Oh boy….where to start….
First, this is my opinion, not any sort of mandate. If I say “you should”, it’s a suggestion, not a condemnation of contrasting viewpoints. I agree with Selco’s viewpoint: I’ll read your opinion, even if I think it sucks, and I might even carry on a civil debate to highlight my reasoning or to share my experience, but at the end of the day, I honestly have no expectations that I am going to sway anyone to my way of thinking if they already have a determination that their way is “better”. Hell, it might be better. My objective here isn’t to change your mind; it’s to share my knowledge and experience in the hopes that someone who might still be on the fence on a topic can learn something, or at least determine a direction to explore, even if it’s ultimately rejected. If you’re offended by an opposing or tangential viewpoint, that doesn’t make me a troll. I think that’s enough on that. I should copy this and make this my “intro” post.
I support the idea that the decision to bug-in/bug-out is entirely dependent on the situation. Almost everyone on here “knows” the impending disaster looming just over the horizon: EMP/solar flare/grid collapse; economic collapse; totalitarian state take-over; invasion; climate change; race wars; civil war; WWIII; pandemic disease…ad infinitum. Every scenario will merit a response which, while perhaps similar to another scenario, is ultimately unique to that situation. The term “situation” includes a slew of data points: location, event, populace response, state response, etc. To say “I will bug-out at the earliest signs of trouble” or “I will defend my home from the zombie horde” is to limit your ingenuity and intuition. In Selco’s experience, rural dwellers had it easier, but in Ferfal’s experience, urbanites had more security to some degree. Neither is wrong, and neither is right. They are two experiences to learn from and knowledge to add to your skillset.
I highly suggest anyone mulling the matter over get to know, as much as possible, GARDEN PLOT, the CAPSTONE exercises, and REX84. Read the National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order.
In the event of major or total collapse, the government would most likely:
1. Secure major metropolitan areas, particularly ones with manufacturing capabilities, especially cities where military equipment manufacturing occurs. Travel into and out of the secured cities will likely be restricted or heavily controlled. Urban areas with lawlessness or civil disturbances would be sectorized, with hot sectors isolated. Non-hostiles in the hot sectors will be pretty much on their own until some agency can clear it, which can take a very long time, depending on the nature of hostile elements.
2. Food production areas will fall under control of the USDA. They won’t come and seize your farm, at least not physically; they don’t have the manning, training, or gumption to make it productive. What they will seize will be the product of your farm, and I would expect some sort of quota. Other than the product, they aren’t going to care much what happens. Larger farms will have priority in the event of need for assistance, whether that’s security or resources. The higher the farms capability, the higher on the priority list. (Executive Order 10998)
3. Expect conscription of able-bodied males, whether that’s into the military or into labor pools. Don’t scoff; check out Executive Order 11000 and 11001.
4. Housing will fall under the Housing and Home Finance Administrator (i.e. government-sponsored squatters). (Executive Order 11004)
5. Everyone will be required to register with, as odd as it seems at first, the Post Office. (Executive Order 11002)
If you’re literally heading for the hills (or desert, or woods, whatever), you’ll likely avoid all this government control, but you’re also in no-man’s land, the true WROL scenario. At least until things in the cities are stabilized. Again, this can take months or years, depending on the scope.
It’ll suck being under the government thumb. A la Katrina, I expect weapons confiscations, rationing, and a very serious lack of actual policing. It’ll also suck being out in the wilds. It really comes down to what you’re comfortable with.