World War III.

The use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons on a large scale.

A series of local conflicts that disrupt trade and commerce on an international level.

Water shortages. This is one of the most glaring threats to our world. Many places in the world already lack clean water. I predict that wars in the future will not be over oil, but over water.

Climate change. While people debate this, I prefer to deal with the scientific reality that we are damaging our environment and Mother Nature has a way of equalizing things.

A large solar flare that bathes the planet in an EMP pulse that destroys electronics.

A pandemic. One will happen and sooner, rather than later.

A depletion of resources.

Zombies. Which actually is a form of pandemic.

A meteor strike of sufficient size.

A volcanic eruption that spreads enough ash to start the equivalent of a nuclear winter.

Economic disruption that spreads.

Remember that great civilizations have collapsed before. Often it wasn’t a single event, but an accumulation of events. The Mayans, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, Rome, and on and on. While I am not an alarmist, I think we have a reasonably good chance of seeing a major disruption of our way of life in the next thirty years. As they used to say in the old Army, when they had cigarettes in the C-Rations: Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

Less than that, there are a number of various possibilities. What most people fail to realize is how fragile civilization is and how easily it can break down, with a domino effect that will be shocking.

In researching this, I found many of those addressing this issue are either naïve or gloss over the depth of what will happen. Many dwell on political issues. I’m just going to focus on the practical issues.

While New York and New Jersey struggled to recover from Hurricane Sandy, a friend emailed that they got their power back, and a crew from Alabama had been working in their neighborhood day and night doing this. While this shows the great spirit of America, it occurs to me that that crew would not be there is Alabama needed them. This is key: a large-scale catastrophe that covers most of a continent will preclude aid from inside that continent.


There are stages to surviving an extreme emergency. While a dramatic event might bring it about, it is more likely you will see many signs indicating the collapse is coming. Most people will ignore these signs. The closest I can liken it to is Germany in the 1930s. Many people saw what was coming; the vast majority chose to ignore it. On a much lower level, as the housing market bubbled and boiled in 2006, my wife and I sold our house, against the advice of pretty much everyone. We crunched the numbers and also accepted that things had to change, and not in a good way.

You will see signs of bad things coming. It won’t happen overnight. Severe power outages that don’t get better are another sign.

The key to pre-collapse is, like everything in this book, to prepare. The base level of survival, Grab & Go bags, etc. will not be sufficient. Some preparations can be integrated into your current life as a way of living, such as growing a garden. But you have to start now.

I’m not going to cover the likelihood of various scenarios, because it’s just as likely a random, unexpected event can cause the collapse of civilization as easily as war, peak oil, global warming, etc etc.

The bottom line is it isn’t going to be pretty. You can expect food shortages, fuel shortages, riots, power outages, martial law, war and the complete breakdown of law and order.

And that’s only the first month.

I cannot overemphasize how quickly the veneer of civilization can be stripped away. Some of the ethnic fighting in various places around the world have shown how apparently civilized people can rapidly fall into barbarism. In 10th Special Forces, many of our soldiers were most dismayed by the fighting they saw in the Balkans because those places seemed so much like their own home (Sarajevo hosted the Olympics not long before the war). We tend to think this ‘can’t happen here’ but it can.

Another key to wrap your brain around is that there won’t be any help coming. Once civilization breaks down, there won’t be a reaching out from any remaining pockets. They will be desperate for their own survival. Supermarkets have a three-day supply of food. The world, the entire world, has about a month and a half supply. One of the signs will be panic buying. You don’t want to be caught up in the panic.

On the plus side, you will be amazed how quickly many human beings can adapt to a change in their standard of living. While we will miss our cell phones and lights and supermarkets, we can adapt and evolve.

An extreme emergency requires an extreme mindset. You have to let go of many habits.

So what do you need to do to prepare?

Prioritize your needs based on your area study. The first question is if you can even stay where you are? If you are in a metropolitan area, most likely not. If you live in the suburbs, consider that you will see massive urban flight through your communities. Where can you go? This is taking the concept of the hide site to a whole new level. Since you have now done all your preparations for mild and moderate emergencies it’s time to take it to the next level and prepare for an extreme emergency.

The priorities are the same except on a sustainable, long-term basis: water, food, shelter.

The key word is sustainable. You can stock up a year’s worth of food and have a water source, but that’s not sustainable. Also, a food stock, like any other, is subject to being taken from you.

Here’s a sobering thought: few areas in the United States are locally self-sustaining. Without industrialized food processing, we simply can’t produce enough food to feed our current population level. Think what that means: many people will starve to death. Starving people are desperate people and they will do anything to get food. So your food stock will be like fresh brains to zombies.

Can you live off the land? Do you know how? Do you want to learn how to?

There are things you can stock up on that will be useful. While initially, cash and valuables such as gold coins might have value, when things get desperate enough, other items will become more precious. Weapons and ammunition are two of those. Medical supplies are another. So is food. So is expertise, especially medical.

I’m not going to rehash what’s already been covered in equipment. Look at what has been discussed and then consider it in terms of years of use.


Run for the hills boys!

Not necessarily. Evaluate the situation. If you are not in immediate danger, this is a moment when taking your time is important. Gather as much information as possible, understanding that you will hear conflicting accounts. There will be an effort by those in power to suppress panic.

There were those on 9-11 who evacuated the second tower, and then went back to their offices when given the all clear. I’ve listened to tapes of some of those people on their cell phones, decrying this decision as they were trapped after the second plane hit. Be very leery of those who declare an emergency over. In many emergency situations there are after-effects, whether it be follow-on earthquakes, more bombs set for first responders in a terrorist attack, or others.

How do you know civilization has collapsed? When the infrastructure (electricity, roads, rail, flight) fails and does not appear to be coming back any time soon. Many people will wait for help. Unfortunately, the help will be in the same situation. It’s a question of considering your hide site your new home, or, if untenable, moving until you find a locale where you can develop a self-sustaining community for your team.

Who Dares Wins: Special Operations Strategies for Success.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.


Day 153: 2020 Pandemic. What if Society Collapses?

During my recuperation I watched a cheerful movie, Threads, It’s from 1984 and it might seem outdated, but it actually is one of the best chronicles of what could happen if we continue on the path we are on. While this revolved around a nuclear war, climate change could also make this a reality over a period of years rather than one dramatic event.

As far as schools opening, my predictions are sadly coming true. Really, it’s not even rocket science, no pun intended given the last post. It’s basic science. Nothing is different.

Here’s the trailer.

I’m beefing up the Sustainment portion of my Survival Guide because there’s a paradox in the collapse of society. If it happens fast, then the Scavenge phase can last a while. But if it happens slow and creeps up on us (and I do notice the bare shelves in grocery stores of certain products—am I the only one?), the Scavenge phase will shift quickly into Sustainment.

So I’ll post about what are signs of the collapse and then cover various topics such as Solar Power (which is also good for our society) and other things to consider.

Who Dares Wins: Special Operations Strategies for Success.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 152: 2020 Pandemic. Flat Earther ‘Mad Mike’ Killed In Homemade Rocket Crash

This headline not only should be in an Alanis’ Ironic song, it is the epitome of what our society is going through.

A man who had the scientific capability to build a rocket that actually launched (and not for the first time) did so in order to get up high enough to prove the Earth is flat.

Here is his fatal flight.

I really can’t comment on this because it speaks for itself.

Who Dares Wins: Special Operations Strategies for Success.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 151: 2020 Pandemic. Our Abysmal Response to a Pandemic Foretells A Grim Future Given Climate Change Is Already Here Too.

Historians, if there are any in the future, will look back at our current era and be puzzled. They’ll see a society that had access to more information than ever before, yet ignored science and facts. That elected a charlatan as the leader of the most powerful and influential country. That valued hate and anger over compassion and empathy.

And they will know that is why they are living in the conditions they are, struggling to survive on a planet we’ve gutted. Like COVID-19 killing millions, climate change is occurring all around us, yet we don’t want to see it.

Here is one example where the temperature is now averaging 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal and life as it was there is over.  

This giant climate hot spot is robbing the West of its water

Water levels have been proven to have risen in many places around the world, yet many still deny it.

Nevertheless, I still believe we can go to the better angels of our nature. That’s also happening all around us. People who refuse to back down to oppression, who battle ignorance, who try to help, rather than hurt.

We must persevere.

Who Dares Wins: Special Operations Strategies for Success.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 150: 2020 Pandemic. What is the Mindset Needed To Survive and Succeed

We are tougher than we think. Humans, like many animals, can adapt to harsh environments and situations.

Special Operations training such as Ranger School and the Special Forces Qualification Course are designed to not only train personnel, but to test them. When I was cadre at the Q-Course at the JFK Special Warfare Center I used to say the question is: do you want to wear a green beret or be a Green Beret?

I get asked: How do you get through the training? Whether it’s those schools or others I’ve gone through like Beast Barracks and Plebe Year at West Point? International Mountain Climbing School? Royal Danish Navy Combat Swim School? Interestingly, of all the schools, the one with the lowest graduation rate was the easiest physically: Jumpmaster School. We graduated 14 out of 87 highly qualified Green Berets in my class. Why? Because you had to score 100% to graduate. 99% doesn’t cut it when gravity is fatal.

I’ve also managed to have a thriving writing career for three decades, so I’ve applied what I’ve learned to areas outside of the military. I’ve watched 99% of my writer peers disappear over the years. They quit. They cite many reasons, but cutting to the core: they quit.

This slideshow is designed for survival, but if you think about it, you can also apply the mindset to all aspects of life.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 149: 2020 Pandemic. How to Prepare for and Deal With Flooding—80% of natural disasters are accompanied by it.

Been out of the net for a few days, but back now, better than ever. It only cost six million dollars but I can jump over cars in slow motion with amazing sound effects.

The east coast is seeing flooding from the hurricane. Flooding is a recurring problem and will get worse. Flood data was recently updated and six million more homes are in flood zones that weren’t before and the owners might not be aware.

Here is the latest slideshow:

Who Dares Wins: Special Operations Strategies for Success.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 140: 2020 Pandemic. Why Most Disasters Only Occur After Seven Things Go Wrong

Yes, that’s a plane that crashed just short of the runway. Why? Because the pilots shut down the wrong engine. And people in the rear of the plane knew it, but didn’t say anything.

Years ago, m wife (who is terrified of flying) and I became very interested in a television show titled Seconds From Disaster, which aired on National Geographic. Over the seasons it covered just about every plane crash and numerous other disasters. And we noticed a startling commonality. No plane crash just happened. There was always a series of mistakes, miscalculations, negligence and other events leading up to those final seconds and the disaster. Which led us to develop the . . .

The Rule of 7: no crash happens in isolation or as the result of a single event. It requires a minimum of 7 things to go wrong in order for an airplane to crash. And one of those 7 is always human error. It might not be the primary cause, but it is always a contributing factor.

I then started studying other catastrophes in different fields. Ranging from leadership (Little Big Horn) to maritime disasters (Titanic, Sultana) to economic (the Tulip Bubble) to the Donner Party to others. And the same thing played out. Always at least 7 things went wrong. One was always human error.

Thus—most disasters can be avoided if we study past ones.

The scary thing is we don’t know how many times we’ve been to a Six, and didn’t cross the threshold into the disaster.

The positive thing is we are more powerful than we believe in the face of catastrophe.

A catastrophe involving humans does not happen in isolation.

In fact, with enough knowledge and preparation, many individuals and organizations can avoid catastrophes altogether, and if caught in one, survive.

I wrote two books about this, each covering 7 great catastophes in each. I’m going to discuss the theory and some of these in this blog over the coming weeks, even as we meander into epic disasters in the present on multiple fronts.

Hang on. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

Two of these disasters are free short reads:

The Donner Party.

Mulholland and the St. Francis Dam Disaster.

The books are:

Stuff Doesn’t Just Happen I: The Gift of Failure

Stuff Doesn’t Just Happen II: The Gift of Failure

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 139: 2020 Pandemic. Re-opening Schools Will Work As Well As Re-opening States

What’s changed?

That’s what I ask myself as I see the push to re-open schools, to have sports start up, and all the rhetoric that’s bandied about “opening up.” A movie theater chain has set a date to re-open in August while Google has extended work from home to July 2021. Which organization is facing reality?

We opened up states and people are dying in record numbers in Florida and Texas.

What’s changed?

The virus hasn’t changed. There’s no vaccine. There’s no federal plan on dealing with COVID-19. There’s no federal plan on opening up anything. There are still shortages of PPE. People are protesting wearing masks.

What’s changed?

We blew it and we’re blowing it again. For a simple reason. A complete lack of decisive leadership. If the country had shut down for six weeks, the entire country, when we knew we had a pandemic, we’d be in great shape now.

We didn’t. We still won’t. Ten of thousands will die. And we move on pretending it’s normal.

It’s not normal. 40% of renters won’t be able to pay next month and Congress packing money in a bill to “help” them with over a billion for a new FBI HQ and military appropriations. The PPP money went out with no oversight or requirement that the money actually went to payrolls. So a recipient went out and bought a Lamborghini. The rich got richer.

What will we see with schools re-opening? Some deaths of children. Thousands of teachers dying. Children coming home and infecting their families. Thousands more dying. That’s simply science. That’s reality.

The economy would be doing all right at the present it we’d dealt with reality back in February and March. Wishful thinking isn’t going to change reality.

Here’s a reality: I wrote about the INEVITABLE pandemic over two decades ago. I incorporated it into my Survival Guide in the very first edition years ago. Here’s another prediction that will come true: within a decade there will be another, more virulent pandemic. We’re not even out of this one yet, but trust me, it will be worse. That’s called reality.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 137: 2020 Pandemic. The White House, Locked Off From The People

The White House is supposed to be our house. The people’s.

Yet now it is surrounded by barricades and walls. And the occupant blames the people and takes no responsibility.

Over one thousand Americans are dying every day and our president is golfing. There STILL is no Federal plan for anything. From testing, to PPE, to re-opening. The president has completely abdicated a national disaster to fifty different states as if the pandemic cares about states’ borders. Then he undermines governors on twitter with outright hostile tweets if he doesn’t like a governor’s policy.

For months people would attack my posts by saying it was New York City’s problems, usually with one of the president’s profanities such as calling it a shithole. Then it was democratic governors and nursing homes. Now?  Crickets.

To say our current states of affairs was unnecessary is understating it. We blew it. We blew it. And we’re still blowing it. Science doesn’t matter. All that matters is the ego of a man who has never admitted he was wrong about anything in life. Now over 150,000 Americans have paid with their lives.

Yes, there would have been deaths. But if we’d followed the plan that was in place; and had kept the task force designed to deal with this both at the source and here in the states in place, the deaths would have been a fraction of what they are. This is outright negligent homicide. Yet the man who is responsible is tweeting “law and order” as if he has ever considered the law anything more than a nuisance to be gotten around his entire life. The irony is off the scale.

We are in hurricane season. It’s warmer than it’s ever been and getting warmer. Tens of millions are out of work because of this completely botched response to COVID-19.

Once more I remind you that we are on our own. We are not just on our own, we now have a misguided policy of using Federal law enforcement to “pre-emptively” police our cities. The very phrase indicates what’s going on is illegal. You cannot pre-emptively detain someone off the street, yet that is exactly what is happening.

We have entered a very dark zone.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.

Day 136: 2020 Pandemic. FEAR CITY

Is currently the #1 show on Netflix. For a variety of reasons. The mafia has always fascinated Americans for some reason. Often idolized in entertainment media, the reality is much different. The series is about the late 1970s in New York City, where, according to the documentary, the mafia ruled and then the FBI’s ability to use RICO to take it apart.

I grew up in the city during those years. My father worked for the Sanitation Dept of the city. They were responsible for all garbage collection from citizens and snow removal. Garbage collection from businesses was privatized and as they say on the Sopranos: “Garbage is our bread and butter.”

I remember a little place on the corner of our block in the Bronx where a couple of old Italian guys would sit outside playing cards, weather permitting, and they made book out back.

I set my Will Kane books in the city starting in 1977. The summer of the Blackout. And Son of Sam. Who shot a girl I went to grade school with. She did survive. It was a pivotal year in many ways. Rupert Murdoch made his first inroads into the States by buying the NY Post, which I used to deliver as a boy. The venerable newspaper founded by Alexander Hamilton. All that history plays into the Will Kane’s stories.

I like writing about a time when there were no cell phones, no laptops, no google searches, no CCTV to bail you out in your plot. When you were out, the only way to call was to literally drop a dime. My wife told me that we have a new generation that wouldn’t know how to operate a rotary phone. Ah, the good old days, when the mafia ruled the city.

The Green Beret Series.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.