Tag Archive: Planning


swat raidLet’s face it folks, with the increasing militarization of our public law enforcement we are now seeing more and more SWAT team style ‘raids’ on homes and businesses. Right, wrong, good, bad or indifferent, it’s a growing trend that unfortunately, I do not see ending but increasing in numbers in the coming months and years.
At a highly regarded blog site that I regularly read, someone wrote in about looking for information on how to prepare children for a SWAT team style raid on their organic farm (yes, it happens because of federal regulations, Mr. I HAVE A PEN and a PHONE loves to use regulations to further his Agenda 21 plans and Fascist policies). But this is a side note. It got me thinking about my own situation about 2 ½ years ago which I have blogged about in the past, when State officials decided to raid my house with the SWAT team and FBI, early one morning due to some content that an ex of mine had posted on his facebook page. Mind you, he was no longer living in the house and I was cooperative with the State Police when they first made contact with me regarding my ex and his behavior. I was and still am deeply effected by the SWAT raid on my home in the early hours of a January school morning. My children however, I don’t think they even blinked an eye about it. So, with this person’s question, ‘how do I prepare my children for a SWAT style raid?’ I had to ask myself why my children were completely unaffected by it and why I am still suffering PTSD from it. What is it that happened before the SWAT raid on my home that allowed my children to emerge unscathed?

Interestingly enough, about the ONLY answer that I can come up with is that we, as a family had run a few drills involving ‘home invasion’ by strangers with guns in hand. Now this may sound strange to you, but at the time I owned a bailbond business and live in the middle of nowhere where the average LEO response time is at least 10 minutes. My ex, who had experience in these matters, set out to teach us how to respond and ‘what to do’. Kinda like a tornado drill or nowadays, an active shooter drill that they do at schools. Think in those terms.
My own children were taught to stay absolutely still unless given a directive by an ADULT when there was a potential threat. We practiced different scenarios on what to do depending upon point of entry and time of day. But the bottom line is and still is: following INSTRUCTIONS given immediately and without question. So they stayed right at the breakfast table without moving, because that is what I told them to do. I had no warning, just the red dots on my chest before being manhandled out of the house and out of sight. Just enough time to tell them to STAY PUT.

To my children’s credit, they remained at the table until they were brought out by a female agent into a ‘safe vehicle’ and actually looked very calm. I will emphasize at this point:
MY CHILDREN WERE AND ARE USED TO SEEING FIREARMS IN THE HOME.

So two things to ‘prepare’ children for a SWAT style raid on your home:
1) Get them used to seeing firearms in and around the home. If it is ‘normal’ to see this and be around them, then most likely they won’t freak.
2) Practice what to do if you experience a home invasion (legal or not).
3) And I should mention, that if you do have firearms in the home, be safe regarding them. But at some point, as a LEO told me, they need to understand how to use them and what they do, seems to prevent accidental shootings in the home and takes away the ‘fun’ and ‘I am not allowed to do this’ factor.

These three things will make it easier for you and them. You practice fire drills, tornado drills, and at school they practice ‘active shooter’ drills, why NOT practice home invasion? It’s a growing trend, both legally and illegally so it makes sense to do this. What you do and how you do this is up to you and your unique home situation, but increasingly, home invasions are becoming common place. So, what’s your plan?

Next, I would like to address the otherside of this equation. Having an understanding myself of the legal system and the steps that have to be taken before action can be taken (though more and more it seems like shock and awe is standard operating procedure) I do KNOW for a fact, that you will have contact with some form of law enforcement BEFORE a SWAT style raid occurs. There’s your tip off, your ‘advanced’ warning. If state police, federal agents or regulatory agents are knocking at your door then your alarm bells need to be going off and my advice, at least for the moment is to be polite, answer their questions and do NOT BE HOSTILE. Cooperate and be beyond reasonable with them. If you appear to be a threat then they will react to you as a threat and their law enforcement training now demands overwhelming force to neutralize a potential threat to THEM. This includes your facebook posts, emails, etc. While it is okay to voice your opinions make sure you are not making threats, or even veiled threats. Trust me when I tell you, they do their homework on threat assessment (ie your potential for violence). In my case it wasn’t about my own personal threat to them, but my ex’s potential for violence and I got painted with the same brush. So its not just you, but who you associate with, your family and those who may or may not be there at the time.
Much can be avoided with clear communication and cooperation. Yes, it can be a hassle boarding on pure harassment and irrationality on their part, but if you want to head off a SWAT style raid, then do all you can to avoid it.

Next, lets talk about home/land security. Do you have motion detectors? Security lights? Cameras? How about a mouthy dog who will alert you if something or someone who doesn’t belong there? You can go as far as you want in this matter including denial of entry type setups. But the main thing is this: you are more likely to face in this day and age a true illegal home invasion than a legal one and THIS is where you should aim your security at. But it will also come in handy ‘just in case’. The point behind all of this is to give you, the adult a heads up and a few precious moments to make a decision. Unfortunately, many people have been killed in their homes because they simply did NOT know who or what was coming in and reacted in such a manner that put themselves and their family in harms way.

And finally, lets talk frankly, the thought that if you are doing ‘nothing’ wrong will keep you ‘safe’ needs to go out the door. Unfortunately this mindset gets people killed. Because you feel ‘safe’ because you are doing nothing wrong, therefore there is NO WAY they would come knocking on your door ergo something happens and you pull out your firearm because only someone intent on doing you harm would kick your door in. WRONG. Go back to the above statements and understand one thing, shock and awe works for them, otherwise they wouldn’t do it. Is it potentially used wrongly? Yes, but on the otherhand see their side of it. Most LEO’s are just following orders and commands from higher ups who most likely will forget to mention that you were cooperative, etc. All they know is they are there and wouldn’t be there unless someone knew you could be a threat. Just saying…that is how it is, right or wrong. Better to argue in court and go broke than into the ground.

On the otherhand, illegal activity of any sort can and will get you into trouble. Stay on this side of the line people. If you have had contact with law enforcement or a regulatory agent, then they perceive something is going on and if you are belligerent, uncooperative, etc. then you become a threat. Regulations carry the force of law and while I in no way support even half of the ‘regulations’ that are place, at this moment in time, tis better to argue in court. GET IT? Tis better to let them do their job, see you are not a threat and then sue their butts off later, than to fight back when everyone is running on adrenaline.
Been there, done that, in the heat of the moment, YOU need to be running your own threat assessment. Which is why I make it a point to suggest that you look for tip offs and get in place an early warning system so you can differentiate between an illegal threat and law enforcement threat. That way, you can make an informed and appropriate decision on ‘what to do’ when the invasion comes.

As a side note, in my own experience, those who entered my home unexpectedly that weekday morning were very professional. While I am still angry and I am personally still dealing with their actions (which I did receive an apology for later on), I can say that they treated my children very well. One agent even sat down with my girls and painted finger nails with them! After I got a grip and figured out what was going on I was then able to do what was necessary in dealing with them being there and my own calm in the moment allowed my own children to feel safe and relaxed which allowed everyone else to feel safe and relaxed.

Seriously, its up to you how you want things to turn out.

Home security first and foremost, situational awareness, making sure your children are NOT scared of firearms in the home, practicing ‘active shooter’ drills and attitude will determine the outcome. Unfortunately we no longer live in Camelot and we aren’t in Kansas anymore. While I see the over reaction and mistakes that get made, I have come to understand that I (YOU) truly have control in whether or not you become a victim and in turn, your children.

Stay safe and aware and prepared.

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mental health

Over the past 2 years I have dealt with a lot of personal life changing events. From dealing with a loved one who was bipolar and off meds which set off a set of events culminating in his suicide, to having to make life and death decisions within days of traumatic events (SWAT team at my home), to suddenly finding myself a single mom of 4 children and dealing with PTSD to a million of other little things including PCS (post concussion syndrome) to in this moment trying to cope with someone in the end stages of cancer. I am now ready to calmly and openly talk about my own experiences in the hopes that it will help you to mentally prepare for what you may have to deal with.

In this article I will address the issue of bipolar disorder and the consequences of someone with bipolar being off meds. While bipolar disorder is my own personal experience, please keep in mind that thousands of men, women and children in this country deal with mental illness of some sort from panic disorder, to depression to major ones such as bipolar and schizophrenia with medications. Not having medications WILL happen when SHFT happens and is most likely happening to thousands of people who have lost their healthcare due to ObamaCare (and keep in mind that the ‘affordable’ healthcare that was promised is NOT affordable and there are huge deductibles that have to be paid BEFORE the healthcare kicks in so if you think you are safe there, think again and think ahead, but this is another topic).

In this blog I will only speak to my own personal experience with dealing with bipolar disorder in my own home…It made ME feel crazy, anxious and out of control. The other person (in this case it was my youngest daughters father) had grandiose plays, was always scheming, would deliberately sabotage things that I did and then sit there and basically say ‘not me’ and then turn it around on me. I dealt with OCD habits of constantly cleaning, bullying (myself and others), hypersexuality (which wasn’t with me but many other women), drug use/abuse (which at the time I didn’t know about for sure but suspected as money disappeared in large/small amounts). This person would stay up all night and then sleep a few hours (of course it was done just when everyone else in the house was getting up and moving around and then I had to deal with anger because ‘he couldn’t sleep with all the noise). A lot of quazi and veiled threats were made, and some of them on such places as Facebook. Letters were mailed in the same manner to various people in high places because of paranoia and the grandiose manifestation of ego. He would put himself into high risk situations where the probability of death or serious injury was more than likely…I absolutely refused to ride in a car with him after a certain point because of reckless behavior. His bipolar also turned into doing things such as parking places he wasn’t supposed to and then getting angry when the parking ticket showed up. Another time I got a letter from another state when he ran the toll booth without paying. He would disappear for hours, sometimes days with no explanation or flat out lies. All this was when he was manic which is more often than not. Then we had the ‘down’ side to bipolar. He would stay in bed for DAYS at a time not moving, passing up work (with whatever plausible excuse he could come up with), not eating, not taking a shower. Talk was dark and this is when the paranoia really kicked in about how everyone was out to get him, take his stuff or outright trying to hurt him physically or financially.
When it got really out of control, veiled death threats were made to certain public officials in his line of work, physical fights almost occurred whenever he had interaction with other people. He would stand pumping his fist up and down trying to intimidate me or anyone else he felt he needed to control. And when threats and intimidation didn’t work, it could quickly escalate into what I referred to ‘meltdowns’…hysterical crying, passing out, and pulling the ‘I am having a heart attack’ to get out consequences of his behavior. It was pretty bad. Complete lack of responsibility one minute to absolute need to control and drama/chaos at every waking moment. He was unmedicated. In the end, his behavior caused me to ask him to leave which sent off another round of bipolar behavior that included stalking, threats of violence to myself, my dogs and hurting himself. His behavior included melt downs, coming and going as he pleased because he knew what the law was regarding residency in the state we lived in. His behavior became even more bizarre including stalking state officials, going off on rants online (Facebook) and lying beyond all belief in the face of facts. Eventually government officials decided enough was enough and I wound up with the State police at my home one cold day asking questions and trying to get him (on the phone since he would answer it for me and not them) to talk to them. When he led them on a merry dance they (the State police) proceeded to get court orders for his arrest and to search MY HOME even though he hadn’t lived at my home for several weeks. The SWAT team showed up at 8 am and then all hell broke loose. His sister who was also bipolar blamed me. I found out about a lot of things that he had been doing unbeknownst to me, protective orders were issued, computers seized, cell phones taken, tablets taken, bomb sniffing dogs brought in my home…the end of the world as I knew it happened…then the fun part…it is still amazing to me how someone so out of control can turn the tables to their advantage and STILL in the face of big problems, manage to manipulate and continue with grandiose behavior…and the sad part was, that under current mental health laws (as seen recently in the state of Virginia where a state Senator’s son almost killed his father and did in fact kill himself…link) UNLESS someone is an immediate threat to themselves or others, they cannot be detained, NOR under law can someone be forced to take medication unless under court order, which rarely happens unless they display absolute disregard for life of law enforcement. There is virtually no mental health services in this country unless you have insurance and even then, the person in question has to seek it out themselves and WAIT for weeks just to see someone who will then determine if they need meds and well, you know the system…takes forever and meanwhile bad things happen which have a ripple effect.

While in jail he was able to convince the shrink there he was ‘normal’ even though to even one else it was obvious he wasn’t. The courts did nothing, gave him time served and let him go.
I won’t bother with the details from there, but he then swung into the depressive side of bipolar disorder…he realized somewhere that everything had changed and he truly believed that he could never bounce back, make changes and continue to move on. Within four months of the onset of this otherside of bipolar disorder, he committed suicide. He could NOT handle the ‘new reality’ of his life. And this past May his sister also committed suicide (she was another one who refused to get help/meds).

There are many people out there, living and working and leading ‘normal’ lives who have bipolar disorder and other mental health issues. And there are those who are not medicated with pharmaceuticals who self medicate one way or another who may be functional but have problems or are drug addicts, alcoholics, etc. Or just live in their own private hell bouncing along dysfunctionally but getting by somehow.
While I made the painful decisions that I had to make in order keep myself and my family safe in a vacuum of not knowing (at the time), even after his death, I still deal with the fallout of knowing someone who was unmedicated IN NORMAL TIMES. But I move forward.

I guess I am telling my tale so that you, the reader, may get an idea of what it is like to deal with someone with bipolar disorder. There is no getting around it. It is in our society and medications keep the lid on it so that you may not even know that your neighbor, co-worker or the stranger on the street is mentally ill. You may live with someone now who is on medications for mania or depression and you have never seen them off of them.

Reality is this, you, dear reader, need to know the facts. We have seen the headlines in the news with mass shooting where bipolar was a factor in what happened. We who have lived with the unmedicated right here and now WITHOUT a SHTF situation at large know the ugly truth about this disorder. I know for sure that 10’s of thousands of people who are on psychotropic medications live amongst us and as long as the fabric of society holds together, or they still have the money or a way to get their meds (which by the way is only doled out every 30 days and no refills allowed until the last few days) we and they are safe. But as more people loose their health insurance, as more people find out about ObamaCare and when the economic conditions become even worse in time, I truly believe that in our individual lives, we will have to face someone we know, live with or pass by who is no longer medicated. It is a reality shock. Without their medication thousands will behave strangely, destructively, violently, desperately. Then add in a massive change in how we live or survive, it makes my blood cold to think about this. We will go back to the ‘old days’, the jails, as long as they operate, will fill up. Or family’s will go back to keeping family members locked up in their homes. We will face and see a greater up tick in suicides, murders, assaults and even greater emotional stress which will on compound your ability to survive.

I believe we are experiencing this now and have since the economy crashed several years ago. It is not talked about and politicians use the behavior to further their agendas instead of addressing the real issue of mental health in this country. I believe that there are many out there right now who go unnoticed that are dealing with the fallout of mental health issues because they can’t get help, even when its wanted, even when the behavior is harmful to themselves or others. And this is NORMAL society, a society that is still ‘together’ for the moment.

I ask this question now, facing the thought that I know certain mental illnesses are genetic, what if? I have young children who have bipolar disorder on their father’s side of the family. What will I do if I face this issue again within my own children. What will I do if I see it in my next door neighbor? What am I going to do when it really begins to fall apart and more and more people go off meds, or can’t get them, can’t afford them? For we WILL see them in society, in our homes, living next to us. What then?

I ask this question now because many people over look this factor and have NO PLAN AT ALL. Having a plan to deal with friends, family members, co-workers or plain strangers who have mental illness is just as much a part of being prepared as is having beans, bullets and band aids. For many this skeleton doesn’t even cross their mind because ‘they don’t know anyone’ or ‘live with someone’ who has a mental illness. Or they do know or live with someone who is on mood altering medications and overlook it.

Just as having a plan to survive without power, we all need to have a plan on how to deal with those who will be forced off meds or perhaps pushed beyond their coping limits. It will not be a pretty plan, but it needs some thought and thinking about it ahead of time, planning for the possibility of what may or may not need doing to keep you and yours safe (including them) is something to think about NOW…not when you are in the middle of it.

Or perhaps you are in the middle of it right now, just coping as best as you can while it is ‘normal’. Think about what you will do when it gets WORSE after something happens that upsets the status quo of right now.

Mental illness is a serious safety and survival issue….and a tipping point will come when you will somehow be touched by mental illness in this world. What will you do when faced in dealing with it without the benefit of outside help?

Give some thought based on your own situation and circumstances. This is no different than planning for dealing with medical issues or medical emergencies. You just won’t ‘see’ it or know about it like heart conditions, diabetes or a gun shot wound.

With the world changing quickly and not getting better we all need to think about this safety issue and that is what it truly is, a matter of safety for all concerned. You might not like the answers you come up with but it is better to have unhappy answers than none at all. Trust me, been there, done that.

Stay safe and be prepared.

Today a few things have come to my attention that bears ME looking at my own personal GOOD plans and preparedness and perhaps you should too…first on the agenda of things that will come to pass…The state of Minnesota went into shut down mode a couple of weeks ago over an impasse in the budget (hmm, sounds familiar) where a lot of people who worked for the state have been placed on an indefinite leave of absence, but today, the Miller Brewing Company announced, that because no one is available to process licensing, they may have to shut the plant down and pull all their beer from store shelves and bars. While this in and of itself doesn’t bother me too much, it’s the large picture that does. We are so regulated in our everyday lives that even a partial shut down of the big gov brother would cause untold misery. Not that not having the beer of your choice is a big deal (though I suppose it will wake some people up to the impending reality of economic crisis) but it’s the fact that we take for granted so much of a government running (somewhat) efficiently that when it stops, even for a short time, that it can have dramatic impact on our personal and daily lives, especially if you are a business owner such as I am, let alone our food supplies that are so heavily regulated… This is troubling…and is starting me thinking even more about the little things that I take for granted in being able to get right now…liquor for my herbal medicines, herbs from out of the country, heck, right down to the envelopes that I use for mailing things (which aren’t made in this country). It also makes me wonder about law enforcement (which is already hurting from cut backs) and what the roads and areas are like up there right now and what it could be like in my neck of the woods if my state every went into meltdown mode (or my country for that matter since the state is so hooked on that feeding trough). My other business is dealing with the courts…and right now in the state I live in they are backed up to the hilt (which has other consequences) and are not hiring even to replace key people such as court clerks that make the wheels of justice MOVE with speed…what would happen if this continues along as it is and people quit or get laid off? Nothing will happen, no one get anything done in the courts and it basically would become a septic tank back up that would take years to unravel…definitely not a pleasant thought on top of everything else…in China yesterday a 12 year old bridge came apart…and in California they are closing a 10 mile stretch of a major highway for a couple of days…THEY ARE WARNING people to expect 30 mile back ups and to BE SURE TO HAVE A FULL TANK OF GAS…(and this happened in China not too long ago…took DAYS for people to get home) What’s my point here? From a survival and preparedness stand point it reminds me that we are so dependant upon our infrastructure that isn’t being taken care of (I vaguely recall somewhere where a large section of highway peeled up because of the intense heat) or that is getting hit hard by the weather this year that it becomes imperative to keep that full tank of gas and know all of the get out of dodge routes that you can possibly know and don’t depend upon that navigation system either that thing is programmed for major roads and doesn’t know its head in the ground sometimes. But escape routes are important no matter where you are at and for many reasons. I for one don’t want to be caught at the grocery store and not know how to get home if something happens to my normal route or having to leave home or the area for some reason in all haste and be stuck having to use major routes with everyone else (think Houston during that hurricane). And having a full tank of gas, well, that’s nice too but getting caught in a 30 mile back up? Just how long will that tank last…and the highway authority is TELLING people NOW over construction work that was planned…hmmm…just something crossing my mind today…

In short, I am reassessing my GOOD plan today and need to remember to top off the gas tank too this afternoon. This GOOD plan (get out of dodge) should include escape routes, mode of transportation, what you will take with you (food, water, clothing, personal items, pets, valuables, you have to make choices and doing so now, having that plan will make it easier just in case) and knowing where you will go in the advent of such and such. You should also have a GOOD Plan for if the SHTF when you are work…same drill…and this means having in your car a good BOB (bug out bag) that would or should conceivably get you home or to the agreed upon location with your family. I am thinking about the ‘what if’ plans for my businesses too and need to make some decisions soon about particular things dealing with my businesses. Continuity type things…And again, I am thankful today that I don’t live inMinnesotaorCalifornia…they are dealing with some major SHTF issues and its not even bad yet.

Do you have a GOOD Plan? A BOB bag? Know the routes that can save your life and get you out of Dodge without facing the hordes and zombies? (Yeah, the very same ones who no longer have their beer) And yeah, I know it sounds funny that way, but humor keeps you sane you know?