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The Realities of Home Defense in the Suburbs

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posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 07:47 PM
I agree with the lack of water issue, it would be an immediate concern.

Think about this;
Most of the USA relies on natural gas to heat homes, business, etc.
Most of these buildings are not insulated very well, and therefore need this fuel fairly constantly throughout winter.

If a catastrophic event happens in winter, goodbye natural gas.
Cold will be your immediate and long term concern.

The house you are preparing to hold out in may end up being used for fuel,
as well as the neighbors.

Now what?

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 07:56 PM
ShadowBear, I just went through a 6 Day power outage, and you're right. I didn't lose gas, but I lost the power to run the fan. No problem though, fired up my woodstove and kept my house around 75. Cooks food and boils water really fast too.

Main Pain was getting up by my wind up alarm ever few hours to keep fire stoked. If I didn't, it took aloooonngggg time to heat my house back up in the morning! I keep enough wood for each winter running 24/7 just in case. I just rotate stock each year.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 08:09 PM
Hi Him,

You are both smart and fortunate to have woodburning heat, a good friend near seattle relied on that to live through the recent outages there.

But think how many don't have woodburning heat? Any given subdivision has close to zero houses with it, and we know (i think) about the preponderence of homes in subs built since 1945.

I'm guessing millions would freeze to death, maybe quickly during a cold snap, in a TEOTWAWKI event during winter.

Survivors would be exceptionally desperate.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 08:22 PM
Home heating in winter is another serious problem for those who want to stay in their homes after a major cistruption. As some of you may know, I do live in Alaska. during some of the worst cold snaps, it's not unusual at all to read in the local paper about folks who had firewood stolen. In a few rare caes, some home heating oil has been lost to energetic thieves.

Those who stock up on wood can tell you just how much physical space is required to stash that much cut up fuel. Problems arise when you try to keep your property properly patrolled. This is just one more reason to plan for a move. Stockpiled wood and/or petro-fuels will eventually run out. Knowing this can help you make more realistic long range plans.

Manpower is a critical concern during a hypothetical crisis like what we're talking about. The average family of our can't fully protect a home and all it's hoarded supplies. In the event of an assault, you may find your defenses folding faster than you might expect...expecially in a protracted firefight.

The average rifle bullet will penetrate the average wooden house at 300 feet. Even if you do follow the recommendations in the "castle" thread, you've still got other issues to contend with. The human factor will often mean that an agressive attacker might overcome your defenses if they are willing to pay for whatever you have in blood. Sheer number can make up for any advantage you might have in auto-weapons firepower.

We'd all like to think that WE would fight like hell to keep what we've got. Trouble is, most of us are not combat veterans. You can teach your spouse and children to shoot, but you can't teach them to stand rock-steady and reload during a firefight. Counter-sniper fire takes a level of nerve that the average homeowner will not have. For the most part, the battle will end if your enemy decides to burn you out.

This is why I say that there will most likely come a point when indivudual defenders will have to move. It's s different matter if your neighborhood mounts a coherent defense. In that case, you'll actually have enough raw numbers on your side to make any intelligent intruders think twice before they try to get what you have. Even then, you'll still be faced with some harsh realities.

Mobilized neighborhoods will still have to engage in active patrols. Pre-emptive strikes against massing threats will still be necessary. You'll still have to live with hte fact that each new person you welcome in to your midst could eventually betray the community. If you and yours can hold it together, you'll develope a fierce sense of "us" versus "them" that will make it very hard to toe the line when Federal officials arrive on the scene.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 08:25 PM

by ShadowBear
But think how many don't have woodburning heat? Any given subdivision has close to zero houses with it, and we know (i think) about the preponderence of homes in subs built since 1945.

A frightening reality. And even fewer think about any type of survival. This is why I tend to think that if one is properly located in a rural area, and able to defend that area, most threats will pass on their own.

Oh yeah, I'm just east of Seattle, those were the outages that affected me.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 08:45 PM
It's easy to think that rural property will save your bacon. There are a few downsides. Rural properties tend to be larger than one acre, which makes them harder for single families to patrol and defend. Rural defenders tend to stand alone as individuals, which means that a smart marauder will take them down as indivuduals. Unfortunatley, there is no one single solution that will guarantee success for the family that wants to survive. Hold where you can, move when you must.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 09:06 PM
There is a lot to think about, and no position can offer an absolute solution.

One thing to think about is bartering. Desperate people want something, whether it's food, water, heat, or medicine.
if you have some of these things, you just may be able to build the defensive (or offensive) group required for survival through trading and goodwill.

Again, just a thought.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 09:11 PM

by Justin Oldham
Hold where you can, move when you must.

Been my moto for years. I've got packs on the ready in between hikes. I don't think being rural necessarily means being alone. Most rural settings I've lived in included several neighbors. But my main philosophy being that most of the urbanites, suburbanites will kill each other and/or die from simple inability to survive without the local grocery and gas/electric.

There may even be mass suicides when GEN Y finds out their XBOX died.
The few who wander out to rural areas shouldn't have anywhere near the capablities as someone like ourselves.
There will always be an exception, but I leave those in God's Hand's. All I can say is, Heaven help you if you're in a city. Pray that you can get out before people realize how bad it is and turn on one another like rats.

posted on Dec, 28 2006 @ 11:00 PM
It's true that ruralites will have someting of a buffer between themselves and the city folk when the hammer comes down. A lot depends on the nature of the emergency. I would tend to think that country folk wouldh have more to fear from mass migrations than anything else. If a crisis is not sufficient to makes the millions move, farmers and small town folks of all sorts would stand a much better chance of survival. Perhaps, somebody might start a discussion thread for rural survival.

In regards to suburban survival, I think it would be necessary to plan for an eventual move. Migratory pressures from the inner city would be strong enough to eventually displace dug-in defenders of suburban homes. I realize that there's always an exception to every rule. Some neighborhoods will be so well fortified that they'll stay in tact.

posted on Dec, 30 2006 @ 07:13 PM

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.

Are you saying that the government has enough soilders to march through neighborhoods and collect food from people who are trying to survive and the communities are going to say "sure, take our food"? I don't think so. It seems to me that civil unrest would erupt, to put it mildly. I think the government underestimates the common people.

posted on Dec, 30 2006 @ 07:19 PM

Those who stock up on wood can tell you just how much physical space is required to stash that much cut up fuel. Problems arise when you try to keep your property properly patrolled. This is just one more reason to plan for a move.

Move... Move to where - a communal "Katrina" retreat with no water and no food.

Please provide details as to where millions of people should move to.

posted on Dec, 31 2006 @ 12:51 AM
I've been waiting for somebody to ask that question. Where DO you go if youa re forced out of your fortress? The answer to this question depends on the extent of your mobility. In general terms, you should consider going as far away from any major population center as you can get. You'll be looking for a place that you can claim as your own, or, a place that will accept you for what you can contribute to the local economy.

Those who end up walking out of the suburbs will have a limited range of travel. Single/individual men and women who choose to travel alone will have ot move with paranoia and stealth because there will be any number of hostile parties looking to seperate them from their belongings. A determined hiker who is in moderately good shape with the capability to gather and consume 600 calories and 2quarts of potable water each day can cover up to 30 miles on foot.

Trouble is, the average family is fat and slow. The traditional family of 4 will have slight endurance when it comes to the hike. 5-7 miles per day would be a 'reasonable' rate of travel for a Couch Potatoe clan. This would also assume a light to moderate burden in weapons and supplies. Assuming that Momd and Dad can stand the night watch in shifts, the family that travels alone will still be a tempting target for those looking for a quick meal and easy access to supplies.

You can still survive on foot if you know where you're going. Refugees who wander without a specific destination in mind are prone to depression. This makes them less vigilant...which makes them easy prey. For most city dwellers, the destination is simply "out of the city." Those with the best chance for survival will have a specific location in mind. Uncle Bob's house. Grandma's farm, etc.

It's a good idea to make sure the people who live in or occupy the place you plan to strike out for know that you are coming. If they don't expect you, things could get rough. As you talk this over and make your agreements, be prepared to spend some money on the stocking of that location. Grandma might know you're coming, but she can't help you if there is no food in the pantry.

Making plans with friends and relatives who live in the sticks is fine and well...if you know people who live out that far. What if you don't? The grim facts are that you'll have to find a place that will accept you, or, you'll have to find a place that you can call your own.

Buying your way in to a rural community may sound silly, but it's a practical solution that you'll need to think about if you can make it that far. Anyone so blessed with a working vehicle and enough gas to get that far might very well be able to carry more "loot" than somebody who had to walk. Guns, ammunition, and medicines of all sorts, could make for powerful barter tools when you're forced to negotiate.

In any crisis skill does matter. If nothing else, you can always trade your manual labor. In the worst forms of crisis, there will certainly be a need to clear rubble, cut trees, or bury the dead. Even the most basic of medical skills could be in demand. When your posessions aren't enoug hto buy in to a potentially safe place, your professional or technical knowledge might still be useful.

If nobody wants you, walking or might have to make it on your own. This could mean foraging through forests or ruins as the circumstance requires. It might also mean staying away from other scavengers for as long as possible. In that even, your knowledge of basic survival skills will be more valueable than the gear you might have. With advanced knowledge comes increased chances for success.

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 08:07 PM
Just voted Justin for the way above award. Very informative and to the point topic.

I put little faith in the throng of end-of-the-world scenarios flying around, but i do know how close my country has been to a full-scale invasion in the past.

If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor and brought America into the war, they could have invaded and pacified Australia in a matter of months. Few people around the world know how pounded Australia's NW got by the Japanese during the war. The same fleet that hit Pearl Harbor let loose it's full fury onto Darwin several times.

With such a large land-mass and small population comes the risk of invasion, and the problem with organized defense. The government had, and i'm not sure if they still do have, a policy called the Brisbane line... which means that if we were invaded, all defense would be focused on withdrawing to the South of that line and holding out until international help comes. That basically means forsaking 30% of our land to try and hold the high populated areas.

A fictional series by John Marsden describes a group of teenager's efforts to survive in outback Australia during an invasion, and although it is fictional and a drama of sorts, it does raise some good points.

My family is far from being prepared for any invasion of the country, and even less prepared for nuclear strikes. The whole idea of basements and bunkers has never been an Australian thing, so the only underground structures in towns are usually shopping centre carparks... which wouldn't hold out radiation to begin with.

To get to my point without more rambling, i hold great fears for the next decade. I can't put my finger on what the biggest threat is, nor will i endorse any conspiracy and end of the world theories, but i fear that if anything drastic did happen my country would be in a lot of trouble.

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 11:39 PM
I live very near to a highrise (one that has like fifty floors) and I have realized that it would be very easy to barricade in "situationX" Since this building only has one set of stairs in the middle and two elevators taht woudl be useless. I wouldn't block off all of it just the top floor, since it would be easy to fortify and I could even use the roof instead. (How can snipers see me when Iam on the highest building.)

Wat woudl you guys think about that? Would it be a smart Idea?

posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 12:17 AM

Originally posted by Alien_Gamer
I live very near to a highrise (one that has like fifty floors) and I have realized that it would be very easy to barricade in "situationX" Since this building only has one set of stairs in the middle and two elevators taht woudl be useless. I wouldn't block off all of it just the top floor, since it would be easy to fortify and I could even use the roof instead. (How can snipers see me when Iam on the highest building.)

Wat woudl you guys think about that? Would it be a smart Idea?

Probably not the smartest thing to do. You effectively cut yourself off from any re-supply. Sure, the 'enemy', whoever that might be, can only get to you from the one direction, but you can only get out that way as well.

Best bet would be to hold out in the lower floors and only, if really necessary, move higher. There is also the risk that, if whoever is after you is trying to kill you, they light a fire in the building and isolate you on the top floors until the fire catches up to you.

A very risky business trying to hold out in a high-rise.

posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 02:41 AM
There are any number of problems associated with holding your position in a high-rise. It's worth noting that many will try. Among the worst of your problems will be sanitation. Remember htat when the water goes, you'll be on the first to be deprived when that happens. Secondly, your waste disposal options are marginal, at best. Yes, you can literally through your crud out the window, but that in and of itself won't save you from the people upon whom your refuse will fall.

Under peace-time donditions, dense housing only works because of running watter and garbage/refuse removal. When the sanitation trucks stop coming and the water doesn't flow, desease propogates quite rapidly. Any apartment building can become a virus factory. Think about what it mwans to have no flush toilet for three weeks, and you'll see what I mean.

In the short term, it may be possible to do as you say, and defend your position. This assumes that no gun-toting gangs come to call. Those who have studied urban war tactics can tell you that the defender's advantage in a stairway standoff is about six-to-one. This means that they need six men willing to rush your position to be sure of taking you out. Sounds too far out? Consider that, even if you have a shotgun, you're likely to have one of those pesky 5-round tubes.

Self-preservation in the urban environment is harder than it sounds. Avoid harm to your own person is not as easy as hiding behind a fire exit door. It's worth noting that most metal doors that you're likely to encounter in any commercial structure can be penetrated by any 9-millimeter cartridge you'd care to name. I bring this up because 9mm will be the most common offensive caliber you face. When it comes to those ever-so-thin walls in your apartment building...

No matter where you live, there is the risk of fire. If my house burns, I'm out the front door and on to my lawn in about five seconds. If somebody burns me out, I'll have to come out shooting. When a high-rise burns, it's not unusual for those in the upper floors to suffer from smoke...before they die. Remember that if your defended apartment burns, the large men in the big red trucks with all that water and foam...are not coming.

While you may not be at immediate risk from snipers, you'll definitely be at risk from your neighbors. Don't believe me? Wait 'til the nice lady dow nthe hall comes to ask for a bit of food for her starving cat. Or worse, for her starving...children.

posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 03:25 AM
Few toughts about the military in situation X. Out here (Finland) we have a conscript army, so it's highly unlikely that government could use it to suppress an upprisin, since publick opinion has more power over the soldiers than any Commander, no one goes against their families. Unless reserves were called in before the disaster, in that case 80% of the male population would form the army and country would most likely stay in order no matter what hits, especialy external threats. (we've been in tough spots during our history, so i trust we would unite like in '39)

I seriously doubt that US Military could retain its integrity if civilian population was being forced to relocate or starving. Those whose families would be in danger are very likely to desert. And i would assume that if tough measures were being implemented to the civilian population, many soldiers and entire units would not obey the orders. Would the soldiers just sit down and wait for punishments? Hell no, you would see individual soldiers and even platoon to company sized renegade units roaming around with unknown or uncertaing agendas.

Just something to think about...

Ps. for a short term defence a highrise office building might be a good hiedeout, but remember there will be no supplies there for any long term survival. An the stairs combat ratio is more like 10-1, based on a lot of Combat simulator training in both killhouses and real buildings.

posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 03:33 AM
Here's something nobody brought up, money in Sit. X (hey, I'm studying accounting and economics). The dollar will be worth nothing except for starting fires. Putting money away now into certain investments like gold may be very helpful when that time comes. Gold will always be worth alot. This may not be very important when society is broken down, but during the rebuilding period it could be the difference between starving and eating.

posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 08:17 PM
Traditional survivalist wisdom has long held that it would be a good idea to stock up on gold, silver, and cash. This philosophy has also embraced the notion of setting some things aside for barter purposes. The fact of the matter is that in a serious long-term catastrophe like the one we are discussing here...all of these are good ideas.

Money won't matter if things degenerate beyond a certain point. That is true. Long before we strap on our Road Warrior gear, we'll still be clinging to whatever shreds of civilization we can grasp. Money should still be useful during any catastrophe that lasts for even 1-2 years.

The Federal Treasury has estimated that as much as ten million dollars a day in bills gets destroyed. This can happened when you leave your wallet in your jeans as they go to the wash, or, it can happen as the result of a house fire that burns up your stash of cash. According to some estiamtes made during the Cold War, the U.S. cash supply will be 'gone' after as few as 1-4 years.

In the short term, as regards crisis that last weeks or months, cold hard cas hwill be good for you. We should assume that when and where possible, landlords and utilities will demand to be paid. Grocery stores will see what they have for as long as they have it. This could include pharmacies.

My own suggestion is that anyone wishing to "survive" should have a month's worth of operating capital stashed away in a fireproof box or brief case. Use this dollar figure as a benchmark to fit your own situation. There are some bills (like credit cards) that you may not be able to service, don't want to get blind-sided by the debts you can pay.

Long-term disaster planning comes with its own hazards. Remember that having gold and silver means that you've got to defend it. Just because you have the wealth to meet with an arms dealer to buy "stuff" doesn't mean that you'll survive the experience. In any lengthy catastrophe, you will find predators of all sorts. Most of them will be looking for wealth, and it could be that the clothes off your back will be all the wealth they need . Spending gold or silver could get you noticed by the wrong people.

Money, in large or small amounts, will buy most common things. If the crisis lasts for more than a month, you may find that hard to find items like specialized drugs can only be purchased with gold or silver because nobody has that kind of cash laying around. Bear in mind that when you buy expensive items, you become known to a more lethal class of predator.

Barter will most likely be the norm in any crisis that lasts for more than six months. An close examination of the U.S. food supply shows that the average community has less than seven days of food and supplies on the shelves of its local stores. Grocery store chains in the suburbs of major cities often run on a 72-hour cycle. The shelves will be empty in most locations after 10 days. If you want something, you'll have to get it from somebody who already has it.

Barter can best be described as an "art." There is no exact science behind it. Haggling comes naturally to some, while others just can't do it. What you have and what it's worth to you is one thing. What the other guy wants, and is willing to settle for, is something else entirely. When refugees barter their posessions, they often tend to inflate the value of those items for sentimental reasons.

It may be common for pre-collapse pricing to remain in effect for as long as the majority can remember what things used to cost. As time passes, new pricing will come in to effect. Certain items, like ammunition, may become interchangeable with currency. Gold is good, but bullets may be better...for obvious reasons.

No matter how things...fall'll probably be using a combination of all three of these to get by. that's why it's a good idea to stock up as you can NOW, so that you don't have to scavange quite so much later on.

posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 10:25 PM
Hoarding medical and food supplies seems like a good idea. I was thinking, however, that the best idea of all would be to learn what's edible in nature, whereever you live and where ever you might want to migrate to. Also handy tricks for getting clean water out of dirty water, ways to avoid unhealthy air, and medical tricks from natural substances. A working knowledge of edibles from the environment, in the entire country, would be best. No stockpile, no hoard, nothing to steal, nothing to take. All you have is what's on your body and what's in the closest field, woods or body of water. Pie in the sky? Maybe, but if you don't look like you're armed to the teeth and stockpiled to the sky, you won't be as big of a target. Not to mention, being able to survive off the environment, would certainly come in handy in the event you do decide to stockpile and lose it to some invading mobs of starving people.

having a contingency plan is a good idea. have back up plans, even better.

here's a couple links with useful info on the topic

Some think eating insects is useful in a starving scenario. I disagree! Vehemently. Today, due to biological warfare developments and modern insecticides, many bugs carry all manner of toxins and nearly impossible to kill mycoplasms that'll make you an invalid for the rest of your life. Don't eat bugs. Eating dirt would be better than eating bugs, and i'm not kidding!

[edit on 9-1-2007 by undo]

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