Surving Argentina’s Economic Collapse Part 3-3Urban Survival Q and A
This post is a compendium of questions posted to FerFal and his answers, collected over a few years. Read it as such.
[ October 29, 2005, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: ferfal ]
–Now, the author answers some questions–
Packinup, I actually started to write on the development of gray/black market but I didn’t finish it, need to work on it a little more. I’ll include it on the second part.
I consider it gray market because, even though some of the products are stolen or illegal imitations of brand names, these markets have turned out to be so popular that they are guarded private security and sometimes even police. Police taking care of a market that deals with stolen or illegal imitation products… who would have known…
On your second question: YES!! You have to be very, very careful. Keep everything to yourself.
For example, I dress with unknown brand clothes, even though I have lots of quality brand clothes, just because a little crocodile, Calvin Klein or New Man logo on your shirt can turn you into a victim. Even talking with a friend on the street about money is dangerous, the streets have ears. A relative living abroad is something you should never talk about openly, since kidnapers are always looking for good victims that can get hold of euros or US dollars.
ProGlock: electric power comes and goes, that’s what I mean when I say that services suck. Some parts of the power grid are worse than others. The apartment I used to live in was a disaster; I’d spend 2 or 3 hours every one or two days without light. Now I’m living in what used to be my parents house (moved to Spain) and it;s perfect because it’s interconnected with 3 different grid branches, even though one goes off, the others may still work. I sometimes have light while my neighbors spend hours without light.
Don’t be confused about the cable TV stuff, almost everyone has cable (within city limits, of course). Some poor people, they just connect themselves illegally (I don’t, I pay for my cable) but I’m talking about wooden shacks with no tap water connection or gas, that have a Direct TV satellite dishes or they connect themselves illegally. I should get a picture of this so you understand it better, promise I’ll try to get one next week.
By the way, the last cable employee that tried to cut them off, got out of the place with no fingers…
Same goes for light, they just connect themselves illegally, companies figured out that they better lose some profit and not employees hands and fingers…
Absolutely, cash is king. And US Dollars and Euros are King of Kings. Just don’t display them in public too much or you wont live very long. That is why I recommend you guys to keep some Euros, just in case. Our local paper money lost its value (to USD) when the economy crashed in 2001 (lost 2/3 of its original value)
Quality health services are expensive for most, and they adjusted to the new value of money accordingly, meaning they almost kept to USD prices. You can pay for these with USD.
Gold and Silver did hold their value of course, but they are not used to buy goods and services, besides, displaying a gold coin in a public market is as good as committing suicide.
Don’t prepare for an idiot shooting a rifle at you from 200 yards away, prepare for the sneaky son of a gun that waits until you are distracted, fed the dogs some nice pills, and gets to you when you least expect him. THAT is much more likely than someone attacking you from 200 yards away.
I didn’t mean it as an insult to anyone, I’m well aware that there are cases of people shooting enemies 1000 yards away. That is war. Killing someone that wants you dead before he gets close to you is perfectly logical.
Please name me one case of self defense where the person shot the bad guy 100 yards away.
I had a guy try to steal my car a while ago while visiting a friend at his farm.
I saw the guy next to my car about 300 meters away. I had my FAL PARA with me, since we where going to spend some time shooting that morning.
I could have shot that guy from a safe distance, right? But you can’t do that in real life. People that shoot others 300 meters away for no reason, claiming self defense, are called psychos. I had to fold my rifle, hide it under my coat, walk to where my car and the guy where, and ask him what he wanted. When he said that he was there to take the car I leveled my FAL at him, and as it usually happens in real life, the guy almost pissed his pants, and left, babbling some BS story I no longer remember.
If someone starts shooting at you from 300 yards away, and you shoot back in self defense, that’s ok, but that rarely, if ever, happens.
Any bad guy that has survived through puberty will be smart enough to get close, very close, maybe when you are distracted with some chore/fieldwork and point a gun at you, asking you to calm down and walk into the house.
No way can you know what a man’s intentions are 200 yards away, unless he starts shooting at you like an idiot. And if he wants you dead that bad, he will get close enough and make sure that that one shot is the last thing you hear on this planet.
As I said, dogs are the best alarm on the field, though those too can be eliminated, as it happened to my friend. A shame by the way, they were nice dogs.
But if your idea of a self defense plan is shooting anyone that happens to be within your 200 yard range, do as you wish. You will not have to worry much about survival; State penitentiary will provide all you need.
It is one thing to go to war, and it is another, completely different, to live your life in a SHTF situation.
When you deploy in a war zone, you set yourself mentally to do a job, when the job is done, you return home, you turn the mental combat switch off.
You cannot live your entire life as if you where in combat, it’s impossible.
I’m as alert as I can be, all day long, and all night. Thanks to that I kept my family and myself safe, while everyone else I know has at least been involved in one or more violent crimes. I’m so wired up that the slightest sound will make jump out of bed at night and have my pistol ready even before I’m conscious of what I’m doing.
My house is the only one in the block that has not been broken into, my wife and son are safe, safer than all the other stupid sheep that blame God for whatever happens to them, and do nothing to prevent it themselves.
But still, you have to live your life, go to work, go to the supermarket… live a life! Do everyday stuff.
The stress of living that way will be the end of you, I’m 26 years old and already have problems related to high stress like high blood pressure, migraines, insomnia, etc.
I live in Buenos Aires city, on the south part, where houses are placed consecutively, sharing the wall on the right and left, all around the block. Most houses in my neighborhood have gardens and swimming pools. Gardens are also separated by walls, unlike the American style were you can simply walk from one garden to another.
Keep in mind that this has always been a 3rd world country, meaning that though our economical reality was completely different before the 2001 crisis, security in Latin America has always been an issue.
“You mentioned that your home has been the only one in your block not burglarized, what do you attribute this to? Is someone always at home?”
My house is particularly safe because it has a 7 foot iron fence with 1 foot long spikes where the property meets the sidewalk.
There is also a small garden between the house and the fence. The house’s second story has barred windows as well.
Anyone that wants to break in has to jump the fence (risky, a kid that forgot the keys to his house and tried to jump a similar fence in my neighborhood, was found lifeless by his parents, still impaled on the fence) and break the door or the bars on the windows.
Shooting someone trying to break the door or bars would be like fishing in a barrel.
The fence would stop a group of people enough to shoot them down. A large, well armed group would be needed to break into my house if I’m in it.
The alarm also helps (needs to be upgraded by the way). Surprisingly, we did spend a lot of time out of the house, sometimes for 3 or 4 weeks, but I guess other houses are easier to break into.
My next door neighbor is a widow with children. I know that a couple of times they broke into her house and raped her and her girls.
There is another family in my block that has a private security guard (not effective against determined criminals in my opinion since they lack training and proper weapons). Still, a couple of guys broke into that house and abused of the wife one evening. I suppose that they now take security more seriously.
“Have you been able to form any kind of mutual aid agreements with your neighbors? That is to say, your neighbors will help you if you are in need and you will help them if they are.”
No, they are sheeple and have sheep mentality. At best, they organize to pay for private and police security, which I do, but that is only good against small time thieves.
I did offer my help to my next door neighbor, the one with the girls that got raped.
I told her that if anything happens again she should call me or scream. I have to worry about my own family, but I just can’t stand that kind of stuff happening next to my house.
Besides, she’s a widow, her husband died shortly after they married. I know that I have to be alive to help my OWN family, but we will all die some day. I’m a Catholic and I will not have animals raping people next to my house and do nothing about it. How could I explain that to the Lord, not doing anything? Leaving a woman with no husband and her daughters in the hands of animals and do nothing?
I wont risk myself unnecessarily, I don’t have any hero delusions, but I’ll make and exception in this case if I ever have to hold true to my word and what I believe in.
“Have you put any effort into building a fortified room in your home for your family to fall back to in case of home invasion? What are your thoughts on this?”
Wish I had a “safe room”, but I just don’t have the money right now for one. The house is still very solid, with independent reinforced concrete structure and double brick walls. Not much protection against sustained rifle fire, but enough for pistol rounds and some random rifle rounds. Combined with the steel barred windows, it’s practically impossible for someone to break in when we are inside. They would make a lot of noise, and need a lot of time to pry open the bars. Not likely to happen if I’m shooting at them from the inside.
What I fear the most is someone pulling a gun at me or my wife when we enter or exit the house.
“If you did have a generator how could you prevent it from being stolen in your circumstances?”
The generator would be safe if I put it in the back garden.
Carrying pistols: Brother Silicon, don’t worry about it. My government has no control of this country, nor can they care less about what we citizens think about it, as long as politicians can steal as much as they want, they are cool with your beliefs, that’s probably why we got here in the first place. This country is one big bad joke! Can you believe that the actual president has a logo for his that says “For a serious country” They are accepting that the country is not serious! I try to be discrete in my city, just because I fear information on my guns getting to the wrong people, magazine fed center fire rifles are almost impossible to obtain these days, even in the black market, so I keep quiet about it.
Night vision goggles would be an excellent addition, specially if you live in the country.
About trees and bushes near the house. Absolutely right. My friend, the one that has a farm, had all trees near the house cut down, at least 50-60 yards. He had some nice, big trees, but he said that people would sneak around the property, some even went there for the wood.
Do you imagine shooting someone in your property, in the middle of the night, because they snuck in to get some wood?
The electronic gate opener is an excellent idea.
Silencers are not common and are illegal. I’m not sure about those home made, maybe they are good maybe they are not, I suppose it depends on the quality of the materials used and the ability of the builder. The most common kind of suppressor is made for .22 rifles and pistols. 9mm suppressors made by out Military Factories (FM) are of excellent quality and (if you use sub sonic 9mm) you only hear the bolt slam each time you pull the trigger.
The advantage of such a device, combined with a SMG or sub rifle, are obvious once you realize the need for discretion. Consider that once SHTF gun laws are likely to change, and not for good. The government will do everything they can in their desperate attempt to regain control of the country. A sound suppressor will allow you to hunt, practice, kill pests, and maybe even take care of some two legged pests that might represent a threat to you or your family.
You are right about the one religion, one race, thing. Even though there are some Muslims and other minorities, they are too few to create a social-racial group on its own. They are completely integrated into the white Catholic culture.
“Is the government still paying veterans benefits to retired military solders?”
I’m not sure, war veterans had to fight a lot to get paid. As far as I know those that were disabled do receive a small benefit, though it is not nearly enough to survive.
“What percentage of the population in your country was on government funded support before and the crash?”
0%, remember this is a 3rd world country. If you don’t have a job, you are on your own.
After the 2001 crisis, and with unemployment going from 25% to 50% in some areas, the government started issuing help to the unemployed. This so called social plan benefit for the unemployed consists of 150 pesos (almost 50 USD)
This is not enough to feed a family for a week.
Seeing crippled Malvinas war veterans begging on the streets and buses is very common, even before the 2001 crisis.
Also, retired people can barely (and I’m being generous by saying “barely”) survive. They receive about 450 to 600 pesos in most cases (150-200 USD ) Not enough for an old person to survive, certainly not enough for medicines. If there are no relatives to help, they end up on the streets where they die fast.
The sight of old people begging on the streets is heartbreaking.
I once helped an old lady, must have been 80 or 90 years old. She was leaning against a shop window, crying desperately, hugging a small handbag. I asked her what was wrong. She said she had lost her home to the bank (the same SOBs that stole her life savings, excuse my French) and she had just been kicked out of the family motel she was staying in. Man, I forgot about her. I suppose the mind just makes you forget, because if you don’t you end up crazy.
You are right. The racial tension, plus welfare culture is a dangerous combination in USA.
“You make it sound like carrying a pistol on your person is a fairly common occurrence (at least now).”
My mistake, it is not common, at least for decent working people. There are parts where criminals carry their guns openly, sticking out of their jogging pants and no one does anything about it. No one dares mess with them, these are neighborhoods were police don’t dare to enter.
Carrying a handgun, ready for use (loaded and on your person) is illegal, unless you have a permit that is almost impossible to get. You need to own a large company, and justify carrying the gun because you transport large amounts of money (several thousands of USD on daily basis). Carrying a gun for self defense is not a reason for a carry permit, only the protection of money. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?
Still, owning handguns is not that complicated, once you get a gun user card, but a concealed carry permit card is out of the question.
Some gun users still choose to carry guns, even though they don’t have a carry permit. This is not allowed and you might lose your gun user card for this.
Carrying a gun, bought on the black market, and without even having a gun user card, will take you straight to jail.
On the issue of cops and guns, some may understand that you are carrying for self defense, because you are in a very dangerous area, and if you have you gun user card that shows that you bought that gun legally, he MAY be sensitive and let you go, or not. More than likely, he will ask for a small “tip”, for his troubles. It’s a matter of luck actually. You have to consider all this, and decide if the risk of getting caught is greater than the risk of getting killed for not being able to defend yourself.
I have one question, though. When the economy collapsed and as it seems that the banks always get out on top. What happend to people owing money on their properties ?? Or owing money at all ??
Banks and multinational companies always end up on top. They are masters at surviving where others, small or medium size business fail.
A lot of people lost their houses to the bank. Bank Boston, City Bank, HSBC, all the well known names made one big profit out of the misery of others.
The idea of all large corporate monsters dieing once the SHTF is only wishful thinking, unfortunately.
The same banks that stole people’s deposits in dollars, returning pesos worth 1/3 of what a dollar is worth, still made you pay your debts to the bank. Many committed suicide or just died of heart attacks, some even died protesting in front of the same bank that stole their money.
The same didn’t apply to personal loans, money pushers only made a marginal profit or lost money all together. The law benefits the banks and corporations, not the small investor.
I carry a Bersa 9mm pistol with a 19 round capacity magazine or a Glock 31 with a 15 round magazine. I don’t carry spare magazines, but understand that carrying is forbidden over here, so your situation is different.
If clothing allows, I would carry one or two extra magazines.
It’s not a matter of magazine as it is of total amount of ammo. 19+1 rounds is a nice amount of ammo, but if you carry a regular 1911 you are limited to 8+1 rounds of .45, so carrying 1 or 2 extra mags makes a lot of sense.
Bad neighborhoods? I avoid those as much as I can. Again, the legal issue is different. I would carry my pistol and a 12 gauge pump, because auto rifles are not allowed, but if I could I would carry my FAL carbine. And don’t forget your BODY ARMOR!!
Yes, I have two extra mags in the glove compartment. Besides I carry pepper spray and a small iron bat in the car.
On home defense.
I have my Glock close and loaded. My Mossberg with 4 rounds in the tube and a full stock shell holder, and two magazines for the FAL, one with regular FMJ and another with a mixture of AP and incendiary ammo.
Sincerely, I’d replace the shotgun with my SMG if I could, but there is the legal issue to consider. I have the two FAL mags loaded just in case, but it would call for a very particular kind of home invasion for me to use it.
Maybe if a large group of attackers starts to shoot from the street, taking cover behind cars.
Urban Survival Q/A – Most important need in the first few days after TSHTF
Someone asked this question on another board and thought others may find it interesting.
Premise: USA is headed for a similar economic meltdown to the one you and your family experienced.
Given: I have had little or no success trying to warn friends and family who continue to think their lives will go on the same way forever.
QUESTION: What was your most important need/concern in the first few days after TSHTF, and what advice do you have for the rest of us regarding your answer?
Well, your friends just may be right, maybe nothing happens and their lives go on just like now more or less. Most people do know that sometimes life throws you an oddball or two, everyone has his or her own story.
What your friends need to realize is that what it’s consider “normal” social structure is in fact a delicate system, one that can take a few bumps but every now and then things get a bit more complicated, sometimes it just goes over the edge completely and you get to see how fragile modern society actually is.
I’m talking about large power grid failures ( Such as the one recently in Barcelona, 3 days without power in a large metropolis), water or any other services. Whatever the reason, accident, sabotage, terrorist attack, it brakes that delicate thread and society suffers.
Something as simple as garbage disposal is actually critical. A city without garbage disposal will smell pretty bad after a few days, garbage piling on the sidewalk, give it two weeks and rats will start spreading disease like crazy. I’m not just coming up with these numbers. We went for almost a week without anyone picking the trash once (strike), the smell was terrible as soon as you walked out the door and the rats could be seen on broad daylight.
Now, if it’s only about services, a well organized city will solve minor incidents in short notice. Of course there are exceptions, ( mayor earthquake, tsunami, NBC terrorist attack) but even mayor incidents end up turning into short term SHTF inconveniences. It may take a week, a month or two, but eventually thinks do go back to normal.
Now, something like what happened here, an economical collapse, that changes life for you forever.
I’m talking about a new perspective in all aspects of live.
Most man kind divides the world’s history according to the birth of Christ. So do we, but Argentineans also refer to “ before and after 2001” or “ before and after the crisis or 1:1 ( when 1 peso= 1 dollar) I kid you not, this kind of reference is used several times a day on ordinary conversations.
“Nice car! How did you afford it?” “No, I bought it before the 2001 crisis”
“Have you ever been to Paris?”
“Yes, beautiful place”
“Really, man I wish I could go there”
”Yea, but I went before 1:1”
This is just an example, of how such an event transformed everything for us, in such a terrific scale.
Economy is probably the weakest link in the chain in modern society. It’s all numbers, and data, no tangible materials, and most people simply ignore that our economy system works around TRUST.
You TRUST that that piece of paper the bank gave you equals the savings you worked so hard for decades. Objectively speaking, you are the world’s greatest fool, surrendering saving that could be translated into houses, cars, clothes and food, tangible items, for a piece of paper that’s worth less than 0.1 cents. But that’s the way our world works and we couldn’t have it any other way. This is only possible when you have blind trust in certain consolidated institutions.
Alas, but what happens when these institutions betray that trust? People don’t believe this can happen, even if it has happened, many times throughout history.
Banks may care about their clients, but they care about themselves first, then their elite clients, and then the average person.
Out of ALL the banks in this country, every single world famous bank, they all stole the saving from the clients. This can happen, and crime or lawful action is only determined by a signature at the end of a resolution my friends. Desperate times, desperate measures, our constitutional rights to private property were ERASED… at least until the higher powers determined we could have them back for a while longer.
Only one bank in the entire country gave the money back to those that wanted it. A small town bank somewhere in Patagonia ( Santa Cruz, I believe) stood by its clients, and though many did close their accounts, most clients decided to keep their money in the bank that proved worthy of such trust! It’s strange but that’s what happened.
Of course this does not happen with large banks, there’s always speculators and powerful people that will get tipped off and leave with bags full of money, while the average person looses everything. ( well, not everything, about 1/3 of the money was returned after a few years, by converting the accounts in dollars to pesos which cost 3 times less than a dollar)
So, I’d say that the most important thing you should know, before and after the crisis: Understand that the gov. and private institutions don’t care about YOU or your family, they care about themselves, keeping their profits high at ALL costs, and governments staying in power for as long as possible to keep filling up their pockets.
Even a benevolent gov. ( few around these days) will gladly sacrifice YOU and YOUR family if they estimate it will work for a greater good.
Its’ hard to determine a certain day, so as to talk about “ few days after TSHTF”. There was a braking point when the president gave a lousy speech, the “cacerolazo” protest in front of the government house and his resign after that.
It’s more of slower or faster “slide” rather than a certain fixed day, though the events may later cause a protest or lootings that will be later on considered as the start of the SHTF.
Look for the sings of trouble, various degrees of social unrest, lack of response by the government. Generally speaking, look for signs of the average Joe, middle class person just having got fed up with it all. No one can guestimate when SHTF will occur, but you sure can look for the alarms sounding off here and there.
Many times high ranking gov. officials mange certain information that is not openly released to the public in fear or civil unrest, same happens with large corporations. Listen to you friends that work in such places, gather gossip, news ( careful, most big time media is censored or bought by the powers to be) and come to your own conclusions.
Answering the question :
“What was your most important need/concern in the first few days after TSHTF, and what advice do you have for the rest of us regarding your answer?”
First, make sure you have enough supplies ( food and water) to last for a couple of weeks at least. If you don’t, rush to the supermarket and buy it using credit card if they still accept it.
If you have enough food, stay put at home and keep track through the TV of what’s going on. Don’t go out there just to fool around.
IN our case, martial law and curfew at 8 PM was established, people could not gather in group greater than 2 or 3 persons, so it was not safe anyway. None the less, few obeyed all this crap, but it was still established so you know what you were dealing with if cops caught you.
The greatest need when the lootings started was means to defend yourself. Maybe that’s why I encourage everyone to make weapons part of their basic preparedness kits, right along with food, water, money, and medicines. We watched daily as the lootings spread everywhere, and when the mobs of distressed people started looting homes along with the supermarkets and shops, things got really scary. I watched such a mob pass about 15-20 yards from my home. At first I only heard drums ( used during the protests) but these protesters were also looting along the way. The mass of looters was huge, covered the entire street and sidewalk, all across as far as I could see, a block long or more. So, having means to defend yourself is very important during the first days as well as later on, after the veil of fear of “punishment per crime” is removed from the society.
People that seem normal during “normal” times, unleash the animals they keep at bay during law abiding times. The evil among normal people also surprised me. Average Joe takes advantage of the possibility to loot without getting punished for it if he sees the chance. Hell, nothing people do surprises me anymore.
Then there was the need to get cash, which disappeared within hours from ATMs after banks closed. The “NO credit card” signs showed up instantly. Only cash. And cash was getting very hard to find.
Many supermarkets closed their doors, fearing looters, and those that were opened quickly started to run out of basic supplies.
As for advice:
-Keep a healthy amount of cash at home at all times. Precious metals work but you’ll need cash to get by until banks and financial entities willing to pay a fair price reopen. Selling your gold in a pawn shop will be bad business, most likely they’ll try to get advantage of your need. At least until the market settles and then they’ll start paying according to the real value, but this takes some time.
-Have a gun for self defense, and learn how to use it. If you only have one weapon, make that a handgun and a box or two of premium ammo. Why handgun and not a long arm? Because things will be VERY dangerous out there and you’ll be wanting some protection, even when walking the dog, picking up mail, or going to the grocery around the corner, you cant’ do that with a long arm, and THOSE are the times you need to be armed the most.
-Have at least one or two months worth of food, water, medicines ( prescription meds you need for a certain condition you may have!), whatever you use around your house, such as soap, shampoo, dishwasher soap and various cleaning supplies. Once you have that, work towards a 6 to 12 month supply, specially concerning food. 2 or 3 years worth? Yes, nice to have but if you see the SHTF period extending that long, you better have a place to relocate because its’ simply not safe to be there anymore.
-Work towards financial security. Money in accounts in two or three countries, investments portfolios, real estate. Try placing your eggs in different baskets because, as we talked about it earlier, you can’t really trust them. Real estate is probably the safest and easiest form of investment, it has worked for my family really well, even through the crisis. We still have the pieces of land and buildings over it. It looses some value but adjusts over time to the reality of the country, going back to become a source of income.
-Have back up plans for EVERYTHING. Alternative sources of light, for transportation , fuel, ways of cooking, but most of all, have another location to move in case it is no longer possible to continue in the country or region where you are. This is my case and I’m really glad to have alternatives to move out of my country. I’m not talking about a cabin somewhere or a retreat, once things get that bad, you better get moving and relocating somewhere else, another state or even another country. You simply can’t fight the reality around you when crime gets out of control, along with everything else. Have your papers ready ( passport, birth certificate, etc)
-Know that during troubled times a house, retreat or cabin is of any use as long as it is inhabited. If SHTF for real, no empty building remains empty for long. Either it gets picked to the bare walls, or even worse , you find it one day with a family or several already established in there, which will take a long time for you to evict the invaders through legal channels.
-Keep a low profile. Showing off money or expensive clothes, flashy cars or jewelry is a good way to get targeted by criminals.
-Understand that in just a matter of weeks crime starts increasing exponentially when serious SHTF such as an economical collapse occurs. These kind of situations may take decades to reverse, or maybe never go back to what it used to be.
When I was 20 years old I lived in a 1st world country, 8 years later it’s a mixture of cheapo 3rd world tourist sites, a bit of tasteful 1900 architecture, surrounded by sights fitting either Ecuador, Colombia or some kind of war zone, and it all went to hell in a hand basket in less than a year. The change was amazing for anyone that cared to notice. Libraries, churches, town theaters, it all closed and later reopened having been replaced by bar-***** house joints, “All for 2$” shops, Bingos, casinos, self proclaimed churches, many with links to Umbanda Brazilian rituals. A perfect example of the decay in our society trough the last years.
Hope that helps.
Urban Survival Q/A – Mistakes survivalists make
Mistakes survivalists make
Another question from leftofcentralfl in Mnionreport:
QUESTION: What mistakes do you think most people make preparing for what you and your countrymen have gone through?
I wouldn’t call them “mistakes”, I don’t hold the SHTF Bible so all I can give is my humble advice which may be correct or not, so all I can tell you is “ I wouldn’t do that if I were you”, and depending on how sure I am , add a smarta** grin.
There’s simply some preparations that make little sense if you think about it, others that I’ve seen that just wouldn’t work, in spite of all the speculations.
a) Maybe the one that rubs me the wrong way the most concerns retreats. It’s also something many survivalists consider the summit of their preparations. A self sufficient fortification-ranch, with the nearest neighbor several miles away.
Isolated farms or retreats are targeted and are often victims of robbery and in some cases extremely violent home invasions. You may have 6-10 able men you are counting on to defend it when TSHTF… “when TSHTF” …so they aren’t there right now? Then you don’t have them, nor will you have them when you need them, most likely.
The isolation works to the attackers favor, who often take their time having their way with everything and everyone inside the house.
The “away from everything” theory just doesn’t work when taken to the field. Happens here and same happens in Africa where ranchers and farmers have to fight rebels, rogues or whatever they are calling them these days.
They’ll find you, they’ll know about you one way or the other. You cant hide simply by living a gas tank away from the city. If there’s a road that reaches your place, you are fair game, doesn’t matter if it’s a dirt road in poor condition. You get there with a car/truck? So can bad guys.
You are obviously safer from small time robberies or pickpocketers and snathcers, but you are more vulnerable to the worst kind of criminals. Not that living in a city or suburbs makes it MUCH safer, but I’d rather live here where I live now than in a farm house any day of the week. People can somehow organize to hire security, talk to the police. Yes, most people border idiotic and are pretty clueless, but it’s better than being alone with no chance of even trying to convince people.
I’m not talking about living in a large city being the best option, I’m talking about living in a small town or community, looking for safety in numbers but avoiding the problems of a metropolis.
I definitely would choose a house in a small town or subdivision near a city, rather than a far away retreat.
Rather than looking for the ultimate self reliance retreat in the middle of nowhere, look for a subdivision where you have enough land, where you can keep a small orchard and some small critters if you want, a place with a basement where you can build a NBC shelter as time and money allows. That’s what I’d look forward to if living in US.
b) The barter items thing is also pretty strange. I don’t see how it could possibly be a smart idea to buy goods to sell or trade after a crisis, surely not in the quantities suggested by some people. Beats me, are they going to set up a shop in their garages and sell everything? Would you buy food an other supplies from a guy that sells it with no possible way of verifying the conditions under which the food was kept? How much of a profit could you possibly make , comparing to having saved that same amount of money in gold, for example?
I don’t understand it and I don’t know of anyone that made a profit by doing this. Yet, people stock up on TP and many other cheap, easily obtainable items thinking that it will be “worth it’s weight in gold” after the crisis. Newsflash: if it’s cheap and easy to produce, it will keep being that way AFTER tshtf.
Some guys advice to “invest” in such goods, tools, food and supplies for after TSHTF. No, no , no. 200 or 500 bucks worth of tools rusting away in the shed is not an investment. Its’ 200 bucks worth of tools for which you don’t have any use. That’s not an investment.
An investment generates money, while products rotting away in some basement does nothing for you.
c) Forgetting about their financial security. I’d worry about REAL investments. Buying real estate that will provide me with a steady income on the longer run, an investment portfolio divided in a couple of reliable ( or as reliable as any organization can be) that will slowly grow, most of it set on minimum and medium risk investments, and not falling for the promises of high risk ones.
Money is so important, I cant begin to explain it. When prices skyrocket beyond the limits of superinflation, money does not turn into toilet paper as many survival experts predict, it become cherished, more valuable to you than ever. You have to turn yourself into a discriminating shopper, always looking for the best possible price, sometimes shopping in different branches of supermarkets so as to find the better deals and avoid those “hot” items grocery chains slip without you even noticing.
My father is visiting right now, handling business, and one thing he told me when I asked how did he see things going on here, he used the words “cheapskate” and “miserly”.
He said something like“ People count coins over and over, by the cent, and spend maybe 10 minutes thinking about spending every cent. They also look kind of shabby, untidy, I can’t explain it. Even the guys running around downtown with suits look bad”
I explained that his overall perception was indeed correct, mostly because the average person here uses clothes until they wear out, there’s not that much money left for looks, not getting haircuts as often as they should, shaving.
Yes, the fall on the purchasing power of people did affect the average person ( at least most of them if not all) and you can see it on the streets.
d) Not all places are equal in terms of crime, but if something like this happens in US, I’d worry about being armed at all times, and learning how to use it to defend myself.
Again, not talking about waiting for the end of the world to bug in and pull the shotgun out of the firing ports, go on with your life but to do armed.
Most people here don’t see things this way.
The anti gun campaign in very strong here, and the majority of “sheep” see guns as evil objects, even though rape, crime and violence is smeared on their face every day. What can I say, most people are pretty stupid.
Those of us who go armed in this country are a reduced minority. After a few words, we recognize each other at the range or at gunshops with a knowing nod, knowing that most people, even among shooters , don’t share our opinions.
Even among “gun people” we have our important share of “Zumbos”, elitist hunters who think that firearms are hunting tools and shouldn’t be used by the lesser “civilians” for self defense.
d)Not trying to bore anyone to death here or anything, but going back to the issue of money. It’s so important to be financially set. Rather than spending tons of money on junk you wont ever use invest it smartly. Rich, unprepared people will suffer after TSHF… only in your wildest dreams. Money buys everything, including expensive food, medical care, security and relocation if needed.
When the economy collapses a big chunk of what used to be middle class ( 50% as minimum, more for sure) ends up being poor. It doesn’t matter how much guns you have, doesn’t matter if you can start a fire with a couple of Popsicles sticks or build an atomic bomb with a Snickers bar and a paper clip. Skills are of course important but you finances affect everything.
If you are middle class do everything you can to improve, climb way up the ladder. No I’m not talking about making more money than Bill Gates, I’m just talking about something every determined middle class person can achieve , no need to be a freaking financial genius. Make sure you climb your way up to the upper middle class, because once the pyramid starts sinking you don’t want to be below the 50%.
If you are really serious about financial security, diversify your real estate and other investments in different countries. My father did this and it made all the difference in the world. The man is my hero.
When you see serious trouble in the horizon and survivalists are thinking about bunkering in their cabins, you simply go on vacations to check out that little apartment or house you bought in Costa Rica for a bunch of pocket change a month. If Zombies take over or China invades, you can look for a job there, or live like a king thanks to the income you receive from that other apartment you have in France, a place in a small town near a mayor University, which you rent to students each year.600 Euros a month will allow you to live comfortably in Costa Rica, and most countries in South America. And the best part of all this? If nothing EVER happens you just have a few properties here and there that are constantly generating money for you, in case you want to retire early or if you ever have a health problem or any other issue that puts you out of the job market. Again, a couple of properties here and there inst’ such a big deal, most people can achieve that with a bit of effort, its’ just a matter of priorities.
e)The lack of reality based preparations. Some people focus on preparing for something that will never happen, preparing for getting up one day and walking into Mad Max’s world. This is of course, not a smart idea. Not only are you forgetting about the other, more likely possibilities, but you also ignore that you’ll have to go trough them before it reaches to a road warrior point, if it ever gets to that.
People that have thousands and thousands of dollars in tools, equipment, and maybe spent hundreds of thousands more building the ultimate retreat, but don’t have a penny invested anywhere. When asked they‘ll say that it will all be worth nothing when TSHTF.
Hopefully, this person will have several years worth of food along with all the other stuff he’ll rarely get to use, so at least he wont starve to death. But is eating all you aspire for in live? Not to mention what would happen if he got sick/robbed/place burns to the ground/hurricane/flood destroys it and suddenly needs the money he said he would never need.
Prepare for a broad spectrum of possibilities. So you’ll have your food and supplies for short and medium periods of time where supermarkets may be closed due to looting, riots, lack of supply , etc and you have others plans in case things get worse or you are forced to get out of there.
Something like what happened here happening in US? Don’t go nuts, shooting the neighbor’s kid for crossing over to your yard to pick up his frizzbe. Just adjust to the situation.
Once the first few weeks are over and people start calming down, just be more careful out there, don’t throw away money on stuff you don’t need and try to keep a generally low profile. It’s also important to do well at work, because people get fired like crazy during those times, companies trying to reduce expenses or not needing you any more for lack of production.
During these times is when your investments kick in. Not only do you have a place to exile to if things don’t go back to normal or they don’t fit what you expect in life anymore, you also have a form of income that is out of the circle of your local economy. Let’s say the dollar looses ½ it’s value, you still have your apartment in France or wherever the heck you want to invest, pumping in Euros that are now much more valuable, probably compensating for the local inflation, so weather you decide to leave or stay, you have the means to go either way.
Urban Survival Q/A – Conversation with USMCBulldog
Originally Posted by USMCBulldog
I live in a very rural area with a very low population density, but we ALL know each other in my small town. Nothing happens here without everyone knowing.
That’s’ fine, but what if new faces DO start showing up? Any public land or trailer parks nearby?
Are you going to drive them all away? What if they don’t want to leave? Are you going to kill them all, their children?
I hear cars coming long before they arrive, dogs bark when ANYONE comes near on foot.
If you ever have to endure something similar to what happened here, you’ll have kids trying to steal anything almost on daily basis, from some firewood, to a potato, constantly looking to sneak in.
Unless you are willing to kill children and their parents often and build your own cemetery next to your farm or hang their heads in your trophy room, you’ll find yourself shooting warning shots several times a day.
I lived in the city and I did not really know ANYONE around me, not even the people next door – that is the nature of the city. It is very cold and impersonal.
So true. Unfortunately that’s the way it works in most places. Sometimes you need a bit of initiative thought, talking to your neighbors, looking for similarly minded people. I intend to rent before I buy when I move to US, so as to check the general mentality of the neighbors, get to meet a few of them and evaluate if they are people I could eventually trust.
The thieves and criminals get weeded out very quickly here and move to the CITY where they can blend in and be unnoticed and prey upon the unarmed sheep who live there.
We have guns here in the city too you know, and some of us even know how to use them
Seriously, are you willing to weed people? How many and for how long?
How about children? Because that’s the kind of little rascals that will be stealing from you all day, not some big mean biker with a face full of tattoos you would gladly shoot a couple of times.
Their parents? They’ll trying to rob you or steal cattle from you at night. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to know that if SHTF and there’s lawlessness, and you killed some of their children, sooner or later someone will wait until they can get payback, taking over you or one of your family members when your guard is down r when any of them is leaving he house for some reason.
Nobody from the city is going to come to this town and attack any farms without serious risk of getting their asses handed to them
You are right, they do expect country folk to fight back. That’s why experienced criminals will wait until they can catch one of the family members alone, entering or leaving the farm, then use him/her as hostage to get in. That’s when things get ugly. A couple got tortured for days with electric shock, the poor old man tied to a bed getting shocked, the wife beaten, the stories are many and all of them terrible. You see, since people no longer trusted banks, everyone, including farmers, kept their earnings at home, hidden somewhere, so robbers try to make sure people don’t keep anything from them, and often use torture to make sure. You also have others that are simply sadistic SOB and enjoy raping and torturing people just because.
When one person is attacked in the city, everyone else looks the other way, happy it wasn’t THEM this time. When law and order breaks down it will be heaven for the thugs and pure hell for everyone else. We do not have any police here…we don’t NEED them.
Things will change a lot if SHTF and you have desperate people out there, with crime soaring along with unemployment.
The question specifically asked for mistakes preparing fro what “you and your countrymen have gone through”, so that’s what I’m explaining. It’s not about “what if”, or “we’ll weed them out”. When dealing with the level of crime we have here, what I’m trying to explain here is what in fact happened to many folks living in the country, and many are desperately trying to fight:
a) Both criminals and less even good, poor people that simply are too cold or too hungry.
b) The financial problems they face, barely making it to the end of the season.
It’s not about guns and the willing to use them. Our country folk are pretty rough guys, not a bunch of Late drinking *****cats. Our “gauchos” are the equivalent to your “cowboys”, and while cowboys use guns, only our rich “gauchos” have a nice pony ( Colt) or a “Winchess” as they call them, all others use knives ( Facón) to fight, and fight they do pretty often even today. It takes some guts to duel against another person with daggers.
We in the country will fare much better than those in the city if TSHTF. We have a “rural economy” (barter) and grow a lot of our own food including veggies, pigs, cows/beefers, goats, chickens. We do not have centralized water distribution – we are on our own wells. Sewage? No problem – we all have septic systems. City people depend upon the supermarket always being available, water flowing out of the tap, and the sewers flowing. Many would be dead in a couple weeks if they were not.
You’ll have more food, that’s for sure. But that’s only part of the equation. Your barter economy will mean little regarding other pordutcs. You wont “barter” with Shell for the fuel you’ll desperately need to keep the machinery going, nor will you barter for equipment, spare parts etc. Town communities barter with the good they produce, a minimum fraction of what a community needs these days. I’m telling you this because I know how much people in the country suffer right now, the crisis hit them as had, or worse than folks in the city. Specially small time producers which can barley keep up against conglomerates that own thousands of acres.
Even if the S never HTF, I absolutely LOVE it up here on my farm and would not trade it for the fanciest penthouse in the city.
More than enough reason to stay where you are.
In my experience, the rich or higher middle class fares better than the country folk with somewhat limited economical resources. If anyone out there feels that they belong to the later group, please don’t take offense, I’m just saying what I’ve seen with my own eyes or heard on the news.
Even wealthy people, who can afford some serious manpower if they want, have a hard time securing their property.
Same happens with private neighborhoods, fenced, away from the city and with 24/7 armed guards, with patrol vehicles guarding the perimeter.
Still, criminals get in and rob the houses, even murdering people within the perimeter in some occasions. This can be found on the internet, it happens often enough, but the information will be in Spanish.
Look, I just searched this, occurred just 22 hours ago. Two houses robbed in a private country club by three armed, masked men. They broke the perimeter fence and did something to the motion detector system. Broke in at 5am and surprised the house owners while they slept. Later escaped without hurting anyone. This happened in Pilar, one of the “rich” neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.
Do you think you could provide better security, better than hired guards working around the clock, a fence with barb wire on top and a patrol vehicle going around it all day long?
I don’t think so. Wait, let me change that: I KNOW so, for sure. If they can get to those guys, they can get to you.
We were visiting my wife’s best friend, who is dating a pretty wealthy eye surgeon. They invited us to their house in a private neighborhood.
As soon as I approached the main gate I saw that the security was pretty tight . Guards armed with pistols and pump shotguns, there was a chain link fence, or was it a wall? I don’t remember. They also had a couple of vehicles ready.
We ate a nice BBQ and while we where having coffee in the garden I heard shots.
I tensed up a bit, knowing for sure that they were gunshots, and asked the home owner about it.
He said something like “Oh, it’s just the guards, probably firing some warning shots to the vermin trying to get it”. He said it as if it where the most common thing sin the world.
We talked about it with my wife on the way home, we decided that we didn’t want to live that way. Even if you do earn a lot of money here, you’ll still be a prisoner. I don’t want to live in a place where I have hired guards shooting over people all day long to keep them at bay. That’s not what we want.
You see, it’s not about dealing with a punk or two or a bunch of junkies or some Bloods, Crips, or whatever gang is popular out there these days. Those clown you can organize and hunt down, easily to identify and FEW. The real problem is when you have ½ a nation willing to do anything to survive because they are basically starving.
That’s the problem.
I understand what you say, I really do. Our local country folk keep their guns ready, shovel nearby and mouth shut too…hell, I could kill a guy in my backyard here in the city, put the corpse in the trunk and throw him in a nearby river, and chances are that I wont get caught, but that’s not the problem, the problems is that you cant fight an entire country.
I’m not trying to ruin anyone’s illusion of how they may handle things, nor am I saying that living in the country here in Argentina is impossible or anything like that. People live in the country here, do so happily, but there’s this insecurity problem that simply can’t be denied.
Sometimes they reach some sort of unspoken agreement, you allow them to take some firewood and some small amount of wheat or whatever you are planting, but you draw the line about getting within the perimeter of the living quarters or the livestock.
All I’m saying is, shooting everyone as you suggest is not a solution.
My advice, for anyone in your situation would be to try to get along as well as possible with these people, rather than thinking about weeding them all out , which you cant do.
Besides, the idea of evil hordes swarming out of the city, its’ childish and naïve. You wont be dealing with hordes of zombies.
When sometimes like this happens, you have looters at first ( mostly staying in the city as you say) and then you have organized criminals hitting both in the city and the country, even road pirates ( we call them “ Piratas del asphlato” ) robbing cargo trucks on the roads far away from the towns and cities, but the looting ends sooner or later and all you have left is people. Some good, others bad and everything in between. Some lazy and others hard workers looking for second chance. They are not an evil mass of destruction.
Think about maybe planning a strategy along with your neighbors were these new folks ( at least those that are worth it) could get integrated to your community. Heck, hire some of them as guards/help to give you a hand around the place. That’s what a lot of people do around here. With a crisis going on all they ask for is some place to build a cabin or shack, some food and very little or in some cases no money at all. Now that’s an idea worth discussing with your neighbors as a reality based plan to deal with an economical collapse and the subsequent unemployment and crime that goes along with it.
Urban Survival – December 2004 post – situation report on the fall of Argentina
December 2004 post – situation report on the fall of Argentina
OK, here it goes, hope it helps. We often call unprepared people, the mass, sheep. Sheep describes them pretty well. They do as the rest of them do, don’t fight for their rights, accept almost everything and so on. But what happens when “sheep” get desperate? Well, that ´s what happened here.
After years of closing factories and the destruction of the national industry, extremely low wages, people got fed up. This destructive economy by Menem, our previous president, one of the most corrupt presidents in the history, (he was into the bombing of the Jewish Embassy, managed the drug market in the country, just to mention some) plus the stupidity of the following president, De la Rúa, was a formula for disaster.
One day the Minister of Economy declared that no one would be able to get more than 100 bucks a day from the ATM (correct?) nor close accounts. You could just get 100 bucks out of the bank a day. That was it. Then came the devaluation. Before this happened 1 U$S= 1 $ Argentine peso. Suddenly this changed into 1 U$S dollar= 2 peso then 2.5 even 4 pesos. Today 1U$S= 3 Pesos. The banks kept the people’s money, including their deposits in US dollars. If you had 1000 U$S dollars in Bank Boston for example, they turned it into 1000 pesos, that equaled 333 U$S dollars. They stole 666 dollars from you! Prices went up 200%, 300% and sometimes more. Imagine for one moment what your life would be like if today you go to your local 7-11 and everything has gone up 200%. How would you survive with your pay check?
The sheep got desperate. First, because they had been stolen by banks and wouldn’t return the money to the people. (The so called “corralito”) then because the classes with the lowest income found out that their salaries weren’t high enough to buy the minimum food stuff to survive. The country marched asking for the president’s resignation. He had to leave the presidential palace in a chopper… Banks were destroyed by people that wanted their hard earned money back. Supermarkets and other shops were looted, as well as regular houses. This lasted for about a month, the chaos spread all over the country, concentrated in the largest cities.
I remember being at a supermarket and the mob outside, negotiating with the manager. Sometimes, they would not destroy the place if the supermarket surrendered them the goods peacefully. Food got scarce. I mean, you could buy just a certain amount of milk or water, 4 bottles for example. And most imported goods disappeared. Electro domestics such as TV, videos, and refrigerators kept their prices in dollars, inaccessible for most people. The same happened with real estates, cars and luxury goods. Today this all seems far away. Not because it got better, but because us humans have this damn capacity to “get used to”. How did our lives change? I cant even being to explain… everything changed! The streets are more dangerous than ever, thanks to the general poverty.
Education suffered thanks to this as well, kids working or stealing to survive instead of going to school. How could I explain this to you? For example, tools are really expensive, since most come from abroad. Remember, our national industry was sold out or destroyed. Stuff like MRE, Emergency food bars are impossible to get. No one imports them anymore. (I paid 10 dollars for 1 MRE a guy had) Guns and ammo are really expensive and are sold in small quantities. Forget about buying a “case” of ammo! Forget it! I know its hard for some of you to imagine this, but you just can’t buy a “case” of anything. A large store may have 10 or 15 boxes of 308, 20 rounds each box. Small stores have 10 or less. Only common ammo is available such as 22, 38, 357. 9mm, some 40 s&w, 12 ga 308 and a little 223, that’s pretty much it. Ammo for my 357 sig is hard to get. I buy a box of it every time I find one around… and it’s extremely expensive.
IF you just HAVE to buy something strange like 300 magnum or 270 (strange for us J) there’s one place you can get them from but be prepared to pay +100 dollars for 20 rounds. While we are at it, there are also few models of guns, 70 % of it is used. You can find about 4 or 5 12 ga pumps, Mossberg 500, Maverick or Remington 870 in each store. Handguns are relatively plentiful, not the newest models but still there’s some Beretta, Glock, Colt, S&W, Walther, Taurus, Rossi and Sig. Same goes for Mausers and bolt action rifles as well as side by side shotguns. Semi auto rifles are hard to get. Some big gun shops have 1 FAL each. M16 are quite rare and expensive. Saw a Galil and a SKS (600 dollars) the other day, but it’s not common and the red tape is HUGE. I found a good FMK3, one of the few left around, and bought it for 250 dollars, but this isn’t common.
Shoes and clothes are also, expensive, even in U$S. Labor is cheep; you can have a maid and a gardener for 300 dollars. There’s no “safe” job. With 20% unemployment they pay you whatever they want and if you don’t like it there are 100 persons waiting to get your job. Owning a shop-business is hard. You have to consider armed robbery (some get hit 10 times a month) and still you have to pay the police for protection (from themselves) Hope it helps, at least so you can have an idea how your world would be if this happened in your country, hope you never have to experience it in the flesh… If you have any questions just ask away. Hope I can help.
Yesterday, 06:14 PM
Thought some might find the following useful:
If you’re in an apartment/city setting and want to grow at least some fresh food, you might try these: www.earthbox.com
I have a couple of them, last year I grew tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers in them. For tomatoes, I actually prefer the “tomato success kit” available from www.gardeners.com. I bought tomatoes at the grocery two weeks ago; had fresh ones off the vines in the earthbox and success kit right through January!
There is a neat website to check coins for their melt value, see www.coinflation.com
Also, I’ve provided this “list” to several folks here (and elsewhere). I put it together for a friend of mine from a book called Making the Best of Basics. This is grocery store food. I’ve read that in stress times, it’s actually better for your family if you try to keep them on as close to their normal diet as possible. Anyway…here it is. And if you can, get a copy of that book – it’s really useful for planning what to buy and how much to buy.
Some general storage info from “Making the Best of Basics” that I thought might help with your planning. I’ve found that a
I’m only doing the most common grocery store stuff because that’s easiest to get.
Estimated shelf life for various stuff in months:
Commercial ground cornmeal: 60
Commercial ground wheat flour: 6 – 12 (if you buy the wheat berries and grind it yourself, the berries themselves have an indefinite storage life)
White enriched rice: 24 – 48
noodles (mac/lasagna/spag) 18 – 24
Nonfat instant powdered milk 24 – 48
dehydrated butter 60 – 96
dehydrated cheese 60 – 96
buttermilk powder 24 – 36
non dairy creamer 24 – 36
dehydrated eggs 60 – 96
evaporated milk 24 – 36
condensed sweetened milk 24 – 36
white, brown, powdered sugar indefinite
corn and maple syrup indefinite
iodized, pickling, ice cream salt indefinite
vegetable shortening 12
liquid vegetable oil 12 – 24
olive oil 12 – 24
baking soda 18 – 24
baking powder 6 – 9
baking chips 18 – 24
cocoa powder 18 – 24
cornstarch 12 – 24
arrowroot 12 – 24
hominy/hominy grits 12
ready to eat dry cereal (corn, rice, shredded wheat) 12
Fruit, canned – all EXCEPT citrus 12 – 18; citrus 6 – 12
Fruit cocktail 12 – 18
Dried potatoes 36 – 48
Dried beans: 60+
Beans (green/pinto/kidney/red/yellow/peas) 24 – 36
Beets 12 – 24
Carrots 24 – 36
Corn (whole kernel or creamed) 24 – 36
Potatoes 24 – 36
Canned soups/chili 24 – 36
Canned spag/sauce 12 – 24
Peanut butter 12 -24
unshelled raw nuts 12 – 24
roasted canned shelled nuts 12 – 24
crackers 6 – 12
graham crackers 12 – 24
black pepper indefinite
vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce indefinite
flavorings/extracts 12 – 24
Mixed Italian, Mexican blended herbs 12 – 18
Jerky 6 – 9
canned corned beef 12 – 24
canned deviled meats, vienna sausage 12 – 24
canned chicken/turkey 12 – 24
canned shrimp/tuna/mackerel/halibut 12 – 24
canned salmon/sardines 24 – 36
canned and bottled fruit juices, all 12 – 24
cake mixes 12 – 24
candy bars 12
Chips 12 – 18
Pudding mixes 24 – 36