Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bugging Out

A fellow who lives in a city requested (on one of the boards I frequent) ideas for bugging out of said city if need be.

For the uninitiated, bugging out is just survivalist-speak for evacuating. In the above example, something would happen that would make remaining in that city a poor choice. It could be a nuke, break down of law and order, some disease, etc. So bugging out means Getting out of Dodge.

Of course there are more subtle nuances associated with the term. And, I think, dangerous misconceptions.

Bugging out is a contingency. It should never be Plan A. Plan A should be to shelter in place (.gov-speak) – stay home and weather out the storm. Home is where the heart is; home is where your goodies are; home is where your network of friends and associates and contacts is; home is where you already have a feel for what is going on; home is generally where you are welcome.

“But Joe” some whine, “I live in a really bad place, a dangerous place, a scary place.”

“Then move” says I.

“But I can’t. I have a job, I have family commitments, I have...”

Yeah, yeah. Life is all about choices and choices have consequences. It’s also about trade-offs and risk/benefit analysis. It’s a GREAT job, and you personally assess the risk as low so you are living there. You also know that it is a scary world and TSjustmayHTF so you want to be prepared.

Got it. You are there for now and may want to be somewhere else when something bad happens.

At least give Plan A serious consideration. Bugging out is not a panacea. Essentially (and for at least part of the time) you will be a refugee. This sucks. Trust me on this.
Successfully bugging out will require planning and preparation.

First off, you have to know where you want to go. You cannot flee blindly into the night. Well you can – but you’ll die. Or end up in some Super Dome and wish you had. Make sure you will not be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. This is a whole other subject – for the purpose of this post, just make sure you will be welcome and that you have stuff there to support life.

You will have stuff there, right? Were you picturing carrying everything you’d ever need in your SUV like some latter-day pioneer with a Conestoga? How far do you think you’ll get weighed down with all those goodies? You cannot depend on what you are bringing with you – because you might end up at your final destination with just the clothes on your back. BoVs break down, get caught in traffic jams, or roadblocks, or attacked by raiders.

Your BoV (oh, I’m sorry – that’s Bug out Vehicle) is your primary means of fleeing from point A to point B. Keep it in good repair. Keep it fueled. Keep extra fuel on hand. See, when it’s time to go – it will be time to go. You should have a packing list, have your bug out gear pre-packed, and have practiced loading it several times so you can do so quickly and efficiently. You won’t have time to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. If you do – you will get stuck in that big bad city or in the traffic jam full of people just like that. Stuck is the operative word. Remember the news shots of the jam preceding hurricane Katrina?

So you will have to leave early. Before everyone else decides to. This will require two things: Warning and Decisiveness. You will need to keep your nose to the wind – you will need to maintain awareness and monitor several news and information sources so that you receive ample warning of impending doom. You will also need to be decisive. You will have to be prepared – mentally and emotionally as well as physically – to drop what you are doing and move out smartly. Failure to do so will see you stuck with the masses in a bad place.

This will create false starts. You may take off at 1030 hrs (1030 a.m.) directly from work only to discover 12 hours later that it was a false alarm. You will still want that nice paying job in the city when you return, right? Better save up on sick and annual leave. Better come up with some excuses now for use later. Explosive diarrhea is a good excuse – once.

Pick several bug out routes. Drive them now. Have primary, alternate, contingency and emergency routes. I wrote about PACE a while ago – scroll down. Figure out now where potential choke points are. Have a plan to smoothly transition from one route to another.

Have a plan to smoothly transition from mode of transportation to another. Vehicles break down, they get stuck, they get kinetically disabled. Bicycles on a rack in the back may be a viable alternative. The load you are able to carry just got a lot smaller. Your speed just got slower – which means more time on your bug out route. Plan for it. You may have to walk. This is where BoBs come in. Have them packed and accessible for rapid egress from your disabled/stuck vehicle.

You may want to establish caches now of fuel, food, medical gear and so on along your bug out routes. All part of PACE planning.

If you are taking more than one vehicle (a good idea) you will want to have planned and practiced convoy procedures. Think communications. Think bump plans (redistributing people and vital supplies in the event one vehicle goes down). Think actions at stops, spacing between vehicles, yada, yada, yada.

Bugging out just got a whole lot more complicated didn’t it? I told you it wasn’t a panacea. If this is one of your plans (and it should be) then you have a lot of work to do now to make sure it works for you and yours later.
Finally (and firstly): Mark 13:18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.
The operative word there is not winter.
It is pray.
If you have any comments I’d love to hear them. If they really interest me, I may even post them. You can reach me at vikingservices@hotmail.com

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

VA Tech

Like many of you, I was distressed to hear of the massacre at Virginia Tech. Terrible. Tragic. Just as these young adults are getting ready to enter society for real; just as they are about to become productive members of society; just as their parents are about to see all of their blood, sweat, and tears rewarded with the “launching” of their beloved child – some idiot kills them.

I am glad he is dead.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

What do you want to bet he was on some mood altering, prescribed drug like Ritalin, Prozac, etc? That seems to be a common thread in these types of shootings.

So how could a guy with two pistols kill so many people? We are talking about young adults in their physical prime. Sheeple. Oh, I know – terrible thing to say. Got it. We have raised a generation of wimps.

My son is in college. He is a well-rounded, bright young man. Physically fit. He has never been in a fight. None of his friends have ever been in a fight. Every male I know of my generation got into at least one fight growing up. If we got into a fight in school we either got whacked with a paddle by the vice principal or suspended for 3 days. Nowadays if a kid gets in a fight he will be charged with assault. By the District Attorney.

“Violence is not the answer.” “Can’t we all just get along?” “Let’s discuss this.” “Just do what he says and nobody will get hurt.” Our young people are malleable. Our men are being psychologically emasculated.

If you have not already done so, scroll down and read, “When it’s time to move – MOVE!” I wish some of those students had read it. Remember 9-11? How did just a few terrorists take down 3 planes? My mother spoke to me the next day and said, “Oh Joey, I know you would have done something on that plane.” I shocked her when I said I would have done nothing.

Why? I’m trained, I’m skilled. Why “do nothing”? Because before 9-11 if one was on a plane that was hijacked the way it typically went down was this: The plane lands somewhere and taxis off to an isolated place. Passengers are all jammed into one section and no one is allowed to look around, get out of their seat, etc. Negotiations start. Authorities stall. It get’s hot on the plane. The toilets overflow. People urinate in their seats. People get thirsty, hungry, and negotiations drag on. Maybe the terrorists get mad and cap a passenger to show they mean business. Odds are, it won’t be you. Eventually, they either let everyone go, or the men in black storm the plane, kill all the bad guys and save the vast majority of good guys. So, the best thing to do in that situation (then) was just be “the gray man” and not draw attention to yourself.

But on 9-11 the rules changed. Those brave people on flight 93 figured out what was going on – I think they found out over their cell phones – and they knew these terrorists were a new breed not interested in negotiating. “Let’s Roll!. Good for them. They deserve our respect.

I pity the fool (not really) who tries to hijack a plane anymore. And as long as I’m on this – the only reason knives worked to hijack those planes was because everyone was working under the old paradigm. Can you imagine what would happen if some idiot stood up on a plane today with a pocket knife and said, “Allah akbar – I’m seizing this plane in the name of...”. He would be taken down by the passengers. He would be taken down even if he had an AK47. So why can I not carry my Swiss Army knife on a plane anymore? But I digress...

Same with robberies. Used to be the bad guy would flash a gun, take your money or watch or whatever and then run away. That is not the case so much anymore. Nowadays, after they have control, they may decide to cap you, or take your daughter, or whatever.

It’s a big scary world out there people. Wake up!

We need good, law-abiding citizens to be allowed to carry handguns wherever and whenever they want. Bad guys do. Ever hear, "I'd rather be tried by twelve, than carried by six?" It is your duty to protect yourself and those loved ones weaker than you.

We need public service announcements, we need mandatory training in schools, we need preachers preaching from the pulpit that it is okay to have righteous indignation. It is okay to fight back. In fact – it is mandatory to fight back.

Do not get on your knees.
Do not turn and face the wall.
Do not let yourself be restrained.

For most people in most instances of this type of horrible crime the correct reaction is flight. Immediate, unhesitating flight. Run away! If you cannot run away – fight back. Immediate, unhesitating, vicious, fighting back. If you are going to die anyway – you might as well die fighting. Chances are though, that if just a handful of people decide, “Hell no! We are not going down like this” and fight back – it will save a lot of lives.

Be a man.
Be a woman.
You are a human being and you have self worth. You deserve to Be. Do not let some scumbag take your life. Run or fight. Do not cower.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chemical Defense Gear

Duct tape and plastic sheeting were hard to get a hold of there for awhile after 9-11. It’s like every Tom, Dick and Sally ran out to get their miracle terrorism mitigation device. When the terrorist struck their neighborhood, they planned to shelter in home made safe rooms. I guess it gave them peace of mind.

Some folks go further. Some folks purchase complete chemical warfare suits to include masks, over garments, boots and gloves. As with most things, many of these folks buy it, stick it in a box or duffle bag and then “call it good”. They are now prepared for some Al-Qaeda terrorist attack.

Folks would do well to spend more time evaluating the threat. The actual threat to themselves. If terrorists use chemical weapons, to get “more bang for the buck”, they will use them in a crowded place – probably not your home. They do not have an unlimited supply. This stuff has to be fairly concentrated to work – in other words, they won’t let a cloud of nerve gas go over Nowheresville, South Dakota.


But it doesn’t have to be bad guys. It could be a train derailment or chemical plant fire just upwind from you. It could be a crashed chemical tanker truck on the highway on which you are traveling.

Something else to consider: when it is effective, it works pretty fast. In other words, you won’t have a lot of time to get away from it or into some type of protection like the suits or shelters mentioned above. You won’t always need charcoal impregnated, camouflaged military suits though. There are substitutes that could be used in a pinch depending on what the threat is.

And let me just say right here that I am not going to go into a dissertation on various forms of chemical hazards and warfare. Nor am I going to go into detail concerning the ins and out of NBC defense – if you are truly interested, this info is widely available on the web. I am merely, as always, trying to generate thought followed by action.

A cheap plastic poncho, perhaps combined with a shower cap, sunglasses and a bandanna would be much better than nothing in some scenarios. Tyvek is cheap and effective against many things. Surplus military chem suits will work against many threats - but for some threats, not for very long. They have a shelf life, a life when opened and removed from their package and a life depending on what gets on/in them.

Israeli masks are cheap but work - not well. But well enough for many threats and situations. Heck, an industrial face mask will work against a lot of threats. Rubber boots and gloves are easy to get.

So I am not pooh-poohing those who buy chemical protective gear. I’m just back on my soapbox crying out that merely having stuff is not sufficient.

Some things to think about before relying on "stuff":

1. You gotta know when it's time to don it (warning system)
2. You have to know HOW to properly don it and wear it
3. You probably need a plan to escape the area while geared up
a. Where are you going?
b. What are you using for a vehicle?
c. How are you getting there? (Routes)
d. Speed will probably be very important - and you may not ever be able to return...so you will need bug out gear too.
4. You have to know how to operate (drive, shoot, urinate, eat, sleep, walk, etc) in your gear
5. You have to know how to properly decontaminate and remove your dirty gear (and bugout vehicle, etc, etc)
6. You are probably gonna have to know good first aid
Gear is important but...
It's more than gear
Think it through
If you have any comments I’d love to hear them. If they really interest me, I may even post them. You can reach me at vikingservices@hotmail.com
Prepared Americans for a Strong America