Thursday, November 13, 2008

SHTF: Raiders

The house was well off the beaten path, but with things being the way they were, it was only a matter of time until the vermin fleeing the cities found their way here. There were 7 of them and only one was injured from their last raid. That was another remote farm a few miles away. When the food ran out, the raiders moved on. The raiders spread out and moved in quietly. The evolution of their occupation taught them hard lessons and they adapted quickly. The family dog was first to go. Then the front door kicked in while other attackers moved in simultaneously against the back door and through two windows. A man, the father no doubt, barely had time to lift his shotgun before he was gunned down. A boy no more than 12 went for a .22. rifle on the wall, but he was overpowered before it could be put to use. The mother and a teen aged daughter clung to each other in the corner. Benefits of the job thought the raiders as they closed in...

In the post-SHTF world, raiders will be as common as roaches in many place. They will prowl the torn cities, patrol the highways and roads and sweep through small communities and farm towns in their quest for food, supplies, weapons and victims.

Authorities will be non-existent, only found in certain locations or for hire as mercenaries. I would not be surprised to see some authority groups break down into raiders themselves justifying their actions as necessary.

The post SHTF raider
Early raiders will evolve from a few demographics.

- City dwellers while escaping starvation in their former urban homes see the country side, suburbs and small towns as refuges and supply stations while they move from one location to another. Groups will form, break up and reform as authority figures establish themselves over others.

- Convicts, criminals, and gangs which continue their activities unabated.

- As noted above, authorities cut off from a central command or realizing the futility of their original mission will raid and establish territories to "protect" the local populations. Also, some governments, local and otherwise, may find their raids as "resource allocation and procurement".

Emergency Preparedness and Ambushes
The only defense is to wipe them out before they do the same to you and yours. A good defense is the first priority.

Location is everything

Don't give raiders a chance to attack you if they cannot find you first.
You can hide almost anywhere, but remote and rural is the best bet. Your retreat should be hidden from main roads with nothing (a big gate with Barnes Ranch on top is not advised) alerting passerby's to its identity. A dirt road can be made to look unused and less traveled.
Keep vehicles hidden and off the roads. When traveling from and returning to the retreat, take roundabout ways and alter them frequently.
Keep trees and brush heavy nearest the road to your retreat. Don't let them see a cozy house on top of a bare hillside 100 yards from the road.

Use natural landmarks to your advantage

A nearby hill should be modified with a hidden and camouflaged observation post with views 360 degrees available. The best and most able marksmen should occupy this spot with emergency communications equipment 24/7.
Rocks and trees should be marked around the retreat with ranges and setup as defensive positions. Remember, a raider will be using defensive positions facing the retreat - don't allow them any assistance.
Movement outside of the defensive parameter should be done through below ground or ground level paths (tunnels or ditches) and travelers should be in full camouflage or "gilly" suits.
Distances from the retreat in all directions should be measured and appropriate weapons assigned to the measurements. A shotgun is useless on a target at 400 yards.

Home preparation

The home should have stout doors with cross bars.
All windows should have shutters (metal preferred) and bars.
There should be at least three means of leaving and entering the home.
An escape route (a tunnel is best) for retreat should be in place with a meet up place nearby assigned.
Bug out bags should be maintained in the event some or all of the retreat residents have to escape.
Caches of supplies should be stored off site as well.
Call signals will be in effect for all communications even for the youngest members of the retreat.
Firearms will be worn by all adults and responsible teens at all times. The worse situation is to have guns locked up or in a central location. Needless to say, firearm training is mandatory and ongoing for all.
Have a 6 inch painted PVC pipe running along the ridge of the roof. Put 1 inch holes spaced a few inches apart in the pipe and connect a hose to each end. In the event of firebombs, the water can be run through the pipe to water the roof. Keep extinguishers, sand and buckets handy inside for the same purpose.
Obviously keep plenty of water and food inside the home in the event of a siege.

Attackers will use distance and stealth

Attack doctrine calls for one or two long distance shooters to "pin the defenders down" while others move in close.
Spread out your defenders using your Observation Post and hidden travel paths to work behind the attackers. Attack them and put their plans off.
Be prepared to use less than orthodox means to repel an attack. Historically defenders have used mines, booby traps, chemicals, fumes, flames and liquids against attackers successfully.
Have an early warning system in place of the observation post, communications with other nearby residents, trip wires and noise alarms.

Safety in numbers

Our scenario above might have been different if the family had joined up with two or three other families and shared resources and defense. Raiders are like any other predator; they look for weak and lone victims to attack. Give them a target which is more than they can chew off.

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