Selco, you might want to talk to Fernando “Ferfal” Aguirre about this. He’s an Argentinian that cataloged the collapse of their economy online, and eventually organized his writings into a book of his observations. I’ve followed him for many, many years. He’s an expert on living in an urban/suburban setting during an economic upheaval, but not the total collapse which you experienced. (http://www.ferfal.blogspot.com/)

In his case, government still somewhat functions but gangs/crime are common and resources are scarce. As he put it: if you call the police they may refuse to come, but if you shoot someone in your yard they will come arrest you.

I recall his comments on rural settings is that there were many instances of roving gangs taking over homes and nobody knew the residents were in trouble. The gang would stay a while, consume all the resources, rape, and murder the residents. Another example, a friend of his is a farmer and squatters are constantly trying to setup shanty towns on his land. He consumes 1000 rounds of .22LR a month driving them off with warning shots. They can’t tell the difference between the .22LR and something bigger so hey move on. (Lesson here is “buy a bunch of .22LR while it’s cheap and available).

Above all, if you live in the country you must not have a road that runs up to your front door. You will be discovered and attacked. He suggests that you bulldoze the road as many miles away from your home as possible (where it branches off of the main road), and make it look like there was never a road. I have a friend in Australia (Queensland) with a large sugarcane farm and he has two D9 bulldozers to do this with. Most people don’t. So, the service road to your property is a real problem. It’s only safe if nobody knows your there, and that road is an invitation.

The best setting for Argentina’s situation seems to be a suburban neighborhood. Not perfect, as every one of his neighbors over the years has suffered a break-in, robbery, and rapes, but he attributes this to not being careful. Bandits don’t assault your house, he says. They watch your habits for a few days, then catch you when you take out your trash or come home from work (if you have a job). He jokes that Americans often think the enemy comes over the hill waving flags and beating drums and you can do “one shot, one kill” with them. In reality, it’s more covert, and your best bet is having careful habits, and having neighbors who will call the police when they see you’re in trouble. His experience is that the urban areas is what people here have said, too many rats in a box; the countryside requires too much manpower to secure; and the suburban isn’t perfect, but is the best of the three.

If you want to compare notes, you can find him here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrSf5GLpvQSpIpS5-zHc7Lg