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Worst Case Scenario: Food

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posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 06:23 PM
This is part of my ongoing, abait recently started, project onto what i have dubbed the "Worst Case Scenario". It is the death of all (or most) electronic machines around the world, by an extreme solar event (or anything else causing the same effect).
the purpose is to hypothesize the effects on the social level, and the eventual outcome.

My aim in putting it here, is to gain some feedback, mainly on the fiddly bits like transport logistics related to consumer goods (a field in which i know nothing) and other specifics. But any input is appreciated.



  • Initial food stocks located in outlets such as supermarkets and delicatessens, mostly in suburban areas or inter-mixed zones.

  • Available stocks are replenished via constant delivery from a distribution warehouse, whereby multiple outlets are restocked from the same central facility.

  • Approximately 50% of stocks have a constantly maintained local environment (i.e. refrigerators, freezers or heaters.)

  • 25% of stocks are non-perishable goods, such as toiletries or household utensils as well as other hard goods.

  • 25% are sealed, tinned, freeze-dried or dehydrated, are fruits or vegetables or otherwise long life goods that do not need to be maintained.

  • Smaller outlets, such as private deli counters or green grocers will sell a more specific range of goods, however usually they are either green foods or confectionaries with limited selection of long lasting or sealed foods.

  • Cafés, kiosks or other small outlets, usually located more so in the downtown or central business districts will contain a very limited selection of all goods, and will not in most circumstances stock long life storable goods.

  • A large food outlet will usually cater for >5000 individuals at any one time, however this is spread out over time and counts for all those within a particular radius.

    • Smaller, privately owned outlets will be located within the radius of the larger ones but will serve a substantially lower base population, and will be more specific in the range of available goods


  • Initially, once a perception of the present situation occurs, there will be a significant rush for food stocks.

  • All persons within an outlets attractive radius will, at once, attempt to gather food.

    • Depending on the climatic conditions, season or other weather variables, food kept under maintained conditions will turn within 1-2 days, depending on its type of maintenance (i.e. whether it’s refrigerated or frozen, heated etc.)

    • Priority choices will be canned foods, followed by sealed, freeze-dried and dehydrated as well as fruits and vegetables. Depending on the outlet, alcohol will also be of preference, particularly spirits or wine

  • Due to the nature of the methods of stock maintenance employed by all large scale outlets, food or other stocks will quickly deplete


  • Production and/or cultivation of foods stuffs on a large scale will cease altogether in all parts of the world that use it.

  • Transportation of produced stuffs will be impossible on a large scale.

  • Maintaining of produced stocks, which require it, will cease, causing them to deteriorate and turn.

  • Any agricultural activity that is still in operation (through traditional means, nonetheless) will have no impact on urban areas, and will mostly be used for private sustenance or for that of local, small communities.


  • Within a month of the event, depending on local variables, all food stocks that were either salvaged, looted or otherwise acquired will deplete, any large stores acquired pre-event will hold out perhaps a year at the most depending on the means of its preservation and actual properties. (an example of the later is the typical “nuclear fallout shelter” emergency supply, although only a very limited number of persons will have this, in any form)

  • Within the first month, food related death, will be harsh but not immense, as large stocks will exist and will somehow make their way to a majority of a population; however, after a month any existing stocks, of all varieties will begin to, or would be depleted.

  • If it hasn’t already due to other factors, panic will quickly spread, or worsen substantially as food of all varieties are depleted.

    • Violence over food will escalate exponentially and will involve all members of a population

    • Death due to starvation will exponentially rise

[edit on 3-3-2009 by funny_pom]

posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 06:51 PM
The risk of the starvation is why there are so many threads about guns. Unfortunitly if something like this does go down people are going to try and do everything they feel neccisary in order to save themselfs and their families. This is the only reason I have any weapons at all, I truly hope that I never have to use them and am trying to make it so that I will be able to sustain more than just myself, but in the event my excistance is threatoned I will do what is neccisary to survive. I live mabey 50 miles outside of a city. Once the food supply has broken down there it will be only a matter of time before people start migrating out.

Anybody see the movie The Happening, the seen where the kids are banging on the house trying to get in and one ends up getting shot. Unfortunitly thats what I started thinking about when I was typing this, but I hope that I wont react that irrationally.

My advise; buy seeds and learn how to can food....

posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 07:08 PM
BBC Radio 4 are currently dramatising the survivalist novel "The Death Of Grass" (and one of NorthernRaider's must-reads) which deals with the global failure of crops and all other food-plants with catastrophic results

"Dramatisation of the science fiction novel by John Christopher.

It is 1956 and a virus has wiped out the crops of South East Asia, causing a famine. John Custance and his family visit his brother David's farm in Westmorland, convinced that the same thing could not happen there."

Its being broadcast in 15min/day episodes for the next week on R4 and available on iPlayer for the next 7 days

click link to listen:

The Death Of Grass - Pt1

[edit on 3-3-2009 by citizen smith]

posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 08:00 PM

Originally posted by unfndqlt
My advise; buy seeds and learn how to can food....

A good idea, and for that reason one that millions of others will employ also.
I am writing this project in a book form, kinda, and one of the later chapters will discuss the effects of mass exodus into the countryside. you can have as many seeds as you want, and know how to cultivate them but if one starving person (or family, which will be worse for you) knows you are cultivating edible crops they will want them for their family. this example could be for anything really: tools, food, medicine, livestock and so on, and will be most prevalent in the early stages post-event.

Citizen Smith:
Quite interesting, ill try and get into it if i have the resources (currently on mobile internet)
Is there anyway to download it, rather than stream it off the site?

posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 07:16 PM
And that is the reason why the people who are aware are arming themselfs. If neccissary I will be there stopping someone, or their family from taking what is mine.

posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 07:34 PM

Originally posted by unfndqlt
And that is the reason why the people who are aware are arming themselfs. If neccissary I will be there stopping someone, or their family from taking what is mine.

That's all very well in a country like the USA, where guns laws are lax and weapons are easy to obtain...what about the UK or Europe?
What would you suggest we use to defend ourselves and families?

posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 07:44 PM

I don't know... Keep yourself stocked, and keep yourself hidden?

posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 08:18 PM
Originally posted by unfndqlt

That's all very well in a country like the USA, where guns laws are lax and weapons are easy to obtain...what about the UK or Europe?
What would you suggest we use to defend ourselves and families?

I would say your best bet is to have a pre-positioned cache of canned food and concealed shelter.

Why? Well, your Authorities will move quickly to seize food warehouses and retail outlets just as they will in the U.S.

The National Guard in the US already practices mobilization exercises to secure of food stores / warehouses. Local Police will do the same thing at the local level.

Of course it is for the good of everyone that they do so so hoarders don't take everything in the event of a short term disaster.

Of course, this is not so good in the event of a long term disaster such as catastrophic EMP (that the poster is suggesting).

During a long term (endgame) problem, here is my expected timetable of events. This is a Continental or World event only description here. A common hurricane or disaster would not cause the steps below:

#1 Martial Law, food will be rationed by the authorities with first priority to soldiers, police, 1st responders. Large cities may be abandoned by the Authorities if they cannot control the situation, taking as much with them as possible if the population cannot be controlled (chaos).

#2 As time goes on, Door to door search and seizure of food held by "hoarders" of food and ammunition.

#3 If the disaster is discovered to be nationwide and the "authority" in charge knows that there is no relief and probably will not be relief, #2 may come almost immediately. And if it is that bad... as soon as the Authority knows or suspects how bad it is, they will determine that their well being and their families trumps everyone else and they must take what THEY can to survive and will move out or fortify with all of the supplies they have acquired from the stores / warehouses and confiscation / seizure.

#4 Armed bands will regiment within days to weeks and if the authorities haven't already went door to door, they will.

#5 Federal / State authorities may also go town to town to "acquire" supplies from the populous or food storage that the local authorities have secured. (Battles will erupt)

#6 Both Gangs and Refugees will leave the cities and blood will spill through the suburbs... then the countryside.

#7 What's left of communities / people will flock to one of two strategies... Defensive Group Homesteaders and mobile looting armies.

If ANYONE knows you have anything.. you will be a target.

You will not have much defense in the UK because the "authorities" will be armed and the people will not. You will be at the mercy both gangs and authorities.

[edit on 11-3-2009 by infolurker]

posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 08:36 PM
I feel for ya's over in the UK..
If the chips were to fall and I didnt have what I have to defend me and mine,I don't know how I would feel..I would geuss very nervous..The thought of having some one kick in my door and not having lead flung at them really puts things in prospective I geuss..

I remember years ago watching either one of the Death Wishes with Charles Bronson,they had to barricade and or booby trap there apartments from crooks..I relize its tv but a few good idears can be found..

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 12:09 AM
I dont worry about food in a sit-x for the simple reason...those who I choose to kill will be both food, and the eradication of competition for scarce food resources. It will be done swiftly, silently, and with grace...whether bunny rabbit or the Joneses from over the road

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 03:16 AM
Military and civilian agencies will indeed attempt (and i stress attempt) to gain control over food stocks; however, remembering the nature of the proposed catalyst event, there will be little mobility in the form of motor vehicles. This may be because either they use modern vehicles that employ direct injection engines, or they will simply get bogged down in the streets, which will be filled with the stalled cars exposed to the event. If it occurred during a peak traffic period, the results will be worse, one could barely walk through the congestion let alone drive.
it will evidently be down to who gets there first, and since citizens live closer to food outlets than the national guard, then it will get ransacked rather fast.

Warehouses are a different story altogether. Firstly they will be scattered around the outskirts of the cities, and secondly they will be in very limited numbers. Also few will know about their existence (that is their exact location rather than whether they exist at all). So perhaps they will be secured. But will this have any reasonable long term effect, i doubt it. Any government organization will quickly loose its control, if any, of a situation and will be either overrun or will be forced to retreat.

In the end they will end up like the rest, since soldiers need food too.

citizen smith:
I dont worry about food in a sit-x for the simple reason...those who I choose to kill will be both food, and the eradication of competition for scarce food resources. It will be done swiftly, silently, and with grace...whether bunny rabbit or the Joneses from over the road

About the most frank and dead reasonable response so far. This is what most will end up doing one way or another. So forget about fancy bug out plans, collecting camping gear and hording guns and tinned food, or you will just end up like the Joneses. Its not about moral values here, it doesnt matter what you do to who, what matters is winning i.e. not being dead.

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 06:39 AM

Originally posted by citizen smith
I dont worry about food in a sit-x for the simple reason...those who I choose to kill will be both food, and the eradication of competition for scarce food resources. It will be done swiftly, silently, and with grace...whether bunny rabbit or the Joneses from over the road

Excellent point and one that i agree with 100%.

The thing that bothers me is this:
The law-abiding citizen will have "nothing to defend themselves with" other than a few household objects that can be used at close-quarters.

Whilst the criminal gangs and such will roam the streets [as they do now] killing at "will" with illegal guns / knives etc.
They will [again, as they do now] have no morals in taking everything the law-abiding person has managed to save.

This will be hard times for all concerned, but IMO the gangs will at some point "let their guard down" or get greedy and maybe make a wrong desicison that allows some of the weapons to end up in the hands of the law-abiding people...[ie they attack in a smaller number, because of greed, or rivalry within the group and end up geting killed or severely wounded, by the would-be victims]

"end of rant" sorry

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 07:39 AM
Spikey, being in the UK myself there are quite a few possibilities for weapons, some legal ,some not, depending on the situation (X) .
And the timeframe you wish to prepare in.

Not so legally , find a 'dubious' character and try to purchase a firearm of sort, oh, and ammo as well, - But here in the UK real firearms and ammo will run out eventually.
Legally , buy an airgun and a 'self pumping' air tank, ammo can be scavanged from a range of lead sources even soldering wire from a hardware shop providing you have a pellet maker.

Other weapons include bows and crossbows, swords are currently a NO-NO unless its over 100 years old, an old sword can still be a sharp sword.
Weapons can be made from anything, a sports shop can supply cricket bats and baseball bats, and darts , knives are always a good bet, in the face of a very big knife a hungry mob will think twice before attacking.

None of the above require electical power to charge or use, which in the event of a solar flare would be useful.
As you go round your local area , take note of 'useful' shops or businesses that could aid you should you need it.
Here in and near Sutton are 2 gun shops, selling airguns and shotguns , could be important to note where the army surplus shops are as well or camping shops , (Milletts and such).

The majority of people will wander about aimlessly waiting for the Government to help them, my advice , and it IS ONLY ADVICE, if TS ever HTF then loot these shops quickly (after the event only and not before) whilst the autorities are busy with the masses, after all, the Government will be looking our for themselves and their families first, the public comes a very distant second and no one should rely on them for any kind of quick help.


Stockpile as much dried food as you can , bags of pasta, rice and dried soups are good, store them where people won't expect, in the event people who will break into homes to find food will always head to the kitchen first.
I stated in another post to hide dried food in a sealed container in a very oily , grubby cardboard box covered over with oily cars parts in the garage if you have one, No-one would ever think of looking in there for food.
Squirrel amounts of food all over the place, its better to have a little than to have none, packet soup in your underwear drawer will look out of place but is unobrutusive to your daily life. Dried pasta packet hidden in the airing cupboard under a few towels, or behind umpteen loo rolls ( just refill the loo rolls before it becomes obvious otherwise your partner will think you have gone cuckoo.
Everyone has a cupboard or two, hide things in a box or crate in there, label it photos or something, As I said earlier people may ransack a house looking for food and valuables but won't stop to bother to look at the holiday snaps.

Invest in a very good water filter and survival tools, books on what not to eat and how to cook what you catch are always a good read, and can be helpful, you can tear out the things that don't apply to your country , that'll make the books lighter and easier to carry.

Invest in the biggest tent you can carry , and get the whole family involved with carrying some sort of baggage, like each person has their own sleeping bag , etc.

All we can do is prepare for the worst but hope for the best and that whatever the situation ( X) is , is that it never happens, but its better to have the stuff lying around unused, than to have a use but no stuff.

Even a gang as stated in the above post will have infighting as the food becomes scarce, buy silent weapons, bows and knives and learn how to use them safely, learn the lie of the land and use it as advantage , after all the gangs will be rampaging noisily and if you have to defend yourself and your family then you can do it quietly and in the dark and the gangs won't know where you are.
When you walk through a park, before hand read an edible plant book and spot the ones you can eat, whilst learning to tread quietly, if you learn to place your feet instead of stamping you wont look too silly if someone sees you, walk slower next time.

[edit on 12/3/09 by DataWraith]

posted on Mar, 12 2009 @ 08:35 AM
For those in the U.K. if staying in,
Read up on chemical reactions..

There are many things you can do to protect you self.

Mustard Gas, Ammonia and Bleach.

Explosives, Powder carpet cleaner and pool chemicals..

Flame thrower, Good old wasp/hornet spray with a 25' range.

The ones that will survive will be the ones that think.

a air rifle can only do so much. BUT say you have a plastic bottle
with 2 compartments one full of ammonia and 1 bleach.

Now that air rifle is a lethal weapon. all you have to be able to do is hit the target and let them mix as they leak out on the ground.

Hang those round your area for protection.

There are a LOT of things you can do over there, its just a different
way of thinking.

Survival in any situation is all in the mind, and using the mind..

Pay attention to your surroundings.

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