When I talk to people about preparedness, the most common response that I receive is, “I would rather just die than live through something like that.” I would agree with that logic, if the top threats to America would actually kill you. However, the fact is that most catastrophic threats we face in America today would only kill a very localized population or no one at all while their long term effects would ripple across the nation for months, years, or perhaps even longer. So, what people are really telling me when they say, “I would rather just die,” is that they would rather just slowly starve to death, die of dehydration, have what few supplies they have brutally stolen from them, and of course, watch family members experience these same fates. So why will most people survive the initial catastrophic incident?
One of the gravest threats our nation faces today is from a terrorist or nation state use of nuclear weapons on major American cities. Nations like Iran are actively developing weapons to use against us and terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda have made it their mission to carry out an “American Hiroshima” on several American cities. However, the use of nuclear weapons does not imply immediate death for people tens or even hundreds of miles from the blast zone. In a 2009 government document, entitled “Planning Guidance for a Nuclear Detonation,” detailed blast mapping diagrams reveal that those living as close as 1 mile to a nuclear detonation would have a fair chance of surviving. What this means is that unless you live in and the heart of a major metropolitan area, you will survive a terrorist nuclear attack, but you will not be unaffected. Consider America without our largest cities. How would our government function? How would the transport of food and gas be conducted without major shipping and logistics hubs? How would our communications and electrical systems function with the loss of the major nodes of our complex networks? Life in America would dramatically change after an event like this and you will very likely be around to experience it, whether you are prepared or not.
Taking a look at several other threats reveal the same outcome. As instability in the Middle East steadily increases, the loss of our critical oil supply threatens to cripple the economy, cripple our ability to produce food (farms use a lot gas), and cripple our ability to defend ourselves (the military uses a lot of gas too). Even something as deadly as a in influenza pandemic, such as the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed between 50 and 100 million people, would not kill everyone it infects and not everyone would be infected. Even if you died from the pandemic, statistics say that your spouse or at least a few of your children would survive. Would your family be prepared to survive without you?
The point of this post is to emphasize that most people will survive most catastrophic disasters, so dying is not a preparedness plan! If this is your plan, than you have accepted the fate of starvation, which is a slow and horrific process. Just consider the pictures from concentration camps after the holocaust. I do not believe that any rational person could wish this outcome upon themselves or their family. Take action now, start your stockpile and form your catastrophe network.