Friday, March 11, 2016

Surviving the apocalypse in real life

I ran across this essay from a survivor of the war in Bosnia, relating how they survived when their town was blockaded during that terrible war.

While listing what you really need (hygiene stuff, antibiotics and food) he includes Bic lighters:

You must own small, unnoticeable items. For example, a generator is good, but 1,000 BIC lighters are better. A generator will attract attention if there’s any trouble, but 1,000 lighters are compact, cheap and can always be traded....
Yes, but coffee and cigarettes were even more expensive. I had lots of alcohol and traded it without problems. Alcohol consumption grew over 10 times as compared to peacetime. Perhaps today, it’s more useful to keep a stock of cigarettes, lighters and batteries. They take up less space.
In our area, when hit by a typhoon etc. it helped that we lived in a rural area, and could get gasoline for our generator, and that we had our own pump for clean water.

We have crime here, but enough neighbors to keep us safe. Our house is concrete, so survives floods and typhoons, but I worry what would happen if we got hit by an earthquake (we are on a major fault line that last moved in 1990).

 In a real time of chaos, we would probably move to the farm area where we store our rice and also have our own water pump and generator. Water is important because diarrhea is a major cause of death.

One generator runs on gasoline, one runs on diesel, so in case of long term survival, we'd probably rely on alcohol or biodiesel, or go back to the good old days of using wood for fire and palm oil for lamps.

When WWII hit, Lolo's brother was in the militia and took off to the hills, but he and his mom and cousin walked to the farm to hide until things settled down.

Ironically, there are few novels or stories from those times: The elite often cooperated with the Japanese and don't want those times remembered, and my husband's generation is dying off and only talk about it with each other.

But a lot of barter went on, and there were Japanese in this small town: He relates one soldier who the kids loved because he would give them candy, but my husband also related about a suspected "spy" executed in front of his house, and a cousin who was tortured to death to try to find where the local guerrillas were hiding. He also pointed out the house where this occurred: It is know as being haunted, but they use it in films and commercials.

No, we didn't have these problems when I worked in Africa. The local guerrillas would tell us where the mines were when we went to get supplies so we wouldn't be killed; in return, we would "accidentally drop" a box of medical supplies at a designated place along the road.

But the danger usually wasn't from the regular guerrillas, who were trained by the local communists and who tried to keep their people in order: It was the deserters from either side who found a gun could let them live off stealing and who killed or worse because they could.

One reason for a lot of the Africa atrocities are that these groups are not disciplined, but about power.

StrategyPage report on the growing chaos in central Africa.

the four horsemen of the apocalypse are; War famine disease and anarchy.

The problems of war, famine and disease are terrible, but in the case of societal collapse what will make the first three things more lethal is that anarchy part, because anarchy destroy the very essence of how society survives: By trust between strangers, and families who sacrifice to protects the weak.

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