Dealing with Post-Collapse Visitors

Posted on: May 16, 2014

So there you are, safely ensconced in your retreat.  Society has collapsed in the wake of a major disaster and survivors are plugging along, trying to find food, water, and shelter.  You were smart enough to have stockpiled enough provisions to last you and your family for several months.

Then comes a knock on the door or maybe an alarm gets tripped, alerting you to someone approaching.  It appears to be a family, mom and dad with two young children.  None of them look like they’ve eaten in at least a few days and last bathed even further in the past.  None of them appear armed and they have made no threatening gestures as of yet.

What do you do?

Would your answer change if it was just the two kids and there were no adults visible in the area?  What if it was a single woman or man?

This can be something of a moral dilemma.  On the one hand, you don’t want to expose your own family to any risks, whether that be the visitors becoming hostile or just through reducing your own supplies through charity.  On the other hand, would your conscience give you trouble later if you didn’t at least do something to help them?  I mean, let’s play role reversal here and pretend for a moment you were separated from your family at the time of the disaster.  If they were in need of help, wouldn’t you want someone to step in and lend a hand if you weren’t there to provide for them yourself?

Now, I know some of you will have precautions in place that will prevent anyone from getting within 100 yards or more of your home.  That’s all well and good but it still doesn’t negate the possibility of being visited by one or more people.

If your attitude is you’ll just shoot anyone who approaches, no matter what, grow up and move out of mommy’s basement. 

The reality is life isn’t going to be like playing endless rounds of Kill ‘Em All on your Xbox.  These are human beings you’re dealing with, the vast majority of whom aren’t necessarily out to steal your water nor women but are just trying to live for one more day.  That said, you have no way to know with absolute certainty the intentions of any unexpected visitors.  Those two kids might be totally innocent…or they could be part of a ruse to draw you out.

What about a care package?

One idea that has been floated around here and there is to assemble small care packages of some sort.  Something like a 5 gallon bucket filled with a couple of water bottles, a can or two of food (with a P-38 can opener or something similar), small bar of soap, washcloths, some strike anywhere matches, and maybe some fishing line with a few hooks.  The idea behind such a care package is you are giving them the means to live another day as well as improve their situation just a touch by giving them something they can use later (the fishing line and matches) to keep going.

We’re working on the assumption that there are no emergency shelters in the area, of course.  If there were such shelters running, that would be where you’d want to direct these folks.

I have mixed feelings about this idea.  While helping a fellow human being is laudable, if word gets out that you have enough extra stuff that you are giving some away, you might be increasing the number of people who come your way.  Plus, there’s the matter of handing off the care package to begin with.  That could be a risky proposition in and of itself.  To solve the latter problem, what some people propose is stashing the bucket somewhere adjacent to the home, such as under a certain bush at the far end of your property.  You’d do this well in advance, just assuming at some point it will be needed.  Then, if someone shows up looking for a helping hand, you direct them to the bucket’s location, with the instructions being that’s all there is to give and if they show up again, things might not go so well for them.

Another consideration, of course, is the very nature of the disaster and collapse.

I mean, it’d be one thing if it were an EMP and quite another if it is a pandemic.  With the latter, there’s a much greater risk just being in close proximity to other human beings.

It would be a good idea to give serious thought to the possibility of post-collapse visitors and how you will handle them.  It might be that you’ll have to treat as a case-by-case basis but you should still plan ahead for each likely situation.

1 thought on “Dealing with Post-Collapse Visitors

  1. post sitX the front door will not be opened to man or beast. we don’t have any extra supplies to give to anyone so don’t bother asking.

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