We are being inundated with rumors of impending power outages and/or internet & cellphone outages, there are literally troops on the street in every state capitol, and everyone is talking about potential unrest over the next 5 days.
The odds are, none of it will happen at all.
But…a quick check of the Ultimate Tactical Handbook tell us we must take immediate actions anyway:
The prudent see danger and take refuge,
But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Some of these actions should be taken today, and some should be ongoing throughout next week.
First, keep your car filled with gas, DAILY. I know, this seems like a burden, but if the power goes out, YOU WON’T BE GETTING ANY AT ALL. The simple expedient of stopping for gas can save you from not being able to move. I recommend filling up an extra gas can or two. It can’t hurt, and you’ll use the gas eventually.
Make one trip to the grocery store, and I’m hearing that stores are already nearly empty or instituting limits. When you get there, buy what you normally buy in a three week period of non-perishable food. Again, if nothing happens, you will eventually eat the extra food, but if the power does go out, you are in a good position. Consider also canned replacements for fresh items you normally buy. For example, the canned chicken breast is just as good as fresh in recipes.
Stop by the bank. If the power goes out or the communication networks are disrupted, you won’t be able to use credit or debit cards and cash is king in an emergency. Take out whatever amount you are comfortable with, and secure it. You can always put it back in the bank in a couple of weeks.
Develop a communications plan. We are already experiencing disruptions among internet communications. Having a method of contact other than cell phones and email is vital. A lot of you are thinking “But there isn’t any”. Yes, there are. Two way radios, and (dare I say it) face-to-face communications are a possibility. Yes, face-to-face. If the power goes out and cell phones go down, you can head over and check on old Aunt Edith, or even that crotchety old Vietnam Vet who lives down the road (I’m talking about you Uncle Larry), but you should probably let him know that you will check on him ahead of time.
Having a plan with your whole family/preparedness group about when and how to check in and what the rest of the family/group will do if you miss a check in is vital in an emergency. Even something as simple as saying that if someone doesn’t make it home by 2 hours after the normal time, someone will start moving along the planned route.
That brings us to making sure everyone you care about communicates their plans/schedules over the next week with each other. This is not a week for trying out a new route home or doing spontaneous things. If I don’t know where you are and the normal route you take, I can’t come over the hill with the cavalry. At this point, it may even be actual horse-mounted cavalry.
Neither I nor my brothers nor my men
Nor the guards with me took off our clothes;
Each had his weapon, even when he went for water.
Nehemiah developed a security plan to meet the threat outside his walls, BEFORE there was any fighting.
You should too. Each family/group should have a plan and rules for protection. It may involve firearms or other weapons to defend your home or person. I can’t tell you how that looks for you, but the time to decide is BEFORE anything happens. The biggest problem in personal defense is the idea that “You’re just running to the store, why do you need a gun”. It defeats the entire purpose…attacks are not scheduled and quick trips into stores and gas stations are where problems occur, especially in an emergency.
Consider that in most urban areas, the average house has about 36-48 hours worth of fresh food in it. What happens on day 3 of a power outage where some people didn’t plan ahead? People do things they would never consider when hungry or when their kids are hungry. Make some decisions and develop a security plan BUT TELL NO ONE outside of your family/group.
Which brings us to operational security. No one outside your group/family needs to know your plans of any type or your preparedness status. A lot of people in the preparedness community like to brag about how much food they have or how much ammunition they have (never about how much medical gear they have, which is more important, but I digress). That paints a target on your house. Prepare QUIETLY and resist the urge to post the photos of your “Dollar-Store prepping haul” on Facebook. Remember that Facebook began as a military information gathering platform and remains so to this day. Research LifeLog.
Should the power go out, remember operational security. When everyone on your block is out of food, don’t grill ribs and steaks out in the front yard, while running your 70” TV on your solar panels. People who were your friends will turn on you when hungry.
A caution about charity in an emergency…If you decide to give some people food, understand that the very next day you will have more people showing up for food. The deal is, use Paul’s example for charity during an emergency:
We gave you this rule:
The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10b
In other words, if someone asks for food, find out what they can do to help you in exchange for that food. It’s literally, if you break it down, the basis for our society. You have a job to make money, which in turn enables you to obtain food and shelter. It should be no different in an emergency.
Let’s cover the last topic, which is rumors. There is a ton of information flying about ranging from impending Chinese Invasions to either left or right wing groups overthrowing the government (depending our which source you listen to), and everything in between. I’ve even heard one guy talking about “space weapons” about to be employed.
Listen, apply logic and reason to any rumor you hear. None of them are facts, they are all rumors.
I frequently ask people who share these rumors with me to explain the credentials of the source of the rumor. They usually get angry when I do this, because it’s either a letter of the alphabet who literally no one can identify and therefore cannot validate, or it’s an unemployed English gentleman who lives in his parent’s attic.
If any video comes to you that starts with “My friend got this email from his son who….” (Literally saw this one today) ask yourself why they aren’t just forwarding the email. Why isn’t the person who WROTE the email talking to you on a video.
Mark my words….these emails and videos and rumors flying around are the dangerous part. Someone, motivated by an unconfirmed rumor, will take some action (see Nashville bombing) and touch off this powder keg we are all sitting on.
Think I’m exaggerating? What do you suppose would happen if there was indeed a 2002 level power outage in the next few days totally unrelated to anything else? How would you know what happened? How would Jim-Bob’s Country Militia know it wasn’t an attack? How would the John Brown Gun Club chapter know? Those two groups would arm up and the fight would be on.
Take a deep breath, look at rumors with a skeptical eye (even if it’s one you like), and don’t contribute to the hysteria.
Be safe, be prepared, and stay out of the fray on both sides.
If you’d to help us continue to produce great contact, consider a donation.