I’ve been pumping out (a.k.a. writing) a lot of technical stuff lately. And, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing technical articles because I know it helps folks choose gear and equipment to purchase for their emergency preparedness needs. And I am kind of a techno geek too.
But the creative side of me, the part that wrote My Journal series, wants to step out there once in a while and brainstorm -war game- what might happen. This article is one of those…”What if?”
So the basis of the article is the first steps to take when we have a hard grid-down. Let me explain the scenario background first:
- We have the exact same situation in the scenario world as we do today.
- We are talking a family of 5. The Hansen family –
- Dad (Brad) is 45, 4-year Navy veteran, currently construction project manager
- Mom (Ashley) is 44, was a teacher, stay-at-home mom
- Son (Sam), 17, a senior in high school, cross-country runner on track team
- Daughter (Jenifer), 15, a sophomore in high school, smart, glee club
- Son (Joseph), 10, 5th grade
- Christian, church goers, limited involvement in community, some involvement in block watch
- It is a Wednesday.
- School is in session, kids are at school.
- Dad is at work.
- Mom is out shopping for groceries.
Narrative – Tensions with Russia were getting worse by the day for the last month. Muslim terrorists really stepped up strikes in Europe. For the last month there have been numerous attacks on malls, Christian churches, and a few government facilities here in the USA. The neo-cons led by Lindsey Graham are calling for all-out wart in the Middle East and for economic sanctions against Russia. Price of oil, natural gas, and gasoline has been steadily going up the last two weeks.
The Hansen family has been working on preps for three years; really dedicated preppers for the last year. The Hansens are best friends with the Goodman family (mom & dad, 2 teens). The Goodmans live about one mile away and are hardcore preppers. The Hansens are also friends with the Smiths who live in the same neighborhood one block away. The Smiths (mom & dad, 2 teens & toddler) are so-so preppers, the wife never saw the need for prepping.
Summary of prepping level based on the AHTrimble.com priority system:
- Hansen family – all “short, medium and long term priorities” plus more.
- Goodman family – all “short and medium term priorities” plus a couple of the “long term priorities”.
- Smith family – most “short term priorities”, a couple of the “medium term priorities” and most of the “immediate priorities”.
- All families have Ham radio communication capabilities.
- All families have guns and ammo. Hansen & Goodman families are well trained. Smith dad is well trained. Smith mom is afraid of guns.
All the families have a meal about once a month or so and have gone on a couple weekend camp-outs together and enjoy each others company. They have a very loose “plan” for emergencies, disasters, and grid-down. Smith mom thinks it is all a little whacko buts enjoys the group’s activities because of the other women.
At 8am local time this morning a suicide bomber blew themselves up at the entrance of the Pentagon. As 10am local time three Muslim gunman attacked the Mall of the Americas in Minneapolis. The situation is still on-going, gunman are in the mall with a large number of people trapped in the mall. At lunchtime there were attacks in New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Detroit and Paterson, NJ. All were a combination of suicide attacks and gunman. All of the attacks took place at middle and high schools.
The groups Black Lives Matter and The Nation of Islam are calling for attacks on white people, especially white police officers. CAIR (Council on American–Islamic Relations) is saying that the attacks are against Muslims by the US Government. CAIR is calling this a provocation against Muslims and that Muslims need to defend themselves. Tensions everywhere in the US are rising quickly. Schools along the east coast have cancelled classes for the day and sending schools home.
At 2pm lthe New York Stock Exchange announces it will close early at 2:15pm. Oil futures price spike world-wide. The DOW has been dropping all day, down 500points, now takes a dive of another 500points.
At 2:10 local time a powerful car bomb explodes outside of the New York Stock Exchange killing dozens, injuring over 120, and destroying the entire front of the building. Before trading can be halted on the other exchanges, all indices drop 10%.
Now, what are the steps this little group should take? Here’s what they started with…
Step #1 –
- Situational Awareness…Validate the information that is most likely to affect you. There can be a lot going on, but what is really going to affect you and “how?”.
- Establish communications with all family members and group members (in that order). Exchange information, confirm trigger events.
Step #2 –
- Make an operational decision of what to do.
- Get buy-in on the decision by all affected people.
- Communicate that decision to all group members.
UPDATE: In this case the decision is; 1) pull all family members back to their respective homes, 2) once that is done reassess the situation, 3) Hansen mom will turn on the mobile Ham radio unit that is already set-up. She will monitor it as well as the emergency short-wave radio and TV for updated information.
Step #3 –
- Assign one or more people to continuously monitor the situation (observe and orient).
- Implement the operational decision.
- All adults arm themselves with their everyday carry (EDC) weapons. That would include knives, pistols, and trunk guns are loaded and readily available. Smith mom won’t because she doesn’t know how to use a gun.
- All adults confirm that their IFAKs are at hand and readily available.
- All adults check that their communications are working, including handheld radios and cell phones.
- Goodman and Smith moms will return home. Once there they will secure their homes.
- Hansen mom (Ashley) will pick up their youngest son at school that is close to their home. Husband Brad will pick up the two oldest at high school on the other side of town.
- Husbands and wives will check-in with each other when the kids have been secured and are in route to home. If someone can’t reach their spouse they will check in with Ashely Hansen monitoring the Ham mobile.
- No Ham call signs will be used to protect identity. Pre-arranged call signs will be used instead. They are using the AHTrimble CommPlan outline.
UPDATE: Children are secured and everyone is at their respective homes.
Step #4 –
- Situation Awareness – Reassess the situation.
- Protect the home and family members against violence by getting all tactical gear ready.
- Check all communications gear.
- Fill any suitable containers with water.
- Families agree on some organizational structure for now, and if it gets worse by one step.
- Charge all rechargeable power sources.
UPDATE: Three shopping malls are four more schools attacked. Rioting breaks out in multiple cities. Schools let out and are cancelled for tomorrow. President tells people to not jump to conclusions and that this is not the work of true Muslims. Washington DC is put under martial law.
Step #5 –
- Make strategic decisions. Group meeting is called for dinner at the Hansen’s home. Situation is discussed. Contingency plans are decided upon. Smith mom asks for gun training. Communications check-in times are decided upon. Hansens will continue to monitor the base station. Families head home by 10pm.
UPDATE: Overnight there have been riots in most major cities. Attacks continue, police have been targeted, multiple cities have declared a state of emergency, the National Guard has been called out in 5 major cities.
Step #6 –
- Situation Awareness and maintain communications. One person from each family have been designated to monitor developments. They will talk at 0800, 1200, 1600, & 2000 to collaborate on what is happening.
- The families do a radio check on their tactical net every 4 hours.
UPDATE: At 4pm the power goes off for unknown reasons. Rioting has broken out in the local town and gunfire can be heard. Police are overwhelmed and ineffective. Multiple fires are present in town and the fire department is not responding due to threat of violence.
Step #7 –
- Situational awareness. Families talk via cell phone conference call.
- Make a decision. Families decide that they are safer as a group. But due to concerns of movement at night, they decide that they will consolidate all three families at the Hansen home by 5pm the next day. They transition will begin at 9am. They will first move the Smith family to the Hansens, then the Goodman family. The wives and oldest child will stay at each home for security. The husbands and next capable children will make the move in three vehicles convoying at the same time.
UPDATE: The move is complete, all families are now at the Hansen home. More rioting is reported all across the country. Drug, electronic, and liquor stores are being looted. Muslim mosques, Jewish temples, and Christian churches have been targeted and are being looted and burned. All major cities have declared a state of emergency, National Guard units have been mobilized. Most NG units are less than 40% manned. Law enforcement is ineffective. Streets are becoming very unsafe.
Step #8 –
- Set formal security in-place.
- Designate first aid responder(s).
- Create a sanitation plan.
- Agree upon group organization (ICS).
- Sec formal CommPlan in-place.
- Ensure everyone is drinking sufficient water.
- Establish eating schedule.
Step 9 –
- Reinforce the house.
- Coordinate with neighbors and immediate community.
- Agree on tactical defensive response with neighbors.
- Contact wider area preppers for information updates.
Step #10 –
- Confirm location
- Establish trigger points
- Create travel plan
- Establish criteria
- Create long-term plan
- Establish trigger point to cancel and return home
This has been a nice break from the average article that I have been writing lately, a little creative diversion. But, there is some good information in this article. Summarizing some of the first steps to take during a “grid-down”:
- Situational Awareness and make a decision. And then communicate that to all family and group members.
- Take defensive actions and prepare to defend yourself and family from violence.
- Ready all medical kits and ensure that everyone has a BOK & IFAK with them at all times.
- Establish and maintain alternative communications capability.
- Organize an interim plan of action and organize the folks that you have.
- Make sure everyone is getting some water and food in them.
- Plan to shelter for the first night; where, where, and how.
I have intentionally left some gaps and holes in what the families are doing. And, I want some input from website visitors…Now, what else could, or should, the family have done?
Use “reply” to give your input, ideas, and thoughts…
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