We know that big cities and major urban centers will likely experience large-scale riots and looting during and after a political or economic collapse or other major SHTF event. The looting will likely spread to the suburbs immediately surrounding these areas as people become desperate and attempt to flee the cities. But what about small towns and rural areas well-away from the large cities? Will they be safe from riots and looting? My answer is yes. And no. Let me explain:
Yes. Small towns and rural areas well-away from large cities will be relatively safe from large-scale riots and looting of the big cities. Looters will not spread out of the cities very far. They won't be able to because:
- gasoline supplies will disappear within the first 24-hours of a major SHTF event and will not be replenished
- looters are not preppers, and haven't stored any extra gas or even topped off their tanks, severely limiting how far they can drive away from the city
- roadways will quickly become undrivable anyway, as vehicles break-down and run out of gas, clogging up the roadways
- most modern Americans are overweight, unhealthy, and out-of-shape, therefore will be unable to hike out of the cities very far
- most who try to leave the cities on foot will die of violence, heart attacks, heat strokes, dehydration, etc.
A few city folks - Although the vast majority of the rioters and looters will be stuck in the cities for the reasons given above, a handful of particularly lucky or resourceful individuals will make it out, and they will be desperate and dangerous. Fortunately there won't be many of them, so you should be able to defend against them. That is if you and your group or community have planned ahead for such a defense. See the book Retreat Security and Small Unit Tactics by David Kobler (Southern Prepper 1) and Mark Goodwin for more information.
A few local folks - Yes, a few local folks may become problems for the community. There are always a few bad apples in any community who will try to take advantage of any situation that presents itself. And there will be others - good folks who just aren't prepared - that will eventually turn to looting and other crimes out of desperation. Think ahead about what (if any) help or charity you will be willing to give friends and neighbors, and how best to do so. You also may need to prepare yourself for the possibility of having to defend yourself and your property from someone you know should things become really desperate.
Local Government and Law Enforcement - In a true long-term crisis situation, local authorities, well-intentioned or not, may attempt to confiscate food and supplies for re-distribution within the community. They will have a long list of reasonable sounding excuses for doing so, will have the backing for any local media that may still be operating, and will have the overwhelming support of the locals in need because they weren't prepared for a crisis. Having government take other people's stuff and give it to you is very popular these days. You need to decide now to what extent you will cooperate with or resist such efforts. And if you plan to resist, how? Options include pretending to be among those in need (are your supplies well-hidden?), turning over a token amount of food and supplies (again, are the rest of your supplies well-hidden?), or physically resisting when they come to your home to inspect it for supplies you have "hoarded." If you choose the last option, are you prepared for a gun-battle with the local authorities, who will be at least as well-armed and well-trained as you and your group, and probably more so?
Preppers concerned about a major SHTF event need to think through these issues, making plans and preparations now, rather than wait until its too late.
Retreat Security and Small Unit Tactics by David Kobler (Southern Prepper 1) and Mark Goodwin, "will teach you how to organize your team or neighborhood into a force to be reckoned with. You’ll get tips to harden your home and protect your family, life and property, both now and after the stuff hits the fan."
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