I have thought about writing this type of piece many times before but have only touched on the subject several times. I had decided in the past not to venture forth because I was afraid that what I wrote might be perceived incorrectly and turn readers off to my main message of protecting themselves financially. What I am about to write assumes we will have at least a short period of time where life goes back if not 150 years, but maybe to "caveman days".
Before really getting started, ask yourself if you believe it is even possible for an event, or events (plural) could possibly send us back in time where one must be self sufficient just to sustain life? Is it possible for the global fiat money system to collapse? Is it possible to have a widespread banking and financial system closure? Is it possible for a war, any war to pass the Rubicon and go nuclear? Is it possible for some type of pandemic (Ebola?) to become widespread which shuts the system down and people to within their homes? Is any of it even possible? In my opinion any or all scenarios are possible, the fiat money and financial system breakdowns are even highly probable in my opinion. If you don't believe this then what follows is a waste of your time ...until maybe it's not?
Assuming a few weeks or few months where "nothing works" as it once did, what can you do now to prepare yourself? There are several areas, each with its own subsets and choices. I will ask a few questions and hopefully if you have not prepared for anything yet, you get cracking. If you have prepared then hopefully at least one light bulb goes on where you say to yourself "I had not thought of that". First, you have only so much money you can use to prepare with so you do whatever you can. Secondly, if you live in a city or densely populated area, in my opinion you shouldn't. Remember, you can only do the best you can do and if/when things pass there is no sense in beating yourself up for something forgotten.
To begin with, fire and water are life's necessities, the "4G's" (God, Grub, Guns, and Gold) will all have variable importance to your survival depending who and where you are. The two most important things to mankind sustaining himself are "fire and water". If workers are not getting paid (or fearful of a pandemic) to man and maintain a clean water supply will they go to work? What will you do for clean water? If you live near a river or other water supply then great ...but it's probably not drinkable. You can also put trashcans under your downspouts ...this is probably also not drinkable. Have you done anything to aid in purifying water? Do you have Clorox? A filtration system such as a Steri pen or even something as simple as purchasing Life straws? Nothing can live without water, this should be your number one concern, a filtration system should be a top concern.
Do you plan to boil water? What will be your source of heat? LP gas? How many tanks? Wood? Have you ordered a cord or two? How will start a fire? Do you have massive amounts of newspaper or kindling to get it started? Do you even have disposable lighters or matches? What will you use for light at night? The fireplace? Candles? Do you have enough to last a couple of months? Had you thought about buying a dozen or so of the solar driveway lights and instead of prettying up your driveway, you won't smack your knee on the coffee table after dark?
What about food? How will you cook what you have? Have you stored anything ...at all? Have you stocked up in the different categories such as bulk, protein, vegetables and fruits etc.? How long and what are the expiration dates? How long after the expiration dates is it safe to eat? Have you stored your grains so that bugs will not infiltrate? I personally found that "parboiled rice" stores much longer and does not attract bugs like other rice ...(it also tastes better). Do you have oil to cook with? In my opinion, if you want to build a storage it should be done with dry products, canned products and topped off with dehydrated products that will last up to 25 years. (Once you get the basics taken care of, don't forget some "fun food". How great would some M+M's, potato chips, raisins or even cookies taste after not having any for 2 months or more?) Remember, you will need water for much of this. If you want to cook rice, pasta, dehydrated packages or even MRE's, you will need WATER and preferably FIRE to sterilize and allow for warm food. I could write an entire book on this subject but YOU need to research and decide what is best for your family. What is right for me, my next door neighbor or anyone else may not be the solution for you. You may have a special diet, low sodium or even an allergy. Some people are allergic to peanuts (I am), peanut butter is great for protein intake but not if it affects you negatively. You need to try to think of everything in the food category, not just what will fill your bellies but for nutrition and the ability to actually prepare it.
What about household goods? What if you have an ant or insect problem? How will you get rid of your waste from food? Maybe a little bit of gasoline will help you burn it? Plastic bags? What about "your" waste? How will you dispose of it? Have thought about what it would be like to "squat in the woods? Two pieces of rope between two trees tied to a saddle "girth" to lean back on might be handy huh? What about your medical products? Can you purchase some of your meds. ahead? If your insurance company won't let you buy more than 2 months ahead ...can you purchase some from Canada or elsewhere to give you a buffer? What about over the counter products? Do you have any cold or flu medicine? Aspirin or pain killers? What about something simple like Rolaids or even diarrhea medicine? Toothpaste or soap? An extra couple of razor blades, shampoo and don't forget the toilet paper? I mentioned disposable lighters earlier, you would need these but here is a valid question ...what would a .99 cent lighter be worth to someone who didn't have one? Would it maybe be worth a bicycle or something similar?
Speaking of transportation, what will you use if gasoline could not be procured? A horse? How will you feed him? A bicycle? What if it gets a flat? Could you repair it or do you even have a pump to pump it up if it becomes low? Speaking of a horse, do you have a cat or some dogs? What will they eat? Table scraps of rice and beans? What will they drink for water? So you live near a river and will get water from there and travel on your bike ...can you protect yourself and your bucket of water?
Protection, this is a whole 'nother topic. Do you have any arms? More ammo than just one clip or two? Can you shoot and actually hit your target? When was the last time you practiced? Do you live in a state where it is legal to carry concealed? Do you have a license in case you were stopped (if the police are actually working) while carrying? How about a shotgun for close quarters at home? Do you only have buckshot or did you remember to buy some birdshot for a squirrel or juicy white wing dove? How about a pellet gun for a rabbit or something similar? Have you ever cleaned and cooked an animal before or might it be a good idea to buy a book or print something from online now so at least you have an idea what to eat and what not to?
I have written extensively regarding "money" itself. Do you have a little bit of "cash cash" which might spend for a short time period for something your neighbor has a surplus of? How about silver? Did you buy 100 ounce bars? 10 ouncers? or did you buy rounds or junk which will be "spendable"? Have you spoken to any local farmers and asked them if they will accept silver now? Will they? Do you even know any local farmers? How about your serious capital? Have you taken anything "out of the system" so if a financial collapse or even a major "hack attack" wiped out your balances, will you have anything left?
Another area I am sure some will roll their eyes at is "religion". Do you have any spiritual relationship with whoever your God is? Should you? Is it something you believe is worthy now? Or when things look darker than midnight will you come around to it? What about your physical shape? Can you walk 10 miles packing supplies? Have you exercised or tried to keep yourself in good shape given your age?
I have only scratched the surface here and I am sure I will hear from those who say what about batteries or radios or whatever. Yes! That is exactly the point of me writing this ...THINK! Think for yourself. Think now about what you might need. If I am wrong and we "live happily ever after" you can ride your bike, eat your food, have some fun target practicing and make your driveway the envy of your neighbors after dark! And...you will be purchasing any and all items most probably "2%" (sarcasm) cheaper than you can get them a year from now!
Maybe I am wrong, I don't think so. In my opinion, the odds of some sort of major league "Black Swan" have increased greatly over the last couple of years and are approaching certainty. Do I know what it will be? Do I know when it will arrive? Do I know how severe or long lasting affects it will have? No, of course not, but I do know that "something" (many things) just ain't right. I know the population is now more unprepared than anytime in my lifetime to be self sustainable. The will isn't there, the ability is fleeting and the knowledge is almost gone. No one will "prepare" anything for you, only you can "think" and then "act" for yourself. Please do not fall into the trap I hear all the time ..."they" will never let it happen". "They" have put us in the situation we now find ourselves and unfortunately it is my opinion "they" will kick the table over and then "blame" it on something "out of their control". The system is big, too big, and there is nothing anyone as an individual can do about it. The ONLY thing you can do is be as ready as you can for when the table does get kicked over. I hope this piece was helpful and even if just one person takes heed, it was well worth my time to write it.