A Desperate Migration

Pineslayer sent me a thought provoking post the other day and I thought I’d share it with you.  Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments below.

-Jarhead Survivor


Humans have been on the move forever. Whether it be for adventure or resources, we long to see what is over that next hill. Along the way we ran into countless obstacles, mountains, rivers, predators, and other forms of ourselves. Obviously we conquered them all, but not without sacrifice and cooperation.
These days migration still occurs for the same essential reasons, adventure and money. Money probably being the main motivator. Poor people looking to feed themselves and their kids, move to rich nations in search of work. Lots move from rural to urban communities. America being a choice destination, along with some Middle Eastern countries and Europe. Hope for a better life, a new chance, a better future for their kids, we can all understand these principles. Some may ask, why not stay home and change their country? Sometimes the hurdles are too tall, look no farther than the reasons the Europeans came here. These migrations are relatively slow and allow people to be absorbed into the new environment at a manageable pace, but not without conflict as human history shows time and time again. Up until now we have been discussing voluntary migration, wars and natural disasters are a different animal. They cause everything to speed up, in timing and numbers.
Insert Twilight Zone intro here…

Imagine if you will, a calamity of regional/continental proportions. Millions displaced with no hope of returning home, because home is gone. We had warning, 72 hours, time to pack and time to move. Where will we go and what will we take?

This is bugging out on a different level.

As you pack the truck, mini-van, bike, backpack, ox and cart, maybe you just own a commuter car, you have no idea where you will end up. Will there be a welcoming committee or fellow humans worried about how you are going to affect their lives? Some will have family to go to, most will have to start over.

Your space is limited, although your vehicle is a great pack animal, what is most important? Your food stash, tools, gear, clothing ? How about your library? What will you do when you get to wherever you can go? Getting stressed just thinking about it? Well you should be.

Look around the world, conflict and refugee (FEMA) camps are the norm in some places, and it sure doesn’t look like fun. There are more people worldwide being displaced than ever before, A Great Human Migration.

The “What has happened”, is less important than the “What will happen after” question for this discussion. Are you ready to take in family, distant family, or complete strangers? The other part of this scenario is, how would you cope with such a move?

Most of us are nice people, willing to help those around us who we feel deserve it. Think of all the new neighbors and homeless trying to get their feet under themselves, milling about, looking for work. Could the government handle this situation? Would you be fearful of the new people or open to them? Afterall they are fellow Americans, what could go wrong?
America has been lucky in that we have been fairly stable, someday our luck will run out and we will face a natural or unnatural calamity causing a migration of biblical proportions.

How will this change our country? Will we just take what we need from our neighbors? Will our neighbors be willing to help and sacrifice? Lots of questions, but someday we will need to answer them, maybe.


19 comments… add one
  • Nordri March 12, 2014, 10:28 am

    I’m afraid this calamity is closer than we fear and most people are terribly unprepared. It’s gonna be every man for himself…. We need to start preparing, physically and mentally, ASAP.

  • Chuck Findlay March 12, 2014, 11:27 am

    I read once that one of the biggest human migrations in history took place in the USA during the Great Depression. It may happen again during the upcoming Greater Depression.

  • irishdutchuncle March 12, 2014, 1:58 pm

    if I had taken the time to do it, my “library” could have been placed on a thumb drive. if you know your family tree, that should be written down somewhere too, so your children will know where they came from. my tool kit is fairly heavy. most of it will have to be left behind with my hobby junk…
    I keep a bag packed, as though I was going on a one week vacation. that’s what I’m taking. once we run out of gas/food/cash, we revert to refugee status. not a happy prospect. I have no “real world” skills.

    • irishdutchuncle March 13, 2014, 4:57 am

      I’d like to visit Maine, but you can’t get there from here…
      here in PA, we’re surrounded by places we can’t go with our firearms. maybe we could get out through Ohio, or West Virginia. (and I’d like to see Kentucky and Tennessee sometime) I have family in Texas, and Wisconsin, but we’ve never been “close”. I would give them a call, if I was nearby. I wouldn’t be asking to stay with them, they don’t owe me anything, and I wouldn’t want to impose.
      my ancestors all came here, with less than I could carry in the trunk of my car. (but “here” was a different place then)

    • Pineslayer March 13, 2014, 10:58 pm

      idu, gosh do I need to get my flash drives squared away. For the cost, is there any better prep?

      Speaking of tools, I watched a really bad apocalypse movie where the protagonists kept a stocked tool belt in the truck. It made so much sense, demo tools mostly. If you can’t take it all, take the most used and destructive. Of course most people were dead in the show and there lots of vacant buildings, so our mileage may vary.

      I believe we all have life skills to offer a community, looka little deeper.

      • irishdutchuncle March 14, 2014, 4:37 am

        …well, you’ll need something (working) to plug the flash drives into also.

  • Chuck Findlay March 12, 2014, 2:46 pm

    I need a school bus for a bug out bag.

  • Ray March 12, 2014, 4:04 pm

    Back to the “Golden Horde”? Have any of y’all ever seen a “limited” evacuation? Fuel runs out in like 2 to six hours. After that everybody ditches the transport and walks or gets on the governments ride. The roads just become parking lots . If the “government” craps out , or when enough cars run out of gas to form a road block EVERYBODY walks. For “moderns”, people with kids, the elderly, the lame and the sick that translates to 5 to 10 miles the first day, and that first day will be the best they ever do. Once they hit a road block or the fuel runs out they will set and starve in a home made “refugee camp” hoping God or Budda or great gugly muggly or Santa will come and bail them out. When the seasons turn on them or they start eating each other they will start to move (but only the strong) . It will look like all the worst parts of Africa. The bulk of the “inner
    cities” will not move much past the “bushmeat” dead zone that will surround all the eastern urban centers.(you will see walled “farms’spring up-like the ones in Detroit) The western cities will have it much worse as they are surrounded by mountains and vast trackless deserts with little to no water away from the rivers. They will just starve to death in piles along the western rivers and interstates once the fuel runs out. Or. and Wash. might last for a while in small pockets , but most of the farms and fishing “out west”are long gone under cement.(like much of the east coast) That “coastal strip” is narrow, and it just won’t support a large population with out imports. If modern civilization falls there WILL be a “great die off” in the human population. Nature will balance -ruthlessly. Becoming a refugee, AKA “bugging out”, is a sure ticket to a front row seat to that die off.

    • Pineslayer March 13, 2014, 11:28 pm

      Wow Ray, why don’t you tell us how you really feel. Yea it could get ugly. I will try and think positively that we would stick together, but I have my doubts too. I, like most, visually size up the person and judge quickly. If you walk thru my DMZ wearing a KC Chiefs jersey, I hope you can run fast.

    • Ned Ludd March 15, 2014, 11:20 am

      I saw a video a year or so back by a fellow who builds bug out locations for the uber rich. His assumption is quite similar: the average overweight out of shape American will not make it more than 10 miles from an interstate highway. This actually covers quite a bit of the US if you map it out. I just hope I have the ability to get 40-60 miles out on the back roads I have selected to get me to a relatively safe place.

  • Badger359 March 12, 2014, 5:17 pm

    Wow, Heavy topic to consider. Humanity does have a nasty habbit of repeating and forgetting lessens learned

  • Road Warrior March 12, 2014, 5:50 pm

    “The Grapes Of Wrath”, anyone?

    This is a troubling topic. I can only hope that in the case of an area desertion en masse, that people will help each other instead of taking advantage of them.

    A family of four living out of a backpack and utilizing scavenged gear will create very desperate situations. Now multiply that by…how many? Thousands of families? Tens of thousands? I shudder at the thought.

    • Badger359 March 13, 2014, 11:02 am

      When I was in school, we had to watch “Grapes of Wrath” and then do a report. I never forgot it after 39 years. Add to that the family stories were passed down from my mothers side. They were from Iowa. Since daughters still live California, perhaps I consider and action plan, should they come here to North Texas.

  • Michael March 12, 2014, 5:58 pm

    Not too far fetched considering the water situation in the Southwest and California. A lot of people are going to have to leave that region.

  • Chuck Findlay March 12, 2014, 11:04 pm

    I’ve read that Colorado( and probably a few other areas) that it is illegal to collect rain water that falls on your property.

    • Pineslayer March 13, 2014, 12:01 am

      re rainwater; CO water law is based on seniority. The theory is that if you are holding up the water from running off or soaking in, you are stealing from water rights holders. The problem has been that those who feel wronged have to prove it in court, very hard most of the time. Sooo, as of a couple of years ago the State has allowed home owners to catch their roof run-off for gardening and other such purposes, basically “look the other way”. Even our County Extension Agent collects her run-off for the gardens. Unless you are redirecting an existing drainage that feeds down stream stake holders or trying to start up a new pond. you are OK to collect water. There seems to be a large gray area in the rules. I collect and plan to collect and store more.

      CA and other states are trying to force CO to let more water flow to them, so the laws may change again.

  • Steve suffering in NJ March 13, 2014, 5:48 pm

    Actually I think this question is a fairly simple one to answer. It’s all going to depend on the available resources of those receiving said migration.

    If there’s enough food, water, clothing , shelter etc it will be smooth. People are generally good and willing to help there fellow man esp when there in need

    Now if there’s insufficient resources it will end up vastly different. To the parents out there, what wouldn’t you do to feed your kids?

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. March 19, 2014, 1:36 pm

    This is a very good post. I recall during the New Orleans population relocation of Hurricane Katrina, the Houston Texas area had many problems with the residents of New Orleans fitting in. Many gang related fighting in schools, as well as finding housing for a very quick growing population. I can see where resentments from both refugees and residents can occur.

    If you live near a national border, perhaps keeping your passport current would be a good ‘just in case’ provision. It used to be unthinkable that governments change overnight but look at the news and see how fast that can occur.

  • sirlancelot March 22, 2014, 9:30 am

    When New Hampshire did a test on the effects of a nuclear disaster they weren’t concerned so much with radiation as they were “refuges” streaming northward from places like Boston.

    That is why most survival sites advocate living in your bugout site.

    Unfortunately there is no work in those remote areas so when the ball does drop it will be the locals fending off the wave of city dwellers looking for food and shelter.

    My guess is it will get very ugly


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