They will take everything if you don’t stop them.
At first glance a statement like this brings up thoughts of the government coming for all freedom seeking people. In actuality this is about your neighbors and those in your community that will ruthlessly mob up and literally storm your own home for what you have after a long drawn out disaster, perhaps sooner. It is a fact that most people in the United States, upwards of 99%, have little or NOTHING put away for emergenices. When chaos hits and a country’s infrastructure crumbles into powder, so does the nation’s ability to feed and sustain its citizens.
Self reliance and preparing for a rainy day or even for a full blown hurricane has become almost a taboo for many, and a total waste of time, money and effort for the others. While what a person does with their own money and time is their business, the same holds true for the person that sacrifices much to prepare for future mass disorder and total lack of purchasable necessities.
The main conundrum with the vast majority of the population is that they have come to totally expect everything provided for them by someone else, human or machine. This “serve me, as I am the only one that matters” attitude is more than an epidemic in the United States and many other countries. As individuals of ALL ages lose the basic skills of self reliance, and more importantly the desire to do any task for themselves, a ticking time bomb becomes more pronounced for when these services breakdown.
Various scenarios await the preparedness minded person in the event of a societal collapse.
The majority of the country has become totally reliant on daily shipments of food and other necessities. An oil emergency in the Middle-East, for example, can severely limit transportation of the goods that people depend on. A war that would rage on a half a world away would mean that supermarket shelves would be emptied. This would ONLY be regarded as a moderate hit to civilization until a regional war like this actually went global. Most people can only get by without a few days of food before “snap” reactions begin. Remember ONLY 1 to perhaps 1 and 1/2% of the people have stocked up for just such an emergency.
One of the most critical threats to be faced will be from those in your immediate vicinity – and those who have prepared will likely be forced to draw a line in the sand.
Most of us live around neighbors and are not, for the most part, living an isolated lifestyle. We usually have fair to good relationships with those that live around us. This often leads to the misconception that these neighbors and those that live around our community would never just come and take what we have saved up to keep our family alive after a calamity. In some cases this is true. In most cases it is not. After a week of starvation and lack of access to food, most neighbors will gather together and head for any house merely “suspected” of having food. Unless those desperate individuals are stopped, they will ransack a home of everything that is in it like a hoarde of hungry locusts. It is called the irrational conduct of a mob mentality. An excellent example of this is how a person can be trampled to death by a herd of wild eyed shoppers desperate enough to get some electronic gadget at some super holiday sale.
Let’s look at a fictional prepper family named the Smiths that have 1 year worth of food for 8 people, along with food for their golden retriever and cocker spaniel dogs, their tabby cat, and their macaw bird. The Smiths are friendly people but have not told anyone about their stockpile. After a severe incident, call it an ecomonic collapse, war, Earth changes – it really doesn’t matter – the chain links of food being delivered are now gone. Through casual conversations somehow a couple of neighbors have figured out the Smiths have food and have alerted others through the gossip channel. After almost 2 weeks without much food, no FEMA government trucks have come in to rescue, a crowd of almost 100 people have gathered around the Smith house. Similar size crowds have also collected around other people’s homes suspected of “hoarding” food. The Smiths have taken an unrealistic and idealist sentiment towards believing in the good nature of human beings and their community and have not stocked up much at all in self defense.
Grandpa Smith understands that trying to feed 100 people would dwindle their supplies quickly and decides to leave everything closed up and not answer the door. The Smiths find out how hunger will drive a civilized person into wanton rage and animalistic acts. Four members of the mob pick up a railroad tie and use it as a battering ram to knock down the front door. Then like a pack of sharks in a feeding frenzy the mob rushes in and takes everything the Smiths have including their food, blankets off the beds, the TV sets and computers, pots and pans, even the refrigerator is hauled out. Why does this happen? People in an erratic state of mind will grab everything they can, most riots prove this all too well. The last items to be picked clean are the family’s pets to the screaming pleas of their 9 year daughter not to hurt her dogs. Of course the dogs, the cat, and the bird are killed and cooked up for their meat. The Smiths are lucky that they too did not become someone’s meal.
The simple moral to this story is something most survival orientated people already know – that you must have self defense or you will lose what you have when someone decides to take it. The fact that so few prepare means that food is going to be even more scarce and totally sought after. The Smiths are hardly fictional and can be widely expected after a large scale catastrophe. Most people expect someone to have what they need ALL the time and they will flock towards that source and attempt to get it.
Fortunately for the self reliant family, those that live soft lives and allow everything to be done for them makes for a flabby, both in body and mind, person. Usually this type of person is a also a coward and even during irrational hunger spasms will backdown and retreat in the face of dying or being severely injuried. It is one thing to rush into a home with a mob like a pack of wolves with little resistance. It’s a completely different ball game to rush into a well fortified home watching those ahead of them in line being rapidly dropped one by one. Even with this said, self defense of you and your family and your lifeline in what you’ve stored up takes a host of different dimensions that vary significantly with each situation. There are some basics that can be vastly expanded on with each individual case. A term that can be used for this is “CONFRONTATIONAL AWARENESS”.
Here are 10 points to think about if and when you are faced with defending you and your own:
1. What type of self defense fits you the best? Some individuals can make very exotic improvised devices, but everyone that can legally own a firearm should have at least one, preferably many. The extreme number of firearms takes up pages, but everyone should have a firearm that can discharge as many rounds as possible without having to reload. A firearm that has some long distance range to it. A shotgun, call it a scatter gun, with at least size 4 buckshot up to triple ought 000. A handgun of course for close range engagement. The simple answer to which one is what is most comfortable with you personally and what you can afford. You want stopping power, but also to be able to at least slow down a lot of targets if this becomes an issue. Other weapons should also be added, such as bear pepper spray that can slow down or stop a large group of people rushing you. Knowing how to jerry rig various home made weapons adds to your security. Have extra ammunition for all firearms. Don’t depend on just one or two weapons for self defense, have back-ups.
2. Litigation. This is an extremely sticky point “IF” the society recovers. It should be remembered that (unfortunately) any act of personal self defense might have to be answered for. The state or country that you are in may or may not view the 40 people you shot “outside” your home as a legitimate threat, even if they had a battering ram and other weapons and total anarachy ruled the day and night. In other words, just because it may seem like the end of the world doesn’t mean that it actually is. Protecting you and your family could also mean carefully assessing your situation and not acting without discretional thought. You never want to be indicted with some mass murder charge should the world reestablish itself enough to prosecute you in the future. Checking out the laws of protecting yourself where you live before the world falls apart is an excellent idea and sound precaution.
3. Determine your boundaries. Where, exactly, does a threat cross that threshold in which you engage them? For some people it is a property line or at the front door - wherever this may be, know it. In some places a mob outside your door constitutes a deadly threat to your family. In some places you may actually have to be backed into a corner and the attacker may even have to possess a weapon for you to legally defend yourself. Know these legal parameters. For some people it doesn’t matter the legal consequences, and this can be a life saving measure taken to stop an attack before a group gets too close that you cannot stop. Establishing a point of no return is a good strategy so that you know where and when you must act to protect everyone.
4. Know the seriousness of what is happening. This is of course ties into the legal ramifications of defending yourself, but especially with just how desperate people will become to try and take what you have. Has the water been turned off? What about the power? Is there any food left in the stores? Are emergency supplies and other food being shipped in, and if so how often? Is there in town rioting? Are the masses of people roaming around looking for food? Have there already been homes attacked from mobs? The more you know about the threat evaluation the better you can prepare your defenses.
5. Know what is around you. This includes having some way of seeing a full 360 degrees around your home, up and down, and someone on watch duty most (or all) of the day and night. An ideal security preventative is to have some sort of observation tower, motion detectors, night vision, and anything else to give you advance notice of anyone trying to sneak in unnoticed. Hidden viewpoints throughout the home are a workable and important addition. Booby trapping your property has been an effective method used in warfare all through history as a means of stopping someone and alerting everyone. Dogs and other animals such as geese are often used as early warning systems. Always try to know what is going on for as far a distance from your home as possible.
6. Decide on your barriers. This brings to mind that raw stopping power of a projectile fired, launched, or even thrown towards you and your family. The standard home (mud and sticks) offers little protection against a bullet travelling at over 3000 feet per second. Consider how you might shield against radiation, and use the same strategy for self defense. The more mass the better. Many excellent materials are out there, but raw materials around the house such as dirt, sand, rock are certainly better than nothing as a shield. Taking advantage of underground levels of the home – because you can’t shoot through dirt – also offers good temperature control and isulation from the outside elements for people, pets and your supplies. Barriers also serve the purpose of slowing down or even stopping advances of individuals trying to come for you and your stockpile. Like many criminals, simple locks and anything that takes effort to break through can impede most individuals enough so they leave you and everyone else alone. The more obstacles you can place to make it as difficult as possible is in your best interests. You want to do everything you can to avoid a situation where you’re left with no other option but hand to hand combat.
7. Be ready to take a stand. Unfortunately many people feel that when the time comes that they can do anything it takes to survive. Yet some will “freeze up” when faced with pulling a trigger and blowing someone away. This is especially true after someone has actually shot one of the first of many individuals rushing in to take what they have and even hurt or kill them and their family. Hesitation is human nature and throughout our lives society has implanted into our psyche that killing someone, even in self defense, is wrong. This is why it is imperative for those in your survival group who have the responsibility of defending everyone to be willing to use those weapons if and when it becomes required of them. Training and practice will make it possible for you to more efficiently and effectively deploy your weapons on a physical and psychological level. There is a reason behind why the military trains and trains, not to just improve accuracy, but to make it mentally routine that a soldier will not vacillate in a life or death situation. The two words that best describe this is “mental toughness.” You must be able to reliably act to save yourself and your family.
8. Be prepared for unconventional attacks. Desperate people will do incredibly stupid and irrational acts that defy reason. If a mob discovers a well fortifed home with food in it, they might try to actually light the entire structure on fire. It doesn’t matter to the insane minds that all the food will be ruined inside; they only see and “think” that this will smoke everyone out. Someone may even get the “brilliant” idea of trying to collide a large truck into you home. The list is endless and depending on your unique circumstances, there are defenses against most if not all attacks. The aim here is to make the distance an attacker needs to travel to your home as long as possible and this is where barriers and booby traps play an important role. It is also passive protection in which someone can help protect their home with high water type bushes, plants, and trees that won’t burn easily. In many high danger wildfire areas homeowners will use fire retardants on their homes, as well as having quick means of extinguishing fires ready to use if the time comes. Help ready yourself by reviewing and thinking about the unconventional ways your refuge can be assaulted.
9. Remember you have the advantage. Mobs will often try to frighten and intimidate people out of their home and/or try to force you to divvy up all what you have. Don’t let them scare you. Those supplies are your lifeline, without them you will be reduced to almost the same level of those roaming around aimlessly that have not prepared. You have the upper hand in that they have to come for you in your own home – a dwelling that you are familiar with. All depending on how well fortifed your place is, anyone coming for what you have will have to get across all sorts of traps and physical hurdles, not to mention various weapons being discharged at them. Most attackers are also going to be depleated in body and mind from not eating, on top of already being out of shape flab bodies. These individuals usually are totally untrained in any type of combat or fighting, and that gives the prepper/survivalist a whopping upper hand. Time is also on the side of the hunkered down people, as a very hungry person will lose interest and go somewhere else easier to get at. They will also likely become too weak to pose any threat after more time. Long standoffs almost always favor those that have everything they need well stored up within easy reach and use.
10. Avoidance of any showdown. Everyone will be better off if neighbors and others decide not to storm your home for food and supplies. Concealment that you have anything is crucial. Remember that the very first “trespasser” that is shot at lets others know that you have something worth fighting for, use good discreation. Convincing others that you have nothing and are just as “bad off” as they are will take some showmanship. Rundown looking property is one way to discourage many, as well as looking as much like a sick or dilapidated person as possible. Still one of the best ways to ward off hungry people is SMELL. Out of the five senses, scent and smell will drive a starving person rapidly towards a possible food source, or very rapidly away from something that reeks. Horrid smells tell the brain to stay far away. Of course not telling anyone about what you have stored up before a disaster is essential. It is often very encouraging to “think” those living around you are all aboard with preparation, but in reality people are likely only telling you what you what to hear. It only takes one person to betray you and let everyone know you have a mini-supermarket ready to be picked clean. True trust in others must be carefully weighed. Remember this before letting anyone outside your family and survival group know that you are even interested in prepping, “most people are just TALK, too much talk, and are not on the side of the prepper (YOU!)”. There are good reasons why close to 99% of the population freely chooses not to prepare.
You always hope that you never have to fight off neighbors that have remained friendly and courteous towards you for years, but almost no one has faced what is coming. Insane cicumstances drive many civilized people into blinded insane savages capable of incomprehensible acts of desperation. It has to be remembered that by self sacrificing much, the prepper/survivalist has what they need when civilization implodes. Those who haven’t prepared have consciously decided to enjoy themsleves and waste much. In other words, someone that has taken the money, time, and effort to save for tomorrow makes what they have stored up, “worth it to defend”. Those that have not prepared don’t care if you and your family go hungry in less than a week, if they did they would have stored up supplies themselves. These individuals are going to expect you to “share” everything you have. This is why the prepper needs to be more than ready to defend themselves against those that will “try” to forcefully take your lifeline from you.
This article has been generously shared with SHTFplan readers by regular community contributor Be Informed. For previous discussions on emergency preparedness see his other articles How horrific will it be for the non-prepper? and The List: A to Z Survival for the Abysmal Times Ahead.