Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be an article about how ‘bad’ or tough I am. This is an article about surviving ‘unexpected events’.

Unexpected events are things in life that range from inconveniences such as a flat tire, to serious disasters, such as a tornado, hurricane or tsunami, where loss of life is the unfortunate norm. Most people are Preppers at some level and don’t even realize it. Even the person who makes certain to have a good spare tire, jack and lug wrench in the trunk of the car is a Prepper to a minimal extent. There are others who have either witnessed or who have been affected by large or small events (sometimes both) and who have through their experiences, made preparations so that ‘the next time’ won’t be as bad. Still, many others prepare for unexpected events as a result of hearing or reading about certain relevant risks and then taking those potential risks into measured and proportionate consideration with regard to preserving their lifestyles. Automobile and life insurance are forms of prepping, designed to preserve a lifestyle after an unexpected event. One thing we learn in life as we look around is that we need all kinds of ‘insurance’… martial arts training is a kind of insurance.

Today the study of martial arts is quite popular. Many movies and TV shows depict people who are saved from demise as a result of heroes who are endowed with various martial arts skills, mostly beyond the realm of reality. Mixed martial arts (MMA) are also very popular and have transcended many others sports as of late in popularity.

When I was very young, I was small for my age and the school I attended had more than its fair allocation of bullies. Finally after taking one too many beatings at the hands of these little villains, my father said enough was enough and he enrolled me in a Jujitsu school, where I learned much more than just how to ‘bring the pain’. I learned many things that don’t seem to be taught in many schools these days; respect, honor, balance (of mind and body), breathing (amazingly, most people don’t use the full capacity of their lungs), meditation (leads to clear focus), and of course how to inflict the opposite of all those things upon any would-be attackers (imbalance, confusion, choke holds, joint locks, throws, punches and kicks). Two of the most important lessons were; ‘never give up’ and ‘combat is the absolute last resort’. Over the years I had continued in the tradition of my Sensei’s training and philosophy, which have served me well.
TruckIt was a black night in late July 2002 when I was heading southbound at about 75 mph on the I-5 freeway, just north of Sacramento, CA. Unknown to me, a drunk driver was heading in the opposite northbound lane traveling at a speed nearing 100 mph (according to the California highway patrol) when he crossed over into the path of my vehicle. The highway patrol on scene estimated that the impact speed (the combined vectors) was about 160 mph in a collision that bent the drunk’s Chevy pickup truck into an almost unrecognizable shape. The impact was so intense that parts broke free from his truck and penetrated my van (his drive-line and alternator) like bullets shot from a gun. The van I was driving was old and didn’t have airbags. The accident closed all the southbound lanes of I-5 and traffic was backed-up for miles, as the MediVac helicopter landed on the freeway. Having survived the accident, I later learned from several doctors that my survival was nothing short of a miracle.

Amazingly I didn’t break a single bone in the accident, and about a month later I was healed enough to visit the wreckage of my van and the drunk’s pickup truck in the wrecking yard where they had been stored. As I examined the two wrecked vehicles, it was clear to me that I was more than lucky to have survived the wreck; there was something more.

As I learned from several trauma physicians, who saw me after the wreck, there were two things that should have killed me right-off:


Grandmaster Robert Trias

First, was the fact that I had no airbag to slow my forward progression into my shoulder harness at the moment of impact. And normally at impact speeds in excess 100 mph, your chest is suddenly compressed by a single-strap shoulder harness as your body weight shoots forward and then instantly stops; that sudden and powerful compression is equivalent to being hit in the chest by a sledge-hammer. As the doctors explained, it will normally rupture one of the large arteries at the heart, causing massive internal bleeding. At least this is what they have seen in most autopsies from these kinds of high impact collisions. The other thing that also occurs at the moment you reach the end of the slack in your shoulder harness, absent an airbag, is that your head, which weighs about eleven pounds continues forward at the impact velocity (in my case 160 mph) as your body is stopped by the shoulder harness, which results in the equivalent of being hanged; it simply snaps your neck.

As I relived the second or two up to the moment of the impact in my mind, I realized that it was the way I reacted just before the impact that saved me. At the moment of impact, I instinctively let-out a ‘kiai’, which is a learned instinctive response in martial arts combat.  An explanation is surely needed for those readers who are not serious martial arts students.

As the Grandmaster Robert Trias explains:

“The kiai must be recognized as the ultimate unifying force that brings the body, mind and the opponent into a focused, controlled alignment, with harmony between self and the opponent. The actualization of this potentiality of time and space at one point, physically, and while releasing spiritual potentials, determines the way of development and brings to consciousness an inexpressible awareness of life itself.”

As the doctors would look upon me, even to this day, in disbelief as to my survival, I know without any doubt that the instruction and training I received from my teachers over the years served the providence that saved my life that day.

Do not overlook the value that can be gained from a quality martial arts experience.


Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be an article about how ‘bad’ or tough I am. This is an article about surviving ‘unexpected events’. Unexpected events are things in life that

Having a plan in place for Communication in a disaster or survival situation is important to your preparations. This may be a plan for communicating with your family if you are away. It could entail group communications at a retreat or neighborhood watch scenario or it could be as simple as letting family members know where you are if you are forced to separate? Taking the time to plan your communications now can save someone’s life and make any other plans you have function more smoothly.

Communications also encompass staying aware of news and information. If you are in the middle of a natural weather event and you need to know what if anything else is coming your way or which parts of town are the most impacted, you will want to stay in touch with the outside world. If there are traffic snarls that are blocking your retreat route or rioters or vigilantes have cordoned off a section of town you need to go through, you need to know this well in advance of trying to lead your family through there and adjust your plans accordingly.

Know your neighbors

This has certainly been discussed at great length but it bears repeating. The simplest and closest forms of communication you have are the people who live right next to you. During hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, neighborhoods banded together quickly after both of these tragedies for support and protection. This is another reason to stay focused on your surroundings and practice good Situational Awareness. You as well as your neighbors should know who lives in the houses around you. They may know if one of your neighbors is on vacation and someone strange is lurking around their house. Neighbors can check on people who may be older or need special assistance when regular service isn’t possible.

It is highly likely that after a disaster you may not have the ability to call the police or paramedics to assist people who are injured. Your job in this case would be to join up with your neighbors to take care of the injured and help anyone who needed assistance. The power of the group will make you all much more successful at staying alive, fed and sheltered as much as possible.

Special Family Signals

If you are forced to leave your home for whatever reason and a member of your group isn’t able to leave with you a predetermined symbol comes in handy to pass the unspoken message of where you have gone.

Having a similar signal like this could be beneficial for you. I would caution that the secret signal should be a little harder to accidentally trigger. In my case, it would be easy for one of the neighborhood kids to knock the fish over and I would come home and think everyone had left me. Less obvious signals can be devised that can alert family members to your status and what is to be done next.

Another aspect of this type of survival communication is simply leaving a detailed record or note for someone. If you are a backpacker and plan to go into the woods on a multi-day hike, it is always a good idea to leave a note with your plans and expected arrival date with two people. I would leave one note with a close friend or family member who would contact the police if you didn’t show up at the appointed time. I would also leave another note face down on the dash of my car. The information should let anyone who is looking for you, have a really strong idea of where to start looking.

Solar Powered/Hand Crank Radio


Ambient Weather WR-111B Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Digital Radio

In any emergency situation, staying informed not only gives you information but it can be reassuring or even motivating to you and your family. I would recommend that everyone have at least one emergency or weather radio at any of your locations. I keep one stored with my emergency supplies and only have to walk into the other room to grab it out of its box. You do want a radio that is powered by batteries in case the power is out and a nice option is to have either a solar panel or hand crank to power the radio in case you don’t have batteries.

There are tons of options on radios but The Adventurer is currently the highest rated according to Amazon. It runs off batteries, crank or solar and has an optional USB port to plug your phones in when they run down. Additionally it has a light to shine around while you are listening to either weather/AM/FM or NOAA broadcasts.

Cell Phones

Cell phones are the first thing you would think to grab in an emergency scenario and actually, having a fully charged phone and spare battery are great contents of any Bug Out or Get Home Bag, but they might not be in use in a major catastrophe. If you remember 9/11 cell phone traffic was knocked offline. Even during the relatively minor earthquake in Virgina in 2011, cell phone service was interrupted. Imagine if a real catastrophe or earthquake happened.

This problem isn’t limited to cities either. If you are too far off the map, your cell reception may not be sufficient to make a call. For example, you can look at just AT&Ts coverage map and see that there are giant portions of the western US that are completely uncovered by AT&T’s towers. You don’t want to depend on your cell phone in an emergency.


Can the internet be useful for communications? Of course it can, but like cell phones I wouldn’t rely on that for my disaster plan. In most emergency situations there isn’t power. You could take another route and say that the communications on the internet may compromise you. There are ways to stay anonymous on the internet, but they do require some level of work and every day more systems are designed to snoop on you regardless of the safeguards you have in place. Now if your entire family is a bunch of hackers with backup power generators, have at it! The common person shouldn’t rely on this method in most disasters.

CB Radios


Cobra® 29 LTD BT CB Radio with Bluetooth

CB or Citizens Band radios have been around for a long time. I remember my father had one in his old Mercury Capri and we would turn it on every once in a while and listen to the truckers talk while we were on a drive. I would try to come up with a clever handle, but it usually just revolved around whoever my favorite TV show hero was at the time.

CB Radios generally have a range of 5-20 miles depending on the terrain. Each channel is a different frequency and channel 9 is the emergency channel. You can listen to channel 9 for news updates and stay in touch with friends or family well away from your home. Some models like the Cobra® 29 LTD BT even have Bluetooth now so you can take calls on your CB. You just need a CB and an antenna and you are in business. Installation is simple and you can talk to anyone who is within your range.



PRO-164 1000-Channel Handheld Scanner

A great companion to a CB Radio is a scanner, sometimes called a Police scanner that randomly scans all of the radio frequency channels. It surfs for you and when it finds traffic, it will stay on that channel during the broadcast. Some scanners hold thousands of frequencies and you can use this to hear what emergency service personnel are saying. You can also hear news before it makes it to the TV. If the scanners are still working and your police department isn’t blocking the frequency somehow you can hear what is happening in other parts of your town and make plans to bugout if necessary.

Two-Way FRS radios


FRS Band Radios

Everyone who has ever been to WalMart has seen the FRS radios or walkie talkies. These are great on car trips when you want to stay in contact with another driver in a different vehicle. They are also good for camping trips when one group wants to separate from another group. They do have a much smaller range and this is highly impacted by line of sight. I think on the pair I bought, the range says “up to 23 miles”. Yeah, right! Maybe if you are standing the in middle of the desert and you can see the person 10 miles away. And you have a tail wind…

These radios are better than nothing, but the communication (as with CB’s) isn’t secure so don’t think you can purchase two of these and set up a foolproof command center at your bugout location. They would be great if your communication didn’t need to be secure though and most models now have sub channels so you can set your main frequency to channel 12 and your sub or “privacy” code to 110. This way, without a scanner someone would have to be dialed into the exact same frequency to hear you.

Military Surplus


TA-312/PT Military Telephone

Once again, one of my favorite options (for certain scenarios) is a good old field telephone (TA-312/PT). These are pretty simple. You have two phones and they are connected by a line. Communication line, it’s really just a two strand line. When you want to talk to someone you crank the arm and the other phone rings. I think you need two D batteries also to power them, but since this is really low voltage, they will last a long time. This is as secure as the phone line and may work at a retreat area with one phone out in an OP and the other inside the house as long as the line is buried.

Regardless of the method you choose (we have several) it is wise to think about different scenarios and the communication plan you would use to keep in contact with your family. What other ideas do you have for communicating with your group?

What about Short Wave or Ham Radio? Good question. I think Ham Radio is an excellent option, but it is a complicated topic with a higher entry cost, learning curve and commitment which means its worthy of its own post. I will be discussing Ham radio in the future.

On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Having a plan in place for Communication in a disaster or survival situation is important to your preparations. This may be a plan for communicating with your family if you

For some preppers, a common motivation to become prepared is the risk of a biological outbreak of some disease with a high mortality rate and aggressive transmission vector. They fear, and with good reason, that if a disease gets out into the open, society will quickly fall and the grid will collapse under the weight of so much death and suffering. This fear certainly seems plausible with events over the past decade of aggressive strains of virus’s but so far we have been relatively protected from any major outbreak. This could be due to the hard work of scientists and disease specialists who are trying everything in their power to create cures and quickly eradicate sources of Pandemic style threats like this. Or at least that is what I assumed until recently.

Tuesday in the Independent we learned the following:

A group of leading scientists has urged President Obama’s advisers to investigate the ethical issues raised by a decision to create a highly infectious strain of bird-flu virus that could be transmitted easily between people.

The scientists, who include a former UK Government chief scientist and a Nobel laureate, said that it is “morally and ethically wrong” to create a new type of influenza virus in the laboratory that is more lethal and transmissible than what actually exists in nature.

This is important because of the high mortality of the H5N1 virus. If infected, the rate of death is 60%, but to date there has been such low transmission from infected birds to humans we have been spared a significant outbreak. Not intent to leave well enough alone, scientists from Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and the University of Wisconsin-Madison succeeded in 2011 of mutating the H5N1 avian virus so that it could in theory be transmitted through the air between people.  This theoretically makes it much easier to contract, more deadly and much more likely to cause death. Why is this research being allowed?

“But these are high security labs”, you say and “they are very safe about how they handle these virus’s”. Really? It was just last week that a Bio-terror lab in Galveston Texas lost five small plastic vials of an obscure virus called Guanarito.

“They did not consider this a public health threat or a potential theft,” Weaver said, adding that the lab voluntarily made the incident public because of a long-standing pact to be transparent with the Galveston community

They didn’t consider a killer virus getting out in who knows whose hands a ‘health threat’? Without going too far into the realm of conspiracy theory (which in cases like this looks like conspiracy fact) what can you do to prepare yourself and your family for the event of a biological outbreak like the H5N1 virus?

Plan for personal protection

Most biological viruses pass through air, direct contact or bodily fluids so protective gear that will minimize the potential of coming in contact with these pathogens is an important consideration. At a minimum, you should consider a respirator or mask, protective clothing to include eye protection, gloves and footwear and potentially decontamination options. In our article explaining our rationale on why everyone should consider a gas mask as part of your preps, we mentioned some options but you can obtain protection from a less confining option.

Tyvek Suits or coveralls are really cheap considering their use. You need to shop around, but you can find Tyvek coveralls for around $8 each or if you want to be really prepared and save on the per suit cost, you can buy in bulk.  You can find these online or even at your local hardware store. Respirators are available in all shapes and sizes from the lower end N95 masks to full face protection masks with interchangeable filters.

Plan to protect your home

In the event of a biological outbreak, we may be required to stay in our homes or “shelter in place”. The simple act of removing yourself from contact with society may reduce your risk of exposure to the virus so planning to stay in your home for an extended time should be a consideration.

Some items to consider:
  • Make sure you have an adequate food storage supply to last you through the outbreak
  • Make sure you have water and adequate methods of disinfecting water you and your family will need to drink
  • Purchase large rolls of heavy plastic and duct tape to seal windows, doors and vents if necessary.
  • Consider pets and how they will go to the bathroom.
  • Plan for entertainment during any situation where you will be confined for long periods of time.
  • Ensure you have at least a month’s extra medication for anyone who requires medicine for their daily use.
  • Plan for Sanitation and make sure you have plenty of hygiene and sanitation items on hand.

These are just a few items to consider, but for each person there are numerous other options. The goal is to start thinking about the potential for this type of threat and how to plan for your family’s safety. It seems obvious that the people we thought were looking out for us simply ‘didn’t consider it’.

For some preppers, a common motivation to become prepared is the risk of a biological outbreak of some disease with a high mortality rate and aggressive transmission vector. They fear,

What if tomorrow you wake up to a world torn apart by a nuclear war? What if the governments fall and the society you knew goes crazy with neighbors attacking neighbors, looting local stores, etc.? What if a deadly virus was leaked as a bio-weapon and turns the people that were surrounding you for many years into mindless, flesh eating zombies? What if you will need to survive in at least one of these worst case scenarios?

Probably, the very first thing you should take care of during survival is the protection of your body. Living in a progressive world, where most everyone is allowed to own and use fire arms, defines the nature of body armor you should have (or be looking for). Whatever the case is, you will make the most benefit from using a bullet proof vest, because you never know, who will be walking behind your back and that person (or persons) can carry a gun and have no good intentions towards passersby.

A Bullet proof vests is a very useful thing to have in your arsenal, when surviving in extreme conditions. This little vest that covers about 15-19 inches of your back and front can save your life on multiple occasions. You may think that it’s better to wear tactical body armor, because you will have most of your body parts protected. But, even here you will have a weakness – the enemy will see the protected parts of your body and will intentionally attack the unprotected ones. Moreover, if you are in conditions that require you to constantly move, tactical body armor may cause a severe disadvantage and slow you down. Regular bullet proof vests are much more effective in this case.

If you need to survive, you don’t want to spend your time looking for stuff you could have prepared ahead of time. Since it’s not the end of the world right now and you have the time to read this, you should think about getting a bullet proof vest, before anything actually happens. Online you can get them shipped in a day, companies like SafeGuard Clothing offer this type of quick protection service, so you can be protected by tomorrow! Even if you will never get a chance to wear and use it, you will at least not regret that you weren’t prepared for an extreme situation.

Bullet proof vests can offer two types of protection – ballistic protection and combined ballistic and stab protection. The latter is more effective, of course. Moreover, there are two types of protection rankings for ballistic and stab attacks provided by the NIJ and HOSDB, respectively. While there are 6 NIJ protection levels, there are only 2 HOSDB protection levels. Obviously, the higher the protection level, the heavier the vest. Heavier vest means it’s bulkier and less comfortable. These facts have to be considered, when choosing the vest.

You can purchase a bullet proof vest in an online store. Make sure it’s of the right size and will suit you well. In order to make sure about this, you can talk to the online support and find out everything you need. However, it is best to visit an actual body armor store and get all the required assistance, because an online support worker can’t see you and can skip something important. It’s always better to be prepared, rather than being caught napping.


What if tomorrow you wake up to a world torn apart by a nuclear war? What if the governments fall and the society you knew goes crazy with neighbors attacking

Access to clean water means the difference between life and death in any part of the world. In order to disinfect water preppers usually recommend bleach as part of a broader strategy of stored water, filtration and boiling. Household bleach as long as it isn’t scented is a great method to disinfect water to make is safe for drinking so some people stock up on bleach for just this reason. There is a problem with bleach though in that it has a relatively short shelf life. Bleach will start to lose its potency before a year and that amount of time can be hastened in high heat or freezing conditions.

When asked the question if bleach has a shelf life of one year, the Clorox website states:

The overall answer is yes, but there are a couple of possible caveats. The active ingredient in liquid bleach, sodium hypochlorite, is very sensitive to high heat and freezing, but under normal home storage conditions, it should still perform well for nine to twelve months. So if your storage conditions were either of these, then you will have irreversibly created salt and water.

Calcium Hypochlorite can be used to make your own bleach. When mixed together though you have this shelf life and that is never good when we are thinking of long term prepping plans. There is a simple alternative though and that it to purchase Calcium Hypochlorite and make bleach as you need it. Calcium Hypochlorite has a shelf life of 10 years if stored in a cool dry place.

Calcium Hypochlorite comes as a stand-alone powder or you can purchase bags of pool shock. One thing to be aware of is the main ingredient. Some pool shock says Chlorine-free and uses other chemicals. You don’t want that. Also, you don’t want any other ingredients like antifungals or algaecide so read the label carefully. Alternately, you could just purchase the Calcium Hypochlorite powder and eliminate this possibility. A one-pound bag of pool shock that is 68% Calcium Hypochlorite can make 10,000 gallons of disinfected water.

Along with the capacity to create bleach that can be used as a long term stable source of treating your water,  bleach is also very effective at killing viruses. We use this to kill viruses in our water and it is just as effective at killing Ebola so a plan for storing Calcium Hypochlorite is wise on two counts.

Ebola and Bleach

A reader Matt sent this link to a Public Health Agency of Canada article on Ebola and in the section under Section IV Stability and Viability it mentions the following:

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Ebolavirus is susceptible to 3% acetic acid, 1% glutaraldehyde, alcohol-based products, and dilutions (1:10-1:100 for ≥10 minutes) of 5.25% household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), and calcium hypochlorite (bleach powder). The WHO recommendations for cleaning up spills of blood or body fluids suggest flooding the area with a 1:10 dilutions of 5.25% household bleach for 10 minutes for surfaces that can tolerate stronger bleach solutions (e.g., cement, metal) . For surfaces that may corrode or discolor, they recommend careful cleaning to remove visible stains followed by contact with a 1:100 dilution of 5.25% household bleach for more than 10 minutes.”

Essentially bleach kills Ebola and if you need to clean up any spills or body fluids a higher concentration of bleach should be used. Prepping for virus outbreaks might have seemed crazy just a few weeks ago but now the information in the news makes this more possible and if you are already prepared to make your own bleach by having a stable supply of Calcium Hypochlorite, you will additionally be prepared to disinfect Ebola and potentially save lives. I am not going to suggest having bleach will save anyone, but it can help.


A worker disinfects a deceased Ebola patient.

How to make bleach

The Calcium Hypochlorite powder is used in two strengths according to what you need to disinfect. The 1:10 bleach solution is a strong solution used to disinfect bodies and fluids. A lighter mixture of 1 to 100 is used to disinfect water or to clean surfaces, medical equipment, bedding, protective equipment like gloves and clothing.

You use the 1:10 solution to make the 1:100 solutions. The 1:10 bleach is very caustic so you want to be very careful about handling this.

In terms of Ebola disinfection, a publication from the World Health Organization says that Bleach solutions must be prepared daily because they lose their strength after 24 hours.

To prepare the bleach solution you would use one heaping tablespoon of Calcium Hypochlorite for every two gallons of water. This will give you bleach essentially and would be your 1:10 mixture for hardcore disinfection. DO NOT DRINK THIS

To dilute this to your 1:100 mixture you could add your gallon of bleach (1:10) above to 100 gallons of water, but this isn’t practical usually.

To disinfect water you would add eight drops of your 1:10 bleach solution to one gallon of water. Let this sit for 30 minutes. If the water is still cloudy you can run this through a coffee filter (should have done this first) or add more bleach a couple of drops at a time and let it sit for 30 more minutes.

Access to clean water means the difference between life and death in any part of the world. In order to disinfect water preppers usually recommend bleach as part of a

Yesterday I read about hundreds of armed vigilantes in a small Mexico town . This was preceded earlier by reports of townspeople capturing and murdering several men, displaying their bodies propped up in lawn chairs for the world to see. Their captors had written signs on some of the dead men as a warning to those who came to loot and kill. On the surface, with so much violence associated with the drug wars in Mexico, this seemed like a positive development purely from the aspect of people taking justice back into their own hands. Their corrupt officials not caring to protect them anymore were ignored and the town was saying “we aren’t going to take it anymore”.

Now, however things appear to be evolving and so are my thoughts on this subject. The “Vigilantes” are setting up road blocks, arresting police officers, conducting searches of homes for weapons and increasing their presence everywhere. I fear that the vigilantes could wind up being just as dangerous to the citizens of that town as the gangs and corrupt police. I also wonder if that type of scenario isn’t what we have in store for us here.

An article in the Global Post states the simple motivation for the vigilantes:

“The federal and state governments haven’t been able to do anything,” said Evert Castro, an Ayutla municipal councilman. “And we don’t have the capacity to fight these criminals. So the people got tired and decided to act on their own. We see this as a good thing.”

We are supposed to be a society of laws. For this to work people have to obey the laws and those who don’t are supposed to be dealt with fairly and in a just manner. When this happens, you have an equilibrium that is maintained and for the most part people live together in a civilized manner.

When you take the laws, justice and fairness away as we have seen for years in Mexico and one could argue that this is happening here to a different level as well, society becomes unbalanced. Injustice rules and people can be taken advantage of.

What if the rule of law no longer applied to your community? This is something we discuss in prepper circles daily, but usually in theory. Hypothetical scenarios that we use to either bolster our argument or use as rationale to make decisions. WROL (Without Rule of Law) is nothing that any of us should want to live through. I know that some may say (as I initially did) “Great! These people will clean up their own streets.” Really?

What is the difference between police searching through your house without cause or warrant and a gang of vigilantes? What makes getting stopped on the side of the road by a gang of armed vigilantes and having your car searched any better than going through some random checkpoint setup by the government? Are they really better off now in Mexico?

Source Daily Mail:

In January, hundreds of armed vigilantes made a series of arrests and imposed curfews in Ayutla de los Libres and Teconoap. They also manned checkpoints and claimed they had arrested at least 30 suspected criminals. One of the masked vigilantes said: ‘They kill, extort, rape. You do know if they are drugs dealers, thugs, who want to grab everything. ‘We want to return peace and tranquility to the entire population. Only the people can restore order.

If society devolves to the point where “only the people can restore order” do you trust that all of the other “people” will be fairer, less prone to corruption than anyone else? I am not for one second stating that only government or the police can protect you. What I am saying is that the people who are entrusted by our society to ensure justice must be just themselves. If the gang of people who are trying to protect your town are no better than the ones they ran off, killed or arrested, where does that put you? What can you do now to put yourself on a level footing in your neighborhood or community?

Know your neighbors

This is a simple one. Knowing your neighbors and how they will react, what their thoughts and philosophies are will help you deal with them if a situation arises where some form of resistance or vigilantism is planned. You want the people around you to know you, be able to vouch for your character and hopefully protect you from any lawlessness that is caused. If you are part of the team responsible for “restoring order” you will have a supreme advantage if you know the people you are working with and supposedly protecting. It should also go without saying that you have a supreme responsibility also to your fellow man.

Practice OPSEC

As much as possible, you want to be prudent in what you say, how you say it and to whom you say it to. OPSEC is keeping essential information about you or your family as quiet as possible. You don’t want to brag about supplies, preps you have or someone could easily say: “Hey, Joe has a whole bunch of ammo. We could take it from him.” This is just one example, but could carry over into a lot of other aspects of survival.

Ensure you have the right stuff

When and if chaos ensues, the last thing you want is to be without the essentials. You need a decent store of food. You need water and I would recommend a means of defending yourself. I am not trying to be an alarmist, but I do believe the writing is on the wall for our society and I am preparing. You should evaluate your life, your situation and make sure you have plans to take care of your family if it all goes sideways. Make sure you have this taken care of now and you are not trying to make it to the sporting goods store after the riots have started.

Prepare to Get Out of Dodge if necessary

It may be wise for you to leave. If we are back to a wild west, Mad Max type of world, you may want to get out of town. Prepare yourself now by clearly thinking and analyzing your decision to bug out or bug in. Knowing what you want to do, preparing for that eventuality is a start, but situations are dynamic. Think through your options well in advance of needing to employ them. If you have to get out of dodge, make sure you have a plan, a great vehicle and options. If you intend to hunker down, make sure you know your neighborhood or town. Intelligence like this could help you make decisions on the fly.

Never let your principles be compromised

I was going to say “Above all else” before never let your morals be compromised. It is easy to say what you would “never” do when you are sitting in front of a computer. I can easily say I would never do anything bad to another unless my life or my family’s lives depended on it, but that isn’t completely honest. We are all human and are subject to weakness for a million reasons. What I try to do is live like I should and act as God leads me. I know I will make mistakes, but I try to think about situations I may be faced with. Imagining how you will act is no substitute for the real moment, but it does give your brain some practice thinking through the ramifications of your actions. Even developing a personal threat escalation plan, while just an exercise, can be beneficial. State out loud what you will or will not abide as your conscience leads you. Try to maintain that moral compass as straight as possible. You may fall, but having a direction in the first place will point you back to the right path much quicker.

I fear for our civilization but I will not sit idly by and watch it crumble and consume us. I will make plans, prepare my family as best as I can and try to be a force for good. Besides praying, I don’t think any of us can do much more than that.

Yesterday I read about hundreds of armed vigilantes in a small Mexico town . This was preceded earlier by reports of townspeople capturing and murdering several men, displaying their bodies