5 Bad-ass Perimeter Defense Lessons From A Vietnam Vet

Thank God you made it to your rural bug out location (BOL)! You almost didn’t get out in time before the Police State Metropolis you lived in had their National Guard soldiers shut down all further mass exodus from the quarantined city, with shoot to kill Iraqi War style road blocks on the last exits that weren’t already blocked by panicked mobs and burning piled up car crashes.

You get out of your bug out vehicle (BOV) and kneel down for a moment on the cool green forest ground in a soon to get very hot world, and give solemn thanks that you were granted the presence of mind and discipline to have your BOV ready to rock at a moment’s notice.

You will miss a few of the friends and neighbors you know you’ll never see again, and you’ll feel sorry for those who were trapped in their normalcy bias comfort zone and ignored the ominous but clear warnings. You will pray for them the first chance you get but right now you have another serious problem.

Beware of “Zombiez”!

You pulled ahead of the general Mad Max road rage on the Interstate and traffic finally thinned out considerably as you branched out to the county highways.

You started passing more and more stalled out of gas vehicles off the side of the road, now looted out, and deceased looking, with shot out windows and bullet holes in the doors. You noticed small groups of stragglers marching off the shoulder of the roads carrying their military grade weapons and back packs with grim desperate looks on their faces.

These were the ones who never cared about prepping. They had a different kind of survival plan. They were out ambushing, murdering, looting, and ravaging those who didn’t prepare their vehicles well for escape.

A couple of them raised their weapons to draw a bead on your vehicle as you floored it and screamed passed at over 90 miles an hour but they never had a chance for a good shot. You then had that sickening, kicked-in-the-gut feeling as you realized it was going to get really ugly, really fast.

You hoped your secluded location would minimize marauding this “zombie” contact and that you would have enough time to make last minute adjustments, and finishing touches to your dedicated compound perimeter security before you hunkered down and sweated out the inevitable anarchy looming on the distant horizon…

Reality Check!

“OKAY, I’M READY TO WORK ON THE PERIMETER!”

Although different catastrophic/emergency and disaster events require different strategies and appropriate levels of preparation, they all share a single concept.

Security. Security, defense, and personal safety measures also span different levels of preparation effort and expense.

There is a lot of info out there now on urban home invasions and spontaneous concentrated urban rioting and looting, and how to protect and fortify your house from a break in.

This is a good idea in any case even before an apocalyptic scenario, and the harder and more time consuming you make it for a predator to attack and invade your city home or apartment the better the odds they’ll get caught at the door by police. Or give you time to escape at another egress or ‘gun-up’ in defensive counter attack mode behind some concealment/cover and take them out ambush style as they break in.

But in a doomsday scenario such as a major power grid collapse, sudden universal economic collapse, or super bad disease outbreak, there won’t BE any Police response, at least not for you. Fortifying your home’s doors and windows and stocking up on a few weeks’ worth of extra food and water won’t help you that much in the long run.

The first myth is that you can survive in place relatively easy if you read certain books. That might work through a hurricane, super blizzard, or local power outage that traps people for many days, but not in an all pervasive major social and economic, and resource breakdown that would last months and even years. This is an entirely different prep than surviving in place strategies. Do not make the mistake of not realizing the difference.

In the worst case SHTF event, you must be as isolated as you can from congested metropolitan areas if you want any chance for safety and survival. Period. Because sooner or later desperate and extremely psycho dangerous “zombies” will target your urban dwelling place and get through your home fortifications one way or another, and kill you, or burn you out.

Almost any house can be breached and broken into by determined attackers given enough time if there’s no worry about police showing up on the scene and the occupant/defender’s name is anything other than Rambo. And I don’t mean days, but more like only a few siege hours.

Even brick houses with bars or steel break in shades like you see on business storefronts in high risk areas. And if you somehow manage to kill them before they get in the first time, there will just be another group, even scarier, right after that in most large urban environments. That’s the reality.

Bug Out and Live!

The best way to initially survive a worst case scenario is to NOT to be around anything for very long that can kill you. Then remaining low profile if not completely secluded off the predator radar and out of targeting sight. Because why would anybody of sound mind, except in certain unfortunate personal circumstances, want to stay in a burning high rise hoping the sprinkler system will work when they could take the emergency exit out immediately?

So bugging out should be your primary plan. And the only place to go is out in the rural areas where contact with others is as limited as possible along with minimal profile footprint concealment. Once you’ve attained that, then the next part is making sure the “zombies” can’t just easily take it all away from you if they do stumble upon your hideout.

If you chose a decent BOL, some professionals with experience in this think it’s easier and more advantageous to your safety and security to make a virtually impenetrable perimeter barrier around your dwelling than it would be to seriously fortify a house/apartment in the city or town.

The factual truth is that these types of bad human relations as violent social conflicts have been going on since Biblical times and always contain certain elements. It always boils down to attackers and defenders. Fortified compounds, camps or castles, and superior firepower and tactics which change the advantage and even the whole game.

5 Lessons to Learn from Vietnam About Perimeter Defense

The art of this type of social warfare evolved to a stagnation point during the Middle Ages and then became obsolete during the evolution of the military industrial complex and modern world warfare that included airpower and massive tank warfare. It was not revisited and perfected until the mid-20th century, in a small country police action in a faraway country called Viet Nam.

Ironically, as I draw from personal empirical knowledge and on the job experience and historic record on the comparisons and similarities, the best paradigm for survival perimeter combat preparedness comes from the Vietnam war, both when the French and the Americans were fighting it.

The lessons learned and strategies and tactics ultimately deployed became so refined and successful they remained in military application even to the modern Afghanistan war, and American mountain base camps and varies only due to advanced technology in weaponry and early anti-intrusion detection.

The Viet Nam conflict draws parallels similar to apocalyptic anarchy because political perspective notwithstanding, the typical American defenders hunkered down in camp compounds and defended against mainly ground forces who won‘t have air or naval power or sophisticated precision electronic detection or aiming technology.

The Viet Nam ground war was relatively primitive terms of force multipliers and its success, or lack of it, depended mostly upon small unit engagement with relatively basic weaponry.

Amazingly, today this type of fortification can be replicated on a smaller civilian but equally effective outcome on the private BOL compound today, and in a couple tactical applications, even better! Obviously the scale of enhanced force would be somehow different but the essential principles of applied dynamics and what works best are the same.

Here’s how to get started in the simplest, least expensive way.

  1. Local Threat Evaluation

A combination of the likelihood of indigenous harmful contact and the random plain view discovery level of your BOL determine the odds of you getting approached by marauding “zombs”.

If they can’t see you from any road, there simply is not that much of a chance of many roaming predators getting into your area, because most of the area is inhabited by good people, more exposed than you but pretty self-reliant and well-armed, and they would pro-actively interfere with any groups of predators before they would ever get to your neck of the woods. So the likelihood of your BOL getting hit is very low.

Setting up a protective live defense perimeter barrier would virtually guarantee your long term survival of the rare one time attack if that happens, because almost any well prepared and armed prepper will have enough firepower, ammo and resources on hand to handle that. That is opposed to a long duration regular siege and total destruction type environment that would be common in anarchy ruled urban environments.

  1. Barrier Protection

What does the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, 13th century castle walls and other heavy barriers have in common? Walls are the most difficult obstacles to penetrate or breach by humans without heavy destructive equipment, but they also are the most expensive.

If your intruder simply can’t move forward and gain access to you in your inner protective shelter without getting stopped one way or another by formidable outside barrier, then your perimeter security succeeded and you survived. That’s why it’s better to have an outside perimeter circle of defense rather than allow them to get too close to your main retreat.

Again, the Vietnam War proved beyond doubt that you don’t need a castle or great solid wall to get the job done. There are other, even better ways…

  1. Perimeter Alarms

Aka anti-intrusion alerts and early warning devices. In Nam, we used anything and everything for perimeter alert from our empty beer and soda cans filled with pebbles, to the latest state of the art (at the time) forward terrain radar units and seismic ground sensors spread out even beyond the perimeter along with trip flares, and booby trapped grenades, and of course a healthy amount of pre-positioned Claymore mines if some of the attackers somehow get too far into the perimeter kill zone.

IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING you can easily replicate most of that with modern electronic battery operated noise alerts either with PIR detection triggers or pull pin type trip wire activation along with careful use of pyrotechnics, or both. There are pros and cons with each, mostly depending upon if you have a lot of animals especially deer in your area.

Pyrotechnics are a very good tried and true method of alert and can be enhanced to perform double duty as a shock deterrent ONLY IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. The old saying is that there are only two types of pyromaniac powder monkeys: those who are already missing some fingers or eyeballs, and those that are getting ready to.

The other thing is the potential forest fire hazards if you live in a dry area especially if you are using the trip flares, instead of a flash bang alert.

There’s also the legality factor. Most states have strict laws on the amount of powder you can legally shoot off in a non-commercial/professional display personal firework. I believe the max is an ounce of retort/bang powder that you can shoot off or purchase without a commercial license. But check it for yourself before trying anything else!

Plus, if the DNR is snooping around your land and you made an oversized flash bang on a trip wire that damaged his eardrums that will become cause for arrest.

I know there is advice out there on how to booby-trap your doorways but I seriously don’t recommend doing that with anything that can kill or maim (stick with loud siren alerts or flashing lights only) because not only is it illegal virtually everywhere, but it will be only a matter of time before you yourself or someone you care about trips the booby-trap.

And I strongly recommend that you don’t get into that with common store bought fireworks, which could easily blind or burn an innocent victim or start your house on fire.

On a perimeter defense, the common larger over the counter fireworks like the bursting skyrockets and rapid fire mortar tube clusters pre-loaded shooting and bursting shells could be used just to wake up the group of invaders.

The burst charges are not black powder loaded, but contain the silver flash powder which provides a potentially dangerous hyperbaric close concussive effect even in only a cardboard tube with the legal maximum amount of powder.

Again, these are legal to own, but you can’t shoot them at people without getting into trouble. Just like guns.

But in an all-out lawless society where nothing will be adjudicated anymore in any system but God’s court after you’re dead, these are formidable perimeter counter attack devices because they also can be enhanced for maximum damage and launched on demand electronically from a secure rear position or even tripped by wire.

So it wouldn’t hurt to stock up on these because they’re legal and fun on the 4th, and would definitely come in handy on a doomsday “holiday” as well, both as an alert and force deterrent out to a hundred meters or so. Like shooting mini-RPGs and a mini grenade launcher barrage on egress/entry routes backed up by hidden wireless security cameras, which now can reach distances out to five hundred meters or better.

But if you are just getting started, stick with the pull pin or PIR battery security sound alert/alarm devices.

You’ll immediately get why I caution you on this after your nephew or YOU forgot about it while out squirrel hunting, trip it yourself creating embarrassing Hershey Squirts in your under drawers, and your children or grandchildren will laugh at you mercilessly.

You absolutely need a lot of training and experience before you start playing with things that go bang. After you think you are safely proficient with the mind set of perimeter security devices, you can graduate yourself and augment to the trip wire re-loadable retort devices like the 12 ga. shotgun shell blaster.

These are on the internet for about $40. They can take a shotgun shell right out of the box but these don’t work well because it is designed to be used with a barrel.

By itself it just pop bursts not even loudly below the shot/slug, and doesn’t even become any shrapnel because the powder is a slow burning type and it just splits the sides. Waste of good ammo. But you can get louder blank shells and commercial screaming flares and loud bangers from specialty ammo vendors on line. Pricey but very effective alert and deterrent effect.

There are also other good and even cheaper percussive devices that use only .22 caliber blanks, shotgun primers, or the nail gun blanks which also work decently on a lesser scale.

  1. Perimeter Intrusion Obstructions

Of course a high chain link or barbed wire fence always helps slow down people you don’t want coming in on your property, but these are easy to breach if you are a good climber or have a pair of wire cutters.

You can make it look like a FEMA prison camp and it will feel like one also, but it won’t do much good against anything but animals maybe, unless you electrify it, and I don’t mean horse/cattle fence. I mean you’ll need sizzling frying high amp prison fence to stop “zombs” using only a fence. Not to mention it will be pretty obvious to passers-by unless you camo paint it or something.

The next best thing is pyramids of concertina type barbed/razor wire rolls. Harder to breach without having heavier tarps or plywood which “zombs” certainly won’t have in their back packs. Easy to set up.

Or, you can do it cheaper and less labor intensive with something that worked so well in the Nam that we almost felt sorry for the enemy who tried to get through it because it always was like the proverbial shooting of fish in a barrel. We called it snag wire and/or tangle foot and as their moniker imply, once ensnared, they were almost impossible to get untangled from.

And all it amounted to was regular barbed wire rolled out on the ground in crisscross or lattice pattern on the ground at intersects less than an average human step, and propped up with stakes at various heights from ankle to knee level.

Enhanced by anything imaginable from punji spikes to tripwire grenades to napalm bombs along the way. Not to mention backed up by the secondary defensive firepower towers, and bunkers armed with heavy machine guns and LAW rockets and inner perimeter mortars.

Tangle foot would be comparatively easy and less expensive to set up in conjunction with the ’creative’ use of ‘passive’ natural terrain obstruction like tree limbs and boulders and heavy brush on your perimeter. You’d only need about an eight foot width across the part of the perimeter you were setting it up at.

Look closely at the seemingly natural and innocent looking forest pictures to the untrained eyes. In the pictures of downed trees and branches which were intentionally created as an egress obstruction.

You can’t walk or climb over that without falling, tripping, and twisting yourself to injury and entrapment while not getting far, as it stretches for several yards straight ahead and several yards to the flanks before you can make it through but hidden in the grass are also stretches of tangle foot.

So you would naturally walk around it until you found a pathway/clearing to continue on. This turns out to be a funnel zone which essentially lures the intruders into going where you WANT them to be herded. Which is replete with trip alerts, more serious booby traps, cameras, or whatever else you like when the SHTF and you no longer casually walk around in the area because you’re now in full defense mode.

And these funnel areas–which actually control the locations of entry to your compound–then become pre-set up dedicated fields of cross fire counter attack kill zones. Where you can lay a heavy ambush backed in and covered from the entry way or snipe them as they try to get all the way through and closer if they aren’t immediately deterred and retreat away.

If you look closely at the woods picture with the path on the right side, there is also a natural passive tree barrier on both sides going outside the picture for fifty or so meters either way.

It looks like storm/weather damage caused the blockage but it’s actually a clever expedient perimeter hack by bending down horizontally and staking down smaller trees cross wise which continue to grow and can’t be penetrated except by chopping through. The path is normally used for egress but can be tightly sewn up and protected fairly quickly.

  1. Defensive Counter Attack Booby Traps and Other Devices

Don’t waste time getting into man-trapping devices like large snares, dead falls, punji pits, etc. These are so labor intensive, time consuming, and mostly don’t work, that it’s not cost effective in this day and age. And it will be a pain in the ass pulling out dead animals all the time.

Yes, they were used in guerilla warfare but only because the Cong were so piss poor and resource impoverished that they couldn’t do anything else. And good Point man could spot them a lot easier than trip wired grenades. When they got their little rice ball hands on better explosive ordnance, they quickly forgot about these primitive sticks and stones methods.

First and foremost and probably least expensive is a passive perimeter far enough away from your main compound/shelter that’s too far for an easy pick off gunshot or throwing of firebombs, usually over fifty meters and ideally about a hundred meters, with anti-intrusion alerts and deterrents.

Then augmented by tangle foot and strategic counter attack defense zones that can be upgraded later in a bad SHTF scenario with extra more effective counter attack equipment that you can make with legal supplies you already have in your stockpile.

Obviously we only touched the subject of base camp perimeter security, and what you still need to know if this article piqued your interest would fill volumes. But if you do have a serious interest in this I’ll answer any questions you have in the comments section and/or point you in the right direction for further edification on the subject.

With Civil War Events On The Rise And Mass Starvation On The Horizon, Surviving A SHTF Event Should Be A Priority For Everyone

In these uncertain times, when the world seems to go mad, you can’t help but wonder how long until we will experience a second civil war.

One day we might have to live under such a scenario since it seems there are many SHTF events that would impose it. The current pandemic is just an example, and personally, I believe we were lucky so far that things didn’t lead to further chaos and social upheaval.

The United States has a certain history when it comes to civil war, and like many other nations, it will do whatever is necessary to defend its integrity (and protect?) its citizens. I believe we should all have a survival strategy if civil war will be upon us in the near future.

Whether you’re unsure of how to plan for a bug out situation because you don’t know where you would bug out to, or you simply prefer the idea of battening down the hatches in your current dwelling to weather whatever catastrophe may strike, urban survival and bugging in are two important topics that are quite worthy of consideration.

Most people now live in developed suburban and urban areas rather than out in the countryside, so in the event of an emergency, many people are going to find themselves trying to survive in the concrete jungle.

How well you can survive, amidst looting, violence and the desperation of the under- or completely unprepared, will depend on your own good sense and your ability to prepare ahead of time. Aside from stocking up on basic supplies like food and water, you don’t have to spend a fortune to prepare yourself for urban survival or bugging in, either.

First and foremost, one of the most important things to consider is self-defense for yourself and your loved ones. If an emergency crops up or a disaster strikes, law enforcement will likely be overwhelmed or possibly disbanded entirely, leaving civilians vulnerable to criminals. Those who are clearly well prepared become immediate targets of the unprepared.

To mitigate your risk of being targeted there are some very good things you can do (please note that these are basic guidelines, which can and should be adapted to the specifics of your circumstances and the emergency or disaster that has occurred):

  • Identify local resources ahead of time, including water alternative water sources for if / when the taps run dry. A reliable water source and method of purification is critical not only to basic survival but also to maintaining any semblance of cleanliness and proper hygiene, which is in turn necessary to avoid the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Avoid detection by boarding over the windows, keeping lights off at night (don’t underestimate the pitch black of a night without urban light pollution; your lights will stand out and draw attention to you, so keep them off) and entering or exiting your home from a discreet location or when no one is around.
  • Secure your home or dwelling as well as you can, without being too obvious and drawing attention from the exterior. Additional reinforcement at doors (if not to stop then at least to slow intruders) such as door jammers or barricades, chain locks and additional bolts can all make entries and exits more secure. If it is within your means to do so, you can also use the Russian method of a double door; the front door of an entry point is a heavy, solid metal door with multiple bolts and chain locks, followed by a secondary door of heavy, solid wood with a peep hole or viewing hole, additional chain locks, bolts, etc. If you’ve ever seen a traditional Russian tenement, you know what this looks like.
  • Whenever possible, try to cultivate a closer and more unified community amongst your neighbors ahead of time. If SHTF and you’re prepared but no one else on your street is, you may find yourself having to hide from or deceive the people you live alongside. Alternatively, your needy neighbors may end up targeting you in their desperation. A closer and better-developed community is especially necessary in the event of any long-term survival situation that may arise following a serious collapse or disaster.
  • Maintain an unattractive appearance to your house; while many people may be inclined to erect a veritable fortress around their house, this is more apt to draw attention to your location; a house that looks guarded and well stocked is an attractive target to roaming gangs who will probably outnumber and/or outgun you eventually. By comparison, a house that doesn’t look like much, is overgrown in the yard, and has every appearance of having already been ransacked a time or two, is far less likely to attract attention.

Now, in terms of your food and water, when you’re planning on bugging in you are at something of an advantage. Bugging in has its disadvantages, too, but if you have the room for food storage, you can eat like a proverbial king while bugging in.

Compared to bugging out, when every ounce of weight in your pack matters and canned food is a heavy luxury item, if you’ve got an empty pantry to fill, canned foods offer a great, economical investment in tasty, quality food that will generally last 3 – 5 years or longer. Compare that to an MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) or some astronaut food.

Also, avoid burning your dwelling down; keep a few fire extinguishers stored for use in case of an emergency and practice safe cooking rules when using fire at any time. Lighting fires inside your home or using a grill is not recommended; if you don’t have a fireplace, don’t light fires inside, period. Likewise, don’t leave anything cooking unattended and if you ever try to dispose of trash or yard debris by burning it be extremely careful.

Finally, a well-packed urban survival bag (also sometimes called a get home bag) can be invaluable in case of an emergency that strikes while you’re away from home. Packed with slightly different supplies than a standard bug out bag, an urban survival bag is designed to help you survive an emergency long enough to travel from your current location to your home or to another suitable location you intend to bug out from.

Items commonly packed in an urban survival bag include:

  • A basic emergency first aid kit
  • Fine particle masks (or possibly a gas mask)
  • A window punch (for use escaping from a vehicle or building when glass obstructs you)
  • A crowbar
  • Potentially a small quantity of cash
  • A pair of sturdy shoes (and possibly socks) esp. for women who wear heels regularly
  • Sunglasses, a handkerchief or bandana, and;
  • Some water and/or snacks for the trip home, it might be a long walk

You’ll probably also want a flashlight with spare batteries, a small, portable radio and a thermal blanket and/or warm jacket, depending on the climate you live in. You might want coins for operating a payphone, and if you rely on your cell phone for important numbers then write down those numbers in an address book and toss it in your emergency bag just in case.

For long-term urban survival following a bug in, there are several additional points to take into consideration, but to get into everything here would go beyond the scope of this article.

Suffice to say, for long-term urban survival following a crisis, emergency or other collapse, there would be concerns with trash, vermin and rodents, as well as sanitation, human waste removal, medical care, new food production, guard duties and additional security, and keeping yourself healthy.

Here’s What Happens When You Go Without Power for 7 Days: You don’t really realize how much you need electric power, until you are left without it

I don’t know if you’ve ever lived through a major power outage, but I have. I live in a hurricane zone, so I guess it’s no surprise that I would end up suffering through a hurricane sometime. The one I got wasn’t one of the big, sexy ones which brought in FEMA agents and lots of non-profit agencies to help us recover, but it was bad enough that it took a week for our power to get back on, so we could put our lives back together.

You don’t really realize how much you need electric power, until you are left without it. As a society, we are addicted to electricity. Pretty much everything we do uses electricity in one way or another, even activities which we think aren’t electrified.

When the power goes out, you really notice it; and the longer it is out, the more things it affects. Life gets harder rather quickly, as we wonder how we are going to do even the basic necessities for survival, let alone the day-to-day activities we are used to.

Looking at the way things are in California right now, this may be something we all need to get used to. The rolling blackouts they are having right now are due to a series of errors, some made by the power company and some by the government.

The government blames the utilities for not properly maintaining their lines, while the utility companies are blaming the government for forcing them to invest the money that should have gone into that maintenance, into expensive green energy projects.

With the push for green energy projects across the country, PG&E may not be the only company that is behind on its maintenance. Now that the dam has been opened, we could see forced blackouts anywhere in the country where there is a risk of power lines causing wildfires.

Perhaps you can learn something from my experience. It sure has helped me with my planning since I went through this experience. So, I’ll break down the week here and give you an idea of everything that went wrong.

When the Power Went Out

I first noticed that the power went out when my computer suddenly shut off. This wasn’t the first time that had happened to me, as power outages in the middle of a storm are fairly normal. I figured that the power would come on in a while and in the mean time, I could have a snack and watch the rain.

First Day

There was just one thing… the power didn’t come back on. As I sat there for hours, I counted all the work I wasn’t getting done and all the money I wasn’t making.

Meanwhile, since I live in the south, the temperature was rising. It had been 100°F outside before the rain started and it was rapidly heading that way inside. I opened the doors and windows that I could, without rain coming in, but there wasn’t enough airflow to cool the house much.

I guess that wasn’t as bad as being up north in the wintertime. While too much heat can kill you, too much cold is more likely to. People who live in colder climates than me and who don’t have any alternative means of heating their homes, like a wood-burning stove, are really taking a chance with their lives in the case of a major power outage.

Without power, we really didn’t have much light in the house. Most homes don’t have enough windows and mine is no exception. Between the lack of windows and the heavily overcast sky, it was hard to do much of anything.

Fortunately we had a gas stove, so cooking dinner wasn’t much of a problem. We had plenty of food and for the moment, the fridge and freezer were keeping things cold. We just had to make sure we kept the doors closed to keep that cold inside.

Second Day

Had a hard time sleeping that first night, due to all the heat. For that matter, we had a hard time sleeping all week long. If I had been able to string up some hammocks we could have been cooler, but the only place I could do that was in the back yard, and it was still raining.

I work at home, so I obviously couldn’t work. But neither could my wife. The school she worked at didn’t have any power either, so she was stuck at home. The kids loved it, as kids will, seeing it as a vacation from their classroom. But even if the schools had been open, they would have been stuck at home, as our street looked like a lake; some problem with the stormwater drainage.

The big thing that confronted me that morning was the home’s sump. Without electricity, the sump pump wasn’t emptying it out automatically.

I had to tell the family we were switching over to emergency procedures and they’d have to use a five-gallon bucket toilet we had set up for emergencies. Fortunately, we use greywater recycling, so the water from most of the sinks and tubs went out into the back yard, not into the sewage system.

As afternoon rolled around, the water flow from the sink started diminishing and eventually came to a complete stop. We were without water. Fortunately, I had foreseen this and had stockpiled water. My rain barrels were full as well and I had a good water purification system.

Third Day

The rain has finally let up… at least for the most part. We’re still getting some sudden rainfalls, but we’re also getting dry times as well. Maybe our street will finally dry out and I’ll be able to move the cars. But man, the humidity is horrible.

Up till now the food in the refrigerator has been doing good, as the insulation was enough to keep it cold. It also helped that I had the freezer full, so there was a large mass of cold food there to keep it cold. But today’s crunch day for that food. I’m going to have to start doing something with it or it’s all going to spoil. Time to fire up the smoker and smoke what I can. Too bad it’s too cloudy to use the sun’s power to make jerky.

Bathing is a challenge now, as we don’t have running water; and with the heat, we all need to bathe. I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico, so I knew how to handle this. All it takes is a five-gallon bucket and a smaller plastic container, something that holds about two quarts.

To take a bath, you get a couple of gallons of water in your bucket and lock yourself in the bathroom, setting the bucket in the tub. You can wet yourself down by pouring water over yourself with the small container.

Once wet, it’s time to soap and lather. Then use the same container to pour water over yourself to rinse. The water is cold, but you don’t want to use more than you have to anyway. I can actually bathe and wash my hair with less than a gallon.

Of course, there are some family members who might not be all that happy bathing with cold water. I won’t mention any female’s names, but I’m sure you know what I mean. That meant heating up the water in a metal bucket on the barbecue grille. Fortunately, I’ve got a gas grill, in addition to the wood-burning smoker. I always keep extra propane on hand, as part of my survival preparedness.

Fourth Day

By now I’d be worried about my firewood supply if I lived up north. Most people stack their firewood in the open, which means that it would have gotten soaking wet from all that rainfall. In olden times, most people either stacked their wood in a shed or built their homes with wide eaves, so that they could stack the wood up against the house, where the eaves would protect it.

Still working on smoking the meat from the freezer and canning the veggies. That’s a bit challenging on an open fire, but not all that bad. We’re using the gas barbecue grille for that as well, when we’re not using it for cooking. I hope my supply of propane holds out.

There’s enough sunlight that I can make jerky from some of the meat, rather than smoking it. I’ve already soaked it in brine, in anticipation of smoking it, so it has salt. That’s not as good for flavor as marinating it, but it will work fine for preserving it.

To make the jerky, I sliced the meat up and hung it over the clothes line. This is somewhat analogous to what the American Indians did, except they used wood racks, instead of a clothes line. Still, it’s the same idea and the meat seems to dry well, as long as the sun stays out.

Neighbors are starting to run out of food and have come knocking. That’s tough. I know many of their kids. Fortunately, we know this isn’t a TEOTWAWKI event, where we know the power won’t be coming back on. So I shared some food with them, giving them rice and beans from my stock, as well as some of the chicken that had thawed out.

I’m concerned about what’s going to happen in a few more days. People have already broken the windows in the local supermarket and raided it for food. What’s going to happen when that food runs out. The average supermarket only has three days worth of food on hand.

Fifth Day

I’ve decided that my plans for alternative power were totally inadequate. The few solar panels I bought have barely been able to keep up with charging phones, flashlight batteries and a few other necessities.

If I had been able to power my fridge, I wouldn’t have had the panic to save my food. If I could have air conditioned at least one room in the house, we could have slept a whole lot better.

It’s more than just keeping cool so that we can sleep better; my wife’s heat intolerant. We normally have to keep her in the air conditioning pretty much all the time, except during our brief winter. Without air running, she’s been unable to do a thing.

I’ve been using evaporative cooling as much as I can to keep her cool, but that’s not enough. There isn’t any ice, or I’d be using that. The best I can do is keep her wet and in the breeze. At least at night it’s a bit cooler and she can move around.

People are starting to talk about organizing the neighborhood so that everyone can eat. I know what that means, it means that they expect me to share what I have. As best I know, there are no other preppers in the neighborhood, so I don’t know where all this food is supposed to come from, unless they are thinking I have enough to feed everyone.

Finally got all the food salvaged. But as much as I care for my fellow man, I didn’t do it for them. Besides, by the time you split up what was in my freezer through the neighborhood, we’ve got enough for one good meal, that’s it.

Sixth Day

More people are coming around, asking for food. I don’t know these people, so I’ve been turning them away. Mostly I do that by telling them to go to the FEMA distribution center.

But as far as I know, FEMA isn’t here yet. If they are, it’s probably just to bring red tape. I haven’t seen anyone who has had food that came from FEMA.

Decided to do some scouting around today, so took the car out to see what’s happening. As best as I can tell, there are a few churches and non-profits up and running, trying to help people. That’s it. But I took that information back to my neighborhood and tried to spread it around.

Almost got carjacked while I was out scouting around. There has always been a lot of gang activity in the area, so I guess the gangs are getting active. I must have looked like an inviting target, driving my car down a nearly empty street. Fortunately, I saw them in time and gunned the engine, before they could reach me. A few twists and turns and I lost them. But it was close.

The radio has gone dead; we’re not even getting information that way anymore. Radio stations are supposed to have some sort of emergency power supply and a stock of fuel to run it. So I guess they ran out. We don’t even know if anyone out there is paying attention to what’s happening here, as we aren’t getting any reports back. It sure feels lonely.

Seventh Day

Things are starting to get ugly. People are hungry and so are their kids. I’m starting to see others walking around with guns strapped on. I carry concealed, so I’ve been doing that all along.

But I doubt all those people have a concealed carry license. They’ve just decided to take it on themselves to carry a gun. And I have to say, they don’t all look like nice people.

Several of them got together and came up my walkway, looking like they were planning on taking over. Since I have a four foot tall hedge around my front yard, they were all bunched up, right there on the walkway… right where I wanted them. I stepped out on the balcony, while the family poked their guns out the windows. As I said, they were right where I wanted them… where we had the upper hand.

That was enough to get them to turn back, after shouting a few threats at the house. I’m sure they’ll come back, just as soon as they’re ready.

Later that Day

Thank God, the lights came back on. We have power once again. Things are starting to settle down. Where it was looking like we were going to have High Noon in the streets of our neighborhood just a few hours ago, things look civilized once again. People have put their guns away again. Some food trucks have shown up and I see smiles on faces once more.

So that was my experience. I’m glad it wasn’t any worse. But what about you? Have you lived through something similar? Have you had the lights go out? How did you handle it? How did your neighbors? What did you learn that you were doing wrong?

The Digital Revolution: Unlimited Ability to Spy and Control Populations. The Creation of a Police State Dystopia

Many have expressed concerns that coronavirus will be used, as 9/11 and the hoax “war on terror” were, to further expand the American police state dystopia.  But we were doomed by the digital revolution to a controlled existence regardless of 9/11 and Covid-19.  

The digital revolution provides government and corporations with unlimited and unaccountable ability to spy and control populations.  Every word, deed, and movement of people can be tracked and a “social credit” dossier built for them.  China already has such a control system in place.  Those whose profiles are outside acceptable parameters are unable to function in normal society, being blocked from passports, driving licenses, employment, and activities reserved to those with acceptable social credit scores.

Technology is now available that permits videos to be created of people speaking words that they never spoke.  These can be used to ruin people on social media and to convict them falsely in trials.  Privacy no longer exists despite endless “privacy notices,” and people have no control over their persona. 

Even a person’s unspoken thoughts are under assault by mind-reading technologies. Once money has been reduced to digital money, a person’s access to his funds can be cut off at any time.  Financial independence ceases to exist for those who don’t comply. 

Even SWAT Teams are Helpless Against This – WATCH THIS VIDEO and you will find many interesting things!

The outcome of the digital revolution is completely different from the naive belief that the Internet opened up communicative freedom that would ensure liberty.  What a joke this belief turned out to be.  The tech and social media firms themselves engage in censorship of explanations, called “conspiracy theories,” that differ from official or permissible explanations or use words found “offensive” by privileged groups.  Truth itself has become a “conspiracy theory.” Factual history is unacceptable to Identity Politics and is being replaced by fake history, such as the New York Times’ 1619 Project.

It is certainly true that indoctrination is part of enculturation, and every age has had to struggle for truth.  There have always been interests whose agendas are served by falsehood.  But for those determined, it was possible to challenge and to expose the falsehoods.  That possibility is what is extirpated by the digital revolution. 

The technology is already in advance of that portrayed in George Orwell’s dystopia, 1984. We await the coalescing of elite interests in a leadership agenda. All the tools Big Brother needs await his arrival.

The young born into the digital revoluton know no different. They are so taken with their electronic gadgets and indispensable apps and so content in their self-isolation in virtual reality that liberty means the ability to push buttons to call up images and entertainment. Liberty will not have to be taken from them.  It has already left them.  Indeed, they never knew it or its requirements.

The well-rewarded techies who created the instruments of oppression are proud of their contribution to the creation of a police state dystopia. These preening fools are the handmaidens of the police state. 

Years ago I read a science fiction short story about a father and mother who were concerned about their son as the age of testing approached.  They were members of a people that had somehow recovered from an enslaving technology. To prevent a reoccurence, testing of the young was instituted to weed out for extermination those whose intelligence and aptitude could bring back technological tyranny.  In their society, not all forms of human creativity were permissible.  A society so full of hubris that it played God was unacceptable.

If you’re interested in learning more old remedies, you should read The Lost Book Of Remedies.

Lost Book of Remedies pages

The physical book has 300 pages, with 3 colored pictures for every plant and for every medicine.It was written by Claude Davis, whose grandfather was one of the greatest healers in America. Claude took his grandfather’s lifelong plant journal, which he used to treat thousands of people, and adapted it into this book.

Lost Book of Remedies cover

Learn More…

Coronavirus Surveillance may Mean the End of Personal Privacy

Authorities around the world are launching increasingly intrusive mass surveillance systems to track COVID-19. But will they step back afterwards?

In brief

  • Governments around the world are increasing surveillance.
  • This surveillance will be used to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  • But once over, will governments stop acting like Big Brother?

Numerous governments around the world are beginning to roll out mass surveillance systems in an attempt to slow the pandemic.

But privacy advocates are worried that when these measures have been introduced, there will be no going back. Once governments have this ability to track the population, they may be loath to give it up, begging the question, is it worth the risk?

According to The New York Times, various governments around the world are taking increasingly drastic measures in their attempt to slow the coronavirus’s spread. Many countries are currently working on or already have implemented various tracking systems that could potentially help to identify people who came in contact with positive-tested individuals.

Per the report, South Korea’s government started to post disturbingly detailed location histories of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in January. The information included when individuals went for work, whether they wore protective masks in the subway and at what stations they changed trains. Even more uncanny, people’s favorite massage parlors and karaoke bars were also publicly disclosed.

Unsurprisingly, this patient data was soon exploited and used to identify the individuals. Later on, the South Korean government made a u-turn on the decision, stating they would revise the data-sharing guidelines “to minimize patient risk.”

“We will balance the value of protecting individual human rights and privacy and the value of upholding public interest in preventing mass infections,” said Jung Eun-kyeong, the director of South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Yet, South Korea is just one example as mass surveillance related to the coronavirus is getting traction in many more countries around the world. EUobserver reports that people under home quarantine in Poland are required to take geo-located selfies within 20 minutes of receiving the corresponding SMS-request. Fail to comply, and you risk to face a police squad on your doorstep.

Earn tokens & rewards with our mobile app.

Get early access to our app to earn Decrypt Token, redeemable prizes and much more.Join Now

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently approved a surveillance program that uses the domestic security agency’s data cache to track the locations of people potentially infected with the virus. The system, initially designed to fight terrorism, has now been turned against the country’s own people.

An amendment to an emergency bill in France is proposing to enable telecoms data collection for six months, in Belgium—for three months. At the same time, Austrian telecom operator A1 has reportedly granted limited government access to anonymized location data for the first two Saturdays in March.

The US is not too far behind. According to the NYT, the White House is currently in talks with Google, Facebook and other tech companies that could potentially provide aggregated location data captured from Americans’ mobile phones to help track the coronavirus.

“We could so easily end up in a situation where we empower local, state or federal government to take measures in response to this pandemic that fundamentally change the scope of American civil rights,” Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, told the NYT.

Big Brother gets out of control

Experts around the world are expressing concerns that mass surveillance on such a scale might not stop with the outbreak. When the governments are given such power during times of crisis, who can be sure that they’ll easily let go of it when the pandemic starts to decline? There are a lot of ways even location data could be used for political or other gains—to track political opponents and their acquaintances, for example.

“We need to make sure it doesn’t lead to surveillance after the outbreak,” Estelle Massé, a senior policy analyst at the Access Now, told EUobserver.

The outlet also reports that Belgium, France and the United Kingdom are already facing the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg for their “Big Brother approach” to the pandemic.

“We need to have a framework that would allow companies and public authorities to cooperate, to enable proper response for the public good. To reduce the risk that coronavirus surveillance efforts might violate people’s privacy, governments and companies should limit the collection and use of data to only what is needed,” noted Mila Romanoff, data and governance lead for United Nations Global Pulse.

But how much data is enough?

Six New Types Of Coronavirus Identified In Bats

Scientists in Myanmar have discovered six new types of coronavirus in bats. While the viruses are part of the same family as the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), the six new types are not closely genetically related to SARS-Cov-2, SARS, or MERS.

The new types of coronavirus were identified when researchers were studying bats in Myanmar for a government-funded program that’s called PREDICT. The program is used to find infectious diseases that could possibly be transferred from animals to humans. They analyzed hundreds of samples of saliva and feces (also called guano which is used to make fertilizer) from 464 bats and at least 11 different species between the years 2016 and 2018. The samples came from bats living in three different locations around Myanmar where humans often get into close contact with them.

In their study (which can be read in full here), the researchers wrote in part, “Two of these sites also featured popular cave systems where people were routinely exposed to bats through guano harvesting, religious practices and ecotourism.”

The genetic sequences of the hundreds of samples were compared with the genomes of coronaviruses that have already been identified. The new types of the virus were identified in three species of bats: the Greater Asiatic yellow house bat (Scotophilus heathii) which PREDICT-CoV-90 was identified; the wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat (Chaerephon plicatus) which was host to PREDICT-CoV-47 and -82; and Horsfield’s leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros larvatus) which contained PREDICT-CoV-92, -93 and -96.

Bats have been named as the most likely source of the COVID-19 transmission to humans and it’s been predicted that thousands more types of coronavirus that have yet to be discovered could be living in them.

But don’t panic just yet, as more research needs to be done in order to understand fully how – or if – these new types of coronavirus could be transferred to other species and how/if they could affect the health of humans. Suzan Murray, who is the director of the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program as well as the co-author of the study, said, “Many coronaviruses may not pose a risk to people, but when we identify these diseases early on in animals, at the source, we have a valuable opportunity to investigate the potential threat,” adding, “Vigilant surveillance, research and education are the best tools we have to prevent pandemics before they occur.”

Marc Valitutto, who is a former wildlife veterinarian with the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program and the lead author of the study, weighed in by stating, “Worldwide, humans are interacting with wildlife with increasing frequency, so the more we understand about these viruses in animals — what allows them to mutate and how they spread to other species –– the better we can reduce their pandemic potential.”

In other bat news, the United States has recommended that all testing of bats be suspended in order to prevent coronavirus from spreading to North American species and ultimately causing another wave of the virus to hit the public.

In a statement, a Fish and Wildlife spokesperson told the Washington Post, “We know that many mammals are susceptible to infection by a diversity of coronaviruses,” adding, “What is not known is whether the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to infect, or cause illness in, North American wildlife, including bats.”

There have already been several reports of humans passing the virus on to animals, specifically cats and dogs, as well as a Malayan tiger that was more than likely infected by an asymptomatic worker at the Bronx Zoo. And since bats in the United States have been suffering through white-nose syndrome since 2006 – which has killed over 5.5 million bats – researchers have to be careful not to infect them with coronavirus as they may be more susceptible to catching it.

TO ANCHOR OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CORONA VIRUS THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IS AND WILL BE VITAL

At the moment rightly so we are all preoccupied with the consequences of our own individual lives and all indicator point to world disaster on a scale not seen by most of us. 

However, if and when we return to a semblance of normal the freedom of the press will be in jeopardy when the blame game starts, which is inevitable.

Why will it be?

Because the present pandemic marks the emergence of a new model of watchdog function, one that is neither purely networked nor purely traditional but is rather a mutualistic interaction between the two.

What globalization, technological integration and the general flattening of the world have done is to super empower individuals to such a degree that they can actually challenge any hierarchy—from a global bank to a nation-state—as individuals.

The fear that the decentralized network, with its capacity to empower individuals to challenge their governments or global banks, is not a democracy, but could lead to anarchy.

But the alternative is to give the government a veto over what its citizens are allowed to know.

There should be relentless exposure of politician or businessman, every evil practice, whether in politics, business, or social life if we are to change the world for a better future.

False news forces us to ask how comfortable we are with the actual shape of democratization created by the Internet. It circumvents the social and organizational
frameworks of traditional media, which played a large role in framing the
balance between freedom and responsibility of the press.

Many of the problems can be laid at the feet of the Internet—fragmentation of the audience and polarization of viewpoints.

We cannot afford as a polity to create classes of privileged speakers and
press agencies, and underclasses of networked information producers whose products we take into the public sphere when convenient, but whom we treat as susceptible to suppression when their publications become less palatable.

Doing so would severely undermine the quality of our public discourse.

The risk is that the government will support its preferred media models and that the
incumbent mass media players will, in turn, vilify and denigrate the newer
models in ways that make them more vulnerable to attack and shore up the
the privileged position of those incumbents in their role as a more reliable ally watchdog.

Clarifying that the freedom of the press extends to “every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion” and that liberty of the press is the right of the lonely pamphleteer and individual bloggers. 

Social distancing must not be allowed to turn into ruling distancing.

 Long live WikiLeaks. 

An uncomfortable fact is that a free press in a democracy can be messy at the best of times with governments around the world underestimated the coronavirus the political exploitation of the outbreak is now a reality. 

Capturing the treatment of television is less comprehensive as it is a visual medium.

The Warnings Continue To Go Out. The Situation Continues To Deteriorate. What Does It Take To Make You Sit Up And Take Notice Of The Problems Surrounding Society Today?

What does it take to make you sit up and take notice of the problems surrounding society today? What will it take to make you respond to the many crises taking place today? You have eyes so you can see and ears so you can hear but for many people any negative news is a reason to tune out the world and only think good thoughts.

The problems we face continue to pile up and doing nothing is not an option if you expect to survive the next few years in tact. Prior planning and execution of a plan is now required to stay out of the flood zone when the dam breaks and everyone starts to drown. It does not matter what kind of person you are. You have to be able to save yourself before you have the ability to help others including your own family.

You cannot protect your family if you cannot protect yourself from dangerous situations or people. You cannot protect your family if you are too weak from lack of water or food to get others to safety. You cannot protect your family from the elements if you have no cover for them due to sudden loss of your shelter. 

You have car insurance just in case you have an automobile accident. You have health insurance just in case you get sick. You have life insurance to help your family just in case you die. You have homeowners insurance just in case your home is destroyed. There is unemployment insurance just in case you lose your job.

So where is your food insurance just in case you cannot find any food in the store? Where is your personal protection insurance just in case you are threatened and cannot depend on the police? Where is your water insurance just in case your water supply is shut off or becomes contaminated? Where is your communication insurance just in case the power is out and normal systems do not work? Where is your energy insurance just in case energy supplies are cut off and you need to drive to safety, cook your food or stay warm?

People think that the types of insurance for cars, health, home and life are just fine to have but the other ones listed are crazy and paranoid to think about. Even in the first case, your insurance policies depend on other people to fulfill them and those people depend on a system that is still functioning such as the banks, communications and the insurance company itself. So what happens to all those other types of insurance when the insurers themselves are no longer functioning. Any crisis that takes down the stock market, power grid or the banks will also take down all of the insurance companies.

The events of the past few weeks should have been a warning shot across the bow for many. Our financial and distribution systems are in a delicate balancing act right now and any sudden shifts could send them tumbling off the cliff rendering the services they perform extinct in a matter of hours. When that happens it will be too late to think about what you should have done when you still had the opportunity. 

You cannot get your money out of the bank after the doors are shut, the ATM is empty and the POS systems are no longer working. You cannot get the food you need after the stores have been cleaned out and the distribution system has stopped functioning. You cannot get fuel for your car after the gas stations are empty and deliveries have been suspended. You cannot get police help when everyone calls 911 at the same time and most of the police have gone home to protect their own families.

If your alarm bells have not gone off already what will it take for you to realize you are in serious trouble? When that finally happens what do you plan to do to protect and care for your family? Having no plan means having a plan to suffer and persist through unpleasant situations for no good reason. Not knowing something is excusable but you have been warned many times in the past few years and to have to suffer in the future because you did not know what was coming is no longer an excuse. Failure to prepare at this time will not only cost you but it will likely put an unnecessary burden on those that will have to help you in the future.

The warnings continue to go out. The situation continues to deteriorate. The mass of humanity continues to go about its normal daily business. The Earth continues to rotate with no chance of going back from here. The early warning alarms have sounded advising people to take a defensive stance just in case. Do you hear the alarms yet or have you hit the snooze button for a few more minutes of sleep?

The Anatomy of a Societal Collapse: We Could Easily Face a SHTF Disaster Which Causes One System After Another To Fall Like Dominos

If we can all agree on one thing, it’s that the government and disaster organizations alike grossly underestimate how dependent the majority of the population is on them during and after a disastrous event takes place. We need not look any further than the last major disasters that have occurred to find our answers: the Haitian earthquake that occurred in 2010, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 2011 super tornado of Joplin, MO, and even as recently as other major hurricanes.

As preppers are well aware, when the needs of the population cannot be met in an allotted time frame, a phenomenon occurs and the mindset shifts in people. They begin to act without thinking and respond to changes in their environment in an emotionally-based manner, thus leading to chaos, instability and a breakdown in our social paradigm.

When you take the time to understand how a breakdown behaves and how it progresses, only then can you truly prepare for it.

The Anatomy of a Breakdown

This glimpse into a systemic breakdown is based on an isolated, limited disaster or event where emergency responders have been deployed. I must emphasize that all bets are off if the event is widespread, affecting multiple tens of millions of people simultaneously.

Phase 1: The Warning

Although disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes can come on so quickly that timely warnings are not always given, for the most part, governments typically provide adequate time to get a population ready in advance. Local governments even go as far as to err on the side of caution and sternly warn the citizens to evacuate.

For one reason or another, there will be a select group that stays behind. Some of these citizens are prepared and ready for what may come and may feel the need to stay to defend what is rightfully theirs but the majority of the population will not be ready for what they are about to endure. Those that are in this unprepared majority who choose to ride out the disaster do so because they are either unaware of how to fully prepare for disasters, have become complacent or numb to the needs of warning from the local government and news media, or are overly confident.

This is the point in this cycle where herds of people go to the grocery stores frantically grabbing supplies. Most grocery stores will not be able to meet the demand of the people’s need for supplies, and many could go home empty-handed.

Bracing for the disaster, the prepared and unprepared will be hoping for the best outcome. What many do not realize is the hardest part of this event is soon to be upon them. Within days, the descent into the breakdown will begin.

Phase 2: Shock and Awe (1-2 Days)

After the initial shock wears off of the disaster, many will have difficulty in coping and adapting to what has just occurred. This is also what many refer to as the normalcy bias, and is actually a coping mechanism to help us process and deal with the changes that have occurred. Many will cling to any normal thought and habit until their brain begins to accept the changes it has witnessed. As they are trying to wrap their thoughts around the severity of the disaster, their losses and what their future holds, local government leaders are scrambling for answers and trying to assess the situation, all the while dealing with their own normalcy bias issues.

At this point, the unprepared survivors will be expecting organizations and local government to step in to meet their immediate needs at any moment. The reality of the situation becomes bleaker when they realize that due to downed power lines or debris blocking roadways and access points, emergency organizations, emergency response and distribution trucks supplying food, water, fuel, and other pertinent resources will be unable to get to the area. Once the realization hits that resources are scarce and the government leaders are incapable of helping them in a timely fashion, desperate citizens will take action into their own hands.

The breakdown has begun.

Phase 3: The Breakdown (3-7 Days)

Have you ever heard the saying, “We’re three days away from anarchy?” In the wake of a disaster, that’s all you have is three days to turn the crazy train around before crime, looting, and chaos ensue. In reports during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents from Staten Island were pleading for help from elected officials, begging for gasoline, food, and clothing.

“We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!”

Similar stories of looting occurred during the Hurricane Irma in Miami, during hurricane Harvey in Huston and during any other disasters that we had to face.

‘Miami area police arrested more than 50 suspected looters during Hurricane Irma, including 26 people who were accused of breaking into a single Wal-Mart (WMT.N> store, authorities said on Tuesday.’

‘We’ve already arrested a handful of looters. We’ve made it real clear to our community we’re going to do whatever it takes to protect their homes and their businesses.’

Multiple factors contribute to societal breakdowns including the failure of adequate government response, population density, citizens taking advantage of the grid being down and overwhelmed emergency response teams.

For whatever reason, 3-5 days following a disaster is the bewitching hour. During this short amount of time, the population slowly becomes a powder keg full of angry, desperate citizens. A good example is a chaos that ensued in New Orleans following the absence of action from the local government or a timely effective federal response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In such troubled times, people were forced to fend for themselves and their families, by any means necessary. This timeline of Hurricane Katrina effectively illustrates “the breakdown,” and within three days, the citizens of New Orleans descended into anarchy, looting, and murder.

If this scenario isn’t bad enough, at the end of this time frame, there will be an increase in illnesses due to cramped living quarters from emergency shelters, sanitation-related illness, compromised water sources and exposure to natural elements. In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, sanitation-related epidemics became a large concern for the disaster victims. In fact, the outbreak erupted into the world’s largest cholera epidemic despite a huge international mobilization still dealing with the effects of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.

Victims from Hurricane Sandy are also beginning to see their share of illnesses. Due to the horrible weather plaguing the area, many of the evacuation shelters in Brooklyn were closed last week for sterilizing due to a vicious viral outbreak that struck

Phase 4: Recovery (8-30+ Days)
Despite what we want to believe, most recoveries are slow and difficult in progression and require long-term planning. On average it takes a city around 1-2 weeks after the event took place to start this phase of the cycle. Every disaster is different and the length of recovery efforts vary greatly on the nature of the incident.

7 years after Hurricane Katrina leveled parts of Louisiana, the state is still in the recovery phase, “We are in a process of long-term rebuilding,” said Christina Stephens, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Recovery Authority. “There is at least another 10 years of recovery.”

Within this recovery phase, essential goods and resources could still be hard to come by, thus forcing local officials to implement the rationing of resources to ensure there is enough for the population.

It could be months before the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy is cleaned up. Damaged communities are coming to terms with the devastation that delivered an unprecedented punch to the region’s economy, causing more than an estimated $50 billion in losses and forcing hundreds of thousands to rebuild their lives.

Now that you understand what we’re dealing with, there are ways you can use this information to prepare for the next event so that you will be a part of the population that is ready for what may come.

Trust yourself. Learn to be self-sufficient and rely on yourself. When it is all said and done, you are the only one who can care for yourself and your family the best. You will be the one who has your family’s best intentions at heart. Having a stock of your family’s favorite canned or dry goods, a supply of water and a simple medical kit can maintain your basic needs for a short-lived disaster. This simple preparedness supply could set you apart from the unprepared.

If you live in a highly populated area, understand that resources will diminish quickly, so preparing beforehand can circumvent this. You can always start out with the basic 10 preparedness items you will need to skirt through a disaster:

  1. Food and alternative ways to cook food
  2. Water
  3. Fuel for generators, cooking stoves, and mantels, charcoal for outdoor grills
  4. Batteries and battery charger
  5. Generator
  6. Emergency lighting
  7. Ice
  8. Medical supply
  9. Baby formula
  10. Sanitation supplies

Educate yourself. Learn from the disasters, folks! Each time there is a disaster, the same pattern occurs…the warning, shock, and awe, the breakdown and recovery. Study the effects of disasters that affect your area and what items you will need to get through the event. Further, find the weak points in your preparedness supply and correct them. Supply inventories twice a year can do wonders in this area.

Get into the mindset. Learning what to do in the face of a disaster or how to care for your family during extended grid-down emergencies can put you well ahead of the race. The more prepared you are, the faster you are at adapting to the situation. You can learn anything as long as you research, gather and apply the information. For example, while many on the East coast were still in shock from Hurricane Sandy and were sitting in their homes panicking and watching their perishable food items go bad, those that had learned how to survive in off-grid, cold environments were well prepared for this type of disaster, and had already begun packing their perishable items in the snow to preserve them. It’s that simple!

Practice makes perfect. Practice using your skills, your preps and prepare emergency menus based on your stored foods. The more you practice surviving an off-grid disaster, the more efficient you will be when and if that event occurs. Moreover, these skills will keep you alive! For a list of pertinent skills to know during times of disaster, click here.
Further, to make your family or group more cohesive, cross-train members so they can compensate for the other during a disaster.

In summation, only until we see the cycle for what it is and the effects it has on society will we be able to learn from it. There is always a breakdown in some form or fashion after a disaster. If you can prepare for this, you will be able to adapt more quickly to what is going on around you.

The cycle is there and we can’t look past it. Prepare accordingly and do not overlook ensuring you have your basic preps accounted for.

WHEN THE POWER GRID FAILS – 11 THINGS YOU NEED TO PREPARE

It finally happens and you hear it… or rather, you don’t hear it. You don’t hear anything at all. Everything just seems so quiet. Must have been how things were, before all the cars and machinery entered our lives. Things just seem to have come to a stop, like the power grid went out. Oh wait, the power grid did go out. Now, what do we do?

The loss of the grid, whether through an EMP attack, terrorism or cyberwarfare is the nightmare scenario – everything we depend on coming to a complete stop. If ever there was a difficult survival scenario for us to face, this is it. Modern society is so dependent on electrical power to operate, that the loss of the grid would leave most people at a loss for what to do.

Many have talked about the loss of the grid as returning us to living like the 1800s, but it’s not… it’s worse. At least our ancestors who lived back in the 1800s knew how to do without all the things that we’ll be doing without. We won’t. We will have to depend on ourselves and our own resourcefulness for the most basic of necessities. Things that our infrastructure now provide for us, will no longer exist, unless we can reproduce them ourselves. That’s just what we’ll have to do if we want to survive.

So, here’s my “top ten” list of things we will need to have ready, so that we can meet our own needs, when society no longer can meet them for us.

#1. The first thing we’d better concern ourselves with is heating our homes. Of all the things that could kill us in a grid-down scenario, the fastest and easiest killer is hypothermia. Without electricity, it doesn’t matter what source of heating we’re used to using… it will be out. We’ll need something else.

For most of us, this means heating with wood; using a fireplace or wood-burning stove. Of the two, the wood-burning stove will provide us with the most heat. It’s also easier to install. But the big question is fuel. How much firewood do you have? Where can you get more? How can you haul it home?

#2. Without electricity, we won’t have a municipal water system, with fresh, clean water delivered right to our homes. While it might run for a day or two, until the gas for the generator is used up and the water in the tanks runs out; but that’s about it. After that, we’re either going to have to haul water from a nearby river or lake, or we’re going to have to harvest it from rainwater or a well.

No matter how much water you have stockpiled, you can be sure it’s not enough. Even a swimming pool full of water will only last so long. You’re going to need more than that. So it’s best to be ready to harvest your water right from nature, preferably on your own property.

#3. In a post-disaster world, you’ll have to assume that all water is suspect. That means drinking only water that you have purified. While you can use unpurified water for a lot of things, you can’t ingest it in any way. That means purifying enough water for drinking, cooking and washing the dishes at a minimum.

Most people count on filtration for water purification. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are a number of excellent water filters on the market. But what are you going to do, when you run out of filters? You’ll need something else, in addition to that filtration system, to make sure that you can continue to have clean water to drink.

#4. Most of us cook over either electric or gas stoves. Even so, the gas stoves depend on electricity as well. While most gas pumping stations generate their own electricity to run their pumps, chances are that they will shut down as well. Even if they don’t shut down automatically from the loss of electric power, they will probably be shut down by the operators, as a safety measure.

This will mean that we are left without our most common method of cooking food. The most likely replacement, once again, will be wood, with people turning to barbecue grills or fire pits to cook in. Another option is using solar power for cooking, with some sort of solar oven.

#5. The beginning of prepping for most people is to build a stockpile of food. That’s something that just never seems to end. No matter how much you have, there’s always a desire to reach the next level, increasing your preparedness just a little bit more.

Don’t forget to have some off-site caches of food as well, in case you are forced to abandon your home. you never know what might cause you to need to bug out and you might not be able to take it all with you.

Of course, food isn’t the only thing you need to stockpile, it’s just the most obvious. You’re going to need everything from fuel to sewing needles. So, even if you start with food, be ready to expand your thinking, adding everything else you’re going to need.

#6. No matter how big your food stockpile is, it will eventually run out. That’s why many preppers are turning to grow their own food at home. even if you have a huge stockpile to use, growing your own will allow you to extend that stockpile out, surviving longer.

In the case of some of those disastrous causes of the grid going down, there’s a good chance that it will take over a decade to bring things back online again. With that being the case, it’s unlikely that your food stockpile will be enough, no matter how big it is. Whether or not you survive will depend a lot on your ability to grow enough food to meet your needs.

#7. If you’re going to be growing all that food, you’re going to need to preserve it as well. Food preservation probably started with our ancestors trying to survive the most common disaster of all… Old Man Winter. Without the ability to hunt or gather, the only food that those ancestors had to keep them alive through the winter was whatever they had harvested and dried.

Today, we have a number of food preservation techniques available to choose from. But you’d better learn how to do those, as well as stockpiling the necessary supplies. Don’t skimp on the salt, as that is needed for just about every method of preserving food.

#8. One of the trickier areas we have to be ready to take care of is our own health. While doctors and other health care professionals won’t just disappear, there will be severe shortages of the supplies they use. If you don’t have your own, you might just be out of luck.

But don’t just depend on having those supplies, you’d better have a pretty good idea of how to use them, as well. Without electrical power, you won’t be able to just go to the corner station and fill up your car’s tank. So you might not be able to get to wherever any doctors are anyway. In that case, critical things, like first-aid will become of prime importance.

#9. While waste disposal isn’t a glamorous part of survival, it is a necessary one. Human waste is one of the ways that disease travels around. Without the ability to quarantine it or dispose of it, your body’s own waste could become one of the most toxic things you deal with. Digging an outhouse isn’t all that high tech a solution, but it’s one that takes time, muscle and tools. It’s nice to have some lime on hand as well.

Of course, that’s not the only kind of waste you’re going to be dealing with, just the most dangerous. What about packaging from the food and other supplies you’ll be using? You’ll need to have some way of dealing with that too, in order to keep it from taking over and showing everyone how well you’re stocked. Even if that means nothing more than burning it, you will still have to deal with the cans and the ashes from that fire.

#10. Lighting isn’t as much a need as it is a convenience. You could just do everything during daylight and then go to sleep when the sun goes down. However, we are accustomed to having more hours in the day to use, because of lighting our homes. Having some way of doing that, after the power goes out, will give you more usable time for your many survival tasks.

I’m a firm believer in flashlights, but I also recognize their limitations. Once your battery supply runs out, those fancy tactical flashlights and headlamps won’t do you the least bit of good. You’ll need to revert to something simpler, like candles and oil lamps. Do you have any way of making more oil?

#11. With everything listed above, chances are that you’re eventually going to attract the attention of those people who aren’t prepared. When that happens, you can count on them knocking on your door, asking you for help. Whether or not you help them is up to you, but the reality is that you can’t feed the world.

Turning people away is only a temporary solution. They’ll be back, trying again. If you keep refusing help to them, they’ll eventually come prepared to take it; and take your life as well, if that’s what’s necessary to get what you have. You’ve got to be ready for that eventuality, just like everything else.

Home defense is more than just buying guns and ammo. You’ve got to make your home defensible, essentially turning it into a fortress, preferably without doing so in an obvious way. You’ll also need a defensive plan, that you’ve practiced so that you know what to do when the time comes.

That’s my list, and it’s really just the basics. I can think of a lot of other things I’d add, like the ability to make and repair your own tools. But those aren’t the basic needs; they’re more like additional useful skills for long-term survival and rebuilding society. What would you add to this list?