*Where were you when It Hit The Fan?*
By: Goshin

Most of us with a few years experience remember questions like "Where were you the day JFK was shot?", "Where were you when Challenger exploded?", more recently "...when the planes hit the Towers?"

More critically may be this future question: "Where were you when It Hit The Fan?" The answer to that question, and how well prepared you are for that aspect of survivalism, may determine whether you are around to answer it at all.

If a drastic event, causing the collapse (temporary or permanent) of civil society, happens, where might you be when this occurs?

Some possible answers are: at home, in bed, at work, driving to/from work, out of town, out of state, out of the country!

Preparedness comes in many varieties and levels; short-term, long-term, self-sufficiency, rebuild-a-civilization. For the very-prepared, their home or retreat, or both, are well-stocked with emergency supplies and gear.

But what if you are not home, nor at your retreat?

And what if you can't get there after the fact? Or you're there, but have to leave it?

Scenario: You are out of state, on vacation or visiting relatives. The surprise detonation of a nuclear device in the upper atmosphere, causing an EMP event, destroys all electronics, electrical power transmission, communications and related technology. Your car, with its electronically-controlled carburator (like most modern cars), stalls and sputters and is useless. You are not going any further than you can get on foot, and your home or retreat is over a thousand miles away. What will you do?

Scenario: There has been a nuclear exchange. You and your family are at your home or retreat, wherever you plan to "ride out the worst". Soon after the event, and a downpour of rain, your survey meter detects dangerous levels of radioactivity...and it doesn't fall off at the usual 7-90% rate. (You might speculate that your area got a high-dose of long-lived isotopes in the fallout.) You can't stay....where will you go, and how, and what will you have to live on when you get there?

Scenario: Biowarfare has caused the entire nation to "community quarantine"....what's left of the population, anyway. Everything seems to be okay in your small town...until someone in your community comes down with the plague. It is highly communicable, but fortunately no one in your immediate family was exposed to the person. Staying would be very risky, due to the nature of the bioplague....where will you go, what can you take, who will take you in or how will you make it on your own?

"Gee, thanks, Goshin, like I didn't have enough to worry about....how about some helpful suggestions to solving those problems, huh?" Okay.

1. Don't be a "one-track" survivalist. Be prepared to fort up at home, or to bug out to a retreat, or to an alternate location, as circumstances require. Don't get stuck on one plan only.

2. Be able to haul a substantial load of supplies and gear. If you are part of a network, like the Rubicon, you could have several alternate places to go...but if you come empty handed, your welcome by the locals might be less than warm. Hint: think Bug Out Trailer!

3. Pre Position Supplies and Gear: You should, if possible, have a reasonable stock of survival-essentials and supplies both at home, and at your retreat, and preferrably at an alternate site as well, and/or cached different places. Try it; you'll find your peace of mind greatly enhanced. If there is a vacation spot, or relatives' place, that you often travel to, having supplies cached somewhere in that area could easily be a lifesaver.

4. Team, Group, and Contingency. If you are serious about surviving a major disaster or collapse, you should absolutely belong to a survival team; your team should be part of a network or group like the Rubicon; and you should have "reciprocal" agreements with other teams in your network. Reciprocal? you ask: yes, as in "If your team has to abandon YOUR retreat, you're welcome to join us; if WE have to leave OURS, we can join you." This has the greatest value if the reciprocal teams are in different, but not WIDELY seperated, states.

5. Travelling Gear: If at all possible, don't travel without at least minimal survival essentials. For example, basic camping gear and three days supplies STAY in my vehicle at all times, in a 40-gallon plastic tub...including load-bearing gear in case I have to travel by foot. In planning a travel-gear setup, keep the Rule of Threes firmly in mind: you can last 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food.

Contingency planning, diversified preparations, alternate sites, reciprocal agreements and networks, keeping your options open.... these are all things that could ensure you are alive to answer the question "Where where you when It Hit The Fan?"

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