Two Letters Re: Finding Abandoned Properties, Post-TEOTWAWKI?

Sir, First let me say that I agree with the sentiments of D.O.’s reply to the original post. However; In a situation even less drastic than another depression, I believe there will be ‘abandoned’ properties everywhere you look due to foreclosures and displaced persons that can no longer find viable employment and have moved in with family or on to ‘greener’ pastures. The homeowners that lived in them, built them, and called them home, will not own them anymore. These homes will still have an owner, that would be the ‘bank’ that held the note, and also in some cases, additionally the tax authority of record that has not been paid by the previous owner nor the bank. But that ‘owner’ will not have any idea what the disposition of most of these properties are. The financial institutions of today are usually far from the local scene and as is evidenced even as of late, they have internal problems of keeping their own doors open and not getting swallowed up by a larger entity. At some point it will become impossible to monitor the homes held on their balance sheets. Municipalities are already starting to experience difficulties in staffing and … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Preparedness Versus Reliance on God’s Providence and Protection

Jim, I’ve struggled with the paradigm of preparing versus having faith in God to provide for our needs and protection. There are many Biblical references/analogies regarding both. Would you be willing to share your thoughts? Sincerely, – Short-ckt JWR Replies: For some relevant Bible passages, please see the latest additions to my Prayer page. In particular, see the sections under these headings: Clarification on Christianity and Physical Preparedness Food Storage Self Defense Charity May God Bless You and Yours!

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Letter Re: Advice on Relocation–A Reader Concerned About Local Racism

Mr. Rawles: I’m a single mother of an 11-year-old living in rural Colorado, with good food and supply stores. I share a house with another single woman who owns it, in a duplex apartment. We have wood heat and national forest out back. We have no firearms. I have no family and I’m on disability, but I have a registered nurse license and keep it up. I honestly do have a very hard time working a job, but would if I had to and realize it may come to that. I have been disabled since a car accident in 2004. My question is related to race. I’m black. I feel horribly isolated out here and sad all the time. Even church people are cold and distant. I’m afraid to go out and take a walk with my child as people have screamed and thrown things at us. And Colorado isn’t even as bad some other areas. If something happens fast versus a slow emergency and people panic, I think these people would easily seek to hurt my daughter unless we keep hidden. I want to move to Atlanta (my child was born there and her father is there who would … Continue reading

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Christianity and Physical Preparedness

I occasionally get e-mails from SurvivalBlog readers, asking about how I can justify active preparedness in light of my Christian faith. Some cite the “Lilies of the Field” passage in Matthew 6:25-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What … Continue reading

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The Precepts of My Survivalist Philosophy

In the past week I’ve had three newcomers to SurvivalBlog.com write and ask me to summarize my world view. One of them asked: “I could spend days looking through [the] archives of your [many months of] blog posts. But there are hundreds of them. Can you tell me where you stand, in just a page? What distinguishes the “Rawlesian” philosophy from other [schools of] survivalist thought?” I’ll likely add a few items to this list as time goes on, but here is a general summary of my precepts: Modern Society is Increasingly Complex, Interdependent, and Fragile. With each passing year, technology progresses and chains of interdependency lengthen. In the past 30 years, chains of retail supply have grown longer and longer. The food on your supermarket shelf does not come from local farmers. It often comes from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. This has created an alarming vulnerability to disruption. Simultaneously, global population is still increasing in a near geometrical progression. At some point that must end, most likely with a sudden and sharp drop in population. The lynchpin is the grid. Without functioning power grids, modern industrial societies will collapse within weeks. Civilization is Just a Thin … Continue reading

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The Four Gs Update: Have You Got God?, Groceries?, Guns?, Gold?

In the next few paragraphs I’ll be tackling four issues that for many years, I’ve labelled “The Four Gs.” One of my contemporaries, Richard “Doc” Sweeny, even made the concept into and acronym: GGGG, for “God, Gold, Guns, and Groceries.” God. I consider faith in God the cornerstone of my family’s preparedness. Faith in God’s sovereign control of the future gives my family hope and peace in these troubled times. If there is no hope, then why prepare? Our hope is in Christ Jesus. Groceries. There are continuing reports of shortages around the country of wheat flour, corn meal, rice, and cooking oil at some of the “big box:” stores such as COSTCO and Sam’s Club. This phenomenon is not uniform. Some readers tell me that it is “business at usual” at their local stores, while others report “one bag per customer” rationing signs have been posted, and a few report empty shelves. With galloping wholesale prices and shortages at the wholesale level, I expect these spot shortages to continue. I’ve had a half dozen anxious e-mails from readers in the past week, complaining that their storage food orders have been delayed, that they can’t get a firm answer on … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Retreat Group Recruiting and Organization

Mr. Rawles, One subject that seems vastly under-represented in the bulk of survivalist literature is that of organizing and recruiting. It’s fairly obvious that in a real WTSHTF scenario, a lone wolf, or small family would be in a precarious position regardless of how well armed and well prepared they may be. A group of three or four would be hard pressed to maintain any real degree of security while going about the [gardening and other self-sufficiency] work required for basic survival. In my experience, it’s hard enough finding someone that’s even “like minded”, let alone skilled or intelligent. There’s also a tremendous element of trust involved in attempting to organize. Approaching someone to join your survival group is a fairly risky proposition, because you’ve basically advertised the fact that you’re preparing for a worst case scenario to that person, and whomever they decide to tell. There’s a further degree of trust necessary for making mutual purchases, storing equipment at a centralized location. etc. etc. I’m sure you can think of the hundred different concerns that come into play when it comes to increasing your membership. In your excellent novel “Patriots”, the organization element of the story sort of “fell … Continue reading

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Mental Preparations for Survival, by jc

For many people preparing to survive has become an obsession; a pursuit placed above all else in their lives. Others feel as if survival prep should be more of a priority if they could only afford to do more. Still others feel as if they may have already gone overboard in their preparations. Preparing for survival after TEOTWAWKI can make you feel overwhelmed, under-supplied, overspent, under-funded, over-your-head, or under-the-gun (no pun intended). There are those who have the ability to purchase a retreat, stock it with supplies and equipment for a year or more, and have enough to share with those in need at will. They expect to support parents, siblings and spouses, nieces and nephews, grandkids, and several families of friends, and have already stocked their retreat with all the food, water, and supplies for all of them to start completely over. Most of us, however, fall far short of that ability, and hope that we can simply prepare for ourselves and our immediate family. Please understand, I am not criticizing those who are able to prepare in this way. That’s what this country is all about – the chance to make and keep your fortunes. As Christians we … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Advice for a Preparedness-Minded ROTC Cadet

Hi, I appreciate your advice. Here is my situation: I attend college full time in a post-industrial [Eastern United States] city that has had a 50% population decline in 30 years. Most people here are on welfare, and the largest employers are prisons. I am in a bit of a predicament because I only make about $6,000 per year, so I cannot really afford to spend much on supplies. My goal if things go downhill is to do a ruck march (assuming EMP, otherwise I would drive) with my ROTC-issued [TA-50] equipment to my family’s summer home in farm country on a lake. The home is located about 40 miles from where I go to school. Going home is not feasible as I live in Massachusetts which would take a full tank of gas, and is entirely highway and there are several choke points, including driving through Albany, Springfield, Worcester, and into the high-density suburbs. At school, one of my best friends is also into survivalism and he also has experience. We share the same goals and are both Baptist. Additionally, we are both known on campus as people who have everything, tools, water, food, etc. which means that if … Continue reading

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Poll Results: Why are You Preparing to Survive?

Here is the second round of responses to this question: Those who are well educated enough to see a societal collapse of some sort or another in the making fall into two groups, the merrymakers and the preparers. The merrymakers don’t see life worth living post-SHTF, so they live it up now. We on SurvivalBlog are the preparers and have chosen to survive, but why? Our children? To rebuild civilization? Because the collapse will only be temporary? Because we can and we’re stubborn with a stronger than normal will to survive? The following is the second batch of responses. A few of the following poll responses exceeded the one paragraph limit, but they had substance so I decided to post them, regardless: Jim, The survival seed was planted at when as a young boy I entered our Ohio basement “fruit cellar” and noticed the stock of canned goods, candles and other necessities. My mother explained that we might need the items if the “weather turned bad”. We never did need those items in the 1950s but the idea stuck. For my family [living] in Alaska, it just makes sense to provide yourself with comfort items should the SHTF. We have … Continue reading

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Poll Results: Why are You Preparing to Survive?

Here is the first round of responses to this question: Those who are well educated enough to see a societal collapse of some sort or another in the making fall into two groups, the merrymakers and the preparers. The merrymakers don’t see life worth living post-SHTF, so they live it up now. We on SurvivalBlog are the preparers and have chosen to survive, but why? Our children? To rebuild civilization? Because the collapse will only be temporary? Because we can and we’re stubborn with a stronger than normal will to survive? The following is just the first batch of responses. I plan to post at least one more batch. Please send your responses (one paragraph or less) via e-mail, and I will post them anonymously. The survivalist is an optimist — not merely because he/she thinks he’ll make it through the crisis, but because of the (possibly subconscious) hope that something good will emerge in the aftermath. It’s the logic of any kind of apocalyptic thought… Theological systems that have a conception of a climactic struggle or an “end times” imagine that, after Armageddon, we’ll see the dawning of a new age. Not surprisingly, a lot of Hollywood movies follow … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Religious Versus Non-Religious Neighbors, Post-TEOTWAWKI

Mr. Rawles: You were quoted as stating: “I’m often asked why I make such a ‘big deal’ about choosing conservative Christians, Messianic Jews, or Orthodox Jews for neighbors. The plain truth is that in a societal collapse there will be a veritable vacuum of law enforcement. In such times, with a few exceptions, it will only be the God fearing that will continue to be law abiding. Choose your neighborhood wisely.” Perhaps you might clarify for your non-believing readers what side you would place them on come TEOTWAWKI. For the sake of full disclosure? It seems to me that in an overwhelmingly religious nation such as this, it’s statistically the believers one should perhaps be concerned about. Let’s not confuse those suffering from “bad theology” with those lacking a theology. Otherwise an excellent site. Kind Regards, – James C. JWR Replies: First, I don’t consider the U.S. an “overwhelmingly religious nation.” Perhaps it was in the 1950s. But not today. Less than 20% of Americans now attend church regularly. In the main, people that believe that they will be judged for their actions in the hereafter will be the people that you can trust more to remain law abiding, post-TEOTWAWKI. … Continue reading

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