Zone 3: Area of OperationsWrapping up my take on security, we're ending this series by talking about security within your tribe's environment (look for a future post from Chaplain Tim going over what we mean by Tribe) and the surrounding areas. There's two parts to this one: the first part is how you interact in the area with your tribe, and the second is the actual tribal area itself.
One of the immediate things that I need to point out is that as a woman, being cautious in your interactions is crucial, even among your own tribe. If there are only a few women in your group and a lot of single men, you will end being coveted - which usually causes some serious drama.
If one of the folks in your group is causing you trouble and your instincts are screaming you're in danger, LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS. Put distance between you and the offending party. If they won't leave you alone, loudly announce in front of as many people as possible that they are to leave you alone or you will treat them as a hostile threat and will respond in any means needed to end that threat.
Buddy SystemAlways have a partner with you - be it your significant other or another person whom you know you can trust - with you at all times when you are going to be gone more than a few minutes (if even that) from your home area. The buddy system means that you've got immediate backup, and you're backup for your buddy. If you can't find your buddy, ask yourself: is it really something that you have to get done at that moment in time?
Personal defenseDo you have it ironed out as to what weapons you will be carrying? If they are knives and pistols, do you know where and how are they being carried? If you are leaving your home, even if you're still in the tribal area, you really should be armed. If things collapse to the point of lawlessness and you've seen no signs of anything resembling a recovering governing body, you can expect for there to be a lot of warlords and rival groups that will be actively seeking to attack and take over areas of resources.
Know your Area of Operations (AO). Sometimes it's easy to forget, and some people never realize, that "preparing" means more than buying stuff: it also means learning stuff and doing stuff. If you end up "bugging in" (the only realistic option for a lot of people, even if not the preferred option) during disaster (or in minor, less-than-SHTF situations), you'll probably still need to exit your home from time to time to find food or barter for one thing or another. And even if not, it would behoove you to understand the broader security environment.
What do I mean by this? Two thingsOne: If you're bottled up at home, you have no concept of how things are going outside, and if the situation deteriorates to the point that you need to get out of dodge, you won't know it. When you know your AO, you'll know what amount of traffic is normal, how often you normally hear sirens, which neighbors cause trouble, which ones are noisy, which ones are gossips. Knowing all that gives you a feel for the rhythm of normal life (or the “new normal” after SHTF) and when things change you'll be forewarned.
Two: If you do need to get out of dodge, you'll know where to go and where to avoid on your way out. Think it's as simple as picking a route out of town on the map? Think again. By knowing your AO, you'll know not only the best routes under normal conditions, but alternate routes to get you around roadblocks, riots, disaster areas, and so on.
Now, I (and others) can give you advice on security all day long, but we can only give you ideas and information to help you build a foundation to work from. There's a saying that "no plan survives first contact with the enemy." Knowing all of your options for security will help keep a good chunk of the panic at bay. Sadly, you won't know how well your security measures are going to work until SHTF, but you should know, thoroughly, all your options on courses of action. There is no quick reference handbook for this.
Next week's article will be an easy one, with links back to other prepper sites who have solid info on how to turn security principles into practice.