A few friends have been talking along the lines of military intelligence-style scenario planning/assessment, but with regard to social instability in South Africa. Maybe an illustration will make sense: if we lose another 10% of our electricity grid, if we achieve the predicted shortfall of 10% of our budget next year, and if our water system’s current crumble accelerates, if El Nino 2015 ruins crops and food prices soar, if our credit rating is lowered again and interest rates increase or inflation soars and poor people become poorer, and if unemployment reaches 30% (from 25% at present), what will happen in society? Will civil insurrection result? And how soon will it happen?

I like the your idea and points Meduseld, but I think that sometimes it is simply impossible to put all important info in calculation simply because way how those things (start of SHTF) works is simply sometimes too strange or unpredictable.

For example some society or country by all signs (rise of unemployment, crime, falling of some things etc.) could go to s..t in next three months, but in reality is it going to fall now or in next two years can depend of the events like simple strike on local factory, or simple lost football game of the local club.

Orlov is good with those stages, but sometimes society can still work even all four stages are here. Sometimes society need just one small event more, like that football game riot.
It need spark.
Sometimes things just unfold like nobody expected. There are too many “unknowns” in formula.