4 Things I Wish I Had Known Before the SHTF in Venezuela
by J.G. Martinez
Plan for the worst. Hope for the best. All any one of us can do is the best we can at that moment in time. Decisions made, whether good or bad, have consequences. Everything we do has consequences.
When making decisions, whether it be what to have for dinner or how you will get yourself and your loved ones out of harm’s way if SHTF, having information beforehand is always a good idea. Even then, we don’t always have the right information.
When it comes to catastrophic events, sudden SHTF, or events that cause civil unrest, time may not be on our side. Making snap decisions in any of these situations inevitably leads to some regrets and moments of, “If I only knew then what I know now.”
Here are 4 of those things I wish I had known.
Stockpile, but also consider other alternatives
Having a stockpile is useful. A well-stocked pantry with food items that have a long shelf life will get you and your family through an emergency situation for some time.
But, what if the emergency situation goes on far longer than expected? Whether you’re home, at your BOL, or fled to another country, you can grow and produce food from the land. And you should.
Your stockpile should have more than just food items. Sure it’s great to have a whole arsenal of weapons if you can afford it. But, you will be grateful later on when you have things for hygiene, like soap and toilet paper in that stockpile. (Handmade soap, even better.)
With the way 2020 treated us, it’s safe to say, “Get it now, before it’s gone.” Because it will be, in the blink of an eye. In Venezuela, scarcity hit hard and fast. Pasta, flour, rice, and beans were coveted by neighbors. So much so, they would report their neighbors as “hiding” food to the NGs.
Bottom line: I should have directed my efforts towards making my hutch safe and cozy with a well-stocked pantry. The land around it would have been filled with vegetables and free-roaming poultry. And, we would have had a reliable water source.
Not everyone close to you will stick with you during hard times
You have to be psychologically ready to face dramatic changes in your life. Change of any kind brings with it some degree of uncertainty. Some people can not handle change, no matter how much preparation has gone into the plans. Others will claim they are ok with the SHTF plans made. In reality, they have no intention of going along with those plans.
Leaving my country, 30 years of hard work and all the effort I had put into keeping my family together was never what I wanted. Preparing for years, I had gathered resources, learned new skills, and had built a small network. Keeping my family together was what mattered.
I left my home in Venezuela for what I believed was a common goal of keeping the family unit together. The realization that all my efforts toward that goal were not appreciated left me shattered. My partnership was broken in a decision that was not made by me. Some people you thought you knew will let you down.
The choice to break up the family unit by excluding me left me no choice but to stay abroad. Though I could have gone back home and rebuilt my life, I refused to leave my most precious treasure behind—the future of my family, my child.
Bottom line: Some people, no matter how close they are to you, will not stick to the plans. Even if they told you they would. Inevitably, they will do whatever it is they want to do. Mental preparation for everything is key to true survival.
The impact of our choices on our children’s lives
Writing about this is heart-wrenching for me. Our children’s country, their heritage, and patrimony is a wreck. Somehow we could have ridden the waves until the seas calmed, and then the Covid storm hit. Attacking us when we were most vulnerable.
Suddenly the entire world turned its back on us. At least it seemed so to us. Living through the downfall of Venezuela is impossible to describe to those who did not. We witnessed our country’s children, who once lived in safe homes, selling candies in the streets. Unable to attend school anymore, they did what they had to.
Through it all, my boy was brave and full of courage. And then, my once independent, fearless little daredevil changed. This past year, I have noticed he often reaches for me, grabs my arm, and puts it over his chest. I believe he is feeling an extreme need for protection.
It breaks my heart. I hope my boy will soon find his strength again and become the Warrior he was. I hope that for myself just as much. My mind often wanders, and the remorse of choosing to uproot him instead of going back to stay in our hutch tortures me. My roots run deep, and I have yet to heal my wounds. I hope someday I can.
Bottom line: Had I known the damage it would have done to my boy and to myself, I would have made different choices.
Prepping is not an expense. It is an investment
2020 has brought many lessons to many people worldwide. One of those lessons is the importance of prepping and being ready for SHTF. I wonder how long those lessons will remain in the minds of those who never understood the need for prepping.
Many people will never accept the need for prepping and will consider it an expense rather than an investment. People will remain blind to the changes that have already happened. They will be content to return to what I call “the scam” or the new normal and be pleased. They will be happy with miserable jobs, barely paying their bills. The opportunity to become self-sufficient and pass down the knowledge and the desire to do so to their descendants will be lost.
My ex frowned upon everything I brought home that would help us be more self-sufficient in the event of an emergency or if we had to go off the grid. She considered solar chargers, rechargeable batteries, power tools, and other items as useless expenses.
Because I was concerned about a border lockdown and a Cuba-like seizing of private property and personal freedom, I decided that fleeing the country was best. With my many years of industrial experience, surely there would be opportunities. Or so I thought. The industry was already saturated.
Bottom line: Staying and investing in our land and the hutch would have been a much wiser choice than fleeing. I could have used my money and resources to put a new roof on the hutch, improve food production, add a chicken coop, build a strong fence, and have some peace of mind.
Be prepared for anything and everything. And be prepared to be surprised by what you don’t know.
What lessons have you learned in the aftermath of an emergency, crisis, or SHTF situation? Let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing from our readers.
Stay safe and thank you for reading. ~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. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151
About the Author
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. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151