For those who don't know I am in the oil business and have worked and lived most of the last 20 years in the Middle East and North Africa. I have friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in most of the oil producing countries in this region. Needless to say I have been watching the events around here closely. I talked with friends in Egypt during the crises there and kept apprised of what was going on. I know many people in Libya right now and am watching that very closely. That is a much different, and dangerous situation than Egypt, Bahrain, Oman etc. Those areas are relatively safe for expats as long as you stay away from the areas where the demonstrations are happening. I spoke with a couple who live in Bahrain and they said if you avoided the road that led past where the demonstrators were gathered you really didn't know anything was happening. Same thing in Egypt. But all of these areas have had to one degree or another many of the same situations. And they should serve as lessons for any of us who are of the prepper, survivalist mindset. In Egypt the food situation was not severe but there were many days when it was not safe to venture out. Stores were closed and shelves in smaller neighborhood stores were soon empty. There were many instances of the power and of running water being cut off. The situation in Libya is much more severe and I see a lot of lessons to be learned there. Lessons that could apply to anywhere. I have been following the discussion on a oilfield forum that I belong to and thought that it might be of interest to us here. Here are a few snippets from the thread. A lot of good advice being offered there. - Libya =================================================================== I am very worried about the situation. The Libyan people on site are brilliant and could not do more for us, however they may leave to go home and we might be left on our own with no support or food if the situation deteriorates ===================================== I'm stuck in a camp near Gialo, and have been since Monday whilst my company tries to get a flight for us. It's been total cluster, flights cancelled, no permission from the aviation authority, bad weather, pilots unwilling to fly etc. Our base has loads of food and water so we have been lucky, but some armed guys came and took some vehicles on Monday but they have not been back since. I've heard reports some camps have been totally ransacked. If the flight does not happen today we are probably going to drive to Egypt. =========================================== On Wednesday we ventured out for food, by then the shelves were running low, no bread, and meats. Thursday, with Limited Communications I began orchestrating the plan to evacuate all rig hands and had some sucess in the areas South of Benghazi, Gialo, etc, but all westerns rigs are still desperate for evacuation. ================================================== At this junction, my wife and I really do not know exactly what to hope for. I have always been self reliant in my own ability to discern and evade danger. We are holed up in Janzour in our villa. We have no Arabic speaking driver available. While we have ventured out several kilometers, we have been warned by the locals to stay within our area. in Day 6 of the Tripoli standoff, we understand now that we are either pro Qadafi or we are anti-Qadafi, either brings with it a target. We have heard or seen NO Violence. On This past Wednesday nite we were alarmed at the sound of gunfire, only to go onto the roof to find that the majority was fireworks. Our communications are still sporadic, Mobile phones work randomly. We are running out of food. ====================================================== There are still a few Brits, Scots in our area. We have ventured out to share info with them. It is importatnt to note to the American people that the people are not killing the people, it is a war, one faction against the other. If you are still here in Tripoli you would do well to take note of that fact and stay safe. For all of you who live on fantasy and seem to have the simple answers to the plight of us who are "trapped" keep in mind that it is not as simple as simply driving down to Walmart. Depending on were you are located, our means, measures our safety factor. =================================================== Natural tendency is to get the hell of there but never fail to consider if it is safer to stay put. Not many folks under such conditions can think straight. Tightly roll up individually, a few medium and high denomination notes and stash them inside your tooth paste tube, inside belt (use a razor to split the edge), shirt collar lining, pen etc. Be prepared to trade or part with expensive items like lap tops and cameras. Service, fuel up and stash out of sight your best vehicle or two. Form a think tank ( include trusted locals if possible - they need to get home too plus they speak the language ) and work out all your alternatives. Lunar Calendar 2011 Keep your cell phone fully charged andtop up charge when you get the chance. Stock up on dry cell batteries and acquire a short wave radio if possible even if it is not new- trade. Intelligently sift through any media reports - they don't always get it right plus the situation can change rapidly. Luggage- place a few items of underwear previously dampened with water on top of what you have packed...it might get you through customs or check points faster. No matter how stressful the situation, be polite and try your best to say calm and level headed, it will get you past even the most irate of officialdom. If you have problems doing this, hydrate yourself, but finding a toilet might be a problem. This is not the time to project, anger, frustration, power, fear or arrogance but you might be required to hold firm especially when you know you are just a few steps away from exiting this hell hole. Clear your cell phone/lap top/stored email / SMS of any stored messages or comments that could be incriminating. Do not lose your passport and other documents..get scanned copies and store on thumb drive or as attachments on your webmail account. ===================================================== Tip: if you're not using a vehicle, temporarily immobilise it by removing the rotor arm (if gasoline, like most of them are in Libya) and if someone wants to take it, tell them it's broken ======================================= "Any of these individuals who can safely reach Tripoli, Benghazi or a land border should aim to do so" I am very surprised that the Foreign office is giving advice such as this. It is obvious that the situation is such that anyone who managed to get out by individual means is over: that could only have been done in the first 36 hours or so. And right now Tripoli sounds like a very dangerous place to be, Benghazi possibly less so, but both are a long way from the oilfields. I was in Libya during the Tripoli bombing in 1986: we knew something was in the air about ten days previously when we received instructions about 'eventual emergency evacuation plans', and also a few days later when upon finishing the latest well, we were told to stack the rig. But that event was not the same as what's happening now. One of the first and most basic rules of desert survival is to stay put: even more valid if you have food and water. This applies as much to a group (such as a number of people in a desert camp) as it does to an individual whose jeep has broken down. Ration your supplies. Someone will be looking for you. We've heard stories of isolated rig camps whose vehicles have been taken, and are running low on supplies. If you have no transport, don't try walking out of there, the desert can kill you as easily as a sniper in town will. Be ingenious: air-conditioners produce a lot of water condensation, for instance. This can be stored for drinking. For those with transport, it may be best to head for a desert base, where there is not only safety in numbers, but also an airstrip. But make sure somebody knows the details of your movements. Personally I think it highly unlikely that anyone travelling in the desert will be indiscriminately attacked there: the locals in the few small desert towns are likely as confused and scared as you are, and oilfield workers are not going to be considered the 'enemy' by either of the opposing sides right now. ===================================================== This is a great place to get first hand, on the scene reports of what is happening. Much better info than what the news is reporting.