There are two ways to sleep well at night ... be ignorant or be prepared.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to Prepare for Economic Chaos, in 7 Stages

Preparedness is about being ready--being ahead of the curve for disaster. It seems quite likely an economic Armageddon is imminent. The actual trigger could be one of many potential ignition sources … a default, collapse, and revolution in Greece; the collapse and dissolution of the European Euro; eruption of a hot war in the Middle East; hyperinflation loosed upon America (probably inevitable), and so on.

As mere pawns in the great game, we wield little capacity to impact events beyond our immediate personal radius. But what we CAN do, we MUST do in short order if you feel an obligation to protecting and providing for your loved ones in a future systemic and social calamity.
How to do that?
Assume the worst, within reason. Consider that many of the day-to-day services you take for granted will be interrupted for an unknown length of time. Water, fuel, electricity, food, health care, transportation, police and fire response, and employment are all perceived as American entitlements—but so also they are all susceptible to macro collapse. Withholding any one of those from a community would be disastrous--imagine all of them suddenly disappearing.
You and your loved ones, as well as most in your community, may suddenly be living day to day, hand to mouth. Those who have anticipated such a possibility beforehand and made prudent investments to cushion the blow will be far ahead of the rest. Many of the basic preparations for economic disaster in fact can apply also to a personal economic setback, which we all know is not a long-shot these days, so it is common sense to take some simple steps to mitigate your risk:
1.       Have cash and precious metals on hand—and not just in the bank. Pretty obvious, I think.

2.       Build up your cache of emergency storage food—the kind that you know how to prepare and enjoy eating.

3.       Store as much drinking water as you can and rotate it every six months to keep it fresh. Have on hand a good water filter and purification tablets, as well as the means to boil water over a fire.

4.       In any truly chaotic scenario, self-defense is a must. Gun ownership in America is a right. Know how to use your weapons and practice with them before you need to count on them.

5.       In that self-defense vein, look at how you can fortify your home. How would you make it look uninviting from the outside. How can you make the structure as robust and defensible as you can?

6.       Acquire a back-up power source. Options are many today, to fit any budget. Solar, wind, gas, diesel, propane. You may not be able to afford a back-up power supply to run your home or even your refrigerator, but at the very least aim to be able to charge a laptop, phone, batteries for radios, flashlights, etc.

7.       First aid supplies and prescription medicines—stockpile what you and your family will need. Many physicians today are OK with getting you additional prescription medicine—particularly if you are planning on extended travel (wink).

Once you start thinking in these terms, you can continue adding to this plan of action, but the key is to get the basics squared away first. Adjust according to your personal situation, your neighborhood (certainly get to know as many of your neighbors now as possible), your climate, your budget, and your comfort level.
Should the worst actually come to pass, the initial critical advantage you and yours will have is the ability to stay put—hunkered down in relative safety. On the other hand, those who continue to hold to the dissolving American "birthright" of unending entitlements will be the ones having to go out in desperation to fight for the basics in the concrete and asphalt jungle.

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2 comments:

Bazza said...

1. I have never been sure about the attraction to precious metals. I believe that when push comes to shove their present value will be greatly diminished when other items become greater in need. Instead of precious metals and cash items such as building materials, seeds, tools, accommodation etc. will become invaluable and so will peoples labour. Those who live on rural properties in particular will always have tasks to carry out that they have never had the time to do without outside help.

2. If you are not living where you are able to grow all of your fruits and vegetables and other food related items then you will become part of the problem not part of the solution.

If an emergency should happen your gardens should be able to supply greater than your own immediate needs as in our case we would expect other family members to join us and while this would put an extra load on our resources the added labour would mean that we would be able to boost production significantly.

In the main the items we keep in our store are those we either presently do not grow or cannot make. Toilet paper, paper towels, soaps, sugar, salt, lids for preserving jars, seeds, grains to name a few. In times of an extended crisis we would have to learn to either grow or make suitable items or go without.

I have never taken to the idea that we should have an excess of food stored as doing that creates its own problems whereby having adequate garden areas and related resources and keeping them productive is a sustainable solution.

3. We have over a 100,000 litres of storage available for rainwater collected from our roofs. For most of my life I have used it for all manner of uses in the house and have never resorted to using water purification tablets.

Get decent rainwater storage tanks and collect your rainwater. I don’t believe that there would be too many governments that have yet found a way to tax it.

4. In our situation we either know personally or know of every person/family living in a ten kilometre radius of our property and because of this we feel safe knowing that most (not all) of those families would aid us in times of need/hardship as we would support them.

Just outside of our ten kilometre radius is a town of some 3000 people and in the town there is a community garden where people are encouraged to learn gardening at their own homes and more and more people are doing this mainly to keep their living expenses down and this would also greatly reduce the panic for food if a crisis arose.

It is very hard to say what people from the greater urbanised areas would do as many of them have very little room for food production but the time of the year that a crisis were to hit would be a deciding factor on how they reacted.

5. Not sure about the whole defence thing as in my experience if someone puts up fences or builds walls others then get curious and those same walls and fences can be used against the occupants.

Getting to know the people in your community, becoming part of it and understanding what the community has to offer and you have in return may go a long way to ensuring your survival.

Bazza said...

6. Any stored fuel required to run a generator is only going to last a short while so here solar or wind power is essential but only if it is going to be used wisely and once again it is not going to last forever.

We use our solar to charge rechargeable batteries for torches, radios and power tools. If our system fails then we have to alter our lifestyle to suit.

Electricity is not an essential, it is a convenience, we lived without it for thousands of years and civilisations flourished, no reason why we cannot do the same.

7. About 70 percent of people in hospitals or under medical care are thus because of either something they did to themselves, (tobacco, alcohol, prescription medicines, poor diet, lack of exercise (obesity)) or for something that happened to them while others have been affected by the same problems.

My advice would be to get your medicinal herbs growing and learn what each one is capable of. A good vegetable garden and orchard supplying healthy food which will give you a well balanced diet will go a very long way toward keeping you healthy.