In closing, I want to emphasize that the fundamental rule of supply preparedness is that stocks plus production must equal requirements. The more we can rely upon production, the less the government has to spend for stocks. In turn, production depends upon the output of the many individual plants making up American industry. The individual plant is therefore eventually the very foundation of preparedness. -- COL James H. Burns, Ordnance Department, AUSA, "Production Is Preparedness: Military Supply Rests Upon the Individual Manufacturing Plant," Army Ordnance magazine, July-August, 1939.
So, how's your local supply preparedness? This is no academic or insignificant question. First, let's talk hypothetical scenarios.
There are three broad threats that the armed citizenry might be called upon to answer. The first is a federal or state militarized police attack upon the liberty and property of the people. Now, here our intelligent response would be Fourth Generation Warfare tailored to American circumstances targeted at the war-makers and decision takers. Of the three scenarios this is least demanding from a supply point of view. After all, one rogue politician, one feral federal police commander, one crony capitalist supporting the enemy war machine, one Julius Streicher in the media or one academic apologist for tyranny such as a Professor Heidegger each require but one bullet fired from a deer rifle per each. There are other challenges of course but supply is not a major one.
The second broad threat, highlighted by the current racial turmoil and the racial collectivists of "Black Lives Matter," is racial conflict, up to and including a three sided race war.
The third is some form of societal breakdown occasioned by economic collapse, widespread natural disasters (CME, New Madrid earthquakes, "Lucifer's Hammer," etc.) or attack by America's traditional enemies including the means of EMP weapons.
In both of these broad threats, the armed citizenry will be called upon to secure the safety of the local populace in their area of operations and LOCAL supply will be critical. You will not be able to count upon outside assistance. It will be a come-as-you-are war with what is in place in stocks locally and what can be manufactured, again, locally. You will not be able to count upon the cavalry riding to your rescue.
Now, let's for the purposes of argument make some assumptions.
First, let's assume that you understand that all survival, and indeed all liberty such as we are able to maintain it, is local and community based. "Preppers" who think they can withdraw from their own communities and keep their heads down by holding out on small retreats while the rest of the world burns (or worse, who envision themselves as existing off the property and resources of neighbors) will end up as food for larger predators. A friend of mine, a retired West Point graduate, refers to such people as "mobile supply pods."
Second, therefore let's assume that (a.) you have seen to your own local unit's organizational, training and supply needs, and (b.) have made the sorts of links within your local community and AO that will strengthen that community's ability to resist outside threats. That is, you have cultivated relationships with your local sheriff, county commissioners, local ministers (think church food bank operators, soup kitchen and emergency housing and clothing assistance) and medical and search and rescue volunteer formations. (Ideally, your unit ought to form the backbone of the local SAR unit.)
Third, let us assume that given all these preparations and linkages, you have done your homework about what your Area of Operations really is in any given scenario. That is, you have looked critically at the community, at the terrain (both topographic and human) and decided upon just what ground it is that collectively, with all local resources mobilized, your community can defend. This may be an entire county, a town, a village, a neighborhood, down to an individual street perhaps.
Fourth, let us assume that you understand that in an emergency, it is the prepared and organized folks to whom other people turn to for help. If you are ready, if you have thought through the problems and come up with plans to meet various scenarios, AND you have made the necessary sorts of relationships with all existing authorities (governmental, private sector and religious) ahead of time, it will ensure that you, the local leader of the armed citizenry, will have input into the community's decisions of how to keep order and protect life. But this will be true ONLY if you are prepared AND competent to do your duty to the community and its people.
All of these, I realize, are pretty big assumptions. So get working on what you lack.
But as part of that process, now that you've defined your community, you need to have an inventory of existing supplies you can tap into immediately and the local industrial and agricultural base you can draw from later for their production to sustain the community in the long term.
What sort of inventory? Well, first let's go back to basics -- Maslow's heirarchy of needs.
We can forget the upper tiers of the triangle. Let's focus on the only two that wil matter to your community in the short and medium term: physiological and safety needs.
Physiological needs are the physical requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first. Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements. . . With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual's safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. -- Wikipedia.
Pretty simple, right? Well, take a look at your community map and tell me what you going to need to hydrate, feed,shelter and clothe those folks you call your friends and neighbors and how you're going to defend it from attack. In such broad scenarios it may well be that your local paving contractor or county/state highway department garage has the key to your defenses: concrete dividers, HESCO barriers, and the machines to move them into place to form roadblocks, town walls at vulnerable spots, etc. They also usually have the diesel fuel supplies to run the machines. Salt is a critical need for human existence and most places lack natural supplies. Yet these highway maintenance facilities often have road salt. Do you know if this is just sodium chloride (NaCl)? Does it also have mixed in Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) or even some chemical additives that are supposed to help the salt do its job? You need to know. Can it be chemically reclaimed to separate out the NaCl so that you can use it for human consumption/meat preservation? I don't know the answers to these questions. You need to find out.
And speaking of concrete road dividers and other structures, in the event that you lack ready-made assets, does your local concrete plant have the ability to turn them out?
In all supply categories, especially water and food, start with an estimate of the population you are tasked to protect, multiply by the gallons or caloric intake per day that they need, and figure out what water sources are available. What food sources? Let's say you're exceedingly fortunate and have a grocery distribution warehouse in your community. It will need protecting. Try to think through what arrangements the community will need to make with the owners/managers of that warehouse -- defense, reimbursement (now or in the future) for drawing on their resources which are after all private property. You will need to make the same sort of arrangements for the common folks in the community, (especially farmers, grain elevator operators, gun store owners, reloaders, radio shops, etc.). You must have the ability to defend yourselves without outright banditry. It is a fine line, but for most folks pointing out that a. the community promises to reimburse them and (b.) that if the evil bad guys win they will have nothing including their lives, will suffice to ensure cooperation. For the recalcitrants? Well, if the need is dire enough, you will have to deal with that in some way too. Think it through now so that you will be able to suggest solutions that the community decides upon.
Most folks think immediately of all the firearm that they will need to arm an expanded local militia (using your trained folks and any veteran volunteers who show up as cadre). As I have written in the past, paraphrasing the TV show Jericho, "Guns are easy, logistics is hard."
This is true for rifles, shotguns and handguns. We have a multiplicity of gun collectors in this country (especially in those areas likely to survive by community defense). What we lack in hardware, though, are specific classes of full auto weapons, medium and heavy machine guns, for example. There are few substitutes for a Ma deuce, for example, when dealing with vehicle convoys of predators. However, there are any number of Class III manufacturers these days as well as folks who crank out semi-auto versions of rifles on their CNC machines. Do you have any in your community? Are you on good terms with them? More importantly is the sheriff on good terms with them. Again, reimbursement is an issue, but one that can be overcome according with the entire community in agreement.
What about reloaders or manufacturers of factory ammunition in your AO? Again, guns are easy, ammunition is hard and the expenditure of ammunition in scenarios two and three will be absolutely stunning to the guys who take their rifles out of the closet two times a year for zeroing and for hunting and think that five 20-round boxes of .30-06 ammo is sufficient to their needs. Few of us live next door to the CMP operation in Anniston AL or the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. Add in the fact that most of your troops will be untrained when you get them and their fire discipline will be shit. Take the army table of fire expenditure and triple it and you might come somewhere close. And since you will be largely staying put, and after the first few tries the evil bad guys will go around you looking for easier prey, you will not be able to count on resupplying from dead men's ammo pouches.
For all your other preparations may come to nothing if you run out of ammunition. (I will leave the subject of improvised munition substitutes for another post.)
So, do your pre-planning. What is my community? Is it defensible? What is the topography? How can its weaknesses be made strengths? What will it take to keep the population in water? Food? Can we make it through the winter and spring until the crops being growing again? What do we need to do to bridge the gap? what resources does the community have that can be used in, or converted to, our defense and survival. Think it through now, do your community inventories. It may make the difference between success and failure come the Zombia Apocalypse, regardless of what form that takes.