Letter Re: Transportation for the Disabled in the Event of TEOTWAWKI


Thanks for such good reading. I had a copy of “Patriots”but lost it in a house fire last year. I was able to find TEOTWAWKI [the draft edition] through eBay and was happy (it was a signed copy-YEAH!) but am thrilled that you will be releasing the updated version along with the ‘Retreats and Relocation’ book.

What I am interested in is finding the best way to transport my wheelchair bound, handicapped son and my elderly (near wheelchair bound) mother in the event of TEOTWAWKI. I am in the process of getting completely out of debt, which will help tremendously in any plans (provided WTSHTF holds off a little while) and my son and his soon-to-be bride have purchased property that is deeper in the boonies that I am now. Can you recommend any specific books or sources of info for this situation? I was very well prepared before the fire but that just drilled home the wisdom of NOT putting all your eggs in one basket! Thanks again for a wealth of information and God Bless you and yours! – R.B.

JWR Replies: Your situation is unusual but hardly unique. I have an acquaintance in northern Idaho who is wheelchair bound. He is a fine shot with both rifle and pistol, and he can do some simply amazing shooting with a submachinegun. (He is a Class 3 licensed dealer.) When the Schumer hits the fan, I would much rather have someone like him at my retreat than most other “able bodied” men. BTW, he was the basis for one of the minor characters in my novel.

I strongly suggest that if it is at all practicable, that you make arrangements to have your family live at your retreat year-round. And needless to say, that habitation should be a one story structure, on level or nearly level ground, with an easy retrofit for a wheelchair ramp to the main door. Also, if either (or both) your son and mother currently use electric wheelchairs, get old-fashioned wheelchairs for backups in the event of a long term power failures.
As for transportation over longer distances, plan ahead for providing for your disabled family members. One great option, in my opinion, is a 4WD drive full size van conversion. See:

Note: Be sure to read this FAQ in detail. Beware of buying an older 4WD conversion. Some of the 4WD van conversions that were done back in the 1970s and 1980s were plagued by reliability problems–mainly involving front differential linkage and other power-train problems. But in more recent years the conversion companies seem to have “gotten it down to a science”–at least for some models. Just be sure to get a written warranty! OBTW, With the current high cost of gasoline, many of these companies have cut their prices to stay competitive. So this is a great time to have a conversion done.

These can be “dual converted” with a wheelchair lift apparatus. See:


Also see:
And in Canada: http://www.clydesdale.bc.ca/

OBTW, in the event of a worst case scenario, don’t underrate the value of disabled people at a retreat. Most can “stand” watches of guard duty at an LP/OP, providing extra eyes and ears. So stock up on cold weather clothing for those folks, too!