Nearly two-thirds of all Americans are completely and totally unprepared for the next economic crisis. As you will read about below, a new survey has found that only 38 percent of Americans have enough money on hand to cover “a $500 repair bill or a $1,000 emergency room visit”. That essentially means that 62 percent of the people in this country do not have an emergency fund. Even after the extremely bitter financial lessons that millions of Americans learned during the last recession, most of us are still choosing to live on the edge. That is utter insanity, and when the next major economic downturn strikes most people are going to find themselves totally unprepared.
The number one thing that you need to do to get ready for the coming economic collapse is to build up an emergency fund.
I know that is not the most “sexy” piece of advice in the world, but it is the truth. Just think about it. During the last recession, millions of Americans suddenly lost their jobs. Because they did not have any cushion to fall back on, millions of them also suddenly could not pay their bills and their mortgages. Foreclosures skyrocketed and countless families went from living a very comfortable middle class lifestyle to being out on the street in very short order.
And now because the people of this country have been so foolish it is going to happen again.
Because of my website, people are constantly asking me what they should do to prepare for the coming economic collapse.
I think that they expect me to say something like this…
“Sell everything that you possibly can and buy gold and silver, go purchase a llama farm, and dig a bunker where you can bury 10,000 cases of MREs.”
Not that there is anything wrong with those kinds of preparations.
But before you do anything else, you have got to have an emergency fund. My recommendation is to have an emergency fund that can cover at least six months of expenses in case something happens.
Sadly, a solid majority of Americans do not have any emergency cash at all. The following comes from the Wall Street Journal…
Only 38% of those polled said they could cover a $500 repair bill or a $1,000 emergency room visit with funds from their bank accounts, a new Bankrate report said. Most others would need to take on debt or cut back elsewhere.
“A solid majority of Americans say they have a household budget,” said Bankrate banking analyst Claes Bell. “But too few have the ability to cover expenses outside their budget without going into debt or turning to family and friends for help.”
The survey found that an unexpected bill would cause 26% to reduce spending elsewhere, while 16% would borrow from family or friends and 12% would put the expense on a credit card. The remainder didn’t know what they would do or would make other arrangements.
And of course this is not the only poll that has come up with these kinds of results. In fact, a Federal Reserve survey from last year produced similar numbers…
The findings are strikingly similar to a U.S. Federal Reserve survey of more than 4,000 adults released last year. “Savings are depleted for many households after the recession,” it found. Among those who had savings prior to 2008, 57% said they’d used up some or all of their savings in the Great Recession and its aftermath. What’s more, only 39% of respondents reported having a “rainy day” fund adequate to cover three months of expenses and only 48% of respondents said that they would completely cover a hypothetical emergency expense costing $400 without selling something or borrowing money.
Meanwhile, the financial condition of most American families is far worse than it was just prior to the last major economic crisis. As a recent MarketWatch article detailed, the average family currently has far less wealth than it did back then…
But while the jobs market is improving and the Affordable Care Act has given an estimated 15 million people access to medical care, the Great Recession does appear to have taken its toll on Americans’ finances; in fact, they’re 40% poorer today than they were in 2007. The net worth of American families — that is, the difference between the values of their assets, including homes and investments, and liabilities — fell to $81,400 in 2013, down slightly from $82,300 in 2010, but a long way off the $135,700 in 2007, according to a report released last month by the nonprofit think tank Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C.
So we have a lot less wealth, and almost two-thirds of us have no emergency cushion to fall back on whatsoever.
What could go wrong?
In addition, there is lots of evidence that much of the country has not bothered to make any preparations at all for even a basic emergency that would last for just a few days. For example, the following are results from a survey conducted by the Adelphi Center for Health Innovation that I featured in a previous article…
- 44 percent don’t have first-aid kits
- 48 percent lack emergency supplies
- 53 percent do not have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water at home
- 55 percent believe local authorities will come to their rescue if disaster strikes
- 52 percent have not designated a family meeting place if they are separated during an emergency
- 42 percent do not know the phone numbers of all of their immediate family members
- 21 percent don’t know if their workplace has an emergency preparedness plan
- 37 percent do not have a list of the drugs they are taking
- 52 percent do not have copies of health insurance documents
What are all of those people going to do if there is an extended crisis or disaster in this nation?
That is a very good question.
Meanwhile, the signs that we are on the verge of the next major economic crisis just continue to grow. Yesterday, I shared 10 things that happened just prior to the financial crisis of 2008 that are happening again right now.
Today, we learned that a major oil driller down in Texas has just declared bankruptcy, and many more energy companies are expected to follow suit in the coming months. The following is from the Wall Street Journal…
[S]igns of strain are building in the oil patch, where revenue growth hasn’t kept pace with borrowing. On Sunday, a private company that drills in Texas, WBH Energy LP, and its partners, filed for bankruptcy protection, saying a lender refused to advance more money and citing debt of between $10 million and $50 million. Neither the Austin-based company nor its lawyers responded to requests for comment.
Energy analysts warn defaults could be coming. “The group is not positioned for this downturn,” said Daniel Katzenberg, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. “There are too many ugly balance sheets.”
And we also learned today that teen retailer Wet Seal is going to be closing two-thirds of its stores.
Dozens more retailers are expected to make similar announcements over the coming months.
We are moving into the most chaotic time for the U.S. economy that any of us have ever seen, and most Americans are totally oblivious to what is happening and are totally unprepared.
So what is our country going to look like when tens of millions of unprepared people are blindsided by a crisis that they never saw coming?
If an ice storm can cause this much panic in our major cities, what will a real crisis look like? The biggest news story in the United States right now is the “historic ice storm” that is hammering the South. Travel will be a nightmare, schools and businesses will be closed, and hundreds of thousands of people will lose power. In fact, it is being projected that some people could be without power for up to a week. But at the end of the day, the truth is that this ice storm is just an inconvenience. Yes, the lives of millions of Americans will be disrupted for a few days, but soon the ice will melt and life will be back to normal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for people to start behaving like crazed lunatics. As you will see below, the winter weather is causing average Americans to ransack grocery stores, fight over food items and even pull guns on one another. If this is how people will behave during a temporary weather emergency, how will they behave when we are facing a real disaster?
This is a perfect example that shows why it is wise to always have emergency food supplies on hand. According to CNN, all that is left on the shelves of some grocery stores in Atlanta is “corn and asparagus”…
As the skies turned heavy, Atlantans cleaned stores out of loaves of bread, gallons of milk, bundles of firewood and cans of beans and beer. In some stores, all that was left were the apparently less-popular corn and asparagus.
And according to an Infowars report, some people down in Atlanta were actually getting into fights over basic essentials such as milk and bread…
Atlanta residents ransacked neighborhood grocery stores in frantic preparation for their second major snowstorm of the year, waging fights over food items and leaving destruction and empty shelves in their wake, a stunning precursor to what will ensue once a major crisis impacts the U.S.
After three inches of snow shut the city down two weeks ago, causing major havoc and leaving miles of cars stranded on immobile roadways, the residents of Atlanta took heed and shopped early.
According to people who Tweeted photos of barren store shelves, residents went crazy over essentials like milk, bread, water and eggs, and in some cases “people were fighting. Yes fighting,” alleges one user.
The photo that I have shared below was posted to Twitter by Kris Muir. It shows what the bread aisle at a Kroger in the Atlanta area looked like as the storm approached…
So what would happen if this was an extended crisis and you had not stored up any emergency supplies for your own family?
That is something to think about.
And just like during the last major winter storm in the South, there are reports of hundreds of vehicles being abandoned on the side of the road in major cities. For example, just check out what has been happening in Raleigh, North Carolina…
“I live and work in downtown. I was able to get from my office back home. My wife works in Morrisville, about 25 minutes away. She left the office at 12 p.m. and is still on the road. I am coaching her home with Google Maps. It appears that, from WRAL TV, the ramp from Wade Avenue to 440 is blocked by abandoned cars. That is a HUGE ramp (downtown Raleigh to highway).”
We are also seeing quite a few reports of “snow rage” as this cold, snowy winter drags on. In fact, on Sunday someone actually pulled out a shotgun and threatened to shoot a snow plow driver on Long Island…
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday, people have found themselves fed up with the hassle of plowing, shoveling and salting. In fact, they have been pushed to the edge, to the point where they have been taking out their frustrations on plow drivers.
Eric Ramirez, a snow plow driver on Long Island, said an irate man went so far as to rack a shotgun Sunday and threaten to shoot him because he was piling snow in front of the man’s Manorhaven home.
And a similar incident involving a pistol was recently reported in Union Township…
The incident happened Monday afternoon along Underwood Street in Union Township.
Police say Eckert became angry when the self-employed driver, John Abraham, accidentally pushed some snow into his yard while cleaning a neighbor’s driveway.
“I went like this to put it in park and there was a gun right here in my face,” Abraham said.
Eckert is then accused of taking a .22-calibur pistol out of his coat, and pressing it against Abraham’s cheek, telling him to remove the snow.
As I write about so frequently, the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is starting to disappear. A whole host of surveys and opinion polls have shown that Americans are angrier and more frustrated than ever. Our society has become a ticking time bomb, and it isn’t going to take much for it to explode.
When it does explode, most people are going to be depending on the government or someone else to take care of them. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo…
Despite warnings from FEMA, as well as the prevalence of popular preparedness TV shows, Americans still don’t seem to understand how susceptible we are to a complete destabilization of life as we know it. It boggles the mind that most people seem to think that when disasters strikes they’ll be able to depend on someone else to provide them with assistance.
Fortunately, at least a few people seem to be learning some lessons about the importance of being prepared from these winter storms…
“Last time I was totally unprepared, I was completely blindsided,” said Lisa Nadir, of Acworth, who sat in traffic for 13 hours and then spent the night in her car when the storm hit Jan. 28. “I’m going to be prepared from now on for the rest of my life.”
What about you?
Are you prepared?
We live at a time when our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and it doesn’t take much to imagine a bunch of scenarios in which this nation would be facing a major crisis for an extended period of time…
-A major eruption of Mt. Rainier or the Yellowstone supervolcano
-The “Big One” hits California
-A massive earthquake along the New Madrid fault line
-A highly infectious pandemic that kills tens of millions of Americans
-Hackers bring down the Internet or crash the banking system
-A massive tsunami hits either the east coast or the west coast destroying numerous major cities
-A major war erupts in the Middle East and the United States gets involved
-A crisis involving North Korea sparks a major war in Asia
-A terror attack that specifically targets our power grid
-A terror attack involving a weapon of mass destruction in one of our major cities
-A terror attack or a major natural disaster causes one or more nuclear facilities in the heart of the United States to experience a “Fukushima-like crisis”
-A massive EMP blast that fries our electrical grid and our communications systems
-Last but certainly not least, a massive economic collapse that fundamentally changes life in America on a permanent basis
So what do you think?
Are there additional scenarios that you would add to the list above?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…
Hurricane Sandy is another reminder of just how incredibly fragile the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted on a daily basis really is. Many of the hardest hit areas along the Jersey shore and the coast of Long Island have descended into a state of anarchy. More than 7 million people live on Long Island, and millions more live along the Jersey shore and right now they are getting a taste of what life would be like during a total economic meltdown. At the moment, there are still approximately 4.7 million homes and businesses that do not have power. Officials say that some of those homes and businesses may not have their power restored until the weekend of November 10th and 11th. Meanwhile, it is getting very cold at night. This weekend the low temperatures on Long Island are supposed to dip into the upper thirties. There have been reports of people diving into dumpsters behind supermarkets in a desperate search for food, and there have been other reports of roaming gangs of criminals posing as officials from FEMA or Con Edison and then robbing families at gunpoint once they have gained entrance into their homes. If people will behave like this during a temporary emergency that lasts only a few days, what would they do during a total economic collapse? That is a frightening thing to think about.
Most gas stations along the Jersey shore and on Long Island are either totally out of gasoline or they don’t have any power to operate the gas pumps. It is estimated that more than half of all gas stations in New York City are closed at the moment, and officials say that more than 80 percent of all gas stations in New Jersey are not able to sell gas right now. So needless to say, the lines at the gas stations that remain open are horrific.
It is being reported that some people are waiting in line for hours for gasoline in some areas and that state troopers have actually been deployed at every gas station along the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.
The following is how one New Jersey mayor described the situation…
“Gas lines are stretching for a couple of miles,” said Anthony Ammiano, mayor of Freehold, N.J., who recalled the oil crisis of the 1970s. “It’s like the Jimmy Carter years. It’s a flashback of bad memories.”
There have even been reports of people literally fighting each other over gasoline…
“It’s so crazy. Cars are pulling up and people are fighting each other. There is no gas around here,” said Mena Aziz, who manages a Gulf Express station in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. “It’s been so busy.”
According to Breitbart, there have been continuous reports of “fistfights and people bringing guns to gas stations” on Twitter. The following are a couple of examples…
Just awful! RT @metrogypsy: Someone just pulled a knife at Greenpoint #gas station as line stretches with hours long wait #gettingrealFAST
— Camila Xavier (@camilaxavier) November 1, 2012
You know things are bad when you ask the gas station attendent “when do you think you’re going to get more gas?” and he just laughs at you.
— Prede (@predederva) November 1, 2012
Unfortunately, authorities are projecting that the gas shortage may last for another week at least.
How angry and frustrated will people get by that time?
There are vast stretches of the Jersey Shore and the coast of Long Island that will never be the same again. The following is an excerpt from a comment that a reader of mine from Long Island left on one of my recent articles…
I live in Massapequa NY …..No power to 95%. almost every home south of Merrick Road ( 1.5 miles from open water ) has been flooded. No electricity, no supermarkets in immediate area, no gas (approx 80% of gas stations closed on Long Island).
This was not just another storm. It was a life-altering event for millions of people.
Unfortunately, just as we have seen after every other major storm in recent years, looters are taking advantage of the chaos caused by Hurricane Sandy.
According to the New York Post, a number of arrests for looting have already been made on Long Island…
In the Rockaways, lowlifes were sneaking into clothing stores and cleaning out pizzerias. Two men and a woman were arrested for robbing a BP gas station on Beach Channel Drive, three men and one woman were cuffed for pillaging a Radio Shack on Beach 88th Street, and two people were arrested for raiding a clothing store near Beach 86th Street, cops said. Stores were emptied along a two-block stretch of Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island. Seven people were busted.
Over on Coney Island, looting appeared to be out of control during the immediate aftermath of the storm…
Thieves broke in to the badly damaged Mega Aid Pharmacy on Mermaid Avenue and reportedly stole more than 10,000 pharmaceutical items, including prescription drugs.
“The water went away and these people started walking down the streets and just robbed stores,” a pharmacy worker told HuffPo’s Andy Campbell.
Manager Stan Gutkin said the major heist essentially “breaks the business.”
Looters reportedly also targeted banks, other shops, and other pharmacies.
And residents are noticing.
“People are turning on each other — they’re attacking each other,” Ocean Towers resident Dena Wells told Campbell.
Amazingly, a number of not-so-smart looters have actually been displaying their looted goods on Twitter. Just check out the shocking photos in this article.
But most people living in the areas that were most affected by Hurricane Sandy are decent people that just want some assistance. One resident of Hoboken, New Jersey became so frustrated that he inflated an air mattress and used it to float down to city hall in an attempt to get some answers…
Nearly 20,000 people have been trapped at home in the New Jersey city of Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from New York City, amid accusations that officials were slow to deliver food and water.
One man blew up an air mattress and floated to City Hall, demanding to know why supplies had not reached residents – at least a quarter of homes there are flooded and 90% do not have power.
Just like we saw after Hurricane Katrina, the response by the federal government and by big aid agencies such as the Red Cross has been very slow. In fact, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro has gone so far as to call the Red Cross an “absolute disgrace” and is urging people that live in his area to quit giving money to them…
“You know, I went to a shelter Monday night after the storm. People were coming in with no socks, with no shoes. They were in desperate need. Their housing was destroyed. They were crying. Where was the Red Cross? Isn’t that their function? They collect millions of dollars. Whenever there’s a drive in Staten Island, we give openly and honestly. Where are they? Where are they? I was at the South Shore yesterday, people were buried in their homes. There the dogs are trying to find bodies. The people there, the neighbors who had no electricity, were making soup. Making soup. It’s very emotional because the lack of a response. The lack of a response. They’re supposed to be here….They should be on the front lines fighting, and helping the people.”
If this is how angry and frustrated that people become over a temporary disaster, how angry and frustrated would they get if there was a total economic meltdown that was permanent?
Sadly, the truth is that what we are seeing during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is just a very small preview of what is coming on a national level.
Our economy is a complete and total mess right now, and things are going to get a whole lot worse.
When unemployment starts skyrocketing again and large segments of the population realize that there is no hope for a turnaround, many of them are going to totally give in to despair and become very desperate.
And as we are seeing along the Jersey Shore and on Long Island right now, desperate people do desperate things.
That is why I am constantly pounding on the need to prepare for what is ahead. There are signs of social decay all around us, and most Americans are not equipped to deal with the pressures that come with a major emergency. When things totally fall apart, you don’t want your family to be totally unprepared and surrounded by millions of angry and desperate people.
Hopefully Hurricane Sandy will serve as a wake up call for millions of American families. Time is definitely running out, and we all need to get prepared while we still can.
Whenever a major disaster or emergency strikes, millions of lives can be turned upside down in an instant. Fortunately Hurricane Irene was not as catastrophic as originally projected, but millions of people did lose power and at least 35 people lost their lives. Large numbers of homes were destroyed and the economic damage from Hurricane Irene is going to be in the billions of dollars. Now that Hurricane Irene has passed, this is a good opportunity for all of us to look back and learn some important lessons about how to prepare for disasters and emergencies. The reality is that a major disaster or emergency has happened somewhere in the United States almost every single month so far this year, and it is only a matter of time before you and your family will be faced with another disaster or emergency.
No plan is perfect, but if you have a plan you are going to be far better off than if you do not have a plan. September is “National Preparedness Month“, so now is a great time to focus on preparing your family for the future disasters and emergencies that are inevitably coming.
The following are 12 things that we can learn from Hurricane Irene about how to prepare for disasters and emergencies….
#1 Disasters And Emergencies Are Inherently Unpredictable
When a disaster or an emergency strikes, you never know what is going to happen. Even a storm such as Hurricane Irene that was tracked for weeks can end up being highly unpredictable.
For example, while a tremendous amount of attention was paid to New York City, the reality is that some of the worst damage ended up being caused in Vermont. Hurricane Irene actually caused the worst flooding that Vermont has seen since 1927.
The following is how the governor of Vermont described the devastation that was caused in his state by this storm….
“It’s just devastating,” Gov. Peter Shumlin said Monday. “Whole communities under water, businesses, homes, obviously roads and bridges, rail transportation infrastructure. We’ve lost farmers’ crops,” he said. “We’re tough folks up here but Irene … really hit us hard.”
#2 During A Major Disaster Store Shelves Become Empty Very Rapidly
What do we see happen every single time there is even a minor disaster or emergency?
Every single time, food and other emergency supplies disappear from store shelves in a matter of hours.
If you do not have at least a couple weeks of food stored up you are being totally foolish.
In fact, considering how unstable the world has become, it is amazing that only a small percentage of the population has enough food stored up to be able to last for at least six months.
If an economic apocalypse happens, a major war breaks out, an EMP attack takes place, a huge comet strikes the planet or weapons of mass destruction are used in this country, you may not have access to mass quantities of very cheap food any longer.
Get prepared while you still can.
#3 Always Have A “Go Bag” Ready
When disaster strikes, you may only have a couple of minutes before you have to race out the door.
Your “go bag” should contain some food, some water, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, some cash, copies of your most important documents and any medicine that you may need.
#4 Know Your Escape Routes And Always Have Maps Of The Area In Your Vehicle
Have a plan and know where you are going to be heading in the event of an emergency.
If you don’t have a plan or if you don’t give yourself enough time, you could end up dead. A number of people died during Hurricane Irene while they were in their cars. The following is one example that was noted in a recent CNN article….
A 64-year-old woman was found dead Sunday by Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania, police after her family grew concerned when she did not show up for work. Her body was found a half-mile from where her car was abandoned in a deluged creek, police said.
#5 During A Major Disaster Or Emergency There Is A Good Chance That You Will Lose Power For An Extended Period Of Time
During Hurricane Irene, more than 5 million people lost power. That is why it is crucial to have a battery-powered radio, a battery-powered (or solar) flashlight and extra batteries in your home.
Know what you are going to do once the power goes out. Anyone that has been through an extended power outage knows how life can change almost instantly once the power goes down.
#6 Have Enough Water Stored Up
What was one of the biggest problems in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?
It turned out that one of the most critical problems was a very serious shortage of bottled water.
Yes, even after Katrina dumped unprecedented amounts of water on New Orleans one of the biggest problems was still a lack of water.
If you do not have clean water to drink, you can die within just a few days.
So when planning for disasters and emergencies, please be sure to store up enough water.
#7 During A Natural Disaster, Major Transportation Routes May Be Shut Down
A lot of people were horrified to find roads closed or washed out during Hurricane Irene. Just because you are used to traveling on certain roads it is not safe to assume that they will always be available during disasters and emergencies.
#8 Have Respect For The Sheer Power Of Natural Disasters
We live at a time when people like to make a joke out of anything, but major natural disasters are not to be trifled with.
If you do not respect nature, you can end up dead. Amazingly, some people were actually out boating and canoeing during Hurricane Irene. According to one CNN article, one 53-year-old man that tried boating during Hurricane Irene was later found dead….
One man in Croton, New York, died Sunday while boating along with four others down the Croton River, said Lt. Russell Haper, a spokesman for the Croton police. The boat overturned in the strong rapids. The 53-year-old man was found dead after a three-hour rescue effort. The other men were pulled safely from the water.
#9 Living Near Water Can Be Very Dangerous
If you live near the ocean or near a major river, you need to understand that the potential for danger is always there.
Even if you live a good bit in from the coast, the danger for substantial flooding is always there. The following is how one CNN article described the situation in Philadelphia at the height of Hurricane Irene….
Outside Philadelphia, waters had already climbed to street-sign levels in Darby, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said, with the water sending “couches, furniture, all kinds of stuff floating down the street.”
#10 During A Major Disaster Bring In All Objects From Outside
During any disaster that involves high winds, anything that is left outside can quickly become a very dangerous projectile. The last thing that you want is for the wind to pick up heavy objects and send them crashing into your home or the home of a neighbor. If you know that a major storm is coming, please bring in everything that you can from outside.
#11 Have A Plan But Be Flexible
Your best chance of making it through a disaster or emergency is to have a plan. But that doesn’t mean that you should always stick with that plan. Disasters and emergencies are inherently unpredictable, so it will be very important to be as flexible as possible.
#12 If You Wait Until Disaster Strikes To Prepare It Is Too Late
Right now is the time to prepare for the next disaster or emergency. If you wait until an emergency happens, you will be out of luck. You need to develop a disaster plan for yourself and your family if you do not have one already.
If you plan on storing up food, water, medicine and other emergency supplies, you need to do it ahead of time. Victory belongs to the prepared, and if you think that you will never wind up in the middle of a major disaster you are just being foolish.
Hurricane Irene was a terrible storm, but fortunately it was not nearly as bad as it could have been.
Hopefully this storm will serve as a wake up call for many of us.
The next time that a disaster strikes, we may not be let off the hook so easily.
Today, millions of Americans say that they believe that the United States is on the verge of a major economic collapse and will soon be entering another Great Depression. But only a small percentage of those same people are prepared for that to happen. The sad truth is that the vast majority of Americans would last little more than a month on what they have stored up in their homes. Most of us are so used to running out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart for whatever we need that we never even stop to consider what would happen if suddenly we were not able to do that. Already the U.S. economy is starting to stumble about like a drunken frat boy. All it would take for the entire U.S. to resemble New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina would be for a major war, a terror attack, a deadly pandemic or a massive natural disaster to strike at just the right time and push the teetering U.S. economy over the edge. So just how would you survive if you suddenly could not rely on the huge international corporate giants to feed, clothe and supply you and your family? Do you have a plan?
Unless you already live in a cave or you are a complete and total mindless follower of the establishment media, you should be able to see very clearly that our society is more vulnerable now than it ever has been. This year there have been an unprecedented number of large earthquakes around the world and volcanoes all over the globe are awakening. You can just take a look at what has happened in Haiti and in Iceland to see how devastating a natural disaster can be. Not only that, but we have a world that is full of lunatics in positions of power, and if one of them decides to set off a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in a major city it could paralyze an entire region. War could erupt in the Middle East at literally any moment, and if it does the price of oil will double or triple (at least) and there is the possibility that much of the entire world could be drawn into the conflict. Scientists tell us that a massive high-altitude EMP (electromagnetic pulse) blast could send large portions of the United States back to the stone age in an instant. In addition, there is the constant threat that the outbreak of a major viral pandemic (such as what happened with the 1918 Spanish Flu) could kill tens of millions of people around the globe and paralyze the economies of the world.
But even without all of that, the truth is that the U.S. economy is going to collapse. So just think of what will happen if one (or more) of those things does happen on top of all the economic problems that we are having.
Are you prepared?
The following is a list of 20 things you and your family will need to survive when the economy totally collapses and the next Great Depression begins….
#1) Storable Food
Food is going to instantly become one of the most valuable commodities in existence in the event of an economic collapse. If you do not have food you are not going to survive. Most American families could not last much longer than a month on what they have in their house right now. So what about you? If disaster struck right now, how long could you survive on what you have? The truth is that we all need to start storing up food. If you and your family run out of food, you will suddenly find yourselves competing with the hordes of hungry people who are looting the stores and roaming the streets looking for something to eat.
Of course you can grow your own food, but that is going to take time. So you need to have enough food stored up until the food that you plant has time to grow. But if you have not stored up any seeds you might as well forget it. When the economy totally collapses, the remaining seeds will disappear very quickly. So if you think that you are going to need seeds, now is the time to get them.
#2) Clean Water
Most people can survive for a number of weeks without food, but without water you will die in just a few days. So where would you get water if the water suddenly stopped flowing out of your taps? Do you have a plan? Is there an abundant supply of clean water near your home? Would you be able to boil water if you need to?
Besides storing water and figuring out how you are going to gather water if society breaks down, another thing to consider is water purification tablets. The water you are able to gather during a time of crisis may not be suitable for drinking. So you may find that water purification tablets come in very, very handy.
You can’t sleep on the streets, can you? Well, some people will be able to get by living on the streets, but the vast majority of us will need some form of shelter to survive for long. So what would you do if you and your family lost your home or suddenly were forced from your home? Where would you go?
The best thing to do is to come up with several plans. Do you have relatives that you can bunk with in case of emergency? Do you own a tent and sleeping bags if you had to rough it? If one day everything hits the fan and you and your family have to “bug out” somewhere, where would that be? You need to have a plan.
#4) Warm Clothing
If you plan to survive for long in a nightmare economic situation, you are probably going to need some warm, functional clothing. If you live in a cold climate, this is going to mean storing up plenty of blankets and cold weather clothes. If you live in an area where it rains a lot, you will need to be sure to store up some rain gear. If you think you may have to survive outdoors in an emergency situation, make sure that you and your family have something warm to put on your heads. Someday after the economy has collapsed and people are scrambling to survive, a lot of folks are going to end up freezing to death. In fact, in the coldest areas it is actually possible to freeze to death in your own home. Don’t let that happen to you.
#5) An Axe
Staying along the theme of staying warm, you may want to consider investing in a good axe. In the event of a major emergency, gathering firewood will be a priority. Without a good tool to cut the wood with that will be much more difficult.
#6) Lighters Or Matches
You will also want something to start a fire with. If you can start a fire, you can cook food, you can boil water and you can stay warm. So in a true emergency situation, how do you plan to start a fire? By rubbing sticks together? Now is the time to put away a supply of lighters or matches so that you will be prepared when you really need them.
In addition, you may want to consider storing up a good supply of candles. Candles come in quite handy whenever the electricity goes out, and in the event of a long-term economic nightmare we will all see why our forefathers relied on candles so much.
#7) Hiking Boots Or Comfortable Shoes
When you ask most people to list things necessary for survival, this is not the first or the second thing that comes to mind. But having hiking boots or very comfortable and functional shoes will be absolutely critical. You may very well find yourself in a situation where you and your family must walk everywhere you want to go. So how far do you think you will get in high heels? You will want footwear that you would feel comfortable walking in for hours if necessary. You will also want footwear that will last a long time, because when the economy truly collapses you may not be able to run out to the shoe store and get what you need at that point.
#8) A Flashlight And/Or Lantern
When the power goes off in your home, what is the first thing that you grab? Just think about it. A flashlight or a lantern of course. In a major emergency, a flashlight or a lantern is going to be a necessity – especially if you need to go anywhere at night.
Solar powered or “crank style” flashlights or lanterns will probably be best during a long-term emergency. If you have battery-powered units you will want to begin storing up lots and lots of batteries.
#9) A Radio
If a major crisis does hit the United States, what will you and your family want? Among other things, you will all want to know what in the world is going on. A radio can be an invaluable tool for keeping up with the news.
Once again, solar powered or “crank style” radios will probably work best for the long term. A battery-powered until would work as well – but only for as long as your batteries are able to last.
#10) Communication Equipment
When things really hit the fan you are going to want to communicate with your family and friends. You will also want to be able to contact an ambulance or law enforcement if necessary. Having an emergency cell phone is great, but it may or may not work during a time of crisis. The Internet also may or may not be available. Be sure to have a plan (whether it be high-tech or low-tech) for staying in communication with others during a major emergency.
#11) A Swiss Army Knife
If you have ever owned a Swiss Army knife you probably already know how incredibly handy they can be. It can be a very valuable and versatile tool. In a true survival situation, a Swiss Army knife can literally do dozens of different things for you. Make sure that you have at least one stored up for emergencies.
#12) Personal Hygiene Items
While these may not be absolute “essentials”, the truth is that life will get very unpleasant very quickly without them. For example, what would you do without toilet paper? Just think about it. Imagine that you just finished your last roll of toilet paper and now you can’t get any more. What would you do?
The truth is that soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper and other hygiene products are things that we completely take for granted in society today. So what would happen if we could not go out and buy them any longer?
#13) A First Aid Kit And Other Medical Supplies
One a more serious note, you may not be able to access a hospital or a doctor during a major crisis. In your survival supplies, be absolutely certain that you have a good first aid kit and any other medical supplies that you think you may need.
#14) Extra Gasoline
There may come a day when gasoline is rationed or is simply not available at all. If that happens, how will you get around? Be certain to have some extra gasoline stored away just in case you find yourself really needing to get somewhere someday.
#15) A Sewing Kit
If you were not able to run out and buy new clothes for you and your family, what would you do? Well, you would want to repair the clothes that you have and make them last as long as possible. Without a good sewing kit that will be very difficult to do.
#16) Self-Defense Equipment
Whether it is pepper spray to fend off wild animals or something more “robust” to fend off wild humans, millions of Americans will one day be thankful that they have something to defend themselves with.
#17) A Compass
In the event of a major emergency, you and your family may find yourselves having to be on the move. If you are in a wilderness area, it will be very hard to tell what direction you are heading without a compass. It is always a good idea to have at least one compass stored up.
#18) A Hiking Backpack
If you and your family suddenly have to “bug out”, what will you carry all of your survival supplies in? Having a good hiking backpack or “survival bag” for everyone in your family is extremely important. If something happened in the city where you live and you suddenly had to “go”, what would you put your most important stuff in? How would you carry it all if you had to travel by foot? These are very important things to think about.
#19) A Community
During a long-term crisis, it is those who are willing to work together that will have the best chance of making it. Whether it is your family, your friends, a church or a local group of people that you know, make sure that you have some people that you can rely on and work together with in the event that everything hits the fan. Loners are going to have a really hard time of surviving for long.
#20) A Backup Plan
Lastly, it is always, always, always important to have a backup plan for everything.
If someone comes in and steals all the food that you have stored up, what are you going to do?
If travel is restricted and your can’t get to your “bug out” location immediately do you have a Plan B?
If you have built your house into an impregnable survival fortress but circumstances force you to leave do you have an alternate plan?
The truth is that crisis situations rarely unfold just as we envision. It is important to be flexible and to be ready with backup plans when disaster strikes.
You don’t want to end up like the folks in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. You don’t want to have to rely on the government to take care of you if something really bad happens.
Right now the U.S. strategic grain reserve contains only enough wheat to make half a loaf of bread for each of the approximately 300 million people in the United States.
How long do you think that is going to last?
Now is the time to get ready.
Now is the time to prepare.
The United States economy is going to collapse and incredibly hard times are coming.
Will you be able to survive when it happens?