Selco: What an “Average Day” Is REALLY Like When the SHTF

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Did you ever think about how different your day to day life would be after an SHTF event? The little things we take for granted now, like making a meal, staying warm, or having water to drink and bathe in would suddenly become a whole lot more complicated.

Who better to tell us what that is like than Selco? For those who don’t know, Selco spent a year in a city in Bosnia that was blockaded. During that year, he and the other residents lived without our normal amenities like heat, running water, electricity, and supplies that could be purchased at the stores.

I asked him some questions about daily life after the SHTF. I think you’ll agree that his answers are eye-opening.

(Note: Selco’s interviews are lightly edited for clarity, but I want to use his own words. The authenticity of his stories remains intact. For those of you who don’t know of Selco, please note that English is his 4th language. Whiny grammar Nazi comments will be deleted. Comments complaining about my use of the word “Nazi” will be posted, however, so we can publicly mock them, and then the commenter will be banned forever for being a whiner.)

What time did you usually get up? What woke you?

A few weeks after the collapse came, all aspects of our normal life changed based on the new reality around us.

One aspect was “sleep cycle“- the time when we sleep and when we were awake and active.

One of the most basic rules that jumped in was that most of the activities got done during the night.

Some reasons for that were obvious, like danger from snipers. But also the other reason (maybe even more important) was that over time it becomes very important to hide your activities connected to gathering resources.

To explain it more, when you have a lot of people in a small area (city) and you have less resources that are needed for that number of people, the fact that you HAVE something (food, water medicines…) needs to be hidden from people who do not have that.

The system (law, police, etc.) was out, and it was important not to give reasons for people to attack you because you have something interesting.

So, anything connected with gathering resources (wood, food, trade…) was finished mostly during the night.

Of course, violence mostly happened during the night too (violence that included “close fighting.“)

Activities in your home and yard were possible to be done in the daytime. For example, we would spend the day fixing our water gutter that goes from the roof so it can go in a big barrel, but if we needed to climb on the roof and fix holes with tarps or to “funnel“ it to the gutter, that needed to be done in the night time.

There was no “usual“ time to get up, at least not in hardest period. Even if we did not have anything particular to do we would be alert during the night time, simply because night time was full of different activities in the city, and you needed to be ready.

In our case (because we had more than 10 people most of the time in the house) we could do a schedule that meant not all of us needed to be alert all the night.

During 24 hour periods of time, someone was always sleeping, others were doing some job, but as a general rule nights were much more active then days.

Messing up with normal sleep cycle was a problem alone, and it contributed to the stress, feeling tired and stressed because you did not have enough sleep or enough quality sleep was a normal thing.

Sometimes close detonation of shells would wake me up, sometimes my relatives woke me up because it was my guard shift, sometimes we would all be awake the whole night because of close shootings, and possible danger.

Sometimes I would wake up by myself because that day I did not have any particular duty to do, so I would stay home, checking things in the house, maybe trying to fix some things.

What did you eat for breakfast, if you had breakfast?

Traditionally here (in Balkan region) we ate a lot of bread, and we eat it with almost all food.

It is actually strange not to have bread on the table, no matter what kind of food you eat, or what time of day it is (breakfast, dinner…)

It is a Slavic tradition from ancient times to greet dear guests with bread and salt (and right after that comes alcohol).

I am trying to portray the importance of bread here, and then when the collapse came, suddenly it became scarce (just like everything else).

I believe it was the biggest problem when it came to meals, the lack of bread, simply because we used to eat it a lot.

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