What To Expect During The First Days After Collapse
First, make sure you have enough supplies ( food and water) to last for a couple of weeks at least. If you don´t, rush to the supermarket and buy it using credit card if they still accept it.
If you have enough food, stay put at home and keep track through the TV of what´s going on. Don´t go out there just to fool around.
IN our case, martial law and curfew at 8 PM was established, people could not gather in group greater than 2 or 3 persons, so it was not safe anyway. None the less, few obeyed all this crap, but it was still established so you know what you were dealing with if cops caught you.
The greatest need when the lootings started was means to defend yourself. Maybe that´s why I encourage everyone to make weapons part of their basic preparedness kits, right along with food, water, money, and medicines. We watched daily as the lootings spread everywhere, and when the mobs of distressed people started looting homes along with the supermarkets and shops, things got really scary. I watched such a mob pass about 15-20 yards from my home. At first I only heard drums ( used during the protests) but these protesters were also looting along the way. The mass of looters was huge, covered the entire street and sidewalk, all across as far as I could see, a block long or more.
People that seem normal during normal times, unleash the animals they keep at bay during law abiding times. The evil among normal people also surprised me. Average Joe takes advantage of the possibility to loot without getting punished for it if he sees the chance. Hell, nothing people do surprises me anymore.
Then there was the need to get cash, which disappeared within hours from ATMs after banks closed. The NO credit card signs showed up instantly. Only cash. And cash was getting very hard to find.
Many supermarkets closed their doors, fearing looters, and those that were opened quickly started to run out of basic supplies.
As for advice:
-Keep a healthy amount of cash at home at all times. Precious metals work but you´ll need cash to get by until banks and financial entities willing to pay a fair price reopen. Selling your gold in a pawn shop will be bad business, most likely they´ll try to get advantage of your need. At least until the market settles and then they´ll start paying according to the real value, but this takes some time.
-Have a gun for self defense, and learn how to use it. If you only have one weapon, make that a handgun and a box or two of premium ammo. Why handgun and not a long arm? Because things will be VERY dangerous out there and you´ll be wanting some protection, even when walking the dog, picking up mail, or going to the grocery around the corner, you cant´ do that with a long arm, and THOSE are the times you need to be armed the most.
-Have at least one or two months worth of food, water, medicines ( prescription meds you need for a certain condition you may have!), whatever you use around your house, such as soap, shampoo, dishwasher soap and various cleaning supplies. Once you have that, work towards a 6 to 12 month supply, specially concerning food. 2 or 3 years worth? Yes, nice to have but if you see the SHTF period extending that long, you better have a place to relocate because its´ simply not safe to be there anymore.
-Work towards financial security. Money in accounts in two or three countries, investments portfolios, real estate. Try placing your eggs in different baskets because, as we talked about it earlier, you can´t really trust them. Real estate is probably the safest and easiest form of investment, it has worked for my family really well, even through the crisis. We still have the pieces of land and buildings over it. It looses some value but adjusts over time to the reality of the country, going back to become a source of income.
-Have back up plans for EVERYTHING. Alternative sources of light, for transportation , fuel, ways of cooking, but most of all, have another location to move in case it is no longer possible to continue in the country or region where you are. This is my case and I´m really glad to have alternatives to move out of my country. I´m not talking about a cabin somewhere or a retreat, once things get that bad, you better get moving and relocating somewhere else, another state or even another country. You simply can´t fight the reality around you when crime gets out of control, along with everything else. Have your papers ready ( passport, birth certificate, etc)
-Know that during troubled times a house, retreat or cabin is of any use as long as it is inhabited. If SHTF for real, no empty building remains empty for long. Either it gets picked to the bare walls, or even worse , you find it one day with a family or several already established in there, which will take a long time for you to evict the invaders through legal channels.
-Keep a low profile. Showing off money or expensive clothes, flashy cars or jewelry is a good way to get targeted by criminals.
-Understand that in just a matter of weeks crime starts increasing exponentially when serious SHTF such as an economical collapse occurs. These kind of situations may take decades to reverse, or maybe never go back to what it used to be.
When I was 20 years old I lived in a 1st world country, 8 years later it´s a mixture of cheapo 3rd world tourist sites, a bit of tasteful 1900 architecture, surrounded by sights fitting either Ecuador, Colombia or some kind of war zone, and it all went to hell in a hand basket in less than a year. The change was amazing for anyone that cared to notice. Libraries, churches, town theaters, it all closed and later reopened having been replaced by bar-***** house joints, All for 2$ shops, Bingos, casinos, self proclaimed churches, many with links to Umbanda Brazilian rituals. A perfect example of the decay in our society trough the last years.
Hope that helps.
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Last edited on ... March 15, 2007