Trace Mayer

Despite humanity surviving and thriving for thousands of years using commodity currencies the fiat currency proponents have effectively marshaled the press and academia to equate those in favor of a commodity currency with those counting down to Armageddon. When looking back through the corridors of history one lesson is clear from humanity’s experience: at all times and in all circumstances gold and silver remained money. After fiat currency debacles that resulted in self-inflicted financial and economic wounds it was the individuals with the foresight to store tangible assets that were able to provide the capital for humanity to do what they have always done: rebuild.

Therefore, those in favor of a commodity currency who store tangible assets are the optimists. Commodity currency advocates are neither ‘doom and gloomers’ nor vampiric fatalistic fiat currency disciples who will be vaporized by a rising golden sun. Those in favor of a commodity currency who store tangible assets realize that the earth rotates, the sun rises and the ages turn. As the night shifts to day life will go on with breakfast being cooked and eaten. The issue is who will do the cooking and who will do the eating.

Strategic Relocation

Shortly before Memorial Day I received an interesting, if not unanswerable, question from a reader: “Would you recommend a place to live in the Montana to Colorado area that will have minimal economical damage?”

The principle of human action holds that every individual derives utility according to their own preferences resulting in a subjective perception for determining value and price. I hate cold weather. Being trained in the law I am often accused of being cold-blooded but the reality is that I am just a desert rat.

While preparation expert Joel Skousen, author of Strategic Relocation, may consider Montana or Nebraska attractive locals I have about the same desire to live in Montana or Nebraska as I have for eating sauteed rats in South Korea. Nevertheless, I know people who love living in Montana and others who find sauteed rat a delicacy. Everyone has their own individual preferences based on their human action.

Preparation

A motto I have tried to implement is: Be prepared. Often the first step is to assess the environment and circumstances. There is an infinity of scenarios that can play out. The key is being able to assess what is possible and its probability of occurring.

Sure, a metorite could come hurling out of left field and destroy your car, or the earth for that matter, but the probability is extremely low. Even if I did purchase meteorite insurance I would still bear the counter-party risk. Therefore, I have chosen to forgo meteorite insurance. Nevertheless, I would not be surprised if a few of my extremely conservative readers did purchase meteorite insurance and maybe even additional reinsurance. Everyone has their subjective preferences.

Mental Calculations of Value

The use of fiat currency has greatly retarded the ability of the general populace to performance mental calculations of value. These fiat currency illusions are like using the term ‘foot’ or ‘feet’ to perform mental calculations of distance when constructing a building but having either no definition of inches or conflicting definitions of inches.

Let us assume plans were drawn up for a building with a 7 foot door within a 10 foot wall. However, the definition of feet when used for the door was 24 inches per foot and when used for the wall it was 6 inches per foot. Can you imagine the resulting chaotic structure?

But that is precisely the problem most individuals and financial professionals have found themselves in. As a result most people can neither accurately appraise the economic environment nor make accurate assessments of the possible events and their probability of occurrence.

Suburban Survivalists

Yahoo Finance! reported that a new trend is coming out of chaotic California: ‘Crisis spurs spike in ‘suburban survivalists’. “Six months ago, Jim Wiseman didn’t even have a spare nutrition bar in his kitchen cabinet. Now, the 54-year-old businessman and father of five has a backup generator, a water filter, a grain mill and a 4-foot-tall pile of emergency food tucked in his home in the expensive San Diego suburb of La Jolla.”

I find Mr. Wiseman’s tale of ‘spending roughly $20,000 since September on survival gear’ rather ironic on multiple levels. First is his name. Second is that he is a ‘fire protection contractor’ so it appears that he is in the risk management business. Third is how he has approached the performance of these mental calculations of value.

Surprisingly Professor Markman does hit on a key issue when he says, “We have no real causal understanding of the way our world works at all”.

Complex Systems

A few years ago I was touring a Wal-Mart store with its general manager. He showed me all around, how the trucks were packed and explained the Just-In-Time computer system that automatically managed the inventory to make sure that just the right amount of goods arrived at the stores at just the right time. After all, this helped reduce inventory which freed up cash and made the company more profitable.

Also a few years ago at a lunch I had a discussion with Kevin Rollins, former President and CEO of Dell Computers, about inventory management. His statement still sticks in my mind about measuring inventory turnover not in days but hours.

Tremendous innovations in supply chain management have taken place over the last decade. Companies and their inventory are leaner than ever which conserves their cash and supposedly increases profitability. But sometimes a black swan flies in, disrupts the system and chaos in sues. Other times it is a gaggle of black swans.

Simple Preparation

If Mr. Wiseman really needs his various preparations then what would the probability be that the area he is in is experiencing massive civil unrest, supply chain disruptions, gang warfare and a host of other undesirable effects?

Often when thinking of disaster preparation people get a little extreme, do not accurately assess the probability of events, focus on fairly immaterial questions like how to buy gold or silver and neglect the more important issues.

When considering physical preparation I think the best insurance is a three month supply of food and a 72 hour kit.

The kit should be extremely portable such as a backpack which may be quickly taken in the automobile should there be a need to evacuate. The food storage is a great hedge against inflation, insurance that you can eat which is not subject to counter-party risk, protection against potential supply chain disruptions such as the recent swine flu advertising campaign, and relatively cheap. Food storage is a form of savings and procuring a three month supply of food may cost only a few hundred FRN$s.

Many of the economic establishment has an insane belief that savings can be too high and often berate China for their high savings rate. The savings rate can never be too high.

For example, an individual can never have too much food.  But many negative effects, such as death, result from having too little food. Therefore I would rather bear the risks from having too much food such as spoilage, etc. than any of the effects from having too little food. After all, the body measures food and water inventory in hours not days. To reduce the cost of having excess food therefore I follow the principle of storing what I eat and eating what I store.

Many, such as billionaires Eric Sprott and Richard Rainwater, find the Peak Oil theory persuasive and foresee a long emergency. Sure, there are additional preparations you can make such as opening a free GoldMoney account where you can begin using gold or silver in ordinary daily transactions, procuring a shotgun or Glock 9mm, storing a year or two of food, spending hundreds of thousands or millions of FRN$s on a ranch in a remote location, etc. For those interested, I address the principles for a comprehensive strategy in chapter 6 of The Great Credit Contraction for dealing with the current environment to protect, preserve and grow one’s wealth.

Conclusion

Using gold to perform mental calculations of value is extremely important in determining how to profitably allocate capital. The current worldwide monetary system is based on a rapidly evaporating illusion. The FRN$ system is facing intense pressure which is resulting in many undesirable consequences. Being able to assess possible events and discern their probability is becoming increasingly important.

Our current society functions because of complex systems and they can easily be disrupted. Preparation to hedge against these uncertainties can cost anywhere from a few hundred FRN$s or become a black hole for capital and time. Having a three month supply of food and a 72 hour kit will provide protection against the vast majority of probable scenarios. The Great Credit Contraction has only begun and the landscape is changing at a rapid pace.

Are you prepared? You may even consider taking a survivalism course. To benefit other readers please leave you questions or suggestions in the comments.

Regards,
Trace Mayer, RunToGold.com
for Whiskey & Gunpowder

March 31, 2010

Trace Mayer
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  • Christina

    Several years ago, when I first learned about peak oil, I developed a “bunker mentality” and spent a lot of money on preps for our family, including a 1- to 2-year supply of food, weapons, and plans for relocating to a remote ranch in which we could become self-sufficient. However, over the last several months I have thought long and hard about the implications of living an isolated existence in the midst of societal collapse. Speaking strictly from practical terms, I don’t see how a few shotguns could protect our family homestead from gangs of looters. Speaking from quality-of-life terms, however, I don’t see that living an isolated existence would be much of an existence at all. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way that our family has a chance of riding out peak oil with some measure of a quality of life is to find like-minded folk who have a vision of living sustainably together. I have researched the idea of ecovillages and have found this to be the best hope we have in America. I am starting on a quest this year to find (or start) an ecovillage with realistic hopes of living sustainably together off the land while enjoying together the reasons that make being a human joyful (music, art, conversation, etc.). This may be a false hope for a utopian solution, but I can’t see any better alternative at this point. Of course, I would prefer that the people in the ecovillage we join are not “hippies”, but rather mature adults who realize the importance of group decision making, living sustainably, and the realistic necessity of protecting what we have (i.e., it is unsavory to think about the need to use weapons, but how else will you protect your village in the case of looters/gangs). I will continue to take in the excellent advice of your fine writings on protecting my small store of wealth through precious metals and the like, but what is the point in having a mountain of money (fiat, precious metals, or otherwise), if you have no other families with whom to share the joys of being human?

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  • Lynne

    Prepping/survival isn’t a get and forget kind of thing. I think to many folks have that attitude. What’s most needed is a self-relient attitude and plan. You should be able to live 6 months without running out of food. Most of our ancestors, stocked up during the summers and fall and then slaughtered the animals and cured and smoked them so they could make it into the next season. They were self-reliant.

  • Sara Central Texas

    I really liked this article. Why: I have been a reader of survivalblog.com and enjoy some of the articles on solar, water wells, food, etc. But it is palpable the fear of imminent collapse many of the field contributors have. They talk about armories, bunkers, gun emplacements, hidden caches, line of site, tripwires, you name it. Sad. It’s like they don’t understand risk and counterparties. I think survivalism risks being a genre for enterprising people to make money off these fearful people who see collapse as imminent. When in reality, it is quite remote.

    If you want to talk about REAL, solid risks, they are (in certain areas only) hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, bad storms. Closer to home, car accidents are terrible here, buried three young children last week in local wrecks, one aged 7. People would better spend thier money on extra food/water as article states, and super safety-rated autos.

  • oldmanriver

    Christina,

    You are absolutely right about banning together with like minded individuals. When you look at history the groups that tend to excell were the ones that worked best together and were the most organized. Also another strike against living in the middle of nowhere is that there is no one there now. One has to ask the question why there is no one there. Usually it is because human habitation of that area was tried in the past but didnt work out very well for various reasons. The best places to live are where people are already living. Where I am from the older farm houses are all built on the hills and high ground. People build houses on the lower ground but every now and then are reminded why there are no houses are there as there tends to be flooding and or their basements fill up with water on a regular basis. If there is no one living there now usually there is a pretty good reason why.

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  • http://n/a James the Wanderer

    Until you can figure out a way to deny the Imperial Federal Government the ability to invade and wipe out your Ecovillage (remember Waco? Ruby Ridge? This latest bunch of “militia” in Michigan?) it is difficult to see why anyone should build anything at all. Either you need to be so small you’re not possibly worth their time (even as an example), or the size of Texas, too big to be easily intimidated. Small groups are the best way to live, but suffer from security problems when someone big enough, wealthy enough or simply strong and envious enough wants what you have.
    I applaud your direction; I don’t have a better solution, I’m just pointing out a potential drawback. Maybe an island offshore somewhere?
    james

  • Essie Feldhacher

    Dear Lynne, as always, is dead-on with her input above, that it’s a way of life, day in/day out. Surviving is also a State of Mind. For those in suburbia it may not be as easy as for some who own lots of land somewhere semi-or outright remote. Do what you can do. Make friends with and get to know your neighbor. You might be surprised that someone living nearby is more in tune with you that you’d ever believe. Many of us have adult children living in the city, kids who do some prepping, but are likely to “pay attention” and have the instincts of when it is time to Get Out Of Dodge (if it comes to that.) Such children have already ‘asked permission” if it gets bad – can they come home to the family homestead. (They think they need to ask?! But of COURSE. Although it’s a sign of good breeding and mannerly raising that they DO ask and don’t just assume.) These same children IF they become friends may end up with an almost open-door policy to bring along a few select persons – especially if traveling as a unit increases their chances of making it home to Mama and Dad’s sheltering arms and abodes.

    Now, City Dwellers, do NOT “lay down in the traces” (pun intended – it’s an old horse/mule-farming day’s term that means to stop doing a dang thing and just cease and desist and lay down and not move a muscle.) Keep ON prepping as you can. BUT when it seems overwhelming, realize there are a lot of back-woodsy type folks, who are kind-hearted and aware, and realize there WILL be “refugees”. They are doing the prep bit for themselves and their own famiies, but some who have the outbuildings and storage space are boxing and tubbing up “stuff” to give to strangers who might literally flee with the clothes on their backs.

    We have friends who own a Resale Shop and after six weeks’ if merchandise isn’t sold, and the owners do not come and retrieve it, said items are Dumpster Bound. Well, not always: there are several pastors I’m aware of who take cast off clothes, coats, shoes, towels, bedding, and stash in church storage for future refugees, and some individuals do it, as well. One childless elderly woman even went so far as to purchase one of those semi-trailers, 53 ft in length, and she takes all the free decent clothing the resale store can supply her with and boxes it up – as in her heart she feels the day is going to come when she’s taking care of a lot of…orphans. Some might think she was delusional, of course. IMO her heart and labor is in the right place.

    I suggest you get to know your neighbors. Block Parties work well in suburbs, and pool parties in apartment complexes, to foster an attitude of community. To have friends one must BE a friend. Get rid of any stereotypes. Rural “Bubbas” a term used affectionately – at other times delivered in a derisive manner – could one day determine if you make it or not. To have friends one must BE a friend – that’s how Bubbas think and respond – and put your best foot forward with Manners Y’er Mama Taught You. Or Google Good manners on the Internet and Go-From-There if she didn’t….People skills will stand you in good stead.

  • Lynne

    I don’t think there is one perfect answer. I am just trying to stack the odds in my favor for any emergency.
    I do think a good example is the flooding in R.I. Sewage plant is going to be done for 2 weeks. So even if you didn’t get flooded you can’t use your bathroom or kitchen sink. A little forethought can go along ways in helping you to deal with those little annoyances ;)

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Christina, you touched chords in a lot of us. Some are not suited to a relatively solitary life, and most of us wish we could have other like-minded families living near us. I can envision a collection of families with, say, 10-30 acres each, but a communal area for fixing meals or finding companionship and working on projects for the good of all. I DID do that, but people who have enough resources, are committed to the idea of prepping, and are free to start now sure are hard to find. Still, the e-mails we’re exchanging lift my heart and soothe my mind. We are NOT alone. Better yet, more and more are realizing that they must consider the future. Why don’t any of you live near central Texas?! Thanks for a terrific essay. Linda

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Lynne, you’re my kind of lady! I don’t demand miracles (although I look for them) but I’m always hunting an edge, some way to tilt the odds in our favor. It was obvious to me long ago that record snowfalls would lead to floods and plumbing and fresh water problems, and while I might not have anticipated a two-week outage, I would certainly have stocked a lot of potable water and researched chemical toilets. 85% live in the cities now and are dependent upon others for far too many of the necessities of life. It is possible, given good weather, to survive without food for well over a month, but life does not continue long without water. A really good water filter–I bought a Berkey–is a necessity, not a luxury. With one, you can use lakes or swimming pools. There are chemicals which work fine. I look forward to your inputs. Linda.

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Dear Sara: Your response demonstrates why I stopped using the term “survivalist” and went to “prepper.” My article today discussed the three most probable futures we face, and I really do not believe there is any way to prepare against the possibility of dictatorship. If the government decides to do a re-run of “Operation Showboat” I don’t think many of us would do any better than David Koresh did. I don’t even plan to try. On the other hand, it is perfectly sensible to consider the sort of behavior which occurred in Watts and New Orleans, and what could happen if the food production and distribution network broke down. My theory is to evade if we can, and defend ourselves against looters only if we must. I hope devoutly that it never comes to that, but if it does anyone who isn’t prepared to run, hide, or protect is going to have serious problems. I have lived–literally–through tornadoes, earthquakes, a tsunami, and a hurricane. Preparations against those are straight forward. I have NOT had to attempt to explain to hundreds of hungry strangers a day why they cannot raid my garden or have my chickens for dinner. Just two questions: do you think the US is headed for a depression to equal the Thirties? If so, do you believe that a population close to 3 times as large will show the gallantry, hard work, and civility my grandparents’ generation did? They looted in Houston after Ike, partially because it was easy with emergency workers tied up. No one was really hungry, far less starving. Prepping is balancing the possible against the cost of insurance. Gentle smile…the two men of my age dearest to me NEVER leave a bite of food on their plates. One grew up in the Blitz in London; he was in the thick of Gulf War I with a wife, an infant and a toddler. He knows first hand that being a refugee or in danger isn’t something that only happens in the Balkans. He is an ardent prepper who places little reliance on guns. Our first line of defense isn’t guns and we don’t have a thing that goes BOOM. We like knowing that if the store is out of meat, eggs, milk, and cheese we have the technology and supplies to produce our own. You made an eloquent argument that has validity, but I still like knowing that if the power goes off for three weeks–as happened 25 miles away after Ike–we have a generator and fuel for it. All of us have to make our own decisions and decide which preparations will address whatever we fear. Chuckle…how horrible a life without fresh milk and cream would be! Our solution was to buy a Guernsey cow, which not everyone has a place to keep. Our idea of “unbearable” is being without an enormous supply of reading material, so we stock books enthusiastically. Even if nothing bad ever happens, we have guaranteed stocks of dairy products and reading matter. Cordially, Linda

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Old Man River, you’re so beautifully practical! The problem with banding together remains finding good candidates and then working out how you could all live close enough to assist in times of danger and harvest without literally living together. MDC and I value our solitude highly, and my idea of horror would be the constant noise of a dozen people, no matter how much I liked them and how necessary we were to the survival of the group. The best solution we could find if TEOTWAWKI hits and our children or suitable friends show up is several extra old motor homes and travel trailers. They don’t tie up all that much capital, and if tent cities spring up will probably be quite valuable if we have extras. Nobody wants to live in a motor home, but one makes good storage now and will be a palace if the alternative is sleeping under a bridge. If all else fails and the economy recovers I may renovate them and sell them as chicken houses!

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    James, dear…islands available for sale other than in the Aegean are in very short supply, alas. I absolutely hate the way you painted the possibilities. Because you are right, of course. How much nicer it would be if the only things on my mind were building the new kitchen and dying Easter Eggs. Life remains a test, and we can either study or take our chances. Sara, the SPAM filter ate my reply, but with luck it will show up tomorrow.

  • Essie Feldhacher

    Surviving is also a State of Mind. For those in suburbia it may not be as easy as for some who own lots of land somewhere semi-or outright remote. Do what you can do. Make friends with and get to know your neighbor. You might be surprised that someone living nearby is more in tune with you that you’d ever believe. Many of us have adult children living in the city, kids who do some prepping, but are likely to “pay attention” and have the instincts of when it is time to Get Out Of Dodge (if it comes to that.) Such children have already ‘asked permission” if it gets bad – can they come home to the family homestead. (They think they need to ask?! But of COURSE. Although it’s a sign of good breeding and mannerly raising that they DO ask and don’t just assume.) These same children IF they become friends may end up with an almost open-door policy to bring along a few select persons – especially if traveling as a unit increases their chances of making it home to Mama and Dad’s sheltering arms and abodes. Now, City Dwellers, do NOT “lay down in the traces” (pun intended – it’s an old horse/mule-farming day’s term that means to stop doing a dang thing and just cease and desist and lay down and not move a muscle.) Keep ON prepping as you can. BUT when it seems overwhelming, realize there are a lot of back-woodsy type folks, who are kind-hearted and aware, and realize there WILL be “refugees”. They are doing the prep bit for themselves and their own famiies, but some who have the outbuildings and storage space are boxing and tubbing up “stuff” to give to strangers who might literally flee with the clothes on their backs. We have friends who own a Resale Shop and after six weeks’ if merchandise isn’t sold, and the owners do not come and retrieve it, said items are Dumpster Bound. Well, not always: there are several pastors I’m aware of who take cast off clothes, coats, shoes, towels, bedding, and stash in church storage for future refugees, and some individuals do it, as well. One childless elderly woman even went so far as to purchase one of those semi-trailers, 53 ft in length, and she takes all the free decent clothing the resale store can supply her with and boxes it up – as in her heart she feels the day is going to come when she’s taking care of a lot of…orphans. Some might think she was delusional, of course. IMO her heart and labor is in the right place. I suggest you get to know your neighbors. Block Parties work well in suburbs, and pool parties in apartment complexes, to foster an attitude of community. To have friends one must BE a friend. Get rid of any stereotypes. Rural “Bubbas” a term used affectionately – at other times delivered in a derisive manner – could one day determine if you make it or not. To have friends one must BE a friend – that’s how Bubbas think and respond – and put your best foot forward with Manners Y’er Mama Taught You. Or Google Good manners on the Internet and Go-From-There if she didn’t….People skills will stand you in good stead. By running this all together instead of breaking up into paragraphs hoped to fool the evil-spam-filter.

  • Essie Feldhacher

    This damnable Spam Filter is starting to seem like a deejay on the radio caller saying, “And our SIXTH lucky caller is allowed to post…!” Surviving is also a State of Mind. For those in suburbia it may not be as easy as for some who own lots of land somewhere semi-or outright remote. Do what you can do. Make friends with and get to know your neighbor. You might be surprised that someone living nearby is more in tune with you that you’d ever believe. Many of us have adult children living in the city, kids who do some prepping, but are likely to “pay attention” and have the instincts of when it is time to Get Out Of Dodge (if it comes to that.) Such children have already ‘asked permission” if it gets bad – can they come home to the family homestead. (They think they need to ask?! But of COURSE. Although it’s a sign of good breeding and mannerly raising that they DO ask and don’t just assume.) These same children IF they become friends may end up with an almost open-door policy to bring along a few select persons – especially if traveling as a unit increases their chances of making it home to Mama and Dad’s sheltering arms and abodes. Now, City Dwellers, do NOT “lay down in the traces” (pun intended – it’s an old horse/mule-farming day’s term that means to stop doing a dang thing and just cease and desist and lay down and not move a muscle.) Keep ON prepping as you can. BUT when it seems overwhelming, realize there are a lot of back-woodsy type folks, who are kind-hearted and aware, and realize there WILL be “refugees”. They are doing the prep bit for themselves and their own famiies, but some who have the outbuildings and storage space are boxing and tubbing up “stuff” to give to strangers who might literally flee with the clothes on their backs. We have friends who own a Resale Shop and after six weeks’ if merchandise isn’t sold, and the owners do not come and retrieve it, said items are Dumpster Bound. Well, not always: there are several pastors I’m aware of who take cast off clothes, coats, shoes, towels, bedding, and stash in church storage for future refugees, and some individuals do it, as well. One childless elderly woman even went so far as to purchase one of those semi-trailers, 53 ft in length, and she takes all the free decent clothing the resale store can supply her with and boxes it up – as in her heart she feels the day is going to come when she’s taking care of a lot of…orphans. Some might think she was delusional, of course. IMO her heart and labor is in the right place. I suggest you get to know your neighbors. Block Parties work well in suburbs, and pool parties in apartment complexes, to foster an attitude of community. To have friends one must BE a friend. Get rid of any stereotypes. Rural “Bubbas” a term used affectionately – at other times delivered in a derisive manner – could one day determine if you make it or not. To have friends one must BE a friend – that’s how Bubbas think and respond – and put your best foot forward with Manners Y’er Mama Taught You. Or Google Good manners on the Internet and Go-From-There if she didn’t….People skills will stand you in good stead.

  • DeeDee

    For all intents and purposes, I have just started down this rabbit hole of preparedness/survivalism mentality and I am 100% completely overwhelmed. Even as a child I knew the something was not right. The world we lived in could not last, it just seemed too fake and far too sensitive to tipping or, one day, collapsing on those who relied on it the most. Now that I’m facing my 30’s and things have come to where they are today, I am overwhelmed at what I have not done and how much there is left to do. But I agree with Christina, as many of us have. How do you balance “being human” with being prepared? I want to stock pile 3 months to 1 year of food for me, my husband and our dog but in 780 square feet of house, where is there room? A garden is growing in the backyard, but we have no basement or root cellar to store the food we grow. There are few options for water storage save for hiding 2 liter bottles under our bed or in the trunk of the car. I know things will not last forever and this world we live in will change drastically one day, but how do you reconcile continuing to live and enjoy life with preparing and stocking up? Part of me identifies with Mr. Wiseman and wants to go out and also spend $20,000 on supplies, but I understand that is all in vain. I think my time, for now, is better spent learning and absorbing the experiences and expertise of others in classes geared towards survival, medical first-aid, horticulture, etc. Our plan is to keep at 3 month supply of food available and as much water as we can, plus a 72-hour BOB. We are renting currently and any land we decide to buy will be geared toward a retreat-type homestead. We desire to find a community with like-minded people who we can trust and share both our supplies and skills. But where to start? Obviously this is not as easy as simply placing an ad on Craigslist: “Survival Community Wanted, Hippies Welcome”! Any suggestions for where to start?

  • http://rick@rickety Rick

    I was interested in your post and in what Christina had to say. I believe there are safety in numbers. It is helpful to belong to a church where there are similar minded people. An added advantage is if your church supports families in their self-reliance and preparedness. For example, consider this Home Storage Center ( http://www.rickety.us/2008/08/our-home-storage-center/ ) and the services they provide.

    I am sure there are other groups that are preparing also. You just have to find them.

  • Jim

    Gold and Silver, like fiat dollars, are only worth what the market says it’s worth. For my money I’d stick to the beans and bullits for the next apocolypse. You can’t eat gold and what the hell are you gonna buy afterwards anyway. It seems to me after everyone’s dead there’ll be plenty of stuff just lying around for the taking. Sorry to all you gold and silver marketers. Death by starvation is what they have planned for you and all your precious metals ain’t gonna save ya.

  • http://www.rickety.us rick@rickety

    If all of society disappears then perhaps gold and silver will be of little worth. What I see gold and silver being useful for is as wealth preservers and for trade. If the dollar becomes useless but civilization is still intact in some form, then silver 1oz rounds would be very useful for trade.

    But first pay off debts and stock up on food etc. Let the preparedness begin.

  • sharonsj

    I moved to rural Pennsylvania twenty years ago and quickly learned that you had to be prepared for everything. Over time I have made sure to have various tools, different ways to stay warm (including sleeping with pets), backups for utilities, and have stocked up on food, water, candles, etc. I also learned to live on less money, and how to preserve fruits and vegetables, so when things started falling apart, I was hardly touched.

    However, the problem I now face–and which I think plenty of others face–is how to come up with enough money to pay for rising school and property taxes, credit cards, and the creeping inflation in everything from gasoline to sugar–while my income doesn’t keep pace with expenses. I’ve read that “modern” living is akin to living in a pressure cooker. So even if this is not the end of civilization as we know it, the next thing I must deal with is getting rid of debt, if only to make my life easier. Debt is what’s killing the middle class. I do not envy the next generation because I do not think they are prepared for America as a third-world country.

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  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Dear Rick: Thanks for the site, which I’ll check out. You put a couple of principles very well and briefly, indeed. Jim is right that we can’t eat precious metals and that their best use is to preserve the value the $ has at present, but many have more resources than they want to turn into food, ammo, and trade goods.

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    I’m being brief, Rick, because the SPAM filter is on a rampage. In some instances I’m not even for paying down debts! Check your local rules, but in some states if no payment is made on a credit card (and no promises are made), the debt must be written off. True, it is sold to a collection agency, but according to a lawyer I know they cannot collect because “insurance” has covered it and the agency does not have the original documents. That’s at least worth looking into. If the dollar and big banks crash…if we end up with TEOTWAWKI nobody is going to write checks to MasterCard. We could also consider how many of our tax dollars went to rescue those banks.

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Dear Jim, your point is good, but not for everyone. Those of us who can are stocking the Bees, planting gardens, and acquiring livestock. 85% of the population in most areas lives in cities and is forbidden to keep meat or dairy animals. If you have a surplus “afterwards” what do you think you’ll be willing to trade it for? I agree that there will be a lot of things that can be “picked up,” “IF,” but I’m still at least faintly honest and would prefer to swap legally for land and gold, if that time comes. What else can someone from the city to offer to trade to a prepper colony?

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Continuing, Jim…do you intend to keep everything extra you have or produce just in case the emergency lasts for twenty years? If you had half a million dollars, would you put it all in MREs and NATO rounds? Where would you store them? Sure, you can blow through that amount quickly preparing a farm or ranch for most things short of dictatorship, but what if you had a million or more? Wry laughter. We’d move to Argentina, I guess. I have been trying to work out plans for assorted areas and budgets for several years and I prioritize by city/country, resources, a PLAN if evacuation is necessary, and some way to take supplies if flight becomes necessary. I’d like to hear about how you worked out what was best for you. Regards, Linda

  • Charles

    I love all the thoughts. But. the question that I’m looking to be answered is WHEN. To me, we all know something is going to happen with all the stupid stuff going on. But when is whatever going to happen? What’s the trigger?
    The other thing I have not heard here is, is how long to prepare for. I like to think if you can survive for 3 months 90% of us will have died (for lack of whatever) or killed. So my plan is to prepare for 3+ months and then adapt to life as we all need to adapt to life today. I’m a preppy and praying for the rest. Chuck

  • Essie Feldhacher

    Charles we are ALL wondering about the WHEN, even as many of us have gut instincts. A time or two on a forum I frequent I’ve considered tossing out the “What Signs Do You Look For” to know when “it” is about to happen or when it means G-O-O-D and NOW!!! and too bad if people think y’er nuts… Many wild creatures sense something is amiss regarding hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes…we humans are “critters”, too, and I think many of us IF we stopped and thought COULD pool personal indicators that WE might compile an actual list of ingredients and when a large proportion tote up…be in fight-or-flight-mode, as it were. Everyone I know whose instincts I have come to respect talks about feeling hinky. I’ve been too busy doing-my-thing to actually give it the thought I probably should…. We certainly see the Signs of Wars in Diverse Places, earthquakes, famines and other long-ago provided “indicators” although I believe many of us would appreciate input on “when” from educated, think-alike humanity.

  • lynne

    What’s good about prepping is it doesn’t matter when bad stuff happens, you are ready for it. You don’t put a life preserver on your boat hoping it will sink. The life preserver is there in case it sinks.
    Plus prepping is great thing to have in a “personal disaster”. If you lose your income for any reason you won’t have to worry about the grocery bill. If you lose your home you will have your BOV to to live in and travel to a better area to make a living. I just see prepping as a win/win.
    I think 6 months of all household goods should be the minimum. That should carry you until you have time to plant and harvest. But, most places do recommend a year. If you are eating out of your “pantry” and rotating your food won’t spoil.

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Dear Charles: Thanks for the group compliment, and welcome aboard. We’re all trying to figure out “when!” The worst prediction is “any time from now on,” with more sanguine answers out to 2015. I tend to look more at possible danger points that might precipitate the whole mess. How will the next bond auction go? Will the expected Tea Party crashers on the 15th start something that really gets out of control? Will there be elections in November, and, if so, will a new Congress be seated in January?
    Your basic plan sounds good for me; things may well settle down after three months, partially because a great many will have died of exposure, starvation, or violence. Please explain “then adapt to life as we all need to adapt to life today.” Many are literally storing food and the means (they hope) to protect it. Those who can are preparing to raise and grow food–crops, livestock. If the food production and distribution network breaks down, as I think, it will be best to be able to produce or gather food or have something (goods or services) that food raisers will be willing to barter for. There aren’t many of those. Thanks for the prayers, which are returned, Chuck. Linda

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    I’m with Essie. I’m always with Essie! I live in the country, of course, which will keep me slightly safer a little longer. I spend part of every day researching, and I have two basic suggestions: the first time a riot breaks out ANYWHERE, start implementing your final procedures. Have the BOV packed and prepared to GOOD if that is your plan. Second, our house would be impossible to defend, having no fewer than 5 exterior doors. Our computers are placed so that I can look out of two of them (far too much glass in this place) and a bank of windows, and cover E, W, and S from where I sit. My personal weapon is within easy grasp but not in plain sight. At present, it does not have a round chambered. The day I feel like racking the slide would be a good plan, I’ll let you know. I got a faint twinge when I wrote that, but I’m just a little uneasy, not really feeling that the need to defend myself is imminant. What say we move this discussion over to http://www.thetexasring.com when this article rotates off? Right now I’m more concerned that we don’t have the garden planted because things are really going to be dicey if this falls apart at the wrong time of the year.

  • http://www.thetexasring.com Linda Brady Traynham

    Another great comment, Lynne, and I concur. The SPAM filter ate my reply to Essie. I’m always with Essie! Short answer–finalize your preparations when the first riot breaks out ANYWHERE. My internal “warning” will be the day I decide I need to chamber a round in my personal protection, which I keep within easy grasp of my computer but not in plain sight. Let’s move this discussion over to http://www.thetexasring.com when this article rotates off.

  • Charles

    Thanks to Essie and Linda. I know the when is the hard question when we are not even sure what will be the nature of the crash. To adapt I mean to see what happens and then work with what we have left to work with. ie will we have power? banking? law enforcement ? etc. We have a year of food, 4 months of fuel for the generator which gives us power and well water. We don’t take any meds. other then OTC, vitamins and enough of this for more then a year. We have guns and ammo. to protect us from all but big brother. We are holding some cash to be able to maintain our lifestyle but if I knew when I would get more PM’s. We don’t believe at all in the banks and only put enough money in to cover the checks. Again, thanks and I love this new site I’ve found with the like minded. Chuck

  • lynne

    @ Jim Well I do agree with get your basics first. Food, water and the 3 S’s. But once you have those you need to protect yourself with wealth. It doesn’t matter if we like it or not money is power. I like silver instead of gold as a protection against “fiat money”. I may be able to trade wheat or a loaf of bread. But if I can trade a gold or silver coins why wouldn’t I? Money is just a commodity it’s worth what you can trade for it. Nothing more and nothing less. If you had a choice on payment wouldn’t you rather have something of value in hand rather than some pieces of green paper, because that’s all the dollar is green paper.
    I’m no prophet, but folks seem to like those shiny pieces of metal. So I’ll keep buying silver as something that seems to retain value.

  • Chuck

    Linda, I was reading this am and found a story that talked about timing. Can I send the links? I do not know if that is allowed. Please let me know. Just a bit about the story, he was making the case for 6-11 being a high risk point. It was based a lot on maturing comm. real estate and bond sales and the resulting interest rates. I feel one of the best triggers or tipping points to watch are bond rates increasing thus forcing interest rates up. There is very little the fed can do about this with really scaring the markets. I will look later today if it is OK to link those web sites. Blessings Chuck

  • Jason Calley

    Linda says (at post #20): “85% of the population in most areas lives in cities and is forbidden to keep meat or dairy animals.”

    Well, I don’t know any good answer to the dairy problem, but as for meat, what about rabbits? Most localities will include that cute bunny as an approved pet. You can have a cage inside if need be, or some combination of inside and outside. Regardless, when the day comes that you butcher little bunny Snowflake, who’s to know? Same with Guinea Pigs. Heck, if you are hard core, the same with puppies and dogs. Or consider raising insects for protein. Google “eating bugs.” No, I am not kidding, just pointing out that many of our choices are artificially constrained by our belief systems.

    Oh, on the subject of dairy goods, research “kefir”, a fermented milk drink that is about half way between buttermilk and yogurt. While use of kefir does not solve the problem of where to get milk, it does make long term use and storage easier. It ferments at room temperature and can be eaten straight, mixed with juice to make an Indian lassie, or used to make cheese. I have taken a quart of fresh kefir, added a spoon of oil to help keep air from it’s upper surface and stored it unrefrigerated, in a loosely sealed mason jar, on a counter-top for six weeks. Still good; a bit more tangy than usual, but still tasty and uncontaminated.

    Also, if you live in town, don’t forget sprouts. You can turn a pound of seeds into ten pounds of fresh greens in just a few days with almost no work and no worry that someone will raid your garden.

  • Jim

    Few quick comments. 1) Only whichever God you pray to knows when so don’t wait time with that question.
    2) Proper prep. is a lifestyle choice, love it or leave it. 3) My concern about all of this Precious Metal hype is
    that newbe’s may not understand that this is the last prep. not the first. I’d sure hate to be the one’s who were suckered into putting all their preps. into metal and starve to death. 4) In a month those who are not
    Lions or well preped and hidden will be dead of starvation and all the chaos that goes along with hunger.
    And lastly…5) The suburbites should be the most concerned with food and not metal. When your neighbors are dead there’ll be plenty of land for farming. Remember if you got the gold and I have the gun, soon I’ll have both. And… if I have extra WTSHTF I intend to give it away to the needy not sell it for metal, you greedy SOB’s.

  • http://www.patriotemergencyfoodsupply.com Mark in Massachusetts

    The title of this article caught my eye, as I am a typical surburbanite, living just 10 miles outside of Boston. A little over 2 years ago, my brother in Maine became a serious “prepper”, storing 1 year of food for his family of 5, plus fuel for several generators (he has his own well plus plenty of additional water sources) and a small arsenal of firearms with plenty of ammunition. At first we (my wife and I, my mother, and my other brother) were a bit concerned for his sanity, but the more we learned, the more it became obvious that WE would be crazy not to have at least a 90 day supply of food and water, so that’s what each of us have done, with help from my “crazy” brother in properly packing the food for 20 year + shelf life.

    Over the past year, I have come to realize two basic things: 1) Every family in in this country should have no less than 30 days supply of food and water on hand at all times, and 2) Almost none of them do! As I have discussed this issue with my circle of friends and business associates, the typical response I get is “makes a lot of sense” or “I should do that too”, but none of them have done so.

    3 months ago, my brother and I decided to do something about this. We have started a small business, packing 30 days worth (1,600 calories per day) into mylar bags, adding in a deoxygenator tab to each bag, and vacuum sealing each bag for maximum shelf life. Each 30 day supply is packed in a 6 gallon sealable bucket for easy storage. Someone in an earlier post mentioned that survivalism isn’t a “get it and forget it deal”, but I believe it would be a great start for a father or mother to acquire a bucket for each member of his/her family, put it in the basement and know that they’d have a fighting chance in the event of an emergency.

    Our thinking is that if we make it easy enough and cheap enough for average American suburbanites to do the right (and smart) thing to protect their family, maybe more will do so (and yes, maybe we can make a few dollars as well….that’s very American too!). Please take a look at our website – we’d love to hear any suggestions or comments you have to offer. We’re located at http://www.patriotemergencyfoodsupply.com

  • oldmanriver

    Linda,

    Thanks for the compliment! Of course I know exactly what you mean by not having a troop of people living with you. I was thinking more along the lines of farmers CO-OP’s. I value my solitude more than the average person. I can blissfully remember times when 2 to 3 weeks would go by and I would not see a single person. If people needed a supply of water with a generator 2 -4 families could go in on a well and generator etc etc. Same would apply for many of the things that you only use once a year. I am a firm believer in not owning anything that I can rent for a reasonable price. Farmers are seeing the wisdom of this more an more. (they did this in the past and got away from it as competition increased between farmers) I know farmers that share a combine or tillage equipment. Economies of scale never go out of style. It is true though that finding people that think and act the same would be tough. A few things that this could be done with is:

    Reloading equipment
    Butchering equipment
    Portable gates, corral systems, head gates
    tractors
    small farm sized distilleries
    fencing equipment
    Canning equipment
    Grain, hay and food storage
    Land (larger parcels go cheaper per acre than small ones)(land is a better inflation hedge than gold or silver IMHO except that its not very portable)
    Basically anything that you dont use on a daily basis. Buy something with other folks size it so that it is efficent and does a better job than the smaller units. Contracts could be set up stating when and in what order something could be used. It could be set up at a central location and people bring the work to it. I have done this a lot in the past and it really helps the bottom line. You are not paying the full interest rate or the opportunity costs for 12 months when you only use the equipment a few times a year. You can buy better and more efficient equipment. You have a group that routinely helps each other and does business together that is mutually supportive. This pays benefits in other areas.

  • rrh

    Re: gold and silver. No, you can’t eat it. But it is a store of wealth. A Jewish relative of mine managed to flee Europe on one of the last ships out before the waters became too dangerous. His wealthy family were only able to bring what they could carry on-board. This included the family silver. I have read of many people who were able to afford to flee dangerous situations by paying with gold coins. You can carry enough in your pocket to live in exile for a year or two. Try doing that with canned chili or fresh chard. I think it is important to consider all possibilities, and not to dismiss anything out of hand.

  • Chuck

    Jim, why are we greedy SOB’s for preparing as we feel lead to. As for me I have tried to inform many family and friends on how to prepare. Not many have followed what I have suggested so my having PM will help them get by. Why would that make me a name you wish to call me.
    You should prepared how you feel lead to and leave the name calling out of it. Chuck

  • Mike

    I think the problem with the survivalist movement is that they are planning for total societal collapse. This is incorrect, in my opinion. The emphasis should be on planning for things that have a reasonable chance of occurring, like floods, fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorism, etc…

    Many people in the survival movement point to the “just in time” delivery systems of big companies like Walmart and conclude incorrectly that these systems must be fragile because they are complex. This is a logical fallacy. An example would be your body. Every day your body fights off literally millions of infectious virus and bacteria that are trying to colonize you. This is an incredibly complex system that functions automatically, without any conscious input from the user, and is very resistant to collapse. Occasionally, of course, people do get sick, but even when sick, the immune system continues to function. The point is that your complex and highly interdependent immune system works flawlessly 99% of the time to keep you alive.

    Another example of the benefits of complexity can be found in the stability of diverse ecosystems vis-a-vis monocultures.

    The point is that our modern economic system of free markets based on voluntary transactions between individuals produces the most resilient and stable system possible. It is not perfect, but it is much more stable than people like to believe. A system based on centralized, top-down government planning would be even more unstable and less able to react quickly to disruption.

    For example, even after the “snowmageddon” on the East Coast recently, the grocery stores were magically full of food within a couple of days. Another example comes from New Orleans after Katrina. While FEMA was still figuring out how to deploy its resources and house refugees, restaurant and pharmacy owners were reopening shop in the city less than 2 weeks after the flood. These small businessmen were the first to bring economic life back to the local economy.

    So I say plan for at worst 5 to 7 days without power, food, and water. If the going gets worse than that, you probably won’t want to be around for it anyway. Imagine being the only house on the block with clean water and lights on after a month of darkness. Think the neighbors might get ideas? Do you want to fight off a starving horde with a shotgun? Have fun with that. It won’t happen, but if it does, your life won’t be worth living anyway. You will survive at best an extra few weeks beyond the rest of us.

    It is the markets, commerce and civil society that must be protected from disaster. The only way to do this is to prevent the government from using emergencies as an excuse to usurp power and impose draconian control measures on local economies in the aftermath of a disaster. Like minded, free people must strengthen the bonds of their neighborhoods and communities in order to be resilient. Hiding in your basement with a shotgun is not going to cut it.

  • Jim

    My apolpgies for poor expression of my thoughts. If or when TSHTF for real and it’s TEOTWAWKI and you think of barter instead of charity then you are a greedy… Perhaps you believe you are just a good capitalist and thats why were in the mess we’re in now. Too much Wall St style capitalism and less Christian charity. I ain’t talking communism style either. Just old fashioned American style charity. And…Please tell me where you’re gonna escape to with that Silver as those in your story did? They were comming here. When we fall and we will soon, WHERE? If you know please tell me so I can go there also and beat the rush. If we allow this current crop of Washington Political clowns to ‘bring it all down man’ (and I mean both Demicans and Republicrats) there’s no where else to run to. Good Luck and God Bless.

  • Hooey Hucker

    I agree that stockpiling food and survival goods can never be wrong. “Be prepared” is the best motto ever, and one that I live by. I follow most of these guidelines and hope you do too. However if you do it for some of the paranoid reasons implied here you are better off spending the money on getting your head fixed.

    Peak oil is moving farther and farther away, not closer and closer. This country has enough oil to sustain us all for all of your lifetime. Period. Fact. Known global oil reserves continue to grow not shrink, and will double simply be developing some new but basic technologies. The only problem with oil that has EVER existed is who is controlling the supply and demand curve, which is everyone with a vested interest. So should there ever be a real shortage in this country, the chaos will last exactly as long as it takes a bullet to reach the head of the person holding the kink in the hose, be it a corporate type or government type. Its OK to fear an unchecked government, but trust me, our government’s fear of 300+ million unchecked and pissed off citizens is far worse. They will milk supply and demand as much as possible for profit within a given set of boundaries. But you are a loon if you think our government has the balls to actually create any substantial shortage. This country is FULL of oil, and in the here and now that oil is the difference between the quality of life we have here and what they have in Niger. If the government tried to stand between us and that supply they would be trampled quickly and firmly and DON’T EVER THINK THAT THEY DON’T KNOW IT. And if our currency collapsed the global oil-based economy would collapse with it. And given our quality of life here, whatever new supply/demand system evolved, we would again be at the top of the heap because everyone wants what we have.

    So while the details of this story are accurate, the message that 300+ million people are incapable of tending to daily affairs if the government ever collapsed, is a very very very foolish. People aren’t going to immediately take up arms against each other, or sit helplessly waiting for the government to hand feed them. This country has plenty of land to grow food, plenty of resources, and plenty of educated and resourceful people. More likely they will immediately set to work righting the previous wrongs and will probably build a new, better America. So, I’m with Christina. Stockpile a network of good people who you can trust to commit to the common good, and share in the joy of freedom you thought you had before but didn’t. The people acting like some Men In Black execution squad is going to come looking for you are just kooky. The military is made up of Americans with families just like the rest of us. They’re not going to take up arms against their own people just to get paid in worthless money. They’re going to get right to the task of fixing things, just like the rest of us. It makes me sad to see the paranoia and misguided hostility the rest of you have towards the general population. The idea that this country is so close to devolving into some big violent free for all is clinically paranoid. Get a grip…

  • Swinging in the clean linens

    Thanks Trace, Essie, Rick, Linda, Sara, Christina & Sharon. I remember snoozing on cool breezy summer days swinging in grandma’s freshly hung sheets on the clothes lines. I wish everyday could be like that once again (even with the butt whoopin afterward). I’m litterally quite new to this, and have been heavily engaged in research and prepping for the future for about the last 6-8 weeks. My resources are severely limited and in retrospect, I fear from what I’ve learned in that time, that it is drawing down very quickly and is not on my side, I wish I had more of both, better still for none of the horrid agenda never to occur. An economic trigger precipitating the collapse seems most assured. Especially when considering China is agressively steering this global event by dumping hundreds of billions (with a B) in US treasuries onto the world market as are many other foreign countries (everyone is selling). SDR purchases by the G20 governments (including the US) continue to rise sharply in contrast to the declining value of the US dollar. The US is purchasing the treasuries back to artificially keep the US economy afloat (on life support) while the new world order is established. Until then, the G20 is subversively stringing along the rest of the world. I too want to know when, but that will be determined by a very select few (Bilderberg Group). Other insights available, are from a recent WEF conference “Davos 2010: DesignLab Global Initiatives”, a search on youtube will yield a number short vids everyone should be viewing and discussing (yet very few know of their existence). Our government is deeply involved in this and voting public has virtually no knowledge of it. I’ve lived in a quiet suburban community for 7 years, now they’re proposing to build a subsidized 200 unit multi-family housing project on 11.2 acres just 300 feet from my door. Our community is fighting back, the developers have the resources and support where we have little if none. Of this I’m quite certain, my wife and I cannot remain in the city and must flee WHEN the time comes. Where to go is the real question and the ecocommunity sounds great, but not in Texas. Texas will be intensely difficult if not impossible, given the hords of migrants coming from the south. I’m inclined to believe as many do that power, water and food will be in very short supply almost instantly at the beginning and for an extensive period of time to quell the targeted 80-95% of the remaining masses into non-existance by whatever means exists. I don’t care for the in your face activism approach, but Alex Jones vid “Endgame: Blueprint For Global Enslavement” and the extra’s in the vid present compelling information for the serious minded individuals who may need more info on the Bilderberg Group. Again, thanks for everyone’s response in this forum.

  • http://www.lewrockwell.com/calderwood/calderwood-arch.html David C.

    I think Mike has a healthier view of this in many ways. This is why I find useful knowledge in blogs written by those who have actually experienced their own versions of social meltdowns rather than those who think through the possibilities by writing dramatic works of fiction (not that I’m against fiction, said the pot to the kettle).

    Good points are found in Fernando Augierre’s http://ferfal.blogspot.com/ where he speaks to what occurs during an economic and political meltdown and what strategies may be useful. More food? Yes. Bartering ammo? No. Rifles? Nice at home but forget about going to work with one. Handguns? A necessity. Buying your stuff with Krugerrands? Not going to happen.

    A great prepper philosophy can be found here: http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/howto.html
    The bottom line is that life goes on, and our job is to make that process as smooth as possible. I believe that thinking about TEOTWAWKI is counter-productive. Those who want “The Road” to prove them right will (I sincerely hope) be disappointed with how “normal” things go on.

    Life without hope is not life. Preppers who posit TEOTWAWKI discourage all those around them by assuming (erroneously) that people will be eating each other in coming years. This didn’t even occur during the Middle Ages, so it’s a much healthier view to see the future as a continuum with the past, even if a new set of rules apply.

  • http://mypanamaranch.blogspot.com Steve

    I pulled my savings out of the market and liquidated my real estate in the US. I bought gold and silver in preparation for the worst. I don’t want to be here (the US) when it goes down. I’ve done the research and located a small community in the mountains in Panama. A place with fertile soil, clean abundant water and low cost labor and building materials. I bought a large piece of land and have been making regular trips to make friends with the locals and others who have also found this place. My strategy was to subdivide my land into small farms and sell to like minded people, but it’s been slow finding like-minded people ready to make the commitment. A small number have found this area over the past few years, some get it, We exchange ideas and techniques for organic farming and have developed cottage industries. We’re surrounded by vast tropical mountain ranges inhabited only by primative tribes of indiginous peoples. It’s quite nice and the feeling is very optimistic. We’re way off the radar of tourist, but a steady flow continue wandering into town. There’s no perfect solution, but I feel I’ll have a better chance here than anywhere in the states.

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  • DC Wornock

    It is true that you cannot eat gold or silver. Also, you cannot eat your house, clothes, or pots and pans. However, you need them and they have value.

    Short of all life on earth being destroyed, it is not possible to have a world without food. Where there are famines and extreme food shortages and people are starving, those with gold and silver can and always have been able to eat. If the supply lines break down and the food stores are empty, someone will exchange food for gold and silver. The price may be very high–one apple for an ounce of silver. And the Wal-Marts will quickly restock although it may be at a much higher prices. A loaf of bread may cost $200 or 5 oz of silver, but it will be available for those that have enough money. Even if 80 percent of the population are starving, people will gold and silver will eat just as they always have.

    In Washington DC and New York City, 70 percent of the people may die from exposure and starvation. However, the president, congress, and the bankers will eat.

  • Jim

    Hooey, you remind me of the concentration camp masters telling the Jews to remain calm and everything will be just fine, trust me. Where have you been the last decade, under a rock or perhaps on a turnip truck? What proof do you offer disregarding peek oil. Do you at least accept that oil is a finite resource that will be used up eventually? If so, is it not reasonable to prepare for the inevitable.

    The government doesn’t have any eggs? Did they not just stuff an unwanted communistic health care law down our throats. I won’t mention cramming two undesired TARP’s and a auto bailout up our wazoo. We are sheep and they know it. Too bad it’ll be too late when they discover many wolves hide amongst the lambs. But that’s a side issue their sure to foolishly provoke.

    The military and police won’t shoot innocent people or violate the Constitution just for a pay check. I’m laughing while I typed that. Randy Weavers wife armed with a baby wasn’t murdered by a cop for a check. The Branch Dividians children weren’t murdered by cops and military violating posse cometitus. Old ladies weren’t dragged out of their homes by cops and military after Katrina. Guns weren’t confiscated when they were needed most. I didn’t touch on the conspiracy stuff.

    The USSR, Chinese, German, Cambodian, …..governments never in the history of man including currently slaughtered millions of their citizens they swore to protect.

    Hooey, you are either a fool or one of the Nazi guards. Unfortunately, even oh so very bright clowns and or infiltrators have followers. Let us hope yours are few.

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  • oldmanriver

    Would people be interested in renting a plot of land outside of an urban area so they may have a garden? Perhaps even low key animal agriculture? It would kinda be the American take on the Dacha system they have in Russia.

  • http://www.whiskeyandgunpowder.com Gary Gibson

    I’d like to apologize to Essie for all the difficulties in posting. Yes, the spam filter is a harsh master and no I have no control over its setting (Marketing has decreed it thus).

  • no one special

    The Rule of 3’s

    A person can live for:
    3 seconds without thinking
    3 minutes without air
    3 hours without shelter
    3 days without water
    3 weeks without food
    3 months without hope

  • lynne

    WOW, this post has grown. I’m a prepper and I started about 18 months ago. I’m on a fixed income and had to do most prepping as cheaply as possible. I’m sure most folks don’t mind saving money at this time. But I have been very successful in prep. You have a couple of tipping points and they are positive tipping points. I did most of my prep on a $100-$150 per month budget, now that’s a single person so for a family that would go up. I had most of the basics for a descent diet in 6 month. Not great but I could certainly survive on it. I did my water in camp water jugs when on sale and then soda bottles. I think those bottles are breeding because it seems like I have 90-120 days of water now not counting the water heater or toilets. 6 months on food seems to be a positive tipping point as well. You no longer buy based on need but based on the most bang for the buck.
    Now I’m a geek and somewhat anal-retentive so I downloaded a spreadsheet for the basics. I had what I need for a year’s worth of food and then some. Now it’s tweaking to make it work for life not just survival.

    Plus you will have to learn scratch cooking to make the most of your prep so you get the benefit of eating real food. If you have homemade bread straight from the oven and a store bought bread. You will taste the difference. Plus every time you make a loaf you are saving anywhere from .60 cent’s to $2.00 for every loaf, and don’t get me started on sun-dried peppers, tomatoes or ribs and brisket.

  • lynne

    @ Dee Dee
    Yeah its tough when you don’t have a basement or root cellar for those storage items but there is always a way around those barriers. You have to think outside the box to solve your problems. Remember this is part of the rewards, meeting those challenges. Now I’m sure you have seen many of the survival/prep stores have the 5 gallon bucket. Well I couldn’t afford those so I bought Rubbermaid containers. 10-18 gallon range. They fit great in closets, they don’t look like prep supplies and they are easy to move. What’s wrong with having lots of 2 litter bottles around and stuffed under your bed. They are great for a bugout and having on hand. Look into window gardening saw some great stuff for that if you don’t have the yard space. Square inch gardening Sprouts, a few jars, water and whole grains you will have fresh greens all year. I’m looking to pickup a huge Styrofoam cooler at the local restaurant supply. Also getting some of those sand bags they have for sand boxes. I can use those to insulate against heat or cold. Hell maybe even for radiation.
    It’s easy to get overwhelmed, just remember it’s like eating an elephant 1 bite at a time. I bet you have a backpack or 2 lying around. Get your 3 day bugout bag made. Toss some ramen noodles a couple of candy bars and some dried fruit, a candle a camp cup and a little stove. Sterno makes a great little stove with some candles with it and it’s only $8.00-12.00. Go to the dollar store and get some spices, a little 1st aid kit, matches and a lighter. No it’s not perfect it’s a start in the right direction.

  • lynne

    I’d like to think I’m taking a practical approach to prep. I don’t think I will find many people as interested in my well being as I am. I do see quite a few folks putting forth theories of how to protect yourself. I agree with a lot of them but they do seem to depend on a lot of if’s. If this happens then do this….
    Mine is a needs base prep. You will need food, safe water, shelter, sanitation and security. Now that does cover a lot of ground in just those few words. I’m sure we all have different ideas how to get there.
    I do believe in being out of debt, to me it’s almost like being an indentured servant. I have lived 3 years without a credit card and don’t miss it at all. Actually feel a bit smug when I hear folks whine about rates going up. I do have to agree with some folks that if the dollar inflates that will be the best time to pay down debts instead of now. But if we face the stagflation of the late 70’s that won’t work.
    Water, easy all you need is city water or a bit of bleach, a container and a dark area to keep it. I keep a couple of pitchers on hand to pour back and forth and re-oxygenate the water before drinking. Shelter is everything from a tent to a house. You must protect yourself from the elements. Sanitation if city services go down, trash,water and sewer how will you deal with it? Trust me some idiot will dump a chem toilet or an RV black water tank in a storm drain which will hit the local creek or stream. I read lot’s of folks think they can go to a local river or stream and get water. Security covers a lot of ground; from pepper spray to guns and PM. You have to protect what you can with anything you can put in your arsenal. It maybe your “Barter box” You can give to someone and move them along to FEMA. Or a silver coin that gets you fuel. It might be a generator that someone is ready to trade for something you want/need.
    Trust me after you are used to being clean being filthy is a hardship not to mention deadly. There are stories of guys in the trenches of WWI where they cried not because of the gas, artillery or just getting shot but because they were so filthy.
    Use the KISS method and keep building on your foundation. You may not be right about everything but you should right about enough to stay alive.

  • oldmanriver

    I think for a good idea of what happens when a society collapses we need to look at examples from the recent past. The collapse of the Soviet Union gives a very clear picture of what happens as well as Argentina. I do not know much about the situation in Argentina but I do know quite a little bit about what happened in the FSU countries. Peoples life savings basically went to 0 , samogan or basically stovetop vodka became the barter unit of choice you could litterally make your own money with a little sugar water and yeast. There was a major disruption in their morality, the Soviet Union was very conservative in regards to social more’s and that all went away. Prostitution became very common as its an easy way for someone with no other skills to make some money. They expirienced true capitalism in that it was every man for themselves and your options for dealing with competitors were wide open. They had advantages though over what we in the USA would have if that happened. Basically everyone in the USSR lost all their savings but became home owners. Most people already had a dacha outside of whatever city they lived in where they already grew their own food. This was probably their largest advantage over what we have in the US now. They also had very little if any debt at the outset. Their society did not completely collapse and things have a way working themselves out. To think that the whole of the United States is going to simply devolve into chaos overnight seems simplistic to me. I think if anything it will happen over time and bit by bit. Life will just get crappier over time until you realize one day that everything is falling apart and that there is not much you can do about it except do the best you can. You will realize you can no longer afford many of the things you used to enjoy in the past. You will find yourself putting off doing needed repairs on things because you just cant afford it. You will notice an increase in crime but it wont be an instantainious change. Things will just wind down and you will notice a general decrease in optimism among people you know. People will cut out luxuries they have and some needs as they struggle to pay bills. Some areas may have riots but unless they have money the rioters really cant leave their areas unless they decide to walk. If you do have a retreat somewhere there will not be a sign or anything that says “Now is the time to get out of dodge”. At some point in time as your finances dwindle you will have to decide to sell either your home or your retreat as you can only afford one of them. Thats when you will have to make your choice. You will start noticing that your next door neighbors daughter seems to have a lot of friends that stop by for an hour or two and that she dresses fairly nice for a teenager with no job. Open air markets will become popular as people buy sell and trade what they can. People wont travel as much and walking or bicycling will become a popular modes of transportation. People will still go to work but their paychecks wont go as far. Alcohol and drug abuse will increase as people try to self medicate themselves. Getting married and having a family will not be very popular as its expensive to do and most young people will not have the money for that. More and more women will choose to have abortions as there is just no way economically they will be able to raise children. More and more young people will continue to live with their parents after they finish school. Many will never move out as there is no where for them to go that they can afford. We will have a lost generation (or more) of young people that never seem to get off the ground as there will simply not be many opportunities for them to take advantage of and many will lose hope. People will start living in the moment more and more as you will have to enjoy life while it is possible. The idea of delayed gratification will slowly fade from our conscienceness. Life as we know it will not go out with a bang but rather a whimper as the vast majority see their hopes and dreams fade as we decend into despair.

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  • lynne

    We ain’t doing prep cause it’s poular. It’s not, I’m not sure how feeding your family and being “prepared” has made you a wingnut. Gatther food and water, If we are all wrong, you have food and water. What do they the folks that poo pooy our effort, offer you? Do you want to be dependent on FEMA?

  • Bill

    Prepping is an interesting subject. I am interested in Prepping in the urban areas. I think this does not require ownership of a house, but simply rent of a place with a pantry that’s large enough and a garage. Several months worth of food and water and a lot of ammo would be good.

    I am not interested in rural areas for several reasons: The division of labor is very poor. I’m a software engineer by trade and my work is not the type that can be done anywhere on earth. It’s in large cities. So I’m near the top of the money chain. Also all this talk of a collapse happened before: back in 1979. I was still in my teens. I could have dropped out, headed for the hills and miss college, which has been my reason for my success in life these last 30 years. The collapse may not happen for five years from now. I have no manual labor skills and I’m aware the pay and even job opportunities in rural areas are very low, perhaps subistence. And I’d miss five years of good income in the big city and above all, the ability to buy more precious metals in bulk.

    The best hospitals, medicine, and transportation networks are in big cities. Someone can point to New Orleans as when everything crumbled. But guess what? Law came back to N.O. after a few weeks didn’t it? This is another reason to have faith in the big cities. If I get a severe cut in the country, I am far more likely to die than if I get a severe cut in the city. By golly my apartment is actually near a hospital! And a very good one – I’ve been there!

  • lynne

    You are making an assumption that only 1 small area will be hit as with Katrina or any storm really. Now I have great faith in most Americans to give what they can. But what if they have been asked to do to much with to little? I assume your a descent guy. You pay your taxes, give a little to charity,give a little to your own savings and retirement. Now let say it’s an “Economic Storm” say the whole world hates the USA and dumps all bonds? Not saying it will happen just that it could. I’m glad you have great hospital, I do to with the VA. My VA seems to have great reputation. US Gov. cuts funding for all DOD and VA. They can do it and I have no power to change it. So I deal with it by prepping and getting ready for the worst and hoping for the best.
    I hope your apartments and big cities work out well for you.

  • lynne

    As DD said was down the “rabbit hole’ and bill is interested in urban survival. Whys and hows are not important. Doyou have a defensible area? Could you bug out if needed? Chem. spills are no respector of property lines. Bill think how great that hospital would be in 10 hours without power. Not saying they don’t have proffesionals that would give there best in any emergency.
    I’m glad you have a great neighborhood and folks you can call on for aid. But a lot of the stuff you talk about are government programs. I think if you have set yourself up to be independent and can make stuff happen on your own you are in great shape. If you are dependent on the the US government you may find yourself bitching about FEMA. I hope it works out for you. I find there is no one as interested in my well being as me, but if you like the governments that well and have trust in them have fun.
    I think I’ll stick with trust in me and my own prep.

  • lynne

    @ jason
    Yeah I check out city codes and I am raising bunnies. You don’t want to get into contests about you property rights but I do believe in taking full advantage of them. So have a couple of garden have some meat, Mom’s growing chickens. It’s slow but we are getting there. Got a feed mill and getting whole grains easy and cheap. If we are all wrong you will meet some great folks. But if we are right these networks could mean life or death.
    So anyone that wants to come and poo poo prep needs to have a better answer than everything will remain the same.

  • Bill

    Lynne, I’ll go ahead and take the gamble of 10 hours of no power to the hospital as opposed to having NO hospital!

    There are people who have generators, diesel, food supplies, and water in urban areas. If you are in a SFH you can certainly put to use diesel. Maybe even with a condo with a personal back yard too.

    I lived in the California high desert. We had to have safety meetings where I worked once a year. The area was earthquake prone. But one thing that stuck in my craw was their statement: If the big one hits Los Angeles and cripples transportation to my desert community, the focus of the rescues will be LA. The outlying desert communities will be on their own.

    Likewise the Mount St. Helens volcano blast. Suppose Mt. Hood near Portland or Mt. Rainier near Seattle erupted the same way St. Helens erupted. If the wind shifted toward the big metro areas the focus would be to rescue city residents and medicate them. Not the rural people.

    My father was a pioneer of sorts as a teenager in the Sierra Nevada. After WWII he brought back a bride to the mountains. They were almost self-reliant but well aware of the lack of emergency services.

    Hence I am only interested in urban prep.

  • lynne

    I won’t say your wrong Bill, cause I don’t know. I went though St helens blast. but if you are good with your prep. Good on you. I am prepping in an urban area but you seem like you are much smarter than me. I wish you the best of luck.

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  • http://none Junior

    There may be some Christians on this site who will take this seriously.
    And those who are not, please find out for yourself what is coming to America.
    Millions killed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Now for believers.
    Amos 3:7 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing
    without revealing his plan
    to his servants the prophets.
    God reveals His Plans to His People who truly follow Him.
    God led me to these visions other Christians have had from God, about America’s future.
    On May 1, there will be a National Day of Prayer and Repentance at the Lincoln Memorial for our Nation.
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=137005
    2 Chronicles 7:14
    if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

    If God does not intervene and help our Nation turn back to Him, “WE ARE DONE!!!!!!!!”

    Except for those who are really seeking God’s leading and guidance, all this will suddenly come upon our whole nation of unaware people who think everything is OK.
    Here are many visions of America’s Destruction.
    PLEASE READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    http://www.unleavenedbreadministries.org/?page=dreamsvisions#America

    Also many people say America is not in the Bible, and I used to think the same thing. That is not True!!!!!!!!!!!!
    America is described in Revelation 18, as Babylon the Great.
    Revelation 18: 9-10 9″When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
    ” ‘Woe! Woe, O great city,
    O Babylon, city of power!
    In one hour your doom has come!’

    In one hour? Sounds like nuclear war.
    There are visions of America being destroyed by Russian submarines right off our own coasts with nuclear missles.
    Several different people have had this vision, A.A. Allen, Dimitru Duduman, and others

    This below is a very, very long read, showing that America is Babylon the Great.
    http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/america_babylon.htm
    I hope you will post this and let the wise take heed, for the foolish will scoff at me, and any who try to warn them!
    If we don’t return to God, “IT’S OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!”
    God Bless any who will heed this and pray and repent for our nation!

  • http://www.TongaIslandProperties.com John

    Reference James the Wanderer’s comments # 8: about an island offshore:

    Particularly for South Pacific cruisers or any sailboat cruisers interested in the less-crowded cruising grounds of the South Pacific, there is a great way to live aboard in a totally protected lagoon in Vava’u, Tonga !

    There are NO mooring expenses and we will even provide a mooring buoy
    for “smart” cruisers who look ahead to establishing an inexpensive “safe haven, 2nd home, retirement now or later base on a private 1,000 acre island in the Vava’u Group of islands, Kingdom of Tonga, in the So. Pacific !

    Cruise the South Pacific and know that you have a refuge to return to for R & R on land, provisioning and getting ready for another cruise to NZ, Australia, Fiji or other island nations !

    Also for non-boaters (take the island ferry to town):

    We are offering 600 m2 ocean-view lots at the introductory price of US$3,850. each (not a typo) on a 99-year lease and suggest a 2 or 3 lot commitment to assure ‘buffer’ space on both sides of a building lot; there is use (no building) on 300 m2 in front of the lots and no one can ever build behind the ‘Cocomo Village’ lots !

    Join us in this frugal, yet luxurious life in Paradise – enjoy the best of both worlds – cruising and having a safe refuge for your vessel in the lagoon and yourselves in a modest home overlooking the ocean.

    Visit us at: http://www.TongaIslandProperties.com and get ready to frugally & luxuriously enjoy life in the South Pacific !

  • http://www.octarane.com Stacey Kengal

    “The use of fiat currency has greatly retarded the ability of the general populace to performance mental calculations of value.”

    Shouldn’t this read, “…to PERFORM mental calculations” ?

    Sorry, just a nitpicker for proper grammar, I guess.

    Communication IS a survival skill. ;-)

  • Bill

    Junior, America IS NOT in the Bible. Show me the word “America.” If God is so powerful, she would have expressly written the word America into the minds of the authors of the Bible.

    Survivalism historically attracted a lot of people way out in left field.

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