Friday, March 6, 2015

Would your SHTF plan A be "leave the country"?‏

First of all, thank you for writing about your experiences in a real-life SHTF. In a protracted SHTF situation like yours, wouldn't the best plan be to simply leave the country? I am living in Canada, and I am both Canadian and Australian, and I figure if Canada's economy were to collapse, then I'm not going to risk my family suffering everything you went through hoping that the country will recover. I would try to get out of the country and maybe move back to Australia.
I don't know whether that option (to leave) was available to you, but if it was: would that have been your plan A?
thank-you for your time!
Thanks S.
By a situation like mine, I suppose you mean Argentina after the economic collapse of 2001. As you probably know, I left Argentina three years ago and now live in Ireland. If that’s what you mean, then yes, when a country goes down like Argentina did, with so much loss of quality of life, crime and corruption being out of control, rampant inflation, overall sociopolitical deterioration, then yes, the answer is to leave and find a better place to reside. At the end of the day, that is for most cases the correct strategy to tackle long-term, worst case events.

Keep in mind, this is purely an objective, impartial point of view. For some people family, patriotism, or what happens in most cases, fear of change, means that they wont leave. Everyone will have his own motives but here we’re looking at it from a practical perspective. Also, understand that these things will take months and even years to develop over time. Crime may spike suddenly, but it may take years until it reaches a noticeable point of no return. The same goes for corruption. The social and cultural degradation may take up to a decade until you notice the extent of the damage done.
Having said this, bugging out abroad shouldn’t be your one and only solution. Its in fact the last one to be used, the more drastic one. You’re talking about leaving your country behind for good. In no way should that be your first reaction.

When is it that you leave then? That’s the million dollar question after all and an important one I try to tackle in “Bugging Out and Relocating. The short version is that you leave when you clearly see that conditions have deteriorated beyond a point that you’re willing to tolerate. If you believe that the situation means that you’re no longer safe enough on the streets to live a normal live, that you can’t plan a financial future because of the inflation and overall economic instability, you see things going downhill for years and you don’t see much of a chance of things getting better then it time to leave. Both personal observations of the reality around you as well as data such as the one I include in the book about crime by country and US state, cost of living, education and live quality among others will help form a better picture of what you’re dealing with objectively and which should be your next step.

No. Bugging Out abroad shuldn’t be some kind of knee jerk reaction. It took me years to make up my mind. In the end we were running out of time because of rapidly deteriorating conditions but we had made up our minds about leaving by then.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.


Don Williams said...

Survivalist Mel Tappan gave the boiling frog analogy -- that if you toss a frog into hot water, he will leap out but if the frog is put into warm water and the heat turned up gradually he will boil to death before leaving.

People hate to admit that they have made a mistake and to release a poor investment. They will hold onto a crappy stock for years until the company goes bankrupt -- or keep a crappy job at said company until they are unemployed. Part of it is that they get tired and exhausted just dealing with the daily struggle --no energy left over to make a major change. Plus making a change can be dangerous unless you investigate it thoughly and that takes a lot of effort.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ferfal, you have great blog posts and youtube videos. Don't you have your first book for sale as an ebook? I see the printed version in Amazon, but not ebook. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I’m in the exact same circumstances as the OP – An Australian born living in Canada with citizenship. I’ve maintained a lot of my footprint in Australia, even though there is little short term chance I will live there again. I have bank accounts, drivers licence, I maintain both passports, etc. I have applied for citizenship for my children, which creates extra problems and costs, but I think its worth it to do now, to allow for rapid change in circumstances if required. But I don’t ever really foresee a purely economic or crime situation driving me to leave to live there. I have a house, good job, Canadian wife, kids, ties to the community etc. Australia and Canada are very closely linked countries, ie They share embassies in many countries, which isn’t something a lot of people realize in Canada. So its hard to imagine an economic situation that is affecting Canada enough that you’d want to leave that isn’t a problem in Australia too. But when it comes to natural disasters, or some kind of conflict situation, then yes, I feel in a very short time (ie a day) I could up and go to Australia if the situation at home looked dire enough.

Don Williams said...

1) Re the earlier post from people talking about the difficulty of fleeing from the secessionist part of Ukraine -- the obstacles of armed militias, checkpoints, minefields,etc -- why do people not go east into Russia?

And if they don't want to stay in Russia, then travel to Belarus? Wouldn't the borders of Belarus with Poland, Latvia, and western Ukraine be relatively open?

Such would require some money, of course. But like high explosives, money can solve many problems.

Don Williams said...

PS My understanding from US business news is that fleeing to western Ukraine/Kiev may not be much of an improvment:



Vitali said...

And if they don't want to stay in Russia, then travel to Belarus? Wouldn't the borders of Belarus with Poland, Latvia, and western Ukraine be relatively open?

Most of them do run to Russia as there is no visa required and they have refugee camps. But the ones who are pro-ukrain choose to go westwards because of ideological reasons, it is a civil war after all. And you are very wrong in thinking that it is easy to go west to Poland and other EU countries, you would require a visa and now it is practicly impossible to get one even as a tourist.

And about the people who choose to stay, that is simply becouse they have no money to go anywhere. I mean litteraly, no money (maybe 200 - 300 USD). Anyone who could afford to rent a room in Russia is already gone. So for the rest it would mean going to a refugee camp, with no prospects. And it is hard to get a job if you are a refugee and dont even have an address. So people stay hoping to keep what little belonings they have and pray that their house is not going to get shelled.

Don Williams said...

Thanks for the info, VItali