Walled Neighborhoods After TEOTWAWKI and What Happened to Gold?

by David Morris on August 25, 2011

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by my new survival training course, “Fastest Way To Prepare”.  This week, we’re going to talk about a slightly “dark” topic…the role I see walled neighborhoods playing after a breakdown in civil order. We’re also going to discuss why the gold roller coaster happened this week, so hang on and let’s get started!

To start with, take care if you’re on the Eastern seabord.  My family and millions of others are praying for you.  Hopefully, it will be a non-event and simply a wake-up call to millions of people about how unexpectedly disasters can happen.

If we do experience an end of the world (EOTW) scenario, end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) scenario, or even a severe economic collapse, one of the most practical security measures that homeowners, neighborhoods, and small towns can take is to find ways to increase security with minimal manpower.

And one of the simplest ways to do this is by using physical barriers. The TYPE of barrier is going to depend on your resources, budget, time-frame, and the threat that you are defending against. As an example, chain length fence topped with barbed wire will keep most 2 and 4 legged predators out of your garden, but won’t stop a truck, tank, or helicopter.

What we’re going to talk about here is one of the ways I see good people responding to long term breakdowns in civil order…not defending against tanks and helicopters, but defending against robbery, home invasions, and other violent attacks. In particular, creating small safe zones within cities.

Of course there’s a precedent for this. From the time that people started creating population centers to expand commerce and join together for common defense, people have used physical barriers to keep hostile invaders out.

Some historical physical barriers were purely functional. Others are beautiful after the fact, like old west forts, castles, and the Great Wall of China.

Fast forward to today, walls are used in 2nd and 3rd world countries around the globe to protect individual houses and neighborhoods from outsiders. My friends from Mexico City weren’t upper class, but they still lived in walled neighborhoods with guards armed with Uzi’s. One of them ran a daycare for wealthy families from their house and several of the pre-schoolers had their own armed guards who stayed outside the house during the day. Interestingly enough, these guns that the armed guards carried were “illegal.”

Regardless of what towns and cities will officially do in a TEOTWAWKI situation, people with the means to do so WILL protect themselves. And one of the best ways to insure that you live to a ripe old age is to make sure that you never look like the easiest target and physical barriers go a long way towards helping criminals decide to go after someone else’s stuff instead of yours.

Almost all houses in the US are vulnerable to attack. Flimsy interior doors, sliding glass doors, multiple BIG windows, insecure entry doors, and non-rock/brick/cement construction all add up to big vulnerability from determined attackers.

One thing in particular that I see happening is that wealthy urban US homeowners follow the example of wealthy homeowners from around the world and wall themselves in…with walls around both their individual properties and bigger walls around their neighborhoods.

It could be with Hesco barriers, prestressed concrete walls, silage walls, conex boxes (shipping containers), brick, stone, walls made of lumber, or whatever happens to work best in a particular area used alone or in conjunction with trenches and/or barbed wire.

If you’re not familiar with Hesco barriers, they are big stackable “boxes” of dirt. They come in several sizes, but are basically collapsible weaved fabric boxes measuring 1 meter tall by 1 meter deep by 10 meters long that you fill with sand/dirt with a front end loader. They’re effective against firearms, small bombs, and vehicle assaults. You can set them up single or double thick and stack them several layers high. Our troops have used them extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ve saved countless lives and are MUCH more efficient than sandbags if you have the equipment necessary to load them.

If you’ve ever seen a cement commercial building go from nothing to all 4 walls being up in a few hours, you’ve seen prestressed concrete in action. Silage walls are also prestressed concrete, but they’re generally made with wider bases so they are self supporting…like highway barriers, only taller.

Why do I bring this up? Because I see opportunity here, and you can take advantage of it. First, if you are in a neighborhood/apartment/condo where it might be practical to pool money to build a common defensive wall, you might want to start looking for resources as you’re going about your daily life. Identify people who use heavy equipment, companies that own heavy equipment, concrete companies, independent truckers, etc. Also start thinking about where you would place the walls and openings/checkpoints. How would you alter it if you can’t raise enough money?

I would love to say that the need to build improvised walls around your neighborhood has little to no chance of happening, but we just don’t know. People probably thought protective walls weren’t necessary at some point in most of the places in the world where they’re in use today.

In any case, the sheer volume of low probability threats that we’re currently facing adds up to a significant risk. (Like this week’s East coast earthquake AND hurricane.)  Even so, this is an idea that I’d let your mind chew on and start identifying solutions, but I wouldn’t dedicate money or a significant amount of time to it at this point unless it makes sense in light of your current level of preparedness. You’re MUCH more likely to benefit from taking the steps necessary to have 40 days of food on hand than you would be to benefit from spending the same amount of time and money on physical barriers. Even so, just introducing the concept will help you start identifying opportunities around you.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve seen and talked with officials from cities in the US where they either have concrete barriers pre-positioned near where they’re needed or have heavy equipment operators on standby to close off access to the town by outsiders in the event of a disaster.

Second, if you happen to have skills or assets that could be used to help secure semi-wealthy or wealthy neighborhoods, start thinking about how you would sell your services after a disaster. Would you sell your services for money? For a place to live within the wall? For a share of water? Maybe you don’t currently live somewhere where it would be practical to put up physical barriers, but you might be able to figure out how to provide enough value to people who DO live in areas that can afford to erect physical barriers to be able to move in.

Third, think about what skills you have that would be of value to people inside of communities that might put up walls. Are you a master hydroponic, aeroponic, or conventional gardener and are you wanting to expand your operation? Are you skilled and experienced at raising animals, but don’t have the secure space to do it? The answer to both of these questions MAY lead you to growing food or raising animals on someone else’s property within a walled neighborhood or property…especially if it’s more secure. Heck, I even see opportunities for armed house sitters to watch over people’s houses while the owners are on vacation or at other (rural) properties.

This brings to mind a conversation that I had last fall when I was visiting with a friend of mine 2,000 miles away from home. He asked me what I would do if a fictional “Jericho” type event happened that day where my family and home got wiped out by a nuclear bomb, shortly followed by an EMP that knocked out power across the country. My answer was that I’d find the wealthiest neighborhood I could find and figure out what their particular needs were and how I could make myself so valuable that they’d be eager to give me food, fire, water, shelter, and medication…even though I was a complete stranger visiting from out of town.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on walled neighborhoods after a breakdown in civil order. I’m particularly interested in hearing from people who have lived overseas in walled “compounds,” whether they were US enclaves or simple civilian neighborhoods. I know many of you have been DOD/State dependents stationed overseas and I would appreciate any insights you have to share.

What in the heck happened to gold?!?

On Tuesday, I was jolted but not really surprised during the day to see that gold had dropped over $50 per ounce. I knew it was coming, but it was still humbling to see that vertical line straight down and realize that it wasn’t simply a rogue trade messing with the charts. If this sounds familiar to you, that’s because it happened earlier this year to silver.

Back in May, silver margin requirements went up by 50% in roughly a week and silver prices dropped over 20%. What happened was that COMEX (commodities exchange) raised margin rates on silver so that investors had to have $16,200 in their account to control $235,000 of silver instead of $11,745.

The same thing happened this week (and 2 weeks ago) with Gold. With the run-up of gold prices, COMEX made the prudent decision to make investors pony up more money to back the gold they controlled.

Here’s what I mean. A gold futures contract consists of 100 ounces of gold. At $1,700 per ounce, one contract is worth $170,000. Since the contract controls 100 ounces of gold, every time the price of gold moves $1, you gain or lose $100 in your account. On the 11th of August, COMEX raised the amount of money you needed to have in your account to control this contract from $4,500 to $5,500.

With a $4,500 margin requirement and 100:1 leverage, if the price of gold goes up $45, you double your money. If it drops $45, you lose everything. Considering the big fluctuations that we’ve seen in the price of gold, $45 isn’t very much of a buffer. Frankly, $55 wasn’t much of a buffer either.

So, this week, the amount of money you needed to have in your account to control 100 ounces of gold got raised again from $5,500 to $7,000. Yes…you did read that correctly. For only the cost of a few ounces of gold, you could control 100 ounces of gold. Amazing leverage—and amazing potential for making or losing lots of money in a hurry.

Between when the reserve requirement increase was announced and Thursday, investors had to either add the additional $1,500 per contract to their account or sell their contracts.

This gets a little tricky, but it costs more to BUY a contract than to simply HOLD a contract and the requirements for buying contracts went up from $7,425 to $9,450…or 27%. All things being equal, this means that roughly 27% fewer (actually 21% fewer) contracts could be purchased with the same number of dollars flowing into gold.

As prices dropped, investors who were fully leveraged had to either put up money to cover their losses OR sell their contracts.

So, we had 3 things conspiring…investors had to put up additional reserves just to meet margin requirements or sell. As the price started dropping, investors had to either pony up money to cover their losses or sell. As these two groups of investors were selling, fewer contracts were being bought because investors were having to cover losses and new investors had to pay more for each contract.

The end result is that the price of paper gold contracts caused the price of real physical gold to drop in “value.” My guess is that once this settles out, gold will keep going up in value against fiat currencies…not so much because gold is MORE valuable, but because fiat currencies are dropping in value in comparison to gold.

Again, I’d love to get your comments, thoughts, and ideas on walled cities, as well as gold. The newsletters have been prompting some great exchanges of ideas recently and everyone wins when people share good, solid information.

And, if you haven’t checked out my new training course, “,” I want to encourage you to do so. It covers the vital core elements of survival, like SurviveInPlace.com, but does it from a completely different approach. To begin with, it’s condensed…6 modules instead of 12.

Next, instead of giving you several options and letting you decide which one to go with, it lays out the quickest and easiest ways to prepare your family for surviving for when shelves are empty and the situation is chaotic. There are still choices you will need to make, but none that will take very long.

is an audio/visual course instead of a written course. In it, I show a lot of the items that our family has, tell you why we have them, and where you can get the items if you want them. If I had to pay for all of the items I test on a monthly basis, it would be a few thousand dollars…money that you won’t have to spend because I share the items that I’ve proven to be worth trusting for my family.

is written with the thought in mind that you see the possibility of things collapsing (locally, as in a hurricane, or nationally) VERY quickly and you want to take IMMEDIATE action on getting the necessary items in place.

To learn more, go to:

Until next week, God bless and stay safe!
David Morris.

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1kevin
August 26, 2011 at 9:36 am

very good article. it mgot me thinking about what i could do to fortify our place


Vote -1 Vote +1Seamus
August 26, 2011 at 11:01 am

I think many “walled” or gated communities are nothing more than corrals. Predators often think of them in exactly the same manner, too many residents have an “…it can’t happen to ME…” attitude living within.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 11:08 am

It depends on whether you’ve got warriors, sheep, or turds within the walls.

Some reinforced concrete structures are used to keep criminals contained. Others are used as one of many tools to keep criminals out.

Two examples of this are prisons here and bases/fire bases in Iraq & Afghanistan. They both use may of the same tools, because at some level they’ve got the same goal–to control the movement and access of bad people.


Vote -1 Vote +1Danette Zak
September 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm

We chose to live in a fenced community, because of this instance. But, we are prepared and willing to defend our area. We are coming up with more ways each day to combat any issues that may arise in different situations. As my husband states, it’s useless to have a wall unless you are willing to defend that wall, or any type of barricade. You still need other lines of defense.


Vote -1 Vote +1Sunshine
August 26, 2011 at 9:47 am

Unlike some people I have skills that would be valuable after any emergency. While I do not expect to have to relocate I have security options and routes in the event that I do have to leave due to an unexpected event. As a primitive skills expert, edible, medicinal and utilitarian plant expert, a muleskinners granddaughter (person who breeds, trains and works with draft animals) plus a backyard gardener my skill sets are rare on a good day and invaluable on a bad one.


Vote -1 Vote +1tim
September 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm

sunshine if there ever is a breakdown you can team up with me. i have an acre of land,a shallow well in a pumphouse and my own septic system. there are 17 pecan trees on the land and a lightpole to hookup atrailer. i am a former welder and just finished training as a truckdriver. i am able to repair lots of stuff but i have no time for gardening,hunting or fishing. i have started to stockpile food and other supplies and hope to be self sufficient in one year. i live in south ga. way out in the country, feel free to email me.good luck.


Vote -1 Vote +1Alan Cameron
August 26, 2011 at 9:48 am

About 45 years ago I visited some people in a walled community in Manila. Armed guards at the outer wall and security staff at the house lot wall. The question of security was raised as we were leaving and a “local expat” commented that of course there was still crime in the place – did i know how much the ‘guards” were paid?


Vote -1 Vote +1bob wheeless
August 26, 2011 at 11:37 am

Simply stated, if you’re in a city or in a large community you’re in the wrong place to survive.
This won’t be over in 90 days, my guess is nine years–maybe.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 11:44 am

Actually, there’s nothing simple about it. Fortunately for the majority of people who live in populated areas, history and reality in the rest of the world tells a different story. When things go REALLY bad, they affect both urban and rural people…just in different ways. Is rural the right way to go? Yes. Is urban the right way to go? Yes. It all depends on your particular situation.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1VetJim
August 27, 2011 at 12:15 am

One thing to consider, and I am not one to rely on gov’t in case of a breakdown, is that assistance will come quicker to a larger population zone. Also someone looking to sell items, let’s say produce or chickens from their garden, will probably go to a more populated area where they will get a better price and only have to go to one location instead of 5 less populated areas. Just a thought….


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Danette Zak
September 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm

You can survive in a city, there are many different ways to go about it. Not many people today can survive in the woods. Heck, I know of a few people that are afraid of cows, ask them to pitch a tent or even pick up a frog and they’d freak out. I have the mind set and skills to survive in the woods, but my body probably will collapse before my mind and skill set will. As the Russians learned in WWII that it was easier to “hole up” in a city than in the cold open area the Germans were in. It’s still warmer with 4 walls around you and no heat than out in the open with nothing but a coat around you. You just have to think out side of the “box”.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dan
August 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

One thing I humbly might add is not to be confused with “gated” communities. Oft times “gated” communities either have walls of chain link fence with/without a security guard at access points. These are the first places looters will look to since they are established and presumed to be owned by the wealthy. Most communities in my area that are like this are also home to the elderly. These communities have little motivation for self defense since they feel secure within their walls and guard(s).


Vote -1 Vote +1Richard Scott
August 26, 2011 at 9:57 am

Thanks for the info on gold futures, don’t think I will be buying any. The walled cities and / or compounds is not something that we are used to seeing in this country and day an age, what would the environmental impact statements be?


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Miss Arleen
August 27, 2011 at 8:53 am

Sorry to be so terse…but I don’t think the focus of the majority would be on the environment if SHTF. Somebody mentioned “Jericho”. (Loved the show.) Anyway, I don’t remember once during the series any environmental concerns being addressed- it was pure survival. Some things are just not going to matter any more when we get to that place. Then again, certain things that are of no consequence to most prior to a disaster will take on totally new meaning afterward.


Vote -1 Vote +1Esteban Cafe
August 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

I don’t mean to be so terse…but it’s called sarcasm. 🙂


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave in Calif
August 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

Walled compounds would work, but for the cost of putting up something like that, and home owners associations that would flat out reject ANY plans of a wall like that on your own property. Maybe 12 inch diameter metal pipes filled with rebar and concrete set in concrete around 4 -5 feet down spaced every five feet and rolled up razor wire (hidden in planters at each pole, looks nice also) to be rolled out to each post and connected. Also a couple of bunkers, not heavy stuff, sandbag stuff, enough to stop small arms fire. This what we had in Nam and seemed to work fine… a few claymores would also help..:-)..but I imagine rather difficult to acquire in this day a age. A fence also can’t hide the bad guys either, so you can have a clear 360 shooting view. IMHO



+4 Vote -1 Vote +1VetJim
August 27, 2011 at 12:17 am

The homeowner assn would never go for the claymores…;-)


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm

They will if you place them within a patch of daisies…just call them mini-daisy-cutters. You could even make flower pots with a false bottom and make part of the pot out of a claymore. Who knows, it could be a completely new artform for after TEOTWAWKI…claymore art 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1R. Neville
August 28, 2011 at 2:53 am

The are a testy group, aren’t they?


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1mountainlivin
August 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

Keep in mind that in today’s society that visible security measures can actually attract attention. Depending on where you live, a chain link fence might be the only one in the area. I live in a mountain town where the only fences are 3, 4, or 5 strand barbed wire fences for livestock. Big security fences would mean we have something unusual or valuable to protect and would act as a beacon to foreigners. Not only that, homes are very difficult to defend when you have limited manpower. If you see imminent home invasion, it might be best to leave your home to find a less visible target that is easier to defend with minimal manpower. If you are on the path to planning to defend your home, think of it from the invaders perspective. Could they shoot at you from 50, 100, 300, or 500 yards away without them being seen? If so, your home might be too dangerous to maintain. With a sliding glass door, windows and woods around us, it would be nearly impossible for my small family to maintain security.


Vote -1 Vote +1bob wheeless
August 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

There are thousands of mines, some with multible entrances, in the western mountains. One person can easily guard the entrance.
Course, you’ll have to cut your own firewood and hunt game but the eats are good. Your wife’s diamonds and furs won’t impress the neigbors but who cares about that?


+3 Vote -1 Vote +1wandamurline
August 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I have a 230 acre ranch with one road in and the same road out and am surrounded by huge tracts of very heavy covered woods and vines. I have a 308 and can take out a target at about 500 yards and even further….have been practicing a lot….not to mention that my kids live right next door and everyone in this family knows how to shoot a gun and is very good at it. Our acreage is too large for a walled community, but I feel a lot safer here because we are hard to locate….even a GPS will not locate our place. We are stocked with food, water, guns and amo….we started working on this about 18 months ago when we saw the changes being done to the economy and the runaway spending done the first year of the Obama administration. My hope is that I never have to take a long shot, but I am prepared to do so should I be put into that position…..same for short shots also. I believe you should be prepared….as a tea partier….we hang onto our bibles and guns….at least that is what was said by the imposter we have for a president.


Vote -1 Vote +1Karen
August 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I’d be more suspicious of a tall wood fence that was a wall of boards because that, not the chain link, suggests things to keep out of sight.


Vote -1 Vote +1John Hanna
August 26, 2011 at 10:22 am

Not long ago I bought a canoe from a fellow in a walled neighborhood and looked the place over from the single entry point for 2000 homes to the 20 foot of green between houses.
The canoe was purchased from a cop that picked it up for near nothing at a internal seized property auction for cash, no taxes paid from a guy that gets enough of my money to live upscale – building resentment.
I am a nice guy and I won’t let that irritation overflow but some of my mates that have noticed some of the same inconsistencies also feel cheated and when push comes to shove the outsiders are going to have an excuse to get some of their money back – in other words spoiled government workers in their walled communities with short supplies are going to be targets.
In contrast I know a guy that does government contracting overseas for big dough and he lives in a trailer in the woods. His neighbors are of the same type, his immediate neighbor also a policeman. They have survival equipment, can farm, can hunt, and have unseen surveillance about. They are already self sufficient and intent to branch out and help as many as they can but I am guessing it would not be a good idea to try to sneak up on that neighborhood and steal something. These are the guys I am going to work with.
When that government food truck passes all those starving taxpayers to service those unprepared civil workers in that first walled community I spoke of, all bets are off. They aren’t going to get US military help for their thieving ways – the military doesn’t come from walled communities, they come from my neighborhood.
If you are a rich non Islamic doctor living in a walled community and work without money during the down period you will certainly survive but demanding civil servants should come up with skills other than making self serving laws.
One good thing the government can do is turn wasted resources (effluent) into permaculture in a budget neutral manner to provide an open food supply for everyone’s benefit. Food crops, nuts, berries, fruit trees and build a little good will among those that might soon be feeding them.


Vote -1 Vote +1Sam
August 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm


Snicker. You’re a man after my own heart.

I’m not as self-reliant as you. I do leatherwork and gunsmithing as hobbies, not as trades. But, like most folks on this site, I am stocked up, and I keep stocking up by rotation. Some of the yuppies and government trash here where I live would starve just because they are too dependent on the system. I am in the process of losing weight, so if something happened, no one could accuse me of “hoarding” food.

Still, the future is going to be a bit interesting. I see the walled communities more as death traps than anything else. I also see the constabulary and military more as looters than anything else (witness the cops in NOLA after Katrina); although this trash will steal from you under color of law, as well as try to disarm you.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Daniel
August 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I can agree with you first hand having been involved with the Technical rescue teams in New Orleans since the day before the hurricane hit. The NO PD were some of the biggest thieves on the streets. They blatantly defied the Govenors directives. One Sgt even told me that they didn’t care what the govenor said or had written in Directives, they were going to do what they wanted when they wanted. I finally had to request the assistance of the National Guard. There was little supervision of the local PD. Of course when the Govenor ordered a recall of all the N.O. PD officers to report for duty it was discovered that there were ghost officers on the payroll. (quite a few actually) Which would have to encompass a number of high ranking employees to facilitate an enterprise of that magnitude. We had to rely on private security for the safety of our equipment and persons while in the field. I personally believe that one should make plans for you and your family. Pre-planning is the key to survival. Additionally keep your plans to yourself. If you tell one person outside of the family then you can be assured that eventually everyone will know of them, what you have and what your capabilities are. Relying on the Government to bail you out is a no brainer. When and if it does come it will be weeks not days and most likely longer.


Vote -1 Vote +1Karen
August 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Effluent is NOT a good material for growing anything edible; it contains heavy metals and other toxic chemicals and drug residues (including estrogen-imitating compounds) that can be taken up by edible plants. From http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/016788099090182D: “Vegetables harvested from ash-treated soil had higher yields and lower heavy-metal contents than those treated with sludge. The inferior growth of vegetables harvested from sludge-amended soils seemed to correlate with the lower pH, lower organic matter and higher heavy-metal contents of the soil.”


Vote -1 Vote +1Jeffrey
August 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

If you’re in the market for a new home, I’d like to suggest liteform construction. Instead of stick building with 2×6’s, walls are made with 8″ re-inforced concrete.

My walls of my home went up in about 3 days.


Vote -1 Vote +1bob wheeless
August 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

Walls are only barriers. What about water, emergency food and medical supplies.

The first thing to think about is; inside those concrete walls your trapped, kind’a like being in prison with no one to service your needs.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 11:15 am

You’re absolutely correct about the importance of water & food. Security and medical care come after the 4 main tenets of survival: Shelter, Fire, Water, & Food. But you’re only trapped inside the walls if you’re a sheep or a rat. If you’re inside concrete walls with a bunch of fellow warriors then you have a lot more control over when, where, and how you interact with outsiders.

That’s why, throughout history, smart military forces have built or used fortified positions.


Vote -1 Vote +1bob wheeless
August 26, 2011 at 11:47 am

Sorry, I didn’t realize we also had a >bunch of warriors< living with us.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. The point is that saying that fortifications are just like prisons is like saying that foxholes are just like graves…for those who die while fighting in a foxhole, there’s an element of truth. But to those who survive because of their foxhole, the difference is stark.


Vote -1 Vote +1Sam
August 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Napoleon saw fortresses as a waste of manpower.

Witness Constantinople, Vicksburg, the Maginot Line, Koenigsburg, and a host of others.

Those inside a fortress can be starved out, or a foe can wait until ammo runs out.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Fortunately, those are all VERY different situations than what I was writing about. And even against an army/determined enemy…it depends. Tell our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan who are sleeping behind Hesco barriers and containers and you might get a different answer. The difference is the enemy that you’re fighting. As I said in the article, Hesco barriers don’t do much good against tanks and helicopters…or even heavy infantry. If you’re fighting against tanks, helicopters, or heavy infantry in a TEOTWAWKI situation, then you’ve got bigger problems…VERY low probability problems

But if you’re trying to make yourself a less appealing target to thieves, home invaders, and small to medium sized gangs armed with pistols and rifles, then it’s a different story. This has been proven over and over throughout generations and is why people still live within walled neighborhoods, compounds, and houses around the world.


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Tricia
August 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Being Military, we were stationed in Panama, lived off base, Our apartment was walled with double layered concrete blocks 10 Ft high then had broken glass cemented on top of that. And they still got in!! The entrance was guarded for coming and going. Did I feel safe? NO! I felt more like a target because of the tight security. During this time they were having loads of protest, My daughters school bus was taken, with the kids, with the military guards there. We got them back several hours later, unharmed.
I would like to have a way to protect my family without standing out. Something that could be constructed easily, yet not look like I’m walled in or have something to hide.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ernest
August 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm

For the past two years I have been nudging neighbors toward getting prepared. Most are starting to buy in to the idea. We live in a small neighborhood on the outskirts of town 75 homes altogether. We recently had a little crime spree that woke more people up and tightened those of us up a little more. I think that if the lid blows off we would work together fairly well to help defend are small neighborhood. This would make other softer targets more inviting.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Kaytee
August 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Poured concrete walls generally are not earthquake safe…. They don’t “move” with the ground right, and so will fall over unless well braced. Usually, only commercial buildings can afford to be “earthquake-proof”, if they have the slab walls.
And, now, it is evident to most, that the West Coast is not the only place in the US that earthquakes occur….


Vote -1 Vote +1Danette Zak
September 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm

just curious, what was the cost?


Vote -1 Vote +1Joseph Hyde
August 26, 2011 at 10:32 am


I appreciate your news letter and it seems that you are a good moral person or even maybe a Christian… I think that what we are facing is a few things I found on a web site of another good moral person…a Mormon…here;


I think that regardless of whether it is ‘true’ or not, as the world and society is going I think that this is what is facing us and maybe, if you have not already, could make it very explicit and plain to your readers…(I’m one of them!)

Thanks Much!

Joe Hyde


Vote -1 Vote +1Jeff
August 26, 2011 at 10:47 am

I live in one of the largest gated & guarded communities in the country here is the SE. There are about 80K residents and although most are at least 55 years of age, a huge percentange are veterans of Korea, Nam’, and a handful with experience in Iraq. Most have combat skills. The Association President was commander of a nuclear sub. Pleanty of retired cops and firemen. When you do the math there is a collective 2,000,000 years of knowledge and skills within the community. There are also thousands of acres of golf courses that could be used for agriculture if necessary, limited access points, many walls, basically four state roads that border the property, a full blown hospital, hundreds of retired doctors and nurses, and a good water supply. Two rural airports are nearby as well as three private strips that I know of. Now, should the SHTF I would prefer to be in South America or maybe northern Montana, but if I was stuck in one place it would be hard to find a better location than this. That said, I still have my own protections in place and it would be a bad day for anyone coming over my back wall uninvited.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 10:59 am

HUA! You’ve also got people who have the potential to be at the prime of their life as far as experience, skill, knowledge, and wisdom. You can always get young guys to break rocks and stay up all night 🙂 It sounds like a great place to make a stand.


Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
August 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Sounds like great ideas, but you need to make plans like that now…


Vote -1 Vote +1Karen
August 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Your math is off; that’s 4.4 million years, not 2 million. : )


Vote -1 Vote +1James Faster
December 3, 2011 at 7:02 am

You must live where I live. +55 and loads of retired law enforcement and military types many of whom happen to be hunters. I’m just getting started with this survival thing but my retirement job is stock trading sic personally managing the money I escaped with which has always meant worst scenario thinking. The worst thing that could happen here is a mob. I cannot imagine an armed organized force coming up against my community in which the first line of defense would not be us but rather our small police force and the NG. Then us. We don’t need walls. We have acres and acres of open fields they would have to cross and a line of wooded windbreakers. If they got into our streets from the one access road, even using squad tactics, a bad shot (marksman) like me could pick them off and so could my neighbors with weapons training even if circa NAM.

A whole new world of thought has been opened up to me. Like the song says “I will survive!”


Vote -1 Vote +1connie
August 26, 2011 at 10:56 am

I know of a man in my area who has already fenced off his place so nobody can see his
gigantic garden .Alot of the houses are starting to lock the backyards off .Some of the fences are sturdy others not .But I can see a time when gardens are raided for food and
one woman who uses drop ins and food banks told me she would rob if they were closed and didnt care what happened.I also see garages being converted to homes for extra help
and security.Policing up here is a joke


Vote -1 Vote +1BubbaInVegas
August 26, 2011 at 11:16 am

The change in the reserve requirements for gold and silver merely served to flush out the smaller investors who could not come up with the cash to cover the margin. This, of course, creates a wonderful buying opportunity for huge investors, like the George Soros’s of the world, allowing them to control even more, just as the price of gold is about to soar while our fiat currencies collapse. How convenient.


Vote -1 Vote +1bob wheeless
August 26, 2011 at 11:19 am

The BIG question is: Are you willing to kill some starving soul for stealing a tomato from your garden? You’d better be, ’cause they’ll kill you when their children’s hunger and thirst are involved.
If you don’t have a gun, get one and learn to use it.


-1 Vote -1 Vote +1Looey Munn
August 26, 2011 at 11:28 am

What would be the use for an electronics engineer used to older analogue circuitry? Also able to do some mechanical work on cars and trucks.

Just curious.

My home is partially earth sheltered, but the front is open. Up in a hill away from the road. Small group of 8-10 dwellings spread in the general area, lots of old cars in the general area. Decent but winding road generally below the housing. Many larger rocks. Not a lot of riches. Coal mine neaby, all automated. Average income. Any hope for rural Montana?


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 11:36 am

Sometimes sarcasm doesn’t come through so well in typed form. Are you serious?


Vote -1 Vote +1Karen
August 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Google ‘transferable skills’ and stop thinking in such limited terms.


Vote -1 Vote +1DB
August 26, 2011 at 11:58 am

[name changed by DM] I am the president of a gated HOA with 341 homes. It is a middle-class community. Some homes are vacant and some are in the midst of forclosure. Somewhere between 20 and 30% of the homes are rentals, and unfortunately that means a lot of the trash lives within our gates. In certain instances some of the homes (mostly 2 income homes) have one or both of the owners out of work collecting unemployement. I forsee a completely different set of issues arising should social order break down. We are already at the point where there are less than 2 County Sherrifs’ Deputies per 1000 people in an unincorporated part of the county. Even now they are so tapped for resources they will only respond to calls that are domestic violence or life and death related — which by then they are only playing clean-up. I expect that over half the community will be up a creek if any kind of crisis arises environmental or otherwise (we are in close proximity to Mt. Rainier). What I will be focusing on when my term as HOA president is up in December is to formalize a neighborhood watch and community action hotline (phone tree) as an alternative to 911. I’m not sure how it will work, but neighbors who care can react faster than government…


+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Ed Phillips
August 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I also live in a walled neighborhood. It does have 3 gates to enter or leave, made of steel bars. We have 400 homes in here. We have organized an emergency Team with monthly meetings. In case of disaster we have block Captains to check on neighbors. We have retired Doctors,nurses,Policemen, and lots of ex Military. I am in charge of Security. I have 20 guys, all veteran’s, well armed and supplied. We are well organized,with post completely around the perimeter,with communication. We plan to chain up the gates and control traffic thru one gate only. We also have roving Patrols to back up any post when needed. We have survelience, binoculars, night vision, and medical supplies for triage. I always telling residents to stock up on Food & water,water, and water. Can’t have enough of either.BE ALERT, Ed


Vote -1 Vote +1BubbaInVegas
August 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm


Appreciate the info. I also live in a gated and walled community. Only 43 homes, so there’s just one gate. In fact, most of the newer communities in our area have a wall around them, and the fences between homes are made of concrete block (wood fences don’t last in our climate). My question to you, in fact to anyone, is how did you approach the members of your HOA/community with the preparedness idea without sounding like a lunatic? So many people are completely oblivious to what’s happening around them, and this kind of talk is lunatic fringe to them.


Vote -1 Vote +1Karen
August 26, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Up here in the Seattle area, we have the shared memory of a week without electricity to remind us of the value of being prepared. Three days of supplies are good for…what? The first three days of an emergency? The middle three days? Three days has been the mantra of the Red Cross since time began, and three days might have made sense a long time ago, but we’ve seen or been through Katrina and other emergencies and seen how ineffectual government agencies can be – not to disparage them, necessarily, but overwhelming emergencies overwhelm everybody, including the gov’mint.

I figure that my talking about it in terms of emergencies like the big storm we had is all I can do. It’s up to the individual to prepare. Only Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Great points, Karen. Most local, state, and Federal agencies are changing from 72 hours to 7 days BECAUSE they know they won’t be able to respond effectively much faster than that.


Vote -1 Vote +1Danette Zak
September 1, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Bubba in Vegas, Can you use the last hurricane or any natural disaster to bring up the topic of preparedness? I would think that would be a good way of opening up the discussion.


Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
August 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm

With regards to this very subject, here’s something that ought to scare the sh!te out of you…


How many are truly prepared for opposition like that?

How much opposition like that can we assume?


Vote -1 Vote +1bob wheeless
August 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Thanks, David, I’m with you all the way in providing a survival plan, but a plan to some people are just that–a plan–they have no real idea how to use it since most don’t understand what’s coming down the pike.


Vote -1 Vote +1Bartley
August 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm

What was it Patton said?

“Fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man”.

A few years ago, I was witness to a machine that made ADOBE BRICKS from the soil at the build site. the bricks were 4 inches high, 18 inches long, and 18 inches wide. The house they were building was DOUBLE thick walls. So, the exterior walls were 36 inches thick. Incredibly strong, and having walls that thick made for astounding insulation. They said that no AC was needed even in the Arizona summer! (hard to believe) but plausible.

I don’t know.. when TSHTF, head for the hills if you can, keep mobile, keep hidden and quiet.. There is no easy answer, is there? being recently unemployed, I’m really starting to freak out.. I’m trying to prepare, but i dont even know if I will be in the same place a month from now. Its really hairy out there, people.. one job opens up in Phoenix, and hundreds of people from all over the country apply for it! Best of luck to you all in the next 3 months.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Gordon
August 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I am a Marine veteran with some experiences in fortified positions. Nothing beats having a Marine rifle squad or platoon in the position. Since that is not a viable option for most of us as civilians we need to develop a network of people who can be counted on to provide mutual security. You should have started three years ago.

I also spent six years in the Middle East where walled houses and walled compounds are the rule. Most of them are concrete block or mud brick. Some, like rural Afghanistan, have walls thick enough to provide protection for all light arms. Everyone is armed, mostly Ak-47s. They are untrained and can’t shoot worth a d*** but they can spray a lot of rounds.

I don’t see most Americans as willing to invest sufficient funds to build adequate fortifications. Possibly they MIGHT make the home a little safer, still completely inadequate to stop a determined invader.

Everyone better (already) have adequate firepower to defend their family’s lives and property against multiple invaders. That means everyone in the family age twelve and above must have a firearm, be trained how to shoot effectively and be trained where to go and what to do in case of invasion.

Is that extreme? In the USA of five years ago, yes. In today’s world, I don’t think so.

I once talked with a young woman with a very small child. Her husband was in the Marine Corps and deployed overseas. When asked if she had a personal firearm she replied that she could not possibly shoot anyone. When I asked if she was then prepared to stand by and watch while someone abused/killed her little girl and she had nothing to say.

Is that you? If so, you better sign up someone to provide that protection because the day is coming; maybe sooner than we think. And it will not be cheap to hire that protection, they probably have families also.


Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
August 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Bet if you provided food and shelter, you’d could get a Marine or Army platoon together AFTER TEOTWAWKI. Why wouldn’t they just kill you, because you already have the skills, knowledge, and if you’re lucky the setup, to hold onto a secure, sustainable condition.


Vote -1 Vote +1Larry Duncan
August 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm

I can not thank Dave and his staff enough for the top notch info we receive. With your permission I would like to try and stop the rumors about FEMA Camps. We have all seen pictures of these camps and know some thing exist there. This will start a firestorm of chat after you read the following. Fact: these fenced compounds do exit. Fact: they are not Prison Camps. Fact: the largest compoud under construction, is located at Fort Knox. Fact: there are 22 compounds located around the U.S. Fact: there is an underground compound in Colorado Springs, in a Mountain.( not the Chyanne complex) There could also be one located in Dayton, Ohio. In the old under ground complex of IBM. Close to Write Pat AFB. It has been said, “These compouds and complexes are to house the new PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENTS, after a EOTWAWKI monent or after MARSHAL LAW. Think about it. They were built to protect them form mayhem.


Vote -1 Vote +1BubbaInVegas
August 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Yes, but Larry, if you look carefully at the pictures of these camps, you’ll notice that the fencing and barbed wire are conficured to keep whomever IN, not keep the masses OUT. If you’re theory is correct, the fences should be configured the other way around.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Well…the whole FEMA camp thing is kind of like a rabbit hole that connects to a worm hole that drops you into a teleportation deck that leaves you in a house of mirrors.

There are supposedly over 600 FEMA prison camps that are fully manned 24/7, the largest one reported to hold 2 million people. A few of these sites that are reported to be FEMA prison camps have barbed wire pointed in.

Unfortunately, any truth that there is about the FEMA camps has been warped and twisted to where I don’t believe either side and I think people are lying whether they say there are no FEMA camps or 650. It’s one of those things that I just don’t have the bandwidth to spend time on because I don’t see any benefit, other than curiosity, of catagorically proving them true or false.

I DO know that people have tried to centralize power and subjegate the masses throughout the ages and will continue as long as man is alive. They’ll do it whether they have FEMA camps or not. The presence of FEMA camps doesn’t make me less safe and the absense of them doesn’t make me more safe. Either way, I’m going to continue to vote for limited government and personal liberty. And if FEMA or some other entity decides that I’m an “undesirable”, they’ll figure out how to take care of me regardless of whether they have 650 prison sites or none.

Do I find the storyline fascinating? Yes. Does the thought of it being reality bother me? Of course! But I KNOW I’ve got control over a lot of things that will help my family through much more probable events like hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural and manmade disasters.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Eric
August 26, 2011 at 7:10 pm

On a less glamorous topic, don’t forget to factor good hygiene and bunker discipline when it comes to sanitation maintenance. One bad case of Montezuma’s revenge will keep a platoon out of the fight. Little things like washing your hands, no eating in the sleeping areas, trash-points for burning and recycling (ie. tin cans for instance for riveting patchwork on metal or hasty early warning noise in vulnerable areas; compost for the garden, corn cobs when the TP runs out…) Point is trash is treasure and coming up with ideas for this treasure will help take the mind off a “challenging” situation. More little things like kitchen hygiene and isolation areas for the sick and injured help keep the camp/bunker in good health. Even outhouse construction (deep enough trench and location away from living areas, etc) can make a huge difference in health and moral. Keeping a coffee can of lye in the out latrine will reduce the flies and mosquito that serve as vectors for disease, but one has to know how to sprinkle it without getting it all over the seat for the next guy who will get a rash….the little things, its all conducive to good morale.

Anyway, somebody has to take ownership of the sanitation protocols in the group to make sure this stuff gets done. It’s all part of a thorough defensive plan and protection of your most valuable assets: healthy, happy souls!


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bob Anderson
August 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm

I have a military background, and have a high degree of knowledge about, and skills with, firearms. Besides my military training, I have attended some of the best firearms schools in America. I have been fortunate enough to train w/SEALS, FBI, Treasury Agents, Secret Service, as well as State and local Law Enforcement. The long and the short of all this is that, according to an experienced SWAT team expert, “If we want in, we’re coming in”: unless you are a billionaire who can literally ‘build a fortress’, you CANNOT keep out a determined trained foe; even more so if that foe has helos at their disposal. Since most of us are not billionaires, we need to be mobile, suppple, and be able to bring large amounts of firepower to a confrontation. There are no set answers, except that a violent attack MUST be met with swift, unrelenting counterviolence.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm

You’re right…I talk about that in the SurviveInPlace.com course…with a big enough truck or a water balloon launcher, a determined attacker can ruin your day pretty cheaply and easily. But remember that sometimes all you have to do in order to “win” a fight is to convince an attacker that they’ve got a better risk/reward ratio attacking someone else.

If you’ve got a determined attacker who’s set on taking you out…good luck. That’s why you try not to make unnecessary enemies. But if you can make yourself, your house, your neighborhood, or your community look less appealing than another one, then you’ll be the victim of fewer crimes of opportunity/convenience.


Vote -1 Vote +1Karen
August 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Let the yard go just enough, leave enough trash around (not garbage trash, just the stuff you keep meaning to take to the dump or metal recycler), and I wager baddies won’t see your property as valuable as that of the manicured-lawn-humongous-house-fancy-named-development ones.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Yup 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
August 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

That’s why I’m considering going to .308 so I can reach out and smack people if need be.

Unless the corn is up, you can’t get within 300-400 yards without being visible. And SHTF, we’ll clear out a wide enough zone for our own security.

Those Hesco barriers look awesome, wonder how much they cost.

Also, living in a rural area with active farms, what are the chances that the National Guard is used to protect the existing food supply and agriculture?


Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
August 27, 2011 at 8:32 am

I’m not worried about the law breaking in, I’m worried about gangs doing home invasions, or home clean outs when were not here.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Great point, Keith. Even if you ARE concerned about the law breaking in, you’ve got to prioritize the things that you’re worried about and most honest people have more to be concerned about from gangs doing home invasions than from law enforcement.


Vote -1 Vote +1foxymom336
August 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Concerning gold. What if one were to possess physical gold coins. How will that work when the SHTF? I’m curious.


Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 26, 2011 at 8:35 pm

That’s a HUGE question. In short, Gold is a way to store wealth that can be converted into local currencies around the globe…not something to use for everyday commerce. You would use it to buy a cow, a vehicle, pay someone’s wages for a month, or something like that. It wouldn’t be what you took to the grocery store or the market to buy groceries.


Vote -1 Vote +1VetJim
August 27, 2011 at 12:52 am

Rolls of silver(pre-1965) dimes is the perfect trade item.


Vote -1 Vote +1joseph lee morehouse
August 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I have posted before and receive some great advice,well , I am having a hard time dealing with a lot of the crap that going on these days. I am on a fix income,i can’t find a job to save my life, the people in my neighborhood half of them sit on their porchs smoking dope and walking around with there pants half pulled down with their underwear pulled up.The other half are like me doing the best we can and going no where , now my brother has move in with his family , no job , no money , I gone from 4 people to care for to 10 . I can feed them give them a place to live , but how do I give them hope?I see what coming and it not pretty,i could use some advice on how to stay sound through all this.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1CoryB
August 26, 2011 at 10:36 pm

A lot depends on the criminals themselves, some are lazy and stupid, some are unbelievably smart and like a challenge. The dumb and lazy criminals would see these ‘protected’ communities as too much work, the smart criminal that likes a challenge will spend as much time needed to get in and get whatever goods are being protected.
I think the best protection for your home, family and even community would be to figure out how to best ‘camoflage’ the home and yourselves… like wearing overly used clothing if working or playing outside in the yard so it doesn’t look like you are too well off, Put up what looks to be like a wooden fence, but have the poles actually cement (concrete barriers) and have the wooden fencing, part connecting the poles, have some mends as if it’s older and was fixed the best you could because no money.

David, first I’d like to say thanks for all the info you share, have learned a lot over the last year. second, I have a suggestion… instead of only offering a bunch of your materials in one package deal for $39.99 or $49.99, you should consider adding the option to buy the materials individually… so that us that have already been hit by the failing economy and live week to week can still get your books slowly but surely. This way we could get the ones we need as we can afford them and skip buying the ones we have a handle on already. Just a thought so the people already being affected by changes can still work on preparing the right way and not waste already scarce money on preparing the wrong way 🙂


Vote -1 Vote +1Rick
August 26, 2011 at 10:37 pm

@Bob Wheeless, if you don’t have a “a bunch of warriors” living with you, YOU had better become “a bunch of warriors”. I saw a very small group, like 3 soldiers, in a defensive position defeat a much larger group, like a Company size element, time and time again. Supressive fire, one round every 3-5 seconds (12-15 rounds per minute), will keep the most agressive enemy away from you. If you can keep that rate of fire up for 5-10 minutes, the bad guys will move to easier pickings. If the force against you is a group of U.S. Army Rangers, you should probably surrender and fix them lunch, if not Rangers (or any other highly trained assault unit, they will go away. You will never have to shoot someone for stealing from your garden if they never get near your garden. If someone tries to take something from me by force, they won’t need food ever again. If they show up with a “will work for food” sign they will get dinner, right after work. We buy work gloves around here by the dozen pairs, and wear them out everyday. I can find plenty for an honest person to do around here to earn a meal. We have cows to feed and fences to mend, and it all starts again tomorrow.


Vote -1 Vote +1Rick
August 26, 2011 at 10:57 pm

@Bob Anderson, I thought we were defending against looters and street gangs. Their tactical training is usually somewhat sub-standard, and they almost never have helicopters at the ready. If you are now talking about armies that are supported by the government you will surely loose. I don’t know how many troops it will take to defeat you, but that’s just exactly how many they will use. Even in a “Beyond Thunderdome” situation, I don’t see the Army attacking any US Citizens. An invading force? All bets are off there. I do know that a bunch of 7th century rejects in the Middle East made things less than comfortable for the finest fighting force ever known to man. No way could they defeat us even there, but make things complicated, you bet! I’ve got to tell you that a group of Texans could sure bloody up a hostile invader from Eastern Europe, or anywhere else.


Vote -1 Vote +1Paul
August 27, 2011 at 7:54 am

As far as the walls go i like to think in terms of making escape hard for the perp. so that you can stop him for good.That way thats one that you never have to worry about again. Look up on you tube some thing called tangle foot its made from barb wire. It slows down the intruder almost to a standstill and makes him a sitting duck. As for paper gold I dont trust it gold in hand is better. They dont want you to know it but they use a system called fractionalise banking . This is where they dont actually have enough gold to back they money that is invested in them. What they do is if they ever was to have a run on the market they take gold from a different gold market and use it to make it look like they have the gold just long enough to ease peoples mind then they give it back to the other gold markets and people never know what happens because the other markets covered up their short fall.If TSHTF then you will never see one once of gold so you will be left out in the cold.Buying physical gold and putting it in your on safe at the house is best.FDind a place you can buy gold coins and jewelry and put it up in a lock box.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Lisa
August 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Being walled in would be my choice if there are water wells, gardens and livestalk inside and a system in place with skilled residents who were well practiced in protection, ammo ,agriculture,medical needs etc. I do believe it is a good option and eliminates the theory that eventually outsiders can starve out the inside residents. The weakness with any fortress is who you allow in. I know the citizens of Troy were tricked, so could we all. As for those people who are limited by income to prepare, I believe if you make anything a priority in time you will be successful. Little by little is better than not at all.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
August 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm

There’s a significant in-between period that happens both during a decline and the re-emergence of civil order…the time when it makes sense to raise your family and sleep within a walled community and travel outside of it during the day for work and commerce.

Again, there is a historical as well as modern day precedent for this type of lifestyle/behavior. Just because people live within a walled community doesn’t mean that they won’t use resources or intereact peacefully with people outside of the walls. The walls just give people an area of higher security to strategically retreat to on a daily basis where they can let down their guard, rest, recouperate, let the creative juices flow, raise their family, and prepare for the next day.

There are many places in the world where walled neighborhoods are on municipal utilities…but the homeowners also have backup generators and/or solar and water cisterns/rain catchment for the frequent times when there are interruptions in utilities. They end up having a hybrid on-the-grid/off-the-grid life where they use cheap plentiful resources when they’re available and go off the grid when things break down.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Rick
August 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Sorry for the mistake. In my comment above I meant to type “will keep ALL BUT the most agressive enemy away from you”. You will find that most groups are not willing to take the losses required to advance on your position if they have any choice in the matter. My typing skills are a bit rusty, and most of the time my spelling is also.


+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Lisa
August 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm

My husband is an EMT/Firefighter and former Marine. Some of our best friends are Police Officers and Military. They all have the same concerns and priorities that are expressed here, the only difference is many others are relying on them and their knowledge and experience as well. In our community these people are on every list to be contacted for their expertise. Our family relies on preparedness everyday. Thank you David for what you do. It is imperative that citizens are as self reliant as possible. Today I watched the Mayor of New York inform its residents of the most basic of preparedness information, to hear him use the term “Go Bag”


Vote -1 Vote +1Lisa
August 27, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Gave me chills. I pray for those on the east coast and all the emergency responders. May they all be prepared and protected.


Vote -1 Vote +1Esteban Cafe
August 29, 2011 at 11:45 am

I have some experience with this sort of prep. Here’s what I found to be best for the average family and will over the basics:

1. Bullet Proof Security Walls: If necessary, you can do-it-yourself:
a. Sod walls: remove your lauwn/sod in long 18″ wide strips and stack it in overlapping pattern, make a wall in front of what you choose as you “saferoom.” You may need this denudded area for a garden anyway–grass would have to go. 18″ of earth will stop most civilian rounds: http://americanhistory.si.edu/ourstory/activities/sodhouse/more.html
b. More secure (& more time & effort): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superadobe. These walls are made by pouring dirt into fine mesh plastic (such as you get when you buy packaged fruit). These come in big rolls so packaging the dirt is not so difficult. These are ~18″ wide and up to 3 feet long. They will stop a .50 cal bullet. You will also see these in Afghnistan where rock is unavailable. Very difficult to take out.

2. Rocket stoves: Cooking with a hot flame, using what ever fuel is around you. My Scouts love them. Make them yourself and quit storing so much fuel; free plans included–VERY simple to build–just search through these plans to see which is best for you:

3. H20 filters: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com has great pricing on cermic H20 filters.

4. Small animal snares: http://www.snareshop.com. Find all sorts of easy to use snares.

5. If you don’t reload today, why not? I have an RCBS 200pro, but you can buy a very inexpensive hand relaoder for $45 delivered–and yes, it only does one round at a time, but what else are you going to do those cold evenings after a firefight? You’ll need power, primers, bullets and carbide dies for your caliber (s). See here:


Vote -1 Vote +1Patrick
August 30, 2011 at 1:51 pm

This can be delayed or even eliminated if all presidential and congressional retirement and medical benefits would be combined into Social Security/Medicare Trust. Also they would never again steal from this Trust Fund if that was done! Also their Secret Service security details should be minimized with all this electronic security available to them. Just a thought, what do you think?

1) Extremely useful information when you filter out all of the sarcasm and useless gibberish! I find Hesco barriers and mud/sod bricks very useful.
2)Water storage and collection is a must with good filters[large home made and small purchased] and chlorine/iodine for cleansing
3)Food storage and growing your own even on a limited basis[bean sprouts, etc] will keep you alive if you survive the hoards scrounging for easy or soft-medium targets
4)My lower level can be fortified as it is half under grade. I need four hours to mine my perimeter and eliminate any neighborhood problems including setting field of fire markers. Another 8 to 16 hours to blow my upper level, clear debris into road block and fortify the lower level.
5)We live in suburbia so adjacent houses that are not part of the neighborhood watch will have to be destroyed for the gang of sixteen families to survive, these will be imploded. All residents with skills, food stores, disabilities that can be cared for, and those willing to help out will be given a chance to combine with our member families.
6)Solar energy will be deployed for daylight collection. Hand and adaptable machine generators are in place[12V and gas fired generators].

This is a small part of what we have the capacity for and are capable of to protect our families and friends!


Vote -1 Vote +1Ed Phillips
August 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm

To BubbaInVegas, We started as a basic nieghborhood watch. Owners are all for it. We live in earthquake country. Being prepaired was always a good idea. During the meetings we discussed the conditions we saw coming down the road. One would have to be blind not to see what’s going on around the world and our Country. Knowing the breakdown of law in an emergency, We just expanded the plans of how we would protect ourselfs during this time. Those of us with leadership skills just put together the plans and got volunteers. With most of the residents on board, management just went along with it. Talking residents into storing more food and water got easier as we explained we would be on our own if the SHTF. Give it a try. Find people of the same mind set and set up a meeting with the HOA. Hope all goes well. Keep us informed. Thanks,Be Alert, Ed


Vote -1 Vote +1Papaswamp
August 31, 2011 at 7:47 am

Agree with the walled concept..though extremely difficult to implement at the moment. The concept of group security is a must to survive as demonstrated in the great article titled “The Strategic Advantages Of Community Building”. The problem I see is unless one lives in a neighborhood where everyone is a prepper (or majority) this will not happen. The wealthy are not impacted (yet) by a declining economy for the most part. Less wealthy are on such tight budgets, living pay check to pay check the concept just isn’t feasible. Now after a collapse occurs most likely things will happen using more basic methods suck as earthen structures, cutting and dropping trees in place or pushing abandoned vehicles to block access.


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