So, this is what I wrote to Rourke…
Welcome to A Survival Story.
What follows is a fictional daily journal written by “Jed”.
Jed is a 39 year old man who lives in the small city of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Jed recently started thinking about his life and the mistakes he has made. He has decided to start keeping a journal to organize his thoughts and try to understand not only where he has been but where his life is going. Jed begins this journal at a time in his life when he is considering whether he will ever meet “the one” and has just scheduled a trip to attend his 20 year high school reunion.
Jed is relatively physically fit as he has been working out with weights, takes martial arts, and rides his mountain bike periodically on some light trails. He would like to lose about 15-20 pounds but is not overly concerned about it. Jed is 5′ 10″ tall and 205 pounds with very short brown hair. Both his parents have passed and his younger brother Eric moved in with him a couple months ago. Jed has always felt the need to care for his brother since his parents are no longer around.
He has been an active survivalist for the last several years – especially since 9/11. He has stocked up on a lot of supplies with an emphasis on the basics of “beans, bullets and band-aids”. The few people that know of Jed’s concern for the future dismiss his “prepping” as a hobby and a fad. Jed takes it serious, however he is not fanatical about it and enjoys many of life’s comforts like anyone else.
Jed recently purchased a 2011 black Jeep Wrangler 4-door – a rare splurge for himself. He hopes within the next decade to purchase several acres of land in the country and develop a small homestead. Until then…..he continues to work, stock away survival supplies, develop his small parcel of land, and hopes to have a family.
Jed is one of the good guys. He is patriotic and remembers growing up saying the pledge of allegiance and a prayer before lunch in school. He does not do drugs and drinks rarely. He judges people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Politically he is Conservative but feels the most all politicians are crooks and dishonest. Jed is a Christian and believes in God but has never found a church that he felt comfortable in. He wants to change that.
In many ways Jed is just an average guy who will find himself in a very unique and challenging situation.
Here we begin……. a survival story.June 18th Starting something new…….
I am a little surprised I am doing this and no doubt would be made fun of my some of my friends. Keeping a journal? I decided to do this – to record my thoughts, my life on paper to clear stuff out of my head and if I ever have kids to have something to pass onto them. Maybe they can gain some kind of wisdom from me – who knows?
Well – I plan to write stuff every day but may miss a day or so every once in a while. Work gets busy, life gets busy.
What has been going on lately? Did a crazy thing and bought a new Jeep. Saved up and put a large amount down so my monthly payment would be low. A big event coming up in a couple weeks – my 20 year high school reunion. I am a bit nervous about it. Most everyone I went to school with I have not kept in contact with. I wish I had. I wasn’t very popular and tended to be somewhat of a loner. Then there is the question of “M” – that’s what I called Monica. We dated most of twelfth grade and it was pretty serious – then after graduation things just fell apart and I moved away. I wonder if she will be there. Will she be married? Kids? Likely of course. Not everyone has stayed single like me – just never found anyone. Ok – let’s be honest here – I never found anyone to replace M.
OK. There is my first entry in “Jed’s Journal.” Going to watch a rerun of
The Walking Dead before I hit the sack. – Jed –
June 19th First of many clues…….
Work was terrible today. People just drive me crazy. I do not understand how two people can look at the same issue and have two totally different opinions. Well – I guess that is how this government got so screwed up. You have Democrats and Republicans that are always on opposite ends of issues thus nothing ever gets done right. Maybe I am exaggerating a bit – maybe not.
My brother Eric said I was a couple cans short of a six pack today. He saw several cases of the Mountain House foods stored in the spare bedroom. I let him live with me rent free and he is still unbelievably rude. He was spoiled rotten as a child and expects everything to just be handed to him. I guess I am not helping matters much by not forcing him to pay rent. Will change that soon.
Interesting news today that is getting me concerned. North Korea announced they were going to be performing two tests within the next few weeks. One was a long range missile that “experts” say could reach the United States– or close. The other test was an underground detonation of a nuclear weapon. Increased sanctions against North Korea are being threatened and North Korea is saying that if that happens they will consider it an act of war. What a mess.
June 20th A date with Diane…….
Picked up a Kindle Fire today. It’s pretty cool. I bought it on Amazon and downloaded a few books – mostly preparedness stuff. I wonder those that read my journal 20 years from now – what will they say about my interest in preparedness? Hopefully they will say I was crazy. I just think it makes sense to be ready in case of a power outage, some major disaster, or of course if aliens invade!
Spent some time in the garden after work. Cucumbers looking great and zucchinis are getting HUGE!! Bucket potatoes are almost ready to be harvested anytime. I continue to add to the compost pile with table scraps and a little grass from the lawn mower once in a while. As usual it has been super hot and I water the garden daily at the moment. Hope we get some rain as a couple of my rain barrels are getting low. The gardens like rain much more than city water.
Had a third date with Diane. She is great, but not sure what the future holds. As usual I am looking too far forward AND too much in the past. Diane has two great kids from her first marriage and not looking to have a second marriage anytime soon. I seem to make her laugh and the chemistry is there – so far. Dating at almost 40 is not easy. Tonight we went to Outback. Great meal and great company. Great kiss as well!
I think she liked my new Jeep!
June 21st A missile test is carried out…….
North Korea carried out their missile testing and it actually worked. Reports say the missile is capable of reaching the United States. The President is threatening to withdraw aide sent for the people of North Korea. That’s not all. They also conducted the underground nuclear test they promised. Big parade in the North Korean capital city flexing their military might. Not good. Most folks think countries like North Korea and Iran are of no threat to the United States. I disagree.
I am thinking of taking some money out of the bank and stocking up on more supplies. Yeah – preparedness stuff. The weather has been crazy for the past year or two and not getting better. Living in hurricane country it would probably be a good idea to increase my food stores. I am getting concerned about the economy, government debt, societal decay, and the world just isn’t getting any safer. I have always kept quite a few supplies on hand but feel like I need to take it to the next level.
Hoping to go shooting over at Ben’s this weekend. We are not really that close but seem to get a long good at work. Hoping to shoot my AR and Winchester 94 some.
June 22nd Come on little brother…….
Good day today – it’s Friday. Got off work a little early and went to SAM’s. I did it. I spent close to $1000 on food and some other supplies. Bought some more bags of rice, beans, quite a few canned goods, spices, etc. SAM’s just started carrying some freeze dried food and grabbed some of that as well. Now I have to find some place to put it all. Eric thinks I am crazy but little brother will just have to deal with it since I let him stay at the house rent free.
I hope Eric is going to grow up some day. He seems to live life carefree and pays no attention to what is going on in the world. Sometimes when I am watching YouTube video’s about the economy and preparedness, I think he is actually paying attention. I don’t know. He seems to be doing OK with his “raised bed gardening” business I started for him. I take the appointments and he goes and builds the raised beds.
Heading to Ben’s tomorrow. Need to hit the sack.
June 23rd Spent the day at Ben’s…….
Good time at Ben’s. Man – he has a nice set up. He lives out near Chester way in the country. His dirt driveway winds through the woods for probably 300 yards before you see his house. He set up a 100 yard shooting range near his barn and we shot there. Everything was sighted in pretty well. The Winchester 94 has open sights and I was able to keep shots on a pie plate. That is good for me.
Wonderful family Ben has. Great kids. His wife Carrie made the best tasting banana pudding I have ever had. He is really lucky. I am so jealous. Could Diane and me be like that some day? Maybe. Hell, I am a great catch!!! 39 years old. In decent shape. I am smart, make good money, outgoing, …….funny? I think so.
Ben has a large garden, a few cows, chickens, and a bunch of rabbits. Solar panels on the roof of his house and barn are hooked to two large battery banks with inverters for power. Rain barrels feeding into larger tanks in a few places. Wood stove inside. I laughed – he even has a working outhouse though he said they really don’t use it.
As Ben and I talked we found that we thought a lot a like. He expressed concern about the economy and the world today. He talked about trying to set up his family to be as independent from the rest of the world as possible. Awesome. I agreed with most all of his opinions – but I really didn’t talk about preparedness. Maybe another day.
June 24th A day of relaxation…….
Restful day today. Got up and went to church for early service. Cleaned my guns from shooting with Ben. Picked some cucumbers and still have some lettuce growing. Love homemade salad. Watched a couple of DVD’s and just caught up on some reading.
Need to check out a couple of the preparedness cache’s that I buried to make sure they are remaining waterproof. I dread digging down that deep just to fill it back in – but need to do it. Burying survival supplies…..my brother thinks I am nuts. I think I might start writing down lists in this journal – things to do, things to get, etc.
Thought about “M” a bit today. Really wish I had just forgotten about her like I am sure she did with me. The reality is 20 years ago I fell in love with her and never fell out. The Reunion is in a week. Going to be interesting.
June 25th Is the “trigger” about to be pulled?…….
Man – HUGE news today and scary.
Yesterday a container in the Charleston harbor was found to contain a small nuclear weapon. The government is being hush-hush about it as the news was apparently leaked and not supposed to go public. I am very nervous now and I am not alone. Many preparedness websites are putting a call out to all preppers to make their final preparations as they feel “something” is getting ready to happen.
The President made a supportive statement stating that the finding of a “weapon of mass destruction” in Charleston shows that the many law enforcement agencies involved have the safety and security of the United States under control. I wonder if he has ever taken a look at the country’s southern border?
I think I am going to make another withdrawal from the bank. Would rather have food in the cabinet and ammo in my rifle if the SHTF than cash in the bank.
Going to have trouble getting to sleep.
June 26th Taking time off from work…….
Took the rest of the week off from work – used vacation time. Spent much of today working in the garden and organizing my prep’s. Eric did a couple of raised beds and I gave him all of the profit. He went and opened a savings account which hopefully is a sign of positive things to come from him. Went and bought several additional totes and started separating items such as cooking, first aid, tools, winter supplies, etc. Labeled everything for easy access.
Always been concerned that if the SHTF how would my community make it or would I be on my own. I know a few of the neighbors – some better than others:
Mark and Jessica live across the street. They are not preppers in any way and have a little 5 year old girl. Good people. I am good friends with Mark.
Jillian and Ryan live up the street. Do not know them very well but I know Ryan was in the military.
Bill and Kerri seem to be good people. Have gone over to their house a few times on cookouts. Bill is a correctional officer at the local Justice Center and is familiar with firearms. I also know he has some martial arts experience. They also have two teenage daughters.
Paul and Michelle are a few doors down and have a nice garden every year. Michelle is a teacher.
Next door neighbors Thomas and Charlene are quiet and independent people. I talk to Thomas once in a while. He grew up in the country and hunts often and has had a garden almost every year.
Mike and Jennifer live on the other side of the neighborhood. I used to work with Mike years ago at the local airport. They have six kids and a lot of family in the area.
That’s about it. Trying to be totally on my own I do not think is realistic.
June 27th Things are heating up……
Enjoying my time off from work, however spent most of the day in front of the TV watching Fox News after a few errands this morning.
There was some kind of chemical spill along the Mexican border between the city of Nuevo Laredo in Mexico and Laredo Texas. News is somewhat sketchy however several miles along the border have been evacuated. Many people were killed and sickened as whatever was released was carried by the wind – apparently. Details are few. There are rumors that a terrorist cell was trying to smuggle some chemical/biological agent into the United States and something went wrong. With what is going on in the rest of the world along with the Charleston nuke finding – enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
At lunch time I went for a ride on my mountain bike on a few light trails – great exercise. Spent a lot of money on the bike but just do not ride often enough. I did have in the back of my mind that it would be a good secondary “survival” vehicle.
Talked to Diane on the phone for awhile. She said she wanted us to take a weekend trip WITH THE KIDS. I have met them but she is very protective, which I understand. This is a good sign for “us”.
As for the errands this morning – picked up a few supplies:
Several tarps of different sizes at Northern Tools
Bought 500 rounds of .223 PMC at Nichol’s Store. They are usually on the expensive side but they had a special sale going on.
20 gallons of spring water in jugs
Extra set of FRS/GMRS radio’s
5 gallons of Clorox bleach
4 large cases of toilet paper
Picked up a local map of Rock Hill, York, and Chester
Filled up all of my propane tanks
100 packs of various vegetable seeds from the Dollar Store – price was 10 for $1.00. Eric gives these to customers of his raised bed gardening business.
UPS delivered some spare magazines I ordered from Brownell’s.
June 28th No solutions……
I am enjoying writing in this “diary”. Started it to clear my head as well as document my thoughts and feelings. Maybe I will be able pass this on to what I hope is my future family. The way I see the government handling the economy and the national deficit….I do not see any good solution to it all. The debt continues to grow and the economy is like a slug – barely moving forward. I see serious problems in the future. It is just a matter of when. Society seems to be breaking up as massive groups of people are so far on opposite sides of opinions “United We Stand” seems like a very distant memory. Politics are full of power hungry millionaires that have interests in themselves and how they can get more money and more power. It’s a shame this country is spiraling downward as quickly as it is.
Glad to have the preps I have. People still think I am nuts for storing extra food, water, and firearms. Having bug out bags, get home bags, hidden caches, etc. may go totally to waste. That is fine by me. With some of the recent events I swear I can smell it in the air that something bad is going to happen.
Well – if it all goes to waste I will leave a lot of toilet paper to someone. Every time they “go” ……hey will think of me.
June 29th A bad dream and a funny movie……
Had a dream last night – a nightmare more like it. You know how dreams are – not exactly sure how it happened but basically the SHTF. Economy failed? Not sure. All I know is the country had fallen apart and people were on their own. Lawlessness all over. Waves of crime engulfed large areas. I remember in my dream that the military had mostly dissolved as soldiers went to be with their family’s. Police officers did the same as they were vastly understaffed to deal with the situation. Hospitals were overrun early on. Power was out pretty much across the country. Desperation.
I woke up and immediately watched
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – one of my favorite comedies. Just wanted to lighten the day after that dream. After the movie went to SAM’s and shopped for more food and some misc supplies. On the way home I stopped at Nichol’s Gun Shop and grabbed some extra magazines for my S&W M&P15-22 – one of my favorite plinkers. Also went to Wal-Mart and bought most of their supply of 9mm and CCI Mini-Mag .22LR ammo.
I feel pretty decent about my preps. I am still a long way off from where I would eventually like to be – but I have come along way.
Hardly thought about the reunion tomorrow which is a good thing because my stomach has been in knots about it. Still thinking about “M”. Why am I so nervous? Here I am this survivalist with all these guns, martial arts training and I am super nervous to see ……
the person I had hoped to spend the rest of my life with. Ugh!!
Diane met me for lunch as she is flying out tomorrow to see her parents in Washington, DC. We held hands during lunch and she confided that she has enjoyed the time we have spent together. We decided to take a trip up to the mountains in two weeks. The kids are staying in Washington for a month. Looks to be a good trip for just the two of us.
Will be heading out in the morning for Athens to the reunion.
June 30th The reunion arrives……
Today was nerve racking as well as exciting.
The reunion in Athens was not until 5:00pm so I ran a few errands prior to heading out. Eric and I ran to Lowe’s and picked up the supplies for installation of a couple of raised beds for clients. The cost of the wood went up again so we may have to increase the price a bit. Eric and I had a good talk while driving about responsibility and the future. These last several days he seems to be getting it. I don’t know. Reminded him I was heading to Georgia shortly and to make sure he keeps the house locked up as well as the gates to the fence in the backyard.
I already had the Jeep packed up last night and headed out at 12:00 noon. The Jeep was great and the weather perfect as I drove the back route (Hwy 72) most of the way. While driving I listened to some AM radio when I could get it and there was a confirmation that the “incident” in Mexico along the boarder was some type of chemical situation. Apparently a terrorist cell was trying to smuggle in some type of chemical weapon and something went wrong and the “device” was detonated. Of course everyone is asking questions –
“How do we know this is the only one? How do we know that other groups didn’t make it across?”
I made it to Athens on time, checked into the hotel and made it downstairs to the large Conference Room for the Reunion at 5:00pm. I ran into a couple friends from school right off including Mitch and Gary. They are buddies I hung out with back in school. I needed to go to the bathroom and just as I passed by the Women’s Restroom the door flung open and hit me in the shoulder. I said instinctively, “Excuse me.” It was then I realized that the person standing right in front of me was M.
M was right in front of me. She was older but the same. She smiled at me and said “Hi”. We made some small talk about where we were living, told her she looked great, asked her if she had kids (no) and she asked me back. The tension was thick in the air as I wanted to ask her if she was married but resisted. She asked instead and I quickly – probably too quickly answered no. She then mentioned she just got divorced a few month ago. I lied and told her I was sorry to hear that. I still had to go to the bathroom but I suffered through.
The rest of the night we talked about jobs, hobbies, friends we knew, school, etc. It was really great. We were both staying in the same hotel as the Reunion and decided to meet the next morning for breakfast. She told me she was glad I came to the Reunion.
Wow! I can’t wait until tomorrow. Not sure how I will ever get to sleep.
July 1st It happened……
I am not even sure what to say at this point. Today the United States came under attack and I do not think this country will ever be the same.
I woke up this morning around 4:00am hearing screaming and yelling and found the power was out. To sum it up so I can get to sleep – several nuclear bombs went off across the United States – from what I hear. I say that because communication is pretty limited. Some of the people I ran into in the hallways at the hotel told me what they heard over the radio and on TV prior to losing power. With all of what has happened within the last two weeks I guess the writing was on the wall.
I am worried about radiation. I don’t know where all the attacks happened. The only city I heard mentioned at first was Chicago. As I was leaving Athens I was glad the Reunion was not held in the center of the city. Even on the outer edges people were panicking. I saw a Wal-Mart parking lot packed full of cars and a line at the door. There were police cars in the parking lot with their lights flashing. I am not sure how they are paying for food with the power out. Hope they have cash.
I have got to try to get some sleep. It is 1:00am and…oh, a major thing I guess I have left out – M is with me. After I found out what happened I went to her room. She flew to the Reunion from Arizona where her home is. I told her what happened and after we talked a bit I told her she needed to come with me as I traveled back home. I told her likely there would be no flying for a few weeks – just like after 9/11. In my mind I truly felt there may be no flying for months. Convinced her that she could take a flight out of Charlotte when they start back up. M didn’t want to be left alone in that hotel.
I had a set of maps and programmed my GPS to drive some back roads rather than try to drive up Interstate 85. Travel was still slow and I had to take some long routes to get where we are now. We drove 8 hours and are almost halfway home. I did get more news on the radio during the drive –
Cities hit with nukes that I know of so far:
– Washington, DC
– San Diego
What about Diane and the kids?
That is so far. There were also reported attacks on dams and electrical power plants across the country. A lot of news is sketchy. Hope to learn more tomorrow – I just want to get home. Eric is probably freaking out. It is very strange not being able to make a simple cell phone call.
We stopped in Greenwood and I found a small rundown hotel that was accepting cash. Also found a gas station open and was able to refill the tank. My spare tank of 5 gallons is still available if I need it. I am glad I had $500 stashed in the back under one of the rear seats. I took the floor while M has the bed. She is scared for her brother who works in New York City. She was also very nervous as I brought my M&P9 into the hotel room.
We held hands a bit before saying good night and I tried to comfort her by saying that I would keep her safe.
Things are going to get bad quickly I suspect. I have tried to mentally prepare myself for something like this. M is another story. I have my phone -which has no signal anymore – set to wake us up in 3 hours so we can get back on the road.
July 2nd Made it home……
Finally got home at 2:00pm today. Eric was OK. Along the entire trip most all area’s were without power but not all. Was able to get some news on the radio.
Most people are calling in sick for all jobs. With the power out many businesses are closed anyway. People are staying home to be with their families.
The attack is a little over 24 hours old and crime is spreading already. On the radio they said stores were wiped out of food, water and other essentials. People are panicking and police are being called to deal with violent and unhappy customers.
There are reported shootings and rapes throughout the country. Low-life’s are taking advantage of law enforcement getting spread so thin. I wonder how bad it is already in the big cities that have survived.
Radio is reporting that the government – or what is left of it – is instituting curfews throughout….South Carolina at least. Not sure of the rest of the country. Citizens must be off the streets from dusk till dawn. They are trying to get control over the lawlessness.
Still more talk of some other non-nuclear attacks including chemical weapons. Nothing specific.
M is doing OK. We talked a lot on the road. We finally talked about “us” and what happened after graduation. Turns out she always wondered the same thing I did –
“What happened?” Bottom line is we were just kids. I could tell through all the turmoil and stress that there was still a connection. We discussed preparedness and she felt reassured when I told her about my preps.
Eric did a good job with the house while I was away. He had loaded up a Remington 870 Tactical shotgun and stood guard watching the front and back. He was scared.
I have got to get some sleep. I am going to pray for this country and all those innocent people killed yesterday and those that are struggling to survive. How many thousands have died? It’s difficult to comprehend.
July 3rd Community, concern and more news……
Woke up this morning thinking that I have got to get organized. I suspect the power will be out for a long time, running water may not last, the supplies we have we need to make last.
Sunlight lit most of the house and flashlights were used elsewhere. I got with M and Eric and had a good talk with them. For 15 minutes I talked about how fragile our countries internal supply system is and it is likely stores, once closed, would not be resupplied nor reopen for many months. We also discussed crime and what WROL is (Without Rule of Law). I explained that life was going to be very different moving forward and we needed to start getting ready. M started crying when she realized her chances of getting home was slim. I told her she had a place to stay as long as she wanted.
I asked Eric and M if they could check the garden and pick what was ready. I also asked if they could start inventorying EVERYTHING in the house and garage so we can see what we have. I am thinking down the road about barter. I wanted to go over to see Mark and Jessie.
Mark and Jessie were OK. I gave them some tips on food storage and rationing as well as talked about trying to stay strong for their 5 year old daughter – Addie. I asked Mark if they had a gun in the house and they didn’t. I asked him to come over around 9:30pm tonight (when it is dark). He did and I gave him a Smith & Wesson 22A .22LR pistol. I went over the controls, explained safety rules, and watched him change the magazine out a couple times and release the slide. I gave him the pistol along with 4 10-rd magazines and 300 rounds of CCI Blazer .22LR. Mark has been a good friend and they are good people. By the way – Jessie is absolutely anti-gun. I suspect her mind will be changing.
I talked to Bill up the road. He was still reporting to the Moss Justice Center (jail) daily. He said many of his fellow Correctional Officers were not reporting to work. He was able to refuel his vehicle at the city yard along with the Police. He also has been hearing from city and county officers that crime was getting bad. It’s only been a few days. I have to start putting some better security plans in effect. I need to talk to more people in neighborhood tomorrow.
I am going to stay up until 3:00am keeping an eye on things. Moon is pretty bright….luckily.
July 4th Independence Day……
This day has been an emotional one for myself and many others. As a day that often has been celebrated with cookouts and friends/families getting together – THIS Independence Day was different.
The reality of what has happened is sinking in to many. Just a few days without power and modern comforts is literally putting folks on the brink of suicide. Years of instant “everything” – food, water, hot showers, entertainment, air conditioning – has led to incredible stress on those not prepared. Now it is taking a lot of effort and preparation just to cook a small meal. There is no TV, DVD’s, no drive-thru’s to get a “Happy Meal”. It is summertime here in the South and the heat is relentless with no air conditioning. With the heat – water is even more critical.
I got with Eric and M today regarding defense. We have the shotgun at the front door. I am carrying my S&W M&P 9mm on my side constantly. My Stag AR stays with e when I am on watch at night. I told them I feel like we need to set up “watch rotations” to monitor activity around the house. It is just a matter of time before some desperate folks makes their way through the neighborhood.
We are all watching everything during daylight hours. From 9:00pm until 1:00am Eric is on watch. From 1:00 until 4:00am it is me and from 4:00 till 8:00 M is on watch. I have small trip alarms set up along the entire length of the fence in the backyard. If anything tries to climb over the fence – a loud shrieking alarm will sound. These were a great deal as the main “trip” was bought at the local Dollar Store for $1.00 each. I will set these up out front as well.
Tomorrow I am going door to door to try to set up a neighborhood meeting about what has happened.
July 5th Will we unite?
Problem: We are running out of clean clothes and that is one part of my preps I never considered. I can only turn my underwear inside out so many times. OK, that was a joke. :-)
I spent several hours going to door to door asking everyone if they would go to the model home in the neighborhood tonight at 5:00pm to discuss what is happening. A few people asked for details and I just said I thought it would be good to get together and discuss news and how everyone is doing. I did find quite a few homes with no one home as I rode my bike around.
Most of the neighborhood showed up and I asked for everyone’s attention. I had an agenda with some discussion ideas wrote down. Everyone was pretty accepting of me. Most everyone was scared and looking at the future with a lot of uncertainty.
We discussed the following:
Reality of the Situation
Status of Your Supplies – food, water, medicine
Gardens & Rainwater Capture
I have never been good in front of a crowd but I think I did well. I spelled out the seriousness of the situation and tried to get across to everyone that if we worked together we would all benefit, and stand a better chance to survive.
I gave everyone basic tips on using minimal fuel in their vehicles, grills, etc. I discussed sanitation and the importance of keeping things clean. A cut and infection could lead to death or amputation of a limb. When I brought up defense and security many really started paying attention. Told them the reality is there are a lot of desperate people out there. Thousands of people traveling and away from home with no way of getting home. What are they going to do? How will they get home to their families? What will they do for food? Desperation will turn civil, law abiding citizen to murderous criminals. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our families. I mentioned that if anyone had a firearm to keep it at the ready – and expressed safety, especially with children in the house.
I also told everyone they had very little time left if they wanted to start a garden. Some people had seeds and with Eric’s raised bed business we had some extra supplies which could help. I also mentioned that everyone needed to be prepared to capture rain.
Of the 30 people that showed up many asked questions and gave their opinion on topics. A few asked about the government helping, and when the mail would start back up. I had to disappoint them with my answer.
Lastly – we decided to all go home and sleep on what was discussed – and meet the next day at 2:00pm at the model house.
M told me she was proud of me – that I looked like I actually knew what I was talking about. I thanked her. We sat outside enjoying the cooler temperature of the night and talked. I told her that although I wished none of this had ever happened – I was glad she was here. She just smiled – but I could tell she was unsettled. It has got to be tough for her – in a strange place surrounded by strange people.
Need to get some sleep before it is my turn to go on watch detail.
July 6th Terror in the night……
Mark came over and woke me up this morning just as the sun was coming up. Something happened on the other side of the neighborhood nearest the utility road. An old couple – Mr. and Mrs. Greenfield, were robbed and killed last night. Someone heard a couple gunshots around 2:00am – and watched out their window. They saw someone about 10 minutes later leaving the Greenfield’s house using a flashlight.
I asked Mark if the neighbor that heard the shooting did anything. The answer was “No”. They were scared for their own life and didn’t want to get involved. Once the sun started peeking over the horizon another neighbor went to the house and discovered the bodies.
We had our second meeting and more of the neighborhood showed up. Concern about safety was growing especially after word of the Greenfield’s spread through the neighborhood. I led the meeting with a prayer for the Greenfield’s.
After the prayer we discussed some the same agenda items as yesterday:
Gardens & Rainwater Capture
Defense & Security – I told everyone that I thought it would be a good idea to start a “neighborhood watch”. Everyone agreed. With the number of people to pull from we should be able cover the perimeter pretty decent. Ryan – Jillian’s husband – said he was in the military and would help organize the patrol’s. Volunteers were asked for and the 16-17 people that raised there hands agreed to meet at 5:00pm.
Gardens and Rainwater Capture – I really emphasized the point that it is imperative that EVERYONE work to plant gardens to supplement their food supply. Many expressed frustration not only with their lack of knowledge on what to do and lack of equipment – but also with the effort that needed to be put forth. I was shocked as we are talking about their lives. It still hasn’t sunk in yet with some of them. I agreed to have a gardening class the next morning and provide some seeds to those that needed them from Eric’s raised bed supplies.
We agreed to meet again the next day at 2:00pm.
Prior to ending the meeting I left something for everyone to think about. I told them that although they might think things are bad – it is going to get much, much worse. The Greenfield’s are just a sign of things to come and if our community does not come together in a big way – our chances will not be good.
M and I worked on washing some clothes. Basically we used three 5 gallon buckets of water. First bucket had soapy water in it, second was clean water, and third was a final clean rinse water. Once we were done the clothes were hung to dry. Another technique we are trying is just hanging some shirts up without getting them wet first to see of the suns rays will sanitize them. Water is valuable so we used all the grey water in the garden – except the first bucket.
M, Eric, and I are splitting up chores and working well together. Eric is doing great – I am proud of him.
Need to get some sleep.
July 7th M and I get closer……
The community met once again and close to 45 people were there. Things are coming together – albeit on the slow side. I made more suggestions including forming teams to try to get certain things done and to take advantage of peoples skill sets.
Right now the teams include:
The Kid’s Team was brought up by Jessie – Mark’s wife. She is a teacher and said many of the kids are very sad, withdrawn, and depressed. No kidding. All these kids are used to computers, smartphones, and of course TV – all of which are pretty much gone. The Kid’s Team will get the kids together and play games, color, and try to have fun. What a great idea.
Ryan briefed everyone on the patrol schedule and noted that all patrol members would have a colored ribbon on their left arm so they could be identified. There were three shifts right now and each shift changed colors daily.
Everyone wants me to be a member of their team. I decided to assist wherever I could but my concentration was with Security and Gardening. Eric also joined the Gardening Team.
More later on that stuff.
M and I are getting closer. We are living under the same roof. We take turns in the solar shower. I know she has caught me staring at her. I can’t help it. I think there is something between us and it is not distant memories – something new. I just came out and asked her while we were finishing a couple glasses of wine what was happening between us. She got up out of her chair and kissed me on the cheek, and looked into my eyes, and told me that she has never stopped caring. She then went inside and went to bed.
The world around me is in complete turmoil and somehow I can’t help but feel happiness inside with M with me. Am I selfish?
July 8th News from the outside……
Due to the crime, and no reason really to go anywhere plus needing to conserve gas – I haven’t left the neighborhood in over a week. From what I hear a couple people from the neighborhood have ventured out and never returned. I took the Jeep along with Bill – the correctional officer and fellow Security Team member – for a short jaunt. So strange and terrifying as well. There were literally no cars on the road and saw very few people walking around. We saw several bodies lying in yards and on the streets baking in the sun. We drove up next to one and the stench almost made me puke let alone the open cavity in the back of this poor souls head. No doubt violence is taking over.
Stores were closed – all of them. Every storefront we drove past had all the windows broken out. No gas – no stores – no vehicles. It was like a movie where everyone just disappears. The extreme heat of the southern sun as well as the danger is likely keeping people indoors. Temperature reached 102 today.
Just in case of trouble Bill had a Mossberg 500 with a Choate pistol grip stock at the ready. 00-Buck filled the tube and the chamber. Between the seats my Stag M4 sat. I was wearing a Maxpedition Mini Tactical Vest stuffed with three 30-rd Magpul magazines. My M&P 9mm pistol sat in a holster which I mounted under the steering column.
We ran across a guy walking down the main street – looked out of place. We watched him for awhile and decided to approach. We pulled up and he jumped and started to run. We yelled to him that it was OK and he slowed down and looked at us. Bill stuck a bottle of water and a jar of peanut butter out the window of the Jeep. He walked over – Bill had his left fist wrapped around the grip of his Mossberg. The guy – his name was….yup, you guessed it…”Guy”. We asked what was going on and where everyone was. He replied that a lot of his neighbors left. He went on to say that many went to stay with relatives that lived in the country. He also said that he knew of some that killed themselves – and others that were victims of criminals…. permanently. He said that in the bad sections of town mass murders happened as those not unfamiliar with breaking the law started taking what they needed. Guy continued that groups of young immoral men would bust into a house and kill a whole family – expect for the young girls. They would take any supplies they found as well as the girls. He didn’t need to tell us what the girls were for. He also said he has not seen a police car in days. We wished him luck, gave him the water and peanut butter, and drove on.
The ride home Bill and I didn’t say a word to each other. We didn’t need to. We drove down the road…angry.
Bill and I returned and got with the rest of the Security Team and informed them about the trip. We are certainly not alone but from the drive we gathered that most everyone that is still around is staying inside – and that security has got to become the primary focus of the community.
There are very few radio stations broadcasting. Tonight we were able to pick up some additional information from stations we have not been able to get before.
12 seems to be the correct number of nuclear weapons that went off across the United States.
– Washington, DC
– San Diego
– San Francisco
Numerous other targets were hit with chemical/biological weapons.
As soon as the attack occurred all domestic nuclear power plants went into shutdown mode – preventing additional disaster.
Several dam’s were hit and flood water released killing countless thousands.
A few major electrical plants were also destroyed.
England apparently was also attacked.
The state of the population is extremely desperate.
The government has been rendered powerless. Mostly state governments are making the minimal efforts. People are pretty much on their own.
Just as we lost the station we heard something about US military at war overseas – but with who?
Details remain pretty sketchy. One question everyone is wondering is who is responsible. I certainly would like to know but it will not change the situation. If we are going to make it this community has to work together as a team.
It’s been one week since The Event. I am going to try to get EVERYONE in the neighborhood together tomorrow to see exactly where we are at with our efforts.
July 9th A plan is set……
I walked the entire neighborhood knocking on doors and asked people to attend the meeting at the model house at 5:00pm. Most all said they would attend. 110 houses in the neighborhood, 12 were empty prior to The Event from foreclosure, 16 more I had no answer at the door, and looks like no one home. That leaves 82 occupied homes.
Close to 80 people showed up at the meeting. This one was interesting as when I started talking about my agenda someone stood up that I did not know and asked who elected me leader. I asked him his name – which he answered, “Neil”. I told Neil that no one elected me leader and I do not proclaim myself to be the leader of the community. I went on to say that before The Event happened I was what some people would call a “survivalist” or a “prepper” and had started to prepare for troubled times. Although I always hoped that nothing significant would happen – I have done a decent amount of research and put a lot of thought into the “what if?” I continued to tell him that I am here to help others as well as myself get through what is going to be an extremely difficult situation and that we needed to work together.
I asked Neil if he had any other questions and he answered, rather suspiciously,
I talked to the group summarizing what had been done thus far. I talked about the Security, Gardening, Water, Medical, Communication, and Kid’s Team.
I talked about the trip that Bill and I went on and some of the details. There were kids around so I did not want to get too graphic.
I talked about the need for more volunteers with the Security patrol’s. Ryan discussed the current rotations and what he wanted to be able to do. He was Military Police National Guard out of Florence, SC for a few years after regular duty in the Army. He also served in Iraq several years ago. People responded to him well. Ryan brought up we need to secure the perimeter better as well as set up some method of looking over the neighborhood better – visually.
I expressed the absolute need to get seeds in the ground and to can any extra produce that anyone has from their garden. We could not afford to let anything go to waste. I mentioned that Eric was with the Gardening Team and to see him for information and help.
The water stopped flowing a few days ago from the city. I mentioned about catching rain water as well as setting up a water detail to gather water from the local “swamp” and filter it. The Water Team would build several large water filters from plans I had (LDS manual). A few people had small kiddy pools that were full which was great. I recommended that a rotation get set up so everyone can do their fair share in toting the water.
At this point Neil stood up and yelled that he had heard enough. He went on to say that I should not be making decisions for him or anyone else. He stormed off. I was relieved when several in the group stood up and said that Neil did not speak for the rest of the group. They said that they appreciated the advice and help and wanted me to continue to lead the meetings. The rest of the 80 or so people clapped. Wow!
At that point I told everyone that tomorrow would be a great day to start getting the community moving forward. I had all the Team members come to the front and I asked everyone else to select a team they would like to help out with and meet with them.
Security Leader – Ryan
Gardening – Eric
Water – Phillip
Medical – Rose
Communication – Bill
Kid’s – Jessie
After all the Team Leaders got with the volunteers I met with the leaders to discuss their goals and objectives.
I am happy with the direction things are going however I do not think that most understand how difficult….and dangerous things are going to get.
July 10th Moving along……
I was impressed with the efforts of everyone in the community today. One of the water filters was built via instructions in my LDS Preparedness Manual. Folks are transporting water and filtering it. The Security Team got together with volunteers and put together a better patrol schedule using 8 people per shift plus he managed to set up communications between everyone. Eric worked with 40 houses to assist in building raised beds and till lawns for gardens. Several folks already had gardens and donated some seeds along with what Eric had. An offshoot of the Gardening Team decided to go on a hunt for rabbits, squirrels and anything else that could be found. Everything looks to be moving along including the Kid’s Team which gathered many kids in the neighborhood and played a few games and even had some Kool-Aid (I knew I stocked up on that Kool-Aid powder for a reason).
I can’t help but feel uneasy as things seem to be coming together too easy. I noticed Neil was nowhere to be seen. Add to that two guys on motorcycle drove right through the neighborhood today. They did not stop and they did not say anything. This shows just how vulnerable we are. I am going to to get with Ryan about this.
I need to get with Bill on communications. I have been so busy I am not sure what is happening with that – especially with no power. I wish I had bought a shortwave radio or a HAM before. It was always on my list of things to do.
M and I had dinner together by candlelight (as usual). Beef Stew over a bed of rice with a little bread that M made today from some “add water only” mix I stashed away. A little wine made the evening seem almost normal. We made small talk for awhile and then she asked about her chances of making it home. I asked her if she wanted me to be honest and she said yes. I told her I did not think there was any chance for a long, long time. She began to cry a bit and I moved my chair over to hers and put my arm around her. She looked up at me and said she wanted to stay with me. I told her as long as she wanted to. At that point she looked up at me and we just looked into each others eyes. It was one of those rare, miraculous moments when two human beings connect on a level that just cannot be put into words. I leaned in and we kissed.
I am glad I had that wine.
July 11th Getting ready for visitors……
The seeds are spouting in many of the gardens. Everyone is realizing that although there are no typical jobs to drive to each day there is a lot of work to be done. Those working their garden have to pick insects off the plants, weed and water. These gardens are no longer just a hobby but an integral part of their survival.
I met with Ryan and Bill today and talked about the motorcycle’s that went through the neighborhood yesterday. We discussed that the neighborhood is far too open. Those motorcycle riders were likely feeling us out. The Security Team decided to barricade the entrance-way, including the driveway along with all areas on either side. The goal is to prevent any vehicle from entering the entrance. Luckily there had been a couple of partial builds in the neighborhood which afforded us quite a bit of lumber, nails and concrete. Several trash can were filled with dirt and spaced out across the entire entrance. A fence was built with the 2×4′ as well. Security also placed a pair of members patrolling the entrance at all times.
Great find today – one of the neighbor’s, Ted, brought forward a scanner. He had not thought of it early on because of no power. I took the scanner to Bill’s along with one of my solar panels, inverters, and a charge controller to power it. Bill already had a small set up with AM/FM and a CB. With the solar panel he can run everything more frequently. Hopefully we will have some more news tomorrow due to the scanner.
I am so tired. I am more physically active than I ever have been. There is constantly something that needs to be done. My body ache’s and my muscles are sore. M gave me a great massage tonight when it cooled down. A small piece of paradise it was!!
A Survival Story
The community is going to be tested soon. I can feel it. We need to be ready and we have a long way to go.
July 12th A world in turmoil……
Next to the night The Event happened, I have never felt so uneasy. The scanner Ted gave us brought forth news that is both incredible and terrifying all at once.
Here is what we have so far:
United States military forces are at war overseas. The United States nuked Iran and North Korea. They apparently were largely responsible for the attack on the United States. Forces are patrolling and continue to engage these two countries. Other Muslim countries such as Pakistan have taken up for Iran and are getting involved.
Most all domestic military forces have disbanded and returned home to their families.
Canada, Israel, and England are on our side. Israel and England are dealing with some of their own issues as well and apparently assisted in the attack on Iran.
Germany is staying independent and says they are sitting this one out.
I am not sure the exact reason – but the United States right after The Event nuked China. China returned with a very limited response and all of their nuclear missiles were brought down prior reaching the United States. China went from over a billion people to less than 500 million from the estimates given. I am guessing China was targeted for a reason?
Cities across the United States are in absolute chaos. Massive amounts of crime, little to no law enforcement response, murder, rapes, kidnappings – terrible. Apparently we are very lucky to have made it thus far so “easy”. People have no food, no water. Medical facilities have been overwhelmed, especially those anywhere near the nuclear sites. Desperation is traveling across the United States like a tidal wave.
It is reported that radiation danger is minimal and mostly localized to the denotation cities.
If the people in this community needs something else to motivate them – this should be it.
Monica – Jed’s love interest..
I see Jed writing in his journal in the evenings by the light of the little solar walk light that he brings in every evening and he seems so relaxed afterward that I have decided to start keeping a journal of my own.
How I miss my home and my friends and my life! I am so grateful to Jed for taking me in, but I miss my own life – my old life. I miss the Arizona sunsets, the dry heat – it is so humid here!
I had only packed for a few days and only my best clothes. Now I miss my jeans and comfortable walking shoes. I’m out of hand cream, my face cream, the polish is wearing off my nails and I have no nail polish remover. Little things I know, I should just be grateful I’m alive.
Last night we got news that Phoenix, my home, was one of the cities bombed. I have no home to go back too. No job; no friends. And Jed is not the person I remember when we were young. He was caring but selfish back then. It was all about him and what he wanted to do. Living for the moment. Perhaps that is youth, was I any different? Now he seems much more aware of other people. And thinking ahead.
I feel safe with him as he is now. His planning and preparedness is something I admire. I have no idea what I would have done back at the motel if he had not offered to take me with him.
Last night, after all the washing was done – I’ve got it down to two five gallon buckets and grabbed the plunger out of the bathroom to work the water through the clothes as washing them by hand has made my hands dry and sore – and the clothes hung on the back yard fence, we just sat and talked in the moonlight. Not really about anything important. And there were long, comfortable silences. The moon was bright overhead and huge, there was a breeze that kept the humidity down and the bugs away, someone must have started a campfire as there was the smell of burning pine and the sound of laughter in the distance, and for a moment it all felt alright – I felt “normal”.
July 13th Community is threatened……
As if the news last night wouldn’t be enough to darken the day – a group of people came to the front gate asking for food and water.
The group consisted of 8 men and women. The Security Team members radioed Ryan who then radioed Bill and I. We went to the gate and within the few minutes it took us to get there the small crowd started getting upset.
I talked to Ryan and Bill and addressed the issue of charity. I told them if we give them anything not only will they likely return for more, but others will no doubt here of it and then they will come. Bill and Ryan said they didn’t see anything wrong with giving them water. I voted against it. I know it may seem cruel – but I felt that it is what had to be done.
Several gallons of water was provided to the 8 people – who after taking it asked about the food. Ryan stood up and told them water was all we could afford to give. A couple of the men started yelling that they were starving and their wives needed food. Ryan looked at me and I said no shaking my head. Ryan relayed the answer to the group. At that point one of the men pulled out pistol from his pocket. Ryan, two members of the Security patrol, and myself drew on the man quickly. The guys wife jumped in front of him and pushed the gun down. We told the group to move on immediately.
They complied and were not happy.
We didn’t even get a thank you for the water.
I talked to Bill and Ryan after group was long gone and emphasized my disagreement with giving away our supplies. They both said that they tended to agree with me after thinking a bit – but it was too late.
This encounter could have turned a lot worse if the group had been better armed and organized.
July 13 Monica – Jed’s love interest
Tonight I sat down across from Jed to write in my journal too. He seemed surprised, but then just smiled and went on writing. I wanted to reach across the table to him and just hold his hand, to feel the warmth of his skin. Just be close to him, but he was busy writing.
Jed brought home the news of people at the gate wanting food and water. I instantly felt that we must share, but then Jed told me how one of the men pulled out a gun and threatened them even after they gave them precious, clean water that we had so carefully filtered through sand.
When he told me about the incident, I instantly got a lump in my throat and a cold, wrenching feeling in my gut. What if something happened to Jed? What would I do? Where would I go? The idea of losing Jed now flooded into me and made me almost sick. Time and life is so precious. It made me realize these stirrings in my heart that I am feeling are real. Jed isn’t just safety and security to me. All of those old feelings of love are awakening, but this time with a depth I never felt before.
But does he feel the same way? We really haven’t talked about “us”. I can see why Jed keeps a journal now. It clears the head and puts things in black and white. Should I tell him how I’m feeling?
July 14th Wishing life was normal……
Woke up today feeling rather depressed – even with M with me.
I miss “normal” life. Going to the grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk. Running through the drive-thru at Burger King for a quick burger. Watching a great movie at the movie theater. How about air conditioning!?! Picking up the phone and calling a friend. Would have been nice to be attending a preparedness conference today rather than living the life I had prepared for – but hoped wouldn’t happen.
Everything is so difficult and slow. Preparing meals takes much more time and preparation. It was 88 degrees today and cooking over an open flame – HOT!! Sick of the heat and I would like to wish for the Fall and Winter but then the opposite problem will happen – the cold will come. I haven’t been thinking about that but need to.
I am alive and our situation is somewhat stable. I am lucky to have the food stores I have put away. I wonder how Ben is doing. He is not far but with the streets as dangerous as they are – it is not a good drive to make. Maybe tomorrow I will see if Bill – or maybe even M – would like to take the drive and see how he is doing.
Oh, I had Mark and Jessie bring me over one of those little portable DVD players with the built in screen and battery. I charged it using my solar system. That allowed their little girl, Addie, to watch a Disney movie for a couple hours. I bet she had a new appreciation for such a treat.
Gotta get some sleep.
Monica – Jed’s love interest
It is truly settling in what happened now that I know my home is gone. And the thought of losing Jed, well, it made me more aware of how truly vulnerable I am here. I don’t know anyone besides Jed and Eric.
I need clothes that fit me and shoes that I can work in. And I have feminine needs and well, in a household of men there just isn’t anything for that. So today I decided to walk through the neighborhood and really meet some of the other women. I’ve seen them at the meetings, but never really talked with any of them. Carol and Audrey were great.
Carol’s husband has a prickly heat rash and they don’t have anymore ointment to treat it. I used to work at a health food store and shared with her that baking soda made into a paste would help. She was so grateful that she gave me two pair of her “skinny” jeans! Then she walked with me next door to meet Audrey.
It was funny when Audrey answered the door, Carol introduced me, “Aud, this is Monica, Jed’s lady. She used to work in a health food store and knows all kinds of stuff!” Audrey flung the door open and practically dragged me in. She gave me a pair of sandals and some walking shoes she didn’t care for and a box of tampons. They are running low on food and her husband has high blood pressure with only a month left on his prescription. She has low thyroid levels and is out of her prescription.
“Black Cohosh is one herb that has been known to help with low thyroid, but I don’t know where we’ll get it” I told her.
“What else is Black Cohosh used for,” she asked.
“Oh, hot flashes and menopause symptoms,” I said.
Audrey’s eyes lit up. “I’ll bet Maud has some of that.”
A couple of hours visiting and I came home with two pair of jeans, shoes, tampons, and two new friends.
Mark and Jessie were at the house when I got back, they were chatting with Jed. I took Jessie aside and showed her what Carol and Audrey had given me and asked her if she had any natural health supplements, antibiotics, vitamins, etc. at their house. “Yes, but what do you need those for?”
I explained that I used to work at a natural health store and there are already people running out of prescriptions, getting rashes, etc. Knowing what people had available could make the difference between life and death for some folks. I could see that she took that information very seriously – mothers do.
I was so elated making some friends that I think I annoyed Jed when I chattered all through the cooking and meal. But he did seem interested when I told him about my years at a health food store in my late 20′s. Jed said he had several books on natural medicine that I could look through.
Today was the first good day I’ve had since the bombings. I almost feel happy, but I can see that Jed is restless.
So, here is where we are at as of yesterday… Want to have some fun and play? Write yourself in as a character in A Survival Story!
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