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Author Topic: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot  (Read 17120 times)

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #90 on: November 20, 2012, 08:59:21 PM »
A few months back I read a fairly concise yet thorough article written by a friend of mine about Mexico's gang problem and its spread throughout North America.

Do you have a link?
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”  Robert Heinlein

"There's this new thing called Situational Awareness!"  Sterling Archer

Offline inthego

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #91 on: November 20, 2012, 10:25:41 PM »

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Offline Garandman

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #92 on: November 21, 2012, 03:46:48 AM »
Simply put, here's why I think these "scenarios" are ridiculous: the number of good people in any city far outweigh the bad. And why I think such "scenarios" are a distraction: there are 100 other scenarios more likely to occur and you are better off preparing for them.

I live IN a city - in a low income neighborhood at that. Cities are not one big mass. They are almost always groups of contiguous neighborhoods,  AKA "small towns" with their own political leaders, post office, stores, youth sports programs, etc. and a lot of other resources like hospitals, fire departments, local police stations, etc. BTW I don't need a car to get to most of these resources - they're close enough to walk.

There are distinct pros and cons to living in a city. A friend of mine is always talking about "SHTF" and plans to "bug out" from his suburban palace to a trailer home in his 4x4 and grow vegetables and "live off the land." He's going to be stuck in traffic at best and robbed or have his tires shot out at worst. He could start growing vegetables in his yard right now instead of spending the weekend riding a garden tractor.

I plan to stay at home, with all my resources and with all my friendly neighbors. At a certain point, I may swing by the wholesale food distribution center up the street - 4 or 5 acres of warehouse - with a few bottles of whiskey. Guess who is going to eat better?


Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #93 on: November 21, 2012, 07:19:43 AM »
Simply put, here's why I think these "scenarios" are ridiculous: the number of good people in any city far outweigh the bad. And why I think such "scenarios" are a distraction: there are 100 other scenarios more likely to occur and you are better off preparing for them.

I live IN a city - in a low income neighborhood at that. Cities are not one big mass. They are almost always groups of contiguous neighborhoods,  AKA "small towns" with their own political leaders, post office, stores, youth sports programs, etc. and a lot of other resources like hospitals, fire departments, local police stations, etc. BTW I don't need a car to get to most of these resources - they're close enough to walk.

There are distinct pros and cons to living in a city. A friend of mine is always talking about "SHTF" and plans to "bug out" from his suburban palace to a trailer home in his 4x4 and grow vegetables and "live off the land." He's going to be stuck in traffic at best and robbed or have his tires shot out at worst. He could start growing vegetables in his yard right now instead of spending the weekend riding a garden tractor.

I plan to stay at home, with all my resources and with all my friendly neighbors. At a certain point, I may swing by the wholesale food distribution center up the street - 4 or 5 acres of warehouse - with a few bottles of whiskey. Guess who is going to eat better?

So you are not worried about people who get government checks right now wanting what you have when the government checks stop?

To me this whole thread is about security, one of the five pillars of preparedness.  Whether you plan to bug out or not is also a security issue.  Can you stay where your are safer or go where you want safer?  I live in suburbia and am worried about my grasshopper neighbors deciding they want what I want.  I believe the ratio of good people to bad people is even higher where I live than where you live, and with a lower concentration, and I am still concerned.

This is not a "suddenly there are roving hoards" thread.  Say there is a pandemic, or natural disaster, or economic collapse, or all of your twinkie and ho-ho producing neighbors get laid off and there is no longer the infrastructure around to handle these people.  You are prepared, but they are not, for the most part. 

I respect that you have it lower down on your threat level and hope you are right, but how would you react if it ends up being the worst threat at any given time?
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”  Robert Heinlein

"There's this new thing called Situational Awareness!"  Sterling Archer

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #94 on: November 21, 2012, 08:15:03 AM »
"So you are not worried about people who get government checks right now wanting what you have when the government checks stop?"

yuck
class warfare.... for the fail.

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #95 on: November 21, 2012, 09:00:52 AM »
"So you are not worried about people who get government checks right now wanting what you have when the government checks stop?"

yuck
class warfare.... for the fail.

Hey, it got a President elected.

Besides, he said he lives in a low income neighborhood.  I want his point of view of what would happen WROL in a low income neighborhood.  Are there gangs prevalent?  Is he friends with the low income neighbors?  Is he one of them?  People are less likely to take advantage of those they share traits with - whether those traits are financial, racial, political, etc...
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”  Robert Heinlein

"There's this new thing called Situational Awareness!"  Sterling Archer

Offline livinitup0

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #96 on: November 21, 2012, 09:10:57 AM »
I think if we're essentially just talking about looting and semi-organized WROL gangs... going looting house to house is going to come much later than looting the malls, walmart and any other densely commercial area. If anything this gives us some time. 

And again... even if you're successful fending off an opfor from getting in... all it takes is a bottle of gas or booze, a rag and a match to seriously ruin your day. I'm getting the hell out of dodge way before that happens.

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #97 on: November 21, 2012, 10:26:48 AM »
I think if we're essentially just talking about looting and semi-organized WROL gangs... going looting house to house is going to come much later than looting the malls, walmart and any other densely commercial area. If anything this gives us some time. 

And again... even if you're successful fending off an opfor from getting in... all it takes is a bottle of gas or booze, a rag and a match to seriously ruin your day. I'm getting the hell out of dodge way before that happens.

But in an urban area the commercial and residential areas are blurred.  I won't see the commercial properties being looted when I stay home.  It is only a few miles away, but the commercial and residential areas in suburbia are more demarcated.  In an urban area you can see the corner store down the block being looted, and you will know they are that close to you.

I would get out of the city regardless.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”  Robert Heinlein

"There's this new thing called Situational Awareness!"  Sterling Archer

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #98 on: November 21, 2012, 11:07:11 AM »
Do you have a link?

Here it is:

http://www.rcmi.org/archives/SITREP/12/12-4%20Sitrep.pdf

Though it's hardly about roving bands of looters, I think that it highlights a serious potential threat to our security that people should at least be thinking about. I think it supports a lot of Sheepdog Prepper's comments about the nature of organized crime that's more likely to increase in the event of further economic misfortunes, and probably a greater or more immediate threat than the looting originally alluded to. Since Americans at least have the advantage of personal arms and a good proportion of people with military or LEO experience, I think that quiet community organizing would be the best way to prepare for such a threat. I say "quiet" because these groups seem especially intent upon silencing or frightening any oppostition into submission, though there might be a place for more vocal opposition if and when that can turn the tide against such groups.

I'm also less inclined towards the isolationist approach proffered by several posters, since I could see many of these organized gangs also heading to isolated regions to smuggle and grow drugs or establish labs, in which case one might find themselves isolated and within the proximity of some very undesirable people. This kind of reminds me of a friend who said that NY State police took over twenty minutes to respond to a call to their rural family home a few years back, that I imagine could easily grow to thirty or forty minutes some major fiscal pressures forced serious cuts in the state's police budget. At least a close knit, connected rural community could perhaps provide an effective response to such groups moving into or through their locality, or offer an initial defensive response until the authorities could arrive with proper resources to deal with it.

I don't want to take the thread too far from its original post, but I think it useful to plan for scenarios where there's still a police presence, but where their numbers and response time are greatly diminished, whether by the effects of a natural disaster, reduced budgets and operational capabilities (i.e. response time) or even the intimidation factor posed by highly organized criminal elements. On a more positive note, even if such a threat never develops, a community that prepares for such contingencies would probably be better organized for a broader array of human and naturally induced threats to their security and capable of assisting the authorities or their neighbours in many ways (i.e. missing persons searches, comms support to authorities in time of emergency, response to isolated criminal events, etc). I think that the possibility for such organizing diminishes however whenever it gets put into language that sounds too "zombie apocalyptic" even to the ears of people that are otherwise inclined towards preparedness.

Offline Wildthang

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #99 on: November 21, 2012, 01:24:26 PM »
I doubt that huge gangs of hoodlums are much of a threat, but I do beleive that if times get worse, crime will go up, and home invasions will be even worse than they are now. There will be a lot of theivery, robberys, and violence depending on where you go.
I think those city boy gangs will find that going out into the countryside to rape and pillage is going to be a little more dangerous than they first thought. Most country people are naturally observant, and most all of them have guns.
I know in my area, everybody shoots guns in their back yard, and on weekends it sounds like a war zone! They will be in deep chit if they come to my kneck of the woods!

Offline Garandman

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #100 on: November 21, 2012, 03:34:22 PM »
/I would get out of the city regardless.
You are already out of the "city," aren't you?

That's sort of my point. Folks make all kinds of assumptions about cities that are almost universally bad. But 70-75% of the residents of first-world countries live in urban areas. If all those people moved to the "wide-open spaces" they wouldn't be wide-open anymore!

Taking Boston as one example, it has a large number of hospitals (since there are a number of medical schools here), a huge port, a big-city police force, EMT's, etc. It also has a ton of commuters who are for the most part completely unprepared for so much as a rain drop or a snow flake (based on the traffic jams whenever it rains or snows) and a couple hundred thousand college students. There is an immense difference between Boston on a daytime workday snow storm and a summer weekend hurricane: the population is less than half.

So for almost every "survival" scenario where folks assume that living in a city is bad, I can think of several others where living in a city is good. 

I'll give you an example. A buddy of mine is convinced that currencies will collapse and he's "prepped" by buying thousands of dollars worth of gold and silver. But he's 61 years old, lives 15 miles from the nearest major medical center and owns no firearms. He should be way more worried about his blood pressure than how much precious metal he's holding, because most of us die from coronary heart disease. And his secondary concern should probably be how he was going to hang on to that material.

That doesn't mean I think it's impossible, or that I wouldn't respond to that sort of threat - obviously I would.  I try to evaluate and reevaluate the actual versus perceived risk of all kinds of factors. In my opinion, in this region, the likelihood of having to defend yourself against roaming bands of para-military gangs is really low. I can think of 100 things that are more likely and thus should be a higher priority.

Offline inthego

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Offline Connecticut Prepper

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #102 on: November 21, 2012, 05:44:15 PM »
I think that if you were in a situation like that, with that many people and all of them mobile your best bet is to not be where they are going.  Unless you are in some kind of heavily armed instillation that can defend against light armored attacks that you'll just end up getting over run.

Flee towards the safety of the open and destroy your left behind supplies before they fall into the hands of the marauders?
Booby trap your home and poison your supplies left behind? 

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #103 on: November 21, 2012, 06:32:26 PM »
That doesn't mean I think it's impossible, or that I wouldn't respond to that sort of threat - obviously I would.  I try to evaluate and reevaluate the actual versus perceived risk of all kinds of factors. In my opinion, in this region, the likelihood of having to defend yourself against roaming bands of para-military gangs is really low. I can think of 100 things that are more likely and thus should be a higher priority.

+1 Garandman

I agree that the (sub)urban deathtrap vs rural redoubt argument is overblown, I see it as yet another example of a common theme that's been incorporated into the standard survivalist mythology without much evidence to back it up.  Read FerFAL's book/blog to get an idea of how idyllic rural life is now in Argentina, his experience tends to show it to be pure fantasy.
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #104 on: November 21, 2012, 06:35:43 PM »
I think if we're essentially just talking about looting and semi-organized WROL gangs... going looting house to house is going to come much later than looting the malls, walmart and any other densely commercial area. If anything this gives us some time.

Sorry to use your comment as an example, I think you're preparing for the what if's too but . . . .  What about Katrina?  If you think looting house to house is going to come much later, watch these video's.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=39071.0
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Offline endurance

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #105 on: November 21, 2012, 06:57:28 PM »
...

I think the pattern in MX is similar to what we could see here if we experience a slow decline in the US.  I could make the argument that in the US we have already seen this occur in some zip codes where gangs dictate everything and the police don't go unless they have at least 4 officers, and then leave asap.  The infrastructure is certainly in place with several large US gangs having interstate networks or control over one or more large metropolitan areas.
I have a very good friend that I've known since 2004 who lives in Monterrey, Mexico, which is by no means the worst, but lying at the intersection of two warring cartels over the last few years, it's a reasonable sample of what life is like in a state that is sorely broken.  He's an upper-middle class guy, athletic (plays the role of enforcer on his local soccer team, run a couple marathons in the last few years), has been a general manager, VP of sales, and other positions of management with a large corporation, and is raising a family in a modestly upscale condo complex in town.  He's an incredibly optimistic guy and prior to 2010 he reassured me it wasn't that bad and things were fine.  On one occasion in 2009 he had 13 rounds in the outside wall of his building from a gang-related hit, killing the intended target.  He hardly batted an eye.  However, in 2010 things changed dramatically. 

The first incident that shook him up was a car jacking and kidnapping while stopped at a red light.  He saw the barrel of an M-16 (his description) pointing out of the car next to him, two guys got out, put him in the trunk and drove him for 45 minutes out into the desert.  Once out there, they took his wallet and abandoned him right around sunset, far from any roads.  Were it not for his mountain biking familiarizing him with the greater area around his community, he might not have made it home that night.  As it was, it was a miserable slog to the nearest road and then he hitchhiked back into town.

If that wasn't bad enough, that was followed by several months of escalating 'security measures' in the area, which meant roadside checkpoints that had very specific rules to go with them.  Approaching the checkpoints without following a complicated checklist of turning your lights off, turning your dome light on, and rolling down all the windows could result in being fired upon.  Sometimes getting through the checkpoints went smoothly, other times it was a lengthy delay while they thoroughly searched every inch of the car and double checked his documents.  During this time his company also implemented a policy not allowing any management to come in early or leave late for fear of kidnapping of the executives and management.

Roughly nine months later his wife was picking up some prescriptions at the pharmacy and as she walked out to her car she was approached at gunpoint, her keys and purse were taken, and they drove off with her car.

He's a college educated guy, speaks English fluently (he went to high school in the US while his father was completing his PhD in horticulture in Michigan... all perfectly legal) trying to find a job anywhere in the US where he can make a similar wage, but to no avail.

The situation begs the question, what would you do in the situation?  This isn't a run into the woods situation.  It's not a hunker in your bunker situation with six years of escalating violence and counting.  It's a make the best life you can situation, where maybe in the US you might be able to carry a gun to stop some of the street thuggery, but it's not like a gun would have made a difference in his car jacking (you want to go up against three armed guys with rifles with your little handgun?  really?).

Just food for thought. 
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Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #106 on: November 21, 2012, 07:59:09 PM »
Sorry to use your comment as an example, I think you're preparing for the what if's too but . . . .  What about Katrina?  If you think looting house to house is going to come much later, watch these video's.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=39071.0

I checked your other thread and recognized the NRA videos about Katrina that I last watched about a year or two ago.

The issue of mass panic and looting in the wake of disasters has been of considerable interest to researchers, and yet most of the evidence collected thusfar suggests that those fears are mostly exaggerations and myths, at least if looking at the types of disasters that happen in the United States and Canada, as well as many other places in the world.

Rather than disproving previous evidence, most of the research that followed after Hurricane Katrina revealed that the horror stories of mayhem and criminality reported by the media were wildly exaggerated, and while I certainly wouldn't want the authorities riding roughshod over the Second Amendment in a disaster where common sense dictates that people would feel safer with a means to protect themselves, not having a gun didn't make people that much less insecure than they were prior to the hurricane.

What the NRA videos show is how the sensationalizing of disasters can cause people in power to panic and and rationalize all sorts of unjustified incursions upon people's civil liberties in the name of restoring the peace. Police and other resources that could have been helping people flood victims wasted days focusing upon quelling so called civil unrest that largely consisted of people taking groceries from stores while FEMA was too discorganized to actually provide them any assistance. That might not inspire much confidence in other people's preparations for disasters, but Katrina provides more evidence of the dangers of relying upon government in times of need than it does of the darker side of human nature lying within the hearts of our neighbours.

In a similar vein, I have a friend who arrived in Haiti to teach English at a Jesuit run school just a week before the earthquake a few years back and ended up helping the medical relief efforts for the next couple of months. Once again, things were relatively orderly (he recalled one story of a grocery store being cleaned out in the first couple of days), but for the most part people were dumbfounded as to why the US military arrived with so much firepower for a disaster recovery effort, which seemed more suited for an occupation force. I'm all for the US military, private ownership of guns and the like, but sometimes we become our own worst enemy when we exaggerate the wrong dangers and focus too much energy upon them.

Before I close off on Haiti, I might as well point out that my friend also pointed out how incompetent the UN was on many levels... they spent lots of energy just to clear their warehouses of UN supplied condoms for HIV/AIDS prevention to make room for the incoming emergency aid. Even with the spoiling of all of those condoms through exposure to heat, they still had several years worth remaining for future distribution.

I'm hardly dismissing the value of questioning how to respond to the breakdown of civil order, which may very well make us vulnerable to criminals out to do harm and warrants a proportionate response, but we might want to list the potentialities both by likelihood of happening and level of severity, realizing that things don't always follow past patterns or trends.

I've got to get back to some other work but would gladly post some more source material later if people are interested. I really appreciate everyone's comments thusfar.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #107 on: November 21, 2012, 10:40:34 PM »
Something on the subject but from a different perspective.

If you haven't actually fought bad guys in urban terrain, and I don't me "Call of Duty" or "Modern Warfare", then you don't fully understand why you don't want to be in a city when/if things go sideways.  Strategically and tactically speaking, being out in the open countryside is a MUCH better choice.  I won't go into them all, but I want people to think things through more with their planning.  Is it possible to survive in a city after a collapse?  Possibly.  Is hunkering down out in the country the perfect choice?  Probably not.  However, simply removing yourself from the sheer numbers of sheeple in an area can (and most probably does) increase your survivability tremendously.

I'm not debating that there is a wealth of resource in a metropolitan city (hospitals, library's, stores, etc.).  My point is that just to make use of any of that will put you out on the street to get there and back.  In some form or another, you are out on the street.  Maybe with goods or "perceived goods".  This is in an area with different mindsets of people (cross-sections).  You might know what is right or wrong.  Does everyone?  Is it right for them to take from you?  What if they had to kill you to get it?  Many people will actually answer "Yes" to the last two questions and not think it is wrong.

As mentioned by other members, I'm also concerned with the over exaggeration of advice, both for and against city/country bug-out or bug-in.  As Jack has mentioned in the shows, most of the problems we will likely face will not be from any event, but from the REACTION to that event by the people and by the government.  If you want to be in an area swarming with panicked people, while the governmental "Keystone Cop" agencies come in and make it more of a mess, then go ahead.  But if someone starts shooting things up (cartels, gangs, thugs) and everything degenerates into chaos, don't say you weren't warned.

We gave the city of Samarra, Iraq plenty of warning in October of 2004.  "The U.S. Army is retaking the city, so evacuate if possible."  Nope.  They all wanted to stay (possibly so they wouldn't be robbed).  The next day you would have been shocked and stunned.  I was.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the city had a white flag.  Cars had white flags held out of every window as they drove by.  Women, children, and drivers were all holding out these scraps of white cloth.  Little white cloth strips and a car body offer little defense from cross fire.  Insurgents didn't care about the flags.  They kept fighting right on through the terrorized families.  We couldn't call a "Time Out" and kept fighting as well.  Not to mention the livestock that ran through the battles (donkeys, goats, etc.).  It was a WAR ZONE and many people don't get that.  When smaller scale and larger scale firefights occur in cities it is one of the worst places to be.  It's too late to get out.  You'd have to get out onto a street or use the sewers to evacuate.

It's not necessarily about "knowing your neighbors", or having "a developed neighborhood watch".  It's about what happens when you are no longer in control of what is happening.  Having a plan is great.  The next step is what happens when your plan in worthless, then what?

Great thread guys!  I'm looking forward to the continuing discussion.
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #108 on: November 21, 2012, 11:09:20 PM »
It's not necessarily about "knowing your neighbors", or having "a developed neighborhood watch".  It's about what happens when you are no longer in control of what is happening.  Having a plan is great.  The next step is what happens when your plan is worthless, then what?

Man, you just summed up my whole mantra right there.
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Offline RPZ

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #109 on: November 22, 2012, 08:15:46 AM »
Simply put, here's why I think these "scenarios" are ridiculous: the number of good people in any city far outweigh the bad. And why I think such "scenarios" are a distraction: there are 100 other scenarios more likely to occur and you are better off preparing for them.

I live IN a city - in a low income neighborhood at that. Cities are not one big mass. They are almost always groups of contiguous neighborhoods,  AKA "small towns" with their own political leaders, post office, stores, youth sports programs, etc. and a lot of other resources like hospitals, fire departments, local police stations, etc. BTW I don't need a car to get to most of these resources - they're close enough to walk.

There are distinct pros and cons to living in a city. A friend of mine is always talking about "SHTF" and plans to "bug out" from his suburban palace to a trailer home in his 4x4 and grow vegetables and "live off the land." He's going to be stuck in traffic at best and robbed or have his tires shot out at worst. He could start growing vegetables in his yard right now instead of spending the weekend riding a garden tractor.

I plan to stay at home, with all my resources and with all my friendly neighbors. At a certain point, I may swing by the wholesale food distribution center up the street - 4 or 5 acres of warehouse - with a few bottles of whiskey. Guess who is going to eat better?
Have you ever seen real civil unrest, firsthand? I have, and have been right in the middle of it. A serious breakdown in order need not be on a national scale to warrant not being there preferable, and having a plan to leave is a very sensible alternative. The idea is to leave before travel becomes the greater of two evils.

People are, on the whole, very civilised in their behavior, even in "hard times". The problem is when a protracted breakdown occurs and things like food and water become scarce for a period longer than "a few days". There is a basic graph that applies here, and after about a week of no food the behavior of even generally "good" people can undergo an extreme change.

Most supermarkets on which most urban dwellers depend have a couple of days stock at best onhand. Everything is computerised logistically; if there is no power there is no ordering and no shipping. There is simply no alternative system in place for this in the retail business anymore.

I have lived and worked in several countries over the last 50 years and one observation I carry is that people in this country have for a large part lived sheltered lives. They have never seen a war on home soil for one thing, and they have never experienced some of the economic and political upheavals that lead to catastrophy on a national scale which have not struck in over 75 years.

Economically, this country has never been more vulnerable. Politically things are equally grim. In my opinion not preparing and at least taking steps to become less dependant on the system is very, very foolish indeed. This topic thread is just one aspect.

Offline Shaunypoo

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #110 on: November 22, 2012, 08:56:38 PM »
You are already out of the "city," aren't you?


Yes, I am.  I said I "would" get out of the city, not that I "will" get out of the city.  There is more trouble and crime in the city than where I live, and that is with more cops present and with everything relatively fine.  But is something does happen and society does break down, why would I want to be where there is a high concentration of other people for the already limited resources?

The best plan is the one you come up with for your situation.  If that is to hunker down, and that is in the city, then I wish you luck.  I, personally, don't think that is the best plan and would advocate bugging out if you have the opportunity at all. 

My awareness meter is already pegged, and I don't like the stress from going into the city anyway.  And I don't really have anywhere to bug out to.  My plan, as poor as it may be, will be to get the friends and family member I have that are on board to get together in one house and try to weather the storm.  We will get all of our food, all of our firearms, and hope to hell that no organized bands of marauders want what we have.
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Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #111 on: November 23, 2012, 05:48:32 PM »
Something on the subject but from a different perspective.

If you haven't actually fought bad guys in urban terrain, and I don't me "Call of Duty" or "Modern Warfare", then you don't fully understand why you don't want to be in a city when/if things go sideways.  Strategically and tactically speaking, being out in the open countryside is a MUCH better choice.  I won't go into them all, but I want people to think things through more with their planning.  Is it possible to survive in a city after a collapse?  Possibly.  Is hunkering down out in the country the perfect choice?  Probably not.  However, simply removing yourself from the sheer numbers of sheeple in an area can (and most probably does) increase your survivability tremendously.

I'm not debating that there is a wealth of resource in a metropolitan city (hospitals, library's, stores, etc.).  My point is that just to make use of any of that will put you out on the street to get there and back.  In some form or another, you are out on the street.  Maybe with goods or "perceived goods".  This is in an area with different mindsets of people (cross-sections).  You might know what is right or wrong.  Does everyone?  Is it right for them to take from you?  What if they had to kill you to get it?  Many people will actually answer "Yes" to the last two questions and not think it is wrong.

As mentioned by other members, I'm also concerned with the over exaggeration of advice, both for and against city/country bug-out or bug-in.  As Jack has mentioned in the shows, most of the problems we will likely face will not be from any event, but from the REACTION to that event by the people and by the government.  If you want to be in an area swarming with panicked people, while the governmental "Keystone Cop" agencies come in and make it more of a mess, then go ahead.  But if someone starts shooting things up (cartels, gangs, thugs) and everything degenerates into chaos, don't say you weren't warned.

We gave the city of Samarra, Iraq plenty of warning in October of 2004.  "The U.S. Army is retaking the city, so evacuate if possible."  Nope.  They all wanted to stay (possibly so they wouldn't be robbed).  The next day you would have been shocked and stunned.  I was.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the city had a white flag.  Cars had white flags held out of every window as they drove by.  Women, children, and drivers were all holding out these scraps of white cloth.  Little white cloth strips and a car body offer little defense from cross fire.  Insurgents didn't care about the flags.  They kept fighting right on through the terrorized families.  We couldn't call a "Time Out" and kept fighting as well.  Not to mention the livestock that ran through the battles (donkeys, goats, etc.).  It was a WAR ZONE and many people don't get that.  When smaller scale and larger scale firefights occur in cities it is one of the worst places to be.  It's too late to get out.  You'd have to get out onto a street or use the sewers to evacuate.

It's not necessarily about "knowing your neighbors", or having "a developed neighborhood watch".  It's about what happens when you are no longer in control of what is happening.  Having a plan is great.  The next step is what happens when your plan in worthless, then what?

Great thread guys!  I'm looking forward to the continuing discussion.

Thanks for such an enlightening reality check!

I've only had the most rudimentary military training in urban tactics years ago (prior to our post 9/11 engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan), and I'm sure that the doctrine and tactics have greatly changed since then, but I'm wondering about other vulnerabilties inherent in more isolated rural environments.

Just before or after completing an afternoon of drills at a FIBUA site during basic officer training, a Warrant Officer giving a rather detailed summary of how to engage in such operations made a statement to the effect that, "none of this applies to a lone house in the countryside. If someone tried to fight back from one, I'd just burn it down." While I'm not so sure that such advice would easily apply to the buildings found in Iraq or Afghanistan, I could easily picture most North American homes being like tinderboxes in comparison. That might not make urban life more attractive in a conflict scenario, but I'm wondering how this might inform preparations in a rural setting.

And while I don't doubt your assertions that civilians in an urban war zone are just setting themselves up for a world of hurt (my relatives in the European countryside during World War Two were FAR better off than the relatives stuck in cities subject to bombing or seiges), I still wonder about the relative merits of staying or leaving the city. While my family living in the countryside fared much better in terms of having their own food that they produced, and a lesser likelihood of falling victim to arial or artillery bombardment, the attacking armies were also primarily focused on fighting the Germans, and for the most part refrained from targeting civilian households the same way that modern criminal gangs or the gangs/looters envisaged in the original post might operate. Similarly, If we're talking about organized crime (a la Mexican cartels) or gangs of looters trying to go through a neighbourhood where a significant percentage of citizens are armed (i.e. in some parts of the United States, not New York City), could not many of the hazards of urban operations impede the activities of those criminal groups? I'm naturally curious as to how people's experiences in urban fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan might shed light upon such questions.

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #112 on: November 23, 2012, 06:04:46 PM »
I have a very good friend that I've known since 2004 who lives in Monterrey, Mexico, which is by no means the worst, but lying at the intersection of two warring cartels over the last few years, it's a reasonable sample of what life is like in a state that is sorely broken.  He's an upper-middle class guy, athletic (plays the role of enforcer on his local soccer team, run a couple marathons in the last few years), has been a general manager, VP of sales, and other positions of management with a large corporation, and is raising a family in a modestly upscale condo complex in town.  He's an incredibly optimistic guy and prior to 2010 he reassured me it wasn't that bad and things were fine.  On one occasion in 2009 he had 13 rounds in the outside wall of his building from a gang-related hit, killing the intended target.  He hardly batted an eye.  However, in 2010 things changed dramatically. 

The first incident that shook him up was a car jacking and kidnapping while stopped at a red light.  He saw the barrel of an M-16 (his description) pointing out of the car next to him, two guys got out, put him in the trunk and drove him for 45 minutes out into the desert.  Once out there, they took his wallet and abandoned him right around sunset, far from any roads.  Were it not for his mountain biking familiarizing him with the greater area around his community, he might not have made it home that night.  As it was, it was a miserable slog to the nearest road and then he hitchhiked back into town.

If that wasn't bad enough, that was followed by several months of escalating 'security measures' in the area, which meant roadside checkpoints that had very specific rules to go with them.  Approaching the checkpoints without following a complicated checklist of turning your lights off, turning your dome light on, and rolling down all the windows could result in being fired upon.  Sometimes getting through the checkpoints went smoothly, other times it was a lengthy delay while they thoroughly searched every inch of the car and double checked his documents.  During this time his company also implemented a policy not allowing any management to come in early or leave late for fear of kidnapping of the executives and management.

Roughly nine months later his wife was picking up some prescriptions at the pharmacy and as she walked out to her car she was approached at gunpoint, her keys and purse were taken, and they drove off with her car.

He's a college educated guy, speaks English fluently (he went to high school in the US while his father was completing his PhD in horticulture in Michigan... all perfectly legal) trying to find a job anywhere in the US where he can make a similar wage, but to no avail.

The situation begs the question, what would you do in the situation?  This isn't a run into the woods situation.  It's not a hunker in your bunker situation with six years of escalating violence and counting.  It's a make the best life you can situation, where maybe in the US you might be able to carry a gun to stop some of the street thuggery, but it's not like a gun would have made a difference in his car jacking (you want to go up against three armed guys with rifles with your little handgun?  really?).

Just food for thought.

Lots to digest in that post! While I don't think we should allow ourselves to get too caught up worrying about worst case scenarios, your description of the rapidity with which the Mexico that your friend knew changed in such short order might remind us how massive changes in criminality or human behaviour can emerge with little immediate precedent or warning. Just because I may point to the lack of looting in disasters analyzed by researchers doesn't mean that we cannot have violent situations emerge that are radically different from past events. To cite an extreme example, I don't think that the genocide in Rwanda was preceded by much open activity that might have predicted the ultimate scale of the bloodbath, though I'm not sure if examples of breakdowns like in Rwanda or Albania are really applicable to the US.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #113 on: November 24, 2012, 02:42:24 AM »
@CanadianPrepper,

Very astute observations, and great questions.  You bring up some points that I would enjoy elaborating on.  I apologize in advance for the length.

From my previous post:

Quote
Is it possible to survive in a city after a collapse?  Possibly.  Is hunkering down out in the country the perfect choice?  Probably not.  However, simply removing yourself from the sheer numbers of sheeple in an area can (and most probably does) increase your survivability tremendously.

While I state that not being in the city, and thereby removing yourself from the high probability of being collateral damage is highly preferable, I'm not going to go to the other extreme and say that the open country is the perfect solution either.  You made a very excellent point about the "lone house" in the country.

I'm a coauthor of a book that will be published next year that goes very deeply into homestead defense.  It's not my desire to attempt to promote that book here.  In no way do I proclaim to be an expert, but I do have a background and considerable experience on this kind of subject.  In fact, if someone does claim to be an expert on this, they are probably selling you something.  So in deference to this community I'll give you some of my thoughts on the subject (all of which are in the book).  It's my free gift to everyone here to get you all thinking proactively.

Many people (urban and rural) have the notion that they will protect their home FROM THEIR HOME.  I can't begin to express how dangerous that mindset is.  The average homesteader/prepper does not have the manpower or resources to pull off the 24 hour operations and the hardening of their structures required to make that type of strategy work.  Even if they did, being in a siege position is a horrible direction to begin your planning with.  Typically, the goal is to keep bullets from zinging through your home, loved ones, etc.  And as your Warrant Officer correctly stated, if your enemy isn't able (or willing) to shoot you with direct fire weapons, they will most likely utilize indirect fire weapons (howitzers/mortars) or employ fire (most likely recourse for civilians without artillery assets).

That said, some will go into the "Well I have no other choices.  What can I possibly do?" mentality.  We are a resilient and intelligent community.  We see problems and find solutions (as opposed to crawling into a fetal position or giving up and asking for help from the government).  "What can you possibly do?"  Quite a lot.

Consider for a moment how smaller, non-traditional military units operate.  Most of them do utilize a supply/logistics "base", but in many instances they are for the most part "on their own" in unfriendly (hostile) areas.  They patrol often and keep the fighting away from their "house".  You have to understand your AO (Area of Operations) and know what your footprint will be.  With active and passive security in depth, as well as patrolling, it's possible to detect and engage the enemy far away from your loved ones (we're currently doing it globally; quite a distance from home).  This "stand off" from your dwelling is critical.  It also brings us to one of the most important aspects in homestead defense.

Preparing your AO.  You have time now to assess and prepare your AO for future eventualities/possibilities.  You can dictate the terrain, obstacles, fields of fire, and every other aspect of your defensive location.  You can determine how you will defend it, what logistics need to be pre-positioned (and where), how you will communicate, HOW WELL IT IS CONCEALED, etc.  Being "the ant" now is a great solution.

Another point to consider is the Inverse-Square Law.  I mentioned before (maybe another post) about how this is a point we need to understand.  It doesn't directly apply, in that we have roads/interstates and other variables that can direct and facilitate a larger number of sheeple in a given direction.  However, it's my belief that for the most part, the further you are from cities and urban sprawl the less likely you will be to ever see "bad guys".  If you've ever been out in the woods or driving through the country there are two things I want you to realize about it.  One, unless you know where you're going and how to get there, it's EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY UNLIKELY you will just "stumble on someone", statistically speaking.  Second, while you are moving through the countryside you are vulnerable.  Yep.  You're moving.  The people that aren't have the advantage.  It is literally thousands of times easier to pick out something that is moving against a background that is not moving, than it is to detect something that is not moving while you are.  How much of the countryside are you able to observe, process in your mind and fully assess while it zips by on both sides of the road?  Conversely, someone might have observed you coming a LONG time before you actually get there.  That's just the visual side of it.  Sound works against the moving party as well.  That road noise that obscures sounds to the mover is a signal to the non-mover.

I have the advantage of being raised in the country, moving to the city, and then moving back to the country.  It gave me perspective on what I notice, and more importantly, what I take for granted.  I can tell you that from my experience, it's VERY unlikely that I wouldn't know someone was on my property before they knew I was aware.  That wasn't the case in the city.  Someone could have knocked on my door (or kicked it in) when we lived in the city, and that would have been my first clue.  "DING DONG!  Honey, I think someone's at the door."  How safe is that?

I hope this helps to get people planning and addressing real strategies in bugging in or bugging out.  There are a lot of "armchair quarterbacks" that have given advice to our community.  Much of it is inaccurate, wishful and could be outright dangerous if followed.  Think realistically and act positively.  That's how we can address these fears.  The likelihood of ever facing armed squads of death goons is statistically microscopic.  It's conceivable that simply 1)  removing yourself from the urban areas and 2)  putting up a fence would solve 99.9999% of any potential issue.  But it's my opinion that failing to do #1 would make #2 pointless.

This has been a very informative discussion with you all and I really look forward to hearing all of your thoughts on this subject!
Nate
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #114 on: November 24, 2012, 10:44:47 AM »
@ flippydidit

Well done again.  Some would think that common sense would cover most or all of this stuff, but we can't forget that we are all from different areas, different types of lives, with different experiences.  It's good that you and so many others can explain your thoughts so well. 
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #115 on: November 24, 2012, 11:09:22 AM »
Thank you Nelson96.  We are all a team and work well when information is shared openly.  I don't know millions of things.  Literally.  I can only speak from my experiences in my own subject fields.  It's pretty apparent to me that if we all work together to educate each other, our community grows exponentially more knowledgeable.  To that task I shall endure.
Nate
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"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)


Offline Garandman

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #116 on: November 24, 2012, 01:18:10 PM »
Something on the subject but from a different perspective.

If you haven't actually fought bad guys in urban terrain, and I don't me "Call of Duty" or "Modern Warfare", then you don't fully understand why you don't want to be in a city when/if things go sideways.  Strategically and tactically speaking, being out in the open countryside is a MUCH better choice.  I won't go into them all, but I want people to think things through more with their planning.  Is it possible to survive in a city after a collapse?  Possibly.  Is hunkering down out in the country the perfect choice?  Probably not.  However, simply removing yourself from the sheer numbers of sheeple in an area can (and most probably does) increase your survivability tremendously.

I'm not debating that there is a wealth of resource in a metropolitan city (hospitals, library's, stores, etc.).  My point is that just to make use of any of that will put you out on the street to get there and back.  In some form or another, you are out on the street.  Maybe with goods or "perceived goods".  This is in an area with different mindsets of people (cross-sections).  You might know what is right or wrong.  Does everyone?  Is it right for them to take from you?  What if they had to kill you to get it?  Many people will actually answer "Yes" to the last two questions and not think it is wrong./
There is a pretty big difference between a third-world city that has not had any civil authority for some time and the typical American city after a disaster of some sort, don't you think? NA cities have suffered huge storms, floods, earthquakes, riots, fires, etc and there's plenty to learn from those.

There seems to be an assumption that everyone who lives in the city is in some high rise apartment building - not at all the case.

There also seems to be an assumption that the suburbs and exurbs are better prepared for disasters than cities. In my experience it's quite the opposite. New England as a whole is a net importer of food so if it comes down to growing your own, we're all gonna die anyway. 

It all comes down to what transpires. I submit that marauding gangs invading the hinterlands is a rather unlikely eventuality and that your planning and resources are better devoted to other, more likely scenarios.

Offline nelson96

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #117 on: November 24, 2012, 02:01:52 PM »
There seems to be an assumption that everyone who lives in the city is in some high rise apartment building - not at all the case.

I may have missed it, but I haven't read anyone refer to high rise buildings when generalizing about typical city life.  I'm betting that everyone here has been to a big city at some point and went through suburbs to get there.  I think ALL OF US agree that not all city folk live in a high rise.

There also seems to be an assumption that the suburbs and exurbs are better prepared for disasters than cities. In my experience it's quite the opposite. New England as a whole is a net importer of food so if it comes down to growing your own, we're all gonna die anyway.


Another reason to consider an alternative plan versus waiting until it's too late.  Even if that plan is nothing better than to walk west until you find a place to settle.  I would say the assumption is correct.  It's a lot easier to grow in dirt than asphalt.
 
It all comes down to what transpires. I submit that marauding gangs invading the hinterlands is a rather unlikely eventuality and that your planning and resources are better devoted to other, more likely scenarios.

Given that you feel everyone will starve to death because your area imports more than they grow.  If this is what you believe I would definitely plan to support those resources over marauders (I am).  Keeping in mind that because of where you are (dense population) and the conditions you're in (import most food), you will be a pretty high value target to the hungry. . . .  I've heard statistics on how fast shelves will be emptied once supply is cut off (hours) and if that food isn't conserved so that it stretches out long enough to be replaced, it doesn't take more than just a few days without food before people get a little crazy.
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One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline endurance

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #118 on: November 24, 2012, 04:15:55 PM »
It's pretty easy for topics like this to get picked apart because one guy's idea of a city is Flagstaff, Arizona and another guy is thinking New York City.  Personally, I like the idea of the small to mid-sized town, provided it's not on a primary transportation route (towns along interstate highways or on other major highways have their own set of problems).  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 folks with a good, diverse mix of occupations, possibly agriculturally based economy, maybe some light manufacturing or timber seems to have a whole set of benefits.  Couple that with the right lay of the land, only a couple of routes in and out of town, and within a reasonable commute to a mid-sized city, big enough to house a proper hospital, full variety of stores and heavier industry and you're on to something.

Of course when it's all said and done, you still need a place where you can earn a living, too, both before and after SHTF.  If you're working in an industry that only gives you so many options or you're married to someone who works in such a place, well, your options are going to be somewhat limited.  Most of us can't live in an ideal utopia, but there are usually some better choices available if you put your time into researching your options.
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Bugging Out - Bugging in?? . . . Gangs are Afoot
« Reply #119 on: November 24, 2012, 04:56:38 PM »
@ endurance

Well said.
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late