We have said for years that the atomic war is inescapable and that the planetary devastation consequent upon it is unimaginable. But because of its very nature, it can last only a short time. What will last comparatively longer is the period of chaos and anarchy which will succeed it. During that period, more people are likely to die than during the period of bombing itself. For the great centres of population, where millions of people are now cooped up in towns and cities, will either be destroyed by the actual explosions and their inhabitants by the radioactive emanations left by the explosions, or if not destroyed they will become paralysed and unable to supply their inhabitants with the necessary food and materials wherewith to live and carry on their vocations. The entire commercial and industrial system of today is so centralized and so complex that the means of supporting those people will be absent. The system itself will be disastrously disorganized. The transportation and distribution of food and goods will cease for a period of time. It is during that period, which in some cases may be only a few months but in others as much as a few years, that the difficulty of survival will be most pronounced. The sensible thing to do is to prepare ourselves for it and to learn how to keep ourselves fed, sheltered, and alive until the reorganization of communal existence and the beginnings of normal living return again.
-- Notebooks Category 13: Human Experience > Chapter 4: World Crisis > # 406