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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Urban Command and Control Center for SHTF

I received an e-mail from anonymous concerning set up and operation of a Command and control center during a collapse: “I’m living in a condo in basically downtown (city name removed) and am prepared well for SHTF. Guns, water and food are my main preps. Read all your posts now wondering what your thoughts are on setting up a command center for SHTF.”

UrbanMan replies: I removed the city you mentioned in your e-mail. My first advice would be to get out of that city. I know that one of the first rules of life is to have an income, but even a substantially lower income than what you have now, is better than staying where you are. The city and the state are bankrupt and there are plans for razing much of the city because of cost of maintaining all those local government and state owned buildings. You may be living in a urban wasteland in the near future.

Second of all, what do you have to command and/or control?

Command and control (C2) centers also called a Tactical Operations Center or TOC are necessary to Command (receive communications and give direction) and Control (deconflict primarily) by receiving information about current friendly operations (such as routes, locations and actions) and the threat (locations, strength and actions). Really un-necessary if you are a lone survivor. As a lone survivor type or even with a very small group you may just want a situation map posted so you can keep track of intel/info you gather through observation or actual one man patrols.

I read a story in a post-apocalypse city where survivors would mark buildings with chalk to represent if they searched it already and used coded marks to annotate if this building has a safe site and which floor it was located. A Situation Map would do largely the same thing, a way to annotate things and events so you could start analyzing trends and such, which would help your situational awareness and planning.

If you have a larger survival group, and especially if you have a large enough survival group to conduct multiple operations such as security patrols, procurement/foraging patrols, observation/listening post duties, etc., then a Command Post or TOC makes sense in order to have a single point of receptions of communications be it from radios, cell phones or even just from a returning debrief.

For instance, I have eight families currently, not counting the inevitably straphangers who will come, in my planned survival group. I have a large flat roof home. The primary Listening/Observation Post (LP/OP) that will be on top when SHTF will have FRS radio, TA-1 landline communications and a pull cord to a mechanical bell as a way to alert the survival member who is manning our TOC. Our TOC’s mission is to monitor the Weather band radio, monitor the scanner, monitor FRS and VHF radios for all of other team members an deployed patrols, and, serve as an alert for all members on crew rest (that means asleep since we will be running 24 hour operations).

As a deployed patrol radios into our TOC using brevity codes, the TOC will annotate that report and position on a map overlayed with thick plastic using a grease pencil or erasable marker. For any observations such as newly vacated houses, newly occupied houses, signs of activity, sighting of criminal or gang activity thing or any other information of importance, the patrol will re-enter the Base Camp (our Bug In location) and update the Situation Map (SITMAP).

The good thing about this process is that it is exportable in case we Bug Out to a different location. All male members of my survival group are comfortable and knowledgeable about this process and can rapidly terrain others that we absorb into the group.

If this doesn't answer your question, please get back with me. Prepare well.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Income for Survival Prepping

Received an e-mail from Jeffrey and Christina (I changed the women’s name to give a little OPSEC to the writers) who wrote: ”We absolutely are on board with this website and others as well. Don’t want to really put this out on a forum with some of the people are radical. But just how do you get prepared for all of the possibilities without money? My wife is a stay at home mom with our 3 years old and I bring home $830 every two weeks. After our rent, car payment, insurance, light bill and buying food we barely make it, let alone have money to spend on items for survival. I know our duplex isn’t a safe place to be with marauders in the streets shooting people and stealing things. We live in the suburbs and don’t have any place to go. I can’t help but think there are many people who are like us and maybe they have just quit trying to prepare and maybe I would too but for my 3 years son. Any advice would be well received. Thanks for all the free information you have for us. “

UrbanMan Replies: Jeffrey and Christina, I am not trying to lecture you about financial matters, but there are ways to be frugal so that you have more disposable income, whether than is just $5 a week or more. One of the things I did is to shop around and get the cheapest house phone; re-negotiated my cell phone plan; instituted a soup and sandwich dinner four nights a week; changed my vehicles insurance to carry more risk in lieu of a cheaper premium; and have been buying cheaper generic brands, usually at Costco, Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store as we can. That has actually freed up over $200 a month for me.

Just because your wife is home with the baby does not mean earning an income, especially with a home based business, is out of the question. You just have to get into the right business. Have her take a personal inventory and see what her skills, knowledge and aptitude is, in the categories of Products, Services of Information. There are many no to low costs startup type businesses available, but look carefully. Some people hire writers on-line to research and write papers. This is another method of earning extra cash.

I know of one gent who went to yard and garage sales, bought old crap, then sold it on e-bay for a large profit – gotta know what your doing though.

Think multiple streams of income. A little bit coming in from a lot of different sources generally makes good sense.

A final word: Don’t really know what you meant about ” Don’t want to really put this out on a forum with some of the people are radical.” There are preppers from many different schools of thought, prejudices’, bias’, etc. The survival forums are good about cleaning up the real kooks, but it is much better have kooks and various opinions, even if they are “radical”, then not to be allowed to have different, albeit, kooky and radical thought. This may be a good example of survival team building and the necessity of attracting people and building a solid team of people who think similar to you. 

Think outside the box.  I'm pretty sure you can free up and earn extra money to subsidize your preps - after all your survival may depend on it.  Good luck. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Militas on Trail - Survivalists Next?

UrbanMan say’s:
One of the perceptions some in mainstream America have on the Prepper or Survivalist Movement is one of radical, right wing, racist extremists. In some cases you can add the word “Militia” to that. These descriptions fuel images of the Aryan Brotherhood in Northern Idaho; of the Branch Davidians at Waco; the “Posse Comitatus” movement in the Midwest: and a host of others.

In today’s post 9-11 world the McCarthyism type search for home grown terrorists often brings the Prepper/Survivalist movement into the cross hairs of the Federal Government and their multiple Intelligence entities. This targeting effort is enhanced when the ideology of the Government is decidedly liberal, where words and concepts like “individualism”, “individual responsibility”, “preparedness”, “conservatism” and even “Christianity” are terms for scorn and ridicule.

Aside for Operational Security concerns, the fear of being lumped into that radical category is what keeps many of us from exposing our beliefs in being prepared for, (pick one) economic collapse, societal collapse, SHTF, or Armageddon, to family members or friends.

I think one way to protect ourselves from being lumped into that radical category and worse, become a target of the Federal Government, is to be able to separate our political beliefs from our Survivalists actions. Hard to do you say? I don’t think so. After all, our survivalist preparations are a safe guard,…an insurance plan for a contingency that may never happen. All of our preparations to survive the chaos of a total economic or infrastructure collapse are intended for when our political efforts, to keep this nation from arriving at chaos, have failed.

The straightforward act of ensuring you and your family, or your survival group (call it a militia if you want) are prepared for the effects of any collapse should not be a means of creating that collapse. Let me say that again,…our preparations for the collapse are not the means to effect or cause the collapse. We have to ensure that it remains so.

Another thing we must do is to keep the upcoming trial of Hutaree Militia in focus, to keep from being lumped into this category or to otherwise keep from being a target of any over zealous government agency. It remains to be seen what the actual ground truth here is. Whether the Hutaree Militia are just a hapless Survivalist group who ran their mouths like school yard taunts,……or if they are actually anti-government, violence prone idiots who deserve to be jailed...or maybe some where in between.  I don’t know if one could ever be sure of the truth, but it is for certain that this trial will effect the way people and the government look at organized Survivalist groups.

Militia on Trial: ‘Good Ol’ Boys’ and Preppers, or Anti-Gov’t Domestic Terrorists? This was the headline a few days ago while the article below can be found on

DETROIT (AP) — Seven members of a Midwest militia accused of plotting to overthrow the government are set to stand trial, where jurors will decide whether federal authorities prevented an attack by homegrown extremists or simply made too much of the boasts by weekend warriors who had pledged to “take our nation back.”

Opening statements are set for Monday once a jury is seated in the trial of members of the Hutaree militia, who are charged with conspiring to commit sedition, or rebellion, as well as weapon crimes.

Following the March 2010 arrests in southern Michigan , Ohio and Indiana , U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said the time had come for authorities to “take them down.” An undercover agent had recorded the group’s leader, David Stone, saying the militia needed to “start huntin’” police soon.

But since their capture, only one of nine people charged has struck a plea deal, an unusually low number in a case with so many defendants. Their attorneys have maintained a consistent stance: The anti-government talk was simply colorful yet aimless bluster akin to frustrated pals drowning sorrows around a campfire.

“I’m going to fight it tooth and nail,” David Stone’s wife and co-defendant, Tina Mae Stone, said during a break in jury selection last week. “It was just a bunch of good ol’ boys out to have fun. We did survival stuff. I did it mostly to spend time with my husband. People tell me, `good luck.‘ I don’t need luck. I’ve got God on my side.”

The militia prepared for survival in case of domestic chaos or an attack on the United States , attorneys Todd Shanker and Richard Helfrick said in a court filing. They noted the group even had a website and promoted its weekend outings.

“Regardless of the charges in the indictment, there is no dispute that the aims of the Hutaree militia included the free exercise of their 1st and 2nd Amendment rights, including freedom of speech, association, assembly and the right to bear arms,” said the lawyers, who represent David Stone Jr.

The indictment, however, describes a more sinister band. The government says the Hutaree, based in Michigan ’s Lenawee County , was an anti-government group committed to fighting authorities who belong to a so-called “New World Order.” The defendants are accused of conspiring to someday ambush and kill a police officer, then attack the funeral procession with explosives and trigger a broader revolt against the U.S. government.

“The court will hear testimony and examine evidence concerning this particular group’s hatred for, and desire to do physical harm to, law enforcement,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline said.

The government has more than 100 hours of audio and video, including the recording of David Stone, 47, apparently talking about police.

“I think we gotta just start huntin’ `em here pretty soon. … They’re easy to find, they‘re sittin’ alongside the road and they got these red and blue lights on top of their car,” he said.

A co-defendant, Michael Meeks of Manchester , Mich. , replied: “It’s like a Kmart super special or whatever.”

But some conversations were sprinkled with laughter and a mix of subjects, including strippers and drawing Hitler mustaches on photos of state troopers. Agents seized machine guns, unregistered rifles, ammunition and parts for improvised explosive devices.

The government’s case got off to a rough start in 2010, when U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts released the nine until trial under strict conditions. The government swiftly appealed but then agreed that four could go home wearing electronic monitors. An appeals court ultimately ordered the other five to remain locked up, including David Stone.

The government relied on an undercover agent inside the group and an informant. But the informant comes with warts: He pleaded guilty in state court to firing a gun during a dispute with his wife and also attempted suicide. Another witness who was married to a Hutaree member not charged in the case attempted suicide and told a grand jury she’s prone to panic attacks.

“How often do American citizens get charged with sedition or inciting discontent and resistance against big government? Heck, most citizens are discontented with the government,” said Lloyd Meyer, a Chicago lawyer and former terrorism prosecutor. “In this case, no one pulled a trigger and no one got hurt. … A jury could believe that the feds went after this group with a meat cleaver instead of a scalpel.”

But Alan Gershel, a former prosecutor who teaches at Cooley Law School in suburban Detroit , said the allegations in the indictment seem more than goofy talk.

“There was planning. There was acquisition of firearms. There was training,” he said. “Do you have to wait until the first shot is fired? You have to choose the moment of time when things go beyond chatter. That’s what the government is aiming at here.”

Joshua Clough of Blissfield , Mich. , is the only defendant to make a deal with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty in December to illegal use of a firearm, faces a mandatory five-year prison sentence and could be called as a witness to testify against the Hutaree.

Besides the Stones and Meeks, the other defendants are Joshua Stone of Lenawee County ; Thomas Piatek of Whiting, Ind. ; and Kristopher Sickles of Sandusky , Ohio . Jacob Ward of Huron, Ohio , will have a separate trial. Besides conspiracy charges, all face at least one firearm charge and some have more.

Comments It is also for certain that this event has generated pretty definitive opinions. Here are some of those on-line comments:

SGT Rock, February 13, 2012
This is how those in power paint people who rise against them, they label them nuts, homegrown terrorists, gun crazies and such. This prevents the average citizen from having a common bond with these types of ‘extremists.” I hope they are not guilty of the charges against them. When this President took over and his administration said that all veterans are to be watched because of the possibility of them uprising and we vets became public enemy number one my internal alarms were going off. Yes some ex-vets go bonkers but no more so than some wack job civilian. Those in power will do whatever it takes to stay in power. So since I am a veteran and may be put against the wall with folks like these or Glenn I decided to become a vocal non-supporter of this regime. This is just the beginning folks of what is to come. If Obummer gets another 4 years there will be no stopping the madness as he fundamentally changes our great country into some banana democracy. We all need to watch the watchers to keep them as honest as possible.

Byehlik, February 13, 2012
I’m sure the courts will be full of patriots as the treasonous government tries to put the label on the patriot. Wow, buying weapons, practicing with said weapon, constitutes planning and training a revolution against big tyrannical government when you voice your concerns. Wow, that puts alot of folks in that camp. If these guys were targeting police, they should answer for it however, it’s not the police that are the problem, it’s Washington DC .

Viet Vet, February 13, 2012
Are the so-called machine guns….actually machine guns??? As we’ve seen time and time again over the years, guns claimed to be machine guns by the left are really only semi-autos. Is the communist, Van Jones, really a hero to the left??? I would imagine so. Are these people, the subject of this piece, political prisoners??? Of course they are.

TexasHunter, February 13, 2012
And so it begins. Correction they have been watching us from 09. Keeping an eye on us from day 12. There is only ONE man that will take us back to our constitution. We however can’t look past the theory of letting Israel take care of itself. God says he will ALWAYS take care of his land. How about we take care of OURS for a second!! Then after we get back to our ROOTS then go and help our neighbors from a bay. Otherwise this is what is going to happen ON A DAILY OCCURRENCE. AMERICANS being targeted as TERRORIST!! GTFO OWEBAMA. This is why we are getting ready. 2012 We are the REPUBLIC. I hope the ARMY MARINES NAVY AIR FORCE wake up and realize it is time for our military to take OUR Country BACK!! WE USA CITIZENS are being classified as TERRORIST now!! WTF!!!

UrbanMan’s final comments: While I do not discount the possibility of the Government doing everything from lying, to fabricating evidence, to having a not so hidden anti-gun, anti-religion agenda. I cannot abide by anybody targeting law enforcement to make a political point, if this is true, let alone the asinine comment about hoping for a military coup.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

LA Police Gear for Survival Kit

Just want to make readers aware of another source of survival and tactical gear to add to their research lists when considering spending those hard won dollars towards survival preparation for the collapse.

LA Police Gear offers a wide range of kit ranging from medical items to holsters to gear bags to flashlights and many other items at reasonable prices.

Some of the companies that are distributed through LA Police Gear include: 5.11 tactical series; Adventure Medical Kits; Quik Clot Trauma Paks; Surefire Flashlights; Hazard 4; Blackhawk Tactical; Hatch; Maxpedition; Galco Holsters; Streamlight Flashlights; Camel Bak; Converse; Under Armour; Magnum; Wise; and about another 150+ manufacturers.

LA Police Gear also hosts a blog, LA Police Gear Blog, that highlights different pieces of kit. Probably a good idea to bookmark this link to their blog and peruse it from time to time to see if you can pickup tips on good survival gear, as well as compare prices to other vendors.

Friday, February 17, 2012

M1 Garand Suitable as a Primary Survival Weapon?

Received the following on e-mail from William who wrote ”UrbanMan, appreciate all the info man, and having a hard time deciding what gun to base my SHTF needs on. Don’t have a lot of money but don’t want to depend on my 7mm Mag in a firefight. What do you think about the M1? Good enough? I think I can talk my brother into buying one too then we can have the same ammunition. He now has a 30-06.”

UrbanMan replies: William, the short answer is "yes", but I am assuming that you are not basing all your SHTF preparations just on guns. While it is necessary to own firearms, several in fact, for security and protection as well as sufficient stock of ammunition, it is also necessary for the well prepared survivor should be looking at all categories of survival: food, shelter, water. Procuring the necessary gear and equipment as well to allow one to survive a collapse with the infrastructure grocery stores, no electricity, no running city water, etc.

But back to the M1. Assume you mean the venerable M1 Garand in .30-06 caliber. Great gun! Accurate and reliable. These two traits go along way in making up the lack of extended firepower – that’s capability to load fast and carry a lot of ammunition. Now there will be some readers who’ll write that they can re-load an M-1 Garand as fast as I can an M-4. Not true, but even if it was, reloading after every 8th round is certainly not as convenient as using 30 round magazines! Before I lose the M1 lovers, one could certainly do 1,000 times worse than the Grand.

If your brother already has a .30-06 rifle, and I am assuming some type of bolt action or pump, either with a five round magazine capacity, then the procurement of M1 Garand’s to base your primary survival weapon on make even go over easier on him. Just make sure you get a bunch of 8 round clips.

You do state that you don’t have much money. Did you know that you’ll pay over $600 minimally for a beat up M-1? The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) offers M1 Garands for sale to qualified buyers,…you must be a member of a CMP affiliated shooting club. This would cost a minimal fee for an annual membership if you have one close to you.

This is what the CMP say’s about their M1 Garands for sale,....

"In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised" - General George S. Patton, Jr.

John Garand's rifle was the single most significant small arms development in the history of modern warfare. No other rifle in this nation's history so outclassed that of its adversaries. The accuracy, reliability, ruggedness and most of all, its firepower, could not be matched by any of the Axis powers during WWII. It performed with distinction throughout WWII to Korea and to the early days in Vietnam . The popularity of the M1 Garand continues to grow as hundreds of new Garand "Fun" Matches are being held all over the USA each year.

In the past ten years, the M1 Garand, regardless of condition, has become a very hot collectors’ item and sound financial investment. The popularity of the M1 Garand continues to grow as hundreds of new Garand “Fun” Matches are being held all across the USA each year.

Over the past 65 years, most M1 rifles have been arsenal rebuilt, refinished, rebarreled or repaired at least once and often several times. Most will show signs of service (often considerable) and replacement of various parts. They are seldom encountered with all original parts and original finish as delivered from the manufacturer. Such "original" rifles, even in well-used condition, are highly prized by collectors.

Each M1 Garand rifle sold by CMP is an authentic U.S. Government rifle that has been inspected, headspaced, repaired if necessary and test fired for function. Each rifle is shipped with safety manual, one eight-round clip and chamber safety flag. Orders are filled on a first-come first serve basis. Rifles of all grades are packed for shipment purely by "luck of the draw". Prices are subject to change. If price has changed after an order has been received, customers will be notified before new prices are charged. Shipping and Handling is $24.95 per rifle.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Greece on the Verge of Economic Collapse

One of the reasons many people are predicting a economic collapse that will plunge is that there is basically no formula or path that can bring the U.S. back to a stable economic footing - that's the argument anyway and the reason is that if the Government continue spending and borrowing the way they have,.....over $5 trillion in debt added in the past three years,..... then eventually inflation and probably hyper inflation will occur. The inflation I'm talking about here is where the value of the dollar declines significantly, reducing the purchasing power of American families.

The alternative to spending and borrowing of course is to cut the spending and therefore the need to borrow,....still leaves us with a bunch of debt to pay off,...but the austerity measures necessary to get a rein over the spiraling debt would cause the economy to contract; less money for investments and a decrease in products being manufactured - a general lowering of the GDP and again, economic chaos. This time inflation will be where the goods and commodities are priced too high due to unavailability, or simply because they can go to the highest bidder.

We are seeing in Greece much of what is predicted to occur here in the United States. Greek workers going on strike against austerity measures. Ships sitting at docks not being unloaded; public transport sitting idle. Greece is fairly close to anarchy and the Greece government still needs to bring about additional austerity programs, including cutting outrageous retirement plans, benefits and entitlements programs to even begin convincing the rest of Europe to help with a type of a financial bailout of that country.

The European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated that the Greek deal, which barely had enough support to pass, did not go far enough and time is running out to avoid a Greek default.

The EU and IMF are exasperated by a series of broken promises by Athens and weeks of disagreement over the terms of a 130 billion euro ($172 billion) bailout, with time running out to avoid a default.

Greeks, who have been suffering from years of recession, are very angry about the measures. Protestors routinely congregate and shout,...."No to layoffs! No to salary cuts! No to pension cuts! Do not bow your heads! Resist!"

In addition to the striking dock workers and transportation workers, Hospital doctors, Bank employees and Teachers are all reportedly soon to join the anti-austerity measure protests.

Officials hammered home the message that Greece's future in the euro was at stake.
"The consequences of disorderly default would be incalculable for the country - not just for the economy ... it will lead us onto an unknown, dangerous path," Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis said. In an interview with the newspaper Imerisia, he described the catastrophe he believes Greece would suffer if it failed to meet debt repayments of 14.5 billion euros due on March 20. "Let's just ask ourselves what it would mean for the country to lose its banking system, to be cut off from imports of raw materials, pharmaceuticals, fuel, basic foodstuffs and technology," he said.

I am probably way too dumb to figure out all the nuances with the coming economic collapse in Greece and subsequent threats to other EU nations like Italy, Spain and Portugal but whatever happens there would serve as a baseline model for what could transpire here in the U.S.

I wrote the above several days before I posted it.  What has transpired in the last few days is substantial rioting in Greece over austerity measures and inflation of the currency.  Images of police in riot control gear, contact fire bombs hitting the streets and violence targeted against the police and the government are all over the television and internet.  There are reports of people selling their gold jewelry in order to buy food.... .....however food is getting harder to find.  Soup kitchens are springing up in the more populated areas. 

Stay tuned for a worsening situation.  If you think this cannot happen here in the U.S. then you are sadly mistaken.  Last night on television and yesterday on the radio, Glenn Beck was predicting the same situation in the U.S. by the end of Summer.  Get prepared, Stay Prepared

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wealth From the Ground has mentioned several times about it being a good idea to become a recipient of the Martenson Newsletters as Chris Martenson publishes newsletters and links to information of value to Survivalists and indicators of the coming collapse.

In one of his latest newsletters, Martenson post’s an article written by James Dines, titled “Owning 'Wealth In The Ground' Is Your Best Bet to Surviving the Coming 'Supernova of Inflations”. Although I have never heard of James Dines, apparently his record of making good calls is pretty strong.

Go here to read the whole article.

Dines made some pretty good comments, among them he sees the excessive credit in the financial system as having placed the global economy on a collision-course with hyperinflation. And of course we know that is true. 15+ Trillion dollar debt by the U.S. Government and really now way to fix it. Too much of an austerity program will induce a collapse as well continued spending. We have fenced ourselves in. And before some of hurl electronic bullets at me, the “we” I’m talking about is America and our elected politicians.....not “we” as Survivalists.

The rapidly increasing demand, increasing prices and shrinking supply of oil may be the catalyst. Dines predicts that at some point, when the military grasps the declining supply, they will seize the remaining supplies and you will not be able to drive your car until the last drop.

Dines states that the price of gold and silver did not go up. It is the fiat currency value that went down. Gold and silver are the ultimate money, coins of which are good anywhere in the world, no matter what is stamped on them, and that is the money. Gold (and Silver) are the only investible asset in the world that has gone up the last 11 years without interruption, and that is because they are just running the printing presses. The more they do, the more value builds into gold and silver. If a Survivalist does not have any precious metals then they run the risk of having a hole, large or small, in the plan.....plain and simple.

The point of the Wealth in the Ground article is about the only assets that would survive an economic collapse and the chaos that went with it is hard assets. Hard assets, in part being, being physical commodities, mining companies, gold and silver. When I first read the title and linked to it, I thought I would find someone advocating Wealth in the Ground” to mean,…a safe and secure survival site; a full time, year round water supply; ability to grow crops to sustain your survival family;......but Dines did not touch n that, but it is a logical extension of the wealth in the ground argument.

Anyway, a good article to read in it’s entirety and the Martenson newsletter at the very least motivates you to prep harder. He is one of many sources I tune to almost each and every day,…sometimes spending 2 or 3 minutes looking for something of interest,…and sometimes spending 20 minutes or more reading something where I’ll think,…”that’s a good point”.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Another Wilderness Survival Example

Another Family Stranded in the Wilderness, Found Alive were recent headlines as a
A side line news story came out last weekend about a family of three who were lost for six days in an Oregon forest, finally rescued by a search helicopter.

The family went mushroom hunting without food, water or warm clothing. Parents Belinda and Daniel Conne and their 25-year-old son, Michael, survived by drinking water from streams and taking shelter in a hollowed-out tree.

After six days of being lost a search helicopter spotted them in a clearing where the family managed to crawl to.

Local Law Enforcement, volunteers and the Coast Guard were all involved with the search which reported only covered a 4-square-mile area. The family was in the search area but their routine of moving often and the heavy, dense trees and brush made the search very difficult. The family of three could from time to time see helicopters above them but could not signal.

Authorities said that the family was in an area where water was plentiful by food scare. The family said they considered eating their dog at one point.

This is yet another example of someone entering the wilderness, or just going through life, without rudimentary survival skills and a lack of adequate planning which would has necessitated carrying some survival tools with them.

Whenever I go practically anyway on foot I am carrying a knife, some water, a fire making capability and generally dress much warmer than needed knowing that is easier to take off clothes then it is to get warm.

Most of us have Bug Out Bags and a lengthy list of equipment, but how many of us carry the most basic kit each and every day? Such as a very small rendition of the the Bug Out Bag like a small camera case with survival items?

While I always have a knife, some water, and fire making tools I also have a small camera case that I can put on my belt just in case that route I am walking takes some unexpected twists.

The small camera case includes these items:

o Waterproof matches, cotton balls and dyer lint, a mini butane lighter all wrapped in tin foil. The tin foil can be used to create a wind break to help start a fire using the cotton balls and dryer lint as well as can become an improvised cooking pot or drinking cup.
o A couple one quarter zip locks bags that can be used to collect water or used to store tinder such as tree pitch or edible plants.
o Six or eight small salt packets taken from a restaurant used to help flavor anything cooked or to replace electro-lytes lost.
o Two small envelopes of bullion powder - also to flavor food and replace lost electro-lytes.
o Small button compass.
o Small small flashlight. I actually have two. One that uses a single AAAA battery and a photon light that uses a camera battery (120 hour life). Useful for signaling at night or for illumination to work at night.
o Four 30 foot lengths of gutted parachute line. The white strands of nylon inside paracord are very small and can be used to build a shelter; make a fishing line; improvise a snare for small game; secure a sharp rock to a straight stick for an improvised spear.
o In my older and slightly larger survival kit, I used to carry a nylon sleeping bag cover sack which folds up small and could be used to create a flotation device; a pillow; a forage bag and since it was bright orange in color - a signaling device.

I have a similar kit on each and every vest I own, using several different types of pouches such as single pistol mag pouches or utility pouches. In decades past we used to use the old military first aid kit pouch to carry a small survival kit. Some guys actually used the larger individual first aid or a NBC decon kit, both came in plastic containers, to hold their individual survival kits. Lots of good ideas out there, fact way too many for anyone not to pickup on one and never enter the wilderness without some type of kit.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Request for Target Source

Ahmet sent us a request for a source of military targets: ”Hi, could you assist me finding information on the right suppliers of M4 Paper Target 10 Column, M240 and M249 Paper Targets, Half Body Paper Targets and Qualification Target? Thanks.”

UrbanMan replies: Ahmet, you may try Law Enforcement Targets, Inc., phone 1-888-489-7830, for some of these target needs.

Additionally, you can access a downloadable or printable pdf file of the M4 Zero target, here: 25 Meter M4 Zero Target

If any readers can assist Ahmet as well in finding what else he is looking for, please drop a line in the comment box.

One more thing Ahmet, The targets I use are just 8.5 x 11 inches white bond paper (standard printer paper) clipped, stapled, taped or glued to various scrap pieces of cardboard. If you place the white paper long axis up and down this represents the chest area on any human, obese or skinny for that matter. This is a huge cost savings if you shoot alot. And this becomes your standard for any weapon and any distances, sans zeroing and precision rifle use. I have also used 3x5 inch and 5x7 inch index cards, mostly for handgun use between distances of 3 to 15 yards. Another money saver. Scrap cardboard can be obtained practically anywhere.

cheers, be safe.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Iran and the Coming Fuel Crunch, Which May Be The Least of Our Concerns

Jairo wrote and said: "Hi again Urban-Man. I don't mean to over do it. However I found this pretty alarming. The things this will do to the price of fuel in this country would most likely push our economy over the side. The price of fuel goes up- so will the price of food, staples and everything else! My preps are far from ready. However this just motivates me to press on. Stay safe, stay prepared!"

Thanks Jairo, you are absolutely right, an economic collapse would result.

Jairo also provided a link to an article about Secretary of Defense Panetta stating that Israel could strike Iran by Spring.

In the article US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes there is a "strong possibility" that Israel will strike Iran's nuclear installations this spring, and that President Barack Obama and Panetta are "said to have cautioned the Israelis that the United States opposes an attack, believing that it would derail an increasingly successful international economic sanctions program and other non-military efforts to stop Iran from crossing the threshold," he said.

Israeli media reported in October last year that the option of pre-emptive air strikes on Iran was opposed by the country's intelligence services but favored by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak. Israeli television said Mossad chief Tamir Pardo raised the possibility of a unilateral strike on Iran during a visit last week to Washington.

Additionally, WND also published an article written by Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, “A Time to Betray.” This article, titled "Global Insecurity - Iran warns world of coming great event"

This article, only excerpts are included below, details how even among crippling economic sanctions over its nuclear weapons program, Iran is continuing to prepare itself for war against the West, and now is warning of a coming great event.

“In light of the realization of the divine promise by almighty God, the Zionists and the Great Satan (America) will soon be defeated,” Ayatollah Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, is warning. Khamenei, speaking to hundreds of youths from more than 70 countries attending a world conference on the Arab Spring just days ago, told a cheering crowd in Tehran that “Allah’s promises will be delivered and Islam will be victorious.” Khamenei then claimed that the current century as the century of Islam and promised that human history is on the verge of a great event and that soon the world will realize the power of Allah.

Many clerics in Iran have stated that Khamenei is the deputy of the last Islamic messiah on earth and that obedience to him is necessary for the final glorification of Islam. Khamenei has been heard to say that the coming of the last Islamic Messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam Mahdi, is near and that specific actions need to be taken to protect the Islamic regime for upcoming events.

Mahdi, according to Shiite belief, will reappear at the time of Armageddon. Selected forces within the Revolutionary Guards and Basij reportedly have been trained under a task force called “Soldiers of Imam Mahdi” and they will bear the responsibility of security and protecting the regime against uprisings. Many in the Guards and Basij have been told that the 12th Imam is on earth, facilitated the victory of Hezbollah over Israel in the 2006 war and soon will announce publicly his presence after the needed environment is created.

Iran is speeding up completion of the nuclear bomb program in which missiles can be armed with nuclear warheads. Iran believes once that’s achieved, Iran can test a nuclear bomb, letting the world know that Iran has joined the nuclear-armed club and that any confrontation will result in destruction of much of the Western world.

The Revolutionary Guards not only can hit all U.S. bases in the Middle East with their ballistic missiles but also reach most capital cities in Western Europe. The Guards, with the help of China and North Korea, are working on intercontinental ballistic missiles. But more dangerous to America, as reported last July, is the Guards action in arming their vessels with long-range ballistic missiles and their expansion of their mission into the Atlantic Ocean, right into the Gulf of Mexico.

And here's the scary part,.....any Iranian military or commercial vessel easily could get right outside the U.S. coastline and in less than 60 seconds fire a ballistic missile armed with a nuclear payload and detonate it over U.S. skies in an electromagnetic attack that would plunge America back into the 18th century. Studies show within just one year after such an attack, two-thirds of Americans would cease to exist and the rest would live under dire conditions.

Possible scenarios that impact on us here in the states:
1. The Israeli's strike Iran, over 40% of the world's oil supplies are disrupted, economic disaster hits our homeland.
2. The Iranians strike Israel and the resulting war, no matter how short, will disrupt oil supplies - read economic disaster here in the states.
3. Possibility of Iranian sponsored nuclear strike(s) in the states, with a resulting SHTF and economic-social and basically total collapse.

Watch the video below:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Is Terrorism a Cause for SHTF?

Since the startup of we have talked about the need for a detailed and substantial analysis of possible threats to you and your family's survival in order to help define the parameters of your collapse or SHTF plan. We have talked about the possibility of urban or suburban spillover demonstrations turning to riots; about possible threats from being in interest areas for the armed gangs that would certainly be created, or otherwise already exist and would increase their operational area and reach; about natural disasters and disasters from man-made catastrophes.

And now the federal government has produced a United States terrorism report detailing numbers and locations of terrorist attacks, from home grown and foreign borne or supported terrorist groups. The Blaze also posted an article entitled "Do You Live In A Terrorist Hot Spot According To This Map?", written by Liz Klimas.

Ms Klimas' source was: LaFree, Gary, and Bianca Bersani. “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States , 1970 to 2008,” Final Report to Human Factors/Behavioral Sciences Division, Science and Technology Directorate , U.S. Department of Homeland Security. College Park, MD. Contact Information: 3300 Symons Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, phone: (301) 405-, e-mail:, website:

Some of the key elements of this report:

The researchers, from the University of Maryland and University of Massachusetts-Boston, mapped all events considered terrorism since 1970 to 2008 in the United States (see map below). This established areas they deemed terrorism “hot spots” but also revealed that terrorism is actually “widely dispersed”.

The research found that a third of all terrorist attacks during that time-frame studied took place in five metropolitan cities — Manhattan , New York (343 attacks); Los Angeles County , Calif. (156 attacks); Miami-Dade County , Fla. (103 attacks); San Francisco County , Calif. (99 attacks); and Washington , D.C. (79 attacks).

While UrbanSurvivalSkills fully supports and even advocates the survivalist to be analyzing how likely and how catastrophic terrorist attacks would be on his/her survival and what events would be precipitated by a terrorist attack, really no conclusions can be drawn from this report as the researchers are using a definition of terrorism as: the threatened or actual use of illegal force, directed against civilian targets, by non-state actors, in order to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal, through fear, coercion or intimidation.

They are lumping criminal acts by idiots, such as that scum bag's hooting of Congresswomen Gifford in Tucson, in the same category as state sponsored, state supported acts from the "destruction of America" crowd.

There is little comparison with some attention seeking, video game playing, living in Mom's house loser that shoots some people in an insane act and with religious motivated terrorists putting Improvised Explosive Devices on the streets of New York City,....or spiking a communities water supply with poison,....or detonating a improvised or weapons grade Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) next to a U.S. Government facility.

Survivalists need to determine themselves likelihood of and effects from potential terrorist attacks that would affect them. An example, maybe a poor example, but an example none the less may be a WMD terrorist attack in Brownsville , Texas which drives possible contaminants and refugees up the highways towards Houston impact negatively on all residents along that route. The Survivalist planners along that route would need to consider possibility of wind driven contaminants; contamination of water supplies; security requirements of property and protection of lives from desperate refugees, not only from northbound traffic into Houston but from squatters and the criminal oriented but also from southbound return traffic as Houston struggles to cope with massive refugees. What degradation of infrastructure from the resulting WMD blasts or EMP would cause for them; Bug Out routes based on refugee flow, etc.

Terrorism precipitating SHTF. Not that likely. We face more threat from economic collapse than from terrorism as the current world board game maps out.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More SHTF Ambush Tips

I received the following from Paco: “The ambush post was great! Can you have more information on ambushes, maybe some advanced ambush techniques?”

UrbanMan replies: I will eventually write a post with additional ambush formations and maybe some case studies, but the thing to remember is the basics which set the foundation for all ambushes. So I offer this:

§ The ambush site should be suitable,.....having a covered and/or concealed approach/withdrawal route for your group; allow for the placement of observation/listening posts (LP/OP’s), for early warning, which also should provide defensible positions with good observation on the approaching threat; and the LP/OP’s need to be within communications distance from the main ambush element.

§ The Patrol leader or ambush team leader should conduct a leader’s reconnaissance of the ambush site to ensure it is suitable and select positions for the ambush team; the Patrol Leader/Ambush Team Leader should actually emplace each member of the ambush element to ensure they have covered/concealed positions and can cover the ambush “kill zone” effectively - think inter locking fields of fire.

§ There should be a designated fall back or rally position in case the ambush turns bad or the ambush element becomes separated. This rally position should be easy to pickout or recognize, even in the dark, and should be defensible in case the ambush goes bad and the team is pursued by the threat. It may not necessary be back on the route to the main survival site. Everyone in your patrol should have some land navigation skills.

§ The Patrol/Ambush Team Leader should have communications (probably radio) with the deployed LP/OP’s and should have a method to alert each ambush team member of the approaching threat – a pull cord can work well. This is a string connecting each ambush position and a simply mode of communication such as one pull meaning threat is approaching and two pulls meaning the member has received that message.

§ It is important that the kill zone and the placement of the ambush team will effectively cover the entire threat. You would be wise not to ambush only half the threat then have the other half maneuver against you. This is true if the ambush is a “harassing ambush” where the purpose may be the just drive the threat away or otherwise make them pick a easier route or target, or if the ambush is a “destruction ambush” where the intent is to completely destroy the threat.

§ If the threat is in vehicles, it may be effective to initial disable the front and last vehicle to fix the threat in the kill zone. Use of spike strips or other obstacles can help keep the threat vehicles from escaping the kill zone. Ensure the placement of obstacles, such as spike strips, T-posts or log buried with 18 inches or so exposed, or anything else, is concealed or otherwise the threat may recognize the ambush before it is initiated.

§ Ambushes are best initiated using a casualty producing device, other than small arms fire. The military uses high explosive direct fire weapons such as anti-tank missiles, anti-personnel/anti-vehicle mines or explosives, or, at least a machine gun. You may not be able to rig field expedient devices if you don’t have the expertise. It may pay off to have some reference material just in case. To be clear, I am not advocating violating any existing laws governing explosives, but in a SHTF scenario, there may not be any law enforcement and the laws or what people are willing to do to protect their groups from threats may become a little “relaxed”.

§ The Ambush should have planned signals, visual and audible, to “lift” or cease fire; maybe a signal to assault the killzone if that what your plan is or intent is; and a signal to withdrawal.  Keep in mind that in a SHTF - total collapse where medical response may be gone and medical treatment relays on what you can do - taking risks such as assaulting a threat may result in an additional risk of wounds or injuries to your people.  Be prepared to treat injuries and wounds, and, maybe have the ability to move non-ambulatory wounded back to your safe site.  

§ If assaulting the kill zone on a destruction ambush, there are a couple things to remember: use two or three person teams with defined duties such as search or cover; do not put you back to any threat body that is presumed dead – last thing you want is to walk pass a body only to shot in the back; have a limit of advance so you don’t have your kill zone assault element all strung out – this would be bad if the threat counter attacked.

The post collapse or SHTF Survival Group should think clearly before committing their limited resources to a definitive action like an ambush. It must be necessary to the survival of the group first and foremost; have clearly established goals; be conducted by responsible members who won't put other team members at risk; and rehearsed,...from a chart talk, to a sand table exercise to a full mission profile rehearsal.