Okay my fellow Piratey types we have come to the end of this very informative article. I told you there was a crap load of information in each section. Think of all the knowledge you have gained from this series and that is what it is all about cause they cant take that away from you! However, I want to remind you that YOU DO NOT OWN ANY KNOWLEDGE UNLESS YOU CAN TEACH THAT KNOWLEDGE TO SOMEONE ELSE!
This article is written by a fellow named Jonathan Hollerman is a former USAF SERE Instructor. Although he is not NAVY, he does have immense knowledge and the ability to convey it better than I so we are posting it here over the objections of our Salty Dawg (PROUD NAVY). our Beloved Captain Morgan (Air force) over ruled the Dawg and here we are. I think you will like this series and if you want to find out more about Mr. Hollerman he has generously planted his site throughout the series of articles. Enjoy and LEARN!
Next, let me paint a picture for you on how difficult it would be to just procure water.
For the last seventy-five years, you turn a faucet and a seemingly endless supply of crystal clear water comes pouring out to drink, cook, and bath with. It’s always been that way and that’s all contemporary Americans have ever known. Most Americans don’t even realize that half of the world’s population will never enjoy that luxury…but I digress. That endless water supply stops within hours and I guarantee you’ve probably never pondered the logistics behind gathering and purifying your own water. First off, please don’t get lazy when it comes to purifying your water. If you do, you will eventually get sick or die from water borne viruses, bacteria, or parasites. It’s only a matter of time.
Depending on your home’s location in relevance to your local water tower, your house could lose water pressure within minutes or hours. Due to the extreme amounts of electricity used to process and pump water into the water tower for the average town, most cities do not have backup generators for this. The ones that do will only last for a few hours to a day at most. If you live in the country and have a well, did you know that typically your well pump operates off 220 amp electricity? Your water stops instantly unless you are one of the lucky few who have a backup diesel generator, etc. Now, how much fuel do you have stored? FEMA estimates that the average person with a backup generator has less than 5 gallons of fuel on hand at a given time. Even if you have more, you’re going to run out at some point. What if you live in the Southwest? To put it politely, you’re probably going to be dead soon. Deserts were never meant to be inhabited for obvious reasons and only electricity and our modern infrastructure allowed us to live there. The Nomads throughout the centuries who traveled the world’s deserts had life skills available to them that we both know you don’t possess.
For those of you who live in areas where you have nearby streams or other water sources, do you know how to purify your water? Let’s assume you do. You are going to soon run out of bleach drops and Iodine tablets or your purification cartridge will eventually get clogged. You are now a week or more into a grid down situation and you are going to have to boil your water just like everyone else did for the last 3,000 years. How far away do you think starving and desperate people can see and smell your fire? Farther than you think… On the plus side, your shoulder muscles are going to be huge from carrying five gallon buckets of water from the nearest stream back to your home. Sounds like fun right? You are eventually going to need to take a bath. How many five gallon buckets does it take to fill up a bath for each member of your family? Think about it.
Next, do you know how to start a fire in the rain to boil the water? You do… great! How much firewood do you need to have on hand to build a fire and boil water twice each day? If you have any firewood at all, it will probably be gone faster than you think. Do you have a large saw, or ax to cut down a dead tree and how many dead trees do you think you have close by your home? How far will you eventually have to travel to find firewood? Can you physically cut the tree down and then bolt it up into six foot sections and then carry the logs long distances back to your house only to cut the long logs into sixteen inch lengths? You are still not done, have you ever split wood before? Are you proficient enough to do it without sticking the ax in your shin when you miss the log you are aiming at because you are physically exhausted and weak from hunger? Oh yeah, hospitals will be overrun and most won’t be operating without electricity or supplies after day 5 or 6. I hope that deep cut doesn’t get infected or you’ll lose the leg and you’ll probably die from infection. But again, I digress….
So far, we have only been discussing water. Let’s add in the fact that you were a bargain shopper and have a stockpile of canned goods from Costco in your basement. Maybe you were really prepared and had some long-term food storage for your family. What happens when you spend a lot of time being noisy and walking around your neighborhood procuring wood to boil your water, and cook your food? What happens when your sick neighbors see you and show up for some heat by your fire and begging for water because they don’t have the tools, energy, ability, etc to purify it on their own? Okay, it’s only water, so you help them out and give them some because you are a nice human. Good for you, you have now guaranteed that they will be back the next day probably with a couple other loved ones or neighbors from down the street who saw the smoke plume from your fire. I’m also willing to bet those same people weren’t forward thinkers like yourself and they have long ago run out of food. They are literally eating pine cones from their driveway at this point (no joke). With no chances of getting re-supplied, are you going to give them some of your child’s food? That was nice of you. I guarantee they are coming back for more water, food, etc., every single day until you run out of supplies or the energy to help them. If you refuse them from the get go, they will probably beg and cry for help. They will even use their sick baby or elderly mother to play on your heart strings. How heartless are you? If you still refuse, that hungry and thirsty neighbor (who you’ve had a beer with on multiple occasions and borrowed a mower from a time or two) with a hungry and thirsty family down the street will get mad and demand you help them. He may even try to fight you. So you scare or beat him off with the log in your hand.
How long do you think it will be until your neighbor is sick and desperate enough to return with his Pappy’s shotgun to take your water and food by force because his kids are literally starving and dying before his eyes? In his weak mental state, he will resent you for not suffering like he is and would rather kill you than watch his family starve to death. Oh… so you have an assault rifle and you defend yourself, killing your neighbor and leaving his sick and starving wife and kids (your son’s best friend) without someone to protect them. It was justified. He pointed the gun at you first…I understand. Good luck getting to sleep for months after that.
Now the rest of your neighbors are ticked at your “selfishness” and gang up on you with multiple guns and rifles. Okay, so you are John Rambo incarnate with an arsenal that would make a militia proud and you fight them all off without getting shot a single time. Good for you. More sleepless nights full of nightmares (ask any soldier). How many people do you think heard that gunfight? Take out a map and make a two mile circle of your location and try to estimate how many people just heard you shooting your battle rifle. What percentage of those starving people might think that someone with a gun has something that is valuable and worth protecting? How many of those desperate people will eventually come for your stuff hoping to take you off guard at some point? Can you stay awake every waking hour to protect your family? You have to sleep sometime or you won’t have energy to chop more wood tomorrow.
What happens when the bad guys show up while you are out cutting wood? Is your wife just as John Rambo as you are with an AR-15? Did you ever buy her the Tacticool plate carrier with ballistic plates that you wear when you are out of the house? Could she fight off a dozen rednecks with deer rifles without getting shot in the melee? Let’s be honest, probably not. Instead of killing your wife, maybe they just watch you each morning till you leave the house and head out for more wood or water. Maybe they post up in your dead neighbors house waiting for you to step outside and weed your garden in the back yard. You are hungry, sore, and exhausted at this point. Are you alert enough to see that man with the deer rifle a hundred yards away hidden under some garbage bags? Probably not. What becomes of your beautiful wife and daughter then? What will their life resort to after their food is gone? What will they have to do to survive? Do you think I’m being vulgar or gross? If so, I’d say you are being naive. Outside of the GI Jane types, most women without protection in this type of society will have to use what they have to survive. It’s a matter of fact. Look at history and some of the horrific events done by the Russians and Germans during World War II. Those are events that people don’t usually discuss or make movies about, but they still happened.
What I’m trying to show you here is how impossible it will be to survive in a suburban area after the grid goes down. Even if you are in a smaller suburb of thirty thousand upscale people, how many rounds of ammunition do you have? Ninety five percent of the country will soon be starving, sick, and desperate. They will resent anybody who is not suffering with them. It’s just human nature. PLEASE do not listen to the survival experts that will try and help your “fortify” your home or apartment and show you how to successfully ride it out in town. If you follow their advice, I can nearly guarantee you will be dead within a month. I would also be very leery of the same type of survival experts who recommend you band together with your neighbors and fortify your cul-de-sac. Here is why. Most likely, even with all their big talk, your neighbors haven’t taken the threat nearly as serious as you have. Most of them won’t have nearly the supplies and long term food that they brag about.
What about all the other neighbors who weren’t part of your planning group but live on your street? You’re going to need their help to protect the cul-de-sac and work together for food gathering missions, growing crops, security, wood gathering, etc. Guess what? You are feeding them now as well. If you have $100k in long-term food reserves, then this scenario may work out for you. But in all likelihood, your neighbors will help you eat your family’s two year supply in a couple months and then you will starve to death through the first winter just like they do. Do you seriously think you are going to keep your food from them because it’s “yours” and you paid for it before the collapse? You may for a short while. Eventually, they will be starving and your family won’t be. THEY WILL NOTICE AND THEY WILL COME FOR YOUR FOOD EVENTUALLY. I don’t care how close you are to them or what kind of “agreements” your little band of survivors has in place. All that goes out the window when blue-collar Jerry watches one of his little girls die of starvation. Blue-collar, church elder, and your fun-loving neighbor, Jerry has just become a starving, desperate, irrational, natural born killer and you are going to take the brunt of his anger before he watches his other child die a slow and painful death. DO NOT under-estimate a starving and desperate person regardless of their personality before the collapse. Hungry people make absolutely crazy and un-characteristic choices. Trust me; I’ve seen it first hand with highly-trained soldiers in the field who have only gone days without food. We are talking about civilians with no training and no food for weeks or months. Most will literally become half-crazed walking zombies with one mission…food.
A lot of the “experts” will say I am fear mongering or exaggerating how bad it will be. They say Americans will work together and will get through it. They do not understand human suffering and have no experience dealing with starving people. Staving Americans will act no different than starving people in the Congo or Mogadishu. In fact, they will likely act much worse. Americans (even the poor) have never seen true hunger or been actively starving. They didn’t grow up starving and without food like the people in Africa. Americans and their entitlement mentalities will be viciously ANGRY when they get hungry. They will have no experience or idea how to deal with the mental hallucinations brought on by hunger pains and most will resort to anger and violence. Looting, raping, and pillaging will become the norm. It will be straight Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and eventually like the movie The Postman. I don’t care if they fix the electric grid a year later. Most Americans will be dead and the only ones left will be the survivalists, the extremely lucky, the larger well-organized gangs of looters, and the strongest and most brutal of men who left their souls at the gate and did horrible things to survive. Who are they going to fix the grid for? Are we all going to forget what has transpired and go back to driving our Prius’s to work at Starbucks? Are you going to get the warlords to give up their positions of power among their men and their harems of sexual slave girls? The day the electric grid goes down, America ceases to exist.
You need to understand that life after the grid going dark will probably be ten times worse than I am describing. There will be 300 Million Americans facing the same horrific questions as you. Where do I go? What do I do? It is vital that you understand and accept that the following is true. A few weeks after a grid down scenario, there will be hundreds of millions of starving people wandering around the country desperately fighting over every last scrap of food. A month or two after the grid going down, most Americans will be violently sick from food deprivation and other illnesses. THE AVERAGE DESPERATE AND STARVING AMERICAN WILL KILL YOU IF YOU HAVE FOOD AND THEY FIND YOU. I don’t care how protected you think your home is. You will eventually be over run!
There are very specific things you can do to survive this scenario. If you are on a budget, you need to read my upcoming book on prepping on a budget. If you have the financial resources, you MUST hire an expert to help you plan your retreat. Don’t buy two years of food supply and put it in your basement in town thinking you’re covered. You will only be feeding the looters who will eventually scramble over your dead lifeless body to take YOUR food and haul off your beautiful wife and daughter to God knows where!
Jonathan Hollerman is a former USAF SERE Instructor and an expert on prepping and survival. Working as an Emergency Preparedness Consultant through his website GridDownConsulting.com, Jonathan helps his clients prepare for the hard times ahead. Jonathan is the Author of the Amazon Top Ten Bestselling prepping book EMP: Equipping Modern Patriots, A Story of Survival, and recently released the sequel to it called EMP: The Aftermath. Jonathan will also be releasing a full-length prepping on a budget manual this Christmas.