About a year ago, I took a serious look into the whole "2012=END OF ZE WORLDE!" hype. I read pretty much every legible article I could find on the issue, and read up on what the experts had to say (and ignored mostly anything I saw on the History Channel) I fairly quickly dismissed the vast majority of what I read as alarmist, good intentioned at best and exploative at worst ("Buy my book so YOU CAN BE PREPARED!")
What this did spark in me, however, was the quirkiest hobby I've had thus far in my young life; survivalism. I'm a married enlisted man, so I don't have a million dollars with which to build a bomb shelter, or join one of those Fallout Vault-Tech style survivalist communities that are popping up in the Mojave desert. For about the past year, I've done what I can where I can with the limited amount of funds I can convince my wife to let me spend on food/equipment.
Even though I don't really think anything crazy will happen around this time next year, I've given myself a little challenge, just for fun. I'm going to go ahead and assume that, in a year, give or take a few weeks, all the power is going to turn off, and never turn back on. On top of what I already have, what do my fellow Heretics suggest for ensuring I'm one hundred percent ready to rock the Apocalypse?
Feel free to give whatever advice you'd like, serious or not. Go ahead and share your own plans for the end of the world, if you've got them. I love comparing notes. What I'm not concerned about is whether or not you think the world will actually end in 2012. There's no sense discussing it, since we can just wait and see.
1. Location, Location Location
This was one of the hardest parts for me, since being in the Army means I don't have a lot of control over where I am, when I am. That being said, I'll be home for the holidays next year, so if that giant jaguar does decide to take a bite out of the sun like the Mayans predicted, I'll be in Michigan when it happens.
So far, my plan consists of heading to my grandparents house if it all goes down. They live on a small island in the Detroit river, an island accessed by two bridges. Both bridges can be swung open at the center, allowing large tanker ships to pass by. The river itself is very deep and fast moving; anyone trying to swim across would absolutely not make it. There are a few harbors, and a tiny airport. The island is mostly wooded. White tail deer are a huge problem, they multiply very quickly and there's no hunting allowed. Off the island is one of the best places in the world for walleye fishing (according to Field and Stream at least) The river eventually connects with Lake Erie and lake St. Claire to the north. The island is a fairly small community; mostly old people who've retired, or the rich who can afford the property taxes. Tim Allen has a home there, last time I checked.
Main reason I picked this place is that it's close to home (I'm from Detroit) I can get there in a hurry, and my grandparents own a decent sized piece of land. The major con in this is that...well, it's close to home. Detroit. If the power goes out, it's only a matter of time before lawless thugs begin roaming the land Road Warrior style. I'm hoping that being able to close the bridges will help mitigate that threat, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time before a local gang leader watches Waterworld with Kevin Costner and decides to become a pirate. I'm also not entirely sure what I'd do if the Michigan nuclear power plan melted down.
2. Food Plan
I purchased a year supply of food from Pleasant Hill Grain. They're all in sealed buckets, about 802 lbs worth. The only thing I had to add myself was some cooking oil. It's 2300 hundred calories a day for one person, which is really good. That being said, I'm obviously not the only oen taking refuge. It's myself, my wife, and the rest of my family. Grand total, we're talking about 13 people. That gives me about three weeks of food per person, maybe a month and a half if we eat really sparingly. There are deer and rabbits aplenty on the island, like I said, but I'm not sure how long those would last. What I really need are some ideas on how to cheaply create a more sustainable food source in a more urban setting.
3. Guns, Guns, and More Guns
I've got a Mossberg 500 with about fifty rounds of 00 buckshot, a Ruger .357 snub-nose with around a hundred rounds, and a S&W Bodyguard .380 pocket pistol with fifty rounds. For actual hunting, I've got an old .22 bolt action and a gently used 30-30 lever action (with fifty and seventy five rounds respectively) I'd like to have a .308 semi-automatic rifle by this time next year; that'd go a long way towards personal defense, as anyone in the military can attest to. I'd also like to pick up a tactical pistol, since I know the limitations on both the revolver and the .380. I get the feeling I could do fairly well in a skirmish, but there's no way I'd be able to deal with a protracted firefight with what I have. Should I save up and get that assault rifle, or try and get more ammunition for the guns I already have?
4. Hydration is Essential
This is my biggest hurdle. There is no way I can possibly store enough water for 13 for any significant length of time on my grandparent's property. The island is on a river, true, but I'm worried about the chemicals in the water (this is the Detroit river, mind) I know I can just boil water to kill the microscopic critters inside it, but what about whatever pollutants are in there? Worst case scenario, what to do if there ends up being nuclear contamination? And on that note, how can I actually get a large amount of water to my bug-out site? The river is about a mile away by road. I've thought about getting a bunch of empty water cans, and constructing some kind of sled when the gas in my truck runs out, but so far it's all hypothetical. Any ideas?
Looking forward to seeing what you guys and gals can help me come up with.