Monday, September 8, 2014

Living in a War Zone

Evacuating Children Along a Dangerous Ukraine Route/NYTimes

Given current world events people are becoming increasingly interested in survival in war zones.

I did a lot of research about this topic for my latest book, learning from various events and accounts of what people did to stay alive so I’ll save you a lot of time: Surviving in a war zone is like surviving or living in a burning house or surviving in a sinking boat. There’s no “surviving” inside a burning building, there’s “getting out of there ASAP” to be done. Sure, there are resources that clearly become precious during war such as food, water and medical supplies but it all comes as a far distant second best proposition to actually escaping such disaster unless you want to be reduced to living like an animal and constantly risking getting shot or blown to pieces. Once you are surrounded by an overwhelming number of hostiles, there’s no amount of supplies, no amount of guns and ammo that will make a significant difference. You will either get killed, or reduced to surviving like a caged beast.

The following is an excerpt from my book, “Bugging Out and Relocating”, which illustrates this point with a recent real-world account of survival in Syria:
Have the plans in place so as to bug out locally or abroad if needed. If nothing else, at least think about it and imagine where you would go if you simply had to leave right this moment. You wouldn’t have wanted to be the one that stayed a minute too late when the Nazis came to power in Germany or the one that got stuck in Syria when the civil war started and didn’t leave because he convinced himself things weren’t that bad.
Zeinat Akhras, a 65-year-old pharmacist, she stayed in the ancient quarters of the central Syrian city of Homs when the government sieged the city. Akhras and her two brothers did not escape like most other residents because they wanted to protect their two story home and two shops, a pharmacy and clothing store. They had plenty of food, fuel and other supplies, but the starving rebel fighters ended up looting their home and shop on several occasions. She still managed to survive scrounging for food and firewood, eating wild plants (dandelion, chicory and mallow) her brother Ayman picked in the local cemetery. Akhras refused to look in the mirror, afraid that her withered state might break her spirit. By the time the siege ended and the government took control of the city 700 days had past. Akhras had withered from about 127 pounds (58 kilos) when the blockade began to 75 pounds (34 kilos).
Syria, Gaza, northern Iraq or Eastern Ukraine, you just get the hell out of there when the moment comes.

The Three Key Points to Prepare

The way you prepare for such an event is:

a)Have a plan of where to go and how to get there. Plan an evacuation route heading to the airport, marina or border with another country. Know how to get there and have a place to go to when bugging out abroad. A fully stocked bunker in Uruguay sounds nice for WWII, but a good friend or relative in Australia with guest room and willing to take you in works just as well.

b)Having the resources, gear and assets to do so. At the very least, you’ll need a basic bug out bag and money for plane tickets and getting settled. You’ll need passports, which is a key tool that many still haven’t taken care of. DO get you passport even if you’re not planning on going anywhere. I cannot emphasize this enough.

c) Having the information, intel and protocol to know when its time to leave. You want to stay informed so as to know when its time to leave and make a decision. As times get tougher you want to check the news on daily basis, maybe several times a day even so as to know when the tipping point is reached and you make the decision to evacuate.


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