If luck or planning lets your live through the immediate disaster – the
hurricane passes, the earthquake dies down or the riots are quelled – you are
faced with the longer task of living through the aftermath. All the topics we’ve
dealt with earlier – food, water, shelter and emergency medicine – are
critical. But you have to hang on to all four to survive, and many of those who
are less-prepared may envy your stash and wish to make it their own. See the scenario we put together for an example.
You need to protect yourself both from those who see the situation as an
opportunity to cash in and those who are so desperate they have no way to
survive except by taking your stuff. You will run into the first (criminals)
early in a long-term survival situation. The second will be a later phenomenon,
after their meager supplies have petered out and the hand of government is
nowhere to be found.
There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from these and
others who threaten your survival:
Keep a low profile. The fewer people who know you have a huge stash of food and water, the less who will turn to you. This also means do not flaunt it and create resentment. Do not be cooking stew in the afternoon over a backyard fire when others are starving and not expect trouble. Instead, use a camp stove in your fireplace late at night. Do not seek to profit from your advanced planning. This will result in resentment and possible retribution. If you have a surplus and wish to part with some goods, you will earn friends by giving it away or selling it at cost. If you sell it at ridiculously high prices, you will earn nothing but hate and resentment. After disaster strikes, post signs saying looters will be shot. Like an
alarm sign, this will not deter someone who seriously wants what you have, but it may send potential thieves and looters to easier targets. During “normal” times, there is an unfortunate liability associated with displaying “Protected by Smith & Wesson” bumper stickers and wearing T-shirts that boldly proclaim “I don’t dial 911, I call on .357.” In the potentially lawless aftermath of a disaster, Sarge believes the benefit of such a sign will outweigh the liability.
If you are threatened by looters or other criminals, you probably only have
two choices: Turn tail and run or display a firearm you are prepared to use.
This latter technique served Korean merchants well in the L.A. Riots. If you
choose to include weapons as part of your survival stash (a move Sarge encourages) you must have the will and the skill to use them
successfully. Otherwise, you would probably have been better off taking option one and high tailing it out of there, giving up your stash but hopefully saving your life.
Choosing the best survival weapons will depend on your needs. Do you wish to
protect yourself from a single intruder or a large group? Will you be engaging
targets at close or long range? Do you wish to hunt as well?
Your answer may be “all of the above,” which is why Sarge recommends
the following survival weapons:
One or two pistols for every adult or adolescent capable of using it. Should be at least .38/9mm caliber or larger. A 12 gauge shotgun for all large adults. 20 gauge for smaller-statured adults. Either semi-auto or pump, the higher capacity the better. Stock both bird shot, buck loads and slugs. A semi-automatic combat rifle, such as a AR-15, FAL, H&K, AK-47, SKS or Ruger mini 14. At least one for every two adults capable of firing it. An AR-15 is preferred because it has ammo and parts interchangability with our countrys standard issue weapons. A large scope-equipped rifle capable of engaging man-sized targets 400 yards or more. 30-06, .308 or similar caliber.Stock up on high-capacity magazines and ammunition as well. Sarge recommends a minimum of 10 to 15 high-capacity magazines and 3,000 rounds for your “combat” rifles. Additional ammunition is always a good idea. If you do not need to use it, it can be an excellent barter item.
This is a good firearms stash that, used properly, can help you protect
yourself in many situations. You will be able to carry the pistols concealed if
you are not expecting imminent trouble but wish to be prepared. The shotguns are excellent close-quarter combat weapons, ideal for defending your home.
The combat rifles are not only intimidating, they are able to sustain a high level of suppression fire and provide both offensive and defensive fire. The large
hunting or sniping rifle (in 30-06, .308, 7mm or a similar caliber) is good for
hunting and reaching out and touching someone.
Suppose you only have a pistol and a .22 rifle. Well, you’re better off than
many. There’s a good bit of truth to clichés like “better a hit with a .22 than
a miss with a .45.” Hopefully, just the visible presence of a firearm will be
enough to quell any problems.
Owning fully automatic weapons and other “weapons of destruction” such as
grenades and rockets is illegal for the average citizen. While you may be able
to obtain a class III firearms license, the process is difficult and the weapons
expensive. That means most of us will need to rely on home made weapons.
Sarge recommends Molotov cocktails, which can be made by mixing gasoline
with detergent. He does not recommend experimenting with home made explosives.
For those interested, TEOTWAWKI, a survival novel, discusses ways to take out tanks and other heavy vehicles.