As you can see by the picture below, it is still a frozen world. From where I'm sitting, in front of the wood stove with a generator and furnace purring in the background it's not so bad. Some folks have had a struggle seeking to master the elements without the aid of municipal utility services, and still others are useless as tits on a boar hog and have become beggers after everyone elses time and resources.
I will relate two examples.
Mr. M moved out here a couple years ago and is a highly intelligent bookish sort of substantial academic acheivement and credentials who owns, breeds and cares for livestock. He has been gradually educating himself in the ways of self-sufficiency and aquiring knowledge and skills through the effective method getting his hands dirty and practicing good relations with the natives.
Folks hereabouts, and I suspect thereabouts, will go out of their way to help this kind of fella out. I'll do what I can for him.
Ms Spongebroad (not her real name) is a modern female who gives the impression she is capable, able, and independent. Observable reality reveals another tale. Begger. Unwilling to even run the roads or work the phone to locate items whose possession could literally mean survival. Things are scarce right now, but you can drive to where they are in a reasonable amount of time. Spongebroad is sitting in front of a heater I loaned out to an elderly couple with 'total electric' and no alternative heat source or way to get one with her three kids dumped in the old folks parlor.
Mr M. Was unable to get out of his property to run the roads for two days and I could not bring him a heat source (total electric home) because Spongebroad, who is able bodied, would not contribute through effort or time to the wellbeing of the elderly couple on whom she imposes. I ever see Spongebroad drowning, I will count the bubbles.