Making the rounds among many famous and less-famous blogs is the post by Pierre Legrand’s Stuff to consider when SHTF. As somebody who went through a couple of similar situations, I’ll add my 2 cents to his list of rules.
1) There are no rules to follow in a SHTF scenario that will make you 100% , 95%, 80% or even 50% safe. You just run a huge gamut of possibilities and hope to come out of it alive.
2) Get the best weapon you can, all the ammo you can lay your hands on and then add some extra stuff. And even then one of your solutions might be to hide as deep as you can. Mobs are literally worse than zombies and if the Social Dislocation you happen to be is politically motivated with parties engaged in serious destruction, disabuse yourself of the notion that a couple of well placed shots will send the crowd scurrying for cover. I saw the exactly happen when a store owner was defending his property and killed four to five men trying to break in. The mob barely paused for some minutes in between kills and went back to their attempts. The owner kept shooting till somebody (I think it was some relative in the military) came with more firepower and rescued the store owner and his family. The store finally succumbed to the mob. After seeing this and knowing my ammo count was very low, I prepared certain concoctions in bottles and rags. Thank God I did not to have to use anything, but the lesson was very much illustrative.
3) Trust nobody but a very few and only if your value to them is greater alive than dead. At the time of my first experience, I knew most of my neighbors for 30 years. I was shocked to see most of them behaving in ways I would not have expected and breaking into each other’s homes, stealing and killing each other. I could only trust three neighbors out of the whole area who were people that already been tried and tested in other situations. People will literally lose their minds in Social Dislocation moments.
4) Totally agree with bugging out is at best wishful thinking. Unless you want to reprise the last 10 minutes of Clint Eastwood’s The Gauntlet, your best option is to be ready for a long wait at your location. That being said, do take the time to read and watch news plus listen to coffee shop/market/watercooler talk and if you percieve that something might be coming, start getting yourself prepared for SHTF.
5) Communications while nice and important, are not strategic or life saving. Once SHTF, communications may me used to quench your appetite for info but your immediate world will be the one you should worry about. Government services will be overwhelmed and your call will be placed way way low in a queue never to be answered. You may be able to get situation reports from friends and family in the same affected area and calm those that are outside. But at the end of the day your smart phone has the same value as that 50 year old transoceanic radio in the closet: Something to entertain your mind and calm your household down, which is important but not life saving. Although I must correct myself with one exception, during an attempted coup de etat, I called a friend of mine and business partner to check on him. He was telling me that he could hear the noise of shelling somewhat nearby and since he was living some 2-3 miles from the presidential palace, his guess was that the rebels were attacking it. We had a friend who literally lived 2 blocks from the Palace so we did a 3-Way calling and confirmed that the rebels were shooting the living shit out of the compound. This friend was giving us a blow by blow description of what he was seeing which prompted me to ask him where the hell was he watching all this stuff. The dumb bastard replied that he was on the roof of his house which is flat and offered no protection. We started to scream at him to get his ass off the roof ASAP and to seek cover inside the house. He did so and we stayed on the phone for another 30 minutes during which he informed us that a huge explosion rocked the house but that everybody was OK. The next day after to coup had failed, he went back to the roof and found it pockmarked and filled with shrapnel. Lesson learned. And yes, People are stupid.
6) 100% No Shit Murphy Law applies. No matter how much you prepare, average Joe will always miss something in his kit. That does not mean you should not try and be prepared. Missing 4 items out of 100 needed beats missing 50. Do be creative!
7) About marrying well… Oh Hell yes! Nothing says “I love You” better than “Honey, I’ll take this watch. Go to sleep.” My cool headed wife was a Godsend during these events plus she can cook and bake which saved me from eating canned food and stale crackers. Fresh baked biscuits are a great comfort during trying hours.
8 ) Pierre said “When the players in a conflict become ill-defined, it’s time to step aside.” Seriously follow this advice. Americans are used to be political activists in many layers: from just letters to our representatives and flying a Gadsen flag alongside the Stars and Stripes to participating in rallies at DC without fear of nasty retribution. In some places even the wearing of a shirt of a color identified with a political party will get you hacked by machete wielding crowds. Imagine a Bloods v Crips turf war augmented with serious military firepower and zero remorse. Shut The Fuck Up. Take Cover.
9) I’ll paste the next one:
Lesson #17….Be intimidating when you think it will work. Develop a war face! Be loud and fearless and look like someone capable of anything…it minimizes negotiation and whining in other parties. Simultaneously, know when to fly under the radar and when to say “Katy bar the door!” The nature of SHTF changes over time and necessitates that YOU change who you are to a very substantial degree.
And when needed, don’t “act,” be ruthless. This might mean you will have to kill without peacetime rules guidance or ideas of “fairness.” Or it may mean you will have to appear as a meek, pissing in your pants idiot. Whatever keeps you alive. Sort out any psychological problems you have after life is back to normal.
My final thought: There are no rules to follow in a SHTF scenario that will make you 100% , 95%, 80% or even 50% safe. Yes, you saw that already and it is true. No two SHTF scenarios are the same and whatever crap you thought will happen, It Will Not Happen And You Will Not Be A Hero. If you are lucky you will only be a survivor.