1. Remain calm at all times. There may be lots of frightened, desperate people wandering in the aftermath of a breakdown of the social order: this is the greatest danger of all. Do not give in to panic — it impairs rational thinking and adds to the overall anarchy.
2. Make sure that the social order really has broken down, rather than some local disturbance, such as a riot, uprising, or strike.
- Remember: a social breakdown is not caused by a specific disaster, but arises out of the actions and reactions of individual people
- If you have access to media, check local radio and television news stations, or dial to an emergency station. The government, if communications systems are still functional, should be broadcasting emergency information alerting its citizens of the danger.
3. Take measure of your overall surroundings.
- Ask yourself: What resources do I have access to What do I need Where do I go to get what I need What don’t I need
- A clear list of essentials is vital to creating a solid support plan.
4. Consolidate your immediate support networks: friends, close coworkers, family, and neighbors.
- No man is an island; it is crucial to remain connected to your community to insure that you have support during a breakdown of government.
- Make sure that your loved ones are safe by keeping them close by, if possible.
5. Venture out to procure any needed supplies.
- Be aware: in the immediate aftermath of a disastrous breakdown of the social order, if you are in an urban area, there will likely be many, many people looking for the same thing. Looting may be rampant and widespread, and in the chaos, you may not be able to reach your ideal supply centers.
- Have contingencies in mind: cast your net wide, but locally. Do not venture too far from your base of operations in search of needed supplies, and if other people are willing to fight you for it, back away. The key is to be adaptable and stay calm.
6. Having secured your supplies, it will be time to consolidate things back at home. This will call for you to become an effective leader: oftentimes even a well-prepared group can break down due to internal tensions.
- Keep a level head and try to be fair and impartial in dealing with difficult or stressful situations between people.
- You will all be under a great deal of stress: try to encourage stress-relieving activities, such as plenty of exercise, meditation, board games and puzzles, reading, and investing time in learning useful practical skills.
- Delegate resources efficiently and according to need. Although some will obviously want special treatment, remember to keep in mind that your resources are limited. If necessary, use triage.
- Give everyone a useful task. Idle hands are the devil’s plaything.
- Resolve arguments before they can occur. If you sense tension or anxiety growing between two people, try to intervene and get the issue out into the open before it can escalate into a confrontation.
- If conflicts are unavoidable, try first negotiating a compromise: speak to each person involved on a personal basis — don’t try to be a dictator. Calm spirits by speaking in a firm, but soothing tone. If the situation continues to degenerate, get friendly, neutral parties to restrain the combatants.
- Having created your small community, secured a supply of resources, and taken charge of its leadership, you will be well prepared to wait out the social breakdown until the rule of law is restored.
- If it is truly catastrophic, resulting in national anarchy and a regression of civilization, you will need to take further steps to ensure that your community can become the nucleus for the rebirth of society.
Strategies For Coping With System Breakdown
- Plan ahead for emergency situations. Check the Red Cross preparedness kit to make sure you have supplies on had.
- Identify personal resources and make plans for coping with any disruptions in the supply of food, water, medicines, etc.
- Identify personal resources that you are willing to share with others if there are disruptions in the supply of food, water, medicines, etc.
2. Collapse of government services
- Identify personal resources and plans you are willing to share with others if there is a collapse of government services such as electricity, sewage & water treatment, postal and banking services, fire, police protection, etc.
- Identify personal resources and think about what you are willing to share with others if there is a collapse of government services.
3. Hunger, Cold, Extreme Weather
- Identify personal resources and plans you have available to counter hunger, cold & extreme weather.
- Identify personal resources and think about what you are willing to share with others to counter hunger, cold & extreme weather.
- Identify personal resources and think about what you have available for countering lawlessness.
- Identify personal resources and think about that you are willing to share with others in case of lawlessness.