Talking about preparedness is like talking about sex – you either embellish and exaggerate because you want to impress, or youre into some pretty wild and bizarre stuff and you downplay it to try to sound average.
I mention it because every so often I’ll be talking to someone and they’ll mention their friend of a friends cousin who has a neighbor who knew a guy who….has an underground concrete missile silo, a garage full of armored cars, a railroad car full of food, a key to the National Guard armory and his own gas well on the property. Someone, mighta been Jeff Cooper, said that when someone tells you about how big the crocodile that almost killed them was you get the real size by dividing the reported size by two and adding three feet. I suspect preparedness is a bit like that. Divide the divulged quantity of [food/ammo/fuel/acreage/group size] by three and add three to come up with a more realistic number. Crazy Louie’s 24 month food supply? 11 month. Gino’s 100k of ammo? 36k. Donna’s 150 acre homestead? 53 acres.
I mention it because I had such an encounter yesterday with a customer who was telling me about how he’s working with a buddy of his on his buddy’s aunt’s acreage. The aunt, he says, is ‘Mommy Warbucks’ in terms of having a good bit of money. She’s building an ‘off grid’ house. I said great, more power to her. He said it doesn’t stop there. According to him, she has a 1000 gallon underground propane tank, took delivery of a truckload of buckets of food, has ‘plenty of ammo’, a couple 2500 gallon cisterns, etc, etc, and is gearing up for a projected core group of twelve family members. He calls it her ‘Doomstead’. (Get it? It’s a homestead for doomsday – Doomstead.) I didn’t want to get into specifics but I think her particular flavor of apocalypse was Yellowstone caldera.
Overlooking for a moment the extremely catchy term of ‘doomstead’, it sounded like quite the operation…if it were true. I’ve met folks who talked a great lifestyle but didn’t have much more than a couple cases of ammo and some bags of rice, and Ive met some people who youd never guess were ‘into the scene’ but had some hellaciously well squared-away preps. And, yes, a few with genuine honest-to-Crom concrete underground bunkers. (One cleverly disguised with a brick barbecue to conceal the ventilation.) I know, with absolute certainty, that there are folks out there with awesome concrete houses, capacious basements, mini-hydro systems, racks of rifles, and industrial shelves stacked to the ceiling with freeze drieds. I like to think that this woman really does have her ‘Doomstead’ as my customer described…more likely its something far less ambitious though. But, so what? Even the lowliest van-down-by-the-river survivalist is still ahead of the curve if for no other reason than because even if he doesn’t have the goods, he has the attitude.
I’m sure theres folks that would jump on the ‘yuppie survivalist’-bashing bandwagon if this Doomstead story were actually as it was related to me. (‘Yuppie survivalist’ being code for ‘makes more money than I do, dammit’.) Hey man, if I had the money I’d have my very own heavily-armored and tastefully-appointed doomstead out in the sticks. When The Day comes there won’t be any commendations handed out to the guy that made it through with the least amount of gear…I got no problem spending money for what I think is a good and important cause – continued safety and security.
Back to our friend at the Doomstead, I told him that if Mommy Warbucks was in need of some gear or freezedrieds to let me know and Im sure we could work something out. Who knows, it might turn out that there really is some matriarch out there feathering her nest with concrete and concertina while dispensing copious amounts of cash. If it isn’t true, it’d be nice to think it is.