As the title states, when it comes to having military, practical, or tactical training, many of us may feel at a loss when realizing we have not had any military, LE, or tactical training. For a fair amount of the population this is true. We are basically “every man” average Joes, who may or may not have done some thinking and purchasing as well as planning for home self-defense. Maybe you are fortunate enough to have some formal training in weapons and self defense, but even so I want us to begin thinking both in an out-of-the-box way about how to be equipped for a possible “grid down” or “WROL” situation, where the government may be unwilling or unable to come to our aid.
Even as times are relatively peaceful, we may want to start planning and making adjustments to our personal defense strategies, using the currently available, legal methodology and technology at our disposal. Since many are novices at any organized, defensive training, we may have to understand that what we lack in practical application we may want to make up for in training, learning new skill sets, and letting our imagination run possible scenarios. (By running possible scenarios, I mean thinking, “If this occurs, then my response will then be ___.”) We should at least try and anticipate what may help within our areas of lack in order to offset our first-hand experiences or lack of tactical skill sets. Most of the items discussed here will be low- or no-tech and do not usually require the grid to be functioning for them to work. I have no problem with security cameras, alarms, motion sensors, or even pressure alarms, but most of these will require batteries and/or electricity in order to work, so I have not gone into any detail about their placement or use in this article. I have tried to come up with some legal, usual and unusual, yet practical “force multipliers” (FMs), should your home or group retreat become a potential target for marauders during a WROL event. Some of these items may already be in your preps, but some of these FMs, which may or may not be tactical in nature, must be practical, available, affordable, and beyond a doubt legal to own or have in our possession.
Of course it might help to define what a “force multiplier” is for the true novice at tactics and personal defense and protection. One possible definition of a FM, as I understand it, is “any tool, item, training, experience, strategy, location, or defensive posture that will increase (multiply) you or your group’s chances of survival, if under attack or siege from hostile intruders”.
If you and your family/group needed to make it through the night in a SHTF event, what would you like to have in your “tool kit” of stuff that could aid in your chances of survival until the cavalry shows up, re-enforcements arrive (wishful thinking), or until you bug out of an untenable situation. Most of us have figured out, by now, the chances of a two to four person family surviving a WROL situation for more than a few days, once the masses start going door to door searching for stuff to eat and for things to help them to survive, are not too great. This article may help you think of ways to help and things to do that can help stave off a direct assault on your position.
While your initial situation may be bleak at best, if you are alone, only have a few members of your group or family, or are temporarily separated from your tribe, you need to have an edge or two to help buy your family time if you are forced to go it alone for a brief period. Long term, we understand that going it alone with your immediate family is not going to work (at least not in my wildest imagination or in the scenarios I have run through in my mind).
There is safety in numbers, as long as all things are equal and nothing larger than small arms come into play. Basically, no matter how hardened your home is, it cannot stand up against a large frontal assault powered by the latest military-style technology or devices; so let’s just put this kind of “Rambo” holdout mind set behind us and move forward with what may help if civilians are left out to dry, facing unwelcome, non-government-equipped house guests who are carrying light arms or B&E tools.
I believe first and foremost that the best force multiplier any of us can have is a relationship with the Lord. As it says in the Bible, “The Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to him and they are safe.” Faith, prayer, and a relationship with the Lord will bring a great comfort to those of us who know his voice and are counted among his flock. This has been a great comfort to me and my family, and I pray that all of you understand how much the Lord cares about you. The knowledge that, “we are not given a spirit of fear but of love, wisdom, and a sound mind. ” Also the promise of, “peace that surpasses all understanding” and a mindset where we are not living in fear but rather living in faith will lend a wonderful sense of calm in a world gone mad. As the Lord says, “Taste and see that I am good”. I believe we should learn to understand that God is a good God and we can trust Him.
Having said that, I also believe the Lord warns His people of impending disasters, and there are plenty of warnings coming from godly people about difficult times in our near future. To not be prepared after receiving ample warning to me is allowing the way of life I hold dear to be placed on the chopping block. I do not want future generations to live a life of servitude and bondage.
I believe one of the next force multipliers of major importance is keeping yourself physically fit, which should probably go without saying, if we are going to have any advantage over those who have not taken care of themselves and now are trying to procure food and provisions outside of their own homes. Those are the ones unwilling or unable or to get ready for difficult times. A beneficial, healthy, and even fun regimen of: walking, jogging, biking, hiking, swimming, weight lifting, or aerobics (just to mention a few) should be part of your lifestyle. Eating right and a diet free of excess processed foods and sweets and a lifestyle with few vices should be embraced for your well being. These practices may allow you to “be there” for your family and group, should the need to protect them ever arise. Your intake of healthy, non-processed, and low salt/low sodium foods can be greatly enhanced by doing your own canning and food preservation without the use of MSG’s, non-natural preservatives, food coloring, pasteurization, and other processes and ingredients that are man-made or heavily modified. I could go on and on, but this is an article to help you think about possibilities and not necessarily a “how to” manual. Please try to remember that the body is the temple of our soul, and the Lord wants us to care for it.
Any sized dog is going to be a loyal friend, a great FM, and early warning device, which will give you years of service as well as comfort and companionship. A dog’s hearing is not much better than ours, but they are much lighter sleepers and seem to be able to come up to speed from a nap a lot quicker than we can. Be advised that it is a fatal mistake to send your dog out to investigate, should you be suspicious of prowlers or intruders, because if the intruders are armed your pet may suffer for it.
Hardening of our home or retreat is another important FM. This has been the topic for many an article on the blog. I will not go into great detail here, but with all of the electronic surveillance and security available, there are many low-tech improvements that do not force us to rely only on electricity to function. Shrubs with thorns, funneling line of sight/access, limited access fencing and barriers, as well as sawhorse-style barricades in entries, driveways, and access points, and even tire strips can be readily assembled with common construction materials and then deployed to limit access to your driveway, street, or even neighborhood, should your sphere of influence allow for it. Low-tech construction or carpentry skills as well as construction materials, acquired during times of calm, should be stored on-hand with the hardware to assemble these devices. This, once again, is just an article to get you thinking about the possibilities and is not intended as an all-inclusive or exhaustive “manual of arms”.
The next possible FM should be some form of self-defense training– learning of martial arts, personal self defense, or hand-to-hand combat. There is a book, Kindle program, DVD, or CD course out there with your name on it, and for the time it takes to watch a season of the Walking Dead on Netflix you can become more proficient than most in some form of non-competitive self- defense skill set. This in itself should help you at least be able to hold your own with any thug who thinks they can have their way with “Joe average”. (Knowing when and how to evade and escape is just as important as any aspect of combative training.)
Another great FM is having first responder, paramedic, or at the very least CPR and first-aid training, along with a well-equipped trauma or medical kit and OTC meds, as well as fish antibiotics. These items and skills will be vitally important to you and your group should SHTF hostilities break out. In addition, having the ability to trade with an opposition, hostile, or superior force that is in need of medical treatment or provisions may allow you to negotiate, buy you time, or help you obtain valuable allies or peace agreements. “Just because every dog has teeth, does not mean every dog is vicious.” Being able to negotiate from a position of strength or bartering for favor may save you and yours from great danger and loss. If there is a way to negotiate a peaceful co-existence, it might be worth having training, provisions, and skills that can be swapped out for favor in a hostile environment. In a time of ongoing quest for turf survival and provisions, not every encounter has to be bloody. Having said this, it is wise to never show them your capabilities, but always appear to be confident in your abilities and try and negotiate from your strengths instead of your weakness. Also, never discuss your manpower and defense capabilities.
The next FM you or your group might want to consider is a far-reaching or advanced means to communicate with those who are trying to enter your camp prior to them getting too close. There are more opportunities to negotiate and keep confrontation and misunderstanding from hampering valuable relationships or allies. One way, of course, is to have a listening/communication/observation station on the outskirts of your main domicile or camp. This station should be equipped with a portable megaphone, or if possible loud speakers, as well as communication with the main camp. The biggest obstacle to a forward observation/listening post is that they can easily be overrun and can cause an unacceptable level of attrition. If all things are equal and your camp is well-manned, this is a great method of communicating at more secure distances. In addition, an air-horn or siren equipped mega phone could warn your own tribe to arm themselves, if you have taken the time to develop codes or SOP for such an advanced warning device. (I recently purchased a portable megaphone at one of the big box hardware stores, and it cost less than $25. The megaphone is equipped with a police style synthesizer that sounds like the standard police siren.)