I’m going to put together a series here on what to do during emergency situations. Some feel there’s a massive recession to hit us in 2020, and if that isn’t bad enough, you have North Korea, Russia, Iran, China, and a few other nation states not on the best terms with us. We have colossal floods happening during hurricanes, and we have a group of people telling us climate change will affect everything. We have possible asteroids coming our way, giant volcanoes under Yellowstone, and cyber attacks waiting to hit our power grid at every turn. Perhaps we have sunspots that fry our power grid.
The dangers are real, but the likelihood of these events happening are low. That being said, when you do disaster planning for companies, you put all of this stuff into a matrix, shake it up, and spit out what you have to plan for. When ANY item has a catastrophic outcome, you must plan for it, even if there’s a low probability of it happening. You prioritize those with a higher probability. For example, I’m in Pennsylvania in the United States. While I’m land locked and 3 hours from the coast, I don’t have to worry about coastal flooding. My elevation is high enough where I can’t be flooded. But those 2 miles from me near a creek might have to worry about flooding during a hurricane that has sustained rains.
That all being said – this series is about introducing some overview of dangers and how one might go about protecting themselves from an academic perspective. I’m not going to go really deep on each item, but it’s important to understand the big picture concepts.
Here’s what the plan is:
- Part 1 – Building your team – who do you need to involve?
- Part 2 – Securing your location – and how bugging out to the woods may be a very bad idea.
- Part 3 – Daily life – what would it be like? How do you get “stuff”? What stuff is important? Some things you might want to stock up on now that you hadn’t thought about.
- Part 4 – survival in the raw. Skills you might need to read about, practice, and understand. How conflict might be a death sentence for anyone and everyone involved.
- Part 5 – Rebuilding – is it possible? The transition from the emergency phase to the normalcy phase. Building a better future with “best practices”.
- Part 6-? – any topics missed that I stumbled across.
I’ve watched one too many dystopian future movies. Last night, I saw Zombieland 2 is available to rent soon, and my mind drifted to a familiar place – what to do if Shit Hit The Fan, or SHTF situations. Many people think you need to “bug out” and have a bug out back ready at all times. Others spend a fortune building a bunker and stocking it to live for 30 years. I can probably blame seeing “Red Dawn” or “The Day After” as a child and spending wayyyyyy too much time thinking about such things.
I like the term “sensible prepping”. It seems less morbid and less like you’re a tin foil hat person hedging all bets that humanity will be wiped out in a week and more “positive” that you are just making sure – just in case, that you will be ok. None of the prep does any good if you’re alone. 5 minutes of watching any end of times movie can point out that being outnumbered in hostile situations can lead to having a very bad day. All of the ammo you stocked will be no match for a horde of 10 trying to take you out.
I think the number one rule for dire situations like that is – being all alone can be a death sentence. However, surrounding yourself with the wrong people can also be a death sentence. I know if you air dropped me in to medieval times, I’d have a tough time lasting a week, let alone months or years. Most of us NEED other people. And – they will NEED us. OR not? Look in the mirror. If bad shit happens – what do YOU have to contribute? I know with me, I’m now at least athletic enough to hold my own as a soldier or runner. The saying goes – I don’t have to be the fastest runner, but I only need to run faster than you.
I’ve written about this topic over the years on different sites, and I enjoy the topic. Not only as an academic exercise, but also as a practical one. I don’t think many of us have the resources to have months or years of preparations – nor to most people feel inclined to think beyond their next paycheck. However, if you look around the world – there’s good reason to at least consider what I’m talking about.
Some good reasons to read:
- Long term power outages – possibly even caused by hurricanes like in Puerto Rico. Sun spots. Cyber attack. California. Venezuela. North Korea. Even if power CAN work, it can be rationed.
- Earthquakes/volcanoes or other large scale natural disasters
- Global financial crisis
- Global conflict leading to societal breakdown
- Meteor/asteroid – many of these they can’t see until they are literally days away
- Ebola/plague/etc – maybe another great plague hits us and wipes out 50-95% of the population? We may have to stay indoors for weeks and venturing out may expose us to a disease?
I don’t want to be too doomsday with this, but the items above can happen to most reading this. Some of these are less likely that others, but nothing up there is a zero percent. Hell, where I live in the northeast United States, we were decimated by a flood from a Hurricane in 1972 – where my family had lost their house and worldly possessions. In that instance, having guns in the house and a safe full of money does you zero good.
There are a ton of people who have made lots of youtube videos on what you may need to survive the elements. I’m not going to go into that in this article, but what I do want to discuss are the type of people you need. I LOVE the Walking Dead. Or did, until Rick left the show. From watching the show, and lots of Gilligan’s Island, I’d like to comment on what I feel could be important to long term survival. These are the types of roles society may need during the emergency phase. All of your art and cultural people are added later – they will be included below, but you’ll see how.
Without further ado, here are who I’d like to see on my “emergency phase” team:
- Family members – you might be throwing turkey drumsticks at each other over President Trump at Thanksgiving, but you know you can trust these people with your life and they would not stab you for a pack of oreos. You may have disagreements often with some of them, but this is your clan. Your blood. These people have known you since you’ve been in diapers, and you cannot ever find or buy that type of loyalty from anyone. Numbers will help you in your horde. If you can round up 5-10 able bodied family members, that is step 1.
- Military types/law enforcement types – whether they were a corporal or a Lt. Col, all of these types have been trained to follow orders and lead. These guys can form the top of the pyramid on your team. They can read a topographical map to lead you to water, they have been weapons trained, and are trained in all kinds of survival skills. My guess is most of them have also been trained on how to clear a house and basic tactics on offense and defense. Lastly, they may have knowledge of explosives and advanced weapons systems.
- Hunters – these guys can use bows and arrows and perhaps are really good with guns. Maybe they know how to make their own ammunition. Important for protein and fats in your diets. They also have a valuable skill to teach others for survival
- Gatherers – this was Glenn in “TWD”. He could run pretty well, so he was usually sent to get supplies. They should have some knowledge of operational security and have some skills with breaking and entering, picking locks, forcing open doors – with long distance running/biking maybe a great skill to have here. Imagine sending a team of these guys out to a neighboring town 3 miles away. They can get there in 20-30 mins, scavenge for 30 mins, and get back in another 30 mins. A supply run might take a total of 1-2 hours. Maybe you have some bikers who can bike 10-20 miles. Same thing. These guys can really be a force multiplier with your on-hand supplies.
- Brawlers – in close quarter skirmishes, it might be important to have some personnel who can handle themselves. They can also act as security for your leader and quash any coup attempts. Perhaps act as tribal security/police.
- Resource specialists – maybe they have 10 caches of food/supplies buried all over the place. Maybe a remote cabin in the deep woods. Maybe they have boats. 5 years of supplies in their bomb shelter. Maybe they are a store owner and have access to warehouses of goods or are able to acquire just about anything because “they know a guy”. Maybe they are your “advanced prepper” who read tons of books on this shit. In any case, this guy might have just the thing you need.
- Builders – these guys are probably your construction workers/architects/etc. They know how to build shit. This comes in handy in the bush. It can also come in handy in suburbia if you’re trying to build defenses. Or put up drywall. Or build out secret rooms. Or build bunkers.
- Mechanics/repairmen – some of my friends are white collar, but extremely handy with rebuilding an engine or fixing complicated shit. When/if SHTF, there will be no ordering a new belt from Amazon. When things break, you will need people who can patch it up.
- Medics/doctors/EMTs/nurses – maybe I don’t need a brain surgeon, but one big problem when SHTF could be people dying of simple infections. Trained medical personnel can make a really bad situation manageable. They also probably work under great levels of stress and are calm, cool, and collected.
- Technical pros (STEM personnel) – maybe the lights go out and there’s no power. But maybe there is power and you need those who understand gadgetry to get things working. Perhaps the lights went off, and these guys are the best hope of someday getting it back on. These might be your IT pros, engineers, physics professors, electricians, and other STEM types. Maybe they understand chemistry enough to build simple explosives. Maybe they can rig solar panels up to get power to medical equipment to save a life. While not as valuable as a hunter in emergency situations, these guys may help build the bridge from the emergency phase to the rebuilding phase. In the short term, they can be useful in McGuyver-like situations. I feel like even if the grid goes down, there will be isolated pockets of power needed from generators to solar panels to batteries – even if this is flashlights, night lights, cameras, or communications equipment. You will need these guys to help your perimeter security, communicate, and solve all kinds of technical issues.
- Agricultural types – one of the first things I’d be doing is getting one of my buddies to start planting shit. Get the chickens and pigs. Maybe your hunter can get deer while they are plentiful, but you may also need some other types of sustenance for days in between the kills. Maybe eggs every day? Maybe an amazing garden is started that feeds your group?
- The cooks – my grandfather was a cook on a navy ship during world war 2 in the pacific. Think of all of your family gatherings, and who is the grillmaster. These guys can cook for large groups of people. I believe the strength of your army is dependent upon how filled their bellies are. If your people are tired, hungry, and haven’t had a nutritious meal in weeks, you can easily be overtaken by a well-fueled group of people. The cooks can coordinate meals based on available supplies and what’s coming out of the garden. He can coordinate with hunters for what is needed, coordinate with gardeners for what herbs, spices, and staples to plant. Discuss any food allergies with the medics. Coordinate with the resource specialists and the gatherers on what supplies might be needed.
- Workers/soldiers/farm hands/cooking prep – perhaps you do not qualify as a specialist in any of the above, but you are in good shape and able bodied who can work. Maybe you train under one of the specialists above. Or several of the specialists. You learn to swing a hammer – but since you are not a specialist, you will also be on the front lines of any types of battle because you are the most expendable, where a doctor or mechanic may have valuable skills that can’t be replaced. These are your “citizens” who would be most likely used after the emergency phase ends and the rebuilding phase begins. This is where your teachers, lawyers, college professors, bankers, etc tend to fall. Until society comes back up, there’s a lot of hands needed to help. These people, IMMEDIATELY, need to be trained in basics of weapons.
The most valuable of the above are those with multiple groups of skills. Perhaps a military doctor or medic might be extremely prized for both military experience and medical experience. Maybe a brawler who is a mechanic? Maybe a family member who is a hunter and gardener might be your most valued because it checks 3 of the boxes. You get the idea. Your value to those in emergency situations is having a lot of the skills above.
When/if SHTF, one of the first things that may happen is that people will try and hit the stores for supplies. They rioted during Rodney King and torched part of a city to steal big screen TVs. What do you think society will do if there really is a problem with…the power being out for a week or more?
For starters – it makes a lot of sense to have perhaps a month of supplies at your home for you and your loved ones. For example, if we hear there is a 1 mile asteroid going to hit earth in 48 hours, what do you think the grocery stores will be like? Do you think police will respond to trouble, or would they be trying to secure their loved ones?
It makes sense in any type of situation like this to have some sort of rally point. Maybe one of your relatives has a large house 10 miles outside of the city and it makes sense for your family/close friends to meet there. Bring supplies. Combine resources.
After the emergency phase is over and a rebuild is to start – THIS is when the citizens of your tribe step forward. The lawyers will then be needed to rebuild our government and legal system. The bankers will be needed to rebuild the banking industry. The teachers will need to start re-educating young minds.
With the idea of moving to part 2 – your team now needs a homestead. A location. A rally point. A base to operate out of. I’ll discuss some ideas of where you need to be, and where you shouldn’t be.