There is little probability that everyone will go to sleep one night and wake up the next day in a post-Apocalyptic America. Fact is, we don’t seem to realize that we’re already living in the midst of post-Apocalyptic conditions that are not obvious until of course, another catastrophic event occurs. Global cataclysms aside, this is not necessarily a condition where something instantaneously occurs after some event, but it begins in the years leading up to it.
Armed you are a citizen. Disarmed you are a subject…. After disarmament comes Sanctioned Homicide…
Editor’s note: In the following article, Selco of SHTF School delves even further, detailing real-life scenarios, key information that will undoubtedly help save your life should the streets of America turn into a war zone. Pay attention because this no idealized collapse scenario – it’s reality. Selco is from the Balkan region, where from 92 to 95 the Bosnian War destroyed everything and he 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.
Selco: It is crucial to understand when SHTF starts. I think it is one of the most important things, to recognize that, in some cases, it is more important to recognize that event at the right moment than to be prepared for that, no matter how strange this sounds.
I believe this is the truth because knowing when things turn bad can give you a chance to escape.
But even if it is too late to escape, if you know this is a survival situation you think differently. Make different decisions, think twice when dealing with strangers in need or accepting help from strangers who “want your best” or at least they say so.
How do I prepare to know when survival mode has to kick in? Here are 5 symptoms that show that you might have a terrible disease in your area that can kill and that disease is called SHTF, societal collapse, or fight to survive. It comes with many names but if you know the first symptoms you can fight it better, earlier and smarter or avoid it.
Symptom 1: More violence in your area
Best information is the key for survival.
Then there is global news of big events. They are good to keep an eye on and I read them but what really matters for me is local news. I get very few of important news from local newspapers but more from Police officers I chat with.
I am working in the medical field so when things in my city get worse I know about it. More murder, riots, fights, or other events where people get hurt. You might not work in a field like that but know someone, then talk to them. I did a quick research and for the US for example there are law enforcement forums you could try to connect with some officers in your area.
If you find someone in your area, chat with them. Tell them you want to know their opinion. People who work in these fields have a much better idea of how the local situation is than what any media can tell you.
The media has to play nice with politicians, politicians need good news. Barack Obama ordered an operation to kill Osama Bin Laden. Heard about it? This was an election year, you will hear a lot more often about it, think about what will happen now that some try to steal the elections while the others want to defend it?
The people who help victims or fight crime and give you their opinion will be able to tell you what’s really going on. Is violence up in your area? Is the media just hyping one incident or are there many more “normal” violent events like fights or stabbings nobody writes about.
Forget disaster media who write about new breakdown every day. Unless it is really something local it will take time before it affects you. Maybe you have a local survival blogger or officer in your area who keeps people informed then you are lucky. Read those websites if you have them.
So besides real local street news what can help you to spot signs of SHTF?
Word of the day: Prepare! And do it the old fashion way, as our forefathers did it, and succeed long before us because what lies ahead of us will require all the help we can get. Watch this video and learn the 3 skills that ensured our ancestors’ survival in hard times of famine and war.
Symptom 2: Group behavior changes, survival brings people closer and makes others less human
First, you need to try to understand that the SHTF event brings a whole new set of things, and laws, together with the complete absence of old laws.
Most important thing is, it is scary and when something is scary or people just sense things are going bad they band together.
They try to stick with people most similar to them. That’s in prisons and that’s everywhere once signs show something bad might happen.
Part of violence or why violence is easy is because the predator the one being violent considers his victim as someone very different. Almost like a thing. He is some else, almost not human. In these cases, it is much easier to do bad things.
This happened during the war, happens now in prisons, and has happened through all of history. So once people band together and groups form and there is maybe your group or neighbors group and then there is this very different “other group”, the chance of things getting more ugly is bigger.
Symptom 3: Dead streets
Along with groups forming people try to stay with people they trust. Fewer people go out and if then also in the group. People show up less often to meetings and social activities.
Casual activities like going to the park change to visiting neighbors. When fear has spread so far that streets become less populated at certain times of day then it is time to get ready for disaster.
It means some people already live in survival mode but they do not know it. They probably will not have realized they have too little food storage and other things. Fear just makes them less social. (does this ring a bell?)
Symptom 4: New leaders emerge
Some people will use widespread fear to their advantage. Fear is a powerful tool to control the masses. Some election campaigns of politicians use fear to influence voters and get them on their side. This works with many people who do not know about it.
On a local level, this means that a loud person in your favorite bar (if open) gathers more people around him. Some people organize groups for different also harmless things to make the situation better. In times of fear, people look for leaders to hold on to. When things get tough those leaders will turn to be gang leaders.
Even those that did good things and became leaders of a good group and for example improved at some point the local situation, they turned into hard gang leaders who did everything to survive. I’m sure some of them never expected that but when things get tough everything changes.
Symptom 5: Nobody to trust anymore
I explain this with story of what happend to a friend.
Like the great majority of people, my friend watched in the first days the situation deteriorating. I talked with him a few days ago and I asked him if he can remember the precise moment or event that he knew we were in the point of no return or the point when he clearly saw that everything is going to sh.. and something completely new is coming.
He lived in an apartment building on the seventh floor with his family, and he said that he like the great majority of people watched in the first week or two how things were going down, stories of sporadic killing in the city fueled by rage and hate, fear slowly started to creep into people’s mind, fear from unknown, still people believed that the things will somehow gonna revert back to normal, nobody wanted to think too much about the worst things, it was somehow unimaginable.
In a late afternoon or evening, he heard shots, brakes, and sounds of a car crash. He goes to the window and saw that truck went off the road to the dirt side of the road, the driver fell out from the truck screaming that a sniper shot him. Vehicles were going on the road close to the guy but nobody wanted to stop and help him.
After 10 minutes, 10 or 12 policemen came with rifles, and sourunded the area close to the truck and wounded driver, I guess trying to figure where the sniper was. Firefighters also came, but they stayd 100 or 150 meters from truck. Also taking cover from possible sniper.
It was in the first days when very few people knew exactly who is fighting with who and why and who is the enemy. Nobody mentioned the word war too much, people still thought that things were some local unrests that gonna cease soon.
On the intersection, right across that burning truck and screaming driver, there was small store, „newspapers store“ they sell cigarettes, newspapers, lighters, candy and stuff like that.
When that truck crashed, the salesman ran away in fear from everything I guess.
Anyway, the police members were hiding and lying down everywhere while that guy screamed, after some time one of them came to the store, used his baton and smashed glass and took couple boxes of cigarettes, after him few other also did that, he said one even took big box of bubble gums.
The police had no idea what do with that sniper, after some time my friend says darkness came and someone started to shoot at them too, so they ran away carrying a police officer that was wounded. Firefighters ran away earlier, everybody forgot the screaming hurt driver.
My friend said he did not even realize when the truck driver who has been shot stopped from screaming. He said the image of police officers in full gear with weapons stealing things from that store was so new for him and so crushing that he clearly took that event and that moment as the point of real beginning, the moment when SHTF and his world broke down.
From that moment on he knew it was about survival now and the rules had changed.
When you believe for years that guys in uniforms are there only to serve and protect you, awakening to something like that can be rude.
So symptom 5 is when the behavior of authorities change. That is a clear sign that now everything is going to get worse. Those might be smaller changes first and not so extreme as in my friend’s case, but at the end of the day, policemen are also fathers and sons and have a family to take care of.
That night he and his family left that apartment, and moved to some safer parts of town, at that time they figured that S. has hit the fan. Not so much because of the driver, who died soon, but much more because of the image when police officers were stealing things.
Also, a few hours after the police officers were gone, he sneaked out to the store and took some stuff, not too many things were left, but few boxes of cigarettes worth fortune in coming months.
Those are 5 important early warning signs or symptoms of SHTF. There are many more fine details to pay attention to of course. This guy speaks in detail about all events that can happen before an SHTF scenario and what needs to be after it happens. Click to watch the video.
What are your early warning signs you watch out for?
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