L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 78, June 26, 2000
There's A Storm A’brewin’
by Michael Haggard
Exclusive to TLE
Having grown up in Oklahoma, I am well aware of the joy of seeing a large wall cloud approach with all the smells and colors of a developing tornado. A native Okie can feel the twister coming in his bones. The green tint to the cloud ceiling, the negative ionization of the wind, the sudden drop in barometric pressure, and the calm in the midst of the storm that leads up to the freight train roar of wind all synergistically warn us Oklahoma farm boys of the coming chaos, death and destruction.
My dear readers, there is a storm brewing in Washington D.C. and the signs tell of coming chaos, death and destruction. We have seen the signs in Waco and Ruby Ridge and in divers less reported incidents, most recently the raid of the home of Elian Gonzales. These are just signs ... the tornado is still coming. Perhaps it will pass, perhaps it will move around you, perhaps it will level your home and shatter your life. Like real tornadoes there is not rhyme or reason to where and when the tornado of D.C. will hit you.
In Tornado Alley, they have a wonderful idea that even the philanderer-in-chief has endorsed. An idea that I think you would do well to put into practice in your home. You need a safe room.
It is financially infeasible for most of us to make the entire house a true castle, impenetrable and secure. In Elian’s case, the fisherman had a good idea for tornado alley; hide in the closet. But the tornado can still reach you there if it is of sufficiently powerful and prolonged affect. However, you can afford the modification of one room in your house into a Safe Room able to withstand all but the most determined and impossibly long lasting tornado.
Would a Safe Room stop a freight train? No, indeed not. In the case of the freight train running into your home, get out. Mobility is the best defense. A Chess game where the King cannot move is a losing game. But sometimes, tornadoes come without warning and a temporary impediment to its winds can save your life. In Chess, it is called "castling." Hence, you need a safe room so that the winds of ATF, INS, FBI, et’al will not have the "violence of action" that allows them the quick shock advantage in such storms.
Everyone within the sound of my computer keys should look at a room of their house and decide how to make it impregnable outside of a low yield nuke. For example:
Find a room with few outside walls and few windows to make your Safe Room from. It can be a bed room, a closet, or den as everyday use is not affected. Plan on working on it a step at a time and spend the money you have when you have it.
First consider the door. Is it in a strong frame? No? If you cannot get a steel frame for it, what can you do to reinforce it? Steel angle iron all around the frame to strengthen it? Perhaps simply strips of steel over the dead bolt frame and the hinges with carriage bolts through the frame. Remember to keep the nuts on the secure side! Make the door solid enough to withstand entry short of low-grade explosives. It can be done for under $500… and for as little as $100. Now the door ... hollow, huh? Get a solid door. If it is solid wood then reinforce it with steel mesh or solid steel from the inside. Now, make a couple of braces across the door. A clever carpenter can make this look good. This so two steel bars can be placed across the door so there is more there than a dead bolt to lock it secure. These do not need to be big, hefty bars if they are steel or aluminum.
Secondly, make sure that there is no other entry. The window needs a steel shutter that closes and latches from the inside. Hide it behind a balance and curtain. Best would be solid steel, but a cage or bars is acceptable, but remember, if they can shoot a gas grenade in you are not secure. Also consider entry through the drywall. If the wall is just drywall you are not secure. Sheets of ¾ inch plywood covering the walls is good, firmly secured to the studs in the drywall. Strong bookshelves bolted into the studs would work too. Brick is better. An interior decorative brick wall can be quite striking. Don’t forget floors and ceilings for this as well. Expanded steel mesh might be an inexpensive way to stop entry there.
Once secure in the room, how about food & water, warmth, cooling and communications? (In that order of importance) Go to the bakery and buy food grade 5 gallon buckets, clean them, and fill them with water. You need 7 gallons a week for each adult minimum. How long are you willing to stay for freedom-loving help to arrive? Stock lots of MREs or canned food that needs no cooking in the pantry of this room. Some blankets and a way to cool (hand fans?) would go there too. Perhaps an air-circulating fan that is controlled from the inside with valve control could both cool and evacuate smells and gas weapons. There should always be a two-way radio, citizens band on batteries, or cell phone in that room as well. Save one of those buckets and some trash bags for your toilet needs.
You can think of more ideas to make the room secure, I bet. There are web pages that will help too. Even your tax dollars at FEMA will get you information on a safe room. Remember, power and light will be cut so plan on batteries and hand power. There are fans and generators out there that are safe for interior use.
I am not suggesting that Elian could have lasted in a secure room under the full weight of government winds of aggression. But the battle to enter a Safe Room would have given the INS pause as to their security as Cuban Americans began to realize they had time to organize a resistance. I do not suggest that the Branch Dividians had safety after a third of a year in their Safe Room. But the media could not be kept out and Americans had time to protest and become educated if they chose to be.
If the twister of D.C. is coming for you ... get out of the way! Find safe harbor elsewhere. But sometimes these tornadoes come without warning in the night. Oklahomans have learned that a safe room, stocked with first aid and water, can save their lives when storms come without warning. At the very least, the victims get buried in the rubble, safe in their room and not crushed under its violence, while rescuers have time to find them.
Give other freedom lovers a chance to save you from the storm. Build yourself a Safe Room this summer.