Here's the rub; I know how most of you will die. In a post-apocalyptic setting that is. And after I warn you about it below, chances are there'll be nothing you can do to stop this type of death.
If events occur, such as the scenario laid out in my WWIV series, death will most likely come to 50% of all people reading this within one year. Some experts say the entire earth's population could decrease by as much as 75% in a year. Please remember, these numbers are merely estimates; some based on math and science, others based on "intuition".
So let's grab some of these numbers that the "experts" have come up with and dissect them a little more.
Some of you will die from your current medical maladies. I, for instance, have a son with Type I insulin dependent diabetes. Without a fresh supply of insulin, his life will be tougher. Without a meter to monitor his blood, his death moves up years. But he's not the only demographic in trouble. Think of all the infirmed and elderly; dependent on oxygen and other daily supplies. No one will be delivering anything new for a very very long time (make that never).
The medical issue could account for a 50% mortality rate in the first year all by itself. Forget about the spread of disease as people start to die and go unburied. Or eating spoiled and tainted food, or drinking contaminated water. We have enough medical issues in the US of A to cause enough trouble alone. And that's before the Apocalypse ever comes.
War and Fighting
There's going to be the have's and the havenot's. And one of these groups is going to want some (perhaps ALL) of what the other group has - mainly food and water.
Yes, if times get desperate enough, people will kill you for your supplies. If the choice is either die from starvation/dehydration or kill someone so you can live, you'd be surprised how many people will be willing to make the otherwise unimaginable choice.
Now, these attacks may come at home. The place where you and your family have barricaded yourself as protection against the wandering hoards of marauders. In some fiction these people take the form of zombies or vampires, In my fiction, I just use your neighbors or people living nearby. So go ahead, arm yourself, lock you and your family inside. It only makes it more obvious to others that you have what they don't. And when your protection and ammo run out, so will your luck.
Or maybe you and the wife and kiddies take to the road. For that scenario, I invented road-scum. These are those nefarious members of society that quickly discover the easiest place to find what they need is traveling right down the road in front of their faces. They're not stupid, though many of the upper-crust believes the lower-crusts are, so they know what to do. And perhaps they have less rules than the rest of society. Perhaps their morals are askew. Or perhaps, just by bad luck and planning, they were the first groups to run out of fresh food and water.
Yep, some of us will run out of food, plain and simple. Look in your pantry; if it's anything like mine it's stocked with more goodies than you could eat in a year, right? Ha! Not even close. A family of four will wipe out their food supplies in less than a month; probably closer to two weeks.
The biggest error most people will make is not preserving a stock of food. No, they'll eat like kings and queens, then soon discover their food is low, mighty low. And if you're low on water you certainly aren't going to use the last of that precious resource to boil your instant potatoes or white rice, are you? Come on folks, remember the saying; three weeks without food and you could die. Three days without water and you will die.
This, I believe, will be the death of most people. The lack of clean drinking water.
In case of an emergency, the DHS recommends you have one gallon of clean water, per person, with a three days supply. For an average family of four that will require 12 gallons of water. Be honest, do you have that on hand? I don't, and I doubt you do either.
Further, most stored water has a shelf life of six to twelve months. It's not good forever you know. Stagnant water allows bacteria to grow. Bacteria that will kill you so quick, you'll never know. I use this as a rule of thumb - if my dogs turn their noses up at it, I'm not drinking it either.
I did a search of my house last night. If I'm lucky, and I mean really lucky, I can round up three to four gallons of water if the power goes out. If it's too dangerous to be outdoors, you are going to need to stick inside. So that's about two days of water for two people (and I'd be getting real creative at the end, like emptying the tanks above the toilet).
I have food for a while, weeks most likely. But water for only two, maybe three days. There's a problem. That means I'll probably meet my Maker dying from thirst, or disease from drinking bad water. Look up water on the internet and do some of the research about the clear odorless fluid. There's more to it than you think.
Roughly one to two weeks before anyone will begin to die of starvation, you'll most likely be dead from lack of clean drinking water. That's an ugly future, if it were to ever happen.
I'm not telling you this to scare you
I just want people to be aware that if there ever is a problem, it might be worse than you even imagine. You can fight off wandering hoards of ruffians; you can somehow keep your blood sugar in check; you can eat the family pets if you have to. But if you go beyond that third day without water - well, all your hard work will soon be for naught. I'm not advocating you stock up on fresh drinking water, no! Just educate yourself in case you ever lose your water supply for a week because of a flood, or an earthquake...or a large solar flare, or massive mid-level EMPs.
Hey, it could happen.
See you next week where I hope to have a more uplifting topic. Something perhaps that doesn't keep you awake at night.