A Mobility Survival Story
HOW DO YOU SEE THE WORLD?
I’ve always paid attention to world events and correlated what I saw happening today with the historical past. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when the dissolution of the European Union sparked war in the Middle East. When the oil exports stopped, our fragile, imported oil dependent and debt-ridden economy collapsed, taking most other national economies down with it.
A couple of years ago, after realizing that something like that was inevitable, I began planning and preparing for my family’s survival. As part of that process I realized that our suburban home would be neither defensible nor sustainable in post-civil society America and that at some point we may be forced to leave our home. That realization raised the question; where would we go? For us, that answer was easy, the process of making it happen, although clear and logical, was not so easy.
HOW I MADE THE PLAN.
The first thing we needed was an evacuation plan. Second, was mobility survival preparedness for the transit to our destination and third, was to prepare the chosen destination to sustain us through a long aftermath.
I started by having an earnest discussion with my wife and 13-year-old son about why we needed a plan and establishing evacuation alert priorities which we set as; come home, hurry home, run home and the need to respond promptly when the call was made.
Preparing for the journey required purchasing mobility survival kits and supplementing them with a tent, sleeping bags, changes of socks, underwear and other personal items. We also made sure that we had all of our I.D. documents readily available to take with us when we left.
The third step was more complex because it involved persuading my parents and brothers that first, we all needed a family fallback location and that second, the old home place was the ideal place for all of us. I also had to convince them that we needed to buy long term bulk food storage, survival kits, first aid kits and more. Also, that we had to make it water self sufficient, buy tools, light and communication gear and other survival preparedness items, which we would need to survive through a long man made aftermath.
Eventually I got them all to agree and we started placing orders for what we needed, and having it all shipped there. We all started making weekend trips home to get everything stowed, organize the water system, plant a survival garden and generally make the place as secure as possible. Those weekends were both productive and fun, with everyone working together to achieve mutual support and survival.
HOW WOULD YOU KNOW THAT THE TIME HAD COME?
Within a week of the collapse, fuel prices doubled then tripled and soon there was no fuel available at any price. Schools closed, ATMs stopped dispensing cash and businesses shutdown. When truckers could neither afford, nor even find diesel fuel, deliveries to supermarkets stopped and food riots and looting began.
When one of my neighbors came to my house and demanded that I share my preparations with him, I knew it was time for us to leave. I put out a “hurry home” call to my wife and son and started packing the car. When everyone got home we began implementing our home security plan: installing plywood window and door covers, turning off the utilities and generally securing the house, hoping to return some day. After finishing, we piled into the car for what should have been a two-hour drive.
Less than an hour out, panic-getaway gridlock forced us to abandon the car and set out on foot. The only things it made sense to take with us were our supplemented mobility survival kits. My Deluxe kit, in its wheeled duffel bag, weighed 24 lbs and my wife and son’s backpack Essentials kits weighed 12 lbs each.
HOW WOULD YOUR JOURNEY GO?
Four hours later, just before dark, we found an empty house where we spent an uneasy and restless night. The next morning, breakfast was honey glazed granola and water. We spent a few minutes in prayer, and were on the road shortly after dawn. That day we were repeatedly accosted by desperate, hungry refugees begging for food or anything we could give them. One guy was overtly aggressive and wouldn’t back down until both of us showed him that we were armed. After that we carried our revolvers openly, which must have been an effective deterrent because we weren’t approached directly again, although we knew we were constantly being watched.
That night we found a dry culvert, with one end blocked by an overturned truck and the open end high up a bank, which looked like a suitable and defendable over-night position. We ate a good meal of beef stroganoff, which was easy to prepare on the portable cooking stove. While munching granola bars for desert I started talking about setting watches for the night but gave up when I realized that I was talking to myself. I made sure that my two favorite people were warm in their sleeping bags and as comfortable as I could make them, before I settled in for a long half-awake night.
HOW QUICKLY WOULD YOUR SON MATURE?
I awoke on the morning of the third day to find my wife cooking brown sugar oatmeal, while my son was outside, under cover of some bushes, resolutely scanning the road for any approaching threats. While eating breakfast we talked about the day ahead and decided to travel cross-country because the roads were becoming too dangerous.
We spent three more nights in our tent and sleeping bags, taking turns standing guard and maintaining low-light discipline. Being comfortable was too much to ask for but we were always warm, dry and had good food to eat. We made a point of keeping-up our basic hygiene, and even had playing cards to pass time in the evenings by the light of the 30-hour emergency candles. One evening, while listening to the hand-crank dynamo AM/FM/SW radio, we heard about wide spread looting, chaos and riots in cities all over the country and the government’s inability to restore order.
Mid-morning of the seventh day we arrived at the home place redoubt. We were tired, thinner and needed baths, but we were none the worse for wear. We had become a stronger family for having had the adventure together and we knew that we would survive.
We had made it to a secure location, which was well stocked with food and equipment. There was a survival garden, ample water and sustainable defensibility. But most of all, there were the good, solid, dependable people with whom we could weather the stormy and dangerous months ahead.
HOW WOULD YOUR FAMILY SURVIVE?
My family would survive an evacuation and forced march like the fictional one above, because we are prepared to make this kind of journey. We each have their own Mobility Survival Kit, sleeping bag, defensive weapons and more. How would your families survive?
© 04/29/2012 by: L. J. Lichterman