WROL

All posts tagged WROL

WROL

By Pat Henry – The Prepper Journal

What are you prepping for? Is it a natural disaster like a wildfire, tornado or hurricane? Those are perfect examples of common events that occur every day. Nature has a way of dealing us unexpected circumstances from time to time and we, as humans try to roll with the situation as best we can. That is one of the benefits of prepping in that you are proactively planning for events, and the fallout of events now before you find yourself possibly affected by disaster. There are large and small examples of emergencies but prepping gives you a method of working through examples and making potentially lifesaving decisions all from the comfort of your computer or as in Sideliner’s case; the easy chair.

From a big-picture perspective we can look at regions where certain types of natural disasters are more common. If you live in areas where you have identified many potential risks as part of your prepping plan, some people advocate designing your own threat matrix. A threat matrix is really just a decision-making system where you assign a level of risk and probability to each disaster. This is supposed to help you decide which disaster is more likely or impactful to your life and thus should be worked on first. For example, California has routinely seen floods, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires and you have to throw in the risk of blackouts, riots, nuclear fallout and most recently drought. You could line all of these threats up on a page, assign them a number and a risk and start making plans accordingly. Now that I think of it, why would anyone want to live in California anyway?

As a resident of California this might make sense because you have seen the first-hand effects of these disasters, but what if there was a different type of emergency that we haven’t really seen in this country before? What preparations would you make if you knew now that the FEMA tents weren’t going to be popping up, truckloads of relief supplies weren’t headed your way and that sooner or later scores of news media and Red Cross volunteers weren’t going to be descending on your town to document the devastation?

What would a WROL world look like?

WROL is a term that means Without Rule of Law. I don’t know who coined it first but it seems to accurately describe the worst type of scenario preppers imagine. A WROL world could spring up spontaneously or it could grow out of some relatively common natural disaster. To imagine a WROL world you would simply have to imagine no police, fire or ambulances coming to your aid. In a WROL world you would be on your own or left with your band of friends and neighbors to provide for yourself all of the services that are now gone.

We have seen brief glimpses of WROL already. What if it is not ever controlled?

If you look around you might have seen glimpses of a WROL world even if they are quickly controlled. Looting is an example of WROL behavior and so are riots. The two go hand in hand but the police rely on controlling the crowd to a large extent to keep these events from growing much larger than they are. If the police are not available or are overwhelmed, what happens then? When the rioters and looters don’t have any reason to stop the spread of rage and violence, what do they move on to next?

Imagine something as benign as the power grid failing for some arbitrary period. Let’s say a fluke takes out the power for the entire eastern seaboard for one month. This could be a terrorist caused outage, solar flare or some random chain of events that causes a domino effect of failures to equipment and systems. Imagine also that this happens in August and the east coast is also experiencing warmer than usual weather.

Without power, what could possibly happen in the US? Do you think riots would break out? Could you see looting of stores? Without power there would be no way to refrigerate food. You wouldn’t be able to pump gas, run credit card machines or ATM’s, air conditioners or ice makers. Cell towers would be ineffective. Would you be able to go to work? Not likely unless your job involved something manual that was completely not reliant on electricity or fuel. My job is 100% dependent on the internet and electricity. Public transportation would be down and even government services would be unable to help. So what would millions of hot, hungry and panicked people do?

What would you have to worry about in a WROL world?

Is this all a fairytale? Maybe. There are a lot of people who believe nothing bad like this will ever happen and that our way of life will keep on chugging along in more or less the same fashion it always has. I have said many times that I hope that is our shared reality, but I am planning for the chance that it doesn’t. My own threat matrix is my gut. You will find no shortage of people who say worrying about things like this is a waste of effort.

By very definition WROL means there is law and order so normalcy is pretty much out the window. With a failure like this there wouldn’t be enough police, National Guard or military combined to help everyone out. All of these soldiers, police and firemen would have their own families to watch over most likely and I could see many of them, if forced to choose between going to work stopping a riot or staying at home to defend their wife and kids would choose the latter. Again, there will be those who disagree and say that the professional soldier, police officer or fireman would never abandon their post and communities will rally together to take care of one another in times of crisis. Maybe when the crisis is over, but not while everyone is going through it.

In the Ferguson riots, two shops were ignored by the looters. Can you guess why?

What can you do now to prepare for WROL?

My WROL scenario above is relatively short-lived. There have certainly been natural disasters where the destruction caused power outages for a long time. In my example, presumably we would have half a country that could rally to help us but assume for a second help isn’t on the way. You are on your own for a month of potential lawlessness. Imagine a month of the Purge lived out in real life?

Limit your exposure

Who makes the best target? They guy right in front of you. If there is widespread violence being carried out in the name of rage or of need, stay far away from it. You don’t want to be anywhere near the chaos that is going on and it would be better to let it burn out as much as possible before it gets to you. In this case bugging out may be your best option so have a plan for that contingency in your back pocket. In my scenario you would have plenty of time to make that decision, but you should have prepping supplies together before the ability to acquire them has passed. This includes everything you need for food, water, shelter, security and hygiene for a minimum of 6 months. Start small if you have to.

Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: What Would a WROL World Look Like?

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Justice when the grid goes down

By Pat Henry – Prepper Journal

As editor for the Prepper Journal, I think it’s fair to say that I might think of Doomsday more than a lot of people. I think all preppers do to varying degrees. I try to imagine a world on the other side of collapse; a future that is soaked in chaos and anarchy, of people on the edge of survival. I think about these things not because I am a deviant psychopath bent on seeing the world burn while I assume some throne atop the wreckage of civilization; I think about the worst our society can become so I am hopefully able to plan in some way for contingencies like this. I figure if I plan for the absolute worst case scenario I will have at least spent some brain-power now trying to figure out solutions to the challenges in my imagination. If nothing happens, that is perfectly fine but I don’t want to be shell-shocked and unable to act if something horrible really does happen. In reality, that may be what happens regardless, but I do consider mental practice a worthwhile exercise.

We talk about combating violence with violence on this blog a lot, but usually from the standpoint of protecting yourself, your home or your loved ones and that is a very real and tangible possibility even now. If you add some SHTF event on top of the regular evil in the world, I believe violence will become extremely more prevalent. We in the U.S. have been largely insulated from violence and war inside our borders anyway for a very long time. Strangely enough, the rest of the world has not. I believe it only takes the right scenario or chain of events for our nation to see tanks rolling down our streets, massive protests with hundreds injured or even killed in the name of ‘restoring order’, martial law, and many thousands arrested for dissent. I also think it is possible for the right trigger event to completely destroy all semblance of society and with it our understanding of law and order. When there are no rules anymore, what do you do?

When there is no more Rule of Law

As preppers we prepare for disasters and unplanned events of all shapes and sizes. I like to believe that the actions I take to be more prepared can be used for millions of different scenarios and enhance the lives of my family even if there are never any disasters. Just the other week, I was fortunate enough to put out a small fire in our home with one of the fire-extinguishers I had purchased expressly because I was thinking about living without the benefit of the fire department. This simple prep we made was able to potentially save our home from burning down. In this case, that small act of preparing for fire actually made me prepared to act in a way that protected my family for a situation I had planned for. Go Figure!

Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: Survival Community: Justice in a WROL world?

OPSEC

Editors Note: This post originally appeared on the Prepper Journal last January, but some concepts in prepping and life in general bear repeating again.

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What is OPSEC? OPSEC is short for Operations Security or Operational Security and encompasses identifying critical information to determine if your actions can be observed by adversaries. To boil that down further, it is making sure bad guys don’t have any information about you that they can use against you.  This could be to either harm you, or compromise you or your group in a way that would be detrimental. There, is that murky and ominous sounding enough for you?

If you have traveled in the Preparedness circles for more than 15 minutes, you have heard the terms “Good OPSEC” or “Practice OPSEC” to describe either how to or how not to let people know your business. As a Prepper who are your adversaries? Well, that would depend on the situation. In a Grid-up, everything is fine; (code White) type of scenario you are probably only concerned about, thieves and the Government. Oh wait, was that redundant?

In a Grid-Down scenario things change quickly. Or if you are in a WROL (Without Rule of Law) situation they are vastly different. In any type of scenario where lives are on the line as a normal course of survival; be it from conflict or catastrophe, who would you possibly need to be aware of?  Potentially everyone!

I want to talk about the process of ensuring OPSEC and how this can relate to most everyone reading this post. Some of the topics I bring up and ideas for changing how you look at them could more accurately be described under INFOSEC (Information Security), but let’s not split hairs OK? Unless you are full time active duty military working in Intelligence, the generic bucket of OPSEC will suffice for this topic and our audience. Additionally, we could get way more technical and instructive and break out charts and diagrams and models but that is beyond the scope of this article.

Now that we have that out of the way, an explanation of the different processes in OPSEC might be worthwhile.

Identify Critical Information – The information that comes to mind most often is bank account information, passwords, Social Security Information, Taxes and Credit Card accounts. Going deeper, what information about you,  your lifestyle, hobbies, health issues, political philosophy, your likes and dislikes, resources, skills, travel habits etc. could help your adversary? How many people are in your group? How much food and water do you have stored? What types of weapons and ammunition do you have? Almost any personal information can be used against you in the right situation. The key is figuring out what to share or not and with whom.

Analyze Threats – Who could be looking for any information on you that might jeopardize your security? Let’s take the situation of a normal day. You go to work, drop the kids off at practice, check the internet, run by the bank and so on. You aren’t Jason Bourne, or James Bond. Who would want to do anything with your info? Good question, but it isn’t as simple as Good Spy versus Bad Spy. It could be that a neighbor over hears you talking about a recent gun purchase and they call the cops because they are afraid you are going to go postal. Maybe a co-worker hears or observes you showing off part of your EDC and determines you are a risky individual and make them scared. See how that could get you in trouble?

Analyze Vulnerabilities

Smart Phones – If you don’t realize it already, you are carrying around probably the single biggest threat to your security and anonymity. According to Reason.com:

Nearly 90 percent of adult Americans carry at least one phone. The phones communicate via a nationwide network of nearly 300,000 cell towers and 600,000 micro sites, which perform the same function as towers. When they are turned on, they (cell phones) ping these nodes once every seven seconds or so, registering their locations, usually within a radius of 150 feet. By 2018 new Federal Communications Commission regulations will require that cellphone location information be even more precise: within 50 feet. Newer cellphones also are equipped with GPS technology, which uses satellites to locate the user more precisely than tower signals can. Cellphone companies retain location data for at least a year. AT&T has information going all the way back to 2008.

What does that mean? That everyone’s very precise location at virtually any time is available by a multitude of agencies. If you don’t want anyone to know where you are, don’t take a cell phone with you. For a powerful visual, check out this Ted Talk from German Green Party politician Malte Spitz.

But that isn’t all. How many of us are reading this on a phone? The phone manufacturers and cell service providers keep records of every single search you make and webpage you look up and they are planning to use this to extend outside of your phone to present advertising to you as you get closer to stores, shopping etc. Again, if you think you have any privacy on a cell phone, you are mistaken. What can you do? For Smart phones your only real option (besides not carrying one) is either not search for anything you don’t want anyone to find out about, or set the privacy functions as far as they will allow. For most of the newer phones you can set browser privacy and history settings and if the manufacturers are honest, they say they won’t record this. I am not optimistic though so I assume that I am showing up big time on the grid. You will never be able to carry a cell phone and not have your location recorded virtually real-time.

Social Media  – Social Media like Facebook and Twitter have a place I believe,  but they must be used with caution if you want any of your information to stay secure. You can give away too much information on these sites and before you know it you could end up like the family who was robbed because of what their teenager had posted to Facebook. What can you do? For starters don’t tweet about vacation plans, large purchases or changes that could make you vulnerable “Mom and Dad are gone for two hours…”, or “headed to the beach for 10 days”. Also, consider the photos you are putting on these sites. Do they show anything, like in the case above, that you don’t want some people to know about? If you aren’t sure, maybe you shouldn’t be posting them. Does this require more thought and work? Yes, but if you want to keep your family safe and your information secure (while still using all of the latest Social Media tools) then you should consider what you are posting.

Friends and Family – This is more of a grey area because if you can’t trust your friends, who can you trust? I would say take each incident on its own merits and think about it. For example, when I started to really get into more of a Prepping mindset, the last thing I wanted to do was to push people away or make them think I had lost my mind and gone over the deep end. I wanted all of my friends and family to come along with me, to see the value in what I was discussing with them and to take steps to prepare themselves. I would have friends over and something political would come up and I would gauge their sentiments by asking probing questions before I would blurt out anything obnoxious. That is a normal rule of conversations though; never discuss Religion or Politics. My family breaks this rule every time we get together.

When you start talking about storing a years’ worth of freeze dried food or adding water catchment systems (rain barrels) to your house or purchasing solar panels and going off-the-grid, people are less cautious and are more comfortable with the old “What are you now, a hippy”? I would joke with my family initially saying that I wanted to move to a large piece of land with a fortified house (castle) and a moat with anti-missile batteries at the corners and an underground city with tunnels leading to my escape hatch. I called this my compound.

SilenceMeansSecurity

The joke went around for a while with my friends and neighbors laughing but as we kept talking about it and reality and current events did a better job of convincing them than I ever could, they started to see the light. Eventually, I let them know that my ideal plan would be for all of them to join me “on the compound” and not so slowly most of them agreed that they would like to move there. Several of my family and extended family and I have discussed plans for just that type of scenario, but how would this have gone if I came right out at the beginning and said I wanted to pack up everyone and move to my underground bunker? Friends are similar but you don’t want them necessarily showing up at your door if SHTF unannounced and begging. I do want all of my friends to be prepared though so I do want to continue to have conversations with them. I don’t necessarily open up about all of my preps right away, if ever though.

Neighbors – another tricky subject. Your neighbors will most likely be the people that you are depending on in a post SHTF scenario or they may be the ones you are defending yourself from. Knowing and forming good relationships with your neighbors can be the difference between surviving and dying. Period. Unfortunately, as a society, we are so much less involved in our neighbor’s lives than we were in the past. We don’t know what they think because we don’t speak to them in most cases. What is your neighbor prepared for? Will your neighbor turn to the authorities if the time comes when informing on your neighbors is the only option for a scared and hungry populace?

You have two options as I see it; either you try to make nice and get to know them to form a good bond or you have to decide what you are going to do if they turn against you. Actually, you may have to decide this regardless.

If you don’t know your neighbors and don’t plan on getting to know them keep your survival preps more closely guarded. Don’t walk around in the front yard with your latest rifle purchase and don’t advertise that you have “enough food for 6 months”.  Ideally you would be able to partner with your neighbors for food and protection if the SHTF. They have a vested interest in protecting their home too.

Trash – our trash is one of the easiest ways for criminals to find out about us. Shred your mail and this is a non-issue. I won’t get into the recycling police yet, but that is coming in another article.

Assess Insider Knowledge

OK, so now we know some of the many areas where we should be cautious. Now you have to ask yourself, who has this knowledge? Like I said, we keep most everything between ourselves and family and I try to ensure they all know not to blab about things like firearms or stockpiles of beans and rice. Who else knows information that you don’t want getting out? Think about this and let it come to the front of your mind before you talk about the latest shipment from Mountain House you received, or show everyone your new AR-15.

Apply Appropriate Measures

We know some of the threats, now what do you do? Should you learn Morse code or create a new language that only you and your family understands? Probably, but that isn’t very realistic is it? I prefer the common sense approach. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but anything you can do to limit the information people can use against you the better. Start by watching what you say and how you say it. This goes for sharing information. Take some time to figure out if what you are doing daily is what you would be doing if the grid went down with regards to information. Does this make you cagey? Perhaps, but after time and practice you will get better. I don’t view this as lying, I simply redirect if the subject goes somewhere I don’t want it to or I am a little vaguer than I need to be. You will know it when you see it. The key is to start thinking in terms of keeping your affairs as quiet as you need for the situation you are in.

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Prepping 101 – OPSEC

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Today we’re looking at some helpful information from across the web, with a little helpful commentary to assist you!

 

From survivalweekly.com: What Would a WROL World Look Like?

why_rule_of_law

 

This was an interesting look into a world where law is nonexistent, and it covers a lot of the basics for those who don’t yet know them. One particular point of interest was how labor might be divided, since most prepper fiction has a perfect group complete with medical expert, farmer, mechanical expert, and firearms user. Of course in real life it might not be quite so nicely setup, and the article put some interesting ideas forward about what might happen to the little old lady in the group or the office workers.

 

From rodalenews.com: WHO: Antibiotic Resistance Now a “Major Threat to Public Health”

bacteria

Antibiotic resistance is a major issue for two reasons:

  1. It could potentially cause a disaster scenario, namely a pandemic, that could kill millions and devastate the globe.
  2. During another disaster, it makes it even more difficult to successfully treat people in your group when wounds become infected or people are stricken with disease.

Of particular note is the problem of general microbial resistance, since that means that even non-bacterial infections such as parasites are also becoming more resistant. Frankly, if the most powerful drugs (called “treatment of last resort drugs”) are becoming less effective now, what will that mean for lesser treatments that the average person is more likely to have on hand? Post-disaster scenarios almost always include details on the lack of sanitation and hygiene available, and the terrible plagues that could sweep through as a result of so many potential carriers…what happens if those plagues are so resistant that nothing short of extremely limited supplies of powerful antibiotics can curb them?

 

From tonhatranch.com: Communications for Guerrilla War

maxsq

maxsq

This article takes an interesting look into almost any kind of communication you could use, including an interesting story about a TV network hijacking, complete with video! It’s also interesting to see just what effect our usual methods of getting news, entertainment etc might be doing to our capability for rational thought. As the author rightly points out, communication is everything in every situation, disaster or not so check this post out and see if there is a method that catches your eye.

 

From crisissurvivortips.com: Weeds You can Eat in a Survival Scenario

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Foraging is always a means of last resort for eating, or convenient to add some variety to stored foods. This list of weeds is particularly nifty, since many of them are so difficult to eradicate that even our chemicals and herbicides have a hard time with them! What better as a last resort food? Not only that, but some of these actually give some very helpful nutrients such as Vitamin C that can be difficult to find otherwise. Be sure to carefully read directions about preparation, as some of the plants in this list need to be washed or prepared in some way in order to remove toxins!

Your thoughts?

Let us know what you thought of this series of articles in the comments below!

This article first appeared at Prepared For That: What Would a WROL World Look Like: Josh’s Take on Survival Knowledge

 

apc_destroyed

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When it was announced that the Department of Homeland Security had acquired some 2,700 armored and mine-resistant vehicles, the news was met with an understandable level of fear. Even if the DHS didn’t misuse them, what would guarantee that some hotshot somewhere on the food chain wouldn’t grab a couple if a nationwide disaster situation began to escalate? Furthermore, for many average people an APC is actually very intimidating. Whether it is equipped for battle with machine guns or for riots with a powerful water cannon, the armored bulk of these vehicles is practically engineered to strike fear into people, particularly if they’re used to transport additional reinforcements into a tense situation. Like any threat however, these can be overcome with the proper preparations. Not only will this remove the practical benefit to whatever looter or rogue enforcement officer managed to steal one, but it will also assist you in overcoming the natural fear involved in seeing these fearsome machines.

Disclaimer. I do not advocate any illegal activity. These techniques are designed only for a total breakdown of law and order. All devices should be checked to ensure they comply with local, state and Federal laws.

The difficulty in fighting an armored vehicle

Unlike tanks that are basically best avoided or thin-skinned vehicles that can be shot through and disabled with small arms, APCs ride that middle line. Their armor is generally sufficient to take a veritable rain of small arms fire, but not so invulnerable that they represent an insurmountable threat.

The problem with confronting them is twofold: one, unless you have a plan already in place they can be difficult to eliminate quickly before they can overcome you. Two, they are potent killing machines even without infantry to support them as they are often equipped with firing ports and a heavy weapon or water cannon on the top. The combination of this allows them to rapidly defeat enemies who lack access to armor-killing weapons like RPGs or their own armored vehicles to counter it. The sheer mobility and level of firepower/cover that they offer is difficult to overcome and is a large part of the intimidation factor relating to them.

The 3 key principles to shutting them down

Despite all of their strength, APCs are far from invulnerable. Although we’ll be looking at specific ways to defeating them in a moment, first let’s understand the underlying principles behind them:

  1. Deny mobility. All the armor and heavy weaponry doesn’t help anyone if it can’t move to an advantageous position to use it. One of the primary strengths of an APC is mobility, so denying that removes a good deal of its importance in a firefight.
  2. Deny safety. Even if the vehicle itself remains intact, remember that there is a human who has little desire to die or be hurt driving it. If you can use tactics that put those drivers at risk, not only will you make them more cautious but you might discourage whoever owns them from wasting valuable men and machines.
  3. Destroy it. When all else fails, you may be forced to use tactics that will permanently eliminate the threat of the APC. As this is the most confrontational of the 3 principles it is typically the last resort but it can be extremely effective from a practical and enemy morale perspective if you can destroy their armored friend.

With these in mind, let’s look at some tactics to reduce or eliminate the threat of an APC.

Block them in, block them out

First and foremost, use some of those anti vehicle barricades we’ve previously discussed to deny them access to the fight. If that fails or if you don’t have the time or resources for such drastic measures just pile up garbage and rubble until the vehicles cannot get through. Granted an APC is going to be better at dealing with debris and roadblocks than someone’s Prius, but in the end it has 4 wheels and obeys the laws of gravity. A sufficiently large and thick roadblock will prevent them from getting where they want to go to begin with.

Alternatively, place roadblocks behind them to trap them in one area where you might want enemies to congregate. This is much more dangerous since it allows the looters to bring the armor and weaponry of their vehicle to bear, but preventing it from running amok where it wills is usually the better option if you can’t keep them out completely.

Attack the tracks!  (Or wheels)

Denying mobility with roadblocks may be impossible, but stopping the vehicle from moving can achieve a similar goal. All the armor that protects the driver and other occupants doesn’t do nearly as much for those tracks even if they are made of metal. Generally speaking, explosives are the most common way of ruining metal tracks. Rubber of any kind whether wheels or tracks can be easily destroyed with fire even if the occupants are protected from it as well.

Flip it or drop it

Despite tracks or wheel systems designed for rough terrain, it is possible to get an APC stuck just like any other vehicle. Sharp inclines that tip the vehicle into a hidden pit, shaped ridges that can potentially flip it over, and other obstacles could disable or even permanently destroy the vehicle depending on the severity of the damage. This also has the effect of scaring the drivers and passengers, slowing their approaches and making them more cautious.

Burn it

This infamous video came from the Ukraine Riots in February: Mob Torching an APC

If you took the time to watch the first few seconds of video, you may have noticed half a dozen molotovs turning that vehicle into a Thanksgiving turkey. Although the inside occupants would normally have been fine for a time, the open hatch leaves their survival in doubt and I have not been able to find out if they survived or not. APCs are variably vulnerable to fire depending on how modern they are and what they were designed to fight. Regardless, heat distorts vision and can destroy or confuse sensors, potentially blinding them and certainly limiting effectiveness as a troop transport. For an added advantage, the flames will also consume accompanying infantry if you can get close enough without being hit.

 

Above all, more than any tactic or technique, you must be able to overcome your fear of an armored vehicle. They are made to intimidate as much as they are for their practical purposes. If you can stay focused under fire and deal with the threat, no looter in a stolen APC should be able to defeat you easily.

Your thoughts?

Let us know what you think about taking on an armored vehicle in the comments below!

This article first appeared at Prepared For That: Survival Tactics: Dealing With APCS

WROL – Protecting Your Family When the Bad Guys Come Down Your Street – pt. 2

By P. Henry

Yesterday I started with an overview of some security questions I had about our own house from the perspective of a total breakdown (Without Rule Of Law) societal event. In that post we discussed the importance of gathering intelligence, of actually knowing what is going on around you. Now that we know what type of scenario we may have to defend our homes and families from and have a general understanding of knowledge that can help us, I want to talk about some options. Again, just to be clear that anything we plan for can be undone by a wide variety of factors. The suggestions aren’t meant to imply that you will have an impenetrable fortress, but it may buy you some time and will offer more protection than just closing the curtains.

Boarding Windows works great for Hurricanes and Looters

Step 2 – Preventing access

Knowing when someone is approaching is only half of the problem. The real challenge is to keep them away as far as possible. If you have a group of people, this may mean meeting whoever is approaching far away from your property and dealing with any threats there as opposed to your front door. If this isn’t possible and you are forced to retreat, then your next best bet would be to not let them have an easy way into your house.

Starting with the driveway and your yard, if you can, move your car further away from the house to block access. Provided the bad guys don’t drive through your yard, this would prevent them from rolling up close to your house very quickly. Every yard is different of course, but these are just ideas. In a true collapse scenario it may be necessary to block the road entirely. Of course, this only matters if cars are still functioning, but let’s assume they are. This is something you would want to discuss with your neighbors naturally, but could be an effective way of blocking or slowing vehicle traffic. Blocking access to your neighborhood can be done a lot of ways and could provide a first line of defense against anyone who isn’t supposed to be there gaining access easily.

No matter what the roadblock is, unless you have a high wall guarded by a moat with crocodiles, even if they have to walk a little, they will eventually make it to your home. I started thinking about the preparations that homeowners make before a hurricane and this seems perfectly logical to apply to this situation. During a hurricane, windows and doors are boarded up to protect your home from a vicious assault by Mother Nature. The same could be done with your home to great effect. There was actually even an episode of Doomsday Preppers where one of the featured preppers, Jay Blevins already had this idea.

Barricading the door can buy you additional time.

With some planning now while everything is relatively normal, you could acquire sheets of plywood and have them cut to fit over your window openings. This of course could be done later I guess, but it would be quicker to have them pre-cut and numbered for easy installation. Jay’s plan was to cover all of the ground floor windows and doors to prevent people from entering while leaving the second story windows open. This seems like a great idea too because he could coordinate fire on the people below if they really started trying to get in with axes or chain saws. The plywood boards themselves are attached via long bolts to a horizontal board going over the window opening inside so there are no nails or screws that can be pried out. That is pretty smart.

The weather is a consideration too because if it is hot outside you likely aren’t going to want to board up all of your windows and doors. Even drilling vent holes in the windows won’t help much and could weaken the strength of the board.

Even if you have everything boarded up, you will likely still need to get into and out of your home unless your supplies of food and sanitation can keep you comfortably confined for a while. An exterior door with protected access would need to be your way out, but you could have this barricaded with items that can be moved later.

Slowing access

Maybe you don’t have the time or money to have every window and door around your house fitted with heavy-duty plywood. You can still board up windows and doors. This is another reason to keep scrap wood and lumber around because if you can’t keep someone out permanently, at least you should be able to slow them down. Couches and refrigerators in front of doors will slow people down. Implements like the Bar-Ricade bar or something like the Master Lock Door Security Bar will reinforce your entry doors and should slow an attacker down. The Armor Concepts door jamb hardware kit is simple to install and will reinforce your doors so they can’t be easily kicked open. Will they stop a big police style battering ram? I don’t know but they are better than nothing.

Reaction Plan

If you have some level of difficulty set up on your exterior entrance points, there will undoubtedly be noise associated with someone trying to get in. You may have a dog that is warning you also and I would say pound for pound they would make the best intrusion detection system unless your dog was like ours and got a little too sleepy after steak night. That’s my fault though.

You should prepare well in advance for situations where someone is trying to get into your house. Several methods can be deployed to try and fool you into thinking the attack is coming from one direction when actually it is coming from two or three. Once you have been alerted to someone trying to gain access, the key is to move quickly. Knowing ahead of time who is going to the front and who is going to the rear will give you two sets of eyes instead of one and hopefully you have some firearms for self defense so you will have two means of defending yourself and your home also. This may be easier said than done if the members of your party are wounded, sick or tired from guarding against assault all night. Depending on your defenses, the people attacking if they are smart will come at you from more than one location. This is so that if they can get you to focus on the front door while another one of them sneaks in the back they can attack you from two sides.

Plan for distractions

If the people attacking you are a small group they will likely try to distract you with noise or commotion in one area while they sneak in another. If possible have one person deal with the commotion in the front and position another in the back. This will give you the ability to at least deal with someone from either direction. If this isn’t possible you may have to fall back into a hallway or some other narrow spot so that you can concentrate fire if they do enter your house.

Placing obstacles on the stairs will slow attackers.

Placing obstacles on the stairs will slow attackers.

Take the high ground

If you have a second floor, your fallback position might be the second floor. If this happens, and they have gotten into your house you have to block their access to you at all costs. Stairways can be deadly if you are the person at the top firing down on the intruders. Obstacles on the stairs can slow them down; even throwing items at them while they are trying to navigate the stairs can slow an advance. This might sound a little too much like Home Alone, but we aren’t all Navy Seals (even the bad guys) so fight with everything you have. It may be your bowling ball, but if you crush a skull of someone who was trying to kill you who is going to care that you saw it on a movie?

Make a backdoor escape

If you are forced to retreat into the second floor, having a way out may be your last hope. This could be a window ladder down to the first floor or attic access to a point that you could escape. If this is really your last stand barricade the doors again to give you more time to exit and run if possible. Our attic gives me access to a door over the garage and I can escape through there and out into the yard. If I had to I would punch a hole in the wall to gain access to the attic and then try to escape while the bad guys were trying to get into the room on the second floor. Whatever you do you have to try and fight to survive.

If you are forced to flee, you should have a rally point already defined to meet everyone at in times like this. Hopefully everyone makes it there and you could have supplies stashed in a hidden cache so that you aren’t completely out of options for continuing to survive.

Live to fight another day

Hopefully, if things have gotten so bad that you have to employ any of the suggestions above just to stay alive you were able to defend yourself before you had to run away from the house. However, it may not work that way. You may have to run away to live and I think running and living in some cases is better than standing and dying. Now, I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t have everyone in my group with me, but I think you get the point.

Hopefully that gave you some ideas. If you have any suggestions for everyone else, please let us know in the comments below. – The Prepper Journal

WROL – Protecting Your Family When the Bad Guys Come Down Your Street – pt. 1

By P. Henry

I have been thinking about security a lot lately. I am not sure why, but this is the latest thing that has been an ever present thought as I go through my daily activities. I suppose it is a logical extension of prepping after food and water sources are shored up that your mind would turn to security. I started to analyze our defensive options at our home since we have chosen to shelter in place should any type of disaster scenario happen. This carried me down several paths that I hope to discuss with you and they all focus around steps you can take to keep your family safe, or provide some additional protection in your home if things get really bad. This is the first post in a series about what problems you may be faced with in a WROL (Without Rule of Law) society. This is a worst case scenario but I believe that exercising your mind by thinking about issues like this could prepare you better for less catastrophic emergencies. Honestly, I hope to never be in a situation that requires these plans and methods, but I think it is valid to discuss them in terms of preparing your family.

Bugging In is not a perfect solution either

To Bug in and hunker down or to Bug Out and take your chances on the road. This is one of the major questions at least logistically for preppers and you will have people on both sides of this issue. Bugging out brings with it an entirely different set of circumstances and must be planned for in different ways. Hunkering down can eliminate one set of problems, but presents a whole new set of challenges. Further complicating the issue is that life gets a vote. Just because you make a decision now whenever everything is pretty much normal doesn’t necessarily mean that circumstances won’t change and cause your plans to need adjusting. In some cases your carefully laid plans may need to be thrown out altogether.

A lot of careful consideration usually goes into the decision to either hunker down or to bug out. I think that in no small part it comes down to your resources and your common sense when you are asking yourself these questions. First off the obvious question, do you have a place to go to? If so, bugging out becomes much more realistic. Then questions like how will you get there, what to take and who else will be going with you start to get answered. The pieces begin to fall into place and you can make a plan for dealing with the contingencies as you think of them. For a long trip, you can plan how to load the vehicles, where to refuel, storing caches of supplies along the route, alternate routes, etc.

If you have no place to go and there is not an immediate, life-threatening situation that is making you leave your home; if you have supplies such as food and water then why leave? For a lot of people, absent some impending natural disaster, disease, nuclear accident or chemical spill, staying where they are living currently is going to be the best option. You may have a support structure at your current location or family that prevents you from leaving. Even in war torn cities people stay behind and this isn’t without precedent historically. Bugging in would seem to me to be a logical choice in a lot of situations unless you have a fully stocked survival retreat within a few hours away or have friends and family to turn to within a relatively short distance. It may be the only choice you have if life steps in again and prevents you from implementing your Bug Out plan above.

Regardless of whether you chose to Bug In as part of your plan to be fully prepared, or are forced to stay where you are, you may have to deal with the unpleasant reality that usually rears its ugly head anytime there is turmoil or disasters. Humans can on one hand be incredibly loving and also incredibly evil and after a disaster there are usually stories of both. In this article I plan to talk about some steps you can take to protect your family from the later type if you find yourself Bugging In.

Know your enemy

Looting happens in virtually every crisis.

Looting happens in virtually every crisis.

The spectrum of people who could possibly be threats run the gambit from desperate beggar to organized gangs. Burglary and looting are crimes of opportunity. The opportunity for a burglar is usually an unsuspecting homeowner or a house that is easily broken into. Looting uses the opportunity of a situation in which the perceived enforcement of laws by police has dissolved. In time after time we see situations like Hurricane Sandy where people were looting the day after the hurricane. Some of these people were even dressed like power company workers to fool anyone who saw them poking around houses. You can expect that regardless of where you live, if the crisis is bad enough and prolonged enough there will be homes near you, maybe yours that are targets for this segment of society.

I think it is reasonable to assume if we routinely see this type of behavior with what is considered a relatively minor weather event; much worse could be expected as the level and intensity of the emergency increases. Right now even with all of the lights on, food and fuel still being shipped to stores and the welfare and unemployment checks getting delivered;  we have women who are gang raped in Chicago, Veterans are beaten to death and there are attacks and murders in every major city it seems weekly. Can you imagine how bad this will get if we are plunged into total chaos? Can you foresee how completely dangerous your neighborhood might get if there is no Rule of Law (WROL)?

Staying in your home and Bugging In may be the only option you have, but depending on how serious the disaster or crisis that we are going through, that home might have to be your castle and fortress. There are some steps we can take to give you an advantage if this is your Alamo and may keep you alive to see another day. Hopefully, we can at a minimum take steps to make your house a less ideal target and keep your family safer.

There is no magic wand

With all that said, I want to be realistic with you. What I am going to suggest is not going to make your house bulletproof. It will not stop a tank or military assault or prevent a fire. It will probably not stop several determined people who have the time to attack unopposed either, but it could give you just enough of an advantage that it could save your life and hopefully make them look for an easier target. What I plan to highlight are several considerations that you can implement that are relatively easily which can make it a little harder for people who want to get in and cause you harm or try and take what you have. This should offer some protection from the casual thief or looter, not necessarily the mutant zombie biker gang.

I think it is also worth saying that if someone is intent on killing you or getting to you or your family you have to consider what you are willing to do to stop them. I do not believe that it is realistic to expect bad people to simply go away because you talk sternly to them or get in touch with the pain they are feeling. If someone has made up their mind to get to you, the very least they will do is take what can either keep your family alive (food, clothing, water, money) or safe (security). If you are incredibly lucky, the only thing they will do is take your supplies. I don’t think that is realistic though and you may be in for a very horrible lesson if things get to this point. The lesson might end up costing you your life.

We have talked about the use of deadly force in several other posts in various situations. I do believe that you owe it to yourself and your family to be mentally prepared to use deadly force in a situation like this if the need arises. If you have no plans to fight back, then you should be prepared to live (or die) with the consequences. I fully expect anyone in my family and probably most who are reading this blog to be open to if not embracing the same beliefs. I never want to have to harm anyone, but if you are in my house or property with intentions to harm my family I will do what is necessary. Do I expect this is going to be easy or that it won’t change me when its over? No, but that is beside the point. I have sworn that I will do what is necessary to protect my family. That is one of the reasons I advocate carrying a concealed weapon, because violence like this doesn’t wait for a disaster. It can happen any day.

So, now we have the framework. Bad things have happened, you are forced to stay in your house and try to ride out the storm so to speak and people are or could be trying to get into your house or get at your family. If it comes to that, you are prepared to use deadly force if necessary to stop them.

Step 1 – Gathering intelligence

First things first. Before you even consider how you would begin the planning process of defending your home it helps to know what is around you. By that I mean understanding what is in the area immediately surrounding your home and expanding outward from there, further out. I recommend periodically conducting what I call the neighborhood RECON to familiarize yourself with what is going on in your neighborhood. I don’t mean simply knowing your neighbors although that is very important; what I mean is knowing how to get to your house by methods other than the surface roads. What are the landscape features that may help or work to your advantage? Knowing who has certain resources that may become targets will give you information that the looter who is driving through won’t have. This can be as simple as taking walks through your neighborhood, but the key is to pay attention to details.

Having area maps is another step you can take in planning defenses and even exit strategies if the need arises. You can go online and order very detailed Topographical Maps from the USGS store. Knowing this information before you need it can show you paths of likely drift and avenues you can use to escape.

Once you know what is around you, another prerequisite to any defensive strategy is intelligence. The first and perhaps most important piece of intelligence is knowing who is in the area. It is important to know as far in advance as possible when someone is headed to your position before they are actually at your door. For a lot of people, this would be difficult without a large group and training. If you live in an apartment complex, this article might not work for you. On the other hand, you may be able to use the other people in your apartment complex to form a network that can take turns watching activity and alerting anyone of an advancing threat. If you have a typical home you do still have neighbors unless they have bugged out already. A security network would be even more advantageous in this situation but I will discuss how that might be set up in another post. For this discussion, lets pretend you are mostly on your own.

If we think about defense in rings around your home where the first ring would be your home itself. Going out from there would be your yard and then going out from there maybe 2 houses or 200 feet in either direction.These rings would indicate where you have different methods of identifying and stopping the threats. Ideally, you would want to know that someone is coming as early as possible so the outermost ring would demonstrate that distance. How would you be able to tell if someone was a few houses away and headed to your position or who at a minimum was worthy of additional scrutiny?

Climbing stands can give you a greater view of your surroundings.

Climbing stands can give you a greater view of your surroundings.

Assuming again that you are on your own, that you don’t have an squad of marines or a checkpoint at your disposal you would optimally have a method of knowing what is going on all around your property. This usually requires an position that is elevated so you can see over houses and bushes. Without having to have a guard tower installed one option could be a tree climbing stand or my personal favorite, a kids tree house. These can give you the ability to gain an advantage and see a larger piece of the surrounding area. This may not be practical or possible so your advance notice will need to be adjusted to the defensive ring that you can see. If you can only see your yard then you greatly reduce the amount of head start notice you can have for this type of situation. It may also be that you must stay inside for quarantine or weather issues.

A simple way to be alerted to approaching people is wireless Motion detectors. Motion detectors outside can alert you to someone who shouldn’t be there. Assuming that we are talking about a real crisis here, there is a high probability that the power won’t be working. This is when having your own backup power would be extremely helpful but there are other, low-tech options you can deploy that work as well. If you have power and motion detectors at the perimeter you will have advance warning of someone who is entering your yard. Using this you can run to where the threat is coming from and address it or at the very least be ready to address it when they reach your home. Dakota alert has systems designed for this exact purpose.

There are also small trip wire devices that will pull a pin that triggers a .22 blank cartridge. These can easily be set up (provided you have blank .22 shells) and can alert you audibly. You can set the wires up in the places that someone would most likely travel to make it to your home and when they go off, you would have advance warning that someone is approaching. Editors Note: I can’t find the link to this product but as soon as I do I will update the post.

There are other low-tech options too like setting up a string of cans on the porch that can make noise once the line holding them has been disturbed or crushing a light bulb so that you hear the glass breaking as someone walks on it. These are less ideal and probably work better in the movies in situations with complete darkness, but can work in some cases. The perfect system alerts you well in advance of when someone is near your home, but you do have to be able to hear it. – The Prepper Journal

Tomorrow we will talk about how you can prevent entry to your home and how to deal with attackers if they do make it inside.