"The average person doesn't have basic survival items stored up"
It is a very interesting discussion...
I find it especially interesting that there is so much discussions about guns and eating pets. I am not sure I WANT to survive such catastrophe.
If the hunger and need is going to turn my supposedly civilized neighbors and fellow human beings into looters who are ready to kill to get what I have, why not start educating the neighborhood all together? I don't mean forcing them kicking and screaming to learn some survival skills, but community projects, scouting, frugal housewife societies and "let's all go to a hunting trip together" (or for those who don't eat meat and hates hunting, "let's go foraging together"). Demand they teach "self-sufficiency" at school, basic scouting skills and some sort of simple farming, cooking, animal husbandry... simple things that can save your life one day. In stead of teaching kids baseball, teach them camping and scouting.
"Let's build a bomb shelter together". "Let's build emergency generators for the local hospital together". Once upon a time the whole community came together to first collect money for the church and church tower, then they came together to build the thing. Then it was THEIR church. "MY grandfather was part of building that church!"
And start giving survival stuff as gifts to all you know, like hand crank flashlights and radios, solar cell battery chargers and batteries, self-made preserves so that people get used with the idea of not everything needing to be store-bought. Hand-crank coffee mill with some alternative "coffee". Steel bottles and cups.
I am very much into Steampunk and for me "treadle and hand crank sewing machines" are not only things of beauty - they are quite practical machines that don't use electricity! With a little skills, you can turn ANY MACHINE from electrical into "treadle and hand crank" powered.
Also, I have heard that T-Ford worked with ANY fuel. You could fill the tank with old cooking oil or moonshine and it would work the machine. At least during the Depression and WWII people were converting their cars into "hybrids". Someone in Finland built himself a steam engine car, fueled with wood. It is relatively easy to produce alcohol, and it can be done with stuff that isn't good for eating. What about demanding that the car industry starts researching these alternatives already NOW, BEFORE it is necessary, so that WHEN it is necessary, we HAVE these cars?
Or what about collecting money so that every child gets a bicycle? In Asia bicycles are the transportation method. They are easy to fix, work with man-power and can be used for other stuff too.
I really don't understand the Mad Max or Book of Eli post-apocalyptic pessimism. It really is the Lord of the Flies mentality, and THAT was CHILDREN.
It might be my antipathy to USA, but I could see that kind of scenario happen in USA. If the news, movies and tv-series are the least credible. In EVERY ONE, when ever there is a catastrophe OF ANY KIND, people go looting and general hysteria breaks out and people turn into some sort of gang animals. It might well be that it was only in 9/11 when people didn't go looting, and that might be because a) there was nothing to loot and b) people were so shocked they didn't even think about such things. I don't know...
It might be that solidarity and community spirit are considered Socialism and Communism, and ANYTHING socialist is BAAAAAD!!!!
P.S. Elitechoice.com camping tags are full of interesting "survival" ideas. I especially like the alcohol stove, sun powered camper and pocket shower :-D