Anyone who wants to prepare themselves for home defense, riots and looting will want to own a shotgun. There are many reasons why someone should have a shotgun available in their possession for preparation of such events. Even if you are not interested in hunting or recreational shooting, a shotgun is always good to have for home defense purposes no matter who you are. No one likes to think that their family or property will ever be in danger, but there is always the possibility of someone trying to break into your home for whatever reason.
As a prepper, you need to be ready for anything. Someone could break into your home no matter where in America you live. There is an even greater chance of this happening if there is a natural disaster or riot taking place in your area. We’ve already seen a dramatic increase in the number of hurricanes that strike the North American states and territories each year. This trend is likely going to continue as the years go on.
If your area was hit by a hurricane before, then you already know how differently people act during these times. One real problem that emerges in the middle of this chaos is looting. These looters see a time of natural disaster as the perfect opportunity to break into people’s homes and steal their belongings. They figure the property owners will have already vacated their premises and the police will be too busy or unresponsive to deal with a break-in situation at someone’s home.
Of course, if you are like many people, you will not leave your home during a time of chaos. You will hold down the fort and protect your home at all costs. Looters won’t typically target homes with people inside, but sometimes they will if they think the police won’t show up because the power’s out and the cell phone signals aren’t working. There is also the chance that looters will think no one is home when there really is someone home.
When there are riots, the main targets are typically businesses and commercial property. But there is always the chance that residential property could become impacted by looters too. Regardless of which type of property you own, a shotgun can still be useful to keep angry rioters and looters out of your property. Just make sure you don’t go shooting them on the outside of your property if they haven’t threatened you. Depending on the laws of your jurisdiction, you need to be careful when shooting an unarmed intruder or trespasser and understand the legal consequences of what could happen if you do.
In most cases, if someone actually breaks into the structure of your property, the owner is allowed to defend their property with whatever it takes. You can’t rely on alarm systems and smart security technology to save you, especially if there is a natural disaster. The only thing that can save you and protect your property is a good old-fashioned shotgun. For over a hundred years, property owners have used shotguns to protect their property and they are still just as useful today as they were back then for doing so.
If you were to surprise a looter by pointing a shotgun at them, they will likely run away as fast as they can without putting up a fight. Looters are usually cowards who are not looking to engage in a gun battle with a property owner. They’re just looking to loot a property quickly without any resistance. If they see you with a shotgun, they will give up on looting your property right away. The same goes for anyone looking to break into your property, even when there is not a disaster.
It helps for you to practice shooting your shotgun in preparation for such events. You certainly don’t want to end up in a situation where you must protect your home and are not sure how to fire your weapon when you need to. That is why it is recommended that you go practice shooting at the nearest firing range or open field so you can feel confident in your shooting abilities. Then, if the time comes when you must use the shotgun to defend your home, you will be able to do so without hesitation.
You should choose a shotgun that you are most comfortable with using. I have always liked pump shotguns for two reasons. First, there are few sounds that are as bone chilling as the sound of a round being chambered in a pump shotgun. Day or night, this is one of those sounds that snaps everyone to attention. Just the sound could be enough to make the intruder turn and run and, in most cases, leaving a trail of DNA in their retreat.
Second, even a 12 gauge Magnum Express Slug fired from a shotgun is going to fall safely to the ground in less than a few hundred meter meaning, unlike your Glock 21, the round is not going to go through the intruder, your wall, your neighbors teenage sons car parked across the street and on into your neighbors house possibly doing great harm there as well.
Most people will choose the Remington 870 Express pump-action shotgun because it is affordable and reliable. If you practice enough with the weapon and get good with it, you could always upgrade it to a Remington 870 Police version. But don’t think you have to do this to protect your home. Any working and reliable shotgun will do a good enough job of deterring looters and thieves. Again, it is very rare that you’ll ever need to shoot your weapon at them.
With all the different makes and models of guns, it can seem impossible to decide which ones you need in your disaster arsenal, especially if you’re new to guns or prepping.
But in reality, selecting the right guns doesn’t have to be difficult. Not all guns (or calibers) are created equal, and the result is that there are several factors to keep in mind that will help you narrow down your selection.
In this article, I’m going to share my list of six guns every prepper should have after the SHTF, but first I’m going to explain how I came up with the list.
What Do You Need Guns For?
In a survival scenario, you will need guns for a variety of different reasons, such as…
Hunting (small and big game)
Pest control/general homestead use
Each of the above applications is pretty self-explanatory. They all demand different calibers or types of firearms, as there is no one gun that fits all uses (just as there is no tool that can fix everything).
Calibers You Need
Now let’s talk about the best ammo calibers to have by handgun, rifle, and shotgun:
Semi-Automatic Pistol Calibers
There are three primary pistol calibers out there: 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Yes, there are plenty of others such as .45 GAP or 10MM or .357 SIG or .380 ACP, but the first three are by far the most popular. Well, .380 ACP is actually fairly popular too (especially for concealed carry), but it’s also on the low-end of the stopping power range and isn’t the best caliber choice for a general purpose sidearm.
Remember that a major consideration for any SHTF firearm is ammunition availability. While the shelves are going to be stripped clean and ammo of all calibers will become a precious commodity after a major disaster, your chances of finding more ammunition (such as through bartering with somebody) will be significantly higher if you’re looking for the most common calibers.
Hence, 9mm, .40S&W, and .45 ACP should be the only three semi-automatic pistol calibers that you should consider.
But we can still further narrow our selection from here: Go with 9mm and 9mm alone. In all honesty, .40 S&W is sunsetting and may not be as popular down the road. The FBI and numerous police departments are swapping from .40 to 9mm, mainly because .40 S&W is a higher pressure round and inflicts greater wear on pistols than 9mm does.
.45 is a solid round and is about as American as you can get for a pistol round. In fact, it’s arguably the most American pistol caliber in existence. But it’s also far more expensive than 9mm, and pistols chambered for .45 almost always hold fewer rounds due to the fact that it is larger in terms of diameter.(Here are 23 survival uses for honey that you didn’t know about.)
Sure, it has more stopping power on paper, but there are still a plethora of 9mm self-defense roads that are incredibly effective.
9mm is simply the most versatile pistol round in existence, and it’s also the cheapest and most popular. Double stacked pistols chambered for 9mm carry a lot of rounds and recoil is very moderate. It’s simply the best pistol round there is, and by the looks of things, it’s going to stay that way for a long time.
You can say revolvers are antiquated all you want, but they have a distinct appeal in their simplicity and inherent reliability.
If you are seriously considering a revolver for your SHTF arsenal or for home defense purposes, there is only one caliber that should really be considered: .357 Magnum.
The reasons for this are as endless as the number of revolvers available. For one thing, .357 Magnum has a solid reputation for excellent stopping power and as a one-shot man stopper. It is a little expensive, but it’s also widely available. Plus, revolvers chambered for the .357 Magnum round can fire and shoot .38 Specials as well, which makes them highly versatile.
The fact that a .357 can chamber and fire the lighter .38 Special load makes it an attractive offering for smaller statured shooters as well.
A handgun is a defensive weapon and nothing more, and it’s a last resort weapon at that. All pistol calibers are notoriously underpowered. In fact, out of all people shot with a pistol, around 80% will survive.
In contrast, only around 20% of people shot with a rifle survive. The lesson here is obvious: rifles are more effective. They have more stopping power and they have a much greater range and velocity as well.
By all accounts, a rifle needs to be your primary arm in an SHTF scenario. It’s the weapon that you must rely upon for defending your homestead, house, property, and family against multiple attackers. Your pistol is simply a sidearm on your hip for last resort use or for ease of concealment.
The old saying goes that a pistol is the weapon you use to fight your way to your rifle. You never want to knowingly go into a gunfight with just a pistol. You need a rifle, too.
So with all that said, let’s talk calibers. There is an abundance of rifle calibers out there, and many of them you are no doubt familiar with, even if you are a beginner to this subject.
But for disaster preparedness purposes, there are two that stand out among all the rest: 5.56x45mm NATO and .308 Winchester.
These two calibers are like the 9mm of rifle rounds: they are both widely common and available, prices are not obnoxious, and they are incredibly effective.
The 5.56 is lighter, and it’s what is used for AR-15s. It can be used for hunting game such as deer or wild hogs, but larger game such as elk or moose will undoubtedly require the larger .308.
Think of it this way: the 5.56 is the caliber you will use to defend your family, while the .308 is the caliber you will use to put food on the table. .308 can also be used for anti-personnel use at long distances as well.
12 gauge or 20 gauge. Either of those options will work. The 12 gauge is slightly more common but it also has considerably more recoil. The 20 gauge is much more manageable to control (so long as the weight in the shotgun itself is not reduced), and this may make it more appealing to a multitude of people who don’t desire a gun that’s hard to manage and not that fun to shoot.
Both the 12 gauge and 20 gauge are enormously effective for defense. Shoot an intruder with a buckshot round from either of them at close range (such as in a home defense situation), and they’ll be sorry, to say the least.
Don’t feel like a wimp for opting for the 20 gauge over the 12. A 20 gauge is more than powerful enough to bring down a home intruder with just one shot, and the fact that it is much easier to shoot may actually make it a better option.
A shotgun is arguably the most important firearm you can own. Some would say that a pistol is more important because you can conceal them, but a shotgun is just so versatile it’s not even funny.
Buckshot rounds are used for home defense at close ranges. Birdshot loads are great for bird hunting and small game hunting, also within reasonable close ranges. And slugs can be used to bring down larger game such as deer at moderate distances.
There is no other type of gun in the world that can do each of these things for you. For these reasons, a shotgun may be the firearm you use the most in an SHTF situation.
Finally, how could we not mention .22 LR at all? This is the bestselling round on the planet. Every gun collection needs to have at least one .22 rifle in it, regardless of whether you’re a prepper or not.
.22 LR has a seemingly unlimited number of advantages, and the following list of benefits is really only scratching the surface:
Excellent for plinking.
Can be bought and stored in bulk for low prices and limited storage space.
Great for general homestead use.
Great for small game hunting.
Can be used defensively if needed (though far better options are certainly available).
It really goes without saying that a .22 rifle is an absolute necessity for your gun collection.
Survival Guns You Need
Now we can begin to talk about the specific makes and models of guns you need based on those calibers:
Semi-Automatic Pistols: Glock 19 (or a Reliable 9mm Pistol of Some Kind)
There are a plethora of reliable 9mm semi-automatic pistols out there for you to buy, so we can’t talk about each of them in detail. We can, however, outline some of the best models for you to consider.
As a golden rule, you will want your 9mm pistol to have a minimum of 12 rounds in the magazine. This is simply to reduce the amount of reloading you have to do should you have to defend yourself against multiple attackers. The exception here is if you live in a state that is limited to ten round magazines at the most.
Furthermore, you need a pistol that is completely reliable and has an acceptable trigger. Also, make sure your chosen pistol is ergonomic and fits well in your hands. You want something you’ll enjoy shooting and holding.
Something you will likely need to replace on your pistol are the sights as few production pistols ship with night sights and instead ship with your standard polymer three dot sights, which aren’t very durable.
Examples of pistols that meet all of the above criteria (except for the ergonomics part, because that’s a personal preference) include the following, in alphabetical order:
Heckler & Koch P30
Heckler & Koch USP/USPC
SIG Sauer P226/9
SIG Sauer P320
Smith & Wesson M&P9
Smith & Wesson SD9
Taurus PT111 Millennium G2
Out of those choices, many survivalists would claim that the Glock 19 is the best choice for more than one reason: it’s compact and easy to conceal, simple in operation, holds 15 rounds, is very reliable, and has lots of spare parts and accessories. It will also accept larger 17 or 33 round magazines for added firepower too.
But again, it comes down to what you like. Don’t get a Glock 19 just because someone told you to. Get a Glock 19 because you like it. And if you don’t, get one of those other options instead.
Revolvers: Ruger GP100
A .357 Magnum revolver with a four-inch barrel and stainless steel finish is quite a versatile, reliable, and easy-to-use handgun. Literally, anyone can pick it up and shoot it whereas a semi-automatic will require practice to learn the controls.
As with semi-autos, there are plenty of revolvers being produced today that fulfill the above criteria, but the GP100 from Ruger stands out among the rest of its biggest competitors for one reason: extreme durability.
The GP100 is built like a tank and was specifically designed by Ruger to fire an unlimited number of full-powered .357 Magnum loads without pause. In contrast to this, many competing revolvers such as those from Taurus or Smith & Wesson may need to cool down after a few cylinders. Otherwise, the cylinder timing could get messed up.
For an end-of-the-world revolver that can do literally anything and everything you ask of it, the GP100 should definitely be your top choice. 3-inch and 6-inch models are available as well, and Ruger has recently begun producing them with 7 shot cylinders rather than the standard 6.
Rifles: Ruger AR-556 and Ruger American Rifle
Not to be heavily biased in favor of Ruger here, but the AR-556 is one of the highest quality budget AR-15s available on the market. Routinely available in the $500 to $600 range, it’s a basic AR-15 that can have all of the normal AR accessories added onto it.
NOTE: Another excellent budget AR-15 would be the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II. Both are excellent.
You can spend more money on a nicer AR-15 if you want to. One example is the Colt LE6920, which is widely considered to be the industry standard for AR-15s. It’s routinely priced at above $900, and for just an ordinary citizen, you won’t notice much of a difference between it and the Ruger AR-556 or S&W M&P15.
And for a .308 rifle, the Ruger American rifle gives you a lot of gun for the money. Routinely available for around $400, it often ships with a Redfield scope and is also available in practically any other rifle caliber that you can possibly think of.
Another similarly priced and well-valued rifle is the Mossberg Patriot, which is available at the same price and ships with a Vortex scope in some deals.
If you do desire a higher quality rifle, meaning you would be willing to spend the money on something with a smoother bolt action and nicer finish, then the Remington 700, Ruger 77 Hawkeye, and Winchester M70 are all viable options. Just be aware that for each of those rifles with a good scope, you’ll be spending over a grand.
Finally, there are semi-automatic options for a .308 as well. Examples include the AR-10 and Springfield M1A. While you will definitely be spending over a thousand dollars for either of those two (especially for the M1A), having a semi-automatic in .308 could be highly desirable, especially for engaging enemies at longer distances.
Shotguns: Mossberg 500/590
For shotguns, the Mossberg 500 and 590 series take the cake. They are both widely popular with a limitless number of accessories, and the controls are more user-friendly than the competing Remington 870. The Mossberg utilizes an ambidextrous tang safety whereas the 870 is not ambidextrous for instance.
Another argument in favor of the Mossberg is the fact that it is the only pump action shotgun to pass the military’s torture test back in the 1980s. Mossberg 590A1 shotguns are still used by the military today.
If you truly want a do-it-all shotgun, the most versatile shotgun that you can possibly own, then go with a Mossberg 500 with a 5+1 capacity and buy two barrels for it: an 18.5 inch and a 28-inch barrel. The barrels on a Mossberg 500 are incredibly easy to swap out and can be done in less than thirty seconds once you get the process down.
A long barrel will be more suitable for hunting and clay pigeon shooting, while the short barrel is obviously the best option for home defense.
And why a pump action shotgun and not a semi-auto? Because semi-auto shotguns are more finicky and you have to pay a premium price for one that will run reliably, in most cases. A pump action Mossberg 500 or Remington 870, meanwhile, can be bought at a fraction of the price and will feed literally everything you give them.
.22 Rifle: Ruger 10/22
Yes, it’s another Ruger, but the 10/22 is one of the most customizable firearms on the planet and easily the most popular .22 rifle. It’s popular for a reason: it’s reliable and it’s dependable, not to mention accurate.
Standard magazine capacity is ten rounds, but 25 round and higher magazines are also available too. That’s a lot of firepower even if it’s only a .22.
Decent alternatives to the 10/22 include the Marlin Model 60 and the Smith & Wesson M&P15-22. The latter option is a good choice if you also own an AR-15, so your training will be virtually identical between the two weapons. And while the Marlin 60 is definitely a great rifle, it’s also tube fed, meaning you have to load the rounds individually and cannot do tactical reloads like you can with the 10/22 or M&P15-22.
So to summarize, your disaster preparedness arsenal consists of the following six survival guns based on the above suggestions:
1. Glock 19 9mm
2. Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum
3. Ruger AR-556 5.56x45mm NATO
4. Ruger American .308 Winchester
5. Mossberg 500 12 Gauge
6. Ruger 10/22 .22 LR
With each of those guns, every single one of your needs for a firearm in a prepping situation is fulfilled, which is pretty cool.
But remember, you don’t have to follow the above list verbatim. Who says you can’t have a Walther PPQ instead of a Glock 19? Or a S&W 686 instead of a GP100? Or a Winchester Model 70 instead of a Ruger American? Or a Remington 870 instead of a Mossberg 500?
The point is to have the above categories and calibers of guns instead of those specific makes and models. Chances are good that if you’re reading this, you already have some guns in your closet or gun safe right now that fall into the above categories. And if so, then, by all means, there isn’t any real need to replace them.
Iimmediately hesitated at the idea of Leah Hampton’s recent essay in Guernica Magazine, “Lost in a (Mis)Gendered Appalachia.” There’s the title, of course, the simple contention that, in Hampton’s estimation, Appalachia has somehow been misgendered. And then, in the first paragraph, the author tells us that Tryon, North Carolina is “more genteel and diverse than the rest of the region.” That’s an arbitrary and subjective statement, at best, but the rest of Hampton’s rant might also be categorized as subjective. In the wake of J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, a best-selling book that has been turned into a film by Ron Howard, a cottage industry has sprung up among academics and authors: let’s try to destroy Vance and his book because his version of Appalachia is, well, just too damn conservative.
In 2018 historian named Elizabeth Catte wrote an entire book in response to Vance, What You’re Getting Wrong About Appalachia. Vance’s first sin, according to an essay Catte wrote for The Guardian early that year, seems to be that he was a venture capitalist—you can hardly read about Vance without those two words showing up. For her part, Leah Hampton calls Hillbilly Elegy a “low-key eugenics manifesto,” which, on its face, is rather funny: eugenics was always a pet project of the American left (Margaret Sanger, anyone?). And if one can be certain of anything with Hampton and Catte, it’s that they are far to the left on the American political spectrum. And that doggone J.D. Vance is a conservative, firmly on the right; the obvious conclusion is that he must be cancelled at all costs.
The stuff Vance wrote about—you know, his life, his perspective, his truth—doesn’t fit the leftist narrative, so Mr. Vance falls into the same category as, say, Donald Trump. Just like Orange Man Bad is a kind of manifesto, Hillbilly Elegy Man Bad is a worthwhile subheading for Hampton, Catte, and many others. That’s why it’s not surprising to see that Guernica published Hampton’s essay on the day before the Netflix release of Howard’s film.
Catte and Hampton are on a mission to show that Appalachia is Woke and radicalized, with pink hair dye, a healthy population of LBGTQ and POC, and, in Hampton’s words, “granny-witches…the sacred feminine,” and a “thriving and statistically outsized trans community.” Hooray for those trans folks in Appalachia, I suppose, but Hampton would have you believe that there’s a trans on every dirt road between Georgia and Upstate New York; he (or she) lives next to a Latino who hates Trump; and just up the holler a piece, there’s a Black Lives Matter rally under the big oak tree. See? Hampton seems to say, we are not white trash here in Appalachia! And please, don’t blame us for Trump, all y’all in the American media!
Hampton is a pronounced misandrist, though—if she doesn’t hate men, I’ll have to see some proof—and the anger that lives in every paragraph quickly dilutes her essay and her argument; there is no center for Hampton, no common ground she might find with men or Trump voters. And that’s where my problem begins: hate oozes from every paragraph of Hampton’s rant, and she’s unwilling to acknowledge anything positive about her neighbors who might lean right. It seems fitting that her first book (from Henry Holt) is called F*ckface. She’s angry about the “Truck Nutz ethos” and “gun-totin’ Bubbas.” Her feminist, coke-bottle-thick lens sees the world in a fiery rage because, “Indeed, to be American is in many ways to live in response to, or as an invocation of, backwoods swinging dicks.” One senses that, if she had the chance, Hampton would take a Bowie knife to every one of those dicks and hurl them into the forest of western North Carolina, where she lives.
Hampton wages an uproarious battle against Appalachian stereotypes, even as she utilizes them to make a point: “Tryon is still a town with shocking wealth disparity and de facto segregation, where rich white residents still live high on a hill…” Like Catte, Hampton is out to prove something when she talks about socialist and pro-union roots in the mountains. But dang it, she can’t stand the fact that there are folks up in the holler who buy into capitalist definitions! How dare they? And don’t forget about “unregulated corporations and himbo charlatans.” Like everyone else on the left, Hampton wants to throw out the baby with the bathwater. But at some point, you have to accept the idea that “evil” capitalists who mined and timbered gave Appalachia an economy. They brought jobs, houses, schools, and—dare I say it—pickup trucks. Expensive pickup trucks.
But anyone who’s not in lockstep with Hampton must be reminded that not all straight men are interested in extracting stuff from the land—not interested in pickup trucks and work boots and rifles. Goshdarnit, men in Appalachia read Wendell Berry poems and play folk music and run organic farms. They meditate and learn crafts! Meanwhile, the guy who hunts and works in the mines and goes to church—he’s been “constructed” by the GOP to justify the same ideology that J.D. Vance glorifies in Hillbilly Elegy, what Hampton calls the “bootstrap ideology.” Shame on the GOP, and shame on Vance for succeeding! And that brings us back to hate. Hampton writes, “No good can come from seeking common ground with the misguided dudebros of Appalachia.” No, we should focus on the “non-binary folkways.”
But all along, Hampton comes off as disingenuous. She says she’s confronted with “the white male experience” of Appalachia on a daily basis. She’s constantly bumping into people with kayaks and Harleys who ask her about the “real” Appalachia: moonshine and banjo lessons. Her neighbors are “flag-waving dipshits” who “vote and behave abominably.” But is she really approached, daily, by people seeking some mythological version of Appalachia? And though she claims to “know Tryon well,” and that her family has populated the North Carolina mountains for seven generations, Hampton freely admits that she had never visited the childhood home of Nina Simone in Tryon—not until this August. By then, it seemed necessary for Hampton to see Simone’s house, so she could use Simone’s mountain heritage as a basis for her article: mountain folk are artsy and radicalized! Just look at Nina Simone! She didn’t play a banjo! And she was Black!
Leah Hampton wants us to believe that extractive industries in Appalachia are a kind of insanity—that’s her word. The wrong version of Appalachia is capitalism and white supremacy on steroids, a “narrow, hyper-masculine view.” And her poor nieces, supposedly, can’t find “reproductive health care” in western North Carolina. Unless we read “reproductive health care” as abortion, or as a Planned Parenthood outpost, can we believe that the female members of Hampton’s family can’t find a doctor?
I wonder at the world of Leah Hampton. While she says Appalachia ends somewhere in West Virginia, I view myself as a product of Appalachia—the coal mining towns of the Allegheny Mountains in Western Pennsylvania. It’s just that my version of Appalachia doesn’t look like Hampton’s. And neither does J. D. Vance’s. So, what? The other, more important thing that strikes me is that my Appalachia isn’t so mean-spirited as Hampton’s.
Northern Cambria County was all (or mostly) white when I grew up there. My dad was a miner, and my grandfathers, too. It’s strange, though: my dad might have called himself prejudiced, perhaps a byproduct of where and how he grew up. And yet, he left me with an important message when he died in 2012, something he’d taught me all through my life: I’m no better than anyone else, and I should treat everyone the way that I’d like to be treated.
Sometime in the late ’70s, my older brother brought home a black friend. I remember that day, not because it was an anomaly, but because it held a certain truth about my dad: his door was open to everyone. Just as he would for any white visitor, Leo Stanek grabbed the whiskey and a couple of shot glasses. There was a guest in our kitchen, and we had to do this right.
It’s strange to read essays by Hampton and Catte, voices for the tolerant left. Hampton makes it clear in her essay for Guernica: her door is open, but only to the people who agree with her worldview. If that’s Hampton’s version of Appalachia, maybe I need to opt out—turn in my Appalachian membership card. My version is a lot friendlier and much more tolerant—I prefer my dad’s example. And I’m okay with the things that are familiar to me, the pickup trucks, the coal mines—and the women who hunt and shoot high-powered rifles, the women who like to blast a clay pigeon out of the sky, the women who will gut a deer this December.
Thanks to Hampton’s objections, I’ll purposely sit down to watch Hillbilly Elegy this weekend. Afterward, I’ll take a ride in a pickup truck. Maybe I’ll shoot my 12-gauge, just for the hell of it. Something tells me it’s going to be fun. And maybe I’ll get a little extra satisfaction knowing that some people just don’t like the way I live.
Have you ever wondered what makes a person snap? What causes a normal, quiet, everyday citizen, loving mother, or doting father to lose it all and fight like a caged animal? What can cause a small village to rise up and rebel against an oppressive police force and start killing them? What is the switch that gets flipped that causes a city to pour two million people into the streets, chanting and demanding to be heard by their government?
Lately it feels more and more as though we are on standing on the edge of some yawning precipice peering over the crest into darkness. What is more troubling to me is that we have been down this path before. The sense of unease is almost palpable to me sometimes; it is more evident if you are paying attention. If you are able to eliminate the white noise of the world for a minute; hit the pause button on the playlist of daily life for a while and look around, listen, you may start to recognize that you too are caught up in events that will soon change all our lives.
For several years I have felt an unsettling sense that we need to be prepared, that life is going to throw us a big, fat, greasy curve ball soon and we better not be caught napping. To try and proactively address that warning voice I started planning and taking steps to prepare my family to be able to weather events in the future. I am certainly not alone in this concern as you can easily see by the tremendous growth of the prepper movement. In the spectrum of probable events, there are a lot of potential scenarios. Natural disasters and emergencies occur every day all over the world, but you have to broaden your gaze and look to current events and history as well. One of the things that I think is a valid potential event to consider is a collapse of our way of life which leads to an authoritarian oppressive government.
Are we reaching a tipping point?
We have seen in recent events, by now almost too numerous to mention, the effects of a rising frustration with the way things are. It isn’t necessary to go into all of the individual reasons, but as a society there are more and more outpourings of frustration on a global scale. There are increasingly tightening restrictions against people. There is a manipulation of markets and the economy. There is a great increase in the loss of freedom and there is a more open antagonism and almost outright animosity by Government towards their people.
Governments exist either because they have come to power through force and violence or they have been elected and given power by the people. The force and violence crowd usually have their roots in the military and we like to call them Dictators. There have been a ton of them throughout history; Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Jong iL and now his son, Saddam, Gaddafi, the list goes on and on. Dictators don’t care about the people and usually kill anyone who gets in their way. It is a fact that government has killed more people than any other cause, disease or reason.
The other side of the coin is what is usually called Democracies. I am lumping a lot of governments in here I know, but the democracies are usually elected and formed with the consent of the people with the noble goal of securing rights or protecting the people over whom they govern. Almost without fail however, Democratic Governments eventually do not want to answer to the people and at some point they most certainly will not be told what to do by the people to the point of ignoring the will of the people (for the people’s own good of course). Now these governments that are supposed to secure the liberties of their people are becoming more openly hostile to the same people they have sworn to defend. Funnily enough the democratically elected governments now seem to want to hang on to power with the same methods of force and violence as dictators. How else can you explain arming themselves with ammo, ignoring the constitution, purchasing assault vehicles and preparing to confiscate firearms?
When governments will steal money outright from the citizens in order to pay bills that were not incurred by the people we have a problem. When government spies on its people and uses that information against them punitively we have a problem. When Government uses the force of the military that was supposed to defend the people that was paid for by the people, for the purposes of killing the people, we have a big problem. When someone brings to light crimes by the government and is labeled as the one who is a danger, we have a problem.
The problem is that governments around the world are viewing their people as the problem and there really seems to be only one way throughout history that this is ever rectified. My fear is that we are already set on a course that won’t be changed with laws, great political leaders, or a return to the values of a golden age in time long past.
The Fine Line – The Straw that breaks the camel’s back
The fine line between someone who is a law-abiding citizen and a murderer is one that exists purely in our souls. There is nothing physical that is different from a person who follows the rules and someone who breaks them. The urge to pull the trigger isn’t something you can see and it isn’t a trait to test for, so it must be our own individual sense of right and wrong. Of good and evil.
I know that some will argue that a psychopath is definitely recognizable by character traits and maybe even brainwaves or chemistry. That may be true, but you can be a psychopath (clinically) without ever hurting anyone. By the same token, you can take a life while being perfectly “sane”.
If you hold a knife in your hand, you are just as capable of using that to stab or cut someone as the murderer in the next town, but that thought never enters the mind of an overwhelming majority of people. A baseball bat in your hands can easily be swung with great force connecting it to the back of a skull, but this thought never appears in our heads; that is unless we are forced into a corner. When a person is in desperate fear for their lives, the unspoken rules of right and wrong are broken. The processes that we follow every day are overridden in the cause of rage or self-preservation. What was unthinkable before is now very real, necessary and even righteous with the right circumstances.
When the right buttons are pushed, anyone can lose it. When the fear of dying or of losing someone you love is so overpowering, the “fine line” that has been keeping us sane, law-abiding and good is easily shattered. When this happens, all bets are off.
We as a people, a country are still rather firmly attached on the good side of this line. We have not yet completely been driven to abandon all hope and lash out. We have not yet been so harmed, have not gotten to the point that we have nothing to lose and are ready to lose it, but this may be coming in the future.
The force and violence that is being used now to quell the dissatisfaction of people globally is increasing. The methods to cease the complaining of the rabble has been relatively minor with some exceptions. Tear gas, rubber bullets, mace and batons only work up to a point though. When the time comes that people can no longer abide, there won’t be enough police to stop them using riot control techniques. The military doesn’t have enough people to stop the entire population unless those people peacefully agree to surrender, so what will they do? Do you believe any government will quietly step down and admit that they are obviously not speaking for the people anymore? No. They will resort to more force and violence and people will die. Either that or you have a coup like they had in Egypt and guess who took over to “restore order”? Yep, the Military.
What will be the inevitable response by the authorities?
The Chinese people who started to revolt against the police in their town did so because the authorities were “placing restrictions on their culture, language and religion”. China is no picnic compared to America and we clearly know they have lived through far worse oppression than we have, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for them?
The protests which turned into an estimated two million citizens of Brazil had started simply enough with a protest over a rise in the rates of public transportation.
In America, what will be the trigger that causes people to rise up and say we aren’t going to take this anymore and more importantly what will happen when/if we do?
What will happen if we don’t change the path we are on?
There is a quote that has always struck me as very sad and telling from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn was a Russian who was sentenced to 8 years in a Soviet prison camp for essentially writing things about Stalin that the government didn’t like. During this time in Soviet Russia, to stifle dissent, millions were killed or sent to prison camps. In this passage Solzhenitsyn is talking about regret that everyone felt because they simply went along with this tyranny and didn’t oppose it.
“AND HOW WE BURNED IN THE CAMPS LATER, THINKING: WHAT WOULD THINGS HAVE BEEN LIKE IF EVERY SECURITY OPERATIVE, WHEN HE WENT OUT AT NIGHT TO MAKE AN ARREST, HAD BEEN UNCERTAIN WHETHER HE WOULD RETURN ALIVE AND HAD TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO HIS FAMILY? OR IF, DURING PERIODS OF MASS ARRESTS, AS FOR EXAMPLE IN LENINGRAD, WHEN THEY ARRESTED A QUARTER OF THE ENTIRE CITY, PEOPLE HAD NOT SIMPLY SAT THERE IN THEIR LAIRS, PALING WITH TERROR AT EVERY BANG OF THE DOWNSTAIRS DOOR AND AT EVERY STEP ON THE STAIRCASE, BUT HAD UNDERSTOOD THEY HAD NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE AND HAD BOLDLY SET UP IN THE DOWNSTAIRS HALL AN AMBUSH OF HALF A DOZEN PEOPLE WITH AXES, HAMMERS, POKERS, OR WHATEVER ELSE WAS AT HAND?… THE ORGANS WOULD VERY QUICKLY HAVE SUFFERED A SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS AND TRANSPORT AND, NOTWITHSTANDING ALL OF STALIN’S THIRST, THE CURSED MACHINE WOULD HAVE GROUND TO A HALT! IF…IF…WE DIDN’T LOVE FREEDOM ENOUGH. AND EVEN MORE – WE HAD NO AWARENESS OF THE REAL SITUATION…. WE PURELY AND SIMPLY DESERVED EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED AFTERWARD.” – ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN
Will this be our fate too? Will we slowly be conditioned to accept atrocities like this and to be completely defanged so that we can be herded into camps without so much as a whimper as well? That’s crazy you say! Is it? Right now, our government is hunting down someone who simply exposed how they (government) were illegally spying on all of us. Our government is buying arms and stockpiling weapons for use domestically not in some war. Our government has the IRS actively harassing a single political/opposition party. Our government has shown that they will lock down a town and go door to door while making the citizens stay cowered inside. Our government has stated that they can imprison anyone without cause for an indefinite amount of time.
Can you seriously argue that we aren’t headed down the same path as others have in our not too distant past?
This is not a call to armed Revolution, but I do think we should all be very wary of this course we are on and the echos of history. We should not be silent in the face of increasing oppression. We should not simply go along quietly because of the fear that we may get in trouble, or worse that we believe the government is only looking out for our best interests. You only need to look at the people in Poland who quietly went into the Warsaw ghettos. You don’t have to look any further than the Holocaust to see what quietly going along will get you.
This is not a fate that I will be bringing on my family.
The number of dangers we could face in a post-disaster world is innumerable. Part of the problem is that we don’t really know what that world will look like. While there are certain things we can surmise, based upon past disasters, we may very well be wrong. Did anyone actually foresee a global pandemic play out the way that COVID-19 has?
While the disaster itself will obviously be dangerous, perhaps the biggest dangers any of us face aren’t from nature or whatever force might create the disaster, but from other people. Specifically, the most dangerous groups will be those who gather together in gangs in order to seek out supplies, even if they have to steal them and the government. While the government may not take care of us, they will always take care of themselves.
Considering the direction our nation has been going, a nationwide disaster could be just the situation some politicians and bureaucrats have been waiting for, so that they could increase the power of the police state over our lives. The first step in that process is knowing everything there is to know about everyone, keeping track of where they are and what they’re doing.
As we heard from Edward Snowden, the government, specifically the NSA, is already working hard to track down every bit of electronic data about all of us, creating dossiers that might be used in any future investigation. While there are those who say “if you’re not doing anything wrong, there’s nothing to worry about,” the government’s definition of “wrong” is subject to change.
Today there are those who are calling expressing a conservative viewpoint a “hate crime” and trying to prosecute those who dare to publicly express those opinions.
Our only safety is to do the best we can to ensure that the government can’t track us. That may actually be impossible, but even so, there’s no reason to give them information about us on a silver platter. The less we let them have, the less they can use against us.
Here are a few key ways that we are being tracked today and what we can do about it.
If someone in the government wanted to come up with a way to get all of us to give them all our personal information, all they would have had to do is create social media.
When you sign up for any social media platform, the first thing they do is have you create a profile. With many people, you can learn just about anything you want to about them, just from reading what they’ve posted there.
If that wasn’t bad enough, social media is all about letting others know what’s going on in your life. People post everything from family photos to vacation plans.
They openly let others know what’s going on in their lives, forgetting that there are many more eyes seeing that, than they expect.
It’s safe to say that the government has agreements with all the social media platforms, allowing them to tap in and learn anything they can. That’s not too surprising, considering employers can do that as part of the hiring process.
The best way to prevent the government from learning about you on social media is to not use it at all. They can even glean information about you from the things you follow and read. That’s not all that hard, as Facebook regularly data mines for that kind of information, so that they can use it for selling advertising space on their platform.
As I already mentioned, the NSA is recording every bit of electronic communications, of every type, in the world.
While they may not have any interest in you today, that could change at any time. All it would take is for someone in DHS to decide that preppers were dangerous and had to be controlled, and every record of your communications would be examined by some nameless bureaucrat, looking to find something you’ve done wrong.
We can’t do anything about the information which has already been gathered about us, but we can do something about what we do in the future. Basically, all we have to do is stop using electronic communications to keep in touch with others. Instead of using text messages, e-mail and phones, we could actually talk to others face to face and send snail mail.
Our Phones are Tracking Us
Our smartphones are smarter than we are, especially when it comes to tracking us.
Having a built-in GPS is handy; especially when you’re trying to find that restaurant you want to go to. But in order to give us that capability, the phone is constantly tracking our comings and goings. If you don’t believe me, just check your timeline on Google Maps or the Apple equivalent for an iPhone.
Supposedly we can turn off that feature, but I wonder how true that is. Perhaps we can turn off our ability to see where we’ve been, but that doesn’t mean that the phone isn’t still tracking us and reporting that information to Google or whoever else might have an interest. The only way we can be sure that our phone isn’t tracking us is to take out the battery (not possible with most modern phones) or buy one that doesn’t have GPS.
Another source of information that’s being used to track us is our shopping.
Have you ever searched for something online, then a few minutes later seen an ad for that very thing show up in your Facebook feed or in an online article you’re reading? That’s not by accident.
It’s a given that Facebook and Google are tracking our every keystroke, hoping to capitalize on those advertising dollars. But the question is; who else is doing the same? That’s something that we just don’t know, as nobody is being forthright and transparent about such things. All we know for sure is that it’s happening.
Then there are our purchases. Have you noticed how society is moving away from cash and more into using credit and debit cards? COVID-19 has really pushed that; especially with the supposed coin shortage.
That could all be a sham, as they can’t track our cash purchases, but they can track any purchase made with a credit or debit card.
The fact that the law-enforcement officers use this information in criminal investigations is such common knowledge that it’s been featured in many cop shows. You don’t think the writers just came up with that, do you?
Surveillance cameras are both becoming more commonplace and more sophisticated as time goes on.
A decade or so ago, the images were tiny and unclear. Now they’re as good as watching a movie, in color and with the ability to identify people over a block away.
Between security cameras and traffic cameras there are few places you can go in the city, where they can’t see you.
Again, this is one of those cases, like the NSA reading your communications, where people say “if you’re not doing anything wrong, it’s not a problem.” But none of us know who is using that information and how they are using it. Could there be some shadowy government agency, like the NSA, which is gathering information about us, to use in the event they decide we are dangerous? We just don’t know.
Fortunately, there are ways to beat surveillance cameras, either through the use of disguises or by blinding the camera. Modifying a hat, so that there are infrared LEDs around the brim, can keep those cameras from seeing your face. This doesn’t mean they can’t identify you at all; but it makes the job a whole lot harder.
There are also websites where people post the positions of security cameras and traffic cameras, giving us all the ability to know where they are and allowing us to plan routes which avoid that surveillance. If criminals do that, there’s no reason we can’t too.
Become the Grey Man
One of the best things we can do, besides protecting our online identity and information, is to make ourselves so unremarkable that nobody notices. There are people in this world, that you just don’t notice. We all do it. They are just so unremarkable that it’s like we don’t even see them.
One big category of people like this are people in uniform, regardless of what sort of uniform it is. We see the uniform, but not the person inside. People have literally hidden themselves from others that they know, by nothing more than wearing a uniform. Others, like the homeless, are people that we just turn away from, as if we don’t see them.
Even without going to the point of a disguise, such as a uniform or looking like you’re homeless, there are things we can all do, which make us blend into the woodwork. Wearing dull clothing, moving with the crowd and making ourselves look unattractive are all things that will help keep people from noticing us.
Drop Out of Society
Finally, we could just drop out of society. Every once in a while you see a story about someone who has done that. They’ve totally dropped off the grid and are camping out somewhere in the wilderness. If you want to find them you’ve got to do a lot of looking and if you want to talk to them, you’ve got to go where they are.
Granted, this is a rather extreme solution to the problem and one that’s hard to do; but some people do it anyway. Alaska is a favorite destination for those that do. Their lives are different than our own, but at least their biggest threats come from nature and not from any two-legged predators, whether in government service or not.
The United States economy is a much more fragile thing than most people realize. Even though it is the most robust economy today, it can be taken down in a moment. Keeping the economy intact is a constant balancing act, like trying to keep any number of balls in the air at one time.
Truth be told, nobody fully understands the economy, not even those who make their living explaining it. That’s mostly because the American economy is too complex, with too many interrelated parts, for anyone to keep track of it all. Financial professionals, who are supposed to understand it, focus on individual companies or their stocks, as well as trends, extrapolating pronouncements about whole sections of the economy from those examples.
If doctors are scarce and medicine becomes even scarcer, this one little weed, found all over North America and similar to morphine, could be a saving grace.
Yet, the American economy is the most robust economy in the world, impacting the economies of all other countries. When things go good in the USA, they go good for the world; but when they go bad, it affects the whole world too. We saw that when we were in the 2008/2009 recession.
Now it looks like we may be heading into another depression. Financial gurus have been predicting this for years and now it seems their predictions will come true. If that’s the case, you and I need to be ready to provide for all our family’s needs, even without the benefit of a regular job.
It’s important to note that even in a depression, there will still be an economy, with many people working. The Great Depression of the past century saw a maximum unemployment of 24.9 percent. While that is plenty serious enough, with some people still working, there are still people to buy products and pay for services. It will just be a matter of finding those people and figure out what we can do for them.
As a prepper, you’re already the self-sufficient sort, who has a variety of skills available to you. The question then becomes, what can you do with the skills that you have, in order to make money?
Make the Most of Your Garden
As a prepper, whether or not you have a homestead, you’re probably one of the few people around who actually has a vegetable garden in their back yard. This skill, which is so central to who we are as preppers, is something that society at large has forgotten how to do.
Gardening to people outside the prepping community usually means growing flowers, not anything they can eat.
During any financial crisis there are shortages. Amongst the most common of these is food. It’s not that food doesn’t exist, it’s that food doesn’t make it from the farms to the store shelves. Food therefore becomes an extremely valuable barter item, which can be traded for other necessities.
Speaking of food, there are always people who need it. While a depression is hard on the economy and people lose jobs, people have to eat. If there is one sort of business that is likely to be secure in such a time, it is providing food to people.
The key is going to be finding some way of providing food, which is going to be unique enough that people will be willing to pay for it; not the people who are out of work, but those who are still working. Since they will all be working hard, probably working overtime, providing meals that are delivered to their home is enough of a hook, that you should be able to garner some good business.
Another key to making this work is if you can provide some sort of food that is not readily available, especially some sort of unusual ethnic food, which is not commonly available in your area. People will often pay a premium for that, just because it is different.
Of course, you could provide meals for pickup from your home as well, but that would require them coming to your home to pick those meals up. While that might work for some, it isn’t as attractive an offer to others and doesn’t set you apart from services that restaurants offer.
Turn Your Survival Skills Into Money
With so many people out of work and struggling, people will need to learn new skills, specifically the skills that you know as a survivalist.
All you need, is a venue to work with, preferably one that can also attract the kind of people who need to know what you have to teach.
That means either working with your city’s municipal government or a non-profit organization in your city. While non-profits don’t usually pay all that good, they will appreciate what you have to offer and will probably provide some other benefits to you.
Make and Sell Masks
There’s a good chance that the next depression will come out of the Coronavirus pandemic. People are expecting it to be over soon, allowing them to go back to life as normal. But the reality is, this disease is going to be with us for a long time. Chances are that we’re all going to have to make some lifestyle changes, to keep ourselves well.
One of those changes might very well be that we all need to go around masked on a regular basis. With that being the case and considering how much of a problem masks have been, you could always make masks to sell. As time goes on, expand that out, seeing what other accessories you can make for people.
During a depression or other economic crisis, even the people who are working generally have less disposable money available to them, than at other times.
One way this manifests is in people keeping cars longer than they would keep them in other times. Keeping cars longer means more repairs and more need for people who can make those repairs.
I’ve known a lot of shade tree mechanics through the years, who make a good living under their shade tree. Many people would rather seek out these mechanics, than pay the higher rates that a dealership or repair shop has to charge. Yet even with charging those lower rates, the shade tree mechanic can still make a good living, because their overhead is so low.
Taking this idea a step further, provide your service to them at their home or place of work. Many people don’t have the time to take their car to the shop to be repaired and would love to have their mechanic come to their home. My mechanic does that and I love it.
Repair Broken Appliances & Electronics
Cars aren’t the only thing that people will be wanting to save money on. For years now, we’ve lived in a disposable society, where people are accustomed to throwing things away and replacing them, once they don’t work anymore. But when money is tight, people are more interested in repairing those items, rather than replacing them, even if it just saves them a few dollars. Anything to save money is worth it.
Yet few people know how to make those repairs anymore. The day of the handyman is largely lost, especially people who can make general repairs. You can find people who can repair your cell phone, tablet or computer but that’s about it.
Often, repairs for small appliances can be made by cannibalizing one to get the parts you need for another. So part of providing general repair services is building up a stock of broken stuff that you can steal parts out of. I’ve known people who go dumpster diving regularly, checking people’s trash cans for things they’ve thrown out, just so that they can run this sort of business.
Be a Contractor or Freelancer
More and more companies are using contract labor, especially for work that they need done, but where they can’t justify creating a full-time position. That trend will be even more magnified during a time of economic hardship, when companies need work done, but aren’t willing to run the risk of hiring people to fill positions.
The big advantage to companies in hiring contractors or freelancers is that they don’t have to pay for office space, social security or benefits. In exchange for that, many will pay contractors rather well, making it good work to get. Of course, in the midst of a depression, any work you can get is good work.
If you’re just about any type of professional and you’re good at what you do, you can always find work as a contractor. Working for several companies at a time gives you flexibility and some financial security, even in times where there isn’t much security to be found.
Start a YouTube Channel
Speaking of teaching what you know about survival, YouTube is a great way of monetizing your knowledge.
Don’t just limit yourself to survival either; people start YouTube channels, teaching all sorts of things. There are probably people out there who want to know just about anything that you know. So figure out a format to teach them which will be interesting and entertaining and start recording.
The people who do the best on YouTube are usually ones who produce quality videos, even though they aren’t “profession” grade ones. That means good clear shots that show what you need to show, good lighting, good audio and that you are able to talk about the subject without a lot of pauses to say “Uhh” in all its various forms. A little planning and a little practice will go a long way towards making it so you can speak, without those annoying “uhs.”
Provide Secure Child Care
One of the big problems that occur in desperate times is that more and more people turn to crime. It’s said that desperate people do desperate things. Since a depression creates a lot of desperate people, you can be sure that there will be plenty of desperate things being done all around you. Things like kidnapping children for money.
Anyone who has had kids is capable of caring for kids. So why not offer day care service with a twist? Since you’re probably going to be armed anyway, to protect yourself and your own kids, let people know that your day care service is a secure environment, where their children will be protected.
Babysit Pets for Those Who Are Hospitalized
Another thing that goes with the problem of the pandemic is that there are people being hospitalized who have pets. What do we as a society, do about those animals? If the patient has family, that’s one thing; but if not? They need someone reliable, who loves animals, to take care of theirs.
You’d be surprised how much animal care costs these days. You can make a fairly good living, taking care of a few pets, while still being mostly free to explore one of those other ideas up there. Sounds a bit like the best of both worlds to me.
If you’re homesteading, chances are you have some off-grid electrical power. Maybe you don’t have enough for everything you need; but chances are pretty high that you have more than others do. With people losing their electrical power, due to either maintenance problems at the electric company or their own inability to pay the bills, chances are you can make a few extra bucks selling electricity.
You’re probably thinking that you aren’t going to have enough electricity for your own needs, so how can you sell electricity to others? I get it. Solar panels really don’t put out a lot of electricity, unless you’ve got a lot of them. But I’m not talking about powering someone’s home. Rather, I’m talking about using your electrical power to charge cell phones and other portable electronic devices.
If current conditions are any indicator, people will probably still have their phones, no matter how much they’re struggling financially; and they’re going to need them charged. Providing that service might not make a lot of money; but it can fill in the gaps.
So, what else can you think of, which I missed off this list? The possibilities are literally endless, for those who have skills and a bit of imagination. What’s your idea?
The late afternoon light is shining through your window and the scene outside is quiet, just the way you like it. You are about a month into a serious collapse and thus far your preps have held up. Power has been out for 2 weeks; you don’t plan on ever having power again. You prepared for that.
As the sun sinks closer to the horizon you hear one of the most terrifying sounds of all: A knock on the door!
Your family finds their places and weapons, you leave from the backdoor and flank whoever might be on your porch. To your surprise it is your cousin! You haven’t seen him in years, but he is here. He looks rough and he has his disheveled family of three along with him. He also doesn’t seem to have any food or supplies with him.
This is one of the prepper scenarios we all have thought about. However, it might not be as bad as you think!
People Are Power
So, what do you do when someone unexpected comes knocking? Now, that is an interesting word to use in conjunction with preppers. UNEXPECTED. The whole point of prepping is to consider the unexpected.
In a true SHTF situation people bring you power. Your community should be like a hive. Hardly worth the trouble of any small group that might wish to steal or worse. You must be able to sustain them or have them sustain themselves but there will be tremendous power in numbers. Big jobs become easier, you can make an area more secure with more people, and you have more brains to put towards a problem.
Of course, its not heaven. With people come people issues like fights, jealousy, and the like. However, good leadership and preparedness can give you the upper hand on things like that.
You must first make an honest list of “survival dependents” or people who will come to depend on you when everything goes to hell!
Trust me, your list is bigger than you think.
While it is nice to imagine that the calamity will never cross your threshold, the reality is that many more people depend on you than you think. Chances are, even if people don’t know you’re a prepper, you are the type of person who has it together. You are likely the person people go to for answers.
No matter how strong your OPSEC protocols are if you are a good and solid person, than people will look to you in times of crisis. These might be people you love or just people you know.
Now is the time to sit down and create a real list. You must take off the blinders and truly consider all the people who will depend on you in an SHTF situation. It would be perfect if your list consisted of 4 people but when you break it down you have groups of people to consider.
Your group of survival dependents could include people from each of these categories. How they depend on you may vary but this list will help you understand that there are more people than just your immediate family who will turn to you in times of calamity.
Can You Support People?
Of course, the question that comes to mind after you create a list like this is: Do I have enough?
For most people, the answer is no. It can be over burdensome to assume that you can prep for all the people who might be on your list of survival dependents. When these people show up asking for food, though, you need to have something!
Unless you subscribe to the idea that you are going to turn everyone away who comes to your door. If that is your game plan than you better also prepare for some serious backlash. How many fathers with kids can you turn away before one of them says, “No, we are coming in.”
What happens next cannot be good, with lots of harmful outcomes.
This doesn’t mean you should be a pushover and let any old person into your home and feed them.
Tip: When people approach you to ask for something, if they come to your door or see you outside, simply ask them for something first! Open the door and ask for food and medicine: “Oh, I hope you brought some food, we haven’t eaten in a week!”
Put Them to Work Immediately
From that list of survival dependents, you will likely choose people who you will bring into the fold. However, don’t let them in free of charge. The best way to handle someone who comes asking for help is to immediately give them some form of work to be done.
This is also a great gauge of the depth of that person. Those who are outraged by the work that needs to be done at “their new home” are people that you can easily weed out. Just make it truly clear up front that there is plenty to do and if they cannot do what is asked, they cannot stay.
By the way, there will be plenty to do! If you manage a household of four and all the sudden it jumps to ten you will have lots of extra work. It is not so much about room but about dishes, laundry, food production, security detail in the neighborhood, general cleaning.
In an off-grid situation, it might be about things like water procurement and sanitizing, renewable energy system maintenance, gardening, canning and everything in between.
There will be a serious list of chores to be done and the last thing you want is a house full of freeloaders laying around all day while you are red in the face.
Using a basic Excel spreadsheet, you will be able to create chore lists TODAY for issues that might come tomorrow. Print a stack of them and save them. They can be filled out by hand when the time comes or if you know the system you could print them with the duties listed.
It’s high time we stop looking at neighbors and friends as threats in the downfall. Many people can see something resembling collapse just on the horizon. Its hard not to look around and wonder how the unprepared will react to a future of scarcity, uncertainty, with up close and personal violence.
If America is facing balkanization or civil war it will be particularly important that you have a secure neighborhood with plenty of able-bodied individuals. Many neighbors will leave for a safer environment and you must be aware of that. However, that might free up homes and living areas for more of your survival dependents.
Your survival dependents are not the burden you once thought. Believe me. While you know the flaws of the people around you, they have two ears, two eyes and a heart that wants to survive. If you can find it in you to lead these people they will provide you with a true survival group that will keep you and yours from being acted upon by anyone with a group larger and better trained than you and your spouse!
People from the city regions with their urban ideas can make it difficult or disrupt the way of life for those who live rural. What do I mean by that?
In my view there are two primary contributing factors:
Cities Control Political Direction
1. The cities constitute the political direction of a region. Even a state. This widely affects laws and regulations for everyone.
City Ideas Upon The Rural Natives
2. Urbanites who move to the hinterlands (or have a second home there) often bring their city ideas with them. And usually those ideas are diametrically opposed to that of the natives.
It’s evident that people living in most large cities maintain a very politically liberal outlook. I asked that question a few years ago in an article titled why are so many big cities in the united states – liberal?
Mostly, it’s a ‘culture thing’. People in the city are brought up a bit differently versus the upbringing in rural regions. Some out of necessity.
Cities are 100% dependent. Everything needs to be brought in. People in large cities have more of a mindset to depend on others. Many of those who live rural are also dependent these days, although to a lesser extent. They have options to be more self reliant if they choose to (e.g. more land, more ‘know how’ in the region).
High population density demands greater control, laws, enforcement, and regulations. Low population density regions comparatively require very little (though unfortunately affected by many of the same controls enacted by the cities).
It seems the bigger the city the more government dependency for many things such as public transportation, law and order, and many other services (including handouts). Cities require more ‘group think’. Rural living requires little government involvement. There’s much less crime, fewer services (which demands more self reliance), and not much need for ‘group think’.
City regions breed dependency and the attitudes thereof. Rural regions demand some extent of self reliance, which breeds personal responsibility. It is ingrained in the character of the population.
There are lot of differences and some of them quite major. City people are more about control. Again, some of that is out of necessity. For that matter, in my estimation ‘the left’ is more about control. Power. It breeds from the cities.
Congressional District Maps
Rural America is not really being effectively represented.
The district maps are supposedly drawn up to balance population versus congressional representation. If you live in a region like where I live, the geographical rural area is very large compared to the small region which contains the ‘big city’.
The problem is, much of the money comes from the city. And people won’t get elected if there’s not enough money. Politicians will cater to the city regions where the money is. The city regions are notoriously left/liberal. Therefore rural representation (typically conservative) continues to diminish in my view.
Campaign finance reform? Right. I’m not holding my breath on that one. It’s always about the money. It will continue to be about the money. The big money comes from the cities. The cities breed leftist ideas.
Rural Paradise Being Overrun
Suburbs & Rural Paradise Being Overrun By Exodus Out Of Blue Cities
This is happening a lot. People who either move away from their leftist city, suburbs, or regions, they are bringing their attitudes with them.
City dwellers and the regions thereof tend to have more money. Some of them buy vacation homes or 2nd homes in ‘rural paradise’.
I happen to live in one of those ‘rural paradise’ regions (at least in my own viewpoint) and have witnessed this happening here. In fact there’s one particular recent encounter that actually inspired me to write this article…
I live in the mountains. We have one of the best regions and trail systems for snowmobiling in the nation. It’s part of the motorized sports winter culture here, similar to our ATV trails during the summer.
Without giving too much away, I am integrally involved with maintaining a portion of snowmobile trail system near the Presidential Range in New Hampshire. A beautiful scenic area.
Anyway, one little slice of our trail system shares a private roadway on one of these scenic roads with crazy views of the mountains. The road has been slowly developed with some beautiful homes/cabins along that view. Well, one of those places was bought by a leftist couple from Connecticut. They apparently bought it for the view, NOT for the culture of the region.
They have taken it upon themselves to harass us and complain about snowmobiles going up the road (shared by all the homeowners there), even though our club has also shared that road’s right-of-way for many years. I have interacted with them and they are in a word, ‘nasty’.
SO TYPICAL… It’s so typical of those who bring their politics with them from the city. They will not conform. They will not integrate or assimilate. No. Instead they try to change the way the natives live. It’s unbelievable.
They often have very loud voices in that they will complain to the entire hierarchy trying to get their way. Some of them enter the system of government and start making changes. It’s like a cancer.
Where Is It All Headed?
You tell me. I don’t know…
There are lots of profound ideological differences between people today. It seems to be an increasing challenge to ‘get along’. Maybe there’s just too many people. It really is about that, isn’t it? When it comes down to it, it’s population density and the sheer number of people living in proximity. Life can be quite different between the city dwellers and the country folk…
You might be looking at your nation a little differently lately.
There have always been dangerous neighborhoods and boroughs. Places like Compton, Kensington, and Camden might come to mind when you think of places that have a reputation for crime. Some of these areas have actually improved from when I was child. However, there are lots of places all around this nation that have been dangerous and many that are getting worse.
The move towards lawlessness in many of our biggest cities has been brought on by the current attitude towards police and police funding. As states bandy about the issues and people worry about things like natural disasters and economic decline, many have moved or considered moving.
What are the safest zones in the US?
There are safe havens all around this nation. There are places that have historically had low crime and great community cohesion. The key in most of these cities and towns is ownership and loyalty. Most often transient places are dangerous, and people are more likely to commit crimes in these places.
Let’s look at some of the safest cities and towns in America:
Round Rock, Texas
With a population just over 100,000 this smaller town in Texas is a very appealing place for preppers to live. It is also a very safe place with a median income of $70,000.
The low poverty rate in Round Rock has much to do with the safety and security of this Texas town.
Round Rock has been dubbed a “super suburb” as a place just outside of Austin
This Chicago suburb is a gem in an area that most people would not expect. The River Walk is an important part of Naperville, but it is hardly the only thing that this suburb offers. A population 144,000 people are a successful and well paid lot. The median household income is over $100,000.
The minimal crime rate, per 100,000 people, has much to do with the low poverty rate which is just over 4%. 77.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people is something to be proud of.
The safety of Naperville could also have to do with the tremendous outdoor opportunities. With over 130 parks and 2 public golf courses, there is nearly a park for every person!
Port St. Lucie, Florida
If you are going to pick a new safe place to live, why not consider a place where the weather is wonderful! Along the southern coast of Florida Port St. Lucie is a beautiful tropical zone with $169,000 a year median income.
You will have to be prepared for hurricanes. An evacuation plan is needed as the southern coast of Florida is at risk during hurricane season, but we are preppers!
You will not have as much to worry about when it comes to violent crime as there are just 115 violent crimes per 100,000 people. You will love near breweries, botanical gardens, preserves and marinas. Great fishing on the coast, too!
Best Regions to Survive Disasters
Along with safe cities and towns America also features some great regions to setup a life that are far away from some of the biggest threats. Remember, people are only one threat. Mother nature can have a devastating affect on the North American continent and has done so in the past. From massive super volcanoes to devastating earthquakes
What are the safest regions to survive massive cataclysmic disasters?
Deep enough inland and high enough up to counter things like flooding and tropical cyclones that affect the West Coast. The cascades are loaded with resources for survival like water, food, and wood. They are a beautiful backdrop to deal with the post-apocalyptic world and far enough away from southern California to inherit any of that mess.
The northernmost portions of the Cascades are even located in the American Redoubt, which we will discuss later in this article.
The Blue Ridge Mountains
Another range of mountains that offer similar benefits as the Cascades. This east coast mountain range covers several states, has plenty of food, water, shelter, and game animals. Covering the land by food would not be easy but the seclusion from the chaos would be well worth it.
Because of elevation and distance from the coast there are almost no threats of flood, tsunami, or hurricane in this region. There is little seismic activity in the area.
If doctors are scarce and medicine becomes even scarcer, this one little weed, found all over North America and similar to morphine, could be a saving grace.
West of some particularly important and sizeable cities, the Blue Ridge mountains could become a safe haven for millions of people in the very worst case scenario. That is the only weakness of this location.
Further west still, on the other side of the blue ridge mountains in the region of Appalachia which runs from New York to Mississippi. This is another great region to consider because of its sparse population compared to the coasts. Its quick access to the Blue Ridge Mountains and safety from most major disasters.
Are you looking for even more benefits? Maybe you want the people and the safe places. There is nothing wrong with that. Around the nation there are several places that have not only been deemed safe and pleasant but are also filled with preppers!
Yup! The self-reliant and independent have taken up refuge in a few spots across the nation. They are often looking for more friends like them to build their prepper community. These areas are not just filled with preppers but are in rural areas where other people are as self sufficient as the prepper community.
In 2011 James Wesley Rawles proposed Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming as the American Redoubt. The Redoubt also encompasses the eastern parts of Washington and Oregon. It is unclear how many people have moved to the American Redoubt with the intent of stockpiling, prepping, or homesteading for the long haul.
However, there is a small community of voices from Rawles, to John Jacob Schmitt, to the American Christian Network, that will align with much of what you believe. It has been estimated that thousands of people have moved to these areas as a safe haven from the growing turmoil of our world.
Because of its low population density and impressive access to resources, as well as low threat profile, as long as you can stay warm in the winter, the Redoubt has some tremendous benefits. You will also have plenty of wide open space so if you don’t align with everything Rawles proposed you can do your own thing and be just fine!
The Ozarks are more of a plateau than a mountain range with some of its tallest peaks between 1-2000 feet tall. Because of its location in the nation and its elevation, it has a tremendous amount of benefits to the average prepper looking for a safe zone.
The Ozarks are not affected by things like floods because of the elevation, it has this elevation without snow because it is in the south. It does not face any kind of earthquake threat, hurricane, or forest fire. There is a long growing season that features lots of rain.
Pastor Joe Fox of Viking Preparedness has been expanding his Shofar mountain and influencing preppers for many years to make their way to the Ozarks. COOHMP or Come Out of Her, My People as taken from the book of Revelation. A growing prepper stronghold has taken root in the Ozarks making it a wonderful place to move and a very safe region.
Also, those who are not preppers in the Ozarks are looking to do their own things and basically be left alone. So, it is a sentiment we can all understand!
We live in a MASSIVE nation full of all kinds of opportunity. There are areas that are incredibly dangerous, but the reality is we have a lot of wide open spaces that can be whatever you want them to be!
Did you know there are even some places that will give you free land or pay you to live there! If you aren’t tethered to a location than you can take advantage of the areas, we mentioned. However, you should arrive there and become a part of the community. This is particularly important. You can never know the full potential of any area unless you integrate and become a member of the community.
A lot of the popularity of firearms is due to the fact that anyone can use them effectively, not only the strong and agile. The young, the old, men, women and child can take up firearms in defense of home and family and do so effectively.
I think we can all agree that Jason Bourne is one of the greatest action characters of all time. Anyone who has taken a self-defense class has channeled his awesomeness when practicing. So, how do you fight like Jason Bourne?
One of the reasons we love watching this character fight is the close combat defense sequences he does in the films. His lightning-fast moves are efficient, powerful and (as we all know) deliver a well-deserved ass-whoopin’ to his opponent. To prepare for the part of Jason Bourne, actor, Matt Damon studied Krav Maga, an Israeli Defense System. This martial art form is extremely efficient and quickly neutralizes the opponent making it an ideal line of defense in a SHTF scenario.
Many believe that Krav Maga is the easiest martial art form to learn because it is based on instinctive natural reactions to events. Moreover, it utilizes a lot of lock and counter moves that are used at the same time. In other words, you aren’t waiting for the guy to throw the next punch, you are blocking and counter striking at the time same time as he is throwing a swing. This “all-in-one-move” fighting gives you a key advantage in a fight and will make your opponent second guess messing with you.
Learning these close combat defensive techniques take time to master, but will serve you well if you find yourself being attacked. Krav Maga classes are offered in many communities; as well, you can become a Krav Maga beast from the convenience of your own home. SHTF situations occur in different situations. It’s not just an end of the world scenario you should be prepared for, but those everyday emergencies too like when you are walking down the street or going to your parked car.
Effective preemptive striking can save your life when a violent confrontation is imminent. This is the premise of Krav Maga – be preemptive! Be the first of hit, the first to lead the fight, the first to choke. Because Krav Maga is based on instinctual movements, regularly practicing these movements will create muscle memory and you can react faster when attacks.
In this Krav Maga tutorial video, key points of instinctive fighting techniques are discussed.
As well, check out these Krav Maga videos:
Your ability to get out of a hairy situation rests with you. Learning these kick-ass Jason Bourne moves will give you the advantage when faced with close combat fighting and will give you a great probability of getting out alive.