I can’t help but think that the Biden Administration is pushing us closer and closer to the edge of ruin. His latest idea of double capital gains taxes on the rich (who do most of the investing) will likely cause a significant drop in the stock market as people liquidate positions this year to avoid paying double taxes next year. On top of that, he’s weak on the international stages and his foreign policy will potentially embroil us in another war before his term in office is over. Then there’s the mess he’s making of our society by embracing socialism, and going where no president since FDR has gone to force his policies upon the American People against their will.
I had hoped Joe Biden would be “more of the same,” meaning just like every other mealy-mouthed Democrat and a good many of the Republicans who over promise and under deliver. Instead of being a president who accomplishes little or nothing, he’s caving into the far left and pandering to the Socialists. He seems to fully support demonetizing the police, punishing people who create jobs, and turning what’s left of our free market into a highly-regulated, government-controlled market doomed to failure.
I’m starting to worry about our future. Over-taxation is one of the top precursors to revolution, and aggressive socialism usually leads to economic collapse, eventually. Both of these outcomes lead to a collapse of the government and our complex system. That spells trouble for the country and its population. You think we have social unrest now? Wait until things fall apart and there is no veneer of civilization holding people back. Blood will flow in the streets.
Time to Prep
I look at the above and my brain screams, “It’s time to prep some more!”
As I discussed earlier this week, I’ve got water and shelter covered. I’m working on food, and I expect to continue to work on food until the last trucks roll to a stop.
Thanks to my location and background, I’m in decent shape on security and self-defense. I’m better than many on medical, but far from ideal. I’m building community, slowly. I’ve got hand tools and gardening equipment, but I wish I had solar power. I’d still like to get a large enough dog that would be a deterrent and an early warning system.
I think there’s still time to prepare. I don’t see an immediate collapse where you wake up and the country is at war. The collapse will happen slowly at first and then build up speed faster and faster. Those of us who don’t walk around oblivious to what is happening in the world will see the end coming and be able to make some last minute preps. I just hope my kids, their significant others, and my prepper pals can all show up before travel becomes too dangerous or is shut down by government emergency declarations and curfews.
A One-year Time Table
Here’s an exercise to consider: If you knew that in one year the country would collapse, the utilities would fail, fuel would stop being refined and distributed, the dollar would have no value, the banks would close, many of our cities would burn, and neighbors would be shooting at each other, what would you do to prepare between now and then?
Here are a few suggestions:
Prepare Yourself Personally
Go to the dentist, get your teeth cleaned and get fillings on anything that looks like a potential cavity. You don’t want to be pulling a tooth with the rusty pliers in your tool box if you can avoid it.
Then go to the doctor and get a full checkup. If you need any surgery or procedures you’ve been putting off, get it done now. You probably won’t have access to modern medicine after a collapse.
Then have your eyes checked and update your prescription if you wear glasses. Get two pairs of prescription lenses and make sure at least one is polycarbonate with a scratch resistant coating. This way you will have a back-up pair in case one breaks.
If you have just turned 40 and never wore glasses, buy some 1.25 and 1.5 power reading glasses because you may need them before things get back to normal.
Get in shape, especially aerobically. In a post-SHTF scenario, you may be performing more physical labor than you ever have before. That means lose weight, walk and work up to jogging or running. Some weight lifting can’t hurt.
Decide Where you will Weather the Storm
Make a concrete plan defining where you will spend the period after the collapse and who you will be spending it with. If you don’t own the property where you plan to head, make sure you have buy-in from the owners/residents. Then consider pre-positioning supplies there. For an idea of what I am talking about, look back at what we had stored at our retreat. Consider that a starting point.
Once you determine who else will be there, have a discussion with them about roles. When you visit for a weekend, you may be a guest and your hosts probably cook all the meals. But when you move in for the duration, you go from short-term guest to long-term guest. You need to have a role and step into it so you don’t over-stay you welcome. Make sure you meet everyone involved and can get along with them and work with them. You may be stuck in tight quarters for a long time.
Determine who’s in charge. What are they in charge of? What’s the command structure? Is there a tactical leader? A quartermaster to ensure supplies are not being waster? Do you vote to decide big issues, or does the leader tell everyone what to do? Maybe you discuss broad decisions, but in a tactical situation one person is in charge when things go kinetic. There are lots of ways to organize, so better to have some idea before things get to involved.
Plan to Work with Others
Set some rules. For example, if they expect you to show up with one other person and are provisioned for that, don’t show up with four friends, even if they would be useful. If that is a possibility, get buy in beforehand, plan for it, and prepare for it. Where will they sleep? What will they eat? Do they know what they are getting into? If your buddy’s wife is a whiny vegetarian who hates guns and won’t sleep in a hammock or a cot in a room with three other people, then you are better off finding that out before you invite them to join you.
For example, if a doctor friend wanted to show up at our place with his 15 and 18-year-old-boys, I’d let him, but they’d probably be sleeping in hammocks on the deck all summer and in sleeping bags on the basement floor all winter. We are that cramped for space.
Coordinate your prepping so you all use the same calibers and, better yet, have interchangeable magazines. Split up responsibilities so the person who is a doctor or nurse preps medical supplies and the green thumb who grew up on a farm and has always had a garden is in charge of buying seeds and gardening supplies. Otherwise you’ll find that you have seed packets that grow best in zones 6 through 8 even though you’re in zone 4. Some duplication is good, but even better is compatibility and overlap. One guy shows up with a single AR but has 24 magazines and 5,000 rounds of ammo. Someone else shows up with two ARs but only two magazines and 300 rounds each. That’s a complimentary overlap.
Build Useful Skills
Look at what useful skills you can add to your repertoire in the next year. I’m not talking about getting a Microsoft certification but something useful after the collapse, like taking an EMS course, becoming a master gardener, or planting a home garden. You could learn to can, which would not only be a valuable resource but allow you to build up a stockpile of stored foods. Take a gunsmithing course and buy the tools you will need, or learn to reload and stock up on components. Learn blacksmithing skills. Take up sewing. Even basket weaving could be useful in a post-SHTF scenario. Take up archery or buy a crossbow and lots of bolts and practices until you are highly proficient.
As you build your skills and experience, also invest in the tools you need to get the job done. Being a skilled seamstress won’t do you much good if you shop up at your uncles country house only to learn that he has only one needle and two spools of thread. Then research how your skillset compares to 100 or 150 years ago, and make sure you have the hand tools you need to perform as it was the late 1800s.
Perhaps one of the most useful skills would be primitive living and all that goes with it, from harvesting wild foods to knowing how to butcher and tan animals
Build your Self-Defense Skills
It’s easy to stockpile guns and ammo, but having the skills and the ability to use them under fire is a whole other level. Build those skills now so their lack doesn’t get you killed in your first firefight. Consider going to a three-to five-day shooting class for pistol with a nationally-recognized trainer and then moving on to a carbine class and/or a precision rifle class. Then shoot some competitions to put your new skills to work and iron out any bugs.
If you live in or plan to bugout to a wooded or mountainous area, scout the area. Look at maps of the area and then drive up and down every road. Hike the immediate area. Take your buddies and prepper friends. Treat it like a patrol.
Prepare To Defend Your Enclave
Look for places where you would establish an ambush and subsequent positions where you could fall back if you were under fire. Establish rally points. Identify locations where the terrain forces people into a funnel and figure out how to best defend that location. Find places to put a look out or a sniper. Think about where to stash back up supplies in case you are over run and make a written list so you can implement this plan when the SHTF.
Prepare range cards for the area so you don’t have to estimate how far off a target is during a high-stress situation. Then sight-in your gun and write down the scope clicks for each 50 yards out to your maximum shooting distance and tape it to your stock. That way you won’t forget under pressure. Prepare water-proof ammo cans with loaded rifle magazines, a monocular or small pair of binoculars, and maybe a flare gun so you can light up the night if someone approaches. Then position these in critical locations so you don’t have to worry about resupply in a lengthy engagement.
Prepare signal devices that you can set up around your area of operations to make sure someone doesn’t sneak upon you or your lookout. There are commercial devices that can fire a 12-gauge shell or a .22 blank as a warning, but you can also use tin cans with rocks in them on a string. Identify places to string up wire or fishing line to trip or injure assaulters.
I think you get the idea. Prep like you mean it.