A Power Grid Failure Will Totally Disrupt Your Life: Lessons From Venezuela

By J.G. Martinez D.

Hello people.

You must be already aware of the terrible water situation that people in most of the cities in Venezuela are facing. This is the product of the combination of several factors that I will try to explain. But please! Understand that we suffered the consequences of a weirdo military chief that NEVER had any clue about governing like a civilian, but giving orders and commands, and he ordered seizure of all the companies and put them under control of the “State” because everyone should have access to water.

Indeed our laws say that water is free; I mentioned this in a previous article. Companies, therefore, quickly found a turnaround to capitalize the right to ADDRESS, extract, and direct the water to the customers who did not pay for the water, but the work of having it “transported”. This is quite important for the reader to accept this. I have that feeling that sometimes people just refuse to believe this sort of thing happens in some places in the world, much less on the same American continent. And, yes, it happens. It happened to us, and it was about to happen to people in Chile, too, back in the ’70s with Allende.

Things that were once easy to get in Venezuela are now impossible to find.

This said, I hope you can have a more complete view of what happens when instead of motivated employees, highly trained and well paid, you have underpaid, sad, ill-mannered government employees wearing a T-shirt with Hugo’s face. Well, that happened in lots of companies, originating the disaster we are facing now. Car parts, batteries, oil derivatives, all of those products that you were once accustomed to having in the stores in industrial quantities, have become exotic commodities that need careful financial planning to acquire and with a large mafia-style black market behind. Food is, of course, on the top of the list with proteins as the main concern.

A brief parenthesis here. I decided to go on board with Daisy’s website because her approach to survivalism and prepping is quite sustainable, something that was lost on our path to an apocalypse. We had everything easy; and even in my town you could find imported cheese, Italian salsa for pasta, and some other similar delicacies. There was the possibility to buy milk from the producers, but they took over the farmers’ production and ruined it, just to keep people under control by starving them.

Start taking care of your health now, if you aren’t already.

If you make major changes in your diet NOW, if you try in some way to live healthier NOW, if you can move to someplace with a large inner garden in the near future, if you plan to exercise, get in shape, and grow as many of your staples NOW…you’re heading in the right direction. This website is overflowing with information that is very hard to compile working alone and I will defend that faced with anyone else. This is a strong motivation to me because I have had in front of me people over 70 years old able to take a 30 kilograms tapioca bag on their shoulders and walk 4 kilometers through the mountains with it. If someday I had to do that, and I mean like now being much younger than 70, the tapioca would grow roots before I arrived at where I was heading.

People, eating healthy and exercising is part of the preppers’ legacy. Your main survival tool is your brain. And your body is like the carrying case. Your primary vehicle. Perhaps with one engine backfire here and there after some beans, but…come on, nobody’s perfect. Therefore, maintenance is important. No matter if we die of something else. We will leave behind a healthy corpse to admire. The stamina of that old man I saw carrying that bag, back there in my home town made me see how important it is to stay in touch with nature. I have lost some excess weight; so much walking around here has toned my leg muscles, and I don’t feel so tired as fast as I used to. My ingesting of vegetables and fruits has increased a lot (because of the price of red meat, mainly) and I feel great, generally speaking.

Here are some lessons I learned after the collapse in Venezuela.

Please those readers who are just starting, consider this as the main issue. Stockpiling Spam, or sausages, or whatever you could think you need is perfect. But that is not sustainable in the long term; and perhaps if I could have made different choices back in time, our life could have been gone through a different path, and we would be in much better condition, mentally, emotionally, and financially speaking. This comes from my heart because I am almost starting again, older…but much wiser. I would like to say that much stronger, but it’s not up to me.

There is great, valuable information available, and we have to appreciate all the work and effort behind this.

I understand perfectly if some of you don’t want to walk down that road. I don’t consider myself a farmer by any means, either. But I do know about chemistry, about some basic physics and some other stuff, and there is enough theory available to be able to grow up some decent crops from a good-sized garden, no matter how inexpert can one be. I agree 100% with the guy that relies on his Glock for self-defense because you have to use what you have available, and what works for you. In my territory, a crossbow (homemade, perhaps) or a .22LR will have to make it (mountains, lots of trees and bush to hide in, a very different terrain to the urban environment the Glock guys are). Perhaps a sawed twin-barrel 12ga, provided I can have access to some shells in the future after our liberation is complete. Even a good, old .38 S&W is a good choice on my side of the (tropical, humid and hot) woods. Simple, reliable and proven. Drop it in the mud and it still works.

A total power grid failure will disrupt your entire life.

The most identifiable disruption, in my opinion, is a total power grid failure. The cause is up to you. Earthquake, winter, economy. Not relevant.

The relevance is that its consequences vary depending on the location, of course. For some people, this situation can be present during the winter. An interruption of the service that lasts 3 days in the worst of the winter, is enough reason to be prepared for a failure lasting ALL the winter (perhaps it’s just me, never having seen more ice than my regular freezer produces…oh, wait I was in the peak Bolivar in Merida, Venezuela. That is the closest I have been to such severe climate). Because we don’t know if there are people willing to risk their integrity to restore the energy given the case. In regular times, sure. There are lots of qualified, hardcore professionals that will make their best effort. But in the middle of an economic collapse? Will your standard average underpaid, perhaps uninsured average Joe go out? How about an extreme winter immediately after a pandemic, for example? This is something to be aware of.

Just shut down the breakers at home for a weekend. Make a drill. Get your genset out and start it. Everyone else should adapt. It’s time to sharpen knives, to oil leather jackets, to read a book, teach the kids to shoot with a bow, you get the point. I like the idea of solar chargers and batteries for small devices, flashlights and perhaps radios for some entertainment and local comms. Do you have safe candle holders to save your batteries at night or some other non-hazardous way to provide lighting? I read the very sad news of a diesel lamp setting fire to an apartment a few days ago, with two small children injured with 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns. City people, totally unprepared for these kinds of madness and penury.

I spoke with this friend of mine, former boss, very prepared. Lived in Canada and the USA. A really nice guy. He told me that people in small cottages in rural environments have been less affected, so to speak, with the power failure. I told him that things are going to be much worse. He’s an engineer, too, and he knows. Unfortunately, he is not in the prepper lifestyle, despite my attempts to influence him to take some basic measures in the past; but back in those days money already was getting tight for everyone (2015).

They’re struggling still there, and he keeps me updated. He says that most of the food is now (thanks to the good weather) limited to local crops. No cold chain to bring apples from Colombia or Brazil, for example. Just things that can be grown locally. Corn, papayas, tapioca, black beans, red beans, white beans, lentils…all kind of beans. Cheese is a luxury item. Eggs, meat, all of this needs cold, and the prices are a total craziness. This was to be expected, though. He mentions as well that people in secluded cottages have had some security problems with trespassers, but nothing worth mentioning here. A couple of starving people here and there stealing whatever they can from the crops, but mostly they just leave them be. They go and plant the perimeter again, and that keeps them away from getting too close to the house. Dogs have been very useful too.

Life has gone backward one hundred years in some places.

Candle lighting, firewood cooking, expensive proteins, no antibiotics, or modern medications except for those who can afford it. Not even cellphone communications, and unless water can be transported to the main house tank, no tap or shower water. There is no electrical pumping of course. This could be solved with some sort of mechanical arrangement and a horse or some other animal, though. I hope to see this done soon. There are reports of the most isolated rural communities that horses are being used, as there are no spare parts for the most common vehicle there, the Chinese crappy motorcycles. These are not of the best quality, they break down all the time; when you have a working supply chain parts are dirt cheap. Not anymore. There are almost no spare parts because there are no dollars to buy them nor chain supply to transport anything. That’s why I insist so much in a good quality brand vehicle and a parts stock. Buying cheap can cost someone’s life. Including ours. A good business idea would be to have a small 2-ton truck and make some agreements to transport production to the city. Once you come back to the cottage, hide the thing in a barn or some secured enclosed garage, out of sight. At night in pitch dark, robbers will do their thing and can become dangerous if not controlled. I have recommended to the people in my subdivision to get every radio they can and keep it on at nights for security.

Interesting note. Some friends are using their car batteries (and their kids’ toys car batteries) for lighting, with cheap LEDs. One 12v battery will light for 3 days in a row before needing a recharge. This was a set up I already had for lighting: an old car battery, a row of LEDs and a small solar battery charger, with some cheap switches. 12 hours of Venezuelan sun is more than enough for powering a laptop with a proper converter, even if the battery is not 100% new. This remaining capacity can be used. Oh, and once depleted the lead could be really useful…use your imagination.

People in the city are desperate and would buy all kind of food but they do not have money. This is extremely dangerous. The currency being used is the dollar; and without power, it is going to be hard to imagine what will happen with the electronic banking transfer. Just a few days ago someone informed me that the maintenance board of the subdivision is charging $2 for basic chores like cleaning and keeping the electric gates working. These are now useless, and car owners have to get out of the car and open them manually, exposing themselves. Another reason to have some kind of deterrent.

Thanks for reading!

I look forward to your kind comments, and your much needed assistance!

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. paypal.me/JoseM151

This article was sourced from The Organic Prepper.


10 Things You Can Do When You’re Just Too Busy To Prep

By Daisy Luther

We all try to seek balance in our lives, but there are times when things just get a little bit out of control. Maybe you have a new baby. Maybe there is something major going on at work. You could have a sick family member, a big home project going on, the kids are involved in something that requires lots of driving on your part, or maybe you’re injured. The point is, in all of our lives, sometimes a situation arises during which we’re too busy to prep in the way we usually do.

When this happens, it can add to an already elevated stress level. You know you should be doing more to be prepared but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do the things you want to do.

Sometimes it isn’t even that you’re too busy – sometimes, your motivation just takes a beating because there are so many negative and stressful things going on in the world. When this happens, you just don’t feel like actively focusing on preparedness all the time.

During times like these, the best thing you can do is focus on fitting in small tasks when you can. Try to do one small thing per day to keep your prepper mojo going. And most of all, try not to worry about the things that you aren’t doing. You’ll get there. I have faith in you.

What to do when you’re too busy to prep

1 – Carry a book with you at all times. A Kindle e-reader device might be handier in this situation than a physical copy, and if you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can often “borrow” books for free.  Take those moments when you’re sitting in the car waiting to pick up the kids from an activity, when you are on a break at work, or when you’d normally be watching a show on TV and learn something – anything – that will make you more prepared.

2 – Take those little moments to work on skills. In those same short breaks as I mentioned above, work on a skill that would be handy post-disaster. Take your knitting with you or do some kind of small, portable task.

3 – Add a little to your stockpile each week.  Hopefully, before life got crazy, you had a good handle on the weak points in your stockpile. So, if you know that you need fruits and vegetables, for example, pick up some shelf-stable items at the store during your regular shopping trip each week. If you need dry milk, quickly order high-quality dry milk online. If you need meat, buy some canned fish at the store or order some freeze-dried beef crumbles. Make one purchase each week and you’ll still be increasing your stockpile.

4 – Make your downtime count. Keep your prepper mindset sharp by using it often. If you are taking a couple of hours to sit down with the family and watch a movie, watch something that will let you think through a scenario. Here’s a list of survival-themed movies – grab some popcorn!

5 – Family time on the weekend can be used for prepping activities.  Make family time something active. If you’re spending some time together on the weekend, go for a hike, spend some time brushing up on your nature skills, and work on your fitness.

6 – Teach your kids some skills. Obviously, no matter how busy we are, we still want to spend time with our kids. Spend a summer evening making homemade jam with your kids. It might take a little bit longer but they’ll be very proud of “their” jam and you’ll get some food preservation done at the same time. (You can get some recipes in The Prepper’s Canning Guide.)  Try to make it fun instead of one of those things you “have” to do.

7 – Organize things into kits. If you have a little time, organize the things you already have into kits. I like to use plastic organizers of varying sizes. Not only will this help you to quickly be ready for an emergency, it will help you to see what you’re missing so that you can order it online. Some examples of kits might be: cold remedies, power outage, contagious illness, allergies, bug-out bags, important paperwork, evacuation kits – you get the idea.

8 – Shop online.  When you’re super busy, you don’t always have time to trek to the store to shop for your preparedness gear and supplies. If you know what you need, shop online and have the stuff delivered right to your door. Amazon really does have almost anything you might need, from camping gear to books to emergency supplies.

9 – Buy food in buckets.  If you’re short on time, you don’t want to have to transfer everything to Mylar bags and buckets on your own. Order some emergency buckets and all you have to do is put them away with the seal intact. Each bucket contains a 30 day supply of basics for one person. (Although we like to supplement with extra fruits and vegetables when using these goods.) This is a great way to vastly increase your emergency food supply without spending much time to do it.

10 – Practice using your emergency food. The thing about emergency food is that it should be fairly fast and easy to fix.  What better opportunity to test out some of your stockpile ingredients than to use them for a speedy meal when you’re short on time?  Make some meals combining freeze-dried food from your buckets with canned food from your pantry. See what kind of delicious combinations you can come up with. This will also give you a chance to see if you need to pick up some extra spices or other shelf-stable ingredients to make the meals more palatable or filling. (Time-saving bonus: This is a great way to skip the weekly trip to the store!)

Have you ever been too busy to prep?

Have you ever run into a period of time when you were just too busy to prep the way you wanted to? What were some quick things that you found the time for? How do you stay motivated when life gets crazy busy?

Share your stories and suggestions in the comments below.

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.


7 Ways City Prepping Is Different Than Country Prepping

By Daisy Luther

I used to have that idyllic country lifestyle that most preppers dream about. Chickens, goats, acreage, a creek running through the backyard, and most of all, seclusion. It was wonderful. I learned so much about raising animals, keeping hungry deer out of my garden, and being self-reliant to a much larger degree.

But then life happened and that wasn’t going to work for us anymore. My precocious kid graduated homeschool at 16 and wasn’t able to follow her dreams in the state and location where we lived. Obviously, at that age, I wasn’t about to turn her loose to go to school in a different state, so we relocated.

We moved to a suburban area in southern Virginia.  Gone was the acreage and the privacy, but that didn’t mean that I gave up on prepping. No way! I firmly believe that no matter where you live, you can be prepared. You may not be able to have a whole farm but you can still be self-reliant and prepped.

However, city prepping and country prepping are two different animals. Here are some of the ways that it’s different.

#1) You have to rein in the redneck when you’re in town.

When I lived out in the boondocks, nobody cared when there was a faint odor of livestock, mud in the mudroom, and hay in the back of the Jeep. In the city, things are a little different. If I set up an ugly, makeshift greenhouse using a clear plastic tarp and zip ties over a swing set in the front yard, the neighbors would 100% complain. In the country, lots of people have redneck things set up and nobody really cares.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a greenhouse. It just can’t be in the front yard and it has to be one that looks a little nicer. Heck, you can even have a teeny one on a patio or balcony.

#2) In the city, OPSEC is even more important.

When you live within city limits, you’re bound to have neighbors. That means that OPerational SECurity is even more important than it is in the country, where you have a privacy buffer between yourself and other people.

In the city, you don’t want to be seen lugging in buckets and buckets of emergency food. People will comment something along the lines of “You got a bunker down there?”  It’s a joke now, but if they’re going hungry later, they’ll remember it.

In the city, everything you do outdoors has the capacity to be seen from by a person outside the family. Even if your back yard is fenced, a person on the second floor of another home will be able to see inside. So, your garden and your urban chickens? Everybody will know about them.

#3) In the city, you can’t go whole-hog (literally) on self-reliance.

There are a lot of things you can do in the city to be more self-reliant, but it should more look like a quirky hobby than an effort to set up a full-on homestead.

Your livestock will be limited to chickens and rabbits (if that – check your municipal website to find out what your local laws are.)  You aren’t going to be able to raise pigs or goats, and there will be no backyard butchering station in most cities.

There’s only so much of a garden you can have because there’s only so many places in your city yard with good sunlight where it’s also socially acceptable to plant vegetables. (But if you’re creative, there are quite a few things you can sneak in.)

#4) In the city, there are fewer 4-legged predators and foragers.

When I lived in the country, it was a constant battle to keep things (besides us) from eating our chickens and getting into our gardens. Between the bears, the mountain lions, the foxes, the coyotes, and the deer, raising food in the boondocks isn’t as easy as people expect it will be.

In the city, you are unlikely to have to worry about any of these things. The only trouble we’ve had have been from skunks, raccoons, and groundhogs. I’m sure there is no place completely free of varmints that want what you’re raising, but it really is easier to protect hens and veggies within city limits.

#5) In the city, you have access to a lot of stuff nearby.

This would most likely change if times were really bad, but within walking distance of our home, we have a co-op, a huge weekly farmer’s market, a community garden, and a meat market that sells only local products.

Throughout the growing season, we hit the market right before it closes and cart home tons more produce than we could ever grow, even in the country.  Then, in my nice big city kitchen, I dehydrate, can, and freeze all day Sunday. Sure, I did this in the country, too, but I had to drive more than an hour round trip to do it.

And the shopping is great, too. We have every possible big box store within 30 minutes of us, as well as many grocery stores within that same circle of convenience. Shopping the sales has never been easier. When we lived in the country, we just hit one store that regularly had the best prices, but here I can purchase the loss leaders from 4-5 different stores within an hour or two. It’s made a massive difference in our budget.

There’s a lot of convenience to living in a place where you can get things that you’d normally have to drive an hour to purchase.

#6) In the city, you have neighbors that can help you quickly.

We have been fortunate to have wonderful neighbors, although I know from experience this isn’t always the case. When I was recently recovering from surgery, our next-door neighbors were great about asking if we needed anything from the store, taking our trash to the curb and bringing it back in, and offering rides to appointments. If my daughter had needed help, it would have been right there, seconds away.

When another neighbor’s husband had a heart attack in the back yard, we heard a commotion and were over there helping out immediately while awaiting the ambulance. We took care of their dog and cat while he was in the hospital and left meals in the refrigerator that could be heated up when our neighbor returned home to get some rest after a long day at the hospital.

I know for a fact that country neighbors are great, too. In the city, however, you get to have a network close by.

Also, while I’m not recommending that 911 be your official home defense plan, you generally get a much faster response from police, fire, and ambulances in town. Where I lived before, it took a minimum of 45 minutes for the aid to arrive.

#7) In the city, a lot of your preps look environmentally friendly.

City folks are big into the environment and you can use that to your advantage when prepping. You can compost, you can have rain barrels, in many towns you can keep chickens, and you can do all sorts of things that preppers do while looking like another city hipster.

There is even a massive community garden just a couple of blocks from my house. I have a tiny little plot there, mostly so I can get to know other self-reliant souls.

You can be self-reliant in the city.

City life is very different from country life, but it’s certainly not impossible to be self-reliant. We’ve had fantastic luck with our gardens, we’re allowed to have up to 5 hens, and we can access more stuff much easier than we could when we lived in the boonies. Having neighbors has been a really nice change, and we’ve enjoyed this experience.

To the people who walk past my house to go to the park down the street (with walnut trees and a river, by the way) I just look like a city gal who has some flowering vines and a couple of big dogs. To my neighbors, I’m the friend who swaps my tomatoes for their mulberries (and brings them a jar of homemade jam.)  I have 48 different grocery stores to choose from within 45 minutes of my home, as well as 4 farmers markets and farms with produce stands. (No patterns of buying tons of stuff with all that variety!)

I still can and dehydrate, I still cook from scratch, and I still raise and forage for some of my own food. I have supplies, nearby water sources, and great neighbors. I have a plan for a wide variety of emergencies. (You can check out my new workbook to create your own plan.)

I firmly believe that you can be prepped anywhere. Life doesn’t always plant you in the “ideal” location, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared.  I’m not saying that city prepping is necessarily better than country prepping but it sure does have some nice benefits.

There will be variables, of course, in any setting, but you can prep anywhere. Don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.

What about you?

I started out in the city and to the city, I returned.  I loved living in the country, but there are also many things I enjoy about city life. And in either place, I am prepared.

Has anyone ever turned up their nose at your location? What do you see as the pros and cons of prepping in different environments? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.


Where Should a Prepper’s Retreat Be Located? Here’s What I Learned in Venezuela

By J.G. Martinez D.

Where should your prepper’s retreat be located? This is not an issue that could be explained easily in one article. Or in a book, I think. However, I will do my best.

What was my motivation to write about this? Because I was very concerned about what was going on (logically) and the situation of my parents. However, they seem to be coping well, with the scarce money I can send them. Their needs are not that much, and they have kept themselves healthy with a diet that includes lots of tropical fruits like pineapples, papayas, watermelon, bananas and the vegetables available year-round.

My mom loves cheese, and this is known in our area as being tasty…and greasy! The toll in your veins and heart after a life consuming it is usually pretty high, and the stroke rate is quite high there. Same for red meat. They have been lowering a lot their ingesting of both, and it seems to have been quite good for their overall health. After learning they were collecting a few spoons for the weekly consumption from the coffee plants in a neighbor’s empty plot, I was really much more satisfied. As there is no sugar, sweetening with honey has become a need. Even our traditional sugar cane juice, solidified and hard as a rock, similar to a large caramel, called “panela” was expensive and scarce before I left the country.

I realized that it is all about learning to live with less, to use wisely as much of the supply that Nature makes available for us, and a wise choice of location to take advantage of this.

What’s going on in the cities

As I am writing this, something sinister is cooking up there. Armed convicts are patrolling the streets. The doors of hell are open. However, in the capital city, Caracas, and in the poor barrios (and not so poor) of every major city there are gangs of armed, masked guys roaming the streets.

You won’t see this perhaps on YouTube or some dubious political trend such as Twitter (however, there is a lot of on-site footage there, only in certain accounts) but it is happening, and it is getting worse. (Writer’s note: I started to write this a few weeks before the blackout.)

The desperation of the gangs is increasing, and they are becoming more and more aggressive. This was to be expected. It is in their nature. To hold onto the power (whatever the concept they have of such word) by every means available…until they can’t do it any longer.

We waited too long.

Provided this worst-case scenario (I’d rather prefer a pandemic, truly, instead of drugged, armed thugs at my front door) would happen, we took some containment actions. However, the scenario arrived too late, and the preps we had were not enough.

Bugging out with all of my gear would have been the less smart option…provided I could leave my job and come back later (very unlikely). The reason is simple. Every single item in any load we could have taken with us would have been “confiscated”. With or without property documents. This is a failed state, remember?

Because there is no rule of law, and nowhere to address your grievances either, you know?

Too risky, and too far away home. Perhaps a most logical choice would have been the mountains nearby our place…but building a bunker there, to go just the weekends was an open invitation for looting, and leaving our main home every single weekend was not an option neither, because monitoring thieves passing by could mark our home and break in.

It was not possible to make something concealed enough without the laborers and contractors opening their mouths and revealing the strange building so far away. Venezuelans are not exactly the most discreet people in the world. The only alternative would have been building something oneself, and for those of us who are challenged for that sort of stuff, it could result in a total disaster or risk of building failure.

For your potential retreat, location is key.

Given the recent events, with a nationwide power grid failure, and a catastrophic water supply system meltdown, added to a total communications blackout, I can say, with a proper amount of trust, location is key.

Those in the bigger cities, totally unprepared, paid the toll. Desperation, lack of medical attention for problems related to malnutrition and stress, personal safety diminished, all of this were and still are, the common denominator plaguing the people’s lives in the cities.

Being far away, using isolation as safety measures, could be safe enough just under the proper precautions, and banding with some other similar-thinking families or groups, as neighbors.

I just confirmed with some close relatives that the location where my once so-called bug out place was not so severely punished by lack of pumping water. The water distribution system of the town nearby is gravity-fed, people. The rural communities around have traditionally used rainwater collection tanks, having learned by years of irresponsible governments (way before Uncle Hugo, I have to acknowledge) that a water pipeline was not going to be installed anytime soon.

A note about water

Private water companies were almost non-existent because of the monopoly laws of the state over natural resources such as water. Basically, water belongs to everyone, and it was illegal for a company to take over it, even if you buy land with an underground stream. Companies just could charge the work of treating it, manage it, or bottled it or conduct it to the places where it would be needed. The needed permits to dig and install a water pipeline, though, are just the beginning of a long line of corruption. This was before Hugo, too.

One of the sources of the collapse of the actual water grid. And of course, the corruption and bribes behind the state controlling the water management facilities since their construction you could imagine what levels they reached and how long that line is.

In many places, the responsible team for the facility would shut down the treatment plant with any excuse, and they would receive bribes from the truck drivers, or owners of several tank trucks, to keep it like that for some time. Then the major would have to deviate “emergency” resources from the municipal (something like a county) funds to pay these trucks to deliver water to the communities.

This is a scheme that is not new at all. It has been there for decades. Those dumb enough to try to combat this, have been threatened…or worse.

Oh, and just add the military to the mix. Wonderful results.

You need a natural water source.

All of this has been described because the location of my retreat is near a natural water source. And it’s drinkable. No need to boil, just some gravity filtering as a precaution. My relatives did not need to fill their tanks there, because there is always a good reserve of filtered water at home, but if needed, they could have gone there.

It is far off the path, not many people go there.

The power is again operational in about half of the country.

The consumption of the region where my soon-to-be compound is located, is so low because there are no large industries, and the population density is so low, too, that it won’t be a problem in the near future despite the nationwide failure. I say “soon to be” because now the joining of Venezuela to the NATO is almost a certain fact. This said we are going to need bunkers, just in case.

All major cities are suffering because of the high rate of per capita power (and water) consumption. It is clearly a collapse situation where those in power (politicians and legally or illegally armed forces) just take what they need, and the rest are left to rot in their own juices.

Of course, there is an entire setup of variables around the entire situation. This is nothing that can’t be fixed with a good amount of blood, sweat, and bullets. It is not the end of the world. Just the end of a terrible era for my country. Our preparations as a family were not enough for such terrible duration of the events that tore our country apart, and there was no way to prevent or foresee that.

What we expected was what happened.

Did we suspect that someday the colectivos would be roaming the streets, free, and harming people? Yes, of course. They used to roam by the dozens whenever one of their thugs got shot, to drive him to the graveyard.

Did we suspect that food would be scarce and that power and water, soap and toothpaste would be a luxury item? Of course. We knew that the companies that once produced all kind of products had been seized systematically, in a fantasy of being “fighting against the evil empire”, only to make them unproductive so they could import everything and sell it on the black market with huge illegal, untraceable profits.

We knew that these thugs would not surrender and that they were going to kill one another after Chavez would die. They allowed violence to spread all over the country in levels that we never believed possible.

It could be possible to survive in a subdivision.

With a two-story house and a patio, we would have been incredibly much better prepared. In a tropical climate, 35 square meters can produce a LOT of food. Add some poultry for eggs, and you will have mayonnaise, and something to exchange for other items you need.

Being surrounded by several subdivision houses means that there is some degree of security. Constant rain in our area is another plus. Even in the dry seaso, it rains like there is no tomorrow. You should see the papayas in our front garden and the eggplants! Wonderful.

However, being in the middle of the city and close to some dubious barrios, an extremely low profile would have been a need. Sooner or later it was to be expected some kind of confrontation. I was not wrong: in our former city was the only place where someone shot back and killed a national guard. Go figure.

There are many variables

To summarize, there is an entire setup of variables that you have to address before selecting the location of your homestead. As the needs of everyone is different, the relative weight of such variables in our decision has to be addressed according to that.

Water, safety, accessibility, height over sea level, flooding tendency, hurricane belt, corn belt, rust belt, Bible belt, you need a matrix with all these variables in a row. As many as you believe is important. Make a spreadsheet with these in a horizontal line. In a vertical line, write the places you have selected. Based on your taste for every particular variable, assign to each place a number, from 1 to 100 perhaps or 1 to 10. Add this grading to the right end and you will have a totaling number useful for your selection purpose.

There is a method a little bit more complex to explain but will leave it for the seminars in the future, because it is definitely much better as it will give more weight to the variables such as “gun friendly state” or “cheap gas”, or “good weather year around”, and so on.

Thank you.

I hope now this article has been useful, and please leave your comments so I can keep improving my stuff in the future. I have some designs that could be a real success in the prepper’s market, indeed for some custom made, great quality devices. Unfortunately, haven’t been able to pass to the stage of a prototype.

Thanks for your much-needed support, and God bless us all, people.

Stay safe!

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. paypal.me/JoseM151

This article was sourced from The Organic Prepper.