Country Living Series

Friday, June 5, 2015

Response to concerns by an urbanite: Part 1

In response to my last blog post on the Seven Core Areas of Preparedness, a self-described "urbanite" poster wrote the following respectful comments, which I believe are important to address:

Let me begin by saying I am not a prepper. I have no expertise in this area at all. However, some of the blogs I enjoy do occasionally cover the topic (yours, for example) and I continually see what I believe is a huge blind spot. Unless you grow your food in an underground hot house (which would require a lot of electricity for grow lights and fans), it is planted in a garden somewhere on your property. You can hide yourself, but not your garden. Are you going to take your beef herd into your house with you? In any long-term crisis situation, your cattle and garden will be indefensible and therefore gone in a matter of months. You cannot protect them from a determined large, armed group and still graze them every day. Sure, you could butcher all of them, but there goes your long-term sustainability. Same with the garden. One raid and your entire year's worth of food is gone. Do you honestly believe you will be able to protect a garden plot (large enough to supply your family with a year's worth of food) for an entire growing season? As an urbanite, I know that millions and millions of people will head for the less populated areas of this country. They will travel in large groups for safety and they will be armed to the teeth. They will not worry about "Will the locals welcome you?" They will do whatever it takes to survive, which likely will include murdering "the locals" for their resources. You cannot run without abandoning your food (growing or canned). You cannot hide your food and produce it at the same time. It will become "survival of the most ruthless." So as you're teaching your daughters to fire their assault rifles, have you talked to them about the fact that in a true survival situation, it will be human beings they'll be shooting? Are you "prepping" them for that? It wouldn't take a very large group for you to be outnumbered and then either pinned down inside while all your outdoor food is stolen, or overrun completely. What then? It seems to me that any prepper scenario only works if you're willing to kill others to survive, and even then only until the canned goods hold out. The minute you have to plant and tend a garden, you (and your food) will be sitting ducks. I realize this post must sound really hostile, but it isn't meant to be. I'm just curious about whether preppers think about these eventualities, and what's the plan then?

He later followed up with another comment:

Thanks to all of you for your respectful, considered responses. I appreciate the dialog. I would just caution you not to underestimate the urbanites. We may not know how to butcher a hog properly, but that won't stop the thieves from taking it. I also truly believe you vastly underestimate the sheer numbers you will face. What will one family, even one community, do against literally hundreds of armed marauders? Yes, you may hide until they pass, but your resources will be pillaged. Livestock, barns, hay, tools, machinery, vehicles, fencing, lumber, food, anything left behind will not be there when you return. And as I said, no one seems to have any plan for hiding the food while you grow it. That is the weak link in the food chain. Sooner or later your stockpile will run out (or be taken from you) and producing more means growing it or raising it. You'll have just a few months of growing season to produce enough food for a year. That takes a large garden area. It might be a very enlightening experiment to try to grow enough food to feed your family for one year. Even without any pressure from thieves, it is a daunting and sizable task. And when you add the need to produce the food your food eats (hay, chicken feed, etc.), the job seems impossible, especially if there are bands of marauders you must somehow protect it from day and night. I hear the sentiment that you feel you must try, you must plan to do something. But it seems like you need to rethink the idea that you will be able to continue to produce/grow what you will need. In the end, it will be the very reality that you ARE rural (and therefore relatively sparsely populated) that will be your biggest problem. There will simply be far more of them than of you. Each farm, or ranch, or homestead will make its stand, but I think the overwhelming numbers will win out. They will have time and the odds on their side. They don't have to win every single time, you do.

These are all valid questions and concerns, and it just so happens it’s something on which my husband has given a great deal of thought. So he wrote the following in response:

Hi Anonymous June 3:

My name is Don and I'm Patrice's husband.

You've asked some very important questions, and since these questions and others in the same vein have long been on my mind, I decided to take the opportunity to answer them for you as best as I can. The questions you ask are more in my line of thought rather than Patrice's. Over many years of marriage, we naturally gravitated to those areas closest to our own areas of interest and inclination. She's the "quartermaster" of our home, while security is more my bailiwick.

First off, not knowing much about your own situation or experiences, but believing you are asking these questions with an honest heart, I'll respond in kind. As I don't know your gender, and writing out "Anonymous June 3" every time is too much work, I'll call you Terry. I hope that is okay with you.

Terry, it seems to me that you do not have a clear grasp of the differences between urban and truly rural living. So let me give you a general outline of the geographical conditions that the many thousands of rural preppers live under.

Our little homestead is located between an incredibly large area of farms and ranches on one side and the upper foothills of a very sparsely-occupied range of mountains on the other. We are forty miles as the crow flies from any moderate sized urban area (considerably farther in you figure it in road miles). Even those "local" urban centers are isolated, surrounded by places similar to where we live. There is nothing even remotely like a "metroplex" within many hundreds of miles of us.

Of greater importance with respect to security is the fact that we are also surrounded by thousands of others who think and prep like us. These are multi-generational farmers and ranchers and loggers and foresters who have known each other all their lives. They are related to each other. They attend the same churches, the same fraternal organizations. They know their neighbors. They know the thousands of acres around them like the backs of their hands.

Every one of them we know keeps a large store of preserved food on hand simply because stores are usually a ways off and shopping is often a monthly exercise. They all have plentiful supplies of fuel, tools, and heavy machinery. They have wells, cisterns, ponds and running streams passing through their land. Nearly every one of them has a fireplace or wood stove that they use regularly, either as a secondary or primary heating source.

They also, each and every one of them, have weapons. Weapons they know how to use. Weapons they practice with. Weapons they hunt with all year round on the lands they know so well.

Let's compare this with modern urbanites. Folks come and go. People in urban environments typically move about. Family members rarely live near each other. Most people in an apartment complex or suburb have little or no idea of who lives next to them. No one keeps any appreciable amount of food because the grocery stores are close at hand and restaurants are plentiful, and people in the cities spend less time at home when compared to their country cousins. Most city folk don't have any source of water other than their tap. They heat with electricity or gas – both of which are delivered to them by an "on-demand" system. They have little-to-no fuel storage, little-to-no tools, and relatively little in the way of weaponry. They certainly don't have the same degree of experience in weapons practice or use as rural dwellers.

So Terry, in the long-term crisis you mention, I expect to have very little to worry about from my friends and neighbors. You see, we go to those same churches. I'm an active member of a local fraternal organization, and in the relatively small population of my area, I know most everyone, including the county commissioners (I buy hay from one of them). I know the sheriff and his deputies. I know my neighbors (every Sunday we have a pot luck dinner with our nearest ones). I don't have to hide my garden or my cattle from my neighbors because they have gardens and livestock too. If things ever do go off the tracks, we'll be right were we already are now: helping each other, worshiping with each other, sharing our food, our tools, and our time with each other. And we'll be defending each other as well. I'm not too worried about being raided by them.

But what about the "millions and millions of people" headed our way, traveling "in large groups for safety" and "armed to the teeth"? That's the real problem, isn't it?

I'll answer that in a future post. I have to get to work now.

Cheers, Don

88 comments:

  1. Don, Great response so far. I can't wait to see the rest. I have to go work on my rural, isolated, well stocked and armed home now and will be thinking about what my response would be.

    Carl in the UP

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    1. I also live in a rural area (on 20+ acres) and one considerably more fertile than the UP. Here as in the UP there will always be locals who run out of food in a month. Ever been in any bar in any local village? The guys who keep the local deputies busy? Those are the guys you have to worry about, not the ones from a metroplex. None of us can guard our homes from the random hungry people who arrive silently at 4 in the morning and wait in hiding for us to come out and do our morning chores.

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    2. I disagree. We CAN guard our homes and there are many ways to do so. We own 3 large dogs. They do a great job of keeping away undesirable wild critters, 4-legged AND 2-legged! And we're always armed whenever we go outside for any reason. --Fred in AZ

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  2. This is interesting. We also live in a very rural area. My husband's thought on this is "they have to find us". Living two hours from any larger center, will people immediately think, " we have to go find a farm to raid" or will they wait and expect the "government" to fix the problem and continue to look after them. I am sure that the government will be promising that this is just short term to try and pacify the masses. By the time that those masses figure out that the government can't do anything, will the masses have the resources to reach the further out rural areas? I am not sure, but I don't think so. The only people that will get out are the ones that prepared before hand. Then, as previously mentioned, they have to have an idea of where to go. Just my thought.

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    1. I think the government will pacify people too, and part of that will include forcing them to stay put in those large metropolitan areas or rounding them up on buses and taking them to camps to be fed and taken care of. Remember Katrina and all those that didn't leave? Nothing will be much different than that.
      sidetracksusie

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  3. You are very polite to the urbanite who is living in a fantasy.

    In 'an event', the supermarkets and gas stations are emptied in 48 hours. Urbanites hunker down, "knowing" all will be restored. When food is low, they start moving out... only they've got on average maybe 100 miles of gas, no funds (no bank ATMs online), and the vibrants start rioting.

    Course, 100 miles of gas is irrelevant, since they'll spend most of it idling in congestion of a max exodus.

    Millions of urbanites without food, gas, and money and still within the 'burbs of a major city are going to unite together to hike even 50 miles in harmony? Please.

    It's orders of magnitude more likely that the cities will enjoy a real-life Hunger Games than it is that the 5th Avenue crowd is going to capture an intact homestead.

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  4. Great piece, Don. I look forward to the next part.

    I think Anonymous at 7:12 has it right.

    Further, I suspect the curfews and patrols in urban areas would be such that folks would have a heck of a time getting out to the countryside even if they were so inclined.

    Personally, and based on stories from old timers who lived through the worst of the 'Great Depression' and the murderous hell unleashed on the German people by their own government in WW2, I think the government itself will be our worst problem, as I think they will be looking to confiscate any and every thing they can from those who have the means to sustain themselves.

    We live near a small community a couple of hours from a city, and there's one road in and one road out of here, through terrain that is steep and for the most part impenetrable. They'd play hell getting out here and once here they would be in for a very rude awakening as they tried to get further up into the surrounding areas where we live.

    Yes, desperate people would be a serious concern, but a desperate government would be a worse danger, imo.

    Thanks for this valuable and much appreciated discussion, everyone.

    A. Mc Sp

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    1. With parents who lived through the Depression and WWII and having German friends who lived through as much in Europe, I have to confirm your assertions regarding desperate government. Being on a farm had its assets.... for a time. But often being the farmer meant one was regularly and very pointedly visited.

      Back then, entire squadrons of aircraft, tanks, etc were swathed in camo to keep enemy recognizance from seeing what was on the ground. Today, we have drones and satellites getting far more info than what is necessary for googlemap.

      If there is a food shortage, those with the information and the means to take what they want, will eat. It's only a matter of time.

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    2. " If there is a food shortage, those with the information and the means to take what they want, will eat. It's only a matter of time. "

      Yep. Sad to say, but you're correct.

      " But often being the farmer meant one was regularly and very pointedly visited."

      I had to cringe when I read that line, remembering some of the experiences my friends and family have shared.

      A now elderly German friend's father was taken into the yard and shot dead in front of his wife and children. Their home and small business were then occupied by German troops that had killed him and the surviving family were forced to work and provide for them, literally as slaves. This was a protestant German family.

      One family member tells of the "government men" coming to their farm with bulldozers and rifles, and digging a pit into which they drove half the family's cattle, because they had "too many" as defined by then newly enacted federal rules. They shot them and covered over the pit.

      It's important to never ever underestimate the potential evil of one's own government, no matter what the country.

      A. McSp

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    3. This is why it is so very important to teach actual history and not social studies. History repeats itself with nauseating regularity as times change, but people don't. Despite the best of intentions.

      My German's friends lament at ages 90+, "Why would anyone want to ruin such a beautiful country," in speaking of the United States to which they fled to rebuild their lives and amass a stellar library worthy of the Smithsonian, a library steadily shipped back to Germany to replace that which had been burned. But even they can see it - why? - because they have lived it before.

      That said, the greatest preparation is being daily prepared to die a good death with a clear conscience in the knowledge that one did all that one could do while one had the gift of time.

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    4. Amen, Patty.

      You're the kind of neighbor I'd be proud and confident to stand shoulder to shoulder with if things ever went cattywampus.

      A. McSp

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  5. Hey I have a question for you. What about ammo? We cannot
    get any here in Montana for our .22. yes I have a few rounds
    stored up, but I am hoping that my parents can get some this
    week end In post falls, Idaho. Is this hard to get other types of
    ammo? And my parents are not likely will be able to get it
    because I talked out with the store yesterday.
    Blessings
    Debby

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    1. I have not been able to find it for years, Debby...........since shortly after the Presidential election before this past one.......Natokadn

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    2. To be honest, Debby, I don't think of .22s as "ammo." 22 long rifle rounds are scarce right now, but not most other handgun ammo, as well as rifle ammo. 22s are fun for plinking and hunting small game, but for protection you need something with better stopping power: 38 special, 357 magnum, 44 magnum, 9mm or 40 S&W calibers are much better suited for self-defense than 22s. --Fred in AZ

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    3. Fred,
      .22 LR is certainly ammo, as it is fired from a gun. It CAN kill you, and to trivialize it makes using it a safety risk. Beyond that, I feel it will be important when things go sideways. It is excellent for hunting small game...and could be used in a pinch to hunt animals up to the size of deer or larger with a well placed shot. With virtually zero recoil, it can be used by anyone from a very small child to the sick, infirm, disabled, or elderly...people who may not have the ability to handle a larger caliber, much less a handgun. Due to the low recoil, it is also much easier to shoot multiple rounds quickly and accurately than with a larger caliber...especially for people who haven't trained extensively with firearms. It has a very low report for firearm ammo, which helps keep the noise from travelling long distances, alerting others to your presence and location. It is also incredibly small and light in comparison to larger rounds, allowing you to carry many more rounds while conserving space and weight. While not ideal for protection, it does work...especially when considering the deterrent effect it has on all but the most aggressive attacker. I had read an article regarding lethality in standard handgun rounds that was interesting...Just googled and found an article on the subject...may even be the original one I read (http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power). The stats shown definitely make a case for the .22's capability as a defensive round...especially given the ease of use. Putting shots accurately on target is critical in a defensive situation...using a round that makes it easy, versus one that is difficult to control could be the difference between life and death. While it certainly wouldn't be my first choice for self defense, it is a viable round...and certainly better than none at all.

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    4. You can kill small game, some larger game and people with well placed air rifle pellets. I think there was a Finnish warrior who gave the Nazi's a terrible time doing just that. We aren't counting on doing that, but it's a good quiet way to kill a rabbit, squirrel or a small deer (witnessed it by accident).

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    5. With the technology they are putting into common air rifles today...I don't doubt it in the slightest! 20 years ago I had a Chinese bottom break air rifle that would put pellets THROUGH the side of the metal cable TV junction box in the backyard.

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  6. I did a post on the so called urban looting masses a while back. I ran the numbers from the St. Louis metro area and then dispersed them into the countryside. Using demographics and standard population groups from the census bureau and accounting for age, sex, average numbers of handicapped, chronically ill, obese etc. The actual number of able bodied looters quickly became a fraction of the overall population of the metro area. The final breakdown came out to less than 1 looter per 5 square mile area that I assigned as the possible St. Louis metro looting zone. I think I went about 200 miles out into Missouri, and Illinois.

    When you then took into account the number of rural households, average food stuff loot a group could expect, attrition from even 1 out of 10 households fighting back with a casualty rate of 1 out of 10. The numbers pretty much dictate that without an unlimited supply of fuel for transportation there is no way a group of looters can survive. The risk v. reward numbers don't work out even just figuring in scattered piecemeal resistance against looting. If you take into account actual rural communities cooperating then it's a complete shut out.


    The biggest fear for rural "preppers" isn't a looting horde it's a looting government prior to the actual collapse. Population numbers look daunting at first when you compare urban v. rural but urban populations have much much higher percentages of invalids, very old, very young etc. Looking at historic records of large groups attempting to live off the land by looting a hostile population do not lend much hope to an unorganized urban mob scenario even making a dent in the vast rural area or managing to find sufficient resources to continue looting.

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    1. Excellent analysis. I have to agree with the other posts that guv mint is the likely most dangerous threat.

      Carl in The UP

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    2. I went back and looked at my figures and am reposting the thing. My numbers came out to 1 able bodied potential looter per 160 acres or demographically by farm size every group of 20 looters would be up against 12.8 family farms.

      Of course the key is potential looters, meaning physically able to loot. I think the actual percentage of those people willing to initiate a violent confrontation will be quite small percentage-wise.

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    3. the guv mint being the most dangerous threat? A few years ago we got a very nosy gov mint census form wanting to know all kinds of info on what we had, what we grew, farm equip. etc, etc. Pages long! Most everyone I knew threw the form in the trash. But why did the guv mint need to know all this? Did everyone else get this form too?

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    4. Yes my daughter got that form also. She immediately called me when she received it to tell me all of the invasive questions. She threw it in the trash also. Rebekah

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    5. I got one, my in-laws and at least one Aunt (probably more) got one.....Natokadn

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    6. A few years ago, we got some chickens - then the next fall (I think it was) we got this gov mint form. We looked at each other and wondered how on earth they figured out we have livestock!?

      Fast forward a couple years, and we're talking with a few other friends and it comes out that they've NEVER received that form. Why? Because when they buy feed for their birds, they ALWAYS pay cash at the feed store.

      Now, I'm not 100% certain that you can take that to the bank, but ... it looks to me that the CC companies and the feed stores are reporting transactions to the guv mint for some reason.

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    7. I also received one of those census forms. Wanted to know what you go to work. They kept mailing out warning notices to fill it out then called every day for a month. Finally I wrote on the top of the census, "what difference does it make". I didn't fill it out. Just mailed it back like that.

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    8. Cash is king and is discreet. Like you, we ate all those chickens, right?

      I would also note that those gangs haven't had much practice shooting at people that shoot back and who have practiced and developed skill. Ever watched a video of gangs shooting? Lots of bullets flying, very few hits.
      sidetracksusie

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    9. Ah yes, the American Community Survey. Talk about a privacy nightmare! I got that back in November and ignored it. Then the mailings and warning letters started arriving. Ignored those also. We were supposed to start getting phone calls next, but since we don't have a land line in the house, they never could call us. If you get that in the mail, just trash it. You are under NO obligation to fill it out. The US code they cite as authority to ask for the survey doesn't apply. The “$5000” file they threaten you with for not filling it out is there to scare you. To date, NOBODY has been filed or jailed for refusing to fill out the form. The only form I fill out is the census every 10 years, and I only list the number of individuals in my household. I then include a statement from the US Constitution that declares the original purpose of the census, which is for the representation in congress. I found a blog a while back that got more in depth about the ACS. http://www.truthistreason.net/how-to-legally-refuse-to-participate-in-the-census-survey

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  7. I would recommend that landowners lay out their buildings and landscaping in a way that someone approaching their property with the intent of being hidden from view and being able to perhaps assume a snipers nest be forced to pick very specific and "natural" looking locations. Then I would suggest that you install some "lighting" in these locations with individual controls from the house. When and if TSHTF replace the "lights" with homemade devices that would make those hidden positions living hell when the specific switch is thrown inside the house.
    Another "interesting" idea I read once on a blog was to take empty vodka bottles and fill them with isopropyl alcohol and place these in your kitchen cabinets if you are forced to abandon your home to marauding mobs.
    I know neither of these things appeal to the "normal" person out there but imagine someone who would kill you and your children (or worse) and how you would defend yourselves. I think of those poor souls we have seen on TV in the Middle East who died often gruesimely and going back further in history the Jews in Germany and Poland who were defenseless. They were defenseless for the simple reason that they could not consider how bad evil people could be and that they might need to do bad things themselves to protect their familes. The time to think about these things is well before they happen. Luck favors the prepared mind.

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  8. I think your commenter is in a video game fantasy world. It takes Elite military units with years of training and experience to do what they are describing. I would love to see urbanites who have suddenly lost access to everything suddenly become stealth roaming armies. Give me a break. An urbanite just visited me and told me squirrels don't exist.

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    1. Well I can assure you that DC has plenty of combat trained urbanites that could organize.

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    2. But could they function without their phones....? ;- )

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    3. Anon and they are trained to hunt, forage, pillage and provide their own medical services during combat in rural areas they have no experience in? We aren't talking the military. We are talking about untrained city folk who have played a lot of call of duty, think dandelions are weeds and bears dance and sing. Please start a fire for me without gasoline? Better yet, hide a fire.

      Nothing can smell BS like actual knowledge and experience.

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    4. I mean these are the same people who get run over while texting and have to pay someone to make their coffee every day! I think a military incursion. Across hundreds of miles against armed locals is out of reach.

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    5. Keep in mind this commenter thinks you can't hide a garden. Can they identify sweet potato vine? How about radishes from its flowers? How about wild grapes? As if the only way to grow food is in rows and in your front yard. This is what I mean. Not logical. I can eat my way through a swamp and through the flowering landscape in my front yard. I had had the pleasure several times of seeing herds of swine and 60 plus strong flocks of chickens called out of silent foraging in a local jungle by their owner. I had no idea they were there and had been on each property for hours. Video games and the Internet are not real. Go to www.peopleofwalmart.com and take a good look. No cars and if you are outside say 50 miles of the major city my odds are on you for quite awhile.

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    6. Carlotta, I just read a FB post in which someone asked for help identifying a "weed". I told them it was purselane and it was one of the best plants to eat for omega 3's and that it tastes great. Most of the comments afterwards said to get rid of it, even if it was edible.
      That's what's important these days...
      I have plantain growing outside my back door and it will never see a chemical. In Wyoming, I had a huge area of miner's lettuce (most delicious) and purselane in another area. We eat our dandelion leaves, too.
      Government will be our biggest enemy. Having stored my food in home canned version, per the wisdom of Patrice, I have a greater hope they won't find it attractive for absconding with.
      sidetracksusie

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    7. herds of swine....
      That's very inspiring. One of my grandfather's biggest worries wasn't that we would drown in the lake we play by and on as very small children, but that we would fall in the pasture the sow was in. He told us no one was fast enough to keep her from seeing us as food and eating us, all the while he was telling us this, she was on her side in her stall in the barn, and he was scratching her. I saw a grown man's leg laid open by the swift head movement of a hog and I knew grandpa was right.
      Swine in the woods...a new layer of defense possibility.
      sidetracksusie

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    8. Swine foraging in the woods offer a bit of security themselves. My grandfather's biggest worry was the not the lake we played in but the sow in the pasture.
      sidetracksusie

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  9. Don,
    I too look forward to the rest of your answer. I live in a town between you and Terry in that I live in a farming community, but it's an hour away from the former "murder capitol" of CA. I understand where you are coming from in terms of knowing everyone, but my concern is a longterm period of bad times and what will the horde do then? I think Terry is coming from that view.

    I think short term any new person in town will be met with caution. I don't think most urbanites will move far in the first few months and we could even have a slow slide much like the Depression. But what about the second and third years into bad times? I wonder what the urbanites will do then. Will they become Depression-like transients or Mad Max-like armed hordes? It seems that Terry expects the Mad Max scenario. I personally wonder which will happen as we are not the resilient compassionate people we were during the Depression.

    Thank you for this discussion.

    Steve

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  11. Pioneer Preppy, your rationale and math make sense to me. And you are soooo right about our greatest threat. It is not the lumbersexuals.

    Urbanites might think they can simply overrun us the great unwashed, but then everything is easy if you don't know what you are talking about.

    Montana Guy

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  12. If I was an urbanite, I would look for a farm with a large garden and grazing cattle, and I would beg them to teach me to garden and shoot and be their manual labor and security in return for food and water. Just sayin'. :-) This is a terrific discussion! Blessings, DWLee3 in Bend, Oregon

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    1. +1, I live in suburbia, but I garden and can some. The first signs of trouble, I may just do that. But will bring my own firepower. Another item the person talked about being armed to the teeth. Have they ever had to hump a rifle with 100 rounds, most people would fold after a couple of miles. Also, they may have a bunch of AKs and such, but will those be effective when you have people with deere rifles picking off your hordes at 500 yards?

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    2. People with deer rifles will most likely be preppers and won't be shooting at you from 500 yards off. And, like you say, most people carrying a rifle and 100 rounds of ammo probably won't make it out to anywhere near any farms or homesteads! Instead of making up wild and unlikely scenarios, you need to get prepping!

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  13. I live about 50 miles from at major city and just a few miles outside of our small city (under 50,000). I am not terribly concerned about the local city because nearly everyone has a garden or additional supplies. I know this because I hear from people of all walks of life that they are preparing for the future. Of course, there will be those that don't and try to raid others. They won't live long, I can assure you. Not even long enough to make it outside the city limits to get to my place. As for the large city, there are several small towns any refugee would need to pass through before getting near me. And again if they survived and weren't shot before getting here the numbers would be small. Although I am prepared and am currently working on security plans, I don't believe there would be large groups but a person or two that would grab and go. The writer certainly causes me to pause and consider my options though. I never want to grow complacent in my prepping. That would be deadly. Rebekah

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  14. I’m not sure if I have any right to speak up here as I am not prepper. I have, however, given the idea a lot of thought as someday I would like to set myself up in such a way to be more sustainable over a longer term crisis. I too considered have this issue, the fact that if you have a garden or herd set up you are very vulnerable to passersby and being spotted from the air. I think I may have come up with an interesting solution. First instead of growing in a traditional garden with straight rows and no weeds I would try to develop a forest/permaculture garden. To the untrained eye this would look like just another mass of plants. Livestock of course is more difficult to hide but what if one developed living fences. Place them in a semi random matter. While this of course would not hide your livestock it would make them harder to find and even if they are found they look more like they are simply roaming free instead of indicating you live nearby.

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    1. Good comment. The food forest method of planting a large fruit or nut tree with a dwarf or semi dwarf fruit tree under it and fruiting shrubs like gooseberries under that and then a bottom layer of something like rhubarb, strawberries or herbs is the way to go. Most people would look at that and think it's an overgrown mess, not realizing it is actually a carefully planned type of garden.

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  15. + 1 to Pioneer Preppy above who actually HAS run the numbers and stats. i have been reading PP for years and his ideas about sustainability are the most crisp and most-informed out there. and he NEVER gets his numbers wrong. he's doing it for real while most are just pretending.

    remember that most urbanites work desk jobs and although they take kick-boxing or tae-kwan-do classes or yoga - these are things done in-doors and those types of people would melt if they ever had to walk in the rain. forget sleet, snow and hail. another huge swath of urbanites are obese, unhealthy and unfit to begin with...factor in the too young and too old...oh and the "gangs" - whateva. if/when the poop hits the fan, i think it will be fun times for rural dwellers to sit on their porches and almost feel badly about taking the life of an urbanite who somehow managed to get to their homesteads without eating for 5-7 days.

    one last thing - my best piece of advice - move to an island with one road being the only way to get in.

    we should ask the anonymous commenter, or as Don has named him, Terry, just how far he can march without water or food. i'd also like to ask him how much he weighs, how much he works out and what weight of stuff he can hump for even only 5 miles. i find his statements and questions to preppers/homesteaders/survivalists to be sad and very banal.

    Patrice and Don - i am glad you entertained this person's questions if only to keep on teaching. but anonymous/Terry needs to really sit down and think his questions through.

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    1. Thanks Kymber!!!

      Some of the other problems with the so called looting horde that are hard to put actual numbers to are... various infighting between looting groups as they first emerge from urban locations. This I think is critical and will be quite high reducing the numbers of looters leaving the city by vast amounts. As I said though there is no way to actually figure a percentage to assign a number to this factor but for the first few days at least an urban horde will be feeding on itself more than rural victims.

      The other comes down to what they can carry. If they stay on roads they are easily defended against depending on the terrain. If they go cross country can a band of say 12 to 24 looters actually carry enough supplies from one looted site to the next? Without fossil fuels and engines I doubt it.

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    2. i agree. i think if these so-called groups can manage to come together in the first place, i think they can muster enough strength to start hitting the suburbs - i think the suburbs will get it the worst. but when these groups do hit the suburbs they are going to destroy and pillage and try to defend any certain number of houses and then the in-fighting will begin and by the time a few weeks/months have passed they will pretty much wipe each other out. if any remain and they head for serious rural areas - how far are they actually going to get? not too far in my opinion.

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  16. woops - forgot to add that PP's last paragraph is what we really should be worried about!

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  17. Wow! This is a great discussion. The comments here so far are really great! I'm impressed. And the tone from both sides remains civil. I like that.

    I honestly don't have anything to add.

    My one take-away so far would be: "Terry" mentions that urbanites should not be underestimated. Well, neither should rural people be underestimated. We're not slack-jawed cartoon characters.

    Weren't Revolutionary War Minutemen rural people who knew their land inside and out?

    I like Mr. Lewis's response so far and look forward to the rest.

    Just Me

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  18. My acreage is fairly large, semi-wooded and my garden is not visible to any but flying machines, but if the end of the world as we know it happens, Divine Providence is my only hope because I am in a farming community - rural but still heavily populated and here everyone does not go to the same church or belong to the same fraternal organizations. I am about an hour away from two major cities, two hours away from another, and there is a large prison fifteen minutes away. I am surrounded by farmers, hunters, landowners and a good number of lazy people. With the exception of the Amish who also live near me, most people here are armed but they are not "prepared."

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  19. I think Terry made some great observations. No, not everyone in every town will form marauding bands like this, but SOME people in SOME areas will do so, because they have in the past. It's how people survive. Consequently, I think scenarios like the ones Terry described are worth considering.

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    1. And I think scenarios like the ones the many commenters have made here, AND what Patrice and Don say about all this are FAR more worth considering! --Fred in AZ

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  20. I live right between two population centers that are 40 miles apart. One has 110,000 people and the other 30,000. If you remove those too old, too young, too out of shape, or too ill/injured to walk 25 miles, then remove all those who would choose to depend on the gov't rather than on the charity of armed strangers (we're rural here, we all hunt, everyone is armed - a lot of city dwellers don't and aren't), then remove all those who won't leave another family member who is too old, young, ill, injured or out of shape to travel on foot, then remove all those who would choose to travel in a different direction from my home, then remove all those who would give up or get shot or get taken in by others before they arrived here... well, I'm not too worried about my garden. It cannot be seen from the road, and neither can my fields. No one can come up from that direction unless they can cross the river. My neighbors are my friends, and they are armed, in some cases even better than I am. We look out for each other's homes already, and that wouldn't change in an emergency event. Some of us have plans to take in friends/family members who live in town. What I am trying to get across is that large bands of armed urbanites are not anywhere near the center of my threat matrix.
    Even in the unlikely event that such did happen - I live on 50 acres. I am very familiar with the edible weeds, wild berries, nut trees, rabbit runs, deer bedding areas, turkey trails, and the ridiculous number of tree rats living here. I am FAR more worried about protecting my garden produce from the rabbits, deer, moles, voles, mice, and birds. If I lost every single bit of stored food, my garden, my chickens, ducks, and bees... I wouldn't starve here and neither would my family.

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  21. Prepping at my home in a small town in Oregon means that I am canning, paying off my debt, building medical supplies, medications, quality clothing, tools and storage of dry goods and items for bartering. We do have some weapons and ammo but hope to never have to use it.

    Perhaps I live in a fantasy state of mind but I honestly think that when our world changes it will be more in the form of (1) financial crisis, (2) natural disaster or (3) pandemic. In any of these cases I do not see riots and mobs rampaging in my town. I cannot imagine what I would do under those circumstances and honestly do not think I would be able to survive. In fact I don't think I would want to live in that kind of world.

    I will prepare as much and as well as I am able. I will do what I can to help my family and I will remain alert and healthy as long as I am able. In the mean time I will pray for peace and guidance and trust that today will be good and tomorrow better.

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    1. I agree with your scenario and think that economic depression is closer than we fear. It's the most likely event in my mind and the one reason we moved from a place that was more strategically located to one more hospitable to being able to feed ourselves long term, but that view came in hind sight.
      sidetracksusie

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  22. Two comments:

    ONE: I read and listen to professional preppers, and almost to a one they recommend having a plan in case your 'retreat' (or house) is overrun. Plan B means having a hideout away from the main target and stuff stashed elsewhere, in order to regroup after the 'golden hoard' moves on. Better to lose most of your stuff but able to rebuild and regroup than to lose your life. The idea is a separate 'cache' for yourself and family survival, in the event that you are outgunned and outnumbered. (all castles have a tunnel out the back, jack)

    TWO: There is a documentary online that I think is called 'The History of the Mennonites" Someone may be able to correct me on this.It describes and photo journals a village of Mennonites in Russia during WWII. (Mennonites are pacifists. They do not engage in war etc). The village began to be raided frequently by Russian gangs looking for food, killing mercilessly for food, and raping mothers and daughters as they went. This was an incredible crisis of faith for the entire village which was quite prosperous before the War (therefore a target for anyone hungry, and no guns to face to boot). The young men of the village were finally pushed too far in their outrage over the killing and raping, Their innate desire to protect finally won over. They managed to accumulate guns, and formed patrols 24/7 to protect the village. The raids ended. Repeat: the raids ended. however the debate continues in Mennonite churches today. The documentary ends with some of the young men mentioned above, speaking on camera as OLD men. They said (summing up) that if they had to it over again, they would have armed and organized sooner.

    Case in point...all prepper- pros insist that you cannot likely protect your stuff or your family alone, and part of the prepping deal includes carefully planning and organizing troops ahead of time..ie...neighbors, or other rondevous partners.

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  23. During the day of working today, I was thinking about what the urbanites would do with a cow, pig or chicken that they have looted.

    Ok so here we have a dead cow that we have shot. Now what? We don't know the process of sanitary gutting, skinning or butchering. Do we just slice it open and hack off hunks of meat off and throw them on a fire to cook? Or will we just starve to death trying eat burned on the outside and raw on the inside. Oh and will our huge fire and cooking odors draw other looters who will shot us and take the cow? And what will they do with it.

    Just some thoughts I got a little chuckle over.

    Carl in the UP

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  24. This is very interesting and a great learning tool. I'm presently living in a large city and doing what I can to move away from dependence on my local grocery store, etc. As I read through the comments here, I'm wondering why everyone seems to think that gangs will invade the country side? Why do you think you will recognize them as such? They aren't going to have a plan?

    What if it's only say, the eastern quarter of the country that has a collapse. What if well dressed people show up offering to purchase some food - and are willing to pay huge amounts of money....to many farms in the area - and then come back when you least expect it now that they have the layout of the farm?

    I'm just asking, learning, trying to figure out some plans for myself. I've been around long enough to realize the thing I fear rarely comes in the shape I expect it too.

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    1. "I've been around long enough to realize the thing I fear rarely comes in the shape I expect." This comment gave me shivers. It is so true. The "looters" may be people you would least expect, like friends and family that failed to listen and prepare. Will we be willing to shoot them if necessary to save ourselves and our immediate family? This will require some deep soul searching. Thanks for the eye opener. Rebekah

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  25. for anyone interested in trying to figure out the real numbers and stats regarding hordes of marauders after the poop hits the fan - check out this post by Pioneer Preppy -

    http://smallhold-pioneerpreppy.blogspot.ca/2015/06/repost-anatomy-of-looting-horde.html?showComment=1433549274465#c1537361629572668581

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  26. Don,
    I completely agree with your response, the comments have been great and are right on the mark.
    I could be considered one of Don's neighbors as i live in N Idaho.
    People in general do not comprehend how far away most preppers live from major population areas, without fuel for vehicals the golden hoard could not make it across the great expance of open land.
    Just to reach southern Idaho is 8 to 10 hr drive at 70 mph there is nothing there just scrub grass and rock.could not be done in winter or in the heat of summer i like to call that area the GREAT BARRIER.
    I too know most of my neighbors they are the same as Don's neighbors we stick together through hot dry summers, -20 deg winters, grass fires, timber fires and even protecting each other from the golden hoard.
    I would hope the urbanites develop some type of plan to sustain them selves at what ever level they can muster, time is running short.
    Its not an us verses them thing we want the urbanites to survive also i just dont have the resourses to take care of more than my family we in general don't have incomes anywhere like the more populated areas do, but i am doing what i can, i am sacrificing now to keep my family going as long as possible in the future.
    I am concerned about being over run by the golden hoard but it will be along time before they get here and their number will have been greatly reduced by then.
    Its not to late to get started Patrice wrote a great article covering how get started......get busy.

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  27. one thing "terry" forgot to factor in....water....
    if there is no clean drinking water...and there won't be after around day 3 post shtf...dysentery becomes a real threat. the vast majority of urbanites have no purification means, and no idea of how or why to obtain drinkable water. with in a week...around the time the "golden hoard" will start to move out of the urban areas because there is nothing left to loot, their ranks will begin to shrink from drinking bad/dirty water. if us rural/semi-rural folks....even those who choose to bug-in in the suburbs....cn make it thru the first 3 weeks, things should begin to improve, at least as far as the roving gangs are concern.

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    1. Exactly what I was thinking as I worked my way through these comments. Who carries more than a day or so of water with them? Too much weight. So then, what is safe to drink? How great is a group of dehydrated fighters in the summer or frozen ones between November and April/May..... I work in town and don't live far enough from it, but I know far too many who wouldn't dream of parking at the far end of the parking lot because they won't or can't walk that far! We have horses, but there are so few out there that can actually ride anymore that one quick shy and the horse is out from under the rider/theif and he/she is GONE. For that matter how many have foot wear that won't blister them to the point of open wounds in short order....? Definitely a lot to think about here.......Natokadn

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  28. Lots of great comments to the "what if" scenario "Terry" postulated. And "Terry" makes excellent points and asks excellent questions.

    One thing I have observed with the recent riots -and even riots going back to the 70's - is that people in urban areas don't seem to think of leaving their own area, at least not right away. Instead, if they are hungry and desperate, they rob and loot and burn their own neighborhoods first. Those who are not criminals by nature or trade might eventually think to leave, but the die-hard city-bred stay to prey on the other city-dwellers. This is the hope of us outliers anyway!

    We have become such a welfare-dependent society that many urban and suburban dwellers likely would try to shelter in place and ride out whatever situation comes because they truly believe that their local, state, or federal government will come to their rescue. Those of us who are preppers to one degree or another know that that won't be possible, and in all likelihood, because we are preppers, we would shun or be very skeptical or hesitant to accept government help. Others will not.

    I have a friend who works for the Red Cross, and she is always surprised and a bit perplexed when the Red Cross sets up temporary housing facilities during floods, forest fires, etc., and no one or very few people show up. Apparently, most would rather fend for themselves.

    If we look at the New Orleans flood during Hurricane Katrina several years ago, most people stayed where they were, and those who didn't came to regret that they had accepted being herded into a large stadium where conditions deteriorated rather quickly and they had no freedom to leave once they were there.

    So, I believe that, while it is possible that hoards of people might head out to the hinterlands or to the nearer rural areas, it is more likely they will stay close to what they know all huddled together hoping to escape crime and terror in their own comfort zone while awaiting the U.S. Cavalry! When and if the cavalry comes, they may not be so thrilled. And speaking of the cavalry, at first they will have their hands full with quelling violence in the cities. Later on, who knows.

    In the Great Depression, city dwellers tended to stay where they were even though they might have done better to have moved away. Sure, there were hobos and "bums" who rode the rails attempting to move through places where they could live and eat, but many more millions stayed where they were, because, after all, we are creatures of habit and usually afraid to leave what we know even to save our lives.

    God is our only real hope! But no matter what scenario might play out, I'd much rather my family be in the country than in ANY size urban area.

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    1. Amen. This has resulted in great comments; very encouraging. I don't know if we are helping Terry but we are surely helping each other. God works in strange ways.
      Montana guy

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    2. ferfal, of 'surviving argentina', said the country people suffered terribly at the hands of rapist looter gangs.
      what do you think?

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  29. My family members all know how to shoot a rifle, a handgun and a shotgun (12-gauge) and yes, they know they might have to shoot PEOPLE. What else would they shoot? We are all “prepped” for that possibility. (Of course, we’re talking about self-defense here, not hunting.) Yes, people will probably be traveling “in large groups.” But just how far does Terry think those groups would get? Most of them will be walking, and I doubt they’ll get very far! We live on 20 acres about 25 miles from the nearest town. I can’t see many of the folks from town making it this far out on foot, or even in cars, with limited amounts of gasoline available. And we are many miles off the main roads on dirt roads. Our nearest neighbors are 1/4 of a mile away and we know them better than we knew our neighbors when we lived in the city, only 20 feet away from each other! Terry and his ilk will not be out in the boonies tending a garden and storing food, that’s obvious. But even those living in crowded neighborhoods can be prepared if they had half an ounce of good common sense. –Fred in AZ

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  30. A far more likely scenario is that in case of civil unrest, Terry and his fellow marauding urbanites will find themselves permanent residents in one of those fancy Halliburton hotels..

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  31. One of the most interesting posts + comments I have ever seen! Thank you terry for the insight. Why does every one think city folks will be walking out of cities?? EMP??? Otherwise They will pool their gas & take trucks & suvs. And its not gonna be the old & infirm coming out to raid. Some seem to badly underestimate the smarts and stamina of possible raiders. Also if you are prepping, what has prevented them from using the internet, goggle earth etc to pick out soft targets in advance???

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    1. Sure. Explain how to pick a "soft target" via Google Earth? Also note, you're assuming the internet is working.......

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  32. I believe what MOST urbanites don't understand is that, the reasoon lots of them will not make is NOT because of there lack of country understanding it is because they live in highly populated areas and th thugs will turn into a MAD MAX situation and they will be exterminatd, and YES we who live in the country will be faced with these marauders who after they have taken all the city has will thn forage out to the country and it will take groups of country people to defend our places. of course this ALL depends on what happens and the severity of what happens,ie EMP attack, finacial collapse etc etc. BUT COUNTRY BOYS WILL SURVIVE!!!

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  33. I agree with a previous post that more important to teach history than social studies not to mention self-realiance!! One only has to look at history with a focus on threats, environment and living conditions to recognize human adaptations. Don's points are valid when the threat has not organized to any degree and still in a each on their own. From the family unit to groups evolving to villages and the strongman, walled cities, regions with overlords and standing armies, then countries with even larger armies. Each was a response to an ever growing outside threat. Eventually the threat comes from the inside with a predictable replacement of whatever supports that threat. As for the hoard, the size will be greatly deminished after a couple of months for various reasons... weather, sickness, starvation, self hostilities, etc... Again, history provides examples as in the Mongol Hoard. Bottom line is each of us has a personal responsibility to God and our families to do the best we can with our knowledge and property. The bible and recorded history provide insight. We may not see the results of our efforts in our lifetime, but our decendants will.

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  34. There is a guy who survived the war in Bosnia and posts on survival sites. I recall one article he wrote stating that people in the rural areas fared better when they had cooperative neighbors, than those on truly isolated farms. He said those isolated folks had no help, no where to run and were taken over as strongholds by very bad guys.

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  35. Excellent article and comments, Patrice and Don!. I am so glad that the "city" folk are finally starting to wake up and see what is going on in this country. It's good to know they are at least willing to see what is right in front of their eyes and begin to learn how to take of themselves and their family. The ones that depend on the government to save them will have a long, long wait. Katrina should have been an eye-opener for them. Prepping for any disaster whether it be from Nature or financial collapse it just good common sense. Anyone that doesn't take advantage of all the free information out there is foolish and blind. And they will be the first to say "I should have..."

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  36. What an interesting conversation! What came to mind while reading it was a book I read in the 1980s called Lucifer's Hammer, about a catastrophic meteor strike. In the book, the rural types were much more prepared to survive than the urbanites were. But the urbanites, who'd had survival training, such as urban preppers, plus the ex-military (now extremely well-armed since the military collapsed) and those capable of looting a library, finding the right books and learning quickly were indeed a threat. Having lived in the city and now in the country, I can tell you that there IS survival/prepper gear in EVERY urban city -- water purifiers, maps, guns/ammo and camping supplies that would allow people to venture out much farther than 100 miles or so, assuming they knew how to siphon gas (a handy urban skill many of us learned back in the 1970s), hot-wire a pre 1970s car that could survive an EMP or even ride a horse. I'd say the future will go to the fittest. I would not count out the "under 40" crowd from the cities who are smart, well equipped and possibly ruthless. I'd say some rural homesteads would defend themselves and survive, and some would not make it. And based on the scenarios created in Lucifer's Hammer, I think a lot would depend on the specific geography of a place, willingness to abandon one's own homestead and throw in with the neighbors' (safety in armed numbers) and block off roads and station residents as guards in order to secure specific protected areas. Just my two cents though.

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  37. I know this is petty, Anon June 6, 7:16 am: We preppers hoard (save, put aside) our food, etc., but it is the horde (crowd, mass of people) whom we are discussing (and they're hardly golden). Anyway, I have enjoyed the many viewpoints and good ideas that have surfaced on this thread. My family members are mostly 3000 miles away and know that I prepare, but feel that I am misguided or alarmist. They also live in or near urban areas. My approach is scattershot, but that's better than not prepping at all. I'm an hour away from a major northern CA city, in a rural county.

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  38. My question to the "urbanites" would be which one of you is willing to be the first one to take a bullet to raid my place? I think that might turn some folks away : ) Seriously though, alot would depend on what time of the year the s.h.t.f. A nice tall stand of corn would be like a come and get it flag. Winter time would be more of a defend homestead scenario. Like a lot of other folks said, I tend to worry more about BIG brother than my neighbors...

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  39. Terry is overlooking 3 things:
    1) The dangerous, physically fit, urban dwellers will never leave the city. They will stay and play an ethnic version of Mad Max.

    Adults with free public transportation live 2 miles from the lake and have never been there. Not once in their lives. They live less than 10 miles from world class museums, with free days each month and live and die for GENERATIONS without setting foot inside. Health clinics have to set up within walking distance of their homes in order for them to bring their children in for free health care (immunizations, deworming, etc.) One el stop away is too far for a potential golden hoarde member. What makes Terry think people en mass will strap on a backpack and WALK out of the city? Even if they steal a prius it will only get them so far and will not carry an organized army. Despite current criminal gang organization, without ebt (food stamps), free housing with free functioning utilities, your basic gang member is only able to throw a tantrum and go shoot up gas station or murder a random person. In summary, the majority of gang members are not the shapest tools in the box. Gangs have the most guns here...but a realitively finite amount of ammo without major highways remaining open. So in a few days, ammo is going to be in very short supply. Guns and ammo sales are restricted in my city, so there are no gun stores to loot. A few might loot a highrise...but generally they will be stranded (mentally & physically).

    The elderly, female, young, and infirm will not be able to leave the city. Without police or guns, it will be open season on anyone. Even normal adult men will be in danger.

    I live in a large city (husband's job requires it). Most normal people with families will just stay put. They will not have much of a choice should the SHTF suddenly. Good, hardworking, church going, city folk will die of disease, lack of meds, and dehydration while FEMA and WALMART truck in meger supplies. Think more hurricane katrina rather than coordinated urban combat.

    2) Water: Day 1everyone polishes of the bottled water in the fridge and skips a shower. Sandwiches are meals.

    Day 2: Juice boxes and sports drinks are gone. Everyone poops in plastic grocery bags and pees in the storm drains because the toilets don't flush. The bags are thrown out in the city supplied dumpsters. Dumpsters located directly against every single family home and condo building in the 12 foot alley or 3 foot gangway. The rats immediately begin feasting on the human poop the way they eat the dog poop. Everyone hopes the sanitation service is still functioning. And that the rat eradication teams still come out weekly to kill and remove rats. The goldfish crakers and peanut butter and jelly runs out. There is no water to cook with, drink, or clean with.

    Day three: ???
    Do what? Organize to plunder the countryside?

    3) There is nowhere else to go. People will know there is food "on a farm" but have no idea where to begin looking for an actual farm. What will they do? Hike for miles with children through lawless city streets? They know they will be gang raped and dead before they hit downtown. Get out to the inner ring of suburbs? Then hike through suburban towns (with no food or water)? Ultimately they end up standing on the edge of a monsanto planted corn or soybean field. Maybe they make it all the way to a commercial hog farm or chicken growing operation...then what?!

    Don't worry about the golden horde from a city. Worry about trained military personnel taking over your homestead warlord style.

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  40. I've probably worried too much about this exact scenario. I'm an urbanite who has parents with 40 acres in the rural, so my situation would be one of hightailing it out of the city before things got bad. When it hits, at least I know enough to just GOOD rather than wait for things to get better. If the EMP ruins the car (which most say it won't), my sister in the neighboring town has an old pickup and I have a couple of cans of gas, we could make it down before people started to think that flight was a good option. Reading the numbers and giving it more thought, most urbanites, unless they are really paying attention, will not see the "event" for what it is until it is about too late. There will be families caught in the cities, unable to be mobile because of the violence outside or disease. Also, if the roaming hoards don't set out to loot the countryside before winter hits, they will pretty much be stuck, and winter will take a huge toll on their numbers.

    Part of the reason the rural community will survive is because they will know that the horde is threat before the horde even assembles. A well placed scout on a known ingress can alert the community defenses for an ambush. And as mentioned in Don's post, locals know their own area VERY well and can mount defenses to counter outside threats. When it all goes down, I doubt people in rural communities will just be hanging out at the homestead, gardening away. They will have town meetings to discuss what just happened and how best to survive. Able bodied men will gather as a posse for mutual defense of the community. In times of trouble, the urbanites will shrink back, they have no one to trust, but small communities will come together. Just my thoughts on the subject.

    Renee

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  41. After the huge earthquake in Haiti, very few people left the city, However, in the USA, I think there will be organized gangs that will systematically spread out from the city. They will have smart, ruthless leaders. They will emerge AFTER the 'great die off'

    The thing that we seem to have no real plan for,( though mentioned here several times,) is the take-over by Gov't.

    Drones, night vision, military thugs, coming for any number of trumped up excuses....foreclosure, water regs, hoarding, Agenda 21,raw milk, those are the scenarios that scare me the most,

    What will we do? Some people in our society are already dealing with these kinds of things. Collecting rain water is a crime! Selling raw milk to eager customers..a crime! If you pay your mortgage they will get you for the property tax. It's the Gov't who wants everything, and they plan to come and get it.

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  42. I'm sorry if I'm being redundant as I haven't read any of the other comments yet, but there are a couple of flaws in the thought pattern of roving marauders...how will they get to the farms and the "off the grid" locations? Depending on the type of emergency there will be martial law to contend with. And even if there weren't...what will be your mode of transportation? Is there fuel for a vehicle? Will you drive a caravan of cars to a location with this (excuse the description) "pack of ruthless urbanites"? You will most likely not have transportation and if not..do you plan to walk hundreds of miles on foot? What will be your personal energy source as in food and water to ensure you have the strength to get anywhere? It's awful to say but if you're traveling in packs and you're starving to death...well...I'd be concerned about watching your own back against your pack buddies. I'm not trying to be cruel or disrespectful...but honestly...I live in the suburbs...I know...there will not be a way to get out. I don't think that the preppers have to seriously be concerned with a small army coming to their doorsteps...

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  43. One variable that hasn't been dealt with to any significant degree in any of the books/blogs potential scenarios is that of drug withdrawal. As a rural physician, people often don't consider any prescription drug to be a danger to their physical well-being. In the book "One Second After" mental illness recurrence after peoples' antidepressants ran out was mentioned. But many otherwise able-bodied people take physically addictive medications daily, including Lortab, Percocet, Oxycontin, MS Contin, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Klonipin and the like. Unfortunately, many of them are on a multi-drug cocktail of the above drugs, then take things like Adderall and Ritalin to be able to stay conscious and focused through their work day (yes, many of them hold jobs and drive while taking these drugs). If any of you have ever seen the movie "Trainspotting" about heroin addicts in Scotland, there is a scene when Ewan McGregor's character decides to kick his habit on his own. Narcotic and benzodiazepine withdrawals are their own Hell on Earth. Since most of these people are struggling to get by on a day to day basis, they're often either unaware of the consequences of their chronic drug dependency or in complete denial. They'll likely not have medication on hand to ration out to temper the withdrawal symptoms. With sudden withdrawal, they'll be wracked with symptoms such as severe pain, vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure (from the pain), tremors, agitation, hallucinations and the like. If you have someone like that in your family or group, I'd highly recommend working on alternative methods of pain relief in order to end the physical dependency now, as you won't be able to bug in or out while this withdrawal is going on, without the benefits of supportive IV fluids and IV medications to ease the symptoms. In addition, those afflicted won't likely be able to survive the initial event, and it will add to a lot of early violence as homes, hospitals, nursing homes and pharmacies are raided. The institutions are essentially defenseless and will fall the most quickly. Hopefully, some of you here are more receptive to this information than are the patients that I continue to counsel to work to get off of these medications that ultimately will do patients more harm than good.

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  44. Thanks for the comment from the doctor above. This echoes statements from a local Dr. here, that it would be all heck breaking loose in 4-6 weeks when the mental health people ran out of meds. And in the book "One Second After" it talks about the die off of diabetics and folks on blood pressure meds.
    These comments are very interesting, very. However I live in a rural community 8 miles out of a small town. My first concern would be the life long food stamp dependent neighbors who live right around me. Most of these are young and well rested as our tax dollars have kept them up their whole life.
    I agree with people who say the govmnt will be coming in to relieve people of their supplies, for "redistribution". Already passed through congress to be able to take water from your pond or lake to send to California. I have heard from people in Oregon where rules are already enforced,,,, can't did a new pond, if you have a 20 year old pond & can't produce the permit,,said pond is dozed in and you are charged for it.... not ALLOWED to gutter your barn or outbuildings because you are stealing from the water table, etc.

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  45. I always find it amusing when someone with an urban background says this kind of thing. Clearly they've never spent much time out in the open in the country, moving over ground and having to live there day after day (and no, your annual camping trip in your RV to the local KOA doesn't really count). Even military experience doesn't really cut it, since the Army tends to provide food and ammunition, plus they train you to fight as a team. A pick-up group of "heavily armed" looters will operate more like a street gang, only this time, there aren't any streets. They'll be spooked, they'll be ignorant of what's really dangerous in terms of flora and fauna, and they will be very unprepared to deal with even something as simple as the difference between day and night temperatures. Every noise will freak them out, and nine times out of ten, the ones they decide they can ignore will be the ones they should have paid attention to. They won't know how to scrounge for food in the country OTHER than stealing it from someone else, and every time they do that, they put themselves seriously at risk of taking casualties from those they try to rob, rape and pillage. By the time the looters get more than 50 miles from their urban base, their casualties due to combat, accident, stupidity, and ignorance will be truly appalling. The survivors WILL be tougher and smarter, but then they'll smack up against an organized rural community and at that point, the odds are high that they will all die. The locals know the terrain, know each other, know how to move (they hunt), and know how to shoot effectively. And as for those girls being taught to shoot by their folks, they'll take one look at those thugs, know what their fate will be if they fail to win and survive long enough to be captured, and they will shoot just fine. They might be sick afterwards, but they'll do what it takes to protect themselves, their families and their friends.

    No, I think if you are an urbanite and want to survive a full-scale collapse scenario, you'd better take the time to learn a useful skill or two, like carpentry, blacksmithing, small engine repair, medical skills and so on, and then move out on your own to see if you can find a rural community that needs those skills and will let you join. That way, you'll live to a ripe old age. The other way virtually guarantees a short life, and anonymous grave, and nothing but a bad smell left behind.

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