First of all, I would just like to say a huge thank you for all the advice, expertise, and survival techniques that you have bought to my attention through your books and your blog. I never realised just how much of a risk our current climate is, and how likely we are to get to a state of “every man for himself” survival.
My name is Steve. I am a 21 year old living in the West Midlands county in the heart of Great Britain. I have always had survivalism in my blood, and have always liked to think that I am prepared for whatever the world can throw at me, but recently, the last four years or so, I have become increasingly worried with the state of my country and economical clime. My fears were confirmed last August when mass rioting and looting took control of many of my country’s cities, including our capital, London. The authorities and law enforcement were powerless to do a thing, and we were nearly in a state of “Northern Ireland law enforcement”, in that the armed forces were to patrol the streets, and we were to have riot shielded police with water cannons on every street corner. Thankfully, that situation has calmed down now, but I know it is only a matter of time before chaos breaks out again.
My main concern is that I, like many million other British residents, live in multi-story, “high rise” flat (apartment) which I see as near enough impossible to defend in the event of WTSHTF. Some “high rise” flats can have as many as 60-70 homes, with 200+ people living in them. It’s one thing to secure my front door from burglary and looters, but what’s the point when our housing options are so small that we barely have enough room to sleep a family, let alone store equipment and supplies for the inevitable. It’s impossible for me to keep a back up generator along with substantial food, water, and fuel supplies in a home that has the total floor space of around 30’x30′, including bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining space. My home is just not a practical safe house for me, my fiancée, and our daughter. Let alone the fact that we are on the 5th floor, and would have almost zero chance of escape in the event of a fire or terror attack.
I know that the obvious thing to do would be to move house, somewhere out of the city with the space and freedom to properly prepare, but we simply can not afford to. I am currently out of work. I lost my job over a year ago and have been unable to find work since. The same goes for my fiancée, who lost her job nearly two years ago and has also been unable to find a new work placement. We both have to survive on[a combined unemployment insurance benefit of] just over £53 per week (about $84.50 USD), pay all our bills, rent, buy our food, and also bring up our young daughter. It’s outrageous. In the past two years alone I have witnessed more businesses and company’s both regionally, and nationally, collapse due to the economic state that my government has put the country in. I have recently applied to join the British Armed Forces Reserves (Territorial Army, or TA) in an attempt to earn more money to support my family, and also acquire any necessary tactical, survival, and combat, training and techniques that will undoubtedly prove vital WTSHTF.
Another concern I have, the laws and regulations in this country regarding owning and using firearms. Shotguns and shotgun licenses are fairly easy to obtain, if you own a farm or are a registered target/clay-pigeon/small-game shooter. But other than that, pistols, rifles, and semi-auto weapons are nearly impossible to obtain and get a licence for. A licence can be applied for, but are rarely granted. If you are lucky enough to obtain your licence and firearm, you can expect regular “knocks on your door” at 3 a.m. by the local armed police to check your ammo count and security cabinets for both weapon and ammunition. Then there is the fact of actually getting hold of ammunition for your gun(s). The only real stockist of rifle and pistol ammunition is local “gun clubs” where enthusiasts can go and fire a limited number of rounds from their weapon. But even then, only specific weapons are allowed to be fired. Mostly, some pistols and shotguns. We have no real facilities to accurately zero and test fire weapons that we will no doubt need for our own protection and survival in the case of TEOTWAWKI.
I know I may be thinking small in terms of what will happen, but these are real concerns that I deem as extremely important to the survival and order of my family and fellow country man in the near, inevitable, future.
I would greatly appreciate any feedback or advice that you could give me.
Thank you again, and keep yourself safe. – D.S.
JWR Replies: Joining the TA is a great way to get yourself training in marksmanship, land navigation, first aid, small unit tactics, and even NBC defense. The rigorous physical training will also get you in great shape. BTW, I recommend that you start running every-other day and doing dozens of sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups a day, months in advance of your enlistment.
The free SurvivalBlog archives are fully searchable for the many articles that we’ve posted on selecting and training with weapons for locales with draconian laws. The article topics include: