A Venezuelan Collapse Survivor Warns You to be Mobile: “You May Have to Leave It All Behind”

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Harper, Oct 10, 2018 at 2:56 PM.

  1. Harper

    Harper Bushmaster

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    ---

    Another real life account.

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    By J. G. Martinez D

    I have mentioned in several opportunities what I could have done better, given the chance. Here some of my afterthoughts about it. As good as your plan may be, you may have to leave it all behind. You must plan to be mobile.

    Some of these preparedness plans may not work as well as we would expect. No matter how wonderful your retreat is, there may come a time when you have to leave. And you must plan for that, too.

    A walled retreat may not work in the long-term

    Building a large fortress could seem a very attractive idea. Stocking and piling food and other goodies is, for sure, an even better idea. But, unless the kinds of event you are preparing for be something like a zombie attack, or a deadly, fast, pandemic…it is not going to work very good. Because you will find knocking at your door desperate people that, after the first weeks, will be desperate enough for trying whatever they could figure out to take over the compound.

    And I say this because I saw it happen. I made one acquaintance, a nice fellow, judo practitioner, combat shooter (back in 2006-07 you could still buy a gun and ammunition for home defense and sport shooting), with a nice, large, wonderful cattle hacienda (larger than a farm indeed, about 1200 acres, maybe more). He was pro-guns, had studied in the States, and generally, his mindset was not that of the average Venezuelan regarding self-sufficiency. His house there was surrounded by a tall wall. Bullet holes all over the upper edge indicated how many times he had to shoot to warn trespassers.

    Food in a large pantry and a small wind/solar arrangement to power some HAM / UHF equipment for the security team of the hacienda was as well in place. And of course, a small pool, and a large water tank with over 25.000 liters. There is a lot of rain there, so this was not exactly a concern. However, the huge drought in 2008 taught us a lot of lessons about this.

    The judoka farmer, had this little problem: his cattle losses were so high (and this was way before Uncle Nicolas) that even before the collapse, he had to sell his land at a loss, his wonderful big house in the suburbia, leaving just a small flat in the city.

    I know, he could just have shot the guys. But obviously, those who think like this have not the slightest idea about how things are there. Shooting someone, even if this person is obviously trespassing and with intentions to do harm, is seen as plain murder…even if you are defending your own life. The reasons? Easy. Authorities are so…deviated, so to speak, that unless you have enough financial means to pay some… “contributions”, the shooter won’t leave prison. Ever. The only shooters I have seen that are still in prison because of the right reasons are a couple of drug addicts (father and son) who shot dead a family father in the middle of a drunk fight for a parking space in front of a liquor store. Cold blood, in front of his small kids. They locked them up and threw the key. One of my friends was there.

    He is now in some place in the States (or Italy, I truly don’t know), I lost his track, but I wish him the best. He is a nice, kind fellow.

    He took care of his compound for many years, just to get ahead of many of us, and regardless, he had to migrate (or bugout?) before things got worse. He had to leave it all behind.

    This is why I suggest an RV

    Why do I suggest to prepare an RV, camper or some means of off-grid sheltering?

    Fitting the RV with low consumption devices is now much easier. Good LEDs are available, warm and cozy, and investing in those wonderful Nickel Iron batteries seems to be a great deal to me. These are heavy, expensive, but they are low maintenance and will last for a lifetime. The consumables needed for keeping the batteries running, if I remember well, have a long life shelf under proper storage conditions, and that can be found in a shack built in the plot itself. This is something that, provided that you need more specific information I could write a much more technical article, so just ask for it, please.

    There are a lot of interesting apparatuses for heating in the winter (I know now how harsh winter must feel)

    Another interesting addition, especially for those who can weld, is a small, portable, welding machine and an air compressor. These are widely used by off-roaders when need to weld some chassis or some other part, and they don’t draw too much power. Air compressor will allow you to use a good variety of power tools, and they are much safer to use under the rain than electric tools. Those of us who have been in the open country to cut a fallen tree under the rain with a machete know what we talk about.

    (Cont.)
     
  2. Harper

    Harper Bushmaster

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    Solar panels? I will take two of those big ones, please. Hey, wait, make it three. Of course, a low tech filtering design for rainwater collection is a need. And I would add a high quality, compact, high capacity water filtering system. No pressure. Gravity will be enough. You can’t afford the risk of a leakage in the middle of nowhere, and losing your drinking water.


    Being mobile would have made things easier.

    This said, if we could have afforded the RV I had my eye on, we could have sold the city house, and bought some plot in a much larger city, as an investment for the future. Confiscation of an empty plot is much harder: people are lazy and wants an already built house. (wink). And this is the main reason for the need of an RV as the main home. It is much more practical and will provide shelter while building a stone and masonry main house.

    By parking in my folks plot, our cats would have been able to feed themselves, too (a part of whatever money I can get around here is for them, twice monthly). Our expenses would have been much less, as well. The best part is that we could have been together, as a family. My friends could have known our children, and their small lads and ours could have been best friends in those years, so important for the good memories that will be a necessity later in life.


    Put aside some money

    Another necessity, now that we mention that, is going to be some financial resources, enough for renting a plot, perhaps even buying it later. With our main home sold, enough money in the bank would have been available, just in case. It would have been much less hard with that, and those 8 months we were separated as a family would not exist as a sad memory.

    A good home, in our instance, is now a large investment standing still, unproductive and under the jeopardy of seizure. We are not living in it, and it is consuming money. We can’t sell it. This is what happens in a collapse.

    A much wiser investment would have been the RV, a good condition one. With one-third of the money we could have arrived safely to our destiny, and so we would have some reserves, for some things like a dentist for the kid, some medicines I need, and other stuff.


    This would have made migrating easier, too.

    By traveling in an RV, we could have convinced to some local authorities that we are not the negative kind of migrants, but instead, the kind of those who are not dangerous, nor a burden or a heavy load to anyone. With it, you could rent a plot, buy a truckload of blocks, build (or contract some to do so) a good, tall wall, make a steel gate installed, and you will be set in a blink. A place to cook, shower, and rest, all of it within the reach of a poor migrant’s pocket.

    After that, you will have time to look for a decent way to make some cash. As I write this, renting prices are increasing in this part of the city, because of the huge amount of new migrants arriving. Flat owners deny the properties to some people that get 6 persons in an apartment designed for 2 or 3 at the most (although some of them are smart, and get coordinated with people who works at night shifts). I have heard about 10 persons living in a 2 bedroom apartment.

    I am thinking seriously in exchanging my busted SUV for an RV in Venezuela, and coming back, but it seems there is not even one able to resist such travel. Perhaps I could sell it in cash and make it sent here. If we can make that deal and buy an RV here, I will let you know. It would be a great advance on our lifestyle, indeed. I would need the migration paperwork for driving, but it would not be too much of a problem. I would love to find some of the truck camper varieties, the kind you can detach off the truck platform and install on their own legs, and use the truck. Fitting the truck with an air suspension to increase lift, the truck would be a normal ride in the city and an off-road setup just in case. It would have been useful for me a couple of times in Venezuela, in some roadblocks generated by accidents or other causes.


    In conclusion

    I hope you find usefulness in our ideas (I usually ask my wife what we could have done in retrospective), and I truly hope you never have to use it.

    Thanks for your comments, and your donations to keep this flowing.

    You are a wonderful, and supportive community. I will see you soon again.

    God bless you, people!

    Jose.-

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    About the Author
    J.G. Martinez D
    Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. paypal.me/JoseM151
     
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  3. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    We're Americans...we won't be run off by criminals. We will defend ourselves within the confines of the law if necessary...
     
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  4. USMCPOP

    USMCPOP Scout

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    ...Venezuela... I had a college buddy from there over 40 years ago. His family got out and went to Costa Rica, way back then.
     
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  5. pilsburythrowboy12

    pilsburythrowboy12 Guide

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    One of my best classmates is a family & general medicine practitioner from Venezuela. She’s a doctor that was forced to pursue a degree in my program as a vascular tech because the U.S. offers her no practical means of reciprocity regarding her license to practice medicine. Although the reality of her educational investment is a cruel one to face, her intellect and education are not for nothing because she is springboarding into a middle class stability immediately following her emigration out of that politically foresaken country. So an educational foundation is also a good prep to have at hand is the point I guess I’m trying to make.
     
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  6. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I am always mobile. HE will protect me... “I’ll Fly Away”. ;)
     
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  7. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    These colors don't run. But I understand why he did.
     
  8. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    I don't plan on running anywhere.

    But I'm also a realist.

    The mobility aspect doesn't necessariy have to pertain to geopolitical unrest. It could be a forest fire, and huge earthquake, volcano. Or even a hurricane like we just witnessed in Florida.

    As such, my main base of operations (my home) is my fort. It is reasonably well stocked. Not like some folks, but more than a few weeks worth of everything. Even before rationing my supplies.

    Following that, and as I have often mentioned. My supplies, call them what you want, preps, pantry supplies, emergency cooking kit, camping gear. However you describe them. They all follow a pattern.

    Time tested,
    Work on or off grid,
    Serve more than one purpose,
    Easily portable,

    I have basically four distinct modes of transport.
    Our main vehicles,
    ATV,
    Bicycle,
    Feet.

    Several overlap. Lashing a bicycle to the top of a vehicle is cake. Even if your walking a bicycle will get the weight off your back. The Viet Cong taught us that. The wheel is a slick invention.

    My kit is layered accordingly.
    For shelter, it varies from two 4-Man Tents, to a 5'x7' M.E.S.T. and an issue Basha.

    Sleeping bags range from big comfy 0F Degree rated Cabelas trapper bags, to down mummy bags, all the way to woobies.

    Much of this is always stowed in packs that hang on a wall in our laundry room. Some is in the vehicles constantly.
    It is also split into two distinct units. In case there arises a need to split up, or cache some gear. Or if one vehicle is lost.

    Many years ago, I had a S.O.L.O Instructor point out, there can be a huge gap between surviving and being comfortable. It pays to remember that.

    Everybody wants to focus on things like Venezuela. And to a certain degree, that is wise. But folks seem to gloss over the more obvious disasters.

    Look at hurricane Michael.
    On Sunday morning it was little more than an area of interest to the weather heads. In a very short period it went from not even being a tropical depression, to wiping out parts of Florida.

    I don't care how tough you think you are. When your house is swept clean off its foundation. The only remaining parts sticking out of your neighbor's house 3 blocks away. You "WiLL" be mobile and on the move.

    On an even lesser scale. But no less personally devestating. I knew a family who lost their house to a fire. When the firemen got there they were standing in the yard in their underwear. Husban, wife and two kids all got out safely. They even had some preps in the garage.

    It all went up so fast they didn't even have time to grab anything. Not a Revolution, but a very bad stretch for four family members.
    Every time this lady retells this story. She cries when she gets to the point of her standing in the driveway waving at the firemen in her underwear.

    We all think we're tough. And to a certain extent we may be. Having preps ready to evacuate doesn't make you weak. It just gives you options. I like options.

    My uncle lived through the Bataan Death March. He's gone now. But I'm sure he would have liked some other options. He was a Marine and far from weak.

    Even if you back out political unreast completely. We have been given many reasonable examples of why mobility is a good thing here in America and recently.

    The Volcano in Hawaii,
    The Forest Fires out west,
    The Hurricanes down south,

    Some day, another TMI or Cherynobyl or Fukushima is going to happen. If a breeder melts down, you will be moving.

    Personally, I offer up advice here when I see fit. I really won't debate it much. Because it's not my job to convince folks.
    I only offer it so some folks may glean some of their own ideas from how I do things.

    If you don't believe in being mobile, nail your feet to the floor. It matters not to me.
    Whether people listen to me, don't listen to me, or think I'm a complete fool, really doesn't matter much to me.


    On a side note,
    And it works whether you want to be mobile or stationary. It is a free country after all, so it's your choice.

    As a cheap and portable FYI, that also serves more than one purpose, and works on or off grid.
    Those cheap small solar powered yard lights most people buy for summer yard use. Many of them will recharge your rechargeable batteries.

    You can scoop them up for next to nothing. Guess what, they light the inside of your house as well as they light your yard. And they can charge your AA batteries.

    Stupid simple, you can use them in a disaster, inside or outside, they are portable, they make a reasonable flashlight for most common uses like going to the outhouse, they charge batteries, and get this. You can use them in your yard when nothing is wrong but a burger burning on the grill. Plus, they save the CR123 batteries in your $80.00 Tac-Light for when you really need them.

    Do with this what you will.
    Myself, I like options, being portable gives me options.
    I like that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 8:02 PM
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  9. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    From another viewpoint
    A camper trailer, Tent, or other portable living set up gives you the ability to open a small refugee camp at your place should the need arise.

    It could very well be a support mechanism for some of your loved ones who need respite.
     
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  10. Harper

    Harper Bushmaster

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    Or for an isolated sick room.
     
  11. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    @LostViking , the tip on the solar lights is a good one. Some of them seem to last forever too. Several years ago, I stuffed a set of cheap sloar lights (a string) into an antique outdoor light. The little solar panel on the wall in the sun. It is still going... all night long, same batteries. Also, the tip on using them as a charger is great too. Excellent advice. Preps that can be enjoyed all the time. Good stuff.
     
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  12. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    It's just stuff... I've never once "let me keep my family here because my stuff is here"... hell no, when it gets bad I send my wife and kids out of state. It's just stuff, I can get more stuff.
     
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  13. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    the problem with running is being able to find a water source that is isolated, accessible and not contaminated .
    I am some what prepared to run but the fact of the matter is there are so many people it is going to be like the white sale at Macys.
    And any one that looks like that have some where to go will have a hard time getting from them.
    One thing I learned bout living in the boonies, is that any time you think some place is hidden , some one shows sup calming it is their favorite place to hang out .
    The strength of your group will determine who get's to stay.
    One way or another you will have to make a stand .
     
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  14. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Thankfully in the North East water is not a problem. And you get into Northern NY... well no one except people who live there want to stay there especially in winter so expect the flood of people to head south while I head north ;p
     
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  15. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    I thought that is why we all have a bug out bag or two.
     
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  16. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    ^^^Nailed It^^^

    I am smack in the middle of that frozen wasteland you describe. I'm here for a lot of reasons. One of which is just what you describe.

    This illustrates a very good point. Like so many other discussions on BCUSA. A lot of the actions, responses, and thinking, will be area specific.

    As @arleigh points out, in his AOR water is a big issue. Here not so much. I just returned from my morning 4 mile hike. We have water everywhere. We have more wood than we know what to do with.

    But from November to April if you want to see bare ground, you will have to dig.


    @Vanitas makes another great piont. It's just stuff. Use stuff to keeep you and yours alive. Don't let your stuff get you killed.
    Whether it is a team of guerrillas or a funky weather pattern.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018 at 10:45 AM
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  17. kid_couteau

    kid_couteau Warrior Poet at Heart Supporter

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    Northern Maine
    Cold
    Long winters
    Blizzards
    Rain
    Economically depressed
    But I call these woodlands home. So I will stay here as long as I can.
     
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