So, you think you’re ready……

So, you think you’re ready……

by J.B.


Okay.  You got your BOB, water tablets, compass, a wicked looking weapon, and your way out.  You’ve got your route and destination.  Supplies are stored, ammo is dry and all is right with the world.  But are you really prepared for what may come?


Consider what could happen if you’re not prepared.  You’re thirsty and have no water.  Cold and there’s no heat.   Flip the light switch, nothing.  You could call to complain, but the phones don’t work.  You’re down to eating the last cans of food in the back of the cupboard.  Your wife is upset and your children are crying.


You walk out on your front porch and look over at the house next door.  There your neighbor Larry is, standing on his front porch looking back at you.   You wave to good old Larry.  Odd, he doesn’t return your wave.   Is Larry concerned about you and your family?  Is he thinking about inviting you over to share his food?  No, Larry’s kids haven’t eaten in two days.  He looks desperate to me, and he seems to be headed this way.  Is that a gun in his hand?


Most of us have thought about a variety of situations we may have to confront.  That’s why we’re preppers after all.  Many of us quietly wait for something to happen.  Some of us actually look forward to the possibility.  A few of us were born in the wrong century, in the wrong place and time.  You know who you are.  The rest are simply tired.  Tired of the lies and being dependant on strangers.


Whatever the reason, we prepare and wait.   We think abstractly about how to defend ourselves.  We go to the range or the woods and shoot off some rounds.   But only a few, veterans mostly, know or suspect how hard it could be.  Will you really defend yourself?   The three armed thugs slouching up the driveway may not be a tough call.  But what about the woman who sends her two sick kids to beg for food?  Which presents the greater danger?


Remember your friends and family that thought you were a nut job for storing food and supplies?   They’ll be the first to show up.  What are you going to do?   Okay, that obnoxious brother-in-law is an easy call.   What about the others?  You need to be prepared.  When to be charitable and when to thin the herd may be the toughest decision you will be forced to make.


If you’re a large group or a single family, create a list of rules to live or die by.  Think through the possibilities.  Consider those easily dismissed and those that require a more tempered response.  Set aside a small part of your stores to help needful stragglers on their way.   Give them packets with a message to get gone and never return.  You’ll need a line in the sand, this far and no farther. Make sure you have a clear plan of action and most importantly, the resolve to follow it. 


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  1. Insofar as possible, I do believe my family is prepared.

    As bad as it may sound, I have no plans to provide any charity to those who wander by and ask for a hand out – no matter what condition they are in or sob story they tell. I don’t want to encourage loose talk or parasites. If you’re nice to one, be prepared to be nice to a 1,000.

    And, if good old Larry wanders onto my land he better have his life insurance paid up and his will made out. Same goes for the 2 useless brothers-in-law.

  2. You bring up some good points, Rourke. People may say “I’ll blast the first person coming near my home”, but it is a whole different story when you know them and you are not sure if they have malicious intent. Even inexperienced soldiers can flinch when it is “Go Time”. But, generally their attitude changes when that first bullet comes whizzing past their head. I plan on posting signs that warn people to stay away. We also intend on putting up some wire to keep intruders away from the house. Mindset is key in any WROL situation. I periodically watch the videos from the LA riots in 1992 to gain perspective of the potential dangers of an unruly mob. These films make my blood boil. I am a combat veteran, so I don’t doubt my own resolve to protect my family. I have said it before, I’ll say it again: “I fear one ATF agent standing at my door asking for my weapons, more that 50 looters trying to steal them”. I think the real quagmire in a crisis situation is how we’ll react to the government’s desperate attempts to maintain control. During Katrina, both police and National Guard troops confiscated the weapons of the folks who were defending their homes. I feel that the real unethical dilemma will occur when the State Police or FEMA try to move people out of their homes. I would hate to be in that position more than dealing with looters. In reference to giving supplies away, I packed a few totes with food that are designated as charity. They are for the neighbors that we are friendly with, not to bribe strangers to “move along”.

  3. My sister is a leech on society. A professional one at that. Sporting two Masters Degrees (one in Math, the other in Engineering), she has made a mockery of the welfare system, and hasn’t brough home a single paycheck in her life. There’s more to the entire story, about how we know, and what we know, but that’s not the point here.

    My wife and I decided a number of years ago that if she were to ever darken our doorstep, that we would answer with a loaded gun. We’ve already decided that she is a distinct and potentially violent threat, as well as a master manipulator. With family like this (and she’s only one example), we learned quickly to not share much of our prepper side with anyone but a very select few. Even those are not aware of the extent that we are prepared. We have every intent when the stuff HTF, to pretend to be lemmings, to eek out an existence that is less impressive than we actually have.

    If there are food lines, we will be there. If people are starving, we will do our part to look a little malnourished. We won’t go to a camp, or any government mandated evacuation, but will quietly be careful. Nobody knows how much guns, ammo, food, batteries, toilet paper, or anything else that we have, and it’ll stay that way.

    I do like your idea of the letter to “get lost”, and will likely incorporate something like that for the few that might gain a handout to gently move them along the way. Your ideas for a well written letter would be appreciated.

  4. Where I live I have the good fortune to be in a area where pretty much everyone is prepared for the long haul.

    IF tshtf, I know who I can count on. I know who will be guarding my back, who will be at my side, and who will be across the street. So the situation with ‘Larry’ would not be one to happen here.

    That being said, the people moving through the area would be encouraged at every step to keep moving along. I have a container that people will be able to draw water from, even if the power is out. It will be where the movers can take a drink, fill and canteen or portable container, but NOT give them any closer access to the house without substantial risk to their health.

    For those in more densely populated areas, I can say that you would be best served by being overly cautious at the start of any collapse – be it only power for a few days, or the entire economic system, through a pandemic. Stay alert as you can. Be aware of changes in your area. Watch for unexpected actions or movement. If you start moving outside, you will attract the attention of people you may not want contact with. Whether it is neighbors, self appointed leaders, or even gov’t supplied ‘assistance’. Keeping a low profile will give you options.

    But, you must also never give up. Do NOT become a refugee. When you become a refugee, you lose control of your life, and you may just lose your life. Do NOT move to a gov’t controlled facility – it didn’t do anyone in New Orleans any good – just waiting for food – waiting for water – waiting for ANYTHING, with poor to zero chance of improving the situation.

    If there is any way to maintain control, it is going to have to happen on your own terms, where ever you have your own resources. You do HAVE resources? Don’t you?

    Time is short.

  5. Some of my nieghbors have already said they will take what they need from me after telling they should at least prepare to FEME minimum supplies, they think the Goverment will be there as soon as the crises start. My family and inlaws as far away as Ohio think they are coming with empty bellies and empty hands. With the current economy I am having trouble putting away what my family and I need. My wife even agrees that her family came even for a short time emergency they would leave when it was over with maybe a thankyou but never offer to replace what they consummed.

  6. my wife and i tell no one out side the circle. we have set aside a few items to trade labor food. 2 cups of coarse ground corn a cup of rice, a cup of beans and 2 bullion cubes for 2 eight hour days of hard labor ie wood splitting or gardening. we have made extra preps and plans for our families and close neighbors. i’m kinda of lucky that six out of eight of our nearer neighbors are preppers to a modest extent. someprepared in better ways than others. three of us plan on sharing water resources with the others;2 others are older like us plan on trading limited food for labor. all eight of us garden to some extent. all of us are well armed and plan on mutual security wether it’s another Hugo or something worse. two main area we are working on is solar power backups and more HAM training. there are only two elmers.if it’s bad; really bad it’s gonna take a community to get through it.

  7. I dont think we can be 100% prepared for everything ……………….too many levels of what being prepared is , you can have every detail planned out with backups , and plenty of gear and supplies …………..but what good does it do you if you cant function after the trauma of seeing a loved one die ? too many levels , if somebody told me they are prepared…………I would tell them they are kidding themselves . Just Sayin .

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