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, and 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 rolex watches 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 any time 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.
Bill – Just wanted to chime in on this article to say thank you for your incredible writing. I am relatively new to your blog (been trolling since September) and I have enjoyed your clarity in thought and the completeness / level of detail of your analysis. You’ve really given me some things to think about.
This article is an excellent thought starter for those who may have only begun to ‘wake up’. I’ve been awake for just over a year now, and while I’ve tried to help others, I’ve had trouble (as most others have) getting other highly intelligent people to realize the fragility of our system, and the likelihood that things may not turn out the way we have grown accustomed to. I cannot seem to stop thinking of that old line – PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS! Sadly, the phrase ‘I told you so’ isn’t what I want say to those folks later because if I am able to say that, things have gone horribly wrong.
Thanks again for all of your excellent blogs.
thanks Rob, it’s a shame we have lost almost everything that was given to us.
Hi Bill, thank you for this. It’s very good advice. I have been preparing for quite a while and have done many of the things that you mentioned, but one can never be prepared enough. You have brought up some things that I haven’t thought of, like learning to prepare wild game for eating. Bartering will be very important and so will your relationship with your neighbors. Like the comments from Rob, I have been trying to help family and friends, but they won’t listen. I will try again and post this out on face book. Thanks again for an excellent piece, it was very thoughtful of you.
Thanks Don, it was my intent to get even those who believe they are prepared to “think”.
I think the British say ” Here, Here.”
The last paragraph is the most important!
The ones who are suppose to protect us will be the first to abandon ship.
…or strung up.
I thought I was well set for a 3 to 6 month siege, but you just added to my list of “must haves”. Items like Solar driveway lights – what a great idea (I hate candles) and more – much more – Ammo. Yea.
that’s great Robert, as I said, the whole missive was about “light bulbs” going on from your own thinking caps
I’ve enjoyed your articles for as long as Harvey Organ has been reprinting them. I guess he can’t reprint anything now until/unless his blog returns.
I follow the 4 “3’s” of first-aid:
3 minutes without air you die;
3 hours without shelter you die;
3 days without water you die;
3 weeks without food you die.
Harvey will be up and running again.
Bill, maybe your open letter to the mining industry worked!?
yes I saw it. Presumptuous for me to think it was because of my writing but it’s nice to hope. In any case, they are doing the correct thing for shareholders.
I’m glad to see you write on this topic. I’m sure you’ve had reservations about writing on the “prepping” topic and being labeled as a kook. I’ve been gradually doing it for about a year now and I’m finding that there are more people getting prepared than you’d think (but not nearly enough). The main thing that worries me is finding a place to go until the chaotic times that are surely ahead finally subside (i live in Houston, and I have no doubt there will be riots, home invasions, etc).
Again, Bill a very needful and timely article with our borders wide open to all incoming “whatever” and the financial system teetering on the brink. I think our Government could never be this incompetent by accident – Therefore this has All been Planned. Thanks for doing your part Bill in helping people to think about making necessary preparations, even though most will not do so. Although no one knows exactly how bad this will be – all indications are that it will be very, very ugly for the American people. I will help others as much as possible, but I can assure those Government bastards – I will go down with guns blazing here in Dixie. God bless
arms are maybe the only reason this thing hasn’t gone upside down already?
Very nice article. Thank you for writing.
ur welcome Jeremy.
You could not be more right! I think I’m prepared, but I know that no one is fully prepared. The closer we get the more scared I’m becoming.
I would recommend the following book:
Dare To Prepare!
5th Edition 2013 (632 pages)
By Holly Drennan Deyo
Deyo Enterprises, LLC
It is by far the best survival book I have ever come accross.
I’m in my 60’s and as a child I visited both sides of my grandparents farms. In the 50″s they had outdoor toilets, outside water wells, cooked on wood burning cook stoves, took baths in #2 wash tubs, and both had electricity for lighting and ice box only.
Both had gardens and canned in the summer for the winter meals. The both sold crops and livestock for income. Neither had any air conditioning. It was just the way it was!
I don’t think many folks could adjust to this lifestyle today, but may have to for a while if they plan on surviving.
I’m sure not looking forward to it, but I think I am going to relive some of the 50’s again.
which “50’s”? 1950’s or 1850’s?
“Short period of time where life goes back 150 years?” Been there and done that. Ice storm in Michigan knocked out power and heat for 5 days. But 150 years ago people usually were able to cook and stay warm in the winter and not be flooded due to non-functioning sump pumps. Great comprehensive article, almost a little too scary to read in places. I have a lot of food here, but Bill you’ve highlighted other areas to consider. I for one am stocking up on cocoa ASAP as I understand that harvest will be affected by the current catastrophe in Africa.
have a sweet tooth do you?
Why pay twice the cost soon – or risk unavailability?
yes, kind of my point exactly Sally.
Great post Bill. That’s the whole reason we started the DR escapes site. Helping people consider a sustainable environment as a possible option for solid plan B. Abundance of naturally growing food plenty of water actually in our region most water is gravity feed. Also worth mentioning is consider locating in a region where the climate never freezes. That’s one that is very much over looked in case of grid failure. A second Passport or at least residency is in my opinion also a must have. History will prove this to be very correct. As you pointed out better to have it and not need it than the other way around. I’m a huge fan of metals for bartering but it’s going to take a lot more than the G’s to hang on when the inevitable bump in the night occurs. Doing another interview next week with James Rawles. Once it’s up I hope you will take the time to read it and perhaps post a comment. Knowing how to prepare yourself and your family differs in all regions and climates. Jim is very knowledgeable for areas that (I assume) many of your readers reside in. Good on you Bill for taking the chance of bringing up a touchy subject. As you pointed out in the article “I could write a book” and thus the post is just a starting point. I pray your post opens up more of the closed minded. After all the costliest thing one can own is a closed mind. It will cost you your health, your wealth family friends and possibly your life. Stay blessed and again thanks.
Bless U2 Barry, if you have an “overabundance” of something you can always trade it. My bet is that a .99 cent BIC lighter will “gain” in value like no other …just my guess. Oh, except for maybe beans and toilet paper?
The bic will once again only in some country’s ill put my chips on the TP and the beans. I suppose when you get down to it the TP and the beans are kind of a one two combination aren’t they.
Panic Now Beat The Rush!
he who panics first panics best.
How about, “He who panics least, panics best”? 😀
Kidding aside, yes, this is a great article and one that should be seen by many as a “wake up call”. But the fact is, prepping is not a collection of stuff, it is a way of life and of looking at life.
Yes, BIC lighters could become quite the trade good. Having a couple of dozen of these could be a terrific investment / barter tool.
While my wife and I live in the burbs, we have been prepping to the extent that we can. We have a wood-stove and quite a bit of wood to feed it. We have a propane camp stove and a couple of 5-gal. tanks to feed it. Would like at least 2 more if not 4 more. Have plenty of rice, beans, canned goods, and dry goods but need more freeze dried food. Have life-straws and a home-made water filter that uses one of those 0.2µ sintered ceramic filters. No stream here but we do get 50″ of rain a year and have natural springs on the hill where we live, so wells could be dug and rain can be collected. Also have 2 WaterBobs and about 100 gallons of water stored. Got AR / Ak /shotgun / pistols and plenty of ammo. My son and I practice as often as we can and develop drill scenarios for close in rapid fire, medium distance blended fire, alternating fire on multiple targets, and long distance slow fire.
PMs? Yep. Cash? Yep? Trade goods? Yep but more are needed.
Greatest weakness is lack of good lights. We have flashlights and batteries but need some kerosene lamps. Better comms are also needed. Would like some lapel-mounted walkie-talkies with ear pieces and mics for quiet comms plus some longer ranged radios.
None of this is perfect but we do what we can and it IS getting better / more complete as time passes.
You mention religion and it is wise to do so. My thought is that we are coming to a “time of testing” in this country and that those who have a strong love of God, family, and community will come through it. Those who do not, won’t. The reasons for this are many but the bottom line is that this will stress us as we have never been stressed before and we will need ALL of the “glue” we can find to hold things together until better times arrive.
Bless you and yours, Bill. You ARE doing God’s work with your articles and comments. The word IS getting out. Yes, it is slow going but it is happening. We can see it each and every day in the small things that are coming together.
thank you Ed, sometimes it feels like banging my head on a brick wall. You have put much thought into what you are doing …keep thinking and more will come to you I am sure. All the best to you!
Thanks for doing this special piece Bill! I sent it along with many of your other pieces to my wife, will se if she reads it. I believe you have increased the self sufficiency of some of your readers by doing this piece! Its the start that stops people most.
thanks Brady, unfortunately you will probably be a bigger “crazy” after she reads it…hopefully not because you need to go forward as a team. Being of one mind is really important for what is coming.
You wear that cowboy hat. You left out the most important items after water.
Guns and ammo. Don’t punk on us. The only good prepper is a LIVE one.
you obviously did not read the whole article.
Great things to think about Bill. Such as SEEDS. Most everyone has a yard or a flower bed that can be plowed into a nice piece of farmable land. Seeds that produce more seedlings that are not sterile are needed…. I believe these are non-hybred types of seeds. I have a coffee can size full of 16 types of hermetically sealed and ziplocked garden vegetables I bought a couple years ago for about $30.00 at a farm store. I am guessing being a couple years old likely 60% will still grow and it could be a sustainable crop by collecting the seeds each year. Its amazing, a single melon, squash, pumpkin seed can produce a hell of a lot of food. haha. Of course you need water and that pellet gun you mentioned to kill the invading bunny army and hopefully not have to use your big guns to have to protect it from homo sapians………..
This brings up a moral concern I have had in thinking about this stuff. I don’t think I will kill someone for stealing my tomatoes. I don’t think I can be that grumpy an old man farmer. Maybe a pitchfork will scare them off. But that shotgun will be ever present. haha
One more thing, I think to survive as bad as I think it could get, we really need to keep our mental wits about us…. keep a sense of honor and integrity as well as a sense of humor…. keep those bonds with those you love and/or trust (or at least be ready to lead those you love who have so far not listened to us) and have faith that the Creator of us all and this world will NOT allow its utter and complete destruction as long as some remain who do not defy Him. Yet some seriously tough times unlike anything this world has ever seen before are coming for sure and has even been fore-told that it will.
Wow I got preachy there for a sec. sorry
many people have zero dirt to grow even one tomato plant.
One other thing I think about is a way to be mobile and perhaps even having to do so in haste as a contigency plan. You never know if a dirty bomb or tyranny strikes so bad in one of our respective areas that we will choose to get outta there and not be able to stay and man the home-stead. So the ability to head for the hills or another state with more portable water, fuel, food, guns, PM’s, CASH in a hurry may be needed. It concerns me that one of my daughters works at Disneyland as getting out of LA when SHTF would seem problematic. I lined her up with a pilot friend of mine if she cannot drive out or I cannot go get her out myself.
a bug out bag!
If a dirty bomb goes off, good chance your car won’t run, as I don’t think it’s EMP impervious
this was exactly what I was thinking.
So Bill and Marty, in case of EMP, your idea of a horse weighs even better. Will an EMP fry things that are not running or turned on at the time? Like a car in your garage?
yes because it is hooked up to the battery…if a burglar tried to break in …the alarm would go off, right? The only way to avoid an EMP is if the battery is completely disconnected and no juice running through the system.
Bill, I’ve been thinking about this for several years. I’ve tried raising a few chickens, but the city won’t let me. I have a water well on my property, that I located and have a self-made solar powered pump using old car parts.
I’ve built a 240 sq ft. green house that is completely off the grid, using solar power to power the fan and pumps.
I tripled the size of my strawberry patch (approx 200 sq ft now) added a second garden, have blueberries, rasperries, cherry, apple, fig trees (although I rarely get any figs, might transplant into GH.
I drive diesels burning used vegetable oil (have several hundred gallons stashed, and I burn sawdust/WVO mixture in a wood stove.
In my business, I have accumulted about a dozen car batteries and alternators, should be real easy to hook up the alternators to charge the batteries, which brings my to my point.
There are may automobiles in the US. Each one has several lights and all are 12 volt. Taking one alternator from one car, and one battery from one car, you can generate as much electricity and light as needed. You’d also have the ability to start a fire at will, no need for bic lighters. I could go on and on about the “neat” things in newer cars that can be utilitzed effectively should we go back 150 years, don’t care to mention here, but if your good at improvising devices a spare car could save your life, even if there is no gas to put in it.
Way to go Marty. You sound way more self dependent than I am for sure and if I don’t make it, I am glad to know that good men like you will. 🙂
self efficient I meant. sorry for the typo
Oh, forgot to mention I have an apiary as well.
I normally read your posts from my email, but wanted to say thank you for writing this article! Our family really appreciates your wisdom and have been greatly benefitted. I personally have enjoyed seeing your wife’s artwork! We homeschool our kids and your articles (as well as those from Andy and Mr. Schectman) are discussed and contemplated. We have learned a great deal from you all! We would rather be “crazy” with you than “sane” with the masses.
Thank you again and I hope you have a great weekend!
Bravo to you and your family! Please explain to your children that they (we) are not the crazy ones in an upside down world. Unfortunately, probably less than 1 out of 100 children are being told this today …I would guess that 5 out of 100 understand it as there are still some children who still think out of the box like children should. U have a great weekend 2!
This is exactly why out of my 5 daughters, 2 have elected to move to big cities and my other ones at Disney and college. I have one left with us at home who is in HS. They don’t think I am crazy but I fear that they cling onto their hopes for a normal life, the life I told them I was able to have… and so they have gone off with husbands or roomates hoping for the best. How dare The Powers That Be ruin these hopes of our youth, to be able to expand their minds and life experiences and live the life of freedom and opportunity.
you’ll notice that “Leave it to Beaver” cannot even be found on reruns anymore…
You know what… we watch movies like Mad Maxx and the Omega Man and Hunger Games, and Legend all our lives. We admire these guys amd Kandace for being able to survive impossible odds. Watching it seems to be such an adventure. I say bring it on Obama/Ebola. This will be a great adventure and challenge to see if we can each survive it all. haha
Yet, our end reward had better be allowing us to participate in re-setting this country on the right path based on the founding principals of our fore-fathers.
Vitamin C and colloidal silver.
Correction.. Katniss not Kandace. As in Katniss Everdeen in The Humger Games. sorry…
Which BTW, if anyone has not read or watched the Hunger Games… it is an interesting take (totally fiction) of a possible future world that in some ways seems more of a reality considering what is happening…. with an Elite class and everyone else going hungry. Considering these things I think about all the time when reading/watching The Hunger Games, it made me think of things from a different angle in being truly prepared much like Bill’s article. Mostly fine tuning hunting/farming/survival skills and the physical fitness aspect Bill mentioned above. It may come to a point where we may not want to shoot our loud guns to protect ouselves as that will alert the wrath of whoever from the noise alone. i have throwing knives and practice them againt a stump both for hunting skills and perhaps… I hope not but a more stealthy form of self defense.