Venezuela

All posts tagged Venezuela

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

The cautionary tale that is the rather spectacular collapse of Venezuela continues. Were you aware that Venezuela banned guns for private citizens a mere four years ago, in 2012? Although the country was already in trouble, it seems like that was the beginning of the end.

Under the reign of Hugo Chavez, the government introduced a law that banned personal purchases of firearms and ammunition in an attempt to “improve security and cut crime”. The law was designed to keep guns in the hands of only police, military, and some security companies.

At the time, Chavez’s government said that “the ultimate aim is to disarm all civilians.” Shortly after the law passed, Chavez lost a battle to cancer, and bus driver Nicolas Maduro became the new president.

Maduro invested $47 million in “disarmament centers” in 2014, where citizens could turn in their firearms without fear of repercussions. This was at about the same time as the government declared that prepping was illegal and those “hoarding” could be detained on criminal charges and when the country instituted a fingerprint registry for purchasing groceries so that they could ensure people only purchased what they were allotted.

But Who Does Disarmament Really Protect?

Does a gun ban actually reduce crime? Is the reduction of crime truly the motive behind disarmament? Or is disarmament actually an effort to make it more difficult for those who object to subjugation to fight back?

It’s interesting to note that nearly all repressive regimes take away the means for the citizens to stand up for their rights. Right before the proverbial S hit the F in Venezuela, guns were taken away from the general public. It was then a slippery slope into chaos as the government failed, socialism itself failed, and the country collapsed.

However, now that the people are ready to revolt against Maduro’s government, they no longer have the means to do so. It’s suicide for unarmed people to fight the well-armed military, something that the government undoubtedly counted on when Venezuela banned guns, disarming the populace.

Meanwhile In America

There are some unnerving parallels we can draw to the disarmament of Venezuela and the plans for America.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is adamantly anti-gun. Her own website has a long list of the anti-gun measures she has supported. Make no mistake, if she gets the magical president’s pen, there will be anti-gun Executive Orders. She could also be the person responsible for choosing Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s empty seat, which will not bode well for the next challenge to the Second Amendment heard by the highest court in the land.

If you’re wondering how this relates to Venezuela, it’s simple.

Our ship here in the US is sinking.

Our economy is in the toilet. We may be watching a premonition of our future down there in South America, with riots at the grocery store. With abject poverty. With the third world medical care.

And if the wrong person is making Executive Orders and appointing Supreme Court Justices, gun owners could be targeted.

The American government doesn’t really represent the American people anymore. Do you feel that your wishes are taken into consideration when corrupt politicians benefit from big corporations against the desires of their constituents?  Our system is broken, and every day we lose rights, incrementally.

The Second Amendment is not in place so people can go hunting for deer. Thomas Jefferson summed it up. “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

If you’re watching Venezuela, you understand why you need to be armed.

There are many lessons you can learn from analyzing the fall of Venezuela, like what items they have run out of that you should be stocking up on. You should be buying long-term food, stocking up on medical needs, and preparing for a down-grid scenario.

But as the country descends into chaos, you must also see how it got there. An armed society is a polite society. You’re seeing via the news report what happens to a disarmed society.

There’s a distinct pattern when society breaks down, and as our society becomes more desperate, poverty-stricken, and lacking of moral compass, this trend will become more obvious. Note that the “lacking of moral compass” part doesn’t just refer to the thugs rioting and looting, but also to a certain sector of cops who think that their badges give them permission to behave like street thugs, too.

Here’s the pattern:

  • An outrage occurs.
  • Good people react and protest the outrage.
  • Those perpetrating the outrage try to quell the protest because they don’t think that the outrage was actually outrageous.  (And whether it was or not can fluctuate – in some cases, force is necessitated, but in more and more cases, it is flagrantly gratuitous.)
  • Others react to the quelling and join the protest.
  • A mob mentality erupts. Thugs say, “Hey, it’s a free for all. I’m gonna get some Doritos and while I’m at it, beat the crap out of some folks for fun.”
  • All hell breaks loose.
  • The military gets called in.
  • Cities burn, neighborhoods get destroyed, and no one in the area is safe.
  • Cops act preemptively, out of fear, and for a time, there is no rule of law.
  • If you happen to be stuck there, know this: you’re completely on your own.

Tess Pennington wrote about societal breakdowns in more detail – read her excellent article for more information on these predictable scenarios. In an event like this, you can try to call 911, but most likely, the police aren’t going to be coming to save you. You will be completely on your own. Will you be an unarmed, yet law-abiding citizen, hoping to somehow fend off the criminals who must have missed the memo to turn in their firearms? Good luck with that.

Here are 3 reasons why preppers need to be armed.

The thing that I believe it’s important to remember here is that if you have stacked your supplies to the rafters but refused to plan for defending your home and family, you’ve basically just made them bait should a desperate situation arise.

Just in case you think that chaos and violence only happen in places like Venezuela, where they’re undergoing a full-on collapse, the following examples are all from America.

Reason #1: Those who are desperate, unprepared, and feel entitled to be cared for

Remember Black Friday?  People climbed all over each other for cheap electronics. Fist fights erupted over vegetable steamers. People were ready to throw down and do battle for sale items.

I’d hazard a guess that folks who spend time and money fighting over electronics are not the kind of people who prep. That means that these are the people who will be hungry in a long-term disaster.  Look at those people, stampeding to get to a sale on things that they don’t actually need to survive. Their inhibitions are loosened because those around them are behaving in the same way.

You have to look at the psychology of this. People can justify pretty much anything when they or their children are starving. And I can understand that to a large degree – who could stand to watch their babies suffering?  But if someone can devolve to the above degree just to because everyone else is doing it, the chaos we saw above is only a tiny sample of what could come if people were truly hungry.

Do you really feel like you could prepare them one meal and they’d go away politely? Do you really think that reason and a polite but firm conversation will be sufficient to make them go away? It only takes one person to start the charge against you in a tense scenario, and when that happens, unless you take swift and shocking action, the others will follow, and your retreat will be overcome. Sort of like when the walkers overtook the prison after the fence got knocked down on The Walking Dead.

Reason #2: Those who are planning to take the supplies of others

But wait, there’s something even worse out there than the hungry unprepared. There are the folks who have built an entire preparedness plan around taking the things that other preppers have stored. Remember this guy from another episode of Doomsday Preppers?

If you aren’t ready for people like this, your survival retreat is a soft, easy target. These people are not nice, but desperate. Their entire survival plan hinges on taking what someone else has amassed using superior force. This yahoo (who was subsequently arrested after his appearance on Doomsday Preppers) blatantly explains his plan, and I can guarantee that he is not alone. He’s just the one dumb enough to announce it on national television.

These are the types of people who are only careful about breaking the law because they don’t want to be caught. If a situation arises in which being caught and thrown in prison is unlikely, it will be a free-for-all. Morals and ethics won’t stop them, because they don’t have any. The only thing capable of stopping people like that is people who are able and ready to defend their homes

Reason #3: Those who loot and pillage because, doggone it, they like it

Finally, there are those who simply enjoy mayhem.

Some people are just waiting for the opportunity to behave in this fashion. They enjoy destroying things and venting their anger on any person who has “more” than they do. They’d love to act like that every single day, but they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in jail. But when a verdict gets rolled out, when a storm takes out the power, when a disaster strikes, they delight in the chance to rob, pillage, loot, and burn.  Who can forget the day before Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, when thugs were coordinating looting rampages via Twitter?

Here was the scene in Ferguson, Missouri. These are definitely not folks out fulfilling needs.

I remember learning about “sublimation” in a high school psychology class.

Sublimation is a defense mechanism that allows us to act out unacceptable impulses by converting these behaviors into a more acceptable form. For example, a person experiencing extreme anger might take up kickboxing as a means of venting frustration. Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity that allows people to function normally in socially acceptable ways. (source)

If you believe Freud’s theory, then it’s easy to see that many people look for an excuse to revert to their true natures.  In a situation where “everyone” is doing something, they are able to cast off their normal control of their impulses without much fear of reprisal. The number of looters and thugs far outstrips the number of arrests going on in Baltimore, so there’s a very good chance that someone swept up in that mentality can go burn somebody else’s home or business and completely get away with it.

These are the people who burned down their own neighborhoods after the verdict in Ferguson. And what businesses were left untouched? The ones for which the owners stood out front, armed, to defend their property.

You owe it to your family to be ready to protect them.

What if the world as we know it ended? What if there wasn’t food in the grocery stores? What if there was no longer any such thing as EBT, for those who have made a career out of milking the system? What if the police and military finally threw their hands up in the air, gave up, and went home to protect their own families?  What if the scenes on social media from Venezuela become the scenes from America? Who’s going to keep your family safe then?

You are.

You have to realize that at any point in time, you could find yourself on your own, without backup from 911.

Whether civil unrest is right outside your door.

Whether a group of thugs decides to invade your home to rob and/or terrorize you.

Whether the world we know goes down, via an EMP that takes out the grid,  civil war, economic collapse, or a breakdown in the national transportation network.

The only person you can rely on to protect your family is yourself.

You can stockpile until you have a decade of supplies put back, but if you can’t defend it, you don’t actually own it. You only have it because no one has bothered taking it away from you yet.  You have what you have based on the goodwill of others, who are stronger, greater in number, and better armed.

Take a long hard look at the threats you face during civil unrest, and develop a plan for protecting your retreat. Wherever you live, whatever your situation, you need to plan as though 911 does not exist. Whether riots are occurring in the streets or not, in the seconds during which the lives of your family hang in the balance, you are completely on your own.

In some situations, it won’t stop with the destruction of your property. You may have to defend your home. And for this, you MUST BE ARMED.

I’m sure I’ll receive another barrage of email wishing me and my children dead by our own guns. (It always amazes me how people who swear vehemently that they’re against violence can send me those letters that fervently hope for bloody and terrifying deaths for us.) Some people are so terrified of self-defense tools that the very idea of using one causes veritable spasms of cognitive dissonance and denial.

Those very same people will tell you that they’ve survived riots or unrest and never had to have a gun or shoot anyone.

And do you know what?

Chances are, you won’t have to unholster your weapon. But this is a plan based on pure luck and the goodwill of others. Survival favors the prepared. I do not base my preparations for my family on the hope for good luck and nice people.

Firearms are an equalizer. A small woman can defend herself from multiple large intruders with a firearm if she’s had some training and knows how to use it properly. But put a kitchen knife in her hand against those same intruders, and her odds decrease exponentially.

You are your own first responder.

If the situation does escalate and the lives of you and your loved ones are in danger, there is no substitute for meeting force with force. You may not wish to engage, but sometimes there’s no time to escape. Sometimes there’s no place to escape to. In these situations, you won’t be able to talk your way out of it, hide from it, or throw dishes at the intruders to fight them off.

When you need help in seconds, the police are only minutes away. By the time they arrive during a collapse scenario, your family will be dead, raped, or kidnapped, and your supplies will be long gone.

If you plan to survive a scenario of civil unrest or a Mad Max society meltdown, you are going to have to accept that  preppers need guns. This doesn’t mean that you want to hurt someone. It means that you intend to keep your loved ones safe by any means necessary.

Here are a few tips to prepare a home defense plan.

Your plan has to be unique to your situation. Be sure when making your plan to take into consideration things like: the layout of your property, your family, and their skill sets, your comfort with firearms, your neighbors – the list of variables goes on and on

Here are some specifics to help you begin planning.

Know how to use your firearm. Whatever your choice of weapon, practice, practice, practice. A weapon you don’t know how to use is more dangerous than having no weapon at all.  You have to spend time at the range. It’s a must. During a stressful, frightening situation, you will be relying on muscle memory, so make sure the muscles are well trained.  I’m not a firearms instructor, so I can’t recommend “the best gun” for preppers. The guns I chose for my rural property aren’t necessarily the same ones I’d choose if I lived in Suburbia. Every situation is different, and your firearm choice should reflect that. (Here’s some advice from someone who knows a lot more about weapons than I do to help you with that decision.)

Make sure your children are familiar with the rules of gun safety. Of course, it should go without saying that you will have pre-emptively taught your children the rules of gun safety so that no horrifying accidents occur. In fact, it’s my fervent hope that any child old enough to do so has been taught to safely and effectively use a firearm themselves. Knowledge is safety.

Spend time making a plan unique to your situation. You need to prepare your battlespace and make plans for defending it. Those plans will be different based on your experience and that of people in your family or group. For example, a family of preppers in the suburbs would  most likely have a very different plan than a group of former military guys protecting a compound.

Don’t rely on 911. If the disorder is widespread, don’t depend on a call to 911 to save you – you must be prepared to save yourself.  First responders may be tied up, and in some cases, the cops are not always your friends.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, some officers joined in the crime sprees, and others stomped all over the 2nd Amendment and confiscated people’s legal firearms at a time when they needed them the most.

Be armed and keep your firearm on your person.  When the door of your home is breached, you can be pretty sure the people coming in are not there to make friendly conversation over a nice cup of tea.  Make a plan to greet them with a deterring amount of force. Be sure to keep your firearm on your person during this type of situation, because there won’t be time to go get it from your gun safe. Don’t even go to the kitchen to get a snack without it. Home invasions go down in seconds, and you have to be constantly ready.

Have a safe room established for children or other vulnerable family members. If the worst happens and your home is breached, you need to have a room into which family members can escape.  This room needs to have a heavy exterior door instead of a regular hollow core interior door. There should be communications devices in the room so that the person can call for help, as well as a reliable weapon to be used in the unlikely event that the safe room is breached. The family members should be instructed not to come out of that room FOR ANY REASON until you give them the all clear or help has arrived. You can learn more about building a safe room HERE.  Focus the tips for creating a safe room in an apartment to put it together more quickly.

Plan an escape route.  If the odds are against you, devise a way to get your family to safety.  Your property is not worth your life. Be wise enough to know if you’re getting into a fight that you can’t win.

Civilization is just a veneer.

Only four short years ago, the people of Venezuela were armed. Look at how the situation has devolved since then. People are starving. They are burning muggers alive. Doctors are doing surgeries in the blood of previous patients.

The argument could be made for the chicken or the egg, but regardless, I’d certainly feel a lot better in a chaotic place like that if I was armed to the teeth.

So many times, when interviewed after a disaster, people talk about being “shocked” at the behavior of others.  Their level of cognitive dissonance has lulled them into thinking that we’re safe and that we live in a civilized country.  They are unwilling to accept that civilization is only a glossy veneer, even when the evidence of that is right in front of them, aiming a gun at their faces, lighting their homes on fire, or raping their daughters.

They refuse to arm themselves and prepare for an uncivilized future.

Accept it now, and you’ll be a lot better off when the SHTF.

(Thank you to KY Mom for the awesome tip!)

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Did You Know That Venezuela Banned Guns for Private Citizens Only 4 Years Ago?

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

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By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Survival Saturday is  a round-up of the week’s news and resources for folks who are interested in being prepared.

This Week in the News

Is the economy turning the United States into a slave nation? It certainly looks like it, given the stories that we’ll be discussing this week. Jobs are so difficult to find that employers can turn them into sweatshops and people put up with it, just to be able to take care of their families.

Add to this the reliance of the average American on the cheap, easily available processed food system, and we truly are a nation at the mercy of the overlords, who even control the news we’re allowed to see.

Slavery and Humiliation Are Alive and Well in the American Workplace

Are your working conditions unpleasant?  If you get to drink fluids during work, and urinate and defecate in a toilet, then you’re living the good life. Unlike American poultry workers, who toil in some of the most horrendous conditions imaginable – including having to wear a diaper to work, since bathroom breaks aren’t allowed. Slavery, it seems, is alive and well here in America.

With decent-paying jobs so few and far between, people who want to remain employed are accepting more and more mistreatment just to survive. Essentially, many American workplaces are becoming little more than sweatshops.

A report by the watchdog group, Oxfam, tells a story that will make you sick:

“I had to wear Pampers,” a worker identified as Dolores stated in a damning report called “No Relief” released Wenesday by watchdog group Oxfam America. “I and many, many others had to wear Pampers.”

Industry employees also have been forced to cut down on drinking fluids “to a dangerous degree,” and some reported having urinated or defecated on themselves while working because they can’t hold it in any longer, according to the report.

“Supervisors mock [the workers’] needs and ignore
their requests; they threaten punishment or firing,” the report’s executive summary states. “Workers wait inordinately long times (an hour or more), then race to accomplish the task within a certain timeframe (e.g., ten minutes) or risk discipline.”

One worker said supervisors at an Alabama plant regularly threatened people by saying, “Go to the bathroom, and from there, go to Human Resources.” Another worker at a plant in the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia) region claimed it took between 20 and 60 minutes to get permission to leave her position and use the bathroom.

When workers do get permission to take a break, they aren’t given much time to use the facilities. In another section of the report, poultry plant employees say they are given as many as 5 minutes to leave their post, use the restroom and get back.

It’s bad enough that you can almost see how some people would choose welfare over working. Poultry plants are often in rural areas, where jobs are nearly impossible to come by. The folks working there have no options to leave and find other employment. There is no other employment, and that’s exactly what gives these companies the power to treat people the way they do.

These conditions were reported at four of the largest chicken processing plants in the country: Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue Farms and Sanderson Farms. Is it really a stretch to think that companies whose policies are to torture animals in horrific ways would not value the dignity of human beings either? (If you’re wondering what I’m referring to, this article tells shows some horrifying photos from inside a Pilgrim’s Pride plant. I’m not a vegetarian, but I refuse to spend a penny with a company like this. And the big companies? They’re basically ALL like this. The modern poultry industry is horrendous in almost every way.)

Please consider purchasing your meat from small farms, where both animals and humans are treated with decency. Consider raising your own if circumstances allow. If you just go to the store and choose the cheapest option, you are, by default, endorsing the actions of companies that won’t even allow their employees to go to the restroom.

Venezuela Is Going Down

I know, I know. I’ve been saying it for two years, but it’s happening for real.

The beleaguered South American country is descending into chaos.  Thousands of looters pillaged the remaining supplies in stores instead of waiting in hours-long lines for whatever might be doled out at exorbitant prices. Supply trucks just keep having “accidents” after which the contents are stolen. Other hungry people are killing cats, dogs, pigeons, and rodents just to have something to eat. One man who turned to mugging people was actually lit on fire and burned to death by the mob that caught him doing so. Unbelievably, the Venezuelan government has promised even more cuts on imports in order to pay their debts. Since stock is already depleted in this country that relies on imports for food, personal items, and necessities, things are about to get even worse.

Venezuela contains the largest reserves of crude oil in the world, but due to the mismanagement of a Socialist regime, collapse is imminent – even the mainstream media has admitted that it is inevitable.The country is suffering from the highest inflation in the world, electricity has been strictly rationed with rolling blackouts (and this is in the city  – rumor has it that in the rural areas, there is no power whatsoever), and a few months ago, it was announced that they simply did not have enough food to supply the country. (This will get far worse when the import cuts get more intense.) People, including city dwellers, were informed that they needed to begin to produce their own food.

With the oil-based wealth of the country, many citizens never expected that collapse was coming. Sound familiar?  Now that they’re on their own to feed themselves, the country has devolved into pandemonium. This is why, no matter where you live, as I discussed in this interview, you need to begin taking steps to be more self-reliant.  You need to  store long-term emergency food, build a food pantry that you use from day-to-day, and learn to replenish your food in your own backyard. While you might not be able to grow all of your food, if things get tight, what you do grow and stockpile can supplement meager rations.  You do not want to be a slave to this system, because when the masters stop feeding you, things are going to get ugly.

If it can happen in a country with that much oil, it can happen in the United States. They’re feeling the Bern of socialism in Venezuela and if you haven’t noticed, younger Americans are positively begging for a similar style of government here.

But its democratic socialism

Anonymous Is Taking Down Banks, But Facebook Won’t Let You Tell Anyone

Hactivist group Anonymous has dedicated the month of May to assaulting the global banking cartel in a rather spectacular fashion. Beginning with the Bank of Greece, they’ve targeted the websites of 9 of the world’s largest banks so far.

And here is the follow-up from Anonymous with a list of banks that they intend to target.

In the event these videos are taken down, you can find a list of their targets HERE.

But if you haven’t heard about it, there’s a very good reason. Taking media blackouts to a whole new level, it seems that Facebook has blocked any sharing of a particular link about the takedowns.  Here’s the message I got when I tried to share the link in a private message to a friend. Right?????? (This is the link I was trying to share – definitely go read it!)

blocked link

Hmmm…right as Facebook comes under fire for an apparent policy of censoring conservative news and information, an accusation they vehemently denied.

Now, indulge me just a teeny little bit. I enjoy watching the greedy being taught a lesson as much as anyone else, and because everyone loves a Robin Hood anti-hero story, I really hope this is all legit.

But…

What if…

What if there was something huge going on in the banking world this month?  Some kind of excruciating collapse that could cause massive chaos if everyone knew about it? What better way to cover up the financial disaster than to say, “Oh! Our system has been hacked! Don’t worry, comrades, your money is safe and there’s nothing to see here!” What if it isn’t Anonymous at all,but actually the banks themselves? What if Anonymous isn’t who they present themselves to be? There have been rumors for years that they are actually a government-controlled psy-op and part of the manipulative narrative.

This, of course, is nothing but interesting conjecture and something to think about. (Dear Anonymous: If I’m wrong, please don’t get all mad and hack me. I’m just a little blogger being a critical thinker.:)  Thanks.)

Prepper Stuff

An open letter to single parent preppersThis week, instead of a round-up, I wrote a letter to folks who are out there doing the family preparedness gig by themselves. Single parent preppers can often become discouraged by information that seems to be specific to families with two adults, but there are many of us juggling the whole shebang on our own.

Not only are these families headed up by divorced and widowed parents, but there are a growing number of people who straddle the line for a variety of reasons. Some are the spouses of our military members who have been deployed overseas. Others are forced to live separately when one spouse finds employment too far away to return home each night. There are families in which one parent takes the majority of the responsibilities due to something that affects their spouses: chronic illness, addiction, or mental health concerns, to name a few.  These semi-single parents face many of the same issues as single parents do, and these are topped off with additional worries about the well-being of their spouses. You can read the letter here.

I did an interview recently with my friend Rory, of The Daily Coin. We discussed the situation in Venezuela and talked about the lessons that we can learn if we observe carefully what is going on down there. One thing is very clear: independence means a lack of dependence. It’s time to break free from the system.  You can listen to the interview here.

Resources:

An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry

State MinimumWages

Venezuela Before Chavez

Non-GMO Long-term Storable Food

The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food Pantry on a Half Price Budget

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous

The Prepper’s Blueprint

Anything to add to Survival Saturday?

Do you have any news links you want to share? Now’s the time! Please post your links in the comments below. And feel free to indulge in some “what ifs” of your own. I’d love to know what you think of the stories above.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Signs of a Slave Nation: Humiliation, Socialism, Dependency, and Managed Media

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

venezuela-crisis

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

The all-caps “PREPARE NOW” is for a very important reason and emphasis. And yes, I do mean to ‘scare’ those who may not have adequately prepared yet.

It’s too late now for the Venezuelans where the situation there has become desperate as grocery stores are empty and people are starving as they look for cats and dogs to eat – but you still have time to get ready for what may come your way. However I would not delay…

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: PREPARE NOW Before The Situation Worsens, Like Venezuela Where Its Too Late

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

 

Sometimes a cautionary tale is more motivating than any amount of positive reinforcement every could be, and the horrifying reports from Venezuela are a perfect example. If you’re paying attention to the things they’ve run out of, you can put together a collapse supply list to see you through the crisis in the event of a breakdown in our own country. The time to prepare is now, well before the situation devolves to one that is similar.

Every day, there is more dire news out of Venezuela.  It’s so bad there that even the mainstream news can no longer ignore that the country is in the midst of an economic collapse. Thousands have turned to looting in order to feed their families. Even their soldiers have been stealing food. Long lines, empty stores, and hospitals without electricity are the norm instead of an unusual occurrence.

It wasn’t always like that. Life before Venezuela devolved into socialism looked a whole lot like our lives do today. In fact, as recently as the 1970s, Venezuela was one of the top 20 richest countries in the world.

So, today, our financial situation certainly looks far brighter than that of Venezuela, but according to a lot of experts, that is a glossy veneer over a crumbling foundation.  Obama calls it “peddling fiction” but the outlook here is not good. Financial statistics are massaged and many of them hidden to keep us in the dark. Jobs are nearly impossible to find, and heaven help you if you lose one.  The price of living is going up, but financial solvency is going down as personal debt outstrips the ability to pay it. Pension funds that people rely on are going bankrupt, one after another.

It really isn’t a question of if, but when.

Economic collapse starts out as “going through hard times.” It isn’t mobs on the streets or regression to Third World status initially. Before it ever gets to that, you have time to prepare. So let’s get started.

Pay Attention to What They’re Out of in Venezuela

The best way to make your supply list is to figure out what they’ve run out of in Venezuela.  Below, you can find a list of the things they do not have, along with suggestions for stocking up or educating yourself.

If we never have a problem in the United States, you can rest assured that none of these supplies are crazy things you’ll never use. Most are the most basic of necessities and you’ll find it’s very convenient to be able to “shop in your pantry” whenever you need something. As well, learning to be more self-reliant is a great way to save money, live simpler, and often be healthier than those who depend on the store to meet all their needs.

Food

The first thing we saw as Venezuela began going down was that the government cracked down on the ability to stock up on food.  They instituted a fingerprint registry for buying food, made prepping illegal, and began to dole out supplies. The government took over most of the stores, then forced farmers to hand over the majority of their crops at the price the government chose to pay. These crops were then marked up extravagantly and sold to people who suddenly found they could no longer afford to eat. Eventually, the government announced that the country was out of food and that if people wanted to eat, they’d better grow their own.

Supplies mentioned in articles that people have stolen and waited all day in line for are milk, bread, chicken, rice, and flour.

Here’s a list of food and related supplies you should stock up on.

  • Long-term emergency food buckets: I never used to stockpile these because most of them have horrible ingredients. However, Preppers Market products are non-GMO, have few additives, and even have gluten free buckets. They’re packed in square containers for easy stacking at the back of your closet, and each container is a month of food for one person. You can build up quite a stockpile this way that doesn’t take up a lot of space. As well, it’s packaged to last for up to 30 years, so you can get it and forget it. (ORDER HERE)
  • Build a pantry: Purchase things on sale to build your first line of defense against food instability. The pantry you build today can help you weather difficult times in the future. Stock up on shelf-stable versions of the things you generally consume in your family. You want to create at least a couple of months’ supply where you can supplement what you get at the store with what you have in your kitchen cupboards. Check out my book The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a  Half Price Budget for details on building your short-term supply. Be sure to focus on pantry staples (here’s a list) so that you can combine ingredients for delicious, from scratch meals.
  • Gardening Supplies: Once everyone wants them, the price will skyrocket. Stock up now on seeds, tools, compost bins, soil amendments, and testing kits.These books can help for those who want to start a small-scale homestead:

Also, check out this article: The Self-Reliance Manifesto: More Than 300 Resources to Guide You on the Path to Radical Freedom

  • Ways to Garden in an Apartment: I frequently suggest that people take more steps toward self-reliance and there are always folks who say, “That’s fine for you – you live in the country. I can’t grow food in an apartment.”  Well, you’d better figure out how to grow food in an apartment, because I can tell you quite clearly, President Maduro’s suggestion that people grow food didn’t have the caveat of “if it’s convenient and you live in the country.”  I understand that you can’t raise all of your food in a tiny apartment with a postage stamp balcony. But you can raise something. Lettuce for salads, sprouts that can be used in many different ways, or if you’re really industrious you could try aquaponics and/or rabbits. Everything you do produce can help to supplement the meager rations you may be forced to live on. These books and supplies can help:
  • Milk: One of the first things people run out of is milk. If your family regularly drinks milk, or if you add it to your coffee, the lack of it is something that will be immediately evident and make them feel deprived in an already unsettling situation. You can freeze milk when it’s on sale, and you should also stock up on shelf-stable dry milk. That’s the best way to have it on hand for the long haul. (Order Hormone-free dry milk HERE)

Hygiene Items

It’s important to be able to remain clean if you want to stay healthy. Following are some of the supplies that have been in shortage in Venezuela for months now.

  • Soap
  • Laundry detergent
  • Toilet paper
  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene supplies

For some of these items, you can learn to make them yourself. For others, you can make or purchase reusable versions.

Public Utilities

The country is rationing electricity and has been for quite some time. Currently, there are mandatory rolling blackouts. This is affecting everyday life, in that food can’t be kept in freezers, they are dealing with the hot humid weather without air conditioning, and they must use alternative lighting.

Stock up now on ways to deal with those concerns. These articles, books, and supplies can help you make your plan.

Medicine and Medical Care

Your heart will break into a million pieces, but this article from the front page of the NY Times (hat tip to Mary) tells you the real nitty gritty of the situation in Venezuela. A hospital is just as likely to kill you as make you better now, due to terrible sanitation and a lack of supplies.

They’re out of antibiotics, cancer medicine, and equipment. They can’t do dialysis or other life-saving treatments. They have no running water so they’re doing operations on a table still covered with blood from the last patient. The rolling blackouts mean that every single days, babies and other patients dependent on respirators are dying. Doctors are making lists of supplies for the families of patients to go out and attempt to procure from the black market.

It is essential that you keep some supplies on hand and that you begin learning all you can about survival medicine.

The best book for that is Cat Ellis’s book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine. It isn’t dependent on expensive, difficult-to-find supplies, but on things you can find in your area. This book is something you absolutely must add to your stockpile. If you can treat most ailments at home and stay away from hospitals, you’re far more likely to survive in a scenario like the one described above. A trip to the hospital in that situation is probably more likely to result in your death than avoiding it altogether.

  • Stock up on over the counter medications for pain relief, allergies, colds, diarrhea, and inflammation.
  • Some people purchase veterinary antibiotics like this.
  • Create a kit of wound treatment supplies to help prevent infection. (This fantastic article can help you decide what you need.)
  • I’m a huge fan of Vetricyn. We spray it on human wounds as well as animal ones.
  • Besides Cat’s book of natural medicine, look into adding other guides to your stash. I like the field manuals from the US military, which are available on Amazon.

Now is the time.

Be watching for a comprehensive 3-month program that is coming soon to help you get prepared with one-on-one help from some of the most popular preparedness authors around. More details are coming soon.

If you wait until a crisis is already occurring, you’ve waited too long, which is exactly what the people of Venezuela are learning. By preparing ahead of time and filling your collapse supply list, while you may still experience difficult times, your struggle will not be as extreme as the ones we’re seeing.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Create a Collapse Supply List Based on the Things They Are Out of in Venezuela

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

The SHTF might be a lot more subtle than an EMP or a massive natural disaster. We preppers tend to think in black and white, but there are some gray threats out there that few are considering. What if, instead of a total power outage, our country suffered a serious electricity shortage?

That’s exactly what has been going on in Venezuela, since they don’t have enough problems running out of food and other supplies in a previous development of the excruciating economic collapse of the country.

In the latest installment of collapse propaganda, bus-driver-turned-Venezuelan-President Nicholas Maduro offered some beauty advice. He wants the women of Venezuela to stop using hair dryers to save electricity aside from special occasions. He said, “I always think a woman looks better when she just runs her fingers through her hair and lets it dry naturally. It’s just an idea I have.”

This sage advice came along with announcements of further cuts and suggestions. State employees will now have Fridays off for at least the next two months, and he also recommended that citizens make small changes, like “embracing the tropical heat and hanging clothes out to dry instead of using tumble dryers.” (source)

The electricity shortage has been going on for almost a year.

This isn’t a new issue, but a worsening one. In May of 2015, they tried to sugar coat the rationing of electricity by saying they were just being green. Vice President Vice President Jorge Arreaza explained:

 “This is, of course, linked to global warming and the excessive industrialization of capitalism, which never stops, nor has ever stopped, for the effects that it can have on the climate, on society and on Mother Earth.”

When the electricity concern began, public employees saw their work hours cut to 6 per day.Businesses were required to reduce their usage by 10% and new laws permitted police visits to inspect the businesses to ensure that they weren’t exceeding their allotments.

In February, citizens who were already facing shortages and long lines for items like cooking oil, laundry soap, diapers, and food were absolutely stunned when shopping centers were forced to shut off power from 1:00 to 3:00 pm and again from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in a measure to save electricity.

The rationing in Venezuela is a cautionary tale.

Here’s why we need to pay attention to what’s going on in Venezuela: It provides a modern day glimpse into what an economic collapse really looks like, much like the collapse of Greece was a cautionary tale. These are both direct case studies of what happens to the middle class during an economic collapse.

Previously, I wrote about how it could happen here. (Excerpt)

These mandated power rations, the limited amounts of food, the government-funded snitches, the tracking, and most of all, the propaganda, are all what await us in an economic collapse situation. While the Venezuelan government will be facing no limits on their use of electrical power, the people will only be allowed allotted amounts.

Do you think it can’t happen here?  Consider the forced rationing of water amidst the drought in California. Rationing that only applies to regular folks, not wealthy people or massive corporations.

It’s obvious that the state really is in the midst of an epic drought. But conservation mandates are not applied equally, much like the electricity rationing in Venezuela.

Golf courses for the rich and famous remain lush and green, while wells across the state run dry. Ordinary people aren’t allowed to have lawns or to even have vegetable gardens, and newspapers are calling upon “good Samaritans” to snitch if they feel someone is wasting water. There’s even an app for that, and Smart Meters are in place to target wasters (Unless they happen to be wealthy corporations, of course. They have different rules and snitching on them will do no good.)

One small community, Outingdale, just received word that strict rationing is now in effect. Residents will be allowed only 50 gallons per day, per person, and no outside watering of any kind will be permitted. This is not good news for folks who rely on their vegetable gardens for food. Meanwhile, the Nestle corporation is busy pumping out the state’s remaining water, bottling it, and selling it back to people for an enormous profit.

Preppers Market

Anyway, back to electricity.

I’m reminded of the series, The Hunger Games, in which residents of the outlying districts are only allowed power when the Capitol deems they should have it, such as when they want to air propaganda “entertainment” to keep people in line.  In the movie, citizens of the Districts were relegated to cooking over open fires and lighting their rooms with candles.  No one had transportation or power.  They were not allowed to hunt to supplement their meager food allotments and in the heroine’s District, they were not allowed to use the coal the area was rich with.  Uniformed “peacekeepers” patrolled the districts to ensure that the rules were strictly adhered to and that the excruciating poverty was the standard for all residents.

With the widespread installation of mandatory Smart Meters, how difficult would it be to forcibly ration our electricity here?

They can already remotely turn off appliances they deem are using too much energy. At the press of a few keys on a central computer, our electricity usage could be  monitored to make sure we stay within the designated limits, strictly slotted to only certain hours of the day, or even cut off entirely if we exceed our rations. It may not even be direct rationing that cuts us off, as it is in Venezuela. As prices of electricity keep climbing, how extreme is it to think that one of these days, electricity might only be for rich people?

However it goes down you can be sure that no one in the government will admit to mismanagement or a desire to enhance control and dependency. It will be couched in warm, fuzzy terms of saving the planet from carbon emissions, much like the propaganda coming out of Venezuela.  It’s easy for us to see it when it happens to them, but many people here are so deeply entrenched in cognitive dissonance that they’ll swallow the green pill with a smile, moving into theirAgenda 21 microhomes and martyring themselves for the good of Team Green. (Find the original article HERE)

So…what if electricity was only for rich people?

It’s not that far-fetched, and if you don’t fall into the category of “rich people” it is definitely something you should prepare for.

What if the Big Event isn’t an EMP, but that no one could afford to pay the electric bill?  Power prices are going up – what if they rise to the point that it’s a choice between food and electricity?  What if the lights in the middle-class neighborhoods just start going out?

Let’s face it, if you really had to pick, you’d choose to feed your kids over having the lights on, right?

What a control mechanism that would be.

What better way to return to a “Lords and Serfs” lifestyle than the strong visible delineation of who has power and who does not?

The rationing of electricity or the lack of affordability would change life as we know it. Our society is incredibly dependent on the power grid, not only to keep us comfortable, but also to keep us entertained. We’ve grown soft.  As well, we depend on others having access to electricity to make our lives easier by keeping us fed and clothed, and by making the things we purchase easily accessible to us.

Here’s how to maintain your independence throughout an electricity shortage.

You don’t have to return to serfdom, though. The steps you take and the things you learn now can help you overcome any hardships presented by the lack of affordable “necessities.”

Learn to provide your own food.

If the stores are closed or supplies are limited because manufacturing plants can’t produce food, you’ll have to provide for yourself.

  • Grow a garden
  • Raise chickens and rabbits,
  • Join a food co-op,
  • Try hydroponics or aquaponics
  • Sprout seeds for added nourishment
  • Grow salad veggies in the windows
  • Preserve your harvest through canning and drying
  • Save your seeds so you can do it all again next year!

For more self-reliance information, be sure to check out this round-up manifesto with more than 300 resources!

Reduce your dependence on the power grid and use less.

If prices skyrocket, there are lots of things you can do to cut your usage. Before anyone starts arguing that this is “caving in” to the demands of those who are rationing power, (because there’s always someone who says that) sometimes it’s a matter of personal economic survival. Whoever survives, wins.

If it’s a matter of the price of power skyrocketing, your ability to use minimal electricity may allow you to still afford to use a freezer, a laptop, or a medical device. It only makes sense that the less dependent on the grid you are, the less you will be affected by a shortage.

Find other ways to stay warm.

If you can’t afford to run your central heat, it’s important to have back-up methods for staying warm.

Methods that use fuel:

  • Wood Heat: Everyone’s favorite off-grid heating method is a fireplace or woodstove. The fuel is renewable and you have the added bonus of an off-grid cooking method. If you have wood heat, make sure you have a good supply of seasoned firewood that is well-protected from the elements.
  • Propane Heaters:  I own a Little Buddy heater.  These small portable heaters are considered safe for indoor use in 49 states.  They attach to a small propane canister and use 2 oz. of fuel per hour to make 100 square feet extremely warm and toasty.  A battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm provides an extra measure of safety when using these heaters indoors. This isn’t a great long-term option though, since propane might also be hard to come by.
  • Kerosene/Oil Heaters:  Kerosene heaters burn a wick for heat, fuelled by the addition of heating oil.  These heaters really throw out the warmth.  A brand new convection kerosene heater like this one can heat up to 1000 square feet efficiently.  Click here to read more information about the different types of kerosene heaters that are available.
  • Natural Gas Fireplaces:  Some gas-fueled fireplaces will work when the electrical power is off – they just won’t blow out heat via the fan.
  • Pellet Stove:   Most pellet stoves require electricity to run, but there are a few of these high-efficiency beauties that will work without being plugged in.

If you have no secondary heat source, no fuel, or limited fuel, the following options can help.

  • Heat only one room.  One year, our furnace went out the day before Christmas. We huddled into a small room with just one window.  We closed the door to the bedroom and used a folded quilt at the bottom to better insulate the room.  If you don’t have a door to the room you’ve opted to take shelter in, you can hang heavy quilts  or blankets in the doorways to block it off from the rest of the house.
  • Cover your windows.  You can use a plastic shower curtain and duct tape, topped by a heavy quilt to keep the wind from whistling through your windows.  Take down the quilt if it’s sunny outside for some solar gain, then cover it back up as dark falls.
  • Light candles.  Even the small flames from candles can add warmth to a small area.  Be sure to use them safely by keeping them out of the reach of children and housing them in holders that won’t tip over easily.
  • Use kerosene lamps.  Those charming old-fashioned lamps can also add warmth to the room.
  • Use sleeping bags.  Cocooning in a sleeping bag conserves body heat better than simply getting under the covers.
  • Have a camp-out.  This works especially well when you have children because it adds an element of fun to an otherwise stressful situation.  Pitch a tent in your closed off room, get inside with a flashlight, and tell stories.  When you combine your body heat in a tiny space like that, you’ll stay much warmer.
  • Get cooking. If you have a propane or gas stove in the kitchen, your cooking method may not require electricity.  So bake a cake, roast a turkey, or simmer a soup. You can use it to warm the room while making a hot, delicious feast.
  • Heat some rocks.  Do you have a place outdoors for a campfire?  If so, put some large rocks around the edges of it.  They retain heat for hours.  When it’s bedtime, carefully place the rocks into a cast iron Dutch oven and bring this into the room you’re going to be sleeping in.  Be sure to protect your floor or surface from the heat of the Dutch oven. The stones will passively emit heat for several hours without the potential of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning during the night.

Prep.

An electricity shortage doesn’t end with lack of lights at the flick of a switch. It can have very broad ramifications, such as a harsh cutback on manufacturing, transportation, and retail outlets. Make sure you have your preps in order with long-term emergency food, a well-stocked pantry, back-up plans, and non-food necessities. Take lessons from the way folks survived the last Great Depression and use their hard-won wisdom to survive the next one.

The great thing about prepping is that your general efforts will see you through a wide variety of disasters, even those which gradually creep up on you, like energy shortages.

Do you have any suggestions about reducing your reliance on the utility system? How would you foresee an electricity shortage affecting the average person? Share your insights in the comments below!

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Venezuela Shows Us What an Electricity Shortage Looks Like

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

Venezuela

By  J. D. Heyes – Natural News

(NaturalNews) As economic conditions continue to deteriorate in Venezuela thanks to socialist government policies that have wreaked havoc on businesses, industry and imports, the decay of civil society is also progressing as rioting, looting, and other disruptive actions are becoming the norm.

Reuters reports that supermarkets throughout the country are increasingly being targeted by looters as long lines and chronic shortages of basic goods boost anger and frustration in the oil-rich nation.

“Shoppers routinely spend hours in lines to buy consumer staples ranging from corn flour to laundry soap, turning lines into venues for shoving matches and now more frequent attempts to plunder shops,” Reuters reported on August 6.

The worsening economic crisis is undermining support for President Nicolas Maduro, whose approval ratings are falling as tensions throughout the South American country rise.

Continue reading at Natural News: Violence And Looting Grip Venezuela As Socialist Country Struggles To Feed Citizens