How Will People Act After TEOTWAWKI?

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How Will People Act After TEOTWAWKI

What can you expect from people after TSHTF?  This is an idea I’ve deliberated over and thought I’d share with you.I think people – given a choice – tend to stick together with like-minded people, which is one of the reasons you came here today to read this blog.  And that’s great.  Who wants to hang out with someone that constantly disagrees with you or challenges your every thought?

The danger with this is that without someone to challenge you it makes it harder to grow as a person or a team.

Having said that here’s a list of types of people that I tend to clump together in groups.  They may or may not work together, but may pose a significant threat.  Not all the following should be considered dangerous, but keep in mind that when things get really tough family and close friends come first and everybody else comes second.

First of all, let’s categorize people after TEOTWAWKI.  And I’m assuming something big has happened for the sake of this discussion.  Social breakdown, economic collapse, that kind of thing.


There’s been a lot of speculation written about gangs and I think this comes down to a matter of where you live.  If you’re in a city where there’s a lot of gang activity then they are likely to cause problems.  If you live in the country far removed from gang activity then you’re probably less likely to run into them.

Threat:  armed, unafraid to use violence, some gangs have a strong honor code and will fight for their perceived “family”.

Bikers fall under the gangs category.

Druggies and Alcoholics

And by these, I’m talking about the people who are truly addicted to their drug of choice.  Once society breaks down there’s going to be a lot less of the types of drugs it takes to keep these people happy.  Once the drugs are gone those people looking to feed their addiction will get desperate and could become a danger to those nearby.  I don’t think they’ll go too far out of the cities and towns they live in, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye for people like this.

The Unprepared

The unprepared are the people who walk around saying, “The government will take care of us.”  The government might want to take care of you and may even have the best intentions when it comes to helping out after an emergency, but I’m not going to wait around with my hands in my pockets looking for a handout.

I think the people in this category will wait for a certain amount of time – let’s say three days – and then all hell will break loose when they find out that Uncle Sugar isn’t there to take care of them.  When the store shelves are empty and people are starting to get hungry is when you’ll start to see those standing around waiting for a hand out become those demanding food as their right as citizens.  Shortly thereafter will come food riots.

This is where you OPSEC will be very important.

The Prepared

This is the category you and I fall under.  I won’t be out actively looking for trouble, but if someone shows up with an attitude I won’t hesitate to ask them – nicely the first time – to keep on moving down the road.

Gun Nuts

These are the folks who think prepping simply means adding more guns and ammo to their arsenal.  If they have enough guns they’ll be able to take whatever they want from whoever has it.  Some of these folks may have military training or know enough about tactics to be a threat.  Nothing wrong with being a gun nut – I’m a bit of one myself; however, when their idea of prepping is to come take what you have through the use of superior firepower, then we have a problem.  Be wary of this group.


It may be that there are pockets of military units operating in your area.  If this is the case and they are running rogue the best bet is to avoid them as much as possible.  You can not win a firefight against a trained military unit.  If you think you can then you have obviously never been up against one and have them bound on you, or drop a few mortars or some artillery on your position.  Do NOT engage the military.

 Ordinary People

Ordinary people make up most of what I consider “civilization.”  They come in all shapes and sizes and can and will do unpredictable things during times of crisis.  One thing we’ve never endured here in the United States for many years is any kind of prolonged event that affected the entire country as a whole.  There have been many smaller regional disasters such as storms, earthquakes, wildfires, etc, but nothing that has taxed the entire country.

This is when funky things will start to happen.

As I drove through town this morning I watched those around me and here’s what I saw:

elderly people limping along, young people walking to and from work, a homeless woman taking cans out of a trash can, people living off the state sitting outside their government paid for apartments, construction workers tearing up a street, delivery people bringing goods to local markets, shop owners selling ice creams, truck drivers, cab drivers, and so on…

All of these people will have their own reaction to an event like an economic collapse:  confusion, fear, anger, denial, much the same as having a loved one die.  If all the money in your pocket and your bank accounts were suddenly worthless how would you feel?  Close your eyes and imagine that you only have a quarter of tank of fuel and suddenly gas is so expensive you can’t afford it or the lines are so long there’s no way you’ll be able to get any.  Food is gone off the supermarket shelves and the power is out or flickering.

How would you feel?

Now imagine millions of people all feeling the exact same thing only they’re not as prepared as you are.  Their idea of stocking up is two cans of soup and a container of oatmeal and now they might not be able to eat if they don’t get some food right away.  What do they do?  Beg?  Steal?  Threaten? Negotiate?  Riot?  I suppose it depends on the situation, but like I said there hasn’t been a challenge like this to the United States in a long long time.

So there you have it.  Some thoughts and ideas on people and how they’ll act after TSHTF.

What do you think?  I know you have some thoughts on the subject.

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

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