It's all well and good to think you're prepared, but over the weekend I was watching "Taken" and I wondered, just how far would I go to protect my family? Now if you're anything like me there isn't anything you wouldn't do to protect them, which is the way it should be. But violence isn't the only option. In fact, it shouldn't even be close to the top, because it's a reactionary measure. If you want to be a true survivalist, you need to focus on avoiding trouble. Staying out of sight. By steering clear of conflict, you'll be better positioned to keep your family out of harm's way, and there'll be less casualties too. I've touched on this in a couple of articles already when we spoke about self defense, and I stand by it. Once of the single greatest skills you can wield as a survivalist is the ability to diffuse a situation. Because your goal is to survive, and see your family and friends survive along with you. The key is to stay out of trouble. Here's how.
Keep away from criminals
You've got to get clear of the city once a disaster strikes. There's too many people for supplies to last, and once they start running dry you're going to face hordes of looters out to grab whatever supplies they can find. Any location with potentially valuable items will be a target, and once the rule of law no longer applies, the criminals will be out in full force. First, you need to ensure you've got all the supplies you need in your home. This will stop you needing to do any runs into town to pick up "just a couple of things," and avoid coming face to face with any looters who want what you have. Looters are mostly opportunistic, and if you keep away from them, you've got a better chance of surviving. Oh and don't forget to always carry a means of self defense, like our devil juice pepper spray
. Being able to protect yourself is key to being a survivor. I'd also recommend taking action on your house. It's not sustainable having to maintain a 24 hour surveillance on your property, instead you should intentionally make it appear as if your home has already been looted. A little graffiti, a couple of broken windows, and a screen door hanging off its hinges can give the appearance nothing of value remains, and may cause a lazy criminal to skip over your place.
Make friends with your neighbors
One of your best assets in a disaster is your neighbor, as they can provide an extra set of eyes to look out for your family, along with a safe haven should your home ever be compromised. Take steps to make friends with your neighbors, and don't let any petty things start a silly feud. You don't want the people who know your comings and goings to start acting against you. If a disaster hits, take the time to check in on your neighbors and make sure they're all doing alright. Being genuinely concerned for their welfare will go a long way, especially if there's anything you can help out with. Providing a little food in the early days or assisting with a project gives you a chance to get to know them, and once you start to build a little trust it could be worth bringing them into your group. You just need to ensure you can afford to feed the extra mouths, but the extra hands will go a long way.
Keep your survival group intact
The level of stress your group will go through when a disaster hits is immense. There will be things you disagree on, and tempers will flare. If you want your survival group to make it through the crisis you need a set of clearly defined rules, and have everyone in the group commit to these. The last thing you need is people struggling for power or doing their own thing as everything around you turns to chaos. So be prepared to compromise, be ready to negotiate, and ensure you're listening to the people in your group and always following the consensus.
Avoiding trouble with your family
If you're anything like me, the core of your survival group is your immediate family. But with this comes a lack of training and experience. The biggest risk your family faces is fear, as no one will have considered the different potential outcomes, or started considering long-term solutions. The fear of the unknown can be a massive source of trouble for your group. The key is to step up and be a leader, while maintaining a sense of calm. Use your experience and planning to be the survival expert, and be prepared to answer the barrage of questions you get on every decision you make. I'd recommend sitting down, and running through your plans in detail with your family. You'll find they're far more ready to take action when they understand what is to be done, along with the reasons why.
Be open to the other survivors
Once you've made it through the initial crisis, the biggest threat you'll face is the other survivors. Groups will have formed quickly, but while you should be wary of outsiders, it doesn't mean you should treat everyone like a criminal. We're all in the same boat, so keep an open mind, and be willing to form new friendships and build a larger community of survivors. Once a disaster hits there's going to be so many things you need to worry about, looking for a fight should be the last thing on your mind. Instead, you should be looking for ways to avoid trouble, and with a little understanding work towards building a strong community that can help you survive over the long term.