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I prefer to focus on realistic and attainable goals. Of course I will exercise my right to vote, although widespread election fraud has somewhat diluted the power of the vote. I will participate in forums such as this one. But primarily, I will take steps to protect myself and my loved ones should the situation deteriorate to the point where we experience shortages of basic necessities and widespread civil unrest and violence. My advice is:
- Consider moving. Many of us are not free to relocate due to our job, or because of family ties to the region in which we currently live. But if moving is an option for you, you should consider several factors for the area you are considering:
1a. Is it near a reliable supply of food? One of the first things to break down in a crisis is the transportation network, and one of that network’s primary functions is to transport food from the outlying rural areas to the urban areas. During a major crisis with civil unrest, grocery shelves in urban areas may be bare. Starvation is ugly.
1b. What is the predominant political demographic? A population that embraces the ideology of the far left is far more likely to suffer from civil unrest than a more conservative area. Of course, conservative regions also tend to be more religious, so we must learn to not only co-exist with our theist neighbors, but to be on friendly terms with them. I was raised in a very religious area, so this isn’t a problem for me; I am not overly vocal about my atheism, and by the time a new acquaintance has figured it out I have usually earned their respect and trust.
1c. Related to the point above, what is the predominant political leaning of local officials, including state, county, and local law enforcement? I am lucky to live in an area where our elected officials, county sheriff’s department, and city police are staunchly conservative. I feel confident that they would actively resist overtly unconstitutional actions by rogue Federal authorities. I am less confident about our state-level officials and law enforcement officers, but for now they would probably resist – at least passively – the most blatant attempts by Federal authorities to disregard our Constitutional freedoms.
1d. What is the population density? A densely-populated urban area is much more susceptible to disruption during a major crisis. A rural area is much more resilient, and less likely to suffer the worst ravages of widespread civil unrest.
Plan for shortages. I am not suggesting that you hoard toilet tissue, but a prudent person will have on hand at least a few weeks of food and will have a plan to access (and if necessary render potable) fresh water. You should also retain a supply of other necessities including medications and other medical supplies; light and heat sources that don’t rely on electricity; fuel; and a few other items.
Have a communication plan. During a major crisis, cellular and landline telephone service may be overwhelmed or non-functional. Internet access may be unavailable. Consider purchasing a ham radio and earning at least your Technician license. Know the frequencies for your local ham repeaters and ham clubs. Know how to use your equipment in an emergency.
Know your neighbors. Know who in your neighborhood has medical training, who is an avid hunter, who is an accomplished gardener, who is a trained mechanic, who has military experience. Establish rapport with these neighbors.
Consider purchasing at least one firearm that is suitable for personal protection, along with a sufficient supply of ammunition. If you go this route, seek professional training. Col. Jeff Cooper, the Father of Modern Pistolcraft and the founder of world-renowned Gunsite Academy, famously said, “Owning a gun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a piano makes you a musician.” If you own a gun, know how to safely and effectively employ it. I would direct you to Pat Goodale’s Practical Firearms Training (www.pgpft.com); Pat is a friend and mentor, and I have taken many of his top-notch classes. I also recommend Gunsite Academy (www.gunsite.com), which is extremely prestigious. I live near Gunsite and I am on very good terms with several of their instructors; I am also an alumnus, of course. There are other good programs, but these are the two I most highly recommend. If you cannot commit the resources to attend a multi-day course like these, many local shooting ranges offer instruction. But, be careful; there are quite a few sub-standard instructors. Do not seek advice from a friend, relative, neighbor, or colleague solely because they are or were in the military or in law enforcement! Most military personal and law enforcement officers know little about firearms beyond their issue weapon, and most are not very skilled. I am a certified and experienced firearms instructor and Range Safety Officer, and I know from first-hand experience that most cops barely know which end of the firearm the bullet comes out of.
Get basic medical training. This training should focus on much more than CPR; it should include emergency trauma care. I had a lot of this training in the military and as mandatory preparation for deployment, but there are many places which offer this type of training. In addition to BLS and CRP courses, look for courses with names like Stop the Bleed.
With a little preparation and planning, we can at least hope to ride out a major crisis, and hopefully mitigate its impact on ourselves and our families.