What do we need to do in order to prepare for the coming economic collapse? Are there practical steps that we can take right now that will help us and our families survive the economic depression that is approaching? As the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, I get asked these kinds of questions a lot. Once people become convinced that an economic collapse is coming, they want to know what they should do. And so in this article I am going to share some key pieces of advice from some of the top experts in the entire country. If you are not convinced that economic disaster is on the way, this article might not be for you. Instead, I would encourage you to go to my website where you will find more than 1,200 articles that set out the case for the coming economic collapse in excruciating detail. For those of you that are interested in getting prepared, I apologize in advance for the outline format of this article. To examine each of these points in detail would take an entire book. In fact, I am the co-author of a book that will soon be published that discusses many of these things in great depth. But you don’t have to wait for a book to get prepared. Mostly, it comes down to common sense. In this article, I share 89 common sense tips that will help you get prepared for the coming economic depression. Hopefully a lot of people will find these to be very helpful.
This first set of tips are 11 things that I strongly encourage my readers to do…
#1 Have An Emergency Fund – This is so important that I wrote an entire article about this recently.
#2 Don’t Put All Of Your Eggs Into One Basket – In addition to having an emergency fund, you will also want to have gold, silver and other hard assets. It is also a very good idea to keep a limited amount of cash at home in case you can’t access an ATM during a major emergency of some sort.
#3 Reduce Your Expenses And Get Out Of Debt – During a time of crisis you want to be as “lean and mean” as possible. If you simplify your life and reduce your debt load now, you will be in much better shape when the next economic depression does arrive.
#4 Move Your Money Away From Unsafe Investments – When the financial world falls apart, you don’t want your finances to be exposed. Markets tend to go down much faster than they go up, and during the next great financial crisis millions of Americans that have their life savings in stocks and bonds are going to get totally wiped out.
#5 Store Food And Supplies – Your dollars will never stretch farther than they do right now. You probably will not need emergency food and supplies in the short-term, but the truth is that none of us ever knows when a major emergency will strike. During 2014, my wife and I felt more of an urgency to stock up then ever before, and I hope that people are using this brief period of relative stability to do what they can to get prepared.
#6 Learn To Grow Your Own Food – Anything that you can do to become more independent of the system is a good thing. This includes growing your own food. And the truth is that some of the most expensive items in the grocery store these days are fresh fruits and vegetables.
#7 Defending Yourself And Your Family – As our world become increasingly unstable, people are going to become a lot more desperate. And desperate people do desperate things. You are going to need to have a plan for that.
#8 Move Away From The Big Cities If Possible – For a lot of people that are dependent on their current jobs, this is simply not possible right now. But if it is possible for you, this is something that I strongly recommend that you think about. Being stuck in the middle of a major city is not going to be a good place to be in the years ahead.
#9 Be Ready To Bug Out – There may come a time when you are forced to evacuate from your current location. This may happen with very short notice. If this ever does happen to you, the key will be to be prepared for it.
#10 Build A Community – Your neighbors and close friends can be an invaluable resource. A cord of multiple threads is not easily broken, and if you have people that you can depend upon during a crisis that can make a world of difference.
#11 Have A Back-Up Plan And Be Flexible – Mike Tyson once aptly observed that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. The years ahead are going to require a great deal of flexibility, and you may find that the plans that you have made need to be altered. So don’t get fixated on just one approach.
When there is a major emergency, some of the most simple items suddenly become some of the most important.
The following are 11 items that I recommend that every household have on hand…
– an axe
– a can opener
– battery-powered radio
– extra batteries
– lighters or matches
– fire extinguisher
– sewing kit
– duct tape
And here are about a dozen more key items that should be on your list from Survival Mom…
- Lightsticks. You can pick up one of these every time you wander into a Home Depot. They don’t need batteries and can be hung around the neck with a string making it easier to spot everyone in your party when it gets dark. An alternative is the UVPaqlite, which never needs batteries.
- Wool socks and sweaters. People have literally frozen to death wearing their layers of cotton knit tees and hoodies. For true survival conditions, nothing beats wool.
- Upholstery needles and thread. What if a sleeping bag or tent rips and you have no way of mending it?
- Roll of quarters. Handy for phone calls, although payphones aren’t as common as they used to be, and laundromats, but if you put it in a sock and wield it like a sling, you have a handy-dandy weapon! If the quarters are pre-1965 and 90% silver, you have a whole new type of currency.
- Pencils. Forget the pens. They can run out of ink and freeze in cold weather. With a pocket knife, you’ll always have a sharp pencil.
- Super glue. Professional hockey players always have this on hand to seal up small cuts, and the glue itself is harmless. Unless you get it in your eye, like I did. But that’s a story for a different type of post!
- Rubber bands. String just doesn’t cut it when what you really need is a rubber band
- Tampons in a cardboard tube. Did you know a tampon can be fit snugly into a bullet wound? Guys on the battlefield carry these with them. Just be aware that the blood in the wound will begin to clot. Leave it to a medical professional to remove the tampon from the wound. They’re also good for kindling.
- Paracord belt. It’s an accessory and survival tool in one!
- Waterproof wrist watch. Makes perfect sense. I had just never thought of it.
- Animal repellant trash bags. Use these when you’re camping and animals will stay the heck away from your trash.
- Safety pins.
- Dental floss. Besides helping to keep your teeth clean, it makes sturdy thread for mending.
But don’t just get focused on acquiring things.
Some of the most important elements of preparation involve things that we need to do for ourselves.
Acclaimed survival expert James Wesley Rawles has put together a “personal list” of things that everyone should think about before a crisis strikes. A lot of these things are topics that “preppers” never seem to write about…
Prescription and nonprescription medications.
Keep dentistry up to date.
Any elective surgery that you’ve been postponing
Work off that gut.
Stay in shape.
Back strength and health—particularly important, given the heavy manual tasks required for self-sufficiency.
Educate yourself on survival topics, and practice them. For example, even if you don’t presently live at your retreat, you should plant a vegetable garden every year. It is better to learn through experience and make mistakes now, when the loss of crop is an annoyance rather than a crucial event.
“Comfort” items to help get through high stress times. (Books, games, CDs, chocolates, etc.)
If you have a serious illness or disease, that is going to need to be one of your top priorities when making preparations for the coming crisis.
This next tip comes from an excellent article that Dave Hodges published recently…
If you or your family has a chronic health condition, it is critical that you have 6 months to a year in medicine. Also, you should research natural alternatives to treatment for health conditions in case you are not able to meet this goal due to the inability to obtain prescriptions. Don’t forget to obtain some pain medication and antibiotics in case of unforeseen emergencies.
Probably one of the most popular topics for preppers to write about is food storage.
But those that are new to prepping are often very confused about how to get started.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. If you start out by focusing on staples that you eat all the time, you should be in great shape. The following are some recommendations about food storage that Pat Henry of the Prepper Journal has shared…
- Rice – First off, buy a 50lb. bag of rice. These contain 504 servings and I don’t know too many people who won’t eat rice. It is simple to cook and stores for years if you keep it cool and dry. This bag at Sam’s costs about $19 now.
- Beans – Next buy a bag of dry beans. This will check off the Beans part of your Beans, Bullets and Band-Aids list. A good size bag is about $5 and makes 126 servings. Buy two if you think your family would like them.
- Canned meat – Cans are great for fruits and vegetables and anyone can find something they will eat. For canned meat, I recommend tuna or chicken because it tastes a heck of a lot better than Spam and you can easily mix that into your rice. For the meat you will need approximately 35 cans. Each can has about 3 servings and this will be the most costly, but they last over a year usually and your family probably eats chicken or tuna on a semi-regular basis anyway so restocking this should be simple.
- Canned Vegetables – you will need about 40 cans of vegetables and again this can be whatever your family will eat. Expect to pay around a dollar each so $40 for veggies to last your family a month.
- Canned Fruit – again, simple fruits that your family will eat. These can even be fruit cocktail if that is the safest thing. At Costco they have the #10 cans of fruit like pears or apple slices and each of these has 25 servings. 5 of these will cost about $25 and give your family their daily dose of fruit.
- Oatmeal – Good old-fashioned oatmeal is simple to cook and store. A normal container has 30 servings each so purchase about 4 of these and your family won’t starve for breakfast. At $2 each that is about $8 for breakfast for a month for a family of four. Could you exchange Pop-tarts? Maybe, but I find oatmeal more filling and less likely to be snacked on.
- Honey– Honey is a miracle food really as it will never go bad if you keep it dry and cool. Honey will last you forever and Sam’s has large containers that hold 108 servings. You can use this in place of sugar to satisfy the sweet tooth. Honey even has medicinal properties and you can use this to add some flavor to your oatmeal for breakfast.
- Salt – Same as honey, salt will never go bad if you keep it dry and helps the flavor of anything. You can buy a big box of salt for around $1 and that will last your whole family a month easily.
- Vitamins – I recommend getting some multivitamins to augment your nutrition in the case of a disaster or emergency. Granted, rice and beans aren’t the best and you won’t be getting as many nutrients from canned fruit and vegetables so the vitamins help to fill in the gaps and keep you healthy. One big bottle costs about $8. You will need to get a kids version too if you have children small enough that they can’t or won’t swallow a big multivitamin.
And as I mentioned above, another key to getting prepared is self-defense. If you make all the preparations in the world, but somebody comes along and steals them from you, they won’t end up doing you any good.
The following are some basic tips about home security from prepping expert Todd Sepulveda…
Front Door – Your front door is a layer. But it shouldn’t be your only layer. Besides reinforcing the strike plate with 2 inch screws, you should have a solid deadbolt. Another layer could be a storm door with a lock or even burglar bars. A good latch is valuable too! If you want to add even more layers, utilizing a security door bar is a good idea. But you don’t only want to make sure that your front door is securely layered. Take some time to layer all the doors in your home.
Windows – Every window has a lock. But you can add a layer by including sliding window locks for about $5. Other options would include tint or blinds, which would make it harder for someone to look inside your house.
Burglar Alarm – A burglar alarm is a serious layer. Alarms can be monitored by an alarm company or they can be self-monitored. Self-monitored systems have greatly advanced and will even allow you to view your home on your smartphone.
Dogs – A dog or dogs can be a great layer, especially if they bark. My dogs alert me the minute someone is in the front of the yard. They run and bark at the door and don’t stop until I open it. Outside dogs are a layer to your perimeter. A big dog on the other side of the fence will make any criminal think twice.
Outside Lights – Lights that are mounted on the outside of your home, especially ones that are triggered by motion sensors are a must! Roaches run when you turn on the lights! Someone who is watching your house will not want to approach it if they know the lights are going to draw attention to them.
Outside Landscaping – Bushes can be a layer around windows. It is important that you don’t create an environment that will create a hiding place for someone to lay in waiting. Make sure that the bushes you choose to plant are thorny and cause a lot of discomfort if someone wants to go through them.
Personal Defense – A firearm is a layer that you would want to have if needed. If you want to use something that is not so deadly, you can always pick up a can of ColdSteel Inferno to spray in someone’s face. Having a few of these cans hidden in different parts of the house is a good idea.
Safe Room – A safe room would be a last ditch layer. Some people are putting them into their homes. If this is a scenario you want to take, you should research the necessary components for a “safe” safe room.
Neighborhood Watch – Although a Neighborhood Watch isn’t just focused on your home, it is a layer that could cause the bad guys to go looking in a different neighborhood altogether. Neighborhoods that have a Neighborhood Watch usually post signs in the entrances of their neighborhood.
Neighbors – Even if you don’t have a Neighborhood Watch, you should get to know your neighbors, especially those pesky ones that stay in everyone’s business…because they are going to keep a lookout! You gotta take some bad with the good!
Street Lights – Sticking with your neighborhood, it would be a good idea to immediately report any street lights that are out to the city or county that manages them. Again, light causes the roaches to run for cover!
Signs – Don’t underestimate the power of a cheap sign. A sign on a fence that reads “Beware of Dog” or a Security company sign on the front lawn somewhere will cause the bad guys to think twice before attempting to break into your house.
If you do need to leave your home during a crisis, you should have a “bug out bag” ready for each member of your family.
The following are 7 key items that Survival Cache recommends including in each bug out bag…
5. First Aid Kit
6. Basic Gear
Finally, it is important to remember that nobody is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes.
The following are 14 common mistakes that Backdoor Survival says a lot of preppers make…
1. Failure to inventory stored food supplies
2. Failure to perform a risk analysis and prepping for the most likely disruptive events first
3. Preparing mostly to bug out rather than bugging in
4. Failure to evacuate at just the right time
5. Having the gear but not knowing how to use it
6. Underestimating other humans as a threat
7. Spending your entire budget on gear instead of on food, water, and medical supplies
8. Lacking the knowledge to properly store your food supplies
9. Buying gear and supplies while ignoring the need to develop skills
10. Relying only on yourself and ignoring like-minded members of your community
11. Just because someone else does something does not mean that you should do it to
12. Falling victim to prepper procrastination
13. Obsessing about being behind the curve-ball
14. Forgetting that there is a life beyond prepping
Picture Credit- Pixabay
Portable Self-Defense Products
When in public or their home, safety is always a primary concern for a person as violent crimes can occur without warning virtually anywhere. Additionally, criminals often target people who they perceive to be vulnerable such as women and the elderly. For this reason, it is important for everyone to be prepared for a potentially violent interaction by having a self-defense product within their reach at all times. The following four products represent some of the best ways for a person to defend themselves in the event of a possible attack:
Whistles and Noisemakers
In order to stop an attack before it has a chance to happen, experts recommend that a person should try to attract as much attention as possible. This can be done by screaming and using whistles or other types of personal alarms. In many instances, simply generating a lot of noise can be enough to make an attacker flee the scene.
A taser uses electroshock technology to temporarily stun an attacker. Due to its small size, it can easily be carried in a purse or pocket for easy accessibility. Additionally, it can be used to subdue a person from a distance. This can be a tremendous asset for stopping an impending attack before a person gets too close. It is important to practice responsibility when using a taser as its strength can cause serious harm to children and people with underlying health conditions.
Pepper sprays work by disabling an attacker’s visual senses while temporarily incapacitating them as they contend with the burning that is incurred by the spray. This product comes in a variety of forms to disguise its true potential such as pens, key chains and lipstick cases. Due to its volatility, a person should make sure that they are in a position to not get the spray in their own eyes before spraying.
10 Life-Saving Survival Tips
There may come a time when you’ll be forced to survive under extreme conditions. You may be stranded in a blizzard, left homeless by a tornado or hurricane, or otherwise need to rely on your own skills. No matter what the reason, if you find yourself in a situation where you could be seriously injured, or even killed, unless you can fend for yourself, you need to know what to do in order to survive. Following are a few life-saving survival tips.
Seek Shelter- If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have access to the things you normally take for granted, such as electricity, transportation, or a means to communicate, you should take care of your basic needs before attempting to get out of those circumstances. Seeking shelter is one of the most important things to consider, especially if you’re somewhere that may have unpleasant or even violent weather.
Build a Fire-Staying warm is another very important aspect of surviving. If you’re in an urban environment, where a storm has caused you distress, you more than likely have access to combustible material and matches or a cigarette lighter. If you’re in a wilderness setting, you probably have camping equipment with you. No matter what the situation, you need to be able to build a fire so you can be more comfortable.
Clothe Yourself-Any survival situation calls for you to be adequately clothed. If the weather is warm, then proper clothing isn’t as imperative as it would be in an arctic environment–but it could still get cold during the overnight hours. No matter where you are, or what the situation is, finding the right clothing is important.
Find Food-Finding a source of food is extremely important if you hope to survive, especially if you’re stuck in a wilderness environment for an extended period of time. No one can survive for long without nourishment. The longer you go without food, the weaker you’ll become, and your chances of survival will diminish exponentially.
Look for a Source of Water-Even more important than food is the need for water. People can survive for extended periods of time without food, but will only last a matter of days if they don’t have water. However, you should be careful about the water you drink, because polluted water can make you sick. Boiling water before drinking it, or using it for cooking, will help alleviate the problem of dangerous bacteria.
Think Before Acting-If you find yourself in a survival-type situation, you need to remind yourself to think before acting. Attempting to make your way down a cliff or following the first path through the woods that you come to may seem like a good idea, but you would probably be better off to consider the ramifications of your actions before doing anything. Stop and study your situation before taking any action. You could injure yourself going down the cliff when a path could be right around the next boulder, or that first path could you lead you away from help instead of toward it.
Don’t Panic-Hand-in-hand with thinking before acting is the necessity of not panicking. You can’t think properly if you’re overwrought. Get control of your emotions before taking any actions. Stop and assess the situation before making a decision. If you act while you’re under extreme emotional duress, you could end up in a worse situation than you are already in.
Have a Long-Term Plan– Being in a survival situation will more than likely cause you to want to get out of it immediately. That’s only natural. However, you could be in that position for a long time before you’re able to extricate yourself. So, you should have a long-term plan, just in case.
Protecting Yourself During a Blackout
This summer’s record high temperatures have brought about tons of blown fuses from overheated air conditioners, wild electrical storms, and many power outages. Are you aware of the dangers that come with blackouts and how to protect yourself and your family? Being prepared for blackouts can make all the difference when it comes to keeping you and your family safe.
Generators and Kerosene Heaters
You should always have a generator nearby as a backup in case of a power outage. Generators are great for temporary substitution of power, but you need to make sure you use them properly. All gasoline generators should be used either outside or in well-ventilated areas.
Photo Credit –DuroMax 10,000 Watt 16 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator Electric Start
Kerosene heaters are also great to have during blackouts. They can keep you warm throughout the night. Kerosene is highly flammable, and these heaters should be closely monitored. These things also produce carbon monoxide, so be sure to have your detector turned on and your heater in a ventilated space. When a person inhales high levels of carbon monoxide, they can be seriously injured. Build up can be quick, especially within closed spaces, so if you don’t already have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, it is important that you have one around.
Supplies for a Blackout
You should always be prepared for power outages no matter what. Being prepared can simply mean having the right tools and equipment in your home at all times. This is a list of items that you should consider having around the house, just in case the power does go out for an extended amount of time:
Without electricity, you won’t be able to operate your stove or microwave. Coleman stoves are portable, easily stored stoves powered by propane, and they will come in handy when you want to cook a hot meal for your family during a blackout.
Flashlights, radios, and other miscellaneous hand-held gadgets are important to have during a blackout. The only catch: they run on batteries. It’s a good idea to keep extra batteries around just for emergencies to help light lanterns, flashlights, and maybe fire up the TV to catch CNN’s Disaster Coverage from a battery operated flatscreen.
It’s called a blackout for a reason. Having lanterns and candles stored around the house is a good way to prepare for dark nights during a power outage.
The great thing about having a car during a blackout is that it can offer alternative electrical charging potential. A power inverter can turn your car’s electrical system into a great way to charge all your devices—you can charge phones, laptops, you name it.
Extended power outages can be stressful, but being prepared will make it an easier experience for you. Know what equipment you should have available and how to remain safe throughout a blackout!
4 Tips for Learning a Self-Reliant Mindset
When I was in college, I read Henry David Thoreau’s classic book Walden for the first time, and I experienced nothing short of a complete self-transformation. In Walden, Thoreau stresses time and again the importance of mastering self-reliance as he describes his time spent alone in the woods. Although I’ve since become an outdoor enthusiast, and I’d like to think I can survive alone relying only on the skills I’ve learned over the years, I think it’s just as important to develop a mindset that’s truly focused on self-reliance. Here’s how I developed this attitude—and, if you haven’t yet—how you can, too:
1. Learn to let go of your material desires.
This is perhaps the most important obstacle to overcome in your quest for self-reliance. Even though you may think you are not a materialistic person, all of us participate in a consumerist society in which the implied goal is to amass as much material wealth as possible. One way to learn to let go is to do without your favorite “things” for awhile. I stopped always carrying my cell phone around with me, and I sold my TV and cancelled my cable subscription.
2. Read inspiring survival classics.
Of course, Thoreau’s Walden is a great place to start, but there’s tons more classics that inspire in readers a desire for self-reliance. A few other examples are Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey and A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.
3. Spend time alone and learn to withstand the emotional test of solitude.
I think at the heart of a self-reliant attitude is developing a peace of mind with yourself. Most of us, especially in this modern age, are so afraid to spend time alone. If we are having a night in by ourselves, we tend to grab for the remote, check our emails on the computer, or do something, anything, to avoid being completely alone. Of course, I’m not trying to say that you should turn into someone completely antisocial. But it’s important to be able to withstand being alone, so that you begin to understand the true power of self-reliance.
4. Try going for a few days without making any purchases.
I would guess that pretty much all of us makes at least a handful of purchases every single day. But you’d be surprised by how long you can get away without having to buy anything. We buy only out of habit, not out of necessity. I suggest stocking up on necessary foods and items on a Sunday, then try going the whole week without buying anything. It can be tough, but it’s a fun challenge that helps you practice self-reliance.
Of course, self-reliance isn’t a personal quality that’s learned or developed overnight. It takes practice, hard work, and concentration. Above all, it takes courage to reject the notion that you must depend on others in order to live fully. Good luck!
The threat of a natural disaster, a horrible accident, or even a war always looms overhead as a possibility–and with that in mind, many people are polishing up on their survival skills, stocking up on supplies, and preparing for any worst case scenario that might be on the horizon. Known as prepping, this type of survivalist training is something that an increasing number of people are finding value in–life-saving skills, supplies, and readiness that no individual should really be without. If you’re new to prepping and could use some direction, here are 5 survival tips to help get you started.
Stock an Emergency Food Supply- One of the first things you should do if you’re a new prepper is to stock an emergency food supply, one that would last for at least one to two months. When selecting foods for your emergency supply, look for items that are high in protein and carbohydrates such as energy bars, trail mix, peanut butter, and granola. Other foods you should have on hand include rice, pasta, canned goods like beans and a variety of meats, and anything else that has a long shelf life. Just because you have food set aside for an emergency doesn’t mean you should wait until something happens to eat it. Eat the foods with fast-approaching expiration dates first and regularly replace the ones you’ve eaten so that your supply doesn’t have to waste and is always fully stocked.
Put Together a First Aid Kit- Along with a fully stocked pantry, you’ll want to have a first aid kit filled to the brim as well. Items that you should include in your first aid kit include bandages, gauze, medical tape, various sizes of splints, disposable gloves, alcohol, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, scissors, a thermometer, a warm blanket, a flashlight, and extra batteries. Your first aid kit should also include at least a two-month supply of any prescription medications that you and your family take, over-the-counter pain relievers and other remedies, and vitamins.
Learn Several Useful Crafts and Skills- Another important part of prepping is to learn as many useful crafts and skills as possible. If you’re ever forced to rely on yourself for survival, you’ll want to have plenty of DIY skills under your belt so that you not only survive–but thrive. Learn how to grow your own food, can food, cook over an open fire, sew your own clothes, make your own personal care items, start a fire without matches, and build a shelter. Possessing skills such as these will make whatever quality of life you have better–so make an effort to learn as many as you can.
Know How to Signal for Help- If you’re ever stranded and in need rescuing, knowing how to signal for help could come in quite handy. You can send off an SOS (save our souls) signal through sound by either banging a pair of rocks together or blowing a whistle. The audio code for SOS is to tap out three short sounds, three long sounds, and three more short ones. You can also appeal to help that might be flying over you from above by spelling out “SOS” or “help” with any large items you can find. Fire is also useful for flagging down help. Simply start a series of fires at a far enough distance apart from one another in order to distinguish them, but still close enough to one another to signify that they’re a call for help. You can also use a hand mirror to reflect the sunlight and create a signal that those flying overhead will be able to see.
Exercise to Stay Fit –The last thing you want to do if you’re serious about prepping is ignore your body. It’s easy to procrastinate when it comes to exercise–so don’t forget to make it part of your daily routine. If you don’t exercise much now, you may want to start building yourself up slowly. Make your workout routine a little tougher each time you do it, and vary your routines so that you don’t get bored. Be sure to include a good balance of cardio exercise and weight lifting so that you’re as fit as a fiddle in the event of an emergency.
Because you can never be too prepared for anything, prepping is an ongoing process that requires time, energy, and serious dedication. Learn as much as you can about the art of survival by continually working towards acquiring the skills, knowledge, and tools necessary to help you get through anything.