We prepare for all sorts of situations, and presently most of us are worried about a potential hack taking down the electrical grid or some type of mass civil disorder, right up to a potential second civil war. You know I frequently talk about second and third order effects, and the potential for a fire without fire department support is a third order effect.
We all need to consider fire-fighting preparations, particularly those who intend to bug in and remain in their urban homes. You can take all kinds of fire prevention precautions, but if a civil disturbance comes along, one Molotov cocktail through a window puts an end to prevention.
Even the Ultimate Tactical Handbook warns about fire:
“Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire?
Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”
For civil disorder preparedness, you can attach wire mesh to 2×4’s (who can afford those??), to be mounted over the outside of your windows in high risk periods. This would prevent thrown objects from entering the windows. Also, just keeping your yard clear of combustibles is vital. Have you considered how you store the gasoline for your lawnmower? That, too, needs to be secured.
Certainly, the old adage about filling all tubs and sinks with water applies here. Additionally, you could stage buckets throughout the house full of water, as well as staging fire extinguishers.
For that matter, you should consider having a fire extinguisher in each car for general preparedness anyway. I came across a car fire just the other day, and having an extinguisher can be a great help.
Smoke inhalation is a cause of many fire deaths. A full respirator can help reduce the damage, for short periods. Having one on hand is not a bad idea. Even an NBC surplus mask can help.
Check all your first aid kits and make sure that they all contain burn treatment options. It’s frequently overlooked and if the fire and rescue teams are overwhelmed, you will need to treat these injuries yourself. Having proper burn supplies can help prevent secondary injuries and infections as well.
As long as you have water service, have your outdoor hose attached and ready. An adjustable nozzle with a fog setting is helpful.
Consider buying at least one fire blanket. They have become very affordable and it could be staged in your kitchen for daily preparedness, and staged where you need it in the event of civil disorder, like whatever room you’re in. Keeping one in your car is never a bad idea either.
Understand where all of your shutoff’s are for your house as well. Being able to quickly shut off the electricity and gas service can keep a bad situation from getting worse. If service becomes sporadic, turn off at least the gas, to reduce the risk of explosion.
Staging shovels and axes for fire fighting is a good idea as well.
If a neighbor’s house catches fire, immediately begin wetting down your house to prevent it from spreading. If you have more than one adult, one of you could assist the neighbor with evacuation, while the other wets down the outside and roof of your house.
In a full collapse, your entire neighborhood will need to develop a neighborhood fire-fighting plan, because one fire can wipe out the whole neighborhood, and if the fire department can’t come or will be significantly delayed, you’ll need to do something. That’s exactly the way it was throughout the world until relatively recently; everyone in town banded together to fight a fire.
Keep in mind also that you will need to maintain a separate fire-fighting water supply that is not used for anything else. Consider also staging some outside around the house. Seriously, you can never have too many buckets or barrels of water around, can you?
To recap, no matter what your are preparing for, fire is going to be a serious threat if there is no fire department responding and you need to plan for it. You also need to develop a neighborhood response plan.
Book Series Update
We are down to the final 3-4 chapters of TW-02 Fieldcraft. They are longer chapters, but the plan is to have them written by the end of the week. Then editing will wrap up a few days after that. If you’d like to help us finish up production, please consider donating below.
Donation – June 2021
Donation to book project