Too many questions...

Topics in this category pertain to planning. Discussions include how to prepare yourself, your family and your community for catastrophes and what you plan to do when they hit you.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

M813
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:39 am

Too many questions...

Post by M813 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:08 am

Hi all,

Growing up down south, I've always kept water jugs, candles and batteries on hand for power outages and hurricanes.
As I watch our government fumble and political divides grow in our country, I've started feeling concerned and vulnerable so I've started to do more prepping. My wife is not a member of the tinfoil hat brigade. She is a sweet, level-headed woman. I joke that she has a "man gene" in there somewhere. So when my wife says that I'm not crazy for prepping, that really worries me.

Here are my chief concerns:

- I live on the edge of a very densely populated urban area.
- My home has craploads of large windows and I feel it would be difficult to fortify.
- I have solar panels and a backup battery mounted on my house. Sound great? Maybe not. I feel that these visible items make me a target.
- I'm a lousy fisherman.

Some possible(?) advantages:

- I live a 5 minute walk to the water
- I am an accomplished sailor
- My sailboat is also solar equipped (lights, radio, refrigeration, nav/comm) with propane and solar cooking and a diesel auxiliary
- We garden successfully on our property
- I'm a veteran with combat arms experience

In brief, my plan is to "bug in" until the "Gimmedats" start showing up, at which point we'll take the boat south and into the Atlantic ocean.
A sailboat is slow, but it requires no fuel to travel. I am skilled. I easily sail in poor weather and cold temperatures that powerboaters would never go out in. I have thousands of nautical miles experience, including solo ocean sailing.

Being the only solar powered home with a battery in my neighborhood, I fully expect my neighbors to target me a soon as they can no longer find fuel for their portable generators. Otherwise, we could survive indefinitely in our home and focus on food and water production.

So based on this information so far, how screwed am I?

User avatar
manacheck
*
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:32 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Train to Busan

Re: Too many questions...

Post by manacheck » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:06 pm

M813 wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:08 am
So based on this information so far, how screwed am I?
Based on that information, I'd answer with "not screwed." A 5 minute walk to the water, assuming you mean freshwater, is an amazing advantage. You're already in a pretty good situation with the pros, and even some of the cons you listed.

I think it's realistic to expect neighbors to request use of your solar power in any prolonged powerdown situation. If they are neighbors you know and are friendly with, it'd be to your advantage to help, knowing that doing so strengthens ties. If they're city neighbors you feel uncomfortable with, then that reaction would be different. Since we're talking house, not apartment, I'm going to assume community, not inner city.

You did not specify to what extent you have solar panels. Enough to power cell phones in a powerout? Enough to run your whole household including refrigerator? The concern I have there with the visibility issue is less the 'Gimmedats' showing up. Gimmedats you can deal with, especially with a confident attitude based in the knowledge of a veteran's combat arms experience. If you're the only house in the area that utilizes solar, if they come knocking, you can explain things about how solar works and come up with a reason they can understand what the limitation is. Telling them they can charge their phone but they'll have to leave it for 12+ hours so it can trickle charge to get it to 50% might discourage them from thinking it's easy to knock. Asking them to pay a small but not unreasonable fee like $2 to do so, with the legitimate why of the exchange explained, could also discourage most except those who are in actual need. "If you really need it charged, don't worry. If you go to Bob's house, the solar panel house. Tell him Jim sent you and He'll let you charge your phone. It'll cost a couple bucks because solar is expensive, and it'll take a day or two because solar is slow, but he'll get it done for you" is way less interesting for the Gimmiedat variety than, "Oh, Bob will charge your phone for you. Just go knock on his door. Yeah I asked him yesterday so he won't say no."

The less common 'Get Out This Is Now My House" type would worry me more. Whether it's a group of people who are operating illegally, or whether it's a group of people operating within their legal right (under certain circumstances of government, peace officers, military police), this is the place where you'd more likely be safer to leave.

It sounds like you and your wife have some great pieces of equipment and great experience under your belts. I'll leave it to others here to provide further suggestions about what else you might look into to further your preps more.

Craploads of large windows being difficult to fortify is an issue I don't have a realistic and timely answer to, myself. (Nailing plywood or installing heavy metal grates is not a realistic or timely answer.) I'd be itnerested to see any ideas people come up with for this that I haven't.
"It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7143
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Too many questions...

Post by majorhavoc » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:14 pm

You're not screwed. From the sound of it, you're far better prepared than most people. Glad to hear that your first thought is to bug in. Bugging out should almost always be considered a last resort because you're leaving behind a major investment in shelter and security resources.

Security in your home during an emergency sounds like it's a major concern of yours. That's valid. However, gimmedats and visibility of your preps are likely to only be a serious problem if there is an extended local, regional or national societal collapse. That's just my opinion of course, others may well disagree.

A societal collapse isn't necessarily an improbable scenario (unfortunately :( ), but it's much less likely than the more common natural and man-made disasters that many of us have/will face at some point in our lives. Your preparations that you have described sound like they'll position you to weather them better than most.

Bugging out on a sailboat has been discussed here at ZS:

viewtopic.php?t=117971
viewtopic.php?t=89648

I can definitely see some advantages. I can also see some disadvantages. Is your sailboat in the water year round or is it on the hard for part of the year? Is it always stocked with supplies/will you be able to adequately stock it after making the momentous decision to abandon your home? Most importantly: where are you going to go if you bug out by sailboat? You may well have thought this out, but I'm just asking for discussion purposes. Aimlessly sailing the high seas and expecting to live off of nature's aquatic bounty doesn't strike me as a sound survival strategy.

User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 16949
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Re: Too many questions...

Post by raptor » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:02 pm

Welcome to the forum! We are glad to have you.

I am going to direct you to some of the Hall of Fame Threads and stickies here:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=79725

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=79742

Based upon your ownership of a sail boat I am going to say you likely have more self sufficiency skills than most of your neighbors.

I have been a long term sail boat and trawler owner and the first time I retired I spent "a while" sailing in the caribs. That is actually good training for preps you will need for most shore side disasters. The food and water management skills as well as emergency preps for medical and mechanical breakdowns directly translate. That and the marine world was way ahead of the shore side community when it comes to alternate energy usage.

M813
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:39 am

Re: Too many questions...

Post by M813 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:57 pm

Hi guys,

Thanks for all the excellent responses. I'll read the links you've posted, but I'll answer your questions right quick-

- My solar array can power everything in the house except the central AC. I use a pellet stove for heat during winter. (Yes, I recognize the limitations of a pellet stove vs. wood stove). My wife and I are fairly heat-resistant. We don't "require" air conditioning.

- My home is on a well, so I have my own water supply. The solar array and battery backup will pump the water.
- I would share my solar capacity with neighbors to the extent that I am able. If we draw too much at once, the main breaker will pop.

- My boat is in the water year-round. If the cove isn't frozen, I can leave.
- The boat is always at least partially stocked for cruising. I could fully provision and leave within 2 hours. I can walk to the boat in 5 minutes.
- I have 3 main options for destinations. 1 to the north, and 2 destinations to the south. No, I'm not planning on sailing the ocean endlessly, like Waterworld.
- My cove is brackish water but as I said, my home is on a well, so I'm not reliant on a city water supply.
- I am however, on the sewer system, so I'll need to drop a sandbag in my "cleanout" to prevent a sewerage backup into my home.
- We are prepared to use composting/dessicating toilets if necessary.

Steps I've taken so far:

- So far, I've stocked several weeks' worth of food.
- I've purchased Life Straws and other water filtration for the house's well and the boat's water system.
- I keep diesel on hand for the boat and the tank is kept full.
- The solar battery backup negates the need for a home generator and fuel supply. Battery runs down at night, charges the next day. You'd be surprised how much power I generate on cloudy days.

I plan on purchasing a hand operated desalinator such as a Katadyn Survivor 06 or maybe the next model up so that we can produce water on the boat, or from the creek. Typically though, we capture rainwater in my sails or on the deck and channel it into the boat's tanks.

My biggest fear, is that all this preparation will simply be stripped away from me the moment the SHTF. I can't fight off the world singlehandedly.

User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 16949
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Re: Too many questions...

Post by raptor » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:34 pm

M813 wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:57 pm

My biggest fear, is that all this preparation will simply be stripped away from me the moment the SHTF. I can't fight off the world singlehandedly.
No one can.

The question to bug out or bug is very much an individual decision and really needs to be based upon individual circumstances and the situation encountered. However physical security becomes a real issue when you plan on bugging in. I plan on bugging in for many events that said I have a BOL that is also an alternative. Prior to obtaining that BOL I made simple yet believe effective changes to harden my home. These were made based upon the lessons I learned during Katrina's aftermath Many served just as well pre-disaster.
These include:

1) Hardening all of the the entrance doors, frames and locks to make it more difficult to access by force. (Nothing is secure against forced entry but you can make it much more difficult). (This also works well against burglars.)

2)Consider a fence around the house. While razor tape for every day use is extreme, having a supply on hand to deploy to limit access is a relatively cheap prep.

3) Make your windows comply with Miami Dade county standard impact resistant windows. You could also mount storm panels or storm shutters. These will slow down a forced entry. (This also works well against burglars.)


4) Increasing potable water storage by obtaining food grade 55 gallon drums or alternatively by making provisions to harvest and filter water from a swimming pool.


As for a hand operated desalinator they are great for life rafts in fact a God send but you really want a 12 volt version.
Also be sure to have two very good (& large) pre-filters for the watermaker intake to preserve the life span of the membrane. That use as clean seawater as you can get. Petroleum products, polluted water, silt and chlorine will kill a water maker membrane quickly. The watermaker on my boat is an older 120 volt version but the inverter or generator can operate it. A 12 volt replacement is on the list when this one needs a new membrane.

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3288
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Too many questions...

Post by woodsghost » Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:30 pm

I would do some threat assessment. Do you expect a natural disaster to cause people to come calling? Or a war? Do you expect there to be "unaffected" areas? Or will everything in the US be affected?

I would make sure to get to know the neighbors. As you said, you cannot exist as an island. Your neighbors may share some of your concerns about an unstable future and might already have some preps going on.

You have got advice that Official and Unofficial people can come take your gear. Maybe make some stockpiles in places. Including at friends places if you have any like minded friends in the area. Or rent a storage unit within 100 miles.

You have plans to stay in place or bug out by boat. I'd also plan on connecting with friends/family on land. I think you want lots of options since the future is impossible to predict.

Since you seem ready to leave the area by boat, I would make sure you have wealth which is accessible overseas and probably have a little in crypto, precious metals, foreign currency, and domestic currency. The people overseas experiencing civil wars or economic stress/collapse seem to be putting money into crypto and currencies from outside their borders. I would expect one or two of the above categories to lose value or collapse, so I wouldn't put a sum so large in any of those that collapse would sink you.

Lastly, gear is just gear. Your mind and body are your best preps. Your gear can always be lost and I'd be ready to get along without any of the stuff. But good mental attitude and some physical/mental ability will allow you to keep afloat in difficult circumstances. Useful skills are also important.

Just my thoughts.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 13580
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Time Out

Re: Too many questions...

Post by Stercutus » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:45 pm

In brief, my plan is to "bug in" until the "Gimmedats" start showing up, at which point we'll take the boat south and into the Atlantic ocean.
Sounds like a seasonal plan to me. There are times that a sailboat in the Atlantic might be more risky than being on land. If the threat you were facing was say a hurricane (or a post hurricane/ flood civil disorder) leaving that route might not be an option. If you plan on leaving I'd have some kind of back up plan to leave. Although on the Eastern Seaboard there aren't a lot of good options.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

M813
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:39 am

Re: Too many questions...

Post by M813 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:10 pm

Lots to respond to here. I'll do my best:

Geographically, my back is sort of "up against a wall." For hurricane evac, no problem. For other types of SHTF, I will probably not be able to leave the area. Roads will be impassible and depending on which SHTF theories you subscribe to, Golden Hoards may be on the way...or not. ;)

Family: All of my family is a minimum of 800 miles away. Spouse's family is closer but not of any real help. If anything, a couple of elderly relations will come to me, looking for support. I expect no family support and I can only offer them a little. Children are grown and moved away.

Neighbors: I have a couple of good neighbors (including military) that may be trustworthy. Also a few old veterans. When the time is appropriate, we may be able to form a core of neighborhood watch and order. The neighborhood is also full of gossiping old hens that will surely make things more emotional and more complicated. :roll:

Physical Security: Without a doubt, this will be my biggest, most expensive challenge. I already have a list of work to be done. County ordinances prohibit erecting a fence that will serve as any meaningful deterrent...but I might still put something up. Keeping some spools of razor wire coiled up as additional, deployable measures sounds like a good idea. Storm shutters sound like a great idea. I need to replace my door. One positive note: Although I have many windows, I do not have any sliding glass doors. Some sandbags to line inner walls up to 3 feet will probably be appropriate.

Water: No swimming pools anywhere in the neighborhood to harvest from. Rainwater barrels are a great idea and we will implement that.
Yes, I thought about a 12v or 110v powered desalinator but I want a version that doesn't require electrical power. I realize the output will be a lot less or require more physical effort.

Money: Multiple currencies, precious metals, crypto currencies. Excellent advice, thanks.

Multiple stockpiles: Also excellent advice, thanks. Also, I'd read about a "decoy pantry."

"Seasonal" bugout plan: Yes and No. Like I said, I sail in weather that most won't. Yes, winter in the Atlantic is dangerous. That would be the absolute worst timing, worst case. Unless I had access to extremely accurate weather forecasting, I would not head into the Atlantic in the dead of winter. In the event of a dead-of-winter bugout, I have closer, in-shore destinations that are sparsely inhabited that are not out in the ocean. Cabin heat would be my biggest challenge. I will work on heating options that do not require propane. I would need to be cautious and itinerant.

I think that a SHTF situation that forced me further inland (and that actually allowed me to move further inland) is unlikely. The only one I can think of, is a hurricane landfall because everyone would be moving inland, and there's plenty of notice of evacuation. Anything else would require more advance notice than I think I'm likely to get.

Inland bugout: Ok, let's talk about an inland bugout for a moment- Yes, we do have relations that are farmers that would take us in. They have plenty of room and plenty of resources. They are hardy folk. They would accept us because my wife and I are intelligent, skilled and able-bodied. We can make positive contributions to the group and they know it. Unfortunately, I think their location is untenable for very long. I think that they are right in the path of a major exodus from 2 major metro areas. Too much land to defend, too many people trying to take it.

Other than the farmers, we have no other family that we would try to connect with. The rest of them live in dense urban areas that we would wish to avoid. None of them have any sense of survival or planning and no skills...unless frisbee golf is considered a survival skill and I didn't get that memo...

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3288
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Too many questions...

Post by woodsghost » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:42 pm

Great responses!

When considering an inland bug-out, you are concerned about the "golden hoards." How do you feel about the term "future employees?"

I think if hoards leave the cities there will be 2 types of farmers: those who defend their land with their spouse and dog; and those who defend their land with their spouse, dog, and 40 new ranch hands + families. I think one type will find more success than the other.

And ranch hands who have families are key, I think. People can get desperate. And a wise farmer will give them skin in the game and ground to stand on. People defending their food and family are different than people simply defending a job, or "only" defending food. A lot of one's perspective depends on where one stands. If you are on the outside, looking at 2 farmers with 3000 acres of land and full barns, that sends a certain signal. If you and your 41 new friends + kids are standing on the inside of 3000 acres and some barns, that re-works some calculations.

It sounds like your family are crop farmers. With that in mind, I might invest in some heirloom seeds to bring and try out if things bring you inland.

Just some thoughts.

I don't want to say "this is the best solution" about any of your options. I do want to encourage you to stay open and flexible and ready to jump on any of them which might make the most sense at the time.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

User avatar
Evan the Diplomat
* * * * *
Posts: 2220
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:48 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Savageland
Location: Fairfax, VA

Re: Too many questions...

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:04 pm

I think your biggest liability is that you have such a dim view of your neighbors. It has been said in numerous other threads, and I'm paraphrasing, "that no man is an island."

Your best preps are cultivating relationships with your neighbors. Neighbors that will stand with you when the shambling hordes of the urban welfare state come to your block.

Back when the 2012 derecho knocked out power we ran extension cords across the street so our neighbors could keep their fridges going. No shotguns required.
Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody happy as the dead come home

Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No-one move a muscle as the dead come home

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 13580
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Time Out

Re: Too many questions...

Post by Stercutus » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:09 am

When the time is appropriate, we may be able to form a core of neighborhood watch
I would say the time is more appropriate now. Trying to figure everyone out later, after an event, is risky at best. Knowing who you can count on and whom you can't is priceless information. The guy who says he wants to be a part of a neighborhood watch but always shows up late, leaves early and falls asleep when he is supposed to be watching is the guy you want to know about now instead of later. The flip side of that is that you may find someone who is particularly skilled, squared away and of the same mindset. Either way you get to know your neighbors better which is a win no matter what.
Storm shutters sound like a great idea. I need to replace my door. One positive note: Although I have many windows, I do not have any sliding glass doors. Some sandbags to line inner walls up to 3 feet will probably be appropriate.
A little costly in storage area but you can make a window treatment at home that is hurricane proof from wind and flying debris and very difficult to breach. They are also cheaper than storm shutters while being more effective.

Simply take 3/4" or 19/32" marine grade plywood, cut to overlap window by about 6" and reinforce it with 2"X4" cross braces nailed (2" roofing nails) and glued in place. Run a 1/2" round top carriage bolt through the middle of the 2"x4" bracing. The bolt runs through the window (window down) and then into a 4"x"4 horizontal brace on the interior of the window frame with several large washers and a nut. Once that thing is cranked down it is near impossible to remove from the outside through prying or wind damage.

We used these in Iraq to block windows. IF you want ballistic protection you can then stack sandbags in the window frame (you want to make sure your window framing can support this). You can even cut in replaceable observation slits (2"X12") in to the plywood. Just remember to stand off to the side if you ever open one.

Since you are in a cold weather area you may want to put some of that 1/2" round rope-like foam insulation material around the edge of the plywood wood to give an air seal. I put these in my building in Iraq after the first dust storm rolled through and dust infiltrated all the windows. This will also help to keep from damaging the paint on your house if your house is painted.

You can store these until it looks like they are needed. While everyone else is running to the store to buy non-existent plywood when the next hurricane rolls through you just go to the garage or attic and spend an hour or two putting them up. The amount of space needed to store these may be prohibitive for a lot of people though.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 16949
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Re: Too many questions...

Post by raptor » Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:52 pm

Stercutus has very good advice above.

As an alternative I still use these on some of my windows. They are available in both metal and lexan. The lexan lets in the light but IMO are not as strong. I left these up in the aftermath of Katrina on all windows that accessible are from the ground or porch. They will slow down anyone trying to force entry. They are more expensive plywood to procure but should last 20+ years and nest inside each other to reduce storage space.

http://www.atlanticstormprotection.com/ ... rousel-633


Image

As for razor wire I store it in the simple card board boxes that stack nicely. Amazon sells this but this type of item is available from many sources.
Remember! To deploy these you will need heavy duty leather gloves and/or cut resistant gloves or better double up and use both. You can frequently find razor wire for $0.50 a foot +/-. Some will come out in coils others types are not coiled.

https://www.amazon.com/Razor-Wire-Ribbo ... B00S8CDPYK



Well said Wood ghost!
woodsghost wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:42 pm

When considering an inland bug-out, you are concerned about the "golden hoards." How do you feel about the term "future employees?"

I think if hoards leave the cities there will be 2 types of farmers: those who defend their land with their spouse and dog; and those who defend their land with their spouse, dog, and 40 new ranch hands + families. I think one type will find more success than the other.

And ranch hands who have families are key, I think. People can get desperate. And a wise farmer will give them skin in the game and ground to stand on. People defending their food and family are different than people simply defending a job, or "only" defending food. A lot of one's perspective depends on where one stands. If you are on the outside, looking at 2 farmers with 3000 acres of land and full barns, that sends a certain signal. If you and your 41 new friends + kids are standing on the inside of 3000 acres and some barns, that re-works some calculations.

It sounds like your family are crop farmers. With that in mind, I might invest in some heirloom seeds to bring and try out if things bring you inland.

absinthe beginner
* * * * *
Posts: 1716
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:05 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shawn of the Dead
Location: Colorado

Re: Too many questions...

Post by absinthe beginner » Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:59 pm

Reading this thread makes me wonder if the prepper movement is getting a second wind. It seems like prepper fatigue, or maybe a degree of complacency, set in after the last election. Now it seems like events in Virginia, among other things, are giving new impetus to existing preppers, and causing more newbies to take stock of their ability to ride out a storm. Anecdotally, I'm hearing more people talking about 2020 with a sense of anxiety, though as far as I can tell that hasn't translated into most of them actually taking concrete action to be more prepared/resilient. Would like to hear other ZH posters' thoughts and observations on the matter.

User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 16949
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Re: Too many questions...

Post by raptor » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:52 pm

absinthe beginner wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:59 pm
Reading this thread makes me wonder if the prepper movement is getting a second wind. It seems like prepper fatigue, or maybe a degree of complacency, set in after the last election. Now it seems like events in Virginia, among other things, are giving new impetus to existing preppers, and causing more newbies to take stock of their ability to ride out a storm. Anecdotally, I'm hearing more people talking about 2020 with a sense of anxiety, though as far as I can tell that hasn't translated into most of them actually taking concrete action to be more prepared/resilient. Would like to hear other ZH posters' thoughts and observations on the matter.
My$.02.
I speak only for myself I have no opinion on the collective psyche of the US other than to say IMO there is a lot of untreated mental illness running around claiming they are "normal and reasonable". That and anytime I hear the phrase "common sense" I remember that real common sense is not very common anymore. :clownshoes:

Prepping does not (& really should not) be a lifestyle anymore than letting life insurance and liability insurance govern your life. I have always and likely will always prep for many events. Most are highly probable events that are weather related some are less probable but nevertheless "high value cost" type risks. whether or not you prep for likely risks should not depend upon what social media thinks of the activity. make that choice and decisions on your own and based upon your own strengths, weaknesses and exposure to risk.

The media has always been good at painting people who prep as EOTWAWKI or Doomsday preppers who look forward to "SHTF" events. IMO that has not changed.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... nrest.html

IMO the current 24/7 news cycle coupled with social media inundate people with negativity.

A headline like this is an example:
https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/4 ... n-20-years
My initial reaction was "wow! is this a trend?"
Yes measles are not good and are preventable. That said Austin has ~1mm people ... so 1 person in a million has measles.

BTW I have current vaccinations against practically anything a non-medical researcher civilian should have including measles. I do this because it is a cheap & low risk preparation.

So to bring this back to the question...there are always events that spur "prepping". By that I mean people going out and buying things based upon headlines. The Fukashima incident had people buying iodine pills with no clue as to exactly what they will do and not do. However, this is not prepping in any real sense of the word and I am sure people who engage in this activity get fatigued with the crisis de jour.

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 13580
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Time Out

Re: Too many questions...

Post by Stercutus » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:35 pm

Meh, I have no idea what happened in Virginia and don't watch cable news, mostly just local news if at all. I do know that the news tends to run overwhelmingly negative. For some reason the news seems to think that economy has failed or is falling apart around us. While I understand that this is all politically motivated it is both hilarious and sad. Attempting to alter our perceptions of reality is nothing new but that trope really breaks the old logic meter.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

User avatar
NT2C
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 7622
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:37 pm
Location: Outside of your jurisdiction officer

Re: Too many questions...

Post by NT2C » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:26 pm

absinthe beginner wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:59 pm
Reading this thread makes me wonder if the prepper movement is getting a second wind. It seems like prepper fatigue, or maybe a degree of complacency, set in after the last election. Now it seems like events in Virginia, among other things, are giving new impetus to existing preppers, and causing more newbies to take stock of their ability to ride out a storm. Anecdotally, I'm hearing more people talking about 2020 with a sense of anxiety, though as far as I can tell that hasn't translated into most of them actually taking concrete action to be more prepared/resilient. Would like to hear other ZH posters' thoughts and observations on the matter.
Speaking as someone whose boots are on the ground in Virginia, what I'm hearing from friends and neighbors worries me, a lot.

Almost all of my friends and neighbors are retired military or "country folk" whose families have lived on and farmed these lands for generations. I can't think of a single one of them who are happy with the goings-on in Richmond. Those that have the means are already bugging out, with more following. Those without the means are hunkering down, topping off supplies, and settling in to wait. To a man/woman they expect things to get very ugly, very fast sometime in the coming year.

From where I'm sitting things are not looking wonderful. I'm just hoping that our bugout plans work out before anyone launches any balloons out here. :ohdear:
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution. - A. Lincoln

MPMalloy
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 4728
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:48 am

Re: Too many questions...

Post by MPMalloy » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:41 am

NT2C wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:26 pm
absinthe beginner wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:59 pm
Reading this thread makes me wonder if the prepper movement is getting a second wind. It seems like prepper fatigue, or maybe a degree of complacency, set in after the last election. Now it seems like events in Virginia, among other things, are giving new impetus to existing preppers, and causing more newbies to take stock of their ability to ride out a storm. Anecdotally, I'm hearing more people talking about 2020 with a sense of anxiety, though as far as I can tell that hasn't translated into most of them actually taking concrete action to be more prepared/resilient. Would like to hear other ZH posters' thoughts and observations on the matter.
Speaking as someone whose boots are on the ground in Virginia, what I'm hearing from friends and neighbors worries me, a lot.

Almost all of my friends and neighbors are retired military or "country folk" whose families have lived on and farmed these lands for generations. I can't think of a single one of them who are happy with the goings-on in Richmond. Those that have the means are already bugging out, with more following. Those without the means are hunkering down, topping off supplies, and settling in to wait. To a man/woman they expect things to get very ugly, very fast sometime in the coming year.

From where I'm sitting things are not looking wonderful. I'm just hoping that our bugout plans work out before anyone launches any balloons out here. :ohdear:
NT: People, whom you know personally, are pulling up stakes and leaving over this? Leaving right now?

:?:

User avatar
NT2C
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 7622
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:37 pm
Location: Outside of your jurisdiction officer

Re: Too many questions...

Post by NT2C » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:16 am

MPMalloy wrote:
Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:41 am
NT2C wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:26 pm
absinthe beginner wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:59 pm
Reading this thread makes me wonder if the prepper movement is getting a second wind. It seems like prepper fatigue, or maybe a degree of complacency, set in after the last election. Now it seems like events in Virginia, among other things, are giving new impetus to existing preppers, and causing more newbies to take stock of their ability to ride out a storm. Anecdotally, I'm hearing more people talking about 2020 with a sense of anxiety, though as far as I can tell that hasn't translated into most of them actually taking concrete action to be more prepared/resilient. Would like to hear other ZH posters' thoughts and observations on the matter.
Speaking as someone whose boots are on the ground in Virginia, what I'm hearing from friends and neighbors worries me, a lot.

Almost all of my friends and neighbors are retired military or "country folk" whose families have lived on and farmed these lands for generations. I can't think of a single one of them who are happy with the goings-on in Richmond. Those that have the means are already bugging out, with more following. Those without the means are hunkering down, topping off supplies, and settling in to wait. To a man/woman they expect things to get very ugly, very fast sometime in the coming year.

From where I'm sitting things are not looking wonderful. I'm just hoping that our bugout plans work out before anyone launches any balloons out here. :ohdear:
NT: People, whom you know personally, are pulling up stakes and leaving over this? Leaving right now?

:?:
Affirmative. My retired USMC Lt. Col neighbor next door, who has lived here 15 years now, has put his place up for sale and is moving to Maine. Another friend down in the next county south, a retired firefighter, moved to somewhere in Alabama while I was on the road shopping for our bug out location. A ham that I've known for 8 years now and who taught school here in the county for twenty years had his dream house all setup here, full solar power, great ham shack, etc., he sold it a week ago and is moving to Utah with his son.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution. - A. Lincoln

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 13580
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Time Out

Re: Too many questions...

Post by Stercutus » Wed Dec 25, 2019 8:11 am

But if the choice is living anywhere close to Baltimore and just about anywhere else... well I crossed that common sense divide decades ago.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

M813
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:39 am

Re: Too many questions...

Post by M813 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:27 pm

Hi all, I hope you enjoyed the holidays.

Just a couple new posts for me to respond to:

Golden hoard vs. future employees: Sure, I'm amenable to "future employees."
Poor opinion of my neighbors: Yes, and I agree that this could be a personal failing. Yes, I agree that people won't last long as an "island."

The two points above go hand-in-hand, so let me expand on that for a moment: Let me just say that my personal experience is that I am a VERY poor judge of character. Several times, I have been bitten by people that I took to be trustworthy. I let these people into my life and gave them a wide degree of latitude and I have experienced everything from garden variety disappointment to outright being placed in real danger by them. This isn't just my own personal perception, my wife has watched people abuse my trust and she totally understands why I am introverted.

Forming a neighborhood watch It is suggested that I start forming this now. My question is: How do I approach my neighbors and broach this subject without coming off as a member of the tin-foil hat brigade?

Thanks for the photos of the shutters and explanation of how to build my own window coverings. Very helpful!

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3288
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Too many questions...

Post by woodsghost » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:54 pm

M813:

Again, great responses. And I don't give people access to enough of my life for them to cause a real problem. I have trusted and been burned, but I try to put in means of limiting damage and only allowing people into a safe and managed part of my life, if that makes sense.

For neighbors, I would, as part of a larger conversation, sneak in "boy, this world has got crazy, right? What do you think of it?" Which could be followed, if I liked the response to question #1, with "so how do you plan to deal with all that?"

You can get a prepared or concerned person, an unprepared/unconcerned person, or a shifty/dodgy person. People who talk to me usually get shifty/dodgy until I have felt them out and know I'm in good company.

People who start a conversation with me and lead with "you know the world is going to hell and you better be prepared" usually get a "Tell me more, I'm interested in that, yes, I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Well, I might not agree 100% but I think you have a lot of good points." Let them talk about their views, anxieties, and concerns. Ask questions. Get details if you can. People like to be heard. Be supportive and affirming of their views and concerns, even if you don't share them. People talk more when they feel they are among friends.

In my view, I don't need to share the reasons "why" someone is concerned about the world(I don't need others to think like me, I can appreciate that people have different goals and concerns). The goal of "being prepared" is enough. But the "why" can let you know if a neighbor is level headed or a cook. Which is good info if things go south.

And to add: people talk of they think you care, and the best way to do that is to genuinely care. I genuinely appreciate the people here, even though many don't share much in common with me. I like getting to know and understand people.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

User avatar
majorhavoc
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 7143
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, ZombieLand, Dawn of the Dead
Location: Maine

Re: Too many questions...

Post by majorhavoc » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:59 pm

M813 wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:27 pm
Hi all, I hope you enjoyed the holidays.

Just a couple new posts for me to respond to:

Golden hoard vs. future employees: Sure, I'm amenable to "future employees."
Poor opinion of my neighbors: Yes, and I agree that this could be a personal failing. Yes, I agree that people won't last long as an "island."

The two points above go hand-in-hand, so let me expand on that for a moment: Let me just say that my personal experience is that I am a VERY poor judge of character. Several times, I have been bitten by people that I took to be trustworthy. I let these people into my life and gave them a wide degree of latitude and I have experienced everything from garden variety disappointment to outright being placed in real danger by them. This isn't just my own personal perception, my wife has watched people abuse my trust and she totally understands why I am introverted.

Forming a neighborhood watch It is suggested that I start forming this now. My question is: How do I approach my neighbors and broach this subject without coming off as a member of the tin-foil hat brigade?

Thanks for the photos of the shutters and explanation of how to build my own window coverings. Very helpful!
The way you lay the groundwork for a neighborhood watch without coming across as a member of the tin-foil hat brigade is first get to know them and let them get to know you. A smile and a hello go a long way. Help them clearing that downed tree limb. Compliment them on their garden. Pick up that bike their kid left in the street and wheel it to their front door. Send them a holiday card. Let them know you called the city about the pothole in front of their driveway. Become known as a thoughtful, dependable neighbor.

I personally think there's no need to discuss extreme contingencies unless you happen to discover they're preppers too. In fact, I think it's counterproductive because in addition to risking coming across as paranoid, you're also telegraphing to others that you have valuable preps. See above comments re: golden hordes. Instead, just bank the goodwill that comes with being a good neighbor and when/if (hopefully: never) external circumstances warrant, broach of the subject of a neighborhood watch. Just my two cents.

M813
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:39 am

Re: Too many questions...

Post by M813 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:37 pm

Good responses.

I've probably overstated my introversion. I do have friends in the neighborhood. 2 are pretty good friends and 4 more are "reasonable acquaintances" I guess you'd call them. It probably wouldn't be too difficult to discuss a neighborhood watch rotation from the standpoint of a weather disaster.

I don't know everyone in the 'hood. I've run into a few that really make me shake my head, especially wives. My neighborhood is pretty old, so there are a lot of elderly original homeowners that will not be useful in a neighborhood patrol and will need protection.

As I said, my back is kind of up against a wall geographically...which kind of makes me hope that in a mass exodus scenario, people will opt to travel inland (away from me) instead of to a shore where no shops or facilities exist.

Post Reply

Return to “Contingency Planning & Preparation”