Archive for preparedness

Ten Major Threats to Survival 2021 and Beyond

Live Free periodically analyzes political, technological, environmental, and economic data to establish the most probable threats to life and freedom. There are a few new ones since the last update in 2011.   YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED  

Threat Matrix 2021 and Beyond

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

As a Certified Hazard Control Manager and experienced student of emergency preparedness methodology, I have written dozens of articles about how to anticipate and prepare for a variety of disaster situations ranging from being lost in the wilderness to being affected by a large scale natural or man-made disaster.  I usually take a broader view of disasters than most writers.  A disaster is defined by how it affects you and your family.  If your house burns down from a misplaced candle or a massive wildfire, it’s still a disaster for you.  If you die from a personal ailment or from a pandemic pathogen, you are still dead.  Thus, I include home safety, and health issues in most of my threat matrix articles, and I will continue to advocate for good home safety and personal health maintenance as the foundation of survival preparedness.  In this article I will focus on the more traditional definition of “disaster”, a wide spread event that has absolute and unfavorable effects on the general population and infrastructure.  In comparison to personal disasters where you have more prevention, rescue and recovery potential, these disasters are usually beyond your control to prevent, and you cannot be dependent on external help.  My “top ten” probable disasters for this century, based on probability and potential harm are listed below.  Note that some are large-scale, cataclysmic events, while others are trends and developments happening now. It is also important to keep in mind that all of these situations negatively affect the probability and the severity of the others.

  1. Pandemic #2, #3 ---

There is no mathematical or logical reason that precludes the probability of another type of pandemic in the next few years. The chances of a pandemic in 2021 are exactly the same as they were in 2019.  The same issues of population density, migration and travel that existed before 2020 will exist as we go into the future decades. Unless or until war or pandemic actually reduces the population by a very significant percentage, the threat will remain and grow. No doubt, terrorists and extremists will have noted the effectiveness of this pandemic on America and the West and may work to deliberately develop and distribute even more virulent and deadly pathogens.  While we will be more vigilant and better prepared for future pandemics in the near future, apathy and the demands of other priorities will inevitably degrade preparedness over the coming years.  Other pathogens may have entirely different pathologies and require different methods of control and treatment, rendering stocks of equipment from the coronavirus useless.   The wise survivor will restock and double stock as if the next pandemic is just around the corner.

  1. Mass Civil Disorder

A certain level of civil disorder were experienced as the pandemic of 2020 progressed.  It was difficult to manage and slow the spread of the disease while hold together the economy. Fear and frustration was often exploited by political agitators, criminals and even foreign influences to create division and encourage destructive acts. The internet and social-media facilitated hate and conspiracy theories when reason and analysis were most needed.  While the police and fire departments were still able to function, many of their members were debilitated and even killed by the virus.  The stress of putting their own families at risk to protect the general public did cause some disruptions and reduction in their capability, but it could be much worse in the future.  The anti-police rhetoric and misguided political actions immediately resulted in dramatic increases in violent crime in New York, Chicago and other cities, and the massive economic cost of the pandemic is bound to negatively affect the budgets for police and fire protection in every town and city.  Most locations will be hard-pressed to maintain public safety services and equipment after the pandemic, much less improve them to meet future challenges.  Trained employees at municipal water, power and sanitary facilities were also affected and in some cases threatened to walk-off the jobs if not given extra pay and protection.  The food supply chain sputtered and showed signs of failure as transportation, packing and retail employees became ill due to increased exposure.  The failure of one or more survival critical services to high-density urban and suburban regions for more than a few days would lead to panic, looting and general lawlessness.  Civil disorder in one or two major cities could be controlled by the reallocation of resources and the National Guard, but the spread of civil disorder throughout the country would leave citizen lives and property totally unprotected.  The damage could leave most regions devastated to the level of the third world.  Such a scenario is more likely now than it was just a year ago, so the survivor must not only be able to survive without help, they must also be able to protect their own lives, freedom, and property against malevolent and violent elements.

  1. Economic Collapse

The health of an economy is determined by its productivity.  When the people are able to produce what is needed and purchase what they need we have a stable economy.  Even before the pandemic the world economy was a house of cards, only sustained by automation and economic manipulation. The stability of national economies can be measured by the national debt vs the nations productivity (GDP). Here are some examples China has a 1.6 trillion dollar debt with a 297 percent debt vs GDP gap. The US has a whopping 25 trillion dollar debt* with a 106.2 percent GDP gap. Japan has a 12.2 trillion dollar debt against a 237 percent gap. Simply put the world owes more than it can pay and does not have the natural resources to support seven-billion people in anything like health and comfort.  Automation has made simple labor less and less valuable and shifted wealth and power to a smaller and smaller number of nations and individuals. While the pandemic practically stopped the production of real produced wealth, trillions dollars in paper wealth were printed and distributed. Less than nine-percent of the worlds wealth exists in any solid (gold, paper) form the remaining ninety-one percent is just ones and zero in computers that has value only as long as people believe it has value.  Ultimately the gap (canyon) between our economic illusion and economic reality must lead to a very traumatic adjustment.  Sustained depression, massive losses, draconian taxation, high inflation rates, wealth confiscation, and totalitarian government may arise.  Gold, diamonds and currency will be worthless, while hard goods and necessities will be the only true currency.  Unfortunately: those who have made themselves self-reliant and in possession of needed supplies will be targets of hatred by the public and persecution by the state.  Ultimately: only strong networks and alliances among self-reliance practitioners and responsible citizens will suffice to preserve life, freedom and property against   annihilation.

*The US debt to China is 4.3 Trillion dollars alone

  1. Climate Change

Regardless of the cause, climate change is a reality that must be faced and survived throughout the coming decades. All ten of the worst weather related catastrophes in US history have occurred since 1992 with a steadily increasing frequency and severity. In addition to creating droughts, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and violent storms, it will exacerbate international conflicts, famines, mass migrations and economic problems throughout the world. The already weakened economies’ of most nations will render it impossible to cope with these disasters.  As a result the world’s capacity to support the current and future populations will continue to decline. We can anticipate living in a more meteorologically violent and unpredictable world while we cope with other threats. The survivor must shift life styles and priorities to meet this evolving situation over decades, while also being better prepared to survive more frequent storms, floods, and other local and regional disasters.  The ability to evacuate is particularly important for these kinds of threats.

  1. Nuclear War

While there was a briefed relaxation of the potential for a nuclear exchange after the fall of the Soviet Union, that potential has returned, and is even greater today than it was in the 1980’s. Today’s nuclear delivery systems include hypersonic cruise missiles, stealth drones, hypersonic reentry warheads, and multiple warhead ballistic missiles. The new Chinese Dong-feng 41 missile has a range of 9,400 miles and speed of 25 times the speed of sound.  The new weapons are unstoppable and can reach any point in the US within thirty-minutes of launch. Current estimates are that China has 280 warheads, Russia has 6,850, and the US has 6,450, and it only takes one to start Armageddon.  In addition, we have India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, France and Great Brittan in possession of nuclear weapons that could be accidentally or deliberately detonated or stolen by terrorists. Famines, pandemics, disputes over dwindling resources, and general political instability could easily result in an escalating nuclear exchange. While blast sheltering may be impractical, the ability to evacuate and to detect and survive fallout are still important survival skills.  Any significant nuclear exchange would trigger all of the other listed disasters.

  1. Famine

California, one of the world richest food producing areas, has lost over 30 percent of its cropland due to the ongoing drought.  The major aquafers that supply the water for crops in Africa, India and the American Midwest are drying up. Food shortages brought riots to Africa in 2010-2011 and food shortages had a part in the disastrous “Arab Spring” movement that eventually generated ISIS.   At this point the earth hosts over 7.3 billion people and this number will reach 9.7 billion by 2050 with the global demand for food rising by 50 percent above current levels. America loses one-percent or more of farmland to development annually. By the end of the twenty-first century (if we get there) the population will top 15 billion. To imagine that food production will ever be able to keep up with this demand is preposterous.  We cannot even feed the current population in many countries. China’s experiment with food production in Africa has been a total failure. Back in the 1990’s when the Soviet Union collapsed and stopped subsidizing North Korean agriculture over one-million Koreans died within a few years and they continue to die now. The whole world agricultural capacity is fragile and dependent on cheap water, cheap fertilizers (mostly based on petroleum) and cheap fuel to run massive machinery.  All of these elements are at or near the breaking point.  The pandemic clearly demonstrated the vulnerability of the food distribution system throughout the world. There can be no doubt that the issue of food supplies will become the major political, economic, military, and survival issue in the coming decades.  Despotic states and criminal black-market cartels may use food as a weapon to subjugate populations and facilitate oppression.  The ability to feed one’s self and one’s family is the foundation of survival and freedom.

  1. Artificial Intelligence Domination

This threat was not seriously on my radar until recently, but must be considered as a threat to human life and freedom as we know it.  While computers were first thought to be the means to save us time and improve our lives and social opportunities, the technology has been used to waste our time and prevent intelligent, and productive social interaction. Technology is (intentionally or unintentionally) destroying human society and replacing it with a virtual society controlled by programs and logarithms. China leads the world in thought control and total surveillance of society through facial recognition, intelligent drones, and cameras everywhere, but they are exporting this technology to western nations on a massive scale.  I like to call people who have a Pavlovian need to respond to their phone or a text and go about with their smart phone on 24/7 “oblivions” who live in a virtual would rather than the real one around them.  It is interesting, and perhaps frightening to note that according to scientific studies human intelligence has been in decline for several decades, while computer power has recently surpassed that of the human brain. Moore’s law states that computer power doubles every 18 to 24 months. Artificial intelligence now engages in so-called “deep learnings” and acts on its own initiatives without human direction.  Computers learn and improve exponentially while the human brain improves only linearly. The human brain calculates a bit slower than the speed of light, while quantum computers calculate at thousands of times the speed of light*. Do the math. See the future.

* Due to something called “quantum-entanglement” it is actually possible to calculate and communicate faster than the speed of light.

  1. Cyber Attack, EMP, Grid Failure

Cyber warfare has been in progress between the nations of the world for several decades.  Since America is the richest and most cyber dependent nation in the world, it is the major target for all types of cyber-attacks.  Targets for cyber-attacks include the electrical power grid, power generation systems, water distribution facilities, sewer systems, medical facilities, police and fire protection agencies, the military, and the financial infrastructure.  Artificially intelligent viruses can be programed to travel through the internet, lie in wait and then destroy a system or systems at a given time. Yes, they can be there right now hidden in programs. As with real viruses, computer viruses can be accidentally created and unleashed as well. Such viruses can bypass safety systems to destroy generators, oil refineries, nuclear facilities, water pumps and hospital equipment.  An attack on railroad, or air traffic control systems could result in significant death and destruction. Most of the world’s wealth exists as data in computers that could just disappear. Backup systems and air-gapped systems provide some protection, but recent events have demonstrated how these safeguards can be bypassed. Experts estimate that if the electrical grid in the United States was down for ten to twelve months ninety-percent of the population would die from the various affects.

Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) can destroy computers and other electronic devices, if unprotected. A large scale EMP could even disable vehicles, aircraft and municipal service systems. Nuclear weapons generate powerful EMP’s.  Solar events can generate EMP’s powerful enough to damage power grids, communication systems and unprotected electronic devices. The military has developed drones and portable devices that can target specific areas with powerful EMPs.  Terrorists can probably create EMT weapons as well.  The United States, Russia and China are in a race to create the first true quantum computer.  Such a computer would make all military and financial computers instantly obsolete and unlock every security system.  While an ordinary “super computer” could take many years to try every possible combination of words, letters and numbers in any potential password combination, a quantum computer could try hundreds of billions of combinations in a few minutes.

Cyberwarfare, along with economic warfare, disinformation through social media, drug importation, and political agitation are all part of the asymmetric warfare campaigns being waged against free societies throughout the world.  The individual must avoid dependency on personal digital systems and on the infrastructure that depends on them.  Backup data to isolated storage, keep hard copies, and keep electronic devices in faraday cages when possible.

  1. Revolution and Civil War

The United States Government is the oldest and most stable government in the world today.  All of the governments of Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle-East have fallen and risen several times while the USA has stood and prospered.  While many Americans attribute this to our values and the genius of our Constitution there are other factors that have historically contributed to our stability.

  • America maintained strong values of community, responsibility, self-reliance and patriotism regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. We were all Americans first.
  • While there were natural inequities in wealth distribution they were not nearly as extreme as they are today. A large, contented and socially responsible middle class still existed.
  • America and Americans were not subject to the constant divisive and toxic effects of the internet and social media.

None of these stabilizing factors are true today. Multi-ethnic societies are inherently unstable.  There is no longer an unlimited amount of real-estate, resources or jobs to absorbed even internal population growth.  We are involved with and influenced by divisive and confusing foreign involvements and intrigues. Today’s American is more self-centered, dependency-oriented and less involved in community than any previous generation.  The decades of centralized, big government have replaced responsibility with demanding, demonstrating and blame finding.  The gap between the poor and the ultra-wealthy is disgraceful and growing. The internet now facilitates division rather than unity, conflict rather than discussion and even violence in place of the political process.  Respect for the law and for American values has all but disappeared in many regions.  These are harbingers of future revolutionary developments. Armed demonstrations against the pandemic lockdowns and anti-gun legislation is a harbinger of future revolts. The growing sanctuary movement where counties*, and whole states are prepared to defy higher authorities is an indicator of massive discontent and defiance. There is a growing number of religious, racial and political elements that are quietly preparing for such a catastrophe.  There is a line in an old movie* about South American revolutions.  The General storms into the presidential palace proclaiming “El Presidente, the rebels are in the suburbs!” to which the dictator says “the rebels are always in the suburbs”. We are becoming more like one of these “Banana Republics”


* In Virginia 91 out of the 95 counties passed resolution defying the states gun laws.


  1. Terrorist attacks

While the number of terrorist attacks has temporarily declined, the effects of potential terrorist attacks continues. The cost of “the war on terror” and the massive security measures throughout society has drained hundreds of billions from the national economies that could have been used to rebuild our infrastructure, and reduce our national dept. The terrorists won and continue to win as they affect our lives and our national economy.  We can be certain that the recent pandemic has provided terrorist with another weapon to disseminate fear and confusion. Economic challenges will impact the poor and minority communities making them susceptible to radicalization and extremist activities.  Economic decline can necessitate cuts in military spending, and the budgets for police and fire protection that may provide opportunities for extremist groups to better organize and plan activities.  Criminal gangs and cartels should be included as terrorists, and can be expected to grow in power and audacity as law-and-order weakens.  In third world nations the gangs and cartels are the true government, controlling the black-market, and offering safety for a price. Only a vigilant, prepared and armed population can prevent the rise of terror and crime in the future


   The possibility of a world-wide disaster can no-longer be in doubt, as one of the above disasters has already occurred and several others are developing as we speak.  Each threat scenario affects the probability and potential severity of the others.  Some of the above threats occur suddenly, while others develop insidiously over the years. At this point only the most foolish would ignore these threats and fail to make a concerted effort to avoid, mitigate and survive their effects. While it is difficult to predict which one will happen next or in what order such events could occur, but we must all recognize the fragility of our civilization and necessity of constant vigilance and dedicated preparedness.


The Long Road Ahead

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

My childhood experiences make me predisposed to detect and expect survival challenges, and my career as a Hazard Control Manager provide me with the training, tools and experience to anticipate threats to safety and survival.  In the midst of an ongoing pandemic, I can foresee further challenges in the months and years ahead, and while I hope that the optimistic predictions of politicians come true, I am obligated to share the following observations.

  • There is no logical or statistical reason to expect that another epidemic or other disaster is less likely to occur next year or in a few years. In fact a weakened infrastructure and economy makes further disasters more probable.
  • While the effects of the lockdown and distancing combined with the warmer weather may reduce the spread of the virus through the summer months, the virus isn’t going away. Cooler weather combined with public apathy is bound to result in a resurgence   of the epidemic later in the year.  Better testing and better preparedness will help, but the number of infected persons who can spread the virus will be much greater in September than it was at the beginning of the outbreak, so a fast jump in cases could result.  The CDC has warned that the potential second wave could be “far more deadly” that the first. The effects of a second lockdown in winter could be truly catastrophic.
  • As of May the US had about 900,000 known cases of Covid-19 and 52,000 resulting deaths. Extending those rates through the summer could give us 2,000,000. Cases and 100,000. Deaths. Adding the expected winter bump could bring us to 4,000,000 cases and over 150,000 deaths, a truly horrific possibility.
  • The promise of a vaccine in twelve to eighteen months may be overly optimistic. There still is no vaccine for SARS, MERS, Avian Flue, or Ebola and they have been around for many years. Early results indicate that those who have recovered from Covid-19 may not be immune to future infection. This virus could be around for several more years or indefinitely
  • I totally agree that the economy cannot sustain a full lockdown for an indefinite period of time, but as a trained industrial hygienist and EMT I totally agree that expanded human contact will cost thousands of American lives. We absolutely have the right to gather, assemble, and work, but we absolutely have the patriotic duty to voluntarily observe distancing and other precautions to protect ourselves, our families and our fellow Americans. Don’t do it because of orders, do it because you care about others.
  • As expected the Russians and the Chinese are actively using social media to promote confusing and divisive narratives and conspiracy theories to weaken and divided America and deflect blame. The Chinese laugh while we point fingers at each other and argue about social distancing and whose fault the pandemic is. It’s the fault of China and the Chinese Communist Party, end of story.  We can expect the Democratic Party to focus attacks on Republicans for the spread of the virus and imply that they could do better. Of course it’s always easy to play political games with 20/20 hindsight and no actual involvement in the crisis.  Again: no one will be blaming the Chinese.
  • At this point our whole infrastructure, economy and society is unstable and weakened to the point where another major event such as a terrorist attack, cyber-attack, or political upheaval could result in the collapse of western civilization. Our enemies know this.
  • In late April the Chicago Police had to break up over one thousand incidents of mass assemblages of youths on the streets. While there were only a few arrests and minor resistance, this was in cool weather after only a few weeks of the lockdown. What will happen when the weather gets hot and the lockdown has continued for several months?  We can anticipate that gangs, agitators and opportunists will try to incite violence and looting on a massive scale. This was as we predicted, but the police misconduct incident served as a detonator.  The massive street demonstrations were as much about pent-up lock-down fatigue as it was about the police issue.  We can now expect a continuation of street protests and violence around the conventions and elections.  All of this will perpetuate and spread the virus.

When and if it’s Over

   The German psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) stated that “The most intense conflicts if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed”.  He was describing the dangerous false sense of security and tendency towards apathy and denial that is a part of human nature. In the aftermath of this pandemic we will be in uncharted territory with a devastated economy, a chaotic political and social infrastructure and all of the remaining threats such as terrorism, war, revolution, natural disasters, and famine still in place.  While the tendency may be to rejoice and relax, the necessity must be to be vigilant and rededicated to preparedness, survival education and self-reliance.  American life and freedom cannot survive another massive calamity if the public is unaware, unorganized and unprepared

We Saw This Coming and More

The following paragraph is from my article titled “Human Extinction” published in American Survivor newsletter in September of 2018*.  The point of the article was that we have over seven billion people on a planet that scientists calculate can only support about five billion people, and that nature and human nature would inevitably start to correct this imbalance through a number of catastrophic trends and event, one of which would be pandemics.  I also demonstrated how each disaster would cause a cascade effect that would create additional and worsening disasters.  Many readers felt that I was going too far with such grime analyses, but I am cursed with the necessity of logic over wishful thinking.


Impending Epidemics

The horrible reality is that epidemics, wars and famine are the most likely way that the population will be reduced.  The population density, migration and travel have set the stage for a world-wide epidemic that could kill millions or even billions. The source could be a deliberate act, a laboratory accident or simply a natural mutation of an existing pathogen. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization) agree that it is not a matter of if, but when this happens. When this occurs it will crash the already fragile economy, cause the infrastructure (police, fire, medical, sanitation, food delivery, electrical power and water pumping) in many cities to shut down for lack of personnel. Civil disorder and outright revolution may follow. The reduced population might or might not be able to recover civilization.

And here we are!


As we enter the year 2020 we can anticipate further political chaos and agitation on the streets of America. It is difficult to predict how violent or widespread civil disorder will be, but it is something most should be prepared for.  Even those living in rural areas can be affected by the economic and social impact of any breakdown in law and order in their region.   The article below was published in Live Free's newsletter last year.  For more detailed survival information on a wide range of topics, we hope you will join. 

Surviving the Coming Age of Civil Disorder

By James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM

We live in an unstable and increasingly unsafe society.  While a sense of normalcy and safety still prevails the indications of societal disintegration and impending social chaos abound.  The sheer multiplicity of negative trends and events constantly weakens our capacity to maintain order and safety.

Increasingly frequent natural and manmade disasters drain our economy and overstretch our emergency response resources. The following list of challenges and trends should convince any responsible citizen that a dark-age of civil chaos and general lawlessness lies ahead.

  • The ongoing condemnation and persecution of police and emergency responders will continue to limit their ability to protect the public. Law enforcement officers must be more cautious and hesitant to pursue, detain and subdue suspects. In turn, criminals are more likely to flee, resist or employ weapons against the police.
  • Disparagement of the police and disrespect for the law has emboldened criminals of all types. Carjacking’s, street robberies, bank robberies, theft from parked vehicles, burglaries, shoplifting, and other crimes are becoming more rampant each year. The courts often release such criminals on the suspects own recognizant or home monitoring while awaiting trial and then hands down probation or reduced sentences.
  • Even so-called “gun crimes” by repeat felons are often given a proverbial “slap on the wrist” punishments or early releases from short prison sentences.
  • Smash and grab crimes where multiple criminals use sledgehammers or stolen vehicles to smash through windows or even walls to access valuables and escape before police arrive are more and more frequent in every urban and suburban region.
  • Violent crimes against the elderly and even the disabled are popular activities for the criminal class today.
  • Drive-by shootings and vehicle-to-vehicle shootouts on our expressways is an increasing trend.
  • The ongoing opioid epidemic added to the long-existing drug crisis in America and the world drives more people into the criminal world of gangs, violence and desperation.
  • Extremists and mentally deranged are increasingly turning to various forms of violence acts.
  • The internet and social-media facilitates flash-mob crimes where dozens of people suddenly overwhelm a store, grab merchandise and then flee before anyone can react. The internet has also made fencing stolen goods much easier and more profitable than before.
  • Virtually every social and political issue now generates a demonstration that ties up police resources, disrupts business, blocks traffic and often results in violence or even outright riots and looting. There are whole organizations devoted to supporting any kind of civil disorder and several secretive, national groups that are focused on initiating violence at any type of demonstration.
  • The budgets for law enforcement, fire departments, court systems and detention centers are inadequate in most urban areas and will continue to decline in the coming decades. Raising taxes causes law abiding tax payer to flee as does increased crime rates. This leaves only the poorer residents and welfare recipients who pay little or no taxes at all.  Most urban areas are caught in a death spiral of rising taxes, crime, and declining revenues.  This can only lead to instability and potential massive violence.
  • The recent 2016 election cycle provided a glimpse of the social/political instability and division. The internet and the mass-media continues to amplify division and support extreme viewpoints as we approach the 2018 and the 2020 elections.  The various sides are already gearing up for a contentious and possibly violent confrontations on many issues. No-matter what the results of these elections may be, we can anticipate violent demonstrations, active resistance and even revolutionary activities that exceed those of the turbulent 1960s and 1970s.

While some of these trends have marked previous times in American history and one or two of them alone could not be expected to generate a general collapse of law-and-order in our society, if continued, the combined effects of these trends may well lead to an unprecedented level of chaos and violence within the next few years. The period of violence and civil disorder generated by the combination of issues and agitation in the late 1960s and early 1970s offers some valuable lessons and examples.  I living in Chicago during these times, I witnessed the causations and effects of the violent events of those times.  The civil-rights movement, the anti-Viet Nam War movement and several other social/political movement were coopted by communists, and special interest groups with dark agendas.  Certainly the Soviet Union financed the more violent groups in order to weaken the United States.  Big financial interests benefited from massive real-estate displacements and public housing developments.  Government agencies grew stronger and more intrusive. So-called revolutionary groups abounded with shooting, looting and bombing culminating in the great riots that destroyed whole communities and initiated a trend towards disrespect, division and crime that continues to this day. At that time America still had a solid middle class and a foundation of shared conservative values that was sufficient to check the slide toward outright revolution and disaster.  The “greatest generation” of citizens who had built America and defeated tyrants and aggressors in World War Two were the dominant population then. Regrettably, today’s population lacks these unifying values and shared sense of responsibility.

The riots and demonstrations of the 1960s and 1970s were contained within the inner-cities and to downtown and government facilities.  While I lived in Chicago during these times and I certainly knew enough to avoid going downtown or through certain areas, life went on as normal for the great majority. Crime and looting did not spill-over into adjoining communities or suburbs.  Although there was real concern that these disruptions could generate a true revolution America was far too strong and unified and these movements eventually (literally and figuratively) burned themselves out.  They did however implant ideas, trends and cultures that have continued to weaken, destabilize and divide American society as we face a new age of internal conflict.

Previously, the dominant social force in America has been conservative, self-reliant, America values that were resistant to any “isum” or extremist views.  This central, law-abiding mass tended to dampen any tendency towards violence.  Unfortunately the dominant tendencies today are dependency oriented, self-centered and disrespectful of society and other individuals. The media and the internet can easily foment nation-wide discontent leading to violence that would affect every community.

Today’s more homogenous communities make it far more probable that any general uprisings will spill into adjoining communities than was true in the 60s and 70s.  Shopping centers in more affluent and “safe” communities will not likely be spared.  Gangs and bands of criminals will not be hesitant to roam widely as police are over-occupied or driven away. This is already evident in the kinds of crime-waves being experienced in most suburban areas now.

Today criminals use google earth to locate affluent homes and shopping centers now and will be able to use this tool along with social-media to organize raids and looting.  No area will be immune to attack during any future outbreak.

Having made my case that law-and-order is already breaking down and could easily degenerate into wide-spread and long-term chaos, let’s consider what steps the responsible citizen can take to survive, avoid or escape from violence ravaged areas.

The survival challenges will differ depending on your location, but there will be no “safe zones”.  Violence and war tends to flow in various ways, so that one part of a town may be ravaged to ruination while another is relatively untouched.  Even in places like Berlin during World War Two or modern day Bagdad there were/are areas relatively untouched and nearly normal, but no-one can assume that their home or community will be spared.  We can predict that some kinds of areas will be more dangerous than others and have different challenges that will require differing preparations and responses. Let’s call them “red zones”, “orange zones” and “yellow zones”.

Red Zones would be inner city, high population density and high value commercial centers where crime rates are already high, gangs have established a solid footing and any disruption to police protection, utilities or support can quickly flash into uncontrollable violence, looting, fires and crime.  The police barley maintain control of such regions today and would be virtually helpless against a general collapse.

  • Avoidance and prevention: obviously moving to a safer area will improve survivability, but many citizens have economic, family and social responsibilities that effect our choice of locations. If moving is not an option, then getting involved and working to build a stronger, safer and more stable community is the only way to avoid being caught-up in a societal disaster?  Take action now if you can.
  • Preparation and planning: Preparation and planning: Being able to stay off the streets is critical. Having enough food, water, medications and other necessities to ride-out a crisis is your first step to survival in most situations. Red zone residents must give more attention to active defense and the possibility that escape and evacuation will be an unavoidable necessity in their preparation and planning.  Bug-out bags and weapons are a necessity.  Consider discussing mutual defense and aid plans with your neighbors and relatives in advance.
  • Active and passive defense: Once civil disorder erupts in your area, you will be forced to take up an armed defensive posture. Blocking doors and windows, establishing a 24/7 watch schedule and having loaded firearms and extra ammunition is justified in such situations.  You should also move all flammables and combustibles away from windows and have plenty of large fire extinguisher on hand as arson and Molotov -cocktails are a favorite tool of insurgents. Do not fire on anyone unless they have initiated action against your home.  Don’t do anything to attract attention.
  • Evacuation and escape: In many cases escape from a riot-torn area may be your best and only option. While it may be difficult to abandon your home before you are forced to do so, waiting until you are surrounded and under assault may be too late. Early evacuation may permit you to take more with you and use your vehicle, whereas fleeing at the last-minute may mean doing so on-foot while leaving most of your valuables behind.  You may also want to consider how to hide, secure or even burry items that you cannot take with you to minimized losses if your home is looted or burned.

Orange Zones would usually be communities adjoining the Red Zones, suburbs of major cities, and medium sized towns.  Such areas will have gang presents and local criminals that will seize on opportunities. They have active contacts with the larger Red Zone political extremists and criminal gangs and could facilitate their entry into these communities.  The police forces in such areas are often undermanned, but are dedicated to defending their home towns.

  • Avoidance and prevention: You need to analyze the level of risk you face in such areas. Are your neighbor’s responsible citizens or potential threats?  Are you in or near a major commercial center or roadway that will attract looters and criminals? Are there signs of gang presents, drug use and high crime already appearing in your community?   Even a relatively peaceful community may turn into a Red Zone if civil disorder last for more than a few days. Plan accordingly.  Many smaller town and suburban communities have volunteer police auxiliaries and emergency organizations.  It would be beneficial to join and support these groups to strengthen the community and enhance your level of training and awareness.
  • Active and passive defense: Assaults and looting is more likely to be hit-and-miss and off-and-on in these areas. Roaming gangs and opportunistic criminals rather than massive mobs will be the main threat.  A well prepared and well-armed citizen may be able to avoid, discourage or drive-off these aggressors. Fences and hedges can help delay or channel assaults away from your home.  Keeping your garage clear enough to actually contain your vehicle out of site is a major advantage.  You must still have a 24/7 watch plan and a well thought out plan for stopping an assault and home invasion by multiple criminals. How close are the adjoining buildings?  Could there occupation by hostile people or their catching fire threaten your safety?  Be prepared to deal with these possibilities.
  • Evacuation and escape: While sheltering-in-place is more desirable than evacuation into or through hostile regions, it may still be a forced necessity.  The same principles and tactics for Red Zone evacuations apply, but more routs and options may be available. Think “what if”.

Yellow Zones can be defined as remote small towns and semi-rural areas, away from main highways and commercial centers. While it is unlikely that such locations would initially be the sites of riots or looting they might not be immune to locally generated crimes and acts of violence by individuals and small groups. Drug gangs and extremist groups of all kinds have infiltrated even seemingly peaceful communities. Radicals and criminals are far more mobile than they were decades ago, and isolated and complacent communities could be tempting targets. Such areas often have just a few law enforcement officers who are ill-equipped to handle such threats.

  • Avoidance and prevention: Any extended period of civil disorder could result increased, opportunistic criminal activities and roaming gangs endangering residents of outlying communities. Organized community and town defense is a realistic option for such locations. Consider the most likely routs and directions from which threats could appear and de prepared to discourage and reroute potentially dangerous individuals and groups. Organized 24/7 community patrols and response plans will go a long-way in preventing problems.
  • Preparation and planning: Generally, being self-reliant and prepared to get by without outside supplies and services for weeks or months will be the main requirement. Community supplies and neighbors helping neighbors is important
  • Active and passive defense: Even in the most peaceful communities there are some individuals who will make trouble or commit crimes of opportunity when they think they can get away with it. Identify them in advance if possible. Be vigilant and prepared to deal with attempted robberies, home invasions and other crimes.  A 24/7 watch is advisable when possible.
  • Evacuation and escape: If the chaos has reached the point where even small towns and rural areas are unable to maintain public safety things are truly disastrous.  It’s good to have a preplanned place to go and safe route to get there, just in case. At that level of emergency the survival camp and militia-like resistance may be necessary to recover order.


While there are far too many factors in-play to predict when a period of general civil; disorder will develop or how severe and long-lasting such an event will be it seems more likely than not that significant upheavals lie within the next five to ten years or less.  It is also apparent that such developments will impact most communities and that existing law enforcement and emergency response agencies may be inadequate to maintain order, protect the public and prevent looting and property damage. The responsible citizen should be prepared to cope with the challenges of home defense, self-defense, property protection, and if necessary evacuation through hostile surroundings.  Since such situations could also interrupt food supplies, water and electrical services, and access to medical care, the citizen must stock up and build basic survival capabilities as well.  The possibility of massive and enduring periods of civil disorder must be added to the already long list of potential survival challenges that the responsible American citizen of this century must prepare to face unaided if necessary.

Wildfire Survival

Wildfires of various types are becoming more common.  I worked with one of our members living in the northwest who has actually experienced these fires and was able to provide experience and references. Finally, I did research and then wrote the article with the survivalist approach. If you live in any of the wildfire, forest-fire, brush-fire prone regions, please share this information with your neighbors.


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Executive Order 13603 and What it Means for Preppers…

May 12, 2015 By M.D. Creekmore

Source: Executive Order 13603 and What it Means for Preppers...

Executive Order 13603 and What it Means for Preppers…

Police stateI’ve been going over “Executive Order 13603” today and thought that you might be interested in taking a look at the following provisions that I pulled directly from the document and pasted below.

What this all boils down to is that the President, can declare a national emergency and then take all resources, even privately owned resources, resources, like your preps and any other private property that they want…

Over the years I’ve read many articles and books which suggest that the biggest threat to your survival post collapse are refugees fleeing the cities or your neighbors coming to take your preps, and while they are a legitimate concern, as you can see by reading the excepts taken directly from executive order 13603, they probably won’t be the biggest threat to your survival.

After the president declares a disaster and enacts executive order 13603, the federal government will first concentrate on taking large commercial farms, fuel produces, fertilizer plants etc, in maybe your local state and county governments who are the first ones coming after the local resources of individuals and families within their state, county and city jurisdictions.

This is why it’s a good idea to have your preps well hidden and backup preps stored away from your home and retreat…