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I fully realize that most of us Americans cannot fathom a world in which food cannot be obtained from the supermarket, or fuel cannot be obtained from the corner gas station, or that the power grid could be off line for more than a few hours. Hardly anyone in the national media will even entertain the idea that anything catastrophic could ever happen in this country that would disrupt our lives for more than a few days.
Additionally, the vast majority of pastors and churches refuse to deal with any of these issues and do their best to keep people comfortably sedated. I also know that when you try to discuss these issues with church leaders, you hear such things as “This is America–it can’t happen here,” or “God won’t let that happen,” or “The Rapture will take place first,” and other such expressions of denial. Each time I write my Suggested Survival column, I receive a plethora of correspondence from Christian people chastising me for my “lack of faith.”
Yet, I remind readers that the Old Testament story of Joseph was written “for our learning.” (Rom. 15:4) I also remind readers that the tribulations, which American Christians keep saying can’t happen to them, have been happening to Christians throughout the world for decades. I guess God must not love those poor folks as much as He loves us fat, lazy Christians in America, huh?
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Most sensible people know that America’s economic outlook is bleak, the current phony surge in the stock market notwithstanding. For all intents and purposes, the U.S. is bankrupt. We are living on borrowed money and on borrowed time. Every honest economist knows this is true and is making personal preparations for the inevitable. And, by the way, so are many federal law enforcement officers. Many of you would be shocked to discover just how much “prepping” is being done by in-the-know federal agents.
Regardless of the ostriches among us, the fact is, there are millions of people across the country who are already preparing for the “seven years of famine.” I would even dare say that God is NOW relocating much of His remnant in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Pilgrims fled Europe for the new world in America. I know, because I see it every day here in Montana; and this State is not the only place experiencing a surge of pilgrims.
I believe that the next “big event” is going to make 9/11 look like a walk in the park by comparison. A future nuclear war with Russia or China–or both–is a definite possibility. If it happens, about a dozen large American cities, which contain strategic military targets, will be flattened–as well as our key military installations and nuclear missile silos. Woe to those of us who live within a couple hundred miles of those cities and those who live directly eastward of any of these targets.
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Even if my concern regarding nuclear war never materializes (I would love to be wrong about this), how long before another terrorist attack similar to 9/11 takes place? How long before there is another Hurricane Katrina or Los Angeles riot? How long before an EMP takes out the power grid? How long before major water dams dry up? How long before a major drought disrupts the food supply? How long before America’s tattered and fragile economy spawns hyper-inflation? The possible eventualities that might spark a serious national catastrophe are so numerous, it is virtually impossible to count them all.
Am I fear-mongering? Absolutely not! Anyone who knows me or who has listened to my speeches and messages knows I am constantly proclaiming, “Fear not.” It is the federal government and its puppets in the national media who are constantly trying to instill fear in the hearts of people, in order to scare us into accepting their Nanny State and Police State. They know people will surrender liberties they would not ordinarily surrender if they are frightened enough.
No, I am not living in fear, nor am I trying to instill fear in others. But I am advocating readiness. Only foolish people would sit back and do nothing to try and protect their families and loved ones in the face of danger. Twice, the Scriptures say, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3; 27:12 KJV) I remind my Christian brethren: when it rains, it rains on the just and the unjust alike. (Matthew 5:45)
Accordingly, people from virtually every walk of life have asked my thoughts on how they should prepare. Therefore, I will, again, attempt to share with my readers some of the counsel I have given these folks.
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First, a disclaimer: I am not an economist; I am not a survival expert; I am not a firearms expert; I am not an attorney; and I am not a physician. For several years, however, I have tried to learn from others. I am an avid reader. My work has allowed me to travel extensively. In fact, I have logged almost 250,000 miles crisscrossing this great country over the last few years. I have had the privilege of sitting at the feet of–and learning from–many of America’s most learned, most trained, and most qualified experts in a variety of fields. What I write today, I have learned from others. I’ve formed my own opinions and priorities, of course; but everything I’m sharing has been said, or written about, before. But if I can share something in today’s column that will help someone be better prepared for the days to come, then my goal will have been achieved.
Analyze your living conditions. Where do you live? Do you live in an urban or rural environment? Is it a big city or small town? Do you live in an apartment or condominium? How close are your neighbors? Do you even know your neighbors? Would you trust them if the electricity was off and they were hungry? How easily could you secure your home? If you live in a cold weather environment, how long could you stay warm without electricity? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself now.
Over the past several decades, masses of people have migrated into large metropolitan areas. More people currently live in urban areas than at any time in American history. While this may be well and good for times of prosperity, it is an absolute nightmare during any kind of disaster. Needless to say, any inner-city environment could become a powder keg almost instantaneously given the right (or wrong) circumstances. And the bigger the city, the bigger the potential problems.
Plus, as I have already noted, if you live downwind of a major military installation during a nuclear attack, you are in an extremely jeopardous situation. And, no, don’t fool yourself: not every area of the country is as vulnerable to fallout during a nuclear attack as others. I strongly encourage readers to purchase Joel Skousen’s excellent book on strategic relocation to see an in-depth, analytical review of nuclear target and fallout areas–along with other helpful information. Go here:
If you live in the inner city, I suggest you consider moving to a more rural location. If you can afford it, now is a great time to buy a “safe house” outside the city. If you are fortunate enough to have family or some trusted friends nearby, you may want to put your heads–and some resources–together in preparation for serious upheaval. Obviously, a team of prepared people is much better than being alone.
If you must stay in your urban location, have some common sense plans in hand in the event of a major disaster. Get to know your neighbors: find out whom you can trust and whom you can’t. Keep some extra gasoline on hand, in case you need to get in your car quickly and leave. Have several exit routes planned ahead of time in case roads are blocked. Have a “bug-out” bag containing essential ingredients to live on for at least three or four days. If leaving is not an option, have a plan to secure your home as best you can. You’ll need to think about things such as food, water, medicine, warmth, self-defense, etc. But at this point, to do nothing is absolute lunacy!
Most readers probably know that my entire family and I made the decision back in 2010 to move 2,600 miles from our home of 35 years in the Florida panhandle to the Flathead Valley of Montana, which is located about 75 miles south of the Canadian border in the Rocky Mountains. And I can tell readers without equivocation or hesitation that we are so glad we made this move. For me personally, I absolutely love it here.
If readers want to learn more about what prompted our move to Montana, please peruse the information on this web page:
Just a word of caution at this point: making a move to a rural State such as Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska, etc., is not for the faint-hearted. I would be dishonest if I told you that such a move is easy. It is not. It is extremely difficult and challenging. If you are not absolutely serious about such a move–and prepared to deal with the hardships that will certainly follow–don’t even think about it. And if you are squeamish about cold weather, don’t even think about it. Such a move is not only a change of location; it is a change of lifestyle. If you’re not prepared for that, don’t even think about it.
During a major disaster, food will quickly disappear. Living for over three decades on the Gulf Coast, I can tell you with absolute certainty that whenever disaster strikes (usually an approaching hurricane, for those folks), food and provisions at the store completely sell out in a matter of a few hours. People panic; and within hours, you cannot find food, bottled water, ice, generators, batteries, candles, etc. In a matter of hours, every gas station in the area will be completely out of gas. Not days. Hours!
Furthermore, almost all disasters include a complete loss of electricity. The water supply is also compromised. At that point, clean water will become absolutely priceless. Dehydration becomes a very real and present danger. I remember witnessing a man give an ice vendor $100 for an extra bag of ice after Hurricane Ivan. My wife and I went 14 days without electricity in the aftermath of that hurricane. Believe me, I got a taste of just how precious bottled water, ice, batteries, generators, fuel, etc., can become.
I suggest you have a supply of food and water to last at least three months. Many survival experts insist that a six-month supply is the minimum. Personally, I can live a long time on tuna fish or peanut butter. You can purchase MREs from a variety of sources, as well as camp-style packaged food from many sporting goods stores. Of course, bottled water is available everywhere during normal times. Stock up! Distilled water will store longer than spring water. Plus, I suggest you have some water purification tablets or a Katadyn water filter on hand. And, if you are able, prepare to grow your own food. In cold weather climates such as what we have here in Montana, people quickly learn how to construct and utilize greenhouses in which to grow food. Canning food is another very helpful hedge against deprivation. If your parents and grandparents lived through the Great Depression as mine did, this was standard operating procedure.
Get a generator. Keep a supply of fuel on hand. Stay stocked up on batteries, candles, portable lights, first aid supplies, and toiletries–especially toilet paper and toothpaste. I also suggest you never run out of lighters or matches. You never know when you’ll need to build a fire. If you live in a cold weather climate, you probably already have some sort of wood stove or fireplace.
Gas masks, geiger counters, plastic sheets for doors and windows, and iodine tablets are an absolute necessity in any kind of radiation emergency. And don’t overlook the benefits of a good knife. Plus, you can NEVER have too much duct tape.
Obviously, you need to take stock of your clothing. Do you have clothes suitable for extended outdoor activity? What about boots? During a disaster, you would trade your best suit from Neiman Marcus for a good pair of boots. Do you have gloves? Insulated underwear? What about camouflage clothing? These could become essential outerwear in the right conditions. Plus, any “bug-out” bag will need to include spare clothing. And as most folks here in Montana know, “cotton kills.” For extended outdoor wear in cold weather, wool is the only way to go.
Communication and medical provisions are also a high priority in any kind of emergency. How will you communicate with your loved ones when the phones (including cell phones) go down? Portable ham radios are a very valuable resource. But the time to buy (and train to use) one is NOW! A preordained rally point (or safe house) might be something to think about. And what about medical supplies? Do you have enough medical supplies to take care of routine (and not-so-routine) emergencies? What about your prescription drugs? How long could you function if you were cut off from your druggist for any length of time? Also, seriously consider learning about natural, herbal medicines. Those plants growing in your “back forty” might just cure a headache, stop bleeding, or even save your life. Think about it now.
And one more suggestion while we’re on this subject: the best resources in the world are of little use if one is physically incapable of making good use of them. In other words, GET IN SHAPE. During any kind of emergency situation, physical exertion and stamina become immensely important. Plus, good health will keep the need for medical treatment and prescription drugs at bay.
I suggest you have at least some cash on hand. Just about any and all disasters will result in banks being closed for extended periods of time. That also means credit card purchases being suspended. You need to have enough cash to be able to purchase essential goods (if they are even available) for an undetermined amount of time.
Of course, some survival gurus insist that during any cataclysmic climate, precious metals will become the only reliable currency. A little gold and silver could go a long way in a prolonged emergency. And right now is a great time to buy gold and silver. Current spot prices are extremely deflated and won’t stay this low forever.
In fact, in a disaster, what is considered a valuable commodity can change rather quickly, as the barter system takes a life of its own. What is valuable is determined by what you need and how badly you need it. In a prolonged disaster, simple things such as toilet paper, canned goods, ammunition, and clothing could become extremely valuable–while cars, video games, televisions, etc., could be reduced to junk status. In antiquity, wars were fought over things such as salt. You might be surprised to learn that there are already active barter groups in your area. I suggest you establish a relationship with these people now.
Speaking of cars, remember that during a prolonged national emergency that might involve some sort of nuclear attack or widespread civil unrest, an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) might be employed–in which case, most every late model vehicle would be completely inoperable. Accordingly, if one can keep an older, pre-computer-age vehicle in good working order, he or she might be driving the only non-government vehicle capable of going anywhere. Of course, you might not want to drive it to town, if that is the case.
Needless to say, during any kind of disaster, your safety and protection will be completely up to you. If you really think that the police are going to be able to protect you during an upheaval, you are living in a dream world.
In the New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Ferguson emergencies, many people found that police protection was non-existent. Lawless gangs quickly took control of the streets, and people were left to either defend themselves or swiftly become the helpless prey of violent marauders. In fact, in New Orleans, some of the policemen actually abandoned their oaths to uphold the law and joined with the criminals, turning their weapons against the public.
Face it, folks: in any kind of disaster, you must be able to defend yourself; or you and your family will be meat for these animals of society that will quickly descend without mercy upon the unprepared, unsuspecting souls around them. This requires that you be armed. It also requires that you be skilled enough to be able to efficiently use your arms. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you purchase firearms sufficient to keep you and your family safe, and also that you practice sufficiently to know how to use them.
Now, when it comes to a discussion of which firearms are preferable for self-defense, the suggestions are as varied as the people who proffer them. These are my suggestions:
I believe every man (along with his wife and children of adequate age) should be proficient with the following firearms: a handgun in .38 caliber or above, a .22 rifle, a center-fire bolt-action hunting rifle, a semi-automatic battle rifle, and a shotgun.
My personal preference for a self-defense handgun is a Glock pistol in either .40 or .45 caliber (models 22 and 23 in .40 caliber and models 21 and 30 in .45 caliber). Of course, the 1911 .45 ACP (I prefer Colt, Kimber, or Springfield Armory) is also proven to be very effective. I will also admit to sometimes carrying a 9mm Glock (models 19 and 22) or a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver. My two favorites in this caliber are the Model 66 with a 2 ½-inch barrel and the Model 586 with a 4-inch barrel. My wife prefers to carry a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver in the snub-nose, J-frame configuration. But this is primarily due to the reduced weight of these weapons for carry purposes. If needed, she could make a good accounting of herself with the Glock 19.
If you are someone who has never owned and seldom fired a handgun, I recommend you buy a Glock. They are as simple as revolvers to operate, reliable, and almost indestructible. Plus, they provide increased magazine capacity, and are safe. They are also very easy to disassemble and clean. And, yes, I will admit that for some people, a revolver might be the preferred handgun. It has no external magazine to worry about losing; it is very dependable and reliable; it is easy to clean; and it is simple to operate. In a revolver, my suggestion would be either Smith and Wesson or Ruger.
Of course, in dangerous game territory, you will need the power of a 10mm (the Glock 20 shines here), .45 Long Colt, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, or even a .454 Casull. These calibers are not for the limp-wristed; but when one is facing a brown bear, it is what one will need to survive. Plus, when your life is on the line, you’ll never feel the recoil.
For a .22 rifle, I really like the Ruger 10/22. A Marlin tube-fed .22 is also very effective. The CZ bolt-action .22 just might be the most accurate factory .22 on the market. For a hunting rifle, my suggestion is either a .270 or .30-06 caliber bolt-action rifle. I prefer the Remington Model 700 BDL or Browning X-Bolt, but there are several fine weapons in this configuration and caliber by numerous manufacturers. In dangerous game territory, a Marlin .45-70 could be a lifesaver. For a battle rifle, I suggest an AR-15-style firearm in 5.56 caliber or a .308 Springfield M1A. For a shotgun, I suggest a 12-gauge pump or semi-automatic. In a pump shotgun, I prefer a Winchester Model 1300, which is not made anymore. So, you’ll probably have to choose between Mossberg and Remington. In the semi-auto configuration, Mossberg is currently making some fine shotguns. For ladies, however, a 20-gauge shotgun is probably a better choice; and at “bad breath” range (where a shotgun shines, anyway), it is just as lethal.
Whatever you choose, practice with it to the point that you are able to use it proficiently. And be sure you stock up on ammunition (good luck finding .22). A gun without ammo is reduced to being either an expensive club or a cumbersome paperweight.
Go to your local independent sporting goods store (I don’t recommend the large national chain stores to do your firearms shopping) and get to know your hometown firearms dealer. Most of these people are kind and helpful folks who will be more than happy to assist you in finding exactly what type of firearm is suitable for you and your family.
I firmly believe that man is created to have fellowship with his Creator-God. I really don’t know how people can face an uncertain future without the spiritual knowledge, wisdom, comfort, and power that is made available through Jesus Christ. I believe the maxim is true: “Wise men still seek Him.” I strongly suggest that you seek to possess a personal relationship with God’s only begotten Son. In truth, spiritual preparation is far and away the most important preparation of all. Accordingly, be sure to pack a copy of God’s Word in your survival gear.
And if you have not been able to find a local church where the pastor isn’t afraid to deal with the kind of issues like I am dealing with in this column, I invite you to worship online with us at Liberty Fellowship. People all over America who are tired of these 501c3, establishment churches–that have no clue as to what is going on and who wouldn’t take a stand if they did–are tuning in to hear my messages at Liberty Fellowship every Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm Mountain Time. We also archive all of my messages online. Here is the website:
Plus, we also recently launched the Liberty Church Project, through which we are helping pastors and churches break free from the 501c3 government church status and revive the independent patriot pulpit and liberty church once again. If you seriously want to help launch a non-501c3 church where you live, please go our website and fill out the online application. Go here:
That we are facing challenging days is a certainty. Exactly what that means is yet to be determined. I trust that some of my suggestions will help you be better prepared for what lies before us. Plus, here is an excellent website chock-full of great suggestions and resources for all things survival. Check it out:
I am sure that I have left out several items that others more qualified than I would include. I welcome their suggestions, as I am always desirous to learn from those who are wiser and more experienced. In the meantime, remember your Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.”
© Chuck Baldwin
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.