March 10th, 2010 12:51 PM
Preparedness Lifestyle vs Preparedness Event
It was 30DEC99 and my son was a patient at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He had been born in September with a serious heart defect. My wife and I were very anxious for several reasons, since he was stable my biggest fear was being stuck in the ghetto of Baltimore for Y2K. I had secured leave from the police department so that I could take my family to my parents house and watch the world from a safe distance. What worried me then, as it does now with major social events, is not the danger of the events themselves, but the actions of those who are unprepared and desperate.
Well, as we know Y2K turned out to be a non-event. Either way we had been discharged from the hospital and traveled to my parents house and enjoyed the new year. The interesting thing about Y2K was that unlike any other event it was scheduled. We knew the exact time and date and were given time to plan for it. For many, it was their first time dabbling in the survival community, which is now known as the preparedness community.
Survival- the act or fact of surviving, esp. under adverse or unusual circumstances and diversity.
The following is only my opinion based on my own life, that of my close friends, and conversations with some students.
Whenever there is a climate of uncertainty in society, there is a very small percentage of the population that realizes for the first time that they need to prepare. For many this means rushing for the first time to buy guns, gear, flashlights, knives, you name it. Using the Internet and friends, they seek advice as to what they should purchase. What they usually end up with is a big pile of gear that they have either never used before, or even know how to use.
As with anything, you first need to inventory your needs and exposures. Too many family men purchase and train like they are going to be the lone survivor walking down the street decked out with multi-cam with their tricked out M4 in hand. How long do you think any one person would last like that in reality? Even though, romantic as it may be, the truth is that lots of guys would be just like me if they had to bug out; that is in a mini-van with crying kids and a bitching wife. We have all been there; a family road trip, the kids have to pee, the wife is hungry, and you are stuck in traffic. Do you think things would be any better if you were driving to an unknown location in an emergency with a bunch of other people running from the same thing? Life will go on, your kids will get cold, they will puke in the van, they will want to eat. Everyone will begin to miss their creature comforts. What about the pets? Yeah, I know there are lots of tough guys saying forget them. Try to put that one by the kids. What about prescription medications and coffee? Yes, they are the same to me.
You also need someplace to go. This is a fundamental tactical rule. Never leave a location without having another location to move to. You have to consider time, distance, and terrain. If it is an apocalyptic event, will traveling only increase your exposure to threat? The farther the distance, the more exposure. On your route, are there likely choke points or checkpoints? Will you be crossing jurisdictions where what is a legally owned firearm at your home, is an arrestable offense in another? These are questions that come to mind for a preplanned location. What if you are in refugee mode and traveling with the masses? What if the unprepared on the route see something you have in traffic and decide to take it? I know, you will shoot them. What if they shoot you in return, and you are killed or injured? Does your wife know how to use your high speed gear? Does she even know enough first aid to save you? Can she do it with your kids screaming because blood is pumping out of your chest? Unfortunately, any of us may face these situations if there is an incident that makes our current location uninhabitable. Everyone should have a place in mind to move to if necessary. I like to use a town, county, state approach. Have somewhere to move in your town, out of your town, in another county, in another state. The most important one to me is the one in town. They should be people that are like minded. If you have kids, it would be helpful for them to have kids. If you have pets, they will be more welcome by someone else who has pets. The shorter the distance you need to move increases your survivability with a lesser amount of exposure.
Preparedness is like physical fitness, the little things you do every day matter more than the big things you do once in a while. You will need a flashlight or first aid kit before a firearm. All three can save yours or someone else's life. You just need to admit to yourself that possession of an item has nothing to do with proficiency. To me it is more important that my wife can deal with an arterial bleed or perform CPR on my kid than be able to do transitions from a rifle to a pistol.
Don't get me wrong, I love gear. Especially useful gear. Now that I am retired and teaching full time, I live out of the Bag of Evil. This is to the point that instead of packing my shaving kit to travel I just use my shaving kit at home. It makes it easier not to forget anything. I do the same thing with the Bag of Evil. When I am home, most of what I use from my digital camera, to spare batteries, to medications is in my bag. This has achieved two things. One is that I always know the status of my gear. Secondly, I can find anything in the bag in the dark or send someone else for something. I have been using the So Tech Mission Pack for over a year and do not see myself changing. The design of the bag allows me to use the front two pockets for everyday items and the interior mesh pockets for lesser used items, like my first aid and tool kit. The main compartment is left open except for my RMJ Shrike Tomahawk. Since the rest of the pack is full of EDC items, the main compartment can be filled with things that are mission specific or needed in an emergency. The bottom line is "know your bag". Work out of it, live out of it, carry it. There is nothing worse than picking up a stuffed pack and carrying it for the first time in an emergency. Work with your bag. If you find you need something more than once, just add it.
If you need to balance a preparedness life style with being a normal person, do the little things every day. It also means you will be more aware, and better able to recognize your options. It is easier when you know what you have to work with.
March 10th, 2010 04:10 PM
Right on the mark
You are exactly on point!
Not considering the far out end of the world scenarios, but just take a hurricane warning or forced evacuation for same. We have all seen the news reports in recent years of highways turned into parking lots and paniced people who are unprepared. Cars blocking the road because they are out of gas, etc.
For years I took care of valuable boats, and always had to have a place to take the boat that would be out of the path of the storm and safe enough from other human perils.
It took quite a bit of preparation: equipment, food, water, etc (all as you have stated) to be quickly and readily available to load aboard the boat and head out. The worse thing is that I was not alone in my departure. Hundreds of others were doing the same thing, and there were not enough of the really good places to go. In addition in Florida the bridges across the Intracoastal Waterway are locked in the down position at some point as the storm approaches which added more pressure.
So I had to deal with most of the circumstances that your post references: know where I am going, avoid the masses that will block my access to where I am going, bring my own lines, anchors, tools, etc., etc., etc.
After a few years I was able to put together a good stash of hurricane related items, and find several places to hold up, keep the panic and running around to a minimum, and have a really good idea of how to get it done without incident.
My point is that I now have a really good basis upon which to build and fine tune my actions. Most people in rural areas and all of the people in the cities have not prepared for this kind of move. Many have not even considered what to do once the many smaller incidents (training opportunities) have passed.
Even the good folks here on DC forums may not be really prepared although thanks to folks like you, they have thought about some of the options. To these folks I say, spend a few minutes to make some notes and preliminary plans for some of the possible reasons for your evacuation, and then implement a portion of your plan this month!
Thanks for making us think of these situations and how to prepare,
March 10th, 2010 08:10 PM
Thanks Captain Art.
It is easier to focus on the perfect tool than learning to be a mechanic. Too often gear is based on what Ninja Seals carry when in truth Tier 1 types usually carry what they want. Just because a piece of gear is issued to unit also does not mean that it is popular with the end users. - George
March 10th, 2010 08:38 PM
You definitely are on the mark with respect to a lot of issues.
My wife and I do need to get coordinated on this aspect of our lives.
We know where we are going to go, and I know the backways there,(even dirt roads), Up to the family cabin 160 miles Nw. of our home, but should we not be able to make the trip together,she'd have a hard time. I definitely need to put together a map and bugout bag and get a plan of action together. This is the kick in the pants I need to get this done
The debate between Socialism and Capitalism is only over because Capitalism was bound, gagged, and locked up in a deep, dark dungeon around about the time the Fed was established and income taxes started being levied. Capitalism didn’t lose. Capitalism was never even allowed to show up for the debate—because if it had been, it would have won hands down. The best way for the Socialists to assure victory has always been to cheat.
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
Washington didn't use his freedom of speech to defeat the British, He shot them!
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March 10th, 2010 08:48 PM
Yes, thanks Mercop, you posts make me go back and rehash my plans and ensure they are up to par or as close as I can get them.
"I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"
March 10th, 2010 09:19 PM
Check out the survival podcast if you're interested in this stuff.
If handguns cause crime, mine are deffective - Ted Nugent
March 10th, 2010 09:40 PM
Excellent post bro...thanks for making me think!!!
March 10th, 2010 11:08 PM
Originally Posted by greenLED
If I'm repeating myself, or repeating myself differently, it's probably 'cause of the brain cells I've murdered and the selective memory caused by concussions, contusions and confusions. Oh yeah, and that one night in Dallas.
ATA- Life Member
--Guns? What guns?--
March 11th, 2010 11:10 AM
Thanks for making me think a little more concretely about my bag. I backpack for fun, and my bag is my backpack. Lately, it has been spread out between three or more packs (depending on the trip), and to take everything I want I would have to grab them all. Time to re-organize.
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