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SHTF and You’re in Another Country: What Do You Do?

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shtf, international travel, disaster preparedness, traveling abroad, emergency preparedness

Most preppers have a SHTF plan for just about any disaster situation. Bugging out, bugging in, surviving in the city, the wilderness, drought, floods, hot or cold…we can adapt the situation because we’ve collected the right combination of knowledge, equipment, and skills.

SHTF and You’re in Another Country: What Do You Do?

We think we’ve imagined every possible scenario and know exactly how to survive. But what happens if you’re in another country for work, vacation, or some other reason, and SHTF while you’re abroad?

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, you’re not going to feel as secure as you would feel at home. For a SHTF situation to happen when you’re so vulnerable would be unthinkable.

Just when you thought your trip would be fun, what looks like a beautiful tropical island or bustling city suddenly becomes hell on earth.

So what do you do now?

Basic Survival in Another Country: Prepping For an Emergency

Basic survival in another country means being prepared for an emergency long before you board an airplane for your travel destination.

As an outdoor guide, I’ve been asked to go to many different parts of the world, and I lived in Japan for 3 years.

Before boarding the airplane, heading up the gangway to a ship, or getting in my car to go visit, work, or live in a foreign land, there are a few preps I’ve learned to undertake.


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What do I mean by survival preps?

After all, don’t I just buy the latest travel guide like Fodor’s, Frommer’s, DK Eyewitness Travel or Rick Steves‘; make sure my passport is current, get vaccinations needed for the region, obtain an entry visa, and book my trip? Well, actually, yes that is where you start, but there is more. Do you want to be prepared if an emergency arises while enjoying your trip abroad? Take a little extra time to prepare before heading out. Here is what I do.

The Basics

I start by covering the basics most international travelers do when preparing to venture to a foreign country:

Make sure my passport is current, renew if need be or apply for one.

Check for visa requirements and obtain them.

Look for travel alerts and warnings.

Get any recommended vaccinations or boosters for the region.

Purchase a travel guide or two (see the links above) and maps to learn about the lay of the land, people, culture, customs, language and currency.

But that is just the start to my travel preps. Please read on….

Dig a Little Deeper

Along with the basics, my travel prepping involves a little intelligence gathering. It’s great to know some key basic information about the country and not just from the latest travel guides or internet sites.

via Basic Survival in Another Country: Prepping For an Emergency – Survival Mom.

If you are a survivalist you know that the smartest thing to do is to be prepared, always.

Before you even leave home and head for the airport, you should already have a plan in case SHTF while you are away.

Keep your valuables close to you such as your travel credentials, credit cards, a local map, your smartphone with roaming enabled, and enough cash for a ticket home.

If you can bring your bug out bag and its contents pass security, that would be great — but if you’re not sure if you will be able to take it with you on the plane, it’s best just to leave it at home. You can purchase some essentials when you reach your destination country.

Go shopping for emergency SHTF supplies right after arriving if possible. Mark the location of the US embassy so you can head over as soon as possible if SHTF. Do not head for the mountains or anywhere else.

The preparation can vary for each country and you may have your own ideas. No one really knows what’s going to happen when SHTF, but if you are prepared, you have greater chances of surviving.

Check out related articles from our site:

10 Hotel Habits to Keep You Safe

7 Travel No-No’s to Avoid At All Costs

Safe Travel Kit




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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Pingback: SHTF and You’re in Another Country: What Do You Do? | Survivalist Basics | Be Prepared For Anything!

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  3. Ed Thompson

    December 19, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    How about tips on just being OUT OF STATE when SHTF. Ed

    • obsidian

      December 25, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      Agreed, being in some states is the same as being in a foreign country.

  4. Julius evans

    December 19, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Real Survivalist Guide Book

    A true survivalist is some one who moves
    undetected. They don’t buy food items from
    the supermarket. They preceded with caution
    in their everyday affairs. One of the skill
    used are foraging for any sources of
    valuable nutritious foods. Acorns, wild
    berries, dead animals, if the eyes on the
    animal aren’t cloudy. That’s means you scoop
    them up, rinse and wash them thoroughly
    in cider vinegar. Then prepare to cook them.
    Viola, no contaminants or GMO. If done the
    right way.

    Diy plane kit would be a way to go. Become
    your own pilot. Best way to do that is
    through the internet or various researches.
    If you you’re on a tight budget. You can
    get paragliding lessons by either watching
    YouTube tutorial videos. Some youtube videos
    aren’t trustworthy. You’re best bet will be
    to find a instructor online. Make a lists of
    them and give them a call like I did.

    If you want to elude the law or disappear
    completely or temporarily. I’d suggest
    checking out a few militia sites. One good
    website is the militia supplies store in
    Montana. Paladin press is also a good source
    of material.Being a researcher on
    survivalist skills. I guarantee these skills
    will get you ahead of the “herd”. You’ll be
    able to to outsmart law enforcement,
    politicians, judges, nosy neighbors, even
    the government buracracy. Its better to be
    safe than sorry!

  5. Suzanne

    December 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    If I’m in a foreign country when an EMP knocks out any means of getting home I’m never going to see my family again. Even if I can survive there it would be pointless and my family might not make it without me. So my strategy is to stay in my own country, or at least go no place from which I can’t eventually walk home. No vacation, no job is worth taking the chance that I’ll never see my family again.

  6. glug

    December 21, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    You have mentioned chalk several times, will it work to remove moisture from a sealed container with metal parts so they wont rust?

  7. Prepbkk

    December 24, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    I live in a foreign land and have prepped the same way I have back home minus firearms as I am not allowed to own or possess. I keep 3 months of food on hand and have a good water supply. I am in an urban area.

    Know your area and laws. Know the most probable types of emergencies you would experience in that area. Alterntive routes in and out of where you need to be. Know the behaviour of the locals and their general attitudes towards foreigners. Try to learn where you will look out of place (including manner of dress). Always keep ID, passport and permits on you. Create a colour copy set to keep in a safe place along with a photo of yourself with original and copies. Smartphones are great but keep a written copy of contacts. Keep a charged power pack with you (5200 mah or higher) as well as a recharge card for credit on your phone.

  8. obsidian

    December 25, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    The first thing any and all nations do when SHTF is round up all foreigners, and dissidents as well as those considered a danger to their government.
    If you are caught in another country you will be rounded up and at that point your survival situation depends on which nation you are in.
    Some nations will behead you, some will lock you up till the duration.
    Some will let you roam and watch you.
    The worst is if the nation simply ignores you, your fate then is in your hands.
    learn a trade that can be useful in any nation good times or bad.
    It may save your life and it may let you become a citizen there.
    Across any ocean from home means you may never see it again.
    Unless you happen to know how to sail and navigate at sea.

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