Last week was tense as far as international relations go. We’re standing in a big puddle of gasoline and hoping that no one decides to light a cigarette because if they do, we’ll all go up in flames. For some background, here’s the information I gathered on the conflict between the US and Syria, along with the ties to Russia.
When there are missiles involved and talk of sending over ground troops, it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to believe that the current proxy war between the United States and Russia could turn into the real deal: World War III.
How would you even begin to prep for this?
If the conflict never reached American soil, there would still be dramatic changes in the way we live right now. Not only would the threat of violence be hanging over our heads – when will an attack happen and will my area be targeted? – but there would be serious economic and supply ramifications.
Preparing for this could be a book in and of itself, so I’m breaking this into two parts.
In the first installment, I’ll share some insights garnered from the readers. Next time around, we’ll discuss the preparations you need to begin making right away.
I had a chat with readers to discuss what they foresaw as the most likely concerns should these tensions escalate into a full-blown world war. Some of the comments are from people who recall living through a war, while others are educated suppositions from people with military backgrounds. Still others are stories passed down from parents and grandparents.
I asked these questions:
- If World War 3 were to break out, how do you believe it would affect the average American?
- What challenges do you think we would face here at home?
- What shortages do you predict would occur?
- How would you prep for this?
One principle that everyone seems to agree on is that we’ll be living very differently from our current luxurious, everything-on-demand lifestyles. It will be a dramatic change for many people, especially those who have never produced anything physical, like food, clothing, or other items. The government won’t be in a position to help those who can’t help themselves, and this could hit younger people particularly hard.
Here’s what the readers had to say.
It would definitely affect Americans, average or not, because as a Nation we WOULD be involved. We may see higher prices on all goods , expecially oil, whether as a direct result of war or producers/retailers taking advantage for a higher profit.
We’d probably see rationing if it was prolonged, certainly an elevated Threat Level here at home, perhaps more ‘lone wolf’ attacks, more protests, and definitely more fear, which would be the most difficult for most people (sadly).
Considering that large swaths of the population don’t see themselves as part of this culture and that those same people have never delayed any gratification. I see riots and looting the minute after they’ve been told that their new “must have” kicks won’t be able to be imported due to fuel shortages and trade embargoes.
Buy. More. Ammo.
Read Alas,Babylon by Pat Frank. [Note from Daisy: You can get that book here and I highly recommend it.] WWIII could be a whole different ball game.
Since we import everything, I see huge shortages, or extreme high prices. Prepping for this, I would stick up on DIY books and knowledge, heirloom seeds, and clothes. If it gets really bad the government can take your food, but not your knowledge.
My Uncle served in WWll and Korea and Dad served during Korea and I served during Vietnam. Our families went through the great depression and passed down to children lessons learned.
My family is ready. We have home canned goods, stored fuels, Private well with stock pond and creek, generator numerous freezers of food that I can, if need be, home can most everything in there that would be necessary to save and enough self-defense equipment. I garden and home can every year as well as hunting and fishing with meat canned as well.
America has always been lucky. The land is isolated from Asia and Europe, and our neighbors have been friendly. WW3 will probably see impact on our shores and it won’t be good.
Interuptions of food, gasoline, and perscription drugs will happen first. Panic in the cities no doubt. That 3 days of food will be history, probably in less than 2. People will die in hospitals and elder care facilities due to shortages and lack of doctors and nurses since they will be taking care of their own families. Firefighters and paramedics will stay home too once they realize thia is long term. Local governments may step into the vacuum each to their own talents and faults. Not a pretty picture.
Prepping should be food, water, fuel, drugs, seeds, gardening tools, preservation of food ability, clothing for all seasons (remember kids grow), shoes, nails and screws to fix stuff, tarps, duck tape, etc.
~If World War 3 were to break out, how do you believe it would affect the average American?
I think the media would try to console us and convince us that things were not as bad as they seem…and food riots, power inturruptions and mini pandemics were localized and rare…but the truth of the matter is…we live in a “supply side” economy and when gas starts being rationed and the trucks stop…America stops. The propaganda machine will swear to us that we are winning the war and that the sacrifices are worth the victory…but we will eventually learn that no one benefits from prolonged warfare.
~What challenges do you think we would face here at home?
Massive shortages, an increase in crime, an economic recession as the government prints more and more money to pay for the war. Rationing and a new “black market” emerges.
~What shortages would occur?
The essay “when the trucks stop America stops” [Note from Daisy – find that essay here] said that EVERYTHING will disappear from shelves within 2 weeks. This will occur because gasoline will be rationed and interstate travel will become limited due to xenophobia. Hospitals will run out of medicine and wont be able to treat the sick. Stores wont stock food.
Thats when the theft kicks in…and thats when martial law will be used in most urban areas. Troops will search every home and confiscate whatever they feel will make their job easier and make you less of a threat. And of course…this will make the shortages even more severe.
~How would you prep for this?
The key really is “skills”. Not just survival/bushcraft skills but manufacturing and bartering skills as well. If you know how to make soap, distill alcohol, purify water, trap small game for meat, know how to grow vegetables…you can manufacture goods you can barter for other goods and even services.
Thats what I have done. I’ve developed skills that I can use to create things of value that I will use to trade for what I do not have.
We got a glimpse of reactions after Hurrican Katrina. The entitlement crowd felt entitled to steal and riot since they weren’t getting their freebies.
Will they suddenly get patriotic and sacrifice for the good of the country? Highly unlikely.
If World War 3 were to break out, how do you believe it would affect the average American?
This question depends on where to break out is. Generally speaking, I believe a large section of the populace will panic. They are just not prepared, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, financially or have the necessary skills to actually provide for themselves or their families.
People would be so stunned by the depth of cuts needed to provide the necessary material to fight a World War that government (local and national) would have to step in on an even more intrusive level. Many ‘average Americans” would starve, die of diseases, or just succumb to the circumstances as they are not prepared for something of this magnitude. We have forgotten the lessons of the past.
What challenges do you think we would face here at home?
1. Economy2. Access to Medical services3. “Things” breaking down and no idea how to fix or manage without them– Computers, banking, cars, etc.…4. Security5. Safety6. Fear
What shortages would occur?
Fuel, Power, Food staples (sugar, butter, meats), Medications, Metal, Labor (farm, “menial”), Textiles, Precious Metals. This list is far from complete, but highlights those things that come immediately to mind.
Don’t forget that the things needed to produce them would also be in limited supply, so to would be the individuals that know how to make things.
We have become a nation that insists on attending Colleges and Universities instead of trade schools, we are losing the ability to “make” things and keep them up and running.
How would you prep for this?
1. LEARN how to do many different things. Doesn’t mean I have to master them, just means I have to make things work for my needs.2. GROW the items that will allow me to survive and hopefully thrive.3. STOCK UP on the items I can’t grow or procure.– Meats, arms, spare parts, tools, toiletries, medications– Precious metals– Communications capability 4. REUSE, REFURBISH everything5. NOW put items up that have “proven” long shelf life.– Canning, smoking, curing the items I need and like.6. CONTACTS are needed because no one person can do everything7. CURRENTLY try to live that lifestyle, as anything over and above is a gift and should be treated so8. MENTALLY prepare to do what is necessary to ensure my families welfare and safety9. PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE some more10. FAITH we will all need this to get through11. GUTS, trust your guts before your heart when dealing with mankind in all things– People WILL screw you and attempt to take what you have work hard for12. TRUST the ones you have chosen to be in your life
How it would affect the “average American” is easy. Since most have lost touch with the ability to grow their own food, much less preserve it (heck many don’t when know how to cook). That with the possible reduction in imported goods, the average American may end up in the fetal position until the war ends. Mexico is threatening to not send us their goods in protest over our immigration policies (a move that will probably hurt them more than us, frankly).
For awhile, fuel shouldn’t be an issue because we still aren’t exporting it. There will be a spike in costs across the board. My advice, get your butt in the dirt! Learn to garden, preserve, cook, fix your own stuff rather than replacing at every turn.
When I lived in Israel the govt. told us to have a 3 week supply of water and food. We still have our “war closet” here in the U.S.. I am aiming at 3 month supply. We had to use our supplies there more because of job losses. Once when there was a terror attack the govt shut down ATMs so we learned to keep some cash on hand. Water and a way to cook long term are my biggest concerns living in an apartment.
If the bombs and destruction were not happening here on the homeland, there would be no affect. Many ppl would not even be aware that we were at war.
If, however, there were bombs and destruction on the homeland (God forbid), there would be total chaos and panic. There would be total breakdown of law and order in the urban areas, especially after a given city had sustained an attack.
Best place to be would be out in the country. First sign of WWIII, get out of Dodge (problem is, though, it will go down in hours, not days).
My parents grew up during the depression and my father was in England during WW2. Backyard gardens, chickens and rabbits were a regular thing for them. Today they are gone but not forgotten. Prepping is just routine for me. Anyone thinking that the Gov’t will be there to help you will surely not survive. We all have lives to live so I don’t obsess over everything but I do something every day to stay prepared.
Skills, skills, skills. Being able to grow, can, hunt, butcher,etc are key in my mind. Stockpiling is important to keep yourself well and comfortable to stay at home.
Here is my thought in medications, put back all you can but get to know an herbalist or naturopathic doc. Long term, meds can and will run out.
I don’t think very many people understand what truly hard times entail to thrive or just survive.
Start talking to people 70 and up and you’ll realize like I did that most info is flawed from the start and what preppers consider hard times they never saw it that good. No offense, I had to readjust my thinking too.
Like how they wouldn’t think twice about eating meat we would consider spoiled twice over. That’s why they damn near burned all the meat they ate. Burnt won’t make you sick but med- rare will with no refrigerator.
My dad served in three wars. He served WWII, army air corp before it was USAF, before me. He and his three brothers all served during the WW, each in a different branch and all overseas. I cannot imagine how my grandmother, a widow with four girls at home, dealt with it. He served Korea, before my memory lol. He served Viet Nam and I was in high school.
I remember my parents and grandparents talking about being prepared with necessities, always having a victory garden, and the strict list of staples they had to adhere to in WWII. Those times compared in no way to the Viet Nam era. I do not recall mom and me doing without anything we needed or wanted while he was gone then, other than him.
He is buried in Arlington cemetery. I remember waking every morning to him raising the flag outside our house and then turning to salute it, and then reversing the patriotic gesture before dusk. He did this until his eighties. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in his late seventies. The VA confirmed it was from agent orange used in Viet Nam. He gave all he could for our country and us, and in the end, he gave it all for our freedom. Thanks for asking about my dad, the biggest American patriot I will ever know.
My parents were born just before the Depression – I know how to start a fire, milk a cow, kill a chicken. My baby sister on the other hand, has NO idea what you have to do to live without electricity, I fear that most people would literally freeze or starve to death just from ignorance.
World War 3? If that happens you better be mega prepared and even then it doesn’t matter. The way I see it, so many people are on prescription drugs for one thing or another. Disease is going to kill more than anything else. Do people really know how to deal with medical emergencies when there’s no hospitals, doctors, medicines at the snap of a finger?
People are going to die and die fast without modern medicine. Propery body disposal .. are you ready to deal with this? The physical, emotional toll this will have on many will be major. Many will not be able to deal and will off themselves.
All the prepping in the world will not do you any good, if you do not have skills and the emotional & psychological mindset to deal with some pretty ugly and disturbing things in a World War, especially in this day and age. I see way to many prepping pages and survival pages with great information, but not reasonable or feasable. Just food for thought.
Everything could and probably will happen. Knowing how to survive, literally, is all that might matter. Hopefully, we’ll still be able to gather together in our local communities and help each other. Having something to barter, is always good.
I decided, when I was 15, I’d learn all I could about everything I came across that helped me to be selfsufficient. After 42 years, I’ve learned a lot, but still don’t know everything. Knowing how to build a house, and fix everything in it, grow your food, hunt, fish and protect yourself is a good start.
We all need to have something to offer or ‘bring to the table’. The Platinum card has expired, I’m afraid.
Where appropriate, I’ve included links that will take you to information to help you learn the skills. I’ve also included a few of my own resources.
- Check out this course to get prepped in 8 weeks flat.
- Alas Babylon
- When Trucks Stop, America Stops
- Wartime Farm – I couldn’t find the DVD or on-demand streaming, but I did find the Kindle version of the book HERE
- Build a stockpile
- Learn to produce food
- Learn to can, cure, and dehydrate food
- Learn to take care of health issues
- Get prepped
- Get financially prepared
- Learn to sew and mend
Reprinted with permission from The Organic Prepper.