Your home should appear shabby, as if you are poor or struggling. (Think of a “redneck trailer park”; no offense is intended.) People living in urban areas will be at a much higher risk for criminal activity. If you look organized and secure, you will be a target for theft, looting, et cetera.
You don’t want to directly or indirectly advertise your stockpile or your plan to anyone outside your trusted circle. When you’re doing your shopping for supplies, do it at night. Neighbors see more than you think. When you store (hide) your stockpile, do it in a place other than the “obvious” places. Store in places like the crawl space under the house, in your washer and dryer (with no electricity, you won’t be using these), and attic. Just use your imagination on this. When robbers come, they will look in obvious places like the basement, safe room, cabinets, et cetera. In a functioning society, 90% of all B&E’s robberies are done by someone who knows you or knows of you. The less you tell and show people, the more secure you and your supplies will be.
People have asked me about guns for home protection. In my opinion, a 12-gauge pump shotgun is your best choice for an all-around (hunting, survival, and home defense) gun. There are a few rules to remember about a gun. Do not pull it, unless you plan on using it. Once you have raised that gun, you have just escalated the situation to a point that cannot easily be defused. Be prepared to shoot if you pull out your weapon. Unlike in the movies, walls, doors, and even car doors will not stop a bullet. If you shoot at a target in your house, think about who is on the other side of the wall behind that target. Chances are that the bullet will pass through the target and wall and hit the person in the other room. Know your target and what is beyond it. The bullet will most likely not stop at your target. If you decide you need a firearm, now is the time to decide what type you need and how much ammo you need to stockpile. This depends on what you predict your needs to be and what the gun will be used for. For a shotgun, you have a wide selection of shells to choose from. (Shotguns use shells not bullets.) Know your firearms and their capabilities. The same goes for pistols, rifles and shotguns. Each have their peculiarities and limitations. Whatever you decide, you need to know the weapon intimately and what ammunition is best for your needs. Ammo sells quickly. If something happens, it will be hard to get what you need. Now is the time to have it, before you need it.
Archery is another weapon option. Unlike bullets, arrows are reusable and do not draw attention when shot, because they are quiet. If you have a bow or crossbow, be sure to use the proper length arrows to match your bow’s draw length so that you don’t harm yourself. Unlike in the movies, most crossbows and compound bows cannot shoot a wooden arrow. The sling bow (a sling shot that shoots arrows) is perfect for small game and can even be pressed into home defense, if needed. The sling bow requires little skill to shoot and one can learn to shoot them accurately pretty quick with practice. They are also inexpensive, at about $25 at Sportmansguide.com. They can shoot any arrow that is to your draw length.
Look normal or even cluttered and chaotic. Tall walls, fences, and barb wire around a house is an invitation to a criminal. It is obvious you are protecting something– something these criminals think they want or need. Instead, plant thorn bushes, rows on rows of roses, holly, raspberries, or other type of thorn bushes. Even boards with nails through them, buried just under the service of the ground where the nails are protruding and cannot be easily seen, give a solid surface for the nails to stick in someone’s foot. Locks only keep honest people honest. Have wood or other items for barricades on doors and windows. Again, a washer and dryer would make a good barricade behind a door at night. Board up your ground level windows, but do not completely cover them; you will need the daylight. If they are completely boarded, this provides another invitation to criminals. A few pieces of wood across the inside of the window will keep people from climbing in, and you can still open the window for air. Have heavy duty plastic on hand to cover windows that may get broken. Obviously, you will need a staple gun to hang the plastic. You will not want to leave your house any more than needed. The more you go in and out of your house, the more likely you will fall victim to a crime or lead criminals back to your home.
Interior Mobility and Security
Keep the inside of your home clutter free. Memorize where everything (furniture, food, flashlights, and so forth) is located. Practice moving through your house in pitch black conditions. You know your house better than any intruder and can use this to your advantage. Have plans in place for any possible situation you can think of, and make sure everyone knows their part of the plan. At all times there should be someone in your group awake 24/7 for security. This should be part of your plan.
If you are faced by a group (gang) of people that mean to harm you, the leader of this group should be your first target. Have one leader in your group. This is not a dictatorship but a leadership. Pick your leader wisely, and remember just because someone has the ability to be a leader, that does not make them a leader. Being the “man of the house” or head of a household does not necessarily make you a leader. Being the most experienced does not make you the leader either. The most Godly person in your group should be the leader, bottom line. Truthfully, no mature or honest person ever seeks to be the leader. Only prideful people seek leadership, titles, et cetera becaise it gives them a sense of importance. True leaders get to that position because the group/team want them there. Among my family and friends, I feel I have the most experience for a crisis situation in survival and security. Does this make the good choice for leadership in a crisis? No. I have friends who are more Godly than me, and I will gladly submit to their leadership when the time comes. No matter how much training, experience, and knowledge I have for a crisis, I am nothing without God, and this goes for everyone out there. Being a leader is not about ability but about responsibility. Who do you trust to protect you and look out for your best interests? The members of the group need to follow the leader without hesitation or question. There must be loyalty and discipline. Otherwise, your group will fall apart. However, as I said at the beginning of this letter, our first and foremost preparation should be with Jesus.
First aid, Hygiene, Health
Obviously, medical help in a crisis situation will be limited or costly. Because of the social infrastructure breakdown, there will be more diseases and germs. Things to have on hand include bandages, quickclot (for serious injuries), splint material, suture kits for stitches, first aid cream, bee sting kits, basic medicines (pain killers, Tylenol, allergy, and cold meds), diarrhea meds (which will happen and can dehydrate a person). Think of the accidents, emergency room, and doctor visits you have made in the past year in a normal life. This could triple in a crisis situation. Everyone’s needs will be different, based on your family’s needs.
Women’s feminine needs are something else to consider for you guys who have a woman (or women) in the house. A crisis is stressful enough, so do not forget their needs during your preparation. Cleanliness is far more important to a woman than to a man. Keep your woman happy and comfortable; a happy wife is a happy life! Even if it means stocking up on razors and shaving gel so your wife can shave her legs, if it makes her feel more comfortable and clean, then buy that stuff.
I have acid reflux. Yes, I will have meds for that on hand. If you or family members are on a prescription med, what will you do? Most of these are filled 30-90 days. Is there an alternative you could take or can you get extra now, just in case? Could you do without it? Do you have addictions to drugs (nonprescription, tobacco, et cetera)? Will this be stockpiled? Is buying this more important than buying food that will keep you alive? This might be a good time to consider quitting. Oh, my. Those who know me, know I use snuff. “Wow!” is all I can think of right now to say. However, do I want to be going through withdrawal when my family is depending on me to keep them safe? No!
Take first aid classes or buy a first aid book to have on hand if you have no first aid skills. We all know how to put a bandaid on and apply first aid cream to a boo boo, but how many of us can treat a sucking chest wound (hole in the chest), a broken bone (resetting the bone), or other traumatic injuries. Keep in mind that infection will be your biggest risk at this time.
Get in shape by starting to exercise and eat healthy. Multivitamins would be helpful to keep you healthy. Build your immune system. The saying “only the strong will survive” is very true. The healthier you are, the better chance you will have at survival.
Have bleach and/or anti-bacteria soap on hand. Hand wipes are good to have. Without hot water (remember, there’s no electricity), it will be hard to sanitize things. Sanitation will be a big issue. A small amount of bleach in a bucket of water will kill all the germs and make the water safe for cleaning dishes et cetera. Also, think where would you use the bathroom. The toilet will not work if you have no water. If you live in the country and are on septic, you could build an outhouse directly over the lid to the septic tank. Note: unwaxed dental floss, which is awesome stuff, is used many times in the military. This stuff is super strong and great for making snares/traps to catch food and stitching clothing and even a person, if needed. This stuff is good to have on hand.
It would also be wise to do any doctor appointments now before the DL. Get a physical, dental work, eye exam, and glasses/contacts, et cetera. This could help you prevent unplanned medical issues six months from now. This may not be a good time to get pregnant. If you are sexually active and still at childbearing age, be thinking of what measures you are willing to take to prevent a pregnancy.
Another health concern, though not urgent, is your diet. Our bodies are accustomed to eating a certain way and preparing our foods a certain way now. However, when you have a dramatic change to your diet, it will upset your digestive system. Even the portions we eat now are more than we need to sustain us for a day. Start a diet now by slowly reducing the amount you eat at a time and the types of foods you eat. Start eating foods that you may not have access to during a crisis but things you would have in a stockpile. When I went overseas with the military, the first thing we would do upon coming home was hit a buffet. I would be sick for days, because my body was not used to this kind of food. The same thing would happen when people would send me treats while I was overseas. I would eat them and be sick.