One day, at 3am, everyone on Earth vanishes except for Tim. Tim is 17, does well in high school but doesn't have many real world skills. Tim lived in a large North American city.


  • After joy riding some Lamborghinis, what does Tim need to do to survive in the immediate future (first few weeks)?
  • How long would the internet / electricity / running water last with no one maintaining them?
  • What skills should Tim prioritize learning, in order to survive the first year and there after?
  • How long will Tim likely live for?

My first thoughts were to raid Costco for non perishable food items & water, get some paper maps, and finding some guns from a local police station / hunting store for self defense from animals (eg. Bears).

  • 2
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    – L.Dutch
    Apr 20, 2021 at 9:54
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ After joy riding some Lamborghinis... Tim probably died doing this. Extremely powerful car driven by extremely inexperienced driver = good chance of death even on a straight empty road. $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2021 at 10:30
  • $\begingroup$ First skill: Get an introductory first-aid kit and education on how to use it. Sepsis from a tiny untreated scratch can and will kill him very easily. As will getting laid out by gastro, from eating bad food. Or even just breaking a leg, and not knowing how to splint it by himself. $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Apr 20, 2021 at 10:37
  • $\begingroup$ Vacuum packed & tinned (& dried for the first year or four) food in the shops of a single city will be enough for his entire life, the sports shops of said city will have sports bows, air-rifles & fishing tackle if he wants something fresh, basic medical supplies the same, there is no rationale reason to suppose he'll die of any minor illness or be in any danger of starvation // barring accidents he'll most likely live until he dies of old age unless he develops a cancer or heart disease .. unless he's an idiot, is he an idiot? $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Apr 20, 2021 at 11:17
  • $\begingroup$ Related: How long would the internet be usable if nearly all humans disappeared $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Apr 20, 2021 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Tim will die of old age before he runs of food. The average supermarket has enough calories canned or vacuum packed to keep you alive for 50 years. 70 if you dont mind dog food.

Find a place with a rainwater tank. I understand these are pretty rare in some parts of north America. By law every house in my city (south Australia) needs one. You may need to use the Lamborghinis to tow a rainwater tank from the hardware store to the house you want to shelter in, and plumb it into the down pipes, so you've got something to drink when the bottled water dries up.

Power / internet / water will probably all be down the next morning. There are beacons of reliability in these systems that could last months without human interaction but a weak link in this under maintained grid of USA infrastructure will break the whole thing pretty quickly. Sewage will backup - He'll be using a hole in the ground for the rest of his life.

Find a nice secure place, put up some solar panels, get a rifle to keep the wildlife away, and empty a few supermarkets of everything canned. Learn a bit of electrical engineering so he can wire up to solar panels and get an inverter and battery going and keep some comforts like ac / fridges / hot water / cook on a hot plate. Learn how to cook. Learn how to use a stolen cosco forklift to load a trailer attached to a Lamborghini with a pallet of canned food. Learn how to reverse parallel park that in his shelter. Home handy man skills. That's basically his first year of skills.

  • $\begingroup$ Rainwater tanks are indeed uncommon, but having a dependable water well is quite common in rural areas. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Apr 20, 2021 at 19:03

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