Plan B

Plan B is not a mere formality. It may be the strategy that you ultimately use. How can that be? If I put most of my thought and planning into Plan A, surely that will be the one that works best, right? I mean, Plan B is a backup, in case Plan A doesn't work out 'as planned'. So why bother putting a lot of effort into a Plan B, when it's probably not going to be used?

Plan A makes some assumptions about what will happen in the future. Can you accurately predict the future? Nor can I. So we begin Plan A with assumptions which may later turn out to be inaccurate. It's our best guess, but it's still a guess. Go ahead, consult the 'experts', astrologers, the I Ching, Tarot, have your palm read, visit a psychic... eventually you will have to make a plan that you can carry out, if things 'go south'. That's Plan A. Make it the best you can, that's all you can do.

When it's time to bug out, Plan A may turn out to be flawed. Okay, so you make it a bit flexible, so it can still work, maybe. Flexibility has limits. If you have to make big changes to Plan A while you're trying to execute Plan A, you are actually executing Plan B. So why not just make a Plan B, in case Plan A can't be used?

Plan A might work for awhile, then fail. Then what? Then use Plan B. So Plan B is actually quite important, simply because Plan A cannot be perfect and infallable. Let's look at some examples:

Example 1. Your Plan A assumes your area will one day experience a hurricane, and you don't want to become a refugee in some sports arena or gymnasium (again) with thousands of other refugees, and all at the mercy of Uncle Scam or Uncle Sham. You prepare a BOB and make arrangements with Uncle Harry to stay with him, in case you have to evacuate. You have a wife and two kids, and each of them has a separate BOB. One day, a hurricane is reported to be heading your way, but sadly, last week, Harry's cabin in Montana burned down. Harry is on his way to stay with you! Time to put Plan B into action, so you hope you have one. In this case, having more than one bug out location would be a good idea.

Example 2. You have prepared a survival retreat in another part of the state/country, so when it comes time to bug out, you pack up your BOV and head there. However, on your arrival, you discover that it is occupied by a gang of armed men. Your Plan A doesn't include you doing battle with a small militia to reclaim your property, so you back away and let them have your food and goodies. Got a Plan B? It's unlikey that you will have more than one survival retreat prepared, but you may have another location scouted where you could stay, even temporarily, until you can make better arrangements. (See below for one way to deal with this gang.)

Example 3. Your Plan A, which you keep updated with the latest events and news, is based on the assumtion that whatever scenario is going to occur, there will be signs that you are watching for to tell you it's time to bug out. You know that it's critical to get out before panic and chaos begin to manifest, so you are actually betting your whole strategy on the assumption that you will get some sign in time. And if there is no sign? If there are people planning this crisis who want to catch everyone unprepared, they might, for example, set up a perimiter - a fence - around your city late at night, and in the morning everyone wakes up to discover they are trapped, checkpoints on all roads in and out. With everyone inside, the powers in control can search homes for weapons, confiscate anything they want and set up a cashless money system where everyone has a card instead. They can ship out all those who object or obstruct them - off to FEMA camps. Impossible? If you think it can't happen, you are unaware of what is going on, and you sure as heck didn't study history.

No pandemic, no EMP, no economic collapse, and no sign that it was coming. This is not a prediction, just something you might consider while making your Plan A. A survival retreat, if prepared and occupied in time, might be the best Plan A in this case. I think cities are disasters waiting to happen. The 'excuse' for this scenario would be like all the others - it's for our 'safety'. We're being protected from terrorists or some virus or some crap they invent to get people to go along with it. If you hear about a virus spreading someplace, that might be the sign to pack up, especially if they are making vaccinations mandatory, sealing off areas for wuarantine and so on. Whatever they spring on us, you can be sure it will be big and designed to make people fearful enough to accept Big Brother's protection.

Bury Extra Gear and Food. In case your Plan A goes south or is just impractical, for whatever reason, have a backup supply of essential gear and food, even a BOV, easily accessible. This topic is covered here.

Survival Retreat Occupied? Got some gang tennants? Here's my idea on how to remove uninvited guests from your retreat. This is possible whether you build the retreat or retrofit it later. Buy a radio-controlled device which can be operated from far away. Install in your retreat house the device which is activated by your remote. Make sure it has its own battery power which is kept charged by house current and remains live even when house current is off.

First: Do a recon of your retreat/house to know what you are facing. Approach silently on foot at night from a mile away or more and bring NVD, binoculars and a notebook. Spy on them from a safe distance without being detected. How many? How big and strong? Armed? If so, what do they have? Are they skilled, disciplined and watchful or lazy slobs. Is there a leader? Do they maintain security, any guards? Do they follow a routine? If you have a night vision device (NVD), this would be a good opportunity to use it. Your recon observations will tell you the best time to activate your 'expulsion' and what you will be facing when they are expelled.

The 'activated device' can be anything which operates a switch, so that when you push a button on your remote, the device operates. There are many 'operations' which might work to 'evict' your tenants. If there was suddenly a piercing alarm which could not be shut off or broken, that would be Level 1 assault. Level 2 would be the release of pepper spray gas which fills the house, forcing everyone outside. Once everyone is out, you have the advantage with whatever offensive gesture you like. You could combine the alarm and the gas. More complicated, but you could lock the door remotely, when they're all sleeping, and then release some gas, for a Level 3 move. But they might break windows and cause other damage. I think just getting everyone outside with something like pepper spray would be easy to install and to pull off and effective at eviction. Level 4 would be using something stronger than pepper spray, but that might not be wise or necessary. Might damage your retreat, and your intention is to evict the tennants and move back in.

The canister releasing the gas would have to be behind an unbreakable grate or something that couldn't be blocked closed easily, or installed in something that looked like part of the decoration or style, like a pillar or whatever. The point is, hide the device and its operations in such a way that it will not be discovered and turned off or defeated by blockage. Pepper spray is so effective at rendering people ineffective that you may not need an alarm. To be sure the device works, you can make two or three that operate at the same time, possibly in different locations. If one fails, the others will do the job.

I highly recommend that you be far enough away from the house and hiding so they don't see you, but you will want to see them.

Disclaimer: You are responsible for your actions, regardless where you get an idea. I am not recommending or even suggesting that you kill people who occupy your retreat or home. You have to decide if lethal force is warranted in your particular situation. You may choose to disarm your 'guests', once they are outside. If you shoot them as they exit, you are responsible for that. My idea here is a way to force your occupiers out of your house. What you do with or to them is your decision and responsibility. One day, you may have to prove in court that your actions were justified.

Many factors are involved here. Are these people unarmed and simply forced their way into your house out of desperation and need? Or are they armed and dangerous, in your opinion? Will they now go away and leave you in peace, or will they return for revenge and to take back your house? What do you expect to happen once they are outside? When they recover from the gas, will they calmly march off your property, or will they try to find you? If they are armed, will you disarm them? If so, how? Will they leave their weapons behind? Make a plan before you carry out such an action. Bring backup - you're going to need it, especially if you have to frisk and disarm them. If it's just one guy, you might manage it alone.

Aftermath: Since you had carefully prepared a Plan B, you were able to recover items you burried elsewhere, like guns and ammo, food and water, clothing and other gear. That Plan B cache made it possible for you to recover your retreat - not bad for a Plan B. Your Plan A is now back on track. See, Plan B deserves careful planning and preparation. If you hadn't burried those supplies, where would you be? Probably unarmed, shelterless and lacking food and other necessities.

Even if you don't believe the above scenario could ever happen, there are many others that could. It may appear to be a waste of resources to bury perfectly good food, gear and arms, until you realize that we live in dangerous times, and you might actually one day depend on those supplies to survive. Consider it a kind of insurance - the good kind (insurance companies are corrupt and greedy), because even if you don't need it, you still have it. And knowing that you have a backup is reassuring. Just make sure that your backup is complete. I mean, how would you feel if you lost your main BOB or your retreat or your BOV full of supplies, and you dig up your Plan B cache and suddenly remember that you only stocked it with a bag of granola, a bottle of water, a slingshot, fresh socks and underwear, bandaids, a pocketknife and some MREs? Okay, you're going to be glad to have the food, water and supplies, but the idea of facing down threats to your safety with a sling shot and a knife is going to leave you wishing you had taken this cache more seriously.

One of the greatest mysteries is the fact that we see people around us dying all the time, and yet we can't imagine that we will one day also die. We feel safe today and have access to all kinds of things at reasonable prices, so it's not easy to imagine that one day that could change - we could be in danger and have little or no access to food or other necessities. Don't wait until it's difficult or impossible to make your Plan B preparations. Set aside a little 'something' every week.

Buy at least two heavy duty 5-gallon buckets with gasketed lids (rubber seal) and gradually begin putting things in them each week. One for food and water, one for clothing and survival gear. Keep a list of what will go into each bucket, and cross items off as they go in. Be sure to include a strong daypack or backpack, in case you arrive to dig them up and have nothing in which to carry the things. Hopefully, you will never be so desperate that you have to dig up these supplies to survive. But if that happens, we hope you find more than a bag of granola, socks and a slingshot. See Bury Extra Gear for more on this.

Here's what I would like to find in my cache:

Imagine for a moment that the worst has not yet happened. The SHTF but you're alive, right? so the worst hasn't happened, but close. You're on foot, hungry, thirsty and have no weapon - you only have what you're wearing. Now you dig up your one (and only) 5-gallon cache and open it. What would you consider the best imaginable sight, as you unpack it? Here's my wish list:

A gallon of drinking water in four 1-quart bottles. Five pounds of dates. Five pounds of food bars. A quart of honey. Two pair thick socks. Jeans, sweatshirt, rain parka, underwear, t-shirts. 9mm semiauto pistol, three mags, 1000 rounds of ammo, holster, mag pouches, cleaning kit, cargo belt. Daypack and fannypack. Crank or solar flashlight. AM/FM radio. Fixed blade knife and sheath, multitool, 2 lighters, folder, needles and thread, superglue, first aid kit, mini binoculars, two walkie talkies, notebook and pencils, pens, ziplock bags, three gallon collapsible water jug, vitamin C powder, some quarters (they might still have value), a pint of Dr. Bronners Almond Castile soap, leather gloves, a map of the area, compass, a tarp, some paracord, a big plastic garbage bag, duct tape, a toothbrush and a small water filter. I probably need two buckets.

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