[This will be the first entry in a new blog category, Practical Preparations. Many of the past blog entries should be included in this category though I don’t have the time to redo them for inclusion – Admin]
Road Blocks For Survival
Road blocks are something that nobody really thinks about, especially creating them yourself, but on the subject of practical preparations for collapse, here are some thoughts on the subject.
I am one of those individuals that does not support the idea of bugging out. There are many, many discussions on this subject found online, a few that I have written here myself.
Bugging out implies that you are leaving home base and relocating to either a known or unknown destination (‘getting outta dodge’). Many, many people are planning on this. Some to the woods, others to prepared rural locations, others just to get out of dodge when the balloon goes up.
My anti-advocacy of this concept is based on several factors:
1) you can only carry so much with you;
2) you are exposed on the roads and highways and subject to control, confiscation, robbery and murder;
3) most of these plans require exorbitant amounts of fuel which will be assumed to be in short supply;
4) your destination is either prepared or not, but what you carry with you is absolutely critical and will quickly be in very short supply;
5) you are subject to mechanical breakdown;
6) defensive protection is very difficult when traveling;
7) a great many unknowns can and probably will exist making any journey risky;
8) the only successful bugout planning is to have a fully prepared place to go to; if you have that, why are you “bugging out” then anyway?
9) even the best laid plans go astray and probably will.
Refugees (evacuees leaving their homes) simply do not fare very well on the road. They are limited in what they can carry and subject to all kinds of risks and controls. This blog entry is how to increase their failures and why you would do so.
Refugees simply do not belong “there”, wherever there actually is, during collapse. They’re not at home, and they become everyone’s problem. In effect, a refugee is everyone’s problem.
Hurricane Katrina evacuees for example, had gigantic impacts upon the regions they invaded. While this is not a bad thing and was very necessary response during this crisis and many others like this, the context of this crisis was actually quite different then the context of collapse.
In collapse, refugees will be seen a vermin. There are many reasons for this. Their impacts upon health, sanitation, food supplies, fuel supplies and critical resources including hospitals, doctors, medicines and wildlife will be seen as highly negative during times of national critical shortages.
Dislocated populations because of food shortages, environmental collapse, war or rebellion, or economic collapse will dramatically affect other populations, none for the better.
Resentment and outright refusal to allow refugees to impact an already bad situation will be the expected result in many locations. Stopping them will not be that difficult.
Many bug out contenders believe that they can hit the woods and survive off the land. This might work for about six weeks until the wildlife population is decimated by a few thousand (or more) hungry mouths. Food preservation becomes a severe, critical problem with a multitude of scavengers in the woods, and much wildlife food will be lost for this reason.
Another larger issue is how these type of refugees will negatively impact the wild available food for the local residents. This will be seen as a highly negative invasion. I am personally aware of people who will simply kill refugees that are decimating the wildlife in their area. This will not be seen as a kumbaya “we must all share” event, but survival of who has enough to eat and who does not. Future food supplies will be secured by those who are prepared to make sure that it still exist.
This is in effect, no different then the rancher who protects his herd of cows (he’ll need help of course). Not only is his own lifestyle at stake, his own life is at risk and his future if he permits his cows to be devoured without protecting breeding elements (at the very least) of the herd.
Avid hunters already know the real conditions of our wildlife populations, as do biologist and wildlife researchers. It is already clear that they will not last long once our agricultural systems and just-in-time delivery stops working due to climate change or energy depletion.
Wildlife extermination is not anything new, so this should really not be news to anyone, it has been going on for many thousands of years. What is new however, is our ability, even on an individual level, to accelerate this collapse, or to do the exact opposite, protecting what is left. A single individual with a assault rifle can wreck havoc in just moments and anyone can buy or own one of these.
Refugees that have hit the woods and are trying to survive out there will run into local protection groups who will be just as well armed as they are and intimately familiar with the terrain and topography. “Food fights” take on a whole new meaning as hungry civilians compete against each other armed to the teeth.
I do not expect the refugees to survive this and there are several reasons why. They by necessity, will be less equipped in terms of supplies, food, aid, health and medicine. Their “supply line” is in fact, non-existent, which will not be the case for the locals, who will have both houses and food (perhaps), access (if even limited), to supplies, food, aid and better health in many cases.
The only unknown here is whether or not the local population will engage itself with this issue early on. Eventually, yes, they will have to. Those thinking ahead will do this early on as a means of self-preservation. There would be no point in hunkering down in their homes while the local wildlife populations are exterminated all around them, since these are critical food elements for themselves.
The better answer then becomes dealing with the refugee problem before it gets out of hand.
Roadblocks – Why You Will Need Them
Keeping away the hungry horde will be necessary if your community is going to survive. The concept of local resources only has meaning if they are not badly exploited or decimated. This includes literally everything, heating wood, fuel or energy sources, food sources, medicine, doctors, hospitals, etc., all of the things that the local community needs to survive.
An influx of refugees can quickly overwhelm these resources rather badly. Many border towns with Mexico have hospitals that have declared bankruptcy for this reason, hundreds of them. They were overwhelmed by the demands of immigrants needing services for which they were never paid for.
Refugees will in effect, have nothing to offer the local residents (really). In collapse, the survival of the community and the individual in that community becomes paramount. Local communities already have their populations who are already engaged at whatever level with their communities. Outsiders may not necessary be accepted if they cannot make meaningful contributions. Most will be seen as a drain on critical resources, people who “do not belong here” much like immigrants are seen today.
The easiest way to deal with refugees is to do it early on. It would also be easier to deal with them by not letting this situation happen in the first place, but that is assumed for the sake of this blog entry to not be possible.
Refugees will be traveling by foot, automobile or boat. The few plane loads that can be envisioned aren’t going to be mentioned here, because they can be dealt with the same way as the rest anyway.
Refugees on foot will be the least prepared, but the most desperate, due to their greater need. This means that they will be potentially very dangerous. With them will be only that which they have been able to carry, which really isn’t much and one of the big reasons I do not advocate becoming a refugee yourself.
Refugees on foot are much harder to control. Roadblocks will not work except for the bicycle-enabled, and only those that will refuse to abandon their bikes.
Refugees in vehicles will be the best armed and best equipped, but even they will be surprisingly short-lived (to them) and easiest to control. Most can be stopped by reinforced roadblocks. Some will then abandon their vehicles and possessions and become the walking wounded, thereby increasing their numbers.
I won’t go into how to deal with the walking wounded (on-foot refugee) in this article.
How To Create Roadblocks
Map out the entire area in your region on a detailed map. Circle all of the access points from several miles out. This can be done from your home or from your town’s center. A surprising number of entry points from the ground will be discovered, including back roads, jeep trails, even river or lake access. Airports and landable roadways for small planes should also be circled.
These circled areas are the places where vehicle traffic can enter (or leave). These are the areas that need to be reinforced.
Wide open areas, with road passing through open spaces are impossible to effectively control. Today’s modern vehicles and some highly modified custom vehicles, can simply drive around roadblocks in such areas. These are not worth bothering with.
From the circled points, identify chokepoints where the road or trail access narrows down. You are looking for places where obstacles can be erected or setup to prevent vehicle access from advancing any further. This should be several miles out from your central location, the farther the better. Those that abandon their vehicles will then have to attempt to walk the rest of the distance, carrying what little they can.
Road blocks can be setup using other vehicles (remove the wheels), boulders, heavy equipment, dirt or gravel berms or trees. Trees are relatively easy to drop across roads and a multitude of trees becomes truly impassable (but can be burned, given enough time). Roadblocks should be extremely difficult to remove, require concerted time and effort, making the safety of removing them under guard truly impossible.
Interspersing a tree-block for example, with dirt berms or boulder, abandon and disabled (unmovable) vehicles and such like (non-burnable) will last as long as you might want it to last. But even this doesn’t make it truly impassable and will still need to be defended.
Access roads leading around roadblocks should be identified on the map and dealt with in the same way. Heavy, non-movable objects can be rolled into position or trees dropped to prevent further vehicle access.
Guards teams armed with assault rifles, sniper rifles, night vision and radios (for reinforcements) would be strategically posted 24/7. Alternative but likely routes to be tried around the main roadblocks would also need to be guarded if there were enough people to help.
Warning signs to deter further access several miles back would be useful. A final warning point, not to be crossed, would be fair. Snipers at this point could be utilized to deter further access by the timid and to ensure that the community means business.
But the roadblocks would be tested by the determined, who would find themselves in a cross-fire situation from hidden assault, unable to advance or retreat. Their survival or defeat would rest in the hands of the defenders. Any inherited assets could be given to the community.
For ethical considerations, I would advocate a means of communication with refugees before lethal force is utilized. This could be done by large signs, radio, buried telephone lines, loudspeakers or what have you. Not everyone is a threat and not everyone should be repelled.
Roadblocks can be defeated by force alone, which means their removal by equipment or labor, explosives (including by air), by burning (if possible) and ultimately, be deterioration. Determine the effectiveness and life-expectancy of each road block and the best construction method with these things in mind.
If you haunt any of the boards and forums on the Internet dealing with this subject, you will quickly learn that there is a sizable contingent of prepared individuals and even teams, that are preparing to do anything to survive. Most of these plans revealed deal with vehicular access and survival. Their expectation is to be able to bug out, and take what they want as they journey from point to point.
By making them the walking wounded (those that survive their initial assaults against your town), they will be limited to foot survival and only what they can carry and kill to eat. This will weed out most of them quickly. The rest will simply go assault some other town or area. Just hope you don’t live there.
Those “dismounted” and survived, will survive themselves by becoming predators, eating whatever they might find, including you. Cannibalism is not uncommon even today, and can be expected to resurface again.
Patrols will be necessary to weed these predators out from your area. This will be highly dangerous as the advantage does not always stay in your court. This is why it is essential that repelling refugees be done as far away from your area as is practical. This will limit the roving predators and also help limit their numbers from joining forces easily.
But it won’t stop them. Any area as heavily defended as described will be deemed a desirable target and therefore, it will be probed for access and weak points and resources (medicine, food, fuel, weapons, etc.). Many such points will undoubtedly exist, this is why guerrilla warfare is impossible to stop to this day. The best you can do is to make it exceedingly difficult and dangerous, which will deter all but the most determined.
The biggest problems with roadblocks that I can foresee are these:
a) poor timing; by the time a roadblock is determined to be needed, it will be too late already, refugees will have already overwhelmed your region.
b) insufficient help.
c) resistance from “authorities”; goes without saying that most people will resist the notion of “defending their town” until it’s much too late and the body count is self-evident of the need.
d) lack of proper equipment or materials; self-explanatory.
e) lack of suitable terrain or topography; flat ground is impossible to defend against vehicles.
Finally, to complicate things even further, roadblocks would still need to provide controlled access. A single entry-point allowing controlled access is easier control then 17, or 30 different ways to enter your town or area. The need for a entry point should be obvious, people you do want to allow entry and exit, the exchange of goods, labor and supplies and such like.
The decision to even have road blocks is not mine to make and nothing in this blog entry implies this. But dealing with the refugee problem, what we have all come to call the “zombie mutant hordes” is quite real when our civilization collapses.
Staying put is safer for everyone. Working out your survival issues right at home makes the most sense of all, if possible. But in collapse, every town is at risk, and not just from refugees. The relocalization efforts to make towns self-sufficient is a great place to get involved and will go further then anything else at this time to protecting your town.
Just remember though, that self-sufficient towns will also become magnets for all kinds of people, including undesirable people. It’s one of my pet-peeves about eco-villages, they’re not preparing adequately for their defense.
Crisis brings out the worst in many people. It would be nice to assume that we’ll all cooperate to get along and survive, but counting on this is probably a terrible mistake. History shows us that crisis stresses human relationships and our treatment of each other far beyond the breaking points.