Contingencies 2A

I open discussion for a media surveillance strategy that has me moving before the needle hits DefCon 1.

Also, suggestions for a cross country trip would be welcome, as well as advice on transportation out of the country. I don’t want to become an evacuation movie cliche.

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  1. convivialdingo

     /  October 10, 2006

    Well, first off – there’s no strategy for monitoring the media in an effective way. There’s no way to verify the truth – just think hoards of lawyers.

    You and I have no idea if the media is being 100% truthful – and they may not know either. My experience though limited professionally to advertising and editorials seems to suggest that the media is only as good as it’s sources. If anything – check what sources say in different publications, and check peers of those sources.

    Secondly – leaving the country is silly right now. At that point your playing “pick your dictator” or “I can live with dysentery on a weekly basis.” Europe is an option – but again more of the same as here, just spottier rights, controls, living standards, etc…

    I’d certainly agree that the US is in a pickle in so many ways- but DefCon 1 is far out on the horizon.

  2. Convivial: he’s living in South Korea.

    I think it’s premature at this point, too… but largely b/c I can’t think of any circumstances in which, as far south as you are, that you’re likely to come into any danger.

  3. Of course it’s premature you silly, silly people. That’s why it’s called planning.

    If the world is exceptionally graceful, I’ll be able to use it as a self depricating punch line: “Remember that spot of trouble back in 06? Look what I got! Ready for the Third World War! Ha Ha, jolly good eh what?”

    As opposed to “I’ll give you all my won for passage to Vietnam!”
    “But Won are no good now Mr Blair…”

    You know that anxiety you get when you’ve put off Christmas shopping until the two days beforehand? Or there’s an undergrad paper that dignity forbids you start until 0′ dark ugly in the morning the night before because it’s only five pages, and if you’re changing your schedule for a five page trifle, why man, you’ve lost it? My plan is to only imagine what that anxiety is like if I have to leave a foreign country in hurry. “Good thing I have my… or I’d really have been screwed!”

    Why not squirrel away for material now? Maps, and tradable commodities, and passage booked on shipping lines and so on. Ideas are welcome.

  4. For instance. Japan and the Fillipines are out. They’re targets for short range bombardment, and sometimes the good guys get confused.

    Vietnam or Russia perhaps. Indonesia will be snapped up as a matter of convenience. Australia will be fighting. New Zealand will be annexed.

    Getting to Vietnam on boat is problematic because that involves sailing around Taiwan. So it looks like Russia. Vladivostok. Straight shot by ship.

    There is a deep water access 15 minutes from where I am (I am in Jinju, and the access is in Sacheon), and friendly people waiting there with money and minor connections.

    So what else?

  5. I’d say you should stay and get a good camera — it could be your ticket to an Oprah interview! :o)

  6. convivialdingo

     /  October 10, 2006

    My appologies blackpine – I was not aware of your situation.

  7. Mike

     /  October 10, 2006

    Well, if you want a truthful evac kit I would do what the US Army Civilians do (the soldiers’ families) in Korea (at least when I was there). Modify for whatever threat level you think is necessary.

    Number one, keep the passport handy along with key documents. Keep it small and secure and just a pick up away from being packed and good to go (a sealed envelope or a money belt kind of thing you can wear is ideal). I would include a area map and mark the mass transit locations so you can hop a ride or avoid like hell (include a schedule of movement too if you can and some blank bus or train passes so you can get going without having to buy one). Two, Get some cash handy, various types work best (Won, Dollars, Yen, Rubles, Pesos, where ever you think you might end up. Some neutral money like swiss francs or English pounds might be smart to). Sad thing about cash is in order to be effective you tend to need lots of it, so finances may dictate. But have a roll handy. I also suggest Traveller’s Checks (American Express, they are everywhere), they can be replaced if stolen and do robbers no good. Three, Have a couple of personal photos handy (Passport type), and know the location of all consulates or embassies. Not just American, but everyone especially neutral ones you can take refuge in (Swiss, Sweden, NZ, Mexico). Get the contact info (websites, phone numbers, etc). I would also include military base info especially Naval Bases or Air Force Bases as they would be focal points to hitch a ride out from (or avoid if it gets really bad). Four, Get a backpack or a sling bag and pack an overnight bag. Simple shaving kit, towel, soap, extra glasses, change of underwear or three, extra socks. Extra clothes could be handy but they add weight. I would recommend an extra T-Shirt at least. Get a small poncho or raingear, a sweater or polypro top, stocking cap and gloves (light ones can do). Small radio (can be one of those Hand-cracked jobs or just a transistor radio), tuned to AFKN and small flashlight (don’t forget the batteries, at least 2 spare packs), and a small first aid kit. A small survival blanket if you can fit it, and a pocket knife or Leatherman. Pack it, put a lock on it(combination) if you can and just always have it handy. Cellphone is useful. SK is not an easy place to get any weapons, so you are on your own. If are thinking on those lines, let me know offline and I can give you a pointer on were to look. If things go south, start walking and don’t look back.

  8. Mike

     /  October 10, 2006

    As to what to watch for.

    Watch Pusan Harbor, if things are loking screwy the navy will leave port. Watch US AF bases, if things are going south, the F15 wings from Japan will move to Korea to be ready. Watch for Reserve mobilizations and how the Police are acting. If guards start showing up in areas they haven’t before, I would start worrying.

    OH yeah, forgot one thing up top. Be sure the local Consulate knows about you and are tracking you. Give them a contact point so you can get warning without having to wait.

  9. No sweat Dingo, I should have said something. The list is small enough, I assumed that everyone knew.

  10. Mike

     /  October 11, 2006

    This may be an overraction, but I am a firm believer in the “If you plan for it, it will never happen” series of thinking. So a couple hundred dollars spent on some things you shouldn’t have to use is money well spent in my humble opinion.

    Speaking of which, I forgot to add some food. Get a small water bottle or canteen, and some powerbars or something that will keep. If you ever end up by Seoul hit a street market and pick up a couple of MREs (yeah, they are black market, but Americans trade them and SK want them so what can you do?).

  11. Better black market now than later. Definitely, you need a bugoutbag (Mike: no link to 2ID intended) and to get on a first-name basis with somebody at the embassy and consulate. Second on the alternate-consulates deal.

    Alternately, you should start assembling a contact list of other expats, and making a rally-point plan, if you plan to run. Personally, you might be safer just hunkered down. I do *not* advise Russia at this time as a haven. Not unless you speak the language or know a fixer you trust to set you up with somebody who won’t leave you dead in a ditch. At that point, you might as well try Mongolia, which would be harder to get to but vastly safer.

  12. ALready done the expat plan for the International Student Association. I started it not too long ago, but we held our class tonight and are forming a mutual protection group based around evacuation. We need some guidance as some of the Indonesian folks have their families with young children here. We’re also out to wine and dine the military folks around here (Army and Airforce) so we can get some friendly data.

  13. Russia is the least objectionable of all alternatives. The next best is Vietnam, but that simply isn’t practical. I can’t get a fixer, but certainly a translator. Russians are plentiful around here, and I know a translator or two.

  14. Mike

     /  October 11, 2006

    I think Japan wouldn’t be bad, provided you can avoid the big bullseyes like Tokyo. Nearest US soil is Guam/Marianas Islands. If this was 10 years ago I would have said Macao or Hong Kong, but those are Chinese again. NO offense taken on the 2ID remark, that is what we called them.

    For the small kids, stock some baby formula, a pot to warm it in or boil water, diapers and warm clothes. Also, get some coloring books or easily portable entertainment for the kids or they will start climbing the walls.

  15. Mike

     /  October 11, 2006

    Wow, my zombie apocolaypse knowledge is actually being used. Who would have figured?

  16. Mike

     /  October 11, 2006

    And my last bit. A handy phrase book for the language. If you all know Korean great. If not (or don’t know any for where you are going to head), a “500 Useful Phrases in XXXXXX” book is pretty handy.

  17. Vladivostok, wait for a short time, and then Alaska. This assumes Russia’s neutrality of course.

  18. That’s assuming a lot. But you’re right, it’s much more practical than Vietnam.


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