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Old 08-19-2019, 06:16 PM
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:23 AM
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Are we still dreaming here?


Fort Jefferson
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Jefferson_(Florida)



West of the Florida Keys. It laughs at hurricanes and was built during the Civil War.

Big enough inside for a small farm. Designed to repel seaborne troop landings. Squat and thick to be less susceptible to naval cannon. Massive cisterns. A few nearby tiny islands that were good for raising swine. Fishing totally rocks in a national sea park.

Gimme a couple million and I'll rehab it nicely. I figure once I wake up one morning with the formula to gather vacuum energy I'll trade it to the government for Fort Jefferson and limited self rule territory status.


And with that I'm off to bed. Wish me luck!
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:40 AM
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Not really answering the question asked, but a tangential one:

I'd value a mobile setup more than a fortress. That is, until I had a group I trusted enough to maintain and defend a fortress. If it's just you and your family, you'd wreck your nerves in the first week trying to cover every area needed to defend an urban are.

Throwing all your chips in on one location puts you in a "last stand" situation. All it takes is enough folks to ruin that. I'd want a place with a good exit strategy, and I wouldn't invest so much into it that I couldn't leave it all behind if I had to.

Mobility keeps rabbits alive among coyotes; mobility keeps insurgents alive among drones and helicopters. It can keep you alive among scavengers.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:36 PM
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Wowee,

I hear what you're saying.

But it depends on how many people are around / what they're doing (how quickly they die off) and on building your network, doesn't it?

You might not like your home. But if there are a lot of competitors around who don't want to give up their nice brick building, or if somebody else gets there first, it's a moot point.

Similarly, the number of people you have on your side, and how good they are as potential survivalists, also changes that equation. So you want to try building your team a little beforehand--- but without going overboard, of course.

I think that you definitely should be researching the strengths and weaknesses of different local points, but not necessarily with the aim of simply abandoning your house. A better place to start might be to look at how you can fortify your house, and start investing in it.

Without rebuilding it from the ground up, you can't make a typical house 100% safe against a Days Gone horde, but you can shift the equation around by having a skilled, reliable team, and by making sensible modifications to your house. Beyond that, there may be other things you can do after the rule of law is gone, for instance, modifications to neighboring properties that were abandoned, that will help make your own yards and structure more defensible.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Vodka Wizard View Post
Not really answering the question asked, but a tangential one:

I'd value a mobile setup more than a fortress.

Just out of curiosity....what is winter like where you live?

I mean, I like the idea of mobility too....but it depends on constant scavenging...and scavenging to me seems pretty dangerous as you are always out and about splitting your attention between looking for stuff and looking for threats...

And always at risk of ending up in a place or time when you can't scavenge.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:46 AM
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In an urban setting, I'd be looking for structures that provided the following:

1. Water supply [storage cistern & replenishable from within perimeter (by well or rainfall)]
2. Fire resistant construction (ideally with a self-supplied fire sprinkler system)
3. Not over-watched by higher terrain or other structures within rifle shot
4. Protected from forced entry (breaching); high security entrances/windows/walls
5. Ballistic cover (from small arms at a minimum); includes reinforced roof
6. Standoff from vehicle born bombs (VBIED); ditches, walls, barriers, gates, etc.
7. Good fields of observation & fire
8. Multiple covered or concealed ingress/egress routes
9. Well insulated/protected against the seasons
10. Earthquake/blast/storm resistant
11. Above flood plain or tidal reach (high ground)
12. Covered/protected storage area for vehicles & supplies
13. Backup power generation & fuel supplies (or solar)
14. Adequate space for additional people who join up later
15. Rooftop or interior court yard space for gardens & small livestock
16. Places for channelized defenses and employment of interior bastions or strong points
17. Defensible rooftop or top floor
18. Below grade basement
19. Reinforced concrete construction
20. Minimal dead space around structures/s & grounds
21. Potentially mutually supporting positions (or separate buildings that can do the same)
22. Natural/man-made approach barriers (promontory, bluff, island, river, berms, etc.)
23. Existing perimeter barriers (fencing, walls, canal, etc.)
24. Potential parking for large trucks or excavation/engineering equipment
25. On-site bulk fuel storage
26. Deep enough water table to allow for modest future construction/defensive enhancements
27. Friendly or neutral neighbors
28. Nearby covered concealed locations suitable for use as LP/OPs or rally points
29. Enough surrounding structures to provide masking from direct fire weaponry & long distance observers
30. Navigable below ground tunnel or sewer system; nearby or connecting
31. High speed approaches difficult (or able to be rendered inaccessible) to vehicles employed by opponents; No Go Terrain
32. Interior staircases (not observable or target-able by outside observers); functioning elevators if you have power

32. Enough armed, well supplied, & productive occupiers to make #s 1-32 work effectively

Exceedingly difficult to check the block on all those things resident at one place, but things to look for nevertheless.
I concur that a fortified village makes sense. My favorite is the Dual Ring Village (DRV).
https://www.survivalistboards.com/sh...8&postcount=90
A four to five story DRV, with 2m thick rammed earth exterior walls (w/ ferrocement skins), 300 ft radius, should do nicely as a homestead for 200-300 people.
Very energy efficient, since each apartment has only 1 or 2 exposed sides out of six.

DISASTER RESISTANCE LIST:
[] UV radiation, gamma radiation (6 ft rammed earth), EMP, CME
[] Earthquake, mudslide, meteor shock wave, sinkhole, drought, landslide
[] Downpour, horizontal rain, flash flood, storm surge, tsunami
[] Tornado, Hurricane, Downburst, Microburst, flying debris
[] Extreme cold, blizzard, snow drifts, avalanche, ice dams, glacier melt
[] Extreme heat, fire, smoke, humidity, ashfall (volcanic)
[] Vermin, insects, mold, mildew, pests, pestilence
[] Predators, MZB, Civil unrest, Disaster aftermath
[] Micrometeorite (near miss), small arms fire,
[] Rot and decay from surrounding disaster

I can't claim inventor rights, since the Chinese Hakka tulous precede my design by 1000 years.

FWIW - if Americans build lots and lots of these fortified villages, in most cases, they would have little damage from natural disasters. Of course, the government may not approve of muggles living within secure fortresses - why hire protection that you don't need?
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:35 AM
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All you say it takes a village for self defense are right on target. Any mad max scenario would require bodies working together to have a chance. For me personally I plan for short term disruption and not a world gone mad. So if survival is a golf game i am a duffer.

In my urban world any place to looks good looks good to others so that is a problem right off the bat.

Looking around near me the place I think looks very good is a self storage unit. It is already designed to keep people out. Big fence with barb wire. Buildings themselves are either roll up doors or shared with roll ups on one end of the other. Not very accessible. Camera everywhere so if you can get juice flowing you have a central area to monitor things. Bonus is who knows what you could pilfer from the units that may be useful.

So my primary survival kit would be bolt cutters, cutting torch, replacement heavy duty chains and locks. When in mad max world do as mad max would.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:42 PM
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All you say it takes a village for self defense are right on target. Any mad max scenario would require bodies working together to have a chance. For me personally I plan for short term disruption and not a world gone mad. So if survival is a golf game i am a duffer.
I stipulate that any fortified village can't hold off a modern military attack. However, if you limit your attention to natural disasters, the dual ring offers plenty of value, security, durability and resilience. Curved walls spill wind, are stronger than flat walls, and are self supporting. According to historical records, the rammed earthen tulou, in China, repeatedly survived attacks by Japanese pirates as well as irate neighbors. And they were earthquake resistant. Sometimes, cracks did appear after a shaking, but they self repaired. The fact remains, that they have endured over 1000 years.

With a robust exterior barrier wall (15m high) and a single gateway (that can have dual watertight doors), you can button it up, and ride out flash floods, storm surge, mud slides, etc.

The flat rooftops can be planted with gardens, far away from terrestrial pests.

And if engineered to deal with known nuisances based on sight, smell, and sound, they can be luxury on a beer budget accommodations. With one's job or vocation just downstairs, it's an easy commute. All sorts of synergistic connections can make life better. Local businesses can do home delivery. An on-site polyclinic may allow physicians to do "house calls" in the round. Thus each apartment can act as a hospital room, cutting costs. On-site child care and schools simplify taking care of children.

The major stumbling block is that you have to build the whole thing at once. Doesn't do any good to have half a ring village. So you need 200 - 300 charter subscribers (or one wealthy financier) to jump start the process.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:32 PM
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I would say if your in an urban environment, a group minded approach to survival would be essential. Whether family, neighbors, or what have you a lonely survivalist would not fair well in an environment where gangs that always have some sort or organization. You would need to go beyond the defense of a home or some sort of compound. You would need to secure blocks and beyond.
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Old 08-24-2019, 08:05 PM
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My VA hospital has an interesting building. I tried like hell to find an image but no luck.

So I'll go with a description. It's a gym/recreation facility. Think of those mirror glass cube office buildings, that in this case is just 2 stories tall. The mirror skin isn't important to my point though. The building is actually recessed a half story down into the ground with front entrance ramp steps and a walkway even with the bottom floor all the way around outside. Then it has a concrete wall around the building about 10 feet out from the building starting at the surrounding normal ground level. The wall at ground level being one story tall and the sunken 2 story building being a half story down means only a half a story being visible from outside the perimeter. The surrounding wall is covered in the front with a dirt berm and has planted ground cover. So from a ways off it looks like a low mound with half a story of mirror cube sticking out the top. Basically a walled building where the wall is hidden behind and beneath natural terrain and leaving only a tiny part of the building visible, except where you have the stepped down entryway.

Now the mirror cube building skin is a non starter, but a concrete building where they added brown or olive colorant to the concrete mix wouldn't stand out as much from a distance. You could even plant the flat roof with bush and grass foliage to greatly reduce overhead visibility from aircraft. The roof would still retain a story and a half commanding view of the surrounding area but the building itself would only have a few visible feet from a distance. The outer earth berm would be naturally resistant to explosive projectiles or rockets. Small arms would be completely negated. Physical assault would be contained by narrow front entryway. Going over the sides away from the entryway would be hampered by the dry moat effect created by the outer wall, surrounding floor level path and the building 10 feet back and roof 5 feet up. Too far to simply run and jump it. They would have to fashion some kind of bridge effect to gain the roof, that could be defended, or be trapped in the dry moat under plunging fire.

It seems a nice way to make a substantial size building resistant to modern foot and wheeled infantry assault. I'm not so foolish to believe a few guys could hold off a seasoned and determined modern infantry platoon with all the toys but you darn sure would increase your defensive force multiplication power.

Looking for defensive building ideas you can look to static fortifications built around the US Civil War era when cannon threat was prevalent. Most were built low and squat. They utilized horizontal instead of vertical defense. They relied on narrow open visibility behind earth barrier while tucking areas of movement below grade. Shortly thereafter towards the end of the war they morphed this into the trench concepts used in WW1. No one really wants to make a home in a trench system though. But the half evolution just before in static fortification gives some nice options that aren't a hole in the mud. Like the Fort Jefferson image above and a lot of the naval forts at the outbreak of the war you can see how they evolved their low squat forts designed to be more resistant to small arms and cannon. While small arms and cannon have evolved to be more potent and faster they are still subject to the same ballistic physical forces that drove those anti-ballistic fortification designs of 150 years ago.

Best part of the overall concept is that because it blends into the landscape better you have a ready excuse for the suspicious neighbor types in that it is more natural and "green". The appearance of being a lover of nature and using the insulating powers of simple earth is a bit disarming for those who are wondering what you are building there that doesn't conform to McMansion ubiquity. The "hippies at the end of the road" garner fewer local rumors that those "end of the world psychos hunkering down over there", if you get my meaning.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:53 AM
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I stipulate that any fortified village can't hold off a modern military attack.
Sure. But prepping to defeat a modern military attack is pretty far up there and more on the level of national defense rather than prepping.

But if you are talking raiders, rioters, 'zombies'...etc....there is a lot fortifications can do for you. There is a pretty wide range of threats between natural disasters and modern military with armor, artillery and air support coming for you.

Quote:
So my primary survival kit would be bolt cutters, cutting torch, replacement heavy duty chains and locks.
I have often thought that in any kind of ubran setting the best stuff for your BOB or GHB is not fixed knives, hatchets, tarps, fire starters but rather bolt cutters, hack saws, and lockpicks.
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:42 AM
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Just out of curiosity....what is winter like where you live?

I mean, I like the idea of mobility too....but it depends on constant scavenging...and scavenging to me seems pretty dangerous as you are always out and about splitting your attention between looking for stuff and looking for threats...

And always at risk of ending up in a place or time when you can't scavenge.
Mild these days. But I used to live in northern Wisconsin. Had a few winter camping ventures to the UP. Sustaining that would definitely have been difficult, but that isn't Urban Survival. These days I'm in the suburban sprawl around St Louis. My northerner butt is always sweating down here.

A lot of the methods of staying warm are the same, but in an urban situation I imagine finding shelter to be MUCH easier. It becomes about defensible at that point.

But having stuff for your climate is a basic prep. Having your place overrun can happen in June or January, and one should be prepared for either.

And yeah, one does run a risk of ending up someplace dry on resources.

I may have clouded the point I wanted to get across in my post. I think it's not helpful to think of a place as a fortress. It may lead to a "final stand" mentality. I'd much rather have a steady home but one must be willing to abandon anywhere if the situation dictates.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:18 PM
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Hardened is nice, someplace nobody can find is better...
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:03 PM
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Hardened is nice, someplace nobody can find is better...
If there is a road to your place then you can be found.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:38 PM
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If there is a road to your place then you can be found.
OK... "harder" to find... Besides, who says you have to park right out front?
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:39 PM
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Hardened is nice, someplace nobody can find is better...
Everything can be found.

But its like a filter. A filter doesn't have to be 100% effective, it just has to be effective enough to reduce a dangerous threat to safe levels.

Just being hard to find could be the difference between 100 people showing up to raid you, and two people showing up.

But if your not also hardened two people could still be too much of a threat.
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:20 PM
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OK... "harder" to find... Besides, who says you have to park right out front?
Don't forget that unless you are both a craftsman and general contractor that the more remote you go the harder and more expensive your castle gets.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:33 PM
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OK... "harder" to find... Besides, who says you have to park right out front?
So bad guys can't find your parking area and then follow the well worn trail from there to your hideaway???
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:28 AM
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In the case of society collapse or the purge I have decided my home is not such a great refuge. So when I drive around daydreaming of flesh eating zombies wanting me for their tender vittles I look at locations that might be easy to defend. I also think big with me as the head honcho of a complex of like minded defenders.

For the delusion of grandeur location there is a local high school built on a small mountain, difficult grade to climb and one winding road in. Plenty of fences.

Local prison would be good too if the residents cleared out.

Smaller scale is look for places hard to break into. CVS on the corner is all brick, windows only on one side placed very high, flat roof with a prominent waist high wall, plenty of open space around it. only weak spot is the glass door plus it is a damn drug store, numero uno place to raid SHTF. So probably not my best idea.

Maybe I should be looking for land and build my own perimeter defenses? Haul in trailers and RVs for shelter. What would be ideal? I would think in the middle of a big ass field a thousand yards from any point of attack. Hijack a bulldozer and build a moat and pile the dirt up high on one side? Always wanted me a drawbridge. Where would I get lots of barb wire? Such a site would be hard to find in urban environment.

Have seen debates like this and some would rather be hidden in the woods. Problem with that is too easy to sneak up on.

Get the idea? Just for fun how would you structure your mad max world?
An entertaining hypothetical subject for sure. To take over a school, prison or any existing structure you depend on a complete break down of ROL & a massive die off of humanity. At least enough people have to die for the owners of said property to be out of the picture & probably any neighbors who might have the same idea & get to the property before you can.

Anything "Could" happen but, such a major SHTF is way low on the list of many situations that might require you to defend yourself & your family with deadly force. The best plan (IMO) is to fortify your existing property as much as finances & nanny state regulations allow.

I'm an only child but, my wife comes from a large family & they are all preppers or view it in a positive light. My fantasy is to go in with the family & purchase 20-100 acres WAY out in the country. Our houses would be surrounded by woods (blocked from the view of the road) but, nestled openly on hilltops in the center of the property. Each home would be about 100 yards from the others & placed in a manner that gives each home a clear rifle shot of the others. Each home would have a deep sink in the basement fed by a handpump well. Each home would have an old church bell mounted right outside a window that could be rang with a chain from inside said window.

Video cameras & spot lights would be mounted on all exterior walls. A hard wired intercom system would connect each home, wires buried of course. All windows would have an external diamond plate & angle iron container/wall filled with river rock, gravel or whatever stones you have handy. This diamond plate structure would be hidden with a thick hedge to prevent busy bodies from complaining or even knowing it exists.

One can go on & on with this fantasy but, there's nothing a single family can do to stop a full blown assault from a professional military. Islamic Jihadists, MS-13, Anti-Fa Terrorists or simply a daughters lunatic boy friend however, shouldn't be any problem for a well set up family like in my dream homestead.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
I concur that a fortified village makes sense. My favorite is the Dual Ring Village (DRV).
https://www.survivalistboards.com/sh...8&postcount=90
A four to five story DRV, with 2m thick rammed earth exterior walls (w/ ferrocement skins), 300 ft radius, should do nicely as a homestead for 200-300 people.
Very energy efficient, since each apartment has only 1 or 2 exposed sides out of six.
...
Round is much less than optimal for a defensible structure as it is not possible to mass fires against an attacker. Enfilading fires are essential to a successful defense and why the keep was abandoned as the sole structure a thousand years ago. Our Eurp ancestors discovered they needed outer walls, barbettes, bastions, etc etc etc to keep undesirables and muslems out. See Star fort.
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