Why being a prepper is not crazy

There is an important thread on Twitter. I know nothing about the author, but his/her observation is spot on, and it’s more like a blitzkrieg than a trend. At this rate, the United States of America ceases to exist as a constitutional representative republic within 5 years; and I don’t see things turning around because the momentum is too great. The left AND the right have succeeded in destroying it. I suggest reading the whole thing, which can be accessed HERE.

These are my thoughts.....

The problem(s)

People may wonder why I’m unashamed to call myself a prepper. It's an easy answer: I see the writing on the wall. Other than voting, and communicating my displeasure or encouragement to my elected representatives, I can do nothing as an individual to apply the brakes and slow down gov’t’s freight train before it plunges off the cliff. If you’re counting on the “same old same old” of previous decades, you’re a fool. For 2 years, we had a republican majority in both houses of Congress AND a republican POTUS. Exactly what changed? Not a goddam thing. In fact, with the exception of one small victory over the ACA, things are worse! Prove me wrong! You cannot. There simply aren't enough voters left who give a tinker's damn about the Constitution, and are willing to practice self-denial and accept individual responsiblity for their own actions or lack thereof, in order to stave off what's coming. Neither are there enough conservative or libertarian politicans in DC who are willing to stop cooperating in shifting the Overton Window to the left.

There are three canaries in the liberty coalmine in the United States: the states of the 1st and 2nd Amendments to the Constitution, and the national debt. All of our other rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights are important, but NONE of them can exist as protected/protectable rights, without the 1st and 2nd Amendments. The national debt is an engine that will eventually wreck us, causing gov't to begin trampling rights in the name of economic expediency — beginning with the 1st and 2nd Amendments because only THEY stand as a bulwark against tyranny.

Free speech rights, religious rights, and freedom of association?

Are you foolish enough to believe that you enjoy the unrestricted exercise thereof? Try being a Christian baker who would prefer on religious principles not to bake cakes celebrating same-sex marriage. Let me preface this one by saying that I am on record as a FIRM supporter of Israel, AND view myself as a Christian to be grafted onto the Jewish vine ... but why is it OK, and a constitutionally protected right for Jews to circumcize Jewish boys, but NOT a protected right and NOT OK for Muslims to circumcize Muslim girls? Do females have more protected rights than males? Show it to me in the Constitution. Why does government have ANY say over a religious ritual? Are you naive enough to believe that gov‘t will allow you to practice ANY kind of political speech in public? If so, why do (admittedly ugly) white separatist marches get shut down by governments, but violent AntiFa "direct actions" go uncontested by police departments who are told to stand down? Both involve public displays of hatred against other Americans. Why may you not display your religous symbols (i.e. nativity scenes, crosses) on public property, but your children are told to pledge fealty to Allah in public school classrooms? Please show me in the Constitution where it guarantees a right to not be offended by something someone else said. And yet, that's how we live today ... cringing and self-censoring to avoid confrontations with people who attack us so that they can feel good about their own emotionally impoverished and narrow existences.

I could write a whole other blog post about the origins of the term "separation of church and state", but that term appears nowhere in the Constitution. Here's what it actually says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In plain terms:

  1. Congress may not establish a religion as the state religion.
  2. Congress may not prevent the free exercise of religion, and no limit is place on WHERE it can be practiced.
  3. Congress may not abridge free speech ... but just try “hate speech”. There are unconstitutional federal laws on the books against it.
  4. Congress generally leaves the press alone, because they’re butt buddies.
  5. Congress may not abridge the right to freedom of assembly, but just ask the Bonus Army how that worked out for them...and that was 87 years ago. There are plenty of more current examples. 

Right to keep and bear arms?

Here in Texas, where gun ownership is nearly ubiquitous, anti-gun Irish Bob O’Rourke lost the election for US Senate to Ted Cruz by just ONE point! Let THAT sink in! And our new state legislature’s Speaker of the House, NRA-“A”-rated republican Dennis Bonnen placed rabidly anti-gun democrats in the chairmanships of key committees for the 2019 session - committees that process all of our gun-rights legislation. HE HAS A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY!!! He did not need democrat votes to get elected Speaker. Bonnen made a deal with the devil, and we can only guess why. Charles L. Cotton is a prominent Houston attorney and gun-rights activist. He is a member of the NRA's National Board of Directors, and is behind or in some way associated with the writing and or passage of virtually every pro-gun piece of legislation in the state for the past 25 years or so. Charles is not a man prone to bombastic language, and he has called Bonnen's action a betrayal of Texas gun ownersHe provides the details on his own website. The 2nd Amendment is under assault - even here in “gun-friendly” Texas.

In the last 4 or 5 years, California has passed absolutly draconian anti-gun measures...which of course will only be obeyed by law-abiding citizens. Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, DC, Chicago....all are in the same betrayal boat. In Washington state, rural sheriffs have notified the governor that they will NOT be enforcing a new anti-gun law so radical that, until the Constitutionality of it has been established by SCOTUS, they do not want to be in the position of violating the Constitution. Of course, their big-city residents have no problem with violating the Constituion, because they don't believe in its legitimacy as a guiding document.

The city of Deerfield, Illinois passed an ordinance banning so-called assault weapons. Per CBS news (not exactly a bastion of conservatism):

The Chicago suburb of Deerfield, Illinois voted on Monday to ban the possession, sale, and manufacture of assault weapons and large capacity magazines to "increase the public's sense of safety." What's more, CBS Chicago reports, anyone refusing to give up their banned firearm will be fined $1,000 a day until the weapon is handed over or removed from the town's limits. 

The ordinance states, "The possession, manufacture and sale of assault weapons in the Village of Deerfield is not reasonably necessary to protect an individual's right of self-defense or the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia."

What is completely ignored in this story is that there aren’t more than a few thousand actual assault weapons in private hands in the entire United States of America. An assault weapon, properly defined, includes a select-fire capability, which allows the user to switch the weapon between “safe”, “semiautomactic”, and “fully automatic” firing modes. By definition, a select-fire weapon is a machinegun. Not ONE of the literally tens of millions of AR15s and AK47s sold into private hands since the early 1960s is a machinegun.....meaning that not a single one of them is an “assault weapon”. NOT. ONE. Furthermore, since “magazine capacity“ is a determining factor, the law can be applied to semiautomatic handguns. The Glock 17 9mm pistol has been manufactured with a 17 round magazine since it’s introduction into service with Austrian police forces in 1982. That’s 37 years ago. It’s not like it’s some new wondergun with a ”high” capacity. It has had a 17 round capacity since day one. 17 rounds is “standard”. California and other states have mandated a 10-round limit on magazine capacity for handguns. That is not “standard”, that is “reduced” capacity. AR15s and AK47 magazines are sold with 30 round magazines, and have been sold that way for nearly 50 years. A 30 round magazine is “standard” for one of these modern sporting rifles (a MUCH better descriptive than “assault rifles”, which is an untrue descriptive). A “HIGH” capacity magazine for an AR15 would be a 60 or 100 round magazine - both of which are currently available. There are similar “high” capacity magazines for AKs, but the point is that “standard” is standard, and anything less than “standard” is ”reduced” - which is to say an infringement. And guess what? In politics, the people deciding what is “high”, are the same people who want to take your guns; and madating smaller than standard capacity magazines is merely an incremental step along the way to disarming you. If you think safety is the issue? I guarantee you that a minimally trained user armed with 10 round magazines can send 30 rounds downrange almost as fast as the user armed with 30 round magazines. Add in a generous 1.5 seconds per reload, and he gets it done in just 3 seconds longer. And the left knows this, but that is not the issue for them. They think that they can lull you into disarmament by slowly chipping away at the exercise of your 2nd Amendment right until you no longer are able to exercise it.

But what about the debt, you ask?

Our national debt hit $22 TRILLION just a few days ago. You can’t blame that on the democrat House ... they’ve only had the majority for a month and a half. Who out there is stupid enough to believe that’s a sustainable trend? If THIS doesn’t scare the shit out of you, you’re a dumbass. Go look at http://www.usdebtclock.org.

In 1980, the national debt was in the ballpark of $865 billion. We hadn't hit $1 trillion yet - let alone $22 trillion. In 1945 - at the conclusion of the single most expensive undertaking by the US gov't to that point...the prosecution of WW2 - the cumulative national debt was $258,682,187,409.93. In 2018 dollars, that would be $3,651,534,044,589.07, or $3.65 trillion. So even if we account for inflation, how did we grow the debt from $3.65 trillion in 1945, to $22 trillion today? The overarching answer is very simple. Prior to WW2, American voters were disinclined to vote themselves bread and circuses. After 1945, they were more than willing to vote themselves bread and circuses.

If you call yourselve a rational person, do you see that situation ending anytime soon? I am a rational person, and I don't think so. Congress is drunk on OPM (other people's money), and until we throw them ALL out - even the good ones, because they won't have enough for a quorum anyway - and start over, it's not going to end until the whole thing comes crashing down. There is NO. OTHER. WAY this is going to go down.

So even here in Texas, a supposedly (but not really) conservative state, something wicked this way comes. And we’ve resisted it longer and harder than most other states ... and yet the creeping forces opposed to liberty are gaining steam here too. Over the past 10-15 years, Texas has suffered an influx of at least a couple of million out-of-staters who are following the economy. Most of them came from extremely liberal states whose policies have damaged their economies, causing wage stagnation and job loss. They followed the job market here. The PROBLEM is that most of them brought their leftist politics with them ... and as soon as they got here, they set about trying to ruin the economic engine that made their move here possible in the first place.

‪DC is a lost cause. New York, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Saint Louis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are all lost causes. Even here in Texas, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth, El Paso, and our capitol, Austin, are already, or are on the cusp of becoming, lost causes.‬ And the problem with lost causes is that they have to crash and hit complete bottom before two conditions of change can be met. Those conditions are:

  1. the bulk of their somnolent citizens in name only ("CINOs" from here on in) must become outraged enough to demand a change;

  2. and the powermad political aparatchiks in office who brought this on must either quit or be pried out like embedded ticks.

This is the way of ALL revolutions. In fact, it is at the very basis of the Cloward-Pivens Strategy - a leftist doctrine with a goal of ending poverty, but completely unobtainable without completely crashing the existing system. The only difference between conservative revolution and Cloward-Pivens is that conservatives (and probably most libertarians) would wait for the crash to happen organically, instead of instigating it by overloading the system.

‪In nearly EVERY major population center nationwide, the cause of liberty has been lost. EXAMPLE: in historically conservative/libertarian Texas, population 29,104,064 (current estimate), 7,674,198 (2017) live in the state’s largest cities, which are now lost to the cause of liberty.‬ Another 3,915,956 Texans live in cities with populations between 100,000 and 400,000 - and most of these are actually just suburbs of larger metropolitan areas, sharing in the larger city’s political world view.

Restated another way, ‪11,590,174 Texans, out of the 29,104,064 currently residing here, live in cities larger than 100,000. That’s 40% of the state’s population living in medium to giant cities, many of which are beginning to kowtow to the leftist shibboleths, with their municipal governments firmly in leftist hands. MANY of those cities are lost already. And I haven’t even mentioned the influences of illegal immigration (which hits Texas as hard as any other hard hit state), and the voting patterns in the lower Rio Grande Valley.

You want a prediction? When Cruz runs again, he'll lose. And when Cornyn runs again, he MIGHT lose. What does the US Senate look like when both of Texas's senators are left-leaning to hard left democrats? What does it look like when our House representation is majority liberal? By both population and elected Congressional representation, we are the 2nd largest state in the union behind California....and California is already FIRMLY leftist. If you think California has too much influence on national politics now? ...just wait until Texas flips. And now you know why the DNC is working harder to flip Texas than any other conservative state. They're going big, and have no intention of going home.

I’ve spent a lot of time discussing Texas politics in general terms because it’s where I live, and what I’m most currently familiar with - having lived here the past 13 years, after having moved here from Commiefornia. California USED to be a republican majority conservative state! Remember that Califorrnia elected Ronald Reagan to two consecutive terms as governor. What happened to California then is happening to Texas now, but I’m also looking at YOU, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Oklahoma, etc. If you’re from one of those states, you know I’m right. The entire nation is undergoing a radical change, and it is NOT for the better.

The national debt is a canary in liberty's coalmine, and it forecasts nothing but dead canaries.

So what to do about it?

Entire books have been written on what to do about it; but all of them can be condensed into a few major bullet points which you can explore in turn in greater detail on your own.

  1. SHELTER/LAND. Buy some in a rural area, preferably at least an hour or two by car from any major metropolis. Put a home on it, if there isn’t one already, and preposition a large part of your prepping supplies on that property. You WON’T be able to fit it all in your car if you have to leave in a hurry. Trust me.

    1. If you cannot afford to buy land but own your own home, then do what you can to improve your defensive position in your home. Also, put out feelers with your neighbors to see what you can do to protect your neighborhood. Once people are hungry and discover that you have food, unless you’re willing to kill them all, you’re a dead man walking.

    2. If you do not own your own home but rent a house or an apartment, put out feelers with your neighbors to see what you can do collectively to protect your apartment building and/or the neighborhood, and do what you can to fortify (within reason, after all you have live there too) your individual dwelling to your advantage.

    1. If you own no firearms, buy at least one concealable semiautomatic striker-fired pistol in 9mm. I like the Glock 19 myself, but S&W, Springfield Armory, Ruger, and other manufacturers all make concealable 9mm semiautomatic pistols in 9mm with standard capacity magazines of around 15 or so rounds, in frame sizes similar to the Glock 19. Make sure you have at least 3 extra magazines for it, besides the one in the gun. I recommend pistols of that size because they are not too big to conceal fairly easily (remember, we are talking a collapse of “rule of law”, and having a license to carry will be irrelevant); and in that caliber because it is commonly available and sufficiently powerful. Cost varies, but $500-$650 would not be unreasonable for such a firearm, and a few brands are cheaper than that. Stockpile ammunition for it.

      1. If you already have a sufficiently powerful revolver, that’s fine, but you’d be better armed with a larger capacity semiauto with its faster reloads and easier transportability of those reloads. But if buying a new pistol is out of the question, then get real good with the one you have. That means training and getting off your ass and spending both time at the range on your marksmanship skills, and a tactics class on revolver use with a reputable instructor. Stockpile ammunition for it.

    2. A 12 gauge shotgun. Just as with handguns, there is a vast array of different kinds of shotguns. If you have to have just one, make it a pump action - preferably a Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500 or 590. I personally own a Mossberg 590A1. If concealment of the firearm is no issue, then there is no better self-defense weapon than an 18” barreled 12 gauge shotgun for the untrained user. If you have to hunt for food, it will also shoot birdshot - although with a reduced range because of the lack of choke - and slugs or buckshot work well for deer and wild hogs. There are plenty of myths about shotguns - my favorite two being “all you have to do is rack the slide, and the bad guy will run out the door”, and “you don’t have to aim with a shotgun because the pattern spreads”. Both myths are complete and utter bullshit, and you’d be a fool to stake your life on them. Racking a slide might make a bad guy open fire on you (so make sure there’s already a round in the chamber before he can hear you), and shot patterns don’t spread that fast, so if you’re inside your home, yes, you’ll have to aim. Expect to pay in the $400-$650 range for a representative example. Some versions come with interchangeable barrels, for self defense and hunting. Shotguns tend not to have a lot of ammunition capacity, but NOBODY wants to face 12 gauge of booyah, and a shotgun is a fearsome weapon. Stockpile the types of ammo you intended to use.

    3. A centerfire rifle, in a rifle caliber, not a pistol caliber. There are many schools of thought on this, most of which have a great deal of validity, and a few flaws. My own advice is to procure TWO. One should be either a lever-action chambered in .30-30, or a bolt-action chambered in .308 for hunting, and an AR15 for hunting and personal defense. Remember that slow, aimed fire is always more effective than spray and pray - whether your target is animal or human.

      The effective range of the AR15 is close to but a bit under that of a regular .308 bolt gun, and both of those would be greater than a .30-30 lever gun, but the two .30 caliber rifles have much more knockdown power within their effective ranges than the AR15 - which is chambered in a cartridge that was selected for its wounding power rather than it’s killing power. As we know all too sadly, an AR15 has taken a number of civilian lives in recent years, but all of those occurred at very close ranges. At 500 yards - well beyond what would be considered “ethical” hunting distance for most shooters - a 150 grain .308 bullet is still traveling better than 1800 fps with better than 1090 ft-lbs of energy, compared to the AR15’s 1300 fps / 207 ft-lbs of energy. A .30-30 bullet will carry further than this, but for effective hunting range, 250-300 yards and under is recommended. And the thing is, unless you’ve done it, you don’t really have any idea of how hard it is to shoot a rifle beyond 300 yards. 440 yards is a quarter mile. I am qualified to 900 yards - a tick over a half mile - on a .308 precision rifle, shooting from the prone at a stationary target, and you can’t really even see the target without a magnified optic at that distance. It looks like a small dot. It is WAY the hell out there. As noted rifleman Bruce Rutherford wrote on ChuckHawkes.com: "Given normal hunting conditions: wind blowing, cold, stiff fingers, out of breath, bulky clothes, low light, snow or rain, buck fever, 100 yards is a long way. Most of the deer and elk, especially Roosevelt Elk, that are killed every year, are shot at 100 yards or less. I know that most of mine have been. I suspect that most of the animals that are wounded and crippled are shot at from further away. Probably by someone who once hit a paper target at 300 yards, on a calm summer day, from a bench rest."

      The lesson is, unless you’re already a trained sniper, get real good with your rifle. It’s a serious weapon, intended for serious purposes, it’s not a joke, and the ammo is more expensive than either pistol or shotgun ammo. Burn it wisely. Plus points for learning to reload your own, which is cheaper AND produces more accurate ammunition.

    4. Lastly, for the firearms category, get yourself a .22 caliber rifle, preferably chambered in .22 Long Rifle - the most commonly available and used of the .22 caliber cartridges. Some .22s Long Rifle weapons will also chamber .22 Standard and .22 Short as well. I have a Henry lever action .22 that will chamber all three cartridges. But not all .22 caliber rifles will chamber all three .22 rimfire cartridges. If you can only have one, pick .22 Long Rifle. The purpose of a .22 besides varmint control, is hunting of small game that would be nearly vaporized by a high powered rifle or a shotgun - squirrels and rabbits, for instance. They are also very useful for teaching marksmanship skills to children because they are not so intimidating as more powerful calibers, and the ammo is cheap. You can get a pretty decent one for $200 or less, and more for the really nice ones. I think I paid about $400 for my Henry. Oh, and stockpile ammo for it.

    5. You should have at least two good knifes - one a pocket folder, and the other a fixed blade. There are lots of reputable manufacturers, I’m partial to Benchmade myself, but also own knives made by Gerber, Kershaw, and CRKT. Any of those, and a few others, would serve you well. The Benchmades are more expensive than the others - but you also get what you pay for. Ancillary to this, get training on some basic self-defense with a knife. The pocket folder is for both personal defense and as an easily available tool. That means a blade of at least 3” length. The fixed blade is for skinning and butchering out game animals, and for serious self defense with a knife.

  3. FOOD. First, unless you have unlimited means and a LARGE place to store it all, you can’t possibly buy and store enough food to feed yourself and your family forever. With a fairly large expenditure, you can buy 1, 2, and 3 year supplies of food, delivered on pallets, and consisting of endless freeze-dried starches, powdered dairy, and fake meats. It will keep you alive, but you’ll want to die. It most definitely should have a place in your scheme of things, as a stopgap measure until you get your survival situation sorted out, but it is not wise to count on it as anything like a permanent food solution. For one thing, you’ll be needing vitamins to supplement it, and these products have a shelf-life - typically either 10 or 20 years. And sooner or later, you’ll want to be growing/raising fresh food sources. For one thing, fresh is sustainable; for another, it is healthy; and....it just tastes better.

    I have a 6 months supply of 3 meals/day for my wife and myself. If we eat a somewhat reduced calorie diet or reduce that to 2 meals/day, we can extend that further. And I can extend that a LOT longer if we factor in the 40 and 50 pound buckets of dried rice, beans, wheat, oats, and corn I have added to the inventory. Unopened jars of peanut butter will last for many years. SPAM, while not particularly healthy, has a fairly long shelf-life compared to other “wet” canned meats, and it can add flavor and some fat and protein to that freeze-dried diet.

    But in the end, you do NOT want to rely on pre-purchased, freeze-dried, processed emergency foods. For one thing, it’s no way to live, since the best revenge is living well; but for another thing, it’s not indefinitely healthy. Sooner or later, you’re going to NEED, not just WANT a healthier sustainable diet. That means:

    1. LIVESTOCK. You don’t have to be an old-fashioned cattle baron, but certainly having things like a couple of cows, or a half dozen goats or sheep, supplemented by a well-stocked chicken coop and maybe a rabbit hutch will go a long way toward feeding you and yours, keeping you in fresh meat, dairy, and eggs. Hogs are voracious breeders, which is why the wild ones are such a huge problem for Texas landowners. According to Texas A&M University (Gig ‘em, Aggies!): "The wild pig is the most prolific large mammal on the face of the Earth—but they are not “born pregnant”! The average is between 5 and 6 pigs per litter. Sows have approximately 1.5 litters per year. Are more litters per year and larger litter sizes possible? Absolutely yes! However, I am using long-term averages, not what can occur under ideal conditions –which usually unsustainable over the long haul. Young females do not typically have their first litter until they are 13+ months of age, even though they can be sexually mature at 6 to 8 months of age or even earlier in some cases.“ Bottom line, hogs are an easily renewable source of meat. It goes without saying that what you can do is scalable to the size of the property you have available, and if you don’t have enough property, you’re screwed. THIS is why I put “LAND” up at the very top of this list. Obviously, more land is better, but you don’t have to have 200 acres to make it work. You can farm enough land for self sufficiency on 10 acres if you have the right soil and atmospheric conditions. Even a typical suburban lot is large enough to keep a couple of goats, or smaller livestock like chickens and rabbits, IF you are able to provide feed and water for them. Personally, I want a couple of hundred acres so that I have time to interdict intruders before they can reach any structures, but I know of several people who are farming successfully and transitioning from city to rural life on 40 acres (no mule included).

    2. VEG. Get a garden planted NOW. It will be too late to do so once the SHTF. Maintaining a garden is just chores. But starting a garden is a leisure activity - something you will not have much of for a long time after the SHTF. On the other hand, having a small vegetable garden and raising your own tomatoes and corn and herbs - whatever - is a pleasurable activity, and you can’t beat the taste. Most of what you will probably want to grow can be protected during cold winters with either greenhouses, or visqueen covers to keep the freeze off.

    3. FRUIT. It is MUCH more difficult to protect fruit trees from bad weather, so either buy and plant fruit trees that are native to your area, OR exotics that come from similar climates. But keep in mind that some species produce more fruit per tree than others, and quantity is your friend. All this fruit and veg is a large part of your daily vitamin supply, so pursue this with great discipline.

    4. STORAGE. Without a doubt, you’ll want to eat as much of these things while they are fresh, but nothing keeps forever, and you’ll need to look at different ways of preserving and storing the food you raise. Remember that there’s a strong probability that you will no longer have electricity-powered refrigeration of any kind, so creating a cool, dark, dry place to store food will be essential. Keep in mind that aged beef is not only fine, it’s a luxury item. Your beef will keep longer than you expect IF it is kept cool and dry. It will not keep that way indefinitely, but it will keep a pretty long time. You can smoke a ham and hang it up. As long as you keep the flies off of it, it will not only keep a long time, it gets more delicious with time. Smoking will help to preserve most meats - not indefinitely, but longer than unsmoked/uncooked. Meats and vegetables can be preserved by canning - although some will need to be cooked first. I am a big fan of beef jerky. It’s easy to make, tastes great, and will keep for a long time. The trimmings from preparing the meat for jerking can be mixed with other items such as dried fruits and grains to make pemmican - an excellent energy food. Just remember that improperly stored food can kill you ... or at least make you wish you dead. And worse, it can do that to your loved ones - whom you are supposed to protect. So BE CAREFUL and MINDFUL as you do it. But know also that people have been successfully preserving food by different methods, successfully, for thousands of years. YOU can too.

  4. WATER. This speaks to the land issue, and the smaller your homestead, from a 200 acre farm down to 1 bedroom apartment, the more difficult and critical it becomes. As long as you have enough land to drill a well, you’ll be able to get water. Absent that, having the land include or border on a lake, pond, creek, or river that has water on it all year round will meet the same needs. Remember, you’re not just talking about personal consumption for yourself and your family; you’re also including enough water to wash and maintain personal hygiene, but also enough to keep your livestock watered, and your vegetable, fruit, or grain crops watered. Water is absolutely essential to life. You can exist for literally weeks without food, but a few days without water is fatal, and there are no do-overs. If you live in a private home on a typical suburban lot, you may be able to drill a well, but don’t count on the water supply being potable. Purification measures will be necessary for it to be drinkable.

    If you’re relying on stored water, there is only one way to do it that will sustain life for longer, and that is to have something big to store it in. You can’t buy or store enough water bottles to get through more than a few weeks, and in summer, that time span goes down as consumption goes up. But if you have a swimming pool, you have a huge advantage - although as time goes on, the water will become less and less drinkable as it fills up with algae. If you keep the chemistry content too high, it will make you sick. Another alternative is to buy one of those above ground plastic/polymer water storage tanks. Just google “above ground plastic water storage tanks”, and you’ll find all kinds of examples. You can get them in capacities up to 10,000-12,000 gallons. To put that into perspective, a typical 20’x40’ swimming pool contains anywhere from 30,000-40,000 gallons depending on depth. So one of these plastic tanks can hold as much as 1/3 of a swimming pool’s worth of water.

  5. MEDICINE/HEALTH. Most of us do not have an “MD” after our names. The title of “doctor” is going to be worth something after this house of cards comes down, but doctors won’t be able to do most of what they rely on today by way of diagnostics. Blood tests will take days or weeks to process, instead of minutes or hours, and MANY of them will be entirely impossible to do. Type and cross-matches for transfusions will be doable, but tests for cardiac enzymes or PSA for prostate cancer will not. X-Ray will not be possible, and you can count on there being no CAT or MRI scanners working. Say goodbye to ultrasound for expectant mothers. Surgery is going to become ”old-school”. Amputations will go up. There’s a strong bet that doctors with “DVM” after their names will be able to provide both animal AND human medical services, and will therefore be more valuable. So with all of that in mind, begin educating yourself. NOW. There are a small number of books I recommend, but you may uncover better ones in doing your research. Keep simplicity in mind. Unless you actually are a physician, you’re going to need books understandable to a layperson. A good book to start with is “The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way”, by Joseph and Amy Alton.

    But just reading books is not enough. As with firearms and other things that can kill you or someone else, you need training. One of the best things my wife and I ever did was attend a class called Medic 1, taught by Lone Star Medics. It was a 2-day class that covered everything from treating poison oak and sunburn, to treating major penetrating trauma like gunshot wounds and amputations. The training included CPR certification, and actual scenario training, involving actors, motor vehicles, and when the weather permits, helicopters. Additionally, they helped us to pick out all the items we’d need to order to properly stock a fairly comprehensive medical kit. We never go on a road trip without that bag, as you never know when you could become a first responder on a public highway. We were also able to custom design our own IFAK kits for range days. As I recall, the price per person was around $350.00, which is not too bad considering what you get, and because we signed up as a couple, we received a discount. The thing is, just as with the firearms training community, there are people/companies that provide fairly advanced field medicine training for the layperson all over the country. Hell, even if you don’t play with guns or go on road trips, this is knowledge and equipment you should have around the house because you love your family. I can’t recommend the experience highly enough.

  6. COMMUNITY. The lone wolf survivor, living out of a back pack, is a myth. Period. Even in the late 18th/early 19th centuries, when lone trappers explored the wilderness and lived alone for months at a time in the wilderness, those men (and the rare woman) had a support system to return to where they purchased new supplies, replacement pack mules, bags of gunpowder, etc. And when they were in the field, they often interacted with Native American villages, military outposts, and other trappers. It was perhaps a time alone, but it was not of necessity lonesome, and the trapper was able to supplement what he could not carry, with that which he could purchase or trade for from other people. But even if he never lacks for food or materials, he completely lacks a security posture. He has to sleep sometime, and he’s got nobody covering his six when he’s offline. He has nobody to treat him for debilitating illness or injury, and keep him alive until he heals. Being a lone wolf is a strategy for taking longer to die. He can‘t possibly posses all the skills necessary to THRIVE instead of merely existing. The solution is community.

    You need to develop a community of like-minded people, and then formally organize yourself into a group - committed to one another’s care and survival. Admittance to the group should require some basic things:

    1. a commitment to learning at least one discipline completely, top to bottom. For instance, one person should be the ultimate arbiter of medical care. Another should become a skilled armorer. Another should become a communications specialist. There should be a security and intelligence specialist. Another should be responsible for work scheduling once the group “activates” when the SHTF....and so on.

    2. a commitment by all members to cross-train in at least two other disciplines. There’s an old saying in the special operations community: “Two is one, and one is none.” If your only medic is shot and killed, the entire team is screwed. if you have a lead medic, and a fully trained “apprentice”, then when your lead medic is shot and killed, you still have a medic.

    3. a commitment by all members to acquire a “group standard” (whatever that looks like for your group) of equipment, food stores, weapons, expected behaviors, etc. That group standard should be documented, and signed by all members of the group.

    4. a commitment by all members to take part in organized group exercises and training to build the cooperative skills that make the whole thing work.

    5. a commitment by all members to either take part in the procurement of a rural retreat on sufficient land; or to place the leadership of the group in the hands of the person or couple who made that enormous financial commitment to purchase the property by themselves, for the group’s use. The group may be using it, but they don’t own it, and no group is going to be successful without recognizing, and more importantly, respecting the private property rights of its members.

    6. a commitment by all members of the group to respect the religious beliefs of its members. It goes without saying that it would be better for all members to adhere to the same belief system or lack of belief, because it removes a potential source of friction in the group.

    7. Lastly, a commitment by all group leaders to fully submit to the final decisions of the group’s leadership - whether that be by committee, or by a single leader - particularly over matters that will affect the entire group. Discussion should be encouraged about all topics, when there is time for it, but ultimately, the responsibility for a decision will rest with one person, and the rest of the group has to be OK with that. If a group member simply cannot abide by any such decision, then he or she should be allowed to leave the group, taking everything they brought to it in the way of material goods. NOBODY should be compelled to participate in something to which they have an unreconcilable opposition. 

This is, believe it or not, a simple list. There are many more things to think of, but these are the major headings, and anything I haven’t mentioned here will likely fall under one of these headings in greater detail. I didn’t even mention skills like learning to start a fire, and learning to cook with fire; how to build a shelter, etc., etc. Read, read, read. Follow YouTube channels like Viking Preparedness. Read blogs like “John Mosby’s” Mountain Guerrilla Blog. Find like-minded thinkers, both locally in your community, and in the large arena of cyberspace. Take it all in, and as Pastor Joe Fox of Viking Preparedness says, “chew up the meat and spit out the bones”, and figure out what works for you and yours.

This whole thing may be a very uncomfortable topic for a lot of people, but it’s absolutely necessary to give it due consideration. This house of cards cannot last indefinitely, and when things go to shit (and I’m putting the odds at about 95% or higher), it’s going get bad. REAL bad. I quoted a Tweet at the top of this article, from user “@brainfertilizer”. I don’t know if he or she thinks about all of the things I have mentioned here, but their post made it crystal clear that this path - the path of preparedness - is the wise path. NONE of that preparation will go to waste, even if our society miraculously gets turned around and set back on the right path. That stored food will stand you in good stead when the roads are too icy to go grocery shopping, or if there is a blackout and your refrigerated food goes bad. Those tents and sleeping bags will produce days of memories with your children. If you live in earthquake country, as I did for the first 54 years of my life, you’ll be properly prepared for “acts of God”. In fact, in California, having an “earthquake kit” is considered just common sense, and they do local news stories from time to time on how to create one. Having an earthquake kit in California is “normal” ... but “prepping” is not? What do they think they’re doing when they prepare that earthquake kit? Acts of God are not the only things that can go wrong. Don’t believe me? You’ll find blog posts online from somone named Fernando Ferfal Aguirre who survived the collapse of the Argentinian economy in the early 2000s. He already had a prepper mindset, but even with that going for him, it was an incredibly difficult time. Imagine what things must be like for people in Venezuela right now who did not have a preparedness mindset and had already taken steps to put it into action when Venezuela’s economy completely collapsed - just in the last few months. This shit is serious, and IT. COULD. HAPPEN. HERE. In fact, I am certain that it WILL happen here sometime in the next 5-10 years. 

Get started NOW.

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