Do I expect that gang members from nearby areas would be out “working” if the electricity went out? In a heartbeat! First to go would be food and electronics, and drugs – we’ve seen that repeated in city after city when law and order break down. The homies would rather stick together than go all out for themselves individually. Once the food is gone on the grocery store shelves, and the electricity doesn’t come back on to run all their shiny new electronics, they’ll be out looking again. We see it every year in our neighborhood – a ways from theirs, but still obviously on their map. Suddenly on Halloweeen we have vehicles cruising up and down the streets in this area – NONE of which leads into major thoroughfares due to our location away from the city center, as well as street patterns that actually somewhat isolate this neighborhood. And it becomes quite clear, quite quickly, that many of our “visitors” are not following kids on their trick-or-treat runs up and down the street. We all know we’re being watched, and the sudden uptick in crime in the past couple of years has not gone unnoticed of course. We make note of “repeat offenders” (multiple passes on any one street), and also make sure that enough of “us” are seen out looking back (and looking at license plates). One neighbor even had a gun stuck out a window and pointed at him, not too far down the street from us while simply out “watching.”
So do I have any feeling of calm protectedness in this area if things go downhill quickly for more than a day or so? Absolutely none. The dynamics are very different from rural or sparsely populated areas. And the current dynamics are also very different from what they were even here when we first moved back decades ago. Fortunately, several of us are getting to know (and trust) each other more and more, know more about what each others’ capabilities are, etc. Despite being out a ways from city center, we’re still living in a reasonably closely populated neighborhood (nothing larger than about ½ acre), even though it’s disconnected from other residential neighborhoods. And even at my age (and ligament/joint capabilities), I believe there are at least three other neighbors’ within a decent baseball throw that I feel reasonably certain would be out and about in a heartbeat if an emergency arose – and they’d be armed if they perceived even a possible need. I continue to develop those relationships. Requests to borrow things, like ramps to load a truck for example, are GLADLY accommodated. And I look for similar opportunities to request easy things of them in return – more for relationship purposes than because of current need. Cooperation breeds friendship, friendship breeds trust, and trust breeds increased security. As noted by others here, that’s part of wise prepping.