Over the years, many people have told us that WTSHTF, they are coming to our place in the country. When people say things like this, we hear, “…so that you can take care of me.” This document is presented as a source of information for those who might need a realignment of their expectations, a clarification of ours or both. It should serve as a harsh wake up call for anyone who plans to flee to someone else’s survival retreat should the need arise.
If you have neglected, failed or refused to complete your plans for survival, here are things you need to know, should you decide to depend on someone who has been more diligent.
- No One Will Provide You With Shelter
- No One Will Feed You
- No One Will Provide Drinking Water
- No One Will Protect You
- No One Will Provide Medical Attention
Did the Children of Israel expect Moses to provide all of these things for them? Nope! He started walking and they had to keep up. Everyone carried what they needed and everyone did everything they needed to do to survive.
Let’s take a look at what your life might be like WTSHTF.
For any number of reasons, you lose electricity without notice and your water stops running. (Public water supplies need electricity) When people eventually realize the outage extends beyond their immediate circle of travel, they will panic and stores will be looted. Stores cannot be protected because…the police departments have no electricity. Gas stations will be closed when they cannot deliver fuel because…they have no electricity. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it? As more people begin to panic they will assemble into angry mobs armed with guns, knives, baseball bats and sticks. No police presence means no protection for you or anyone else. The police have raced home to protect their families.
You are now officially unemployed with no benefits, you cannot withdraw your worthless money from the bank, you cannot make a phone call, listen to the radio or watch television. Your stove, microwave oven, refrigerator and Internet connection are no longer working. You cannot run to Wal-Mart’s camping section to pick up a sleeping bag or kerosene lantern. Your car has less than a half tank of gasoline and your terrified wife and children are begging you to do something.
A horde of lawless desperadoes is making its way down your street, hurling rocks and bricks through windows, setting cars on fire and breaking into homes in search of food and supplies. Through sheer numbers and merciless force, they overwhelm every feeble attempt at defense or escape, leaving death and destruction in their path. Like killer bees, they swarm your home and discover that it is vacant because you somehow managed to escape, either through a miracle, proper planning or dumb luck. They ravage what was once your comfortable home sweet home, laying waste years of financial sacrifice and hard work as you are driving or hiking or crawling down the highway or back roads to The Promise Land, your friend’s place in the country.
For the sake of this frightening glimpse into your new reality, let’s assume that you and your family somehow beat the one in a million odds and successfully escape the chaos and anarchy in the city. Exhausted and emotionally paralyzed with fear and anxiety, you eventually make your way to an overgrown pasture bordered by woods, provided that you were not attacked and killed on your journey or shot as an intruder when you arrive, which is always an unfortunate possibility.
So, in summary:
- There is no comfortable shelter waiting for you
- There is no water
- There is no food
- There is no security, no protection at all
- The mobs will eventually make their way out into the countryside and find you
The place looks deserted, and there is silence as you cautiously scan the edge of the woods. You can’t help but wonder how many guns might be aimed at your head.
Welcome to The Promised Land. It is everything you expected it to be?
More than one person has referred to our place in the country as, The Promised Land. It is important to remember that the people followed Moses. He did not carry them…and I am not Moses…and our place is not The Promised Land. Adhering to the analogy, the city from which you fled was the land of Egypt, our place in the country is the desert. The Promised Land comes later if you survive and behave yourself.
In spite of arriving with nothing more than the inappropriate clothes on your back and the meager amount of food that you were able to carry, and given the obvious absence of expected amenities at your adopted survival haven, you are are still somehow confident that you will survive because you’ve been responsibly paying the premiums on your Emergency and Disaster Preparedness insurance policy.
You haven’t been paying the premiums? You did not sacrifice what you wanted today for what you might need tomorrow? The bad news is, your prognosis for survival is definitely grim. There is no good news.
We do not have a rider on our Emergency and Disaster Preparedness insurance policy for you. You have no insurance coverage at our place. Like most people, we have fallen onto extremely hard times and have been barely able to feed ourselves and keep a roof over our heads. We won’t even discuss the monumental tasks of paying medical bills and other past-due responsibilities. Severe illness and extended unemployment completely drained our finances and everything that was left of our emergency supplies. The Schumer has hit the fan for us already. If it gets any worse, we may have to come and live with you. Did you ever think about that?
No One Will Provide You With Shelter.
First off, who knows how long we will be able to keep up the payments on our house or how long it will remain standing? In times of civil unrest, windows get broken, doors get kicked in and houses burn. If our house is somehow miraculously still standing when you arrive, consider what that environment would be like if you chose to stay (provided that we let you). There is only so much room in our house. Imagine being jammed and crammed into an increasingly smelly and dirty house with a maniacal herd of hungry, desperate refugees undergoing various stages of mental deterioration, panic and anger, screaming at each other and crying at the drop of a hat. Sound like fun? Not so much.
To set the record straight, my wife and I will never subject ourselves to that psychological nightmare whether our house is standing or not. Not even a fool would do that during the best of times so why would anyone expect us to do it during a time of great distress? We are both getting old and crotchety, we lack patience and we have no desire to convert our house into a loony bin so take that option off the table right now.
If you show up WTSHTF and if we decide to let you stay, you will have to build your own shelter using your bare hands and your own supplies. Do a web search on the phrase “debris hut” for more information. It is presumptuous and selfish to expect anyone to expend their resources and energy to provide this for you out of the kindness of their heart. Your shelter will need to be built in such a way that it will keep you warm in the winter, cool in the summer and it must be able to withstand 60-70MPH winds, torrential downpours and heavy layers of snow and ice often accompanying the wicked storms that we get periodically. Nature is not your friend. It is a heartless enemy that is constantly trying to kill you. Build your shelter accordingly.
So now that you have built your comfy debris hut with three bedrooms, one and a half baths and a deck, let’s discuss the next facet of your reality.
No One Will Feed You
We cannot and will not feed you because we were not blessed with unlimited financial resources, the divine calling to set aside food for you, nor the facility to store that extra food. If God wanted us to do that, He would have told us to do it and made it possible. He doesn’t. He hasn’t. He didn’t. He told you to do it and He made it possible. You listened and obeyed, right? Those are the insurance premiums you should have been paying all along.
If you choose to come to our place WTSHTF, you will need to provide all of your own food. Don’t count on living off of the land because first of all, you don’t know how, and second, it is much harder than you think. There will be a myriad of other critical responsibilities and events that will demand your attention so having a good food storage is wise. When considering what kind of food you should be putting aside, remember that canned goods expire, bulge and rust. They are also heavy and difficult to transport. Dried goods mold, become infested with bugs and everything attracts mice. We have lots and lots of bugs and mice here in the desert. (Potential food source?) Figure out what you will eat, how much you will eat, double or triple that and figure out a way to get it, store it, rotated to keep it fresh and carry it to our place if you still want to come here. (The lack of a warm, dry house is usually a show stopper for most armchair survivalists)
Consider how much food your family consumes in a week, a month, a year. Now imagine what will happen to you and them if you immediately stopped going to the store to replenish your supplies. Remember, you have no job so you have no money and even if you did, money is no longer worth the paper it is written on. There are no stores to go to and no one is going to sell you food or trade their food for your meager possessions. So get that out of your head. Gold coins, if you have any, might make good sinkers should you decide to go fishing but a pound of gold won’t buy a pound of rice because no one does that much fishing.
Do you plan on hunting for food? So do a million other people and those heavily armed, hungry hordes with their guns, snares, spears and home made bows and arrows will be stumbling over each other in the woods. You are better than the competition so one shot, one kill and you miraculously shoot the last squirrel left in the entire county (because the other animals were smart enough to leave when all those crazy people showed up). Everyone hears that gun shot and your mission is now to somehow escape those heavily populated woods with your life and your squirrel, in that order. Good luck with that.
Deciding not to risk your life to kill what’s left of God’s little animals, you might innocently/ignorantly believe that you can sustain yourself and your family by foraging for wild, edible plants but so does every other unprepared refugee who has fled to the country and they are all scouring the countryside, grazing on everything that is green or was green or might be green someday. Do you know the precise differences between edible plants and their poisonous look-a-like cousins? Even your reference book will tell you that pictures are no substitute for experience. Ingesting the wrong plants may present an unpleasant way to die with the retching and vomiting and sweating and diarrhea that precedes the wheezing, contorting and groan. (See: We Cannot Provide Medical Attention)
Note: You cannot eat grass. Your stomach can process the sugars but not the cellulose which contains most of the calories that you will need. A cow can do it but a cow’s stomach is equipped to do that and yours is not. Do your research beforehand or suffer the consequences.
I hope you like bugs, snakes and mice. Yum!
No One Will Provide Drinking Water
Do you really believe that you will somehow be able to locate, carry, purify and store at least one gallon of water per day for each person in your family? Did you remember to bring a big pot to boil water and if so, did you know that it takes about forty pounds of wood to boil five gallons of water, which also weighs about the same? Where will you get all of that wood? Chopping wood with an ax (that you forgot to bring with you) burns calories that you cannot afford to burn because you have been eating grass. How will you carry that much wood and store it and burn it every single day of the year through the rain and snow and freezing rain and under the blistering summer sun, even when you are exhausted or sick with the flu or you have a broken arm? (We are busy fetching and purifying our own water so don’t call us.) Remember, while you are gathering water and wood, so is every other rueful wretch struggling to survive and what will you do when they square off with you to fight you for what you have, or worse yet, when they show up with thirty of their thirsty friends to steal your water? (See: We Cannot Protect You)
You will need an efficient, sustainable means to collect, purify and store water…lots and lots of water. You will need the wherewithal to store enough extra water to carry you through the hard freeze of winter (no one wants to fetch water during an ice storm), when you are sick or disabled or overwhelmed with other tasks like vomiting because you ate a flower that looked friendly but wasn’t. You will need to know how to efficiently as effectively manage and protect your precious water supply and have a backup plan in case your primary supply is disrupted or destroyed. Ponds dry up or become polluted, containers leak and bad things happen. (Which is obviously our fault) Prepare for it, deal with it or die.
Yes, we know about bio-sand filters. How much sand and gravel did you bring? Perhaps you can find a clean barrel somewhere. Were we supposed to supply that? Wow, you must really be disappointed in us.
No One Will Protect You
Remember those angry hordes that frightened you out of the city and burned your home? They will eventually exhaust the resources of the ravaged neighborhoods and make their way into the countryside. When they find you, and they will find you, they will be even more desperate and dangerous than when you last saw them. Additionally, our neighbors, the heavily armed people who inhabited the countryside long before you got here, will be “foraging” for your resources so be careful out there. Desperate people do desperate things and those people will congregate because there is strength in numbers. Now, it’s just you against ten, thirty or fifty desperate people determined to take your food, water and resources and they will have no qualms about hurting or killing you. Are you physically, emotionally and spiritually equipped to survive such an attack…over and over and over again because those attacks will continue to happen with increased intensity as people become more and more desperate.
You will need the ability to effectively defend yourself, your family and your resources against undefeatable forces. You will need more than a gun, a knife or a pointy stick. Those are mere implements and implements are a very small part of the complex security equation. Your opponents will undoubtedly have more and bigger implements and they might arrive in incomprehensible waves of death and destruction. Consequently, you will need to be physically fit and experienced as well as mentally and emotionally prepared. You must possess the reflexes of a gazelle on amphetamines, the strength of a superhero on steroids, the spatial awareness of a rabbit surrounded by hungry wolves and divine wisdom to know what to do in any given crisis. You may be forced to run in order to survive or fight in order to survive but you may run or fight and die anyway. Raise your hand when you think it is our responsibility to step in and save you because you can’t protect yourself.
Okay, realistically, security is everyone’s business and we would not expect you to defend yourself all by yourself if you were a member of our community, but I hope you understand that making it someone else’s responsibility to protect you is presumptuous and dangerous. Make sure you are worth saving by participating in the fray with the same intensity that you would expect from others.
By the way, hungry people will kill you for your food. Very hungry people eat even their dead friends. There are many examples of survival-induced cannibalism throughout history. In fact, most instances of cannibalism are for survival, not ritual. The Donner Party, the wreck of the Mignonette, and the plane crash of the Uruguayan rugby team in the Andes mountains are all stories proving that people who are without food for about ninety days or less will turn to cannibalism. Watch the movie “The Road”, and see if that opens your mind to possibilities that await you.
If you wander outside of the perimeter, we cannot protect you. If you are kidnapped, we will not negotiate for your return. We may retaliate with a rabid vengeance but we will not negotiate.
No One Will Provide Medical Attention
So, you somehow got your head bashed in or you were stabbed or shot while defending your debris hut/condo, your dwindling food supply of field mice and a half gallon of dirty pond water stored in a leaky, plastic milk container that you found on the side of the road (Again, obviously our fault). You got stung a zillion times by angry hornets or you rolled in a patch of poison ivy (that you were collecting as food). Perhaps you fell out of a tree or you slipped and broke your arm or you chopped off your finger while trying to split fire wood with a rock and a dull steak knife. Maybe you charred your hand while digging through the hot coals of your smoldering camp fire, retrieving a field mouse that fell off of your roasting stick. We did not budget for a private hospital or a retired veterinarian and you are no longer covered under ObamaCare, so all you might get is a slightly used band-aid. Will that make it all better? If you did not bring any medical supplies, you probably won’t like what we will do to your stab gash, bullet hole, hornet sting, broken arm, missing finger or charred hand. And by the way, you deserve that case of poison ivy.
Let’s see what else…
We will not build your fires to keep you warm, cook your food or provide comfort. Learn to build a fire now without the use of a lighter or matches and practice until you are good at it. We will teach you while we have the time but don’t ask us later because we will be quite busy.
If you come to our place WTSHTF, we will not give you a knife or any other sharp object. If you do not already own a good knife, you obviously won’t know how to use one safely anyway. (See: We Cannot Provide Medical Attention) Buy at least two good knives, spend a lot of money for them and learn how to use them and sharpen them! If we have to tell you why, you are probably going to die anyway and “very hungry people” will eat you.
We will not provide you with a bathroom or outhouse or a nice warm shower. You may not like the idea of pooping in a hole behind a tree but you will eventually get over it. If that is simply unacceptable, bring along a port-a-potty with a padded seat and plenty of environment-friendly chemicals, biodegradable toilet paper and be prepared to add an addition to your debris hut.
I will address survival community governance at a later date, but in short, a survival community is not a democracy. You will not get to vote like they do on The Discovery Channel’s series, The Colony. Get over it. You chose to leave your democracy when they voted to kill you and take your stuff, remember? Ours will not be a society where members of the House and Senate force those who work to provide for those who won’t and it will not reward those who steal with bailouts.
Technically, a survival community does not function as a colony but more like a tribe. Embrace the concept of communal life in a tribe. Consider everything tribe members do together and everything they must do for themselves and you will have an idea of what will be expected of you should you wish to be a part of a survival community. Get used to living with rules. If you think your home owner’s association is too strict, you surely won’t like living with a tribe of dedicated survivalists with zero tolerance for freeloaders or pansies.
A man recently asked me, “What do I have or what could I do that might be beneficial to your community?” My answer was, “I haven’t a clue. Only you can answer that question.” He never did. I know what he was thinking and we are not interested in what he has to offer. He has stockpiled lots of guns and ammunition, virtually no food for his extended family and all he has for water purification is one ceramic filter. We don’t need him. He needs us. If all you have is guns and ammunition, everyone already considers you a threat and you will have absolutely no idea how they have prepared to deal with that threat. When those people die, someone will take their stuff and the “very hungry people” will eat them. Just something to consider in case you decide to become a looter or a bully. To survive, you need a balance of skills, resources, preparation and experience.
Before you ask someone if you can join their survival community, ask yourself, “Why would they let me come to their place?” This is a fair question that deserves an honest answer. A healthy community is the only way any of us will make it through the coming hard times, but in every community, every person must have more than a single redeeming quality.
Remember the parable of the ten virgins. [In contemporary terms] Five of them paid the premiums on their Emergency and Disaster Preparedness insurance policy. The other five didn’t. Make sure you are prepared. Your future depends on it.
If, after reading this, you still want to come to our place and realize that you won’t be able to bring much with you when you flee the city, you should probably consider getting your stuff to our place now while you still can. No, we do not have additional storage space so that is another thing for you to consider. We will allow you park your motor home or trailer here and you can even build a shed to store your survival items but that offer is only available to a certain few for a limited amount of time. (My wife wanted me to remove this paragraph.)
If you do not know how to build a shelter or start a fire or purify water, I would advise you to get here as soon as possible so that we can teach you while there is still time to learn. Would you like to practice and see what it would be like to put all of these skills together in a controlled environment? Now is a good time. During a torrential rain storm is another good time.
After thinking about it, there is only one way that we might allow someone to show up on our doorstep without resources. Consider the role of an indentured servant and let us know if that appeals to you because that would be your only option.