Editor’s note: This is another in a series of “WND/WENZEL POLLS” conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.
Nearly half of Americans would expect serious, sustained life-threatening civil unrest within two weeks of a major catastrophe, such as an EMP attack that would destroy electronics, according to a new poll.
Another huge percentage say they would expect further deterioration after two weeks, but for many, that development would be irrelevant, because they expect they would be dead by then.
The sobering new poll by Wenzel Strategies, a public-opinion research and media consulting company, also shows a stunning number of Americans say they would be willing to kill a neighbor under such circumstances.
The poll, conducted Nov. 28-Dec. 3 with a margin of error of 3.14 percentage points, showed 58 percent of Americans would be somewhat or very willing to kill someone if a member of their family was threatened with attack during an emergency.
But that would be because 50 percent expect that within two weeks of a catastrophic emergency, their home, person or family member would be physically attacked by someone desperate for food, money or commodities like gasoline.
Remarkably, 21 percent said they would survive without services provided by electronic power less than a week and another 28 percent believed they could last less than two weeks. Three in four Americans say they would be dead in two months.
Fritz Wenzel, president of Wenzel Strategies, told WND: “Our survey shows that, in the face of this reality, very few Americans are taking steps themselves to prepare for the worst possible scenario. Just 11 percent consider themselves to be what has come to be known as ‘doomsday preppers.’ The survey shows 24 percent aren’t preppers but do know one, while 62 percent are unfamiliar with any preppers. While 14 percent of Republicans are preppers, just 8 percent of Democrats say they are.”
He continued: “Asked about the national electrical grid, one of the most important components of our modern civilization, a huge majority of the American public – 74 percent – acknowledges we are far too dependent on the grid. Interestingly, this is a question on which there is no variance based on partisan affiliation.”
He said:”Asked how long they think it would take, after a national failure of the electrical grid, for serious, sustained, life-threatening civil unrest to break out in America, 24 percent said they think such violence would break out within the first week. Another 23 percent said it would happen within two weeks. About the same percentage – 27 percent – said such violence would occur sometime between two weeks and two months after failure of the grid.
“While 19 percent said it would take longer than two months for life-threatening violence to break out, just 7 percent said they did not believe Americans would resort to such violence,” Wenzel said.
“The survey also shows that while Americans may fear a major catastrophe, about half said they could personally last only a couple of weeks without electricity, gas, or other basic conveniences of modern life in the wake of such a tragedy. Just 26 percent said they could survive longer than two months,” he said.
“A huge fear stemming from the failure of core utilities or services is violence – and 27 percent said they think that it would take less than a week before either they or someone in their immediate family would be physically attacked by someone desperate for food, money, or commodities, or by someone taking advantage of social chaos. Another 24 percent said it would happen within two weeks of a catastrophe. That more than half of respondents expected a relatively swift collapse in social order is absolutely alarming.”
He said given those concerns, “it’s not surprising that the survey also found that 58 percent of respondents would be perfectly willing to kill an attacker using a firearm or other method of self-defense.”
“Just 14 percent said they would not be willing at all to kill such an attacker. Who knows how those people would react,” Wenzel said.
“The findings in this survey are unquestionably disturbing on many levels. While Americans believe we are the targets of a major future catastrophe, and they are mostly distrusting that their fellow citizens will band together to deal with the aftermath of such an attack in a constructive way, they are mostly unwilling to take steps to be prepared to deal with the possibility of a disaster. On the one, hand, it is understandable that people don’t want to be consumed with thoughts of doomsday scenarios, but it is alarming that so few have taken affirmative steps to survive without the conveniences of modern, everyday life,” Wenzel said.
See detailed results of survey questions:
Many people keep a few extra supplies around the house for emergencies, but there are some who make substantial preparations for such a catastrophe. They are known as “doomsday preppers.” Would you consider yourself to be a doomsday prepper or do you know someone who is?
Thinking about the social order across America, if we were to lose electrical power nationwide either because of the explosion of an electro-magnetic pulse device, a computer hack, or some other attack on the electrical grid, how long do you think it would take for serious, sustained life-threatening civil unrest to break out?
If America, or your community, were struck with a catastrophic emergency, how long do you think you personally could survive without any support from such things as gas stations, electricity from the grid, grocery stores, or water from the tap?
If America, or your community, were struck with a catastrophic emergency, how long do you think it would take before your home, your person, or a member of your immediate family would be physically attacked by someone desperate for food, money, or commodities like gasoline, or by someone taking advantage of social chaos?
If you or a member of your family were threatened with attack by a neighbor under such a catastrophic emergency, how willing would you be to kill that attacker using a firearm or other method in self-defense?