A Survival Q & A: Living Through SHTF In the Middle of A War Zone

by | Oct 25, 2011 | Emergency Preparedness, Selco | 245 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Several readers alerted us to a forum thread at Survivalist Boards that centered around an individual named Selco who spent several years in a city setting during the complete collapse of Bosnia circa 1992. Selco describes the experiences and the survival strategies that he, his family and his community used to stay alive. Many forum members chimed in on the conversation and asked questions of Selco, who took the time to provide vivid details to an interested survival community.

    The following compendium of the most popular questions and answers from the forum thread has been provided by Chris Kitze of well known alternative media web site Before It’s News. It’s a long read, but well worth your time.

    SHTFplan editor’s note: When it hit the fan in Bosnia in the 1990’s the electrical grid and water utilities went down, thus there was no heat in the winter and no potable water available for drinking. The currency and banking system were non-existent and commerce in its traditional form came to a standstill – leaving only barter as a way to acquire goods. The food supply and transportation systems fell apart. Police, fire, and medical services disappeared. Violence, disease and death spread throughout the region. Few were prepared for what would follow. This is Selco’s story. Pay attention, it may save your life one day.

    “Nobody wins, we just survived, with a lot of bad dreams.”

    — Selco

    From Selco:

    OK, i wanna share with you my own experience. (be patient with my English, i am from far away )

    I am from Bosnia, and as some of you may know it was hell here from 92-95, anyway, for 1 whole year i lived and survived in a city of 50 000- 60 000 residents WITHOUT: electricity, fuel,running water,real food distribution, or distribution of any goods, or any kind of organized law or government.The city was surrounded for 1 year and in that city actually it was SHTF situation.

    We did not have organized army or police force, there was groups of defenders, actually anybody who had a gun, fight for his own house and his own family.

    Some of us was better prepared, but most of families had food for couple of days, some of us had pistol, few owned AK-47 when all started.

    Anyway, after one month or two, gangs started with their nasty job,hospital looked like butchery, police force vanished, 80 percent of hospital staff gone home.
    I was lucky, my family was big in that time (15 members in one big house, 5-6 pistols, 3 Kalashnikov s) so we lived and survived, most of us.

    I remember US Air force dropped MRE every 10 days (god bless USA for that) as help for surrounded city, it just was not enough.Some of houses had little gardens with some vegetables, most did not.
    After three months rumors started abouth first deaths from starvation,deaths from low temperatures, we stripped every door , window frame from abandoned houses for heating, i burned all my own furniture for heating, lot of people died from diseases, mostly from bad water (two of my family members), we used rain water for drink, several times i ate pigeons, once i ate rat.

    Money did not worth sh..

    we traded things, black market worked, few examples: for 1 corned beef can you could have woman for couple of hours(sounds bad, but it was reality) i remember, most of that womans were just desperate mothers, candles, lighters,antibiotics,fuel,batteries, rifle ammo and of course food, we fight like animals for that.
    In situation like that lot of things change, most of people turned to monsters, it was ugly.
    Strength was in the numbers, if you were alone in the house, you ve been probably robbed and killed, no matter how well armed.

    Anyway, war ended, again thanks to America (and again god bless USA for that)
    It is not important witch side had right in that war.

    It was almost 20 years ago, but believe me, for me it was just like yesterday, i remember everything, and i think i learned a lot.

    Me and my family are prepared now,i am well armed, stocked and educated.
    It is not important what going to happen, earthquake,war, tsunami,aliens terrorists, important thing is that something gonna be.

    And from my expirience, you can not survive alone, strength is in the numbers, be close with your family, prepare with them, choose your friends wisely and prepare with them too.

    And at the end, this is my first post, and my English is not so good, so don t judge me too hard. ”  

    Q:  How did you get around safely?

    Actually city was broken in something like lot of street communities, in my street (15 or 20 houses) we organized patrols (5 armed man every night) to watch on gangs or enemies.

    We traded things between people in that street, 5 miles from my street there was one street with something like organized traders, but it was to dangerous to go there, it worked only during the nighttime (during the day it was sniper alley) and you had more chance to be robed there than to trade, i used that street only 2 times, and belive me, only when i am really need something bad.

    Q:  What about wood?  It looked like there are many forests around your city, why did you have to burn doors and furniture?

    First, thank you for your questions, i did not expect this amount of interest for my post.

    I ll be glad to share lot of things with you guys beecause i want to learn lot of things from you.


    Bosnia have lot of woods and forests when you check map, but i lived in city closer to the croatian border, more to the south, i don t want to mention name of the city, but if you check map, south part of my country closer to croatia is all in rock.

    Yes we had some trees in my city, parks, fruit trees, but most of the city is building and houses” but belive me all trees in the city is going to be burned very fast when you dont have eletricity for cooking and heating. After that all what you have is furniture, doors, wooden floors… (and belive me that stuff is burning too fast)

    There was almost no car use in town because: most of the roads jammed with ruins, abandoned cars, destroyed houses stuff like that, and petrol was like gold.

    If i needed to go somewhere i almost always used night time, never go alone but also never go in big group (2-3 man maybe), always armed, very fast, always in shadows, trough ruins, rarely openly on the street, actually always hiding.

    We did not have suburbs and farmers, in suburbs were enemy army, we were surrounded with enemy army, and inside town you did not know who is your enemy.

    And yes, there were organized groops of gangs, 10-15 people, sometimes even 50, but also there were normal people like you and me, fathers, granddads, decent folks, who robed and killed, there was not too much good and bad guys, most of us was gray, ready for everything.

    Q:  Did you prep and what kind of skills did you need?

    Of course you can ask.

    We use what we had, we was not prepared for that situation,we did not know for prepping.

    So you can imagine in some aspects we go back in stone age, actually in most of.

    We just used everything what we had, one example, i had in my propan(or butan i am not sure) stowe big bottle, cylinder (i am not sure is that right word), and i did not use it for cooking or heating, it was to valuable, i manage to built (fix) that bottle with my friend so i can attach a hose on some kind of ventil (sorry my english is going down here) so i can fill those disposable lighters,(they are not disposable if you knowhow to) those lighter worth a small fortune.

    To make story short, somebody bring me empty lighter to me and i fill that lighter with gas, usually i took one can for that or one candle or whatewer he can offer me.

    I hope you understand my example, my english is poor on some things.

    one more example, i am a registered nurse, in time like that, my knowledge was my thing for trade.

    And yes, be trained and educated, in times like that it worth a fortune if you know how to fix things, all your goods is going to be exhausted one day, but your specific knowledge can be your food.

    I mean learn to fix things (shoes or people, whatewer you can)

    My neighbor use to know how to make some kind of oil for oil lamps( oil in glass, peace of rope) and he was not hungry, he never show me how he made that oil 

    i belive he use some tree behind his house and small amount of disel, i don t know.

    My point is learn things, people always need somebody who know to fix things.

    It was not survival movie, it was ugly, we did what we have to do to survive.

    Nobody wins, we just survived, with a lot of bad dreams.

    Q:  Wasn’t it religious, the war?

    Sorry man wrong info, that was not Cristian vs Muslim war, it was civil war, with lot of switching between sides.

    And sorry i am not to go in to the politics, i dont care to much for that, i am not going into religious stories, i mean i believe in God as higher power, and I am trying to live by his laws, i am not belong to any dogma, Muslim or Christian.

    Q:  Who was your support group?

    My group was only my family, my blood (relatives like uncles, grandmother…), in my street and in my town trips i had some close friends, but my best friends was my family. I never take stranger in my close group.

    Q:  If you had three months to prepare today, what would you do?

    If i have extra three months to prepare?

    Hmmm, probably run overseas  🙂


    OK, Now i am very well aware how things can go very bad in very short time so i have food, hygiene, energy etc. supply for 6 months, i live in apartment with some improved security, i have house with shelter in a village some 5 miles from my apartment, in that house also supply for 6 months, that village small community, most of them are my relatives,most of them are prepared (they learned that from war), i have four kind of fire weapons with 2000 bullets for each (sorry, can not go in details, laws are different here for rifles).

    I have big garden with that house and some good knowledge about gardening and farming.

    I think i have knowledge now to smell trouble, you know when everybody is saying that everything is going to be fine you somehow know that is everything going to fall apart.

    I think i have strength to do everything what it takes to keep me and my family alive, because when everything is going to sh.., be sure, you are going to do some bad things to save your kid. You don t want to be hero, you want to survive with your family.

    I am nurse, also i am paramedic (US standards)

    And i am willing to learn from all of you.

    One man survivor, no chance ( OK it is my opinion) no matter how well armed and prepared, at the end you gonna die, i ve seen that, many times. Family groups or closest friend with lot of preparing and lots of different knowledge, i believe that is best.

    Q:  What items should we stockpile?

    Thank you

    Well depends, i quess if you stock only one thing you are not going to survive, unless you want to survive like robber, then you need only gun and lot od ammo.

    I believe besides ammo food hygiene and energy things (batteries etc.) you need to focus on small things for trade, pocket knives, lighters, flints.

    Also LOT of alcohol, kind that can stay long, i mean stuff like whiskey and that, does not important what kind, you can have cheapest kind, it is very good thing for trade in desperate time.

    Also lack of hygiene things killed a lot of people, i ve seen that.

    You gonna need to have some simple things, like for example lot of garbage bags, i mean a lot, many uses for that, and a LOT of duct tape, many many uses for that.

    In case of weapon keep it simple, i mean now i always carry Glock 45 with me, because i like that gun, but it is not usual gun and usual caliber here, so i also have two 7,62 mm TT russian pistols hidden, because almost everybody have that gun here and a lot ammunition.

    I don t like Kalashnikov, but here there is that rifle on almost every 3rd house so…

    Most of the time i collect my water from roof in 4 big barrels during the war, then cooked to desinfect, we also had river in that town , too poluted but if you can t choose…

    I don t think i am expert, i am here to learn.

    I quess it depends how far you going to go to survive with your actions, you need to be prepared to do some ugly things.

    Oh yes it changed my perspective on life, i know now that bad things can happens, and on more important thing, actually i believe it is most important: I don’t anymore believe government and authority, not at all. When they really doing their best to assure you that everything going to be fine, you can be sure that something bad is happening.

    Do not just believe, research.

    Q:  What about the civil war…and the religious fighting?  Did gold and silver help much and how did you get the alcohol and other supplies?

    Hello to all

    It is me again 🙂

    I believe in some point this discussion gone wrong way, and no i am not offended, everybody have right for opinion, so here is few of my opinions:

    It was a civil war, yes there was a great influence of religion, but somebody mention “what did you do with people of other religion?”

    Well in my family there are people with different religious beliefs so what do you mean with that?

    I ll try to explain you simple; it was an attackers and defenders, lot of switching sides, civil war. War ended without winners, it ended with truce, thanks mostly to USA.It was the wrong war, wrong reasons. I did not fight for religion or ethnicity, i fought to keep my family and myself alive.

    For last 15 years we have peace, we live with people who use to be our enemies, i do not to want to have war and enemy again because ethnicity or religion or any other reason.

    Please do not try to generalize anything about that war, there was not good and bad side, we all suffered and we all try to live together again.

    And yes every side did bad things, and every side had booth good and bad guys.

    I am here for one and only reason- survival, i want to learn, and i can share some useful stuff with you.
    I don t think about your religious beliefs, your ethnicity or your politic opinion.

    Few words about my city before war, it was a usual Bosnian town, normal life, decent people, schools, theaters, parks, college, airport, crime rate very low, town like most of the smaller towns in USA (i think). I was a young man, just like any of you maybe.

    Now very important think: i am not here to discuss about war reasons, or sides, religion or anything similar.

    Thanks to the war, in my town was REAL SHTF situation, and we can discuss only about that, only that is important.

    You have a lot internet pages, you can learn everything about that war, and you can choose side if you want.
    OK that s it.

    About survival.

    I don t know about other people on this forum, but i have lot of alcohol stacked now.

    At the beginning of war tank grenade smashed front wall of small distillery (alcohol factory) close to my house, so we took something around 500 liters of rakia (it is something like bosnian whiskey, i guess, it made from grape, very strong)

    It was great stuff for trading, people used alcohol a lot, desperate times i think, we also use it for disinfection.

    About hygiene, cups and plates, paper or plastic, you gonna need a LOT, i know, we did not have it at all.

    My opinion that hygiene things is more important maybe than food, you can easily shoot pigeon, if you have grandmother she may know some eatable plants on nearest small hill (my experience) but you can not shoot hand sanitizer 🙂

    Water purifying pills, all kind of cleaning stuff, sanitizers, lot of soap, bleach, gloves, masks, all disposable, take very good care about first aid training, learn how to treat smaller cuts, burns or even gunshot wound, there is not hospital, even if you found doctor somewhere he probably do not have any meds, or you do not have stuff to pay him.

    Learn how and when to use antibiotics and have it a lot.

    Belive me with good knowledge and good amount of meds you are gonna be rich.

    About gold and silver, yes, me personally gave all my gold for ammunition in that time, but it did not worth too much.

    About pets, i did not have it, i did not notice a lot pets in that time, did somebody ate it? I don t know, probably.

    About small family, hmm, not good, usualy few smaller families get together in biggest house and stay together, all relatives (my case)

    Small family or single man, not good for survive in town SHTF, maybe in wilderness (i don t have expirience in that) Even if you stay low profile, hidden in your house with lot of food etc, sooner or later mob will come, and you have maybe have one or two guns, very hard. I agree with low profile policy, it is very important not to attract people with anything, but when they come, you need to have numbers, people and guns, best people is your family.

    About moving trough the city: always night time as i mentioned, never alone, 2-3 man, very fast, never attract with anything, look like everybody else, if most folks look desperate, poor, dirty you need to look same, there is no need that everybody know you have good amount of food, ammo , clean cloths and everything else back at home. Look and act like everybody else.

    When somebody attack you or your family then you need to show that you are very ready.

    I never walked in big groups,in that time and that situation big group is gang.

    Now, this is all my experience, it was then, i did a lot of mistakes, i am not expert, i am here just like any of you, to learn and share.

    For example i don t know too much about wilderness survival, i am here to check it.

    Oh yes, few things to the Sedoy: my wife is different ethnicity, and she is also a Catholic, i am not, and to answer you : no i am not going to shoot her.

    Q:  What happened to those who died?  Where did people get firewood?

    Well, who ever died or get killed in that period, did not get proper funeral.

    Folks used used every peace of free land, close to house for burial, sometimes even in the garden, 2-3 city parks turned to graveyards,after war most of them are exhumed and properly buried.

    There was not noting like burning bodies or anything similar, as far as i know.

    Oh one more interesting thing about fire, some people use to go few miles during the night only to find fire somewhere so they can fire peace of wood and bring it home, and start fire for cooking or heating, lighters and matches was really precious, and most of the folks did not have enough firewood do keep always fire. For most of the people it was constant search for something, fire,wood,food,ammo…

    Q:  Was salt valuable?

    It was valuable yes, but not too much, for example coffee or cigarettes worth-ed much more.

    Q  What about cigarettes?

    Hm, i had a lot of alcohol as i mentioned before, i traded almost everything without any problem, let me say it like this: consumption of alcohol was probably 10 times more than in normal time.Not to mention cleaning and disinfection.

    On the other side you made a very good point, if you have money and time and you have a storage it is probably better to store cigarettes or candles and batteries for trade, or food.

    I was not prepper at that time, we did not have time to prepare, few days before SHTF politicians on TV stated that everything is fine, when sky fell down we just take what you can.

    Q:  Tell us more about cooking and the foods you were able to prepare.  Were you concerned about the smell getting around and alerting people that there was food over there?

    About cooking, before the SHTF i used in my house electricity for booth, cooking and heating, so when everything started i traded some stuff for some kind of old wood stove, i put it in kitchen ad fix exhaust pipe (right word?) trough hole in wall, i use that for cooking and heating.

    During the summer i cooked in my backyard (walled fence, brick, luckily)

    Concerning the smell of the food, hm, i ll try to picture situation: no electricity, no running water, sewage off for months, dead bodies in ruined houses, grime and mess, believe me it was very hard to smell something nice.

    It was not like in movies, it was ugly,dirty, and smelly.

    Yes i had few problems because of cooking, only few, but as i sad before, enough people, properly armed and with will to defend and you can manage most of the problems with that.

    Probably situation would be different in wilderness.

    I ate mostly some kind of pancakes with local herbs (does not require cooking oil and too much firewood), and of course everything what i could get and trade, rice was good to eat, not too much firewood for that.

    I think i had luck, only few times i ate funny things like pigeons.

    I always had something to trade, i guess that saved me, and guns of course.

    Q:  1. Why would the night be safer than daytime? Outside of the obvious of being easier to hide at night, but were the gangs more out during the days? Also, why only small groups of 2-3? What happened to larger groups?

    2. Why would you have to go out at night? For instance, where were you going and why?

    3. How did you handle the mob situation when they came for you, or your family?

    4. You mentioned trading for bullets, etc. How much shooting were you doing during that time and how much ammo did you have, or would like to have had?

    5. How were you able to determine who was an enemy and who wasn’t? How did you manage to get out there trade with people and when/where?

    6. What fortifications did you do to your home and what kind of guard, or protections did you have in place?

    7. Finally, how did you avoid snipers? What precautions did people take against them?

    First almost nobody were out during the day because of snipers, line of defence was very close, so whatever you have to do, you do it during the night, trade something, look for firewood (i can express how much this was important in town, and hard), looking for anything, check somebody, go to hear news (very very important, lot of people get killed because they go somewhere just to see what happening, or what s new) remember, no news, no radio ,no tv, nothing, rumors fed lot of people.

    Already explained, you can stay home and die of hunger and cold, or even infection of some small wound or go out and risk your life, try to find – trade anything useful

    I did have situations concerning my house only, it is no need for too much details, we had more fire power, and brick wall.

    Also we had something like street watch, people from my street were good organized, in case of gangs, now there were a lot shootings.

    There was pretty much shooting in town, i did not have enough weapon at the beginning, one rifle and one pistol (ww2), maybe 100 bullets, later i trade some things for more rifles and ammo, remember i gave car battery for 2 rifles.

    How much ammo ?

    A LOT, as more as you can.

    Most of the time you are not able to determine who is enemy or friend, expect my family and few real friend, everybody else is potential enemy. When your friend must choose between his child s death and your death quess who is going to choose.

    Rumors, somebody tells you that some old guy few block away have some cans and he is looking for ammo or whatever, you go there, as i say you are always looking for something. Same some people would came in my street as traders, witha some goods.

    There was something like trade street during the night, actualy it was a big ruins of sport center, you can go overthere and look for something or offer something, but it was not controlled by anyone so it was too dangerous.

    It was primitive pretty much, brick wall around house,bags of sand on windows and doors, over that bags we used whatever you can, big pieces of metal, stones, inside house we put all kind of stuff on windows, only small openning left for rifle, always 5 members of family ready for fight, one always outside on street hidden.

    Stone age situation 🙂

    To avoid snipers, we stay home at day, it was not so much night snipers, even during the night we never walked openly on the streets if we can avoid that, always shortcuts, trough ruins, fast and quiet.

    Q:  What was your bathroom situation? Where did you go? Did you have anything to wipe with? Sorry ask such personal questions, but this is something that I’ve wondered about in this type of situation.

    we used shovel and any piece of land close to house, sounds dirty, and it is dirty, washing with collected rainwater, sometimes go to river (most of the time that was too dangerous) Most of the time we did not have toilet paper, even if i had it, i trade it.

    It was a bad situation all the time.

    If i can give some advice: first to prep is a weapon and ammo, then everything else, i mean everything, depends how much money and space you have, if you forget something no problem there is always somebody ready for trade, but if you forget guns and ammo then you may not be able to get to trading places.

    I do not see big family or group of really( i mean really) good friends as more mouth to feed, i see them as more guns and strength, it is in people nature to adapt.

    And keep it simple and use common sense, in the first period weak people vanished, other fight.

    Go with small thing, lighters, candles, flints. It is great idea to have fuel generator( electrical generating unit?) but i think is better idea to have 1000 bic lighters. Fuel generator is great, but in shtf scenario in town it is going to attract whole army,1000 bic lighters don t take too much space, cheap, you can always trade it for something.

    Real SHTF scenario demands completely change of normal mindset, hard to explain, i ll try through examples.

    Q:  How easy/hard was it to get weapons AFTER the SHTF and what could you trade for weapon and ammunition

    (I remember you saying a car battery for a rifle) and where would I go to find the people who trade in weapons?

    Hm, you re right, after the war every house here had a weapon from war, and yes police did some actions to take illegal weapon from population, depends from man to man i quess, lot of people find ways to hide their weapon somewhere, just in case.

    I also have legal weapon (license), and authority here have some thing they call it “temporary collecting”, it is says something like : in a case of unusual event (riots, unrest, etc) government have right to temporary collect all legal weapon, so i keep always in mind that, and i acted like some people.

    You know some people have legal weapon for everyday carry( i have glock 45 and taurus 38) but some people with legal weapon also have illegal weapon hidden somewhere just in case SHTF and “temporary collecting”

    It is not hard to get weapon in SHTF if you have good stuff for trade, but other thing is important, first days of SHTF is worst in terms of chaos and panic, maybe you not gonna have time to get gun. And to be unarmed in chaos panic and riots is bad.

    In my case man needed car battery for radio i think, and he had some extra rifles, so we trade.

    Q:  What about medical care for people who were shot or became injured?

    Wounds was mostly gunshot wounds of course, without specialists and everything else, if wounded manage to find doctor somewhere he had like 30% chances to live, again it is not movie, mostly they died, lot of died even from minor cuts infections, i had antibiotics maybe for 3-4 treatment. Of course for my family only.

    Simple things killed people, diarrhea can kill you in a few days without meds and rehidratation, (fluid therapy, IV) especially small kids. Lot of fungal skin deseases,and food poisoning, we could not do too much. Basically we treated diseases mostly with local herbs, and if you had wound, put rakia on it and try to find antibiotics somewhere.

    So i was good at fixing wounds in term of emergency help, but longer procedure-bad prognosis.

    What i learned? Hygiene again, and a lot of meds, especially antibiotics. You need to learn to treat lot of stuff, go online, finish some training, EMT maybe, first aid etc.

    In SHTF things are different, learn how to open IV, when to use certain drug, or antibiotics.

    Get your self ANA TE (anti tetanus ) shot injections , snake poison kit, adrenaline kit (allergic reactions, different kinds) thick removal kit, (thick related illness can kill you, learn how to remove thick)…

    Get in your prepper storage some reanimation kit (simple one) like small oxygen cylinder, BVM mask etc. It is not really hard to learn to use all of these.

    OK let s clear something, of course you can not use anything of this in real world unless you are certified and trained for that ( EMT, nurse, physician ).

    But in SHTF nobody ask you for license, just learn and have in your storage big part for medical things.

    So to answer question how did i help and treat, most of the time very poor,i help some with resources that i have, i took food or something else for exchange, i was badly prepared for that, now i am what do i need to have.

    Q:  Did your local currency/money still hold value? Were you still able to use money to purchase items from other people?

    No, not really, i mean sometimes you can use foreign money if you had it to buy something, (dollars or German marks) but even in that rare occasion rate was unbelievable for examples 1 can of beans for 30-40 dollars (normal value was maybe 0,50) i quess somebody had connections with outside world, black market you know, so he can earn lot of money.But it was very rare. Trade was main thing to get something.

    Local currency crashed very fast, in few weeks or month maybe.

    Q:  How much space should I keep for alcohol storage?  What was security like?

    About alcohol first, you right but you are right in booth ways, people need alcohohol more in desperte times then usual, so it is kind of gambling i guess , it is very good item for trading, i never had problems with alcohol trading and having than problems with trading other things.

    Also i am thinking about something else, maybe it is better to fill my storage with something less space consuming but still interesting for trade, like batteries, antibiotics etc.

    Thing is i had all that alcohol for free, i did not buy it.I don t know about this.

    In most of the situations people attack me because they think they are stronger, they did not know for sure what i really had.

    About ammunition trade, it depends how much ammo you are going to have, sometimes i trade ammo for food, and in few weeks again food for ammo, but i never never do trade at my home, and never bigger amounts, very few people knowed how much of anything i had in my house.

    The point is store as much of anything as you can store (space , money) later during the situation you ll see what is most popular, correction ammo and guns always gonna had 1 place for me, but who knows maybe number 2 for trading gonna be for example masks with filters.

    About medical issue , i ll write in my next post what do i have now in my medical part of storage

    Defence were very primitive, again we were not prepared, we use what ever we could, windows were broken, roofs mostly damaged from shelling, all windows were blocked with something, sand bags and rocks,every night i blocked my yard gate with junk- rubble from the street and i use old alluminium ladder to get over the wall, when i come back i called somebody from house to get me that ladders so i can move in.

    Guy from my street barricaded his house completely, if he go out at night he use a hole that he maded in one room that is connected with neighbor s house, and go trough his (ruined and destroyed) house out, actually he had secret entrance.

    It may look weird to say but most secured houses are gone first, of course we had some very nice houses in neighborhood, with walls, dogs, alarms, steel bars on windows, alarms. And you can quess what happened, mob attacked those houses first, some were defended other not, depend how many guns and hands thea have inside.

    So i think security is great, but be sure that you keep it low profile, forget about alarm, if you live in town and SHTF you gonna need simple looking non interesting secured house, with lot of guns and ammunitions.

    Just keep it low profile and not interesting.

    On my apartment door now i have steel door for security reason, but only to keep me trough first short period of chaos, then i am moving out to connect with bigger group of armed people (family and friends) in the country (i hope)

    Well in my case migration did not happen because it happen very fast, other army just closed city in ring and that s it, if you ask me where was that army and how we did not seen them coming, the answer is simple, that army was an ally of army of my side and people, and one day we woke up and figured they are enemy now and they are closing all ways out. Politics . It is true, one more side of civil war.

    But i heard from others parts of country, and my frends who stayed in villages in the other parts in state, that they have much better situations,countryside had land,corn,wheat, fruit trees, farms etc they had enough food, it was bad, but much better than in city.

    I know one thing if we had some way out from the town, we would use it, we did not have it.

    Q:  What was the situation with banks and stores?

    About banks, loans, credit cards. Complete monetary system died for about one year, so nothing works.
    It is complex question in many ways, i ll try it to answer it in some future posts, need much more time and much much more space to describe it. Even now almost 20 years later folks are at European court suing banks, because they dont want to admit their savings in banks, lot of different things happened in that period , they changed money, i mean monetary name, they changed it 2-3 times , hyperinflation occurs, lost of paper trails about savings, loans … i remember some people use that situation to get rich, they still rich ” 🙂

    So i ll try to describe that in separate post.

    There was a lot problems with proving people s property after everything, for example: my father had nice apartment and because war he must leave it, after war ended he was at court for about 4 years proving that apartment was his, reasons for that were different, because politics in that time, but also he did not have enough paper work to prove that apartment was his (he did not took papers from apartment when he fled, he had more important things to care)

    On the other side during the worst period, people just moved in empty house, and that s it.

    I mention rural areas in other post. As far as i remember it was better there.

    In that period there is not running vehicle, actually i remember tank at the front line, and Lada Niva ( check it on web) with cut of doors and roof and installed machine gun ( i think it was an old m53) and those two only moved when they fired( they keep it hidden behind ruined houses)

    For let me call it “civilian population” there was no moving with vehicles, streets were mostly under rubble and unusable and fuel was too expensive.

    Not to draw attention was a big thing, about clothing, there use to be some sort of town defense, it was not like real military,mostly mixed civilian clothes with part of uniforms, different weapon, so no rules.

    But as soon as go in to that things and try to talk about two armies, their strength, war crimes, politics i am not gonna like it any more, because people gonna start to choose sides, and i think it is not important for us here.

    As i said before there was not organized army, but we all been like soldiers, we had to, most of us carry weapon and try to protect from enemy army and robbers.

    Inside the town you did not want to look fancy because somebody shoot you and took your good stuff, you did not want to have fancy rifle, because probably you not gonna find ammo in that caliber and also you are drawing attention.

    So let s me try to put it this way: if SHTF tomorrow, i will try to look like most of the people outside, scared, desperate, confused and i ll scream maybe, no fancy looking stuff, i ll not go out in fancy new uniform and yell “I am here, you are finished now looters and robbers” I ll stay low profile, heavily armed and well prepared waiting to see my options, even if i have to go out with all my gear to do things i ll go in night, with best friend or brother. Maybe sounds ridiculous, but from my expirience it works, be wery well prepared, but let nobody outside your house know or see that.

    No matter how good is your house security, how good is your weapon, if people see that they have good reason to rob you they probably rob you in town SHTF, it is only matter of time and number of guns.Don t ever give them reason to be interesting for robbing. Stay uninteresting. Now this is my opinion, maybe is not working in different situation.

    About robbing grocery store and gas stations, it happened very very fast, as soon as shooting started all valuable things was emptied, there vas some effort of authority to keep it together but everything fall apart in first weeks.

    A huge hat tip to Chris at Before It’s News for taking the time to piece the thread together in an easy to read, digestible and informative format. To follow the thread, visit Survivalist Boards.

    You can follow Selco’s story at SHTF School and learn how he survived one year in hell. 



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      1. “If i can give some advice: first to prep is a weapon and ammo, then everything else”

        Ammo preps more important than food in the early prepping stages. Very good point he makes.

        • He is absolutely correct in the initial stages. OTOH, he also mentions stockpiling as much of everything else after that.

          Definitely something to read.

          At first, I read it with a jaundiced eye, as if someone was cooking something up out of thin air. OTOH, as time went on, everything seemed consistent, and it actually makes sense.

          • He also has a website now at http://shtfschool.com
            Seems like he stopped writing on that forum.

      2. ‘Strength was in the numbers, if you were alone in the house, you ve been probably robbed and killed, no matter how well armed.”

        That is the key. Every time I here someone preparing who thinks they can go it alone, with family, I think to myself, they’re reducing the likely hood of making the transition.

        Community will be the way to make it with the least amount of suffering. A community designed around sustainable practices, with independent, yet interdependent members brought together with a common bond that supports the whole.

      3. Wow! what valuable information. I’ll be reading this article again and again, and also showing it to my close friends and family. thank you for sharing your experience!

        • sherlock187,
          Agree 1000X! Read this late into the night and was too tired to post a comment. Going back today and taking notes. We’ve stockpiled guns and ammo, but feeling very inadequate after reading Selco’s account!

          Thank you for this invaluable information!

      4. The human species is a fail.

        2000 years and we still do this type of thing. We have the tech and info to keep everyone happy and healthy, and what do we do?

        We deserve what is coming and there is nothing you can do about it. All the preps in the world will not protect your mind from the reality that humans are a pathetic species.

        • Itscoming: I agree, I have given up on mankind as a whole years ago, (yes, there’s very few exceptions of fantastic people we know in our lifetimes). Mankind is lazy, slothful feeds on junk entertainment(trash tv shows, bad diets, ignorance about what’s going on in the gov.,trusting in phony politicians, etc) Evil, corruption prevail in leadership, politicians/leaders lie and deceive the zombie masses. Our gov. caused the housing crisis, & outsourcing jobs. Even retirees my age are pinheads; don’t know anything beyond their own personal lifestyle, haven’t a clue, etc. The masses will be in a “die off” if people don’t prep. and waker up the ones closest to them.

          • Don’t be too down on mankind as a whole, Laura. What you have described is not typical of humans per se., but only of AMERICANS.

            • (cue *facepalm* here)

              Tell me, how many Americans were living in Bosnia-Herzegovina during that period, do you figure?

              Fact is, *all* people are prone to doing dumb things when they are in large groups.

              • Hmm… That comment got one thumbs down. Wonder who…?

            • Cue *look at the hand* and tell me, odd questioner, how many Bosnians feed on junk entertainment(trash tv shows, bad diets), and who in the Bosnian government caused the US housing crisis, & outsourced US jobs? How many Bosnians don’t know anything beyond their own personal lifestyle, haven’t a clue, etc? Now, if you asked these questions about Americans, your answer jumps out at you. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

            • “…how many Bosnians feed on junk entertainment”

              Now, or back then? Because I can assure you that in pre-war times, the percentages were all the same. I can doubly assure you that if things remain peaceful, 20 years on it will return.

              …or do you think that folks outside the US only watch the BBC and go to operas?

              Hrm. Let me disabuse you of that notion here and now, with but one example: Google for the word “Hentai”, and get back to us. That wasn’t invented in the US, by the way.

              “… caused the US housing crisis, & outsourced US jobs?”

              I’ll see that and raise you UK housing crises in 1948, German housing crises in the 1980s, and the current credit crunch in Greece, the never-ending one in Italy, Portugal, etc…

              Outsourcing? Pfft! The UK is currently doing it almost as hard as we are, and in some industries harder.

              Fact is, if you get your eyes off your bellybutton, you’ll find a whole world out there that is just as crazy, stupid, self-centric, egotistical, and, well, *dumb*, as the typical Joe Sixpack in his McMansion.

            • That’s rich. I suppose you’re some euro-trash who still believes your country is civilized? I beg to differ with you Shakespeare. Euro trash is too lazy to even keep what precious little liberty they have left – looking to your govenment to solve every problem.

            • SO TRUE 

        • ItsComing
          Lighten up. Every species of plant, insect or animal goes through cycles of increasing population when food is plentiful and decline when weather, water and food or pestilence or predators go against them.

          The die offs happen every winter with cold weather and lack of food and in multi year cycles when the climate has wet and dry years.
          Man kind is no exception to this condition despite his advantage of intelligence. and is not “bad” because of any set back.


        • ItsComing

          I could not have said it better myself. We are flawed for sure. But every once in awhile, you find some good in people. I am not sure you or I would not be here if there was not some kind of good in humanity. Trouble is, how do you harness that good?

        • IC, about one of the best responses. The only ones who don’t deserve this are the innocent. (children).

        • God would forgive us in a heartbeat if we would turn to him in sorrow and with a truely contrite heart. He would spare us what is comming. But we refuse to turn to Him. And it is our refusal of Him and our pride in ourselves that brings this onto us all.
          He does not want this. But He will not take away our freedom of choice even if it is for our own self destruction.

        • You might consider reading ‘Ishmael’ and/or The ‘Story of B’ by Daniel Quinn to understand that ‘our’ type of human is the pathetic type, while the tribal type was getting along just fine without banks, politicians, and Big Pharma until we came along and mostly exterminated him.

      5. Fascinating, stunning, sobering, informative, thought provoking, and very much appreciated. Time for more supplies, especially booze.

        • How about getting set up with an alcohol still to make your own? Lots of great sites online with plans and instructions. You can also manufacture ethanol to run gas engines.

          • If you do (distill your own booze), you’d better be very good at it. Screwing up a batch and then drinking it can indeed lead to blindness or death.

            Also, you’ll want to look into the engine mods you’ll need to make for a car to burn pure alcohol (otherwise it’ll destroy your piston rings, etc).

            • that isn’t true. (i have extensive spirit making experience and a related degree). if you purchase specific yeasts made today, they are selected so as not to produce methanol or poisons. if, on the other hand, you did it from scratch using bakers yeast and, say, fruit/potatoes, then sure, you can make methanol, and need to know how to remove it during initial stages of distillation.

      6. Good article and comments; community interaction is important with like minded friends. Ideally, smaller towns are closer knit. In larger cities, people are afraid to get involved or too busy with their social life. If gangs run the streets, a small number of people huddled in a house will probably be killed. Practice shooting skills, get a good scope on your rifle if living more rural, chain link fence around house, and large dog helps. In cities, or high density housing I’d stock up on buckshot and hand gun ammo. High quality protein powders (mix w/water, etc) have long shelf life in most stores near the vitamin section. Canned meats also.

      7. I still wonder what would happen if the “s” hit the fan to people’s homes, in relation to owing money. In a way, he did answer the question in that he said the banks and monetary system pretty much shut down. But what would happen if it involved an entire country rather than just a region of that country?

        I would surmise that if the problem was big enough, there would be too many people late on their mortgage for the banks to foreclose on (or the sheriff to kick out).

        • you aren’t thinking far enough ahead. Your late mortgage payment would be the least of your worries. Once a SHTF situation starts, things will fall apart just as they did in the story referenced. Human nature doesn’t change. History repeats itself over and over.
          Those are the lessons we need to remember.

          • I guess for me it is scary to think that I could be forced from my home where all my preps are with nowhere to go.

            But you’re right – I don’t think I am fully grasping how bad things could be if I am worrying about something like that. It’s hard to imagine a situation like that unless you’ve been there. I am grateful for this article – real eye opener.

          • There is one aspect to think about though – what if you’re renting form a private owner? I’m pretty sure that if he’s short on supplies, he’ll happily take them from you (in exchange for what he thinks you owe him for any back rent).

            May need to prepare for that one (even if it means a pre-emptive strike).

            • OQ
              As a landlord, I couldn’t agree less. Granted, there are some pretty crappy landlords out there, but you cannot paint everyone with that same broad brush stroke. In my case, I have weatherized all my buildings, and provided for alternative wood heating should it be needed when the shtf. I have also stored extra provisions for tenants, and built three apartments on my farm for families that would prefer to be in a more rural setting helping grow food and raise animals. If one of my tenants were to shoot me, they’d lose out big time.

              By the way, just found this blog this morning. Really excellent content with generally smart and informed comments. Very good to have found this community…

            • @Vermonter:

              Consider this…

              Most landlords aren’t the prepper type. SHTF, hard. most of these landlords, like most folks, are starting to starve, get cold at night, and their families demand something be done. Landlord discovers one of his renters is a prepper. Decides to start charging the guy rent – but instead of money, he takes foodstuffs and other supplies as payment. Threatens eviction if the renter doesn’t comply.

              You cannot tell me with a straight face that such a scenario isn’t going to be common.

        • The banksters will always find a way to rob you of your home, even if they have to get a government bailout to do it. That’s pretty much what happened to us in the US, one dollar late and out you go! sooner or later, they will come for your stuff—count on it…plan for it.

      8. Between this site for a war situation and ‘surviving in Argentina’ site for the slow crash you can find an amazing amount of info. Good sites to bookmark

        • Thanks for the reminder. I will bookmark now. I am with husband only. No family. Just us – both rather disabled. Husband over 80 years old. Sort of scary to think about – even with living in a rural area.

          This is one of the best posts I have read in a while. I hope to locate more from this fellow.

          • @Sunflower: See if you can find some other like minded people to fellowship with, When the time comes, or now for freindship,you and your husband will be able to better weather the storm that is coming. I hope you can!

          • one option you have is to learn a skill. Stills are legal to buy online 😉 learn how to make wine, distilled water or even gas. Sit in on a couple medical or medicinal herb classes. Canning, sewing and gardening are also lost arts. Teaching abc’s and 123’s plus have the books and paper stashed to run a small school. Dehydrating foods means you could store a ton to bring you admittance to somewhere. Age and ability can be offset with knowledge. Good luck!

      9. a way to save space would be get that 200proof straight grain alcohol, and just water it down.

        • And the best way to get it would be to make it. My mother-in-laws father shot himself during the great depression after losing his job. My MIL’s mother took the six children to live with her father who had a farm. On that farm was a fairly good sized orchard of various fruit trees as well as berries. My MIL tells of how during that time the local judges, sheriff and some well-to-do citizens of the county would see that her grandfather would keep well stocked up on sugar. He kept those people in alcohol from the fruits of his labor, so to speak. They also kept him informed when the FED was coming to the area. And so it goes.

      10. If the SHTF worldwide it would be far worse than Bosnia. The former Yugoslav states existed within a peaceful and prosperous Europe. Relief supplies were nearby in neighboring countries. I imagine enterprising curriers could obtain items for those able to pay.

        Who will help us if the whole world is up the same creek? Where will our relief supplies come from?

        • YOU and apparently any nieghbors with an excess of one thing, and not enough of another. It is quite clear from this account that, small, useful, easily traded items need to be on YOUR shelf.

          • More Bic lighters and duct tape….I got years of TP, garbage bags of all sizes, and ziploks.

        • Hal Muller says:
          October 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm

          “If the SHTF worldwide it would be far worse than Bosnia. The former Yugoslav states existed within a peaceful and prosperous Europe. Relief supplies were nearby in neighboring countries. I imagine enterprising curriers could obtain items for those able to pay.

          Who will help us if the whole world is up the same creek? Where will our relief supplies come from?”

          Worse than Bosnia? You obviously don’t know much about what was going on there.
          No offense, I understand limitations of MSM, so here is something for anyone interestedto ponder:
          The only thing worse than what was happening in Bosnia, that I can think of, would be a nuclear disaster on the top of the civil war and genocide.
          “Peaceful and prosperous Europe” didn’t give two rat’s asses about war in Bosnia for FOUR years! Thousands of people were killed and died from starvation, millions lost everything and became refugees, while other countries were taking their sweet time deciding whether they should interfere/help or not.
          Watch “Welcome to Sarajevo”, it will give you some perspective of the way things were.

          Relief supplies were few and could not be brought into a city under siege. And “enterprising curriers” – let’s be realistic – cannot possibly supply a whole region!

          Try living in a basement for 4 years, with no water, gas or electricity, and hardly any food, while ordered to go to work and to school under sniper fire. Try standing in line for water while sniper is firing at you and then RUN home with jugs of water because this is the only way you may make it. If you walk – you’re dead.
          And let me mention that that these jugs/canisters/jerry cans of water will weight close to your own weight because you’ll be skin and bones.
          Watch dead bodies on the street that cannot be buried because of sniper fire, grenades and shelling. See a child shot by a sniper before your eyes, because snipers do not discriminate, and then think about HOW can it possibly get any worse?!

          • Sounds like a vacation

      11. An absolutely brilliant addition to a site already filled with GREAT information. I agree with sherlock187, this will not be the last time I read through this “first hand” account.

        Very educational. Confirms much of what I have prepped for and thought I knew. Also confirms I didn’t prioritize quite as efficiently as I will in the future.

        Homerun Mac!

        • IMHO, this story, and anything similar could easily qualify as a “blue” heading under PREPS AND SOLUTIONS. Hell, I’d pay good silver for an ongoing series.

          For the most part, I believe WE prep for a concept that while real, is still abstract in “our real world” today.

          True, honest, diligent TRUTH SEEKERS are able to discern the TRUTH when found.

          • Yental,
            Nice verbalization of “the feeling”
            That I always have have a hard time defining with my big boy words.
            +1 !
            Well done!

      12. Was stationed in Italy during conflict. Had special people come through school on their US/NATO flight into area every week for nine month boots on ground stay, but everybody is special. Interesting stories and pictures every week with people returning on outbound. Staff went in for a week so they had experience besides their skills. Mines & DU was paramount beside the snipers. Winter is good with all of gear.

      13. All good, except…

        The wife has macular degeneration and doesn’t see so well, and is small of stature and frail. I have asthma and allergies and wear contacts to see, and glasses to read on top of that. Oh yeah, and we’re middle-aged.

        Yes, we’re stocked up on everything he mentions. A little more each day. She practices with the Glock, me with the AK. But her family is in another country, and all but one of mine are deceased now. It’s just me and her here in the city, all on our own, and we don’t trust strangers or neighbors, too much.

        So, if TSHTF, we’ll both be dead pretty fast, I think, our preps notwithstanding. Thank God I’m saved, just praying the Mrs. will trust the Lord Jesus Christ now, too. I suspect we’re gonna’ see Him soon, if/when TSHTF like I believe it will.

        Best wishes to those of you who make it longer than we do. Hope everything works out ok, although the global scale of things being what they are, I tend to doubt it will.

        • Find friends in your area. You have to have some useful skill to contribute to a small group or family and hunker down together. Even if it is just to watch/care for younger children while adults clean, cook or reload. What about teaching? Can you teach anything or aquire books to teach in the future? Post shtf homeschool. Think hard to find things to offer. Heck, I’d feed ya if you’d homeschool my munchins so I can work on cleaning, cooking soap making, etc. Have faith.

        • Don’t be to suprised if you do fairly well. Remember most people have NOTHING. and no Idea of what’s comming. Every survival book tells you: The bigest thing is WILL to survive. IMHO if it gets bad it will be REAL bad. Because we have millions who have no skills and have been kept by the Gov all their lives. On the other hand I dob’t think it will last bad long. Average city only has a weeks supply of food and most people have a one day supply of food. The problem people will run out of drugs, and start shooting each other in a few hours. Only recommendation I have is get to know your neighbors, you might be suprised, a lot of good people out there just trying to keep low.

        • Scott look to families in your church whom you can help and in return may help you. I find those in my church better than some family.

        • Scott- don’t drag yourself down so fast. At the very least, arm yourself with a ‘bug-out’ bag, a plan and a back-up plan, keep it ready. Also, you can easily enough network with other preppers in your area via the internet. Just search YouTube for “SHTF” and send personal messages to the videos you like, asking for emails and such for anyone else in your area who is prepping. It works, but it also takes a little bit of work,too.
          I used to feel the same way. God Bless.

        • God bless you

        • Please have faith, that us younger lot, will understand that you are full to the brim, with more knowledge and wisdom than we. Skills and experience rate up along side Bic lighters and Alcohol. Nuff Respect xxx

      14. Very great story and information. Thank you for sharing!

      15. “If i can give some advice: first to prep is a weapon and ammo, then everything else, i mean everything, depends how much money and space you have, if you forget something no problem there is always somebody ready for trade, but if you forget guns and ammo then you may not be able to get to trading places.”

        What have I said? Huh? First: Security. Forget food, forget shelter, forget fuel. Until you have security, you have NOTHING. It can (and probably will) be taken away. Reading this guys slightly broken English really brings it home for me. The universal language here is survival.

        Remember: YONTG: You Only Need Three Guns. Google it. Read it. Remember it. If you want to simplify it, you can cut it down to one gun: A 12 ga pump. Even a single shot gives you tons of defensive power over, say, a club or a knife. You’d be surprised how fast a practiced break action shooter can reload and shoot. Even a guy with a decent armory will give second thought about going head to head with a single shot shotgun.

        • fortunately it will NEVER come to that in our lifetimes !!

          • Exactly what THEY thought, I’m sure.

          • It’s back guys.

          • I am sure that is what was thought in 1938

          • I can count at least 6 countries in which just such a socio-economic meltdown occurred over the past 80 years, and I’m sure there are more which I have not studied. To say it will never happen is absolutely ludicrous. Just look at our currency and ask yourself how can we continue to use a currency that is not backed by anything of real intrinsic value (i.e. gold and silver) to buy real tangible goods and services which have real intrinsic value? The Ponzi money scheme CANNOT and WILL NOT last forever, and when it fails, everyone will be a lot smarter than we are today. Believe it!

          • is your wifes name Jane?

            • Jane…..you ignorant slut.(SNL)

          • I hope you are right but just in case a 12 gauge would be nice.

        • Two individuals currently “occupy” my home. I have guns/ammo to arm and feed ammo to nine. Hoping most of “the family” arrives in time to maximize that LAYER of preps. All bases covered from long range, to in-your-face.

          • Other “force multipliers” include night vision capabilities.

            • Correct!

            • Just make sure you do not use the “night vision” with IR lamps, or block,disconnect them.

            • What kind of night vision do you recommend if money is a issue? Are night vision binoculars ok, or should I look into a scope to mount on the AR15?

            • PVS14, 3rd generation night vision. Can be rifle mounted or used as a monocular with head gear.
              check out different models @ JRH Enterprises.

        • Sage words NetRanger. Guns and Ammo Check! ARs, Shotguns, and Handguns!

        • I have a youth 12 guage single shot …I worry about the single part.
          Fits my arms bee–you–tee-full-ee.

          • @JJ: Be confident in this, it only takes one shot, and the weapon you have is the one you will need at the time. Dont get wrapped around the axle, if it is a rock you have, throw it! The fastest shots taken were with a wheel gun (revolver) not a semi-auto. If someone was shooting at me, i guarantee you i would be seeking cover, keep this in mind! What ever you have at the time, is what youll need!

            • Yup ! Cover & concealment; primary importance.

            • jj practice combat shooting… crouch, scramble , seek cover, concealment, pause assess, find target, aim, pause breathe , aim center mass … FIRE! REPEAT Till dead!

              focus on pause breathe center mass aim shoot… most folks first shots go wild and are wasted… the calm shooter will win in a surprise shotout! practice practice … good luck.

        • NetRanger:

          I disagree with your one gun choice.

          If you have one choice for a gun it should be a semi-auto, magazine fed rifle in .223 (5.56mm X 45 mm), .308 (7.62mm X 51mm)or AK/SKS round (7.62 x 39mm).

          The 12 ga pump shotgun has brutal recoil, short range, low ammo capacity, is difficult to reload, and the ammo is big and cumbersome.

          If you let them get within shotgun range, you are most likely screwed.

          Or as Clint Smith (Thunder Ranch) says, use your pistol to fight your way to your rifle.

          Take a hint from every army in the world: If you think you are going to a gun fight, bring a rifle.

          • Agreed. .223 Even your ten year old can use it effectively.

          • I hunt coyotes, year round, with a 12 ga. 3″, most at or further than 100 yards, with 000 buck, even took a boar at 130 yards, with 000 buck, “Do Not Underestimate 000 buck”
            It can fly way out there, and rip things apart….

            • 000 Buck at 130 yards??? What is the pattern diameter at that range, 5 – 10 feet with 9 pellets? If the muzzle velocity is 1300 fps, what do you think the velocity of that oversize BB is at 130 yards? Rip things apart? You have got to be kidding.

              It may work against a defenseless, 35 pound coyote, but if that is your plan for a dedicated human opponent(s) with a cheap AK or SKS, your shotgun will soon belong to him as well as everything else you own.

              There is a reason warfighters use shotguns only for door breaching with speciality rounds.

          • I agree. A shotgun is for waterfowl or door-breaching, or if you just don’t have the time to learn to shoot properly (in which case you’re only good for a few dozen yards maybe). A pistol is what you use to fight your way back to your rifle, or if you MUST conceal a weapon. A rifle is the fighter’s weapon.

            • Red Leader- i agree with you, but the reality is that when SHTF happens, you have to stay low-profile on the streets. Meaning blend in, with no visible assault rifles,etc. Multiple handguns concealed are the key.

          • You people amaze me. Sure, if you’re gonna fight a war, use a rifle. If you’re going to defend your home, use a shotgun.

            Its a tried and true method. …and a lot of these people can’t afford your 308 or 223 eating machine. …or know how to shoot it. There is nothing simpler than a 20ga single shot shotgun.

            Fight your way back to your rifle? Give me a break! I’m talking castle defense here not armed patrol or insurgency. Get with the program.

            Also, in a SHTF situation, that 10 year old will handle that 12 ga just fine. Rifles take far more skill to hit a target than it does with a shotgun. We’re not talking gunfight here.

            Also, stop this bullshit about buck shot and deer slugs. If you’re going to use that, you might as well use a rifle. Birdshot, out to about 30ft, is as effective as anything unless you need to shoot through something. You know, something like the head of your neighbor’s 11 year old daugther!!!

            Some of you need to do some research and do some testing rather than spewing the guntard popular statements.

            If you want to ambush a convoy or fight a war, use your AR.

            If you want to dispatch an intruder from your home (and subsequently, the planet), a short, open choke shotgun with #2 or #4 shot does it better. Its tried and true and your neighbor may not thank you but it will be easier to trade and work with your neighbor if you don’t explode the head of his 11 year old daughter with that _____. (Insert: buck shot, deer slug, FMJ bullet from your rifle or pistol.)

            Its been said, “Men use rifles. Survivors use shotguns.” Be a survivor today.

            …but, regardless, have SOMETHING. Honestly, I’ll take a 22 pistol over nothing any day.

            • Yeah, not exactly a “guntard”. I have real-world experience with fighting; 14 years of it. If all you want to do is stop an intruder inside your home, a shotgun will be fine IF the intruder is not wearing ANY sort of body armor. If you have property to defend and you understand the mechanics of a defensive firefight, a shotgun isn’t going to do jack, especially if you are being engaged by people who have rifles and are engaging you from rifle distance. During the many times I was involved in MOUT warfare I never EVER brought a shotgun. I would venture to guess that in a prolonged SHTF situation, if you’re not enough of a proficient shooter to effectively employ a rifle, you probably won’t last long.

            • Your original post indicated that you only need one gun and that would be a shotgun. If you are in a situation as described in this article, a rifle is clearly the better choice. Being able to engage a bad guy at a distance and through light cover is a big advantage. (I am assuming that everyone here knows the difference between cover and concealment)

              I speak from over 20 years experience as a Law Enfrocement Firearms Instructor, having attended many of the high speed low drag schools around the country.

              As far as research goes, in our testing a .223 hollowpoint will penetrate less layers of drywall than 00 buckshot or a slug.

              We are all influenced by what we see on television and this usually translates to gunshop commando talk. I include many cops in this. Reality is very different from what we are programmed to believe by watching TV and going to action movies.

              The goal of an armed encounter is a one shot stop. This rarley happens in real life. The best chance is with a rifle. The reason is when a projectile passes double supesonic, a massive shock wave is produced in front of the bullet creating a very large wound channel. Pistols and Shotguns depend on larger diameter projectiles because of their low velocity.

              It is important for any projectile to penetrate deep enough to destroy vital organs. This is why birdshot is in incredibally poor choice for self defense with the shotgun unless it is at very, very close range. (Zone A)

              If you decide that the shotgun is the weapons platform for you, it is important to have a shotgun that is designed for fighting. My Remington 870 was built by Hans Vang at http://www.vangcomp.com An attached light such as the Sure Fire model is essential for target identification and room clearing indoors. Having done a lot of indoor work serving search warrants, I prefer a high capacity handgun with an attached light for inside the house.

              It is important to pattern your shotgun on a target with the ammo you plan to use. This can vary tremendously with guns of the same model and different ammunition.

              There are three zones of the shotgun, A,B and C. The A Zone is where the shot load strikes the target as a single pre-fragmented projectile. This can be 2 to 7 yards. In this range the most massive damage and best stopping power takes place. A shotgun that has the Vang Comp modification with the right ammo can get the A Zone close to 10 yards sometimes.

              The B Zone is the effective range of buckshot where the majority of the pellets will strike a man size target. Depending on the gun and ammo, this can be extended up to 20 yards and I have seen 25 yards with a Vang Comp mod and the right ammo.

              The C Zone is where you have to use slugs. The Law Enforcement brand slugs are not very accurate. It is difficult to get consistent head shots at 25 yards. With deer hunting slugs such as the TKO, you can get overlapping holes at 25 yards and just about put them through the same hole.

              Saying that a 10 year old can operate a 12 ga shotgun in a fight is urban legend at best. I have seen many officers that have great trouble with the shotgun throughout their careers. I had shotgun training every quarter and 50% of the officers could not remember how to do a slug select drill after 3 months. 20% would short stroke the weapon during any type of stress drill. 35% would put rounds on the ground during unloading drills. Nearly everyone hated shotgun trainig because the weapon is so difficult to manipulate in every way and the recoil with slugs and buckshot is brutal. One female officer never figured out the shotgun even after much one on one training. On three occasions the shift after her found the gun in the vehicle rack with a round in the chamber!

              When we got partol rifles, (M-4 Platform) everything changed. No one ever missed head shots at 25 yards off hand. They would get the majority of their head shots at 75 yards. All body shots at 100 yards, prone. That was with iron sights.

              When we put flat tops and Aimpoints on all the rifles, it was almost scary how good the officers got and how much confidence that had in their own abilities. They rarley ever took their shotguns out of the racks after they received their rifles.

              Saying that a smooth bore shotgun is as accurate as a rifle is foolishness and indicates little or no experience with either platform.

              The same goes with using the .223 against vehicles. It is very ineffective and the bullet breaks up. I was part of a test in which vehicles were shot with everything from .22 LR on up. Shotgun slugs skidded up the windshield. The .223 would fragment on windows and most fragments would not penetrate a piece of 1/2′ plywood (similar to human skull). The .308 went through both sides of heavy vehicles even with JHP ammo. If it is in you plan to repel vehicle assaults, a semiauto .308 such as an M1A is the way to go.

              Whatever weapons platform you chose, know it well. In a fight you will only be half as good as your best day on the range.

              Get some good training. The four day shotgun class at Front Sight is excellent.

              After you get very good at the basics, go train with Gabe Suarez. He views gunfighting as the Americam Martial Art. You will quickly learn that being a good shot at the range, is very different from knowing how to fight with a gun.

              I consider myself a serious student, not an expert.

              I do agree with your .22 idea. The first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun!

            • Excellent post Joe! Short and very much to the point. It is very frustarting dealing with the unconsciously incompetent. The don’t know what they don’t know, and what they do know, just ain’t so. (To paraphrase Ronald Reagan)

            • Yeah, RedLeader, I know exactly what you mean. Their first contact with the realities of battle will be harsh. I also know what you mean about windshields. We once hit a car windshield with a pretty good burst from a SAW loaded with M855. It cracked the windshield, but the driver was untouched. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Another thing with the 855 is the stuff would go right through skinny people without creating much of a wound channel unless the range was between about 75-100 yards, no more and no less (we verified this by probing around a little; morbid, I know). We experimented with handloading Sierra 69gr bullets, and got better results. I’ve seen a round of buckshot stopped by an ordinary flak jacket. In my opinion, a shotgun is very much a special purpose limited-applicability fighting weapon, like the SMG. As I’m sure you know, they both are functionally very similar in terms of employment (house-clearing,the SMG being far superior to the shotgun for this purpose), but we didn’t even use the handful of silenced MP5’s we had for that. If my only weapon was a shotgun, I would use it to sneak up on, and butt-stroke, an enemy with a rifle as soon as possible.

            • Couldn’t agree with you more Netranger. Unless you happen to live in a less sparsely populated environment (rural/urban) where there is more open space (150-250 yds. open view)Then I would definitely prefer a rifle that is hopefully scoped. All other situations however, my first choice would be a shotgun. The main reason being is that most people will more often than not find themselves in a close quarter situation. You are not going to find what you need out in the open and neither are the ‘un-prepped’ wonders of the world who say that they can ‘bug-out’ at any time. I truly believe that only an exceedingly well prepared person or family is capable of  ‘bugging out’ in a moments notice.

              I am in an environment where it makes the most sense to ‘bug-in’ as opposed to ‘bugging out’.I have other alternative plans in place, however the logistics will always depend on how events unfold before plans can be finallized. In my opinion, the home that you are CURRENTLY living in should be your first priority, therefore a shotgun with a compliment of varying shot loads would be preferable.

              Some of the comments obviously come from a purely militaristic point of view and being an ex-soldier, a semi-auto in any common calibre is and will always be my first choice, however getting back to netranger’s comment, netranger is 100% correct in stating that a shotgun for DEFENSIVE purposes in the home should be considered a first priority.


            • A single shot from a shotgun can kill several looters/invaders and if you are fighting at close range, like turning corners in a city or in almost any forest, give me a shotgun. Accuracy in a defensive situation is extremely difficult and much more effective with a shotgun.

              If you are going to get shot by rifle fire, it will probably come from a sniper and you won’t even see it coming …bottom line is rifle is for offensive encounters while shotguns are for defensive encounters.

          • get a 12 gauge folks first, with two barrels long an short… long for hunting good for 100 yards 1 ounce slug… short for 25 yards or less 00 buck an ball home defense. $250 + 50 = 300 + ammo = $400 and your fully covered.

            pump action 12 gauge most versatile weapon out there! dependable as well. get a remington.

            then get a rifle.

        • You only need three guns AT A TIME. And then of course, the extras for the first 50 guys that show up that have lost theirs. one thing BO has done for us. We have stocked up on AMMO. We will never run out of AMMO!

      16. half of that stuff is lies during the bosnian conflict !! barter occurred during bosnia…..bullshit !!

        • What are you trying to say?

        • Why the strong comments. The writer is from the city. Why so contray? where you in the area during that time?

          • Rich is just a poo-disturber. He likes to argue from his little perch.

            Sort of reminds me of those two muppets that sat up high in that theater and made crabby comments at everybody that was actually performing. Remember them? What were their names?

            • Statler and Hilton (like the hotels).

        • Barter occurs every day in America. I own calves traded to me for farm work. My dad has done drywalling in exchange for car repairs. So why is it so hard to believe it occurs in a country whose currency became worthless?

        • I pity you rich, you seem to live in denial of the truth of what can and has happen. My best friend spent 2 years there in Bosnia with the marines, I’ve been to Somalia, Iraq, and several other not so nice locations. He’s being nice in keeping the actual horrors of the situation out and sticking to the information and knowledge learned the hard way.
          Maybe you could learn something from these experiences instead of throwing the “it didn’t happen” crap, and it may keep you alive.

          Or you could ignore it and be on a rooftop waiting for help that never comes.

          I may be being rude but you have been being rather “trollish” lately. Wake up, quit whining, and learn from others experiences. Or don’t and die.

          • Hey bro ! Was in Somalia with 1/2 2DMARDIV in 93. What a godawful cesspool!

            • 95 got flew in to fix some generators and water systems for the Marines and Army. Never Never Never let somebody above you know that you have skills above and beyond what the military taught you. I rebabbited bearings on an old 1930’s generator for the locals and the remaining US forces there. So much for a peaceful sea duty. And you are right it is a shithole, but good thing to have as an experience for prepping.

        • I’m new to the site, but I can already see that Rich99 is the local ‘tard. Rich, you need to go to the original board and read the ENTIRE article, not just what is posted here. And then maybe you will have something intelligent to say. OF COURSE barter existed. DUH??? The city was under a freakin’ SIEGE so after the first month or so, the kind of “bartering” that was going on was 1 can of food for 2 hours with a woman–a desperate mother trying to keep her children alive, according to Selco.

          Also, I know you prep, Rich, and you just enjoy calling BS on everthing, but you’re a one trick pony. If you’re going to be a contrarian, at least be a useful/constructive contrarian….if you have the mental capacity.

      17. Thankyou for posting this, great read.

      18. I was there in ’94. This guy isn’t telling you the half of it as far as the atrocities go. I was involved in finding the mass graves. It was beyond horrible.

        Read this article two or three times. We can all learn something from it.

        Take care,

        • Agree.
          He was lucky he had family and they were armed.
          Most Europeans are not allowed to own guns legally except for maybe a hunting rifle.

      19. I was there in ’94. This guy isn’t telling you the half of it as far as the atrocities go. I was involved in finding the mass graves. It was beyond horrible.

        Read this article two or three times. We can all learn something from it.

        Take care,

      20. Sorry about the double post. PC is acting up tonight.

      21. Learned alot by reading this article. By reading it ,I see some things I need to buy more of, namely ammunition and more barter items, such as lighters. The item, that set this article apart from others I’ve read, is the author placed a higher, much higher priority on security and food issues than gold, silver, or local currency. Actually, the scenerio depicted here was worse than that in Argentina, not that the latter doesn’t have lessons to be learned from it. The situation in Bosnia was more of a real SHTF, survive the best you can situation. GREAT ARTICLE! Glad SHTF:the Plan took time to post it. Thanks!

        • Gold is for restart AFTER it’s over. Silver is to be used early or to get out of town.

          • If gold is going to be as valuable as the people / companies are telling us (and advertising it for sale…) I can’t figure out why they are willing to trade it for my paper money?

        • Another consideration is Strike Anywhere Matches. You can buy tens of thousands for a lot cheaper than lighters. Excellent barter items. They are on the list of the first 100 things that will run out in a crisis.

          The new green match heads are junk. They took the phosprous out because of the meth freaks. Pretty soon all matches will be green. Buy the good ones while you can. You can buy in bulk on Ebay.

          The key to storing matches is to keep them dry. You can put them in ziploc bags or a 6 gallon bucket with Gamma Seal Lid.

          I recently checked the Bic lighters I stored 10 years ago. None of them worked.

          • Red Leader, Thanks for the info. So I thought a shot gun would be good for me, being a small woman. I have a rifle for scaring away small bobcats and such. So what would you recommend for a hand gun to keep in the house for me?. Something easy to use. I’m trying my best to get comfortable with guns. after all these years I should be okay with guns, but I’m not. I’m looking and hand guns and listening to people, but I do not know what would work good for just me. Can you help? Lynda


            • Lynda,

              You have to ask yourself if you are going to have the handgun laying around the house just in case or if you are going to seek training and learn to fight with your handgun.

              If you are not going to spend the time to get training, a double action revolver would be best because it is very safe. If you are willing to go to training and learn to use the handgun as a fighting tool, get a Glock in 9mm or .40 S&W.

              Trigger finger index has to be second nature if you carry a Glock since there is no external safety. It will not fire unless you pull the trigger. The Glock is incredibly reliable and incredibly easy to strip down and clean.

              I am a recovering 1911 cultist. My $2,000.00 1911s sit in the gun safe and I carry a $500.00 Glock.

      22. Absolutely fabulous information! I’m printing this one off and using the tips to help me out with my next stage of prepping.

        This is one of the most valuable articles you have shared – thank you, Mac!

      23. I have been so obsessed with food and ammo that I almost forgot about hygiene. This Bosnian survivor’s comments about it made me make plans to go to Save-a-lot and start prepping that stuff this week. He was apologetic about his bad English,but I got it.

        • Dollar General lots of times has Angel Soft @ $9 for 24 Double Rolls(I wait for the sale)..and Big Lots has 24 Doubles @ $8( I wait for the sale)..these are the best prices I’ve found..been storing for 3 years.
          Good luck.

      24. Amazing!

      25. thank you mac; wow!!! greaatt!!

      26. Disappointed to see my earlier comment deleted. Survival of the fittest, I guess, eh Mac?

        • It’s up there Scott… I stepped out for a few hours and wasn’t able to run through the moderation queue. Thanks for posting!

          • Man, I sure am sorry about that, Mac. Please pardon me as I extract my own foot from my mouth… is there a delete button? Doh…

            Sorry… = (

      27. the biggest idea that I get from this story, is that there is no experience as good as first hand experience. This guy tells it like it was. Very helpfull.

      28. DAISY,

        Thank you for your inquiry at SHTF America. I could not respond by email to your comment because I do not have a profile on Face Book. I will not add a profile there because I don’t like Face Book. I believe their requirements are too intrusive, and an invasion of my privacy.

        If you have another email address at Hotmail, Google, or Yahoo, I will gladly respond to you. Thanks for your visit.

        G, beam me up “Scotty”.

        [email protected]

      29. Spoken like a good Slav. AK 47 and vodka are all you need. Love it. Makes you wonder about the usefulness of gold and silver. They will incredibly valuable as individual communities attempt to rebuild. Ill take my chances with PMs over lousy fiat.

      30. By far the best article I’ve read here. Thank you for posting. Real world experiences are the most useful to us trying to prep. Will definetly purchase more alcohol 🙂

      31. I don’t understand what most think a survival situation is really like. It’s not a camping trip, it’s serious, it’s dangerous and one false move can cost you your life.

        I would suggest for those that have no formal survival training that you try to spend a weekend in your own home with no electric, water or gas. That will be an eye opener for many. If you want to go hard core try a weekend in your back yard with nothing.

        Within 24 hours most will quit just for some personal hygiene. Surviving is nasty business, it’s dirty, it’s grimy, it’s hard work and that’s with no one hunting you or shooting at you.

        Want more, try going all day with your web gear on full of ammo, side arm and rifle.

        How many of you have weighed your bugout bag, ammo, weapons and water? How many of you have actually tried walking for 4 hours with your gear?

        Test yourselves before TSHTF, you will be glad you did.

        • @PatriotOn: Great point on the web gear and pack. I will occasionally wear mine around the house ( and yes I have clothes on too) functioning with different tasks can be great training. My prior Leo experience and patrol rifle training, shoot and scoot, and firing from a vehicle, all have helped. Check your gear, be familiar with the functions when you have the time too. Learn every aspect of your weapons, have spare firing pin etc. on hand. Great read, and that English wasn’t bad! If you think it don’t get, try it!

          • Heavy

            • Yeah it is. I made a 3 foot by 2 inch PVC pipe filled with sand and a little water to make it the exact weight of my M1A loaded. I put a sling on it and carried it every where.

              Even though I have been trained, I forgot just how heavy it becomes in a very short time. I forgot what a pain in the ass it is to preform daily task with the weight and length. Everything from mowing the lawn to going to the bathroom becomes a major chore.

              I was just carrying the pipe, no ammo, no water, no web gear, no pack.

              What ever vision you have of a survival situation it will be 1000 times worse. Have a plan for caching all that extra gear you will have to abandon so you can come back to it later.

              If you think you will be able to bug out with a 1000 rounds of ammo, think again. For me 1000 rounds of 7.62×51 NATO weighs 58 lbs.

              Forget about the car and truck, think feet or bicycle at best.

        • Baby Whipes (aka shower in a bag)!!! Excellent for field hygiene. Stock up on them. I just bought 400 for $7.00 at Walmart, and I know you can find them cheaper than that.

          • That’s true and they work well. But when your choices are another quart of water, an extra magazine of ammo or baby whipes what are you going to choose?

            The first month will be hell because everything is going to rub you raw, blisters, chaffing the whole nine yards. Hygiene is extremely important to prevent infection and illness.

            Having two quality cotton wash rags will save your ass literally. Just get all your personal hygiene items you think you need for 1 month together and weigh them.

            What you will find is you don’t even have enough room just to carry the toilet paper.

            onces=pounds, pounds=pain. Good Luck!!

        • Any suggestions for water for the bug out bags? We’re coming upon winter & it’ll freeze as I store it in my car @ all times. Thx all for any suggestions.

      32. When Selco talks about Lada Niva, he(?) talks about a car. Here it is (the link in the article takes one to some lighter :))

        • No, the original link takes you to fuel pump for that Lada Niva. I find this weird that the seller for that part is in the U.S. There are NO Lada Niva’s in the U.S.
          They were built in Mother Russia and exported to former Yugoslavia and Eastern Bloc, NEVER to the U.S.
          WTF, someone is trying to sell them on Ebay? These are gonner cars since 2000.

      33. Great info. Thanks for reposting.

      34. Well, that scared the !@#$ out of me.

        Why did I read this before going to bed?

      35. This is what happens when evil goes unchecked, corrupt politicians are e-elected, and no one takes a stand!

      36. This article shocked me in 2 ways:

        1) Up until now I have paid no notice to stocking up on barterable items, just stocking up on things I think I would need. Selco seems to say we should also stock up on things we might not necessarily need, but that other people will pay dearly for (e.g., Booze, he mentions baby formula over on survival boards; not sure if that made the cut on this abridged article; bic lighters)

        2) Gold/silver seem to be highly overrated. He says in an early post that he traded gold/silver for his weapons and ammo early in the crisis, but never mentions gold/silver again! This makes me wonder if I have made a miatake in loading up in silver bullion, and maybe ought to sell 75% of it to buy some rural land and tons of ammo?

        PS: I guess the only envouraging news in this post is that the gangs seemed to prefer weakly defended targets, so 15 men with rifles appear to have been enough firepower to deter most challengers.

        PPS: And at least there was no cannibalism.

        • no mistake on the silver, keep it, good idea to buy rural land, but with interest rates so low, buy the land on credit, don’t put money into something that you may not own after the SHsTF.

          • or youll own it after but wont owe anything anyways, so having land is a good idea.

        • I totally agree that it’s pretty clear that gold and silver aren’t nearly as valuable as almost everything else. I suspect that fuel would be extremely valuable for barter. Medicine even better if you could buy it legally, like antibiotics and med for diabetes and other diseases that will kill you quickly without meds.

          Main thing that stood out were:

          1. How quickly life as we know it can radically change if the power grid goes down and the
          wheels of transportation stop turning.

          2. If you are not prepared and have things to barter or if you try to go it alone, you
          will die or be killed and or raped by looters or people who become desperate and take
          whatever they want when there is no law enforcement.

          3. How critical it is to lay low and hide – or blend in if you have to go out.

          A final thought… this is excellent info. It’s much better to learn something… like how to fly a plane, from someone who has done it… than to speculate about how it might be done. As I read this I first thought that we probably wouldn’t have to deal with armies surrounding our cities but thinking about how efficient gangs were organized to loot in New Orleans then realizing that there may not be any resistance to even more organized gangs like Mexican drug cartels …

      37. priorities list:

        shtf fire team choosen (family friends) loners get robbed killed…
        bug out or bug in, have alt location choosen stocked…
        only travel night no lights…

        rifle / ammo common hide extra backup
        pistol / ammo common hide extra backup

        Clothing Protective – seasonal summer – winter gear / extra winter boots socks thermal undies and Rain Gear all muted dark colors!

        store all legal papers protective place.

        gas mask / filters / disposible masks / hearing protection / eye protective wear
        minimum 3 months food – FOOD / WATER / water tablets – filter
        propane/ lighters bic / fire stone and knife sharpener stone / toolman all purpose tool/ garbage bags / duct tape / electric tape / candles / pers hygiene / bleach / alcohol / anti-septic / peroxide / full first aid kit / colloidial silver / benedryl / real asprin / tums / body powders anti fungal / MORE BLEACH / anti diahrea / charcoal for poisoning / vaseline = plastic wrap = ducttape for gsw wounds / whiskey/ vodka / MORE SOAP / Plastic sheeting Tarps / Propane stove / MORE propabe / charcoal stove / pipe exhaust system / fire fuel LOTSA fuel / solar panel = car batteries / electrical adapters / emergency radio / battery charger = rechargeable batteries / flash lights / batteries / oil lamps – lamp oil / condoms = lotsa canned ravioli’s for the ladies ;0P / candy / sword / bowie knide / hand ax = hand saw / ground tarp / tent / ground pad / zero degree sleeping bags / wool blankets / few pairs of good solid walking shoes / socks / knee pads = helmut / work gloves / basic tool kits / cotton kills folks get as much WOOL clothing as possible!

        MORE AMMO

        A Bike… AND A really good book on local fauna and EMERGENCY First Aid. Maps and what ever else you want foro your bug out or bug in… peace.

        • infections buy online pet store fish penecilin store in refridgerator … it works …. eat lotsa garlic onion olive oil anti septic all … tale echinacea , l-lysine , red pepper boosts immune system , store vitamin D and Vit C also immune boosters , baking soda neutralizes poison acid burns … multi vitamins … skin so soft and alcohol mix together for bugs usmc trick! Brush your teeth and gargle.

          an don’t get shot!

          • You can get ampicillin at the feed store–or TSC.

            • You don’t need to buy animal antibiotics…I bought antibiotics online from my doctor…that’s right, I now have an online Dr…I first read about it on survivalblog.com here’s the website http://www.survivinghealthy.com/ I bought the Basic ($119.99) – Includes complete treatment for multiple infections with complete instructions included. Antibiotics included: penicillin, amoxicillin, doxycycline, cephalexin, sulfa.
              If you don’t have antibiotics, you are in BIG trouble! The kit includes instructions from the Dr on how to use the meds and the exact dosage! I feel a lot of peace knowing I have these meds…I’m going to order a kit for each family member..please check out the site!!

            • thank you sml jj both are appreciated for the info… ;0)

            • SmokyMtnLady:

              That link to surviving healthy was a great one. Thank you!

              Very useful.

      38. Yeah, I concur with others that this was very insightful. I remember seeing Bosnia make the news and it was “Muslims killing Christians and vice versa” Totally sad to see how human beings can be so brutal and vicious to one another. However, I’m not at all shock because of atrocities committed throughout history. A good and must read book written by Fernando Ferfal is ” Surviving total economic collapse”. It was about the economic collapse of Argentina. There were similar stories of gangs and the need for security. The total devaluing of the peso along with hyperinflation and the mind set needed to survive through the chaos.
        As for medical system being in place, very highly unlikely! Remember Katrina? The hospitals in the area were totally looted and ransacked. The only safe haven were the libraries were all the books were left untouched. Go figure!
        I do agree with some additional basic medical training and obtaing some supplies ie suturing kits, antibiotics, trauma dressings, IV fluids, but this would only get you so far… You would still need much more technical assistance if dealing with a GSW(gunshot wound) to the chest or abdomen. You would require not only IV antibiotics but a chest tube for a punctured lung. There are too many other medical emergencies that one may encounter during SHTF situation, but something simple and easy to prepare for is dehydration… Have enough water and if you develope intractable nausea/vomiting/diarrhea buy oral rehydration packets that are commonly sold on the internet. Look up WHO (world health organization) oral rehydration or similar.

      39. If things fell apart remotely close to this article the US Military would cease to be an effective fighting force with essentially a dissolved government incapable of supporting it. That in and of itself would free chaos to rein worldwide. That certainly would not be in the interest of the NWO establishment and for that reason I believe it’s unlikely. More likely is a significant reduction in the standard of living with social implications short of the dissolving of the US. High crime, civil disorder with far fewer services is quire probable. Former industrial cities in the north will one by one become a Camden NJ which was stripped of industry decades before the Free Trade Agreements. Looking at the past is looking at the future for similar places. Small town rural America with farms and resources such as natural gas, oil and farming will be barely effected.

        • Kevin..you brought up a subject I think about —off topic..but with a collapsed economy, no funds for military in 154 countries??
          They ARE NOT gonna work for free—how DO they get home???

          • Short answer is, a lot of them don’t. My hope is that many COs will see the writing on the wall, and try to quietly cycle soldiers home. Order of priority: parents, married, single. I doubt it will work that way in reality. I think the best we can hope for is some returning by whatever aircraft are available, and however many can get onto a ship heading back to the states.

            • HEY …. why is it Always the Single Guy gets screwed in EVERYTHING! huh????

          • Pick up James Wesley Rawles new book, “Survivors”. It touches on this very subject.

            • ninarocket, or doesnt get “screwed” as the case may be… sorry, couldnt help it.

      40. The author alluded to a little bit how how the rebuilding went after the civil war when commenting on his father’s troubles with proving ownership of the apt. I would love to hear more on life after – time frames etc.

        This was a treat – helped to open my eyes. I have some very serious rethinking to do. May need to buy a secret property some where, and start prepping it for occupation in a bug out situation.

        The quickness of how life feel apart caught my attention also. Rapid!

        • stay mobile… seriously… just buy a trailer and a 4×4 powerful to go off road with fully loaded trailer and head for the nearest federal reserve park and drive off into the heart of the reserve and build a dug-out to chill out in for a year or two… thats my plan here in montana… lotsa room to get lost in and lotsa deer moose and natures bounty… dug-out keep you cool in the summer time and warm in the winter time if built below the frost line… here in montana it’s just 24 inches!

          • Great unconventional bugout plan nina. Live out there like the Indians did lol. Water and food might be a factor but I love the plan.

      41. Good stuff and interesting perspective, but I am wondering if everything he says is transferable to US …. hmmmmm.

        I mean this was a war scenario with his town surrounded by an invading force. Interesting aspect about local gangs but WE expect them in the major cities if SHTF here.

        In particular, he keeps coming back to WOOD for fuel, flints and lighters, guns and ammo, family and friends for a sustained survival plan.

        These are my “take away’s” from the info.

        Move to the mountains people. Or bloom in place! But please note he had no time to “Escape NYC” when the SHTF.

        If you plan on bugging out, you will need to be there to get there. 🙂

        • dk

          Oh yes get out of the cities. The cities existed because of it’s manufacturing base. No manufacturing no city. I think a good guideline on where to go is can that area support itself or does it need outside resources? I gravitate towards small town US with energy (oil, gas) and farms. Establishing some roots there before hand would be a good idea. Because there is strength in numbers if your religious or not find the local church and attend services ;when in Rome as they say. Far too many outsiders will be coming in and you need not to be though of as one of them.

          • K2: All good points. You are quite right, and that is why I keep urging people to relocate now, adapt and integrate into their new environment.

            The church affiliation is a good idea.

            Actually after the SHTF for REAL I don’t think there is going to be a lot of gasoline available and I don’t think people are going to be traveling very far from where they are; even if they need too.

            They will be “stuck in Lodi, again”.

        • do not move to the mountains… the locals there (
          like here in montana) will form into gang packs and prey upon you!

          if your aren’t already here with us with a few years under your belts here… knowing who is who!

          you will just be preyed upon!

          seriously you will die before you get here… bug out locally with known family and friends or you will be preyed upon… transients here in montana are preyed upon by the locals!

          take this warning seriously!

          • Ninaorket: I am an ex-marine and Viet Nam Vet, I promise you I am as big a bad ass as you think you are.

            Nobody “preys” upon me. Nobody.

            And I have my own mountains thank you very much. All men and women of good will are welcome in my mountains.

            • Great post Durango Kidd…I was born and raised in Montana and ninaorket is an effing moron, and very much not representative of the rest of the friendly folks in Montana…my guess is he is a reject/transplant/montanin-man-wanna-be from Illinois and is afraid his poor little toes will be stepped on in time of crisis.

      42. I read every word. Thanks for posting this! Another reason I love SHTFPLAN.

        This part of the world, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, has had a lot of wars over the years. They war over and over again.

        I am not sure if this type of SHTFPLAN will come to my community but it doesn’t hurt to prepare for it. Many countries of the world have not had this type of chaos but Yugoslavia over and over again.

      43. That was better than any article I have read or written. He was unprepared, and survived! We can learn a lot from this and prep accordingly. Hats-off, two thumbs up and a star for this article!

      44. Is anyone in need of a family of good people in your locale? I’m an ex-Navy corpsman that served with marines (ex-FL paramedic)expert rifle and pistol shot, machinist,truck driver, ex-cop,well-educated (entering law school for constitutional law, taking LSAT in December),who is very resourceful and can build or fix damn near anything, has supplies, but has a wife and two little ones who will need to get out of a Northeast city. Unfortunately, we don’t know anyone these days who lives in a safe(r) rural area. Like I said, we’re good-hearted, genuine, God-fearing people, and I know we’d be a real asset. Thanks!

        • Try looking up Nebraska kearney area, been here 6 years and low crime, good police, no gangs, several nursing homes, clinics, lots of ex military me included, good hunting and cheap housing in town. We thought about moving when I graduated in December but 4 kids and no nuclear jobs we stayed put. Good place to ride it out. Good luck navy

          • Hey, were you a bubblehead? I was on the Kamehameha in the 80s.

            • Carl Vinson from 93 to 97, did some emergency repairs for the marines and army generators in Somalia in 95 (i was the only person in the pacific AO that knew how to rebabbit a bearing on antique equipment). That was a shithole and I have been prepping based on the stuff I saw there. Nice to know there are other nukes out there. If shtf let’s all find a plant and get it back online.

          • Yeah, I was there in 93; had a very bad time. I was a corpsman with marines at the time, then went to BUD/S. Was a nondesignated striker while on the Kam; would have LOVED the opportunity to go to nuke school. Knew a lot of nukes that ended up going to France after their enlistments.

        • James Wesley Rawles of Survialblog recommends what he calls the American Redoubt–Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, etc. He also recommended the North Dakota Oil Patch as a booming area (particularly appropriate for a single mother with a young son looking to move–lots of potential husbands).

          • My dh’s friend just returned from N.D.; cold and living expenses weren’t worth it–and he’s a rough, tough, country boy who’s lived the rough life and hard times a lot–if he says it wasn’t worth it—I’d take it to heart.

            • obviously not tough enough…. ;0P north dakota will still be standing when everything else dies. it is the ony real value based bank now left in the debt slave world!

            • When the Pole Shift occurs, North Dakota will be under water. Why investment time, energy, and money there?

              Move to the Rockies.

            • Just got back from North Dakota oil patch myself. Jobs available everywhere, and I mean everywhere, but there is NO place to live. All residential housing has been rented and bought out by the oil field workers. Great place to get a job, but you better bring your own living quarters, such as an RV or trailer that is insulated and prepped for some downright COLD weather.

          • When the Pole Shift occurs, North Dakota will be under water. Why investment time, energy, and money there?

            Move to the Rockies.

        • IF YOU ARE A STRAIGHT-EDGE no drugs or alcohol GOOD RELIGIOUS MAN come to POLSON MONTANA and join up with reverend chuck balwin congregation… he will help you… and his church is a constitutional one… the polson american legion will help you… and it is a hub for veterans , alot of good vets live there… great town , housing is available immediately and jobs and safe… stay away from cfalls columbia falls montana and west glacier area’s thats the ghetto here… meth houses , tons of druggies and alcoholics… the locals there are constantly robbing and preying each other there a real shithole… lotta poor locals live there and they will prey upon you.

          if interested… let me know here and i will setup way to communicate… from one yankee to another… polson is where you want to be… check out flathead lake montana on-line.

          the train from north east come right here… it’s cheap.

          come too montana or check out north dakota also good!

          good luck!

          • Yes definitely ! Thanks!

          • Nina,

            What are land/home prices like there? Any 40-80 acre farms with water available? Price range?

        • Joe: Hit me back at durangokidd2095 at hotmail.com

          Put SHTF Plan in the subject line.

      45. My thanks goes out to Chris Kitze. His insight is most valuable. In 2004 I met a Bosnian man named Milo who had immigrated to the U.S. with help of a Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Milo told me that in 1992, Moslem his neighbor came to him one night and told him that if he was in his apartment when the sun came up he would be killed in front of his wife, son and daughter. He packed what they could carry and left town. Milo is a good hard working responsible man, husband and father. He related other things that I won’t go into, but what Chris Kitze is relating supports what I was told by Milo.

        This is a great story to pass on to your family and friends. Insight and wisdom is given by those experienced. Thank you Chris.

      46. 190 proof in pint bottles, zippo lighters, flints & fuel, large coffee filters more useful than TP and use less space. Booze is cut down from 190 octane with water by producers. If you’re going to buy alcohol, buy alcohol. Cans of tobacco & papers. Store a few cartons of smokes but vacuum seal. Toothpaste, brushes & soap. Vertical pasta/rice in Homer buckets, Spam, cans of broth/gravy, lemon & lime juice and Spam. Rocket stove. Two pair of great boots. Most common ammo, 12, 40, 22/38.

        • Hey, where did you find my weekly shopping list?

          • Women want brooms…will be hard to come by WTSHTF.
            I have 4.

            • Pelosi has many and rides for free.

        • +1 one the rocket stove.

          • They need to let that boy kick every time he gets to the fifty.

      47. I hope we never have to go through something like this in our neck of the woods. Selco mentioned the hygiene and first aid stuff so often, and since he’s speaking from experience, maybe I’d better check and see if there’s a weak spot in my preps. I’m not really overloaded with those.

        ***Upcoming Nonsense Alert*** Beep…Beep…Beep..

        Late one night in the Rose Garden…

        Barry, Moochelle and the girls are working in the vegetable patch. Barry is digging some potatoes when his shovel strikes something that’s definitely not a Norgold Russet…

        Barry: “Girls, go ahead and take the basket of turnips and squash into the house. Your mom and I will be in shortly to (clunk)…Hey! I just hit something! Moochelle, come look at this.”

        Moochelle: “What is it?”

        Barry: “Girls! Get on into the house! (he turns to Moochelle, whispers)…let me move some more dirt to make sure, but I think it’s a bone!”

        Moochelle: “Looks like a really big bone for the dog to be burying…no…(trembling)it’s a skeleton!”

        Barry: “A human skeleton! With some of its rotted old clothes still on it!”

        Moochelle: “Look! There’s something in the shirt pocket. Some kind of paper or something.”

        Barry: “Lets see what it is…(unfolds a nearly crumbling paper) It says…’John, need your help. I am in real danger! H has been following me and She knows I’m about to blow the lid on WW and all the other stuff. Bring all the papers and meet me at my office tonight. Be careful, we’re probably both being watched. Make sure nobody follows you.”

        Moochelle: “What’s the signiture there? It looks like Van or Vinny or…”

        Barry: “Vince! Holy crap! What are we gonna do?”

        Moochelle: “We’re gonna do the only sensible thing we can. Grab another shovel and help me cover this back up!”

        The next days headlines say ‘Obama Bails Out. Cites Need For More Family Time. Withdraws From Race And Throws Support To Hillary!’
        Page 4 of the same paper carried a short story on Moochelle. She abruptly ended her ‘Healthy Foods’ crusade. And was quoted as saying “People should just eat whatever they want. Tofu and organic lettuce, or pizza and snickers bars. Makes no difference to me. And besides, gardening isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

      48. first he says: “the war wasn’t about religion, it was a civil war”, than he says “god bless America because war ended thanx to USA”; this is a strange thinking: if it was a civil war, and Bosnia was a capitalistic society (the guy admits wages, money and market in Bosnia), obviuously the war happened because of inherent capitalistic contradictions. and how can you bless america if america is the champion of capitalism in the world? this guy is very confused

        • no he’s is not… he’s just a nurse who survived living hell… probly a better man than you… america/ nato used the war to it’s advantage to move politically physically into a strategic position against russia and china… look at a map… see the truth of my words. silly rabbit! ;0P

          • nina, you are saying exactly the same I think:

            “america/ nato used the war to it’s advantage to move politically physically into a strategic position against russia and china”

            it’s absolutely ok for me, it is absolutely the truth, coherent at all with a leninistic/marxian vision. You have knowledge and vision. So, why are you insulting me? Explain please

        • What is confusing there?
          I can help you if something is too hard to understand.

      49. Super interesting post. I’m off to buy my 1000 bic lighters now.

      50. Something not explored in this post is the role race would play in the US in a SHTF scenario. I think that would be far worse than in a mono-race place like Bosnia. Just looking at recent large-scale disturbances in the UK/US, race was always a factor.

        If we go back through recent history (LA Riots, etc.), then it was also a factor then too. Philosophically, that presents a massive challenge for anyone who cares about living in peace in stressful and taxing times. Those on here who just think in terms of getting ammo and guns are just thinking in terms of civil and race war: not a viable solution to humanities problems.

        • thumbs up. you are so right,

        • Race will only matter for those who are short sighted and don’t want to survive! If I am Black and I live in the inner city and my family has prepped for years. My skin color will not protect me from gang bangers. If I’m white it will not guarantee they will attack me. We are going to have to get a grip in this country. Unless you are dimwitted, in a SHTF situation color will not matter. If if your neighbor is a moslem surgeon, or a chinese dentist or Mexican mechanic. When their skills are needed you will ask. If some blond blue eyed meth-head asks how much food do you have, which one are you going to help or ask for help?

      51. Thanks for the perspective of what it was like to survive in the Bosnian civil war. Truly a hellish place to be. But America is not Bosnia. Yes, it may very well get bad here in the US, but never to the extent that this brave gentlemen experienced. First of all there will be no invading army that will have a stranglehold on the populace. The police force will not vanish as occurred in Bosnia. The military will not just abdicate it’s role to protect the populace. The Air Force will not abandon control the skies. Snipers will not be allowed to kill day after day with impunity. Looters and roving gangs may have some freedom at the beginning but will eventually be shot on site by Swat, military and special-ops. Come on folks, get a grip. This is not Bosnia. Take care.

        • Foxtrot….NONE of us KNOW what can happen…that’s why we prep!! Do you really think the military or local police are going to show up to “do their jobs” when they aren’t getting paid? Would you??? They have families to take care of also!
          If the SHTF here…do you REALLY think the Mexican drug cartel won’t take advantage and try to “reclaim” the southeastern U.S.? Of course they will!!

        • You can keep thinking that if it helps you get through the night. Meanwhile, I suggest you do some googling on Hurricane Katrina and see how law enforcement acted during that crisis.

          And you can believe if you want that gangs will be quickly suppressed by law enforcement. Reality check time: Law enforcement can’t suppress them now, in a time of peace.

          I truly hope you have guns and know how to use them. You WILL need them.

        • ;0P psssszzzzt ummmm 9/11 , REX 84… the very people you claim to protect you dude are the very people who would have you be their DEBT SLAVES! the only thing your saviors are gonna give you is a bullet in the head!

          OPEN YOUR EYE’S! USE YOUR MIND! or not.

          silly rabbit ;0P

        • I pretty much agree with Fox. The power brokers, NWO, Establishment or whoever they are NEED enough political stability to maintain the MIC that is both their heart and muscle. Wall Street is castrated without that mighty US war machine waiting in the wings to do it’s bidding if need be.

      52. Does anyone know what might happen to people who are incarcerated in Low Security Federal prison camps for non-vilonet offenses in the event of a collapse? Will they shoot them? Will they let them go?

        • they will shot the violent ones and psycho’s, baby rapists etc… most will starve… even if you get out beware the local towns folks they’ll shot ya too, just cause your a Con! Only travel at night till in safe new area, avoid gangs… 5000 prisoners disappeared died during katrina… no bullsheeit! all disappeared! thats your saviour fed gov fema at work people! ;0P trust nothing…

      53. Fire up the coffee maker, rub the sleep from your bloodshot eyes and let’s check the Morning News Headlines…

        Metals Up, Currency Down: Bank Of America Offers Free $100 Account To Anyone Who Brings In A Toaster

        Kidnapped Presidential Teleprompter Found In Cleveland Pawn Shop: Obama’s Doctors Report 20 Point Drop In His Blood Pressure, Heart Rate Near Normal

        TSA Agents In Public Schools, Will Scan Sack Lunches: Director Says Anyone Who Can Afford Peanut Butter Is Probably Dealing Drugs Or Laundering Money

        Catholic Church Bars Members From Occupy Movement: Pope Tells Faithful To Avoid ‘Wall Street Protestants’

        Rick Perry Unveils His Texas-Sized Tax Plan: Eliminates All Taxes On Capital Gains, Inheritance, And Lone Star Beer; Thirsty Okies Swarming South

        Thousands Hit Slopes As Colorado Ski Resorts See 1st Major Snowfall Of Season: Gangs In Los Angeles Respond With Rush Shipment Of Cocaine To Vail And Aspen

        Iran Announces New Weapon Of Mass Destruction: Giant Slingshot To Hurl Radioactive Camel Dung At Israel

        Cloning Denied In Wyoming’s Population Explosion: Ranch Hands Admit Responsibility For Growing Numbers Of Sheeple

        Peterbilt Launches New Truck With 6% Better Fuel Mileage, Industry Reception Mixed: Many Truckers Refuse To Drive New 17 Wheeler

        • Thanks for the laugh! In this day and age laughter is better than the gourmet coffee I gave up for preps. Although I think adding more coffee to my preps would be a good idea. Keep it up. Thumbs up since my computer is fried. Trading handloaded ammo for deer season for labor on the repairs, see RICH99 barter in America and the S has not hit the fan yet.

      54. It will not be survival of the fittest, but survival of who is supposed to survive. The audacity of man is beyond belief. We are not in charge, God gives us messages and some of us listen. Why do some people prep and believe things are going to get bad, and others say that they are crazy? This is what I believe. The only one who is in charge, will decide what happens, when it happens, and who will be left standing. Listen and believe; what will be is written in stone. But don’t forget to marvel at what is still beautiful in our world and how blessed we are.

      55. Alcohol, sanitation, hygiene, antiseptics…weapons, weapons, weapons, tobacco, small trade items, all good stuff.


        The last tool you will need

      56. The only question today is will Merkel and Sarkozy spoon and share a cigarette afterwards.

      57. During the Clinton years the government of the US made the Serbs out to be animals. The US bombed the Serbian civilians and their infrastructure. The US gave Albanian Muslims about 30% of Serbian land (Kosovo). The US has built 2 huge military bases there. What was the Serbian crime? They refused to let an American oil company build a pipeline through their country. We have a Globalist government, not an American government. No one is fighting for our freedom. They are fighting for Globalist Hegemonic Empire.

        • As I essentially said in other posts we allow various despots to run wide sections of the world and can then pick and choose who to bomb to “save people”. If a democracy replaces the previous out of favor despot and the new leader falls out of favor the CIA just reverts to plan B from the 1950s and just rig elections to remove them from office. These skills have been honed to a fine art post WWII around the globe.

          They are very very good at being very very bad.

      58. One thing I do know is that if the Mexican drug cartels try to retake the southwest as SmokeyLady says, they will meet headon with the US military. This scenario is just not going to happen. America is not going to descend into total anarchy in two days as did Bosnia. A nation of 300 million people with a 235 year history of freedom and military power is not going to let a bunch of drug lords take over the southwest. Time to get a grip and do some critical thinking rather than running with the hysteria. Take care.

        • smokeylady is right… do some more research and educate some. the los zetas drug cartel is cia prez obama dea atf supported… ever hear of the fast and furious operation? they gave over 30,000 guns and hand grenades to mexican drug cartels the gawdamn cia are trafficking drugs into the u. s. ask drug dealing bill and hilary clinton … they’re kidnapping people in broad daylight in pheonix the cops along the border shit themselves and live in fear of drug cartels , ranchers are disappearing , and the sheriff’s are such pussies there that they refuse to patrol known drug routes!

          look deeper into the rabbit hole… not just fux news.

          open your eye’s people… america is a lie!

        • Hmmm, Foxdog…uhhh, I think if you’ll care to look around, you’ll see that the Mexican cartels have ALREADY invaded parts of the southwest..compliments of the US Gov’t!!! And no one is doing a thing about it!! My sister lived in Tucson…on her way back to Florida, she was afraid to drive on I-10 because it goes through El Paso….which, if my memory serves me correctly…is IN the great state of Texas! The SAME El Paso that a few months ago was on lock down because of bullets flying. And the 300 million people that you are thinking will rise up and not let this happen…welllll…you’d have to pull the remote outta their hands, cuz ya know, Dancing with the Stars is on and Chaz Bono is quite the, uh, man??

          • You have good point for sure. A lot of apathy and a do nothing government, that puts politics and ideology before anything else. But I have to believe at some point things will tip and Americans will demand action. Historically what has happened when people feel helpless is that they turn over their freedoms to a strong-man or a strong government to save them. To me this is a greater threat than the drug cartels. The drug cartels and out of control violence maybe the catalyst that sparks the outrage where people demand action, but what price will we pay with our lose of freedom of movement, and autonomy? There’s the real danger. The American military could put a stop to this at any time. But they are not being allowed to act. Take care.

      59. I friend from work told me about Salko’s posting, so I came to check it out. I am new to this blog.

        I was also Bosnian just like Salko, but from the east side of Bosnia (border with Serbia). It was really emotional to read what he wrote. I try not to think of the past. I just wanted to say a few things. Like Salko said, it all depends where you lived. I didn’t live in an occupied town (like Salko). If we needed anything, we could go accross the border to Serbia and buy it. But, what is the point of all the food in stores when we didn’t have any money to buy it.

        Both parents lost jobs, the whole economy fell apart, the money had no value. My parents were soooooo naive. They didn’t save. They were not prepared. We basically went from a nice life to nothing. All we had was a roof over the head. Not that I am complaining. Some people lost that too. I was happy to stay in our home. It was a family property for generations.

        I was a young teen back in ’92. I didn’t know what was going to happen those first few days of war. I thought it was a conflict that would end in a few days. I refused to think that a neighbor could go against a neighbor. I refused to think that I may have to leave my home.

        Salko is right about what he said in regard to hygiene products. I can’t emphasize it enough…from personal hygiene to house cleaning supplies (well, if you care about stuff like that). Now I have stockpiles of hygiene in my house here in the U.S. I can frankly say that the war made me obsessive about cleaniness.

        Two other things caught my attention from Salko’s story: keeping low profile and relying on family and friends. If not for my extended family, I don’t know where I would be today. I had a huge extended family living near by. We basically supported each other and traded. Today, I would do anything for them.

        My neighborhood was nice neighborhood, where everyone knew each other. It was a nice suborb, good families, good kids, no crime. The fact that we knew each other and supported each other helped a lot. We tried to preserve the normalcy as best as we could. When I had to go downtown, I kept low profile, never wore any clothes that would bring any attention on me. I wore baggy clothes and didn’t make much eye contact. But, I was always careful…by nature, I guess. I still am. I don’t stockpile food. I guess that is just me. I don’t eat much. I could live on bread on water if necessary. I learned to cook simple meals during the war. We didn’t eat meat for a long time. We couldn’t afford it. I did it during the war and I could do it again. I don’t buy things I can live without.

        I don’t care about furniture and things. Those you can lose. We sold some to buy food. I only allow myself to get attached to things I can carry with me. I am happy with my life now. It is not perfect, but whose life is. I learned to appreciate small things. It took me few years to relax a little bit and not worry about everything. My husband is American, very relaxed by nature, an optimist!!!! He couldn’t understand why I worried so much about safety and security. Those were the two things I talked about constantly, beggining him to cut the spending and conserve.

        Well, I am different now. I don’t bug my husband or try to change him, but I am trying to be prepared. I still keep a low profile, don’t like strangers coming to my door, keep my hand gun near by. Sorry, if I talked about things you didn’t care for. I hope I was able to give some useful information on the subject.

        • Thank you for the input.

        • Your husband is very lucky to have you. Sorry but Woman and Spend tend to go together in the US. Save and Future are words not taught to too many Americans in general and (I may catch hell for this on the BB) but to almost no American women. The culture is Spend, Spend, Spend.

        • DRINA GIRL glad you made it… ;0) welcome to the Big PX

          Hopefully the times ahead are kind to you… and your hubby.

          Thanks for the Post! ;0)

      60. If guns and ammo are tops on your to do and not yet done list start small but don’t stop at one. Budget to bring a needed weapons cache into your life.

        1. 22lr first, affordable, easy to accumulate ammo and practice. 19.95 for 500 rnds is expensive

        2. Shotgun, next least expensive and powerful defense.

        3. Hand Gun….I reccommend a 45 if you can handle it or 9mm if not

        4. Assault rifle, probably 223, maybe 308. Ideallysome day both

      61. Wow, Thanks Selco! Great comments from all of you! (Cept “Rich99”) You think you might be somewhat prepared, until this reality is shared. I have much more work to do.
        Thanks all!

      62. What we think is nothimg like it really will be .This has opened my eye’s.Very well done story.

      63. Does anybody here remember 1978 and the gas shortage? I bet RICH99 doesn’t cause he was only a glimmer in his daddy’s eye.

        If you don’t believe sh.. can happen very quickly, think again. I lived in SOCAL back then. Getting up at 4:00am to go to work cause we had to get in a half mile line for 10 gallons of gas, if the station had it. Odd, even license # days to get gas. Red flag, yellow flag, green flag at the stations. Red was none, yellow was for commercial only and green was for everyone else. Fights in line cause tempers were high. I even spent hours to get to the pump only to find out that the station was out of gas.

        Fast forward to today with our just in time delivery systems with food and everything else and you can see how fragile our system really is. Don’t believe sh.. can become a problem quickly, give me a break!

        • I remember waiting as number there in line one February @ 5:00AM for the gas station to open. It was about 15 degrees. I was low on gas. Only ran the engine and heater every 15 min or so. I didn’t want the tank to go dry. The limit was 10 gals per customer. That, I think, was extremely mild compared to what could go down.

      64. He said he didn’t like Kalashnikov?? Well, what other choice did they have? Really, none. The Post-Yugoslavia (back then) had nothing but AK’s they bought from USSR.

        AK-47/74’s and Dragunov variant sniper rifles in 7.62x54r were the the small arms of choice. Some might have had some old H&K stuff, but highly unlikely given the Iron Curtain condition prior to war. I am ready to believe they had TT pistols though.

        Something is just not connecting in this article…

        • “He said he didn’t like Kalashnikov”

          Maybe he just does not like them.
          First posting;
          “(15 members in one big house, 5-6 pistols, 3 Kalashnikov s) so we lived and survived, most of us”
          He does talk about carrying a Glock now but I would I doubt he had that at the time of the war.

          Later post;
          “In case of weapon keep it simple, i mean now i always carry Glock 45 with me, because i like that gun, but it is not usual gun and usual caliber here, so i also have two 7,62 mm TT russian pistols hidden, because almost everybody have that gun here and a lot ammunition.

          I don t like Kalashnikov, but here there is that rifle on almost every 3rd house so…”
          His reference here seems to indicate todays reality, not back then during the war.

          Also, my wife is from Ukraine and speaks Russian. Although she speaks and writes English well, there are many times when she says one thing in English and means just the opposite. Can throw you for a loop.

          I don’t believe there is anything siniister going on here!

      65. SELCO,

        THANKS for taking the time to tell your story and share experiences. People who have never been in a war, up close and personal, cannot imagine the reality. You and your family were actually in a much more difficult situation–you had no support system like national military organizations do(food, water,weapons, ammo,clothes, fuel, shelter, reinforcements, transportation, med. help, etc..). You were “it”.

        RED LEADER and JOE,

        THANKS for telling it like it is. Couldn’t have said it better. I was thinking “These folks are going to be MEAT with thinking like that!” Military folks don’t go to war with 12-gauge shotguns as their primary weapon. If they did, there would be a lot of lightly-used shotguns to be picked up in the aftermath. There’s a reason for them thar rifles.

        Learned something about .223 and windshields while I was reading. Wondering how the 7.62 x 39 does on the same windshield? I favor both by the way–rounds are economical and relatively easy to store and can carry a lot.

        A lot of people are going to be food for “all God’s creatures great and small” with some of the wacky ideas they have.

        • Thanks for the compliment, NW! No, I wouldn’t turn down a shotgun if I had nothing else, but I wouldn’t feel adequately equipped, either. I’d be looking for a rifle in a hurry. Before I went in the military, I thought that a shotgun was the one weapon you should own if you could own only one. Now, I do not own one. I feel the money is better spent on other things. If I had lots of extra money, I might get one for birds, but I would not bring it to a fight. Yes, bullets are funny, finicky things. When it comes to penetrating objects, there are many variables that play a huge role, especially the angle that it hits something. I crack up when I see a round touted as a “brush-buster”. Guess what?: There’s a good chance that even a .50 BMG will not hit what it’s aimed at through a few twigs. This is a fact. I would venture to guess that the heavier .30 might stand a better chance of penetrating the windshield, though. I think Red Leader mentioned an experiment with this that he was a part of. He pointed out a lot of important facts abot the realities of weapons employment. One that he mentioned that I think warrants repeating is the bulk of shotgun shells. Take a shaving pouch, fill it with shotshells, and count them. Now, take the ame pouch, fill them with rifle shells, and count them. If anyone thinks this is not an important consideration, you have probably not humped ammo nor been in a firefight. You would be AMAZED at how much ammo you will quickly go through. An absolutely ESSENTIAL component of winning a firefight is maneuvering, and you cannot maneuver without firing LOTS of bullets to keep the bad guys’ heads down. Actually, this is the primary role of machine guns.

      66. Mac…great piece! We’re all the wiser for it.

        Drina…thanks for posting even when it is difficult to re-live the hard times. It was helpful to get another view of the same situation. I know I’ll be heading off to get cleaning supplies asap! Thank you.

        I have a question for you, if you care to post again. Since in Selco’s words, the currency basically fell apart…hyper inflation etc., what benefit would it have been if your parents had saved actual money? Would it have been equally helpful to have things on hand, rather, to barter with? How did you heat your home and where did you get food from? I appreciate hearing, if you would like to share.

        Glad your husband understands your concerns for security. Some of those things never leave one if you’ve lived in bad and unsafe environments. I know this for myself as well. Can’t live without locking up everything!

        Thanks again Mac and Drina…and all for the insightful comments. Learning…learning…learning…and hopefully getting wiser as I go.

        • I meant….if they saved money and removed it from the bank before everything fell apart. Lots of people did it. Of course it would have been helpful if they stored pleanty of food. Again, where we lived, there was pleanty of food to buy during the entire war. My dad didn’t believe that war would happen.

          I lived in a town with strong (light and heavy)industry. The local government tried to keep most of it running. My parents worked for one of those companies. Their company exported lots of manufactured goods to Western Europe. Since the trade stopped due to economic sanctions, we only traded with Serbia (the closest neighbors). Bosnia gave them wood and Serbia paid or in money or in food (they were under sanctions too, so they didn’t have much). So, my parents received food instead of paycheck. When the company had cash, they would pay in cash, but not so often. Again, I am saying things I hardly remember any more. I never actually discussed this time period or events with my family. When I go to visit them in Bosnia we do not talk about war.

          Our house had a central heating system. We had a big coal/wood stove in the basement. Since there was no coal to buy, we used wood. East Bosnia is green. Lots of forrest. The area I am from looks a lot of like east TN or SC, lot of rolling hills and the town was build in the narrow valley (15th century). My home is near the water, with a nice beach shaded with trees. When one of those trees fell down, due to flood or storm, we would cut it and use it for heat. Other times, we got it from black market. Bosnian winters are not so harsh and long.

          Our neighbor had a water well. His entire water supply came from the well (the only smart person in the neighborhood to install it). So, during the water restrictions days, the neighbors and us went to his property to get water.

          I admit I repressed a lot of memories from that time period. I am not a kind of person to wish to live in the past. I love life and try to see good in people. So, I apologize if I am not giving useful information. I was young at the time. I didn’t get out much. If I left the house, that was to visit my family and friends who lived near by. The downtown was pretty safe, but I didn’t like what I saw there. Those who got their hands into black market, soon started running the streets. They soon bacem organized like a mafia. There is something strange that happens to a human mind during a time like war. These people thought they were invincible, that they can buy anything, that this kind of thing will go forever. It made me sick to see my town like that so I stayed at home.

          As I mentioned before, I have a HUGE extended family. I never lacked company. I had somewhere to go if I needed to. The reason I say this is because I feel sorry for any teen who will have to go through a economic colapse like we had. They will go through so much pressure. One advice I could give to those with kids, please, take care of them, talk to them, if the worse ever happens – watch them. They will be the first ones to fall down to drugs or other ugly stuff I don’t even wish to discuss.

          ’94 and ’95 were the worse when it came to food supply. I graduated from high school and was able to help out more at home. I helped mom by cooking meals. Believe me, I can prepare a delicous meal with no meat or even veggies. I was thought how to make and bake bread when I was 11. Pretty soon, the meals started to look very much the same. There were weeks when I ate the same kind of food every day. Then soon, I only ate one meal a day. If I was hungry and we didn’t have anything in the house that day, I would visit my aunt or my grandma and there would be something there. I meditated and prayed a lot.

      67. If you want to stock up on antibiotics….what are you talking about and where do you get it? Are antibiotics prescription only?
        Asheville, NC

        • We have a large stock of antibiotics including 4th generation anti MRSA drugs. We purchased them from http://www.alldaychemist.com We have had a 100% good experiences with them. It is legal to buy and have them shipped to your home. They do not sell any type narcotic drugs. An example of their prices: A Z-Pack at a pharmacy here is $60.00, from alldaychemist, $3.04

          My elderly mother who is assisted living is on a drug for “Sundowner” syndrome. It costs $90.00 a month. I was able to get her a years supply for $10.00

          The antibiotics work fine, my doctor has handed them out to patients who cannot affort their prescriptions.

          You should also stock up on any prescription drugs you take such as blood pressure medication etc. A few years supply is very cheap.

          Antibiotics should not be misused, especially for virus infections. To properly use them without a doctor you need at least two books: A current edition of the “Merck Manual” (two volume set) and the “Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy”.

          • You still need a prescription to order from this site.

        • wtf- got motivated to pick up feverfew plant today. later will get valerian, etc. get a medicinal herbs book and go to town at costco on drugs. they don’t really expire… they may decrease in efficacy. not sure about anti-b’s tho. try med suply or searching.?

      68. Mac
        Nice article, gives good insight to what things can be like when TSHTF. I wanted to share some experiences from my town in Australia.
        I have been through 2 serious floods in the last 3 years. early this year over 50% of my town was flooded and roads were cut for on and off for about 2 weeks. Lucky for us most ppl were prepared because of a slightly smaller flood back in 2008. We did not loose water supplies or power but food became a problem. Milk and bread were the most wanted items and the shops ran out in less than a day. The shops had no fresh food of any sort for about 2 weeks. The army was kind enough to air lift a couple pallets of milk and bread in to share among 20000 ppl(didn’t go far). Fuel (gas in the US) was easy to find cos nobody could drive anywhere.
        I now have a bit of trade going so i have direct access to a farmer for milk. Making bread is also a very handy skill to know.
        I like what Selco says about hygiene, after the floods myself and a lot of other ppl got Pneumonia from the flood waters( if you don’t get antibiotics it will kill you). simple things like gloves and a dust mask would have prevented such illnesses. I have also got a few books on herbal remedies as herbs are a lot easier to find here then Pharmacies (drug stores).
        I was glad I live in a small town and not a city as the same scenario turns a lot uglier with many more ppl.
        Just curious anyone else from OZ on here?
        hope this helps someone


        • Thanks for sharing Wally! Hygiene is a big issue, especially during floods…similar reports came in from new Orleans during Katrina… And in a grid down situation, if sewer systems stop functioning optimally, disease will be a major killer.

      69. JOE,

        Good points. If people would just set out 100-150 rounds of 12 guage buckshot and same number of .223 or 7.62×39 rounds, they’d know in a minute what would increase their odds if they had to carry it all day.

        Guns are specialized tools. The shotgun is sort of the pipe wrench in the tool box, while the AR’s, AK’s–and the bigger, longer-range guns–are more like the proper-sized socket and ratchet for tightening down those hard to reach nuts.

        The shotgun has it’s place and I understand tight budgets and all (Note: A decent used SKS might be considered if funds are tight. One could scale up to an AK later and wouldn’t lose their ammo investment)

        That said, I’d work with a half a broomstick if that’s the tool I had at hand.

        All in all, I hope we all die peaceful and old in a comfortable bed.

      70. suggest Mountains, wild game, lots of trees, simple honest people. It is still “tribal” here. neighbors help each other, watch out for each other. Minimum building site is 5 acres. Grow lites are a needed item. You get sick without “green” food. Easiest is sprouts. take a 8 Inch piece of well washed burlap, run a big string around the top. Soak over night in clean water. Sprinkle with seeds, mist and keep wet. cut in as little as 3 days for fresh green food. Seeds keep well in vacuum sealed small packets. You can hang thoes burlaps on doorknobs, chair backs, anywhere that gets light.
        A Homeopathic survival kit comes with 50 remedies (natural medicine) ($120.00) and a how to treat w/what instruction book and keeps for 150 years if kept free of odors and fungus, mold. Kit comes in ammo box. lightweight and goes with you at all times. Grapefruit seed Extract concentrate will germacide water and food. 8 drops per eight ounces. or 30 drops per gallon for most questionable water, like a creek or a stream. you need a container large enough for heating water/bathing, washing clothes. strong enough to set on a campfire. there are cast iron pots used in Cajun country posted on the internet. Think cold, winter, clean, clean, clean. A lot of thought is in the “fighting and defending” venue in this post, not enough thought into survival. If you have never been “camping” do so. In the winter. You will find in one weekend what it takes to survive. store that. Lots of soap. everything needs to be clean to stay healthy. Learn how to make a camp latrine, and keep it. Buy lye. Lye is for making soap and for out houses. Chemical toilets are good as long as you don’t run out of chemicals. Port a potty’s are a must when there are children or in times of blzzards or seige. Where ever you “hole up” make sure you can get out also. Cellars are great, unless the door is blocked or debris is on your one and only door. Have hammers, crow bar, small saw, make a pick to get out if you get stuck in rubble of any kind. a small metal step stool has multiple uses, as well as getting you high enough to escape from being trapped. Think worst case senario and then do that. surround yourself with trusted loved ones with skills different than yours. You survive best in groups. our future is in the children.

      71. Something you can use instead of toilet paper, at least for “#1” is “family cloth”. Cut up squares of soft material, like sheets or old tshirts. Just keep some next to the toilet. After use, toss into a bucket and wash them regularly. It’s really not that nasty. Save your toilet paper for the icky stuff and it will last a LOT longer.

      72. Does anyone own a hog farm? We could feed some hungry boars with the carcasses of ‘disarmed’ agents – and we get to keep the uniform. Keep in mind they wont eat the skulls, so we’ll have to break their teeth out and crush them up good… No one said it was going to be pretty.

      73. I have no family to “hole up with” when the SHTF. I am “50-something” female, and on a very limited income, live in a 650 sq foot apt, BUT: I have preps everywhere ! If I can do it on a limited income and with no help; EVERYone can !

        I come from a farming family ..can shoot, raise a garden and raise & butcher animals… I also spin wool, and can knit socks for trading. I am also stocking up on alcohol( drinking and other) for trades. have arms and ammo,looking for someone who thinks the same… people here are like ostriches with their heads in the sand. I am east of KC, MO… madam spinner 4 at yahoo dot com.

        I do believe this is coming alot faster then we think…. Also something I didn’t read…GET as much of your medical care done NOW and stay current on vaccinations. I am recovering from gallbladder surgery and started on getting all my dental work done. Because when TSHTF; things like that are going to go out the window.

      74. I have a very close friend who was Bosnia and has written a book about living through the war (“Not My Time to Die”, Savo Heleta). This is a MUST READ for N. Americans who have never experienced these horrors.

        28nkilometers from my home in Canada, is a city we call “Little Yugoslavia”. Over 85% of the population there are Bosnian, Serb or Croat. Believe it or not, they all get along like brothers. None ever want experience anything like that again. I go over there at least once a month for the great food.

        One thing he brought out in this article is Rakia (also called Sljivovica). Non Yugoslavs call it “rocket fuel” because it runs a bit stronger than most whisky. I heartily recommend you try it at least once in your life. It will make Greek Ouzo taste like water and I love it.

      75. I simply wanted to say thanks again. I’m not certain the things that I would have sorted out in the absence of those methods contributed by you over my subject. This was a frightening problem for me personally, but being able to see this well-written strategy you handled the issue forced me to weep for happiness. I’m just thankful for this help and as well , believe you know what a powerful job you’re putting in instructing other individuals via your websites. I am sure you haven’t got to know any of us.

      76. Good info. for city-dwellers – but, what happened to people out in the Bosnian countryside? Anyone?

      77. We are beginning to wirness the fulfillment of Matthew Chapter 24, an intersectionof end-time Biblical prophecy and human history like none ever before witnessed.

        Jesus said that he is the Way, Truth and Life (John 14:6). With that said, it is only wise to trust in Him yet prepare as if the Rapture may be a little ways off still.

        “Patriots” is a great book to read about this.

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