by Van Geste
I heard a great quote recently, “Things do not happen because of us, things simply happen to us.”
For anyone that has not yet heard; late last night and into early this morning Dallas Texas became a war zone. Four or more snipers took up positions in elevated areas during a Black Lives Matter protest. They then began to rain down bullets of the Law Enforcement officers who were overseeing the protest marchers. When the dust settled and the shooting ended (for now) five officers lay dead and up to eleven more had been wounded.
This whole story has been covered at length by all the major global news outlets and most of the alternative media worldwide. So many talking heads want to stand up and give reasons for these shootings. Some in the Black Lives Matter crowd say this is retaliation for the shooting for two African American men in the last two days. Media and activists can say what they want. However, keep in mind that this post is not about politics but preparedness and what can be learned from a real world SHTF moment in time.
This is without a doubt the deadliest day for Law Enforcement since September 11th 2001. For anyone of our community reading this who currently resides in the Dallas area, please, stay safe.
For anyone living in the Dallas area last night, this would have been their SHTF moment. They never expected it and never saw it coming, prepared or not, it makes no difference. One day it is business as usual and the next it is downtown Baghdad. This is the true and cruel nature of the quintessential SHTF environment.
As tragic as this shooting is what can we, as the preparedness community, learn from this incident? First we know that chaos and the S flying at high-speed and impacting the fan can happen at any moment, and as “Murphy’s Law” dictates, when you are least prepared. Secondly the Dallas-Fortworth Metroplex area has a combined population of over 6 Million people and there are a suspected four shooters. As of last night the entire city was put into “lockdown”, all DFW area law enforcement was put into active duty and government officials told the citizens to stay indoors, away from windows and not to report to work in the morning.
There were only four suspected shooters. The FAA has now restricted flights in and out of the DFW Airport and local businesses in the area have been told to secure their doors and not to reopen until and “all clear” has been given. Again, there were only four shooters. This also means that supply trucks will not be coming to the local grocery or other retail stores. Now consider this; if an entire city of 6 plus million people can be brought to a standstill by four crazed, armed shooters, what would happen if there were 10 shooters? 50? 100 even!? It is not inconceivable.
This is, by definition, the very SHTF scenarios we have all talked about, most likely, on a daily basis: city locked down, martial law-esk rules in place, no food or retail supply coming in or out and YOU, yes YOU and your family are trapped in a city descending into chaos. This is not happening in some third world rat-hole, this is happening in Texas! Let that sink in for a moment.
Third, while this obviously not the full blown collapse, it is what psychologists and researchers call an “observable controlled environment” a mini-collapse if you will. And, this is something we should all be taking notes on. If you were currently in this situation, what would you do? Are you prepared in this particular instance and does this event make you reconsider and reevaluate your preps? Do you know the best routes out of your city (assuming you live in one) and have you practiced for exiting a large city such as Dallas? Where do you plan to go and have you packed the appropriate Bug Out Bag for you and your family? All valid, relevant and critical questions you need to be asking yourself now. It is my opinion that this tragedy and chaotic aftermath is only the beginning of what is coming to these United States.
Fourth point, all members of the preparedness community need to at all times consider their environment, whether that be a large city such as the Dallas Fortworh area or the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. Regardless of where you live do not automatically think you will be immune to the chaos of a collapsing society. It took less than a couple of hours for the entire DFW area to descend into chaos; stores were being looted, people were being assaulted and many other instigators/agent provocateurs took to Facebook and Twitter to escalate and inflame the already chaotic state of the city. Below is such an instance.
This post has since been taken down but you can clearly see how this could entice certain individuals already on the edge and of an unstable mind to carry out more attacks. In a situation such as this the police will not be coming to save you. As horrible as that sounds, you are on your own. Law enforcement will be more worried about securing government areas and their own safety in an arena of a SHTF environment.
In a worst case scenario the local law enforcement will most likely abandon their jobs to head home and protect their own families and I would not blame them for doing that. They are only human and will do what is in the best interested for their own personal preservation and that of their families. I cannot stress it enough, YOU WILL BE ON YOUR OWN!
At this point there is something that I believe needs to at least be touched on and that is, “do not under any circumstances strap-up and head out with your rifle and full kit thinking you can aide local law enforcement.” And, do not get any visions of vigilante grandeur. This is a recipe for disaster, both for you and for them. I know most of us would never do this, but trust me every community, no matter how level headed and “civilized”, has That Guy. That Guy is the one that can get you and yours killed. Do not follow him, do not be him!
Finally it is important to note that, as stated earlier, no one is immune from the S hitting fan. The important thing to remember is to make yourself as inconspicuous as possible, become the “Gray Man” during a SHTF situation. If you are aware of a riot or protest happening, then stay out of that particular area if at all possible. If you are caught in the middle of it when it happens, attempt to extricate yourself from the immediate area as soon as possible; stay low stay out of site and head in the opposite direction of the action.
This is not cowardice, this is common sense. Also, make sure your family, if you have one, knows what to do in these kinds of situations. Plan routes, have meet-up or “rally” points, know and be familiar with the best ways in and around any situation that could arise. Of course none of us can be prepared at all times for every situation that could fall upon us. This is just not practical or even possible, but a little preparedness goes a long way and it could just save your life.
In closing I want to again say that if you are in the DFW area, please, please, please, stay safe and take care of your family. You, whoever you may be, are important to all of us. I would also like to say that after this whole things comes to a close, it would be of great benefit to all of us if those of you in the middle of this chaos would be willing to give a debriefing afterward.
I am sure there is much we can all learn; “what did you do, were you prepared, what was your reaction and that of your family, did you learn anything about your preparedness and what would you have done differently looking back now.”
Now is a good time to begin to evaluate our own levels of preparedness and listen to those who have lived through their very own microcosm of a SHTF scenario. We learn not by reading books and blogs but by the experience of others. Preparedness is a state of mind not a pantry full of food or a full combat load of ammunition (but those certainly don’t hurt).