Today we are going to talk about the singular most important aspect of "prepping." The one thing that, if forgotten, will surely spell your doom as quickly as if you'd never started.
The first rule about prepping is that you don't talk about prepping! Then 2nd rule of prepping is that you don't talk about prepping! Generally speaking, you don't want the grasshoppers knowing that you, the ant, have been stockpiling food, water, fuel, etc., for a rainy day. I say generally because there is one exception to this rule that we will touch on in a minute.
Human beings are not born to be polite and civil creatures. It's just simply not in our nature. If left to our own devices in a lawless, free-for-all, environment, the "average" person would revert to base savagery in a very short period of time. Most people who walk amongst us on a daily basis, maybe even some you know personally, are nothing more than hungry wolves who ravenously eyeball all of the sheep around them and would otherwise devoure them if it weren't for the very thin veil of civility that our modern society has cast over it.
That veil consists of law enforcement, the courts, and basic societal niceities that tend to keep people docile when times are good. But thrust that person into a post-SHTF scenario where food, water, and shelter are scare and police and the military are too preoccupied protecting critical infrastructure and our precious "leaders" to worry about saving actual lives, and some people WILL lose their damn minds and start giving in to those otherwise hidden desires. And a hungry, thirsty or cold person with nothing to lose, is a very dangerous adversary.
So as you prepare yourself for "come what may," remember your OPSEC (Operational Security). Loose lips sink preps! If you blab to every neighbor you've got that you have enough emergency supplies to sustain you and your family for "x-amount" of time, the first place they are coming to is your house. Are you prepared to shoot your neighbor in the face to protect your supplies? Food and water and medicine that you stockpiled to save YOUR family? While Mr. Grasshopper went on vacation every other month, bought big TVs and sportcars, you were skrimping and saving every penny in order fit your supplies into your already small budget. Are you going to allow this tool to jeopardize everything you've worked so hard for?
I wouldn't. I'd firmly tell Mr. Grasshopper to bug off and if he didn't, then, well... let's say my dog would have a new source of meat for a while. No one is going to steal my supplies while I'm breathing. No one.
So let's avoid this moral dilema and just don't talk to anyone outside of your circle about your preps, okay?
And this brings me to the one exception! The only people you should be talking about your preps to is your Mutual Defense Group, Neighborhood Defense Group...whatever you want to call your group...that's the only people you should be spilling the dry beans to about your preps.
So to review, the first rule of prepping is security. The first rule of security is keeping your mouth shut. Very easy to remember, right?
The next part of security is your shelter. As I've said before, a suburban home is not built to be a bunker. The materials the average house is made out of (wood, stucco, plywood, insulation, etc.) is not bulletproof. I've contemplated building a mock up of a standard interior and exterior wall of a standard suburban home and then making a video of me shooting it with regular pistol and rifle bullets to visually demonstrate this for you all. Luckily for me, someone with far more time on his hands already did that - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZPGSiDs5_k Also, someone tested cinderblock....another common building material - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UviQEvhBRh4
So if you think your home is impenetrable...think again. There are some after market materials that are readily available to homeowners that WILL make your house resistant to small arms fire - http://www.interbank-equipment.com/BulletResistantCompositePanels.aspx?gclid=CNaJ9If5x7wCFc2TfgodlFEAXQ and http://www.interbank-equipment.com/bulletresistantproducts.aspx However, these items are very, very expensive. If you are a prepper on a budget, these items may be too far outside of your price range.
So let's think low cost options, shall we? How can you make your home as safe and secure as possible while not taking out a 2nd mortgage? There are few methods we can explore. They are:
Hiding in Plain Sight
The Home Depot Method
The Earth Mover Method
Now, these are completely 100% made up terms by yours truly. To my knowledge, no one else calls these methods by these names. But I like to simplfy things...so here we go.
Hiding in Plain Sight:
This method of urban concealment relies on the principles of blending into your surroundings. For instance, if you chose to stay in your home, condo, or apartment, you'd want to make your shelter look as uninviting as humanly possible. How? Well. You can throw all your junk on the lawn, break some windows, spray paint it with a big orange "X" on the door (during times of martial law or "round ups," the search parties will mark each house as they clear it. This "X" may lead potential looters or vilians to believe that your house has been picked clean already and they'll move onto the next one down the line), generally mess the place up a bit to create the illusion that your house is not worth the time it would take to search it. You could even spray some black paint up the walls out of each window to make it look like the interior was gutted by fire. I'm no Hollywood set dresser, but I'm sure I could find ways to make my house look totally jacked up if I had to.
One man who survived an entire year in a besieged city in the Balkans tells of how all the big, pretty, houses of the wealthier inhabitants were the first to be destroyed and looted. Only those compounds that had enough armed people inside to defend them were spared. Basically, the more destroyed a home appeared to be (or actually was in his case) the better off the people inside were. They were not 100% safe. They were just slightly "better off."
The Home Depot Method:
This method abandons the principle of hiding in plain sight and skips to the principle of making your house look like too much of a hassle to try to enter. As mentioned above, if you're going to go this route, make sure you have strength in numbers. The more guns and people you have inside who know how to use them, the "better off" you're going to be. The Home Depot Method employs means of fortifying your home with every day materials that you can find at any home improvement store. From big sheets of plywood over the windows and doors, to building boxes on the inside of your doors and windows that cannot be seen from outside. This method is so free form that you are literally only hindered by your imagination. But remember, you're going to stick out like a sore thumb and these materials may only be good for "slowing down" your attackers long enough for you get out of dodge!
The Earth Mover Method:
This method expands upon the fortifications started by The Home Depot Method by using earth, or dirt, as a barrier. As little as 12-inches of regular old dirt will stop a 5.56mm x 45 round (the most common type of bullet in America) from penetrating into your shelter - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeexGz8hABI
You can buy sandbags, boxes, whatever you need to use to hold the dirt. Or, simply shovel it up against your walls to just under the windows (so you'll have something to duck under) and pack it down. You can also use logs, timber, etc. to build your fortifications. I know it sounds crazy, but if it works...it's not crazy. And I'm assuming that if you've decided to shelter in place and stick it out, you're prepared to do just about anything to survive. If you're going to fend off multiple attacks from would be bad guys, you will want to go "all out" and fortify your shelter as much as possible!
You can also use a combination of all three methods. Again, it's free form, so no idea is bad. If it stops a bullet and keeps you safe at night, then it's worth the time to do it.
If the situation progresses from days to weeks to months, then your security measures may also evolve over that period of time.
The best plans are made in advance. With security there is definitely strength in numbers and any time you have to fight it's always best to have the home field advantage! My advice right now would be to start a Neighborhood Defense Group. Enlist as many of your neighbors as you can. All of you begin prepping together. Share the load. Divide the responsibilites. Get everyone going at the same speed.
That way, when S does HTF, you've got a major leg up on the Grasshoppers! I take great comfort knowing that my rifle is sighted in for 300 meters and I have a nice unobstructed view up my street from my upstairs windows. Any looters coming for me and my neighbors better be fast and well protected.
Well, that's all for now. Please feel free to leave any questions, comments, critiques, etc. in the comments section! Remember, no one has ALL of the answers. My goal is to simply plant the seeds and let you water them.