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Tactics, Techniques and Procedures

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Old January 23rd, 2010, 20:38   #1
Wilson
 
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I am always seeing discussion on the merits of bugging in and bugging out, and the plans that go into both of them. Well, both are equally important and both should be planned for. When deciding what to do for a particular crisis, we must first define a few things:

Is this an isolated incident? How isolated? Street? Block? City? County/Parish? State/Province? Country?
Is it the result of an active attack (NCB, invasion, oppressive government crackdown, etc.) or a passive crisis (ice storm, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, tsunami, EMP, etc.)?
What is the population of the town/city/area?
What is the climate of the area? The season?

For simplification of this discussion, I am defining "bugging in" as supply-based survival and "bugging out" as production-based survival. For example, bugging-in would be staying home, fortifying, and stocking up, while bugging out is going to your survival community ranch where everything you need to survive is produced there. Mind you, for some people "bugging in" IS "bugging out" because they are capable of providing everything they need in a secure environment without having to go anywhere.

That said, you can usually bug-in and wait out an isolated incident because the global support network will be kicked into high-gear to ferry supplies and assistance to your AO. In these situations, having a secure home with supplies stored is great because it allows you to limit your movements outside of the residence (thus limiting your risk of being attacked) and eliminates your dependence on the relief efforts. Riots, looters, and increased gang activity will still occur, but it will be in more isolated pockets of the area and if you're well prepped at home you should be able to manage those threats.

There is a point, however, where bugging in is no longer a good idea, and that occurs when one or more of the following conditions has become present:

- You have run out of water and/or food and there is no safe resupply method in the area or on the way.

- The threat of volatile human activity becomes too high (you need to be able to make a realistic threat assessment); this can be fire-starting rioters, gang activity, cannibal cults, or hostile military activity - expect all of them when SHTF.

- Airborne infectious disease with a high mortality rate is active in your area or at serious risk of spreading to your area.

- Environmental conditions do not allow for continued safe residence in the area (this is another threat assessment).

Most of the hardcore bug-in crowd will never prepare (or properly prepare) for a bug-out situation and, because of this, they will wind up as the same desperate refugees that they had hoped to never become. Preparation is like insurance, it may be difficult to justify at times when the risk of crisis is rather low, but the risks of not preparing at all are just too high - so those of us who are intelligent, prepare. ONLY preparing for bug-in situations is kind of like stocking water but no food. As I stated above, there are numerous conditions that will make sticking around a very bad idea (these conditions apply to BOL as well), so preparing for that eventuality is a natural extension to what we are all doing already (admittedly, at wildly varying levels). Simply having another secure place to go (and multiple planned routes to get there) is a great first step to managing more of the survival spectrum.

Keep in mind, supplies are a limited resource. Supply-based preparation is only one piece of the puzzle. For short-term crises having a stockpile of water, food, medical supplies, and ammunition is an invaluable investment and it is one that you should ALWAYS maintain, even after shit has hit the fan. However, relying on supply-based survival for a TEOTWAWKI situation, or any of the above listed criteria for bugging out, is completely irresponsible. That said, your survival preparations must include the following:

- Securing your location(s)

- Reliable means to defend yourself

- Reliable means of communicating (passively or actively) with the outside world

- Stockpiling water, food, medical supplies, and ammunition

- Redundancy for everything that is important (communications, defense, power generation, water purification, tools, etc.)

- Secondary and tertiary locations, preferably with caches in place

- Travel routes planned for various methods of transportation (foot, bicycle, horseback, car, aircraft)

- The ability to procure and store your own water, food, and ammunition

- The ability to repair what you have (training + tools)

- Defense training (MINDSET, hand to hand, pistol, rifle, shotgun)

- Medical training

Any plan that is missing any of the above needs revision.

The first thing a person who is starting out should purchase is a proper mindset and a realistic view of the risks that we face, especially as a modern society totally dependent on 'the system.' This first step can be purchased for free. The second step, thanks to the internet, is also free, and that is absorbing as much information as possible and developing a love for learning and a continued drive to constantly add to the stockpile in your mind. The rest of the steps all cost money, but they will also save you quite a bit:

- Get Off the Grid! It doesn't have to be completely, but having a means of providing yourself with your OWN electricity in a power outage is a great way to stay productive, remain entertained, and maintain a sense of normalcy. This will pay for itself come the first transformer blowout, ice storm, wind storm, etc., but it can also help pay the bills - in a lot of areas you can sell your surplus energy back into the grid. Some places re-evaluate their electrical use and actually manage to eliminate their hydro bill altogether.

- Get out of the city! Property costs are lower in rural areas, taxes are MUCH lower, insurance rates for damn near everything drop, the air is cleaner, you have room to be more independent and self-reliant, and you can play airsoft on your own property without the police showing up!

- Rainwater collection. Why let your lawn (if you even have one!) get all the rain? Rainwater collection and filtration methods are cheap, and gravity is free. This works really well with the first point, and even better with both previous points together.

- Learn to garden, and then start doing it. Some may say that there is nothing manly about weeding a garden, but you know what really isn't manly? Being a sorry-looking refuge in a Red Cross aid lineup or picking month-old garbage for scraps of food.

- Learn medicine. Medical training should be mandatory (hey, we're already in a socialist country, so why not go full-retard on the concept?). I think it is pretty obvious why everybody should know how to treat injuries, illness, shock, etc.

- Accept the fact that not every human being is nice and that you will have to arm yourself and become proficient at all-around self defense.

For those who do not agree with this post, I quote Forest Gump: "Stupid is as stupid does."
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 20:40   #2
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nice post, ill link it to my other thread
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 20:53   #3
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nice post, ill link it to my other thread
Ooh, there's another thread? Link please?
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 20:54   #4
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There was an excellent series of writeups I read once from a fellow living in Argentina (in a city) during what was basically a collapse of the economy. It got about as close as it gets to a complete societal collapse without actually being a Mad-Max style end-of-the-world scenario.

It was very eye opening, but probably not in the way you imagine.

First of all, lots of crime and much less policing, etc. Power and utilities basically gone. That sort of thing.

Just a few highlights off the top of my head:
  • It never reaches the point of fantasy total societal collapse. You will probably even still get up and go to work every day.
  • Lots of crime and lots of desperate people. But if you try to walk around with a rifle YOU will get the cops called on YOU. It never reaches the point of wild west wasteland.
  • Your day will end at sundown. There is NOTHING TO DO once you have no light. You have to experience this to really appreciate it. Your grandparents might but you don't.
  • Plenty of people getting robbed, but not by "roving gangs". He couldn't count the number of times people were amazed they got robbed by people who "looked much better off than us!"
Basically a "Bug-In" is actually far more likely as a result of even a severe societal collapse.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 21:00   #5
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Ooh, there's another thread? Link please?
you have already posted in my SHTF Survival Thread remember?

Just search under my username for all my created threads. You cant miss it. If you have any more posts like this, just put them in the thread i made so ASC has one massive list of SHTF information.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 21:10   #6
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you have already posted in my SHTF Survival Thread remember?

Just search under my username for all my created threads. You cant miss it. If you have any more posts like this, just put them in the thread i made so ASC has one massive list of SHTF information.
I subscribed to it. Thanks for the link back to here!

Here's some hand-feeding in return for such a kind gesture: http://www.foxfire.org/thefoxfirebookseries.aspx

Foxfire. Otherwise known as the books of life!
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 21:12   #7
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There was an excellent series of writeups I read once from a fellow living in Argentina (in a city) during what was basically a collapse of the economy. It got about as close as it gets to a complete societal collapse without actually being a Mad-Max style end-of-the-world scenario.

It was very eye opening, but probably not in the way you imagine.

First of all, lots of crime and much less policing, etc. Power and utilities basically gone. That sort of thing.

Just a few highlights off the top of my head:
  • It never reaches the point of fantasy total societal collapse. You will probably even still get up and go to work every day.
  • Lots of crime and lots of desperate people. But if you try to walk around with a rifle YOU will get the cops called on YOU. It never reaches the point of wild west wasteland.
  • Your day will end at sundown. There is NOTHING TO DO once you have no light. You have to experience this to really appreciate it. Your grandparents might but you don't.
  • Plenty of people getting robbed, but not by "roving gangs". He couldn't count the number of times people were amazed they got robbed by people who "looked much better off than us!"
Basically a "Bug-In" is actually far more likely as a result of even a severe societal collapse.
Those points are all covered in my post. I think my criteria for bugging out is quite clear.

I was like you before. Do yourself a really big favour and read One Second After by William R. Forstchen. You will be doing yourself a serious disservice if you do not read it, as it opened my eyes to the possibility of a EOTWAWKI scenario.

Les serious situations: Haiti. Katrina. 1998 Ice storm. People weren't "heading into work" then, and there was chaos. People go nuts when their comfy high-tech lifestyles are disrupted, and people have a hard time coming to grips with the possibility of it ever happening. I feel bad for these people, because they will be the hardest hit.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 16:38   #8
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What I say below is not meant to patronize anyone here, but it is harsh.

It is my personal philosophy that in order to continue to exist in a total shit hit the fan scenario (for all of these, I consider EMP to be a good benchmark), we need to kick ourselves back in time. Most people are so damned absorbed with their 21st century lifestyles that it never really occurs to them how much they are going to have to give up. Those that aren't as connected to that usually have some sort of romantic idea about surviving in a shitstorm. It's not pretty. It's not easy. It doesn't work with high-tech gadgetry, it takes real work. There are no shortcuts. Most of the "preppers" on these boards are ONLY prepared for "normal" emergencies such as power outages and such - they are not prepared for SHTF. Of course, I say that assuming that "SHTF" means what it is supposed to mean: nation-wide chaos where almost all systems go down and stay down for years, where the unprepared become refugees, violent bandits, or corpses.

It is my view that total preparedness can only be achieved if you are not dependent on any outside systems. Some will view that sentence and think "oh, well I am prepared because I have stored supplies and I can last a whole year without having to go to a grocery store!" WRONG! You are quite literally screwed if you are thinking that'll work. It won't. When your supplies run out, what are you going to do? This is SHTF that we're talking about, not a month-long power outage. This isn't some picnic. We're talking about total system failure here. When your supplies run out, you're going to have to adapt fast or die - is that what preparation is about? Going half the way because its easy and then stopping because we are all so adverse to real work?

Plain and simple, if you are incapable of providing for yourself then you are FUBAR. That is the reality we face. If you cannot grow your own fruits and vegetables and raise your own livestock, purify your own water, build your own furniture and shelter, then you are up shit creek without a paddle. Think of it as not having a job in a country with no welfare to support you - THAT is what you are walking into if you don't get your shit squared away.

Why do so many people struggle with this?

I suggest getting out of the cities because the general population (at least 75%) will go bonkers when they no longer have water pressure and when all the grocery stores are empty and close down. They will be frightened, confused. They will loot and steal and try to do anything, simply out of desperation, to feed themselves and their loved ones. This behaviour is understandable. They are totally trusting and reliant on the system and they do not believe it has the capacity to fail, yet every year we see yet another example of the whole vehicle coming to a screeching halt. Does anybody learn from this? I'm sure a few eyes are opened every time, but not enough - not even within the "survivalist" communities does it ring enough bells and shake enough people out of the slumber of complacency that the easy 1st-world existence has bestowed upon them. That said, if you want to be prepared the first thing you need to do is go somewhere safe, some place where you can actually take the steps to become prepared. There are a number of places on the 'net which are doing just that.

Once you are in this safe place (all things being relative, you are safer in a rural area than you are in a subdivision or in a city - the general rule being the further you are from population centres, the better), you need to know what to do. A lot of people will read my posts about bugging in and bugging out and assume that because that they are already somewhat, or totally, removed from society that they are in the clear. Uhm, not quite. You need to know what to do once you are in this place. If you are already out in the country then you have a huge head start on the rest, but you still need to start providing for yourself. This is preparation. If you expect to bug out when shit hits the fan and then plant some crops, you're missing the point. You need to "bug out" now (which is, as Musibike on WSHTF.com so aptly put it, bugging in somewhere else), learn what you need to learn now, and then start doing it now - not when the fires are already burning. The Foxfire books are a wonderful resource for this purpose and should be on everyone's required reading lists.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:05   #9
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Those points are all covered in my post. [...] Haiti. Katrina. 1998 Ice storm. People weren't "heading into work" then, and there was chaos.
Oh, I'm not disagreeing with you on any particular point. I was just sharing that I found the Argentina situation particularly educational since it demonstrated how many shades of grey there can be under the very large "disaster preparedness" umbrella.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 15:12   #10
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I remember reading that Argentinian's story, too.

Actually: http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/10.08/tshtf1.html (there's 4 parts)

Obviously everyone's mileage will vary based on location, events, etc.

Another point I'd bring up, for a lot of people (specially those in the city), "bugging out" involves getting out and staying out until some safe haven is found/order restored. Based on your [Wilson's] definition, it's probably like "bugging in" except on wheels. I know you have a very specific idea of what needs to be done to be prepared, but realistically it just doesn't work for most people: most lives don't revolve around that degree of preparedness, it just isn't practical.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 19:08   #11
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I know you have a very specific idea of what needs to be done to be prepared, but realistically it just doesn't work for most people: most lives don't revolve around that degree of preparedness, it just isn't practical.
Suggesting self sustainability and working with others towards the same end isn't practical?

I'll put it this way:

If you do not prepare at all, you are leaving everything up to fate. Essentially, you're planning on someone having the faculties and resources to come rescue you.

If you only horde supplies, you are at the mercy of those supplies holding out. When they do run out, you are stuck hoping that someone with the faculties and resources needed to come rescue you.

If you are self sustaining, then you can hold out indefinitely. It is quite possible to do this alone in suburbia, though the risks are quite high and the complications are astronomical.

I preach the ideal, in hopes that people will take at least part of it and do what they feel they can, which is usually a lot less than they could be doing if they really focused. Developing a survival community in a rural area and growing/raising everything you need to survive is an ideal. For 99.9999% of people, including myself, this is not going to happen any time soon. However, there are parts of that which we can ALL do.

There are things I must stress regardless of who you are or your present situation, and I'll leave how they are accomplished open for that reason:

- Understand the risks that large population centres pose and take steps to mitigate those risks. Your biggest problems come from there being a lot of people near you. Think of zombies, or a zombie outbreak, but instead of them wanting to eat you (that won't happen 'till later), they'll want to take everything you have, or expect that you share with them, and that simply doesn't work unless you have some way of conjuring food and water. Cities do not produce food, the country does - however, most of the population is located in metropolitan areas, and this is a problem if the complicated network that provides the food for the dense population centres suddenly grinds to a halt.

- Understand that any supplies you store will eventually run out, probably long before you estimated. Anything can happen, such as items being stolen/taken, destroyed by fire or flood, or being rationed to close friends and extended family that showed up after the shit hit the fan that you did not account for initially. Having supplies to act as a buffer is a good idea, but be realistic.

- Any steps, even the smallest of ones, that go towards actually providing the basic necessities for yourself and your family, are steps that should be taken. Anyone can do the little things, and its often these things that will make the ultimate difference. Gardens cost less than you would think, and rainwater is free.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 09:12   #12
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Wilson, everything you say here is great general theory. Do you have actual knowlege and factual, proven tips on how to acheive all that?
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Old January 27th, 2010, 12:54   #13
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If the bubble bursts, and there is a global system failure, I would most likely be worried about the numerous nuclear reactors that need to be maintained so they don't melt down.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 13:08   #14
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I guess the persones in charges of those reactors will either stop them or continue to maintain them untill they have to stop them for some reason. (shortage of water coolant or fuel.)

I'm pretty sure they can't just leave and let the thing go as it please.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 19:54   #15
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Wilson, everything you say here is great general theory. Do you have actual knowlege and factual, proven tips on how to acheive all that?
Loads.
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