We all know that knowledge is key right? A commander with superior intel (intelligence) will have an advantage on the battlefield. In fact, billions are spent by the military every year developing ways for commanders and soldiers on the ground to gather valuable intel so that they have the advantage in a fight. One of the most basic and ancient forms of intel is an accurate and current MAP!
15 years ago preppers were at a disadvantage – they had topographical or at best road maps of their AO. For those of us bugging-in (a term used to describe a prepping strategy where you stay put rather than running out of the area) your AO will be the 1 mile (give-or-take) surrounding our home or retreat. You should take careful notice of all the resources in your AO as well as geographic advantages and disadvantages. You should be marking water sources (creeks, rivers, springs and pools), you should be marking high ground (potential tactical positioning) and low ground (potential flood areas), you should be marking areas for placing road blocks, scouting locations, etc.
Ok, well HOW? GOOGLE MAPS (and Google Map Maker)! Google map your home. In the lower right there is an icon that says “edit in Google Map Maker” – when clicking this you can print color aerial maps of your AO – then take it to your local printer and have them blow it up to 11×17 or larger and have it laminated so you can use a “dry erase” pen (those used on white boards) and mark the map but have the ability to erase and edit!
These can be used with your neighbors when strategically setting up neighborhood defenses – they can be used for daily briefings with your team for patrol points – they can be used for resource procurement and gathering – they can be used for coordinating the systematic searching and scavenging of abandoned homes in your neighborhood. BOTTOM LINE – THEY ARE INVALUABLE AND FREE!!!! (gotta love the internet!)
Make two or three (or more) maps. One that shows your immediate neighborhood in close detail and then successively move out so you have more area covered which goes at the expense of detail. You never know what you are going to need so redundancy is key.
Of course – you better get these in place now as you cannot count on the internet when the S hits fan! See my VERY crude example of a random neighborhood below. NO - I can’t show you mine since that is a major OPSEC violation for secrecy and prepping!
CLICK MAP TO EXPAND TO FULL MAP!
GOOD LUCK AND PREP NOW AND PREP HARD!