After World War II ended, the U.S. quickly turned its attention to another threat…
European nations feared that a Soviet invasion was inevitable.
In the 1950s, the CIA organized a secret army in case of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe.
The clandestine paramilitary network code-named “Operation Gladio,” included units in many NATO countries such as France, Belgium, Greece, and West Germany.
One of the main aspects of the secret network was the hidden stockpiles of weapons and explosives around Western Europe.
The goal of the weapons caches was to supply “stay-behind” forces with explosives and firearms to sabotage and fight the invading Soviet forces.
In Belgium, there were six weapon caches spread around the country. Austria had over 80 weapons caches set up by the CIA.
These caches included mortars, submachine guns, explosives, and radio equipment.
Some of the weapons sat undisturbed for over fifty years. Many were dismantled in the late 1980s. But some European weapon caches were left intact until the 1990s.
When the CIA set up these stashes, they often used the military to disguise the activity.
For example, the U.S. military would conduct exercises, and the CIA used that as a distraction to hide the weapons and explosives.
In 1959, Operation Gladio came under the direction and control of NATO.
Along with paramilitary fighters, civilians also played a large role in the operation. Civilians were recruited to cause as much civil unrest as possible if the Soviets invaded.
Now, weapons and supply caches are nothing new.
When it comes to being prepared, having a supply cache is a smart thing to do.
This way if you are forced to leave your home, you have somewhere to go and get more supplies.
One quick way to create a supply cache is to rent a storage unit.
Why a storage unit makes sense:
Before the pandemic, the average adult spent less than 10 hours per day at home.
While this has changed somewhat, the fact is you can’t guarantee that you will be at home when a disaster strikes, and you might not be able to get your house.
You could be at work, shopping, or school when disaster hits.
Having survival supplies at another location will give you options if your house is gone or inaccessible.
Lastly, a storage unit can be just that for your survival gear.
Many folks might not have the space at their house for all their gear. So, you could use a storage unit to keep extra gear.
Or you can even rotate your winter and summer gear from your house and keep the rest in the storage unit.
What kind of storage unit?:
One of the most important factors when choosing a storage unit is getting one that is climate controlled.
If you are storing ammo or food, you want to keep it at safe temperatures and humidity.
When picking a storage unit, choose one that has an entrance from inside the building.
Stay away from ones with the big garage door-type opening.
The units that are accessible from the outside are easier to break into and less likely to have adequate climate control.
Can you stay in a storage unit?:
Most storage unit companies have you sign a contract. In that contract, it will say something like you can’t sleep in the unit.
Of course, you want to follow the rules…
But if disaster strikes and your house is gone you might not have any other choice.
Pick a slightly bigger storage unit, with room for your entire family to be inside comfortably, and an air mattress if possible.
What location is the best?:
There are a few different ideas when it comes to picking a location.
First, you could pick a storage unit that is within walking distance of your home. This would make it easy to get to.
But, if your home is destroyed by a disaster, chances are the storage unit would be as well.
Another idea is to choose a storage unit that is halfway to your bug-out location.
So, if you plan to bug out to a relative’s house or a remote cabin, your storage unit could be a halfway point where you could restock on supplies and continue your trip.
The decision on which is best is up to you and your situation.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your storage unit should be stocked in case you have to stay there for a few weeks.
For instance, I would keep three weeks’ worth of food and water in the unit.
This would give you enough time to let things settle down and decide your next move.
Obviously, a storage unit is not ideal for living in… but when you have no other options it’s better than nothing.
I have personally used storage units for stockpiling my survival gear and I think it’s something everyone should consider.
But what if you can’t get to your survival cache for a day or two?
You need to have all the weapons and ammo you need while bugging out, so you can make your way in safety.