7 Days of September – Day #4: Organization

If you haven’t read the post on September 1, 2019 that explains this post…well, go read that post first (91/2019) and then this post will make more sense.

So now we talk about organization. No, not a boring eyes glazing over type of article…an article about how you can save lives, including your own.

What the heck?” you might be asking right about now…I don’t blame you.

When was the last time you went to an activity or event that was just so poorly organized you simply had to roll your eyes? I am talking food was cold, it started late, the agenda was a mess, and it dragged on forever. And, when it was all over…it utterly failed to accomplish what is was supposed to?

Or, how about the last time you attended (hopefully not led) a planning meeting where it was chaos and you really didn’t get any decent planning done? You know what I am referring to…lots of talk, little action, and in the end…no solid plan.

These are all organizational issues. Rather, I should say indicators of poor, or non-existent, organization. Here’s the rub…what if this was happening during a emergency, disaster, or worst of the worst…during a grid-down event? How do you think that would work out for you and all the others involved?

Let me really try to insult you…Would you even know where to begin to actually organize after a grid-down? Yes, I types of disasters, emergencies, emergency grid-downam sure many can go into details about what needs to be done, but how about how to organize to get it done?

Let me go over some basics:

  1. You must have a leader. Someone must be able to motivate people to accomplish goals. Notice I didn’t say…set goals. Goals should be developed by the leadership based on needs of the group. Then those goals are prioritized. Then the leader steps in to motivate folks to accomplish them. In some cases a leader must work and lead the effort to identify those goals and prioritize them. Leadership!
  2. The next most important organizational need is “operations” and I include a very wide variety of tasks within the category. But, essentially it is the labor pool for getting things done, but the people must be efficiently organized. Operations!
  3. In order for any operational task to be successfully accomplished, especially in the long-term, you need logistics. Security can’t be effective if people don’t have weapons, ammo, flashlights, batteries, food to eat, a way to stay out of the weather, communications, etc. The whole group can’t survive long is you can’t eat or provide medical care. So logistics is right up there after operations. In other words…logistics’ sole mission is to support operations. Logistics.ICS Incident Command system organization for preppers
  4. Next is an easy one…planning. Today can usually pretty much take care of itself with existing resources. But, what about tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year? There has to be planning, and part of planning is being able to describe where we are today…in order to know what we need for tomorrow. Planning!
  5. Administrative…yeah, there is a need for administration tasks. Someone has to keep track of stuff, money, bartering, claims, etc. Admin handles that. It isn’t fancy, it isn’t filled with glory, it isn’t high profile…but there is the need for record keeping and administrative work. Administrative!
  6. And there may come a time where sensitive information is vital to the success, possibly even the safety, of those involved. The need may grow so large, or the sensitivity so great, that a dedicated staff Information & Intelligence people may be required.

So here is a pretty good idea of what is needed in any emergency, disaster, or grid-down. Now remember, a single person can handle multiple organizational positions for small emergencies and/or disasters. If it is a large incident, such as a 1000-person camp, then you have a single person in a single position so they don’t become overloaded and burned out..

ICS incident command system for perppersHere is basic information on how the different sections work to make that happen –

Logistics section of ICS incident command system for perppersLogistics Section

Mission – All service and support needs are provided by the Logistics Section.

Responsibilities –

•    Acquires, stores and distributes supplies.
•    Acquires and maintains facilities.
•    Provides all transportation needs.
•    Provides communications capabilities.
•    Provides food services.
•    Provides medical services.

planning section of ICS incident command system for perppersPlanning Section

Mission – The Planning Section collects, evaluates, processes, and disseminates information.

Responsibilities –

•    Collects and process situation information.
•    Supervises preparation of the Incident Action Plan.
•    Tracks all resources.
•    Determines need for any specialized resources for future operations.
•    If requested, assemble and disassemble operations units not assigned to the Operations Section.
•    Establish special information collection activities as necessary.
•    Assemble information on alternative strategies.
•    Provide periodic predictions on incident potential.
•    Report any significant changes in incident status.
•    Compile and display incident status information.
•    Provide maps as needed.

Finance section of ICS incident command system for perppersAdmin & Finance Section

Mission – Manage all financial and administrative aspects of an incident.

Responsibilities –

•    Run the commissary.
•    Establish monetary & barter policy, and oversee related disputes.
•    Handle all other financial aspects of incident.

Operations section of ICS incident command system for perppersOperations Section

Mission – Responsible for all tactical activities outside of camp.

Responsibilities –

•    Reducing the immediate hazards.
•    Saving lives and property.
•    Establishing situational control.
•    Restoring societal “norm.”

IC ICS incident command system for perppersIncident Commander

Mission – The individual responsible for the overall management of the incident.

Responsibilities –

•    Sets objectives & goals.
•    Responsible for, and authority over, all incident personnel.

So, about now you are thinking this is pretty good organization. Yup, it is! It is called Incident Command System (ICS) and it is used by every emergency responders all over the country and in most of the world. There is a reason for that…ICS works and it has been proven for decades to work…don’t reinvent the wheel.




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7 Days of September – Day #3: Communications

If you haven’t read the post on September 1, 2019 that explains this post…well, go read that post first (91/2019) and then this post will make more sense.

Have you noticed how highly I rate “communications” as a priority when dealing with emergencies, disasters, or grid-down? I rate communications higher than the threat of dehydration and exposure, even starvation. Actually, as you’ve seen I only rate the threat of violence and injury/sickness higher. If you’ve read much of my writing on this matter then you know the priority rating is due to its fatality factor (probability and severity).

Let me explain…

Example #1 – If you don’t know that an emergency, disaster, or Hurricane Sandygrid-down event is going to occur, or is occurring, how can you be ready for it or react to it? Exactly, you can’t. The event would be on top of you before you had knowledge that it was even going to hit you. Hence, you are overcome…behind the curve…out of the loop.

Example #2 – The event has occurred but you don’t know what to do. A great example would be Hurricane Katrina, many people didn’t know where to evacuate to, or where to stay away from. As a result many people became stranded in road jams, stranded on house tops, or trapped in the living hell that was the Super Dome.

Example #3 – You are into a grid-down event and you have no way for your neighborhood guards/security to communicate. A mob of looters approaches and the guards/security can’t get the word out to people what is Violent Mob approachinghappening, and calln’t for reinforcements. Two hours later your neighborhood is a smoking ruin.

Example #4 – You have a wide-spread power outage that affected cell-phone towers. You and your children are not in the same location, same is true for your spouse. You are trying to figure out if everyone is safe and trying to coordinate with your spouse who picks-up which kid and where…but your cell phone isn’t working.

All of this might have been avoided had you properly prepared with the ability to communicate during emergencies, disasters, and grid-down events. This is absolutely one of my favorite subjects. Why? Because it is so flipping important and so inexpensive to mitigate.

When it comes to communications there are two basic types; 1) internal, 2) external. Internal is the ability for the group/family to communicate with each other. External is the ability to communicate with people outside of your immediate family/group.

There are a whole lot of ways to accomplish both internal and external communications. For this article I am only going to touch on two; 1) SW receivers and mobile radios for external, 2) handheld radios for internal. Yes, there are plenty more avenues of communication available to folks. Please feel free to go whatever direction you feel is right for your situation. I will confine my thoughts to this specific series of articles in regards to taking action during the 7 Days of September.

So let us prioritize a little bit. Which is more important…internal or external communications? Well, there could be a really good case either way…I call it a tie, a draw, equal weight. For me then I go another level deeper…can I use them other than just emergency preparedness? Of course. But, I think that outside of emergency preparedness I am more likely to get value out of handheld radios with my family. And, I will probably be able to get some external information through devices such as AM/FM radios, TV, Smartphone, Internet, etc. That means I head to the “internal” aspect of communications first.

Internal Communications –

There are FRS/GMRS radios that are readily available and pretty decent for internal communications. They are GMRS Radios for emergency preparedness, disasters and "grid-down"relatively inexpensive, some are good quality, have a wide selection of channels, some have scramble technology, and have the ability to connect with other families/groups. But, there is also a downside…everyone who owns a GMRS/FRS radio can listen in to your conversations if they are close enough to your location. And another downside is limited power is available to the radio so that means limited range of communications.Baofeng UV-5R with SpeakerMic

Then there are handheld HAM radios. I love these! They come in an unbelievable variety, and I could talk you to new heights of boredom…but I won’t. I will go with two simple choices1) Yaesu FT-60 if you have lots of money, 2) Baofeng UV-5RMHP if you are on a more limited budget.

Yaesu FT-60:

The Yaesu FT-60R dual-band 2 meter/440 MHz HT boasts 5 watts output on both bands. It also features wideband receive from 108-520 and 700-999.990 MHz (less cellular).

Features – Over 1000 Memories, 5 Watts RF Output, Backlit Keypad, Alphanumeric Display, NOAA Weather Alert, PL Encode/Decode, DCS Encode/Decode, Emergency Auto ID System, ARTS System

Baofeng UV-5RMHP:

I think it is simply the best Baofeng UV-5RA Love Itprice/performance handheld radio on the market today. Yes, there are better quality radios such as the Yaesu FT-60r but the Yaesu also costs about 6 times as much at the Baofeng. True, if I could only have one handheld radio and the money wasn’t a real factor I would choose the Yaesu. But for many of us mere mortals money is a factor. And, I would rather each family member and all of my close friends have a radio rather than just one or two having a radio. Hence, the Baofeng UV-5RMHP handhelds are an amazing combination of price and performance.

Features – Frequency Range: 136-174 / 400-520MHz, Dual-Band Display, Dual-Standby, 7 / 4 / 1 watts of Output Power, 128 Memory Channels, Built-in VOX Function, FM Radio (65MHz-108MHz), Low Battery Alert, and more.

External Communications –

Just because I listed internal communications as a higher priority please don’t think that this category, external communications, is substantially less important. That is simply not the case, you must be able to communicate with the outside world, if nothing else…to listen. Which brings me to subdividing external communications into two categories; 1) one-way, 2) two-way.


This ability gives you the operational capability to hear what is going on in the larger world outside of normal communications methods. The key is to give yourself as many options as possible. For me I think a good solid SW receiver unit fills that need.


In this category of external communications the inference is you can not just hear but also talk to people that are remote to your location. The key to this operational capability is defining “remote” and all that it entails. It could mean being able to talk to another family or group that is ten miles away or 5000 miles away.

Why is that remote definition so important? Money. Pure and simple it is about the dollars and cents to fulfill this need.

You can use a $150 mobile Ham radio operating on 70cm or 2m bands to reach ten miles, maybe even thirty. If Ham repeaters are operational you might even be able to reach to another state. But, should you be needing the ability of two-way communications over long distances (100 – 5000miles) you are talking some potentially expensive HAM HF gear. And I mean in the thousands of dollars price range. And you better fall in love with large antennas as well.

Yaesu FT-8900r:

The FT-8900R is a ruggedly-built, high quality Quad Band FM transceiver providing 50 Watts of power output Yaesu FT-8900r Quad-Band Ham Radioon the 29/50/144 MHz Amateur bands, and 35 Watts on the 430 MHz band. You can operate on 10M, 6M, 2M, 70CM bands. It includes leading-edge features like cross-band repeat, dual receive, VHF-UHF Full Duplex capability, and over 800 memory channels.

Some operational notes on external communications:

  1. If you want to be serious about longer distance HAM radio communications but still want mobility look at the Yaesu FT-897D.
  2. The Yaesu FT-8900r also gives you the capability to set-up a cross-band repeater.
  3. Don’t forget that you have to have a reliable and “clean” power supply for your radio equipment. That applies to you using AC or DC power, a generator, or batteries.
  4. Many people look at the price tag for a Yaesu FT-60r handheld radio and would rather get 5 Baofeng UV-5MHP radios instead. That way each member of their family or group can have their own radio…vastly improving internal communications.
  5. HAM radios are almost worthless without a way to program them. And the only to really be able to program them is with a computer and the software program. I use only RT Systems programming software.
  6. To operate a HAM radio on HAM frequencies other than during a life or death emergency, you are required by law to have a HAM radio license.
Summary –
  • If you have no radios communications at all, buy a handheld radio.
  • If you have a handheld radio but no accessories…buy one or more accessories to improve the performance of your handheld.
  • If you don’t have programming software for your radio, buy it.
  • If you have only a single handheld for your family or group, buy another…or two.
  • If you already have enough handhelds and you have the accessories to maximize their use then buy a mobile HAM.
  • If you already own a mobile HAM radio then make sure you have the right accessories and software for it, and don’t forget a reliable power supply as well.
  • If you are ambitious and want to be able to communicate over long distances, get a Yaesu FT-897D.

If you can’t communicate the presence and threat of danger…danger will find you and those you love…normally with very unpleasant outcomes.



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7 Days of September – Day #2: Threat of Injury or Sickness

If you haven’t read the post on September 1, 2019 that explains this post…well, go read that post first (91/2019) and then this post will make more sense.

What are we trying to accomplish when we are talking about being prepared to provide medical aid in relation to emergencies, disasters, and grid-down?

Simple, we want to be able to prevent death or disability from an injury or sickness till a higher level of medical care can be provided.

This particular category has two distinct parts; 1) injury, 2) sickness. They are for the most part very different from each other, with some overlap.

Realistically, you are more likely to die from sickness than injury during emergencies, disasters, and grid-down. Although a bullet properly placed is pretty quick and generally terminal for the most part. But, you are more likely to die from the germs on your hands, as a result from going to the bathroom, than you are from some .50cal round taking your head off.

There has been considerable debate on exactly where medical care or first aid is on an emergency preparedness priority list. There is a case to be made that it is the #1 priority…and understandably so. At any point during an emergency situation a person could become injured and without immediate first aid a person could become incapacitated or die from their injuries. For instance, if you have an arterial bleed you would probably bleed out in 2 – 5 minutes. Another example would be breathing has stopped. In that case the brain is probably dead in about 4 – 7 minutes.

But, it doesn’t have to be confusing…review it in terms of “fatality factor” that I went over in the introduction article in this series.

Personally, I believe that emergency medical care is Priority #2. I believe that personal defense capability is Priority #1. If you can’t defend yourself you can become injured or dead rather quickly…within seconds. But that is another conversation entirely. Whatever your personal belief, Emergency Medical Care is a high priority when it comes to being prepared for an emergency or disaster…and especially grid-down.

So, back to first aid (Medical Care)…

There are multiple levels of first aid. In my opinion there are five levels. We will be primarily interested in the first four levels; the fifth level is hospital level care. Since most people don’t carry around a hospital with them when they are in an emergency or disaster situation we will not address that level here. What is of paramount importance across all levels of first aid is skill capability. And skill capability is based on training and experience. While I will be outlining kits for each level of first aid care, it is up to you to acquire the appropriate level of skills. But remember one important thing – ANY FIRST AID IS BETTER THAN NO FIRST AID! Wound-Arm

There are several schools of thought when it comes to what is the correct treatment order when rendering First Aid. The first school of thought is the traditional and effective ABC method. With this methodology you are concerned with a person’s Airway first, then their Breathing and finally their Circulation.

But notice that earlier I mentioned that a person can die faster from bleeding than they can die from their breathing having stopped. So the applicability of this care methodology (ABC) could be debated. The other option is to stop major bleeding (i.e. arterial bleeding) first and then go to the ABC methodology. The choice will have to be yours and dependent on the severity of the bleeding and of course your skill level.

One of the latest methodologies to providing emergency first aid is one that I subscribe to:

  • Scene Safety
  • Bleeding
  • Airway & Breathing
  • Cover Wounds
  • Treat for ShockWound-Battle

If you were in a dangerous situation your first consideration is to remove the person, and yourself, from that danger before rendering medical aid. If you fail to do that you might both be in serious danger and both end-up seriously injured or dead. But that goes back to maintaining your Situational Awareness and making decisions based on a specific situation.

Emergency medical aid might be very simple to provide, or you may have multiple decisions to make prior to rendering any aid (triage). Training and experience will help you deal with these decisions from a point of expertise vs. “winging it.”

It is also important to understand that it is all about the ability to render increasingly complex injury care to larger numbers of people. In other words, progressively increasing your skills and contents of your medical aid kits from a single individual’s immediate medical first aid need all the way to a fairly decent sized family or group all of whom need medical aid.

The best way to explain what I am talking about is with a picture…


These medical aid kits under the “injury” section provide the ability to meet an increasing level of medical first aid care to increasingly larger groups of people:

1)  Each person has a Blow Out Kit (BOK) –

Mission – Kit provides sufficient appropriate medical supplies to accomplish the following:
• To return the person to activity without additional immediate medical care, or,
• To provide sufficient care that allows them to self-mobilize to more advanced medical treatment, or,
• To prevent death by bleeding.

Requirements & Restrictions:
•  Kit is carried by each person in a readily accessible external location. Perferably each person carries it in the same spot on their person.
•  You use your kit for yourself, not for someone else.
•  Kit must be as lightweight as possible but still able to accomplish the mission.

BOK contents are meant to be super simple based on its mission.  So the content is a single item:Dressing, First Aid, Camouflaged, 4x7a

Dressing, First Aid, Camouflaged, 4” x 7”, Sterile : NSN# 6510-00-159-4883 – Elwyn Inc. Dressing, First Aid, Camouflaged, 4x7b

To learn more about the  BOK < click here >

2)  Each person has an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) –

To learn more about the IFAK  < click here >

3)  Each family has a Team/Family Basic Aid Kit (TBAK) –

To learn more about the TBAK  < click here >

4)  Each family should have a Squad/Group Trauma Aid Kit (STAK) –

To learn more about the STAK  < click here >

5)  Each family should have a Field Trauma Care Kit (FTCK) –

To learn more about the FTCK  < click here >

In priority order I propose the following –
  1. You get some first aid training, even if it is on-line from YouTube, better yet…the Red Cross.
  2. Have each family member get some training, even if it is on-line from YouTube, better yet…the Red Cross.
  3. Make sure your family has a Home/Family First Aid Kit.
  4. If you have done all of that…then work down the list; BOK, IFAK, TBAKSTAK, MCAK, FTCK.
Summary –

Please don’t underestimate the need to provide medical care during times of emergencies, disasters, and grid-down. The more you and your family members know and the more medical gear you have on hand…the more likely everyone will be able to stay alive.

Read more about Medical Care <click here>

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See Content Use Policy for more information.

7 Days of September – Day #1: Threat of Violence

If you haven’t read the post on September 1, 2019 that explains this post…well, go read that post first (91/2019) and then this post will make more sense.

Is the threat of violence really the #1 threat a person faces in emergencies, disasters, or grid-down?

There is not a simple answer…but, one thing for sure…it has the highest fatality factor, with the highest severity rating, and an relatively unknown probability factor.  So, yes, violence is the #1 threat/risk against you and your family overall because if you fail at mitigating the threat of violence…the outcome can be terminal and incurable.

What can you reasonably do to mitigate the threat or risk of Violence during grid-down, emergencies, and disasters is number one #1 threat and riskviolence against you and your family? Well, remember that there are two ways to mitigate risk; 1) reduce or eliminate the probability that it will occur, 2) if it does occur, you reduce the severity of the impact. That being said there are steps you can take to work on both probability and severity in relation to the threat/risk of violence.

The most simple aspect of this is…to protect yourself and your family you want to keep the bad guys as far away from you as possible. Preferably they will never even know you are there. However, we will exclude the “invisibility” (a.k.a. grey man) concept from this discussion and concentrate on how to actually protect your family.

In protecting your family there are two primary aspects; 1) intangible, 2) tangible. Intangible simply means what you can do that doesn’t cost you anything and you don’t hold it in your hand. Tangible obviously means the opposite; it usually costs you some amount of money and you can hold it in your hand.

#1 Intangible –

Situational Awareness is the first and foremost intangible! You must be aware of what is going on around you. And the closer an event is…the more important it is that you know what is happening.

In my series of articles concerning Situational Awareness (SA). I go into great detail on what it is, how to improve it, and how to avoid SA problems. Well worth taking the time to read. < click here to read Situational Awareness articles > 

SA in the strictest of terms by the purists is a “state of knowledge.” In other words we need to have realistic knowledge of the things taking place around us in our environment. Further, SA is being able to correctly assess that knowledge. To bring SA into reality we need to define Situational Awareness as the acquisition of, the processing of, a state of, and taking action on knowledge. That knowledge comes from the environment around you.

Here is the short version of SA:

First Step, you must understand the environment that you will be operating it; establish a baseline or what is normal and therefor expected in that environment. Hence, anything that occurs that is outside of that baseline is not normal and to be noted. You acquire that knowledge by observing what is happening around you – Situational Awareness.

Second Step, you then must identify the key cues that will indicate that something is sufficiently abnormal (i.e. different) that it would represent an increased threat or risk.  And you must monitor those environment elements identified for any change or deviation from the baseline, recognize when they occur and their relative importance – Situational Understanding.

Third Step, you project the outcome of the events that are taking place that are deemed a threat or risk to determine the effect (fatality factor) it will have on your situation.  You then decide on an option to mitigate that threat or risk – Situational Judgement.

Fourth Step, take timely and decisive corrective action if required. Yes, I believe that SA without “action” is a waste of time and energy. But that also makes me outside of the mainstream advocating that SA includes an element of action – Situational Influence.

That is the intangible version of mitigating the threat of violence…you identify that it is there and avoid it.

Put SA into practice…Man in store with rifle1 – You are in a store and there is a man with an AR-style rifle slung over his shoulder. Is that normal? No. your SA should come alive.

2 – Magazine inserted in rifle. That indicates he is loaded and ready for action. Is that normal? No. You SA should be screaming at you.

3 – He appears to have an Obama “Hope” t-shirt on. Is that normal? An Obama t-shirt would be more closely associated with anti-gun, anti-Constitution Democrat radicals vs. pro-gun folks. Again, SA should be heightened even more.

4 – Body posture is relaxed and appears to be buying cookies. Both of those indicates the opposite of a person about to go off his nut. Both are good indicators that the threat is lessened.

5 – Muzzle slung down. That is a universal indicator of non-aggression by militaries. Another indicator that the threat isn’t as high as it could be.

Now the real question – What do you do next with you and your family in this situation?

Tangibles of Personal & Family Defense –

Let’s move on to the area where you simply aren’t/weren’t able to avoid all threat of violence…now what?

To keep the threat/risk of violence as far from you as possible the best way to do so is with a high-quality, long-range rifle, top quality optics, along with a great set of shooting skills. You become the “American Sniper.”

But, what happens if the bad guys get right in your face? Then you better have a way to deal with that imminent threat as well. Since an “in-your-face” scenario might actually be so close you can’t bring a weapon into action, you should have the ability to defend yourself with nothing more than your bare hands…to some reasonable degree. This would be the inner-most ring of your defensive layers protecting you and your family from the threat or risk of violence.

Why be able to defend yourself, your family, and your home? I call this the Castle Principle. Simply put, you are responsible for the safety of your home (i.e. your “Castle”) and all those that dwell therein. If you are not going to defend the people taking refuge in your home, who will?

Seriously, if you are not prepared to defend your family and friends that have taken refuge in your home, what good are you? No, I don’t mean you have to be a combination of a SEAL and a Ninja. Yes, I do mean you have to have the means and be willing to defend your family.

If someone else is going to defend them instead of you, is it really your castle? The whole concept of the Castle Principle is you being responsible for defending your home and the people in it. If not you, who?

OK, back to defending against the bad guy from a distance or in-your-face…

Why not an AR-15 vs. your bare hands against a bad guy that has come close-in and is in your face? Because at close range it would probably be impossible to get an AR up and pointed at a guy. He could be so close that it is Kelly Alwoodphysically impossible to raise the rifle. When I took a very serious defensive class I was able to neutralize a hardcore operator’s carbine from being brought into action. Yup, me!

But, his greater skill-set allowed him to forget the carbine entirely and deal with me using only his bare hands…and a training knife. Yeah, I didn’t come out so good on that one. My point is, a barehanded person can neutralize that weapon, even an experienced soldier carrying one.

However, if your attacker were just a few inches further away, you may be able to pull a knife. As he did in the example above. If there is maybe a foot or two separation between the two of you, you may have space and time to draw a pistol for defense. Add another foot or two of separation and now maybe there is enough space and time to employ an AR or shotgun.

If the guy is 100 yards away then an AR is going to be far more accurate than a shotgun. You get to 400 – 600 yards then the long-range rifle is a better choice than an AR. Although, with practice an AR-15 can be shot very effectively at ranges of 400- 600 yards.

Layers of protection against the threat of violence.

Layers of protection against the threat of violence.

Now look at all those concentric circles with you and your family in the center. The first circle is your bare hands capabilities. The next circle is a knife as a defensive weapon. The circle after that is a pistol. Then a shotgun, then an AR, and finally a long-range rifle.

With each circle you keep the bad guys further from your castle, and further from those you love and whom you are trying to protect. You have created defense in layers.

You effectively have an answer for each separate and consecutive threat. In other words, you have multiple layers of defense to protect your family. Each layer having a specific purpose, its own mission.

Bottom line, your goal is to keep all risks and threats as far away from you and your family as possible.  However, as the threat gets closer you have defensive measures in-place to deal with it. And hopefully you have developed the mindset that you will employ those defenses when needed, without hesitation, and the best you possibly can.

In priority order I propose the following –
  1. A really good fighting or defensive knife (i.e. boot knife). For this you might want to consider –
    • Gerber StrongArm
    • Gerber Guardian 05803 Knife (boot knife)
    • For an ultimate fighting knife – CRKT Hissatsu
  2. A really good pistol. For more information on this you may want to read < Choosing the Right Gun : Pistols >
  3. A really good shotgun. For more information on this you may want to read < Choosing the Right Gun : Shotguns >
  4. A really good carbine. For more information on this you may want to read < Choosing the Right Gun : Carbine/Rifle >

If you already own weapons and you want additional thoughts on what to do:

  1. Go to the range and practice sometime during the month of September. Don’t just punch holes in paper, shoot at 6” paper plates from different positions (sitting, squatting, laying down, from behind a barrier). Then shoot at those same size paper plates while moving laterally, while moving forward, while moving backward, in tandem with another shooter. Don’t just stand there and shoot. Not only is it boring, it doesn’t improve your skills. You need to become a “shooter” and that means working on actual shooting skills. Practice with 3 rounds in your first mag, force yourself to switch mags while moving. Do all kinds of things that you think you might actually have to do in a gunfight. Use a 9-hole, that is an amazing training tool. And finally, remember to replace the ammo that you used at the range.
  2. Buy more ammo! If you know how much ammo you have, then you don’t have enough. Buy the decent stuff. You don’t have to buy the best ammo out there, but buy dependable ammo. Remember, in a gunfight you don’t want the cheapest crap ammo running through your gun. Genuine military surplus is a good way to go.
  3. Buy a good tactical holster. I like Blackhawk Drop Leg Platform with a SERPA holster.
  4. Buy more magazines. For pistols I think the minimum number of magazines you should own is 3. One for the gun, two for the mag pouch. Having another spare or two is a great idea. I like Mec-Gar magazines. They are high-quality, less expensive than original manufacture magazines, just as good as original manufacture, and they have a slightly higher round capacity. FYI…many gun manufactures have Mec-Gar make their mags for them.
  5. If you have a good fighting or boot knife, make sure you have a good sharpener for it…and your knife has a great edge on it.
  6. Find a shooting class, preferably a tactical class, in your area and take the training. Take your wife with you, take your oldest son with you, you best friend, your neighbor, go as a group, have fun, learn a lot…and when you are done with the class know you are better trained than ever before. And better trained than the average person.
  7. Upgrade your optics. Or, buy another spare battery or two for your optics.
Home Defense –

Defense in layers applies just as much to defending your property, another aspect of my Castle Principle. You start by having strong steel doors with deadbolt locks. But you also have reinforcing bars to prevent your doors from being kicked in. But if the bad guys get inside the house you still have a bedroom door that is solid core and can withstand some considerable amount of force being applied to it. Then you have a bathroom with a strong, solid door as well. You look at this last vestige of safety as your Alamo.

Here are some of the things you can do:

  1. You have a stone wall or fence around your property.
  2. Between the wall/fence and your house you have one or more dogs.
  3. You have motion activated lights around your house.
  4. You have sensors on your doors and windows to alert you that someone is opening them.
  5. You have motion sensor inside your home that you can turn on at night.
  6. You have a sensor at the end of your driveway to notify you of someone approaching.
  7. You have a sensor on the framer around your roll-up garage door to alert you if someone comes in your garage.
  8. Install a security door on your exterior doors.

And the list goes on and on. The point being, you implement those measures that protect your house as if your house were a castle stronghold.

Summary –

So now you have plenty of solid principles, lots of ideas and thoughts on what you can do to protect yourself and your family from the threat of violence. One of the things, one of the best things, you can do is work together with one or more other families. Come up with plans to work together to protect the combined group of folks. A very old saying that truly applies in this situation is “There is safety in numbers.” Don’t discount that concept!

What I want you to do now is based on the promptings you got while reading this article…take action. Take action in the next couple of days. Even if it is following through with a no cost idea…go to the range. Do something, do what the prompting was when you felt it.

Personal note to you –

Personal Note from AH TrimbleThere are lots of changes concurring in the world right now. Recent decisions by the Progressive/Liberal Supreme Court and the Whitehouse have reinforced anti-gun laws. I would encourage you to think about purchasing a gun, specifically an AR-style carbine/rifle. Remember the gun ban put in place during the first Clinton presidency that was widely supported by Republicans? That gun ban was aimed specifically at AR’s & AK’s . There may come a time soon where you might need one and can’t buy one. Same could be said for high-capacity magazines and ammunition as well. Please consider this.



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without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

7 Days of September – Introduction

If you haven’t read the post on September 1, 2019 that explains this post…well, go read that post first (91/2019) and then this post will make more sense.

So what is the goal/purpose of this series of articles?

To use seven separate days in the month of September to dedicate to, to focus on, each of the seven areas of emergency, disaster, and grid-down threats…and solutions.

I am not so naive to think that you would be fully prepared after the seven days, but I am hoping you will take the time to gather ideas and thoughts to be better prepared when the seven days is over.

You may already consider yourself prepared…great! However, what I would like you to do is to read each of the seven articles and listen to that little voice inside of you…that still small voice…and follow those promptings. Listen to what you might hear in regards to doing that one more thing that you might not have thought about prior to reading the articles.

And, I also want to throw another idea at you…I want you to think of this as an opportunity to share emergency preparedness with others. None of these articles will be fanatical, extreme, or filled with political ideology. They will be down-to-earth, common sense, practical ideas on being prepared for emergencies, disasters, or a grid-down event. That might just be the opening you have been looking for to reach out to others.  I encourage you to share these articles with folks that you know who aren’t prepared, not prepared enough, or simply have shown an interest in prepping but you needed a place to send them to for information.

What I am not talking about –

Let me take an opposite tact first…I am talking about “events” not “situations.” What I am not talking about are survival situations. An event is where a wide-spread electrical outage occurs and you and your family must then respond to that event. A survival situation is where you must react to being lost in the forest and it will drop to 10° tonight.

That being said, the “event” preparation steps we take will be able to handle most survival “situations.” So in these articles I will concentrate on events where broader principles apply. It is a matter of responding vs. reacting.

Categories of Catastrophe –

My 30+ years of experience as a professional emergency responder tells me there are three basic categories of events to prepare for:

  • EmergenciesHouse Fire
    • Injury
    • Flu
    • Vehicle Accident
    • Heart Attack
    • Job Loss/Retirement
    • Utility Outage
    • Death
    • House Fire
  • DisastersEarthquake
    • Earthquake
    • Wildfire
    • Tornado
    • Hurricane
    • HazMat
    • Flood
    • Epidemic


  • Grid-DownUrban SHTF grid-down survival skills and priorities
    • Transportation Stopage
    • Pandemic
    • Financial or Stock Market Collapse
    • War or EMP Attack
    • Martial Law



Yes, you can add more to the list for each category. You may even want to move a few around from how I have them arranged. That’s OK, at least you are thinking about catastrophe categorization.

As you look at each category of catastrophe you can see how they grow larger in terms of scope of impact. “Emergencies” for the most part affect only a single person or a family, potentially a neighborhood, etc. However, emergencies are fairly limited in scope. As you move to “disaster,” and especially at the “grid-down” level, those events are now affecting people over increasingly larger areas. And in the case of “grid-down” it could/would be affecting potentially an entire country, hemisphere, or the whole world.

Preparation Priorities –

There are a wide variety, almost an endless list, of emergencies, disasters and grid-down possibilities. But amazingly, they all fundamentally contain virtually the same threats in the same priority order:Threats Cause Risks for preppers

  1. Violence
  2. Sickness/Injury
  3. Lack of, or Poor, Communication
  4. Lack of, or Poor, Organization
  5. Dehydration
  6. Exposure (Hyper/Hypothermia – clothing & shelter)
  7. Starvation
Fatality Factor –

Neglecting to properly mitigate these threats/risks in the proper order will result in failure at some point and to some degree. And failure will not be pleasant! Failure can potentially mean fatal or near-fatal results.

Why do I list threats/risks in the particular order? The order is based on the “fatality factor.” Meaning…what can kill or seriously injure you, or your family, the quickest.

Example #1 – The inability of you to defend yourself or your family from an armed man can result in you or a family member being shot. That gunshot wound can be immediately fatal. Starvation can take about 10 – 20 days to kill the normal person. So being shot has a far higher fatality factor than starving to death.

Example #2 – If you are out scouting for water and you fall and gash your leg open resulting in bleeding, then you have a problem of potentially bleeding out. That can occur in as little as three minutes if you have cut an artery and can’t get the bleeding stopped. However, if it is 30º outside and you aren’t properly dressed for it you could potentially die from exposure as well. But, the process of dying from exposure could take hours, maybe days, to kill you. So bleeding to death carries a higher fatality factor than exposure.

The fatality factor is the key to prioritizing threats/risks in emergency preparedness.The things that kill you the quickest have a higher mitigation priority requirement than those that can take longer to be fatal.

Risk Mitigation –

There are two aspects of risk that we should not only be concerned about, but have the ability to influence; 1) probability, 2) severity.Risk Managment Probability of incident occurring

“Probability” simply means, how likely the event is to occur. And in the prepper world I extend that to, and in what time-frame relative to now. So I have defined probability as “How likely is the event to occur and how soon.”

Risk Managment Severity of impact if incident does occurrThe other aspect of risk is “severity.” Severity is defined as “If the event does occur, how bad can the potential outcome be.”

I’ve combined it to read, “How likely will the event occur from now and how severe could the outcome be?”

Yes, there is a whole lot of “judgement” that can take place (and should take place) when working with those definitions as applied to your immediate emergency situation. But not to worry, just make the best judgement you can. Throughout this series of articles I will give you clues, hints, and advice on what to look for and how to make those judgements wisely.

Now that we have identified the two main players in “event risk” and how to judge the probability and severity, we can Risk Mitigation by reducing probability and or severity discuss how to increase our chances of surviving an event with its associated risks. Actually it’s very simple; 1) reduce the probability that the event will occur, 2) reduce the severity of impact to our family should the event occur. That process is called “risk mitigation.”

You mitigate the identified threats/risks by having the ability to:

  • Defend yourself, family and community.will i ever use my emergency preparedness gearPrepperGear-001
  • Provide medical care.
  • Use non-standard communication systems.
  • Use a high-quality organizational system, ICS (Incident Command System).
  • Produce, filter and purify water.
  • Provide basic shelter and have quality clothing available.
  • Provide initial food supply and the ability to grow more.
The Plan –

This article introduced you to a number of vital preparedness principles:

  • Categories of Catastrophe
  • Preparation Priorities
  • Fatality Factor
  • Risk Mitigation

Each of the next seven articles will provide information on each of the seven “priorities.” The articles will appear in the next seven days and then a “summary” article on the 8th day. I look forward to hearing your feedback, suggestions, ideas, and even your complaints.


note: This series of articles originally appeared in September 2016. I have edited and updated the material in 2019 to be more useful and current. Please ask questions about any of the material as you wish. Also, feel free to post comments on each page as you deem appropriate.


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What I might do – Part #2

note: If you haven’t read the post on September 1, 2019 that explains this post…well, go read that post first and then this port will make more sense.

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:

  1. We have the exact same situation in the scenario world as we do today.Hansens-001
  2. 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, smart.
  3. Christian, church goers, limited involvement in community, some involvement in block watch
  4. It is a Wednesday.
  5. School is in session, kids are at school.
  6. Dad is at work.
  7. Mom is out shopping for groceries.

Narrative – Tensions with Russia have been getting worse by the day for the last month. Muslim terrorists really stepped up strikes in Europe, especially France. 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 war 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 FamilyPlanningMeetingHansens 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 together 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 but 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 are 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 against police. Tensions everywhere in the US are rising quickly. Schools along the east coast have cancelled classes for the day and sending student home.

At 2pm the New York Stock Exchange announces it will close early at 2:15pm. Oil futures price spike Stock Market Crash is a concern, threat, risk for preppers during grid-down.world-wide. The DOW has been dropping all day, down 1500points, now it takes a dive of another 500points based on the closure announcement

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% within minutes.

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 them. There can be a lot going on, but what is really going to affect them 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.
    1. 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.
    2. All adults confirm that their BOKs & IFAKs are at hand and readily available.
    3. All adults check that their communications are working, including handheld radios and cell phones.
    4. Goodman and Smith moms will return home. Once there they will secure their homes.
    5. 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.
    6. Husbands and wives will check-in with each other when the kids have been secured and are en-route to home. If someone can’t reach their spouse they will check in with Ashely Hansen monitoring the Ham mobile.
    7. No Ham call signs will be used to protect identity. Pre-arranged call signs will be used instead. They are using their ComPlan 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.
  • Charge all rechargeable power batteries.

UPDATE: Three shopping malls are four more schools attacked. Rioting breaks out in multiple cities. All schools nationwide have been let out and all classes are cancelled for tomorrow. The 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 until all supplies are moved. The husbands and next capable children will make the move in three vehicles convoying with food and supplies 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 to those cities as well. Most National Guard 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 ComPlan 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 –
  • Bug-out:
    • Confirm location
    • Establish trigger points
    • Create travel plan
  • Bug-in:
    • Establish criteria
    • Create long-term plan
    • Establish trigger point to cancel and return home
Summary –

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”:

  1. Situational Awareness and make a decision. And then communicate that to all family and group members.
  2. Take defensive actions and prepare to defend yourself and family from violence.
  3. Ready all medical kits and ensure that everyone has a BOK & IFAK with them at all times.
  4. Establish and maintain alternative communications capability.
  5. Organize an interim plan of action and organize the folks that you have.
  6. Make sure everyone is getting some water and food in them.
  7. 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…

Which Way to go for prepping


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See Content Use Policy for more information.

What I might do – Part #1

note: If you haven’t read the post on September 1, 2019 that explains this post…well, go read that post first and then this port will make more sense.

Quite awhile ago I was thinking about different scenarios of emergencies, disasters, and grid-down events and how they might develop and play out. I just let my mind really go off in a number of interesting directions. Then I caught myself saying “Wow!”

As I tend to do when thinking through a problem, I go to the “worst case” aspect of the problem. Now remember, I have 20+ hurricane seasons I have gone through while I lived in Florida, so I have some real experience in this kind of thinking. So I decided to play it out a little in my mind.

Here was the set-up…

  • A major grid-down event was going to occur.
  • I had 3 hours advanced warning that it would occur.
  • What would I do?
  • What would my wife do?Action Plan for grid-down

I then talked to my wife about this, as well as my best friend who lives in the same city that I do. Then I thought it through some more. Yeah, I do a lot of thinking.

What I came up with was an “action plan.” The list of things I would do in the three hours before the grid-down event and for the 6 – 12 hours immediately after the event occurred. As I built my “to-do” list some interesting points started to surface as well as what were the most important steps that I should take. So this article is the result of all of that thinking, talking, and planning.

Some of this may not apply to you, some of it may be a little overwhelming, some of it may sound outright stupid. So be it. I am putting this out there for you to consider and if some or all it applies…use it, modify it, apply it, and make it your own.

But here are some of the take-a-ways from this mental exercise and its planning cousin.

  1. You have to avoid Normalcy Bias at all costs! When you have the warning that the event will occur, you must take action, no delays.
  2. You must have buy-in of the plan from your spouse. If not complete buy-in, at least not active objection.
  3. When the time comes to pull the trigger on the plan you must do so immediately.
  4. You are going to need help.
  5. When going to the stores the optimum team will be three people. One to guard the vehicle, one doing the “shopping” and one providing security for the shopper.
  6. You must have a cash stash already put aside. Banks and ATMs may not be available.
  7. As soon as you pull the trigger on your plan, your #1 priority is the safety of your family and group. After that is accomplished the next priority is getting whatever cash out of the bank and ATMs that you can, if it is even available.
  8. Do not stop or slowdown completing the items on your “to-do” list while you still have the time and means. That means do not stop to explain what you are doing, to warn someone else, to stop and think it through again. You must stay on task and complete the list.
  9. Try to keep a low profile when you are working on your tasks. Example: when you bring home a load of food, pull into the garage and close the garage door before unloading the food. Your neighbors don’t need to see what you are doing. Poor OpSec can bring disaster.
  10. Don’t flash cash. If you are going to use cash (or gold or silver) to “influence” store personnel, do so off to the side where it is just you and them. Have your security overwatch standing far enough away to observe the area and keep you safe.
  11. Everyone involved must understand that safety is priority #1 and anything that jeopardizes safety must be weighed against preventing harm being done vs. the benefit of the action/task. And when I talk about “safety” I mean the safety of your family and your group. While you don’t want to be cold or cruel, and you surely don’t want to take a life if you don’t have too…your family’s safety and your group safety is #1. You’ve committed to them, keep your promise, keep them safe.

Remember, keep this in perspective…I am saying this is the “worst case scenario” that you would face. This is NOT TEOTWAWKI planningwhat you would do for a hurricane or wildfire…but a major grid-down event where things won’t come back to normal anytime soon. Maybe a “martial law” kind of event might be a good way to think of it to put it all into perspective.

Then, once you have prepared for the “worst” you can dial it back to whatever is appropriate for the actual event that you are dealing with. This plan is flexible, adaptable, and scalable. But like any “plan”…it is worthless unless action is taken. And once you take action, be relentless, be a pitbull, stay after it until your action items are all completed.

Once that is done…then you can move on to the next phase of surviving and thriving.

Safety is always the number one #1 priority in emergencies disasters and grid-downLet’s review the priorities:

  1. Safety¹ of our family and the group.
  2. Safety¹ of others.
  3. Communications. Everyone has to know what is going on and keep lines of communications open.
  4. Action. Everyone involved must take action on the “to-do” list and be involved.
  5. Tenacity. Everyone must keep working through the “to-do” list until unable to physically continue.
  6. OpSec is a must. No discussion outside of the family or group should take place about what your family and group are doing. This is extremely important! The safety of the family and/or group could be very easily jeopardized if what you are doing gets out to the wrong person or people.
  7. Pre-planning is vital. A cash stash (a must) and precious metals stash (if possible) is critical to the success of this operation.
  8. Be mentally prepared. The only way to prepare mentally for something such as this is to talk it through…multiple times. Something that might help is a “dry-run.” No, not actually buying the items and doing the tasks on the list, but drive to each location, walk around the location, ask to see the manager, and just familiarize yourself with those places you will be going to should the need arise.

Let’s talk about security for a minute. I mentioned that 3-person teams are optimal. However, don’t delay action if you can’t reach that optimal team level. A person by themselves is an easy target, especially once word gets out about what is happening, and people realize and recognize what you are doing. So it is safer earlier on in a incident than as the event develops. So yes, I would go to the bank by myself within the first hour of the operation without too much concern. But going to Sam’s Club by myself six hours after the event occurred could well be suicidal.

How you implement security will have to be on a specific “threat specific.” Openly carrying your AR while wearing your tactical TEOTWAWKI-002vest with complete kit could really deter a whole lot of minor threats. But law enforcement might take exception to your appearance and try to intervene. The outcome to that situation would be a “no-win” regardless of who is left standing.

On the other hand, carrying concealed might give you a lower profile and draw less attention while pumping your tank full of gas. But it TEOTWAWKI-003also might make you look like easy prey. Setting a single security standard it is a tough call to make but you are going to have to make a decision on your security stance.

Just remember, there is safety is numbers. If you have someone acting as security overwatch as their only task you will be light-years ahead of of 99.9% of everyone else.

But also remember this, you must protect yourself, your family and your group. Getting into a full-on firefight with someone, or some group, is not the answer…it is a mistake. Now, it may come down to that as an only option, a last option, but be very careful. It should be only your last resort, not a top three option. When the bullets fly, who knows who gets lucky, or unlucky. I would normally rather give up a shopping cart of food then take a life over it.

Well, that might not be entirely true…one less “thug” might not be a bad thing 😉

Choose wisely.

Choose Wisely

So now…What would you do?



¹ – Means the physical safety of a person. Sufficient action to protect that safety may be required. Those involved must be mentally and physically ready to take that action if required.


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Days of September

I am going to try something new…please bear with me.

I want to link a number of updated articles together in a “lesson” format. Yeah…school time!

I hope you hang in there with me, I think everyone can get something out of this. It is important enough to me that I am dedicating the entire first part of September to this. Please take the time to work with me. I bet we can all learn something.

Here’s my plan…
  1. I share this post with you outlining what I am going to do.
  2. I will post two days of “This Is What I Would Do” articles.
  3. Then I will post an introductory article on dealing with risks and threats.
  4. Then there will be seven days of articles touching on each of the “7 Common Risks/Threats.”
  5. Then there will be a summary post covering the posts mentioned in #4.
  6. And lastly I will post 5 articles, one each day, asking the question “What would you do?”
  7. Finally, I will post a global summary of all of the previous September articles (minus the 9/11) article.

How it plays out…

I share this post with you outlining what I am going to do.

Pretty dang self-explanatory…you are reading this post.

I will post two days of “This Is What I Would Do” articles.

These two articles originally appeared a few years ago on my website. I have resurrected them, edited them for grammar and spelling, then added some additional material while discarding out of date stuff. These two articles are to get you thinking. I develop a scenario and then I go into some details of what I might do and why. I hit on some principles and ideas. It is to get you into a more formal mind set of dealing with emergencies, disasters, and even grid-down events.

Then I will post an introductory article on dealing with risks and threats.

This article will cover risk/threat categorizing, priority setting, fatality factor, and risk mitigation. It will touch on each of those subjects in detail and with formal training to implement what you’ve learned. It won’t be long or boring…just hardcore fast moving information to get you going.

Then there will be seven days of articles touching on each of the “7 Common Risks/Threats.”

I will cover each of the risks/threats that are common to all emergencies, disasters, and grid-down. They are; Violence, Injury or Sickness, Communications, Organization, Dehydration, Exposure, and Starvation. I will present information that will get you started in understanding the risks/threats and how to deal with them.

Then there will be a summary post covering the posts mentioned in #4.

In that post I will wrap up the previous 7 post information and give you an assignment.

And lastly I will post 5 articles, one each day, asking the question “What would you do?”

This 5-post series, one each day, is to present you with different scenarios and ask you a simple question, “What would you do?” You can turn it into a major planning session…or simply a brain-storming session with yourself and/or your family. It is to motivate you to think about what might happen and get your mind in the habit of thinking through what is happening and coming up with a plan.

Finally, I will post a global summary of all of the previous September articles (minus the 9/11) article.

This will be my time to bloviate on the previous 18 days worth of posts, your comments/replies, and anything else that might be applicable.

Summary –

I truly hope you don’t find this idea out of line, or childish, or unneeded. I think the timing is right for it. I hope you will participate with me through this exercise.


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Hey, I need you to keep your eyes open and watch for…….

I need you to watch for an article that will appear on September 1st. It will be the first of a series of articles that I really am excited about and think you will enjoy….or at least learn something from. Not that I am a great teacher or an oracle of truth…but the articles might get you thinking…and then learning.

Please keep your eyes open for it!