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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope this thread can use the wealth of knowledge from posters here, to help everyone learn something new.
Let's start with a few assumptions:

1. Some type of disaster that makes electricity unavailable (think EMP)
2. You ARE NOT anywhere near your planned on survival location, and you cannot get there (assume too far/dangerous to travel there); and you have no weapons or BOB.
3. You are in a warm climate (Florida) on the edge of a mid-size city (200,000).
4. You have access to a concrete block single-story home (owned by a grandma with no camping or outdoor equipment and limited tools) and must share it with several family members, including elderly and young children.
5. The home does NOT have septic, and has city water and sewer, but does have a well (attached to an electric pump) which is solely for lawn irrigation.
6. You only have $300 cash on you and your entire party.

Task:
Let's discuss things in increments of first days, first month, and first 6 months of the disaster that leaves you with zero electricity.

I'll get things started:

First few days: secure as much as possible in terms of tools, weapons, camping/fishing/hunting gear, axes, and non-perishable foods/seeds from local stores and neighbors. Secure bikes.

First few weeks: determine whether city sewer is backing up into house due to no working pumping stations, and if so, dig up line and cut it (hacksaw). Regardless of the previous issue, dig pit and create latrine, and educate neighbors of same and burying waste; begin chopping down several trees to use for firewood; determine locations for hunting/trapping/fishing; coordinate with neighbors to discuss sanitation, food gathering/hunting parties, and security. I would also cut the pvc line by the irrigation well (pump motor) and try and create some type of water-capturing device fixed to a string to draw water out of the well.



 

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What about water collection from roofs after rain fall? not sure what time of year and haven't lived there but can assume there to be some rain. I would set up a rain water catch system using gutters to feed into barrels if available or some other container. This water would then have to be purified to be used for drinking water and cooking, by filtering boiling or adding bleach.
wells are great if you can get the water out but in this case it is a electric pump. could this electric pump still be used with an alternate power source? this would be what I would try first before cutting the pipe. if you can locate a generator and use this to get the pump running your whole neighborhood would benefit. It is fairly simple to take a plug off of a dryer and convert your well pump from hard wired to a plug in. even if gas is unavailable from a station it could be taken from all the vehicles in the neighborhood.
 

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Ok using your premise there is no electricity from a EMP so your well will not work, the pump circuits may be fried, and most normal generators will also be fried. I think your premise is flawed thinking you will have well water without thinking that through. Also that close to the ocean is a fresh water well a reality? I don't know but I am suspecting it is not. I bring this up because if you don't have water, you are dead in 3-4 days end of story so the first week you need to be working that out.

I am impressed you knew to disconnect the sewer line from the house, not many people realize they will have a backflow of sewage water filling up their basements unless you do that.

Keep in mind "cutting wood" doesn't mean it will burn, here in Montana if you cut a dead standing tree it will need to be cured for several month before it is considered firewood. In the humid south that would probably be a lot longer.

Organizing neighbors is a great idea, I have a similar plan.

It varies by location but in an area with 200k people and I am assuming several towns with 50k, 34k, 8k, around that....

1. Get as much water and food as you can asap, gas stations, food banks, livestock feed stores, and normal stores as much as you can.
2. Hole up for the first 4 weeks, don't go outside, don't forage for food or water, just sit tight (I hope you have enough weapons to make this possible)
3. After the 4th week, if you survive, the population in your area will be down below 8000 people, if you wait it out 2 months it will be less but the people left will be desperate or very very good at pillaging for survival.
4. Now is the time you get out of dodge and move toward your bug out location (move only at night and avoid concentrations of people)

If you don't have the BOL you are screwed
 
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Mind games...love'em

First, the houses circled are pretty well indefensible from a field of fire point of view (I think that was Sparky's point). I'd move to one of the houses that has the best/longest field of fire. Secure as many weapons as possible as well as the ammo. Don't worry about getting a massive amount of ammo, it's heavy and you can't carry alot of it once you have to move out. One of the houses on the canal might be good, and the canal might provide a formidable barrier if you feed the gators the dead looters on a reg basis. Besides some people can't swim. It might let you concentrate your limited firepower.

Second is water. Like Montana says, gotta have it. Try to save all the tap water possible. Even though the electricity is out, gravity still works. It's possible to get some water out of the taps if you are in a lower portion of the water grid. Fill anything that will hold water until it quits running. Alot of hurricane areas use a water bob. Heavy duty trash bags will work in a pinch. Think rationing now. Look for containers that will seal and are portable for when you need to move later.

Third, secure as much lightweight food as possible. Eat the heavy stuff first. If you have to move out on foot, even if you use your bikes as a pack mule like the viets did, you still have to carry water which is heavy. Try to save the lightweight foods for when you move out. If you can, dehydrate as much as possible.

Start looking for quick, defendable fall back positions and planning the route you would like to take to your next location. If your final location is very far away, it would be helpful to plan waypoints along the way that provide you some security ahead of time. That being said, don't expect your plan to survive initial contact. But at least you have an idea of where and how you might get there.

I'd also get as much first aid supplies as possible and condense it down to as many "squad" and personal kits as needed.

Personally, I would try to move by the end of the second week, in this scenario. That would be enough time to prep as much as possible, and things would hopefully not be so out of control that you might be able to move fairly freely, yet discreetly to your BOL.

There's lots of things I've missed here...you could write a book about it. But it's a good exercise and great question.
 

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Take inventory of your assets both physical and mental; you said there are elderly and children abound. The elderly can likely help cook off the previously frozen foods, organize clothing and sort through the house for assets. The youngsters can be sent to a known neighbors house to dig latrines for them, make connections to neighbors by encouraging them to eat perishables quickly and cook/store what ever else they can. Stronger adults (myself and hopefully a few others) will take the money and anything we feel can be bartered and seek out weapons, buckets, soaps or ingredients for the same. I would not expect to enjoy a generator or find one. In this situation I'd seek relationships with neighbors and ask someone who jumps in with weapons to take the lead on neighborhood security (a lot better than house security). I'd only take on about 3-4 hours of sleep at the first 72 hours because this would be the critical time and every minute would count.

IF I could find a vehicle that was useable I'd trade grandmas house for it and bug out.
 

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First place I'm going is my school. Schools have kitchens which mean food. Each school (at least in my area) is required to store emergency food and water in the event of a natural disaster, or other event that requires keeping students at school for an extended period of time without the ability to replenish supplies. A school is tough to defend unless you have a large group. There are numerous entrances, lots of windows and access generally from all sides. Get what you're going to get and go. The location of these schools in relation to the houses could work as a rally point for perimeter security, but again, it requires a large group. I know my school like the back of my hand and have every advantage as home field, along with access, and I would not want to get into a gunfight in it.

Your retention pond is a viable source of water as it is primarily storm water run off. It needs filtered and boiled, but it should be good to go. You retention pond also works as a natural security barrier. It is fenced, and, has water, like a moat. The dark black line to the left of the houses, the one that goes north, then breaks west, looks like an irrigation canal. Another barrier. Secure the road at the irrigation canal that leads into the school from the west, and the main road through the housing area at the northern most point. Then your major concern becomes the woods to the north.

If you can secure the schools, you have play fields that can be used for animals or farming. I also saw some other open areas that could be used for the same purpose.

Many new housing developments now have underground "filtering vaults" in order to remove sediment from storm water run off, especially if that water ends up even remotely close to a stream. It goes in yucky, comes out clear. But again, boil it.

But what you have there is a big area, and without a lot of cooperation and engagement by your neighbors, I would be inclined to loot the school and take off.
 

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ok I'm basing all info based on your map + what you have

first days (your already part o a group) find all the locals Upto the end of the street (if the middle grouping would be best)

find out how your going to power the pump... (trade almost everything to get that bloody pump working)

second thing try and trade for at least 1 firearm

on your travels to this bol purchase as many bic lighters as you can and cigarettes

avoid the schools like the plague, they use them as evac centres

within a few weeks, that street needs to disappear, rubble, trees, you will work it out, assuming the pump is working, keep a "small team" looking for empty bottles.. and attempt to trade water (the rivers will become heavily polluted by now) set up a pit, and a makeshift shower

6 months, assuming all has gone to plan, by now I would have plenty of meats (hopefully preserved) and be living quite comfortably, by this time I should have made it to my bol (assuming I have one or home) and gathered a few supplies... if any are left (pays to have a good gun safe)

and live a day at a time...
 

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oh would avoid the schools like a plague, they are all "evac" centres or the chances of them being one is too high to take the risk
 

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I wouldn't stay anywhere I had to defend. You will be outnumbered. I would concentrate on getting somewhere I could hunker down and concentrate on getting food, water and shelter.

You will find most of what you need on the river. I would follow it up steam 'til I got away from people. Climate is mild enough that you don't need much shelter. If you can fish you will survive.
 

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After a little googling, (haha googling is a word in spell check)

Population of Florida is 350 people per square mile, a cool census map : Florida QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

I'm glad you posted as I looked up my county

Ravalli County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

17 people per square mile, I think we will win this game. BTW I did some research earlier and using current technology the small valley I live in produces enough food to feed my entire state.

Of course "current" will change drastically but I think we can easily feed the 40,000 people that live here with our 2400 square miles of property.

There is a reason this is considered the American Redoubt.
 
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Cool link. 1.7 persons per sq mile....God I Love this place
Humboldt County, Nevada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

After a little googling, (haha googling is a word in spell check)

Population of Florida is 350 people per square mile, a cool census map : Florida QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

I'm glad you posted as I looked up my county

Ravalli County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

17 people per square mile, I think we will win this game. BTW I did some research earlier and using current technology the small valley I live in produces enough food to feed my entire state.

Of course "current" will change drastically but I think we can easily feed the 40,000 people that live here with our 2400 square miles of property.

There is a reason this is considered the American Redoubt.
 

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By the way John, how come I don't get my BOB and weapon?

Every vehicle we own has it's own BOB with clothes, ammo, and the bare essentials. Plus 2 days worth of food and water.

And my weapon pretty much goes where I go. At least a pistol and spare mag. Sometimes a rifle.

Oh...I get it! I musta been running out of my mistresses house nekked!

You sneaky b*****d...
 

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By the way John, how come I don't get my BOB and weapon?
there are many possibilities that could land you without the bob or your firearm or both, (just saying)

but play the game, there is no right or wrong answer, maybe something you think of may increase the chance of surviving.... or something someone else suggests...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Great responses everyone. This thread is going exactly as I planned. Part of the rules was designed to help others think. What if you flew to another state for a funeral and had no BOB or weapon? Whatever the scenario, that is the one I created to help everyone step out of their comfort zone. Also, let's stop talking about making your way to your BOL. Whatever possible thing that would prevent it, just happened. Let's say massive band of gangs set up shop completely preventing you crossing. Or disease. yeah's that's better. Bottom line, this location is where you are stuck. There is stuff here for you to survive. I didn't pick a downtown Atlanta ;)

Also for those who have no idea of Florida, there are no basements anywhere here. Also, you can dig a well to about 50-80 feet deep and hit water. Almost everyone who has a sprinkler system uses well water for that purpose. It is filled with rust, but it is fresh.

Let's keep with the theme of no electricity. It just makes things harder, so more challenging. FYI - there is a way to draw water from a well with no electricity. Hope this helps everyone: countryside - homesteading - self-reliance - simple life

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Also, I chose this location so it would have access to lots of stuff, without being in the country. 99% of us would choose to be rural rather than urban, as we see urban being more dangerous and more challenging. However, this is on the outskirts of a city. You have potential access to people (albeit, probably not experienced woodsman or even able to handle a gun).

Here is a couple more aspects of the scenario.

My first thought is that it would be nice to send hunting/gathering parties due east and due west. Those going East can fish and there is an ample supply of shrimp, crab, and other seafood. Those heading West can gather plenty of available grapefruit and oranges. Also, there are farms with cattle, and other wildlife. Heading either direction could be dangerous if bandits blockade that one key east/west road. However, these options could still be available by using other avenues rather than the main road, but that could obviously take longer and would either involve traveling through other neighborhoods or though wooded areas, slowing travel, and making bikes probably useless if wooded areas are needed for travel.

Couple questions. Assuming you cannot go more than 10 miles (outside the image shown below): would you try and move you and your group of elderly and youngins out west on the farms, or out east by the ocean, or stay put? While there still is an option of just staying in the immediate areas of the secure neighborhood and using that river as a food source, it may be safer if you can secure that limited area, but it doesn't offer as much resources.

Of course, this all assumes there is no larger cooperation (barter stand set up on that main East /West road).



FYI - the neighborhood mentioned earlier in this thread (with the schools) is circled in red (near the center) in the above picture
 

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Interesting and good scenario. I'm on an iPad so I'll be brief.

Seal off the neighborhood and pool resources. Based on what your opening post said you won't make it otherwise. Water water water. Get the well operational. Fishing and hunting parties are good however... Cattle are owned and the rancher would shoot you deader than dead. Game will be hunted out within a month or two, max. The citrus is owned too and the farmer will probably shoot you as well. Otherwise, it will be all picked clean in weeks if not days. You have thousands of people with the same idea competing for the same game and fish. And some of them will kill for it. I seem to recall you said no weapons. If so, your in bad shape or worse.

Bottom line is that if you're unprepared, head to a shelter. Otherwise you're putting yourself and family at risk.

If someone INSISTED on trying, then pool resources, block neighborhood using trees or cars, scavenge immediately anything useful, use the ocean for food to sustain as best you can. The ocean can provide a ton of food I'd your smart about it. And many many will not compete with you.

As was said, if it last a long time, and you survive, there will be 35-50% less people competing with you and unfortunately less mouths for you to feed.

As to working on the house, spot on with the sewer, good ideas about burying and sanitation. Hygiene or lack of will kill many.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
more great comments. FYI, nearly all of Florida has access to fresh water via a well.




I could have picked a harder location where a well would have to go 600 feet and you might nit have long enough rope for that, but this made it a tad easier.

I suspect the comment above about fresh water being a problem at the ocean was intended to address whether to re-locate at the ocean or not. But even then, you can see, plenty of people who live right on the beach still have wells that brings up fresh water. I agree, that getting water is the #1 concern. I agree that retention ponds or a river or catching rain water are all good choices, but to me, that well is key (or any well, as there are many). That way you can bring up fresh water in the security of a protected area (yard) and you don't have to worry about dry spells.

Keep the great idea rolling.

If this thread appeals, when it dies, maybe someone else can pick a different location/scenario and start a new thread for spitballing ideas.
 

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well I will still do everything in my power to get the well up and running

securing the neighborhood upto the school is too risky for my taste, its easier to get those streets to disappear than make the entire block

having the woods close also makes for a fun challenge, a escape rute/something else to worry about (unless it's a marsh/swamp)

the farming land, attempt trade, (meat for veggies or such) but a lot of undesirables will make a farm a target (food + water) so its a massive risk

would do everything in my power to avoid the schools, everything....

normally gran or someone has a veggie garden this = seeds, struggle first off, but can create a good stable food source...

maybe, been a more rural area, finding the local police department maybe worth a little trip, (defend your little patch first, then see what the police will do to defend the town??) but personally it's me and mine, and if I worry about the big picture, chances are I will make a mistake = un nessacery deaths
 
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