Thursday, August 26, 2021

Who do you let into the life-boat?

Glen Filthie recently posted that he was inclined to "hunker down" rather than go Mad-Max and head for the hills in the event of massive social breakdown.

His reasons and the readers who commented are worth reviewing.

I suspect that a goodly number of my readers already departed The Big City and are rearranging the doilies on the arms-lockers as we wait for events to unfold. 

Something worth considering is that many people in The Big City plan to evacuate and they plan on camping in your house. As Duncan Long wrote in his classic Backpack Fever:

A lot of people will be headed for the same spots. (Don't laugh that off, either. In my area, every eighth person has confided his secret retreat spot to me. And about half of them are all headed for the same spot: an old missile silo devoid of water and food. I suspect that the battle at the gates of the old missile base will rival the Little Big Horn.)

No matter how out-of-the-way their destination, most survivalists are kidding themselves if they think others won't be headed for their hideaway spot along with them.

Who do you let in?

Who do you send packing?

Are you ready to enforce your will? 

One thought is that your haven might be the ark that keeps the flame of Western Civilization alive and not just an overnight flop-house.

From that perspective, inviting intact families with married parents would receive very high priority from me, perhaps even more important that "skilz".

Skills can be learned. Loyalty, not so much.

Why?  Because loyalty and commitment have become rare commodities in this world. An intact family suggests that the two adults are not afraid of commitment and have a tangible track-record of being able to work with one other adult in close quarters.

A man who has a wife and children behind the walls will fight with great courage. Can the same be said of a "man" whose squeeze is a random hookup du jour? Which one is more likely to sell-out and lead them to the loot by the back gate?

While I would prefer people I am related to, I don't have very many family members who are in the 20-to-50 age range who are married and have children.

Women-and-children first

While the idea of taking in dozens of nubile, young women has a certain, passing attraction, qualifying as both women and children, there are some good reasons to NOT do that.

For one thing, young women tend to have daffy ideas. Ideas like "This is a Democracy and we should vote on every issue". Furthermore, an imbalance in the men/women can lead to some unhealthy competition when it is critical that energy should be focused on feeding, housing and protecting the lifeboat.

And, it is with dismay that I must report that many young women have issues with authority (especially when wielded by a man) perhaps because of daddy-abandonment issues. Many young women seem to feel totally justified in doing whatever their emotions direct them to do. Then, when there is an aweful outcome they rationalize it with "My heart was in the right place"

Another question is "How many"?

That number will vary. It will be more if they bring a trailer or are willing to live in an outbuilding or even in a tent.

It will be much higher if they are willing to use an outdoors pivy. If you will forgive the expression, the first thing on Hacienda ERJ that will crap-out as numbers climb will be the septic and drain field.


  1. Question 1: Is that person (or family) a "generator" or a "consumer" and if a "generator" to what quality and degree ?

    And, like a good attorney, it's a question you should already know the answer to.

    There's a possibility that unknowns may appear; extreme, very severe skepticism is the order of the day because you are not able to answer Question 1, and a wrong answer, or a wrongly assumed correct one, can so very easily lead to disaster, and that disaster will not be at all small.

    There are a number of other questions, but #1 is the foundational one and each of the following questions depend on it.

    Which leads to the final question: What action, if any, do you take when your answer is an unequivocal "no"?

    1. Like you say, "should already know the answer to"
      Next is to be ready to take action on that knowledge. If you buy 100# of salt it will fit in three 5gal buckets. Probably pay more for the bucket...

      With this you will be prepared for the useless who present to your door.

    2. That is a poor choice; that salt will (currently) not be expensive, but you will have a need, or certainly, a use, for it.

      Old Proverb: Do you know the difference between a stray cat and your cat?

      One dish of food.

      Responding with anything but an expression of grateful thanks for the arrival of "the man/woman from the food bank/church group for bringing food because you ran out 3 days ago" is a mistake. When it's learned that they're just another hungry or destitute beggar switch to depression and tears. Pro Tip: Do not wear your best Brooks' Brothers 3-piece when answering the door, nor should you still be chewing or carrying a napkin. Destitution Attire is the order of the day.

      As for "absorption" of newcomers, if you don't already know their value strong discouragement at distance should have already been occurring for quite some time, which why extrememly careful and highly discrete recruitment of compatible and productive members should be ongoing.

      And, you'll still have to shoot a few of the interlopers.

      "The first rule of Prep Club is do not talk about Prep Club."

  2. Agree with Unknown. And yes, we do have a list. And we're grumpy old men. That should answer the other questions...

  3. Suppose...
    1) We, whoever and however many "we" are, have enough food for one year, and seeds and knowledge to begin producing food for when that runs out;
    2) we decide to take in Refugees, whose number is double ours;
    3) we and Refugees will eat up our food in 4 months. (Or, most of it, and the oncoming end is obvious. Whatever, work with me here.)
    4) What will Refugees do when there's no more food? Think about it...
    They'll go somewhere else.
    In that case, they might as well go somewhere else NOW, while we, who prepared, still have what we had the foresight to store.
    I've been called an asshole before, and I will again.
    I like this guy:

    1. I'm not saying no one gets let in at all. I'm saying a lot of people might well be turned away, perhaps with some supplies, perhaps not.

    2. Like anything else in life, the safety and well being of the pack comes first.

  4. Don't let them in. Or, as I always taught my staff, "No" is a valid answer to an unreasonable request.

    Some years ago, there was a rather severe drought in this area. One city, a part of the local metro area, sits in the very headwaters of a river system. Because of this location, and the city's denial that it needed more water and water storage as it continued to annex and add citizens willy-nilly, things got bad. Drastic water conservation with a side of rationing bad.

    Said city is also the county seat. So all the politicians got together and decided that if it got much worse, they would have to disperse their citizens into surrounding counties. Where they would go, how they would be housed and fed were apparently to be determined by magic.

    The sheriff of our county was a rather...colorful...individual, prone to saying exactly what he thought at any given moment. Mrs. Freeholder calls it "having no filters".

    At that moment, when asked how his county would deal with the influx, he said something like "drop all the bridges on the Interstate so they can't get here. We have no where to put them and we're short on water ourselves." I fully believe he would have done it, too.

    That was the end of the relocation discussion.

  5. A matter that I never see addressed, but as I live in a place that is seen as a bug-out destination, is the response that the local people might have to those that show up. If they see you , or someone in your group, as a threat or even a very undesirable invader things will go very bad real fast. ---ken

    1. Living on a Res with one way in and one way out has it's benefits.

  6. Loyalty over skills, every time. And for the exact reason as stated.

    Also consider, each individual, acting at the individual level, must be prepared intrinsically, to 'enforce' the standing orders in the lifeboat. There will be senarios - not at all confined to defensive measures - where circumstance does not allow a meeting of the minds. Therefore, each individual must agree and adhere with the ability to take action.

  7. My dogs come in the boat with me. Aunt Edna can swim.

  8. Of course, the subject of this posting is who do you let in after a calamity.

    That is a different issue than what I will address, but let me say I am tired of hearing talk about forming a mutual assistance group in advance of potential disasters. Trying to recruit people who are like-minded fails far more times than it succeeds.

    As a result, of those failures, every one of them will remember that you are the one with the deep larder. Everyone who has tried to recruit people into a prepper/survival group has heard someone say, "I don't need to prepare. I'll just come to your house. Ha, ha!" The problem is, it isn't a joke because that is exactly what they will do.

    And what will happen when the fecal matter hits the oscillator? They'll be knocking on your door begging you to forgive them for their negligence. If you turn them away, they will likely enlist others and begin chanting, "Hoarder! Hoarder!" on the street in front of your home. Sure, they will realize that they had their chance and failed, but they will give themselves a pass and decide that "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" and by any means necessary in order to feed their family.

    If your home doesn't suddenly become the neighborhood supply depot, there will be big trouble. Pretty soon, these people will be desperate enough to take you on.

    Will you be able to load magazines fast enough?

    Unknown #4B, Jr., above, beat me to it, but "The first rule of Prep Club is do not talk about Prep Club."

  9. I purchased my property with the knowledge that should SHTF, myself and my family would have a safe defensible and secure island.
    The list of people not related by blood is very short.


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