Are you Prepared?
I have been fielding a lot of calls lately from friends, fellow bloggers and “others” that want to know what they need to do to “get” prepared. To those that will say “What makes you qualified” well let’s just say those that know me also know that I am. Take the advice or not it is up to you.
First this is not about ideology. It is not about an Economic collapse (which I think is coming) nor is it about Global conflict (which I think is coming) or some other man made event like a Terrorist strike (which I also think is coming). It could be a Natural event say a Super-Storm maybe?
It is about being an asset instead of a drain on resources and about having…, let’s say, options.
The following list and discussion is far from complete and there are many factors which can and will make your preparations inadequate. You cannot prepare for every eventuality. You can only prepare as best you can for the most likely scenarios and hope that what you do can keep you alive. The information here is not about survival of the Zombie Apocalypse you would need a lot more information and preparation then I have the energy or time to go into, however should you find yourself in a life threatening situation maybe the information here will give you a fighting chance.
First let me say I don’t like the show Doomsday Preppers.. I personally think they are idiots. You don’t tell people what stored dry goods and durables you have, location of them and your plans for “events”. It would be easy, let’s say, to surround the house lob in some WP and wait for you to exit to take you out then grab your supplies that you told everyone was in the basement behind fireproof doors.
So Rule #1… Keep quiet. Keep your preparations off the grid. Unless you are ready to feed the neighbors share your ammo and supply them with medicine I would suggest you rethink telling people just how much of a prepper you really are.
Pre Determine Bunker Status.
Simply…are you staying or are you going.
i. You have to first determine rather or not your home is defensible and rather or not resources will remain plentiful and easily obtainable.
Scenario #1 – In the event of a Biological Release or a Radiological event are you in an evacuation path?
Let’s look at Atlanta as a target for a Terrorist strike. In the event of a Bio/Radiological release the prevailing winds with Atlanta as ground zero are West to East and Southeast to Northwest.
The flight path for people leaving Atlanta will be to the West and Southwest. These people will be scared, hungry and looking for resources. They may have left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. With 1-3 Million people all fleeing, the surrounding areas resources will be quickly consumed.
These average citizens will become desperate and willing to take what they need to survive and soon Society will break down into complete anarchy.
i. If you are in the downwind path of the agent you will have no choice but to leave. If, however, you are not, then the option may be just as limited. You have to decide can you survive and protect your resources against the horde. If you are staying prepare the defenses of your home. Pre cut plywood for your windows and be able to barricade your doors. Make sure you have a safe room should your defenses (and they will) be breached.
i. This will be your best option if you are in the evacuation path. You will need to have a place to go to. A pre-planned pre-reconnoitered location that you may be safe with sufficient resources cannot be done at the time of the event. Bug-Out bags will help but these can only last so long. Don’t wait. Delaying will put you in the path of the “evacuees” and make you vulnerable to having your resources taken.
Rule #2- Make a decision, make a plan and work the plan. If you don’t know what a Bug-Out bag is look it up. The Internet has valuable information on the minimum of resources you will need. Each vehicle should have one to accompany the Household Bug-Out bag. You will need a minimum of 72 hours of emergency supplies. This is the one area you don’t need to go cheap on.
You will need food, water, shelter. Fuel for your car, weapons and ammo.
There are no hard set rules here. My personal suggestions are:
Shotgun in any gauge-This is an excellent self-defense weapon, as well as, a tool for hunting.
Rifle- caliber sufficient to bring down a deer. This is necessary for self-defense, as well.
Rifle-Small caliber-This is needed for small game and can be used as self-defense. Additionally you can carry larger amounts of ammunition for this caliber.
Pistol-Auto or revolver in a common caliber. Ammunition may become hard to come by so be prepared to trade or scrounge for ammo. The most common pistol calibers are: .38, 9mm and .45
Serviceable knife-not a pocket knife. Survival knives are generally not something you keep in your pocket.
Rule #3- Ammunition in sufficient quantities. Now here many people differ from my perspective. I think the more you have the better. Other “survivalist” considers too much ammo to be just as bad as not enough food, weight distribution and all that. My thoughts on this are bartering. Ammunition makes excellent barter goods. If you have an excess of .22 or 5.56 you may need the extra boxes to trade for medicine or other needed items. In this there is never too much of a good thing.
1. The Plan
i. The day the event occurs is too late to make a plan. If you are at that point you will be just another drain on ever dwindling resources. You will find yourself out hitting Stores fighting with the evacuees for goods risking yours and your family’s lives.
ii. Discuss this with your family. They need to know. You will most likely be met with skepticism and denial. Work through it. Your survival and theirs may depend on it.
Rule #4- You may have to walk this path alone. In other words if your spouse thinks you are just being paranoid, well OK you might be but it doesn't mean to do nothing. Being an Ostrich is never good for the Ostrich if he cannot see the Lion stalking him. Besides if nothing happens then having extra food in the house can’t hurt. Have a camp out night, donate it, whatever but someone once told me it is better to have something and not need it then to need it and not have it. So get some shelf stable food enough for a family of four for a minimum of a week. If you can do it for 90 days great but remember if you have to bug out, you have to carry your provisions with you. So plan for that, as well.
Situational awareness is the key to survival. Just like you or your wife when walking through a parking lot at night. You must be aware of who is around you and what is going on around you. World events, National events, the Stock Market all are key indicators of potential threats to your safety. However there were few indicators that individually you would have been aware of leading up to the event on September 11th 2001. So you must be prepared and be aware. This might be nothing more than being aware of the weather reports.
i. We have seen, so called “emergencies” in recent years. One was when an internet rumor created a panic of a gas shortage. People started gassing up and topping off their cars. This caused an actual temporary shortage which fueled the rumor convincing the people that it was in fact true. Stations ran out of gas and those that had it the price rose dramatically. Fights and Assaults where the results.
ii. The second event was the Ice Storm of 2011. Trucks unable to deliver to stores caused a shortage of some food items. People were seen fighting over “Twinkies” in Atlanta. It was over a week before supplies returned to normal.
Rule #5- What ifs. What if it was real? In a sense it was. But what if a real emergency shut down the ability to re-supply Atlanta and surrounding areas with fuel and food? First don’t share. Now this rule is the hardest of all. I mean it is the Christian thing to do. You want to be a good neighbor and all that don’t you?
Most households only have about 24-48 hours of supplies. A family of four will get hungry really fast. When they run out and they cannot leave the area for whatever reason be it lack of fuel or a pandemic or a Terrorist action, they are going to be knocking on your door. If you share..once that is depleted they will be back and they may not be alone. So it’s another decision time for you. They will always be those that deplete resources without adding anything back. You can’t help everyone. Your first and foremost responsibility is your own family. Another good reason for bugging out early in the event.
Think about “Hooking up” in the event of a “Long-term” National event…
Ok probably not the way someone under 30 would think about it. Like minded people sharing resources kind of “Hooking Up”. Your family would be safer in a “group”. A well supplied, well armed “group” can share responsibilities, help gather supplies, grow food and hunt for it, as well as, protect it.
i. If you go this route and you don’t already have one set up you will have to find one. You will need to bring something of value to the group. In the brave “New” World the old 70’s saying will be true once again… A**, Grass or Gas no one rides for free. You will need to bring resources or be able to offer skills. So again plan ahead. If you don’t know how to hunt or fish…LEARN. Take a course in Gunsmithing. Learn to re-load anything that will bring value. Drainers will be dismissed one way or the other.
Rule #6- Going it alone may be the best option for you. If you have plenty of resources and have a site pre-prepared and you are away from anyone else then you don’t need a group but it should always be an option. Get to know any that might be in your AO, setup trade and barter agreements and mutual defense agreements. If one gun is good a bunch is whole lot better.
Remember it could be nothing more than a Natural event. Recently we saw the lines, heard about the fights over gas shortages in New Jersey and New York because of Hurricane Sandy. These places were without power and resources for over a week. Most were unprepared even though had had several days of warning. They stayed. They failed to grasp just how fragile Society is. Without power refrigerated food spoils quickly, without power fuel is unavailable, without fuel Emergency services become limited.
How you prepared for events may mean the difference between surviving the event of succumbing to it.
You cannot depend on Government to be there to give you food and shelter. Sandy was not even a National event. It wasn’t even Statewide yet it was weeks before power was restored and days before services came back online. People went hungry, had to leave their homes in search of food and supplies. If civil unrest had of taken hold these people would have been vulnerable at best victims at worst.
Your preparations can prevent that. Get some books; read some articles buy some food. Do something other than be a drainer of resources. The choice is yours. Don’t let events make the choice for you.