A pandemic, loss of the electric system, or other triggering disaster need not be that effective in
directly killing people to generate a collapse that results in millions of deaths and a weakened nation.
The “cascading effects” of an economic shut down – loss of law and order, looting and marauding,
disruption of health, sanitation, water, and transportation systems triggered by the initial disaster –
may deliver much worse, longer lasting damage. When electric grids, nuclear reactors, and local water
stop functioning, or the police force experiences many casualties, increases in violent crime could be
far worse than the virus or other threat that caused it.