An online friend posted the following essay to one of the survival/preparedness mailing lists I subscribe to. His words make a lot of sense on the first read-through and even moreso once you start putting them into practice. I appreciate his allowing me to post his message here and share it with you.

Howdy all, Fernie here, well, I was going to get to this sometime, and it came up today, so here goes.

Lots of people are away from where they want to be, if a disaster should strike, it seems. What can I take with me, what should I have at all times, etc... As someone posted on this or another list, once you leave the area you live in you become a refugee, pure and simple. Roads will be jammed, powerlines will be down, there could be military personnel checking to see why you're not where you're suppose to be. Regardless, the odds are there's going to be a whole lot of people thinking just the way you are. So to survive anything, get to where you figure is your best chance and make the most of it. Heading off into the hills sounds like a wonderful idea, but it really isn't going to happen to most of you.

So, lets assume, ( I hate that word) that you're in your county, you got your list squared away, and wondering how to get work to survive living out in the bush, let alone getting a job in the bush. You give up a lot of luxuries living outside the cities, but when you think of how much time you really waste living in one, for you're not in the element you wish to be in, that would be your first decision, move to where you want to survive.

OK, I'm really involved in county and state politics, I believe that regardless, the pen is mightier then the sword, though I carry my sword everywhere I go these days. A couple years ago, maybe three now, it came up at a commissioner meeting that the county needed another front-end loader. These things don't go cheap, so I and others of a group that attend every commissioner meeting, asked, just how many of these units are in the county. Everything in our county is on computer now, but a couple years ago, it was still done by paper. We found out how much equipment our county owned, in trucks, dumptrucks, cars, bulldozers, front-end loaders, cranes, backhoes - you name a piece of equipment, we found out how many the county owned and where they were sitting for the most part. Without going into details, we own a lot for a county of 63K people. But we live in a one road in, one road out county, we also have a National Park out our back door, and the major seaway out the front. I live in Clallam County, Washington State. So another group I belong to got to asking the question, if the balloon goes up, what are the chances of us getting by?

So, we started looking into how many pieces of equipment we have in our county, both public and private. We're sitting pretty good here. Hell, there's over a thousand logging trucks alone. Boat wise, we're sitting pretty good as well, but not as well as some more populated counties. Still, a 16 foot run-about can get you to and from without much trouble. We also found out how much fuel is on the Peninsula - in this county, we can go for a few years if most cars are shut down. We also have a couple of small dams on a river that can provide power if the main grid goes down. Of course the government doesn't like this, and we're fighting tooth and nail right now to keep our dams. (Another story about fighting liberal greenies some time, not now.) Granted, we had to guess-ta-ment some of the figures for the private sector, as I did in my area, for backhoes, dozers, trucks, etc... we also have a large amount of skidders. These are some really awesome pieces of equipment. Assuming that even half of everything in this county is taken out, we still could hold our own, pretty well. We know how many bridges there are, we know where roads are exposed to rock slides, in the Northwest there isn't a road that doesn't have each side of it lined with rows of trees over 100 foot high. I don't think there is a household around that doesn't have at least one chainsaw.

Almost all military equipment can only function on paved surfaces, it's a rare tank that can travel cross country, at least in this water logged county. But we are such an out of the way county, that it really isn't to any government's advantage to overrun us. They'd be wise to try and starve us out. God works in mysterious ways, and last year we were hit by a snowstorm that dumped 3+ feet of snow on the area. Everything shut down for a week at least. Out here in the bush, we were snowed in for ten days, a blessing to me, as if I can't get out, they can't get in. I actually slept well for a brief time. But all those folks that didn't listen to our tales of being prepared found out quick enough that the supermarket trucks don't roll in a big snow storm. In a couple days, those who could make it to a store found out the shelves were empty. We have a storm coming in today, it's 20* out and it looking like anywhere from 6" to a foot of snow. I had to go into town this morning for a commissioner work session and noticed that the supermarkets parking lots were full of citizens who finally woke up to our warnings of stocking up. Country people garden freeze food, can food, smoke food, and stock up on the items that can't be raised. This year, for the first time in years, I noticed lots of gardens growing food in the backyards around town. It's a start folks, it's a start.

Soooooooooo, if you are going to survive anything that's going to come up, the first public thing you want to do is get involved in county politics.

Hey, you can make a difference when enough people attend a public meeting that's going to determine your future - they have to listen and act on what the public has to say. Two, find out what your county, state, and cities own for equipment, where the fuel dumps are, where stuff is located. Do an inquiry into private equipment, as I did, guess-ta-ment in your area. I must admit it's a little easier where I live then most, but it's very possible and you might just meet a fellow patriot, if you explain what you are up to. As a collective group, you are going to be able to do a whole lot better, than as individuals. You can still have your neighborhood help groups, but when there's no TV, radio, electricity, those shortwave/CB units sure come in handy. Three, don't spend weekends setting up a place to go (unless you're in my neck of the woods, I could use the extra goodies). If thing get ugly, make plans now to be there. I know bucks are tough, government is taking over half of what you bring in, but learn barter, it's the best form of doing business. When you have to scrap and save to live where you are at now, and you don't want to be, it's going to be tougher where you want to be, but barter is alive in the country, you can get by just fine. As one good friend once told me, it's better to know someone who has something, than to own it yourself, if you can't afford it. Everyone has something that someone else needs. In my case, I have a lot of BS - everyone needs BS. But it's going to be a whole lot rougher for you to make the move when you have to make the move, than if you do it now.

Well, as usual, I'll get lots of flack on this one - oh, well, this is just the way I and several others in my county see it, and have learned how to combat it, assess it, and get around it.