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.

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.

A Way Out

Yes, there were few possible ways out of the town. First let mi notice if i had recognize what is coming, i would run away from town for sure, no matter where. Some signs were there, i did not notice them. From this point of view i was fool because i did not figure what is going to happen.
During the SHTF one way out from the town was that you pay to local gang leader huge amount in foreign currency (i guess now something like 15 000- 20 000 $, for us here it is fortune) to get you out of the city.I ve heard for agreements that people gave everything what they had, , jewelery, guns, everything.; They had power and connections to do that, to smuggle you through enemy lines, but; as i remember probability that they ll take your money and just shoot you was very high, i think chance for success; was something like 50%. Not good number if we talking about life 🙂

But yes there were cases of success that i heard later. Other way was to use another smuggling route to get out of the city, that other way was through mountain, it was used sometimes to take some wounded defenders out , on the horses, also it was one of the ways to get things from the other city, some 50 miles long trip, depends from the weather and enemy movements it usually takes 5-10 days.

It was not any kind of road or path, just big mountain standing between two cities, there is narrow “passage” between enemy lines, maybe 1 mile or something like that. So it was a real art to get there and back, with all hard environment , mines, hostilities and absence of any order.
Situation in other town was slightly better, so you could bring some useful things home, maybe.

But it was so hard and dangerous that probably worth only to mention here as way out. I took that trip once, in January, i think it was something like -15 C , freezing wind, blizzards, it was like swimming through snow, not to mention that nobody had clue where exactly mines and other traps were.

I was a city guy, i liked to watch snow from warm room, or on idyllic postcards for new year 🙂 But to walk many miles in deep snow at freezing temperatures, in military boots made probably for dry weather only, and to eat snow ( yes, i made that mistake ) it was nightmare. Local myth was that if you going to take that trip, you need to have sugar and few liters of alcohol, during the trip we mixed alcohol and sugar and drink that, it suppose to gave us energy for long walk on freezing temperature. To be honest, sounds ridiculous, i finished that trip, not sure is it because that mix, i know that most of the time on that trip i was half drunk and walked like zombie.

Sometimes people took that trip only to try to get some specific medicine. I remember also few times some of international aid workers, or some foreign news reporters tried to sneak into the town, or be smuggled in to the town, because help or interesting story i guess.

Also i met two foreign soldiers, mercenaries,(i think from UK) i did not have clue how they came in city, but i know that they “worked” with sniper weapon for those who payed more. Urban legend about them was that when they take position to shoot, they did not move several hours, and that the eat only chocolate bars when they are “on job” I don t know is this make any sense 🙂

In one occasion i spoke with them, nice guys, i think for them it was a job like any other job, they did not even look like “tough guys”
International red cross tried few times to get in to the town with food, but mostly unsuccessful, even when they get in it was in such small amounts, it did not mean anything.

Again rumors raged, there was a stories that some folks go through the sewage systems, and manage to get out, do not know for sure is it a true, it was a system about 100 years old, combined with newer sections, so it looked like labyrinth to me. I think now i would be great idea to have map, blueprints of that 🙂

Urban vs Rural in Case of SHTF

Now, if anything like SHTF gonna happen again, i am choosing countryside for sure.

From my experience it is better there, i am trying to learn something about wilderness just in case i am gonna need that, mostly to get me trough from city to countryside. I must mention again i am speaking from my experience, maybe it is not gonna work in some different situation.
So first period of SHTF is worst for moving somewhere, like leaving your apartment to go to countryside.

If you going to live city be sure that you are gonna see some warning signs so you can live before everything starts. That s best thing to do. But probably you are going to be caught in the city, most of us.

When starts, that is worst period in terms of chaos and panic, that first period i guess is coming from he fact that people can not accept new reality.

Sound funny but after that acceptance, comes short period of some kind of peace,people are shocked, terrified, in that short period of peace you must leave the city. Because after that real hell is coming.

Real hell is coming after people accept fact that old world and old rules are dead, and in new world and new reality everybody making the rules.
I think good description is- good people turn to bad, bad people turn to worst.

So i think good thing is to be stocked and prepared, but best thing is to prepare your mind and recognize signs of coming SHTF.And recognize your chance, because it is not going to be better.

Talk with your family members about your plans and prepare with them, good thing is to have friends, real good friends and to plan together with them.

I think best place to be during the SHTF is small rural community. Village with all resources.

I have house in village,land to farm, and some plans to go there with my family, few very good friends and their families when everything gonna be close to SHTF. We all have skills in fighting (we all survived war) but also we all have some specific skills, like medical, defense, farming, mechanical-technical etc.

You just can not have everything what you going to need for SHTF, you need people.


OK, i wanna share with you my own experience. (be patient with my English, i am from far away )

I am from the Balkan region, and as some of you may know it was hell here from 92-95, anyway, for 1 whole year i lived and survived in a city WITHOUT: electricity, fuel, running water,real food distribution, or distribution of any goods, or any kind of organized law or government.The city was surrounded for 1 year and in that city actually it was SHTF situation.

We did not have organized army or police force, there was groups of defenders, actually anybody who had a gun, fight for his own house and his own family.

Some of us was better prepared, but most of families had food for couple of days, some of us had pistol, few owned AK-47 when all started.

Anyway, after one month or two, gangs started with their nasty job,hospital looked like butchery, police force vanished, 80 percent of hospital staff gone home. I was lucky, my family was big in that time (15 members in one big house, 5-6 pistols, 3 Kalashnikov s) so we lived and survived, most of us.

I remember US Air force dropped MRE every 10 days (god bless USA for that) as help for surrounded city, it just was not enough.Some of houses had little gardens with some vegetables, most did not.

After three months rumors started abouth first deaths from starvation,deaths from low temperatures, we stripped every door , window frame from abandoned houses for heating, i burned all my own furniture for heating, lot of people died from diseases, mostly from bad water (two of my family members), we used rain water for drink, several times i ate pigeons, once i ate rat.
Money did not worth sh..

we traded things, black market worked, few examples: for 1 corned beef can you could have woman for couple of hours(sounds bad, but it was reality) i remember, most of that womans were just desperate mothers, candles, lighters,antibiotics,fuel,batteries, rifle ammo and of course food, we fight like animals for that.

In situation like that lot of things change, most of people turned to monsters, it was ugly.
Strength was in the numbers, if you were alone in the house, you ve been probably robbed and killed, no matter how well armed.

Anyway, war ended, again thanks to America (and again god bless USA for that)
It is not important witch side had right in that war.

It was almost 20 years ago, but believe me, for me it was just like yesterday, i remember everything, and i think i learned a lot.
Me and my family are prepared now,i am well armed, stocked and educated.

It is not important what going to happen, earthquake,war, tsunami,aliens terrorists, important thing is that something gonna be.
And from my expirience, you can not survive alone, strength is in the numbers, be close with your family, prepare with them, choose your friends wisely and prepare with them too.