The topic I want to discuss might seem pretty obvious to some of you and not so obvious to others. This article is going to discuss the transporting and safety of tactically untrained female members of your group.
I’ve been a prepper for a number of years now, and I really haven’t ever seen anything on bugging out to a retreat or anywhere for that matter with untrained females in a SHTF scenario.
First, let me give you some background on myself; it might help to establish some credibility with some of you. I have served in the U.S. military, and I’ve been an EMT on a volunteer ambulance service, as well as an armed guard for an armored car service where we had to pick up and transport multi-million dollar loads on a daily basis. I have been a federal security guard at the federal building and other federally-run property. I am currently a reserve police officer and a counselor and corrections officer for juveniles.
I live in a Redoubt state, which I believe is one of the last best places to live. The only problem is there is not a lot of high paying jobs up here, which is one of the reasons I’ve had to be so diverse with my skill sets.
Preventing Them From Being A Target
Now back to the point of the article. I have a friend who is the mother of two wonderful girls. The oldest is just about to start high school, and the youngest is still in elementary school. As I’m sure you already know and if your reading this, you probably have a good idea, but in a true SHTF scenario you would see some of the most violent and sickening acts a person can do to their fellow human beings. There would be folks out looking for anyone who looks like an “easy” target. Their thinking is “the more vulnerable, the better”. So the key is to not look vulnerable.
If my friend and her daughters were to travel “openly”, even with me, they would still be at a disadvantage. I harbor no illusions about what my fate or theirs could be in that situation. We would be stopped somehow and, if they wanted the girls and our “stuff”, they would probably kill me and take the girls for whatever they had in mind.
My solution to this rather complicated issue is to make the bad guys think the females are males. Sounds simple right? My plan follows the KISS rule– Keep It Simple Stupid. First, get the girls some baggy clothing, preferably coveralls, and get them ready BEFORE you need them. I’d try to get them dirty as well by having the girls wear them and kneel down in the dirt or mud or grease– anything that could make a stain on them. Secondly, I’d have the girls remove all of their make up, especially including any fingernail polish. So, keep an extra bottle of fingernail polish remover with your gear, just in case they ran out or don’t have any; the main ingredient in fingernail polish is acetone, which you can always use as a fire starter. Next, have the girls tuck their hair under a hat– maybe an old baseball cap you use for hunting, a wool watch cap, or any hat really– that hides their hair. Then remove any jewelry they might have on, like earrings. Remember, you’re trying to make them look like males, so anything that doesn’t fit their new persona will make them stand out and put them and you at further risk, which is what we’re trying to avoid. After that you should rub some dirt or engine grease on their face to make them look as if they have been working on some mechanical equipment. If the females you are transporting have permanent make up then just use more dirt or grease or you could use a camo stick, as if you were going duck hunting. They should also have some kind of weapon in their hands– not necessarily a fire arm, but I wouldn’t rule that out. It helps them not to look vulnerable! Most men you’ll see at this time will be carrying some type of weapon. I’ve even gone so far as to buy fake facial hair for the girls. I know up close it will not fool anyone, but at a distance or from a moving vehicle it sure will. All that the bad guys will see are three males and a little girl.
I know right now your thinking “I’ve taught my girls how to shoot, and they can take care of themselves”. Well, that’s a very good thing to do, but when the bad guys out-number the girls by 5:1 or 10:1 and you’ve already been shot, remember, that’s a lot to ask from anyone. Do you really want to take that chance, especially when the solution is so easy? Also, remember that the only fight you really ever win is the one you don’t have to fight.
It is your primary responsibility to keep your family/friends safe, and that means keeping them away from any flying bullets and sharp pointy things wielded be bad guys.
On The Move
Okay, you’ve got your gear and bug out bag, and everyone looks like they’re supposed to. Now you’re ready to hit the road to your retreat or a safe place to hold up in.
First, you need to have a map and three (3) alternate routes to get to your destination, just in case your primary route is inaccessible for whatever reason.
One of the most valuable pieces of equipment I carry is an inexpensive pair of binoculars in my glove compartment. With them I can “scout” ahead and see what’s up the road or over that hill and possibly avoid an ambush in the form of a road block. Remember that the bad guys can look like anyone– official law enforcement, military, fire fighters, ambulance personnel– and they might even have actual vehicles from those agencies, after they’ve shot the original owners of them. If you come across this situation, hopefully you “scouted ahead” and saw them before they saw you. Just watch them for a while and see how many people they have, what kind of weapons they have, and where they are positioned. The three at the car stopping people might be covered by the two behind that big tree on the hill to their left. Just keep watching. If another car rolls up, use your own discretion whether you want to stop and tell them what’s going on over that hill or around that curve or not. At any rate keep watching what happens!
This is not the time to try and fight. Keep in mind your primary responsibility and why! That’s not to say you can’t remember what these people look like, what they’re driving, and anything else that might identify them later. I wouldn’t write anything down on paper yet, just in case the bad guys find it on you. Just wait until you are in a safe place, and then write down as much information as you can remember. After you’ve observed them for awhile and you think you know what kind of people your dealing with, if they’re the kind of people we’ve been talking about in this article, then you have one of two choices to make. First, you could carefully back down from your observation spot and choose one of the alternate routes you’ve selected and be on your way, or second, you could go back down the road a few miles and wait and warn people. Hopefully, you will find some like-minded people to build up a rolling caravan. If your numbers in the caravan are a lot bigger then the bad guy’s numbers at the road block, then they are likely gonna let you through. Remember they’re looking for easy targets, not hard ones. If they see a car full of males and one little girl, they are not gonna want to stop you anyway.
Once you’ve made it past any obstacles, then you can head for your retreat. However, before you just walk right in, take a few minutes and see if it is occupied by anyone, from a distance of course with your binoculars. If it is occupied, those people are unlikely to want to share, even if it is all your gear. Your best option is to find another place to hold up in.
It important to remember that while there is a breakdown in society and a lot of bad people doing bad things, there will still be good people out there, too, and you’ll be able to find each other. It just might take a little bit longer then.
Helpful Hints To Keep Them Safe
- You should drive, not because of some “macho” reason like “I’m the man therefore I’m driving”. No, do it because the majority of times anyone that wants to talk to you guys will talk to the driver. This is not always the case, but it is the majority of times. If someone comes up to the passenger’s side and starts asking questions or wanting to talk, you should just say the passenger’s window is broken and will not roll down.
- If they/ you have to use the restroom at some point and you are not in a van or RV, then only go to some place where you are inside a store, restaurant, or a residence. Never go outside where someone could be watching you. It would be a dead giveaway. You should search the man’s restroom first and make sure no one else is in there and that there is no other way to get in or out. Then send the girls in all at once, while you stand guard outside.
- For someone to take anything from you, they have to get you to stop somehow. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s also very true. If you don’t stop for anything, there is little chance of anyone taking anything from you. The bad guys will try to make you stop, either by playing on your sympathy with a staged accident or by force. Either way, remember you are responsible for your cargo, and if that means not stopping to help someone then so be it. You are not a bad person for taking care of your family/friends.
I hope this article helped you and yours, and I hope none of us ever have to use it.