The Suburbanite’s Challenge to Survival and Preparation, Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts that will highlight serious challenges to the suburban prepper. We will then discuss ideas to overcome these challenges then YOU, my faithful readers, can give your 2-cents on the subject (since I do recognize that I don’t know everything).

How do you protect your home from the unsavory characters combing the streets looking for the food, ammo and medical gear they failed to pack away?

So Why Are You Still Here?
Why haven’t you bugged out to your 50+ acre Idaho farm on fertile growing soil? You know the one on Rawles Lane (you named your new street after the survival guru Mr. J. Rawles didn’t you?). Well, first of all my kids want to go to a school with more than one room, my wife still wants to see her mother (shivers) and I have a job that cannot be done over the internet. These factors all mean one thing … suburban life baby!
Being stuck in the burbs ensures one thing … that the chances of you buggin’ out are slim to none and slim was arrested for terrorism and is being held as an enemy combatant. You are in the burbs dude, once the mushroom cloud goes up you aren’t going anywhere! The streets will be packed with cars that only have 1/4 of a tank (cause who can afford to fill er’ up anymore) and pretty soon major roads and freeways are going to parking lots. If you try to make it, you risk your family being exposed out on the road with nothing more than what you could cram in your Explorer. Unless you are guaranteed to make it to a retreat or wilderness area you may be forced to bug in.

You’re Here, Get Ready to Make a Stand!
So how do you protect your suburban home? The biggest threat as I see it is an assualt by a determined group. Why?  All they have to do is burn your house down. Ever think of that? Watch some old westerns and you will see how easy it is to get someone out of a building. You have two ways to prevent this: (1) stay completely hidden so no one knows the house is occupied or (2) double up with another family, fortify that McMansion and give em’ hell.

Staying Hidden:
You are limited only by your imagination here. Staying hidden requires that you never leave the house so you better have your preps squared away and solid! You better have night light discipline. Solar power instead of a noisy smelly generator (is there anything that would call MORE attention to your location after the gird goes down than a generator?). You will need to cook indoors which presents its own issues or go on completely cold food. Become nocturnal (there is a reason animals are nocturnal you know) and do all of your outside work at night. Get some night vision or get your eyes seared like Vin Diesal in Pitch Black and make the night yours!
You should be prepared to hide inside your home at least once if a roving gang does a house to house sweep a la “I am Legned” in a coordinated and systematic search for goods. Hiding yourself can be challenging and it is limited by your home’s structure and location. Consider the attic to hide (ever read Diary of Ann Frank?, I didn’t but I think she hid there), false walls, hidden rooms (you could easily convert a closet into a hidden room with one of these), hollowed out furniture, or any other creative idea you have. Remember, you will only have to stay hidden for a short period of time, they will eventually move on. Considered hiding your preps as well. This presents a much larger challenge but I think you get the idea.

Show Them No Mercy… For You Shall Receive None! (Lord of the Rings!)
So you were in town at a make-shift pub drinking home distilled vodka and had a little too much to drink and pissed off the leader of the Hell’s Angels gang that happens to be motoring through town. On top of it all, you start spouting off about how you have three years worth of food, 1,000 rounds of ammo, gold bars and a teenage daughter and that they will never get you… Uh Oh, you are screwed. You get back to the house but they followed you and now get ready for a Lord of the Rings siege… Are you ready?
Preparing the Castle for The Siege
If you are planning to bug in or have to because of your particular circumstances you must be prepared to protect the “keep”. This requires prior planning, acquiring some key items and some research.
A great place to start is Combined Arms Operations in Urban Terrain. (Go over to Ranger Man’s Blog and pick up a copy through his online store) This is the Army’s manual for urban combat. It will show you how to reinforce windows, how to move in a building without being seen and whole bunch other really cool stuff. It also shows you how you may be seized upon! Knowing the other guys’ moves may be helpful.
You will need to pick up the items to reinforce your windows, doors and any other entrances to the house. I would suggest buying multiple lengths of 2x4s and flooring thickness plywood and stashing them behind the garage covered under a tarp to reduce the weather’s effects on them. The SP always has TWO charged batteries for his power tools so even if the power goes down, you have got a few hours of operation left.   Sand bags would be great but I not sure the homeowners’ association would like a pile of sand in the drive way “just in case”.  If you have a little room in the back for some sand, then stash some bags and a shovel.  Sand bags make the best cover for firing out of a window (ok, not as good as armor, but you get the picture).  Razor wire is a fantastic item to prevent actual entry into the home. It is not terribly expensive but handle it with caution. Check out the burglar bomb for some chemical deterrents.  You can get creative if there has been some sort of chemical or nuclear attack and post a bunch of fake warnings on the door and walls indicating that the people inside are infected or mutated (it is worth a shot right?)

As you know the sky is the limit.  If you read Patriots by J. Rawles then you know that protecting your home can be done with explosives and other hard-core devices.  If you can get this stuff (and handle it safely) then good for you.  But for the average suburbanite, that is not a reality.   The goal here is to make YOUR home undesirable to anyone trying to make an easy killPlayground rules kids, the bullys pick the easy targets.


Below I have provided a picture of my own home so you can get an idea of my defensive capabilities. 

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in SHTF, Suburban Survival 2 Comments

What is the Minimum?

What’s the Minimum Amount of Suburban Prep?

This question is a lot harder to answer than you might think. I got idea by accident the other day. A good friend of mine picked up a Mossberg 12-gauge at Big 5 that was on sale. He had never owned a gun before, he had never shot a shotgun before and it was a total impulse buy (are there any other types of gun purchases?) We were corresponding by email and as a final thought I mentioned that all he needs is 20lbs of rice and he is now better prepared than 90% of the people on his block. So it got me thinking, what is the absolute minimum that you could recommend to a friend that wants a SHTF insurance policy? Going overboard is easy! But what about helping friends and family get self-sufficient without overwhelming them with costs and storage constraints.

The SP’s Road Map for a MPS:
My friend’s impulse purchase got him 33% to a Minimum Preparedness State (MPS). The 12-gauge shotgun cannot be beat for dependability, impact and psychological effect. If you are looking for a house to rob and the owner is sitting on the porch with a 12-gauge, you find another house. You don’t even need a thousand rounds of buck. In my opinion 10 rounds is the minimum. (I know the gun nuts are going to freak out at this recommendation… but remember these are minimums!) [EDIT: I am going to agree with one of the comments and amend the ammo suggestion.  A 25 round box of bird shot is about the same price and although not as heavy duty as the "00" will still do sufficient damage.  The extra 15 shells certainly offsets the power reduction.  Also, it is probably advisable to spend a little more on the ammo since a shotgun without ammo is just a metal stick]

Next, add the aforementioned 20lbs of rice that will not take up much room at all and be able sustain him for a few weeks depending on his rationing. Rice is relatively cheap and therefore a little more is probably advised.

The last item is a Katadyn water filter. No water … No Life! You gotta have a way to get water in a post SHTF scenario. You can usually count on tap water in a normal power outage but in a total grid down scenario the municipa water plants aren’t going to be powered either. That is where the Katadyn Combi with sink adapter comes in. With the sink adapter you can pull water from the pipes at least for a while. This unique feature makes the additional cost worth while. Travel out of the house for any reason will be dangerous. An internal filter water source will be invaluable. After that you are going to have to be creative finding water sources.
So Here Is:
Mossberg “Security” model $249.99
10 rounds “00″ buck – $8.00 (or 25 round box of bird-shot; same price)
20lbs of rice – $30.00? (I haven’t priced it lately)
Katadyn Combi w/ sink adapter - $170
Grand Total for Your Suburban Insurance Policy – $458

Yeah, that seems high. But, except for the buying more rice after it goes bad (and that is a long way off if stored properly) your MPS kit has an indefinite shelf life.

(note that this guy is single and therefore for him this is sufficient. For families with children this would represent the absolute minimum and the rice portion must be adjusted)


Last and Certaintly not least a BIG Thank You to the guys over at the Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest!! The Suburban Prepper was said to have “solid potential”! Thanks for the increased traffic over here!


Posted on by Suburban Prepper in SHTF, Suburban Survival 3 Comments

Grand Theft Auto IV – Training for a Suburban SHTF Scenario?

Good Afternoon and Salutations Fellow Suburban Marauders:

Yes, the time is quickly approaching … Grand Theft Auto IV is coming to video game systems throughout suburbia. This is the controversial, blood-filled simulation of crime and destruction that has so often been the center of the main-stream media’s attention. It serves as a reminder of everything wrong with society: violence, increased separation of social classes, drugs and even prostitution…GASP!

BOOM! Suburban Combat Looks Good Especially In High Definition! (disclaimer: Police violence is BAD!)

If you are like me living in a moderately populated American city, you have a 2.5 TVs and 1.25 video game systems to go along with your 2.5 children (or whatever we are at today). If you are like me you too will be rushing out to pick up the latest version of the GTA series the moment it hits the shelf. To promote glorified violence? To live out twisted fantasies? No No NO people …
TO TRAIN FOR A SHTF SCENARIO!! No, it isn’t perfect but it is the next best thing to the Military’s urban combat simulator.

Think about it, you get a nice refresher course on firearms (long range weapons vs. the close quarters 12-guage), you get to experience the gang mentality and heirarchy and study the underground economy (read as prostitution and drugs). These are the elements that will undoubtely take over in the months following a societal or economic collapse. Don’t fight it … prepare for it!! Gangs are already organized, well armed and supplied. I don’t know about you but I DO NOT know where to get a live grenade or full-auto AK-47… But I guarantee you they do!! The underground economy has the same sort of supply lines (woman? Drugs?) in place and a list of clients (drug addicts? Johns?) to stay strong through rough times. Sheeple are going to be trading their last bits of food, ammo and guns for drugs and alcohol, the black-marketeers are in turn going to be selling that stuff to us … for what? I am not sure. I guess whatever they don’t have. The point is they are going to be the center of our economy (shutter!)

These Guys are Your New Courtesy Clerks After the SHTF!

According to the game’s makers, they have taken every effort to ensure that the fictional city in the game acts and reacts like the real thing. If you are buying your water from one gang and their rival finds out … uh oh, better pick up that full-auto AK and sand bag the house. There is more to the post-apocolypse world than survival … there are politics. Use GTA IV to practice your post-SHTF diplomacy skills, they may come in handy! So, maybe I am just trying to justify my latest purchase or maybe I am onto something… you decide!

NOTE: Part of this game involves simulated illegal activity. The SP in NO WAY CONDONES ILLEGAL ACTIVITY!! The SP IN NO WAY CONDONES VIOLENCE AGAINST OUR POLICE AND SAFETY OFFICERS!!! I am a supporting citizen of my local Sheriff and Metro Police Officers… Back the Badge!


Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Fun 2 Comments

The 411, The Dealio, What is going on here? Ohh, and Some Actual Advice!!

Fellow Suburban Preppers Surfing for Additional Reasons to be Paranoid:

As you can tell I am still trying to figure this crap out. My head is bursting with ideas and advice but translating that into a blog is proving to be more difficult than I thought (I thought it would be easy…ha!)

So these intial pages are all about the SP’s learning curve. No, that doesn’t mean there won’t be good stuff here. I plan I rewarding anyone who will take the time to stop by and read. What it means it, I am waiting to start my campaign of increased traffic until I have this little lady (my page) running on all cylinders!! Hoo-Raa!

This site IS dedicated to a small niche that has not been filled yet… The Suburban Prepper! If you are living in a McMansion or tract home, that doesn’t mean you cannot prepare for the Apocalypse! If just takes a little more planning. The SP has been on the case for several years now and think I can help you.

If you are actually looking for some advice, something to steal for your own blog or just something to mention to your wife so you can justify your latest order to cheaperthandirt … here goes:

Test Your Long Term Food Supplies

As Bison says, some things seem so obvious that you assume everyone would do it… Not Always the Case fellow bunker dwellers! You see, when I began this conquest for self-sufficiency I started blindly ordering long-term storage food. My idea (flawed or not) was that rotation is a bitch and I don’t want to eat this stuff on a daily basis. So where can I get the most bang-for-my-buck. What is the longest lasting food? Well, as many of you know Mountain House #10 cans ROCK as far as cost and long-term storage… 35 YEARS? Really? But, how do they taste? Are they even foods you and the Misses want to eat?

Yes, I am getting to the point. Those #10 cans are the best way to go for long-term storage. The pouches will only get you 5 -7. Don’t get me wrong, that ain’t bad. So how do I figure out what Rocks and what …. well, I guess doesn’t rock. TASTE TESTS!!

Go to (prepare for plugging), or your other favorite website and buy a couple different Mountain House 2 person pouches in different flavors you THINK you will like. Sample each one and let the FAMILY sample each one!!! The Suburban Marauder is a family man. If my kids don’t like it, they ain’t gonna eat it! My main duty is to them so I better get what they like. Once you find the flavors you like, feel free to invest in a number of #10 cans of that type. Nothing could be worse than a closet full (remember this is a suburban prep site, no basement bunker like Rawles’ site) of food you nor your family will eat. In my case, MH’s Chili Mac was soooo spicy I drank a gallon of water along with the meal. Does that sound like an appropriate amount of water consumption??? Hell No! Don’t waste the wet gold!

The same goes for MREs. The SP isn’t not a big fan of the MRE meal… no no no! But I am loving the MRE side dishes, snacks and desserts …. Yummy! However, I did not figure this out without a lot of research. That means I order a single pack of each type from and once I figured out what I liked, BOOM, I ordered it by the case load.

FYI, the kids and wife love the deserts. I believe that after a SHTF scenario keeping them calm with yummy foods while I patrol the perimeter is advantageous.
Here are some of the SP’s favorites:
Chocolate Brownie
Lemmon Poppy Pound Cake
Chedder Filled Pretzels
And Please … Do Not forget the Chocolate Peanut Butter Spread!!!

Also, I have ordered extensively from all the sites above and recommend them to you… free of charge of course!

Get Testing Everyone!!!

Please check back, the more people that roll through, the more motivated I’ll be!! Comments, even cruel ones are appreciated … It means that someone is looking!!


Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Food, Long Term Prepping 1 Comment

Zombie Survival

Do you have what it takes to survive?

Click the number and find out…. Clearly I need some more guns! The SP stands and dives through the nearest window headed to Bullseye in San Rafael!!! (plug? Oh Yeah)

Visit the Bullseye Range in Northern California!!


Good Luck!

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Fun, Uncategorized Comments Off