You arrive the safe house with your neighbor and your kids. He has you drive inside the garage area to keep the vehicles hidden. Your kids are so tired. You open some cans of food you brought with and feed them quickly. The neighbor shows you around a bit and helps you get the kids bedded down in the bunk beds in one of the rooms.
You check your cell phone and realize you have no signal. Your neighbor checks his phone and has the same problem. He tells you he isn’t surprised. Most cell phone towers have a generator with a propane tank as a back up system. If the propane tank has run dry because of the overburden on the tower, it could be several days before they get more fuel and start running again. Your neighbor suggests that the emergency services may have also shut down cell traffic to everyone but emergency services.You get a little panicked at this point because you have lost contact with your snowbird neighbors and basically the outside world.
Your neighbor doesn’t seem to be too worried. You start to ask him about this safe house. You find out he has believed something bad was going to happen for a while. He bought this property to build this house to give him a place to go when the city did not seem safe anymore. You are impressed by his foresight. You are very impressed with his stores of food, water, fuel, and other things, including guns and ammo.
You are getting tired too and decide to bunk down with the kids. Your neighbor asks you to think about staying for a few days and see how this situation will play out. He too hopes that the power will come back on soon. But he does have a wood burning fireplace and a generator with plenty of fuel to get by for several months. He could use the help of manning the safe house and having more eyes for security reasons. He had a few friends he thought would be coming, but he knew there was no guarantee of them coming.
You really wanted to get to Arizona, but you didn’t know how you were going to if you couldn’t get more fuel somewhere. Your neighbor, now safe house mate, has plenty of gas and diesel stored also. You could ask for some from him if you decide not to stay, but you don’t want to take advantage of his generosity. This situation might be the answer for you and your kids’ survival. You may decide to stay as long as you can.
After a short night of sleep, you wake up before the kids and start to really get a good look at the safe house. You realize it is more like a bunker. You look outside and see a remarkable fence surrounding the property. The fence is eight feet high with razor wire around the top and woven into the middle of the fence. Otherwise, you see nothing but trees and farmland. The safe house looks like nothing would take it down. It is made of concrete block with steel reinforced doors and bulletproof glass windows. You wonder if this is a safe house or a prison.
The kids are awake now and so is your neighbor. He is making breakfast for everyone which smells delicious. Pancakes, sausages, and canned fruit. You are surprised that he can cook anything, but he explains that he has a propane cook stove and a lot of propane stored in tanks to carry him for a long time. He also explains that he has a supply of freeze-dried, dehydrated, home canned, commercial canned, and shelf stable foods to carry him for several years. You are more than shocked at this supply of food as well as his generosity in sharing this bounty with you.
Your neighbor is talking to you about staying again. He is expecting others to come to the safe house, but has plenty of supplies for you and your kids. He really wants you to stay, but needs you to understand that staying will have implications. You will be required to help work around the house as well as help with security. Your family will have to work hard, but he doesn’t expect you or the kids to do anything he will not do. He is in charge and expects to be respected in that manner. He wants you to take a few days and think about it, but thinks it will be the best option for your family.
Honestly, you think so too. Your kids would be taken care and you have no problem doing your share of the work. You don’t have many options of where you can go. You don’t know how long you would survive if you left here. You do wonder what his motive is in asking you to stay and you will need to ask him those questions.
The kids helped to clean up the breakfast dishes and wash dishes. They are now helping by moving some things around the property. Your neighbor has taken your oldest son outside to help cut firewood for the wood stove. You go outside to join them and haul the wood to the pile. Your son and the neighbor are joking around and having a bit of fun. Your neighbor is also explaining to your son why he started this safe house and why he feared something like this could happen. Your son is impressed with him and wants to know more.
Your two other kids are also keeping busy by picking up sticks for kindling and wandering around the property. Your neighbor has a small garden here and he has the kids pick the remaining few vegetables left in the garden. You offer to cook lunch which he agrees too. The rest of the day and the day after goes on with similar chores being done. Your neighbor has also started teaching your children how to use a bow and how to shoot a gun.
Your neighbor explains to the kids that this late in the fall most of the work is done, but come next spring everyone will be working harder than they may have ever worked. The kids don’t seem to be fazed by this. You are not sure the kids understand what he is saying either. Keeping a place like this and being self-sufficient will be a lot of work and boring work. Cutting firewood will get old after a few days.
You wonder about staying here long term and the effect it will have on your family. You lived a pretty comfortable life before. So far, you could be satisfied living like this too. You wonder how long you will be here. What if more people show up? What if the power is restored? What will you do then?
After supper that night, you and the neighbor sit down to talk.
Questions for you: Would you stay or continue to find your way south? Would you find out why he wants you to stay? What would you do?
Thanks for reading,