Thursday, September 30, 2010

Prepare: Getting Started Part Eight Protection and Security

Having a retreat, no matter where it is, requires some external security and detection of outsiders who may mean harm.

Ideally, your retreat is remote enough and disguised from prying eyes. Regardless, if someone finds you, they may have enough of a surprise to overwhelm the best defenses.

A good defense depends upon forward intelligence about possible threats from all directions. A good place to start is with nearby roads and paths which lead into your area. Someone who takes from those who produce is generally lazy. If there is a road leading to something they want, they most likely will take it.

Cover the roads will living eyes, not remote cameras or sensors. Both can break. Have remote watch stations manned by trained observers armed with both weapons and communications. The more advance notice, the better chances the defenders at the central retreat have.

Remote watch stations should always be able to alert a designated person back at the retreat. Radio contact should use signals and codes by default.

The retreat itself should have a high ground, hidden observation emplacement. Observers should take a hidden or round about path to the emplacement in the event others are watching from a distance.

A retreat's defenses should depend upon a) slowing down attackers and b) not giving the attackers defensive positions to attack from. The surrounding area should be clear or dead fall, stacked firewood, old vehicles, and other objects the attackers can use as cover.

The retreat should have a series of fences and barbwire to slow down the advance of an enemy force.

The defenders should have multiple fighting positions - trenches, spider holes, and sandbagged foxholes with egress points back to the main fighting position. Overlapping fields of fire and more than one long range shooter must be in position when the attackers make their move.

All adults and older teens must carry weapons at all times. A long gun being preferred. There should never be a central armory with all weapons under lock and key and under the authority of one or two people. If you can't trust the people on your retreat with a gun, then they should not be in your retreat.

In most cases, raiders will attack a soft target rather than expend all of their capital on a losing proposition. Remember, the defenders have the advantage as they are in their base of operations and supplies while the raider is away and travelling.

 Remember, most attacks follow the classic pattern. One force attacks with long range weapons while the remainder moves in from at least two different directions while the defender is pinned down. Have long range shooters in place to detect and take out snipers early.

Having a good defense is the best offense against an attack on your retreat. Plan, practice and train.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prepare: Getting Started Part Seven Protection and Security Part Two

The last post covered the basic reasons and rationale for owning at least one firearm for protection post-SHTF. This post will cover at another aspect of security.

In the previous post, the possibility of conflict with desparate gangs or criminals was brought up. The reality is, that no matter how well armed and trained you might be, sooner or later you will run up against another force better armed or larger than yours. Further, it only takes one shot to mortally wound and end your preparedness plans.

Thus, the best long term scenario is cover and concealment. Instead of waiting for discovery and conflict, avoid being seen at all and lower the potential for violence.

Cover and concealment means keeping a low profile and sometimes, hiding in plain sight. The home should blend in with the background. Gardens and food production should not be evident to passing eyes. Cooking odors should be kept to a minimum. There should be little if any use of noisy equipment or generators.

The problem is most of us don't live that way. You can't train a child not to be a child. Children like to run, scream and play. You can't live off cold canned foods forever; raw meat from game or domestic production has to be cooked. Sooner or later wood will have to be chopped or repairs made to a vehicle or home.

With this in mind, in the urban or suburban environment, cover and concealment are tough if not impossible. There is too great a chance that someone will see, hear or smell you out. Any home or dwelling must be camoflaged to look abandoned and deserted which makes cooking, gardening and day to day living difficult.

A rural location can be concealed much easier if it simply is off the beaten path enough. Further, access can be controlled by blocking roads or paths or making them appear inhospitable.

However, not all of us can move to and maintain a totally rural life unless we are totally prepared for all that entails. Its a tough call.

Regardless, unless one lives on top of a mountain like a hermit, sooner or later you are going to run across another person. When that happens, you want to minimize detection of your home and resources until you know the stranger is safe. And you will need some system to detect a stranger before they reach you.



Monday, September 27, 2010

Prepare: Getting Started Part Six Protection and Security Part One

Getting Started is a series of blog posts for those new to preparing for an uncertain future and possible scenarios. Subjects covered include food, water, security, storage, location and other supplies.

Protection and Security. If you have a problem with firearms and see no need for them in any scenario then this post is probably not for you. If not, read on.

Go google prison inmates. Take a look at some of the images of the types of people in our nations correctional facilities. Now imagine there are no bars between you and them. That is one very real and extreme scenario in the event of a societal breakdown and collapse. In several natural disasters, convicts have managed to use the confusion to escape into the general population.

Let's say a gang of six or seven convicts makes it to where you are right now. What are you going to do? These men or women may be convicted murderers or bad check writers. Regardless, they are desparate and want anything you have - clothing, food, liquor, cigarettes, even you.

Let's say it's not convicts, but a local street gang. You know, the kind that like to surround a lone enemy and "stomp" on his head and body until he is dead.

You are in your home, urban, suburban, or rural. What do you do? Call 911? That won't work. How about hope the bad guys go away? What if they don't? How about giving them some of your things and play nice? How's that going to work out?

You most likely may have to fight them. But these guys are hardened criminals and convicts. Fighting is second nature to them whereas you may be an accountant, secretary or mechanic.

There is an equalizer (and even then, it is a poor alternative to hiding and running away, but more on that in a bit). That is to have at least one firearm. If you have owned or own a gun, you are up on the person who has not. And if you do not own a firearm, but are shopping for one, then again, you have the jump on the individual who does not and does not want to own a gun.

My simple rules about guns -

1) A gun you know how to use is better than five you have never shot, loaded or learned to shoot.

2) The gun you have in your possession right now is worth the ten you are saving up for.

3)  The gun you have plenty of ammunition for is better than the "high dollar, black rifle, safe queen" you cannot afford to buy cartridges for.

4) The gun you can hit targets with when shooting is better than the gun with expensive optics and sites which promises long range, tight patterns but which you have never fired.

 Bearing this in mind, being able to go out right now and buying a quality pump action shotgun and one case of shells ($200 for the gun, 70.00 for the shells) is light years ahead of drooling over a Springfield M1A you might have enough money for in two years.

And having the ability to take the Rossi .38 you could afford to the range once every two weeks and putting 100 rounds through it is far better than playing video games in your head with the 1911A you "plan" on getting next year when your tax check comes in.

And consistently hiting targets with that Ruger 10/22 is far more worthy than imagining what it will be like hitting targets with a Barrett .50 you will buy when you hit the lottery.

I think you get my point.

When the bad guys come, having at least one firearm, that you are familiar with and have suitable ammunition for will be one of three deciding factors to your survival.

More to come...

Brought to you by Impact Guns

Friday, September 24, 2010

Prepare: Getting Started Part Five Water

A continuing series for the new prepper. How to get started with preparing for an uncertain future.

Water. Drinking, cooking and cleaning. Without it we die. Water is easy to store but difficult at the same time. Stored water takes up room. What can you do.

Stage One - Store a gallon per person per day. A family of five needs five gallons of water. You can purchase cases of water, but that gets expensive fast. There is plenty of tap water coming into the home now. So get some containers and fill them up. To keep it fresh, add a cap of bleach.

Stage Two - What happens when the stored water is gone? Get more. You can setup a rain water catchment system or bring water from a nearby creek, river or stream. In both cases, the water will have to be sterilized before it can be taken. That can be done with filters, boiling or bleach. You can also use a plastic bottle and sunlight if you are really in trouble.

Stage Three - Get a permanent source of water: a well. If you live rural, you may already have a well. If it is not too deep, you can use manual power (a hand pump) to bring it to the surface. If it is far down, you will need a powered pump. The same goes for the suburban dweller only digging a well is most likely illegal where you live. Some communities allow home owners to have their own agricultural well. Check the water quality before drinking any though! Many urban and suburban water sources may be contaminated.

Get water storage containers, put aside one gallon per person per day, find a way to get more water, a way to sterilize it and a renewable source.

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. Don't let that happen to you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Prepare: Getting Started Part Four Food Part Three

A final word on food. If you are a new to "prepping" for emergencies, having a food strategy should be your first priority. Even if you are a on a strict budget and watch every penny, you can still purchase and store extra food for very little money.

Earlier, we talked about two food buying strategies as well as food storage plans. Today, we are going to talk about really long term food strategies.

If you have read other preparedness forums and blogs, you will often hear participants talking about "wheat", "wheat grinders" or something similar. There is a reason for this.
Wheat is one of the oldest foods know to man and one which has been harvested for thousands of years. Wheat, when store properly, can remain fresh for use for years. There have been wheat kernels found in Egytian tombs which could be sprouted for instance.

Wheat is the basic component for bread and cereal. Also, most wheat has nutrients and minerals neccessary for sustaining life. Wheat, rather than its' processed form, flour, is desirable because it retains the nutritional content that flour loses far too soon after it is processed.

Wheat also is good for you. The high fiber content is good for digestion and has far more benefits than that bag of chemically induced Wonder Bread.

There are several varieties of wheat and each is good for certain things. Like hard red winter wheat is good for bread while soft wheat is good for pastry and pie shells. Know your wheat before you buy!

Buying whole kernel wheat requires something to grind it with to reduce it to soluable form like to a cereal or fine for bread flour. A wheat grinder is needed and there are several types to consider. For normal times, having an electric grinder is convinient, whereas in a post-power situation, a manual grinder is needed. Buy quality. Some grinders are well priced, but are not suitable for long term use. Read reviews and ask others.

Wheat can be stored in plastic buckets with bag liners like rice.

Cooking oil is another long term storage food to stock up on. Oil provides fats which are critical to health. Vegetable and olive oil, when stored in sealed containers, can last for years with out going rancid.

Powdered milk is also stored by many long term preppers. Milk is rich in calcium of course, and is neccessary for strong bones and teeth.

Finally, a sweetener like sugar or honey should be stored as well.

Many preppers store these four basic food products, along with mulitple vitamins for long term storage. Basically, one could live off just these four foods for a very long time. The odds are even better if one can supplement these foods with a garden and some occasional fresh meat (i.e. game, chickens, etc).

However, gettting started, first store foods you know and will eat.

In the next segment, we will take a look at water - how to store it, collect it, find it and purify it.

Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prepare: Getting Started Part Three Food Part Two

Are the titles of these posts getting confusing? I hope not. This is a continuation of a "getting started" series for new preppers. Like you, I am no expert. I learned what I know about preparedness on the job and from websites like mine. I hope you find it useful.

My last post dove in to the subject of food, namely, building a practical long term food supply. If you have some liquid income, feel free to skip the hard work and make a purchase of LTS food from Mountain House or one of my other advertisers. My better half will appreciate it!

Otherwise, if you are pinching pennies and watching every buck, but want to have a preparedness plan in place, please read on.

As I mentioned yesterday, a food plan does not have to be so disconcerting. There are two easy methods to building a food supply -

One - Buy Two! That is when buying one item, double the purchase. Please limit this to dry, canned and shelf stable foods. Instead of two cans of tuna, get four. Five pounds of sugar on the list? Get ten. Take the extra and store it away.

Two - Buy Bulk. Get a membership to a warehouse club or search out an ethnic grocery store. Both carry extra large sizes of certain commodity foods like rice, pasta, flour, sugar and so on. Instead of purchasing a one pound bag of rice, get a twenty five pound bag. Place in proper storage and add to the storage until there is a one year supply for the number of people in the house. 

Both of these food buying plans demand the right storage. Putting a plastic bag of rice on the shelf may result in a bag of bug infestation at a future date. Food storage is mandatory. 

I store my dry bulk goods in 5 and 6 gallon buckets. I place the food item in a sealable plastic bag with an anti-moisture packet, place in the bucket, seal tightly and stack in a cool, dark closet inside the house. 

Don't store food - 
- in cloth or burlap bags. 
- outside in damp, temperature extreme sheds. 
- in hot attics
- only in original packaging.
- on ground or dirt floors susceptible to flooding, bugs or accessible by larger vermin such as rats or mice. 

I picked up my buckets at a restaurant supply store. I have also used the sealable buckets from the hardware store and they work well for me. Some of my buckets are five years old and I have had no problem with them. 

Here's a good video about storing food: 

There will be one more part on food before we move on to the other topics. In the meantime..

- Buy Two - buy double and store the extra.
- Buy Bulk - buy big sizes and store
- Store properly

Get your supply of storable food at!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Prepare: Getting Started Part Two Food

Overwhelmed? Gettting prepared is too much work? The thought of building a one year food supply seems too daunting? Never fear, the journey starts with a single step.

Survival experts say building a supply of stored foods for an emergency should be a priority. Whether it is a three day supply in the car or six months at home, having stored food is a great insurance policy. Many who are suffering in today's economy have been thankful they put back extra food. They have been able to live off their preps while money has been tight.

If you are new to prepping, maybe you have been reading some of those SHTF fiction stories online and feel completely out classed as the hero places an order for a one year supply of LTS food from Mountain House without a care in the world. It sure gets depressing when you look at your bank balance and know a similar action would be impossible.

But here's what you CAN do. You CAN buy extra food in small amounts and put it back for a hard time. You only need a plan and to get started. Don't get stressed because there is not a pallet of number ten cans piled up in the basement. Rather, focus on getting a one week supply, then two, then one month and so on. OR start getting certain bulk foods each week or every paycheck and building a multi month stockpile of food one at a time.

Note: we all eat differently. I know in my house, we are more likely to make meals from frozen or fresh meat, fresh vegetables and starches like rice, pasta or potatoes. In your home, you may use more canned and packaged foods. As long as there is not a dependence on "to go" meals or pre-packaged foods like TV dinners then a food storage plan can be developed.

And in a survival situation, we will have to make compromises in what we eat anod where it comes from.

So, for our survival food storage program, we are going to make some deliberate shopping choices when we go to the supermarket.

The easiest way to start is the "buy two" plan. Instead of buying one or two packages of spaghetti noodles, pick up twice as much. Two packages go in the pantry and the other two go into a storage bucket or bin. Take a piece of paper and write down what is in the bin and the quantity. Use this strategy and put extra effort on dried and canned goods.

Or you can start buying bulk sizes. A one pound bag of rice may be enough for a couple of meals. But for about the same price per pound, maybe even less, we can buy a twenty five or fifty pound bag of rice. Rather than going to the grocery store, we will get bulk purchases like these from the warehouse club or a specialty ethnic store.

The same can be done with pasta, dried potatoes, flour, sugar, salt, and spices.

Again, don't do this all at once. Week one, buy a fifty pound bag of rice. Week two, buy ten or twenty pounds of pasta. Week three buy twenty five pounds of brown sugar and so on.

Once a month, take an inventory of what is in the pantry and in storage. Then make a "fill in the blanks" shopping trip. That is, pick up the items missing which will complete a one or two week food supply. A few cans of chicken or tuna. Some canned soups. Maybe some bullion cubes or peanut butter. As they say, rinse and repeat. Once the checklist says that a one week food supply is complete, aim for a two week, then one month and so on.

Are warehouse prices better than the grocery store? Sometimes they are. Check the per can or package price and compare to your local market. My warehouse store has 12 cans of tomato sauce in a box for about six dollars. That's .50 a can. My grocery store has a similar product for about .80 a can, so the warehouse store wins.

However, grocery store brand canned vegetables are often cheaper, when on sale and are often three cans for a dollar. Keep a comparison "price book", watch sales and clip coupons. Again, if canned grean beans are on sale, pick up twice as many as you think you will use and store the extra.

Finally, understand where food comes from. You can raise some of your own food. Start a small vegetable garden in the yard. Plant tomatos and herbs in pots on the patio or porch. Plant a fruit tree. You can start a real food insurance program if you have the ability to produce some of what you eat.

Don't get overwhelmed about building a food supply. Start small on your food plans and build from there.

Get your supply of storable food at!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prepare: Getting Started Part One

I just finished reading an online preparedness fiction story. It went the usual way..

Man wants to get prepared. Has a retirement account, savings, inheritance, great credit and regular income. He makes a list of things needed for a fallout shelter, weapons, food and other supplies and within two years, is ready to ride out a nuclear attack which fortunately happens right when he completes his project.

For normal folks like us, this sort of story is depressing. I don't know about you, but I don't have fifty thousand dollars for an inground, sixteen hudred square foot shelter. I don't have five thousand for a year supply of LTS food for two. I don't have ten thousand laying around for a Springfield M1A, a fifty caliber sniper rifle or thousands of rounds of ammunition.

If I were new to prepping, and found a survival themed forum and read one of these stories, with it's over the top American Safe Rooms doors, Canning Pantry canners, or Slumberjack sleep systems, I would feel compelled to turn off the computer and invest in some cyanide for the Big Day.

If this sounds like you, don't run out to the hardware store for some rat poison yet. Like the saying, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", prepping is the same way. One step at a time.

Survival, in any situation, can be broken down into small pieces. For instance, food, water, electricity, fuel, shelter, protection and medical. Each of these can be tackled reasonably as long as there are reasonable goals set. Jumping off the couch to make a one time purchase of food for five for one year is simply not doable for most of us. However, anyone can successfully stock one week of food, two weeks of water, or four working flashlights with batteries without going to too much trouble.

So, get ready to begin the journey of a thousand miles, one step at a time.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Prepare: Taliban Gun Locker - Guns and War

I read a great blog post, from all places, the New York Times, on the types of guns captured from the Taliban by US and Allied forces. The author examines a sample of each weapon and draws some interesting conclusions about the motivations for their use by the Taliban.

Today's post is not an assessment of the Taliban and how well or poorly they fight against US soldiers. Rather, it examines how one force maintains their weapons, which ones they use and how it applies historically and for other insurgents.

The takeaways..

The AK47 can be used for years, but has problems with range and effectiveness after hard use.

Common calibers are much more important then diversity, technology or effectiveness.

An museum piece can not only remain useful, it may be preferred.

The Taliban are using AK47, PK, Mosin Nagants and Lee Enfield rifles. Most of the weapons have seen heavy service and many are subject to field repairs. Almost all were maintianed well internally, but were battered and dinged.

What is interesting is the commonality of the Mosin Nagant and Enfield bolt rifles. Both have been in service one place or another for over a century. While the Afghans were seen using these rifles during the Soviet invasion of 1979, most fighters today are carrying the ubiquitous AK rifle. However, in some areas, the old bolt guns are preferred for their long range sniper capability.

This is an interesting article and which can give all of us pause to thought. There are also comparisons for similar offerings here in the US.

For instance, while the 7.62 x 39 or 54 cartridge is not as common in the US, the 30-06 is and would be fireable from the Mosin and Enfield's peer, the Springfield '03 rifle it's offspring, the M1 Garand.

In addition,  the .223 catridge is common in all AR pattern rifles and can be found nearly everywhere in the states. The same cannot be said for several other cartridges which lends itself to preparation advice; stocking the calibers and firearms which would be common and ubiquitous.

Check out the article, it is very in depth and surprising considering the source.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Prepare: Fast Survival Questions Answered

I check my website stats frequently and see some interesting topics that people are searching for regarding preparedness, survivalism, storage food and retreats among other things.

Here are some quick answers to those search phrases which lead people to this site and who need that information in a hurry!

pre 1964 coins

US quarters, dimes and halves minted before 1964 have 90% silver content. This means they are a viable form of "real" money. In the event of the dollar collapse, these coins are good to have and can be found in pocket change (sometimes) but can also be purchased in reasonable quantities which won't break anyone's bank.

thrive food

Costco warehouse store has an online store which sells Long Term Storage (LTS) under the Thrive brand name. The food is freeze dried, shipped in big number 10 cans and can store for several years. Comments from buyers say the taste is very good and they are very happy with their purchase of Thrive.

shtf stories

There are a number of websites which feature shtf fiction stories. Try checking Frugal Squirrels,,, and Story "Lights Out" is no longer available for free download online. Tom Sherry's stories are no longer available online with the exception of "Remnant". The earlier chapters can be obtained from the author.

cheap survival food

Cheap survival food describes food that working people can afford to buy extra and stock for hard times. It includes dried beans, rice, flour, pasta, grain, sugar, salt, and cooking oil. When supplemented with meat from hunting, small scale livestock, foraging and a vegetable garden, a family can survive and avoid starvation.

how to prepare for the end of the world

First, there is no way to prepare if the world truly ends other than through religion, faith and prayer.

However, one can prepare for any number of calamities which may be better described as "End of the world as we knew it" or "the collapse of society". Store food, water and seeds. Establish a remote, rural retreat. Stock weapons and ammunition. Allign with other like minded people. Set aside some trade goods for post-end of the world.

shtf guns, shtf ammunition, shtf calibers

Top guns and calibers to have for the post-SHTF world.
Shotgun - 12 or 20 guage.
Rifle - .22, .223, .308, 7.62x39.
Handgun - 9mm, .40, .45, .44, .38, .22

Get as much ammo as you safely obtain, afford and transport. Get extra magazines if your weapon uses them. Get decent cleaning equipment. Learn to shoot!

the road

Its a book by Cormac McCarthy. It is the ultimate survival, depressing, end of the world tale ever written. Read it and be thankful for everything you have. Then try and prepare for the events described in the book. Nearly impossible.

Hope these little bits and pieces help. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Prepare: Walking Dead Trailer

I am not a big zombie movie fan, but this show looks really good. From the same channel which brought you "Mad Men" comes "Walking Dead".

It's a zombie series showing on AMC and starting this Halloween. Looks very well made and a lot of fun to watch.

Zombie stories get boring to me after a while (here comes zombie, shoot zombie in heard, run away, repeat), so the story dealing with everything else other than the zombies matters to me. Critics of the graphic novel the show is based upon had heaps of praise for the story, so that makes it worth checking out.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Prepare: Is Prepping an American thing?

One of the frequest readers to Prepare (Frugal UK, shout out!), asked if the obsession with the end of the world was an American thing. In relation, there does not seem to be the same concern in the UK.

Fair question. Here's my take on it...

I don't have any numbers of how many "preppers" there are in the US. And I don't know how many people are concerned about the end of the world. Fortunately, that sort of data is not collected by pollsters and that's good news because most die hard preppers don't want anyone to know what they are up to.

How did it get started?

Go back to the Cold War. America was locked in a multi-national tug of war with the Soviet Union. The stakes were high; both had large land and sea forces and a stockpile of nukes if matters got out of hand.

For the first time, Americans were faced with the prospect of a foreign nation being able to lob bombs on their cities from a variety of locations - land, sea and air. Up until then, the US had two oceans separating them from the problems Europe and Asia had dealt with for hundreds of years - war and potential occupation.

From the late 50's to the mid 1960's, America embarked on a national campaign of "civil defense". Government and individuals would prepare shelters in the event of nuclear war and would stock those shelters to ride out fallout from atomic weapons. Americans began stockpiling food (canned and dry goods), water, batteries and other supplies into their basements or backyard fallout shelters. The "prepper" was mainstream and lived in the suburbs.

With the 1970's, the civil defense movement waned (for a number of reasons) as Americans drifted through detente and turbulence at home. Then, with the recession of the late 70's, Americans discovered that the post WWII system of robust economic growth was collapsing and when combined with rapid social changes and constant confrontation abroad with the Soviet Union and new regional powers, had the forboding feeling that doom was imminent.

The American self image was shaken. Not only could we be attacked by what seemed, a much more powerful Soviet Union, our institutions of work, marriage and community were clearly not as strong as they appeared to be in the previous generation.

Whether it be riots in the late 60's, the deterioration of the American city, rampant crime, inflation, or corruption, American was not what it used to be and its best days seemed to be behind it.

Americans dug inward. Prepare for the worse, but hope for the best. During this period, from the late 70's to the end of the 80's, America and American culture, began prepping for the end of the world.

Not only was the modern survivalist movement born, but pop culture reflected the growing concern and facination Americans had with the apocalypse. Books like "The Stand" were published. Movies like "The Road Warrior" and "Red Dawn" were blockbusters at the theatres.

The 80's post-apocalyptic movement settled down with the advent of the 1990's and the end of the Soviet Union. But with the same era, came a host of new concerns. The potential for an overbearing, insidious federal government, encroachment by the United Nations, the rise of terrorism overseas and the potential for some sort of Balkan style dissolution of the US in the near future.

And then the decade ended with the single event which most defined the modern, post-Cold War prepper movement: Y2K. The collapse of a computer based society due to an oversight in software coding.

Overnight, millions of people who normally would be concerned with the latest news on the nascent Internet or the value of their stock portfolio became concerned about a technology induced shutdown of Western civilization. A remote rural retreat, a stack of gold coins and canned goods sounded pretty good to a society faced with the sudden and disasterous loss of all power, communications and transport.

Of course, the event never happened, but shortly afterwards, 9/11 did. America, after thirty years of internal anxiety saw their worse fears realized. War had come to their shores.

Again, sales in stored foods and bottled water went up, but so did demand for gas masks and Geiger counters. A rural home would not attract the attention of terrorists they thought, and so once again, a remote location seemed appealing to millions.

Toss in ten years of natural disasters, fires, blackouts and terror threats and the world becomes a pretty scary place.

Today. Take everything which has happened in the past generation and combine it with the current economic and social climate in the US and one has to wonder why the whole country is not digging a fallout shelter in the backyard and pulling the door closed behind them.

To be fair, Most Americans go about their business and are more concerned about keeping their job (most likely urban), paying their mortgage (most likely suburban) and keeping the lights on than they are about a foreign army marching down their street or a plague depopulating the earth.

However, whether it is a national best seller like "One Second After" or Tivo'ing a Discovery Channel documentary on 2012, Americans continue to be open to that little voice in the back of their head which tells them to "fill up the car before the weekend, grab that extra case of water at the grocery store or make a run to the warehouse store to do a little shopping..."

After all, it can't hurt - just in case.

And that might explain why we do the things we do here in the US.

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