We are located in the Southeastern United States. There are nine families in our “block”, with the next neighborhood or community more than two miles away. I refer to it as a block because a major highway runs through it. The only dwellings on the major highway are three houses and one country store. The rest are on a “U” shaped secondary road that starts across from the store on the main highway and ends, back on the main Highway, 1 mile east, at a cross road. We are all contained in one square mile within that “U”.
I should give you a little information about the location of our small neighborhood: When I use the term “neighborhood”, it’s more like a community. Of the nine dwellings, the closest family unit consists of three houses side by side, (3 of the 4 buildings on the main road) and are kin to each other. Every one of the other houses are approximately 1/4 to 1 mile apart, each dwelling having acreage ranging from 10 to 60 acres. All but the store are accessible through the woods to each other. Surrounding our, “community”, is approximately 5,000 acres of public forest land with an old but accessible fire tower lookout on a hill that would be a workable sniper position and place to coordinate and raise an alarm. If anyone ever sees a red flag go up, it means someone is approaching from the North, yellow, South, orange, East, and purple, West. Green is the all clear. Radios are being purchased to supplement the initial flag system.
The only way in or out of what we, as a community, decided to call, “the defensive zone”, (which I will detail, later) is by one major highway, running East to West and one secondary road, (the “U” shaped road), which comes to a crossroads at the major highway. This major road leads to two major metropolitan cities. The secondary road leads to a couple of smaller cities. I believe this secondary road is going to be a major strategic checkpoint for keeping out the individuals and mobs that were lucky enough to escape the cities mentioned above, from entering and scavenging our defensive zone. The planning started with myself and and the owner of the local country store and campground. His business relies on the hunters coming in from all over the region. So, as he and I discussed, we already foresee a problem from the “regulars” that come in every year to hunt.
After reading an article in SurvivalBlog.com titled, Survival Security Tactics–In All Locations, by Roy K., we discussed organizing a small meeting after store hours to discuss setting up a community wide defensive zone, (if and when the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI), that was going to be not only defensible but prosperous long enough for the country to get back to some form of organization. We already meet at his store on Saturdays for a community watch program. We live so far outof town and and isolated that “Burglary by U-Haul” is already a very real threat. One neighbor had his whole house emptied with a U-Haul backed up to the door. Meanwhile, a roll back trailer was used to pull his entire shed, with 4-wheelers and lawn equipment in it, onto its bed and drive away with it. Another neighbor ¾-mile down the road saw the U-Haul and rollback go by but didn’t think anything of it at the time. Later, the so-called “police investigation” determined that the shed had been dragged onto a roll back and a dual wheel truck had backed up to the door.
We purposely left the children out of the meeting for fear that they would brag to their classmates that we were “playing army” or something to that effect. We pointed a web browser at SurvivalBlog and I started the meeting by reading the entire article aloud. When I was finished, several of the men had taken notes and were asking very relevant questions. What we finally came up with, (after four hours of discussion and re-reading the article), was that we, as a community needed a plan. We decided on ranks, so to speak, and also took up a collection to purchase two way radios for each family and we already have three members with ham radios.
We also decided, based on the article, which house was best defensible by line of sight and distance and how to get everyone to it in case of perimeter collapse. We came up with a plan to “build” a compound zone or safe zone and post guards at each entrance.
One of the hardest things to decide was who we let in, (if anyone) if there is a TEOTWAWKI with a Golden Horde pouring out of the cities. There were some that wanted just their brothers and sisters and their children, to others that wanted their whole extended families and assorted friends to be let in. After a pretty heated discussion about being able to sustain only a certain number of people for a certain amount of time, we decided that if someone’s family came and had something to contribute and were able to feed themselves and their children, (meaning all we would have to provide was security and lodging), would be considered for entrance. Those with nothing, but wanting us to feed, house and protect them because they had not planned ahead would be turned away.
The consensus of the group was that if the family members of those that had to be turned away had a choice to go with them, but that was the bottom line. As it explained in the article, I believe everyone understood that either we all survive together, or we split up and maybe end up dying separately. Since we all decided to start buying and pooling our canned goods and long term storage foods, would we have enough to share. We were careful to take the time to decide where our food sources were to be stored based on perishable versus non-perishables and concealment. We have all started vegetable gardens and instructed to retain any non-hybrid seeds that we can for storage. The subject of seeds from “store bought” produce was raised. It was explained that in many cases the produce that you buy has been hybridized and the seeds saved from these plants will not germinate or have poor yields. I ordered non-hybrid seeds from The Seed Savers Exchange.
Two neighbors and I have deep wells for fresh water supply, as well as chlorine tablets and Clorox. We worked out, (and are still working out the minor details), a water rationing system based on the number of people in each household and special needs.
We touched a little on pets, but mostly on livestock. Four of the families have chickens, two have horses and a milk cow, and I have chickens, quail, turkey, goats and pasture. Also discussed was the possibility that one or all of us may have to take out what we deem threats to our “own little city”, and agreed that if it had to be done to save the lives of our families and friends, it had to be done. In the end we compared what each of us have now and what we need. We have already started the collecting and storing process, and by the beginning of July, we are going to start practicing setting up the perimeters and guards.
What we have done is create our own “safe zone” or independent town. We have our sons (and a few daughters), cutting out a network of trails to and from each other’s houses. The younger ones, 8-11, are under the impression that they are for paintball games and the older boys know what the trails are actually for and are kind of “supervising”. Also, the hunters of the group are mapping the game trails and I have built a pistol and rifle range on my forty acres to get together on Sunday afternoons to practice with our primary, “SHTF” weapons, which consist mainly of .308 hunting rifles (at least one of each in every family) and a few 9mm pistols, and one bolt-action .50 BMG. Several others have AR-15, FN-FAL, and SKS semi-auto rifles
I ordered and received topographical maps in just a few minutes from the USGS. I suggest anyone working on a survival or bug-out plan, get the maps needed for your area or where you intend on bugging out to. They show in detail, elevation, accessible roads, rivers and streams.
The hardest part of the discussion was, if we had any casualties, where were they to be buried. I believe we came to an agreement that they would be laid to rest in an old pre-Civil war graveyard that is almost in the middle of our ”compound”. We decided that if we had to bug-out, everyone was given a laminated map, each with a different route, so that if anyone survived we could rendezvous and regroup.
I suggest that if you and your family have not made a plan, you do so now. Time is running out. If I had not taken the time to read the aforementioned SurvivalBlog article, I would probably still be sitting in from of the television instead of implementing a plan. If nothing else, you will get to know your neighbors a lot better and find the ones that you can trust to be there for you and you for them, when the time comes, and it is coming!
Thanks for the information your blog provides. It is invaluable to those who should, and will practice it. It might just keep you and yours alive.