Thursday, March 6, 2014

3 Preparedness Steps for People in Ukraine

I’ve been getting emails recently, asking about the situation in Ukraine and what could be done to prepare for it for those that live there. The steps to take are in many ways the same ones you would take so as to prepare for a large scale economic crisis or long term sociopolitical conflict. 

For those of you in Ukraine or Russia, feel free to share your thoughts through email or on the comments below.

1)Get your money out of the bank, exchange it for a stronger currency.
This should be pretty obvious. Restrictions have already been applied and Ukranians can now only withdraw a small amounts of their savings from their banks. Been there, it’s not nice. Still, you can get some of your money out and you should do so, getting as much of it as you can each day. Let this be a lesson for everyone else: When there’s widespread rioting on the street and the government is about to get kicked out, make sure to get to your bank as soon as its safe to do so and either close your account or take most of the money out. You never know when you will have access to it again… or how much it will be actually worth when you are allowed to get it.
People have asked about gold and silver. Precious metals are a great choice for your worst case scenario stash. If everything goes to hell, gold preserves the purchasing power of your currency for the most. For more normal everyday use, I’d stick to Euros in the case of Ukraine. Euros are easy to change to other currencies and are accepted in most neighboring countries. This would be important in case you have to evacuate but we will get to that later on. Regarding precious metals, remember that gold may look “expensive” compared to silver, but the smaller size, weight and volume compared to silver will be a great asset if you ever have to evacuate on foot, maybe even hide your coins as well.
Any bit of money you can get hold of you turn it to Euros, and when you have to change back your Euro cash stash to local currency so as to make purchases you only do it by small amounts at a time, so as to avoid losing money to devaluation.

2)Stock up on food, water and fuel.
It is pretty clear that no matter what happens in the world you need to eat and drink water. In the case of Ukraine they are looking at a complicated financial future ahead of them at the very least, and in a worst case scenario they are looking at civil war, conflict and sanctions which may interrupt the supplies including food, medicine and power.
It is a good idea to have plenty of rice, pasta, canned vegetables and some canned tuna or other meats. I would also stock up on water in case there’s problems with the grid or the water supply somehow gets contaminated. A water filter and means of purifying water in this case is essential.

Besides food and water, you also need means of cooking it. Food that requires no cooking would be ideal, but sometimes some cooking may be needed for things such as pasta and rice. With a good supply of wood this wouldn’t be a problem (a rocket stove would do nicely), but if you don’t have firewood at your disposal do make other plans. Some of the small propane cookers work well, but one of the most reliable and cost effective stoves is the Trangia stove. You can improvise a stove with some soda cans (google “penny stoves”) but you still need to stock up the fuel, with Isopropyl alcohol delivering the most heat.  Grain alcohol (ethanol) works too and it can also be used for drinking and disinfecting, making it a great war-time item to have.
Given the delicate situation in Ukraine, I would make sure to have a good supply of fuel for my vehicle as well, enough of it to get me out of the country if needed, given that if sanctions or shortages hit the region, there may be problems getting fuel. Remember that the key to storing gasoline is using the right container, metal jerry cans completely full with as little air in them as possible.

3)Be ready to Bug Out.
Have passports ready, plans of where to go and which routes to take. Keep in mind that the main roads may be blocked or heavily guarded. As noted in the previous point, it is important to have fuel stocked in case of shortages.
When it comes to bugging out abroad, timing is everything. This topic will be covered in my upcoming book “Bugging Out and Relocating” . It is important to keep updated regarding ongoing events, checking the news at least three times a day, morning, noon and at night. When a crisis reaches such a fragile point, any event can trigger violence, travel restrictions, closing of borders and visa revocations in a matter of minutes. You need a plan, you need to know where you are going if you have to leave all of a sudden. You need to know how to get there and be ready to leave in minutes if you have too. A well set up bug out bag and VIP (very important papers) bags with essential documents, passports and such, all ready to go.
The ongoing events in Ukraine are one of the most serious crisis in recent years in Europe and while we all hope it doesn’t get worse than it already is, it is better to be prepared just in case.



Don Williams said...

1) Definitely true about Ukraine having the potential to turn nasty very quickly.

The US News Media is studiously avoiding the subject of how rolling NATO 500 miles forward right up to Putin's ICBM sites will be viewed by Russia.

2) Just as they are avoiding the subject of how risking nuclear war is in the benefit of the American People. What is there in a bankrupt country needing $35 billion in aid --and located 4500 miles from the USA -- that justifies these risks?

3) The only US interest I can see in the area is the huge oil deposit in the Caspian Sea that Chevron is trying to exploit. The only way to get the oil out is via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline that Big Oil built a few years ago. But Putin-backed separatists in South Ossetia are sitting on the pipeline and can blow it up at will. So time to send the Great White Fleet into the Black Sea.

But Chevron's business doesn't justify risking nuclear war --so I am baffled.

4) As I noted earlier, almost all Russian ICBM sites would be within range of US stealth fighters based in the Ukraine --and so Russia's landbased nuclear deterrent could be destroyed in a single surprise attack with no warning. I.e, with the undetected fighters dropping bombs at the same precise time on target.

5) Russia's sea based deterrent is also in a window of vulnerability. Her fleet of Cold War nuclear SLBM subs have declined to two old Delta IIIs and 5 Delta IVs --but they are tied up at the dock most of the time for maintenance. Her new subs have not yet been commissioned because of various problems.

6) US 2012 GDP was $16.2 Trillion, EU's was $16.7 Trillion, Russia's was only
$2 Trillion. So it is clear who will win the bribery war for Ukrainian oligarchs.

So Putin's back is to the wall far more than US New Media are revealing.

Did they ever find those nukes of Saddam Hussein's by the way?

Anonymous said...

glad you made it out of Venezuela; hope you didn;t forget the ones you left behind...


Anonymous said...

What is interesting about all the recent revolutions - arab springs, ukraine, etc., is how quickly events unfolded. Seems like one of the hardest things to do is to know when it's time to bug out. One day they're protesting more or less peacefully, the next they're tossing molotovs and snipers are killing people randomly while government backed packs of thugs roam around beating anyone in their path.