreme energy, only matched (and beaten) by asteroid impacts. But asteroids only come once every hundred million years or so - H bombs can come one per city.

In some lesser disaster scenarios, such as I had for my novel "Troubles", some minor manufacturing would continue, being limited by some shortage, such as (in the novel) energy (in the novel, most of the power plants had been destroyed). But in your scenario, we return to prehistoric times. Could be ugly. It is not just you can't make vaccines. Do you know how to scythe? To plough with horses? If you could find suitable horses. As it happens, I have done both of those, but I could not find a suitable plough to go with the horses I can't find, nor the harnesses etc to link up the horses. It would mean that everyone would be forced to grow their own food the hard way, and we would be back to pre ancient Sumer


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