The Golden Horde
A discussion about the civilian militias of history on a forum I frequent, turned as it usually does to a discussion of the after effects of a SHTF scenario. In this case the “Golden Horde” of J.W. Rawles prediction, the mass exodus of hungry, desperate city dwellers out into the rural areas seeking farms, and thereby food. Think Wiemar Republic after WWI. If you know nothing of the farms and the fate of the farmers, do yourself a favor and research it. Read about it. Educate yourself.
The post got me to thinking…how will the exodus from the cities play out? This is something that is discussed among my friends and I on a regular basis. My friends are all former military (tactics and manpower specialist), current LEO, or current Federal officers. There is not a lack of intelligence in this group. A lot of thought and deliberation over several years has gone into this.
In a SHTF/Economic Collapse/WROL scenario – (not inclusive of an EMP/Grid down or pandemic panic scenario), there will not be tens of thousands leaving the cities, at least not at first. Even when they leave it will not happen all at once, unless a massively nasty occurrence like a firestorm or hurricane drives them out. No single person is going to want to leave the security and safety of their “home” until the food runs out, and even then not right away. They will literally not leave until there is no food. They will leave if there is no water and no way of getting it. Some will even stay until they are on the brink of starvation, thinking “The government will drop food”, “They will send FEMA”, “The Red Cross is coming” thoughts along those lines. Normalcy bias, its a real pain, and in this case will cost lives.
I am going to place some facts right here: there are, according to the FBI National Gang Threat Assessment of 2011 fully 1.4 million active gang members in 30,000 total gangs in the United States – a 40% increase since 2009. Active. As in currently following gang activities etc. The number of “inactive” is higher still. That recent FBI document listed a startling fact: these gangs are recruiting out of and joining every single branch of the armed forces.
However, I digress.
Deaths from a serious SHTF scenario will be upwards of 75-80% of any population, the elderly, the critically ill, the ones who must have daily dialysis, those reliant on medications. We have discussed this before on other threads. Let us say within 1 month, 70-80% of the populace, is dead, from what ails them or lack of life saving medical help.
Add in attrition – murders, falls, infected cuts, lack of potable water, disease going untreated or under treated, fires, people dying of heat stroke (summer) or freezing to death (winter), animal bites (unfed dogs going feral, and attacking in packs), take another 5-15% off of the total populace of any given major city. That is anywhere from 75%-95% of any major metropolitan area’s populace dead within one solid month of a massive SHTF scenario. If the SHTF scenario is an EMP or solar event, and the city is one like Los Angeles that must have almost all of it’s water pumped in from over the mountains, advance the timeline.
There will be 3 waves of exodus from the cities.
1st wave – lets call them the smart ones. The 1%. However, they are going to be leaving in dribs and drabs. Not all at once, and not all will take the same route. They will almost all, to a person, stick to major arteries of travel and not wander more than 1-2 miles off the highway. This exodus will last maybe a week before the slime balls get smart. The earliest ones out have the best chance. It will be small groups and families, say no more than 10 folks at a time. No real threat there.
2nd wave – Lets call these the awakening sheep – 1 week, perhaps 1 and a half weeks after the event(s). Food is not available, the water is shut off. They are sick and weak from lack of food, lack of potable water. Many will not make it out of the city because the smart animals, the real low lives, will be set up on major roadways killing and looting the fleeing folks indiscriminately. These animals will also be roving gangs of looters, snatching what they want by force, killing any who stand in their way. These are the hard core urban gangs, the organized criminal packs of animals that within hours of a SHTF will have “liberated” several warehouse/dock areas/food distribution centers. I know of 5 within a 5 minute drive of my wife’s grandparent’s house and they live in “the bad part of town” where shootings and arson are common, nightly news occurrences. The animals with military training or recruited folks out of the military…they know where the military keeps its supplies and armaments. They may also have military trained personnel in their ranks right now.
The people that actually make it out in the second wave will be the lucky, frightened, near starving, most likely sick ones that crept out on not so commonly traveled routes. Lets be nice and say 1% make it out. Scattered across a wide area, not much threat there.
Wave 3 will be the worst. This will contain the real bad element that sees the handwriting on the wall. Corpses piling up in the streets, disease running rampant, supplies running low, sewage backing up into living spaces, intermittent block to block warfare between rival “gangs”. Based on best case scenario calculations, 1 to 2 months after a SHTF scenario, the “Golden Horde” heads out. These are going to have their own problems (loose organization, fuel needs, water needs, food needs), they will very likely stay on the major arteries of travel (man is a curious animal, 99.9% of the time, they take the path of least resistance, even if going a different route will shave their travel time in HALF), and if they are smart send scouts out 2-3 miles off the highway to find fuel, food, supplies that the first couple of waves or other survivors may have missed. These are the ones small towns and rural settlements on major roadways, and perhaps secondary roadways, will fear and have the worst time with.
Just an opinion, YMMV. All postulation anyhow. Fictional, you know.
Pray for the best, prepare for the worst.