With the chaotic pace of world events and the rampant speed of the collapse we seem to be hurtling towards, it’s easy to lose focus and miss things. As the next big headline drops, we can be so surprised by it that we forget to take basic precautions or to continue to prepare. What we can do to combat this is to establish routines.
Routines are daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly tasks that we do to make sure we stay on top of our preparations and situational awareness.
Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves.
First, however, you must heed the above Tactical Wisdom and do an Area Study. That’s a review of your local area to identify your biggest threats and risks from all sources specific to your local area and develop a plan to address them. For more information, check out our friends at Forward Observer.
Two weeks ago, we were told of an “alleged” leak of an FBI memo, identifying nearly everyone to the right of Mao Tse Tung a “Militia Violent Extremist”. It said that anyone who referenced the American Revolution, the Gadsden flag, held pro-Constitution beliefs, or who supported the Second Amendment, was potentially an extremist. They seemed to be targeting two individuals as well. The called out Mike Glover’s American Contingency network as a militia with a “low history of violence” (they have NO history of violence). They also said that using the “Resistor” imagery from electrical engineering was a sign of extremism, and only ONE person uses that logo, my friend NC Scout. I’m going to wear his T-Shirt tomorrow.
After the raid on Mar-A-Lago, the FBI again warned us to “watch out” for violent extremists, and almost immediately, we had 2 highly suspect attacks in which the “violent extremists” killed exactly no one but themselves. On the 12th, the FBI released a Joint Intelligence Bulletin warning police that anyone who is unhappy about the raid on “certain subjects in West Palm Beach” may be planning attacks.
In that bulletin, with no supporting evidence whatsoever, the FBI stated that suspects had threatened to plant a “dirty bomb” at FBI HQ in Washington. This comes as NYC and LA have been running ads about how to survive a nuclear attack.
In light of all of this, I have decided to share my daily and weekly routines with you all, hoping that it can help you. Combining these routines with your own OPSEC practices, like using a SLNT Faraday Dry Bag for your phone and “communications tablet”, can help you be a bit more prepared and aware.
- Local News: Check 2 or 3 different local news sites for traffic, weather, and major criminal event news reports.
- Social Media: Run a quick check of the social media pages of known local agitators, criminal elements, or controversial activist groups to know what they have planned, so that you can plan around them.
- Email Reporting: I always check for emails from my Mutual Assistance Group members and other allies, as well as reading the Daily SA report from Forward Observer (it’s $9.99 a month and worth 10 times that). I also check to see if S2 Underground has put out any new ‘Daily Intelligence Update’ videos, which are very detailed briefings.
- News Check: I check Twitter and the news feeds from large news organizations to look for national events that may affect preparedness or travel. For example, a Presidential visit to your town will impact your travel plans. I check on tensions with China, the Russo-Ukrainian War, etc.
- Radios: I make sure that my radios are on. I monitor the AmRRON “Persistent Presence Net” for early warnings. This is a digital HF net that requires no license to receive and will give you digital mode (text) information from all over the country, if you are a member. I also have my GMRS radio turned on to a local repeater used by a local preparedness group. I also turn on CB Radio because truckers are a great source of traffic information. Lastly, I have my business team radio turned on each morning. I also monitor area police agencies on a digital trunking scanner.
Throughout the day:
- Monitor/Check Everbridge: Everbridge/Nixle is a service that local police & fire departments across the country use to communicate with the public. In addition to their website with a map listing active alerts, you can subscribe to text message alerts. I have mine set to the entire state for situational awareness.
- Breaking News Alerts: I have several websites set up to send me alerts in case anything happens.
- Network Member Checks: Each day, I check in personally with 3 or 4 members of my “member check” network across the nation. We share any information that we are hearing about the political/unrest environment.
- Store Visits: Every day, during my travels, I visit 2-3 grocery stores in various areas to check on product availability, pricing, and purchase limits. This gives you the best picture over time of the effects of inflation.
- Get gas nightly: Every evening, even if it’s only $5 worth, I top off the gas tank. If you do this every day, you are not only ensuring that you get gas, you are also “dollar-cost-averaging” gasoline, which means that you end up paying less over time than average.
- News Checks: Yes, again.
- Google Alerts: I have several of these set for business purposes and they are simple to do. Start with keywords like your local town name plus “PROTEST” or “ARMED ROBBERY”. They will send you links to news stories about the topic each day.
- Device Maintenance: Each night, I ensure that all radios, tablets, laptops, and power banks are being charged.
- Weapon Checks: Each night, check on the positions of all defensive weapons in your home. If you have firearms, check the status of ALL owned firearms, every night. I check on every defensive or tactical knife, my Korean Martial Arts sticks (Ssang Bong), my sword (yes, maybe the Ninjas will attack), and my bayonet. Whatever you have, before you go to sleep, make sure you know where it is.
- Update Intel files: I keep an intel notebook where I write summaries of what I learn during the day, and I maintain a database on a flash drive that is searchable. I update every night and look for trends.
- Self-Directed Training: Learn something about preparedness skills each day. For example, each day right now I am currently reading one chapter of The Last Hundred Yards. Each chapter is one small-unit skill set. Learn daily.
- Email updates: Each night I do a second round of email and social media checks.
- Food: Each week, I buy a few more cans or pouches of food for the emergency stash. I also rotate out things that are nearing expiration for use so that it doesn’t go to waste. This also allows dollar-cost-averaging so that over time, you pay less for food than buying once a month or quarter.
- Bag Checks: I check each bag to make sure that it is fully stocked, seasonally appropriate, and still relevant given local conditions. For example, if I’m on lockdown due to covid, I don’t need a Get Home Bag.
- Area Study Review & Update: Check for local crime stats and incidents, as well as reviewing your intelligence files to update your Area Study and make any needed changes.
- Local/State Transportation Agency Check: Every week, check your county and state transportation/highway agencies to see what construction is planned or on-going so that you can update your plans. Your cool plan is worth nothing if your escape route is closed.
- Device Updates: Update local copies of maps on your phone or tablet each week. These enable you to use the GPS features on your phone or tablet without a cell network connection.
- “War Driving”: Once a week, drive a different area that is either nearby or near an area you frequent (like your work). During this drive, have a tablet set up searching for open WiFi networks. If you need to make secure communications one day from somewhere other than your house, knowing where open WiFi can be found in a hurry can be vital. Remember to only connect to these with your anonymous non-Android tablet.
- Know Yourself: Know where you are honestly on the physical side. I admit that despite the work I put in, I’m nowhere near where I should be. Be honest first.
- Do SOMETHING: The biggest thing you can do today to improve fitness is to get off the couch and do SOMETHING. It’s better than what you are doing now.
- Be Incremental: Don’t get discouraged if you don’t start at 50 push-ups in a minute. Start where you are and do a little more each day. I’m currently on a program to get to 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups, and 200 squats a day. But I didn’t START there. Zen Labs has apps for this.
- Do Combatives: Combatives means martial arts. I don’t care what style (Ok, anything but Tae Kwon Do or Capoeira), just do some martial arts training. Having some type of unarmed skill can save your life. Relying only on firearms isn’t realistic. Martial arts also develops cardio and a warrior spirit. I’ve got black belt degrees in Tang Soo Do (multiple levels, actually) and Krav Maga and I am currently studying Hapkido. I also studied Marine Corps Martial Arts before it was cool.
- Other Weapons: I also recommend other weapon training besides just firearms. I teach several different knife and stick seminars, because those are very practical weapons that most people either carry or could find virtually anywhere. Bo staff skills aren’t bad to learn either (think about broom and mop handles).
I hope that these routines and ideas help you out. Later, we will discuss the most important outdoor skills to practice regularly (yes, Mark Sibley and I struggled recently to build a campfire with wet wood – there was whisky involved).
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