Starting Your Own Gang When TSHTF

Playing off Friday’s post about gangs I thought I’d write a little more about protecting yourself after TEOTWAWKI.  Crime will definitely be something we all have to worry about if law enforcement is absent for any period of time.  You can be a lone wolf trying to fight off the angry hordes by yourself, but I don’t advise it.  You can have fields of fire cleared and zones set up, but eventually someone will find their way through your defenses and if there’s several of them you’re liable to end up as toast.



So how to defend yourself?  First, don’t set yourself up as a victim.  Practice good OPSEC… don’t walk around with goodies in your possession that others might covet in whatever situation you find yourself in.  An unfortunate case in Connecticut that wound up with a man’s family dead started because the women were well dressed and drove a nice vehicle.  They were followed home and later that night two men staged a home invasion where the father (a doctor) was beaten with a baseball bat and tied up in the basement.  His wife and two daughters were brutally raped and killed by the two intruders.  Don’t set yourself up as a victim, be aware of your environment and who’s in it, and practice OPSEC.  I can’t say that enough times.


No matter where you live you should start getting to know your neighbors and what they have to bring to the table.  You don’t have to approach them and say, “Hey, if TSHTF do you have any guns?  You can join my gang if you do.”  Actually I’d advise against that approach; however, you can get to know them and see what kind of people they are .  If they appear to be good people you can keep them in mind for when it does hit the fan, but you have to be ready to move quickly.  Chances are good they won’t have done any thinking in this area, so you may have to step up and assume a leadership role, or at least an organizational one.  If you don’t think of yourself as strong leader material you can always help the alpha male or female, or the committee, or whatever, when it comes to getting organized and help guide them in areas they probably won’t be thinking about.


Your “gang” needs organization and leadership.  Chances are good there’s a few ex-military types around and they’d be a good resource to tap.  Police officers would also be another good resource, although I’m not sure how much squad movement type training they get (any law enforcement guys feel free to chip in here.)  But for sheer courage and experience in the face of adversity you can’t beat them.  Others you’ll want in your gang should include medical people:  doctors, nurses, paramedics, military trained corpsman or medics.   You’ll probably want people who have gardening and canning experience, experience with animals, carpentry and metal working skills… you get the idea.  The only people I’d avoid are politicians.  Ok, I’m kidding.  Sort of.

In other words you need to have a community unified against any external threat and able to supply and take care of itself.  If and when TEOTWAWKI arrives it makes sense to be able to take care of yourself initially, but in the months and years following any kind of civilization changing event you’ll need other people in order to not only survive, but thrive.

How about you?  Who would you want in your gang?




-Jarhead Survivor

BTW:  I have turned off commenting on this post.  I don’t care if you bicker back and forth, but I don’t have any patience for where this was going.  -Jarhead







Comments on this entry are closed.

  • JohnDoe 1999 September 26, 2011, 8:07 am

    Firstly, I agree and disagree with OPSEC in this case. I feel that the average person, even if armed, trained, and mentally prepared for violence should try to avoid it and retreat when possible. However, in a static defense scenario, I prefer deterrence through intimidation. This “gang” should have dedicated “soldiers” who look like more trouble than is worth the reward of taking their supplies. High school bullies don’t pick hard targets, so the same principle applies. I’m not saying to bark and have no bite, but there is no harm in less capable individuals occasionally tasked with security dressing the part, assuming there is a real bite capability in the mix. Unless you truly look destitute, YOU ARE A TARGET. Your hiking style pack and blue jeans scream “I’ve got stuff but I’m not dangerous.” Of course BDU’s and an AR15 will make you a target to LEO’s, Unlawful military, and private military contractors. I plan to immediately start organizing the men in my area and appoint vets etc as team leaders. A closet of Mosin Nagants sure would come in handy. Then establish some sort of 3 person council for non-defensive decision making, and recommend a security chief be appointed. A sheriff governed by our great (and apparently retired) bill of rights will be answerable to the elected council. Finally the dedicated “soldiers” should form a special task group for operations requiring an offensive capacity, such as Quick Reactionary Force or external resource reconnaissance and scavenging.

    • Odd Questioner September 26, 2011, 9:56 am

      Depends on what you’re defending, and how badly you need it to survive.

      If my community has fields of crops that are our only source of food for the coming year, then we will likely fight and if necessary die to defend it. Why? Because the alternative to dying violently on the spot is dying of starvation.

      OTOH, if you know (not guess, *know*) there’s needed supplies elsewhere and the odds are ugly, then retreat may well work.

      Incidentally, it isn’t what someone is wearing that makes one determine targets… it’s demeanor, attitude, and activity. That someone could be wearing pants of gold thread and carrying everything I ever wanted and needed, but if he’s carrying a decent semi-auto rifle, and is calmly taking in his surroundings while walking in a manner that avoids traps and dead-ends… I’m not going to screw with him. Thing is, neither will any raider who managed to survive past the first week or so.

      You don’t necessarily have to look like a starving bum (though it might help), you just have to look harder to take down than the next guy.

      • JohnDoe199 September 26, 2011, 10:39 am

        I didn’t mean to omit demeanor, posture, and tactical appearance. However, BDU’s and a balaclava can compliment that nicely. A video I think you’ll find interesting on this subject.

        • Michael September 26, 2011, 3:58 pm

          The guy in the video has it backwards.

          Couple of guys walking down the street with normal clothes and hunting rifles, not doing anything “tactical,” being friendly, are just a couple of guys walking down the street. The guns are there just in case. I might talk to them, see who they are, what they know, share some of what I know. ask them if they need water bottles filled or whatever. It’s all friendly. 99% of the population is friendly, wants to help other people, and understands that their best chance of survival lies in helping other people.

          Couple of guys walking down the street on some sort of “tactical maneuver,” dressed in full battle rattle, sends up all sorts of red flags. People get on radios to warn their buddies down the road that there’s trouble coming. No one’s going to talk to you because they’re too busy climbing on their roofs with their rifles.

          If you look like you’re out hunting humans people are going to assume you’re out hunting humans and act accordingly. That is, they’re going to shoot you from a hidden and fortified position.

          Please, don’t be like the guy in the video.

          • Jason September 26, 2011, 10:39 pm

            I agree, that video was the most idiotic thing ever – what a complete dope.  Imagine a couple of guys coming up behind them with a couple of 870’s loaded with 00 buck. We’ll see who is changing their underwear after they give up their weapons & fancy gear.   

            My buddy carried a Remington 870 in the bush of Vietnam for 2 years & said he was absolutely guaranteed to knock anybody down with not so careful aim. He never wanted to use an AR & was in more battles than Rambo. 

            As far as the rest of this fantasy, someone here mentioned that 1% of the people are truly bad & that’s a high number @ 3.1 million. How is it that these uneducated, crack smoking, rap music  deadheaded fools could control anything? Short answer, they can’t – it takes brains, coordination & self control, 3 things gang bangers do not possess or they’d be on Wall Street!  

            The problem is we’ve become a society who continues to be fed paranoia over the most remote possibilities because it sells.  

            I taught martial arts for 3 (7 years if you include my classes leading up to black belt) years in a very bad L.A. neighborhood & at night including Friday. I never once got stared at or accosted & was most always by myself going to my car. What you learned was how to keep your sh*t to yourself & move purposefully. 

            You all should read “The Creature From Jekyll Island” – it’s a well documented book about our banking system. You may discover why the economic upheavel most survivalist sites keep trying to scare us into believing won’t come to pass. Why? There is no profit in it.

            However, you’ll need to take off your blinders in order to see some truth.  

        • Odd Questioner September 26, 2011, 10:19 pm

          I have to agree with Michael here.

          If you start moving down the street looking and acting like you’re doing recon in Fallujah, folks are certainly not going to take you for a sucker. OTOH, he’s right: they would instead overreact, and so would I. In that getup, there would be no way to tell the difference between a guy about his business, and an advance scout for a raiding party.

          The best idea is to *blend in*. Be one of the population, with just enough hints to insure that potential predators who do notice you also see signs that they really should go looking for easier pickings.

          • JohnDoe 1999 September 26, 2011, 11:22 pm

            Alright, consider this a response to all above comments. Look, this is a DEFENSIVE philosophy. I’m not going to be taking my people “beyond the wire” in a high profile manner. The idea is that if the unprepared (think The Road) are reconnoitering my community, they will see dangerous looking individuals and will decide not to mess with us. The black guns and BDUs are NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR SKILL. They simply provide deterrent.

          • Michael September 27, 2011, 12:28 am

            It doesn’t look like I can reply under JohnDoe 1999.

            On your own property is a different matter. I’d want to be seen and look plenty capable of taking care of myself.

          • Odd Questioner September 27, 2011, 1:47 am

            At home? Fair enough… defend your own as forcefully as you can.

            OTOH, I’m thinking that, depending on locale and isolation, the best policy is that by the time anyone shows up at the community, everyone with a weapon handy should be in position, or at least alerted as to how many arriving people there are, and from where they’re coming.

          • Jason September 27, 2011, 10:43 am

            If you really think you will be circling the wagons in defense of this highly, highly improbable situation & or condition, start arming yourself with some facts, not fantasy. The WORST thing you can do is let your mind run amuck with these unsubstaniated thoughts. 

            Other than putting on a seat belt, do you prepare for a car crash everytime you get in the car to go anywhere? Of course not if you are reasonable & rational. You MAY give it a thought but to actually prepare & be consumed by it? Most everybody would agree that one would have to be a little crazy to do so. However, there can be some basis for that thought because car crashes happen somewhere, everyday but how likely will it happen to you or a friend or any resident in your village? Pretty silly thought.  

            So now look at the odds of being attacked by the boogie man gangs here in the US how likely is it? We’ve had economic conditions that were worse in terms of pressure on the citizenry here in the US:

            1967-1972 Vietnam War protests across America. A very specific action directed at the government & millions participated throughout the land but there was NO worry that these gangs were going to attack your village. 

            1980 Oil Embargo where we waited in line for an hour for gas, sometimes the station ran dry while you waited for an hour yet, no shots were fired. And to toss more gas on the fire (if you could find it ha, ha) the Prime Interest rate hit 20%. Pretty stressful eh?

            1989 Savings & Loan Bank, some the largest in America, completely collapsed & left the face of the Earth taking many billions of dollars with them. Not a single riot or disturbance. 

            1991-1996 US housing market crashed with record foreclosures. People displaced by the tens of thousands but life went on without BDU’s & cammo face paint. 

            These are only a few examples but this time it’s different, why? Because some say so & that’s it. 

            It seems that most think things are out of control because they cannot fathom a solution but quite the opposite is true. 

            We have our bastardized & controlled media orgasming over the possibility of making something from nothing – it’s called making a buck with illusions. It’s on par with Internet pornography – extract billions of dollars from consumers with fantasy and distractions. 

            As I’ve said there is no profit in civil unrest or it would have happened long before now.     

  • Had Enough September 26, 2011, 9:43 am

    I live in Ct. The family murders you speak of were the Petit family, a horrific murder like none other I’ve ever heard of. These murders are the main reason I always have a gun close by in my home. But I wonder constantly about my neighbors who are good friends and people we would support when TSHTF. Would, if it came down to the wire, they be able to shoot another human being. Arm chair commando is one thing but being in the moment is quite the other. They own guns, profess they would defend their family at all cost so I guess I have to take them at their word. I’d hate to be in a situation when a safety off is forgotten, or the gun itself is disgarded for a “maybe we can talk to them” attitude. Most people in Ct are liberals that recoil at the thought of even holding a gun. So, OPSEC is my main priority but I sure would like to be assured those that wish to be part of my gang are those I can rely on when it really counts. Suggestions?

    • Jason September 27, 2011, 10:52 am

      Suggestion – turn off the TV, stop listening to the radio & experience life – it’s actually quite nice without all of the noise. As far as the gun advice, clean it twice a year.

  • Prepared N.D. September 26, 2011, 10:13 am

    Our group consists of neighbors and possibly some additional family members. We have a pretty diverse skill set that covers all bases except defense. Nobody has military experience, and I know of only 4 that would be willing to be proactive about security.

    From there we have contact with a few nearby groups that consist of family/neighbors that we can trade goods or labor with. There are 4 nearby home businesses (beekeeping, nursery, ham radio, metal work) that I am on good terms with that would be useful if they stick around.

  • mountainspirit September 26, 2011, 1:34 pm

    My mind just can’t grasp the picture of my 70’s and 80’s yr old neighbors sporting automatic weapons to defend our hood. :)

    • JSW September 26, 2011, 9:20 pm

      I dunno, Spirit- those 70 and 80 year olds may have a bit of battle experience (remember the ‘Big One’ in the 40’s?), more fully understand what defending the ‘hood will entail and be more than willing to do so without qualm and misgivings.

    • Pete September 26, 2011, 10:28 pm

      Don’t you mean SEMI-automatic weapons ?

  • Brad in South FL September 26, 2011, 3:47 pm

    I am a LEO and we do get some small unit tactics. Especially if any of us have been to an active shooter class or a dynamic entry class. The active shooter classes have become very good, especially after Columbine and even more so since the Mumbai attacks. I am fortunate enough to have participated in several of these classes. It used to be standard practice to contain and call an SRT/SWAT team. Now once 2 or 3 officers arrive on scene, we take action to enter and engage to a Columbine style attack. So through all that yes, LEO’s do get some training in small unit tactics! LOL

    Stay safe all!

  • JulietteofOhio September 26, 2011, 3:51 pm

    My immediate family would be my gang, with a few old friends thrown in, as well. My husband and I have six kids, two military, one nurse, one vetenarian, one machinist, one farmer. About perfect, I think. OpSec would be the two military sons. My brother, also a farmer, and I would be the food providers. Two of the sons are hunters and fishermen and would provide protein. The daughters-in-law are a mixed bag. One whiner, one complainer, one control freak and two who are hard workers and eager to learn. To date, none of us has ever shot anyone, and I’m not too sure about our ferocity if needed. We have some acreage, in the middle of farm country, and are surrounded by elderly who may have some needed skill sets, but are fragile. Our house is nice, although not awesome, and very hard to defend which might attract some unwanted attention. Our area is alive with deer and groundhogs (which are supposed to be good, although I have my doubts) so if you have a good groundhog recipe, please send it to me. I’m not sure how to make groundhog palatable to either myself or to finicky grandchildren. Also, what do you do about roving gangs which expect farm country to always have ripe tomatoes and hamburgers, even in winter? I think they’re going to be pissed when the crops are growing or have already been harvested. Most city people have no idea of the cycle of nature.

  • Michael September 26, 2011, 5:30 pm

    My first line of defense is living in town. We’ve got lots of cops to patrol our 6 square mile town of 8K and we have volunteer patrols as well. Far more police than the unincorporated areas outside of town. I also live in a place that wont collapse at the slightest thing. Second line of defense is knowing everyone of my neighbors and we all keep an eye out for each other. Third is living on a dead end street in a little traveled part of town, there’s just no reason for most people to pass by my place.

    My gang would be the whole dang town. In a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI we’d get together as a town set up patrols and the like. Our emergency management folks are pretty well set up to help people out, we’ve got our volunteer patrols, police explorer high school kids, and we already have a rough sketch of how this would all work if things really did go south.

    • Odd Questioner September 26, 2011, 10:21 pm

      You’ve just described what I’m looking for :)

      • Michael September 27, 2011, 12:24 am

        Check in with your local emergency management folks and see how far along they’re set up!

        • Odd Questioner September 27, 2011, 10:32 am

          Gonna have to move there first (my lease expires early next year here, and since I can telecommute, anything up to an hour’s drive away is okay by me – so long as I maintain a decent Internet connection @ home).

          All of my candidate towns have populations of under 3,000, which is just fine with me. Big enough to have the things I need, but small enough to organize itself into a coherent unit if/when SHTF. Also, all of them are isolated enough to make it a long, hard trek for any raiding parties from the PDX metro area (the closest city).

          I have it narrowed down to two towns I want to try out… I’ll start renting in one next year, and if I fit in and such, I’ll buy a home there.

          I believe I can go relatively slow, mostly because I believe that we have a couple of years before things start falling apart. There’s still plenty of inertia left in the current system which will allow me the needed time to dig in. My preps are still relatively portable thus far, so no problems there.

  • Judith September 26, 2011, 7:42 pm

    HTG, I wish I lived in the neighborhood you are talking about.
    (My Street) wet back, wet back, wet back, elderly couple, white trash,
    section 8, section 8 section 8, wet back, wet back, unknown quantity.
    I could go on but you all get the idea.

    • 3rdMan September 27, 2011, 10:22 am

      So where do you fit it that very interesting observation?

    • Odd Questioner September 27, 2011, 10:40 am

      As a guy who’s Catholic, if I were you? The Hispanic folks would be the best bet. Hardworking as Hell, mostly devout, friendly if you are, and if you take the time to learn the language, together you can make for one hell of a cohesive unit.

      The Section 8’ers? Meh. I lived two houses down from a Section 8 house of sorts (state-run). The occupants were friendly only insofar as what they could get from you, but otherwise too occupied with smoking Weed and wrangling paperwork to keep the government money coming in. Seems to be typical OTOH, I know of the occasional honest working poor folk as well (and used to be one).

      Long story short, if you’re going to live there, you work with what you got. Otherwise, my only advice to you is to pack your things and move, because with that attitude, you’re borked.

      (yes, I know the ‘go it alone attitude… and it’ll get you killed in ny urban/suburban environment post-SHTF.)

      • Judith September 27, 2011, 8:45 pm

        Actually I do work with the neighborhood I have. At least I did until the one Hispanic person I could count on here was arrested for spousal rape, threatening a police officer, plea bargained 8 months and deported this week. And why would you assume I don’t speak Spanglish. They sure don;t go out of their way to speak English. And as for the Section 8? How would you like it if your neighborhood was destroyed by blacks being imported by section 8 landlords from L.A. Every house here was owned by Illegals that lost the houses due to liar loans and bought up by slum lords. In less than 3 years a beautiful small town almost completely destroyed. And I am too old to start over anywhere else even if the properties could be sold.
        And another thing, don’t try to tell me about surviving in an Urban enviornment. I grew up on the mean streets of L.A.
        You might say I have some 1st hand info about gang membership.
        So please Yuppie Prepper. Don’t try to give advice on things you know nothing about. I plan on making Chavez Ravine look like a picnic when the SHTF.

    • Jason September 27, 2011, 12:29 pm


      If you are not an elderly wet back married to
      a white trash man who is on Section 8, maybe you should quit complaining & move OR start enjoing the scenery. Who knows, you might find some very pleasant people on your street. Maybe start by giving some of them a towel.

      However, I do want to point out that every Arab who enters an airliner has 20 lbs of C4 taped to their chest & will detonate it at 30,000′ in the name of Allah & that’s a fact. Ha, ha.

  • millenniumfly September 27, 2011, 1:02 pm

    That’s definitely a good idea but I don’t see how a community approach of one’s own neighborhood would work considering that most of these families didn’t (or won’t) prepare at all, so I would suspect that most of these people would be useless to you unless you were willing and able to care for their basic needs.