Episode-215- Advantages for the Suburban Survivalist — 12 Comments

  1. In the podcast, you mentioned the impotent governor of Louisiana as \"he\". It was a she. Female. Kathleen Blanco (I like to pronounce it \"blank-o\" referring to the empty space between her ears.)

  2. Good points Jack, but you are giving “city folk” WAY too much credit…. I’m stuck in the middle of town, and I’m scarred shitless. I’d rather be in the boonies with you!

  3. Jack,

    At about 23 minutes in, you mentioned the “$50 Food Box” that would feed a family of four for a month.

    Is there a easy-to-read list of this? I think it would be good for the readers/lurkers that don’t frequent the forum to check that out that go “You know what, that’s my friend/brother/family” – or even themselves, if they’re not quite “there yet.”


  4. Recently, I was able to enjoy one of the benefits of suburban living.

    A tornado knocked out the power for about 1 square mile around our neighborhood. During the 2nd night without power, some attempted break-ins were reported neighbor to neighbor. The police didn’t come out, probably because they’re understaffed and were “busy” blocking off the streets for the power company.

    So our neighborhood took it upon ourselves to protect our homes. The next night we had an armed BBQ in the front yard. No long guns, just sidearms and flashlights. We kept it going until after 2am and confronted a couple of street-roamers who promptly left the neighborhood.

    Of course, if we lived in a rural home, this scenario may not have even occurred.

  5. Another good interesting discussion. On a side note, I just went to see Terminator Salvation over the weekend and it reminded me of you! If you haven’t seen it, in the movie John Conner communicates with the scattered survivors throughout Calif. by broadcasting on AM Radio. He opens every broadcast with “If you can hear me, you are the resistance”. You might want to start off your podcasts with some similar catch phrase… Who knows, maybe you are a “John Conner” in training?…..

  6. I rather like the current catch-phrase.

    “If times get tough or even if they don’t.”

  7. A great episode, probably because I live in a suburb so it really mattered to me.

    One thought: There is probably some regional variation in the idea that suburban folks will band together and be armed and level-headed. You are correct in general that suburbs will have people banding together. One of the comments above describes an “armed BBQ” in his neighborhood. But that was probably in the South or Midwest. Here on the wacky Left Coast, the people in my neighborhood–which is in the state capitol of Washington state–are all bureaucrats. They are grasshoppers on steroids. And they are used to using government power to solve problems; they think “self-reliance” is a Christian code word for being mean to people (doesn’t make sense to me either). I cannot conceive of the people in my neighborhood–the assistant deputy director of the department of [fill in the blank]–having an “armed BBQ” They don’t have guns and they’re vegetarians. They’ll be dangerous.

    My BOL is out where people are normal.

    So I think you’re point is certainly correct in most parts of the country, but might be less true in statist places 100% dependent on someone answering 911 and the truckloads of goatmilk cheese rolling in every day.

  8. Jack,

    you mentioned that you had figured out that $50 could buy food for 4 that would store for a year and provide sustenance for a month.

    Is there a link to this? Is it a discussion on the forums?

  9. I live in a FL suburb where housing prices in my neighborhood dropped $60-$100k! Houses are up for sale everywhere. My neighbors are getting foreclosed on because they stopped paying their mortgage so they could move out to TX. It was wrong, but they have 4 kids (2 handicapped) and the husband works construction and could only find work in TX. Lately we have had a lot of domestic violence issues, pedophiles and burglaries in my neighborhood. It really seems to be going downhill around here. I wonder if I should stop prepping to Bug-In and really focus on finding some Bug-Out property. Thoughts?

  10. Until I discovered the Survival Podcast I was 80-90% against the idea of bugging out under all but the worst of conditions. Now after listening to over 100 episodes of TSP and several discussions with the significant other, I’m warming to the idea of a piece of vacation property that I can gradually improve into my BOL, second home, and possibly even retire there. That said, I think there are a lot of great advantages to most folks in the suburbs, some that Jack mentioned, some that he didn’t.

    First, the city is where the jobs are. If you need to make money, it’s easier to find good paying White Collar and Blue Collar jobs in the city. While 50-100 mile commutes aren’t impossible, if gas prices get over $5/gallon, they’ll certainly make most people think twice about how much of their time at work is being spent just paying to fill their gas tank. While Jack has made a great investment in his TDI, most of us don’t want to go into debt and have to live with the car that we’re driving today. Thus, living near public transportation, and/or close to work, and/or along functional bicycle routes (sorry Jack, I had to laugh when you said your Arkansas home wasn’t within bicycling distance of town because it was 9 miles away on a bad road. I don’t even get warmed up until nine miles and it’s not uncommon for me to ride 100 miles in a weekend on the road bike or 25 in a day on the mountain bike). While in a true SHTF scenario I might not be going to work, in most situations, the city has far more lucritive options and cheaper commuting.

    Second, there are some great small communities that are near our big cities that feel like a small town, have the crime rates of a small town, but have only a 20-30 minute commute to downtown. In small communities it’s much easier to play a role in local politics, steering projects like community gardening, zoning changes, public transportation issues, and policing efforts than it is in a big city. At the same time, I have all the benefits like several level one and level two trauma centers within a 15-20 minute drive if I’m injured, which brings me to point three.

    Small towns and remote locations often lack the medical resources that cities have. My ex-wife was living in the northwest corner of the state (Colorado) and got sick recently. She was 90 minutes to the closest hospital. When she arrived, she was one of three patients in the 12 bed hospital. There was one doctor, who knew all of nothing, almost calling for an air ambulance to fly her to Phoenix (which is much further than Denver or Salt Lake) because he couldn’t tell the difference between C.Diff., a common intestinal bacterial infection and hantavirus because he had no modern lab equipment. Turns out it was just C.Diff. and a course of antibiotics cured it, but she was in tremendous pain for four days before he pulled his head out of his backside. Any urban hospital would have had the tools and the staff to deal with this in a jiffy.

    Finally, some of us just like the city and there’s nothing wrong with that. While my long-term plans are going to move toward a vacation property/BOL, I’m staying put unless there’s a local disaster. I’ve arranged with friends that I can stay with in the interim.

    If you want a great novel that’s well written, highly entertaining, and well thought out where remote locations could have distinct disadvantages, pick up A World Made by Hand by Kunstler. He’s a big peak oil and anti-urban sprawl guy, but the book is not to be missed. Great stuff!

  11. Jack

    This podcast really struck some strong points with me, most especially the concern for the fragility of the power grid and its implications for rural America. We are first and foremost an electrified culture, and any discussion of coping fully and prospering long term in its absence is delusional IMHO.

    That is why a vigorous stream was item #1 on my wish list for the place we bought up in the Virginia mountains in the least populous county east of the Mississippi. The locals are intrigued by my three years of ongoing construction of a micro hydroelectic system (on line before winter this year), but for the most part they think I’m sorta crazy for spending thousands of dollars on an alternate source of electricity because “there’s a hydro power plant only thirty miles away!” Sooner or later the distribution of power will be made by arbitrary political processes away from fewer voters towards more voters.

    We experienced this when everyone’s power went down during Hurricane Isabel. Even though we live in densely populated Prince George’s County MD (2 million), we are on 3 1/2 acres at the end of a secluded private drive. Power came on all around us within 24 hours, but given the scope of the damage we were without power for nine days because the repair crews had correctly moved on to neighborhoods of high density and population; that means no refrigeration, water or heat for us at the end of a little road in the middle of thousands of homes. In a house with two teenage daughters, my friend that is a catastrophe. Oh wait – no it wasn’t a catastrophe ‘cause I’ve made sure I kept a big generator in the garage for the past thirty years. Long and short: make sure an alternative energy plan is absolutely positively in place for your boondocks BOL.

    On another note, our country retreat and our suburban home have nearly identical tax appraisals, but the tax in the country is $600/year and here in the Peoples’ Republic of Maryland it’s about $4,000.