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Dear Money & Crisis Reader,
There are few things we take for granted more than our nation’s food supply.
Every single day, it ticks away in the background, unseen and unappreciated — a creaking behemoth of production and distribution.
Through these channels, millions of pounds of food are funneled silently to our supermarket shelves… only to be bought in a matters of days… and replaced so quickly you’d hardly notice they were gone in the first place.
But what if the supply suddenly stopped?
What if tomorrow morning, a city like Chicago — with a population of 2.7 million people — was cut off from all outside production?
How long would the food already in the city last?
The numbers don’t look good.
Sticking with supermarkets for a moment, the average store only keeps about three days’ worth of food on location at any one time.
This tight three-day window is just big enough to give stores ample supply to restock every night — but small enough to minimize storage and rotting.
However, this three-day estimation is 100% based on consumer activity during a regular shopping week. It doesn’t take into account how folks change their behavior in a crisis.
If there were a catastrophic event that stopped the production of food — be that an EMP that fried the national grid or an extreme global weather event that devastated our infrastructure — folks would know about it.
And the first thing they would do is stock up on as much food as they can.
The first day, there would be a frantic run on the stores. And between violent looting and legitimate sales, I doubt there would be anything left to sell on day two.
Now, depending on how much food you manage to grab… and how well you are able to ration… you might be able to make those supplies last for a couple of weeks.
But once that food is gone… there’s no more food coming… and there are 2.7 million people in the exact same boat as you.
Feeding the Beast
A city is a strange beast when you think about.
80% of all Americans live in cities, packed into high-rise buildings and cramped, narrow homes. We live on top of each under and under each other, trying to squeeze as many people into a few square miles as possible.
The idea is the more people in one place, the more opportunity. But the reality is… it leaves us all vulnerable.
Because “the beast” is so dense with people, it needs to consume an enormous amount of food… But with all the space taken up with offices and apartments blocks, there’s no room to actually produce any food.
So meat, produce, fish, and fast food are shipped in from the surrounding farmlands and factories across the country — and even imported from overseas.
But if you take away those supply lines… the beast starves… and it starves fast.
Experts estimate if our national grid were shut down — and the supply lines were severed — 90% of the entire country would die of starvation and disease in the first year.
Ninety percent of Americans dead in a single year. All because we’ve become too dependent on automation, machinery, and factories to feed our ballooning population.
Surviving in a Post-Collapse City
Trying to feed a city is a fool’s errand.
Ideally, everyone in city bounds would have a 90-day supply of food stockpiled to create a buffer of a few months to allow for lines of distribution to be re-established.
But you can’t expect other folks to be as well prepared as you are. And that makes a city one of the most dangerous places to be during a collapse.
Even if you have ample supplies and maybe even a method of producing your own food (more on that tomorrow), the vast majority of your 2.7 million neighbors do not. And in a post-collapse situation, they will do anything to get their hands on them.
At the end of the first week, things are going to start getting violent. And it’s only going to get worse from there. And I’m not just talking about roving gangs of violent youths here.
I’m talking about everyone. Starvation will make a perfectly normal person a heck of a lot more open to the idea of getting violent. They’ll do anything to survive and protect those they love. And they won’t care if that means hurting innocent people.
Living outside the city is a much more sensible option — especially if you can find a small town surrounded by farmland. That way you can’t be cut off from the food supply if the distribution channels go down.
If you have to live in the city because of work or relatives, I recommend being prepared to defend yourself and getting out of dodge at the first sign of trouble.
We’ll discuss this idea more tomorrow. And take a look at a single strategy for feeding your family and establishing strong financial footing in a post-collapse economy.
All the best,
Editor, Money & Crisis
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