I am just now (pretty late in the game, I know) becoming aware of the impending collapse and have begun reading your blog regularly (it is the first thing I read in the mornings now). I realize now that I must prepare as much as I can and have a question about my current location. I live on an isolated (no bridges, ferry and airplane transport only) Island in the Chesapeake Bay. It is somewhat densely populated for its size, but everyone knows each other and most residents hunt and fish and have their own boats. Many residents are quite self sufficient and the crime rate is virtually non- existent. I realize we are downwind of several nuclear targets (DC is only about 70 miles away as the crow flies) but this area (the Delmarva Peninsula) and this island in particular are sparsely populated. I recently bought a house here and cannot afford to move anywhere anytime soon, and if I could, I could only get to rural western Virginia, West Virginia, or Eastern Kentucky at the furthest. The only benefit of my current locale is that in the event of a collapse, it would be isolated and looters would be unable to get here. On the other hand, there would be 500+ residents and little or no fuel to power fishing vessels after current supplies run out. The climate is mild and we could get by with little or no heat in the winter. Much of the surrounding land is swampland and not conducive to agriculture. There are few firearms on the Island other than a few shotguns for duck hunting. I currently own a Glock 21 (.45 ACP) for personal protection and am looking into rifles. I would like an M1A but probably could not afford one. How could I make my current situation more suited to riding out a crisis? Any response will be greatly appreciated. Very Respectfully, – R.T.
JWR Replies: A few things come immediately to mind:
- You should stock up on fuel for your own use, and for barter.) Coleman white gas has a 6+ year shelf life, and can be used in engines as well as lanterns and stoves.
- Stock up on two-cycle fuel-mixing oil. (For chainsaws and older outboard engines.)
- Have a large propane tank installed, and make sure that it is has a wet leg. (So that it can be used to fill smaller containers.)
- If you don’t have one already, get a tri-fuel generator, and a photovoltaic power system if you can afford it.
- You need a long gun for defense. Even if it is just a well-used “beater” Mauser, Mosin-Nagant, or Enfield bolt-action, that is better than nothing. And in essence, what you currently have is almost nothing.(Don’t bring just a pistol to a rifle fight!)
- Stock up on non-hybrid gardening seeds. (Several of my advertisers sell them.) Also, build up your topsoil!
Your situation is unusual, but not unique. Make the best of the local resources, and organize with your neighbors to provide a common defense.
One could safely predict that in the event of a “slow slide” depression, you may see a situation develop similar to that of present-day Roatan Island  (off the coast of Honduras), where burglars and even home invasion robbers commute to the island from the mainland via ferryboat.