Mountain Guerrilla: “When” the SHTF

This lengthy piece comes from Mountain Guerrilla blog‘s Patreon page. This one is a public posting, so no Patreon membership is required to read it.  Some people get turned off by the way John Mosby writes; try to get past it. Mosby consistently writes insightful commentary. You may not like what he says, but think about it before rejecting it, and you may find your mind changing. In this article, Mosby talks about supposedly prepared people who ended up not being prepared for simple disasters and the kinds of things you can do to be self-sufficient in a way that makes you prepared for these short term disasters.

“When” the SHTF

One of the things I’ve spent a lot of time and bandwidth on is pointing out the inanity of focusing preparedness on some potential future cataclysmic event that will bring about The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI)… like overnight, total economic meltdown leading to a catastrophic failure of modern society, EMP or CMP destroying the electrical grid, terrorists detonating “dirty bombs” in multiple major metropolitan centers, zombie or other pandemic disease outbreaks, and the like are cool to theorize about. The problem is, they’re cool to theorize and fantasize about because they are so unlikely.

That’s not to say that it wouldn’t be super convenient. That sounds facile, but it really isn’t. Sure, the idea that “90% die-off” of the American population being “convenient” seems ridiculous. The idea that spending the rest of your life in a tooth-and-claw fight for sustenance and survival would be “convenient” seems like something a testosterone-poisoned teenage boy would claim. The reality is however, compared to the reality we are facing, the popular images of “TEOTWAWKI” are exactly that: they’re convenient.

You wake up one morning, and nobody, anywhere, has any electricity. The banks and banking computers no longer work, so nobody, anywhere, has any money left, and those who did have a couple hundred or thousand in cash, stuffed into a pair of underwear, are … out of luck, because every quickly realizes that cash is valueless. You no longer have to worry about soccer practice, band recitals, or math tutors, for Little Suzie and Sam, because it’s time to crawl into the Crye Multicam jammies you bought, strap on your plate carrier, load and zero your 1970s vintage, Belgian-made FN/FAL with wood furniture (because real men carry rifles made of wood and steel, by Gawd!) and iron sights, and prepared to defend hearth and home, and the virtue of the little Missus!

No more fighting about what’s for supper, and whether we should eat at home, or go out, because we’re going to be living on beans and rice for the next year. No more worrying about who is watching what on television, because the power grid is down, and the satellites got fried by the CME too, so there’s no DirecTV, even if you did have a generator to hook the television up to. No more worries about making it to the gym to work out, and try to treadmill that “freshman fifteen” you put on your first year of college….twenty years ago, because it’s going to be physical labor from now until you die, trying to gather supplies, and cut and split wood.

No more dealing with attorneys to battle it out with the neighbor over the boundary dispute because one of you built the privacy fence incorrectly. Now, you can just smoke check the dude with a thirty caliber round from your FAL, because the police are no longer working. It’s not like you have to worry about him fighting back, because he’s “sheeple,” and you’re pretty sure he doesn’t even own a gun. You’ve certainly never seen him carrying one, and he doesn’t have any cool guy gun bumper stickers on his truck, like you do.

Yeah, it would be convenient.

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Reality is dirtier, and far, far less convenient. Reality is PG&E shutting down the power grid to millions of people, for weeks, because they’re worried about lack of infrastructure maintenance causing runaway wildfires. Reality is those wildfires happening anyway, and closing down your “Bug Out” route, because of traffic congestion, as everybody else tries to flee the dangers at the same time.

Reality is a tornado sweeping across two counties, knocking power out to thousands of homes, and sending 300 year old oak trees through roofs, and blowing barns and sheds into the next township. Reality is the electric company subsequently telling you that, “Yeah, your power is going to be out for awhile, because we’ve got several hundred miles of line to replace, and you’re at the bottom of the priority list. Oh, you have a newborn baby? A disabled grandmother living at home? Not our problem. Sorry.”

Reality is a winter storm blowing in and knocking out the power for the next week, as temperatures plummet to single digits, and nobody in your subdivision has a wood stove for back-up, because covenants in the HOA agreement.

Reality is what happened to parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas this summer, when the Arkansas River flooded to historic record levels, and destroyed entire communities worth of homes.

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I have a friend who lost power recently. Their power was out for a week. They ended up going and staying with family, because the weather was cold, and they didn’t have any back-up systems in place at the house. Dude is one of the most all-around competent, handy, people I’ve ever known. He’s a super hard worker, self-employed, and has dozens of employees. He’s genuinely, just an all-around competent dude.

This friend has tens of thousands of dollars worth of guns. He wears a concealed pistol everywhere he goes, and he keeps a rifle locked up, inside the cab of his truck, along with a plate carrier, “just in case.”

I asked him, “Why do you carry a gun?”

“Well, because there are bad people in the world, and I can’t rely on the police to be on hand to protect me and my wife and kid!” He’s right. It’s a really good answer. It’s solid. It’s legitimate.

“Cool. So, why don’t you have a back-up generator wired to the house? Why don’t you have a woodstove in the house, and a couple cords of wood in the backyard? What if, instead of a storm knocking out the power for a few days, this had been THE EVENT? What if your family had lost power too?”

He didn’t have an answer. Most people I’ve had similar discussions with, over the years, haven’t had answers…

Click here to continue reading at the Mountain Guerrilla Patreon page.

Viking Preparedness: TEOTWAWKI SHTF Government

Pastor Joe Fox of Viking Preparedness released one of his Patreon videos to his YouTube channel. This one briefly discusses government in your mutual assistance group, tribe, community, assembly, whatever in the event of major collapse/shtf event. His message is plan for how you will run things post event now or you won’t last as a community.

Forward Observer: SHTF Intelligence Gathering

Sam Culper at Forward Observer continues his video series on how an intelligence analyst prepares for an SHTF situation with this video on SHTF Intelligence Gathering.

THIS INFORMATION WILL BE ON THE TEST…

In today’s video, I’m talking about the importance of intelligence for emergency preparedness and some ways to get started in local intelligence gathering.

There will be an SHTF Intelligence webinar held by FO on Thursday, September 19th, 2019. Register here. http://shtfintel.com

Forward Observer: SHTF Early Warning

Sam Culper at Forward Observer continues his video series on how an intelligence analyst prepares for an SHTF situation with this video on early warning.

In this video, I continue my five-step security and preparedness planning process. Let’s take a look at a methodical way to develop “early warning” of local SHTF events.

Forward Observer: SHTF Security Planning

Samuel Culper at Forward Observer has up another video in his SHTF preparedness series. This one is titled SHTF Security Planning.

In this video, I continue my five-step security and preparedness planning process. Let’s start matching missions to threats, and then break down some basic mission planning.

Forward Observer will also be holding an SHTF Intelligence webinar on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 at 1900/7pm Central. Register by clicking here.

Forward Observer: Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF, Part II

From Sam Culper at Forward Observer comes part two of his SHTF planning series. For Part I click here.:

My mission is to build a network for information sharing and to bring everyone up to par in terms of preparedness and security planning.

The logic: I may be very well prepared, but if I’m not aiding the area in becoming better prepared, then we risk mission failure for the entire region. And that’s bad for us.

If you agree that building community or tribe — or as I call it, “developing the human terrain” — is important, then I’d like to invite you on this journey with me.

I started a new video series entitled “How an Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF” where I’m breaking down in detail how I’m preparing locally for our future challenges.

Here is Part II:

Forward Observer: How an Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF

From Sam Culper at Forward Observer:

My mission is to build a network for information sharing and to bring everyone up to par in terms of preparedness and security planning.

The logic: I may be very well prepared, but if I’m not aiding the area in becoming better prepared, then we risk mission failure for the entire region. And that’s bad for us.

If you agree that building community or tribe — or as I call it, “developing the human terrain” — is important, then I’d like to invite you on this journey with me.

I started a new video series entitled “How an Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF” where I’m breaking down in detail how I’m preparing locally for our future challenges.

It has five steps. If you follow aong with these videos and implement these concepts locally, then I believe you’ll catapult your readiness above and beyond your peers.

And I want to encourage you, if you haven’t already, to begin thinking or planning for a regional preparedness network of your own.

If you’re expecting me to talk about bug out bags and fire starters, then you’ve come to the wrong place. But if you want to learn how to develop local intelligence and how to achieve realistic expectations of the future… – if you want to learn about tactical- and strategic-level planning for those future threats, events, and conditions, – if you want to learn how to get ahead of the competition, then you’re in the right place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei86otQr9ss

Forward Observer: SHTF Intelligence Q&A Part I

In this video, Sam Culper of Forward Observer answers questions on intelligence, security and defense.

In this video, intelligence analyst and Iraq/Afghanistan answers some of your questions on intelligence, security, and defense for our challenging future.

Q1: How do I start setting up an intelligence effort for a Mutual Assistance Group?
Q2: How can I explain the need for intelligence to my preparedness group?
Q3: How can we determine our SHTF intelligence gaps?
Q4: What are your thoughts on a “Golden Horde” scenario?

How an Intelligence Analyst Prepares for SHTF Scenarios:

Forward Observer: SHTF Intelligence & Decision-Making

Sam Culper of Forward Observer has a short video he recently posted, talking about what intelligence is and how it helps you make decisions. If you haven’t already thought about these things, then this a good introduction to the topic. If you’ve taken one of his classes or read his book, then it may be nothing new to you.

In an SHTF situation, we’ll be forced to make decisions. Some of them may be time-sensitive. Any fool can make decisions, but we want to make well-informed decisions. That means we need intelligence.

Related:

Sam Culper interview on Prepping 2.0 Podcast, discussing intelligence gathering for disasters or emergencies.

Forward Observer: SHTF Predictions & Intelligence Analysis

Sam Culper’s most recent Forward Observer podcast is about predictions about collapse as compared to using intelligence analysis to reduce uncertainty about the future.

Sam discusses how predictions are usually wrong, but that intelligence analysis does not make predictions. Rather intelligence analysis is used to reduce uncertainty about the future, to discover the most likely courses of action. He spends a little time at the end discussing how our country is already in collapse; a collapse that will simply continue, rather than being a sudden catastrophic event.

…One reason our society is already in collapse is because we can’t even agree on what American is. We’ve always had competing sides, but I think it could actually be different this time because so many on the Left are pushing so hard towards the Far Left. I don’t think it will be this election cycle that we swing hard left. But my concern is still that inequality is exploited so greatly and capitalism is so widely blamed for economic turmoil that in another decade we’ll have a legitimately far left government.

Our society is in collapse because half of America believes our Founders and their ideals are evil. Our society is in collapse because somewhere around one-third to one-half of us believe that government’s sole purpose is to take care of its citizens from cradle to grave, and to provide universal, fundamental human rights like healthcare and the freedom from want. Our society is in collapse because we’ve lost the one thing that used to unite us, which is the desire for freedom and liberty. We’ve lost our freedom and liberty incrementally since this country’s founding. And I say country, because we’re are no longer a nation. We are a country made of numerous nations, and that’s why I’m pessimistic about social cohesion.

Yes, it is an assumption; in fact, it’s my key assumption, that as things get worse financially and economically in America, that things will also get tougher socially and politically. I feel safe in making that assumption, because we’re already seeing this “low intensity conflict” bubbling beneath the surface of our country. And I’m concerned that the next election will make things much, much worse.

And if you want to talk about the value of intelligence analysis applied to SHTF preparedness, we really have to start with what Democrats are planning once they return to power. That, by the way, ends with how national-level politics will affect you locally…

Survival Rules from Venezuela

Prepper Website has a guest article up from a man who recently visited his brother in Venezuela – Survival Rules When Society Collapses. It’s worth a gander to find out what life is currently like there and could be like anywhere else that experiences a severe collapse — violence warning, though.

…The trash bags I brought were used to store clothes that you got from pretty much anywhere. You store them in the trash bags for months to allow time for the lice, crabs and the eggs to hatch and die. It’s a must. There were whole families I saw shaved from head to toe, and not because they are getting cancer treatment. It’s because it’s the only way to get rid of the lice and crabs.  Hygiene here means having no hair. The good news is that there are no fleas, which used to be the problem before the collapse. The reason is there are no dogs, cats, or small animals left. They’ve all been eaten.

…Realize That There Will Always Be Evil and People Willing to Hurt Others!

Two days before I left to come back to the states, some of the gang members on the corner in front of my brother’s house saw a cat in the window of a single elderly lady across the street. From my brother’s broken window, we could hear the gang members discussing how she must have food and lots of other valuable stuff. Later that evening, we heard them discuss how they were going to break into the lady’s house later that night.

At about midnight, my brother and his wife woke me up because there was a gang of about fifty people outside their house. As we lifted the shades to see outside in the dark, the moon was bright enough to watch those fifty or more people descend on the elderly woman’s house. In less than five minutes, every window had been broken, every door had been kicked in and the house entirely ransacked. We watched a person in front of the house cut the still living cat in half and share it with another hooded person who ran off with it…

Click here to read the entire article at Prepperwebsite.com.

Dialtone: Camp Comms

This is an older post from the Dialtone blog. Camp Comms talks about taking your radio gear outside to practice, the reasoning being that in a disaster/SHTF situation you may very well not be able to operate from your home/radio shack. This can be a tough one. You can spend a lot of time and effort training and/or exhorting your people (whether mutual assistance group, neighborhood protection team, assembly, committee of safety, militia, etc.) to acquire and use their radios. Assuming they do so, they become comfortable using them from home. You encourage them to upgrade to an external/mast antenna. Some of them may actually get excited about their radios and start doing upgrades on their own and getting into more advanced radio equipment and modes. So now maybe your problem changes to no one having communication equipment to they have it, but everything is perfect at home and they don’t want to take it to the field.

While there is a good argument for having some decentralized communication hubs in your area, there is always the possibility that your SHTF situation may not allow you to operate from your home/shack/otherwise stationary location. That may be because of opposition monitoring, because it is necessary to have mobile scouting or defense, because your home in uninhabitable, or numerous other reasons. If you have to go out, what equipment are you going to use and how will you use it? NC Scout’s RTO basic course takes this into account by getting you out of the classroom and outside, at least.  But you need to spend some time in your own area and weather to find what is going to work. Better to know now, then learn by trial and error and error when your life may be on the line.

In the arena of grid down communications, wilderness plays a big part. In a SHTF scenario you will most likely find yourself operating outdoors at some point. With this in mind, your training should focus on operating in a less than perfect environment.

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Many men lost there lives in this wilderness. …..

If you go outside and look around, you are sure to find somewhere you can practice your craft. It can be a park or maybe your friend’s woods? It may even be your backyard. Wherever you choose, get out of the house! Leave the comfort of your shack and go test your kit. You will not know what works for you until you find out what does not work for you! You need to work out the bugs now, not when the sky is falling. You can go camping and take your comms kit. Get your kids involved, set up a base station and give them frs radios to go “on patrol”.

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On patrol. ….

The more comfortable you are with your gear in a real life situations the better off you will be. You need to be able to hike in with your gear. If it’s too heavy, now is the time to work it out. Most of the equipment we use lends itself to field ops, it’s light weight and small. Even a small gel cell battery and a CB radio will do the job.  Recently, I went into the woods with a set up just like that. I took my uniden 510xl CB, MFJ tuner a small gel cell battery and some wire. I was able to get comms established in a wooded area under approaching darkness. This is just an example, I could have used my Yeasu 817 or any other portable rig.

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Field Kit: Meets mission requirements.

You should also be doing this with your monitoring gear. You can pack in a scanner/comms receiver and set up a covert LP (listening post). You perform the same information gathering, just in the wild.  Bugs, dirt and snakes brings out the best in people,  throw electronics in the mix and now you have a party…..

Read the entire article here at Dialtone.

Related:

Dialtone: Quick and Dirty – a very brief Dialtone entry on field operations

Disease Increasing in Venezuela

From a post by a Venezuelan citizen at Organic Prepper, Venezuela Faces the Return of Forgotten Diseases

Forgotten diseases are returning

Recent reports from these last few days have been, for someone who understands the importance of the endemic diseases that had been under control, spreading quickly.

I am talking about serious stuff: Tuberculosis, Diptheria, Leishmaniasis. There have been adults and children who died because of these things. The diseases themselves, under normal conditions can be healed. But without the appropriate medications and proper nutrition, they become deadly…

Click here to read the article at Organic Prepper.

Selco: How to Stay Warm During a Long-Term SHTF Situation

The Organic Prepper website has posted an interview with Selco — a survivor of the Balkan war, who has written extensively on survival topics — about staying warm in long term survival crises.

How did people stay warm? 

We can say that first step was that people simply “shrunk“ their living space.

For example, if a family of people had a house with six rooms they simply stopped using four rooms, and they lived in two rooms only, because of a simple reason – it was easier to heat two rooms only.

To get wood for heating was a hard process and often dangerous, so how much fuel you spent in your home was a matter of staying alive. 

Old style wood stove with a smoke-exhaust-pipe (that would be put through the hole in the wall to outside- if a chimney-exhaust system was not existing in that room.

Comfort was completely forgotten because of necessity. 

Also people insulate their homes with what they had. A majority of windows were crushed (glass) because of detonations (shelling), so people blocked window openings with what they had.

Blanket, pillows, nylons, and tarps were used for that. Also, duct tape was a very useful item. 

Homes were kinda rearranged in order to make it more energy efficient in very rudimenrtary ways. For example, if a house had smoke exhaust just in the kitchen but that kitchen was not good for having wood stove there, then simply stove was moved from that kitchen into the desired room. A hole was made in that room (for smoke exhaust) and the stove was put there.

You need to understand that homes (houses, apatments) when SHTF were very fast to deteriorate. There was no service to call, remember. Leaks from the roofs, freezing temperatures… all that makes your house quite problematic to live in. We were trying to fix what we could, but insulation was problematic very quickly. A lot of problems could have easily been solved with simple items like insulation foam (in spray containers) for example, but nobody was prepared for SHTF. (Yes, I have it now)…

Click here to continue reading at The Organic Prepper