Mike Shelby, intelligence analyst and author, has recently published a second book The Area Intelligence Handbook. If you’ve heard Mike talk before or attended one of his training classes, then you are probably familiar with his push for people to do their own area study in order to direct their preparedness in a useful direction. Here is a short except from the forward to his new book.
…a [particular large scale disaster] won’t kill you, but the follow effects could. These follow-on effects that occur at your doorstep, on your street, and in your neighborhood deserve your due diligence.
What I find is that those in the preparedness community are too focused on the strategic picture and not focused enough on the tactical picture. Too many get target-fixated on what’s happening in China, or in space, or in Washington, D.C., while ignoring their local situation. These people know the names of a hundred Congressmen but not one person on their city council. They know more about Nancy Pelosi’s husband’s boyfriend than they do about their local fire department. They can tell you about the latest YouTube prediction of mass starvation, but can’t tell you which gangs are active in their county. I think this is a problem.
Enter the solution. An Area Study helps us develop the tactical picture. What are the second-, third-, fourth-, fifth-order effects, and so on, from an EMP attack? How is the cyber attack on the gas pipeline going to affect your community? How will hyperinflation push threats to your doorstep? What’s your neighborhood’s population density? How many fighting age males live in the area? Which of these could become an ally or pose a threat to you?…Unfortunately, instead of developing local intelligence, we’ve been encouraged to buy buy buy stuff. Just fill that bottomless pit of worry with gear. It might fill up eventually.
This misunderstanding is why Joe’s bug out bag weighs 70 pounds, but he hasn’t compiled an Area Study. Joe’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t have a plan. He does, it’s just not a very good one. Joe hasn’t conducted a route study of where he’s going during an emergency. He’s blind to the threats and hazards between Points A and B, he doesn’t know police are going to be blocking the road to his destination, and he hasn’t considered any contingencies — what to do when things go unexpectedly wrong, and they will. And if Joe knew there were a dozen like-minded people in his community, including one with a small farm just outside of town, then Joe might completely change his bad plan to bug out into the unknown to a less bad plan…I wrote this book for Joe.
Mike has written extensively online about area studies as well as making available many videos about the process. This book gathers it all into one handy book. As many others have written, countries tend to decline slowly with occasional more rapid slips. As the USA slips from its lofty heights due to the greed and corruption of its elites, there are many ways the decline may manifest with various effects on your life and lifestyle. Use this book to think about your future and help you plan to make it through.