So lets examine what can cause those breakdowns and examine how that effects survival preparedness.
(1) a breakdown in social order:
- Loss of trust in local government, once people no longer trust their local government or federal government on a national level can cause people to turn to crime outright.
- Terrorism, the specific targeting of civilians is called terrorism. Any mass attack on civilians is likely to cause certain members of society to take their self-defense into their own hands. This in turn causes others to feel threatened and old hostilities flare up leading to skirmishes and violence.
- Civil Unrest, we can just chalk this up to large scale crime like the riots and looting taking place in the US currently Baltimore, Ferguson, etc. in the name of justice. A large violent outbreak is by design a breakdown in social order and can lead to more such social chaos.
- Natural or Manmade Crisis effecting one or more of the other crisis elements, people who are starving will take food they cannot purchase or that is refused them. Take away other critical resources and elements of our functioning society and people are likely do whatever it takes to get by.
- War, Rebellion or Invasion, not so much a single terrorist act but a protracted bout of fighting between two or more side such as what is happening in the Ukraine at this present moment.
- Institution of Martial Law, the government dissolving and maintaining its order via the institution of military powers, martial law quite simply means military rule. This can lead to rebellion, terrorism and civil unrest causing a breakdown on social order.
- Economic Collapse, the de-valuation of currency, seizure of private assets, inflation, stagflation and other economic chaos that makes currency worthless in its value can be lead to riots, looting, rising crime, and other social chaos as people attempt to acquire basic necessities they can no longer buy with currency.
You can address preparedness from the FEMA recommended stand point and withhold information on one's personal preparedness beyond standard of a FEMA Basic Disaster Supplies Kit 3 days of stored food (page 35/Slide 23). Either way, you as an individual must prepare by getting self-defense or martial arts training and getting training to use a firearm. Most importantly you must own a firearm or at least a bat ball bat, a big ass knife & bow and arrows but guns are best. Stock plenty of ammo and practice at least once every 3 months or more.
(2) a breakdown in communication:
- Disruption of Power, remove electricity and most communication systems; cell phones, internet, landlines, and radio communications are dependent on electrical power to function.
- Natural or Manmade Disaster, a natural disaster can knock out lines of communication. Since most currency is nothing more then electronic signal in a computer network and not tangible cash, gold or silver disruption of the communication system(s) could effect other areas like finances and transportation. A disaster could effect not only effect communication lines directly, utility lines and transportation lines keeping the utility and communication lines from being quickly repaired.
- EMP & Solar Flare, an electromagnetic pulse often associated with a nuclear weapon and a solar flare could disrupt power lines but are capable of burning out any computerized electronic device.
- Cyber-Terrorism & Hackers, a direct attack on communication lines from cyber terrorists and hacker can disable communication and compromise sensitive information.
- Terrorism or Military Action, the US military attacks enemy communication lines to isolate enemy soldiers. Terrorists can and have repeated this operation by disabling power and communication lines in some attacks.
- System Overload, during the Boston Marathon terrorist attack people were calling 911 and trying to reach family to check on their welfare. This overloaded the communication system & caused an unintended communications breakdown.
- Natural or Manmade Disaster Cutting Utility and Communication Lines, everyone thinks of road ways but communication disruptions can disable air travel and shipping as well. Plus of course travel along waterways and through our nations ports.
- EMP & Solar Flare, an electromagnetic disturbance can effect communications (yes) but what about other systems like GPS, engines and voltage regulation systems that can disable cars, boats, ships & aircraft.
- Traffic Disruption, not just limited to ground traffic and roads ways, I am also thinking of air traffic and sea traffic that can be effected by sabotage and terrorism.
- Civil Unrest, Terrorism & Crime, protests in California over "racial violence" stopped traffic on the interstate this disrupted (only momentarily) shipping and infrastructure keeping "just in time" deliver of goods, including food and medicine, to be late and prevented people from getting to their jobs.
- System Overload, yes too many people on the road, river, leaving the docks and trying to file flight planes to leave in private planes or simple overbooking of flights in mass could conjest and cause a transportation breakdown. This is confounded with traffic accidents, vehicular malfunction and human nature tat will lead to conflicts.
(4) a breakdown in energy and/or fuel infrastructure:
- Natural or Manmade Disaster Cutting Transport Line, cutting transport lines (yes this was mention under transportation breakdown) but if you can't get oil to international ports, fuel to airports and gas stations or coal to power plants, electricity isn't s readily available. No electricity and fuel doesn't get pumped or communication to ensure delivery doesn't occur. Its an interconnected system; energy and fuel.
- EMP & Solar Flare, again all those computer regulated and controlled system can be damaged or disabled with an electromagnetic pulse.
- Traffic Disruption, a simple traffic disruption can cause delays and disrupt services without the need of a disaster to cause them.
- Civil Unrest & Crime, as we've seen in a civil unrest scenario parts of a city can be isolated by the unrest and property damaged. Criminals have disrupted power to disable alarms in part of the city, arson can effect an area especially where gas lines are involved and so on.
- Terrorism or Military Action, the military forces of the world have had a long standing tactical tradition of cutting off supply lines, that includes electricity and fuel lines to effect communication and travel.
(5) a breakdown in the availability of basic resources:
- Lack of Utilities, how long will food last if you can't keep it cool? How long will social order last when you get the most basic necessity, water? You can buy all nonperishable foods like canned goods, ramon, pasta and so on but I love a good steak & a fresh salad.
- Economic Collapse, food & clothing are basic resources we all need. In an economic collapse scenario you won't be able to buy a coat to keep you somewhat warm or food to eat because you money will have less value and de-value even faster. This is why gold and silver are important investments but so are acquiring barter value items while your money has value.
- Natural & Manmade Disaster, whether it is a wildfire, flood, a tornado or nuclear blast and radioactive fallout it is possible your garden could be lost. Its possible your home, preparations and local shopping centers could be destroyed. Imagine is all you have to eat is the food in your home, how much do you have? What happens if the water coming out your sink is toxic or not running at all?
- Civil Unrest & Crime, civil unrest like we've seen recently where stores were burned, plus criminal activity of a less grandstanding nature. Looting after a crisis or disaster such as in the fictional account of World War Z with the store scene might leave local shelves bare causing people to rob one another for basics like food, medicine and clothing. This it can't happen, it did in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
- Traffic Disruption, of course disrupt shipping and supplies don't make retail outlets. No retail outlets you can just order from Amazon, except they can't deliver either.
- Communication Breakdowns, likewise remove communication no one know where to ship supplies and deliver basic resources.
Desperate people do desperate things, fear dominates most people's thoughts the world is threatening and more so to someone who panics. Values and good reputations mean nothing when people are hungry, and desperate. There logic de-evolves to primal and savage thinking. Leaving a person to face a life threatening event (even if only to them), will be considered no different then killing them yourself.
Stuff I didn't cover...
Nuclear war, the Yellowstone Super Volcano, Zombies, Space Aliens and other shit are massive "End of Days" events. I know I briefly brought up nuclear weapons but a nuclear war is a no win option meant to ensure mutual destruction. You need a bunker, hydroponics bay, staffed with security and medical staff and an exercise room & 20 years of stock piled food and ammo. Even then you're still gonna die, the mountains, caves and coal mines of West Virginia might shield me from the blast, stuffing my survival laptop, radios and inverters in an old microwave may protect them from the EMP (might not), I still get to live in a toxic Mad Max world. I might be better off smoking a dooby and dinking a cold one at ground zero for all I know.
Minus radiation, toxins, the T-virus, undead and aliens wanting to anal probe me, I think much of elements over lap. My best safety measure is self-sufficiency and careful planning. You take precautions for fallout, Falling Skies and being the Lost of Us which means everything I just covered plus, gas masks, hazmat suits and a means of growing food and raising animals (including feeding them) indoors. Even in those highly improbable scenarios the basic breakdown structures will be largely the same.
Now that we've covered what to prepare for and what can cause such breakdowns you need to apply the Strategic Planning Process...
Strategic Planning Process:
I will briefly outline the strategic planning process, and provide a sample using this process. You of course will have to adapt it to your needs and develop your own plan. We start with our end goal, use reverse planning. In other words, we decide on an end result and establish a time table, then figure out what we need to do to reach that point. Those things we need to do become long term goals and then work back figuring out what needs to happen to make those possible and so on. In some cases we may need to break goals down into steps or phases.
Each objective has a specific tactic to achieve it's end. So each goal has a list of acceptable tactics to meet that goal. Like chess, we may achieve our ends through circumstances we did not plan for but adapt our strategy to account for that success. One must plan for success and for failure in each stge of the planning process.
Overall Mission Objective: To Survive a Crisis that will alter my way of life for the next 20 to 30 years... Plan for a 30+ year effect. Achieve self-sufficiency in all 5 areas of critical survival elements.
- Order: Establish a community information network, a community support & defense network & an established emergency protocol for crisis events.
- Transportation: Develop alternate travel routes, alternate fuel sources & alternate modes of transportation.
- Resources: Develop a long-term food storage, long-term medical storage, develop alternate sources of food acquisition & develop alternate medical care acquisition.
- Energy/Fuel: Develop alternate fuel sources & develop alternate/off grid energy sources
- Communication: Develop long-term community relationships, develop alternate means of spreading local news, develop alternate means of local communication & develop alternate means of long range communication.
- Order: Use pre-crisis support groups, not for profit organizations and association with community leaders to develop network and crisis protocols.
- Transportation: Take up hiking, backpacking, BMX riding to learn alternate routes off known roadways, develop alternate fuel stockpiles: Bio-Diesel, Alco-line, etc.
- Resources: Develop stockpile of food of purchased and self-prepared/self-raised food stuffs. Take a medical first-aid class and research alternative medicine, stockpile and raise medical herbs and stockpile purchased medical supplies.
- Energy/Fuel: Develop and stockpile alternative fuels (yes, I already mentioned this), develop off-grid power supplies, solar, wind and hydro-electric.
- Communication: Develop a community relationship, become associated with community leaders, local organizations & become associated with the CB and HAM local communities.
- Order: Find a small group of trusted friends who are also preppers to get together for training & teamwork development. Each team member should have a primary and a secondary role, with free cross training in other roles so that everyone can do someone else's job if need be.
- Transportation: Acquire a BOV (Bug-out Vehicle) that is secondary to your POV (Personally Owned Vehicle) as an emergency vehicle to be used for evacuation. This BOV can be an ATV, Motorcycle, Boat, RV or other vehicle that allows flexibility in your ability to remove yourself from a threat and safely leave an area. Store at least 10 gallons of gasoline per vehicle & do not let tanks fall beneath 1/2 so that you can use your vehicle in an emergency.
- Resources: Store X amount of purchased foods & grow Y amount of food at home with Z amount of grown food stored in canning jars.
- Energy/Fuel: Invest in an alternate source of power for off grid emergency use, solar, wind, water or a generator. With additional fuel storage for the generator if you use one.
- Communication: Establish a "call tree" for trusted friends & alternate communication methods such as Citizen Band (CB) radios in home and vehicles.
Short Term Mission Objectives: Develop and acquire a specific preparedness plan customized to local geography, local social/cultural acceptance & work with others to develop community support for preparedness within 1 to 5 Years. Here considerations like Order are replaced with Security and other changes.
- Security: Off grid alarm systems, acquire advanced tactical firearms training and barriers for defense.
- Shelter: Begin to acquire own home and/or arrange safe locations with friends and family away from home in case of emergency evacuation (bugging-out).
- Food/Water: Acquire and stock pile additional food supplies and water, that is rotated "first in, first out" & a water collection system, as well as begin a garden and produce your own food stuffs.
- Transportation: Maintain good working order of POV and store at least 10 gallons of gasoline & do not let tanks fall beneath 1/2 so that you can use your vehicle in an emergency. Build a car kit with blankets, extra fluids for the car (oil, transmission, anti-freeze & so on), water & food, road flares.
- Communications: Set up a CB Radio in one's POV and at home, establish a presence on citizen band radio & use internet to continue research improve your knowledge base.
- Skill Development: Develop skills in gardening, raising animals, plumbing, electrical wiring & food preservation.
Immediate Term Mission Objectives: Develop a basic preparedness plan and acquire basic equipment within 6 months to 1 year.
- Security: Get basic firearms training, take a self-defense combatives course & knife training.
- Shelter: Create a bug-out support kit (in addition to the bug-out bag), items to buy for support kit: Axe, Shovel, Saw, Tarp, Pry Bar, Solar Kit, Batter & Inverter System. Add 5 changes of cloths, anti-bacterial soap, military cot(s), large first-aid kit, lanterns, cooking burner and fuel. Create Secondary Support Kit: With only food and water. These kits can be used in the house or loaded into your POV for emergency evacuation.
- Food/Water: Buy more canned food/non-perishable food items. Cycle out of Bug-Out support kits every month "first in-first out" cycles.
- Transportation: Maintain preventative maintenance of one's POV and if possible acquire a POV with 4-wheel or All Wheel drive capability.
- Communications: Acquire a wind up emergency radio & walkie talkie handheld radios.
- Skill Development: Survival skills, First Aid Skills & basic vehicle maintenance.
Initial Term Mission Objectives: Develop a means of basic survival preparedness & initial planning can begin from Zero-Minute (right now, literally this second) to 6 months.
- Security: Acquire a firearm & hunting style knife for self-defense usage. Research a good self-defense based martial art or combatives system. First Aid Kit, Have a Bug-Out bag for each person in your household; cheap premade bug-out bag are good for children.
- Shelter: Acquire a Good Tent or learn to use a tarp for shelter. Minimum 2 methods of starting a fire. This goes in the bug-out bag.
- Food/Water: Buy a Water Filtration Straw, a minimum 2 qt water storage container, mess kit, & store 3 to 5 days of food.
- Transportation: Rather then bug-out on foot, I suggest a good BMX bicycle with off road capability as a back up for one's POV, in case it needs to be abandoned. Otherwise buy a good pair of hiking books or running shoes.
- Communications: Buy a flare gun, road flares, glow sticks or a handheld emergency radio to get information.
- Skill Development: Develop good Physical Fitness; to help prevent injury and illness, take up hiking, back packing and camping; to get used to the outdoors and, learn to fish and hunt; for basic outdoor living skills.
Basic Self-Defense Moves from Lifehacker
You are not fighting a war, you are trying to stay alive. You may find that your bug out bag makes you are target for unprepared bullies & criminals. After Katrina people were being killed in the streets for supplies in garbage bags and in the ultimate end you will do what you have to survive. Work with what you have, a buddy to train with can make the basic techniques demonstrated in the videos above more effective then just watching them alone.
I know there are holes in the plan I set out, they are there because I tried to keep things generalized. My goal wasn't to give you a plan but you give you the framework to develop your own plan. Some of you (most of you) may not (will not) need to plan for 20+ year of a crisis. Not all preppers are doomsday preppers expecting the end of the world as we know it. Surely having more then a bug-out bag is important for those who look at the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and hurricane Sandy. Use what works and disregard what doesn't.