First, I want to express my gratitude to Demitry. I remember aksing him for such a post a long time ago. I understand that we all have lot of things to do besides our online life, so I understood when the reply didn’t come. I often find myself lost in the amount of comments, emails and various posts. Very hard to keep up with everything. But it sure was a wonderful surprise to receive your email Dimitry, so thank you very much for writing it. It’s an extra effort for us non English speakers, so the merit is even greater.
The article is long and worth reading in detail, but I also wanted to write down the main points I found, most of which I share and agree with 100%:
1)There’s more similarities than differences. In spite of different cultures and lifestyles, during hard times. I can’t avoid but notice more similarities than differences, no matter if its USA, South Africa, Spain during the 1930’s or Russia. Guess that after all, we are all people. That shouldn’t be a big surprise. :-)
2)Security problems, great political struggles (for whatever reason, and any excuse is good) and meanwhile the average citizen, the average Joe that just wants to be left a lone and live a good life, care for his family is caught in between fighting to carry on.
3)Food, water and shelter of course, are of the greatest importance. Along with breathable air constitutes the 4 pilars needed to sustain life no matter what. Most often it seems, food is the one that is hardest to obtain during most events.
4)Avoiding confrontation but having a weapon as a last resort mean of self defense. As Dimitry said, something you can actually conceal to keep a low profile is of great importance.
5)Concealed weapon. If nothing else (and respect the laws that apply to you!) sawing off the barrel and stock of a shotgun at least gives you short range, two shot handgun. Again, not legal to do in most places so don’t do it. Just noticing the importance in concealabilty, be thankful of your Glock!
6)Door. Besides good security habits and measures, the importance of a solid building that can actually stop bullets and also the importance of a GOOD DOOR, make mine armored and reinforced, locking on all 4 sides on a concrete and metal frame.
7)Know your city. The different routes, what kind of trouble ou can expect in the various areas and neighborhoods, what kind of supplies are available in which area. At least know where the black markets operate, in case you don’t have any other choice but to do business there. How to get in and out of it, alternative routes, where to hide, where you have friends you can stay at. If you have one, don’t count on a GPS alone. I always have a small “Guia T” with me, it’s a very popular miniguide with maps, buss stations and other relevant information, also the streets where each bus goes through, their route. It seems Dimitry considers this important as well.
8)Clothes. No cammo or military uniforms. Comfortable, dark colored civilian clothes.
9)Car and going on foot. Expect lots of roadblocks. Expect not to be able to use your can in some cases. Folks, that means you should ask yourself: Am I in proper physical condition to grab a back pack, may a baby as well, and walk for several miles? Do I have the gear and supplies to do so in my vehicle in case that happens? Talking about a “bug out” bag, or other emergency kit being in your vehicle at all times. (there’s a post on that, check on the left column)
10)Passports and ID. Have them ready at all times! Ready if you have to leave your home in just a second. Know exactly where they are. (I’m suffering the passport problem myself here, corrupt gov. that wont issue it unless you pay a hefty bribe)
I wouldn’t keep them in my pocket because of the crime problem. I keep my ID safe at home and only keep a ID car in my wallet at all times. A passport is too important to risk it getting robbed.
11) Have a small, portable generator. I got by without one myself but the advice is valid. Notice: A SMALL, PORTABLE generator, not something you bought at a power plant auction and uses more fuel than 10 Mac trucks put together. Also remember, LED lights, batteries, chargers, a spare solar charger or crank operated one is worth having. If you buy one, buy the good stuff since the cheapo ones are mostly junk.
12)Communications and News. During a civil war or dictatorship, expect TV and radio to be either canceled or censored. Cell phones and internet service cancelled too. Better to have satellite phone or internet, battery operated short wave radio or transiver to gather news for further away.
13)Means of cooking and staying worm. Get a good multifuel stove that runs on any liquid fuel. Get one that isn’t too sensitive since the fuel you get may be dirty or of bad quality. (same applies to your car, I change my gas filter often because the fuel quality here in Argentina isn’t very good)
14)Money expect hiperinfaltion. Dimitry worte “Each day begins with the new prices.” Man, I feel you. I understand your words 100%. Seeing prices change within minutes, clerks running around sticking new prices into everything isn’t something you forget easily. Gold and silver, Dimitry recommends 25% of your savings in gold, 25% in Euro or dollars. Euro and dollars are much tougher as of today, compared to lesser currencies like the one Dimitry had or our Argentine peso so we do that too here.
15)House. Dimitry gives some good links to check. Also check the post here in my blog about Architecture (look in the Topics of the left column) the one where the ex Yugoslavia survivors talk about their ideal home.
16)The car. Dimitry, the Lada Niva is also very popular here in Argentina too! Lots of Lada Niva fan clubs doing 4x4. The LADA is liked here because of those same reasons you mention. My car looks also pretty bad on the outside (lots of bumbs, tape holding the front plastic fender) looks poor but works ok! :-)