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Traveling to Your Safe Haven During a WROL Event Addendum, by E.P.

I wanted to respond to a number of comments and a few misconceptions regarding my article, “Traveling to Your Safe Haven During a WROL Event.” There are several things that I want to address.

Meaning of “Without Rule of Law”

First, let me address the meaning of “Without Rule of Law” (WROL). I thought the common usage of these words alone provided a straightforward definition. To me it means a situation where a legitimate government no longer exists such that the rule of law (statutes, rules, and regulations) cannot be enforced and disputes cannot be fairly adjudicated. In short, there is no law to break or enforce, and no reasonable enforcement potential through the courts. You are on your own. To the extent someone or some group attempts to control your actions, they have no legal, moral, or ethical justification for doing so. The only justification they may offer is pure force. It’s a case of “might makes right”.

Expressed Premise That All Comments Addressed To A WROL Event

My article began with the expressed premise that all comments were addressed to a WROL event. As such, to the extent anyone suggested that I was inciting illegal activity, by definition that is impossible. To those that adhere to that position I would recommend rereading the first few paragraphs of part 1, where this premise is clearly spelled out for this very reason. I don’t mind arguing over positions. But, I think it’s essential to agree on the basic facts. My comments only applied to a WROL event, and that is an undisputed fact.

Requirement for Extensive Training

Others have commented that many of the recommendations required extensive training. In my prior group, this was indeed the case. In fact, because we lost a few core members along the way, we were unable to maintain a core group of individuals with the necessary experience and dedication to undertake such processes. This is one reason I left the group and began a reevaluation of my preparation needs and capabilities.

Background

I should probably give a bit a background here. My prior group was comprised of about 13 families with around 50 active members. It was located approximately 1.5 hours from a major mid-Atlantic city, closer to the foot hills. We had members coming from three different states. None of us had the ability to work and live in a rural area. Therefore, all of us felt we were limited to buying into a safe haven a good distance from our home bases.

For those with similar limitations, and I would argue that the majority of preppers fall into this category, traveling to the safe haven during a WROL event will be a necessity. In my prior sub-group we had three families coming from the same direction. Our plan was to meet up at a rally point outside a large city and travel together to the safe haven location.

Too Many Mad Max Movies

While some feel that the scenarios I described are the result of watching too many Mad Max movies, I would suggest they spend more time thinking through how illegitimate (para miltary-type) fake governmental organizations would respond to an economic collapse in the U.S. How much food is available at a local grocery chain? Would it last a few weeks? How about less than 24 hours at best when there is a run on basic food items.

After Food Runs Out

What happens after the food runs out? What happens when fuel runs out? For answers, start by looking at what happens when people are forced to wait in long lines for food, concert tickets, or Christmas sales. Run a few searches in Google and see how crowds react to seemingly trivial provocations. Now, take that to the next level– when a person can’t feed their family or can’t find medical care. Desperation can lead to savage behavior in a very short period of time. Unfortunately, this is part of our genetic makeup.

So, to those of you who believe there will be no roadblocks or people trying to take your stuff, my comment is that that mindset is the product of delusional thought that it can’t happen or it won’t happen. I look at things from a pragmatic point of view. I plan for what I reasonably believe would be the worst case scenarios, and yet I still hope for the best.

Mindset

I had mentioned “mindset” in my article. The above discussion underlines the importance of moving from an “everything is just fine” mindset to the “S just HTF” mindset. It’s tough. None of us have lived through such events. Maybe our parents and/or grandparents lived through the Great Depression. That was certainly as close to a WROL event as we have seen in the U.S. in the last 100 years.

Outside the U.S., look to occupied Europe during WW2 or post-Vietnam war Cambodia or present-day Venezuela for an historical perspective of how societies fall apart in response to tyranny. To think that could not happen in the United States during a catastrophic economic downturn is wishful thinking at best. Add the possibility of an EMP or nuclear war and we are well beyond what most humans can imagine. If you cannot think through such scenarios in a reasonable manner, you may be visiting the wrong web sites and wasting your time and money.

Our Society is Vulnerable

Our society is far more vulnerable today, compared to America in the 1930’s. We rely far too much on automation and a just-in-time supply chain. Small disruptive events at the edges of our support systems can lead to a cascading catastrophe in a very short period of time. The vast majority of people are not prepared to withstand such a shock. This is one of my worst case scenarios.

Prior Group Dissolved

As I mentioned above, I left my prior group. Actually, over a two month period that group dissolved on its own. In my 20+ years of preparing, I have not come across a group with a core membership that remained intact for more than a few years. I don’t think my experience is an outlier. I feel it’s very difficult to form and maintain an effective preparation group. Even if you manage to bring together a substantial number of like-minded individuals, the fact is, it takes an considerable amount of funds, training, and time to create a group that is actually capable of addressing even the most basic of survival situations. If a WROL does not come along, people lose interest and drift away.

Traveling To a Safe Haven

Traveling to a safe haven is just one of the basic requirements for most groups. Many commented on just how difficult that would be and how much training would have to go into preparing a group for such a mission. This is all true and leads to a question: If the group is not willing or able to undertake such responsibilities, should that group continue to exist? I would argue “no”. This is one reason it’s important to go well beyond the ammo, food, and shelter basics.

A Truly Effective Group

What does it really take to form a truly effective group? It requires far more than most are willing to accept. For me, I am somewhat back to square one. I’m still not able to live and work in a truly rural area. So, I am stuck, in a sense, like most of us. In response, I have located my supplies to a few storage areas near friends who live in rural communities. My bet is that should a WROL event occur, I’ll be able to get to at least one of these locations and that my friends will welcome my capabilities. Of course, I plan to leave well in advance of any overt trouble. I watch and wait.

Until I can get my “rear end” west of the Mississippi, that’s about all I can do. However, if I were to join another group I would certainly push to fully understand what is necessary to make an effective organization capable of responding to, and withstanding, a WROL event. Anything less and I would just be spinning my wheels.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 77 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest [1]. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator [2] from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course [3] (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses [4], excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper [5]. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees [6] in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product [7] from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses [8].

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 [9] Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit [10] from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of [11] Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners [12], donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections [13], a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord [14] (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 77 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail [15] us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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Comments Disabled To "Traveling to Your Safe Haven During a WROL Event Addendum, by E.P."

#1 Comment By Dry Creek On July 1, 2018 @ 12:06 pm

Great reality article; people need to be consistent and not waiver. Thanks.

#2 Comment By R. Henry On July 1, 2018 @ 12:41 pm

With the caveat that I didn’t read all of your postings I’ll say what I did read seemed good.

You stated- “Others have commented that many of the recommendations required extensive training”

Well guess what all you sugar kittens out there- THAT’S REAL SURVIVALISM!! Yes, you have to train. Yes you have to train regularly, yes training has to be applicable to survival situations you forsee and has to be realistic. No, sitting on your butt making “lists” of things your never going to do or things you’ll never purchase is NOT survivalism- it’s analytical hoarding.

The movement has truly went to c**p in the last 10 or so years…. and most newer types think survivalism is just an extended shopping trip. It’s a lot more than that. It’s LIFESTYLE CHANGES, it’s HARD WORK in training, it’s HARD WORK in getting your family squared away, it’s HARD WORK getting your retreat in order and keeping it in order. It’s NOT sitting reading fantasy fiction stories wherein someone stays in the suburbs during the PAW and all the idiot yuppies rally around him as the savior of the subdivision. That’s not reality of a situation lasting more than 2 days (and maybe not even that.)

Group issues- all that you mentioned is real. How do I know this, I’ve been in daily contact with other like minded folks for 26 years for work so I hear similar stories regularly- and I’ve experienced survival groups myself for 32 years now. All these issues are real that you mentioned and more no one talks about because they want to make everything look nothing but positive. OR they are the usual Polyannas that have not EXPERIENCED this over the LONG TERM. You just have to go into this with a REALISTIC expectation and a lot of experience interacting with people. Yes that means you need social skills and you need to care about other people- but not be a push over. “Wise as serpents but harmless as doves.”

Never forget, human nature dictates people always seek the easy way out. Live off rice and beans for 6 years to get completely debt free? No, too hard for most people. Go on a near starvation diet for a few months and do PT constantly to get that extra weight off? No, too hard for most people. Give up a weekend here and there to go train? No, too hard and of course professional training actually costs more. And let’s not forget money, probably one of the biggest cry baby things regarding getting prepared- yet people WILL spend money on what’s important to them. If you have a group member constantly rambling on about possible events, setting SHTF dates, etc. (you know the type) but DOING nothing to actually prepare for what he claims he believes is coming, RUN. That’s probably the worse type to have in a real group. He will do little but his chicken little alarmist crap will run all the real people off or constantly annoy them. Show me your actions, I don’t really care about your “plans” on paper, “lists of lists” of crap your never going to do.

It’s time for an AWAKENING in the survival movement to shake off the last 10 years of this analytical list making do nothing nonsense many have been wandering in for the last 10 years.

#3 Comment By ThoDan On July 1, 2018 @ 12:59 pm

To my understanding of your words:
You´ve advertised for a very my-group centered ethics in your endeavour and negated that other People could´ve legitimate reasons to act for the security of their own, their group and community – including that they´ve lost the right to life .

#4 Comment By Muddykid On July 1, 2018 @ 1:31 pm

@ EP, Thanks for this update. My comments on your article were an effort to provide a different perspective. Let us start here “None of us have lived through such events. ”

As such, when you reference too many Mad Max movies, it becomes important to critically question where you are getting your information that both suggests and implies that being civil is only possible by the continuation of commodity supply lines. Have you read any literature about resource scarcity outside of fiction novels and news articles? Check out scholar.google.com for more reliable information on resource scarcity.

Because you openly admit that none of us have lived through such events, that very comment means that anything that follows is pure speculation. Much like the events during the early Cold War, the debates about nuclear war quickly turned in to speculation about what parts of civil society would be first to collapse. So much so that a magazine editor claimed in 1952 that 90% of all nuclear themed articles were speculation about what parts of society would collapse. Much of those scenarios are used today and all have the exact descriptions of early Cold War speculation. This is the reproduction of one era on another which have become reproduced so much that these scenarios are familiar to as all. So, when we see Black Friday sales events and people acting all crazy, it becomes real easy and familiar for us to draw upon the older reproductions of stories about societal collapse to say “look, there it is…society is fragile, and such events are descriptions that the end is near.”

If our society is vulnerable, it is only so because of government policy together with the principles of scientific management of business(Fordism) changed the way that society produces and obtains its resources. To be clear, we all are familiar with “the just in time delivery system,” that system applies the principles of scientific management in effort to create a more efficient and profitable system based upon probabilities of normal consumption habits. So, when natural disasters occur and the normal consumption habits lead to increased panic habits that make the store shelves become bare, the news articles pitch narratives that say “see how fragile our society is!?!?!” But, those supplies do not, and should not dictate and define the civility of humans. And, let us not forget that the supply line quickly becomes reconnected. Trade still took place during WWII.

So, when stories are posted on this site that talk about breaking the law, like cutting through private property fences, or an para-military style approach on a road block through the use of cell phone jammers, I question that it becomes important to say…you know…such an approach creates the world without the rule law and people that behave in such a way, complete disregard of human life and caring for others, contributes to the chaos. So, in short, people who want to behave this way become the very people they say they are protecting their selves from. That does not, in any sense, contribute to survival. Lastly, panic, from my perspective is the worst thing to do in a survival situation. So, the idea that we can move to a “SHTF mindset” when none of us really know what that is…well, that looks a lot like panic. The posts on this site, along with the comments do not have to be viewed as personal attacks that require follow up articles that attempt to more clearly explain things. Rather, all of these comments in relation to the articles capture a community of people trying to better understand what is and what is not useful in a survival situation. It is not personal. My comments focus on ways to not panic. I do this because it may make a survival situation safer.

#5 Comment By Survivormann99 On July 1, 2018 @ 5:05 pm

Muddykid writes, “Because you openly admit that none of us have lived through such events, that very comment means that anything that follows is pure speculation.”

Yes, no one in the US or Canada has experienced, thankfully, a WROL situation, the situation that the author describes. Yet, everyone has heard it said, and I happen to agree with the notion, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior” and that “Past is prelude.” Is this always so? No, but it more commonly is.

As with so many things in life, however, when it really counts, one should usually decide in favor of the stereotype UNLESS you have enough information to the contrary, and plan accordingly to deal with stereotypical behavior on the part of others. The human condition does not change. If you take this approach, the odds will likely be in your favor. If you disagree, you probably think that, when playing poker, it’s just fine to draw to an inside straight and place your bet accordingly. Your call.

Muddykid goes on to say, ” Lastly, panic, from my perspective is the worst thing to do in a survival situation.” Whether it is in a real life situation, or in countless survival articles on the internet, it seems as if someone always wants to say, “Don’t panic, people!” Almost always, this bromide is a serious waste of breath or a serious waste of keyboard time.

Almost every year there are news reports following Black Friday of dozens of people being trampled and someone actually being killed in an effort to get a Blu-Ray player, or flat screen TV. If people behave like this to save $25.00 at Walmart, planning on a substantial portion of the population behaving this way, or worse, is a “no brainer.”
The music playing in a WROL situation will not be “Kumbaya.”

Muddykid then says, “So, in short, people who want to behave this way become the very people they say they are protecting their selves from.” Again, about the choices here, your call.

Muddykid’s disdain is easy to understand, even during these acrimonious times where Red and Blue portions of the population have squared off over contentious political issues, issues that have involved physical altercations and even deaths.

Yet, I wonder just how many people who deemed themselves to be the soul of Christian charity or compassion will stand idly by and watch their 3-year-old child or grandchild suffer the last pangs of malnourishment without taking action they would have abhorred in calmer times.

While I in no way endorse such behavior, again, I am only commenting on the human condition, and what can be expected. The Bosnian War is an excellent example of what to expect in a formerly civilized society. A large percentage of that society “became the people..[they were] protecting themselves from” and could likely never have imagined doing this a few years earlier.

I, myself, wonder if many of the ideas addressed by the author could ever actually be executed by a large group, given the limitations of time and the ability to train, much less the ability to even find each other and to unite with a sense of purpose in advance of a societal catastrophe involving WROL. Nevertheless, his article provides food for thought for many, and many of the points he made provide a useful guide to those who might, God forbid, find it necessary to implement them some day. Good job.

#6 Comment By Muddykid On July 1, 2018 @ 6:52 pm

@ Survivorman99 “Yet, everyone has heard it said, and I happen to agree with the notion, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior” and that “Past is prelude.” Thanks for supporting my point about narratives of the past becoming a reproduction of the future.

“Whether it is in a real life situation, or in countless survival articles on the internet, it seems as if someone always wants to say, “Don’t panic, people!” Almost always, this bromide is a serious waste of breath or a serious waste of keyboard time.” This is where training becomes important at all levels of life skills. Panic never contributes to making a situation better. Not a waste of breath to say that.

“Almost every year there are news reports following Black Friday of dozens of people being trampled and someone actually being killed in an effort to get a Blu-Ray player, or flat screen TV. If people behave like this to save $25.00 at Walmart, planning on a substantial portion of the population behaving this way, or worse, is a “no brainer.”” Again, these are news articles and the value of that behavior is going to be perceived by everyone differently. The companies that are selling the stuff LOVE this behavior. But, more importantly, how did the value of thrift during the 1950s and or the WWII era change in to mass consumerism so much so that violence to save 25% becomes a norm? Is it not important to understand those processes that shape human behavior?

“Muddykid’s disdain is easy to understand, even during these acrimonious times where Red and Blue portions of the population have squared off over contentious political issues, issues that have involved physical altercations and even deaths.” I am not projecting value in my comments. But you do bring up a good point about red and blue, and the amount of politics that apparently plays a role in survival. Good stuff!

#7 Comment By Survivormann99 On July 1, 2018 @ 9:03 pm

Muddykid, you wrote, “Much of those scenarios are used today and all have the exact descriptions of early Cold War speculation. This is the reproduction of one era on another which have become reproduced so much that these scenarios are familiar to as all.” You then seem to dismiss the Black Friday example as having any relevance. Correct me if I read you wrong. The Black Friday behavior will only serve as a jumping off point when things go south.

You then wrote, “If our society is vulnerable, it is only so because of government policy together with the principles of scientific management of business(Fordism) changed the way that society produces and obtains its resources.” No, it is not an “if” situation. All the “just in time delivery system” did was to take away some of the margin of error, and shorten the period between the onset of the disaster, and the onset of suffering.

You wrote, “Panic never contributes to making a situation better. Not a waste of breath to say that.” I never said that panic contributed to making a situation better, and I never said that training could not sometimes help control panic. All I was commenting on was that you seemed dismissive of moving to a “SHTF mindset,” saying, “[T}hat looks a lot like panic.” Back to that human condition, again, the impulse from the amygdala to the frontal lobes travels with blinding speed, and simply telling people not to panic is not going to be productive in a survival discussion. Everyone knows that a panicked person is not thinking clearly. Under the right circumstances, a person with a SHTF mindset may be thinking EXACTLY as clearly as they should be.

You wrote, “So, when natural disasters occur and the normal consumption habits lead to increased panic habits that make the store shelves become bare, the news articles pitch narratives that say “see how fragile our society is!?!?!” But, those supplies do not, and should not dictate and define the civility of humans.” You are living in a dream world and, again, are in denial about the human condition. Some “really smart guy,” maybe Robert Oppenheimer, said after the first nuclear test at Los Alamitos, “Now everything has changed, except man.” Even if I didn’t get the quote exactly right, the underlying truth of it is. People are people are people.

In point disasters, such as tornadoes, where regional and even national resources arrive fairly quickly, it is common to see neighbors helping neighbors. “All for one and one for all,”

At locations where massive and long term natural disasters occur, the situation tends to shift. Relief helicopters with supplies routinely unload their cargo while hovering above the masses below. Attempting to land in the middle of hoards of panicked, scared, and starving people is a recipe for ruin. What would follow in such circumstances would be Black Friday on steroids– 0-60 in 3.2 seconds

Those who believe that the milk of human kindness will flow through the veins of the great mass of humanity after a monstrous national or international calamity after law and order have completely broken down at every level, are living in denial, and in a fantasy world where “the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

That doesn’t work for me, and I expect that it doesn’t work for the great majority of readers on this excellent web site. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be visiting this site everyday like I always do.

#8 Comment By Muddykid On July 2, 2018 @ 12:09 am

I disagree, kindly. Because this is the internet, you don’t know me from anyone else. I like that you’re skeptical. I am, too. Any further discussion that attempts to prove why my talking points are a more clear understanding of the world is a violation of op-sec. I am fairly confident in my understanding of what the end of the world is said to be, vs what it actually is. People are people are people and people wanna be right more so than consider a new perspective. Your version of how you describe people is called environmental determinism and its racist. Those who believe that humans are only kind because of Western law, completely dismiss all other ways of living and human history. Was Jesus kind because of modern day nuclear fears that influenced everyone through stories about how people will become crazy as soon as the truck lines stop, and we know this because of black Friday sales? Is this what you’re telling me? I do not want to argue on here and turn this site in a hot mess. If you have questions, ask them. Otherwise, I do not have interest in arguing. Thanks.

#9 Comment By eam On July 1, 2018 @ 2:35 pm

WOW, I just love this site….it’s so nice to encounter people that are actually THINKING, immaterial of the necessary POINT OF VIEW!! I personally have a mixed point of view on the current topic. It’s a dichotomy of the soul,so to speak. I, in my heart, always stand for doing what is “RIGHT” but, do the lines of “what is right” get muddled in a survival situation? The concept of a man’s word is his bond…..if, I gave my word, that I would not “leave this room” and it meant, “in the long run” that I would starve to death (because the entity I gave my word to was no longer alive) does that justify me breaking my word? This is very basic but I think it is the essence of the struggle within our souls, love to hear your comments.

#10 Comment By D.D. On July 1, 2018 @ 2:57 pm

E.P.,

I re-read your article and the first ten comments. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who needed no further explanation of your true intent. WROL means exactly that: Without Rule Of Law. I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand why there was any debate of engaging law enforcement road blocks, when by the very definition of WROL as I understand it, there would be none. Perhaps there was some confusion in the timeline, but this is easily overcome using what some would say, “a straightforward, commonsense reading…uncluttered by theory or ideology.”

Secondly, you must understand that preparedness planning is no different than any hobby/sport/profession in that whatever plan one has spent the most time, effort, and money on becomes what they believe is the best way to do something. That is precisely why we have the Ford/Chevy, 9mm/.40, AR/AK, bug in/bug out, rural/suburban debates, ad nauseam. At some point it becomes less about, “how about this different perspective” and more like “if you don’t do what I do, you ‘gonna die!!”

In the past, I have suggested to the editors of this blog that there should be a word count limit in the comment section. This would solve the 1,000+ word diatribes that follow articles such as yours. Mr. Rawles has been kind enough to provide a place for all of us to express our plans in the form of a peer-reviewed writing contest. Write an article with your views and submit them in the contest, not in the comments.

(259 words in this response)

#11 Comment By TWB On July 2, 2018 @ 2:52 am

Well stated E.P. When I am browsing these comments, I usually skip the overly wordy submissions and move on. Agreed, these “comments” should not be attempts at “articles” but rather short and to the point opinions. Totally agree with your “word count limit” suggestion. Thanks.

#12 Comment By TWB On July 2, 2018 @ 2:55 am

Sorry, my comment should have been directed to D.D.

#13 Comment By Ohio Guy On July 3, 2018 @ 6:09 pm

My thoughts exactly. Thank you.

#14 Comment By Jerry On July 1, 2018 @ 3:04 pm

“you know…such an approach creates the world without the rule law and people that behave in such a way, complete disregard of human life and caring for others, contributes to the chaos…”

Wait a second: You mean people in this country aren’t already acting like that? I got to experience my own personal version of collapse at 11 years old, when I entered CA’s foster care system (another reason I hate that state). There were adult foster parents ready to exploit already disadvantaged children. This was in the late 1970’s when the economy wasn’t that great. How will people act as things get worse in this country? We’re already in a slow, societal decline. It usually takes decades for a great empire to collapse, from peak to flat-out collapse (although I wouldn’t bet against a fast crash speeding things up in our lifetimes).

As for me, I’ve been keeping up with the latest climate and Arctic ice melt data, CO2 counts, etc., and the data is outright terrifying. We’re about two years away from an ice-free summer Arctic, which will be the first time this has occurred in not only the history of the last 10,000 years of civilization, but in the history of humanity.

A tiny dress rehearsal occurred in 2010 with the Russian heat wave that was centered around Moscow, affecting a bug chunk of the global grain crop. Other countries banned their own exports (Vietnam even halted the export of rice that year). It also created the so-called “Arab Spring,” when food prices skyrocketed for Egyptians.

#15 Comment By El Duderino On July 1, 2018 @ 3:09 pm

I’m not why we have to speculate. Sure, it’s never happened in modern America, but there are plenty of recent (last 30 years) examples of nations shifting suddenly from a strong, centralized ROL to none or, at best, regional/tribal ROL. Haiti, Yugoslavia, and Iraq all come to mind and there are plenty of veterans out there (myself included) with some firsthand experience with what happens.

#16 Comment By Anonymous On July 1, 2018 @ 5:02 pm

Suggestion buy yourself a small plot of land near friends for now in a rural area an preposition supplies and hide them on your property in a location only you and your wife knows of.

#17 Comment By Professor Wagstaff On July 1, 2018 @ 7:20 pm

“I have not come across a group with a core membership that remained intact for more than a few years.”

I submit that in a true SHTF/WROL situation, in short order you will have plenty of people willing to join just about any group they think will protect them. This is the history of mankind. People are tribal. Some will want to come together in small towns or villages. Some will join predatory gangs. Some will rally around a self anointed military dictator or religious figure. People tend to gravitate to a leader that appears to be decisive and strong (rightly or wrongly).
This is why I find the concept of anarchism laughable… people will always spontaneously organize themselves and draw lines.
“The Road Warrior” is entertaining fantasy, but illustrates this principle well. You had a random group of individuals that came together for mutual protection in a somehow still functioning oil well/refining facility(?) . Apparently most were previously unprepared. Since the desert is a hard place to live, they realized they had to produce fuel to get to their vehicles to a tropical paradise on the coast. The bad guys were the worst of the worst biker scum centered around their strong man leader, “The Humongous.” His philosophy was, walk away from your stuff, and I will let you live. Just walk away.
Back to the real world… if you want to survive you need to be smart and flexible and resourceful. Realize that most “normal” people won’t prepare (its just too unthinkable or too laughable or too hard). Be ready to form alliances with these people. In a real serious situation they will be ready and willing to listen to your guidance and work with you.
You say people won’t stay in an organization that requires extensive training and dedication? Welcome to the human race. You work with what you have. You prepare as best you can under under the limitations of time and money.
(I am not downplaying the need to train, just accept that most humans have weaknesses and the world can be a dirty, disorganized, unpredictable place)

#18 Comment By Aubrey Terhan On July 1, 2018 @ 10:38 pm

“Without Rule of Law” (WROL):

In one degree or another this goes on all the time. I live over an hour from the nearest popo and anything is over long before they could arrive. What good is the law if your already dead of victimized? Make you feel all warm and fuzzy that the bad guys might get punished? That mindset will get you dead in a hurry if you ever have to depend on yourself.

Extensive Training:

This is mandatory for everything that requires a skill. If your going to learn to garden after something happens, you are going to starve to death! If your going to learn to fix things after something happens, you are going to do without!

Groups:

I have never seen one last! Depend on yourself and have skills any group would want! If something happens groups will form, but ask yourself – why would they want me?

#19 Comment By Jpdcne On July 1, 2018 @ 10:58 pm

I live in a rural high altitude community of ranchers, miners and railroaders. The nearest city over 50,000 population is a 3 hours drive away. We hunt, fish and camp as recreation. We play 6 man football at the highschool. I know the owner of the last five cars that drove past my house. We have five homes for sale in our town. Move in today, join our churches, enroll your kids in school then attend a city council meeting. Welcome to civilization. You can wait in your dangerous situations or peacefully join a real community now, and safely bring all your loved ones. I am losing faith in the peppers who claim the safety of their loved ones is at risk because of careers and wealth available in dangerous cities.

#20 Comment By Anonymous On July 1, 2018 @ 11:44 pm

Prior Group Dissolved,

I concur, it is amazing at how fragile these groups are. I had one group dissolve over ‘Gay Rights’, I’m of traditional biblical belief, and was totally blindsided by the drama, emotion, and hysteria that broke the group up. When PDJT got elected, another group just decided they were done, no need now…

We live in the ‘Age of Decadence’, so folks get distracted by frivolous things. The only group I have seen that has lasted for decades, doesn’t have TV in their homes, have computers, but no internet connectons, and are made up of strong family units. They seem to stay focused and are serious about preparations and security.

A Truly Effective Group,

They have been described in JWR’s books and I am sure there are a few out there.

It is far easier to get prepared now, as opposed to when Death, Famine, War, and Pestilence, are an everyday local occurrence. Societies never seem to be ready for that ‘event’ that changes everything. Afterwards is not the time, but it seems to be human history.

I encourage all men, 18-40, to get into shape and learn military knowledge. It is a shame that we don’t have militias, where they could learn those skills locally, without military servitude far from home. We are really going to need them later. Find and study the Guidebook for Marines, or the Field Manual FM 3-21.8 (FM 7-8) The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad.

“We are steadily asked about the age at which to teach young people to shoot. The answer to this obviously depends upon the particular individual; not only his physical maturity but his desire. Apart from these considerations, however, I think it important to understand that it is the duty of the father to teach the son to shoot. Before the young man leaves home, there are certain things he should know and certain skills he should acquire, apart from any state-sponsored activity. Certainly the youngster should be taught to swim, strongly and safely, at distance. And young people of either sex should be taught to drive a motor vehicle, and if at all possible, how to fly a light airplane. I believe a youngster should be taught the rudiments of hand-to-hand combat, unarmed, together with basic survival skills. The list is long, but it is a parent’s duty to make sure that the child does not go forth into the world helpless in the face of its perils. Shooting, of course, is our business, and shooting should not be left up to the state.”, Favorite Quotes from Jeff Cooper

I am amazed by the number of men in our society who have none of these skills.

#21 Comment By TheColonel On July 2, 2018 @ 12:16 pm

Concur with the responsibility to train your children, and was pretty successful with a son but it was a constant challenge to do the same with a daughter. Now that she is married, I make sure she – and her husband – practice shooting “for fun” on the farm, that each have get home packs, an increasing supply of water and food at home, travel maps, a couple of Baofengs and technician licenses, and all the little things that hopefully will add up to what really matters. That is, a survival mindset and a lifetime of preparation.

#22 Comment By RSR On July 2, 2018 @ 2:16 am

Regardless of WROL, why would you wait until after folks are starving and scavenging to make a move to your bugout location? It makes zero sense.

If you make a timely exit and avoid bad neighborhoods, most folks will let you be. Anyone manning roadblocks at that point will be worried about looters looking for booze and electronics, and possibly gasoline, etc, not wanting to steal your food.

Between 1-2 weeks and 6 months after a true SHTF and WROL in which supply is disrupted, A LOT of folks will die and being on death’s door will take all sorts of stupid risks. After the first 6-12 months most of the folks who will die due to lack of self-sufficiency will have done so. So long as you aren’t moving to your bugout any later than a week post-SHTF and WROL, most of your scenarios for travel make you and your band the bad guys/marauders — and that accordingly increases the probability of you and you loved ones being killed, not the opposite.

Yes, you should run a secure convoy. Yes, you should have a defensive posture. But no, you should never, ever engage when you’re transporting non-combatants should you have any other option.

Importantly, you should also have enough supplies at your bug out location to be able to abandon your vehicle(s) if need be without it completely derailing your ability to survive. But YMMV.

#23 Comment By Ozark Redneck On July 2, 2018 @ 2:48 am

Amen! I agree with Jpdcne and the next post. I find it amazing that people are still reading this post and have not moved out of the big city. What are you waiting for? For your 401K to be fully funded? You really believe that living in the city with its higher wages and higher prices are worth it? I left Chicago-land in 1979 and never looked back, that place was a cesspool and is worse today. The whole state is a disaster that has a long list of liberty-denying laws. I moved south and I never regretted it. I live in a free state, in a rural area, away from a big city, on a dirt road, with a 300 yard driveway and a locked gate. I got my own cows, my own chickens, my own garden, my own range, my own greenhouse and I can piss off my deck! I believe that most of y’alls problems would be solved with relocation.

#24 Comment By Old John On July 2, 2018 @ 5:29 am

E. P, Many of the comments you seem to be offended by fall into two groups. They are the ones which say your aggressive approach is immoral and the ones that say it is impractical; not enhancing your survivability. I think the conflict here is in fact the definition of “without rule of law”. You say it means a situation where a legitimate government no longer exists such that the rule of law (statutes, rules, and regulations) cannot be enforced and disputes cannot be fairly adjudicated. In short, there is no law to break or enforce, and no reasonable enforcement potential through the courts. You say anyone who attempts to control your actions, and I assume you also mean restrict your actions, has no legal, moral, or ethical justification, that they will be illegitimate.

My first comment is that there never has been and never will be a world without rule of law. In difficult times laws will change quickly and be more local but every community or small group will have rules, also know as laws, which they believe are moral, or necessary for survival, and might be dedicated to enforce. One of the first things you recommend is agreeing on rules for your group, rules of engagement, rules of operation, how and when to use lethal force. In other words how to enforce your rules which you believe ARE legitimate and can be fairly adjudicated by YOUR use of force. My second comment is that the rules and laws adopted by other groups might be just as legitimate and fair as the ones you like best and want to apply to your group as well as everyone you meet on the road. Because I don’t know what theirs or all of yours will be I can’t begin to determine which will be most moral.

That brings us to how an aggressive approach to travel reduces the chance of survival. If your group is as well prepared and trained as you advocate few will want to fight you, so bulling your way along might work out OK. However I think the commenters are trying to warn you and the readers that if you are traveling very far there will be more of them than there are of you; they might be better trained than you, they might be better equipped than you; they might have a strategic advantage, and will likely be as dedicated to survival as you and believe their rules of law are valid. Therefore ANY pre-positioning, planning, or combat avoidance strategy should be seriously considered and is likely to be more survivable. You might be on your own, but you are not alone – even if they are illegitimate para miltary-types or fake governmental organizations they can still kill you in an avoidable fire fight!

#25 Comment By Sis On July 2, 2018 @ 3:13 pm

I m fully onboard with being prepared for potential disasters. Whatever they may be. I think being part of a group may be useful but i too have never seen them last more than a few years. Peoples lives change and so do their circumstances. I believe that making Lots of connections with those closest to you and others you meet will be in yours and their best interest. Then if things fall apart you will know who can probably be trusted , who can offer what skills or training , and who you should avoid. People will be searching for help. The wise person will be able to bring them together for the common good. Just , fair and intelligent leaders will be needed. Most people are followers not leaders. Individually, we all need to become as prepared and skilled as we can. As a side note. Don’t forget to live today and be there for the ones you love. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.

#26 Comment By Kent On July 4, 2018 @ 2:50 pm

I am new here, and I appreciate the dialogue. A thought on traveling in a crisis. I worked for the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) as Training Manager during hurricane Katrina and Rita. Rita invoked one of the largest mass evacuations in US history. I was in the main control room all night watching as cars ran out of gas blocking the highways, even though the state open all corridors of the highways leading out of Houston and we had power to the filling stations, there was just not enough gas to support the evac. Even if you had your own gas, the highways were completely grid locked by cars and trucks that had run out of fuel, and off road was a no go because of the massive amounts of rain. The only saving grace was outside help. Imagine a scenario where this happened and no outside help was available and the next city would not be a refuge.