Poor Man Survival
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How to prepare for rising crime as the economy crashes
If one thing is a certainty during times of economic instability and inflation, it's that crime rates will explode higher. It's not only a matter of desperation, though. Yes, some people will commit theft because they feel like they have no other options, but psychopathic people will also come out of the woodwork during times of distress because they feel like they can now get away with the things they always wanted to do. An economic crisis is a time when evil people come out to play.
These moments in history can bring out the worst in people, but also the best. Some people rise to the challenge and set the standard; this is what you must do. But, in order to achieve that goal, you're going to have to secure your home and prep as much as possible first.
The frustrating thing about economic decline on a national or global scale is that there are stages; each stage has levels of danger and levels of realistic response. If the system is still somewhat intact, it may not be practical to run around all day in tactical gear ready to shoot at the first sign of a threat. This might send the wrong message to others and make you look like a threat yourself.
Crime at this stage tends to be high, but not in the form of mass looting and riots. Rather, it is more insidious and subtle. Break-ins may increase exponentially in your area. Many of these will occur while people are out of the home. Armed robbery and muggings will also be on the rise but will primarily be aimed at easy targets. People who look like they won't fight back.
There will be consistent theft within businesses among employees. Embezzlement and inventory grabs will be common. Drug and alcohol abuse will be epidemic as people seek to self-medicate against the stresses of survival in an uncertain world.
It sounds grim, I know. I am merely pointing out that these developments are historically common when money and credit start to run out for a population. Another issue that makes things worse is when that population was recently affluent. People who have lived most of their lives under first-world conditions tend to be completely incapable of adapting to Third World conditions. They have zero useful skill sets or preparedness knowledge. They also tend to cling to memories of how life used to be, rather than accepting how life is and acclimating.
Understand that most of the things we might consider "valuable" today will be mostly worthless tomorrow. Cars, boats, condos, city-based real estate, etc. will be less sought after as the collapse progresses. These are not things most people will be in the market for. Necessities like food, gas, propane, energy-producing technology, commodities from precious metals to coal, aluminum and lumber, and suburban and rural housing. All of these items will become highly valuable. Later on, as things get worse, self-defense items and ammunition will be the hot commodities.
hat Jet Ski or Escalade in your driveway might not be much of a target for thieves, but your construction supplies and backup gas might be. We have to start thinking in terms of what will be truly valuable tomorrow if we are to prepare to secure our wealth. During the run-up to a societal breakdown, there are basic security measures you can apply for very little money right now. During a loss of rule of law, we have to take more drastic measures. Let's look at the former scenario first...
National System Still Functioning While Crime Rises
In this scenario, there is still a semblance of law and order. There are still active police and crime units, the grocery stores are still getting some items and the supply chain is still operating, even if it is strained. At this time, the most likely source of theft will be neighbors. Only they will know when you are home and when you are gone, and only they will have an idea of what goods you have.
Many preparedness writers obsess over the idea of "OPSEC," and in some ways this makes sense. It's hard to know who you can trust in your area and if you never talk to anyone then your only option is to distrust everybody. This is a zero-sum game, however. The only way to be truly secure in your neighborhood is to form partnerships with the people around you.
That doesn't mean you need to talk about your preps, only that you need to test the waters and see who is on the same page as you. Most preppers claim no one around them is aware of what is happening, and every time I talk to these people it turns out they never tried to organize in the first place.
A simple neighborhood crime watch is innocuous enough and most of your neighbors should be onboard. A set of short-range radios should be purchased and the people participating should each have one. The cost is small for the advantages this provides. Even if only a few neighbors are part of the watch, knowing there is a watch will deter any other neighbors that might have malicious plans.
Beyond local organization, basic security measures should be established without draining your bank account. There is no need for chain link fences and barbed wire, and no need for expensive steel doors and concrete barriers in your driveway. The best measures are simple.
First, get heavy Grade 1 deadbolt locks in all your exterior doors. They can be pricier than regular locks, but worth it. Adding new door strike plates with 3-inch screws will improve protection. Next, add metal door stops that flip up and down to the inside of each exterior door. They can be flipped down at night to prevent quick entry by anyone trying to break through. This will easily buy you time to get to your firearm and ward off an intruder.
Second, consider getting a dog if you have a yard and space for it to run. Setting up a regular fence to keep the dog in is great, but it also keeps criminals out, or slows them down. Dogs are the best possible security tools I can think of. If you are able to afford to feed them, they will keep you safe from almost everything. They will hear or smell a threat coming before you have a clue it is near and will alert immediately. Dogs act as a security alarm and a deterrent.
Third, for houses with vulnerable windows, consider getting strong shutters. They should be decorative but also practical so as to avoid standing out. Window bars should only be considered if mass looting is a real possibility in your area. Shutters will add almost the same protection for much less money. They can be opened during the day to let light in the house and then locked up at night to provide protection. If you live in a storm-prone state, they can also double as storm shutters.
Fourth, for garages, the temptation will be for criminals to simply drive into the doors and break through them. On the inside of a garage door, you can place a steel pipe across the supporting frame to tear apart the front end of any car used in this way, making it immobile. You can also place large caltrops or other tire shredding devices inside the garage doors to stop a vehicle from escaping, just don't forget they are there when putting your own car inside. If a thief can't use their car to get away, they will probably run without taking anything.
Fifth, get a surveillance camera system that does not rely on the internet. Make sure it connects to a digital recorder or monitoring station. Have a dedicated space for your security monitor and check on it every once in a while. At least two cameras, one on the front and back of your property should be set up. If you are on a corner lot, use four cameras, because corner lots are targeted more frequently than any other type of property. Just the existence of the cameras will help deter theft or violent attack, and they make it so you don't need to go to a door or window to see what is happening outside.
All of the above options together (except for the dog) will cost less than $1000 to purchase and set up. The dog will have the continued cost of feeding, and the fencing will cost a few hundred dollars depending on the type of materials used.
National Systems Break Down, Supply Chain Crippled, Rule Of Law Dissolved
This is the worst-case scenario, but it also frees up a lot more options for security. In this situation, open neighborhood organization for armed defense can be pursued. You can have a roaming patrol on your property or street. You can set up barriers in your driveway to immobilize vehicles before they get to your home and checkpoints on your road. You can set up interior or exterior sandbags to create safe rooms that stop stray bullets and deter looters.
You can use booby traps on hidden paths of approach that looters might use to attack you. You can set up portholes for firing weapons or firing pepper spray against mobs or larger groups. You can use fire, you can use water, you can use hot oil, you can use a lot of things. The sky is the limit. Of course, as noted, the best possible defense in a collapse scenario is organization with neighbors.
This is much easier before a collapse than after, because after the crisis hits people will be far warier and less likely to want to be friends. They will be afraid that you are scouting for targets, and they will be paranoid about you more than the threats they cannot see coming yet.
My guideline is basically this: If someone is not already prepping, or at least taking serious steps to learn about prepping right now, then you can't put any trust in them to stay civil in a post-collapse environment. They are going to get hungry and angry about what is happening, and they might try to take from you. It's not a sure thing, but the chances are higher. The only people that you should be organizing with are other people that are preppers or are in the midst of becoming preppers.
The only way to know where they stand is to talk to them. I suggest the neighborhood watch idea as a way to open a dialogue. Another method is to bring up a local barter market concept and see what people say. If they show some interest then they may be of like mind, if they shrug their shoulders like they don't know what you are talking about, then they might be a problem in the future.
This is not to say that every single person that is not prepped will be useless. An exception to the rule I listed above is when certain people have valuable skill sets such as doctors, nurses, engineers and military veterans and they are just oblivious to the extent of the economic situation. They can still trade those skills and you will still need those people around, so don't be too quick to dismiss someone as an ally because they don't have a food stockpile. Take their skill sets in mind.
In a full collapse situation, there will be a lot of useless people roaming around looking for stability, a handout, or a target. These will be mostly metropolitan residents, office workers, corporate drones, retail employees, and anyone else who has spent most of their lives within an industry or community framework that relies on a first-world system to remain viable. I don't want to sound cold, but I have known numerous people like this and many of them are still in denial about the current economic decline despite the fact that everything they buy today costs almost twice as much as it did a year ago.
These are the folks that will demand someone help them, whether it be the government or the community. They will declare themselves entitled to what other people have; count on it. Worst of all, some of them might even be family. I can't really give advice on what to do in that situation. Other than say the level of arrogance of the individual will determine whether I help them or not. If they lack humility and adopt an attitude of entitlement, I won't be giving them a hand. Some people need to hit rock bottom before they learn.
In a collapse, it's the measured person that survives. Not the hard-hearted cold-as-ice survivalist that refuses to help or work with other people. Not the passive and overly empathetic do-gooder. The people that make it will be somewhere in between those extremes.
In terms of crime in the U.S., it's already exploding in urban
areas. In rural areas there is not as much trouble. The only question is when
will the decay in major population centers spread out to suburban and rural
communities? Because eventually it's going to as long as inflation continues to
climb. Get ahead of it now by following the suggestions above and secure your
home and neighborhood while there is still some stability to enjoy.
To truth and knowledge,
NOTE: Another day, another left wing terrorist attack ignored by the media
Left-wing extremist in Odessa, MI shot an 83-year-old woman who worked for a MI Right to Life Group as she canvassed his home to encourage folks not to vote for proposed MI law which would enable abortion on demand; something Gov. Whitless put on the November ballot.
18 Survival Breads to Make in an Emergency
Baking a loaf of bread from scratch can be intimidating, but it's definitely worth the effort! There are so many delicious survival bread recipes out there that are perfect for emergencies. In this blog post, we'll share some of our favorite survival breads that are easy to make and store.
So don't worry – you'll always have a warm and satisfying meal, even when times get tough!
We all know that bread is a staple in any diet, but what about in a survival situation? Bread can be made from so many different types of flour, and with some added ingredients, it can be a filling and satisfying meal...
18 Survival Breads to Make in an Emergency
Guidelines for Reducing the Grocery Budget
Are you looking to cut food costs without starving your family? These guidelines will help you cut the fat from that grocery budget while still keeping your family well fed.
5 Reasons Why the Food Supply in the United States Is Going To Continue To Shrink
Learn about guerrilla gardening, food caching, "encasement" strategies and more.
See all the details in today's feature article and podcast here.
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