First of all, I want to thank you for hosting this site and posting information that is useful to other preppers. There are 100’s of similar sites out there but only few of them are worth reading on daily basis, and MSO is one of the few that I check out every day. In this article I will offer few tips and advises that would help people out after the collapse. I am no expert in survival but do have few years of experience in daily survival in post collapse environment. I survived through collapse of Yugoslavia and years of war that followed.
One of the big questions that a lot of preppers ask themselves is should I bug-in or bug-out. This is going to depend on the type of collapse that hits us and the decision will not be up to us, it will be decided by someone else. If the whole community is leaving, then you will be leaving as well. It don’t matter what type of collapse hits us, if there is no law and order, sooner or later you will be forced to bug out. Once there is no law and order, you won’t need a foreign army to come and burn you out of your house, it will be done by organized groups of people from your own community. Most of your average population is unprepared and it won’t take them to long to start getting organized in to armed groups and start taking from people that have what they don’t. What about our police force? They are a tight bunch and most of them hang out with other cops while off duty. When the society collapses and their checks are not being deposited in to their accounts anymore, do you think that they will be out there protecting you while they are leaving their own families exposed. These guys will form up the groups with other cops and stick together. It won’t be any different with the military. Most of the soldiers are many miles away from their families, even in bases state side, and when society collapses, the military won’t be spared. Soldiers will stick together with their buddies from their platoons and they will be well armed. I am not saying that all of these groups will turn evil and come and burn your house, but some percentage of them will. I have seen it happen in former Yugoslavia and it could happen here. Majority of massacres was done by paramilitary groups (which many were formed of former cops, soldiers, or decent law obeying people). Basically, my whole point is if there is a large group of armed individuals coming down your block and looting and torching every house down the block, it will be easy decision to leave. Unless you have many shooters on your side and bulletproof and fireproof house, you don’t stand a chance in surviving.
Let’s take a look at average house in America. Rifle bullet will go through it completely in most of the cases and they will be set ablaze with Molotov cocktail really easy. I know, many of you are thinking, “but I won’t let anyone come close enough to my house to set it on fire with a cocktail”. Well I hate to tell you, but you are wrong. It would only take 4-5 guys with semi-automatic rifles to put enough suppressive fire on your residence to allow another 2 guys to come close enough to throw few fire starters. The attackers will be at advantage since you will most likely will be fighting on their terms. They are the ones who will decide to attack you or not, and they will be choosing time of the attack. I am just giving this example in case they did not get hold of any heavy military equipment (M2 .50 cal., MK-19, etc), which in post collapse society they will most likely will. Once again I have seen it in former Yugoslavia. Within few months of collapse you could find any type of military hardware in civilian hands.
Once we leave our home and start our journey towards the destination (whatever that might be), how do we move. My preferred method was always on foot or horseback sometimes. Moving on foot is slowest but safest method. It don’t matter what kind of BOV vehicle you have, you will be a rich target. First you will be one of the few vehicles, if any, on the road and just that alone makes you a target. Some people will shoot at you just because they can and there is no one to stop them. The others will see you as a rich target (nobody has any gas and you are riding down the road). Also in the vehicle you don’t know what you will encounter around the next corner, it could be an ambush, landmine, or destroyed road from previous artillery attack. On foot, you can take your time and look, listen and observe prior to moving on.
What to take with you and how to dress will depend on how are you moving. Are you alone or with a group? Are there any old and sick people in your group or infants? Wearing military clothing and carrying long guns might be acceptable in one part but completely unacceptable in other parts. In some towns in Bosnia during the war you as a civilian or a member or military could freely wander around town with the AK slung across your shoulder and wearing camouflage uniform while in other parts your would be disarmed right away, at the gun point, and put in to local jail. Just because society collapses, that does not mean that all the rules and laws will stop existing everywhere. Some towns or villages might be more organized then others and town’s located only 10 miles apart could be as different as day and night. Another thing about wearing military clothing is if you are captured wearing it you will be treated as a combatant even if you are not armed. Make sure that you always have a set of civilian clothing that you can change in to if you are wearing military uniform. I have personally witnessed a young man have a really bad day, after we were captured, just because he was still wearing a pair or army boots. These are just few things that I wanted to mention and let people start to think about them and what they would do in these situations.