Defense / Security / Safety

Reality Check: Your SHTF Security Sucks

When I posted this video last week on ditching your bug out–which I still think is generally a bad idea–I noticed that John Lovell made some good points about how easy it would be for people like him (he’s a former Army Ranger) to simply storm your property and take everything you’ve managed to stockpile. After all, that’s what they’re trained to do! They specialize in taking heavily-fortified structures from well-armed men.

So, let me ask you from one prepper to another: How well do you think YOU would fare against people like that? Be honest.

Oh, you still think you can defend your property, do you? Even if they’ve had the time to scout and plan their attack? Hmmm… feels like B.S. to me.

Or maybe you believe that the good men and women who defend our great country would NEVER do something like that? I know I’d sure like to believe that. And most of them wouldn’t. Most people who lay their lives on the line day in and day out — both overseas as well as our “boys in blue” are good, honest, and truly moral people. And we should all be thankful for that. In fact, we should all be standing up for them these days.

But there are always a few bad apples. And I’m afraid it only takes a few to cause a whole lot of trouble, especially when there are literally no rules any longer and, worse, nobody to stop them.

And if bad people with the right training decide that you’re literally standing in their way of eating, well, I’m afraid you’re likely going to lose that battle. And so would I, unfortunately.

Perhaps you’re now contemplating the odds of ever encountering people like this. I get it. Surely there aren’t THAT many with such training! Ok, maybe not so many Army Rangers or Navy Seals or Green Berets, but what about police SWAT team members? They’re pretty good at storming buildings and subduing bad guys too. The FBI has similar groups as do many other federal agencies. Its seems that even the Postal Service has specialized groups like this. That ups the numbers a bit, doesn’t it.

Again, most of these folks have high morals to begin with and, I’d suspect, would never consider using their skills and knowledge to attack their own citizens, but some would. It’s just human nature.

Perhaps you’re still not sure that such tactics would ever be used against you. Ok, perhaps this information might surprise you: “In 2008, according to FBI gang investigator Jennifer Simon, 1 to 2% of the U.S. military belonged to gangs, which is 50 to 100 times the rate in the general population.[1] According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, the NGIC identified members of more than 53 gangs who served in the military.[2] U.S. gangs have sometimes encouraged their members to join the military in order to learn warfare techniques.”

That’s many more than I’d previously assumed! And it’s very concerning that so many people who we know are immoral criminals now have some sort of military training which could be used against you and me both day to day and post-SHTF. Granted, they may not be trained like an Army Ranger or SWAT team to storm and clear buildings, but they’re not your average gang member either. Besides, it’s not like gangs value their members lives, so they could just throw dozens upon dozens of people at you and essentially overwhelm even your best efforts to repel them.

And, of course, there’s the very real possibility that you fall upon some bad luck. Maybe you run into a group of ne’er-do-wells who decide to cause trouble when you least expect it… there’s quite a few of those people as well. And did I mention there are still many others who are typically morally ambivalent but would very easily stray to the dark side given the right–or should I say, wrong–circumstances? Yeah, they exist too.

The point is that you really need to stop believing you’re safe because you have firearms, a bullet-resistant vest, and many hours logged at the range. You need to stop believing that you’re Rambo, because you’re not… and neither am I.

Because it’s not really about how accurate you can shoot, whether you have an AR-15, or even how many defensible spaces you have in and around your home for “just in case” you get into a shootout.

It’s really about three main problems:

  • Eyeballs on defense
  • Their element of surprise
  • Being found to begin with

Like Lovell eluded to in the video I mentioned at the start, if it’s only you and your spouse or maybe a few other family members, there’s no way you can adequately guard your property 24/7 and still get normal survival tasks accomplished. You have to sleep sometime and there are probably multiple areas of ingress and egress that need watched. So, the only real option is to purposefully invite a dozen or more able-bodied people to get it all done and even that’s probably stretching the minimum number needed too low. Worse, you now have MANY more people who need to be fed, housed, and cared for than you likely planned on. Plus, that’s to say nothing for how well trained and capable these people might be to actually defend your property against other surely well-armed and highly-trained assailants.

The second problem is even worse. If a group of well-trained bad guys has the opportunity to scout and plan their attack, odds are that you’re screwed no matter how many eyeballs you have or how well prepared you think you are. Remember, these people are both very good at assaulting defended areas and likely have nothing to lose considering it’s SHTF. There’s probably not much you can do about this besides getting lucky spotting their scout(s).

Well, I said there was nothing that you could do, but there is one thing: don’t get found to begin with. Granted, that’s easier said than done. Who’s to say if somebody will stumble upon you or not at any given moment. But, considering that most of us live in predictable areas–like the city or suburbs–odds are that you’ll be found out sooner or later.

There are, however, some things you can do to make it look like nobody’s home. For instance, using blackout curtains or shades over windows to reduce light escaping, avoiding running anything noisy like a chainsaw or generator, cooking indoors to reduce odors, and even minimizing trips outdoors most of the time. Truth be told, I’m not sure I could limit my activities quite that much for days, weeks, or months on end. But, if you want to avoid being found out, then you probably need to go into stealth mode.

It’s either that or you do the exact opposite and put forward a “show of force” which is what people who have survived a real collapse–like Ferfal in Argentina–would strongly suggest you do. I tend to agree with him IF you have the manpower and resources to do so, as well as the training. Sadly, most of us simply can’t make that happen, which means that we’re forced to do the next best thing: to hunker down, hide, and hope/pray for the best.

By Damian Brindle

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