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The Realities of Home Defense in the Suburbs

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posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 01:05 AM
The popular television series "Jericho" has prompted a lot of speculation about what a person might need to do in such a far-reaching catastrophic situation. Should you sit tight and defend your home? Should you be prepared to move?

Those of us who lived through the first Cold War can recall what it was like to entertain the notion of nuclear preparedness. You can find some of this discussion in another ATS thread.

Disaster Planning

It's altogether possible to make your home "ready" for almost any disaster you can think of. As long as your structure remains standing, you ahve a place to 'live.' Trouble is, food and shelter are only two of your long-term problems.

Plastic sheeting, plywood, hammer, and nails. These are commonly discussed items here in the ATS Survivalist forum. For just $200.00, you too can lay in enough basic building materials to fortify or make repairs. As good as that sounds, there are afew harsh realities that few are discussing.

Anyone who lives in an urban environment is surrounded by people who will have the same wants and needs in a catastrophe situation. Trouble is, most will not be so forward thinking as you could be, if you bothered to take time out to make your lists and shop for supplies. It's a well known truth among real survivalists that anything you do to prepare for this contingency should be kept secret. Sad to say, most people don't keep those secrets.

Even if you can be quiet about the guns, food, and fuel you have in your garage or basement, the fact that your home is boarded up will...draw attention. That fact alone will tell your neighbors that YOU have "stuff" that they don't. Some of those people may ask you for help. Others may want to tade openly and fairly. Most...will not choose either of these 'civilized' options.

Even if you can overcome the locals because you have a year's supply of food and enough guns and bullets to slaughter an're still in trouble. In a crisis where mass starvation becomes a factor, anything worth defending will be worth killing to posess.

Mothers wh need food for their babies will do whatever is necessary to get it. Even if that means betraying your life-ling friendship to get it. Becuae so few of you will have the foresight to plan for these "what if" nightmares, you'll have to accept the fact that in any fortified situation...your days of living in that boarded up house will be numbered.

Assuming that you don't get burned out, sniped, or betrayed from within by somebody whom you thought was a've still got other problems. Inevitably, there will be something you need that somebody else has. That will involve trading that could be hazardous to your health. If you become a trusted and reliable trader, "somebody" is going to get curious about your stash. Once they realize that you're operating out of a defended home...

The obvious solution here is to encourage a neighborhood defense. In some parts of the country, this may be easily done. In most well-to-do suburbs, for example; those who "have" can be pursuaded to make some investment in their own security. In other areas, those who "have not" will be more interested in looting when the time comes.

Even with a neighborhood defense plan, you've still got one more long-term problem to consider. It's only a matter of time 'til the local, State, or Federal authorities begin to re-assert control over your area. This may sound good, but it comes with a catch that most are not aware of. If you check out the disaster planning for State and Federal agencies, you will find that they've laid in a few regs on what to do about...hoarders.

The basic battle plan for most State and Federal disaster relief efforts involves re-distribution of resources. Anyone who has read the older FEMA manuals that accounted for nuclear war can tell you just how this works. At some point in the passification program, there will be house-to-house searches conducted. Becuae hoarding will be against the law under these crisis conditions...those who "have" will be forced to guve up their hoard so that others who "have not" can benefit.

You should expect this household search to be conducted thoroughly. They'll look for all the usual hiding places, and even a few of the more unlikely hiding places. Cnaces are that you will have been notified beforehand that hoarding is a crime. What they can't get by appealing to your civic virtue will be taken only after they've issued their official threat.

Let's be clear about one thing. The FEMA troops will have been tasked with looking out for the greater good. That means taking care of the vast majority who failed to make any of the preperations that you did. The needs of the many will certainly outweigh the neds of the few, or the one. If the society is going to survive, some of its members will be forced in to making sacrifices that they'd rather not.

The only way to increase your survival odds under these conditions will be to plan for the eventual siezure of whatever State or Federal authorities manage to find on your property...if you are still there when they come. Survivalists have long held the notion that food and guns will have one thing in common when catastrophe strikes. As long as you've left something for "them" to find, they won't look too hard for the rest of what you've got tucked away...somewhere else.

The need to have an off-site cache is real. Eventually, you may have to relocate. Your house could burn, or you could be forced to leave for any number of other reasons. In this age of terrorism, nothing is impossible. Having atleast one stockpile located somewhere else can do more than save your life. It can give you a reason to live because it'll take some effort to reach it.

If as in the case of "Jericho," you face having to survive a should expect to be visited by a lot of hungry people. You may have enough manpower and bullets to drive them off, but that won't last forever. Eventually, your need to forage for supplies can and will force you from your barricaded home. If you've really just got to stay there...

posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 02:15 AM
You've got a lot of choices to make if you do decide to make a stand inside your home. This includes the type and number of weapons you will stockpile for that purpose. While it is adviseable to defend with as many active sentries as you see fit, it's also a good idea to be aware of the fact that any weapons you "show off" can draw unwanted attention.

In the aftermath of any major crisis, you're likely to see some Local, State, or Federal presence in your neighborhood. At some point, somebody official is going to try and quell the chaos to re-assert some form of authority and governance. If you are seen to be particularly well-equipped, you'll be asking for a visit from those troops or police.

An assortment of rifles, pistols, and shotguns will serve the average person when it comes to home defense. One or two scoped rifles can allow you to observe and engage long-range threats, if the people operationg those weapons know what to do with them. Under worst-case situations, counter-sniper fire may be very important to your defense.

In the United States, it's still possible to buy and shoot automatic weapons. Those who have the necessary permits can do this legally. Those who do not have those permits still have enough freedom to do this quietly. In many cases, military-grade weapons can be bought with civilian "inhibitors" built in which can be eliminated after the fact. The classic survivalist example would be a "civilian" AR-15 that has a single added pin welded to the weapon's bolt assemply. Once filed off, that weapon becomes fully automatic.

Having military-grade weapons is a personal choice for many Americans. Some see the need for them, while others do not. For any defender, being able to put many rounds down-rage is a plus. Trouble is, you'll be advertising that capability each time you use it. Some survialists who keep such weapons intend to hold them back for last-ditch stands or other unpredicted emergencies that would demand such a heavy-handed...response.

When it comes to a Federal sweep, you should expect to encounter U.S. Army personnel or even National Guard members equipped with electronic sensing gear. These will most often be metal detectors, which will be used to search for undeclared weapons caches. In the very near future, it's likely that most Americans will put up with any number of new gun control laws that will make it much easier for troops in a post-catastrophe environment to disarm or passify anyone regarded as a hostile hoarder.

There's a lot of speculation about just how far those gun control laws will go. I have even made my own best guess on that score. As I understand it, some ATS members have read my book. With any luck, some of them may post here. No matter what those laws turn out to be like, it's a fact of life that will certainly affect how you defend your home.

As with any other form of supply that you might rely on, it's likely to be a good idea to have an off-site cache. It's long been an accepted idea among survivalists to use PVC pipe to store guns in. Sealed at both ends, these four-foot segments can be buried and come back for at any later date. Use of a post-hole digger can minimize the "footprint" of your weapons cache.

For the last thirty years, it's also been an accepted idea among survivalists to have some of your guns registers...and others un-registered. the idea is to present law enforcement officials with a "legitimate" stash of arms and ammunition that they can confiscate while keeping the rest of your stuff hidden. In a crisis where you might not be thinking right, this tactic could save you a lot of grief.

It won''t do you any good to have a huge stock of guns if you have to pick up and move. Keep this in mind as you builk up on bullets. A one thousand round "can" of ammunition weighs about 32 pounds. That's not something you'll slip in to your back pocket as you run out the door. It is, however, something you could put in your car or truck...if the need arose.

Being prepared to move is a "must." Any number of things can force you out of your prepared defensive position. See the post above this one for more on that subject.

posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 02:42 AM
The fact of the matter is that most American eat on the basis of volume. they don't count calories. A casual examination of the average U.S. home or apartment will show you that we don't allow much space for the long-term storage of our food that we gobble down so prodigiously. This is something you'll need to keep in mind if you want to foritify and defend your home to ride out any major catastrophe.

It's not unusual people who buy survival rations to fixate on calory count. In a peace-time environment, it's easy to be lulled in to a false sense of security when you're standing in the store with a full stomach. It's easy to do the price comparisons to get the best deals on stuff you think you will never need to use.

The fact of the matter is that you'll be giving over a lot of the space inside your home if you decide to stock up on enough food and supplies to ride out any possible disaster. Modern freeze-dried foods come in many varieties, and the extent and amount of medical and hygiene products available can easily make your life very cushy while you're barricaded inside your home in the 'burbs.

Trouble is, that fat stockpile can also make you too paranoid or too sloppy. Survivalists often get pegged as paranoid lunatics who talk to their guns in the dark, when they think nobody is looking. Sad to say that the siege mentality can also run you around the bend if the stress levels get high enough. Having too much "stuff" on hand can drive you nuts as you live in fear of having it taken away from you.

Likewise, having too little can get you in trouble. Unless you are very detail oriented, it's quite likely that you'll miss having "something" in your stash. If you do decide to dig in, take your time and look at the problem from as many different perspectives as you can. If you've got kids, or a spouse, consider what they're likley to need as well as how long those needs may last during that foreseeable length of that crisis.

Because food issues are so incendiary in a crisis, you should be aware of how "having" will change the dynamics of your friendships and associations. Those who have less, or none, will not deal with you very well at some point during the crisis. Your generosity may even be mis-interpreted. When that happens, you may lose more than just a few friends. Historically speaking, hoarders get killed after a crisis has been in effect for more than six moths.

As with guns, Federal, State, and Local officials may at some point come to inspect your premises to seek out hoarding. A hundred guns can be easily hidden. A hundred cases of canned goods...can't be so easily shoved out of the way. Even if it is easy for you to pull things together, it can also be too easy to pull together too much.

The trouble with food and other supplies is that they take up a lot of space. This makes it hard to develope off-site caches. For this reason, it may be a good idea to have more than one stash of supplies that you can go to over the span of the crisis. In the event that you are driven from your home, food or medicine could be more important than guns. Cold weather, food, medicine, all of these should be in your off-site caches.

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 01:59 AM
Ok this just my 10 cents.

If you have a family member who owns a rural or semi rural property you and your , militia and the people that will be protected under your umbrella may want to withdraw to the property. A rural property would allow you to produce the likes food and electricity in larger quantity's then in Urban area.

For generating electricity if you can afford it invest in solar panels. No matter where you choose to establish your base you will need a heavily armed well trained group of people. Be prepared to kill anyone dosnt fall under your umbrella and know your area.

Do you hold that bridge across the river or do you blow the bridge ?
Make sure that you have the means of moving people and equipment across the river.

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 03:26 AM
As time goes by Im really getting into this whole survival and "just in case" scenarios. Could somebody direct me to or list for me the basic supplies that I need to last say the first week of a disaster?

Both if I decide to stay and defend my home or if I decide to load up the truck and head bush.

I'd like to start collecting and preparing my stash for a quick getaway. This will not only help me but also guide the other here who may be wondering the same thing.


posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 07:44 AM
Google is your friend. For a start try this link:

Survival Links

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 09:30 AM
The fact of the matter isthat we're about to enter a very violent decade. Events at home and overseas will give many of us reasons to worry. As a historian, I'd say we're in for what amounts to a second Cold War. Much ofw hat we fear will be out of our control. Having a few options worked out for our own short-term survival could give many of us the peace-of-mind that we'll need to get through this difficult period.

Those who lived through the first Cold War will recall that while we did fear invasion from hostile powers, we also worried about the actions and policies of our own government. In today's world, it seems more likely htan at any time in the past that our elected leaders may turn on us. It's anyone's guess if this happens by accident or by design. The preperations that can help us survival a natural disaster can also help us survive an invasion or a civil war.

The information available on the Internet now makes it possible for people and groups to shop smart as they develope their own disaster preperations. As unusual and extreme as this may sound, it's worth noting that most Americans (before World War 2) did some degree of disaster planning as a matter of everyday life. Disaster preperations were once thought of as "normal." In today's convenience-driven work, the very idea of having a few extras for the sake of an unplanned emergency seems "not normal."

The fact that freeze-dried foods and shelf-stables products of all sorts are so readily available should mean that we have no excuse to avoid simple preps. Having a few extra cases of canned goods may be just one small step that can be taken by a majority of people to ensure that this same majority will survive any natural or man-made crisis. When you factor in the stockpiling of meds and other items that enhance quality of life, we've really only got ourselves to blame if we get caught unprepared.

the old-school notion of "rugged individualism" may be dead and buried, but we should still cling fiercely to the idea of the self-sustaining American who isn't afraid to muddle through any crisis. The average household spends hundred of dollars per year on junk foods that only serve to make us feel good as we get fat. Ten percent of any family's annual junk food budget would serve quite nicely to prepare them for any of the most likely natural disasters or civil disturbances.

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 09:43 AM
Justin's dead-on. There's really no excuse for families not having a modest supply of long shelf-life products stored away for that 'rainy' day. As another child of the Cold War we always had an 'extended pantry' and several cases of C-Rations stored away. You don't need to blow tons of money on guns/ammo, night vision goggles and the like. Start with the basics. There are well financed, well equipped and determined people out there that mean to do us harm. They've proven they can hurt us and their resolve hasn't waivered. Our government has proven itself less than up to the job when it comes to providing relief in a crisis. It's our responsibility to make sure we can sustain ourselves and our family in the event of a crisis. By show of hands, how many of you gun-toting, hard-core survivalists have fire extinguishers?

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 10:07 AM
That's another good point. If you can't help yourself, you won't be able to help anyone else. It's important to remember that you'll be in a very (very) small "club" if you bothered to make any preperations at all. Something as simple as an extra fire extinguisher makes the point. If you don't have one for yourself, you won't have one to lend, give, or trade to anyone matter how badly you might want to.

Those well-armed and determined folks who may come to take what's yours will fall in to two seperate and destinct groups. Government forces and civilian survivalists, or marauders. Remember that the FEMA mandate is to ensure the survival of the government, and then the nation. That means some will have to go without so that others may atleast stand a chance. You may not agree with that philosphy, but that's where they're coming from and that's why they'll beat down your door to take your hoard.

Civilian survivalists, on the other hand, will go for the easy prey first IF they choose to go marauding. This happens in part because it'll take them a while to learn the nuts and bolts of looting and pillaging. Not every survivalist group plans to sit on spendy stocks of food and supplies. Some actually do plan to take from others. Bear this in mind as you read earlier posts in this thread.

Before YOU can survive, you've got to have something to survive "with." The average home contains 150 consumer goods. That's everything from Doritos to diapers. Celery to cell phones. bullets...or band-aids. It's true that some of these things have a very short shelf life, but most do not. At the very lest, you should plan to have things in storage that you KNOW you will NOT be able to get in a crisis. extinguishers.

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 03:33 PM
I totally agree with Justin! Perhaps the hardest part of prepping is wrapping your mind around the need for it? People who make excuses just aren't ready to admit that there may come a time when your preparations are needed. I got started about three years ago with food preps by spending about the equivalent of a week's groceries on my first preps. The next month, I put together a well stocked medical kit. Now I allow myself $20. per week to add to my stock.

Once you get in the swing of things rotating, replacing and figuring out what else you need will come as second nature and be part of every day life. My children all think the pantry in the basement is for "food Mom buys when it's on sale", they have no idea my husband and I prep. I have been questioned before about freaking out my kids and I can assure you that it is possible to prepare right under their noses without them knowing too much.

My husband and I have tried to develop some plans of action, to SIP and bug out but we are trying to stay flexible since one of his favorite sayings is "no plan survives first contact with the enemy." It's difficult to plan for every contingency but the more you think about your options, and even go through steps you would take in your head the better off you'll be.

And let me just say, I can't stand the word hoarder! I know that before a disaster strikes the gov't tells us all to be prepared and fend for ourselves. After a disaster strikes we're suddenly hoarders. Nice

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 04:06 PM
We might see a re-play of the dirty thirties......but this time we are not as good at living with little food supplies, because we were used to having all of the needs more at hand. Most people had some means of supplying themselves with food.

Today, we rely on the grocery stores to supply our daily needs.

Hunger can make people do desperate things. It won't take very long for the ones hording food to be found out.

What if the food supply chain was broken? Nothing else, just that would be enough to make things pretty bad and fast.

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 08:23 PM
I did use the words "hoard" "hoards" and "hoarding" deliberately. It's an old-fashoned word, but still has a double meaning in today's world. When you stock up, you are in fact hoarding. It makes sense to you to make these simple preperations.

Trouble is, government policy makers will use those words as weapons against you. We have seen anti-hoarding laws in this country, and we'll see them again. It was not common for people to be charged with that crime during WW2, but it did happen. The threat alone was what kept most people in line.

If and when the time comes, it will be hard for you to keep your secrets. In many respects, it'll be obvious to the desperate. They'll be able to figure out who has...and who has not. Anyone who is not freaked out like they are could be a...person with a stockpile.

If you and your neighbors make the decision to collectively share what you have, that's one thing. Everybody forgets that Local, State, and Federal officials will eventually intrude. While your mandate is to survivel locally, theirs is to survive naitonally. The long view says that it's okay for a portion of the national population to go without so long as the majority ( meaning 51% or more) have a shot at staying alive.

As a long term proposition, this is not wrong. In the short term, it means that those who had the good sense to stock up will be forced to join hte starving millions for the greater good. That's a very harsh thing to say, but it's true. Those of us who lived through the first Cold War can recall t.v., books, and movies, that struggled with this issue of preparedness.

As a student of history, I am a collector of Cold War literature. The first Cold War influenced my book, too. It's not an accident that I laced my tale of intrigue with a few hints of the Cold War. Feel free to drop me a u2 if you want to know more. Or, look me up in the ATS tinwiki.

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 08:57 PM

Originally posted by Justin Oldham

If and when the time comes, it will be hard for you to keep your secrets. In many respects, it'll be obvious to the desperate. They'll be able to figure out who has...and who has not. Anyone who is not freaked out like they are could be a...person with a stockpile.

My plan is to stand in line for food with everyone else and only eat enough to keep me alive, not stay pleasantly plump. Hopefully people will assume that I am as bad off as they are.

posted on Dec, 27 2006 @ 08:58 PM

by Justin Oldham
Everybody forgets that Local, State, and Federal officials will eventually intrude.

This will be true IF the government still exists. One of the causes for survival may be the elimination of a functional gvt. by Terrorist nukes and such. If they took out NY and DC in a decapitation strike, the country would go rudderless for a bit. In which case, localities could descend into anarchy, leaving us without law and order all together. Pandemic might be another one.

In that case, a hoard would have to be effectively guarded, but, could give a good bartering position since supplies will be the only 'wealth'. I know I'd be trading for some livestock right away.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 12:03 AM
There's no way to know at this time what the FEMA regs will be under those conditions because they haven't been written yet. It's likely that the Cold War post-nuke strategies will be dusted off and given a few critical updates. With that in mind, I'd like to point out a few things.

Under the old rule,s Lcal, state, and Federal efforts to re-establish the status quo would not run at the same speed. We should assume that local efforts to re-establish local control by public officials and police departments will proceed at a faster pace than State-level reconstruction. Federal re-assertion will take longer, but it will happen with greater force.

The cold hard fact is htat your local P.D. won't have the muscle to conduct house-to-house searches for hoards. State-level bureaucrats who have a tap on the national guard units will, however...have the means and the mandate to do so. Expect Federal forces to follow up as needed to break stubborn resistence.

In the worst of situations, anyone and everyone will be able to stand in line for food if and when it is available. Expect local governments to hand out disaster supplies without regard to triage. Unless your familiy is known to be wealtheir than most, its likely that you'll get some of whatever they ahve to give out...if they have anything at all.

As the Federal government asserts itself in an area, you'll see deliberate sweeps of each and every home. As I've said in earlier posts in this thread, they will be looking for hoards. Anyone who has excessive amounts of anything will be suspect, and requested to give it up. Central collection points will be set up for the re-distribution of whatever they find.

Bear in mind that any business over who managed to keep their inventory in tact might be called upon to hand it over for the greater good. Expect pharmacies to be siezed outright, assuming that they have anything left to dispense. Rationing systems would be slow to kick in, but they would eventually be implemented.

See This Thread for More

The link I've just provided relates to another thread in this forum. the CBS t.v. series "Jericho" provides you with a lot of food for thought. More than anything else, it demonstrates by default what you should NOT be doing under those conditions. While they do get something right, it's clear that the characters do a lot of needless suffering. All you've got to do is watch it and see for yourself.

For those of you who are interested in other aspects of this discussion, try the following link:

Large Group Planning

The bottom line is this. Before you can begin to entertain Road Warrior fantasies, you've got to have something to survive with. A few cans of beans, a box of band-aids, and a few spare shells for the old shotgun might seem silly now...but under the wrong might be surprised what you're willing to do to get those those things. While I hope these things never happen, it'll be a fact of life that many will be needlessly and unfairly exploited because they did not prepare...even just a little bit.

Just a side note for those who have asked. Google my name and you'll see what else I've written on these and other topics.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 12:57 AM
Strangely enough, I see few have considered how water affects teh situation. No electricity means no water. No water means people start dying, quick. The situation turns violent in a hurry, and if you have a water source or hoard, then you might be able to just fight off maurauders for just a little while before they became too dehydrated.

At any rate, there is an ongoing thread on the more technical aspects of making your suburban home a prickly proposition to assault.

Defending Your Castle, an ATS Thread You should really read, because I said so.


posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 09:20 AM
It's true that water plays an important role in any survival situation. Even if you are fortunate enough to have your well, your worries are not over. Disposal of waste water can also be a factor in your survival. Short-term water storage can easily be accomplished by stocking up on bottled water and portable filtration systems.

In this hypothetical scenario where "you" intend to remain in your home after a major catastrophe, potable water does become an issue much faster than some would think. The average household can use up to 26 gallons of water per day per person. Chances are lowthat you'll have that much water in storage.

Unless you do have a well and a generator to run the pump--or a manual pump--you'll have to scrounge for clean water just like anyone else. Very few people have enough containers on hand to effectively scavange and store water. You can drastically improve your chances for survival by having short-term water storage. Having water reclamation and purification technologies on hand will further increase your chances for successfully getting through any crisis you might face.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 07:02 PM
I'm still not convinced that the government will be 'coming' back from some SIT X scenarios. Even if it does, we could be dealing with four NEW countrie's, heaven knows the divisions that exist in this country right now.

Having said that, I would be prepared to bury excess materials in appropiate containers. This way you can divide them up and go mobile if necessary, only to return to one of your caches later. Like a dog and his Bone.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 07:14 PM
I agree with the vast majority of what justin posted.

I just want to say that it's a mistake to ASSUME that ALL your neighbors are automatically now your enemies when your lights go out.

I go hunting with my nearest neighbor. His kids and mine play together, our wives share recipies. At the beginning of winter, when I was unloading firewood onto my pile, he sent his teenage son to help me. I helped him fix his automatic garage door.

The neighbor on the other side gives us stuff from her garden. The folks down the road asked us to watch their house while they were gone for Thanksgiving.

I seriously doubt those people will AUTOMATICALLY snipe me because the lights go out. Sure, they will put their own families ahead of mine, and expect me to do the same. But until we sink down to the level of the Donner party, we can have a good time and help each other out.


posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 07:22 PM
Whole heartedly agree with you dr strangecraft, as I'm sure the others do. Your neighborhood is going to be your first line of defense. That's why it's important to know your neighbors ahead of time. After all, we have to sleep, Who's gonna watch the perimeter then?

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