Bugging out to Other Countries

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The time has come for me to bring up this subject that I often comment on with some of my "virtual (email) friends" and even real friends in a case or two.

I would be interested to hear from our community here their thoughts about which country or countries would be good candidates to go to before TSHTF. Obviously, timing would be tricky, of course it would, I'll stipulate that! I also realize that this would unrealistic for many, including for financial reasons.

Since I am laying down the marker, I'll go first. I would NOT leave the USA unless it looked like things were about to get VERY BAD (timing again). There are LOTS of things about the USA I really like. The two scenarios (that would make me bail) that I have thought about the most are:

1) a disaster say three times the scale of a Fukushima that would put the USA in actual peril. Or a really scary war that might develop, say after Israel were to attack Iran and China & Russia step in. So, this type of scenario would be one that perhaps could be "timed" so as not to leave permanently too soon...

2) a looming massive tax hike that would affect me very badly. Or looming capital controls. Organized class warfare (yeah, buddy Owebama, I'm thinking of you). This type of scenario would push me out if it looked like there was a high probability that our family's wealth and liberty would be in peril. This might include hyperinflation.

OK, so let's say the time has come to act. Where would WE (my wife and I, perhaps our young adult kid) go? In my case there is one obvious candidate, even with the political risks (very real, keep reading). And that would be PERU.

My case is different than almost all of yours. We have an "infrastructure" already there (a bearing import company that we own, friendly in-laws, I speak Spanish, we have been there many times, assets already there (all legal, hey, any .gov spies want to come by and chat about it, that's OK with me, our friendly IRS knows it all) and so on). I do recognize Peru does have its BIG RISKS, including a brand new Lefty President who looks to be a Chavez clone.

Were it not for our Peruvian connections, I would be looking at (and might anyway):

-- Costa Rica
-- Panama
-- Uruguay
-- Chile
-- Singapore

I now list some countries NOT on my list:

-- European countries (I'll discuss why in a moment)
-- East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, etc.
-- Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, etc. (dangerous or irresponsible LatAm countries)

I would not choose Europe as it is likely to be in even worse shape than the USA when things get bad. I don't like the weather there. We have Mexican immigrants here, Europe has MUSLIM immigrants. Europe also seems to have a higher risk of dictatorial governments. And higher taxes (deal breaker, sorry Europe).

The rest of the world (ex. Singapore) is out because of ethnic considerations, I do not speak the language, too poor and alien, etc.

I hope that I have stirred something up here! I am interested in your views on this topic!
I've thought about this, though where I am is almost bugged out already - this is just too wild a place for government to cost-effectively reach into and meddle much. (one of the big reasons I bugged out from DC to here)

I came up with a different list myself - I don't speak any foreign languages well, and I looked for places where my technical skills would be in demand immediately.

Canada - hate the weather, like the people. Might go down with us, though.
Australia - nice weather too, but maybe a little too like us. Don't know if I could score a spread out back like I have here, and very dependent on China.
New Zealand - friends there, and it's more like Floyd than most would think. They seem second only to my locale in tolerating the fun sort of being crazy. You can have guns there. They are mostly ignored by the rest of the world - bonus!

I could go most places and be in some demand, as my skills are suited to taking a village and making it into a more civilized town, but it's a lotta work, and there's that language barrier, though there's a lot of English spoken around the world these days.

My fear is that by the time most sorts of disasters made it worth bugging out of here (this place being pretty isolated), it's not going to be that great anywhere else either - and the "new kid" isn't going to get much priority if things get close to bare survival level. Wheras here, I have all these like minded and pretty ready for anything sorts of neighbors and friends - I think that counts for quite a lot in tough times. The group skill set is flat astonishing around here, far better than mine alone, and all of them are tooled up for doing their skill - we have experts at all the important stuff from farming to medical to tech to fabrication in almost any medium. The rest of the world going poof would inconvenience us to be sure, but compared to most places, we'd do pretty darn well I think. We pretty much all have taken a plot of bare land, and built up whatever on it, ourselves (didn't call a contractor in general) - and all are productive, no welfare queens, real doers. Since this is the only place I've ever seen that in my travels, I have my doubts about bugging out hoping for better, though I realize that's a special case I've got here.

I think most people are psychologically incapable of doing more than dreaming about that anyway. On other boards where this gets mentioned, and along with that a bunch of whining about how it's bad already in places from Detroit to NYC I ask - why not now? I get all sorts of rationalized answers to that, but never yeah, why not? Fear of change seems all too universal.

"In a long journey, a wise traveler should be prepared to ditch his baggage now and then". But so few have that wisdom.

We're so dinky and so isolated, it's real unlikely anyone's going to toss a bomb our way, they'd think of it as a waste of a bomb. Just the way we like it.
This is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while, as sad as the thought is. I'm sure my great grand parents, who came here with what little they could carry and not speaking the language, would be heartbroken.

DoChen, you're in a pretty good position from my perspective since you already have work, relations, and assets in another country where you already speak the language. You have me beat on all accounts.

There is one country that I could go to and know that I will get in (legally), but I don't speak the language, don't want to live there, and if things are bad here it will be worse there. My profession is already well represented there, too.

The English speaking world would be the easiest for language, cultural, and work reasons (obviously). NZ would probably be the safest if you can get there and get established since it is out of the way, has a small population, excellent geothermal energy sources, and lower national debt than most (I'm not familiar with the immigration requirements there).

Probably a toss up between Canada and Australia. Canada is convenient and mostly empty - good for getting there; Australia is inconvenient and mostly empty - good if you are already there; I've heard it is not the easiest to get into. Britain will have it as bad as or worse than us, so no point going there. South Africa is already a very rough neighborhood.

I agree in staying away from Europe. There are many who think Switzerland would be a good spot, but there are some 500 million other Europeans who likely agree. To be on the continent safely would probably require going to the far northern parts of the Scandinavian countries where the cold keeps everyone else out; that's pretty tough.

With such highly concentrated populations I wouldn't really consider Asia (not to mention significant language barriers), and most of Africa is already a mess.

That leaves me to believe that the best place to disappear and start anew, quietly, humbly, and peacefully, would be somewhere in South America. I've heard good things about Uruguay. Maybe Chile, but I'm not that familiar with South America. Brazil has the strongest economy, but I'd worry about powerful government ruining things (similar for Argentina). I do have distant relatives in both Brazil and Argentina, but our families lost contact several generations ago. It is really that when my family passed through South America ~100 years ago on their way to the US, some of them stayed and that was the end of it.

I really hope that it never comes to that though, as I think it would be miserable no matter how it plays out. There is no better place than what the US is supposed to be, in my opinion.
I have done a fair bit of traveling working as a consultant. I've been to many countries and been exposed to numerous expat communities in foreign countries. Moving to such an environment would not bother me at all.

Just about every generation of my family has emigrated from where they were born to some other shore to live. I'm first generation American and still living here so I'm breaking the pattern so far.

However, with extended family in numerous "corners" of the globe, I have a lot of options should I ever perceive the need to leave. Almost everyone in my family already has dual citizenship with another country.

That said, I have a hard time imagining that life would be substancially better anywhere else though in the case of a purely economic collapse (no war). If world war breaks out, however, I will have to consider the future for my children - most likely with an eye to southern or central America.
NZ had fairly tough immigration requirements last I checked. A job already lined up, or tons of money to bring. High preference to technical skills.

I wonder about South America. If it's good, why do we have such a problem with people from there coming here illegally? They're not all Mexican, you know.

I think most people wouldn't bug out. This whole country is more or less populated by those who did from somewhere else, and their ancestors (edit, oops, I meant descendents) of course, but look at what a tiny fraction it represents in terms of emigration from those places. It didn't cut the populations of the mother countries so as you'd notice. Few of us have DoChen's or PMBug's connections that would make it a reasonable thing to consider in less than "run for your life" situations. Which of course begs the question of whether bugging out is wise - just whether people would.

Historically, they don't.
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Stickly for business...

Hong Kong... Mauritius.. Indonesia..

To live... I'm still working on that.
YES, to DCFusor's comments! You have already "Bugged In"! A hands-on guy living in the countryside surrounded by like-minded people (not to mention more-or-less off the grid) means that you are all set re the relatively mild TEOTWAWKIs. It would take a REALLY BAD one to knock you off your game!

I forgot to comment on Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They would be viable candidate countries as well. Canada is COLD and, as DCFusor mentions, could follow the USA down if it comes to that. One of my "virtual friends" is looking at NZ, but she has found the immigration barriers to be high. Australia appears to offer a way of life kind of like ours, but with far fewer people. They DO have Indonesia right next door though, that SEEMS like it would be a worry.

Re comments about being the "new kid", I think the way to avoid that problem would be to have enough wealth so that would not matter (much). In a real-live survival scenario, the "new kid" would not be treated well, but if it comes down that far, my goose is cooked anyway...

Yes, re comments on South Americans coming here. But, many of them are desperate or are political enemies (latter esp. where I live). If you go somewhere else, it looks like you should KEEP QUIET and not bother TPTB in that country. I am prepared to not be a pain in the butt in Peru for example. But, we have the means to live well and not compete for jobs there. Peru would be getting a good deal with me. We would pay taxes there and yet not take anything.

I liked your comment, DCF, about being prepared to lose your baggage on occasion. I am trying to "pre-move" some "baggage" to Peru, but available for a move back here if we want.

Still, to have to move from the USA would be traumatic (there are no Barnes & Noble bookstores in Peru, PLENTY of Starbuck's though, all with WiFi!). We will not do it unless things look like they are getting really bad. And the timing...

And everyone has their own situation. Their own pluses and minuses. Their own preferences and what they can do.
This topic is certainly a worthy one - there's lots to think about and work out whether one winds up doing a bug out or not, I think. It's part of my tree of plans philosophy.
Which made it interesting to see this, *after* this thread started:


I've already bugged out once myself, in a sense, moving from a high class yuppie lifestyle (VP of engineering) in DC, to down here in Appalacia - you know, the place the charities used to show on TV with all the half naked kids running around who needed help (it was a sham, and that's an interesting story, but).

I was wealthy, relatively speaking, and yes, I was well accepted at least in part due to that - many people who wanted to help me spend it at a good bit higher rate than was really required to get set up here - good times for all. I made some lasting friends indeed, but it was kinda hard on the wealth along the way - I wound up having to regenerate it once I got setup and going again in the new place.

That's all over - my dues are paid now, and maybe that was worth it. No, strike that - it was surely worth it. However, these guys, while not well off, were at "normal" for their lives, not what things would have been in a general collapse. They might have been predatory had things been different, and as a complete newb to the redneck business - they'd have taken me out easy had they been inclined to do more than just join the party on DC's money. Just something to think about...

I guess all's well that ends well - and I'm a happy camper, so no complaints. But that bugging out, in my 30's was a heck of a lot of work, too (there was sort of a language barrier from DC to mountain, BTW - kin U spk healbeelly?) - I probably would have a lot more difficulty pulling it off again.

Sometimes I think that's why people tend to get a little too worshipy about certain assets, thinking that since they can't pull it off as a human animal/machine anymore,
(no fault of their own, getting old is a bitch)
these might be a good substitute - essentially a store of the effort they used to put out easily. I won't pass judgment on that - because as I get old, I pine for a substitute myself. Hopefully, what I've more or less stealthily built up here will do it - some PMs, sure, but a lot of other stuff besides, that has value in most eyes.

I didn't come up with the baggage comment - it's an old Chinese proverb, BTW.

Here's the guy's direct research results:
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Well, I suppose there's really no better spot to chime in for the first time than here. This conversation may need some dusting off for the original participants, hopefully a decent enough icebreaker.

I have connections in Australia, due to marrying one. I've never spent more than 2 months there, nor have I traveled much within it beyond about 4 hours north of Brisbane, and a few hours south of Sydney (which includes going into the interior, but not to the deserts.

Australia is a land of water restrictions in some localities, this really struck me as a 'part of their culture'. I guess I zone in on that habit/expectation as something I wish would be a part of the dry climate I live in, and grew up in.

I'm a bit apprehensive about the hypothetical scenario of going there to set up a small property to live off of/manage with my family in the region within 100 miles of the coast near my wife's hometown, mostly due to how inconsistent freshwater supply is, even with rain tanks being common if not REQUIRED as part of any home construction in some parts of the country. Read up on the Murray-Darling River Basin water resource struggles that are ongoing in the southeastern part of the country, and you'll see what I mean. I've corrected quite a few people in the last few years (coworkers too, recently) about Australia's population too, they seem to think it's this "thriving paradise" of 100M+ people. Wrong, try 22M! Yikes... :flail:

@ DCRB - I think my Australian family would even give New Zealand a nod, even though it's a friendly competition in just about everything between Aus and NZ, right down to beer preferences (ha!)...

I like this forum, great thinkers here. I have a lot to learn on the PM front still, unfortunately.
Welcome. There is an introduce yourself thread, but no one seems to use it (I didn't know any better).

Water's a big one - you need that a lot more than food on a daily basis, though most think you need a heck of a lot more than you really do.

I think (if that's what you call it after half a bottle of wine) that perhaps there are stages of preparedness. Not many, including me, could withstand being the last one standing on earth - there's just too much to do, and even the infamous "mountain men" who rarely interacted, went into the woods in the first place without quite a bit of toolage from the existing society, and even then - came back as often as they had something to trade, for more of that kind of stuff.

Presently, I have more pals in NZ than OZ, so that's where I'd land if I left here, but I can't see why I would - the disease seems to be everywhere.

I hear you can still defend yourself in NZ at some level, rather than have to cower to the baseball bat wielding home invaders (since no one there can have a gun). But that could all be propaganda from the NRA, I have no way of verifying it all.

My personal take is that it's not so much the country, but the place or type of place within (most of them). Density seems like the problem more than the government... they all seem to work about the same, money buys laws. But they are a lot easier to shove down your throat if you're dumb enough to live where they can cheaply enforce them on you, where you don't have space for a solar system or garden, where if you miss rent for a little while you're homeless.

Where I live, it's hard for them to even find me....I see that as advantage. 6-7 people in the entire local government vs about 20k of us. Nicer ratio.
K7YEE and DCFusor,

Welcome from me as well K7. Yes, lots of dubious thinking going on here!!! Depending on how much you have read of DCFusor's posts, I can barely see any reason for him to go anywhere, only 7 or so local .gov employees is something of a utopia!

K7, you picked a great place to start learning about PMs, no doubt about it. Also check out gold related websites like 24hgold.com and kitco.com, as well as bring your $1700 to the coin shop and buy an oz of the shiny yellow stuff. Once you OWN it, you will take up a proprietary interest in it REAL FAST! And when the time comes for you re gold, go visit the master of them all:


(FOFOA is my "Trail Guide" re gold)


DCF: you made a great remark about "the disease being everywhere." Nailed it. I'll try to remember to send you that new Nail Gun joke I just got from a friend of mine.
Hi K7, welcome to the forum. :wave:

... Australia is a land of water restrictions in some localities, this really struck me as a 'part of their culture'.

Their water sensitivities and year 'round temperate climate are primary reasons why they are such pioneers in the field of aquaponics.
Thankfully, we get between 4 and five feet of rain in Florida, however we have periods of up to several months with minimal or no rain at all. This will force me to set up a more extensive cistern system. I salvaged a perfectly good closed top 1k gallon tank from JSC out in Houston, and an open top 1.25 gallon tank that was serving as a sump for the first. I could use them both if needed, but would have to radically change my water usage pattern. We're looking at a shallow well in the front yard, and since most wells here are artesian all year, we could have all the H2O wee need. My problem will be the sulfur and iron content. We could use the open top to aerate the water, adding a bubbler to speed the process up, and probably even be able to drink it without filtration.

I hesitate to set up such a visible system, because I do not want to draw attention from my neighbors. We'll have to see what the immediate future brings, because if it starts going more rapidly downhill, I will do whatever I see fit, and the county can stick their "rules" up their collective asses.
While I speak fluent Spanish, passable French and can communicate to some degree in Portuguese and Italian, I have traveled to a huge number of foreign nations, yet never to one where I would feel completely able to survive SHTF. Costa Rica and Honduras were as close to that as I could find, but even then, i would be a white guy surrounded by a lot of folks who would have little or nothing in the face of collapse. At least here, i can freely own weapons, and I fit right in. I think my skills are best kept here, because after all, in the face of collapse, will it really be better "somewhere else"? I have spent the last ten years preparing myself and family to be able to survive a loss of continuity in government, insurrection, financial collapse, etc., and think I would do far better here in my own back yard than i would in a foreign land, where the political wind could change and make me an instant pariah, by reserving everything for citizens first, and "visitors" last. This could mean no water or electricity if citizens needed whatever limited production there was, effectively deporting me through misery instead of declaring outright deportation. Look at how many Mexicans have self-deported since the housing collapse, and how many new laws have been created to dissuade immigrants from soaking up low wage jobs in a number of states. If the same were to occur in another country, especially if it was a second or third world nation, you could become persona non grata pretty quickly. What then? What happens if all your money and possessions are confiscated when a socialist, xenophobic government get elected on the promise of getting rid of capitalist parasites, as happened in Venezuela? At that point, you are cooked my friend.

No, I rather think I will tough it out here, where I at least know the rules and how to get from A to B on my own.
I appreciate the thoughts, all. Work trip this week had me out of the loop, and working silly hours while outside of the protection of the Cubicle Den.

Back to PM reading/learning/plotting~ !

My experience in Australia has been interesting. I am of mixed European and Mexican heritage, so I quite obviously am some sort of 'olive/southern Mediterranean' sort of complexion and skin tone. My last name is of hispanic origin, and I've noticed even in Australia, as an out-and-out American, they ask me if I 'identify' with any race more than the other.

My opinion of my in-laws and their immediate social circle over the last 10 years is they (being white) are much more overtly questioning of my heritage (I claim none to any community or background, I am an American, period) than any group of people from the same country I've ever gotten to spend more than a few holidays with.

There is also clear divides and opinions about 'What to Do' with the Aboriginal population. I've yet to find an Australian that doesn't have venom about how the Aborigines get 'everything they want handed to them' and they 'waste every opportunity given to them'. I was just a listener in that exercise, I didn't really have anything to add, even growing up around a massive population of American Indians...

New Zealanders from what I've been told by several are encouraged to participate in local culture and customs whenever they can, it's a national pride sort of thing. I'm not sure how 'real' that is in every community, but that could make for some tight-knit communities in times of crisis rather than the neighborhood-by-neighborhood alliances I foresee in a lot of areas of suburbanized America...Who knows, I didn't live or spend any time there. My in-laws in Australia know quite a few from NZ, mostly all well-educated former engineer or mechanic types. Great folks, not the types after a few cups of coffee to ask me about my last name and if I like Mexicans or not. (Awkward much?)

I think a few too many of the things I've observed have to do with some ingrained racism in Australia that I don't really understand too well.

I haven't really had the opportunity to visit since late '09, and the topic of money, wealth, taxes, and their opinions of the bigger picture of their society aren't easy conversations to get into with them. I've tried once or twice, and I got labeled as 'wacky American' for the remainder of the trip...

I enjoy my family out there tremendously. They think I'm a little too intense on the SHTF/Big Brother Gov't. stuff though.

I'll have to tell you in PM's about the Rhodesian man I met out there.
Hi all. Here's a topic near and dear to my heart as I've already "bugged out" and now reside in NZ (which by the way is due to my being married to an Aussie as they can live in each other's countries). Anyway, life here has been good but I have to admit that I miss my previous home of 12 years in Alaska. We've had one child here and are expecting a second and I don't regret moving here for a second as I've: 1). Gotten my assets out of the US and the US dollar and 2). ensured my children were safe from the IRS by making them Kiwis (America is the only country that requires citizens to file a return no matter where the reside in the world).

I'm not sure if we'll ever head back, but if we do it will definitely be to our old hometown in Alaska where we have lots of connections. I want to see what the next few years bring before I make any decisions.

If we go back, we'll most likely rent out our home here and rent in Alaska so that we can keep our assets here.

My wife, child, and I just got back from a couple of week trip in the Fiordlands and are thinking of moving down there as it is more like our Alaska life.

I've also lived in Australia for about a year and a half and would definitely not be inclined to live there for the following reasons: 1). They are close followers of the US and heading down the same track 2) I hate the heat, snakes and spiders 3) Lack of water 4) Real Estate Boom about to bust. They are a bit racist, but there are areas where you can find like minded people.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the subject.

Good luck whatever you all decide!
If I was going to abandon my already established UK bug out territories, I would head for NZ -

Awesome set of mountains and general scenery
Acceptable climate
Plenty of water
English speaking
Drive on left
Plenty of dirt roads
No restriction on development in the 'boonies'
and the most impressive statistic -
I've already "bugged out" and now reside in NZ ..... just got back from a couple of week trip in the Fiordlands and are thinking of moving down there as it is more like our Alaska life.

now im confused ID,

us tophalf dwellers tend to think of down, as being southwards.
You got some fiords down your way, leftovers from Slartibartfasts efforts oop north ?
NZ would be the place for me were I to leave here - one of the smartest nice guys on my own forums is from there so I'd have a start, maybe even a job - he runs "the" physics lab there. Pix of his place (which is huge) remind me of home a lot, only bigger and with yes, one of them fee-ordy things and boats, which I miss here in the mountains. Drive on left would mess me up awhile though.

But I think that unless this boiling frog starts feeling a lot more heat, I'll stay in this pot. The devil you know, and all that. Though I do hope to visit NZ someday and drink a few beers there with friends.
Well, Peru is now OUT as a bail out place!

My wife got snagged in ¨una cochinada peruana¨ here, and it pissed her off enough so we won´t move here...

So back to the condo in a few days...
And here my "plan b" was to move to Peru and working in a factory making bearings.

The little voice in my head is shouting "get out!", but I have no where to go and have never left. Where can you go anyways? The Brotherhood of Darkness spans the globe, so it would really just be running to a slightly better situation, and probably having to run again and again.
Despite the shitty weather and volcanoes.
Real Estate is still pretty cheap. Everyone speaks English and they already had tshtf.
It is critical to plan for collapse with a macro perspective, or you may end up in a position of being in a much, much worse position than you planned for.

When [not if] the US financial system collapses, it will take the entire planet along for the ride. Anyone who believes places like Costa Rica, Belize or Panama will be a better place to be is clearly not informed and has not done the research that one must surely do prior to making the decision to expatriate.

Think about the following:

1. When dollar hegemony collapses, the artificial construct of "the peg" goes away, and the local wampum finds it's true value, which like the dollar, is likely zero. Chaos ensues, and all Americans become targets. Period.

2. When the dollar collapses and all world-wide banks lock up tighter than a frogs ass, money is available to no one, meaning all classes are now, for the first time, equal. Chaos ensues. Period.

3. When the dollar collapses, trade becomes strictly barter. No other system will work in the very near term, because no one wants to accept any kind of fiat for any transaction, meaning those with gold and silver can buy goods, and those with food reserves and fuel reserves can trade for goods and services, yet at the same time, they become targets. [reference: Ferfal] Chaos ensues. Period.

4. When the dollar collapses, the US military clamps down like Stalin, along with any government with a standing army or a national security or police force. Chaos ensues. Period.

5. When the dollar collapses, many countries in the world will proceed to blame the US for their lot in life, and nationalism will be the order of the day. In Central and South America, especially South America, those who "have" will become targets of the socialists who have gained a firm foot-hold in many countries, meaning that the US becomes public enemy #1. If you have a passport from some Caribbean nation, you may be OK, but if you are still a US citizen, or if it is known that you used to be American, you are fucked. Period.

As hard as it is to believe, I think the US is the best place to be post SHTF, even in a locked down state.
I have traveled quite a bit through Central America and I can tell you that Costa Rica, Panama, etc. are every bit the captured, corrupt political machines that you fret about America being/becoming.

That said, they are also fairly self sufficient agriculturally without the heavy specialization (ie. big ag) that we have here and will likely fare much better should economies devolve to the worst case scenario. The people (not political structures) are generally nice and reasonable IMO.

I'm still mulling over the possibilities of buying some property in South or Central America for "just in case" versus somewhere in Texas. I'd likely already be one foot out the door if it weren't for my kids.
Fukushima is putting the US in peril. Why do you think they quit monitoring radiation and raised radiation safety levels in the US? The levels of some isotopes have been raised over 100,000 times the original limit.
Well...Fukishima was interesting enough for this nuclear scientist to do his own measurements, and get his network of friends to replicate them, and it's just not that bad here.

Using nearly the best gear money can buy (it was the best not many years back), I was able to barely detect Cs-137 in rainwater from a storm that formed over Fukishima and dumped its contents on me (4 days after the event), after concentrating the water/fallout 1000::1, I saw levels of radiation from this Cs-137 - the worst one and the easiest to get out - about 1/10,000th of the normal background radiation. The only way I could see it at all was with a gamma spectrometer that can separate its spectral line from the cosmic rays and the junk in the local environment that was already here. It amounted to less than a count a minute, where you get several very high energy hits from cosmic rays a second - so, measurable, but no threat.

My friend on the west coast with even better gear (HPGE/Cryo), but not the sophisticated collection and concentration, (which I got from the NRL papers on their nuke detection program) couldn't see anything at all.

Tokyo ditch dirt, sent to a member of my network in Germany for testing, was pretty nasty by comparison. Almost ten times hotter than my yard dirt is, and mine is a bit warmer than most - granite is a little radioactive. But very far from "glow in the dark" levels even then - maybe another cancer per 100k people over a lifetime kind of level, if you ate the dirt every day.

They didn't quit monitoring, they never quit, ever. It's part of the nuclear test monitoring system, and there are serious known issues with the nuclear submarine reactors that have been dumped - still going full blast in some cases - in sub accidents, to track - which make Fukishima, which only leaked "a little" - tiny by comparison - we're talking half a dozen Russian and US *entire* reactors boiling away on the ocean floor.

The word is, don't eat Japanese ditch dirt - and watch your seafood since some of this concentrates up the bio chain, just like other heavy metals (mercury). But the ocean's a really huge place, and most of this stuff is either very short lived, or doesn't leak very well, being a solid metal or oxide and not something taken up well by biological organisms, it winds up as silt on the ocean floor if it gets that far.

At no time did their leak produce levels anywhere in the US anywhere near what the radon coming into your basement does every day. Or the cosmic rays from space which are much higher energy and more damaging per hit.

And no, I didn't believe the MSM - I checked myself.
Here is some of the gear I used:
Note the Cs-137 sample I used to calibrate with is considered "safe" and legally available to anyone, no restrictions. But it's literally many millions of times hotter than any sample I got from nature.
I agree on Europe. While it might/might not be in a worse condition financially than US is, but here's one keyword - population density. And another - history of nationalism, and wars between nations, whenever times were tight. Same old, same old. Believe it or not, in Poland, country who have suffered so much from the hands of Nazis, neo-Nazi movements are doing quite well, and yes, are mostly kept on the radar by the local forces, but not necessarily pursued meticulously and erradicated.

We are considering Canada ourselves (having emigrated once from Poland, while not having children back then, makes us one of these rarer kind, who CAN part with their luggage in the journey ;), when it seems like a right thing to do), but one problem - with what I currently have saved, I could perhaps afford some decent amount of land, somewhere in the wild. But nowhere near the productive areas/high tech centres, that I could work in (software engineer, enterprise). And I do not fancy the prospect of approaching the financial meltdown, with a mountain of mortgage on my land. Another thing, Canada seems to be facing their very own housing bubble right now (as well as Australia), from what I've heard (housing prices in CA seem to confirm that, they are just ridiculously high, from what I've checked).

I could probably move to US relatively easy, if I asked in my current company (got this impression on my visits in our US HQ, that if I ask for that, I'd be welcomed), but I am concerned about what is going on in the USA today, technically it is getting to be a totalitarian country by any measure, and it is freaking scarry (I meant, USSR at least had this counterweight in the form of US, but once two world's biggest superpowers are officially tyrannies, well, who's going to stop them? People? I do not think so, they ones who would, will be in camps, under military supervision, and probably interrogation)

As for other than developed countries, hmmm... There is this saying in my country, "before fat one got skinny, a skinny one got starved" (hope it is not puke-clumsy translation, and if anyone can give me an equivalent English proverb - I'd love to have one, I am kind of proverbs collector - here's another one - "proverbs are the wisdom of the nation" ;) ). So in general, I'd agree that aftershocks of financial collapse would be much worse in other places, than in developed countries - although standards of living will drop drastically in developed nations, there's this difference between living a life worse than my parents/grandparents had, by comparison, and dying from hunger and lack of medical attention, like it might very well be in 80% of developing countries, cut from their money supplies and international help. I mean, the drop in percentage terms will be much higher in developed nations, but on the other hand, developing nations cannot afford even a very slight drop, without entering "starvation" mode for many many citizens - they can barely make the ends met today. And make no mistake, people who are desperate, would hate and kill anyone who is not in exactly as dire circumstances, as they are - if they only can, and even better, if it gives them a hot meal or two. So I'd rather not bet the farm on the fact, if the local sheriffs will or will not look the other way, when some "fecking wealthy foreigner" gets whacked from this side or that.

In general, it is not a pretty picture, and I'd say like others, that IMHO - USA, (if you are already there, and have taken at least some basic steps to prepare - and do not forget that it is much easier and cheaper to get prepared there, than in other countries), Canada, Australia, New Zeland - would be on my list. I haven't done deeper research on Iceland yet, but it also slowly gets into consideration - but his stupid language, and so far north, and such a shithole, in general :(
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Bushi, I honestly would not come to the US if I were you, unless a big war or something start in Poland and you have nowhere else to go. If you want to go the the English-speaking world, and by that I mean where the native language is English (basically former British colonies), I would say NZ is your best bet. It has low population density, geographically isolated from the world, geothermal power resources, excellent farm land, and it is beautiful too.

But, I'd really try to find a place that is as disconnected from the USD as possible. I honestly wouldn't mind the climate in Iceland since I like cold and cloudy, and Iceland isn't as cold as northern inland places like North Dakota. The biggest drawbacks I see on the surface are probably the gun laws (assuming they are not as lax as Texas) and I thought the language would be a problem (but if English is widely spoken enough...).

Now I just need to find a job or a nice girl from Iceland...

Or else I'll just have to move to the Free Republic of Fusoria.
dontdebaseme: I currently live in Ireland for quite a few years, I've said goodbye to Poland in my mind already. Not going back. Sadly, my country is getting wrecked by politicians, and people are getting crazy for the permanent stress, anger, and difficulty of making the ends met - on quite a basic level (groceries, bills - and not even house payments, many could not afford even a flat of their own), and unemployment is very high, since... forever. It seems that we've shaken off the communism, only to be hijacked by multipartisan class of cynical evil-doers; not such a big change after all. Which is not a nice environment to live in, even though I was making a really good money (relatively speaking) there, I just couldn't stand the whole atmosphere, and completely eroded and toxic social relationships, at every level. Reasons are historical, but the outcome is that it is just not a place to live, if you want anything resembling a normality. People are getting more and more mad with every passing decade. I am just sick and tired of that, and it didn't seem to be improving, quite the opposite.

Ireland is fantastic in one regard in particular - people are so friendly here, and so relaxed, they do not care too much about the rat race, really. But of course we know how the economy looks like here today and for two next generations to come, thanks for the bailout of the banks. Also, Ireland might be quite decent place to be during TEOTWAWKI - not as densely populated as other European countries, quite secluded and not es exposed nor worth conquering, like say Poland, located between eastern bully (Russia), and western bully (ze germans) :). It has it's drwawbacks, though - it is still quite expensive to live, land particularly is priced ridiculously high (one might expect, that country which had experienced housing bubble bursting, would have some correction - well it did, prices went down from utterly absurd to astronomically expensive), the food is crap, and generally, it feels a lot like colony - lower quality stuff, for significanntly higher prices than in the "mainland", also there's hardly that spirit of entrepreneuership in the society - well, to be honest it is sort of mutually exclusive with being "relaxed, not caring too much about the rat race", unfortunately :). Also, you are quite often better off importing stuff from the UK, than buying locally. It is a pain, though.

I'd love NZ, if not for couple of things - like immigration, being very far from family (practically, not possible to maintain relations, with the time difference), and my wife's being affraid of all the tropical creepy crawlers (spiders, snakes, and the like). Canada is the same problems, plus like I said, housing prices seem to be insane there, which would be a sign of a housing bubble (?)

I ahve given thought to buying property in places such as Singapore. You can get it for next to nothing and the living expenses are pretty low. Of course I would prefer to live somewhere where English is teh native tongue but I can't seem to find any that would be imune to a western economic crisis.
Hey bushi you wrote:

I'd love NZ, if not for couple of things - like immigration, being very far from family (practically, not possible to maintain relations, with the time difference), and my wife's being affraid of all the tropical creepy crawlers (spiders, snakes, and the like).

Just wanted to let you know that NZ DOES NOT have any snakes and there are only a couple of nasty spiders here. I've never heard of anyone getting bit by one.

NZ is nothing like Australia where everything will kill you. Snakes, spiders, crocodiles, jellyfish, poisonous octopi, and lots more......
bushi, I didn't realize you were in Ireland. Sad what has happened to Poland, between Napoleon, the Nazis, and the Communists it seems like Poland always gets a raw deal. My family said goodby to it 100 years ago.
Island_Dweller: Thanks for the info - actually, you guys have kicked me into start doing some more solid research on NZ, so I've already learned that there are no such things like in nearby OZ :). Only the pesky black flies, no? ;). And the other thing that slightly freaks me out, is that direct sun exposure is so dangerous there, that daily it is not recommended to get more than 20mins of it, is that true? I suppose it is because of the ozone layer depletion in the southern hemisphere is so much bigger than in northern? I am just wondering, does it have any negative effect on the livestock, or perhaps plants, long term? (sigh, what we do to this planet...)

...I know that Europe is not the place to be in, when things start hitting the fans hard, thus I am looking around for options... But the choices are few, right now, also not too much room for errors...

Dontdebaseme: yep, while Poland is definitely not on a level with Argentina/Chile/Brazil/banana republics etc., but unfortunately, the level of corruption is very high, and the ultimate outcome is very toxic social relationships. Sad thing, but what can you do. What you cannot change, you have to walk away from, I guess... Strategically speaking - we have it hard, between ze germans and Russia :). But there were times, when we did our share to Russians/Ukrainians as well - it is just Europe, you know, this century you win, other you loose.. But there's always something going on there...
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