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Saturday, July 31, 2010

So you think you're prepared? Now let's discuss REALITY......

Hi everyone.

This is my first post on any SHTF/survival type forum, but I've been scouring these type of sites for several months because for a broad number of reasons that continue to become more convincing to me every day, I believe that we will indeed experience chaotic and potentially life threatening circumstances in the not-so-distant future. Having read many hundreds of posts on many different forums and watched countless videos on YouTube, I have come to realize that most people on these type of forums have not truly sat down and fully conceptualized what life will be like in a SHTF scenario. They all think they have, but most of the people (including many here) give great lip service to the idea, but haven't really expanded their minds to fully grasp everything involved. In fact, I find myself growing increasingly disgusted with the many hours I have wasted in having to dredge through countless posts on different boards trying to glean valuable and useful information, just to realize that the majority of posters obviously have no clue how they would survive a real breakdown of society.

There are basically 3 levels of preparedness that a person needs but most people are not prepared for the 1st level, much less the 2nd or 3rd. Preparedness Level 1 is pretty easy to cover. Level 2 is difficult, but achievable. Level 3 is where 99% of us are royally screwed and will likely die.

Here are the three levels of preparedness that I am working toward developing, and I am hoping to possibly generate some constructive and valuable feedback (and perhaps contacts) from this.

Preparedness Level 1 - This involves stocking your immediate residence with everything you need in the event of a short term catastrophe that will last less than 10 days. This should be a definite prep level that all of us here should already have covered, but most people don't even have enough food/water/fuel/cash, etc to last even a week. Let's walk through this ......imagine you're at work and a sudden catastophe strikes. What if within a few hours, every gas station, bank and grocery store was mobbed with people.... But what if the power goes out and the banks have to immediately close, the gas pumps don't operate and the supermarket generators only last a few hours? Suppose the power is out for several days......do you have enough cash on hand to get what you need (because your credit/debit card will be useless in a power outage)....do you have enough gas in your car? Do you have enough dry goods to feed your family for up to 10 days? All your neighbors will watch their perishables go bad within 24 hours and will be knocking on your door for help. The ones not prepared (most of them) will become very nasty within 3 to 5 days when they start going into a panic mode looking for food and water for themselves or their kids. Do you have a couple weeks of bottled water in stock? What if the tap water is shut off? How will you clean yourself, brush your teeth, wash dishes? What about medical supplies? Do you have enough supplies to deal with a serious wound or injury? Do you even know how to stop bleeding? Do you have antibiotics? How will you communicate when your cell phone battery goes dead? How do you know your neighbors won't break into your home to loot your supplies when they see you leave the house? Likely there will be very little police response or support during the period. Are you prepared to protect yourself and your home? Will you poison your relationship with your neighbors by fending them off and refusing assistance, just to have them hate you when the crisis has passed? Picture this scenario from A to Z, hour by hour, day by day......you will suddenly see all kinds of holes in your so-called "preparedness".

Preparedness Level 2 - This is when things go bad for up to 30 days, so you may need to leave the area temporarily. By the 10th day, your neighbors will start to go into full survival mode and things become very dangerous. Desperate people will not hesitate to rob you at gunpoint, even kill you if needed. Thugs and gangs may be roaming the streets by the 15th day, looking to rob anyone of their supplies, rape women, shoot people, etc. If you leave your house, just know it WILL be looted upon your return. But in this situation, you MUST leave the area and get somewhere safely out of harm's way, but still within a 2 to 3 hour drive from your primary residence. Do you now own land in a rural place, far away from the inner city chaos? Do you have a bunker of supplies on that land, preferably buried in the ground so it's not being robbed right this very moment? Have you really taken a hard look at the lengthy list of supplies you will need? Land is not cheap and the cost to build a temporary residence or even a supply bunker is expensive. How will your supplies stay dry and undamaged? How will they be completely hidden from anyone's view to find them? What if there is no power at your BOL? No heat? Or what if it's a desert location and 115 degrees? What if the major roads to your BOL are blocked by police or military? .......uh-huh, starting to think now, aren't ya? Can you truly survive at your BOL up to 30 days if it takes that long for power, law and order to be restored at your primary residence? Suppose you're eating well and doing fine by day 21. It will be obvious to those that are starving and near death, so you will become a prime target if you are seen. Your family could be kidnapped or held at gunpoint to force you into turning over your supplies or BOL. It would be best if your BOL had sufficent housing and supplies to provide for a network of very close and trusted friends and family to assist one another and protect the group. But suppose one of you needed to go back into town? How will that person survive or evade capture? What if the person is captured and forced to reveal your BOL? Or simply followed? How will you maintain contact with that person or group? How do you protect them? How many of you have really thought about every little detail of such a situation and how you would survive?

Preparedness Level 3 - This is the unthinkable in which you would need to survive up to 6 to 12 months. During that period of time, most people will have died from all manner of atrocities such as starvation, accidents, disease, sickness, violence and murder. I would imagine by month 12 most people without a strong support group will be dead and most survivors will have attached themselves to one of two groups that will fall into well-defined camps, one focused on benefiting the community and rebuilding, the other focusing on simply killing off other groups and taking what they have. In addition to the above issues, how do you generate light at night without it being seen from a distance? How do you get a fire going for cooking without creating a telltale smoke sign that gives away your location? Have you studied how to make solar panels and how to store electricity? Do you know anything about AC/DC current? Do you know what type of batteries work and don't work with solar power, or how many solar cells are required to power various things ? Where will you get water and how will it be transported and stored? The body doesn't naturally produce certain nutrients, so how will you get enough of all the nutrients you require? How will you obtain and irrigate the water needed to grow vegetables/herbs? How will you grow, feed and water animals for food? How do you identify other people as friends or foes? How do you communicate outside your immediate network? Do you know what temperature eggs need to be maintained at in order to hatch so you can have chickens to eat? How will you feed them? How will you protect them (and yourselves) from animal predators? Who will be in charge? What are each person's duties? Are all those people trained and can they be trusted? You will be amazed at how people can and will turn against you in a real live SHTF scenario. How will you treat a scorpion sting or spider bite? An infection? What kind of antibiotics do you have on hand and how can you obtain them now for later use when you don't have a prescription for them? Have you ever hunted? Are there wild game near your BOL? Do you know how to field dress your kill so you can eat it and not poison yourself? How do you cook it without generating attention to your location? What will be your source of fuel? Do you know how long it takes for wood to dry? Where will you even get wood if you're in the Arizona desert? For all you gold and silver hoarders, how do you expect to "spend" a 1-ounce gold bar or coin for supplies? Do you think you can just break it up into little pieces to equal the amount you will need? You will find that people will be far more interested in bartering for supplies rather than your coinage or bullion.

The list of questions and concerns goes on and on and on as you REALLY stop to think about it. Are you really as prepared as you think you are ? There are so many details involved that this post has only begun to address. When one really stops to conceptualize and picture each and every step, each hour of the scene, each passing day and night when TSHTF, even if just 7 days, or 30 days, then the gaping holes in our so-called preparedness begin to become clear and you will realize just how truly UN-prepared you really are......