There is a general rule of thumb that covers “events” or disasters be they local and generally small, or the “doomsday” type. For an easy way to remember them, I call them the 5 C’s. These are:
CONFUSION: Better known as “What the heck happened??” This is found more in an unforeseen event ( bolt from the blue ) such as an airplane crash, water main break, non-weather related power outage, or in general something that disrupts the regular grid without any warning. It can be a short termed event ( power is back on in a few hours ) or a longer term one ( a solar flare takes out the power grid ).
KNOWLEDGE is the reply to this, as in “OK, I know what to do.” For example, breaking out flashlights and a battery-powered radio to learn about the outage, and having a plan for what you do based on what you learn.
CHAOS: This occurs among those without KNOWLEDGE, or in general, the unprepared, starting with major urban areas ( if they still exist ) after a few days without the normal grid. Many of these will be those who simply can’t function with a microwave, etc. Others will be just thugs who see an opportunity to loot. ( Many of these will loot “high dollar value items” not realizing that they may no longer be as valuable as a sack of rice.) This will strain any existing order keepers ( police, National Guard, etc.)
ORDER: By having a plan, and a way to avoid being where the chaos will break out, you maintain the order around you. This could mean “Bouncing Back ” to home from an urban area, “Bugging out” in a safer haven, or “Hunkering down” in a safe haven.
COMBAT: A heartbreaking stage for anyone who is a caring person. To re-establish order looters and such have to be defeated, driven off, or otherwise neutralized. If this is a long term “doomsday” event, this could occur around the third to fourth week as most food stocks run out and may regrettably mean having to take action again hungry, desperate people who might even have been members of your own community.
DEFENSE: For short term, one week or so events, this could be simply living in a better place, good doors, and locks, a local police force that is effective or maybe a baseball bat or pepper spray. But, with every passing day the grid disruption occurs brings the need to “up the ante” and raise the level of defense to barriers, area controls, and possibly armed force with the end result of having to engage in fighting with the attackers.
CONVERSION: This is the returning to some reasonable form of “normalcy” after usually a short term event. Not all things will be back to the way they were, but the basics of the grid, water, food, hygiene, medical, and order will be re-established. In a major, long-term “doomsday” event this is where the rebuilding begins once a reasonable level of security has been established. Some form of “new order” for the areas that survive will be established.
SELF-RELIANCE: This response is not only on a personal level but for small communities. Pooling resources and abilities with be the bridge to re-establishing at least a basic stable lifestyle.
COMMUNITY: If you observe what happened in some events of the past few years, natural and otherwise, it is the areas that had a fairly good sense of community ( small towns, etc.) that held together, protected themselves, and helped each other. The “stranger next door” effect of those areas where people don’t interact, be they gated communities, or urban areas, will leave these places without the supporting structure when the grid gets knocked off.
REBUILDING AND RECOVERY: With a core of good leaders, and knowledgeable people, with different skills to offer, and having made their area safe, such places have very good odds of sailing through most short-term events and at least a fighting chance to make it in what “brave new world emerges from the rubble of a “doomsday” event.