I personally think the odds of the world ending in some kind of global cataclysm are remote. I prepare for more mundane disasters likely to affect in my area (Near NYC). Things like terrorist attacks, weather, blackouts, the water company telling us to boil our water and crime. A while back, however, I watched The Road after reading Cormac McCarty’s book. If you haven’t seen the movie, well, it’s chilling. An unknown disaster has laid waste to the entire world. Most people are dead, the air is filled with lung shearing particulates, it’s perpetual winter, the days are always dark and overcast and nothing can grow. Survivors have resorted to cannibalism, even keeping people as livestock and cutting parts of them off when they’re hungry. At night, terrible dust storms rage to the point where you can’t see in front of your face. The imagery is horrific. After I watched that film I discussed it with my girlfriend. She didn’t see it, but she said, “After a while I think I’d want to die. What’s worth living for?” In the movie, that was the response of the protagonist’s wife, played by Charleze Theron. It was also the response of many of the survivors. They tried holding out for a long time, but in the end, many of them, if not most of them, committed suicide. And the protagonist was even willing to kill his son to prevent him from being eaten. I, of course, reflexively identified with the protagonist. I told myself I’d be the “last man standing type” trekking across the ruined landscape with my AR-15 eking out an existence across the scorched earth. But a while later I told myself, “Who am I kidding?’ If my GF offed herself, all my family and friends were dead and it looked like the world was well and truly done for, I don’t think I’d want to keep on living either. When you look at the sheer mental trauma that would be inflicted by such a gargantuan event, I don’t think most people would make it mentally. Even much smaller events (When compared to TEOTWAWKI) like earthquakes in Turkey can send people into suicidal spirals. What’s the rule of three say? Three minutes without air, three hours without shelter, three days without water, three months without food and three months without hope? The hope parts the toughie. We can prepare for everything but that. And everybody has their breaking point. So, as an intellectual exercise, how long so you think you’d last in the face of such a terrible event? (And I mean something like The Road, a worst case scenario.) Even if you prepped out the wazoo, what would you do when even that fails? When would you give up?