Skip to comments.14 Questions People Ask About How To Prepare For The Collapse Of The Economy
Posted on 08/08/2012 4:46:49 PM PDT by blam
14 Questions People Ask About How To Prepare For The Collapse Of The Economy
August 8, 2012
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?
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.
I think I'm seeing similar from other writers too.
They seem to be toning down the severity and suddeness of a collapse and have begun talking about 'years' into the future. (But, not all)
I'm beginning to wonder if I've prepped to soon and too much. I have some boxes of supplies with an early 2009 date on them.
Am I being swayed by election year propaganda? (Happy days are here again)
Albeit, I still think we're headed for a collapse of some sort...I just don't know when.
Maybe give some of the older stuff to a charity (food bank, neighbor or something) and add new stuff to your storage? Only a suggestion.
you cant give it away, it is out of date and no charity will take it because of liability issues.
For some time now I have wondered about the real value of gold it things really collapse. If there is no economy and little prospect of one coming along soon, I would assume that gold would be valued at next to nothing. What would the purpose of gold be under those conditions? I would think bartering items like clean water and systems to make it clean, food, seeds and related items, guns and ammo, tools, first aid supplies, alcohol, gasoline and other items wold be valued much more.
Eat It, Just Eat It !
Sewiously, put this in to your regularly scheduled program and replace anew. Inventory Management: First In, First Out.
If TSHTF, I'll be the one with 'old stuff' not 'no stuff'. (LOL)
Why not? It's all about 4.5 Billion years old here on Terra.
Water doesn't go bad. It can go flat, as it outgasses entrapped gas, but pouring it between two containers a few times fixes the flat taste.
Water doesn't go bad.
Ive talked to hundreds of preppers over the last two years and many people who like me try and provide guidance to those who prep or starting to and the one comment I hear the most is that they have a feeling. These people are from all social, education and financial backgrounds. They say that there are demonstrable statistic that show that the number of people missing airline flights that end up crashing is higher than the average number of people that miss flights. I know myself there have been times when I have putted around doing this and that in the morning, which is unusual for me only to leave and find that a big wreck has taken place along my route to work. I say listen to that little voice in the back of you head, because theres a good chance it knows what its talking about.
Something wicked this way comes, are you ready?
For those who are just starting or are old hands at prepping you may find my Preparedness Manual helpfull. You can download it at:
NOTE! THIS IS A FREE DOWNLOAD. I DO NOT MAKE ONE CENT OFF MY PREPAREDNESS MANUAL!
For those of you who havent started already its time to prepare almost past time maybe. You needed to be stocking up on food guns, ammo, basic household supplies like soap, papergoods, cleaning supplies, good sturdy clothes including extra socks, underwear and extra shoes and boots, a extra couple changes of oil and filters for your car, tools, things you buy everyday start buying two and put one up.
As the LDS say When the emergency is upon us the time for preparedness has past.
Or as the bible says: A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
NIV Proverbs 22:3
Lastly this for the doubters and the scoffers.
There is no greater disaster than to underestimate danger.
Underestimation can be fatal.
Without getting into the details of expiration dates(real and synthetic) the important thing is “You prepped and are preppared as you going to be today”.
Importantly, is your mindset, what you have at your disopsal to get you through whatever and you will be more at ease than those who “Never thought it could happen”.
You are preppared and should be relaxed, as you have done what you could.
All my supplies are stored to withstand a category five hurricane, 95% humidity and 95 degrees temeperature even if the structures are blown away. I'm on the coast in hurricane alley. It'll be unpacked only once...that'll be when I use it.
” You are preppared and should be relaxed, as you have done what you could. “
But not *too* relaxed - even though the trend line appears to have flattened to some extent, there are any number of events or combination of events (natural or man-caused disasters) that could tip things over the edge precipitously and catastrophically...
Keep your eye on the minor, contributary, trend lines, too - and keep your head on a swivel....
All my supplies are stored to withstand a category five hurricane, 95% humidity and 95 degrees temeperature even if the structures are blown away. I'm on the coast in hurricane alley. It'll be unpacked only once...that'll be when I need to use it.
A question that should be asked is what to do when the government is considering you as their own personal Walmart? Government may be worse than regular looters and thieves.
Thanks. I do feel good about being prepared.
It's been only recently that I've come to realize that this 'thing' may be a while (kick the can down the road) in coming when it was just yesterday that it seemed like everyone (the experts) was breathless about telling us to get ready in a hurry. (In fact, remember the collapse that was to happen the summer of 2010?)
” OODA “
I can usually figure these acronyms out from context, but this one is beyond me... ;)
This gold question bothers me. I tend to think that bottles of wiskey may be a better medium of exchange than gold. I can picture talking to a service station bartering a bottle of whiskey for 3 or 4 gallons of gasoline.
Yes, they do. Yes, they have. And yes, they will.
I have been writing AAR's about this very subject. The cities lighting up all at once has happened before: 1968, after the MLK assassination; 1992, the Rodney King riots spread to numerous cities; and 2011, the London riots burned nationwide, especially fueled by text messaging and flash-mobs.
Imagine the effect of the EBT cards stopping; the welfare and unemployment checks don't hit the banks; and what happens when the paychecks stop for the first responders and the LEO's. I've talked to several at the local level, and I already know what will happen: they will abandon their posts and head for the house to protect their own. And that will open the gates for the barbarians to enter.
As far as precious metals are concerned: gold and silver don't taste very good, and they make lousy soup stock. The only metals you should invest in are lead, copper, and brass - and you NEVER BARTER THEM.
Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act
Thank ‘ee... ;)
Colonel John Boyd. Quite a guy. Wonderful biography of the man: “Boyd” by Robert Coram.
Read the Bible.
“I have some boxes of supplies with an early 2009 date on them.”
I keep grocery store food stored each year in case of a hurricane but I didn’t invest in grocery food to last for the long term. I have bought more grocery store food this year because I think we are approaching dangerous times fairly soon. But that still isn’t my main store of food.
For the long term, I have stored food that is vaccum sealed without oxygen by a professional company and it’s good for 20-25 years. I planned that food by type and how often it would be eaten and did my tables to know how much for a year for the number of people I would have.
I will have good water as I planned a way for that, too. Security is also in place.
I’ve always been an organizer and gone by a plan for most everything I have done in my life. Now, I am ancient, but having all that experience, I knew how to plan for short and long term emergencies, and did it. Everyone can do something to make their life easier if hard times come. It takes some thought as to what is needed, and then action to get it done.
Well, pop open a couple and try them out.
When I went through medical training in the Army, I was told that very few things actually expire on the date given. The main reason for the date was to promote the rotation of the stocks, and in the case of medications, to ensure the consumer buys new meds to keep the producer in business. This is really true when it comes to many common and inexpensive meds. Obviously, tetracyclines and acetaminophen do need to be rotated prior to the expiration date.
As an example, during GW1, we were issued morphine syrettes dated 1945, and penicillin from the Vietnam era.
We'll have to agree to disagree there. Ammo will make excellent barter material, especially if the other person has a weapon of one of those calibers which aren't common.
I think that once the collapse starts. it will accelerate at blazing speed and will feed upon itself. The financial world is at the very limit of propping everyone and every country up. Natural disasters and other factor will trigger the final collapse. Take all the little things and add them up. We are in a severe drought but we are using corn to make ethanol which means there will be no extra corn for emergencies which will also mean that the price of corn products will go up and all things dependent upon corn will go up. People are being located in big cities which are totally dependent and vulnerable for food, water, power, sewage, etc. Millions are collectively vulnerable to simple disruptions to any of the necessities.
Well, we should all be rotating through our perishables so that expiration isn't so much of an issue. (I've got a gargantuan jar of peanut butter that I'm going to have to start using this week).
Also, the moment I started prepping was the moment my life made a dramatic positive turn in many ways. I would not have wanted to delay that change in myself even for a moment. Before I became a prepper I had the average '2.5 friends' - now I can't count how many very fine people I've developed wonderful relationships with (one of them just sent me an excellent machete and Ka-Bar combat knife as a gift!)
The day I started prepping (almost 4 years ago) I could only swim 7 laps in my neighborhood pool ... now I'm up to 70 laps.
If I could go back in time I would have started prepping thirty years ago.
With all that said I will agree that I've heard many writers starting to tone down on the sense of urgency. However, for those who don't think this nation could catch on fire in an instant I have but two words ... "Trayvon Martin".
Yeah, that's always the fall back. Woohoo, 6000 lbs of produce from "just" a 4356 sq ft garden. Just? Who has that much land for a garden? That's about what many have for their entire lot but some of us would like to include a house and a driveway on that lot and maybe plant some trees to help with the electric bill. My little backyard garden stuggles every summer with 100+ degree temperatures, droughts and bugs. Bully for them and their piece of Eden but that's not reality for many.
I'm beginning to wonder if I've prepped to soon and too much.
You may be right. Tell you what, no worries, just ship some of that excess my way since you've over done it.
A funny thing happened on the way to the emergency. There was a first responder out looking for the residence that had called 911 earlier. It went round and round and up and down the streets for 30 minutes today before finding the right house. They never can find anyone out here. Maybe all these years I’ve been looking at it wrong. Maybe it’s a good thing. When the government comes to do their Walmart shopping, maybe they’ll get lost, too.
I just watched the Back to Eden film again and was amazed again. I am now planning to plan gardening that way. I recommend taking the time to watch it.
That's also the case with the manufacture's recommended quantities to use. I never use the recommended amount of laundry detergent.
FYI, HEB grocery has their brand of neosporine on for 99 cents this week.
“I never use the recommended amount of laundry detergent.”
We do not use their laundry detergent...PERIOD. We make our own. And we also use less. And we have really clean clothes.
It’s interesting but could have been said in a couple minutes. Bottom line is to top mulch.
Me, I don’t top mulch and won’t. Too many places for snakes to hide. We killed three along the garden fence yesterday and another got away. We’re pushing 10 snakes in the last couple months. At least half were copperheads.
Yup. I'm in much better physical shape too. I have a daily exercise routine that is sustained by my desire to be in reasonable condition for SHTF.
"However, for those who don't think this nation could catch on fire in an instant I have but two words ... "Trayvon Martin". "
We've recently had a Trayon Washington incident here.
A White 42 year old mother of two was gunned down by a 17 year old Black guy because she yelled for him to slow down his car on her street. He stopped, got out of the car a shot her dead. Things like this are on the increase.
Spring/summer 2013 is the most commonly predicted time.
Stock what you eat. Eat what you stock and put it in rotation.
Get a pressure canner, jars and lots of lids. Be prepared to not have refrigeration or a freezer.
A good dehydratior like a American Harvest Garden Master will come in handy. So will a vacuum sealer.
Get a good water filter (Berky recommended), some calcium hypoclorite to treat water. We just put solar backup in for our well.
Heirloom garden seeds, gardening handtools even some chickens will help keep you fed. A hog or three even more so.
I smoke my own hams and bacon.
Look for stuff on craigslist or freecycle or your local flea markets.
We have reduced our food bills and prepped using these methods. If we go dark the only thing I will miss is ice cubes and internet.
The most important thing is “Don’t panic!”.
And don’t forget spices and herb seeds.
"We'll have to agree to disagree there. Ammo will make excellent barter material, especially if the other person has a weapon of one of those calibers which aren't common."
I have 3000+ rounds of both 9mm and 22LR. I'm a decent shot, but if I have to defend with that many rounds, surely I'll be dead somewhere along the way. I have extras for barter, but maybe Old Sarge's point is that you had better know and trust who you're supplying with ammo. For me, it will only be someone in my close group or neighborhood watch.
I for one would like meet the weenies who keep editing Reuters titles after the articles have been published. They keep softening the prose to edit away any perception of truth by the masses. They removed the term "angst" from the title today and went for a more bland and "flat" presentation. And thereby masked the truth. Freaking commie bastards always play with peoples' perceptions . . .
Keeping the Useless Eaters Happy and Well Media Fed . . .
My point is simply this: the bullets you trade in the morning will be shot back at you in the night. There is no logic in arming the useless eaters to whom you’ve now revealed that you a cache of stuff.
If some mall ninja bought an exotic weapon and failed to plan for ammo needs, then the fault is his, not yours. Never barter ammo; the life you save will be your own.
for those who don't think this nation could catch on fire in an instant I have but two words ... "Trayvon Martin".
Reuters gutted the whole report. Just more proof of central banks' diabolical coercion and money power over the freaking media. Central banks rule politics, politicians and entire countries.
For later. Thank you for that link.
As the value of the doallar tanks, the value of gold will skyrocket. Best to get it now while you can and bury it. For gold is not useful as a barter item or anything of the sort when the SHTF. Its only use is to allow you to buy back in when the economy rebounds and things approach normalcy. It is asset protection. A guarantee of liquidity after all is said and done.
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