All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can - and must - be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial (and species) survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a "perfect society" on any foundation other than "Women and children first!" is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. -Robert A. Heinlein
G^3 + B^3 + L^2 + pH had an interesting post discussing the issues of survival group size and affiliations.
He contends that you might pick out an all-star patrol group and find that your all-stars' affiliations balloon your group size to far beyond what your resources can support.
Looking at the problem from the other end
I decided to look at the conundrum from the other direction. Suppose I created a fictional list of people who might look to me as their lifeboat.
My job (and your's vicariously) is sort into A-Pile, B-Pile and C-Pile, then sort within A-pile. My choices and logic will be presented in a later post.
Candidate families are stratified by age.
In their sixties:
60a) Man-woman married couple no children at home. Retired. Both require specialized medical equipment or drugs daily or become non-functional or dead. Woman believes there is no situation that makes the purchase of a firearm morally acceptable. That is what police are for. Believes Hawaii Five-O is real.
In their fifties:
50a) Man-woman married couple. Never had children. Both sixty pounds overweight. Man is a numbers guy and a fair wingshot with a shotgun. The woman is a professional social justice warrior.
50b) Single woman. No children at home. Works in the medical profession. Boyfriend has a high need for dominance.
50c) Single woman. No children at home. Slight mobility impairment. A diligent and willing worker. Works in the medical profession. Boyfriend is likable and hunts but has health issues.
50d) Single woman. Three daughters at home ages 20, 22, 24. All four women are physically fit to very physically fit. Some dietary restrictions. Identify as progressives. Interesting combination of compassion and steely-eyed realism.
50e) Man-woman married couple. Two children under ten. Man is a little goofy but owns and shoots guns and rides an ATV.
In their forties
40a) Man-woman married couple. Never had children. Man shoots and fixes mechanical things and works in the medical profession. Woman is in media and gets bored with things that are “so last week”.
In their thirties
30a) Woman-woman couple. Two daughters under five. Rabid progressives. Thinks gun owners should be in prison. Distance makes it unlikely that they could make it to Fort Zinderneuf when the balloon goes up.
30b) Man-woman couple. Married. Two children under age five. Both work in a medical profession and both are physically fit. Man is excellent coach and skilled at getting people to work together. Both have easy personalities. Man loves fishing but has never hunted.
30c) Man-woman couple. Married. No kids. Man has much practical experience living in austere environments and is currently deployed overseas. Distance makes it unlikely they could get to Fort Zinderneuf when the balloon goes up.
In their twenties
20a) Man, recently divorced. “Hands” guy but don’t let him do your taxes. Relatively easy going. Hunts and shoots for recreation. No military training.
20b) Man, recently divorced. “Hands” guy. Prickly personality. Believes that tact is WAY over-rated. Has many, many firearms spanning many chamberings.
20c) Woman, never married. Overweight. Easy to get along with.
20d) Man-woman married couple. One infant. Man is a “Hands” guy. Man hunts and shoots for recreation. Is a member of an IDPA club. Both adults are very easy to get along with and quick to pitch-in and work.
20e) Man-woman couple near clone of above but man does not participate in IDPA. No child.
20f) Man-man couple. No kids. Uber liberal. Personalities vary with the wind direction. Attention seeking behaviors.
Totals after you add in the ERJ clan: 30 adults, 12 children.
Clusters and affiliations:
60a, all 50s and 40a have affiliation.
50a, 40a and 30a affiliate.
20a, 20c, 20d and 20e have strong affiliation. This cluster already has another lifeboat option lined up.
50d, 40a and 30b have affiliation.