I really feel like we must be heading towards SHTF sooner rather than later. I’d suggest you merely look at all the charts which show we’re heading over a fiscal cliff in the near future and you’ll surely agree. When? I truly don’t know. It could be a decade from now or tomorrow. But it IS coming.
The question is: What to do about it? How do you keep your family safe and avoid the looming zombie hordes? Because you know they are coming and they won’t simply go away when they’re at your doorstep. And by “zombies” I mean the 99%+ of American’s who have failed to do anything to prepare themselves for… anything… yeah, those people.
Though none of these strategies are foolproof and some certainly are better than others, the major problem I see with most of them is that they cost a lot of money to make happen. That and they’re a huge lifestyle change, one that most folks wouldn’t like. Well, that’s my assumption, anyway.
Strategy #1: Make it look like nobody’s home and there’s nothing worthwhile inside
This is my least favorite strategy because it’s also the least likely to actually work. Of course, we can’t all afford to spend a small fortune preparing for the hordes and so we simply must do the best that we can with what we have.
With that in mind, you can attempt to make your house look like it’s abandoned, rundown, and that there’s literally nothing worthwhile inside. This could include breaking windows, putting holes in the roof or exterior walls, and certainly allowing vegetation to run wild.
You could be more active than that and actually make it look like somebody has already ransacked the house by doing things like kicking in doors, spray painting or otherwise defacing the exterior with gang signs or whatever, and tossing the most obvious rooms to be entered if somebody gets inside. It should go without saying that this is a post-SHTF strategy.
The only trouble is that you probably want to live here too which has two big problems, one of the which is that your presence will give you away regardless and the other is what to do with your family and your stuff. Practicing OPSEC is a good start to combat the first problem but you’ll probably fail any close inspection no matter how diligent you’ve been. The other problem can be combated by caching small amounts of supplies on your property (or somewhere nearby) and even offering up a very little bit of “loot” to be had such as a few cans of knocked over beans in the kitchen cabinet and a small bag of half-used rice or similar. But they’ll probably come looking for even more… now get ready to defend yourselves.
Strategy #2: Make it look like you’re not worth the trouble to invade
This is something that Ferfal (the guy who talks about surviving Argentina’s collapse) seems to recommend as it’s what works for his country.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand if you can show that you’re a force to be reckoned with then small groups may well decide to leave you alone but, on the other hand, you’re also telling the world that you have something–maybe lots of something–worthwhile behind those walls.
If/when people are desperate do you really think they’ll just leave you alone and go elsewhere? I would guess not. After all, what do they really have to lose? If they think they’re going to perish anyway why not give it a go?
In this case you really, truly must be able to defend what’s yours and do so with a vengeance. Sadly, you’re not going to be able to do so alone. You MUST enlist the help of other like-minded folks, probably many of them which obviously means you’re going to need a lot more supplies than for just you and your family.
And, of course, there’s the logistics of it all… basically, you’re creating a mini society and then there’s the trouble that will ultimately bring because people don’t always get along particularly during times of strife. Honestly, however, this would be the way I would go if I could (1) afford it and (2) find people I can trust… neither of which are very likely in this lifetime. 🙂
Strategy #3: Go underground and hope nobody stumbles upon you
Personally, I don’t like this strategy much either but some people swear by it; heck, there’s even a television show, Doomsday Bunkers, dedicated to the idea. Not only is this idea expensive but it seems foolhardy to me to believe that a family could truly ride out the apocalypse–whatever that meas to you–in one.
I think I would go stir-crazy if I were “trapped” in a bunker after only a few days. To survive months on end is wishful thinking for all but the most die-hard among us. Note to “normal” Americans: just because I/we are preppers doesn’t mean that we’re die-hard fanatics, hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to survive SHTF, though, some of us are… just not me.
Expenses and claustrophobia aside, what happens when somebody stumbles upon your bunker?
They’ll probably be able to wait you out, smoke you out, or otherwise force you to abandon your bunker and then what? You’ll fight it out… run… or die. Bunkers are just death traps, IMO. Good luck if you own one. 🙂
Strategy #4: Move far, far away… I mean REALLY far away
This is probably what I would do if I could afford it. You know people say to “get out of the cities” for when SHTF which makes obvious sense but there’s more to it than that.
The suburbs (where most middle-class Americans live) are nearly as packed with people who are no less desperate than those who live within major city limits… they may even be worse!
For instance, I live in a small city of around 10,000 people and that’s not including the many other “small” cities nearby as well as the large cities nearby too. There are literally hundreds of thousands of desperate people within walking distance of me… and that’s NOT including the many additional hundreds of thousands within potential driving distance should they decide to come this way.
What are the odds that I won’t have to deal with at least a few hundred of these folks? I’d say the odds are pretty good that I would… and so would you if you live anywhere near other people. It’s just the way we humans tend to live.
So, what’s the solution? Move far, far, away. Of course, this isn’t always practical for a variety of reasons too but it’s probably the best solution to be had if you can do so.
Maybe you don’t move to a deserted island but I’ve heard it said that most refugees won’t travel more than ten miles off any major highway. I don’t know how true this actually is but it does make some sense. We humans built roads for a reason and expect them to go somewhere. If it looks like they’re not going to be getting anywhere or have to travel a long distance down a road to do so the odds are that they will go another way.
As such, the further “off the beaten path” you can get and away from others the better off you’re likely to be. Of course, this does have other problems such as not being nearby emergency services, grocery stores, and so on but you simply can’t have everything you want, now can you?
Strategy #5: Combine the above ideas into a cohesive plan
Sometimes just one idea isn’t always the best. Maybe it’s best to bring two or more ideas together into one cohesive plan. For example, you could choose to make it look like nobody’s home yet have a bunker to retreat to should you find the need. Or, you could choose to move far away and make it look like you’re not worth the trouble.
The more solutions you can offer such a problem the better off you’ll be but, no doubt, the more money you’ll spend getting there. Ultimately, there isn’t any ONE solution that is better than the rest because each person’s situation is a bit different and, more importantly, their wants and desires are different too… except the survival thing… that’s fairly common to all. 🙂
What suggestions would you add? I surely hope there are other, better, options to be had…