Condition Orange

Cooper’s Color Codes

If you read my book or have followed this blog for any appreciable amount of time, you know I talk about Cooper’s Color Codes and remaining in Condition Yellow as much as possible. Today, I’m saying that if you aren’t in Condition Orange when interacting with others outside your household, you aren’t safe.

Monday night, I was listening to Nick August’s “Boomer Crypto Jazz Hour” (don’t ask me, I didn’t name it) and for “Mil-Spec Monday”, he had on “Skip Collapsitarian” (not his real name), who I’ve been on a few shows with and consider a knowledgeable friend. Not that Nick isn’t either, but I digress. Skip mentioned that in our current environment, if you aren’t already in Condition Orange, you are in danger and at risk.

I decided to spend a couple of days researching the points Skip and Nick made, and then make a decision. For the record, you can find them both on Twitter: @thenickaugust and @thefreerifleman.

I reviewed some information from Forward Observer (, and if you aren’t a member there, you aren’t really prepared. Mike and his team produce a daily intelligence brief and get it into your email by 9 am every day reviewing all of the risks that are facing us today, including some information on planned protests and insurgency information.

Tactical Wisdom

The first thing that jumped out at me on Forward Observer was the announcement by Portland ANITFA that they wanted to “Make Portland Little Beirut Again”. This is a reference to 1991, when there were violent clashes with police related to a visit by George HW Bush (I served on his detail in Grand Rapids once and met him in the middle of the night). FO also has a copy of an internal ANTIFA document calling for a summer more violent than last year. I coupled that with the fact that just a few weeks ago, we had ANTIFA running armed checkpoints, stopping vehicles at gunpoint all over the country, with some ending in violence in Portland and Seattle.

Another note from FO was that it has now been officially declared that a crude oil train derailment in December was sabotage, most likely by ANTIFA.

A check of the internet showed a woman assaulted completely at random, apparently for the color of her skin, while pumping gas, and another woman violently assaulted by an Amazon driver for asking about a package, apparently also for the color of her skin, since the driver was shouting about white privilege. Nearly everyday, we are seeing random racially motivated attacks.

This is NOT a political statement, it’s an objective review of available data. You need to increase your risk level and act accordingly.

Over the weekend, Matt Bracken reminded us all of the event last summer where a veteran’s farm equipment was set on fire and his livestock killed by unknown parties, but ANTIFA claimed responsibility. That incident prompted Clay Martin to write Prairie Fire, one of our favorites….in fact, Amazon recommends it when you buy my book.

These incidents should tell you that the situation in America is in a downward spiral. There will not be a “magic moment” where things just suddenly go back to normal. Agitators on both the left and the right are ramping up their rhetoric every single day. Us in the center, who just want to survive, have no choice but to take notice and prepare accordingly.

I’ve had some in the preparedness community accuse me of fear-mongering or vilifying the left. I’m not, I’m objectively reporting the facts and giving preparedness advice based on those facts. I’m sorry if the fact is that one side is doing most of the violence and it’s not the one the media & government warns about. I can’t help that.

Pretending that this isn’t happening won’t help anyone. Neither will trying to “stay under the radar” or “going along to get along”. If you think it will, I recommend watching Doctor Zhivago.

This bring us to today’s Tactical Wisdom, which I’ve shared before:

then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head.

Ezekiel 33:4

Try to warn people, but if they don’t listen, it’s on them. Do what you can to help your family and your tribe.

But what can we do? With the threat of more and more damaging cyber attacks and random but targeted violence, we can do a few things:

  1. Develop a personal protection plan that may include a firearm and other options.
  3. Keep your vehicles topped off every day. Our friends in the East learned this lesson the hard way when hackers shut off the fuel supply.
  4. Buy and freeze extra meat products. The hack is over, but the supply chain issues that were already in place before the hack have not been resolved and are in fact worse now.
  5. In light of the cell phone and internet outages this week, update your communication plans and keep a UHF/VHF or CB/HF radio with you at all times with planned contacts.
  6. Subscribe to the Forward Observer service (it’s cheap and no, Mike doesn’t give me a penny, I just believe in it) at
  7. Check open sources like Facebook and Twitter for planned protest activity every day.
  8. Keep a Get Home Bag and a change of clothes in your car at all times.
  9. Increase your alert level to Orange.

If you’d like to help us produce great content and our second book, Fieldcraft, please donate to our blog.


Donation – TW – June 2021

Donation to develop Volume 2 Fieldcraft



Published by JD

I am the author of the Tactical Wisdom Series. I am a personal protection specialist and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. I conduct preparedness and self-defense training.

2 thoughts on “Condition Orange

  1. JD-

    First-Time Reader here, and this is an Excellent ‘makes you Think’ article. Most of the “Tactical Preparedness”
    writing is all about ‘what to carry’ and the Variety of Opinions as to that are near-infinite. Yours is the first one I’ve ever seen that asks the question “How Ready Are You?” in the sense of “At any given Moment, are you able to Respond to any kind of ‘Emergency’, major or minor?”

    You made an Excellent observation about “Being Dressed” even at Home; your comment that people go Out wearing only Shorts, Flip-Flops and T-shirts is On-Target. Also remember the Saying, “Keep your Clothes and your Weapons where you can Find them in the Dark”. I Wake Up and put on the Pants and Shirt on the Chair next to the Bed, that also has a holstered .45ACP hanging from it – After that, while I may wander about the House in Bunny Slippers, I Never even go out on the Porch without putting on Boots – and whatever else is Weather-Appropriate.

    The Main Point that you make is that “Emergencies” always seem to happen Suddenly, and how quickly one can Respond, using only what is within reach, becomes Critical, more than “How much Stuff do you have Stored in the Basement/Garage/Shed, etc. It made me Think About how well is my ‘Stuff’ stored and distributed- at Home and in Vehicles, I have plenty of stuff for “Emergencies” but now I realize that most of it is “Stored” as opposed to being “Positioned for Use” as you have pointed out. At Least, the two Primary Vehicles I use every Day are equipped with enough Food, Weapons, Clothing and Gear for a couple Days’ of operations.

    Afterthought: If, once you finally get back to your home, it would take you 8-12 hours to load up those supplies to move to a back-up location, are you really ready?

    >THIS< Is worth some Serious Thought for anyone who THINKS they are 'prepared for SHTF'.
    Most people who have a reasonable amount of Food, Gear, Guns, Ammo, etc. at Home don't Think about this, as they 'plan' on 'Bugging In' for the duration of the 'Emergency'. What if you can't "Bug In?" Fires, Floods, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Alien Invasions (from Mars, not Mexico), Nuclear 'Accidents', etc. There are any number of possible scenarios where staying in your Location is going to get you Killed, before you get to open the first stale MRE.

    IF you are "Well Stocked" with Everything you (think) you Need for an extended period of "Chaos", three Questions need to be Asked – and Good Answers figured out BEFORE you need to Answer them.

    1. WHAT Supplies and Gear do you need to take?

    2. HOW MUCH can your Vehicle Carry?

    3. HOW LONG does it take to Select and Load these Items?

    (Note that I don't bring up Where are you "Bugging Out" to- that is a Tactical Problem, this is Logistics)

    My illustration for this is, as a Child, our Family lived 400 Road Miles from the rest of the Relatives. Most of the Time, visiting them was by Station Wagon; less than half the driving distance was by Interstate or 'Turnpike' Highways. That meant that Rollout was at 0600 to arrive in the Evening. Packing Suitcases and Duffle Bags took My Mother and I half the Day. When My Father came Home from work, He spent 3 Hours dropping the Clamshell Carrier from the garage ceiling to the Roof, clamping it down, and then Loading Everything. The Wagon ALWAYS came Home with Full Fuel. In the Morning, Mom got up at 0500 to fix Breakfast and Pack Lunch and Snacks for the Trip. Dad did a Final Check of the Wagon, and My Sister 'slept in', usually still Asleep when put in to the Car Crib. Engine Start was 0550, and we were out of the Subdivision a few Minutes later.

    This wasn't any sort of 'Emergency Displacement', just a Trip where we needed to start at Dawn in order to arrive at the Destination at a reasonable Time of Day. It illustrates the Need to be way 'Ahead of the Curve' in Deciding to Move from an Impending Threat.

    Liked by 1 person

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