Thursday, March 06, 2008

Prepare! Realistic defense post-SHTF

I read a great deal of survival, end of the world fiction. Most includes this type of scenario:

Ted carefully approached the now defeated raiders vehicle. Checking the bed of the pickup, Ted saw several pelican cases stacked haphazardly. Curious, Ted took the two largest and carefully opened them both. His eyes nearly popped out of his skull when he saw the contents. Not one, but two fully operational Barrett BMG .50 caliber rifles with all the needed accessories...

If you read survival fiction, you would think that Barret .50 caliber rifles grew on trees. The protagonist is always finding one, or purchasing a couple for his retreat or whatever.

Realistically, unless you win the lottery or have an enormous sum of unallocated money, a Barret and most other high end firearms are out of your preparedness budget. Face it, while preparing for TEOTWAWKI, we also have to pay bills, buy clothes, food, etc. and a three thousand dollar rifle and five buck a pop ammunition is not going to happen.

Self defense and firearms are part of your complete preparedness planning. Keep your plan simple and arm accordingly. Experts generally recommend a few core pieces such as a pump shotgun, a center fire rifle and a revolver. Once obtained, along with an appropriate amount of ammunition, magazines and cleaning equipment, a rim fire rifle might also be useful to have in your basic armory.

Having the firearms is not enough. Ammunition is required and not a single box. Plan on a few hundred rounds minimum for monthly practice and another few thousand rounds for each weapon for use.

Next, practice, practice, practice is required. Regularly and with appropriate training and coaching. Select a range near home or work and visit often.

The defensive plan and strategy

Randy examined his work. He used the backhoe to dig a eight foot deep defensive moat around his forty acres. He filled the trench with a combination of claymores, napalm and pointed sticks. This was the first ring of defense. His three story retreat was made of impenetrable rock reinforced with rebar steel and featured another redoubt wall eight feet high with the top covered with concertina wire, high voltage strands and broken glass embedded along the flat surface. A dozen starving dobermans and rottweilers patrolled the inner wall twenty four by seven, yet Randy still slept with a Cold Steel fourteen inch fighting knife between his teeth and kept a loaded .45 tied to each hand...

Again, survival fiction. In the real post-apocalyptic world, you will be defending your suburban home, country retreat or possibly car or truck on some remote highway. Most likely, you will have a limited armory to choose from and a fixed number of people to assist in the defense.

Rather than invite a large scale attack, it is far better to maintain a "low profile" and to make your location as uninviting as possible.

For the suburban home, that would mean boarding up the windows and doors, hiding vehicles or leaving one out front on jacks, partial vandalized. A foreclosure sign on the front lawn and little activity could make your home appear abandoned and less of an opportunity for thieves and looters.

The rural home owner would close off the road to his retreat or hide the access road inbound with bushes and debris. Trips outside of the retreat would be done cross country, under the cover of darkness or in a round about, hard to follow pattern.

A round the clock guard, watching from higher ground nearby is necessary as is at least one other person watching the primary home from inside. Good communications are needed as well which can be as simple as a wired handset or a pair of walkie talkies.

Most important is to not attract attention to you or your home. Too many survivalists plan on making as much noise in the post-SHTF world as they would today. Don't plan on running loud generators or other equipment until you know full well that others with less than honorable intentions are not nearby.

Yes, in the fictional world, we all have military style weapons collections, dozens of trained helpers and a nearly impenetrable defensive location. In the real world, however, we have only ourselves, a few resources and our intelligence to protect ourselves and those around us.

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