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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Urban Survival Planning and Preparation – Considerations for Seniors

I have a friend who is in his mid 40’s. His father and mother are in their early 70’s and late 60’s respectively. They live a gated type suburban community of about 7o to 80 homes, with other people of retirement age.

The gentleman, we’ll call him Phil, believes there will be a collapse in his lifetime. He is mentally prepared and equipped with an M4 carbine and several handguns, a hunting rifle or two and a couple shotguns. In fact, I helped him select a scope (an EO Tech) for his carbine and we outfitted his gun with a picatinny rail and light. He is really focusing all his Urban Survival preparation efforts on firearms and is neglecting other vital areas such as food storage, Bug Out bags, a planned route to, and selection of a Safe Location. I have talked to him about packaging and storing his own survival food stocks in mylar bags and using oxygen absorbers to vacuum pack the supply.

Although dependent upon the County water supply, their home is located next to a year round pond that even has been stocked with Trout and Blue Gill. It is problematic that their gated community home is only one and a quarter miles from a state highway.

This couple owns a bumper pull 26 foot trailer, which is a God send as it gives them more viable opportunities to select Safe Locations. In fact, I have talked to them about re-locating the trailer ahead of time, to a Safe Location so the movement in their truck to the Safe Location would be much easier. Plus they could stock the trailer with additional supplies – sort of like an above ground cache.

Seniors, say people permanently retired from a linear income job, have several advantages when it comes to Urban Survival.


Experience, often have finished a second full career;

Don’t get exited easily;

Probably better at making decisions with an emotional detachment;

Better suited to live without all the bells and whistles of life (Television, Stereos, etc.)

Usually have extra resources, earned through a long working life, such as an RV or Camper and other equipment and material (tents, sleeping bags, firearms, etc.) that would enhance survival

Seniors also have several disadvantages:

They are older, very probably slower and maybe with a reduced personal health therefore less capable to endure physical punishment such as movements on foot over rough terrain; surviving bad weather out in the open, etc.

More likely to have a degenerative disease such as diabetes, heart condition, arthritis, osteoporosis, and/or other disease that would require medications. Medications, of course, have limited shelf life even if a Senior could overcome the problems with stocking a large enough supply of them.

I think Seniors would be much more likely to remain in their Urban location well past the point in time that a more reasonable (and younger) person would execute a Bug Out plan.

Probably the biggest advantage Senior’s have would be time. Time to plan and prepare ahead of the collapse. Time to shop and procure items that would augment and enhance their Urban Survival. Time to talk to other local seniors in order to gauge the extent of these other people accepting the possibility or probability of a collapse. Time to wargame possible solutions to reduce the disadvantages, especially in mobility, would increase their ability to rapidly withdrawal from their Urban location when necessary, and could be accomplished in a wide variety of means besides a car or truck. ATV’s, bicycles, boats and animals all can be used to create distance quickly from a threat.

I told Phil, maybe the first step is to start a Crime Watch type program in his community, bring in some key note speakers such as local police,…maybe even politicians (as distasteful as that sound) to attract local home owners. From the local Crime Watch group he would have an organization to build a survival group from. Starting small from a “check in with your neighbor” program; to a crime or threat notification system; or classes on personal protective measures; or firearms safety classes, or anything else that builds unity in the group. One last advantage is that Seniors are probably much more likely to get along, or shall we say “act like mature adults”, in larger diverse groups.

My final advice for Seniors is to minimize the disadvantages, use your advantages and, above all, prepare…..a collapse will likely happen in your lifetime.

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