Weather, Comfort and the Ability to Defend Yourself

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Now that we’ve all had time to recover from winter storm Uri, I’d like to take a moment to go back and look at it. Living in South Texas, I had a front row seat to everything that was happening, as Texas seemed to get hit harder than anyone else. For four days, none of my kids had power or heat in their homes, and throughout the entire state you couldn’t get more than a trickle of water out of the faucet.

But even though I saw what happened and how it happened, that’s not what I want to talk about. Rather, I want to talk about the home defense ramifications of such an event. Generally speaking, we can count on criminals staying home and keeping warm in bad weather. But when power and water go out, that flips on its head. Not only do the criminals go out in search of what they need, many other people, who had never committed a crime in their life, step over the line into lawlessness.

This is merely a manifestation of the saying, “Desperate people do desperate things.” In our modern society, there’s not much that can make people become desperate faster than shutting off the power and the water. The average person doesn’t have any idea of what to do when that happens.

I’ve received reports from people I know, telling about how others came and stole supplies from them during the freeze. Mostly that was firewood, but there were also people trying to get food and water, when the stores were closed and they didn’t have enough. One person, who thought his food stockpile was safe in his detached garage, woke up in the morning to find that his garage had been broken into and several cases of food stolen.

I’m all for helping people in need, but I prefer to choose what form that help is going to take. I absolutely don’t want people stealing supplies that I need. Yet the message is clear; if I don’t have those supplies properly secured, someone is going to be trying to get them.

This not only happened with homes, but stores as well. When the power went out and the cash registers weren’t working, some people took it upon themselves to just leave with their baskets of food. They didn’t even bother trying to pay; they just went out and loaded it into the trunks of their cars.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt that way. From what I’ve heard, the store managers universally allowed them to do that, in some cases actually telling the people that they could. But I would hate to see what would have happened if someone tried to stop them.

There were also some near violent altercations when people went to neighbors, insisting that they provide needed supplies. I don’t know if these were cases where those seeking help actually knew that the people they were seeking it from were preppers or whether they just thought for some reason that they would have what was needed.

Keep in mind that no matter how good your OPSEC is, there are always going to be people who have figured out what you’re doing. Whether that is stockpiling food or carrying concealed, some people will figure it out. Nosy neighbors are much more common that most people realize and they don’t all make their nosiness obvious. Some can be quite discreet with their spying.

The other thing that happened were people breaking into buildings to keep warm. By and large, this happened with commercial buildings, but there were a few homes as well. None of these home invasions turned violent, as far as I know, but they very easily could have.

While all this was going on, I noticed something else that was concerning. That is, most of the rest of us were hunkered down, looking in, rather than looking out. People I know, who were normally very good at maintaining their situational awareness, were so focused on the need to deal with the cold, lack of water and lack of power, that they weren’t keeping their eyes on what was going on around them. Had someone come to try and steal what they had, they weren’t ready to defend themselves.

Folks, this is what it’s all about. We don’t get to choose when a criminal attacks, so we need to be ready at all times. The way things work, that one time when we lose our situational awareness and don’t pay attention to what’s going on around us, is usually the one time we should be on high alert.

This is especially true during a time of crisis. If there is ever a time when we are at risk of being attacked, it’s when things are going to hell in a hand basket. Maybe the regular criminals will be taking a break then, but we can’t count on it. Besides, even if they are, there will be plenty of others who could see you as the answer to their problem. And not all of those people are going to be all that picky about how they get what they need.

I have no desire to shoot some poor, starving person, whose trying to find a meal. But I have no desire to be shot by them either. The only way that I can make sure that neither of those happen is to be ready. That way, when and if they come barging through my door, I can take control of the situation before it goes out of control.

Isn’t that better really? If our goal is to protect ourselves and our families, isn’t it better to be able to do so, without having to fire a shot? Seventy percent of the cases where someone with a concealed carry license is forced to draw their gun in self-defense ends without them having to fire a shot. Just showing the criminal that they are armed and ready is usually enough. Personally, I prefer it that way.

So don’t be one who lets the weather or some other disaster throw them for a loop. Rather, make sure that you keep your head on a swivel. That’s a good fit with keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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