Looking Forward: Threats 2022
by Ric Hubbard • January 28, 2022
The beginning of a new year is a good time to look forward. After the two years that we have just been through, it seems even more important to be looking out for future threats and to be ready for them. After all, this is the point of prepping.
Looking forward I see threats much along the lines of the past two years. I am not a professional in any area of study that makes me an expert, but I have been a survivalist for many years, and I remember threat lists that included the cold war with the Soviet Union and a long list of storms that have increased in strength over the years. Let’s talk about what is see as the greatest threats we might face going forward.
Without delving into the political issues that have attached themselves to the issue, I think that COVID-19 will continue to have an effect. All indications point to the virus becoming like the seasonal flu, something that you need to get a COVID shot for every year or risk whatever new strain pops up that year. It looks like it will be in general more dangerous than most flu, but I think that the death rate will fall as we develop more immunity.
One of the worst things that happened in the last two years is the politization of COVID. I can remember pandemics being talked about in the old American Survival Guide several times, including one that described “Planet Wiper” viruses that could be the end of life on earth. They have been with us through out time, but when we make the issue political, truth quickly becomes a secondary concern.
We should be looking for sources of information that provide us with real information. Social Media is not usually a good source, so seek out medical journals and websites and search for multiple sources. The only person who should be making decisions about your health is you, so I am against mandates, but I do think that vaccines are a good idea. I will relate a bit of data on COVID.
I work in the hospitality business, hotels in my case, so I come in contact with people from all over the world. I studied the results of early vaccination from around the world and decided that it was a good idea and I got vaccinated as soon as it was made available to me. My wife did the same and she got the booster as well. Recently, we both came down with the Omicron variant. Yes, you can get one of the variants even if you are vaccinated and we did. In my case I was down for 12 days, and it was no fun. My wife got the booster, and she was done and dusted in three.
These are my experiences and are not indicative of the virus and its effects on the whole. My point is, look up valid sources and talk to people who have had it, who have gotten the vaccine and those that have not and have gotten it. Try and separate the pandemic from politics.
Social and Political Unrest
It is a volatile time for America. There are groups on the extreme ends of the political left and right that want to see either radical or reactionary changes in how the country is run. They are becoming less and less hesitant to use violence to achieve their goals and are more and more impatient about getting them. This is a recipe for disaster.
Members of these groups exploit the growing political divide in the country to incite people who have legitimate grievances and are seeking justice to violence against their communities and governments. They use their social influence to quiet those who disagree with them and co-op movements for positive change to advance their message. An organization known as ANTIFA has been the most egregious over the last decade, but there are other groups on both sides of the political line that are or will use the same tactics to pursue their ends.
We should be prepared for these issues to come to where we live. I am a believer in availing oneself to the political process. I believe that peaceful protest is one of the things the is protected by the First Amendment, but all too often these protests are turning into riots. I think that we should all work for political change by using the process. I have spent time in the offices of my state reps to lobby for issues that I believe in.
When things turn violent it can, and usually does, affect people who have no intention of engaging. Riots have invaded areas outside of the protest zones and caused civil disturbances. This is one of the few reasons on my list to justify a bug-out. It can also be a problem when you are trying to get from one place to another. Know your area and develop alternative routs to get home or to places you need to get to. Have tools to gather information on what is happening around you such as the Waze app. This app uses crowd sourced data to give you a heads up of traffic in your area and can give you advanced if an area is becoming volatile. It can also help in route planning to get you around dangerous areas.
Keep up with local news. They sometimes get advanced warning of protests and report from them, giving you an important source of information. While all news sources have a political bias, local news tend to be generally less political and provide more information than national sources.
If you can’t get around a volatile situation, you should be able to defend yourself. It will always be the best choice to avoid trouble, but if you can’t, consider carrying the tools to defend yourself. I feel the best choice is a firearm, but there are other choices such as chemical sprays, knives and impact weapons that will help you to defend yourself. I think that the most important thing here is to get proper training in the use of the tools that you choose. You should also have a good idea of the self-defense laws of your state so that you can make wise decisions about how to proceed in volatile situations.
You should also consider subscribing to one of the self-defense legal services that have arrived over the last few years. I subscribe to Firearms Legal Protection but are several services that you can investigate. The purpose of these services is to provide the client with the legal services that you will need after a self-defense event.
The American economy has been an up and down situation since 2008. The shutdowns that were part of the COVID response had a chilling effect on an economy that was in a state of slow but steady growth. It is being compounded by the inflation brought on by the amount of government spending in response to COVID.
I am not an economist and I have little experience in broader economic issues, but this is my understanding of the existing situation. I think that building your savings should be an important part of your overall survival planning. You can also consider precious metals for your portfolio as a hedge against inflation.
Economic issues are another good reason to build a long-term food storage plan. If the economic situation gets really bad, not having to buy food for a week or two can be a big help. You can stock away household and personal needs to get you through as well.
While I think that Pandemics and Unrest are pressing immediate threats, I believe that the greatest long-term threat is an economic one. America got through one major depression, a couple of more minor ones and many recessions over the years. I do not think that they rise to the level of an economic collapse, although the Great Depression comes close. A depression on the scale of the 1930’s is more likely but being prepared for a worst-case scenario will make even minor downturns easier to survive.
It is very hard to argue that there is nothing going on with world climate. Droughts have gotten worse, and hurricanes have become stronger. These are just two examples of changes in world climate. The planet has long climate cycles in which the Earth gets warmer and cooler over time and I think that we are seeing the change point of a cycle now.
Again, I am not going to get into the political side of this conversation, because much like COVID, politicizing this issue just muddies the water. That being said, it becomes clearer and clearer that human society has some effect on climate changes. I don’t know how much we affect the environment, but we do.
The important part of this conversation is how these changes affect us and how do we prepare for it. If you live along any coast you have to worry about the destructive power of storms. If you are in dry areas, you have to think about wildfires. As we have seen since 2005, Hurricanes coming out of both the tropical Atlantic and Pacific oceans have been stronger and more destructive over the years and it seems like California has been on fire for years now. Last February right here in Central Texas we endured a winter storm that made my area look like upper Michigan for a week or so. People could not get out to get food and had not power to cook if they had food. Unless, that is, they were prepared.
My family was caught off guard last year. We had no easily heated food and since I was trapped in the next town over, no one at home knew how to use my gas camp stove. The probability of a repeat this year is pretty high, but this time we are better prepared. I have a growing supply of freeze-dried foods and shelf-stable quick foods that require little more than boiling water to prepare. We are adding alternative heat and more blankets to protect from the cold.
No matter the cause, the changes to the climate are happening. This may cause disruptions in the weather patterns in your area that you should be ready to address these issues and keep our families safe. Arguing the politics just leaves us vulnerable if we do not see the possibilities we may be facing.
Gun control as a major threat? I think yes. I believe this because despite the fact that the arguments for gun control are always disproven and that more and more of the American people are seeing gun ownership as a positive, the political class on the left insist on pushing for more and more restrictions.
Now, Americans have accepted more and more intrusions into personal liberties with growing but minimal resistance. It is my belief that gun control, and more importantly, gun confiscation will be the rock upon which this country breaks.
When you combine this with the political and social upheaval that I spoke of earlier, you start to see a serious problem growing. There has been talk of civil war in America for as long as I can remember, but it was always outlier voices way out on the fringe. Now I hear it coming from spaces that I usually consider moderate and even-tempered, and this scares me.
I am no expert, but I have to believe that for most people a civil war in the United States is not going to be a heroic movie, but a long slog through a very oppressive time. I don’t have anything to say on what to do if a civil war happens, but it is my considered opinion that this is one case in which it is better to prevent then to allow it to happen. My ideas on how to prepare for this is to become politically involved. Make phone calls and see your representatives in DC and at the state level and work to prevent it from happening.
There are many more potential issues that could become a problem, but these five are the ones that worry me the most right now. I will update my thoughts in the future with any changes I have to my way of thinking.
Embedded below is a video by James C. Jones with his views on threats moving into 2022. Considering that he has been studying the subject since 1968, his opinion is as close as you are going to get to an expert you are going to get.
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