This deserves a bump.
SHTF or even TEOTWAWKI can be a slow motion event, as in decades to generations slow. A good example would be the catastrophic effects of a slow debasement of the USD or peak oil. Fifteen years ago in the late '90s some tinfoil hat moonbat on the internet was yammering about some secret report that cost $32,000.00 a copy and was circulating between the 5 major oil companies at the time. The report basically said that by the year 2003, gas could hit $2.00 a gallon and it would start to have negative effects on the economy. 1) I had no fooking idea how bad it could get and 2) that internet moonbat whackjob was right. 3) If things continue, how will we all be surviving in a world where our paychecks, bennies stay the same in nominal terms while food and energy continue to double and double and then double again over the next 10+ years?
As gov't gets more corrupt, heavy handed and incompetent, even little disasters like the odd cat 3 hurricane in the southeast or the periodic killing frost in Porterville will have more serious and long lasting effects on things. Nations are to a degree like people and where a hurricane or earthquake to a healthy nation is like a strep infection or flu to a young healthy person, a rotted out, corrupt nation full of the entitlement mentalites would suffer and even collapse just like an elderly or immunocompromised person would be pushed into the next world when faced with the same common bacteria and influenza agents.
The likelihood of a strong, omnipresent government is also not 100% IMO. It could be argued that as gov't spending collapses bue to loss of revenue or loss of faith in the currency, all those helicopters and drones will cost too much to maintain and fly regularly and patrols will be cut back, salaries will stagnate, morale will collapse and we'll all be living with Latin America levels of bribery and corruption, nevermind earthquakes and EMP and supervolcanoes. That slow-collapse scenario alone is horrid to contemplate, yet a lot of immigrants to this country can tell us stories all day long of what it's like to deal with that level of hassle. In the face this sort of thing, stored food and battle rattle only go so far. Skillsets and organization become the next step.