So this episode was a little different, covered really one family with a second as an addition to the “compound”. Our main prepper is Dr. Tom Perez, retired dentist from Houston TX, and is prepping for a Terrorist Dirty Bomb.
Tom has a wife and 3 kids and lives in Houston in a 6,800 sq ft house, his plan is to bug out and not try to stay in Houston at all. So it looked like all of their preps are at the “compound” in Brackettville TX. The area he selected for the bug out location is interesting. Brackettville has a population of @ 1,800 with a median income of $20k yr, median house is @ 50k (2009 figures), the state average for a median home was 190k. Given the average income and house price, it appears to be a depressed community, mostly Hispanic with lots of open space outside a major metro area. Not a bad choice at all. I did not like the 6 hour minimum drive, maybe 21 hours if everybody is getting out of dodge. In order for this to work, you have to be very proactive to bugging out. You will need to move BEFORE anyone else does, given you are retired, this is very possible but Tom would have to be on his toes!
SECURITY. The 700 acre ranch looks like it’s high fenced and the main gates did not look heavy enough for me. There is a real lack of passive security here and could be improved greatly with some concrete barricades, steel rejection columns and other means to slow or stop mobile entry. The high fencing has a double edge to it. It helps keep out the bad guys, it also keeps out the game that you could hunt on 700 acres. Deer in Texas are not generally big but very plentiful. Reducing the fence height and putting in infrastructure to encourage animals to revisit the ranch would be another good idea. Adding remote motion detection in traffic areas would be a force multiplier and would be an early warning system for any quick reaction force you put in place. Since you are not their all of the time, there needs to be another way put in place to identify if anyone has been or is in the area, before you go try and sweep your place by yourself. One person sweeping a house is suicide if ANYONE is there. Just get a couple of buddy’s to hide in your house, then go in and see who gets killed first and see just how hard it is to clear a house and live through it.
WATER supply was outstanding. I love the windmill pump and the 2000 gallon storage tank was a great addition. The 2,000 gallon reserve would supply them with no more than 100 days, using 2 gal/day per person as a base use. I did not see an alternate to the windmill in either a manual or powered pump that could be run to fill the storage tank. Given that using the rule of 3’s, water is at the top, this should have been an higher priority to have redundancy. The addition of more storage and adding a cistern for water collection would be a good idea.
FOOD was stored and then 10% was intentionally contaminated, this is not a good idea. I guess Tom figures if someone steals food, they would get the bad stuff. I don’t see how this works out well. If they take the food, they are already in your house, in close enough proximity that they will probably end up taking you hostage. Then, why does it make sense to have some poisoned? So they have 9 months stored with 10% unusable, for a real total of just over 8 months. So what happens and month 9? They could hunt, but the high fence will limit them to the population on the ranch only, unless they leave the compound. There was no gardening, which would benefit both on the table and something constructive for the family to do. You may not shoot at bad guys everyday but you do HAVE to eat everyday. FOOD MUST BE A HIGHER PRIORITY!
DEFENSE seemed to fall to small arms. They had an elevated deer blind to use for observation, I saw only one so I am guessing there were not additional locations. Not that it matters but the bad guys will see these as well, they know where you are. In defense logistics, this is a fixed point that will be assaulted and you are a sitting target, try getting out to run, you are dead! Passive observation would be a better option, something that is hidden from view. How bout a remote camera mounted on a pole or tree? Now they were playing with what they called IED’s. These were not IED’s by any stretch of the imagination. An IED is an bomb that needs no added materials to do damage, just needs and revised detonation device whether that be a cell phone connected to a trigger, this was a homemade bomb. The explosive part was probably TANNERITE, a product that is legal in mine and many states. They taped gasoline or some homemade napalm to it and shot it, as its designed, it blew up. Now it sounds like they were going to put ball bearings to the explosion, this would be effective. They planned to place them in the ground and certain locations and then shoot them when the bad guys are near them. So somebody has to be in the right place at the right time in order for this to work. And now they are putting in a Bunker….bad option and make no sense until you correct the base security first.
I don’t see the additional family as a good addition. Steven brings a use of nuclear detection equipment and experience with nuclear contamination, I don’t see that as enough skill sets. His philosophy of more rounds is good is ridiculous. So massive magazines are good? Have you ever seen how long it take to load one and how often they fail? I use Magpul, 30 rd mags and are effective as his drum mags when the SHTF. Tom and his wife could get educated on the use of dosimeters and detectors and take that on themselves. As you saw with the Sheriffs raid, the kids folded, and they always will when a family member is threatened, so don’t think your kids will “hold the line”, they aren’t ready for that responsibility. They could have more security and defense with either single makes or small families that have those specific skills. More bodies means more patrols, more interceptions and a larger line to hold the ground.
Now since I like the practical, I wanted to figure out where 2 million dollars went. So I went looking and found another 703 acres currently for sale, asking price was $1,150/acre. So you can probably get it for say $1,000/acre no problem for a total of $703k. Now looking at some current house prices, let’s say another $250k gets you the two stone houses. Seems that’s a primary building material in the area. Let’s throw in another $50k to put bars on the windows, steel doors and other such upgrades, we end up at the first million. So we end up with the first Million. Now with another million to spend, where did it go?
Just a quick note on a Dirty Bomb Scenario. A so called “Dirty Bomb” is one of the lowest possibility’s of attack by terrorist individuals or groups. Terrorists want an immediate show, something that is spectacular. So top on the list is High Yield Explosives, then Biological, chemical and then Radiological and Nuclear. Now the explosives and Bio is what gets my attention. How bout a nice pandemic with a Bio weapon? We need to take the most probable weapon to prepare against, so give it some thought.