Guest post by Jack Jobe who was featured in Doomsday Preppers, Season One.
Civilized Society” is a fragile egg and multiple cracks are seen nightly on the news.
While filming a Nat Geo TV show about prepping and solar flares, I was asked to Imagine The Worst Case scenario. Whether it’s an EMP caused by a solar flare or terrorist’s EMP (electromagnetic pulse) or any other catastrophic natural event, Imagine All Utilities are Down for many months and society collapses.
“Really?” you might ask.
In 1859, for four days, The Carrington Effect from a solar storm overloaded new telegraph wires. The pulses caused sparks by overloading wiring, and fires occurred in both the U.S. and Europe. Do you know any building or vehicles with wiring …. Or computer chips?
“How bad could this get?”
As the front wave of this future Coronal Mass Ejection strikes, our satellites will burn out. Only a few are currently ‘fully’ protected. Cell phone service dies, in the blink of an eye. ATMs no longer issue money. What you know, have on you, or is within reach is all you have to face the Aftermath.
At the moment the Nat Geo TV crew asked me that ‘Imagine’ question, we were on a freeway leaving downtown Denver in the freezing, dark headed for my home 11 miles away. (How far do you routinely travel at a distance from your home to work, school, friends or relatives? What survival ‘tools’ do you have on you as you are reading THIS?)
Now the EMP hits the Earth. All computer chips, not protected by a Faraday Cage, ALL burn out in an instant. Vehicle motors might or might not survive since they are a type of‘cage.
All lights go out. Streets and buildings are pitch black with just the moon and stars. Roads and freeways quickly gridlock. No phones, no radio, no TV – no walkie talkies (unless you keep yours in a Faraday Cage). All utilities are controlled by computer chips – including the electrical grids. At this point no one knows what’s happening or why.
“People will Panic, won’t they?”
Yes, and I would most likely be in the middle of tens of thousands of dead or burning cars whose drivers and passengers are in culture shock. The world and most of what they knew as comfort is gone.
These are the Unprepared. They are the Zombies.
Ask yourself, “IF public water wasn’t available, where would I go if I were stranded on a highway?” Suggestion: carry a case of water & 72 Hour Bag in each car. Now back to this “Worst Case” and our newly dead.
While the fresh Zombies are wandering around wondering what happened, STOP and think first.
Situation – What is your situation? Is there air, fire, bullets or other physical dangers? Are you hurt? Inventory your immediate tools and resources? What’s the safest way to travel?
Threat – What are your immediate dangers?
Observation – Seek “high ground” and access the situation
Plan – Now what should you do? Make a Plan or execute the one you made after reading this article.
My 72 hour kit is packed and I have dozens of other items in my car which might come in handy. As “The Prepared”, you and I know this survival rule:
Ounces add up to Pounds & Pounds add up to Pain.
On this night of The Event, I pick wisely, repack my kit according to conditions, use my ‘extras’ to recruit allies, and/or as a ‘cache’ in my trunk if I’m forced to return.
As I’m assessing the situation, I blend in with the people dumbfounded by this turn of events. I watch for clues. I look for allies. I speak of the general direction in which I need to travel, e.g. southeast, and I’m heading hoping to create an alliance. Are they calm? I’ll look for people armed like police or security guards and ask around for nurses, EMTs, doctors. Are they wearing backpacks, camouflage or sporting NRA, USMC symbols or other signs, like “Concealed Carry” clues? (Yes – some of us can spot some of you.)
Remember: the moment I put on my backpack, I’m announcing I’m prepared.
Instead of blending in, I now want to disappear – with my allies if I can find any. I carry my bag by my side (below eye level) till I’m out of sight. My 72 hour survival kit is a target screaming “Resources” to the Unprepared Zombies and I still have an 11 mile walk ahead. I must survive if I’m to help my family.
“To win without fighting is the Greatest Victory.” Sun Tsu, Art of War
The first day or two, the Zombies are the mentally unprepared. They wander around crying or asking others what to do. The final stage of dehydration, muscle cramps, brings on the real, classic Zombie walk. I avoid these brain dead, stiff armed walkers. They remind me to drink water, often.
Survival Rule: Drink Your Water; Better IN you than on you. Most people who die of dehydration are carrying water.
What worries me most are the Gang Zombies – people with guns, little training & and an, ‘I’ll take what I need’ attitude. Evasion is the best tactic, IF possible. If not, I look at my family photos to remind me what I’m fighting for. I then ‘win’ by doing the most possible damage to them in the least possible time AND with the least possible damage to myself.
Starting around days 3-10, more and more Unprepared Zombies will emerge because they’ve run out of the food and water in their ‘average person’s refrigerator and pantry’. With no power, stores will have been looted or grabbed by Gang Zombies. Those two types of Zombies will clash, struggling for survival.
By the way, where does someone find ‘non-government’ supplied water in a crisis? Creeks, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, streams, ponds and most Zombies will be too stupid to always boil water first unless you are certain of the source. They will begin to die in large numbers of water borne contaminants.
Now come the “Looter Zombies”. These people are a little better prepared or they control resources and want to find more while they are still supplied. They work in groups and overpower others with force. Why are Zombies scary? They just keep coming. There are too many of them.
That’s it. You and I are either going to fight Zombies or become one.
Can we change this outcome in a social breakdown scenario?” No, but we can lessen the effect. Most preppers and survivalists don’t tell people they are getting prepared. They are afraid people will show up when a crisis hits. That is a 100% certainty either way. I walk around my neighborhood, handout my business card with survival tips on the back and I talk about the lessons from Katrina, Haiti and Japan.
The more I teach everyone to Be Prepared, the more allies there will be now and the fewer Zombies later.
It is scary to reach out, but it’s also common sense to a degree and thus you must decide what is best for you. For me, I’ll continue to teach basic EDC (Every Day Carry) logic and items.
If survival, EDC and ‘Prepping’ are a difficult topic for you to talk about with family and friends, I invite you to watch this 8 minute – no sales – video. If it speaks to you, encourage your family and friends to view it and forward: Letter to My Children – Lessons from Haiti and Japan I wrote and voiced this.
Jack Jobe is an Emmy-nominated Photojournalist and Rescue Tool inventor. His Philosophy of Be Honest, Be Excellent and Walk About Prepared™ is reflected in his “Common Sense Survival Tips” newsletter at SecretsToSurviving2012.com/news.
© Jack Jobe 2012
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