Tuesday, April 26, 2011

E-Mail Call

A very informative site!  Keep up the great work.  As a fellow New Yorker I often wonder about how to actually "bug out" if things really go bad.  I live in the West Village with my wife and son and can't seem to figure how we would actually leave Manhattan if there were a situation that warranted that type of departure.

I remember when the bridges and tunnels were locked down during 911.  I kept wondering what I would do in the event that things became worse.  I recall that I had the crazy notion to loot the kayak launch at the Hudson River park to head west  (not that I would ever do it).  As I indicated before we live in the West Village but keep our car in Long Island so being able to "bug out" by car is out of the question for us.  We do have bicycles but the though of going through the city during a "hostile" situation with my family scares me.

I have "prepped" but the thought of moving all of the gear without having to cache up the Henry Hudson to make my escape without a vehicle is daunting.
In any case I thought you might have suggestions on how to leave the city if it decided to shut down access.

Again, great site!

Hi PF,

     Thanks for reading.  Like you, bugging-out is a topic I have thought about on many occasions, and is something I have wanted to address on the blog.  I definitely have many suggestions and ideas on what would be my preferred course of action as I have been researching the concepts of how people living in Manhattan would deal with bugging out for my book, and for the blog.

     As there has never been a large scale disaster forcing the entire population to bug-out in our city, or any other major American city for that matter, there is no hard data.  In addition to the lack of information, there is also the issue of “what type of disaster?” changing many variables, and courses of action.  So that leaves us with educated guess work, our imaginations, and some historical accounts.  With these three things we can form a series of plans (i.e. plan A., plan B.,) and we can prepare with full knowledge that even the best laid plans are doomed to fail, forcing you to constantly reassess, and revise.

     So to answer your question about what I suggest to New Yorker’s, or anyone for that matter, considering their bugging-out options would be; plan and prepare to the best of your ability.  Gathering from your e-mail, you are already aware of this, and are well on the way.  One thing I will point out, and it is something I have talked about on the blog a bit; never underestimate a well formulated plan with multiple back-ups, making sure everyone in the family knows the plans inside and out.  A plan will allow you and your group to make precious use of something all of us won’t have much of; time.  It works great for the militaries of the world, and would serve us as well.  Now that doesn’t mean I will leave you to ponder this somewhat philosophical answer, pretty much stating “figure it out for yourself”.  I, like you it seems, have a very active imagination, and come up with many scenarios and solutions while I walk our beautiful streets.

     First and foremost, I think your idea on “borrowing” a kayak was actually brilliant, and shows me that your thinking process is already on the right track.  One of the things people need to put into a bit of perspective is that the lines of right and wrong will be blurred, and you will be forced to do things you would not normally do in order to save you and your family’s lives.  Try not to forget that this “blurring” will make many situations much more dangerous for you and your loved ones.  It is truthfully one of the main reasons why I try and raise self-reliance awareness to the masses; the more people are prepared, the more likely the loss of lives and chaos will be reduced.  If you want to take the ‘legal’ route in the above situation, consider buying an inflatable canoe that fits you and your family members.  If that is a bit ridiculous, and out of your price range, maybe consider buying a bolt cutter (those “borrowed” river boats will be locked,) saving you space and money. 

     I agree with you that the situation could become "hostile" quickly, so you should consider a way to protect yourself.  I am working on a series of posts about self-defense here.  I will be writing a post soon about my beliefs on owning a gun, and how to acquire a hand-gun, and long rifle permit in NYC.  The subject of gun ownership for New Yorker's is a touchy one, and will probably always be.  I am trying to give the people who don't beleive in our Second Amendment right to protect ourselves and our families options on how to realistically defend themselves.

     When you mention that getting to your car in Long Island is pretty much impossible, you are unfortunately correct.  The only time it could be useful to you for bugging-out, is if you were somehow able to realize before the masses that the situation required a ‘bug-out’ and you reacted before them.  I think you will agree with me that the probability of that working out is highly unlikely.  This leaves us with motorcycles, bikes, and our good old two feet.  I rode a motorcycle for a few years in my youth and can tell you that although they are agile and fast, they are dangerous.  You and your family would probably be at more risk of dying from a motorcycle accident, then from the actual disaster.  You also can’t carry that much while on them.  The next option is a bicycle.  I ride a bicycle around the city often, and believe that it is probably one of the best options as you will be able to get out pretty fast, but they are also more situational.  You won’t be able to carry much with you on a bicycle either.  You also need to have high proficiency to ride a bike around people, and obstacles quickly.  That leaves us with our legs.  By far the safest option, and you can defiantly carry a lot if you have a good B.O.B. for each family member.  Walking is unfortunately slow, and requires each person to be in fairly decent shape, especially if there packs are heavy.  Walking (and possibly biking) allows you to travel “the road less traveled” as I mention in a post here.  You can also place caches at different locations along these routes if you would like.  I personally think caches are a pretty good idea for people who can’t carry much, or for people whose B.O.L.’s (Bug-Out Location) are over a four day walk.  I personally would not cache supplies, but I can’t argue their effectiveness.   

     Each option has pros and cons and you will have to see what best fits your needs.  I don’t mention a car because it would not be a good choice in my opinion.  You will defiantly be able to ‘out walk’ any car attempting to leave the city.  There are over two million of us on this island, and grid lock would be atrocious.

     Your question asked for bug-out suggestions, and I hope I gave you a few ideas.  My personal feelings about bugging-out are a bit different.  I feel that although bugging-out is feasible, it should not be our main concern.  The survivalist community has it a bit wrong IMO when it comes to how city dwellers need to concentrate on a good bug-out plan because we live in such high population areas.  They feel that gangs, and “The Golden Horde” will clean the place out, killing everyone in their path.  They obviously don’t live in a major city, and just don’t understand the dynamic.  I believe that we need to put much more concentration on bugging-in.  By staying put we will have shelter, provisions, and will not be following the masses.  If you are stuck in the masses, you are The Golden Horde!  Just like most things in life, when you don’t follow the sheep and think outside the box, you have a much better chance of happiness, and in the case of a mass bug-out, survival.  Take for example 911; you mentioned you were thinking of ways of getting off the island, which was a good thing to be thinking because no one at the time knew what was going on.  The smartest thing to do in retrospect was to bug-in though, as it was actually a bug-in situation.  Leaving was not possible, and a bad idea at that point anyway.  I plan on talking more about this in the future on the blog, giving more examples of why I believe in forming a solid bug-in plan.

     I will also briefly mention that I hope you have a decent B.O.L. and it is as prepared, and stocked as your apartment in the city.  If you have any questions about B.O.L.’s, feel free to ask for my thoughts on that, or any other survival related topics for that matter.

     Thanks again for supporting the blog, I’m a bit long winded, but I hope I got some good points across.  Good luck to you and your family on your self-reliance journey.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Affiliate: White Wolf Survival Supply

     It is my pleasure to announce a new affiliate to NYC Survival; White Wolf Survival Supply.  They are a family owned and operated survival based website offering items that are handpicked by their Army Veteran proprietor/father, and tested by the family for usefulness, and practicality.  They do their best to supply items for their customers that they themselves suggest, and use as survival/emergency preps.  They are a new site, and as such are constantly updating their catalog, so check back often.

     It is my personal opinion that we should do our best to support family-owned and operated businesses either near our homes, or online.  By using your money to support them, you are doing your part to say "no" to the world-dominating...I mean, greedy.....oops, my bad...mega corporations like Wal-Mart.  Click on the link above, or on the banner in the sidebar to be sent to their website.


Quick Pick: Super Siphon

     Keeping a few siphon's around is a very important, and useful prep.  To make a siphon all one really needs is a tube of some sort, a container placed lower then the actual liquid, and suction (typically your breath.)  This is useful in many situations to move, or remove liquid from hard to reach locations. 

     For the survivalist, realizing that a disaster can be 'long-term' is an all to real possibility.  A siphon can be paramount in helping to obtain very necessary liquids like; water, and fuel.  These two liquids will be like gold in any disaster, and difficult to obtain.

     I suggest the following siphon, not because siphon's will be hard to come by, but because anyone who has siphoned a liquid by creating a vacuum with their breath can tell you; you end up with the liquid in your mouth.  Not only is this a big problem with things like gasoline, but it can also be a problem if you try and siphon 'dirty' water.  The following siphon alleviates this problem instantly by providing the tube with an easy to use pump attached to the tube.  It sill allows the tube to be lightweight, and cheap which is an important trait in any prep.  In times like these, where the only certain thing left is uncertainty, do your best to make sure your prep's cover a wide range of possibilities.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Pandemics & New York City

Renjith Krishnan-freedigitalphotos.net
     I came across this article recently as I was reading one of the many news sites I sift through daily.  Though I am typically not a fan of Yahoo! News, I make it a point to take in as many differing points of view as I can.  That way I can attempt to not be swayed by one side or the other, finding my own version of the truth.

     To me, this type of article does not scare me as it might some people.  Rather it serves as a quick reminder to re-check my emergency preps that deal with pandemics.  The recent nuclear disaster in Japan has proven that 90% of the population of this country prefers to wait until the last possible moment to deal with a disaster.  The whole mass iodine (KIO), and powdered milk sell off (at ridiculous prices) was a great example of that.  The funny part about the iodine is that most of the people that bought iodine pills don't know why you would need them, or even when the proper time to take the pills is.  

     I will tell you now that waiting for a plausible disaster to happen, and then preparing for it is a very bad idea.  For example; if you live in an area prone to earthquakes, make proper preparations!  It is truthfully the crux of why people like myself are preppers.  We like to use reason, and take control of our lives by not having to rely on others.  By waiting till it's too late, you will be susceptible to outlandish prices, and a complete and total lack of said supply.  You also allow yourself to be taking advantage of by others because of your desperation.  Desperation in any form is not good, and is one of the most detrimental states of being.

     Preparing ahead of time can be easy, and relatively cheap.  Most supplies, especially those supplies that don't have much demand right now can be just a few dollars, and extremely easy to acquire.  The trick is to know what would be important to the masses during a disaster.  Next is to figure out what types of disasters are most pertinent in your area.  Here in New York, there are unfortunately numerous possible scenarios that we have to contend with.  Putting your preps in order of most realistic (i.e. loss of utilities due to a strong storm.)  To possible, but less plausible (i.e. meteor strike).  One of the fundamental things to keep in mind is that certain preps would be important to everyone during any disasters.  Things like; potable water, food, and sanitation are constants, and should be your first priorities.

     A pandemic would have a dramatic effect on a major city like ours.  Worldwide, or even a regional pandemic can make its way into NYC fairly easily due to the amount of travelers we get on a daily bases.  It would shut down everything, and would almost certainly cause a mandatory quarantine.  These quarantines can last upwards of three months, or more.  Most people would assume they could bug-out, even those people who don't know what the term "bugging-out" means.  Bugging out is not very realistic, as the island would most likely be "locked down" fairly quickly leaving us to fend for ourselves.  Even if you had the foresight to bug-out before a quarantine, there are no guarantees that the pandemic won't find you.  Your best bet would be to hunker down in place with your supplies, and 'ride it out'.

     So what supplies would be important to prepare you for a pandemic, other then the obvious, and hopefully already in place fundamental supplies of long- to medium-term water procurement, and food?  Here is a list of a few of the most important items you should have as a part of your preps.  They are easily found on Amazon, or at your local Duane Reade/pharmacy as of right now:

  • N95 Mask - There are a few options of size, and grade when buying these.  It's up to you what you decide.  You don't have to break the bank in my opinion.  You also don't need to buy hundreds of them, as you hopefully will be able to bug-in for the required amount of time, limiting your contact with the outside world.  There is also no guarantees that these would work, due to no way of knowing what way the virus could be contracted.  History has proven though that the most devastating virus's are typically those that are able to be transmitted through the air (i.e. coughing, sneezing.)  Make sure to buy smaller sizes if you have children.
  • Rubber Gloves - Pretty self explanatory.  You would need these if you were to touch any contaminated liquid, or materials.  Also important if you have to deal with dead bodies, which is an unfortunate reality.

  • Bleach - Love it or hate it, bleach is still one of the most effective ways to kill bacteria, and viruses on surfaces.  You can put it in a spray bottle and cut it with water to sanitize all the surfaces of your apartment.  Also good for sanitizing anything you bring into your humble abode that you get from the outside world.      
  • Plastic Sheet or Contractor Bags - These would come in handy if you had to quarantine a person in your house or apartment.  It could also be used to wrap up dead bodies if someone passes due to the conditions.  You should also have a few rolls of duct tape in the apartment to seal the bags.  Duct tape has a million uses, and you should always have a good quality duct tape in your apartment.
     Another thing to remember is that if you have to quarantine in your house or apartment, you will need a way to defend you, and your family.  Most New Yorker's will not be anywhere near prepared for something this devastating.  If you are in your apartment making great smelling food, and it's lit up like Christmas, you're probably not going to make it.  Doing things like eating food cold, and keeping a low profile will be of the utmost importance.

     Spike TV has a great show on how to deal with pandemics linked here.  I definitely suggest watching it with your loved ones.

     Pandemics are a realistic threat that humanity has faced in the past, and will almost certainly face again.  When it comes to pandemics, it is not a matter of if, but when...