Earlier today, I was pondering some things I'd read and decided to call up an old college professor I'd met some years back......(1999/2000 or so). At the time he was in the local welder's shop and wanting to make an anvil from an old piece of railroad track....Something or another about studying "blacksmithing". ( he's a tad bit of an eccentric!) ( Ok, so, he's a bit of a nut!) Anyway, I wanted to get his take on what the actual "odds" are of survivng any real threat to people on the whole. Needless to say, the variables involved are infinite. I remembered he had told me (years ago) that he was working on a "computer program" to try and get an idea of what is involved in surviving any mass type of catastrophic or set of events. Despite all the variables and scenarios involved he managed to get some numbers from years of playing "war games" with his own devised set of rules and parameters. Now, I am by no mean computer literate. In fact I am about as dumb as a rock when it comes to doing much on these things....Trust me on that! So here is what I was told this evening: You see, it all depends on a set of variables, and they are complicated and hard to discern much from.... Q) Is the scenario: a man made event, weather related, a solar flare, a meteor, volcanic in nature event, an earthquake, or is it something else? I have NO answers, so I go with 'man caused'. Q) is it winter, spring, summer or fall? Sheesh! What have I got myself into now? I go with spring! Ok, so far so good.... Q) does this occur in an urban, or a heavily populated city, or out in the country? ( rural as in farms and so forth) Oh Crap! I have to go with Urban or city....I'm just guessing now! Q) Is this a nuclear or a bio type of event? I don't have an answer to that! Q) Well, Is it a complete brownout as in the entire country's grid goes "offline" or is it relatively isolated as in one large city or a smaller rural area? Again, I am "LOST"! I go with a collapse of the entire country's electrical grid system. What I was told and what I can discern from the words I heard, I was not to thrilled to say the least! Far from it in fact! Here is the "gist" of what I was told. "The odds of "surviving" in a typical "BUG-IN" scenario, are, to say the least: lousy! Figure the odds around 1 in 25,000-50,000 against it! ( based on a large typical metropolis such as Los Angeles or New York City). That is variable as it cannot be estimated accurately due to so many ways to find water ( parks and ponds and lakes) as well as some foods, again in those areas where fish and ducks etc. can be acquired. Also there are an infinite amount of places to avoid becoming a target to others seeking food and water. The odds dramatically increase in YOUR favor 'IF' you can get to an area all ready and 'prepped' for you to walk into. Figure your survival odds now at 10,000-50,000 to 1! A near complete reversal! EXCEPTION: you'll have to move to that place and do so unnoticed and unassaulted in the process. Now, the odds change! You have a 1 in 100 chance of getting away without being seen. It has been estimated by those that know a LOT more than I do, that those people that choose ( or not by choice) remain in ANY city or suburban area are more than likely NOT going to live longer than 7-10 days, period. I would give them about 2-3 weeks personallly, but again, it all depends on so many variables it's impossible to figure it all out. (There are geniuses that run these programs over and over, every day of the week, in order to "predict" the "survivability" of humans in any given scenario. Some may be accurate, but they forget the main ingredient, the WILL TO SURVIVE is stronger than any computer or programmer realizes! But, given the proper opportunity, NOT only will humans survive, they can actually thrive!) Anyone out there have the skills or knowledge to take this further? I'd really like to get another point of view! I am a "realist" and know the odds are NOT good in any given scenario, but, I'd like to know anyway!