Survival-Pax Blog: August 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Are YOU Prepared for Rioting?

Riots can be an ugly thing. How do you prepare for one? 
Source: Boston.com
Many of us know what is going on in England currently. If you  aren't up to speed, England is literally on fire from rioters in many major cities, including London.

The police forces were overwhelmed by the amount of rioters who took to the streets on August 6th after the shooting of Mark Duggan. The shooting of Duggan, who was a black man, was the spark needed to ignite the tinder bundle (remember this analogy) that was already in place due to high racial tensions and economic disparity.

A picture of Mark Duggan.
The shooting formed a series of riots that started in Tottenham, a low-income London neighborhood, and spread throughout London. The riots even spread to other cities including Nottingham, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol.

Intially, the riots seem to be racially motivated, but they soon became an excuse to "have a good time". Youths from all backgrounds took to the streets to loot stores, burn homes, cars and businesses, and to just harass the locals. A real WROL (Without Rule of Law) situation emerged as the police were clearly not ready for something of this magnitude.

A map of England highlighting the towns affected by riots.
There are videos of riot police taking to the streets, but then running away because they were overwhelmed. England, a country known for its viewpoint of looking down upon arming civilians and even the police, was faced with reaping what it has sown. The local police were anemic in their attempts to quell the riots because they were inadequately armed and, by the same token, civilians were left defenseless.

Nonetheless, sales of baseball bats on Amazon.co.uk went up 6000%. I wonder if they paid for expedited shipping...

People will improvise when they do not have the required tools necessary to effectively defend themselves or their homes but it is still sad that it had to come to this for many to realize the importance of self-defense.

Lessons Learned

The lesson that I learned from all of this is that the recent riots and looting aren't just isolated to the Middle East. Heck, last week there was a racially-motivated riot at a State Fair in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

With the falling economy, the people on the lower-end of the economic ladder will feel the brunt of all of this the worst. I will predict many more such riots hitting closer and closer to home. If you are living in a populated urban area or close to one, I would suggest taking this advice seriously.

What can you do to prepare for this? Source: Boston.com
I suggest having a plan for if such a situation were to happen in your area. Preparing for such a situation would include purchasing some extra food/water in case local infrastructure becomes destabilized. A small portable generator can be a good idea to have. Communication equipment (walkie-talkies, HAM Radio, CB Radio) to communicate with local families/friends may also be a good idea if cell phone services become jammed with everyone trying to talk to one another. A bright flashlight, a good knife and a good set of tools can be very handy.

Last but not least, having a proper means of self-defense is critical to defending what is yours. Now this isn't a post about what choice of weapons you should have, but having some sort of firearm is highly encouraged, whether it be a handgun, rifle or shotgun. All three have their advantages/disadvantages and all three can be very effective at discouraging looters and rioters from harming you and your family.

My Take on This

As society continues to decline morally and people become more and more irresponsible, we are effectively building up the tinder bundle. People who otherwise would have self-control and would not do things that would take advantage of others can be pushed over the edge when part of a mob; such is the mob mentality. As we saw in England, all it takes is one spark. If the tinder is dry and ready, it will ignite and send society into chaos.

What can we do to prevent this?

Well, I would start by trying to be the most responsible and upstanding person that you can be. Don't take advantage of others, and teach others to do the same. While doing this, preparation for if and when such a riot does come your way would be prudent.

Take care!

Simon - Survival-Pax Team Member

Sources Used:
CBCnews. Getting to the root of the London riots
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/08/09/f-uk-riots-faq.html

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paintball - Great Team-Building

A few weeks ago, I was able to go with a group of friends to play paintball. I don't know how many of you have ever gone before, but if you haven't, it's a lot of fun and I recommend it. I used to play paintball much more in college than I do now, but I still enjoy going every once in a while.

Here's me taking cover behind a bunker in a game of Speedball.
Thinking back on the experience, apart from seeing all my bruises and welts, I saw it as an important team-building activity.

As many of you follow the WROL Scenario's that I have been doing, I hope that you are starting to see that the focus is becoming more on the community rather than the individual.

We humans are societal beings. We are meant to live together in communities, sharing the workload, thus accomplishing more together than any one of us could do alone. Whenever there is a larger-scale disaster or emergency, or even in just simple everyday life, we rely on others to help us out. Sure we can hold off on our own for a while if we are prepared, and it very well may be necessary to hold down the fort for a while, but eventually we all run out of supplies and will have to rely on our communities again to help us rebuild and survive.

How does this relate to Paintball?

Nice view of how it feels like to peek out
from behind a bunker.
Well, some of you that have taken preparation and survival seriously have already formed networks of families to rely on in case something should happen. These networks don't have to be official, either. Your network may very well consist of your neighbors, or members of your family that live close by. It is important, however, that your network consists of people that you can easily contact and that are in close proximity to where you live. This is your community and these will be the people that you will rely on and also help out should anything bad happen.

In order for any community to work well together, they need to have had practice working as a team. In doing so, natural leaders will arise and the strengths and weaknesses of each individual will be shown. This information is very important in delegating jobs and in just understanding each other. Even if a disaster never were to happen, sharing experiences with your community is part of the foundation for solid friendships that will last a lifetime.

Paintball may be just one of many fun experiences for you to share with your community/network. It's a fairly stressful sport, that can show the integrity and character of the people you're with. Natural leaders will emerge and lessons will be learned.

Some of the lessons that I learned during my last outing were the importance of teamwork and communication. I saw that only in working together could we effectively beat the other team.

After a long day, you walk off the field not really caring
if you won or lost. A good time was had by all.
Going hand in hand with teamwork is communication. Without walkie-talkies, it is very difficult to communicate over any reasonable distance. We relied on shouting, which worked somewhat. However, in the middle of a firefight, you quickly forget the importance of communication and the team quickly breaks down after communication is lost.

Learning to maintain a clear mind in the middle of a stressful situation is crucial in order to make right judgments. Analyzing the times when I did get shot, I noticed that I had made some silly mistakes that should have been obvious to me. However, in the middle of getting shot at, these simple things are often overlooked and dumb mistakes are made.

So, if you haven't played paintball before, I highly recommend it. It's not as scary as you may think and getting shot doesn't hurt that much. The lessons learned are definitely worth the price you pay in welts. :)

Take care!

Simon - Survival-Pax Team Member

Labels: , , ,