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    Selco: How to Defend Your Home and Yourself When the SHTF

    Selco
    May 7th, 2018
    The Organic Prepper
    Comments (55)
    Read by 9,013 people

    This article was originally published by Selco at The Organic Prepper

    Editor’s Note: Have you ever wondered how to defend your home and yourself if the SHTF? In this interview, Selco provides us with information from his personal experience during the occupation of Bosnia. There are many lessons we can learn from his experience. ~ Daisy

    What was the most likely crime you would encounter when the SHTF?

    Where there is no regular system of law and order you have different kinds of groups who impose that “law and order.” In reality, it is lawlessness or law of whichever group is stronger.

    To add to that, when there is not any kind of “law” it is then a matter of a no-rules situation.

    That means all kind of violence was there.

    In reality, it worked on many different levels. For example, you form an armed neighborhood watch. We did, of some 15 people, in our street. Sometimes, in the middle of the of night, we were faced with a group of 50 men demanding something from us. For example, one was a group of people in uniform who stated that they were government forces and they wanted to check our neighborhood for whatever reason.

    We could obey or fight or negotiate. All combination were tested over the time, and sad truth is that when SHTF for serious there is gonna be many different groups who will “represent” government (or law, or order or you name it). But in reality, it all comes down to who will outsmart who.

    The most likely crimes were connected with resources because simply in that time and city there was not enough resources.

    So it was about who owned how much (resources), and ways to take those resources from other folks.

    It worked on a low level. For example, a few guys could kill you in the street and take your possessions, or on a bigger level – a local gang (if strong enough) could own your part of town and terrorize you and other folks by taking your stuff with brute force.

    How did you make your home less desirable to criminals?

    First, it was important where your home is, even in urban settings your house can be kinda “isolated” or stand in a way that it clearly “sticks out.” That was bad, and you could not change it.

    Then it was important what period of SHTF we are talking about. At the starting period of SHTF, it was bad if your house was close to some objects that were interesting for looting, like malls, gas stations, police stations, or similar.

    Generally speaking, it was better if your home (we are talking about in the city) was in the area where it was more packed with houses, simply because it was easier to blend in. Also, as the situation worsened we could use close houses too as they became destroyed or abandoned, which gave us more options, especially in terms of security.

    The first level of making a  home “less desirable” to criminals was simple blending in. I point it out very often as the most important thing in a home defense plan.

    It may seem hard to understand why I point it out so much, but think about it this way:

    In order to “pacify” and “own” a city, you need to have a huge military force, organized in a perfect way. Even then it is impossible to be safe in that city. There are many examples of that in modern history.

    In my case, and in that SHTF, nobody really “owned” the city. There were many groups trying to acomplish that through different methods. But in reality and on the ground it was a situation where nothing was for sure.

    As a result, most of the home invasions were a matter of opportunity. If attackers saw the opportunity they took it.

    It was not a rule, but it was very often like that.

    As a result, a good plan was not to be that opportunity.

    In my case that meant we tried to keep our activities on a low level when it came to giving up information about resources in our home.

    For example, if we needed to drag some bags of food home we did it so no one saw it. If we cooked something, sometimes even a nice smell could pose a possible danger.

    In short, it was time to be quiet and look for danger.

    For example, to transfer it to your world-  if something serious happens there in your city do you want to be the only guy in the neighbourhood running a generator? Or do you want to be only one who has a barbecue every night when SHTF?

    In my case, sometimes people did even more drastic things, like placing dead animals somewhere so stench could fend off intruders. It was not about scaring the attacker with the stench. It was about a situation where you have 20-30 houses very close to each other, and you have 50 people going through your street, mostly armed. And they look for useful things, they are scavenging. They might take a chance and fight if they find people defending some house, or they might not, you never know.

    So you make your house or your entrance and yard look abandoned, deserted destroyed, dirty…by putting some garbage, obstacles from ruins, some dead animals and you hope they will choose some other house because other houses look easier to get in and more desirable.

    People do not go gladly into places where they suspect dead things are or go gladly through some obstacles that can hurt them (remember-no doctor). They will chose another target.

    That is the first line of defense. The second line is you and the people inside waiting with guns.

    Now, this may look stupid to you. You might say,”Oh, this is the US. It does not work like that here.” But think about principles, maybe in your case some CDC label (“infectious diseases” or “bodies inside”) works.

    For example, in my case, a sign warning of “mines” would do a pretty good job but it might be good only for my region.

    It is all about deterring those who are thinking about coming to your home.

    How did you secure your doors and windows?

    First, it was very important not to “trap yourself” in. There was no sense, if you were under attack, being so well fortified that you could not get out.

    Alternate exit and entrances were very useful at that time, not only because of defense. Very often, it was good to leave and enter your home invisibly. You were never sure who monitored you and the stuff you were taking into your home.

    Most of our houses are brick or stone houses, so from that point pretty good for smaller calibers. Very soon people started to reinforce doors and windows with whatever was available that offered protection.

    One of the coolest was steel sewage covers. Those covers offered good protection. The favorite was dirt bags in combination with boards (planking).

    Of course, we used also whatever was available, so a laundry machine, for example, was a good addition for “plugging” a hole.

    Can you tell us about your home defense plan? How did you defend your home?

    The house was always guarded, all the time.

    Depending on the situation (or let us use the term “threat level”) it was guarded and defended in layers. The outer layer, for example, started on the street, through the neighboring abandoned house, then to the last layer – our house.

    If you had to fight, it was bad if you failed to use outer levels and the fight started in your house.

    If you choose to avoid fighting, then the outer levels may not be implemented at all. You could wait and hope to avoid the fight unless they attacked your home.

    Another good term that comes to mind is that situation was dynamic. Based on that, we adapted.

    Sometimes the situation dictated that the threat would be eliminated quickly out in the street.

    No rules.

    We were not soldiers, and the people who attacked us were not soldiers in most of the situations. We were closer to some kind of militia probably when it came to the rules of fighting.

    Our weapons and condition was a matter of many other factors:

    • how much ammo we had
    • how many sick group members
    • did some of us had a grenade in given moment

    Then it was a question of how the attackers looked to us:

    • organized or not
    • what kind of weapon they had
    • any visible fighting skills
    • RPGs
    • organized gang or bunch of desperate folks

    Every situation was different.

    How great was the risk of being assaulted when you were away from home?

    It was a great risk because you were exposed much more to the danger then being inside your home.

    It is important to understand that sooner or later you’ll be forced to go out, and in urban settings that means you meet other people.

    The point of prepping is to postpone that moment (by having a lot of resources in your home) until you figure out what is going on outside.

    You can try to minimize the risk of violence when you are out by carefully planning all your trips and tasks and using as much information available in that planning. But in reality, in urban settings, there are simply too many factors. You never knew what you find out outside your home while you are looking for firewood for example.

    Were women victimized? How did they protect themselves?

    In any societal breakdowns, women are victimized.

    Also in any modern society, there are certain people who are, let’s say sick, but they are under the care of the system (or simply scared of system and punishment that the system will bring to them if they assault women.)

    When society’s laws are out, that punishment is also out, so those kind of people are on the hunt.

    Women’s victimization is also brought on another level. Powerful groups (gangs) had their own prisons with women inside. That was used as a kind of reward for gang members.

    It was also used in a way of bringing terror to the people. For example, rape was used as a punishment in a lot of cases if people would not obey.

    It was part of a special war policy if you can call it like that, to know as a fact that women from your family, for example, could end up in a private rape prison.

    Fear and terror was a big part of everything.

    Women protected themselves in two ways (actually just like males did):

    • by belonging to some group, like family, group of friends or similar-sharing their knowledge and role in that survival group
    • by joining some other group, more let us say sinister group and looking for safety there in exchange for other activities.

    What were the ways people protected themselves?

    The most effective way was by organizing into groups that had something in common. The more things, they had in common, the better the group was. People with things in common are more trustful.

    Of course, common sense says that no matter how much a group was trustful, if they did not had enough skills and the will to use violence, chances for them were poor.

    Quite opposite to some myths, violence was not a solution for everything. Very often it led to death.

    The knowledge of how to use violence was very cool, but much more important was the skill to judge WHEN to use violence and when to chose some other way (run, negotiate, trade…)

    What are your suggestions for ways we can prepare now to keep our homes and selves safe when the SHTF?

    There are no magic solutions.

    I am talking from the point of urban survival, and there are two reasons for that:

    1. I experienced urban collapse so I have experience there

    and

    1. Most of the people live in some kind of urban settings, so chances are big you are gonna experience it too.

    There is a popular myth that all of us who live in urban settings will “bug out” to our rural retreat on time (I have that plan too), but in reality lot of us who even have the good bug out places out of the urban centers will simply fail to reach it on time. This is reality.

    So a few urban survival suggestions to defend your home:

    1. Do not be alone when SHTF. No matter how romantic it looks to be the lone wolf, it is hard and almost impossible to survive it alone without help. You are gonna be sick, you are gonna be forced to be on guard 24 hrs a day, you are gonna have hard time looking for resources…
    2. Find like minded people (preferably before SHTF). You need time to find people, and you need time to get to know that people.
    3. Be ready for violence. Both physically and mentally, practice with your weapon and be very familiar with your skills and especially with your limitations. Use common sense in choosing your weapons. Check what is useful to have in your situation.(For example, in my situation it made sense to have AK, CZ and similar.)
    4. Look at your home from the point of defending/attacking it. Look today how your home stands, how you can improve it, for example in “deterring” possible attackers, neighboring houses, ways of approach, possible booby traps, ways to quickly reinforce your home…

    At the end, you need to get up and work pretty hard in order to be prepared for a real collapse, No internet article can teach you that. It can only give you highlights or possible direction.

    ******

    About the Author

    Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today. He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months. Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.

    You can learn more about Selco at his website, SHTFschool.com. Check out his online courses and physical courses for a reality check about SHTF scenarios.

    Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary.
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    Author: Selco
    Views: Read by 9,013 people
    Date: May 7th, 2018
    Website: https://www.theorganicprepper.com/

    Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

    55 Comments...

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    1. Anonymous says:

      If the time comes I’ll defend my home with Razor Wire, Tannerite, punji stick booby traps, flamethrower and sticky bombs.

      • Kevin2 says:

        “flamethrower ”

        Incendiary devices would likely be used by villan with catastrophic effect. The defender is far more vulnerable being in a building that in almost every case is not fireproof. The ramparts would need to be manned outside of molotov cocktail range 24/7. Lose your home and you lose your supplies and shelter. The gangland entrepreneurs demanding “protection” money, goods or something of value threatening the above is highly likely. I think the cardinal rule is to keep thugs at great distance. This threat, common for all is the cohesive social glue of mutual defense. One could describe its adherents as a “Well Regulated Militia”.

        • TharSheBlows says:

          No!! The first #1 Rule is don’t live in the City. Get your remote BOL out in the Country ASAP, where you can better defend yourself. That eliminates about 75% of the threat babble in this article. Get away from the Looting Hording Masses that will Rape, Kill and slaughter house to house for a sandwich.

          • TharSheBlows says:

            See the Photo Above? Get plenty of sand bags. I have about 400 already filled and deployed at my BOL Compound. Sand bags will stop bullets up to a .50 Cal. They can be your life saver and it also blocks IR infrared tracking. Set up a good crows nest look-out to the entrance of your property for intruders, and never sit inside your house to defend your house. You’d be a sitting duck to be burned out. Think Waco TX, Branch Davidian. Didn’t work out so well for those blockaded inside the building did it? The Feds have no conscious, as Janet Reno should be in Prison for Murder.

          • JustMe says:

            There are few places left that are not a few days walk from large metro areas. Expect hordes of walkers.

      • john stiner says:

        Tannerite is one mass shooting away from being banned by the FEDS. Stock up while you can.

        • Kevin2 says:

          I lived a good piece of my adult life in an oil refinery witnessing many fires and an explosion in a chemical plant in 1977. Explosives and fires frighten me to death. Don’t even care for fireworks as I don’t trust the quality control. If it takes more than a gun to defend myself I’m at the wrong place at the wrong time.

        • TallMan says:

          Sorry to say John i disagree, the 2 ingredients used to make Tannerite won’t be banned anytime soon. Both the ingredients used to make it have LARGE commercial uses other then to just make Tannerite. Now you may not be able to buy it in those little pre packaged tubs anymore, but you’ll still be able to buy the ingredients, Ammonium nitrate, and Aluminum Powder to make it on your own.

      • Eisenkreutz says:

        I LIVED THROUGH A HURRICANE ON AN ISLAND FULL OF BROWN AND BLACK PEOPLE AND WE HAD MODERATE SHTF ACTUALLY.

        JUST MAKE YOUR HOUSE LOOK BORING BLAND AND UNINTERESTING

        FORGET ABOUT A FUCKING GENERATOR YOU CAN HEAR IT HALFWAY ACROSS FUCKING TOWN

        FORGET THE FUCKING CAMO GEAR BULLSHIT IT MAKES YOU A TARGET

        ONLY WEAPONS YOU NEED ARE A GLOCK AND A SEMI AUTOMATIC SHOTGUN

        INSIDE SECURITY BRACES ON ALL THE DOORS ARE A GOOD IDEA

        ALARMS THAT MAKE NOISE ARE USEFUL

        STROBE ATTACHMENTS FOR THE PISTOLS ARE USEFUL

        HAVE HANDCUFFS, PHONE, VHF RADIO, AND HEARING PROTECTION WITH YOUR PISTOL IN SHTF IN CASE YOU GET WOKE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

        BODY ARMOUR IS USEFUL BUT ONLY WEAR THAT SHIT AT NIGHT

        PROSTITUTION IS EVERYWHERE

        YOU MAY HAVE TO GO WITHOUT POWER WATER AND SEWER

        BE SURE TO STOP OFF THE TOILETS WITH RUBBER BALLS AND CUT THE POWER SO A FIRE DOESNT START. I SAW THAT SHIT HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE AND WHAT YOUR NEIGHBOR DOES CAN FUCKING PUT YOU IN DANGER.

        • John Stiner says:

          During Hurricane Rita a neighbor had his generator stolen. The generator was running at the time. The thief started the neighbors lawn mower then turned off the generator so there would not be a change in the sounds.

          I thought it was funny.

        • John Stiner says:

          Eisenkreutz: Toilets with rubber balls.

          did you see problems with sewer backing up into people’s homes because the power outage was preventing lift stations from draining the sewage.

          or was this to prevent rats and snakes from coming into toilets?

      • Eisenkreutz says:

        WHITES ARE NOW BEING TOLD WE MUST HAVE SEX AND MARRY WITH NO REGARD FOR SKIN COLOR

        THEY ARE EVEN CRITICIZING WHITE PEOPLE’S FOOD AS “TOO BLAND”

        EVERY OTHER COMMERCIAL FEATURES MISCEGENATION

        LIKE JAPAN SAYS, DONT LET EM IN CAUSE ALL THEY EVER DO IS CAUSE YOU PROBLEMS

      • Eisenkreutz says:

        FOR GOD SAKE CUT DOWN YOUR PORTION SIZES, LIFT HEAVY 6 DAYS A WEEK AND DO ONE HOUR CARDIO TWICE A WEEK AND LIMIT RESTAURANT VISITS TO ONCE A WEEK

        MEAL SIZES ARE FUCKING 4 TIMES AS BIG TODAY AS THEY WERE IN 1950

        FAT PEOPLE ARE DISGUSTING AND SHOULD BE SHAMED

        WOMEN RATE 80% OF MEN AS UNATTRACTIVE BUT YET YOU HEAR THEM FUCKING SHRIEKING ABOUT BODY POSITIVE BLAH BLAH HEALTHY AT ANY SIZE BLAH BLAH FAT SHAMING BLAH BLAH BODY IMAGE BLAH BLAH

        GOD DAMN I FUCKING HATE FAT PEOPLE

        YOU WILL FIND AS YOU ACCUSTOM YOUR BODY TO SMALL PORTION SIZES THAT EATING TOO MUCH WILL MAKE YOU SICK

        THATS HOW ITS SUPPOSED TO BE

        AND ANOTHER THING. FUCKING WEAR DRESS CLOTHES TO WORK. PEOPLE DRESS LIKE FUCKING SLOBS NOW.

      • JustMe says:

        If anyone has not done so, check out Selco’s SHTF Schools, they are worth every penny. You may also want to check out the “Conflicted” card decks, they have many great and grave concepts.

      • “If the time comes I’ll defend my home with Razor Wire, Tannerite, punji stick booby traps, flamethrower and sticky bombs.”

        Ugh. Let’s break this down…

        1) Do you even *have* any of this stuff? Saying that you’ll scavenge it later is stupid, and here’s why: Unless you’re skilled at using the stuff, concertina wire (“razor wire” is notoriously difficult (if not nearly impossible) to wrestle, transport, and horse into place without specialized (kevlar, steel mesh, or better)gloves, and skill at handling it. A flamethrower that actually works at a sufficient distance without killing you in the process? Yeah, unless you’re an engineer, good luck with that.

        2) Setting this stuff up takes *time* to accomplish (especially digging the holes for your punji-stick booby traps), and will leave you nice and exposed while you build and set them (and yeah, your neighbors are going to see you do it, they’ll see where you put them, etc.)

        …maybe you should work on setting up more subtle defenses that don’t involve scary-looking stuff to frighten the neighbors with, yet provide some actual defense should the time come?

    2. Heartless says:

      Like always – Selco knows. We all should be thankful he not only survived; but, he is passing along the realities of what needs to be done.

    3. Kevin2 says:

      The veneer of civilization is quite thin. Anarchy is only a few missed meals (with no more expected) away and even less the closer one is to the underclass. I suspect the disintegration of society would start immediately at the bottom as they prey on each other in good times of running water, food and electricity.

      • rellik says:

        K2,
        “The veneer of civilization is quite thin”.
        You knocked that out of the park.
        My neighbors are very self sufficient, so we
        don’t have to worry.
        If you are in a city get OUT!

    4. The Deplorable Braveheart says:

      I highly recommend Selco’s course for anyone who has never taken it. Go to shtfschool.com today and sign up for Selco’s online course. You’ll be glad you did.

      • John Stiner says:

        Interesting that his experience was shelter in place, but he advocates bug out locations in his welcome video????

        Maybe the grass is greener in in other pastures.

        I don’t need a course on hunting, fishing and trapping. I need a course on how to dispose of a dead n!ggar thug without getting arrested or having a vengeful family come looking.

        • rellik says:

          I don’t have many problems with “Thugs” as we don’t have many here,
          but I have a gulch nearby full of feral pigs. I don’t call the cops ever.

        • John:

          To avoid arrest first and foremost, STFU. Most criminals are caught because they brag about their crimes, or they confide in a girlfriend. Secondly, is actually first. Never report a crime committed against you. If you do, you become connected to the perp. If some bad luck befalls the scum, you wind up on the list of suspects because you have motive.

          You could bury someone on 100 acres and be somewhat unlikely to be caught. But I don’t think you want the remains on your land to be sure. Wild pigs are good. Disrobe the corpse before feeding it to the pigs. The pig might get a zipper caught in its butt when it shits.

          If you live in an apartment or house, once the guest enters, fix him so he never bothers anyone else. If times are that bad, you probably will be low on dog food, so will your neighbors. You could bottle can some dog food for barter. Just an idea. I havn’t tried it out, yet.

          _

          • john stiner says:

            exactly.

            Shoot, Shovel, and Shut up.

            • Nailbanger says:

              😎👍🏻
              Thats my theory

            • TharSheBlows says:

              I say get the hardest part done first. I’d prefer to shovel and dig the hole first. The other 2 parts will come really fast then. Lure the thug to the hole by asking him if he wants to make a few fast quick bucks, but he has to come to your property right now to help. Know and exploit his weaknesses or vices to accomplish this. Make sure you shoot your guns regularly on your property so it’s not out of the ordinary for other neighbors to hear gun shots. Rip off a full magazine like you are practicing. In SHTF the cunning survive longer than the naive.

              In my area, any dead carcus left out in the open will be devoured by the Turkey Vultures within a day or so. I see deer and other road kill totally gone but the bones and hide, within a few days. Another reason you dont want to die outside.

        • MJBN says:

          You and me, both.

    5. norrak says:

      Don’t mean to change the subject, but so damn glad about Oklahoma just passed constitutional carry, now the bill awaits Governor Mary Fallon’s signature. Oklahoma is also one of the states calling for a Convention of States.

    6. DWEEZIL THE WEASEL says:

      I have read somewhere the greatest danger you will face will be within 5 miles of your home. The local police station is 5 miles from my home. In any kind of meltdown(remember Katrina?), the largest gang in Amerika is the one who will be wearing badges and uniforms. Plan accordingly.

      • MJBN says:

        Best post. Ever. In the history of the internet.

      • TharSheBlows says:

        Heard on the news a Deputy was shot and killed. He responded to a call that a man shot his neighbors cat. When the Dep arrived, the man shot the Dep in the head. Head shot.

        So stay alert folks, treat everyone as if they are carrying a gun. I carry 2 guns when driving. And 2 extra magazines for each piece. I may need to lay down some supressive fire to escape the area if needed. Here in Florida it’s also legal to fire warning shots.

        We are entering interesting times. Situational Awareness is key for survival. Trust no one and carry daily.

        • Kevin2 says:

          “Situational Awareness is key for survival.”

          Tragic and senseless. Its easy to “Monday morning quarterback” but that “alleged” perp was a convicted felon who by law was barred possession of a firearm. In hindsight the officer should have ran him to see who he was dealing with. Once knowing his status if sufficient evidence was there a warrant to search the premises for a firearm (they can get a warrant for just about anything) would be issued with it executed in a fashion to minimize risk to the officers.

        • John Stiner says:

          entering interesting times

          The black thugs have been emboldened over the last few years and now are really causing problems.

          You can’t even ask trespassing black thugs to leave your property without it making national news.

      • NorseMan says:

        Not only ‘real’ cops wanting to ‘take you away’ or ‘disarm you’ for your own ‘safety’ – but fake cops or military who will pull up and want to shoot you. Shoot at a real cop and you risk drawing in whatever is left if the government’s police and military.

        You need to be ready for evolving SHTF situations. Day 7 will have lots of desperate unprepared people – including your neighbors. Day 30 will have fewer, but more savvy survivors who made it that far by looting soft targets. Day 180 will have large, well armed and hardened gangs who survive by going around and taking every remaining resource they can find. Shooting at a gang lets them know you have at least one gun and something worth protecting. That means you will be surrounded and potentially attacked 24/7.

    7. Picture a typical house being constructed today with the materials in the walls (vinyl siding, drywall, etc). Would you be willing to stand on one side of the “wall” and have someone shoot at you from the outside? The bullets would go straight through. You either have to defend the outside of your home or have a lot of sandbags. Plywood isn’t that great a defense either.

      • Kevin2 says:

        Brian

        Not just your walls. Even a FMJ 9MM could go through a home like this and penetrate the walls of another. A medium power rifle from 30 carbine through 223/5.56 will be worse and 308 -30.06 might make it down the block passing through several homes.

        One needs to be aware of this in everyday life. Firing off a magazine of 9MM at a criminal in your home missing most and killing the neighbors son would be tragic and I can’t imagine the personal guilt one would carry. Potential fields of fire, very expanding projectiles limiting penetration need to be thought about. In the end, don’t miss.

      • John Stiner says:

        This is why I live in a dumpster.

    8. Bert says:

      Story followed up by “Slico: How to Not Spill Hot Coffee On Yourself While Driving at 125 mph” and “Slico: How to Read the Warning Coffee Is Hot Warning Label”

    9. Sam W. says:

      Cowboys and Indians, if it gets that bad choose your battles. Go on patrols draw problems into ambushes. At least get an understanding of tactical warefare. Read or watch “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu. It may become necessary to thin the herd of undesirable people. Above all else don’t fight superior forces in superior position, run to fight another day. Remember Gettysburg!

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