Thursday, January 3, 2008

Get it now

There are a lot of things that we want to make sure that we have. Unfortunately we're forced to keep putting some of these things off for one reason or another. Even if you can't get everything right now you should have a list of the items that you feel you need. It is, of course, important to categorize them in order of importance, affordability and difficulty to get. Things like food, water, guns and other "survivalist staples" are pretty obvious. Food is cheap so there is absolutely no good reason not to stock up. Water is cheap, too. If nothing else you can just fill up your extra plastic bottles with water and put them on a shelf somewhere and before long you'll have a very nice stockpile that cost you practically nothing. As for firearms, just get something that you like and shoot it a lot. Learn how to shoot it accurately, from different positions and under stress and stockpile plenty of ammo for it. Wise man once said, "Fear the man with one gun. He probably knows how to use it." That kind of stuff is basic. I'd rather talk about the stuff that's a bit hard to get that might not always be available. You just might find yourself in a position where it's too late to get it when you really need it.

The first thing that springs to mind is your concealed carry permit. If you live in a shall issue state then there is absolutely no reason not to get one. In most states you have to jump through a few hoops, wait for the mountain of paperwork to process and pay a nominal fee. But once you've got it you've got it. In my state they're good for 5 years and they're fairly inexpensive to renew. To be perfectly honest I'm not afraid to walk the streets at night. I'm not worried about getting robbed. If life goes on as it has then the chances of me ever having to use my concealed firearm are practically non existent. If things start to get bad in a hurry, though, then I'll be really glad that I've got that permit and a good handgun with a comfortable, concealable holster to go with it. By then it may be too late for you to get any of the above. At the very least get a concealable handgun with a comfortable, easy to conceal holster. Law and order might break down enough that you don't need the permit anymore but in that case you'll sure as hell want a handgun at the very least. Then again you'll probably be openly carrying a rifle by that time.

Speaking of licenses this idea applies to any of them. If you don't have your hunter's safety course then you can't get your hunting license. If things get bad but they're not "too" bad then you'll still need a hunting license to procure meat. Even if things never get bad at least you'll be able to go hunting and get the skills you need if they ever do.

A HAM license is another thing that you should get. Now is the time to get the proper equipment and learn how to operate a radio. I am personally guilty of not getting my HAM license but it's high on my "to do list". If the infrastructure goes down then you won't be able to call your family across the country on the phone. Those 45 mile GMRS/FRS radios that you paid $200 for probably won't even reach to the end of your street.

Alternative energy is another thing that people take for granted. What happens when the lights go out? A generator is the best short term option. Keep a few extra gallons of fuel on hand and you should be able to get through a short term power outage fairly comfortably. That fuel won't last long, though, and if it's a major emergency then you'll be hard pressed to find enough to keep things running for a long time. Solar panels are great but they're also expensive. Wind turbines are substantially cheaper but you've got to be in an area with high winds for them to be really efficient. You'll need a battery bank to store the power that either of them generate. Solar panels don't do you any good at night and wind turbines don't do you any good when the wind isn't blowing. Another little gadget that I've been considering investing in is a bike generator. They work with any bike and you get the added benefit of getting plenty of exercise for the electricity generated.

I could go on and on about things that you won't be able to get if things get to the point where you really do need it. Hopefully this post will get you thinking.


theotherryan said...

I think that we definintely live in a world where compromises must be made. A dollar that is spent on prep is a dollar which must come from somewhere else. There is no reason to save up enough money to get 40 acres with a house, an arsenal and 100k rounds of ammo before buying anything. The way the world works it would happen when you have 85% of that money in the bank and nothing in hand to help you out. At whatever rate you are saving buy stuff as often as possible while buying in enough bulk to help cancel out shipping costs. If buying local and not in bulk do it much more often.

That being said a balanced and riscally wise appproach is essential. There is no point in having an arsenal, enough food for an army and a ton of alternative energy stuff if you can't make your morgage and end up living in your uncles garage or a van down by the river. Unless you want to live in that garage or van then more power to you for minimizing expenses to prioritize what is important to you.

deprogram said...

I thought it interesting that you mention the need to have a HAM license. The last thing you'd have to worry about in an apocalypse scenario is the FCC driving around in a van to triangulate your signal and serve you with a citation.

I remember a pirate radio station running in Pittsburgh for YEARS with a several megawatt transmitter in the civilian FM band. It took them years to finally sue him out of existence.

Get a radio. Start listening, and then figure out what you need to do to make it legal to hit that 'transmit' button. I went the license before radio route, and ended up with neither - and I went to the effort of learning Morse.

Which I forgot when I didn't get my license, and didn't get a radio, and never had to transcribe a conversation.

Unlike a gun, ownership and use for reception of radio equipment requires no license.

deprogram said...

Oh, and of course operation of Civilian Band (CB) equipment requires no license, although transmission power and antenna length are restricted. Certain channels are reserved for law enforcement usage in certain areas.

Still, with a base and a couple of handsets you would have an excellent system, plus the ability to snoop on emergency responder communications.

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