- How much of the land floods? i.e. During past tropical storms, how much of the land was under water?
Again, this is ***(a southern state)***. Yes, the land gets wet when heavy rains come. All campsites and camper parking areas must be able to be elevated by the owners. The harder the rains, the worse the situation would be. In fact, a very good chore would be scouting and foraging for lumber and then constructing suitable platforms for tents. There is nothing different here than at any scouting campground or other public campsite. The land is protected by a wide marsh on the west with a single narrow track through it to the main gate, which has a natural defensive barrier. There is deep ditching on the north to handle the runoff, some lesser ditching on the south, and the same on the east. There are several ponds, and a belt of woods that pretty much surrounds the entire western half of the site. All of these land features extract water in one way or the other from the central area, but this part of the country is wet. I highly recommend a higher wheel base on any vehicle taken onto the site. I’ve driven out there through two or three feet deep mud holes. My truck is not 4-wheel drive, but I know the roads and where to expect the problem points. A low wheel base would not make it during wet times. Again, what you may cry dismay at, is a plus for the community in regards to security; it’s the harshness of access.
- Can we pre-place our supplies?
I’d suggest doing so at your local center/group meeting site where you’d depart from. Label individual goods with the family name (plus the family leader’s first initial in case of multiple families sharing the same sir name) and box items for easy loading, stacking, and transporting. At the very least, do so in your home in a dedicated area and in an organized manner. All full members are offered the ability of pre-positioning assets at the site. That’s not available to associates or exigents. A good plan would be for a predetermined, large group of trucks to be dedicated for hauling those labeled goods that have been gathered by your groups in a convoy to the community site. That would serve multiple purposes. A larger amount of goods could be transported at once. The emptied trucks would be useful for work purposes or living purposes; it could be used for recharging 12VDC batteries, scouting and provision runs, and for defensive and offensive purposes. A truck is good for all of these purposes, and the majority of the current membership have trucks or large SUVs for those very reasons. Cars would be unable to navigate the roads leading to the community site during times of extreme wet weather. So, consider joining families with those who have reliable and utilitarian vehicles.
- What are you expecting of us?
Nothing exceptional is expected. In the extraordinary circumstances that would cause us to gather at the site, we’ve made a proposal to you, people who would need assistance, by providing a place to run to that is safer and more secure than waiting in your city home to be raided and robbed, where the people left in the city are likely to be murdered, raped, assaulted, or taken prisoner and enslaved. I expect those who agree to come here to be willing to work to survive and to offer to “do” more than “want” and “take”. I expect them to be self-sufficient as much as possible and self-responsible, law-abiding, and rule-abiding. They should not expect more than is possible. They should be firmly grounded in reality and willing to go without all of the things that are frivolous and transitory in nature, such are entertainment, luxury, non-essential items, and time-wasters; these things include games, media, communications, and the “desserts” of life.
Basically, I expect adults to be adults and forget, for the duration of your stay, the ways of this so-called civilized, leisurely society and enter into the new way of life for a time, as long as it is required for our survival.
- Are you able to generate power if the grid goes down?
Yes. In addition, all current members have some form of solar electrical generation capability as a requirement for membership. I do, and it is enough to recharge a laptop, my truck battery, or other vehicle batteries. However, your source of electricity will be what you provide yourself. All power requires fuel input to cause the process to take place, even if that “fuel” is merely the food it takes you to stay healthy enough to maintain your system, or it could be the wind or the sun. In addition, strict noise regulations may be in effect at times. Both of those concepts need to be thought through. All people need to understand that, like water and food, fuel is something that must be replenished. Not only does the fuel have to be acquired, but it must be stored as well. Storing power is quite costly; storing fuel is a challenge because it expires and must be rotated. I know your question is really whether there is electricity for you as a family group or exigent group, and the answer is that there is electricity only at or during communal activities, events and gatherings. Otherwise, there is none. The power production capabilities of the community are primarily for pumps, centralized communications, security, work, and food production.
- Will the various leaders of the provisional groups be allowed to see the property sometime soon so they can at least report back to the group that all looks good? It seems important if we’re to “sell” the concept that we should at least know where and to what we’re taking our recruits.
No details of location will be given to the exigent group membership at large. At this time, only certain prospects for full, regular membership have been invited to come out to the site by the community of members for security considerations. Absolutely no one goes out there without such an offer in the works. It is a matter of discretion and good sense to impart to you the reality of what is there only when such an invitation, if ever, is offered to you.
As for “selling” anything, please understand that this is merely an altruistic offer. My goal is to try and give some time to people who I do not know, have not investigated, vetted, or background checked. As is, the community, while a limited number of people, can do fine without anyone else joining us. I’ve worked hard to just get this small exception for all of you and for your groups, but we, the community/group, are not trying to sell anything to anyone. We do see the practicality of having more people for defensive, offensive, supply and procurement purposes, work, or areas of need for personnel. Their issue is a matter of trust. I’ll tell you this; it’s a good spot. That is truth. It is up to you to accept my word or not. Once a prospective member is taken out there, he or she falls under the same instructions to not allow anyone to know about it and its location without prior board invitation. All of this is for security purposes, now and once we are all out there.
You can think of this proposal as a gift, and no one has the right to demand a gift. In that case, it would no longer be a gift, and like any gift you open it when you get it and can choose to either make use of the item or merely be polite and offer your thanks for being thought of.
- You mentioned a rally point where provisionals would meet regulars, who would lead them out in a convoy at the time of an event. Will the meet-up and convoy movement and security be rehearsed ahead of time so that it doesn’t turn into cat herding?
That’s a good question. I’ll turn it around on you. Where is a place you, as a group, could gather and be ready to travel? Have you the vehicles for persons and things you all think you’ll need for the initial period of time? You, the leaders of your organizations, should take this chore for your people; it’s not my chore. As I’ve said before, convoy is one of the safest ways to travel in uncertain times, but like any military convoy it must be self-equipped and supported along the route from start to end. Once there, multiple trips or solitary trips will be subject to community decisions. It’d be a good exercise wouldn’t it to even fake a bug out by loading trucks with full or empty boxes or containers to see how much and how many people can fit in the vehicles and then practice it. Again, do it like a military exercise, because in the event of it becoming truly necessary that is not a good time to learn what mistakes you are making. As for it being cat-herding, we’ve the time now to learn just what to expect out of all who decide to commit to such a venture. We also have time to think it all through and as leaders to decide who not to include, if need be. Be pragmatic and practical. Again and again, I must say it– stay focused on reality. Be responsible as individuals and as a group. You will be escorted and led to the site, either by me or others who are assigned the task.
- Is there anyone else I know from (***a specific area***) who has been approached with this proposal? This knowledge could be important so that we don’t cross-recruit or be oblivious to another group traveling to the rally point right alongside us or worry about security. There is security in numbers and benefits of inter-group training and communication.
No, there is no one you know; there are only individual friends, some neighbors, and some people I know via business who have been approached. However, it is not your business who is being considered or to whom this concept is being proposed. I will state that I am considering some other small groups though. This idea is new. Previously, our group did not wish to take any such risk. All who joined us in the past were invited to do so and each knew the rules and declared their intent to live according to them without questioning. Great care was given in speaking with those who were asked if they’d be interested in joining our group. We all are men, women, and families who realize that if such a crisis does come about that requires such a place and cooperative community to become reality, the world has changed. We know that we will be required to adapt and follow new guidelines and methods of daily life and conduct.
A straight-forward answer is that I proposed all that I have to you and to my group, as I think you personally– you as group leaders– are worth saving. You must decide for your own people who is worth the risk. Who will bring with them skills and the strength we will all need? Do not allow weakness and some sense of “saving everyone” to develop in your hearts. It is impossible to save everyone in such a time. The harsh truth is that we all will be lucky to just make it the first 60 days.
- Are we each expected to show up at the rally point with 60-90 days worth of supplies? That would likely be an impossibly heavy haul, if we aren’t able to pre-position on-site or at secure points along the way.
Impossible is what you decide it is. It is possible, when you think, plan, revise plans, and discard unworkable or impossible ideas. Sixty to ninety days of food, ammo, water filtration, meds, and supply for each person is not impossible, unless you wish it to be so. Start off with what I’ve written above. There is no cold storage. That alone eliminates an awful lot of wasted space and effort. Look at dry goods like rice and beans, which don’t require a lot of space really for a 60-day supply. It may be boring, I grant you, but it will get any and all of you through. All things brought out should be of an absolutely necessary nature. Again, no frivolous items should be brought. Leave the make-up, TV guide, and Playstation at home. Food, ammo, medical supplies, water filtering equipment, containers for various items, soaps, toilet paper, minimal cooking gear,and dry change of clothes and shoes. That’s about it to make it. Your “home” will most likely be the vehicle you travel in or what you intend to pitch and pitch in it.
- Is the main group planning to engage in food production on the land? If not, what will happen after 60-90 days if the main group sees value in the provisional members and wishes to keep them around, if supplies are exhausted?
Crops can be grown there and are being grown there now, but supplies are limited. If you don’t work, you have no food or resources. There are many unknowns. Provisional members will either prove their worth or not. Sixty days is long enough for a lot of dying to happen in the city and surrounding areas. That is a lot of time to seek resupply, scavenge, and forage. It is also a time to plan, think, and decide. However, initially, nothing is carved in stone as to anyone being any kind of permanent resident. I’ve offered a breathing space, a time of recouping one’s breath so to speak. It gives you the opportunity to count blessings and get further prepared mentally, emotionally, and yep physically for what would be some very rough times ahead. My hope is that all who want to do so could re-enter the city and its surroundings to try to take up some normal life again. As is, the answer is simply that all of us together will look at our situation when the time comes.
- What do you expect us to do right now and when? If recruiting, what is the deadline for you to receive completed applications?
I expect you to get busy doing what you should’ve been doing all along– quit talking, start gathering, figure out how to move 60+ days of supplies into one vehicle with yourself and whomever you travel with as a family group. Also, stop wasting ammo and money. If the fighting comes to us, it will be close up and personal in most cases; mark my words on that. You’ll need every round. You need to think and really accept the difference between what is needed for life versus what is junk, excess, and non-essential. What do I want you to do? Nothing, other than be self-supporting, self-reliant, hard-working, honest, practical, and perhaps brave. I will answer the “recruiting” question simply: We are not recruiting for full memberships. This is an emergency, exigent proposal only. Thus, other than the form for individuals– the roster form– there is no application.
As for a deadline, there is none. If it happened right now, I’d call you or email you and say, “Are you ready to go?” The event is or will be the deadline. How many, who, what you bring, and what you offer the group is up to you. However, the community needs to know what to expect more than you do. What is your job? What do you expect of yourselves? That answer is the first one you need to find out.
I, too, have more questions than answers. So much depends on just what takes place to cause a reaction as we’ve been speaking of. The “grid-down”’ scenario is a common one. Take that one, where there are no cellphone services, no land-line phones, and no Ham or short-distance radio. It’s cute and fun to play in that scenario, but most people either don’t have the equipment nor the know-how. Add in that there are no real standardization or plans in place by any groups in this area. Mostly it’s just those who are Hams or radio aficionados playing at being important. Seriously, that is my view on the whole thing. Like I said, it’s not jumping on the air waves and running mouths; rather, it’s shutting up and listening that is crucial.
That really is a good segue into the real issue– talk versus doing. I’m not a man who really likes to keep banging away talking about anything. I tend to lose patience and just say, “Do it, this way, or get out of my way.” My view about all of this is that I’ve given all I can; it’s an idea– a valid proposal– and I’ve expected some kind of response back.
I know little about your survival plans and capabilities. All who I’ve met are quite sociable people, but being “social” is not the issue. Do not treat this whole idea/issue/possibility as some sort of excuse to have potluck dinners. Instead, start gathering your supplies, and don’t waste time fretting about things we don’t have answers for. Quit wasting ammo for anything other than what’s necessary to stay competent. Quit wasting money on luxuries that have no long-term merit. The fighting, if it comes, will be close up and personal, in most cases, and you’ll need every round. I couldn’t care less about social mores or the dictates of polite company. I see a huge series of jobs that need doing with no one or few really doing them. If it comes time to actually shoot another human being, I will bet the farm that it happens almost pointblank face-to-face. Those who think they are going to sit a 1/2 mile away and be some sort of sniper or sit in a comm-shack in an easy chair and CQ their way to safety had better think again.
It is not going to be a world that folks can expect barter and trade to suddenly appear in a peaceful manner. It is not going to be a place we can hoe the rows and put in our beans and sit back waiting for harvest time. We will not have the luxury of time to melt bees wax into candles, turn wild edibles into tasty gourmet meals, or anything of the sort. It will be a time of loss, a time of great struggles, doubts, and mistrust in our hearts and minds and times when we will possibly at one time or another think of giving up. Some will, and some will do worse. There will be betrayals, defections, losses of control, losses just adding up to where it may seem impossible to go on, but we will need to go on.
No, it will not be some cute time of “where have all the flowers gone” coupled with guns. It won’t be men and women acting like what we today think of as normal. Not one bit. We will be hard-pressed to do our best to preserve our most sacred humanity inside each of us. It will be a time of dealing with all the pain, including what we have inside ourselves.
It’s time we all faced reality and what we are actually coming up to. Your group’s leadership needs to look at this proposal and begin taking action on organization, lists, supplies, and do so with honesty as to capabilities and who can pull their weight and at what jobs. If “it” happens such that some crisis occurs and this all becomes real and not just an exercise in “togetherness”, most all of the people I’ve met are not going to make it, unless they make some changes now.
The first 30 days would be the turning point for so much. At 60 days, the rate of attrition would be awful. Just doing without meds, air conditioning, or any other luxury of life we now expect will be rough. Poor food, sanitation, living in dirt, hard work, lack of sleep, experiencing constant worry will equate to an unkind world. The practical part of me knows that unkindness is the default human condition, like it or not.
Where do we go from here? I have suggestions. I suggest you locate rendezvous point with some real means to meet up. Plan for the worst, and seize any opportunity for the better. Procure and store food and water purification systems for all. Keep the food simple, seriously; buy things like rice and beans or beans and rice. Keep items lightweight. Procure arms and ammunition, as much as is possible for each to accumulate. If anyone does not own or possess the means to defend themself or their own family, or worse, they feel that they cannot ever take such a step to do what it may take, they are out. Store first aid supplies, including bandages, sutures, and disinfectants.
Prepare the methods to transport it all– wagons, travois’, carts, or whatever. Buy bicycles for people close by, if cars can’t run, to assemble in rendezvous points. Cache spots in your homes or other hidden locations– places that won’t be found by intruders or thieves.
I don’t know all the answers, no one does. I don’t know even if I’ve begun to address of all the possible most important questions, but something needs to be done. Change is necessary for all of us, me included. I’m thinking of multiple staging points. Small groups gathering, then gathering again and again with each step bringing more together at different locations with shorter distances for all at each step.
At least we’re still able to think, plan, and take steps while not in a panic.