“This is a guest post by Frank B and entry in our non-fiction writing contest – where you could win $100 cash. (This contest ends on June 5 2011 so get busy)”
The world after a societal collapse will be difficult to say the least. The so-called “light at the end of the tunnel” (in this life at least) would be a return to some sort of societal norm or civil atmosphere on the outside of the bunker door that would allow for free trade and a safe environment to do so.
This “safety” might come from a relatively local source such as a local militia or security force or a larger regional or state government but from where ever this safety is derived it will become an absolute necessity for small groups who hunker if we are to survive longer than our stored provisions would allow.
Trusting your fellow-man after the collapse might prove to be a difficult thing to do. Our home/retreat is fairly remote to most folks but not so remote to hunters. We have our land posted but still have hunters and fisherman coming through like they owned the place. All of them carry weapons and all of them know they are trespassing on our land. I have confronted them when I can (some run when I approach).
Those who stick around to discuss the situation almost always make statements like, “my grandpa hunted here 50 years ago and I have every right to be here too”, or “John Smith gave me permission to be on this land”. Of course John Smith has no phone or address and grandpa has been dead for years too (as if that really mattered). All said, if you are headed out into rural Amerika to find a retreat, be warned that the perfect location has been the secret hunting spot for everyone in the county for generations.
The locals in these rural areas that you will meet on your land are generally poachers and trespassers that would rather shoot you in the back than ask your permission to hunt on your land. I have been threatened by several when I asked them to get off my land.
What will they be like after a collapse?
Do you have enough man power at your home to field a security force 24/7, or is it just you and your honey? Who will watch for stalkers while the garden gets tended or you chop wood? Who will stay up at night so others can sleep tight without fear of night stalkers? Do you have enough fire-power to defend your home? Have you put up a perimeter fence?
Do you have a dog? Are you expecting others to join you? At what point do you expect them to arrive? Have you discussed alternative communications with them? What radio channel and recurring time did you set for communication?
Have you established a “rally point” for friends and family to meet at a future time? Is your information library safe from EMPs? How much planting seed do you have? Can you survive a winter of no outside food source? Two winters?
How much food do you have? Have you done a real count of meals and figured how many days food you have for the number of people in your home? Do you have a defense plan? Have you discussed a “retreat” from your retreat (bugging out).
Do you plan on living to fight another day or going down with the ship? Have you cached guns, ammo, and food, around your property for retrieval after an attack or bug-out or is it all neatly tucked away for its next owner? Do you personally know other like-minded people who you could count if your life depended on it? How far away from you are they? Would they consider joining you at your location? Would you consider joining them?
The questions can be overwhelming. The answers can be difficult at best. Most of us are limited to a level of preparedness based on financial constraints still, there are many other things we can have more control over.
If you are feeling less than prepared after asking yourself these questions, you should! Few can ever be totally prepared but, you can be reasonably ready for most issues you will face if you prepare.
Remember that “you are what you train for”. And training begins with a goal and a plan.
Sitting down with a legal pad, a pencil, and a clear head you should write down all the issues you expect to face once a collapse has begun. After writing these down, you’ll be better able to consider your current state of readiness to meet these issues and define a plan that will get you through the issues you had not yet considered. Play the “what if” game with each of these issues and follow the developing events to their end.
Having a contingency plan for what others might call “unexpected” gives you the edge in a survival situation and having the edge can make the difference between life and death. Having more contingency plans pushes failure farther away. Don’t be making knee-jerk decisions as the world turns bad in front of you. Know ahead of time what your plan of action will be and follow your plan.
I have a good friend who is also a prepper. He has it all; a great retreat fully outfitted with food, guns ammo, workshop, garden etc, etc, etc…. I stopped by one morning un-armed when he was playing the “what if” game.
He looked me square in the eye and said, “Frank, I can not believe you walked in here without a sidearm. What if I pulled my gun on you? You’d be defenseless! “
Knowing my friend well, I knew this was no real threat. I had been in his home many times before and subscribed to most of the same catalogs he did as well. I told him that I was far from unprepared, knowing that if he did indeed pull a gun on me, that I would see his movement and easily reach up to my right and pull down the face of the clock on the wall where I knew he hid another gun in the ready and draw bead on him.
My wife was upset with me for spoiling his hiding place.
Are you prepared?