After the Apocalypse: What Will You Do Then?

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Many Preppers get into the lifestyle of prepping, trying to solve a problem. The individuals and scenarios each person has in mind while contemplating their own unique problem are a different as any can be, but the problem usually is the same. We are all trying to avoid suffering needlessly when we don’t have to. Preparedness can be summed up simply in my opinion. It is the act of taking proactive measures to mitigate the risks to life of disasters. We prepare so that if something bad happens we can be ready to stop it, to avoid it or to live through it. The “IT” is different for each of us. Everyone has their own version of something bad but many preparedness supplies can address the needs of numerous bad scenarios because at the end of the day, prepping is all about staying alive.

Frequently, as we begin planning for those bad scenarios, we envision all manner of horrible problems that we could face with our family. Perhaps the direst and most drastic vision we can collectively focus on is some form of Apocalypse. This is the worst movie plot imaginable, a Mad Max world where it is literally Hell on Earth and survival is pictured as every man for himself. The Road and Book of Eli and dozens of other prepper movies paint the picture so well of a bleak, dangerous landscape. The apocalypse is usually planet-wide and can be the result from many potential factors but the actual definition of what an apocalypse is varies according to every person’s interpretation. Without splitting hairs, we can likely all agree that an apocalypse is the worst prepping problem that any of us can imagine facing.

Some call it TEOTWAWKI and that is a good acronym, but can we have a true apocalypse without it being ‘The End of the World as We Know it’? Could most of the life on earth be wiped out or lost due to calamity without the world coming to an end? Maybe I am taking it too literally in this context, but I am not planning for the end of the world. If that happens, we will all be gone anyway.

But an apocalypse is something that you could still live through, right? At least that is what many of us seem to be prepping for. What could life be like after the apocalypse and why do so many preppers need to adjust your thinking about the probable facts of life we all plan on living through.

So you lived through the Apocalypse, now what?

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Let me start out by saying that I may be just as guilty of thinking the way I am going to address here as anyone else and frequently, my thoughts on prepping tend to evolve or shift with something in the news. I have been known to write on the same subject from a couple, maybe contrasting viewpoints and I just chalk that up to some of the duties of writing a prepping blog and learning like so many others as I go. I don’t have too many prepper ideas that are set in stone and have been known to change my thinking occasionally.

Case in point is this one. Most of my preps to date have been what we should realistically categorize as short-term preparations. I have an amount of food stored up and the means to grow my own going forward if the conditions are favorable, but I am not guaranteed food forever. I have water stored up to last me through short-term emergencies and methods to collect and treat additional water in virtually limitless capacity provided it rains, but that doesn’t guaranty I will always have water. I have shelter options, a suitable amount of weapons and ammo stored, first aid supplies and medicine enough to last a while and knowledge in the form of books to teach myself or others a plethora of skills should I choose to read them, but all of those things guarantee nothing. I have prepping supplies but what does all that mean?

You may be thinking that all these supplies I have are meaningless if they are swept away in a house fire and you would be right. You may be saying to yourself, well that just proves that stuff is irrelevant; skills are what you need to focus on for survival and I can see that argument too, but everything above assumes that the situation will never change.

Life will keep moving after the Apocalypse

Preppers seem to be planning for these big problems in our lives that we can foresee coming down the road. I have talked openly about an Economic Collapse but I still think that even globally that would not be something we could say was an apocalyptic event.  Whatever event you think could bring on that Mad Max scenario, war, famine, plaque, global warming, solar flares, earthquakes, meteor strikes, our preparations are at best going to last a short while. If you are amazingly prepared and also very fortunate, maybe you will live a couple of years after the unknown event has wiped out most of society. But what then?

Too often I talk to commenters and even other prepping bloggers who seem to have the thought that all we have to do is live through the initial chaos of our apocalypse problem and then we will be free to live out our lives in peace. As if we just need to survive the initial die off and then everyone left will be the ones ‘who were prepared’. Do we assume that the ones who were prepared will be free to just go back to farming our land? I don’t see this happening in history at all and even if it does, the initial period will likely not be months or years but decades. Are you prepared to survive on your freeze-dried food for that long?

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Do we assume that the ones who were prepared will be free to just go back to farming our land?

Two thoughts I have on this are that first of all, it won’t just be the ones who were prepared that survive. It will be those who want to survive that live and many preppers will die just as quickly as those who weren’t prepared at all. Give me a desperate individual with nothing to lose and put them up against a scared neophyte with a basement full of supplies who believes in their own superiority without any practical training and expertise and I would bet on the desperate individual every time. The most well-armed ‘prepper’ in the world is nothing without the will to shoot when necessary and the good fortune not to be shot in the back first.

The second thought is that people throughout time have formed communities and eventually those communities need more resources. When they need more resources, that usually means that they have to expand their territory. If someone is in the way, there could be conflict. Where there is conflict, usually people die. Life in the apocalypse won’t be any different. Eventually you will need to form up with a larger group unless you are living in the trees or a cave somewhere. You can’t expect to just while your days away in peace and happiness growing a small garden and tending to your livestock while your solar power generator charges each day and allows you to watch your DVD collection that was stored alongside the DVD player in your Faraday cage forever.

Prepping isn’t a permanent solution

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Preppers sometimes seem to have the attitude (and again, I have been slightly guilty of this myself on occasion) that we will by nature of our preparedness survive longer than anyone else. Perhaps that may be and many steps of preparedness certainly place us in a better position to do so in most situations, but nothing is guaranteed in life.

Prepping in my mind gives us an incredible advantage that many people don’t have, but it isn’t a superhero suit. Our prepping supplies don’t imbue on us any magical charm that will keep bad things from happening and even if we do outlive most people we are simply back to square one in a new game. When it comes to anything resembling apocalypse, your preparations if you are lucky will allow you to live for a while longer, but there won’t be any rest at that time. You will just advance to the next round and hope your planning, skills and preparations can continue giving you advantages over the next person.

As preppers, we need to be equally concerned about the other side of the disaster, not just making it through it when we are talking about Apocalypse. We need to plan not only on surviving, but rebuilding. What remains to be rebuilt will depend on the disaster I guess. In an apocalypse, it will probably be everything from our local level on up. This could take a huge amount of time and even if we make it to some rebuilding period, life as we knew it won’t ever be the same. We should all look at our prepping supplies, skills, plans and strategies as tools we hope to use to get us to that place where we have another opportunity to survive.

Prepping is a great lifestyle to practice and it has benefits from simple run of the mill problems to end of the world as we know it scenarios, but it is not a solution in and of itself. Prepping gives you a leg up, but you still have a part to play. There will still be difficulties even if you do make it through and knowing that going in may better prepare you when you come out the other side. Hope I see you all there.

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24 Comments on "After the Apocalypse: What Will You Do Then?"

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Caljack
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Now! this would be a great topic to discuss at a group meeting. Not just to kick around-but one that should be seriously discussed and plan for. Should Prepper groups construct a 5 year or 10 year plan? Will the planned bug out location support your group for such a time period? Survival is one thing- BUT- starting to re build, deal with domestic situations that will arise -is something totally different. Just look at the candidates running for President today. Deciding which path to take is not easy. What qualifications should your leader have. What is their back ground?… Read more »
Pat Henry
Guest

Thanks for the comments Caljack! I am sure we could get into a lot of different details, but it would be hugely speculative unless we started with a baseline. Still a worth thought exercise in my opinion. I know of some who have tried to coalesce all of this type of information into a guide book for their own communities with varying degrees of thoroughness and in some cases, communistic style dictatorship.

BobW
Guest

I agree that this is a great opener for a live discussion…over beer.

Mike Lashewitz
Guest

Survive and rebuild. Next Question?

Pat Henry
Guest

Thanks Mike. I will try to come up with something harder next time…

Kula Farmer
Guest

Reality is something could happen thatcompletely destroys all your preps and shelter, then your screwed period

Pat Henry
Guest

Very true Kula. Assuming that doesn’t happen though, what do you plan to do when its all over?

BobW
Guest

Well shoot, I thought this was going to be tough. What do I do after it happens? The same thing I do every day, make plans to take over the world…one acre at-a-time.

But seriously, expand the footprint into the vacant land around us, branch out through filling vacant homes nearby with family and friends who’ve fallen in with us, and build our own, self-sufficient community.

BobW
Guest

I agree with the reality part, but completely disagree with the ‘your screwed’ part. Sure it will be hard, but I for one will not give up.

Country Lady
Guest

I think the main thing is to be prepared, and having a way to get home even if it’s 100’s of miles away.

BobW
Guest

To me, this speaks to the mental aspect of prepping. Not speaking of survival skills, but the ability and willingness to put said skills to use.

I’m not talking about finding a couple grubs in the forest for a snack. I’m talking about understanding when you need to put your morals and values in your rucksack, and accomplish the mission of survival, regardless of the emotional damage your actions SHOULD bring to yourself.

Can you put away your ‘civilized self’ and unleash the primal beast to ensure your family survives?

Cowmama
Guest

PLAQUE??
AS IN:
Whatever event you think could bring on that Mad Max scenario, war, famine, plaque, global warming, solar flares, earthquakes, meteor strikes, our preparations are at best going to last a short while.

BobW
Guest

Which is why skills are so important. Being able to make and sustain a ‘victory’ garden, wrangling up the wild rabbits and breeding them, etc.. are the methods through which one might be able to survive. Sitting in a hole eating canned meat will eventually result in well fed skeletons.

GRAMPA
Guest
We will have as many problems as we will have solutions. Prepping will take you hopefully past the majority of the chaos. Many will have food on the shelf for a few days. the poor in the intercity even less. Water will be in short supply so we will see the migration start. They don’t know where they are going but they are on their way. If government is able to organize these people will be moved into camps with little resistance. You don’t want to be in this. It offers prime conditions to spread disease. This will kill the… Read more »
Bolofia
Guest

Three axioms:
1. If you live long enough to plant a crop, you will also need to live long enough to harvest and defend it. Otherwise, it will only be of use to someone else.
2. The big die-off will reduce competition, but not eliminate it.
3. There will always be more problems than solutions.
Good, thought provoking article!

Pat Henry
Guest

Thanks Bolo! Those are great axioms for the future many of us will need to consider should the worst happen.

Chuck Findlay
Guest
As far as what I (all of us) will do after the Apocalypse is easy and at the same time hard to answer. The easy answer is that I want to die from growing old and to have done so in relative comfort. The hard answer is that events well beyond my control could make comfort or even living to old age hard to do. Like most of us I buy food, grow food, stock all kinds of supplies I think I may need. I have guns to defend myself, solar panels, tools to keep doing my handyman / repair… Read more »
Paul
Guest
Great start and thanks. I tried to rate it but the rating function failed. I live in an urban setting and don’t plan to bug out when the SHTF. I have talked to most of my neighbors and know where they stand for the most part. A few will stay and we can defend ourselves from the rabble unless it’s folks who have training and advance in a military fashion. Those who know me also know I plan to burn everything around me as it becomes empty to deter squatters. Unless of course family or friends want to move in… Read more »
Pat Henry
Guest

Great points Paul! Thank you so much for your thoughts and perspective.

overit
Guest
chuck F and granpa have the longterm views. Ive also thought along similar lines yes we can store food fuel seed etc but in every nation I know of the military (or remnants of (will assume)are assigned the power to TAKE all food gold animals and fuel from the citizens in declared emergency.. for the “good of all” for the ptb to apportion. managing to keep your few animals safe and hidden? and with feed.. you dont have a functional national log of guns yet but theyve got a pretty good idea some of us are screwed that way before… Read more »
walcon
Guest
They will bang down your doors and take what you have prepped. You will not be able to stop mob after mob after mob, nor individuals flowing through 24/7 armed and ready to kill you without batting an eye and from a hidden position they have been watching you from. They already know if you are in the deserted areas that you are a prepper- they will head for you first. Your garden will give up it’s food to them at night. You will just be in their way like an ant they will treat you and squash you under… Read more »
Badger Badgerism
Guest

HAVE YOU READ the BIBLE?…THIS IS IT…IT ENDS THEN JESUS COMES BACK AND RESTORES BALANCE…the ONLY AFTER IS HIM REBUILDING the WORLD AND NATURE…
the TRICK IS TO SURVIVE UNTIL HE GETS BACK

Marty Stamler
Guest
If the apocalypse you’re talking about is the scriptural tribulation and final battle, there won’t be any reason to “prep” at all. Everyone who is part of government in any way, part of religion in any way, and anyone else who directly opposes God or Jesus, or believes pagan things about them like trinity and such, will be exterminated in an instant. There will only be the “great crowd” alive, and they only number less than ten million at present. They are those whom God says He will protect alive during these apocalyptical events. All else will be gone. All… Read more »
Sandesh S.
Guest
Predictions 2016 – Superquake in Pakistan 2017 – Start of war in Middle east 2018 – Start of WW3, Nuclear weapons used towards end of the war. Till 2023 – USA, China, Indian continent massively hit by WW3 nuclear war. 50% Humans dead. 70% worlds cities, infrastructure in ruins. Between 2016 – 2023 Massive Environmental disaster in California, possibly a superquake. Superquake in Japan Melting of all ice caps and all Islands submerged in oceans. Post 2023 – 30 years after effect of WW3 100 years to rebuild the world. World Peace for 1000 years. End of ‘Fidel’ Religion. New… Read more »
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