Selco

Surviving urban conflictDuring the recent Prepper World Summit 4, speaker Selco discussed what he needed to do to survive the 1990’s year long Yugoslavian conflict in a city that was surrounded by an enemy army. The former Soviet controlled country was composed of several ethnic groups, each of whom wanted their own country and autonomy. The original Yugoslavian Army opposed their resistance resulting in a real live survival situation where there was no electricity, running water, food and little shelter.

In a collapse, people have the misconception that they will clearly notice and recognize the moment where things go bad. In addition, it is hard for people to understand that things can go bad really fast and last a really long time. In short term conflicts, most folks believe that order will be restored quickly and those people who acted badly will be captured and punished for their mid-deeds. It is a real shock when they realize that there is no sense of law and that they won’t be punished. There are lots of bad people out there and when they realize there will be no repercussions for their actions, all the rules change and lawlessness prevails. It is also important to recognize that in desperate situations, even good people will do bad things to survive.

Many people deny the situation at first. In short term disasters, people act nice and help one another. But when folks realize there are not enough resources, things change and everyone needs to get tough.

Top things to do to survive
•  people think they need to be big and strong; actually you need to be small;
•  keep a low profile;
•  stay hidden and safe;
•  go out only to get the most needed things: water and food for today
•  humble; don’t be a target
•  main problem will be other people all looking for the same scarce resources
•  bartering for resources is a most dangerous situation during a collapse; you can be scammed, hurt or worse. You don’t really know if the other party will meet their end of the deal.

Criminal organizations already exist; control is the game, they will try to take the city or part of it. It is important to get to be part of a group because it gives strength to divide tasks and provide security. It is almost impossible to survive as an individual.

Day to day in a collapse, when services are down, life becomes time consuming. Everything will take longer to get. For example, obtaining water, you will need a couple of hours to forage, roof tops, wells, the river. And all the time you must be vigilant that a sniper doesn’t shoot you. If you need fire you have to look for junk to burn. Keep in mind that using fire and the resulting smoke can be frightening and draw attention to you. Food has to be acquired through channels by trade.

The reality is that you may have to leave home and all your stuff behind. Staying alive is more important than defending your stuff. Moving around in the city is done at night. Street movements during a conflict will change and must be based on safety. You may have to travel through destroyed buildings and must have five alternate routes because of constant threats. You will avoid intersections, avoid being seen and scan surroundings for areas where you can take cover. During such times people are armed and more weapons are around than you would expect. You need to be extra cautious.

Gathering information is important. Being cut off from information has psychological effect. Rumors are very prevalent. Sometimes you go out specifically to gather information and hear what’s going on. Don’t go out alone; groups of three is a good number.

Sometimes refugees are forced to leave home when their shelter is destroyed. You should have 2 exits and clear visibility at the entry/exit points. You will have to deal in temporary shelter and you may need to get more than one. You have to change your mindset and deal in one day at a time.

In a collapse, you will have to operate on severe levels of stress, malnutrition, dehydration, exhaustion, etc. When reality hits, you realize how hard things can be. There will be all kinds of things that you can’t control or problems you can’t solve.You will lose part of your mind. You will need to have someone to lean on.

Precious metals are nearly worthless. Building all your preps based on the premise that you will sell or trade them during a collapse is not a good idea. People want usable things. Coins will have no use; their value will be much reduced. You will become a target for robbery or murder. It is more important to have a bunch of everything else before coins.

It is good to know how to handle weapons and be familiar with caliber and where to get more ammunition. Know what weapons other people around you have and know how to use them. You don;t want to stick out, but be prepared to lose it.

Take Away: Knowledge, mindset and skills are more important than things. You may only have your skills and your knowledge.

Billie Nicholson, Editor
July 2017

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