Friday, December 4, 2009

Lessons from the “Message from Russia” post.

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! :-)



EN said...

Some great advice, but I do carry my passport inside my pants. It's on me at all times. I've even gone to the trouble of stitcing a loop inside two pairs of pants so i can attack my security pouch to it. I will give you my wallet in a second, but my passport i'd fight for and my experience indicates that carrying a passport is more important than any other form of ID as far as governments are concerned. Just having one means some to authority figures that make them more "cautious" about being disrespectful.

FerFAL said...

Good idea on the hidden pocket EN.
The advantage I have here with the ID card (cedula) is that I can at least leave to any Mercosur country.
Not as good as the passport but still.


EN said...

It would be nice to have some kind of ID like your internal ID card but ours are issued by the fifty different states and are not widely accepted including in other states. In the US people need to be advised that they can no longer go anywhere outside the continental US without a passport. It's not a rule of Canada or Mexico, it's US Homeland Security who has this rule.

Another thing that needs to be talked about is that most Americans don't have passports. GET ONE! Many seem to think they'll never leave, but there's no guarantees once the SHTF. Your passport does nothing more than keep options open. Did I mention we all need to GET ONE! If you have one make sure it's updated every ten years. This obviously includes children.

Anonymous said...

Passports are probably a good idea, but as millions of illegals prove, it's not a requirement.

I wonder what EN's security pouch looks like that it holds a passport and fits inside a pair of pants?

A Witz Sport Case sure isn't going to fit under a pair of jeans, a shirt yes, or maybe a pant leg.

DaShui said...

Que Pasa FerFal!

I noticed one thing about Dimitry's post. The fighting wasn't about political or religious ideology, but different clans fighting for power. I assume D is an ethnic Russian, which would place him at a distinct vulnerability compared to Turkic Central Asians, since belonging to a extended family means that you have an army protecting you. My point is that most survival literature is heavy on gear and individualism, but ignores what really will get you through intensely competitive situations, which is relationships.

PomPomPom said...

The passport can be kept at home, because cases where you need to flee your country don't arrive out of nothing. There are many warning signs before, including from your governement, even if it is the culprit. Save fire, it is best protected at home than on your person. Use a national ID for daily life.

The passport must be stored with hard money (€, $, gold, £, CHF...) Also consider a foreign account with a international visa card. YOUR bank can freeze all your accounts, whether individually (ie only YOU*) or for all nationals of your country, but not the foreign accounts. This foreign account should hold at least enough money for a plane ticket to a better place and enough to live there a couple of weeks.

Add a usb memory card with a copy of all precious documents. This is your "Out-Of-The-Country" BOB!

As of destination, well, America and Europe are good mutual backup: same civilization, easy to feel like home on the other side of the pond. Should a big piece of S* strikes one side, the other side will expect to receive many people and will accept them.

* Never forget that the SHTF can strike YOU and only YOU, in a happy and plentiful world (think of the homeless). You may lose your job, be the victim of some bad-ass bureaucracy... A foreclosure on your bank account leaves you as helpless than a bum.

PS: Thank you Ferfal for your excellent blog. I've been reading your interesting comments for many years (on misc.survivalism newsgroup as early as ~2004!)

BulgarWheat said...

I am the only person in my immediate family with a passport. I hadn't thought of the need for the wife and kids needing a passport until I read this article. This is clearly something that I need to take care of and right away.

I sold off some company stock yesterday. Almost $26k, I have several home projects that I'd like to get taken care of. From the moment I bought this house I was aware of how easy it would be to break into. I need to get that taken care of regardless what happens here in the USA. Having firearms is nice, but making it harder for the bad guys to actually break in is the smartest route. I'd rather not have to shoot someone. I will if I have to, but my Army days are long behind me.

Thank GOD that I am in a position to take some common sense steps to prepare for hard times ahead and take care of my family!

In GOD I trust! Everyone else pays cash.

Anonymous said...

Highly recommend this and other articles by Dimitry Orlov found at ClubOrlov.
Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century

This is a fine analysis. It brings attention to the important simularities and differences between the US and USSR that will have a major impact upon how the US might suffer though an economic collapse. Given the points discussed by Orlov, I would expect the potential for chaos in the US to be much greater than experienced in the USSR or in other modern countries.


Unknown said...

Some good tips, however I truly do carry our passport inside our jeans. It really is with myself all the time. I've actually been paid to the problem regarding stitcing any trap inside two pairs regarding jeans i really may attack our safety measures pouch with it. My spouse and i will provide you with our billfold inside a 2nd, however our passport i might combat with regard to and our knowledge shows that hauling any passport will be much more crucial as compared to some other way of IDENTITY as far as authorities are involved. Simply just acquiring just one implies several in order to power stats that produce them much more "cautious" regarding staying disrespectful.alternative currencies