One of my best friends lives in Chile since a few years ago.
He mentions the psychological impact on the Venezuelan refugees was huge. Practically every people who experienced the clashes between national guards and demonstrators had a nerve meltdown. Of course, children were scared as well, watching their parents freak out.
Based on what I have learned after living through SHTF in Venezuela, I want to provide you with a few pieces of important advice for anyone facing such turmoil.
Do your best to remain calm.
If you show openly your fear, your family will immediately catch up with your mood. Not good. It´s supposed you have to protect them. Man up, even if you´re a single mom. I know this is easier for some people than for other ones.
My friend mentioned tear gas and gunshots close to his place and the concerned looks on his kids´ faces. He just shrugged and kept doing his stuff. Kids were like WTF? At the beginning but he told that it was just some guys passing by running from the police and the army who was protecting the people. Kids slowly calmed down and relax a little bit. They trust their papa. They know they will be protected no matter what. But if papa and or mama becomes a nerve mess and has a meltdown, your warm home is going to look like the Simpson´s Springfield nuclear plant facing meltdown. Hysteria everywhere.
My younger kiddo hates noisy environments. He was kept under a cocoon of silent since he was a baby: classical music sometimes, but other ones I used to listen to rock at high volume to train him to withstand noise. Not bad, just that he now loves My Chemical Romance, Fallout Boy and Green Day. Hilarious.
But looking at your parents concerned, at age 15 is a bitter feeling. I know how that feels. I experienced that at 15, and remember could not even swallow my lunch. Much worst was once the tear gas started to get into our patio. Our house is entirely open. Even the dogs were having a hard time. Vinegar spraying in the face was quickly started.
It´s a good moment to remind you all: adding a good gas mask (one for each family member) and after bought, everyone must learn how to wear it in a hurry, and do it properly. This can make an important difference. Small children are going to be the most severely affected. Seen it happening in Caracas. Guards attacked a hospital. Jeez. If you´re hunkering down adults must take turns to monitor the surroundings (AND. DON´T. OPEN. THE. CURTAINS).
A face covered with a gas mask sticking out an apartment window is very likely to be targeted. So don´t do that. “Regular” “Normal” people do not have gas masks. But we know this is a good tool. Perhaps some drops of Valerian herb essence in a cup of water will help with those nerves, something I strongly recommend. Just put some music, and grab a book while installing yourself in an observation post that allows you to check to see what´s happening outside. If you have (as I indeed have recommended in some previous articles) to have an array of 2 or 3 remote cameras to see what´s happening outside without sticking the nose outside of a window, this is the moment to use them. Quietly and unnoticed. This will work as a means to calm down yours, too.
Don´t leave your place unless it´s extremely necessary.
I´m sure someone thinking they´re smart cookie will call me Mr. Obvious and other stupidities. But try to dialogue with your (non-prepper) wife once the food is gone and her rattle is shaking as if there´s no tomorrow. Trust me, the streets are not going to be safer once this rattling starts. Jokes apart, not because you don´t see anything from your window doesn´t mean something is NOT coming your way.
If you feel the need to make it to the supermarket 4 miles away with the best prices, maybe you can get there. Maybe you could even buy your stuff if the place hasn´t been looted. And maybe, too, a turmoil gets between you and your home and can´t be surrounded. You could get yourself into trouble just because. No need to do it. Keep your place supplied, be creative and use your brains. What I mean is, if the water, power or phone gets cut off, it´s stupid to leave the place believing that you´re going to make it to their offices to make a claim. I know there is plenty of people that would do this. So don´t call me Cap. Obvious. You´ll be underestimating the endless human potential for dumbness.
OK now, let´s elaborate a little bit. Suppose you are in your apartment in downtown Chile. On the second floor. Going higher in one of the countries of the Fire Belt is not wise. Anyway, tear gas is starting to feel. You pull out your gas masks, or even your swimming glasses and a cloth soaked in vinegar over your mouth. The 3 supermarkets nearby have been looted. Not just looted, they have been destroyed. Cashier machines, transport belts, even the shelves island have been demolished. Some reports have told that even factories have been burned. Senseless, irrational violence. And you don´t have where to buy fresh vegetables, nor fruit. You have still water and power.
But it´s here where our preppings are going to shine and your kids will learn that it pays off to play squirrel, at the end of the day.
Your horizontal freezer is filled up with supplies. Your pantry is stocked from floor to roof with canned vegetables, beans, pasta and whatnot, enough for six months. You have toilet paper to wipe off an entire primary school battalion for one year (if you have children under 10 you know how they go through toilet paper FAST). Toothpaste, shampoo, and soap? No problem. That couple of cases of beer is still safe under your bed.
Depending on your level of preparedness, defined according to your real needs, you could leave once you find it´s safe and make it to your bug out location.
One of my friends informs me that in Chile his job was not affected. He could attend to his office, just walking carefully…and a cab every now and then. The train is not functional. There are massive demonstrations. When these start, people just leave the office and go home. Usually, the turmoil starts when these people reach a certain point.
Things are becoming more chaotic all over – stay vigilant.
The SSNN have been playing a good role to establish safe routes. It´s incredible the organization level of these groups that are battling. They report (EVTV journalist interviewing Victor Higuera 30/10/2019, the Director of a Venezuelan media in Santiago, Capital of Chile) even a horde of 6500 people. Three more large commerce establishment burned down, and a clinic. A CLINIC. A MEDICAL FACILITY burned down. It´s a Red Dawn. No doubt about it. Whatever the reasons are, it has started to circulate the motto “Migrating in Latin America is like changing staterooms in the Titanic”. Go figure. Some Chilean media are spreading dubious information. They say the military is “repressing”, but…what can they do when a mob wants to set on fire a mall, or a clinic? It´s incredible that the democracy in that country is hanging from such a thin thread.
Going back on topic. Managing stress is important. For that, an entire awareness of the surroundings is necessary. Do you have a cheap couple of CCTV cameras? Then install them in the windows, and you won´t need to jeopardize your integrity. I say this because in Caracas the colectivos shot to windows even when listening to someone banging a casserole. That´s why. In the worst of 1989, people would block with mattresses and boards the windows. They had to sleep in the hallways because of the shootings. If you don´t believe me, just search “Caracazo 1989”, open your best online translator, and prepare some good coffee. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am. That was the first attempt to set South America on fire. Red Dawn. It´s starting again now, just that the Chilean Antifa is being paid with the money stolen from us Venezuelans.
And I want (need!) to remark this. How is it possible that a situation like this one simultaneously arises in different cities, all of a sudden? This is not spontaneous. This has to obey some kind of coordination. We have to analyze the sequence of the events, because maybe our location, one that we believe is peaceful, can be, in the matter of a few hours or even minutes, a focus of turmoil and disorder. Or it presents itself in the middle of one of our strategic evacuation routes to our bug out location.
Whatever the situation is, we certainly can´t allow ourselves to be caught in the streets. And if we are, we must know what to do.
Thanks for your support, encouraging words, for your comments, and for all that spectacular receptiveness you’ve shown to this engineer whose life has been so deeply transformed by the power of destiny.
I will keep writing no matter what.
And may God bless us all.
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