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What are the most likely events

Well to be honest it is impossible to say. People win the lottery every week at 14 million to one. People die and are seriously injured every day from accidents. All I can do is look at some facts and make educated guesses which I will list and explain my reasoning below;

WWIII
Still possible but insignificant at the moment. Nobody is rattling any sabres and the nutters most likely to do something don’t have enough of them yet. One for the future but even then I suspect that any war would be a limited and short lived engagement. Depending on who it was it could have a major impact on the UK. After all many countries call us ‘Little Satan’ because of our leaders bad habits of following the US into every engagement so London would be an easy and logical target for a rogue nuke. However, once certain nations acquire nukes then a limited war in the Middle East is pretty much inevitable. One to watch but not today.

Terrorists
Well despite the hype they are pretty ineffectual. Five years planning to kill less than a days worth of road victims looks like they are both ineffectual and from their later actions they are also obviously incompetent. Give me 20 people willing to be martyrs and the equipment and I could bring the UK to its knees in 6 months. I believe we are in more danger from our own security services and plod than terrorists. The only reason they seem high risk is our governments exaggerating the issue to push its own agendas and we are now a bunch of wimps scared of our own shadows.

Nuclear Meltdown
Topical since the Japanese reactor accident. The Japanese reactor isn’t really a issue for us in the UK. Another fraction of a % increase in background radiation and concern over where we get our imports from for a while. More of a problem for those brave people at the reactor site and we should be thankful to them that it is not a lot worse. The UKs reactors though are pretty safe. They are more at risk from incompetence or sabotage than anything else.

Tsunami or earthquake
These happen on a regular basis and so the chances of one happening are actually quite high. The impact on us in the UK however is actually quite low because here are no major fault lines around here. We get the occasional tremor and that is it.

Yellowstone super volcano
This explodes on a regular basis throughout the lifetime of our planet, every 150,000 years, and the next one is long overdue and if it was to happen there will be massive devastation in the Americas with dust blocking the sun for years. A nuclear winter in effect but without the radiation fallout. The chance of it happening over the next few decades is low.

Asteroid impact
These also happen on a regular basis throughout the lifetime of a planet and happen all the time. The issue is when an asteroid is too big to burn up in our protective shield, the atmosphere, and impacts on earth. If it was to happen there then there are several variables that come into play. The size of the asteroid, its speed and where it impacts are all critical to the amount of damage. It could impact on London or on a nuclear power station or in the Atlantic causing a tsunami and this one would hurt. There could potentially be limited damage but with the wrong size, speed or location there could be massive devastation. At the extreme end it could be an ELE. The risk however is classified as low. The last recorded one was Tunguska in 1908 where it impacted in the wilds of Russia with no recorded loss of life, human anyway.

Solar flare
The sun’s activity is ever changing as you know. At its peak it has the capability of knocking out vast swathes of our infrastructure. There is currently a prediction that there will be a peak of solar activity next year before the output dies down to a lower level. Modern electronics are susceptible to this activity and a lot could be damaged. However, I suspect this would be an issue in the short to medium term and not have a significant long term impact but there is a difference of opinion (see comments). After all we are protecting our equipment and more would be built as the flares subsided.

EMP
An air burst could certain fry all the circuits in the UK. This is believed to be the best use of a nuke by a rogue state. A relatively small device would cause major damage to our infrastructure. The problem though is actually getting it into position, some 250 miles up. It is beyond most rogue states to get one on top of the UK at the moment although I would imagine that one detonated over Europe would get most of Southern England.

Bio-terrorism/accident
The scary doomsday scenario. This is more likely than you would imagine because we actually engineer these ourselves and we are currently genetically modifying crops and animals to meet our requirements. Playing God with nature and with our history was could possibly go wrong. On the plus side outside the films most of these are contained within a few localised areas and those that get out are traced and isolated and brought under control. That doesn’t mean to say that they all will be but in general throughout our history we have had hundreds of outbreaks and we are still thriving. Less risky than Resident Evil implies.

Societal Collapse
Throughout history we have had civilisations collapse, they have made way for bigger and better civilisations and thus we have progressed. Our current civilisation seems to be teetering on the edge and when it goes it may well make way for a better society but in the meantime we will have to live through the upheaval. At the very least our savings will be worthless, pensions written off and it is likely we will be thrown back into a barter type economy. It depends on what happens and what our government does in response, what the final outcome will be. These sorts of event are the most likely events in the foreseeable future.

That is it for major events. The rest on my lists are minor compared to these.

Plus preparing for the worst event which is what we are doing actually puts us in a very good position if any of the others occur anyway.

So, top of my list for risks at this point in time is basically government screwing it up.

18 comments to What are the most likely events

  • Skvez

    A big solar flare hitting the earth would be a major civilisation ending event. If the grid goes down for even a few days then the majority of the population run out of food and fuel. Rioting, panic buying and abandoned vehicles on roads ensure that recovery is too slow even if the power comes back up in only a few days. Very ‘last light’.

    An EMP detonated at air-plane altitudes over London would do enough damage to the financial and business services of the UK to cause major problems for the whole country. Imagine all credit and bank cards not working. Being unable to withdraw cash because your bank can’t verify your account credit. Shops stock systems going down and being unable to reorder inventory.

    Another possibility not in your list is epidemic either of a new biological stain (like bird flu) or some terrorist release of an old killer like smallpox or the plague. This is where being able to barricade yourself in your isolated home for three months and have no contact whatsoever with anyone would be a life saver. Even if it ‘only’ kills 5 or 10% of the population the fear will stop people going to work and the infrastructure would collapse leading to hunger leading to mass looting.

    As far as government screwing up, would we notice a difference?

  • Skean Dhude

    Skvez,

    I think that a solar flare or EMP will not end our civilisation but instead cause major disruption. Sure things will be down for a few days, sure people will die but most people can survive quite a few days without food and most people have somethings in their homes. Bad – Yes, End of civilisation – No. With our stores we will be fine. We may end up as a barter econeomy and that is better than our currently corrupted FIAT one.

    I covered the biological one with ‘Bio-terrorism/accident’. Again I consider that our preps for TEOTWAWKI will keep us in good stead. We will adapt using masks, irradiated food, etc. Again, Bad – Yes, End of civilisation – No.

  • moosedog

    I’m with Skvez on the Solar Flare scenario. A large enough one has the potential to knock out the power grid for a long time, some say years, which would cause massive damage to our society (the same for an EMP weapon). Not only the UK without power, but the whole of the planet that was daytime when the flare hit and they can go on for hours, if not days. The consequences would be horrendous for a society that has been dependant on electricity for so much, for so long.

  • fred

    Give me 20 people willing to be martyrs and the equipment and I could bring the UK to its knees in 6 months.

    But will you be leading the charge, of course?

  • fred

    Will the 72 Hour (3 days) Emergency Supplies be coming soon?

    As for the scenarios – perhaps the breakdown of society is a higher possibility in the near future but it might morph into a gradual enslavement, rather than any revolutionary scenario.

  • Hi Skean,

    Yeah societal collapse due to a natural event or financial collapse, or a combination of both.

    The zombies will be out on the streets taking what they need/want, it doesn`t take much.

  • Ellen

    I sat down the other day and wrote an article to myself about prepping and what we are prepping for. It all ended up as: we are prepping for something that we don’t know what for so we don’t know how to prep for it and if it happens will we have prepped for that or will it be something else we should have prepped for?
    In the end we don’t know crap. But it is better to be prepared for something than to sit on our honkers and not be prepared for anything.
    There is a Country song that states “I was so far down I had to reach up to touch the ground”. I think that says a lot about after something happens whatever happens are you going to be in a hole and not prepared for anything to happen.
    ——————–
    Very good list. I go with biological, civiliztion breakdown, with a war between us and them. Throw in Yellowstone puking up the asteroid that hit it after the solar flare and Emp was set off by terrorists. I would have included an earthquake and tsumami but figure by the time we figure out what is going on they will have come and gone. A nuclear meltdown is probably a given if all other things happen.

  • Skean Dhude

    Moosedog,

    Unless the solar flares themselves last for years then I don’t see the impact doing so especially when the latest data shows solar storms reducing. In addition people are preparing for downtime anyway and I would guess that includes contingency in the grid.

    In saying all that there would clearly be massive disruption but I just don’t personally see it lasting months never mind years. I’ve been wrong before though and as far as I am concerned although I do see this as low risk I do feel I am covered by my preps anyway.

    Fred,

    It isn’t a cavalry brigade it is a terrorist squad so I’ll be in my cave in Pakistan.

    The 72Hr list is on the work list and I will try and get it done as soon as I can. I’m already behind in several areas and updating those needs to be raised in priority.

    Stan,

    It won’t take much but you will be ready and prepared for it which helps.

    Ellen,

    We prep in case something happens. If you look worst case then that covers everything up to there. That is why I try and make it modular so you can mix and match depending on your needs and wants. Even then there are no guarantees.

    Who are us and them nowadays?

    The nuclear meltdown is a big risk if TSHTF. I’ve got an articleon that coming just need to finish it off. I’ve not put that on this list because the issue is caused by an event not the cause of.

    It is interesting how many comments I have from people via email on this post. It seems to have raised a few questions.

  • moosedog

    Skean: it’s not the flares that will last for years but the damage. Something to do with some very expensive and therefore not stockpiled items which could, from memory, be insulators at the power stations. If a massive solar flare knocks these out over a large area it would take years to get the power grid back up & running. Not an insurmountable problem for the prepared but a real life changer/ender for much of the population once the sewers overflow and/or the weather turns cold.

    Don’t confuse a low number of sunspots with no solar flares: “The Carrington Event” occurred in a period of low sunspot activity. Here’s what NASA has to say about it (they think a complete recovery from a massive solar flare could take up to 10 years):

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2009/29may_noaaprediction/

  • Also take a look at the Spaceguard Center & Observatory http://www.spaceguarduk.com/ A year ago I paid a visit there and was taken round with just three other people. The chap who runs the place is ex RAF and it was quite a shock to find out just how regularly Earth is hit by meteorites with social changing consequences. In fact the stats were quite concerning & actually got me practically planning as opposed to theorizing about what I’d do in a SHTF scenario. That and realizing how totally unprepared society is for any type of ‘pandemic’.

    Great place to look round and to find out more……very informative & cheap.

  • Oh, I’d forgot take a look at this video from the center which makes it much clearer about what the centre is about and what risks we all run each day from asteroid/meteor strike; don’t get to depressed…….http://www.spaceguarduk.com/spaceguard/impact-video

  • Skean Dhude

    Moosedog,

    I accept that a solar flare will have a big impact but I’m surprised that it is saying 10 years to repair. I assume that means all the infrastructure is down and it would take 10 years to replace it all. In the US not here. Our infrastructure is not as extensive and although I accept there will be damage I don’t see it being as extensive as estimated. In saying that some areas will be out for several months and costs will skyrocket. Another justification for our plans to prepare.

    Let me put it another way. I’m still preparing for this scenario even though I think it is less likely to cause as much disruption as other scenarios.

    Tinkertytonk,

    It sounds an interesting place. Falling stars are commonplace and occur all the time. Luckily most are small or we would never have got away from caves.

  • Skean Dhude

    Skvez, Moosedog,

    I’ve modified the article to reflect your comments. Don’t say I don’t listen to you both. 🙂

  • moosedog

    Thankyou Skean, I hope I’m wrong about it (and that we don’t get hit by a CME large enough to do any serious damage) but the more I read up on the subject the more concerned about the consequences I become. I’m also convinced that no electricity long term will cause a massive die off of our population here in the UK, the two biggest killers in my opinion will be cholera (when the sewers back up) and, when winter comes, hypothermia.

  • maddog

    what about revolution. many sites are talking about it and the general feeling from the public of being screwed is growing

  • Skean Dhude

    Moosedog,

    That is the whole reason for this site. Audience participation. If I ignored what people thought it would end up as all my ideas. You would all be doomed then. 🙂

    Maddog,

    I don’t see a revolution like in France or Russia, although I would love to see cameron and co dancing at the end of a rope I don’t think it will get that far. And our preps anyway cover that as well. Basically keep our heads down and let London explode. Keep your eyes open for opportunities and survive.

  • tinkertytonk

    I see food supply as the biggest killer; In 1942 with a population of just over 40 million we could not feed ourselves. We would have starved to death if it was not for the Yanks. Now with 70+ million all with no backbone or ability / skills to survive outside the city then a food shortage will be devastating. Also consider this fact:

    London (10 million people) eats the equivalent of all the food produced in the UK in one year. What are the rest of us (60 million) going to live off?????? The vast majority of which live in huge cities/large towns. Most of our food is imported; there will be chaos and carnage with most people without food within days.

    Food supply is a massive issue and come winter the die off rate will be even quicker. For those of us prepared we should all hope that if the SHTF (I hope it does not) that it happens in November when more people will sadly die at a much quicker rate. Sorry for being so pragmatic.

  • Skean Dhude

    Tinkertytonk,

    I can’t disagree but I suspect that it will not be that quick and the death throes will cause a lot of damage to those who are in a better situation.

    On the plus side most of the people live in the South East and London with Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham as secondary areas and they will not be able to travel too far after the initial few weeks. And fuel will be the limiting factor at first not food as many have a few days to a few weeks stores in a pantry anyway. Enough to still have people looking for food months after the event.

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