**This is an excerpt from Selco’s book SHTF Survival Stories
If you are not eating right now, take moment and watch a video of a monkey eating a gazelle.
It feels very wrong for most people to look at this. This shows how much we are out of touch with nature. Most people want to eat meat but not kill it themselves for example. What happens to the gazelle is not good and not bad, it’s nature. It simply is.
When you find yourself in a survival situation you get quickly in touch with nature again. And nature is cruel, and the concept of fairness does not exist.
It is hard to be prepared for that before you experience it. But understanding how nature really is and that we only live in a soft bubble protected from the true face of nature, is the first step.
Editor’s note: One of the most important lessons you can take from Selco’s stories is the value of realizing what’s going on early in the situation. When the rules seem to be changing right before your eyes (does this sound familiar?) believe what you’re seeing. Not allowing cognitive dissonance to take over could save your life. This lesson is especially appropriate right now. How many people have you heard blithely talking about when things go right back to normal? Recognize that the disruption may not be temporary. ~ Daisy
Here is an experience I want to share.
When SHTF started, the great majority of us thought that what was going on around us was something like temporary rioting that got a bit out of control. The city services still worked in some areas and everybody was waiting for the madness to stop.
In that short period before the sh*t hit the fan with full force, people usually lost their lives because they did not recognize the situation.
People were out rioting, stealing, fighting. But all that was still “moderate” in comparison to what was coming.
At that moment, people still were “inside” the system, so we all were trying to hide more or less when looting was going on in the neighborhood. The police were still arresting people and trying to control things. People were shooting each other yes, but it was not yet like full-scale shooting and violence. Most people were simply scaring each other with shootings.
One of my friends was involved in a shooting in those early days. After looting some stores, he got wounded. The wound was not too dangerous – he was shot in the foot.
As I said, most of the city services were still working and trying to bring order to that chaos. City ambulances came and picked him up and they rushed to the hospital with him.
About one kilometer from the place where he got picked up, the group of people that actually shot him stopped the ambulance with an improvised barricade. First, they shot the driver and then they killed my friend in the back of the ambulance. They killed him a little bit slower than the driver, and more painfully – they used knives. We got there a bit later, but it was too late for my friend.
Now this story may sound confusing to you. You may say “it happens in war.” But for 95% of folks at that time it was not war – it was just violent rioting. And 95% of folks still trusted the system. They had trust in police and government that they were going to restore law and order. People still trusted that ambulances were “protected” and nobody would stop them, not to mention shooting at one.
In this story here, the wounded guy and the ambulance driver simply did not recognize the situation. He was a nice guy. Why would this happen to him? Back then, I probably would have gone with the ambulance as well if I was shot. It felt very wrong that this happened, but it was one of the first wakeup calls that fair and unfair were concepts of the past.
My friend, in the first place, should not have been there in that time of chaos. The ambulance driver should have said, “screw it” and taken valuable medicines and gone home at the first signs of real violence and total collapse. He did not. It is easy to call him a hero and maybe the day before or hours before he helped save the life of someone else – but it was still too high a risk to be out at this point in time.
It is easy to say that now but at first nobody realized what was happening.
But in those times, we all still called things by old names, police, trust, government, law, system, penalty…
If that happened maybe a day or two later my friend would have crawled off and treated his wounds alone, or the driver would have refused to drive, or…
A few days after that event, the sh*t hit the fan with real force, and nobody had illusions anymore that something temporary was going on or that things would quickly get back to normal.
The point is that lots of people died in that short period before realizing that things weren’t the same. You should not still believe in the good of people around you, but most people did. This ambulance event was one of many that ended with similar deaths.
So next time, when some rioting erupts in your city, some violence after a football game or some protests because of high unemployment or similar, and you hear gunshots and screams, and words about people being killed on the streets, stores being looted, you need to hope that it is a temporary disturbance.
But you cannot trust in that.
Be suspicious, trust in your bug out bag, trust in your storage, trust in your weapon. Do not go out just “because everyone else goes out”. Avoid being greedy and going looking to have a bit more, even if it sounds easy.
You prepare so you do not have to go out.
When you realize the random and brutal nature of violence, then you realize you do not prepare to be a hero. You prepare to survive. That ambulance guy could have helped many more people in later months when we were fighting for survival if he would not have died. But back then, we did not understand the situation.
If you enjoyed this article, please check out my book SHTF Survival Stories.
Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution.
In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today. He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless of what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.
- Read more of Selco’s articles here.
- Buy his PDF books here.
- Buy his best-selling paperbacks, SHTF Survival Stories and The Dark Secrets of Survival here.
- Take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge by signing up for his online courses SHTF Survival Boot Camp and learn the inside story of what it was really like when the SHTF with his online course One Year in Hell.
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Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world.