It's hard to confront the end of industrial civilization as we know it. What will that look like? How soon will it happen? More importantly, how soon will it happen to me? How do I possibly prepare for something that can be both slow and fast at the same time, in different places, to different people, and that is actually happening already in some places?
Example: If you live in Houston, a fast collapse just happened to you. A significant percentage of Houstonians will have their lives changed forever because of this incident--a lot of them because they didn't have flood insurance.
Example: If you're on the verge of being homeless, as a significant chunk of the U.S. is, you're in slow collapse (until you're not). You can grind everyday, but one medical bill or car problem can send you spiraling--and the existing safety nets we have may or may not do much for you. It's a long way down. Just under half of the population is unable to cover an unexpected $400 expense. Collapse doesn't have to mean that only 10% of the population can afford to have Amazon ship toilet paper to their door. Collapse doesn't have to mean empty grocery store shelves or a grid failure. Collapse doesn't have to mean a global pandemic.
It can be small, and local, and personal, and it can happen when you least expect it.
Fortunately, the small, local, and personal variety of collapse is exactly the easiest kind of collapse to prepare for, and exactly why I chose the name I chose for this blog.
If you Collapse Now and avoid waiting for some external force to do it for you, your collapse looks a lot more comfortable than fighting for a tent spot in Orange County.
One of the easiest, most important things to address when considering a future collapse scenario is how you're going to get around and how you're going to transport items hither and yon. You may still own a car. You may still be able to afford gas, and insurance--at least some of the time. The roads may be more or less intact. If that's all true, and for most people I know it mostly is, now is a great time to buy a bicycle.
The bike in this picture has close to 1000 miles on it. I traveled from Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany to Rotterdam and back on it--the photo above was taken in St. Wendel, Germany, on the first day of my trip. I was equipped with a tent and a cook stove, though I rarely used them as I mostly stayed with strangers via couchsurfing.com. I averaged 50 km a day, not a terribly difficult feat for even mediocre bikers.
I don't advocate that solving your future transportation woes has to involve a 700 mile, multi-country trip. Most people don't have the time, money, or desire to make a trip like that. But I can tell you right now that when I do need to solve a transportation problem--like, say, my car windshield being busted for five weeks and not having the money to fix it--a bike is not an extreme solution for me.
It sucks in the rain, you can't haul as much, kid logistics are more difficult (but not impossible!), and people will think you're poor.
But using a bike before you need to will make it that much easier the day that you do have to. And when that day comes, you want to be sure that you actually own one.