Two Letters Re: Adapt to Survive, by Elizabeth B.

Mr. Rawles,
I can understand Mrs. B’s reasoning from a long term standpoint. But, what I believe she is missing is that most of what is trying to be conveyed to people on this site is to stock up on articles such as food stuffs, hygiene supplies, bartering goods and such for the period of time that will exist from the point that the realization of a SHTF time and the time when all the skills and knowledge will be needed to sustain life.

For an example, lets say that it’s October or November and everything has just fallen apart. The time has now come to start to acquire food from sources other than the local grocery store. According to Mrs. B, everyone should be able to immediately start gathering food and starting survivalist skills immediately. Unfortunately, its not that simple. The fall time frame would be the end of the growing season in most of the country, so if a person is expecting to plow a field, mature plants, and harvest for food, they are looking at approximately five months before planting, another two to three months for maturing of plants, then harvesting. In the meantime, what are they supposed to survive on?

They are going to have to rely on the food stores that Mrs. B seems to be recommending against. Unless a person is already living at their planned retreat, or if they have had the capability of regularly visiting their planned retreat to properly have gardens ready, livestock already purchased and fenced in, and shelter already established, there is going to be a desperate need for food stuffs, batteries, medical supplies, and everything else that has been discusses on this site.

I and many of us here have working ranches/farms that we live on, and yet we know that even we have to have all these supplies set aside for when the SHTF. We still make weekly/monthly runs into town to purchase items for everyday use. Also, with the responsibility of livestock, purchasing feed is economically advantageous to us right now in comparison to having to dedicate acreage to the growth and storage of feed grain. So the transition from regular ranching/farming will still effect us to a point that we have to have stores of not only human needs, but livestock needs also.
I do not want to take away from most of Mrs. B’s article, for the period of time that would exist after a prolonged TEOTWAWKI what she has written is well thought out, and will be useful. The only thing that I am disagreeing with, is the need for a substantial amount of stores for when that time occurs. Respectfully, – Bob W. in Texas


CPT Rawles:
I disagree with most of what was said [in Elizabeth B.’s article] about what do when TSHTF. I was in Somalia and have seen what happens to civilization when no law is apparent. Those that have the means gather together to take from those that have [what they need].

Numerous web sites describing how to survive (not yours, but many others) say to find a community that has a large LDS (Mormon) or Mennonite following and you will have food for a year.
Within 60 days after a total SHTF event, over half the people living [in affected areas] will have died, from either starvation illness, murder neglect or out right lawlessness–oh and lest I forget stupidity.
After 120 days half of the people left alive will have eaten most of the easily available food sources and taken most of the food from survivalists who haven’t planned their survival to include fighting off warlord style roving groups of people (as was seen in Somalia). Within 300 days most if not all the food sources that had storage such as grocery store warehouses will have been either looted or infested by bugs, or scavenged by wild animals and others searching for food.

I have talked to friends of my other half who work in zoos and animal habitats who have stated that if something goes wrong and they fear for the safety of the animals they will set them free.
Conservative estimates of wild bears, lions, and others dangerous wild animals such as gorillas are 2,000 to 4,000. Most of these facilities are located around large cities so they will find many things to eat and survive on. (Read: people, dogs, house cats, etc.)

As for prisons I’d be surprised if less then 80% of the inmates don’t make it out of the facilities as most of the guards will desert when its obvious that they don’t have government or local law enforcement back up.

So what I am trying to say is, their won’t be any way for people like Elizabeth B. to grow gardens, work with those in the community to trade and survive through working together Its just not going to be possible, since 98% of your time and effort will be spent staying alive and free of lead from outside sources. That’s the bottom line. Even if you have say four or so families (possibly up to 20 or 25 soldier-age persons with weapons and 20,000 rounds of ammo for each weapon–which I doubt most do). You could face as many as two or three hundred attackers with all sorts of weapons procured from National Guard armories, police and SWAT teams, other survivalists, and who knows what else. They will be attacking you with only one thing in their mind: That is to destroy you–rape, pillage and take what you have so that they can survive.

Look at history. Whenever there is no rule of law those who have the means to gather together will overpower those individuals who seek to stay isolated.

My main point is not to say give up but to try to get as many people as you can together to make small communities where you can build defensive positions or exploit natural defensive terrain–walls, moats, heavy forests, cliff faces to help you in your effort to survive to carry on what amounts to a real civilized life. A community of 20 to 40 families with defensive walls and structures could and would be able to have gardens, orchards and the things which some of you say you must be able to do to survive. What many [who don’t think in terms of a 24/7/360 perimeter defense] suggest is just a futile attempt at making people think that they can hide out in the woods in their little homes gardening and raising their food, without need to worry about the other 90% of the population of the US. (Those [currently] living in big cities, where even now its “the big dog eats the little dog” .)

Okay, so this is my two cents for what it is worth. I wish all of you the best in everything you strive to do. God bless each of us. For background: I have 22 years military experience starting with my service in Vietnam two tours (’67-’69 & ’70-’71) South Korea, Central America, Africa, Middle East and Germany.

SurvivalBlog is great site. Thankfully, I don’t think we will get to the scenario of Schumer Hitting the Fan. So most of what you and your readers recommend on your site will work for a slight hiccup in the system of life.- FFZ