The Beginning Of The End
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14 Questions People Ask About How To Prepare For The Collapse Of The Economy

How in the world is someone supposed to actually prepare for an economic collapse?  What should you do with your money?  How can you make sure that your family is going to be okay?  How can you prepare if your resources are extremely limited?  These are the kinds of questions people ask me all the time.  Once people understand that the economy has been collapsing and will continue to collapse, then the next step for most of them is that they want to get prepared for the storm that is coming.  So where should someone get started?  Well, the truth is that no two people are facing the exact same set of circumstances, so preparation is going to look different for each individual.  But there are certain core principles that we can all benefit from.  For example, when a financial storm is coming that is not the time to be blowing thousands of dollars on vacations and new toys.  You would be surprised at how many people there are that claim that they have no extra money in their budgets and yet somehow have plenty of money to run down to Wal-Mart and buy a big stack of DVDs.  When times are difficult, each hard-earned dollar becomes much more precious, and we all need to start getting into the habit of making the most out of our limited resources.  The seemingly endless prosperity that we have all been enjoying for decades is coming to an end, and most of us have absolutely no experience on how to deal with truly hard times.  If you are under the age of 60, it might be a really good idea to read a book or two on what conditions were like during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  There is a lot that we can learn from our own history.

Another key characteristic that we will all need in the years ahead is flexibility.  Anyone that has spent any time in the military knows that very few plans ever work out perfectly.  As the global economy breaks down and the world becomes increasingly unstable, conditions are going to change rapidly.  What might work really well in one situation might be the exact wrong thing to do 6 months later.  If you are not willing or able to adapt to dramatic change then you are going to have a lot of difficulty in the years ahead.

Many people refer to me as a “doom and gloomer” because I run a website called “The Economic Collapse” and I am constantly pointing out that the entire world is heading for a complete and total financial nightmare.

But I don’t think that it does any good to stick your head in the sand.  I believe that there is hope in understanding what is happening and I believe that there is hope in getting prepared.

It is those that are completely oblivious to what is really going on that will be totally blindsided by the coming crisis.  When they finally realize what has come upon them many of them will totally lose it.

From my little spot on the wall I am trying my best to warn people so that they can have a chance to be prepared for what is coming.

I am not spreading doom and gloom.

I am spreading hope.

And I want to make another point.  Generally, things are going to be getting progressively worse as the years roll along.  As I have written about before, I believe that the economic collapse is not a single event.  Rather, I see it as a series of waves that will be punctuated by moments of great crisis.

So advice about preparation is going to be different depending on whether you are talking about the short-term or the mid-term or the long-term.  Hopefully you will keep that in mind as you read my answers to the questions below.

The following are common questions that people ask about how to prepare for the collapse of the economy….

#1 How Do I Get Started?

When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, what was the biggest danger for most Americans?

The biggest danger was that they would lose their jobs and not be able to pay their bills.

During the last recession, millions and millions of Americans did end up losing their jobs.

And because many of them were living paycheck to paycheck many of them also ended up losing their homes.

You do not want that to happen to you.

So what I am about to say next is not considered to be very “sexy” in prepper circles, but it is absolutely crucial advice.

You need to have an emergency fund saved up that can cover your expenses for at least six months.

That way if you lose your job or your business goes under you will be able to keep going for a while as you figure out what your next move will be.

These days it takes the average unemployed American nearly 40 weeks to find a new job, and it will likely be even worse in the next major economic downturn.

So make sure that you have plenty of cash saved up just in case.  If you are currently living paycheck to paycheck you are extremely vulnerable.

#2 What Should I Do With My Money?

I get this question a lot.

People always want to know where they should put their money.

Well, my first piece of advice is always to build an emergency fund.  See #1 above.  Most people do not have one.

After that is done, I am a big believer in not putting all of my eggs into one basket.

Sometimes people will tell me that they are going to take all of their money out of the banks because they don’t feel safe having their money in them.

Well, if you stick all of your money in your mattress, what happens if there is a fire or what happens if someone robs you?

That is why I believe in spreading your risk around.  Having money a bunch of different places is a good thing.

But one place I would not put it is in the stock market.  If you were fortunate enough to catch the recent rally you should get out while the getting is good.

If you have blind faith in the stock market you are going to be deeply disappointed eventually.  I do not have a single penny in the stock market, and a couple of years from now that is going to look like a very wise move.

#3 Should I Invest In Precious Metals?

A lot of people that write about the economic crisis in this country really advocate investing in precious metals because they tend to hold value over time (unlike fiat currencies).

I like precious metals myself, but if you are going to invest you need to get educated so that you know what you are doing.  If you go in blindly you are likely to get burned at some point.

In addition, you need to be prepared for wild fluctuations in price over the coming years.  There will be times when gold and silver absolutely soar and there will be times when they drop like a rock.

So if you are going to play the game you need to be able to handle the ride.

#4 Should I Get Out Of Debt?

Many that write about the coming economic collapse say that you shouldn’t even bother to pay off your debts because the financial system is going to collapse anyway.

I don’t see it that way.

I don’t believe that our banks are going to totally collapse and suddenly go out of existence.

Not in the short-term anyway.

So I believe that it is actually a good idea to get out of debt.  When financial troubles hit you don’t want a horde of bill collectors coming after you.

There is a lot of freedom that comes with getting out of debt, and in this environment it is wise to become as independent of the system as possible.

#5 What If I Don’t Have Any Money To Prepare?

In this kind of economic environment it is no surprise that I get this question a lot.

Many families are just barely scraping by each month and they do not have much money to put into anything.

And I can definitely sympathize with that.

However, I would say that there are very, very few families out there that do not have anything that can be cut out of the budget.

The truth is that American families are experts at blowing money on really stupid stuff.

In general, I recommend that all families do what they can to reduce their expenses.

The smaller of a financial footprint you have, the better off you will be and the more resources you will have to help you get prepared.

Also, now is the time to be looking for ways that you can increase your income.

For many Americans, starting a side business is a way to bring in some extra cash.  Yes, this will cut into your television watching time, but now is not the time to be lazy.

The time you spend working hard now while the sun is still shining will pay off later.

Don’t be afraid to work harder than you ever have before.

#6 Should I Rent Or Buy?

This is a question that I also get a lot, and it really depends on your situation.

If you rent, that gives you a lot more flexibility.  You can move for a new job or a new opportunity without having to sell a house.  And you get to avoid a lot of the expenses and hassles that come with being a homeowner.

If you buy, you get to “lock in” your housing expenses for many years.  In a highly inflationary environment this would potentially be very beneficial.  And interest rates are very low right now.

In addition, it is going to be really hard to rent a really good “prepper” property.  If you are looking for a property that is away from the big cities where you can grow your own food and become more independent of the system, then in most cases you are going to have to buy such a property.

But if you do buy, it is going to be much harder to move if something does happen and you need to go somewhere else.

#7 What About My Health Condition?

Over the next few years, our health care system should continue operating at least somewhat normally.  But the truth is that our health care system is in horrible shape and it is not a good thing to be totally dependent on pills and doctors.

Even if economic conditions were perfect it would be a good idea to learn what you can do on your own to improve your health.  But this is especially true as we move into a time of great economic instability.

#8 Should I Be Storing Food?

Yes.

However, even though the United States is experiencing a historic drought right now, I do not believe that there will be major food shortages in America this year or next year.

Down the road, however, is a different story.

And your food dollars are never going to go farther than they do right now.  As I wrote about the other day, this drought is likely to cause food prices to go up substantially, and so the food you store now might end up being twice as valuable a few years from now.

In addition, you never know when a major disaster or emergency is going to strike so it is always good to become more independent of the system.

I encourage everyone to learn how to grow a garden.  Yes, your space may be limited, but there is actually one family that produces 6000 pounds of produce every year on just 1/10th of an acre right in the middle of Pasadena, California.

If they can do such extraordinary things with their little plot of land, why can’t you try to do what you can with what you have?

#9 Should I Be Storing Water?

It is always good to have some water on hand in case disaster or emergency strikes.

And you should be rotating whatever water you currently have on hand because you don’t want water sitting around indefinitely.

But what is much more important is to make sure that you and your family have access to a source of water that you can depend on if disaster strikes and the grid goes down.

In a previous article I discussed a report put out by the American Trucker Associations entitled “When Trucks Stop, America Stops” that detailed just how incredibly vulnerable our water supply really is….

According to the American Water Works Association, Americans drink more than one billion glasses of tap water per day. For safety and security reasons, most water supply plants maintain a larger inventory of supplies than the typical business. However, the amount of chemical storage varies significantly and is site specific. According to the Chlorine Institute, most water treatment facilities receive chlorine in cylinders (150 pounds and one ton cylinders) that are delivered by motor carriers. On average, trucks deliver purification chemicals to water supply plants every seven to 14 days. Without these chemicals, water cannot be purified and made safe for drinking. Without truck deliveries of purification chemicals, water supply plants will run out of drinkable water in 14 to 28 days. Once the water supply is drained, water will be deemed safe for drinking only when boiled. Lack of clean drinking water will lead to increased gastrointestinal and other illnesses, further taxing an already weakened healthcare system.

So yes, water is definitely something you should be accounting for in your preparations.

#10 Other Than Food And Water What Other Supplies Will I Need?

Anything that you use on a regular basis or that you would use in an emergency situation is something that you should consider storing up.

For example, if you could not buy any more toilet paper from the stores, what would you do?

Basic things like that are often overlooked by many preppers.

In a previous article, I listed dozens of things you may want to consider storing.  Preparation is going to look different for every family, but hopefully that list will give you some ideas.

#11 What Happens If The Power Grid Goes Down?

This is a very important consideration – especially if you live in a colder climate.

Some people have a backup generator for such circumstances.

Others have set up wind and/or solar systems for their homes.

Alternative energy solutions are great if you can afford them, and they will enable you to become much more independent of the system.

But not everyone can afford to put in solar panels or a big wind turbine.

So do what you can with what you have.

#12 Should I Leave The Big Cities?

A lot of people ask me this, but there is no easy answer.

In this day and age, a good job is like gold.  It can be really, really tough to give up a good job and move to the middle of nowhere.

But without a doubt, society is starting to come apart at the seams and I do expect rioting and major civil unrest in our major cities at some point in the future.

In the end, you need to do what is right for you and your own family.  Nobody else can make this decision for you.

#13 Should I Get Some Self-Defense Training?

America seems to be overrun by psychopaths and sociopaths these days, and in such an environment being able to defend yourself becomes more important.

When criminals come to your home, they are not going to sit down and have a debate with you.  They are not going to care what your political outlook is or if you sympathize with their plight.

The criminals are simply going to do what they came there to do unless someone stops them.

So yes, some self-defense training may come in very handy in the years ahead.

#14 What Should I Do If My Family And Friends Won’t Listen To Me?

This is another very common question that I get.

What should people do if nobody will listen to them?

Well, you just have to do the best that you can.  If they won’t listen now, just keep planting seeds.  Keep sending them articles that are packed with statistics and information that show why an economic collapse is going to happen.

In the years ahead we are all going to need our families and our friends because communities will endure what is coming much better than “lone wolf” individuals will be able to.

No matter how hard you prepare, at some point you are going to need the help of someone else.

So don’t be afraid to reach out to others.

If nobody among your family or friends will listen to you at the moment, you may have to prepare on your own right now.

In fact, you may have to do extra preparation because at some point it is probably inevitable that your family and friends will come to you for help.

That is the perspective that my wife and I take.  We are not only preparing for ourselves.  We are also preparing for the family members that may have to depend on us someday.

Nobody said that preparing was going to be easy.

But beyond any physical preparations, I also believe that it is absolutely crucial to prepare mentally and spiritually.

The times that are coming are going to be incredibly challenging.  They are going to require a great deal of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength.

If you are a “lone wolf” that believes that you don’t need anyone or anything, then I feel sorry for you and I honestly don’t know how you are going to make it.

None of us have all the answers.

I know that I certainly do not.

I have just written nearly 3000 words, but after I post this article I know that some of the great visitors to my site will post ideas that I never even considered for this article.

We can all learn from each other.  Most of the people that I have met that think “they know it all” are some of the most clueless people that I have ever come across.

I never want to stop learning, and hopefully that is the case for you as well.

If we work together, perhaps we can all make it through the horrible, horrible times that are coming.

  • Chuck

    Spot on Michael!
    My wife and I are both professional people and we started prepping 10 years ago. We both agreed that after the country was taken off the gold standard, the scam would not go on forever. We purchased 11 acres (in a small town in the Midwest) and built an Earth Sheathed home, which is equipped with solar, photo voltaic, wind and geo thermal. We even have fish in our spring fed pound.
    When our friends went on vacation, we worked on our retreat
    When they purchased boats and cars, we purchased solar systems and food storage,
    We put in a lot of 18 hour days at first, however now that we are completed, we spend a few hours working on the small items left to be done and then relax knowing we are ready!
    We accomplished all this without disrupting our day to day life’s by not indulging in an Entertainment driven life style!
    Needless to say, our friends are singing a different tune now, as they too see the hand writing on the wall!
    We have found one unexpected bonus to what we have done. Now that we are closing in on retirement, with our self sufficiency, we are able to control our monthly expenses, thus not having to play the inflation game on a fixed income!
    Keep up the good word!

    • Michael

      It sounds like you have a wonderful set up.

      I wish that I could see what you have done.

      Michael

  • mondobeyondo

    Learn all you can about potatoes and how to cook them. That’s what my Grandpa and Grandma said when they were still alive. They made it through the Depression by eating mostly potatoes. Not the world’s most nutritious food, but it’s starchy and it fills the stomach. For protein, they ate mostly eggs. Meat was too expensive.

    We’ve forgotten our not so distant past. The past couple of generations have been incredibly spoiled. Fast food, for the most part, didn’t exist during the Depression. No McDonald’s, Burger Kings, Wendy’s, or Kentucky Fried Chicken. You want Kentucky Fried Chicken? Move to Louisville, buy a broiler, cut it up, and add the flour and seasoning. Then drop the pieces in hot oil. There ya go – Kentucky fried chicken!

    Ah yes, the mighty potato. Relatively inexpensive, and it works for a variety of recipes. Potato salad, potato soup, mashed potatoes, potatoes Julienne, shredded potatoes, potatoes with butter and thyme, potato chips, French fries, and vodka, to name a few.

    For those of you who want to experiment with Depression era cooking, you can do a quick search for “Depression Cooking with Clara”, among other items. Be forewarned, though – if you’re the type who enjoys porterhouse steaks with lobster and fine wine on a Friday or Saturday night, you are in for a tremendous shock. In other words – welcome to how much of the Third World lives.

    • Grover Lembeck

      If you eat the entire potato, they are very nutritious, and an excellent source of potassium. If you couple potatoes with fresh greens (it doesn’t take much, and even in cold climates a small greenhouse is feasible) a LOT of your nutrition is covered. Add some eggs, and you are pretty well set except maybe beta carotene.

      I would also like to add that learning how to deal with poultry and livestock (I recommend sheep) is a very good idea right now. Protein will get unaffordable first, and having some laying hens or meat on the hoof could well be worth more than gold.

    • Louise in MO

      My Mother was Irish; we had potatoes at almost every meal. She must have cooked them 50 different ways. We also had bread at every meal. The only time we didn’t have potatoes is when we had spaghetti.

      She grew up during the depression.

  • Debra

    Like a lot of families who don’t have extra money to by extra food, there are some inexpensive ways to plan ahead. Rice, beans, pasta, salt, honey and dried fruit like raisins and cranberries. Oh, and bleach for drinking water from natural sources and disinfecting. Very basic emergency food that won’t break a family. Don’t forget to rotate though.

    • davidmpark

      Most of which can be grown at home. Good suggestions!

    • jayjay

      For purifying water, try calcium hypochlorite, pool shock.
      Cheap, lasts a life time, comes in a little packet and will purify thousands of gallons.
      Won’t hurt your stomach like bleach will.

  • http://EconomicCollapse Already Gone

    How about using some common sense?

  • http://14QuestionsPeopleAskHowToPrepareForTheCollapseOfTheEconomy leo in Wisconsin

    Well at this point i dont think getting out of debt is the most important thing on ones list,water,food,meds,and self protection ranks up there first but this was a great article,keep them coming,and the collapse has already started,so do what you can to survive

    • firehawk

      I agree I hear a lot of this get out of dept talk. Why? Take the credit you have left to help your prep work. Just make the min payments. If the shtf and most here are sure of it. Are you really going to be worried about dept collectors? Right now you can still get a good amount of credit. but when this goes down credit cards will all be frozen.

  • Cinderella Man

    Youre right to an extent about the food shortages Michael. There WILL be a shortage of food but it will be so expensive that the average family will not be able to afford it. Thats why Im so grateful to have these hogs right now because pork will be following beef inn quantity and price. I cant stress to you guys enough BUY A FREEZER AND GET AS MUCH MEAT AS YOU CAN RIGHT NOW!!!! This winter Christmas presents will be packs of steaks and bacon mark my words.

  • davidmpark

    We began with a phrase:

    “Use it up, wear it out. Build it strong, build it stout. Make do, or do without.”

    This is the basis of every plan, every transaction; every necessity.

    When we look at something to buy the first question is, “How much does it cost?” If not in our price range or just not practical to buy it now, we ask, “Can we make it?” If not with what’s at hand, or requires too many raw materials outside the home, we ask, “Do we need it?” If yes, then we get it or make it. Then we ask, “Do we need a larger supply for the storage program?”

    It’s just good economy. :)

  • Kevin2

    Get an Italian food cookbook. The true Italian foods (not Italian / American) are peasant food. The most common is pasta fazole. Basically it’s bean and pasta soup as thick as a stew. I guarantee Joe DiMaggio and Rocky Marciano were fueled by it.

    Just because it’s cheap does not mean it can’t be both nutritious and flavorful.

  • Jet Graphics

    Most of the article is sound advice – based on typical assumptions. I would augment it with the following observations and suggestions.
    1. Money is a medium of exchange to facilitate trade. Its function is not to store value over the long term. Hoarding any money is contrary to its function. In short, instead of stockpiling money tokens, trade them for what you need or will need. (Assuming you are already out of debt, etc.)
    2. Investigate the republican form of government and ancillary concepts such as absolute ownership of private property, natural and personal liberty, sovereignty, and domicile.
    3. As to the question: “rent or buy”, IMHO if one wishes to establish a domicile, then there is only one option – buy private property (not estate) with lawful money.
    BTW – private property absolutely owned is constitutionally protected, whereas estate ownership is not, and is subject to ad valorem taxes. Check your own state constitution and laws regarding the distinction between inhabitants with domiciles on private property versus residents with residences on real estate. (Don’t be surprised if they only mention “non-residents” instead of inhabitants)
    4. Since rights are never subject to taxation in the USA, where governments were instituted to secure rights, only government privileges are taxed. Ergo, one may need to investigate how and when rights were converted to privileges, and withdraw consent. Once one has extricated himself, and eliminated the bulk of excise taxes, the economic burdens imposed by the socialist government will be gone. However, once you leave the “socialist safety net”, you’re on your own.
    5. Accumulating a store of supplies, food, necessities, etc, is very prudent. A man with a year’s supply of money will not outlive a man with a year’s supply of food.
    6. Wealth (i.e., money, precious metal, jewels) is not prosperity. Prosperity is the creation, trade and enjoyment of surplus usable goods and services. Doing more with less so more can enjoy is the recipe for happiness. Doing less with more so fewer can enjoy is the recipe for misery. In other words, find a vocation that generates goods and services, not wealth.
    7. It would be prudent to consider the benefits of an “Autonomous House” – one that can operate or function without connection to utilities, or when resupply is interrupted. One might not achieve 100% independence, but living at 90% functionality is better than being forced to flee because one’s dwelling is unlivable without water, electricity, fuel, sewer, communications, air conditioning, heating, etc.

  • BFH

    It is simply not reasonable to expect that most can prepare by saving 6 months operating expenses. With wages cut, hours cut and no jobs most are just trying to survive at present. No matter how tight most budgets can afford to store some beans, rice and some canned items. Second thing would be a weapon and the ability to use it. No matter how stocked your pantry you DON’T have it if you can’t keep it.
    Some actually think that when the SHTF people will behave and we will not have chaos in the streets. I got news for those negligent people. The populace is NOT going to peacefully sit in their doorways and stave to death. They will come after your stuff or anyone they feel they an steal it from.
    Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

  • NorthernCanuck

    WOW! Just take a look at this!

    “The Mighty Mississippi to Run Dry?

    August 7, 2012
    Robert Morley, Columnist,
    From theTrumpet.com

    If the world’s largest navigable river system goes dry, the economic consequences will be felt around the world.

    What is the single greatest reason America is so wealthy? According to the analysts at Stratfor, it is because of a river.

    They have to be joking, right?

    What about America’s vast gold resources? What about its mountains of coal? America is the world’s third-largest oil producer—surely that is why. Then there is America’s temperate climate and fertile soils that traditionally make it the world’s breadbasket. And don’t forget America’s human capital, Yankee ingenuity, and Protestant work ethic. Surely these factors are cumulatively more important than a river.

    Not according to one of America’s premier think tanks. Many countries have large natural resources and hospitable climates, but don’t even come close to having America’s wealth. What sets America apart from the rest of the world is the Mississippi River basin. It is what makes exploiting America’s resources economically possible.

    But now, due to the worst drought since the 1950s, the Mississippi may be about to go dry.

    In Memphis and Vicksburg, the shrinking river is obvious: slower river, exposed river banks, and more sandbars. The water is down more than 13 and 20 feet in each city respectively. The Mississippi on average is about 13 feet below normal—and a whopping 55 feet below where it was at this time last year. On some stretches, the water level is perilously low. On July 17 it was reported that a 100-mile stretch of the Platte River in Nebraska, had dried up.

    In fact, water levels are now so low that barge operators are no longer able to operate at full capacity and have to shed both weight and number of towed barges.

    For each one-inch loss of water, the standard barge must unload 17 tons of cargo—that is a loss of 204 tons, per barge, for every one-foot loss. A typical tow on the upper Mississippi river may have 15 barges. A one-foot loss of water translates into a loss of 3,000 tons of capacity. Tows on the lower Mississippi River may have up to 45 barges, resulting in a loss of capacity of over 9,000 tons. It would take almost 600 semitrucks to haul the freight unloaded by one large barge grouping under those conditions! There are thousands and thousands of barge strings that ply the Mississippi each year. The shutdown of the Mississippi would be an absolute catastrophe!

    Already, the cost to ship bulk goods is rising. As the weight that can be put on barges shrinks, the cost per unit weight is rising. And that translates into higher costs on the consumers’ end. Products that are already only marginally profitable may not be economic at these higher transport costs.

    The last time the Mississippi shut down due to low water was in 1988. Then just a small section of the river became unnavigable—but it cost the shipping industry $1 billion.

    If the Mississippi shut down today, sources quoted by nbc estimate that the direct costs to the economy would be a massive $300 million per day—a cost that would skyrocket exponentially if the river did not reopen after more than a few days!

    We are still a few feet of water away from that, but the summer isn’t over either…”
    Continues at: http://www.thetrumpet.com/9694.8597.0.0/world/environment/the-mighty-mississippi-to-run-dry

    • susy b

      where we live, they do a yearly cleanup of the riverside. this year they are going to be able to clean where people have thrown their @#$% into the river. they have shut down barges in certain places as they are getting stuck. in spots, its only 4 ft. in middle. yup, i never thought id see the day….

  • NorthernCanuck

    WOW! Just take a look at this!

    “The Mighty Mississippi to Run Dry?

    August 7, 2012
    Robert Morley, Columnist,
    From theTrumpet.com

    If the world’s largest navigable river system goes dry, the economic consequences will be felt around the world.

    What is the single greatest reason America is so wealthy? According to the analysts at Stratfor, it is because of a river.

    They have to be joking, right?

    What about America’s vast gold resources? What about its mountains of coal? America is the world’s third-largest oil producer—surely that is why. Then there is America’s temperate climate and fertile soils that traditionally make it the world’s breadbasket. And don’t forget America’s human capital, Yankee ingenuity, and Protestant work ethic. Surely these factors are cumulatively more important than a river.

    Not according to one of America’s premier think tanks. Many countries have large natural resources and hospitable climates, but don’t even come close to having America’s wealth. What sets America apart from the rest of the world is the Mississippi River basin. It is what makes exploiting America’s resources economically possible.

    But now, due to the worst drought since the 1950s, the Mississippi may be about to go dry.

    In Memphis and Vicksburg, the shrinking river is obvious: slower river, exposed river banks, and more sandbars. The water is down more than 13 and 20 feet in each city respectively. The Mississippi on average is about 13 feet below normal—and a whopping 55 feet below where it was at this time last year. On some stretches, the water level is perilously low. On July 17 it was reported that a 100-mile stretch of the Platte River in Nebraska, had dried up.

    In fact, water levels are now so low that barge operators are no longer able to operate at full capacity and have to shed both weight and number of towed barges.

    For each one-inch loss of water, the standard barge must unload 17 tons of cargo—that is a loss of 204 tons, per barge, for every one-foot loss. A typical tow on the upper Mississippi river may have 15 barges. A one-foot loss of water translates into a loss of 3,000 tons of capacity. Tows on the lower Mississippi River may have up to 45 barges, resulting in a loss of capacity of over 9,000 tons. It would take almost 600 semitrucks to haul the freight unloaded by one large barge grouping under those conditions! There are thousands and thousands of barge strings that ply the Mississippi each year. The shutdown of the Mississippi would be an absolute catastrophe!

    Already, the cost to ship bulk goods is rising. As the weight that can be put on barges shrinks, the cost per unit weight is rising. And that translates into higher costs on the consumers’ end. Products that are already only marginally profitable may not be economic at these higher transport costs.

    The last time the Mississippi shut down due to low water was in 1988. Then just a small section of the river became unnavigable—but it cost the shipping industry $1 billion.

    If the Mississippi shut down today, sources quoted by nbc estimate that the direct costs to the economy would be a massive $300 million per day—a cost that would skyrocket exponentially if the river did not reopen after more than a few days!

    We are still a few feet of water away from that, but the summer isn’t over either…”
    Continue at: http://www.thetrumpet.com/9694.8597.0.0/world/environment/the-mighty-mississippi-to-run-dry

  • NorthernCanuck

    …and this:

    “The Global Consequences of America’s Drought

    July 26, 2012,
    Brad Macdonald, Columnis,t
    From theTrumpet.com

    There’s far more at stake than the price of corn on the cob and soy milk.

    Most people are aware of the historic, unrelenting drought tightening its grip on the United States. But too few are seriously contemplating what this means, not just for America, but for the world.

    To most people in wealthier nations, drought simply means ridiculously hot weather, parched lawns and plants, and perhaps a higher-than-normal electric bill. A lack of rain is an annoyance, like an itch, uncomfortable, irritating. Few consider drought to be catastrophic, even fatal.

    It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when people understood that severe, prolonged drought meant extreme hardship, suffering and, if it persisted, eventual death. People understood that without rain, crops, fruit trees and pastures died, lakes and watering holes dried up, livestock starved. In the past, when a drought tightened its grip, farmers and their families, and even entire towns and cities, recognized early that they had two options: relocate or starve.

    Although we’re in the 21st century, this reality has not changed. Except that unlike yesteryear, people today are ignorant to the fact that extreme drought kills.

    Our ignorance stems largely from the fact that very few of us actually grow our own food. These days, cultivating food means strolling through the local, air-conditioned Walmart munching on free food samples while filling an oversize cart with all sorts of bright, colorful, plastic containers. Our food, in its journey from garden to gut, passes through an extensive network of tractors, conveyer belts, factories, blenders, chemical additives, trucks and stores. It’s prepared, processed and packaged, tied, dyed and fried, and in some cases, even buffed and waxed.

    For many, this detachment has severed the connection between food production and nature.

    But alas! Even in 2012, our food, at least the kind worth eating, still comes from the ground—and it still needs rain.

    It’s true that the effects of drought have been somewhat mitigated by the use of wells and sophisticated irrigation systems, by globalizing the responsibility of food production, and by the creation of genetically modified, drought-tolerant seeds. But if the drought is extreme, or persists, such measures fall short. It’s like shooting a bear with a pellet gun: we can slow it down, create time and perhaps temporarily alleviate our fears. But in the end, the inevitable effects of drought will devour us.

    And devouring us it is! Did you know that this is America’s worst drought in more than 50 years? Some are comparing conditions to the Dust Bowl conditions of the 1930s. It’s been described as a full-scale catastrophe, a “natural disaster of epic proportions.” By the end of June, more than 50 percent of the U.S. was experiencing moderate to extreme drought. The beginning of July brought no relief, and the plight has only intensified. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa), this summer, 80 percent of the U.S. has been abnormally dry.

    The United States Agriculture Department (usda) has already declared more than 1,000 counties in 26 states natural-disaster areas due to drought conditions. More counties are being added to the list every week, and summer’s only half over.

    The impact is dramatic and far-reaching. Across America, farmers are slaughtering livestock because there’s not enough pasture, and feed is far too expensive. This may mean lower beef prices in the short term. In the long term, it means most of us will be eating more artificially fed, hormone-filled chicken. Last Friday, the usda reported that America’s cattle inventory was the smallest since the agency began a July count in 1973. In other words, America has as many cows today as it did nearly 40 years ago. Meanwhile, its population has shot up by nearly 100 million.

    The same goes for the price of food and the many household items that contain corn, soybeans and wheat. It’s shocking how many items today, from soda to baby food, peanut butter to powdered sugar, talcum to toothpaste, contain corn in some form. It’s the same with wheat and soybeans. Now, according to the United States Drought Monitor, almost 90 percent of America’s corn and soybean crops have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the drought. Get this: The price of corn has jumped 50 percent in the last month, while soybeans are at record prices too. Meanwhile, the price of wheat, another critical staple, has increased 50 percent in the last five weeks.

    It’s not hard to see how this will drive up food prices, which would most likely further undermine the economy. In fact, one economist believes the drought will knock 0.5 percent off the U.S. gdp this year.

    But think beyond the rising cost of food. What happens if the drought continues to worsen, or even continues into next year, or even the year after?

    Anxieties about increasing food prices will be replaced by anxieties about actual shortages of corn, soybeans and wheat!

    Consider too that America is responsible for half of the world’s corn, and the majority of the world’s soybean and wheat. Reuters reported yesterday that “the soaring prices in the United States—the world’s largest exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat—has rattled food markets worldwide on fears that food inflation will be imported, food aid or supplies for hungry nations from China to Egypt will not be available, and food riots could occur as in the past.”

    The price of corn, wheat and soybeans has already surpassed levels reached during the drought of 2007/08, when rocketing food prices sparked riots in more than 30 countries.

    Can you begin to grasp the magnitude of this crisis? In this globalized, interconnected world, persistent, widespread drought in a critical region—such as America’s breadbasket—doesn’t just mean agricultural disaster. It can mean financial and economic malaise, political and social chaos, even large-scale violence and wars…”
    Continues at: http://www.thetrumpet.com/9663.8559.0.0/world/environment/the-global-consequences-of-americas-drought

  • Tmax

    #15 – Don’t rely on god to solve your problems.
    Preparation time could very well trump preying time.

  • Prut

    So your advice is to “get lots of money.” Nice.

  • i’vegivenup

    Michael:

    Yet again…another good article :-).

    My wife and I have lost over $40K per yr in income since around 2005 and it has been very difficult at times. We have accumulated a lot of debt as a result (some out of foolishness but most out of our control). Now we literally live paycheck to paycheck. We rent because we lost the opportunity to buy but considering how bad the economy has gotten I’m glad we didn’t. I have been stocking up on some food but fall short in a lot of areas as money is very tight. Any chance of having 6 months of income saved up is impossible at this point (other than my 401K). Paying off debt prevents saving any other money.

    Speaking of my 401K. Should I keep paying into it or put a freeze on contributing to concentrate on paying off debt? My wife’s is from a former company and she is not contributing but is earning currently (until/unless the stock market crashes)…

    Look forward to your next article as always…

    • Michael

      So many people are living paycheck to paycheck these days, and it is due to no fault of their own.

      Keep hanging in there.

      And in my opinion having an emergency fund is much more important than building up a 401k.

      Michael

  • chris

    i am 39 yrs old. Should I cash out my IRA and pay the penalty to have more cash on hand. Also, Should i stop contributing to my IRA now? Thanks,

    Chris

    • Mal R.

      Robert Kiyosaki(sp?) of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame will tell you retirement investments are a govt meddling scam. Yep, I got rid of mine.

  • viciousjrobinson

    I am of the opinion that, no matter what the situation, training is of the essence. We all revert to what we know to our level of training in a stressful situation. I have gotten TONS of HIGH SPEED TACTICAL and SURVIVAL TRAINING from Sigma 3 Survival School http://www.survivalschool.us/
    Get with them, get with SOMEONE because you NEED some kind of training for when disasters strike! Train, train, train!

    • NorthernCanuck

      One skill worth quickly mastering for street or home self-defence, if you’re caught without any other means of defence, is the highly-effective ‘SAS 5-Second Knockout’. Many women can probably quickly master this, too.

      Although the SAS is regarded with awe as an elite fighting unit today, it’s often forgotten that its main purpose has always been primarily long-range surveillance and intelligence-gathering, usually behind hostile or enemy lines.

      David Stirling, its remarkable founder, was a strong Christian and had an absolute aversion to any unneccesary killing (he once, rather than killing them, ‘paroled’ several German prisoners in the Western Desert on condition that they didn’t return to the German lines for 24 hours to allow his long-range unit to safely escape: they kept their word, and – amazingly – two of them as officers later separately saved the lives of two SAS troopers who had been captured and, if they had been correctly identified, would have been immediately executed under Hitler’s strict ‘anti-commando edict’).

      So, rather than ‘disposing of’, commando-style, anyone who crossed their path and obstructed their rapid withdrawal from a recce mission, the SAS developed the highly-effective ‘5-second knockout’ so that they could quickly immobilize them if possible instead and continue to move on.

      There are several slight variants and refinements of this proven technique. Here is the basic one. Remember, you should only ever use a potentially-deadly technique like this against an unlawful assailant if your own life is in imminent danger and you cannot safely withdraw or retreat.

      I’ve taken this description from http://everything2.com/title/The+SAS+five+second+knockout

      “An unarmed self-defense technique advised by the SAS (Special Air Service). Although brutal, it is highly effective, and will take down almost any assailant. Personally, I’d rather be armed than unarmed if I’m caught in a situation like this. Screw gun control. In any case, here it is.

      1. Since most people are right-handed, their first attack is likely to a right-handed punch. Block it with your left arm. If the attacker is left-handed, reverse the left-rights in this sequence of moves.

      2. Continuing the blocking motion of your left arm, continue with a two-finger jab to the eyes. Although this is a very brutal move, it is extremely important to throw the attacker off balance and hence allow you to follow up with the rest of the sequence, and this does an excellent job. Anyways, better him than you.

      3. The last move should have left the attacker wide open. Follow up with a right-handed palm strike to the chin. This should put the attacker on the ground and convince him to leave.

      4. If the person is still unconvinced, step forward with your left leg, swing your body around, lean in and strike with your left elbow on the chin or face. Use your hips to maximize the force of the attack. This usually guarantees a knockout.

      5. If somehow the person is still acting hostile, step in, grab his shoulders, and knee him in the groin as hard as you can. At this point, you can simply walk away.

      This technique has been tried and tested. However, hesitation at any step would ruin the sequence and open you to attack. Admittedly, some of these moves are very violent, but it is self-defense, after all. Practice it and make it one fluid motion. It will discourage any attacker.”

  • http://twitter.com/gold_tracker Hal (GT)

    I really appreciate the time you took to craft this post. When 2008, hit I began thinking in this direction on what I should do to get ready for what looked like a coming collapse of the economy.

    I held the view then, and still do, it would be a slow going train wreck and that there would be time to make preparation. One of the big things for me was getting out of all the debt I carried for the precise reason you listed that banks would not go away and bill collectors would be doing their darnedest to get what they could

    I expect debtors prisons to be an outcome.

    I do live in a big city and that does bother me some but like you mention having a job is as good as gold right now and I can’t give that up.

  • CatNap

    Learn the art of reloading ammunition and stock up on the supplies needed while it’s still legal.

    It’s surprising how many preppers assume they will be alive to provide for their little ones. Teach your children, as SOON as they are able to understand, how to survive without you:

    How to access clean water.

    How to use a manual can opener.

    Recognizing what a safe vs. unsafe can of food looks like, and teaching that it’s okay to eat canned food and drink it’s water pack without heating.

    How to care for a minor wound to avoid later infection.

    How to garden and how to find edible plants in the wild.

    How to start a fire and how to put it out.

    How to use a gun/bow.

    How to set a snare/fish.

    How to clean an animal/fish.

    How and when to hide.

  • JanZizka

    God bless you, Michael. It was your site two years ago that finally got my head out of the sand. I’m not nearly as prepared as I would like to be but am doing what I can and taking it a day at a time. Plan for the worst, hope and work to make the best happen, the rest is in God’s hands. It is at times hard to live that out when what lies ahead absolutely horrifies me but there is freedom in facing it rather than trying to hide from it as I do not think there will be any ‘safe’ place when it comes, just degrees of it.

    • Michael

      JanZizka:

      Thank you for saying that. I am amazed at how much of an impact this site has had on people all over the world.

      I hope that I can continue to bless everyone that comes to the site, because you all have been a tremendous blessing to me.

      Michael

  • Optimistic Pessimist

    When I was young I went on camping holidays run by a volunteer organisation. Proper camping this is – I learnt how to dig a latrine (toilet outside), cook on open fires etc.

    Focusing on the toilet, if the toilet won’t flush and you don’t see the sewage system coming back online for a while here is an outline of how to build a makeshift latrine 6ft long x 1ft wide x 5ft deep in your back garden.
    Good for 2 weeks for a family of 4-6 depending on how regular you are before another needs to be built:

    Bare in mind you don’t want to be running to far down the garden during the night or in the early morning and try to locate it in a place the neighbours cannot see as I’m sure you enjoy your privacy as much as I do.

    You will need:
    4 long wooden poles (7ft by an inch round)
    4 nails (1.5 inch long)
    Ball of string or heavy twine
    8 tent pegs
    A few small stones
    1 mallet
    1 40ft by 7ft non see through tarp or other material)
    1 tarp or a ripped open black bin liner will do to make a long sheet for the earth pile
    1 shovel
    1 pic-axe
    1 spade
    1 hand trowel
    1 bucket
    1 bar of soap
    1 nail scrubbing brush
    1 towel
    1 sealed container (containing toilet roll)

    Using the spade cut out the turf to form a trench 6ft long by 1ft wide (remember it has to be thin enough to get your legs standing comfortably either side so the 1ft may have to be adapted if you have young children). Set this turf aside somewhere away from the trench but do retain it as it will be used to go back on top when you’ve finished with the lat.

    Lay the small tarp or ripped open bin liner a foot away from the trench. This is where you are going to put all the dirt that is going to come out of the hole. Now comes the graft – start digging with the pic-axe to loosen the earth then shovel it out onto the bin liner to form a pile of earth. Once the trench is about 5ft deep it is good, for smaller children using it you may only want to go 3ft.

    Now you need help to erect the non see through tarp or sheeting around the hole. Take the 4 wooden poles and bang a nail into the end of each, you may wish to make a pilot hole with a drill to prevent the wood cracking. These poles are your uprights and the 40ft tarp will wrap around them to form a rectangular shape. Use the string to tie the tarp to the nail at the top of each pole by wrapping it over the nail. From the top of each pole take two guy lines of string at 90 degrees to each other to hold the pole in place. Make sure the tarp is tight so the tension from each pole holds the others up. Secure the guy lines in place with the tent pegs. Make sure there is an entrance at one of the poles, just a flap to get through.

    Fill the bucket with water and put it outside the entrance with the soap, nailbrush and towel. Stick the hand trowel in the mound of earth inside the lat so that as you do your business you can cover it up and any toilet paper to prevent attracting flies and other insects to the excrement.

    Put the toilet paper in the sealed box inside the lat.

    To stop the sides of the tarp riding up in winds tie a few stones in place with the string down the bottom of each side of the tarp.

    Make sure to change the water everyday as hygiene is important. You now have a latrine ready to go.

    Once it gets full(as in the level of the lat is at the same height as the grass around it) replace the turf so it sits proud – on top of the lat. This does two things – 1) it shows where a lat has been and 2) as the material decomposes the turf should shrink back into the ground to roughly the same level as the surrounding grass.

    If you have enough spare materials dig a new lat a couple of days before finishing the old one. No-one likes holding it while someone is trying to dig a new lat.

    If young children find it difficult to straddle the lat they can always stand at the side and aim. Alternatively using an old toilet seat and some metal framing a suitable makeshift seat can be made to sit on over the lat for the younger and elder generations.

    Hope I haven’t missed anything out.

    Happy Lat building!!!

    OP

  • DownWithLibs

    My mom has had a subscription to Reminisce Magazine for about 15 years now. She has also purchased the books dealing with the depression for me for birthday and Christmas gifts. I would always read them (books and magazines) and wonder what it would have been like, what I would have done in their place. The stories are always uplifting and awe inspiring. If you have the means, that would be a worthwhile publication to subscribe to. You do glean a lot of ideas on surviving the “rough” times. Plus you get a glimpse into a friendlier time in our nations history.

    As they say “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”!

  • Accroyer

    The health care system may not be around the next few years.

  • Washington

    Libertarian Party Presidential nominee Gary Johnson reveals his latest ad spot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x9bkXVccAs&feature=player_embedded

    • Gay Veteran

      Gary Johnson thinks that the banksters didn’t break any laws

  • ken

    I don’t hear much about hunting and fishing to survive. I would suggest procuring a shotgun and learning how to use it, also a good bow and some broadhead arrows. They could also be used for protection if necessary. I have lots of fishing gear and lures as well as a kayak and a canoe (don’t rely on outboard motors, they use gas!) Tents, sleeping bags, any camping equipment items as well as a well stocked first aid kit. Stock up on dried medicinal herbs. When I bug out I am heading to a wooded area close to a lake that is accessable only by water. Start hiking, working out and getting strong. Learn to fast, one day to start, then gradually work up to about 3 to 4 days. Your body will acclimate. Get rid of all material possessions that don’t contribute to survival especially sofas and TV sets. Develop a warrior spirit and believe that you will get through it. It won’t last forever.

  • McKinley Morganfield

    I’m going to put my 2 cents in at the tail end: of this thread. Priority 1). 6 months of canned/dried food you would normally eat. 2.) 6 months of dehydrated foods. 3.) stored water to supply drinking and cooking needs for 3 months. 4.) Reasonable access to a constant source of what you can purify with low tex means. 5.) fuel that you can burn without attracting attention. Alcohol stoves are the best option. 6.) candles, matches, and wind up flashlights that require no batteries. 7.)Heirloom vegetable seeds and means to can/dry your harvest.

    8.) Basic firearms. This will always be a subjective list but for bare bones I suggest: ( a) The SKS rifle with 30 stripper clips and at least 1000 rounds of ammo, (b) a good 22rl rifle.., Ruger 1022 comes to mind, and 5,000 rounds of ammo. (c) A NEF 12 gauge single shot.with 100 sh(d)ells of bird shot, 100 shells of 00 buck, 50 shells of 04 buchshot, and 50 slugs. (d) a good quality revolver with 500 rounds of 357 and 500 rounds of 38 Spl.

    Those are just my prep precaussions. Ic

    • susy b

      yea, seriously, ill get right on that ammo part. got a few thou sittin round? nor tryin to be sarcastic….. just sayin…..

    • tryin’ to understand

      Wait a sec, back up here: 6 (SIX) – months worth of DEHYDRATED foods, yet only THREE months worth of water? Seriously?

  • Sylan

    Gold coins and silver metal, don’t forget !!!

  • BringItOn

    People,you need to wake up and understand that living in fear of anticipated events that will never happen is what the power elite want from you.The world isn’t about to end anytime soon,it’s just going to change and there will be a greater level of uncertainty.Expect the best,prepare for the worst,get on with enjoying your life while finding ways to create more value for yourself and others.Simple.

    • Brian Marvin

      I don’t think Michael’s point in this article (or any of his articles) is to have us live in fear, but rather to realize the severity of what is coming and take appropriate steps to be prepared for it.
      I take the approach of putting 90-95% of my resources into what I know is going to happen–inflation & supply disrution(storms/droughts/grid-infastructure decay). The remaining 5-10% is directed towards the most likely and dangerous possibilities. By preparing for what I know will happen, I am almost 90% prepared for those possibilities. I do not considered myself to be worried(or living in fear), but concerned and therefore taking the appropriate steps to better ensure my family can not just survive, but thrive in the future.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Hello–

    Long time reader first time commenter. Excellent blog, one of the very best.

    Here is an EXCELLENT article by Austrian Economist/historian Richard Maybury

    How to prepare for the coming riots:

    http://www.chemicalbiological.net/chembioupdate_flashalert_prepare_for_the_coming_riots.html

    I am one of Richard Maybury’s subscribers, unfortunately, it costs about $300/year, but he is right on the money about everything – as is this site.

    Keep up the great work.

    Bon

  • Laura

    For many of us, the thought of saving up 6 months of living expenses is huge, not to mention paying off all the debt we have. So I suggest that people don’t think about it, just do a little at a time.

    By not freaking out, in the last 6 months, I’ve managed to put aside 2 months of expenses, and continued to pay down debt. I also have a small amount of food stored.

    Do I feel prepared? No, not really, but I do feel like I’ve bought myself a little time. I don’t expect things to implode overnight, but rather to continue to crumble as they are now.

    I thought about whether or not to get out of the city, but frankly I think we generally should stay with whatever we know. By staying with what we know, we can better protect ourselves. I have gotten to know my neighbors better. A huge percentage are awake and preparing.

    So instead of a “bugout” plan, as they call it, I simply focus on expanding my skills, becoming more self-reliant, and making sure my children and I are healthy. We go on very long hikes, and I have even begun to feed them foods that are more similar to what we have in storage. This has the added benefit that I can save more.

    And as for whether I would help those who come to my door, yes, I will help anyone who is genuine and kind. And they will help in return.

    On the flip side, I do have it in me to respond to evil with evil.

  • http://www.thehomeforsurvival.com Survivor Mike

    Great article Mike. I’ve often had a hard time convincing extended family to begin prepping. This is a great jumping off point for folks just starting out.

    Thanks for this.

    • Michael

      Survivor Mike:

      Thanks for saying that. Hopefully this article will be useful for a lot of people out there.

      Michael

  • alice

    I would try to get Iboga, it literally kills any illness and detoxes your body from all these crazy particles they’ve been spraying – it’s nature’s answer to the mark of the beast, being proactive and going to an iboga healing center would be ideal if you can afford it to get clean / healthy now. Completely changed my life from a fatigued weak minded sick person to a healthy strong and aware one who is now ready for what’s to come…

    • glittermama

      What is iboga? My daughter has been seeing a naturalistic doctor. I need to go but have to save money first. I need something. I went off of synthetic thyroid medicines but the depression is severe now. I am having extreme anxiety especially over everything going on in our country. I want to just bug out to another country with my kids but don’t know where I should go.

      • momofsix

        Glittermama • I’ve found help with my hypothyroidism when I found the book Stop The Thyroid Madness and its website, a Forum where hypo sufferers offer experiences, finding doctors who look at symptoms – not just TSH lab reports – and the solutions they have found that work for them. You can find the book and Forum online. The Forum is essentially patients talking to patients. It’s a godsend.

  • BigLoner

    Mean Streets getting meaner…..

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/girl-13-charged-in-hitandrun-death-of-cyclist-0i6gnju-166281046.html

    Note that the comments feature is disabled. Dont want no hate crime talk now…

  • Jeff Panek

    Stock up on seeds and know in advance what foods you can grow in the area you live. The more varieties of food you grow the happier you’ll be. Learn to compost and about crop rotation. A garden planted one year will not grow as well the next if you do not replenish the soils nutrients. Also, if you have rainwater collection systems, if some of your water happens to go bad, don’t dump it. It can still water crops or be used for other purposes.

  • Stefanne

    I’m canadian
    Do you think your article Aply to canadian peuple as well ?

  • David

    Hi
    Thanks Micheal. This is the first time I have read your sight. Lots of cool information. I am an American living in Beijing. Do you feel that the same type of preparedness needs to be done here? It is a totally different government, and people don’t have guns here, so… maybe just learn hand to hand self defense and stock up on food, water and supplies?

  • Cal Ulating

    I got tired of reading all the postings so skipped to the only doable solution. Vote with your feet and get the heck out of Dodge.

  • Dorian

    A lot of the suggestions and discussion here are very wise and useful,but it seems like most have forgotten to power of community in mutual survival. It was THE key for those who survived both the Great Depression and the Holocaust.
    While storing what we need and managing our affairs better are simple common sense, working to create and maintain a supportive community is essential to survival.
    Check out the Transition Towns initiative. It has been taking off both in the US and globally among people who are aware of the multiple problems facing us as far as our survival-from financial collapse, to peak oil, they’ve been researching and preparing their communities–and creating manuals and collected wisdom for other communities to use to do the same.
    No matter how much you store you will eventually run out of food and bullets-but if you prepare your community to be resilient, to work together to maintain safety, food and water supplies and other needs you can not only survive but thrive not just for a few years but indefinitely.
    Instead of preparing to defend against hungry violent people as families, we can prepare to feed them while expecting them to join in the work and the community-for all but the few real psychopaths, once the reality of the situation hits them this will produce more strong backs to get the work done instead of more stinky corpses attracting vermin. (and save the bullets for the real psychos no one can deal with!)
    Using permaculture principles, and sharing the work among larger groups even a small community can ensure security, and eventually abundance and comfort in most situations(permaculture designs for minimizing disaster damage as from fires, earthquakes, hurricanes etc)
    Also when we prepare as communities we don’t have to abandon our spiritual and moral values in order to provide for our families survival.
    Don’t worry about affording gold you can hoard, look into LETS systems and other local currencies and barter systems, many communities have already got them going and they are getting more and more successful as the “real money” situation gets worse. (google Local exchange systems, or Ithaca HOURS for tons of info and links to joining or creating one of these)

    I feel that as conditions worsen, the pointless divisions between people, such as race, old/young, conservative/liberal etc will start to quickly fade in importance.

    When conditions are truly harsh, throughout history most humans will band together to help one another, and compassion for one’s fellows will outweigh fear and prejudice. (Much like people will pick up any hitchhiker in the desert)
    Studies have shown that altruism, the ability to work together for the overall good of the group is THE difference that allowed humanity to survive the ice ages and become the dominant species on planet Earth.

  • Margie Hurt

    I think one of the most important things to do is stock up on heirloom vegetable seeds. Learn how to garden and can. Make sure you have canning supplies on hand. You can find canning supplies at garage sales and thrift shops. Even if you live in a city you can do square foot gardening.

  • Claire E. McCue

    What are the absolute critical items to acquire ?

    • reply

      Look at the crisis happening right now in Spain and Greece and what people are looking for…

      Food is top of the list. Some people in Europe are even looking for that in garbage…

      Just stock enough food for a long time (cans for example) and rotate them. Don’t forget at least 2 cans openers, in case one breaks or rust. Learn/check some ideas of what to do with used cans.

      Speaking of food, you may want to get your own garden so stocking seeds is another thing to do.

      There are many items (paper toilet, toothpaste, bleaching products, laundry soaps, and more) you can get while they are discounted. So when you see what you believe is a good deal (end of stock, or whatever): buy enough. I don’t need or buy the big brands. I mean: I have lots of paper toilets but the not-so-known brand is good enough for my needs.

      You may also want to buy some extra-clothes/shoes. What you will need if you were 6 months without being able to buy anything new. Don’t forget mothballs.

  • Arby

    I have heard it said several times. Better to be a year early than one day too late. The last place I want to be is at the grocery/ supply store after everyone figures out that this is it!!

  • Polarbear

    One thing I find that isn’t mentioned on a lot sites is that when storing water you can also store your silver in the containers. This was a common practice of the early settlers, to keep their water fresh. Silver is an excellent anti-bacterial.

  • Loop Garoo

    My experience is that NOBODY appreciates any help of bad news…better to let them all starve in the dark. I am tired of being called names.

  • JAFCO

    polarbear:
    Do you know how much silver is “given off” into the water to provide antibacterial benefit?

  • bernie

    i am a prepper been one for years you will need med when ******* comes your way so here is something you will fine easy to do you need PENICILLIN =250mgfish pen 500mg fish pen forte AMOXICILLIN=250mg fish mox for children 500mg fish mox forte for adalts CIPROFLOXACIN orCIPRO= 500mg fish flox forte CEPHALEXINor KEFLEX 250mg fish flex 500mg fish flex forte DOXYCYCLINE =100mg bird biolic these are veterinariar equivalent this might save your life there is so much i can show you and the cost is 1/3 the cost of the outher med thank you for letting me vent

    • http://n/a to bernie

      Dear Bernie can you send me more of those
      good suggestions about alternative medical
      uses.
      In case we are not able to get medicine!!
      thank you

    • http://www.facebook.com/david.gillespie.545 David Gillespie

      More links Bernie to Alternative medicine! Thanks!

    • newprepper

      how do you get these meds without a prescription?

  • elsie

    do your own research on meds etc. also throw in a first aid book to your kit and the physician’s desk manual to reference drugs what they are used for, etc. For example, different penecillins for ear infections, urinary tract infections, strep.

  • http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com Alberta Hagerman

    I certainly enjoyed reading your article and support your view.
    Unfortuantely, my husband does not. Still, As a retired couple of 75 and 80 yrs. who live in a very small condo, how do we store all you have suggested?

  • Jeronimo Briggz

    Store some intelligence if you can get any because I doubt stockpiling items of self interest will protect you from the “human element”. If you cannot read people, negotiate and persuade then you are doomed. Learn a skill, if you want to survive and learn to control your emotions. Lol you are all ******************!

    • Joey Sizzle

      Easily the best advice is the human elements aka unpredictability

  • JessicaA

    Hello, I am curious how everyone weighs in on where to live? Assuming everything else is equal, (house size, debt, prepping ,etc) What location would be ideal? Our options are:
    1.(current) centrally located in a large midwestern town. close location to highways & neighbors, small yard, etc.
    2. just outside of town – distance from neighbors, wooded area, large yard, etc
    3. way out of town – hidden in the trees and secluded

    Also, we have a lot of equity in our home and only 4 years left of a 10 year note. We’ve discussed refinancing to have $ to fortify, install geothermal heating, etc, and also make very small fixed monthly payments for ourselves. Since the dollar will be worthless, what will that do to debt? Is it better to have debt and be prepared?

  • JessicaA

    Another question – in regards to cleaning supplies, personal hygene, etc.. there are some very basic things that can take on all kinds of uses…

    hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, baking soda, borax, essential oils, etc. Do any of you have some knowledge on this? or know of a good resource regarding uses, shelf-life, etc for these types of things?

    • Sandy

      Also stockpile white vinegar. Research…lots of uses. Anti bacterial.

      • Laureli Illoura

        I think this is true, but you also get awesome benefits from apple-cider vinegar “with the mother” (this cider is easier to drink as a medicinal). You can make it yourself with wild apples, or peels from organic apples. It’s worth learning how. It takes about 3 weeks to produce. I use it for all our animals and us too – a tsp or two per gallon of water.

  • Alicia

    Go to google and type in 100 items to dissappear first in a disaster. It will give a very comprehensive list.

  • Dee

    Maybe I just don’t know enough..but I have seen very few posts that suggest building a seed collection. To me..you might have a money stash..but if there is an economic collapse and our dollar is just a piece of paper…You can’t eat that! And, will people even want useless money for goods? Just curious…
    Anyway..seems to me that bartering will be essential..and I think I read somewhere that seeds were once worth more than gold in this country. I have spent the last several years acquiring and saving (from my own garden) a large quantity of heirlooms seeds. I think that is going to be essential.
    Just my thoughts:)

  • lutman59

    The advice about paying down debt was stupid. You need to understand something. Just as money in the bank will become worthless if the financial system collapses, so will debt. It won’t matter. They aren’t going to kick half the country out of their houses and make them live in the woods if everyone is defaulting on loans. Both assets and debts will be meaningless if it all goes south. It’s much better to have liquid assets (i.e. gold or silver) with a ton of debt on paper than no debt and no assets. Make sense?

    • lutman59

      You can’t buy a bag of groceries by presenting a bank statement showing you are debt free. Get it?

    • marie

      Yes, I think this is a valid point, you have to look out for yourself first and family, I would invest more in seeds and learning how to desalinate water, etc. I am already living with no city water and It was hard at first but now I’ve adjusted and I never thought I could but I did.

      , gas food water and shelter. number one priority.

  • zardoz911

    i am basically debt free. i keep 3 10000$ credit cards at the ready and will not hesitate to use them in the future for necessities / barter stores. there could come a time when the gov-corp just to stay in power declare all personal debt null. all empires have done this historically.

    • kathryn

      Just remember, credit card companies can, and will, suspend/ modify all credit available whenever they want. During downturns in the economy our available credit has been suspended, even when all our payments have been made on time, everytime.
      Consider having actual cash available to you.

  • Kathryn

    Let’s hope our preparations are not needed!

  • BNandcompany

    your
    web link are very useable and thanks for contacting us.

  • supercuddlegirl

    I am about to move and was going to sell some rabbit cages I have. I used to have angora rabbits to spin their hair. Now I am wondering if I should keep the cages instead of selling them for a fraction of new. Do you think meat rabbits or other small meat animals make viable barter investments?

    • Ann_Onymous

      Yes. Absolutely. One buck and two does can breed over 200 lbs (100kg) of meat per year, in addition to providing phenomenal, nitrogen rich fertilizer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.gillespie.545 David Gillespie

    I’m sure electricity will be shut down. My question….I’m sure the military will need the satellite systems up and running to dominate and keep citizens in control. Therefore I could use my gps to stash and bury several caches? I’d hate to lose supplies by forgetting where they are buried, and I don’t want a raid on my home to cause me to lose all my supplies.

  • Eddie B

    If we do survive the social collapse, what kind of a world would be left and do you really want to live in that kind of world.

    • Mike Knox

      yes I do. want to live that is

  • Mightypie the patriot!

    AMERICA WILL NOT DIE, WE CAN ALWAYS COME OUT OF ANYTHING, AS WE ALWAYS HAVE BEEN THROUGH HISTORY!!! IT’S NOT EVEN CLOSE TO THE END MY FRIENDS! although I’ll admit we really need to stop spending more then our income…..

    • disqus_DZZrGaOfFy

      America can die and it is dieing. Obama has run us into the ground. Our us dollar is the main reserve in the world. WAS. Not anymore. China, japan, Russia, brazil, and ten others have already dropped us dollar. They are fed up with our spending. How much longer do you think they will keep handing us money! Obama is spending it like it grows on trees. On purpose. He hates americans and America! The military (Obama’s own private military) are doing drills all over this country. They have opened up hundreds of internment camps! We r about to see our dollar fail and Obama bring on martial law! Get ready! They’ve known this for years! They stockpiled millions of dollars worth of food. They have over 3 billion hollowpoints stockpiled! It’s sad what she is coming to but get ready. Obama want’s to b the ruler of the world and nothing is going to stop him. He is antichrist.

      • Seriously

        Slow your roll there, Obama isn’t the only President who has assisted in undermining this country. He is but ONE MORE player in the dismantling of this country. And if you know your bible the antichrist comes out of somewhere around the Russian area…Anyways…

    • Seriously

      What a romantic view of America you have, but it’s not the same place it once was. Sorry to have to break it to you…do you even know who owns us? Anyways…

  • Ronnie

    Thanks for a very interesting post/blog. The book is about America, but I noticed the food being stocked in the photo looks like the stuff I buy in Thailand (though I guess it’s also Australian). Anyway, some very logical advice – appreciated

  • Cassandra

    I have 3 kids 8yr, 6yr, and 5 months. Any special suggestions for getting them prepared?

  • curtis

    my home is paid for and we have zero debt, I have heard that in the case of a collapse certain unscrupulous folks will try and come after folks with paid for homes, They will hit the county records and come after you monetarily via lawsuits and fake claims Is this possible or true?

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