Settling Scores After TSHTF

A friend of mine brought this up the other day and I thought it was worth discussing here. In a society that is suddenly without the rule of law, folks will probably get into all sorts of mischief. Looting comes to mind immediately, of course. We’ve seen that happen countless times during and after local disasters.

What isn’t talked about quite as much though is the settling of scores. By that, I’m referring to people who feel they were wronged at some point in their life and decide to get even with the offending parties. Perhaps a jilted ex-spouse decides to make a visit to the one who broke their heart. Or the guy who’s house was taken by the bank wants to discuss the matter with the bank president, who just happens to live in the same town.

If law enforcement has, for all intents and purposes, ceased to exist, these people may decide to take matters into their own hands. Hell, in some cases it might even be justifiable, at least to a degree.

I used to say there were essentially four categories of potential enemies in a post-collapse world.

1) Desperate neighbors
2) Power mongers
3) Looters and other ne’er do wells
4) Psychos

I think perhaps we should add a 5th category. Maybe we’ll call them vengeance seekers. While you may have led a charmed life and never once got anyone angry with you, if you’re between them and their targets you might just be seen as a minor obstacle to be run over without second thought.

Just one more thing to watch out for.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

One thought on “Settling Scores After TSHTF”

  1. My first reaction was to think that it’d be a poor use of energy in a dire situation so it wouldn’t be likely that vengeance would be a likely motivator. Then I thought about it and in a dire situation people prone doing silly crap will almost definitely do silly crap, which will include settling scores. “So-and-so always had XYZ around their house. I remember the time they kicked me out of the party for XYZ…time to pay them a visit,”

    Guess the potentiality of someone seeking vengeance is another reason to live a good and thoughtful life, huh? 🙂

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