OK, i wanna share with you my own experience. (be patient with my English, i am from far away )
I am from the Balkan region, and as some of you may know it was hell here from 92-95, anyway, for 1 whole year i lived and survived in a city WITHOUT: electricity, fuel, running water,real food distribution, or distribution of any goods, or any kind of organized law or government.The city was surrounded for 1 year and in that city actually it was SHTF situation.
We did not have organized army or police force, there was groups of defenders, actually anybody who had a gun, fight for his own house and his own family.
Some of us was better prepared, but most of families had food for couple of days, some of us had pistol, few owned AK-47 when all started.
Anyway, after one month or two, gangs started with their nasty job,hospital looked like butchery, police force vanished, 80 percent of hospital staff gone home. I was lucky, my family was big in that time (15 members in one big house, 5-6 pistols, 3 Kalashnikov s) so we lived and survived, most of us.
I remember US Air force dropped MRE every 10 days (god bless USA for that) as help for surrounded city, it just was not enough.Some of houses had little gardens with some vegetables, most did not.
After three months rumors started abouth first deaths from starvation,deaths from low temperatures, we stripped every door , window frame from abandoned houses for heating, i burned all my own furniture for heating, lot of people died from diseases, mostly from bad water (two of my family members), we used rain water for drink, several times i ate pigeons, once i ate rat.
Money did not worth sh..
we traded things, black market worked, few examples: for 1 corned beef can you could have woman for couple of hours(sounds bad, but it was reality) i remember, most of that womans were just desperate mothers, candles, lighters,antibiotics,fuel,batteries, rifle ammo and of course food, we fight like animals for that.
In situation like that lot of things change, most of people turned to monsters, it was ugly.
Strength was in the numbers, if you were alone in the house, you ve been probably robbed and killed, no matter how well armed.
Anyway, war ended, again thanks to America (and again god bless USA for that)
It is not important witch side had right in that war.
It was almost 20 years ago, but believe me, for me it was just like yesterday, i remember everything, and i think i learned a lot.
Me and my family are prepared now,i am well armed, stocked and educated.
It is not important what going to happen, earthquake,war, tsunami,aliens terrorists, important thing is that something gonna be.
And from my expirience, you can not survive alone, strength is in the numbers, be close with your family, prepare with them, choose your friends wisely and prepare with them too.