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    Default A First Hand Account of Long Term SHTF Survival

    In this compendium, Selco describes what it was like living in a city for a year without power, fuel, running water, food distribution or any semblance of traditional commerce. Their currency was useless, there were no police forces or government, and the streets were ruled by gangs and violence. The survival strategies that he, his family, and community used to stay alive are eye-opening and may change some of the priorities that you have when it comes to preparing for a SHTF scenario where you live. Although it’s long read, I highly recommend it given the wealth of knowledge taken from someone who’s lived it.

    http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/...nd-account.htm
    Last edited by Ron Mauer Sr; 8th December 2011 at 18:43.

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    Virgin Islands Avalon Member Selene's Avatar
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    Default Re: A First Hand Account of Long Term SHTF Survival

    Truly, truly horrific - but absolutely necessary reading for all. Invaluable.

    Every single ordinary day we spend in peace, quiet and safety is really an extraordinary day.

    Many thanks, rmauersr, for posting this.

    Regards,

    Selene

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    Default Re: A First Hand Account of Long Term SHTF Survival

    What a vivid and terrifying account - thank's for posting rmauersr!

    Very helpful with regard to items useful for trading and keeping a low profile.

    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
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    Default Re: A First Hand Account of Long Term SHTF Survival

    ...

    ... making a come back in the various preppers' circuits:

    As things devolve, here's why understanding the brutal reality of the SHTF could save your life

    Daisy Luther The Organic Prepper
    Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:00 UTC


    There's something incredibly important for your survival that a lot of folks aren't doing. I've written before about overriding your body's natural urge to freeze in panic when something terrible happens, but there's an additional step you must take. You need to know the horrible truth about the SHTF. The ugly, brutal truth.

    Because as much as we stockpile, go to the shooting range and shoot stationary objects, can vegetables from our gardens, and raise chickens in our backyards, it only prepares us partially.

    From my many interviews with guys like Selco and Jose, I know for a fact that an all-out collapse is a dirty, terrifying, and brutal matter of life and death every single day.

    As much as we wish it was, the SHTF is not about you being in a bubble, peacefully working in your vegetable garden while the world goes to hell around you outside the bubble. The darkness can reach you wherever you are.

    We're seeing this in cities around the country right now. Read this first-hand story of a National Guard member in Seattle and this eye-witness account of the riots in Kenosha. Look at the violent plans of wealthy young people arrested for rioting in New York City. Think about this hotly contested election. We're beginning to see armed conflict right here in the United States of America.

    Think about these things and recognize that many parts of our nation are right on the brink of all-out disaster.

    Ask yourself whether you're really, truly prepared for that.

    Why is it so important to know about the bad stuff?

    Many of us try to insulate ourselves from the dark things going on in the world. I know that I stay away from social media beyond what is required for work because I'm sick of the arguing and the hatred. There are certain articles in the news I hesitate to read because I know they will haunt me. This is human nature - we avoid things that scare us, sicken us, and make us unhappy.

    But there are some exceptions to this rule that you should make.

    It's incredibly important to know about the horrible things that could occur when the SHTF well before it happens. I asked Selco about this in a conversation we were having when he wrote his first paperback, The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival I asked him why people needed to know about the horrors he faced. He replied,
    So you won't be shocked and so you can shorten adapting period while you are shocked.

    Generally speaking, there are lot of sick and bad and dangerous people. We just do not see them because the layer of civilization and the system covers it. And of course, if I had known, I would prep more but in the way that I would invest more in skills. Much more than in equipment.

    Everything is much more mobile and fluid than people expect, but if you understand this, you will be able to move with it faster and sooner.
    And that makes sense. I write a lot about the importance of adaptation. I constantly remind people that the three steps of survival are to Accept, Plan, and Act. But trust me when I tell you, if something truly horrifying happens right before your eyes, it's going to be a heck of a lot harder to "accept" that if you never even dreamed that such an awful thing could happen in real life. But if you've contemplated it, if you're aware of the possibility, it will still be horrible but you'll be able to keep moving. You won't be frozen in shock.

    You need to train yourself not to freeze.

    Many people freeze in a disaster situation. It's human nature, but the ability to break this paralysis is paramount to your survival. You can train yourself not to freeze by exposing yourself to the things you may experience while in a safe environment.

    "Freezing" is called "tonic immobility" in behavioral science and it is a biological impulse. A study exploring the "freeze response" to stressors, describes the reaction:
    Part of Barlow's (2002) description of an adaptive alarm model suggests that a freeze response may occur in some threatening situations. Specifically, freezing — or tonic immobility — may overwhelm other competing action tendencies. For example, when fleeing or aggressive responses are likely to be ineffective, a freeze response may take place.

    Similar to the flight/fight response, a freeze response is believed to have adaptive value. In the context of predatory attack, some animals will freeze or "play dead." This response, often referred to as tonic immobility (Gallup, 1977), includes motor and vocal inhibition with an abrupt initiation and cessation... Freezing in the context of an attack seems counterintuitive. However, tonic immobility may be the best option when the animal perceives little immediate chance of escaping or winning a fight (Arduino & Gould, 1984; Korte, Koolhaas, Wingfield, & McEwen, 2005). For example, tonic immobility may be useful when additional attacks are provoked by movement or when immobility may increase the chance of escaping, such as when a predator believes its prey to be dead and releases it.

    Some of our data suggested that reports of freeze were more highly associated with certain cognitive symptoms of anxiety (e.g., confusion, unreality, detached, concentration, inner shakiness). This leads to some very interesting speculation regarding whether freeze responses are also manifested cognitively (i.e., the cognitive system, together with the behavioral system, being shut down). There has been some speculation that a form of cognitive paralysis occurs due to immense cognitive demands that occur in the context of life-threatening situations or stressors (Leach, 2005).
    So, in the context of this particular study, the freeze response could be related to an overload of stimuli because of the demands of creating your plan. By having thought through various situations and getting into the habit of quickly developing plans, you can override your body's natural desire to "freeze" and you can take definitive, potentially life-saving, action.

    By exposing yourself to the darkness, you don't inoculate yourself against the horror - that's impossible to do through simply reading a book. But you do take away a little bit of the shock that can cause you to be paralyzed.

    What made Selco realize that the SHTF was actually there?

    We've all read and learned a great deal from Selco and he shares his stories with such calmness that sometimes you don't fully grasp the horror of what he lived through. I asked him what the event was that opened his eyes to the fact that he was stuck in Hell on Earth, and his answer was chilling.
    When I saw people killing for fun. Killing without reason. Killing with no concerns about punishment or the law. Throwing others from 10 story buildings out of curiosity, to see if they'd live - while taking bets on it. Of course they were sure they were gonna die, but they said" I bet you'll survive and if you do we'll let you go." It was a "joke" to them.
    That's when he knew that everything had changed and that there were new rules to living. It was simply not the same world he'd woken up in a few days before.

    A while back, I asked Selco to send me a copy of everything he'd ever written so that I could pull together a reality check for the rest of us. Over the years, he's written nearly a quarter of a million words of memories, articles, and advice. Together, we selected the things that provided a glimpse into the day-to-day events of the SHTF. You can learn more about the result of that here in his books, The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival and SHTF Survival Stories.

    Back on topic.

    Do you have a potential predator living next door?

    Do you know people in real life who you think would turn into predators if they knew that there was no risk of punishment? If they knew that they wouldn't go to prison because the prisons were gone? If they knew there was no 911 or law enforcement to help their victims?

    I do. I've known people in the past that I'm quite certain would be the kind of animals who kill men and cage their women and daughters for their own sick amusement if they thought they could get away with it. I've had people write to me about their plans to take other people's preps or to "take care of someone" who had done them wrong in the past when it all hits the fan.

    They're out there. They are our neighbors. Our coworkers. The random guy who is in town on business. The person with such strong political beliefs that he sees people who think differently as the enemy.

    They may not even realize that they're waiting for this chance but when the opportunity presents itself and there's no real risk to them, you can be sure they'll jump at it with glee.

    And you want to be ready for them.

    A lot of us were unpleasantly surprised by what we learned about those near us during the lockdown. And we still had a functioning system at that time. Now, the system is crumbling rapidly, and the last deterrents are disappearing in some areas.

    There are different levels for which we prepare.

    Are people going to be running around brutally slaughtering their neighbors the next time we have a snowstorm or a hurricane? Of course not. Because we still have the veneer of civilization - and it isn't going to shatter over a weather event when help is just a few days away.

    There are many different types of events for which we prepare. We as preppers want to be ready for everything from
    • being stranded in our car due to a winter run-in with a deer
    • to a multi-day power outage at home
    • to a job loss that causes great personal financial distress
    • to a full-on SHTF event in which all hell breaks loose.
    We aren't like the folks on that show Doomsday Preppers who are presented as only preparing for a giant meteor or a deadly pandemic that will wipe out 98% of the earth's population. We are the people who want to be ready for everything.

    Up to and including SHTF.

    Sometimes I think we're on the brink of darkness.

    We're at a dark point in American history right now. I'm not gazing into a crystal ball and predicting that we are about to face a civil war like the one that Selco endured. But I'm also not saying that we are free of any risk of such a thing.

    Tensions (as I write frequently) are at a real high right now. Our socio-political scene is a true nightmare studded with extremists who sincerely see the "others" as the enemy. They surround the homes of spokespeople and threaten their families. They rally, united in hatred against one another. They battle it out for and against the admission of immigrants and things are increasingly heated.

    Every time there is a questionable verdict, we're on the brink.

    Every time there is an appointment to offices in Washington, DC, we're on the brink.

    Every time there is an election, we're on the brink.

    Civil debates are a thing of the past. People are enraged when others disagree with them and they react with hatred, not discussion.

    Our nation seems to be headed to a very dark place. And if this is the case, you're going to want - no, you're going to need - to be prepared for the ugliness and brutality that comes with that.

    Knowing just how bad things can get will prepare you to take the steps that you must to survive. Knowing how twisted and evil people can be will help you to take the necessary steps to protect your family. Knowing what to expect when you defend yourself with necessary force can help you to carry through if it is something that you must do.

    Check out Selco's books, The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival and SHTF Survival Stories.

    And keep reading, because this is the stuff you need to know if you want to survive the increasing violence.

    Related: Recognizing what circumstances and dangers exist in potential - would be one of the first steps in mitigating them altogether:

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    Default Re: A First Hand Account of Long Term SHTF Survival

    A Quick Reminder of How Venezuela RAN OUT of Food: Does This Look Familiar?

    October 12, 2020
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    by Daisy Luther

    We’d all like to believe that the United States is on the road to economic recovery and that things are going to get better. Everyone wants to think the store shelves are just a few cargo ships away from being refilled. People want to believe that once 2020 is over, life will return to “normal” and that we’re just having a really bad year.

    But someone pointed out an article I published four and a half years ago and when you look at the things which happened there and compare them to our situation, you may notice some uncanny similarities.

    Here’s how Venezuela ran out of food.
    In February of 2016, I wrote about what an economic collapse really looks like, using Venezuela as an illustration.

    Venezuela:
    The article begins when prepping began to be frowned upon by the Venezuelan government.
    In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal. The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

    Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies. Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent “hoarding.” (source)
    The United States:
    Early in 2020, supplies began to be difficult to find due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the potential of a lockdown. When folks couldn’t find basics like toilet paper, fingers immediately began to point at “preppers” and “hoarders.”
    The word “hoarding” is being repeatedly used throughout news reports. They’re already working to paint preppers as bad and selfish people. They’re already vilifying those who hurry out to fill any gaps in their supplies. They’re making it seem like a mental illness to get prepared for what could potentially be a long stretch of time at home with only the supplies you have on hand.

    This is a frequent trick of propagandists everywhere. Repeat a word often enough and suddenly everyone begins using it. Everyone begins to believe that the people labeled with an ugly word are terrible, selfish, and threats to decency. (source)
    This dialogue is still in place, with people being shamed for large purchases, when in fact, they’re simply getting necessities for a large family. A friend of mine with a large family has said she’d have to shop every two days with the original limits stores posted to keep everyone in her household well-fed.

    Venezuela:
    It wasn’t long until the basics were incredibly difficult to acquire.
    Then, just over a year ago, it became even more apparent that the country was falling. when long lines for basic necessities such as laundry soap, diapers, and food became the norm rather than the exception. Thousands of people were standing in line for 5-6 hours in the hopes that they would be able to purchase a few much-needed items. (source)
    The United States:
    Writers on this website have talked about the shelves being cleared back in March, what we may see in shortage after halting many imports from China, and the fact that in most parts of the country, the supply chain is clearly broken.

    People from all over the country have reported in the comments the bare spots in their local stores, with a few exceptions who say that everything in their part of the nation is back to normal. Many areas still have limits on how many packages of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and canned goods customers can purchase months after the original panic-fueled shopping sprees.

    Venezuela:
    Shortly after the story broke to the rest of the world, the propaganda machine shifted into high gear. As the government began to ration electricity, it was announced that this was not due to economic reasons at all, but instead was a measure of their great concern for the environment. (source)
    The United States:
    We’re looking at you, California, where PG&E, the largest power provider in the state has shut off the power to people in rural areas repeatedly over the past couple of years to “prevent wildfires.” Millions faced the hottest days of the summer without electricity.

    Venezuela:
    As stores struggled to provide the essentials to customers, the government stepped in to “help.”
    As the situation continued to devolve, farmers in Venezuela were forced to hand over their crops last summer. They assumed control of essential goods like food, and began putting retail outlets out of business. Then, once they had control of the sales outlets, they began forcing farmers and food manufacturers to sell anywhere from 30-100% of their products to the state at the price the state opted to pay, as opposed to stores and supermarkets.

    But that wasn’t enough to keep the population fed. (Isn’t it astonishing how much less motivated people are to produce food and supplies when they are no longer allowed to benefit from their hard work? Historically, collectivism and farming have never gone successfully hand in hand.) This January, the government told citizens that they would need to produce their own food. The Ministry of Urban Farming was created to oversee this. While self-reliance sounds great, it isn’t so great in Venezuela. Just so the urban farmers don’t get too self-reliant, a registry of the crops and livestock will be required. (And obviously, they’ve already proven that they have no issue forcing farmers to hand over what they’ve produced.) (source)
    The United States:
    As our supply chain devolved, it was learned that farmers in the United States were unable to get their products to the market due to logistics issues, closed packaging plants, and a totally different marketplace. The President signed an Executive Order to force people to go back to work at meat packaging plants and also tried to organize a way to get food that was just being thrown out to the people who desperately needed it.
    Processing plants across the country are shutting down as more and more employees become ill. At least ten large meat processing plants have closed due to the virus. Distribution issues have farmers dumping thousands of gallons of milk, plowing under vegetables in the fields, and leaving potatoes to rot.

    A lot of the food being produced was destined for restaurants, hotels, and cruise ships. Diverting it to grocery stores and the millions of people using food banks right now (because they didn’t get their money from unemployment yet, remember?) is unfortunately not as easy as it should be. This article explains some of the issues with getting food to hungry people.

    One of the issues processing. With meat, in particular, this is difficult – most folks aren’t even going to be willing to process their own chickens and it’s wildly unrealistic to imagine a family in the city processing a cow or a pig. With produce, it becomes a little bit easier – anyone can wash fruits and vegetables – but employees are still needed to harvest the food.

    A lot of that scarcity could be remedied if we could reallocate things – if janitorial supplies could be sold to the general public, if farmers could sell directly to stores or consumers, and if farmers could donate unpurchased items to food banks.

    To summarize, farmers are losing billions of dollars and people are going without food, while the food we have is left to rot. Hopefully, President Trump’s new 19 billion dollar plan will allow the federal government to play matchmaker between frustrated farmers and hungry families. (source)
    So while nobody has insisted farmers hand over their crops without compensation, the government is clearly getting involved in the distribution of food.

    Venezuela:
    Eventually, all the measures the government of Venezuela took to hide the catastrophic collapse from citizens could hold up no longer.
    Venezuela is out of food.

    After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the socialist country does not have enough food to feed its population, and the opposition government has declared a “nutritional emergency.” This is just the most recent nail in the beleaguered country’s slow, painful economic collapse.

    Many people expect an economic collapse to be shocking, instant, and dramatic, but really, it’s far more gradual than that. It looks like empty shelves, long lines, desperate government officials trying to cover their tushes, and hungry people. For the past two years, I’ve been following the situation in Venezuela as each shocking event has unfolded. Americans who feel that our country would be better served by a socialist government would be wise to take note of this timeline of the collapse. (source)
    It only took 3 years from the first report (about making “hoarding” illegal) for the once oil-rich country to fall into a ruin so extreme that there wasn’t enough food for everyone.

    The United States:
    While we are by no means at the point where there is no more food, there are all sorts of warning signs that day could come – and sooner than expected. Many aspects of our system are crumbling, the supply chain is definitely broken, stores are already preparing for the second wave of shortages, and a simulation has predicted a 400% increase in the price of food by 2030.

    An important side note
    I’m sure it’s merely a coincidence but Venezuelans lost their firearms at around the same time “hoarding” was deemed illegal.
    Were you aware that Venezuela banned guns for private citizens a mere four years ago, in 2012? Although the country was already in trouble, it seems like that was the beginning of the end.

    Under the reign of Hugo Chavez, the government introduced a law that banned personal purchases of firearms and ammunition in an attempt to “improve security and cut crime”. The law was designed to keep guns in the hands of only police, military, and some security companies.

    At the time, Chavez’s government said that “the ultimate aim is to disarm all civilians.” Shortly after the law passed, Chavez lost a battle to cancer, and bus driver Nicolas Maduro became the new president.

    Maduro invested $47 million in “disarmament centers” in 2014, where citizens could turn in their firearms without fear of repercussions. This was at about the same time as the government declared that prepping was illegal and those “hoarding” could be detained on criminal charges and when the country instituted a fingerprint registry for purchasing groceries so that they could ensure people only purchased what they were allotted. (source)
    Most readers of this website are well aware of concentrated efforts across the United States to undermine the Second Amendment over the past 9 years it has been operating. For more information on these efforts, check out these articles.

    How far will we fall in the United States?
    This side-by-side comparison is certainly not identical to the crisis in Venezuela, but there are enough similarities that you should be very uncomfortable with our situation. We strongly encourage efforts to become more self-reliant, stocking up on food and other supplies, and frugality in the days ahead.

    Those who are prepared may still struggle but they’ll be far better off than those who are completely blindsided by the continued collapse.

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    United States Avalon Member TargeT's Avatar
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    Default Re: A First Hand Account of Long Term SHTF Survival

    Venezuela did not run out of food, it's economy went tits up (on purpose, as most economies do..) and the US is no where near that situation...

    the US DESPERATELY wants to get into Venezuela (Venezuela has more oil than anywhere in the world...)and is using this as a tactic to get in (this was tried before, and failed)... our usual MO is to send in NGO's (red cross etc) that have embedded military teams in them to train insurgents so we can over throw the government and (yet again) install our own key people. That is what we (again) are seeing in this situation.

    I deem the topic a good one but the contents of the above post are heavily tilted to fear porn.
    Last edited by TargeT; 15th October 2020 at 16:32.
    Hard times create strong men, Strong men create good times, Good times create weak men, Weak men create hard times.
    Where are you?

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