Bang, Boom, Pow, Rumble, Ping (insert other sudden SHTF indicative sound) …
A sudden SHTF event has just happened, what do you do know?
1) Stay Calm: Cliche? Yes, but critical. Take a second or minute if necessary and collect yourself. Your mind will be going a mile a minute. Whatever happened was not your fault and you could not have prevented it. Stop asking why and get your plan together. Fix the Problem, Not the Blame!
One benefit of suburban life is that we are probably not a high value target. Nukes, bombs, flu outbreaks or chemical attacks are almost assuredly going to be in a major city. You should have SOME warning before the incidental effects of a major disaster reach you. This could be fallout, contagious/infected citizens or the general populace of a city pouring out. Your geographic location will dictate how much time you have and how severe it is. Know your area!
2) Gather your family!: What is the single most valuable thing in your life? If you answered anything but family you need to leave my blog (unless you don’t have any, then you can stay). Family is going to be everything for you post-Apocalypse. You are going to need them and they are going to need you.
If you break the day into 8 hour increments you can plan for each contingency. (1) Sleep time, (2) Home Time and (3) Work / School time. The third time frame prevents the most difficulty and can cause the most confusion. You are all out and about and chances are the phone system will be down. If an event happens during either of the other two time frames you are probably with your family. Be thankful for that and move to step 3. If your town is small enough you can get away with two-ways for communication. If you are further away than 3/4 – 1 mile from each other than two-ways won’t cut it. If you are like most other suburbanites, you are commuting to work and you could be hours from home.
Plan ahead of time how you and the misses or mister are going to gather the kids if they are at school. Each parent should have a kid or kids that they are responsible to get from school should the S hit the F while you all are separated during the day. This avoids confusion, saves time and will prevent doubling each others efforts as you each are running around trying to pick up the same kids. You need to discuss some pretty tough issues to be fully prepared like under what circumstances does one spouse leave to get the other. Remember, your home is your castle. Until you know what is going on, your best course of action may be to stay put. You may be forced to because chances are your house is your rally point. What if your spouse is out with kids and you are home? Do you leave and risk exposure to a crumbling world? What if you don’t even know where they are? This was a tough one for my wife and I but now that we have a plan and certain situations were discussed we may be better off than before.
The only solid solution that I can see are HAM radios. Get both you and your spouse licensed and get handheld radios as they can transmit long distances (much further than two-ways). If anyone is a HAM please chime in about handheld HAM ranges. The SP has a license on the horizon as right now I am studying via an on-line course.
3) Gather Intel: Get that TV on, get the radio on, fire up the internet, do WHATEVER you have to do to gather intel. Knowledge of what’s going on will be crucial. Was it an actual nuke or a dirty bomb? Is the outbreak real? Are the dead walking? This is where a solid hand-crank radio will be CRUCIAL. I like the ones that can receive TV stations as well as radio. A side benefit to a HAM license is you will be days ahead of the other people in your area if the grid goes down. HAMs will be up and running real fast spreading information. That is what they do!
4) Secure the Perimeter: Depending on the threat you will need to start locking the house down. If chemical, get your plastic sheeting and duck tape and do your thing. If it is a civil disturbance or other attack you should start securing the doors and windows with anything you can find. Hopefully, you listened to me and have 10 – 20 lengths of 2×4 behind the garage with two charged cordless batteries for your circular saw or reciprocating saw. If not, fire up the generator, this is one of the times you should use it. If you don’t have the lumber use interior doors. Hopefully they are solid core but even hollow ones from newer homes are better than nothing. If you have a two-story home get the first floor locked down first and then the second if materials permit.
If this a nuclear disaster your course of action should be specifically tailored to your exposure level. There are volumes written on this subject. Herefor example. Get informed on how radiation exposure works and the possible effects of exposure. Know how far you away from potential high-value targets (cities, military bases, major power plants, etc.) as this will be critical in determining what type of exposure you are facing. If you are close enough, you may have to cut-tail and run! Get an inexpensive radiation monitor like a RadDetect or NuKalert. (FYI, RadDetects have been out-of-stock for months … Wonder what the buyers know that we don’t?)
Get your arms in order. Lock-n-load. Grab your home defense gun at first and meantime have the family start prepping the arsenal for full deployment. Get a full time look out going, this is a great job for your kids.
4) Gather additional Supplies (if possible)- You should be well stocked on everything right? That doesn’t mean you can’t get more if you can do so safely. Have a list with what you have and what you could use more of. Keep it in the house so others can use it if you aren’t there yet. There are certain products you just can’t have enough of if disaster strikes. Food, Water, Ammo, Medical. If any of these items can be grabbed at the last minute, go for it. Can you get some money out of the bank? Empty that account if the S is really going down. Money MAY not mean anything to a true survivalist as he knows it is toilet paper in a true SHTF event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bribe joe-shmoe out of a few cans of food or boxes of ammo! There is a theory on last minute preps that many of preparedness folks employ. That is the Contra-Flow Theory (I just made that up!). It states that since most unprepared people will be heading to the grocery store or Wal-Mart type super stores looking for food, water, ammo (i.e. the basics) you can head to lesser swarmed stores since you have your basics stored away. Maybe you hit Home-Depot for a generator or the gas station to fill up your cars and gas cans and even buy more propane tanks. You could get to the gun store for more ammo or cleaning supplies (do not neglect to stock up on cleaning supplies. What could is 10,000 rounds if you don’t have enough oil to keep your weapon firing?).
Miscellaneous ideas:Fill the bath tub with water (or anything you can find for that matter) as you never know when service will be interrupted. Pull the cars into the garage to protect them and conceal any packing for immediate evac. Get the family dressed and ready to go just in case (includes shoes, jackets, etc). Pull out your G.O.O.D. bags, double check them and have them by the door. I don’t promote bugging out but sometimes you gotta go no matter what! If you have a place to bug to then good for you, I am not anti-remote-property. In a bird flu outbreak scenario, bugging out if probably a very viable option. Hell, just relocating out of the burbs for a while will increase your chances on not contracting the virus.
Bottom line, have a plan and be ready for the worst. The moments following a disaster can be crucial! Good Luck Team!
Sorry no post yesterday. I had a little SHTF situation at my house so no time to blog.