now, this is more realistic

Again with show, but this time i am pointing at this history channel documentary as opposite to Rudy Reyes Apocalyptic man. Just to make some things clear, i do not think is smart to base our preparing on popular media, movies or shows, i like more to research ordinary people statements or experiences but sometimes it is easier to picture it on this way.

If you ask me, History channel “After Armageddon” fairly realistic SHTF documentary about complete collapse in city,now it is not completely realistic, you just can not put some things in documentary or movie, but… I ve been in some of the situation described in this show, and lot of the things are described pretty good, (except maybe fact that all happened mostly during night time) for me it was like watching myself in some of the scenes 🙂

As i said before, for us it is not too much important what is going to cause SHTF situation, war, terrorists, meteors, epidemic… outcome is going to be pretty much same.

In this documentary reason is epidemic, maybe looks like science fiction for someone, but this can happen very easy.

So what is different between this two shows, obviously guy with his family trying to GET OUT from the city, smart, he is scared, gangs are there very active, there is no law in the city, hospital is not place to go.

Roads are jammed, gangs holds storage and goods (remember my statement in posts-worst kind of people gonna be in charge) , there is no rule about anything, you never know what to expect.Guy is making that his house looked like already robbed (remember posts about how to be small, not interesting, invisible)

So they finished in some rural small community, rules are hard over there, but they safe pretty much.Even he dies from the small wound! (infection, simple cut can kill you if you do not have antibiotics)

As most of the folks today watch TV more then read books, i strongly recommended to do some of your preparing basing on this show. This guy does not look like Rambo, he looks like most of the ordinary people in any part of the world, man with family, man who believe what he read in newspapers or TV 🙂 And there is great statement at the beginning of the show, something like: “disasters are not normal” Very simple, but still very smart. You can not prepare yourself basing on normal mindset, you need first to change way of thinking.

Forget about Rudy Reyes and Apocalypse man,his kind of show is one of the reasons why some of the folks imagining SHTF situation like romantic one man fight i mean

i do not have anything against well trained people like he is, he is doing some great things with rope, some good jumps,starts generator in hospital (with how much fuel?) he is making fuel (i must learn that), hot wiring car (i must refresh that) and then he is driving car on empty and clean streets during day time( impossible) going victoriously into the sunset.
It is more western movie then documentary.
In real world he would be probably caught and beaten or killed right at the beggining of the show 🙂

Why?

OK now i have some questions, like most of us i like to watch this kind of shows, read books, try to be more prepared, so i want to check this video, i already mention it before. There is a lot of nonsense in this, maybe it is about cultural differences between me and you, but i still think there is some wrong perception of city SHTF here.

Intro is OK, catastrophes happens, societies falls, everything happens fast. He states if you survive catastrophe you will emerged in different world.True. Then he goes in city to find resources?? During the daytime?? No way. First i don t see reason to go in to the city to “find resources”, i would run FROM the city as far as i can, to go to city in daytime is ridiculous, absolutely nonsense.

“When society breaks down, people will be hungry, desperate … ” i agree, i ve seen that, but guess what? They are mostly not going to be stupid, they will hunt you, prey, scout, wait. So if they see you running with backpack, they will shoot you just to check what do you have inside.He is looking for shelter fornight, wrong it is smarter to stay hidden during daytime, and watch for movement and activities, then during the night go out and “find resources”

He says “this flashlight gonna save your life” then he enters some building with flashlight on to check it. It was like he wears T shirt with target, he is doing “security sweep” inside dark building with flashlight on, if somebody is inside he s dead for sure. Security sweep? Proper way is to quietly go inside without flashlight, hide somewhere, and wait for hour or two for other people to move. To use battery as a weapon if somebody “pop up” from the corner? :)) Man you light your self like Christmas tree in very dark area, nobody going to “pop up” in front of you unless he is idiot, they wait you to pass, and then smash your head from behind, or just simply shoot 20 rounds in direction of your flashlight from 50 meters distance, and you are dead again. I mean guys forget about walking around with your flashlight constantly on.

Steel wool and 9volt battery as a fire starter, very nice, i used steel wool as a kid to make some firework jokes. You know i spend some worst period of my life in city SHTF, i never saw anybody started fire like that, batteries were to valuable, i mean is it so hard to have bic lighter or Zippo? Covering fire, dump cardboard, that make sense.

Leaving building trough elevator shaft? Only if you are Navy seal member, most of us not, most of us are normal people not capable to do that things with cables. Do you understand what mean in SHTF if you break your leg or arm, you end up dead, simple cut can kill you. Not to mention he is making too much noises, breaking things, he is moving trough city openly on the road. Entering the house to find tools? I understand that, but on that way? no chance, if somebody is inside you are dead. I would first wait outside for hour or two, trying to figure is that house really empty.Checking every movement or sound.Cans check, it is OK, i did that. Entering sewer as a matter conceal movement, very good, i heard some guys did that, but you need to be really familiar with plans, it is harder than it looks.

And then again thing that i do not understand, he is entering hospital trying to make it like his base camp. I think it is stupid, hospital is last place to go in this situation, i mean staff is gone, but what do you mean it happens with all bodies? Nothing. Bodies are still going to be there. So do not go there. OK, if you already going in city during SHTF why do not choose smaller more secure place as your base camp, like police station,bank or something like that, you know more secure, smaller.

You probably not going to find gas at the gas station, you ll be late.Even if you find gas and find good car, you are not be able to leave city with car, roads gonna be probably jammed with all kind of stuff.

All this opinions are mine only, from my experience, so we can discuss if you think i am wrong.

SHTF in Rural Communities

Now it is not from my experience ,it is from other people stories, my relatives, some friends. It was hard, but it was not even close to urban chaos. They adapted and survived, most of them. People in rural mostly did not grow wheat prior SHTF, i think reason was because big agricultural companies did that, and as i understand it was cheaper to buy wheat from to grow it ( not too much sense in this maybe, but that what i ve been heard)

That changed when all started, people start to grow wheat, and corn. Same was with tobacco, nobody grow that here before , except big companies in company land, when SHTF started, people pretty soon realized if they had a land they can grow tobacco and trade it, it was pretty much valuable.Same with making alcohol.

Lot of things become rudimentary like in old times, main transport was horse, and horse cart.All machines stopped off course because fuel, but they still work on fields, they just move maybe 70 years back in some things. But all that changes did not affect them too much, they just changed some stuff to grow, like wheat, tobacco, corn, beans, potatoes etc.

Security things was much easier to maintain, i guess that comes from fact that village here is a small community of people who know each other pretty good, or in other cases most of them are relatives. They just keep it together, in good or bad. My opinion, man from rural community is just stronger (in any mean) than man from the city.

They did not had gang issues,they had some crime problems, but they dealt with that fast and brutal in most cases, they were tightly organized, and traditionally here folks in rural areas are armed and know how to use gun. They are tough guys here, even in perfectly normal times 🙂

They had a resources all around them, and they knew how to get them. Food from land, domestic animal (chickens, rabbits and cows mostly) hunting (boars and deers mostly), there s some great forests here so firewood was not problem neither. It was hard, but without starving, fighting with gangs and things like that.

Now this was not rule for every rural community, i know some villages were burned, all residents killed. But it was due to war, due to enemy armies fighting. If we talk about survival things, rural community or village did pretty good in SHTF( without gas, electricity,transport,news…collapse)

For example, in that time if you lived in rural communities, and had some connections to city, like some kind of trade rout, you could get lot of things for some basic food.

Signs of SHTF

Good question when did i figured that SHTF in city is started. I do not now for sure, but i think it was then when i saw that i can not leave the city, and when i saw some ordinary nice folks doing horrible things.Because important thing is to know, bad people, gang members, people who did horrible things, they did not came from other planet, they were with us all the time, some of them were criminals, some of them were normal people, they all just seen their chance when chaos started.

About organization in my house, it was not democracy at all, there was something like leader, smartest man i queses, he made some decisions about what to eat, and when, what we going to trade, what was safe and what not.But every member did something. Someone was better with fixing things than with shooting, someone else was great for trading, one of my relative was great for scouting, he use to be in special parachute unit in army 15 years before that, so he knew some things. So i think it is great idea to preparing as a group or family, so each member can learn some skills, more skills means better chances. It is not only about storing food and guns.

Why i believe it is gonna happen again? I ll try to explain situation in my country in present time. Well, economy is gone to hell, costs of living is constantly going up, there s sharp rising of crime, even during a day it is not safe to walk in areas of town where is no too many people, especially for females, gangs activity is higher then ever before.

There is a whole generation of young people without job, without any future, they see their chance in crime, gangs, drug business. They do not remember war, they have different picture about war and chaos. They actually wishing the chaos. Every football game is possible start of rioting. To have job is luck, even if you have it it is hard to live.

Every aspect of authority is corrupt, government, police, courts, health… You can sense feeling of rising rage. Situation is similar in most of the surrounding countries. I think some organized crime groups have much more members and will than police force.

I was not prepper prior this situation, so in many fields i did poor, but i can mention what was hard to get in the city. I mean everything was hard to get, but you just do not think about some things until you notice you need it, and then is probably too late. Now let me know, i am not making some survival list here, so i am not mentioning usual things like food, ammo, guns, hygiene etc.

Small precise tools, like tools to fix watch or lighter, flints for lighters, sewing tools,aluminum foil as a help for cooking, garbage bags heavy duty lot of , nylon tarps, containers all kinds (jars, plastic canisters…)ropes all kinds, Velcro tapes, duct tape , chains and locks, belts all kinds including those belts like truck drivers use for fixing the load- don t know word sorry 🙂 fabric bags (like bags for coffee), stuff to reinforce your windows and doors like metal plates, all kinds of tools.

If you ask me what tools, simple advice is: every tool that you need to take one ordinary house in parts, and to take that parts to your home, and every tool to fix stuff in your house.

But remember to keep it simple in prepping for city SHTF, I mean if you are planing to start generator unit in ruined city to have it like in good times,probably you gonna end up dead. It is much better to have solar batteries chargers and a lot rechargeable batteries. If you are storing things for trade in SHTF then store small things, batteries, candles, antibiotics, hand sanitizers, lighters etc. You are not be able to carry big things in city and look for trade.

Now my advice is: keep your storing and prepping as a secret, or keep it inside your group, family, friends if they preppers too. Do not just go around with attitude that the end is coming and i am prepared and stocked. They all going to remember you when they get hungry. Hungry people are desperate people.

My friend had small portable stove, maybe shoebox size, it used petroleum, gas, alcohol, had some kind of small pump installed on it, i remember it was made in Spain for Spanish army. It was very valuable thing.

Anything related to medicine was very valuable so go big with medicine. First i suggest educate as more as you can, i mean you can kill someone with wrong drug easily. Do not just go online and buy trauma kits or drug box,or whole list of antibiotics,first learn how to use it, it is maybe second most valuable knowledge in SHTF.

I think in order to survive this kind of situation man need some reasons, of course main reason was to stay alive, but without any other reason some people can easily turn to animals.

People needed hope, good news. Normal people in normal times usually do not understand importance of news, communications and things like that. It was some kind of information blackout, only few people had batteries for radio, so to at the time when information reaches you, it is probably completely useless and false.

It is strange feeling, when that situation is happening you have feeling it is end of the world, nobody cares, nobody knows for your suffering, that can kill your will for survival. So yes i think it is a great idea to have something to communicate with others, like CB or something like that, but again, keep it as as secret, not to mention to have correct information is very important and valuable.

Disposable Items

It is hard to tell what you are going to need in SHTF in your medical part of prepping. Easiest thing to say is that you gonna need everything, but actually it depends from your level of medical knowledge i guess.
for example:

  • Full reanimation kit- O2 bottles, respirator (O2 powered) suction unit (O2 powered), laryngoscopes, tubes, airways, BVM s, tube holders, drugs (atropine, adrenaline, dopamine…)
  • Body protection like masks (booth surgical and respirators), gowns, gloves (sterile and non sterile), lot of rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizers,paper sheets, delivery kits.
  • Wound care kit- all sterile gauzes, peans, tweezers, povidone, rivanole, staples, sutures, forceps, dressings, antibiotic creams…
    Vitamins, tablets and vials for injections.
  • Antibiotics full range, booth tabs and vials (Pennicilin, Gentamicin, Lincocin…) then full range iv fluids kit with NS and Glucosae, including IV systems, needles, syringes, IV catheters …
  • Children antibiotics, suspensions, together with antipyretics like Voltaren supositories.
  • Snake kits (horse serum), allergy shots (Urbason, Synopen…), urinal catheters…
  • Drugs like Furosemide, Novalgetol, Aminophyllin, Reglan, Ranitidin, (all vials), Albuterol (inhallant).

List is going more, but important is to choose what level you want to know, then find way to learn to use things on that level. You can not know everything. Maybe you gonna choose only to have powdered things for hydration instead of IV NS.

Whatever you choose to have, keep in mind that must be as more disposable as you can. For example paper instead of fabric, or sterile plastic tweezers instead of reusable. And again from my experience most of the problems were coming in the form of vomiting and diarrhea, due to bad water, or unknown food.

Typical Gang Members During SHTF

Because some personal reasons i ll focus more on gangs issue 🙂

It is very important to understand who is typical member of gang in SHTF. As i already said before, worst kind of people is in charge in SHTF. Usually they take lead, so you have then old criminals as a new gang leaders, of course you already figured they not gonna pay too much attention on moral issue or fair play.

In most parts of the world we already now in peace time have gangs, all kinds. In SHTF those gangs becoming something like private armies.
People joined them, it is easier to take stuff from other people then to find it on more “normal” way. So you gonna have normal folks who lost faith, lost strength, and for them it is only way to join gangs.

My point is to prepare you that in SHTF your first neighbor (who is now for example car salesman) may be very bad gang member.
It was much easier to be gang member.

Home Security

I already wrote about some basic home security during my SHTF.

It passed lot of years from that events so you may though my home defense is modern today, to be honest it is not. I like to keep things simple.
Right now i live in apartment building, fourth floor, so if SHTF again and caught me in the city what will i do. I ll wait week or two, i ll stay hidden. Then after the first period of panic is gone i ll try to get to my rural place.First period is marked with panic and chaos, everybody is trying to go somewhere, most of them will failed, roads are jammed. Best thing to do is stay hidden behind your door, heavily armed.

In first moments of SHTF, go out, leave lot of garbage outside your door (if you live in apartment building like me) smash your TV, your stereo, let passage outside your door looks like your apartment is robbed already, most of the apartment gonna look same like that, spill some red color, leave old clothes.

And wait.

In first days gangs not organized too good, probably most of them gonna think it is already robbed and abandoned. Maybe sounds stupid for you, but i ve seen that, it works. In other cases you have weapon and a lot of ammo.

You can set up some basic traps in passage outside, if you good with explosive devices you can set up some more sophisticated 🙂 After first period is gone, gangs will be more organized, they will be greater in numbers and more determined.

It is simple, first they gonna look for jewelery, LCD s,money and things like that, and if they see obstacle they just go away because there will be lot of other places without obstacles, later when they realize that real SHTF came, they will look for food, water, ammo, and they gonna try to destroy obstacles. So again, if you caught in city in SHTF, do not panic, stay focused, wait for the moment, and then of course leave the city. Where? Wherever you can, just leave.

Sorry guys there is no perfect home security in city SHTF, unless you have small army in your apartment. Get out and connect with family, friends and form a group.

What to carry? i guess you are not be able to carry a lot things with you, weapon, ammo, basic first aid kit, maybe food for a day. From all of this what i wrote, you can conclude that best thing is to have some hideout, some house close to your living place, place with all suplies, ammo, medical, food, water, friends. That is my plan, because my job i must be in city, but my real place in SHTF will be rural community. I hope.

I do not know how many of you is aware that in every city, every country and culture, there is considerable number of people who just waiting for some kind of collapse, some kind of chaos so they can start with robbing, killing and havoc. So if you counting on human kindness and help i suggest you to forget about that, you are not going to have too much friends, so do not prepare alone, have friends now. But choose wisely with who you are going to share your thougts about preparations and plans.

I have read some post from some guy, he states that he is not hiding fact that he is prepper from anybody. As soon as folks realizes what is happening,he gonna have visitors.

Getting MREs

In that time US air force had mission to drop food from airplanes from high altitudes as a part of the mission to help surrounded cities(not only mine)  there was not any kind of schedule, or right place to wait for them, it was matter of luck. I ll try to describe one waiting for MRE (it was not only MRE, but we called it, hunt for MRE )

At first real dark we took rifle (if you had it) or any kind of weapon, and go out, usually 3-4 men, never alone. Some 2-3 miles from my house there was hill, it used to be dense wood, but soon it was naked because need for firewood, so imagine bunch of people climbing on that hill, complete darkness, maybe 300-500 people every night, and waiting for the distant sound of airplane, it was matter of luck, i guess because they dropped that things from high altitude they just never know where they gonna go.

Funny thing was that few miles across that hill was another hill, on that another hill was enemy army, they usually shoot every half hour on our hill with PAT (anti aircraft cannon) in dark, without aiming, because they knew we are there. They could not see us, but i guess they did not need to see us, every time they hit someone.

On the other side, most of the folks were armed, we fight regularly between us on that hill, for better position behind some rock, or to get some pallete with parachute. It was regularly to see guy climbing with his buddies on pallets full of flour , loading his rifle with statement ” OK this is mine” If you and your friends had more fire power, you tried to convice him somehow 🙂

So if you had luck and plains dropped something useful right on that hill, you still mostly needed to fight for that.

I still remember everything from that MRE s , food, matches, sauces, salt, cookies…

Many many years later, after peace came, when i had MRE s again in hands, i just felt strange, i wanted to cry and laugh in same time.
Other important thing was with that airplanes missions, we just felt that we are not forgotten, that somewhere somebody thinks about us, sometimes that was more important than food.

How it all started

To make some things understandable i ll try to describe my street in that time, it was street in older part of town, all houses made from brick, small yards, usually with gardens, every yard had wall, brick or concrete, street was dead end street, maybe some 20 houses, not sure.
Neighborhood was nice, middle class, normal people, kids, cars, lawns…

When everything started due to advancing of enemy army, and occupation of some parts of town, population gone to maybe 50 000-60 000 citizen, not sure. Lines of separation between “us and them ” formed pretty soon as advance was stopped.

I guess then they decided to conquer it with long siege, starvation or something like that. Whatever reason was , it resulted with lot of people in condition of constant shelling, sniper fire, no distribution of any kind of goods, no authority or anything else that means civilization.

Very soon things started to go down, people realizes that everybody is potential enemy, so if anybody thinks there was some feeling of union in trouble or something like that, no sorry.

Some folks realizes that they can not survive alone, without weapon in that new world. In my case some family members came from other parts of town, from their houses to my house, because they did not feel safe there, some of them bring weapon, some bring some food,some did not bring anything.

Now when i remember, i think maybe we needed 15 days to realize that is not gonna be war like war in some other . Houses gets cold without heating, people slowly realizes it is gonna be fight for life, every single day. Like every normal city in world we had stores, markets and malls, but trust me, folks just break and take everything in day or two. And that s it.

Some order on storages and granaries was maintained, but pretty soon we realized that it was not order, gangs just take it. Anyway soon we found our neighbor and his family killed, and robed, nobody knew anything but i guess that was one more awake call, maybe half of the people in street were armed, rifles, pistols, different things.

So we formed something like watch or guard at the street entrance, we roll over burned car as barricade, few men always guarded there.Even then we never were sure is our first neighbor going to attack us, or he ll be friendly. So we barricade our street from outsiders and put some kind of guard, or watch, but we also barricade our houses from everyone, you can say that was very loose alliance between neighbors.

We used what we had, with constant shelling there was a lot ruins from where we used rocks, pieces of metal plates or anything to make house harder to penetrate. My weapon was AK 47, folding stock. Lot of the people asked me is it good? Is it better then…? I don t think that s right question, you see many years after that SHTF i had and used for some time m16 ( i think it was M16 A1) and i found it much better than AK47, but in case of another SHTF i going to have Kalashnikov again. Reason is simple, most of the people here use that rifle, that caliber. Same with pistol and same with everything else.

Keep it simple and ordinary.

Strength is in the numbers!

One man survivor?
I just say it on beginning- from my experience no way, or very hard, not in the city SHTF.

You know i watched on You tube few months ago great documentary about urban SHTF survival, i think guy is ex special force or something like that, i remember he shows how he crossing river with rope, hiding in ruined building, entering hospital and how he taking fuel from abandoned gas station so he can start electrical power unit in empty hospital ,later he is making some fuel from something… and things like that.I can not remember his name or name of show.

I mean guy is OK, he is doing some smart things, he is good. But what about other people in that town? It is OK if the city abandoned and you are alone in town, but chances are more that is gonna be crowded with desperate people, hungry, ready for everything.

You know i have seen a lot of shootings, but i never met Rambo, i never seen guy who killed 8 bad guys with three bullets from rifle. Some thing just did not worked, yes i ve seen some bad guys, lone wolfs, good armed, trained, and most of them finished shot from the back from some ordinary hungry folks.

So, from my experience be close with your family, or choose wisely your friends, share your prepping in normal times with them, because when SHTF come, they probably gonna be your group, your best defense. I don t know how things works in wilderness but in town SHTF your group is everything, it can be you family, your friends.

Do you think that s only you gonna have great idea to take fuel from abandoned gas station,or weapon from ruined police station, no, lot of guys gonna have same idea, probably you gonna have to fight for that, what is your chance for fight if you are alone? You can say that s you going to have everything because you are prepping for years, but sooner or later you gonna have to fight for resources, or defend your own.
You know i was pretty smart guy in that time (i think i am still) but in the time when i am figured that i need to go out and take things,because everything falling apart, i was too late, really smart people already took everything 🙂

If you really stays with one man survival in city SHTF, i suggests that you need to be invisible, dig in somewhere with lot of food and guns, and try to be invisible, and hope it is not going to last.

On the other hand, worst panic is in first few weeks of SHTF, when most of the people can not understand what is going on, most stupid deaths happened then, so again it is up to you, stay home with what you got and wait to see what s going on, or go out and risk life to acquire things .