I've advised in the past that individuals and families should prepare for civil disruption as a result of deteriorating economic conditions. I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool 'survivalist' - I don't believe it'll be possible for most of us to survive a complete collapse of society, no matter how well prepared we may be as individuals. For example, if you live anywhere within 2-3 days walking distance of a major urban center, you can bet your survival stash that people from that center will reach you soon after such a collapse, and demand to share (or simply steal) what you've stored. You may be able to deter a few; you may be able to deal with a small mob; but it's extremely unlikely you'll be able to cope with an armed group who are desperate and determined. It'll take a fairly large team of people, providing mutual support and backup, to come through such a disaster . . . and very few 'survivalists' have established such a team, or are likely to be able to do so.
Instead, I'm recommending basic precautions such as keeping on hand enough food and emergency supplies for at least a month. (I'll note in passing that the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] recommends building a survival kit to last for at least 72 hours; the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] recommends that you prepare your family for an emergency; the Federal government's disability services also recommend the preparation of an emergency plan and supplies; and almost all States have their own emergency preparedness and management services. What I'm suggesting is based on all those good authorities, and simply extends their recommendations a little further into the future.)
Over the next few weeks I'll write occasional articles about basic emergency preparedness, to help those of my readers who haven't given the subject much thought prior to now a few ideas to consider. I also highly recommend doing an Internet search for appropriate resources. There are many of them out there. Unfortunately, quite a few are hard-core 'survivalist'-type places, that make me feel more than a little uncomfortable. If they work for you, that's fine, but I regard many of them as completely unrealistic. Still, if it floats their boat . . .
To start with, here are two Web sites that I personally recommend for your information.
Notes From The Bunker: A blog by 'Commander Zero'. I haven't met him, but he's married to a lovely lady, a friend of Oleg Volk, through whom I met her some years ago. I've found 'Commander Zero' to be knowledgeable and intelligent. His advice can be relied upon.
Survivalblog: Another excellent resource, this one by James Wesley Rawles. He's very knowledgeable, and can lead you through the processes involved in preparing for hazardous times. He's more of a hard-core survivalist than I am, but he's a highly rational, intelligent one!
Both of these Web sites contain links to many other sites. There's enough reading material in their archives to keep you going for months! If you take the time to go through them in detail, you'll be very well informed about almost every aspect of emergency planning.
I'll post more practical, 'how-to' articles on this subject in the not too distant future. For more articles in this series, see the list in the sidebar or click here.