Thursday, February 03, 2011


If the "seatbelt sign" is activated over your geography, what do you do?

I've gotten several questions regarding preparation, communications and otherwise, in the event one get's caught in the middle of a government's fall as we're seeing now in Egypt.  Here's some of my thoughts and recommendations based on my varied experience. 

1. When a government is showing stress and begins to be de-legitimized by it's people, or is of risk of falling and/or victimizing its citizens or neighbors, the most rational thing you can do, if able is LEAVE the country QUICKLY!  In all the historical accounts of governments under stress (Lebanon, Germany, Russia, Chile, Egypt, Argentina, et al), if one would have simply taken their money, toys and ran they would have reduced their risk of death, injury or possible suffering.  Now there are circumstances why leaving may be undesirable, impracticable or impossible for any number of reasons (money or resource constraints, wanting to be part of the cause, etc) though leaving the country is by far the most rational decision for you, your family and your coworkers.  People aren't replaceable.  The rest of this post will assume leaving is not an option.

2. I'll keep this point brief: Make every effort to have basic resources near you at all times (in your car, backpack, flat, office).  The specific inventory of things will and should vary depending of which part of the world you are in, and your lifestyle, and specific threats of the area.  On the lighter end one should try to keep a first aid kit, bottle of water, pocket knife and a flashlight within reach.  For instance, it's a good idea to keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher in your car.  This isn't exactly earth shattering stuff...  If you live in, or are visiting a country with high levels of angst, or anywhere you expect to see rioting near where you are going to be, it's probably not a bad idea to have extra first aid supplies, a gas mask (for CS / Tear gas - comfort item), some level of ballistic protection, and means of self defense (depends what's legal in each jurisdiction).

3. If you decide to remain in-country and become part of an insurgency for freedom, or simply to observe, communications are very important.  This author believes it would be misleading and dishonest to write a highly technical "tactical communications for the resistance" or equivalent manual in which I describe how to build complicated radio equipment that interfaces with your iPad.  If an individual lives in a country where the government is even remotely sophisticated, those tactical innovations are outdated as soon as they are published.  It is important to view the war for communications as a fluid and dynamic cat and mouse game of innovation and counter-innovation.  The most important thing to focus on, in this case, is the strategy: open-source warfare  as conducted by the group Anonymous.  This is the preeminent strategy of the 21st century against dictators and enemies of freedom:

rest at the link:

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