SHTF blog – Modern Survival

Preparedness Scenario – Economic Uncertainty

You all know the drill.  Here’s the SITREP:
The near future. For the last three weeks the market has been going up and down as it reacts to news from various economic indicators around the globe.  Some European countries have defaulted on their debt and investors are rattled as the Euro plunges against the dollar. market-crash-1
Gas prices are climbing again and are now over $4.25 in most states.  The official unemployment rate has risen to 10.3% and a harsh summer drought has killed off wheat and corn around the globe causing already high food prices to go even higher.  Inflation has crept up, but the government is downplaying it by saying that core inflation is still low.  QE 3 has dried up and the Fed says there are no plans to do a QE 4, but they expect the GDP to start rising by the fourth quarter of the year as they feel the economic recovery is coming along nicely by itself now.
The U.S. government is talking about austerity measures and people are in the streets, demonstrating in huge numbers across Washington D.C., New York and other major cities, furious at what some consider “draconian measures.”
On Wednesday the market goes into a free fall, but is stopped by automatic safeguards built into the system.  Thursday starts out well, but news that the U.S. has suddenly and surprisingly been downgraded by S&P because of ever-rising debt causes another sell off as investors flee the market and the market tanks again, this time shutting down Wallstreet until experts can “check” the system’s safeguards.
With Wallstreet temporarily shutdown the government declares a bank holiday on Friday.  Banks close their doors and ATM’s soon run out of cash as citizens, panicked by the sudden turn of events, flock to the stores to stock up on supplies “just in case.”  Store owners, wary of not getting paid, stop accepting debit and credit cards and only accept cash on the barrel head.
The government has promised that things will return to normal by Monday and the main stream media is asking everybody to remain calm during this time of “fiscal turmoil.”  Meanwhile, the blogosphere has erupted into a firestorm of people saying they’ve seen troops in some of the bigger cities beating protesters to get them off the streets, although this is unsubstantiated by the main stream media.  Rioting is possible in major cities over the weekend.
People are scared that when Monday comes a huge economic crash will become evident and local governments warn against hoarding.
Confusion reigns.
It is now Friday afternoon and Monday looks a long way off.  What do you do?
-Jarhead Survivor
These scenarios are purposefully designed to be confusing with conflicting information because that’s the way most real world scenarios will unfold.  You have to make the best decisions you can based on the information available, so suck it up!

80 thoughts on “Preparedness Scenario – Economic Uncertainty

  1. My put options hopefully sold automatically on Wednesday (or probably Thursday), so I’ll have some loose cash floating around in my brokerage account. Part of that will be thrown back into the stock market and the rest will be wired to my bank. No idea if I’ll see that cash or not, luckily I don’t depend on it. It’s just speculative fluff. My other investments are physical and safe, no action needed there. We don’t keep much cash at the bank so that’s not a concern. If Thursday was payday, we’ll have a chunk in the bank that will be inaccessible. Not a game changer, but it would suck if we somehow lost it.
    If anything, all we need is a few grocery items (dairy and some other fresh stuff) and maybe 1/4 tank of gas for one of the cars. We can easily do without. If the gas stations are in good shape we’ll top off and grab those grocery items as long as the store isn’t packed. If it looks crazy, we’ll just keep on driving and go back home.
    It’s really just a sit and wait scenario. I would probably be glued to the TV watching all the entertainment/news. If the local situation deteriorates to a point of danger, we’ll try to arrange for my wife to telecommute. If that doesn’t clear the program director, I’ll escort her to work or she can take vacation. If things continue to deteriorate, we have our personal austerity plans ready to go. In a more extreme situation (hyperinflation for instance), we’ll try to play hot potato with our cash and get it into something tangible as quickly as possible. We have multiple revenue streams, but in a worst case scenario they wouldn’t do much good. This is where our preps would be used in the purest sense.

  2. Time to make some final preps. I keep a certain amount of cash on hand in the big ole gun safe. I would start filling all containers around the house with water including disinfecting the tub and filling it. I would make sure my mother would try and refill (more than her 90 days) her prescriptions. I would try and hit the bank for more cash(if possible) and try for final grocery items, can never have too much bleach, food batteries, etc.. ( I have good supply on hand as it is) I work in Law Enforcement and would have to see what the plan would be for my agency (PS family comes first) I am tasked with keeping track of some sex offenders/predators, I know, joy! I would also try and get an additional propane tank for the grill, bringing me to a total of 4 before I have to break out the camping stove or the butane burner. I would also see if I could snatch/borrow a few more bullet resistant vests from work, I have 2 now one being a level III A with a rifle plate in a LBV(load bearing vest).
    Most importantly I would have a sit down prep meeting with the family (wife, son and mother) and discuss the situation and inact some rules/guidelines. I would also discuss with my close buddies. I guess we would have to be flexible and improvise, adapt and overcome!
    Stay safe all!!

  3. Since the economy is inching to the edge of the abyss as I write. With the amount of notice that was given. I would gas-up the G.O.O.D. vehicle and then load the prepacked and idenifided for contents totes and head for my bugout location.
    If you dont have A bug out spot, prepare to survive in place.

  4. Well since I have been prepping for a while and monitor the financial markets and natural environment( earthquakes etc) quite regularly I would hope that little tiny hairs on the back of my neck that warn me of impending danger would be standing straight up.
    On Wednesday night I would go to the Kwic-Trip 1/2 mile from home and top off my tanks. I would pay cash since I do not use credit cards for anything any more. Since This store also carries bread, milk etc. I would buy some, but not enough to draw attention.
    I would be sure my solar system ( limited as it is right now) is working and that my ham radio shack is working correctly.
    I would make sure that all my home defenses are locked and loaded.
    My main concern is my wifes life sustaining Medications. While I have fenigled to stock pile about 45 days inventory, I wish I had more.
    The “One Second After” has make me really concerned about this.
    We don’t work (old) so we can just sit and wait ti out. Get some sleep and then decreetly contact my close circle of friends and relatives to warn them. Since they are also preppers Hopefully they are ready too.
    Prey for the best on Monday and get ready for the worst.

  5. Well at my house we have already discussed pretty much this exact scenario. My son-in-law manages a grocery store so l have already warned him of the possibility of chaos at his store. So l guess first thing would be to call him and daughter to tell them to fill up gas and to get a few essentials. (milk diapers etc.) Then call the other family that is supposed to come here and get them heading this way. Definitely have the tv going in the house, but also have the local talk radio station on as well as they tend to be more honest with whats going on.
    Definitely would go to friend and borrow his 22 just in case Monday isn’t a good day. Move all the cars to the back yard to keep a better eye on them and close the gates to the house. Use the family and the weekend to better inventory and “hide” food preps and just hunker down and wait.
    BTW this is exactly what l envision happening pretty much any day now anyways 🙂

  6. I won’t go into detail, but I can do cash on the barrel-head (even with all ATMs dead) when it comes to snarfing up last-minute supplies, and more importantly, with keeping up with the rent and utilities.
    Too many people who prep are decked-out in tons of tangible supplies for the coming asteroid/war/pandemic/etc…
    …but most forget one rather important thing: having enough actual cash on hand to continue paying the rent/mortgage, the power company, property taxes, etc. If you don’t have enough cash or gold stashed away somewhere to keep paying the landlord or county tax assessor for at least 6 months to a year (and 2-3 years for property taxes), then all I can say is this: I hope your preps are portable, because you will end up homeless.
    Personally, in this case I’d do what any SHTF situation requires: going over preps, and preparing for the worst. Use cash to go fill out any missing bits earlier in the week, and immediately cut back services to the bare minimum:
    * cut back the cable TV to just Internet access.
    * I have Vonage for my landline, and my employer pays for the smartphone, so no real worries there (I can do w/o the smartphone)
    * immediately cancel any non-essential monthly subscriptions (I have none, so this is easy).
    * turn off and not use anything electrical that isn’t required.
    The good(?) news is, you actually have time to prepare this go-round.
    Like Jarhead said, maybe the collapse comes slowly. The Great Depression was a semi-SHTF situation (and for many a full-on one), but it is a more likely scenario than most, and should be equally prepped for.
    The good news is, if you still have a job and the world isn’t quite dead yet come Monday, you can use your paycheck to do what you need to and hoard as much cash as you can… and meanwhile buy as many preps as you can.
    My remote-living commuting plan allows for gas to get up to $10/gal on a sustained basis before things become untenable for driving long distances to work. I’d have to plan for security (and more so as things escalate) during the drive and while at work. OTOH, my employer does allow for telecommuting, and if things got ugly, would very likely allow me to work remotely full-time (otherwise I’d just shift my hours a bit and have some cheap apartment to hang out in during the days I’m on-site, with only a minimum of stuff there).
    That reminds me… when my lease runs out here in town and I do move out yonder, I need to insure that I telecommute on Mondays. 🙂

  7. Economic uncertainty?? Ive lived with this one my whole life and still do today. I dont even worry about it. I am invested heavily in the currency of a new millinium, when the dollar becomes so worthless you need a duffel bag ta carry it, I will switch to the currency of a new millinium:)

    1. Spook, I love it – realistic & prepared.
      What more do you really need other than a realistic perspective? Why add fear, panic and anxiety to the mix, it’s counter-productive.
      Everybody is going to do what they have always done and suggesting any sort of immediate meltdown is only going to bring into focus how one will normally respond but will do little to change others, other than to add a layer of unneeded confusion.
      I apologize for being negative but projecting future events based upon pure speculation drives me crazy.
      I watched my parents (both pretty smart people – mom authored a book or two & a popular news letter, my dad with his MBA and the highest government security clearance available was very much in tune with government preventive measures) prep for Y2K in a bit of a panic because of the many rogue/fringe influences of some pretty smart, convincing experts.
      Twenty years later, the year’s worth of freeze dried food sits in their garage.
      The United States is the largest economy in the world (behind a very close second position – China) and if it falls or fails NOBODY will be prepped for that calamity – not even Gerald Celente.
      So come Monday, I’ll take the family to Disneyland to hoard all of the rides because it will be the least crowded day in their history!
      If it’s all going down, I’m going to enjoy the ride!

  8. Well, if I still have my job, I’d probably head into work on Friday, and spend the day chatting on SHTF blog. 😉 😉
    I’d take 50$ out of the cash at home, and swing by the grocery store in the early morning to see if there was anything worth buying. We have a deep pantry, with stores of most things, but there’s always something that’s getting low.
    We don’t have any investments, and about a quarter of our savings is at home in cash, so there’s nothing financially pressing to do.
    If we can get messages out to family and close friends, I’d do that.
    I think I would be most worried about my grandparents in OKC. If we could arrange for them to get elsewhere for awhile, that might be a good idea.
    I’d try to get a message to my brother in Afghanistan. The basics of our shelter plan and remind him our address so that if communications get cut off, he can still find us when he gets home in a couple of months.
    I would probably put us on heightened alert for the weekend, and start prepping the house for lockdown should that be necessary. I highly doubt it, I think it would take more than this scenario to get chaos in NW Iowa. Now, once farm foreclosures start up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some disturbances then.
    Austerity measures, are not going to bother me much. I’m, generally, in favor of them. I’m one of those annoying people that think all of us in this country use a little bit too much of everything and past generations have proven that we as a nation can make sacrifices and use less resources and still have fulfilling lives. So, besides the pesky fact of no big cities in which to riot 😀 😀 I’m just not ideologically inclined to resist a movement towards austerity.
    I imagine we’d try to go to the farmers market on Saturday morning, as that’s where we get a lot of our food anyway, and that’s a totally cash based system normally, so no change there.
    I might hoe another row onto the side of my garden to plant a crop of something I can harvest in late fall as a buffer against food inflation.
    I guess my reply is a long rambling, “Not much.”

    1. That was a great post you wrote on shtf by the way, look forward to more writing from you and your incite.

  9. What’s being described here sounds like re-run of the run up to the Great Depression. While it’s not an exciting thought it’s also not one that is going to be over quickly. On a positive note it also won’t be the TEOTWAWKI scenario we’ve been prepping for. The question posed to us is what we would do over the weekend before the market opens on Monday. My answer is…nothing. I could do as some suggested and top off the tank and perishable supplies but more than likely these items will just be more expensive, not unavailable on Monday. This is certainly not a bug out situation. More likely, we’ll see a Greece style violent protest or two but everything will settle down in a few weeks so that we can assess the true long term impact of what has happened.

  10. All good points. Here’s another one; When TSHTF it will quite possibly happen in a cascading series of events. Each event will look like “the big one” and your reaction to each event will likely involve spending some of your savings. By the time everything hits bottom you will regret spending your hard earned savings in phase one or two or three… The point is don’t get panicked into doing anything rash, things will get worse and it will be “the worse” that you need to be ready for not the “bad but we ain’t quite there yet”.
    Get ready for a long ride.

  11. Shutting down the stock market would probably be a step in the RIGHT direction . In affect putting a freeze on horseshit speculation and behavior . ” Until further notice ” Nothing that isn’t REAL will be able to get done .

    1. A quote from Gordon Gekko from the 1987 Wall Street movie much sums it up pretty well:
      “The richest one percent of this country owns half our country’s wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It’s bullshit.
      You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip.
      We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you’re not naive enough to think we’re living in a democracy, are you?”

      1. PS
        What needs to shut down that is far more influential & damaging than Wall Street will ever be is the Internet.
        Imagine that … no uncensored information, no more speculation ala Michael Ruppert et al, no pictures of a street riot in the middle of a 3rd world town we never heard of, no more Charlie Sheen, no more news of Area 51 space aliens, no more wild stories about chemtrails, no email on cell phones, no more Kate Middleton’s high heel choices, no more obnoxious Jason comments & opinions, etc.
        While your at it, ban cell phones too & bring back the dependence of the pay phone so we can have peace of mind in the car, at the store or at social functions.
        It’d be like the 70’s again – lower stress. That gets my vote.

        1. People in the younger generation often ask what we did without all of that . My answer to that question is always :
          ” We did just fine ! “

        2. Yeah, remember when not answering the phone meant that you probably had a social life? That wasn’t all that long ago.

        3. Dunno… things have calmed down (and have been locked down) a *lot* since even 10 years ago.
          Overall, the Internet is, and always has been, a huge bazaar of information, both good, bad, and ugly. You picks what you wants from it, and you get to sort out the whole and legit from the spoiled and the fraud.
          For anyone with a healthy critical (and rational!) mind, this is paradise in a way – and an ongoing educator.
          For anyone who is gullible or ignorant, this is fertile ground for fleecing the marks and herding the sheep (see also the entire 2008 US Presidential Campaign, most Microsoft ads and press releases, etc).

        4. OQ,
          You illustrated my point, it is the diminished personal discernment, which morphs into larger groups, that is the issue. How does one discern what is the right & wrong information? When there is too much information – especially if the information is sold well, that line goes from blurred to non-existent.
          Take a guy like Michael Ruppert – 40 years ago he would have placed in a rubber room & forgotten about if he made the same type of pronouncements publicly as he does today, no question. Yet today, he has followers & supporters who are reasonable, rational people but have been blinded because any sort of rational & reasonable accountability has become relative at best.
          And don’t be naive; each & every one of us is gullible, ignorant & ripe for fleecing – you are following this blog aren’t you? Most likely, you cruise other similarly themed blogs and get exposed to erroneous, bordering on outlandish pieces of information (I label as speculation). There inlays the other problem – one rabbit trail leads to another & another & another thus, creating unnecessary confusion & the most dangerous element – distraction.
          We do not need more information exposed to us because it is already reducing productivity as we keep trying to keep up with the times instead of just doing with what we have.
          I’ll bet that at least 1/3 to 1/2 of a “normal” person’s time at work is spent on today’s Internet “information” & technology – texting, web surfing, talking with co-workers about Angelina Jolie making 30M per year, Jarhead’s latest end times challenge 🙂 etc., etc.
          We think it is harmless fun, vital to survival or worse – the basis for social interactions. Either way, we are being distracted by & lured into this vicarious & illusionary new world.
          What TR said above was exactly right & profound to that younger generation – “we did just fine (without it)” & I’ll take it a step further – we were “ourselves” (so to speak) & substantially less stressed.
          We do not need more information, we have more than enough now for 10 lifetimes & we are not built/designed to handle what’s available at the rate it comes at us. If cyber space crashed & burned tomorrow and we reverted back to my suggestion, I believe we’d actually be better off – certainly less stressed.
          I do want to clarify that I do find value in this blog and was only using it to illustrate a my sheep point. I think both Jarhead & Ranger do a very nice job and believe they are quite honest with their efforts. They responsibly express their opinions, hit the fringe and that’s ok for me.

        5. “How does one discern what is the right & wrong information?”
          Well, for starters, 90% of the wrong information falls apart at the slightest touch of logic.
          “And don’t be naive; each & every one of us is gullible, ignorant & ripe for fleecing – you are following this blog aren’t you? ”
          I follow this particular one because it exercises the mind, and because prepping actually does make common sense.
          While I certainly don’t expect most of the scenarios we’ve all seen posited to happen (you’ve seen me argue against them to various extents), I do think that two things are definitely possible:
          1) It always pays to have extra of what you actually need, to prepare for the unexpected. To further this point, I have always believed that independence/self-sufficiency is paramount to one’s long-term survival.
          2) I do believe that there are some events that are quite possible, which will demand some sort of preparation and forethought.
          #2 is the biggie, because it represents an unknown. It could be a financial collapse, or it could be something as simple as a breakdown in technology that causes a crisis beyond humanity’s ability to support itself at current consumption rates. As someone who works with technology for a living, I know full well how fragile (and in some cases brittle) that the technology we rely on for civilization at large truly is.
          I also know how easy it is to manipulate and control – and believe me, it is well on its way to being controlled. I wouldn’t look at Washington DC for that source of control – those bumbling thieves have no clue as to what technology truly is. The real folks out to control it all are numerous. Let me post some examples:
          * this week, ISPs and the RIAA/MPAA cartels have agreed to collude together to chase peer-to-peer “pirates”. While you wouldn’t think this affects ordinary folks, in truth it does… false positives abound, home wireless kit (and any version of Windows) is very easily compromised, and all it takes is one finger of accusation and you get labeled a ‘pirate’. Now, if you rely on the Internet for banking, telephone, doctor appointments, etc? Having one’s service threatened or cut off is a mighty powerful problem nowadays.
          * Congress has become a rubber stamp for more draconian copyright and other intellectual-property laws, often trampling rights such as First Sale Doctrine, and Fair Use. Companies often and openly abuse the DMCA to censor anything they take umbrage to.
          * File formats are locked into proprietary and often incompatible schemas, making it sometimes impossible to retrieve past documents. For example, try to open a Microsoft Office 97 document with macros in Office 2010… and this is the *same program – just different years.
          * Software patents have turned patents into weapons, as broadly-defined and quite frankly crap/fraudulent patents lock out competitors and smaller companies from competing. Sure, you can invalidate them… after spending literally millions of dollars and months of effort. If you’re Google, this is possible. If you’re Mom&Pop Software, this is going to bankrupt you. Microsoft currently uses unnamed software patents to force handset operators to pay them money for each *Android* phone sold… and Android is made/sold by Google, not Microsoft. To add to that mess, we have patent trolls – a group of lawyers who make a speculative living suing larger companies based on dubious software patents that they had purchased.
          …and this is all going on with technology that people increasingly rely upon with their very lives. To make a very long story short, I can see how this kind of unbridled greed and wrestling can very easily make a royal mess of civilization as the years pass.
          “…one rabbit trail leads to another & another & another thus, creating unnecessary confusion & the most dangerous element – distraction.”
          Yep. OTOH, oftentimes you can step back and look at the larger picture, and approach with healthy skepticism what you do choose (<- !) to absorb information-wise. Me, I just ignore the superfluous stuff.
          Awhile back, I'd actually taken steps to severely limit a lot of what I do online. When I woke up, so to speak, I ditched all the Facebook games, the pointless forum chatter, and the like. Now I just focus on what's real and necessary to me, with perhaps the occasional post in places that help me stretch my mind a bit. Consider it a sort of reset on my online doings, and something that had been overdue by about a decade.
          And still, somehow life goes on just fine as I look out the window… 🙂

        6. OQ,
          What I was speaking about was exactly that – life exists outside of your window.
          You spent a great deal of time talking about those things with which we have NO control of such as; the RIAA/MPAA cartels, draconian copyright and other intellectual-property laws, locked file formats, software patents wars & the rest. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it except to waste time bitching & guess what? The beat will still go on and right over me & you.
          My dad, who has been around & a pretty smart guy, taught me the golden rule of business when I was 12 years old, he said “son, this is the Golden Rule of business – those that have the gold make the rules, period.”
          The fact that you weaned yourself off the pointless chat rooms, gaming and the other time wasters further proves my point about the dangers of Internet distractions – especially those that appear innocuous. Why did you do all of those things? Because they were freely available & you chose >create << interest in … I'm confused. Oh, I remember – keep in touch with those who you haven't seen in decades & had little interest in before but now we can chat hours away via the keyboard. Why not pick up the phone and call? You'll accomplish much more but I guess that's passe.
          Go down any city street, restaurant, people driving in a car or social "gathering" and you'll see the vast majority under 50 years old staring downward & engaged in pointless texting, cellular phone discussions, web surfing on handheld devices or other such nonsense.
          You said: "… 90% of the wrong information falls apart at the slightest touch of logic." That was a joke, right? How about the bank bailout, gun control, Mein Kampf, Branch Davidian's, Obama born on the Pacific island of Kenya, just to name a few. The iron fist of logic barely got through.
          You said: "… you can step back and look at the larger picture, and approach with healthy skepticism …" Why have we BECOME substantially more skeptical than another other time in history? The answer is incredibly obvious – just connect those dots.
          Your points 1 & 2 said essentially the same thing – prep for the unknown (don't argue – read what you wrote) and my question is …. how do you prep for the unknown?
          Ok, now have some fun while looking out the window.

        7. Paragraph correction – I don’t know how some of this got deleted but here’s is the rewrite:
          The fact that you weaned yourself off the pointless chat rooms, gaming and the other time wasters further proves my point about the dangers of Internet distractions – especially those that appear innocuous. Why did you do all of those things? Because they were freely available & you chose >create << interest in … I'm confused. Oh, I remember – keep in touch with those who you haven't seen in decades & had little interest in before but now we can chat hours away via the keyboard. Why not pick up the phone and call? You'll accomplish much more but I guess that's passe.
          End of correction

        8. I was speaking of Facebook in that nonsensical portion & it was deleted for the 2nd time. No rewrite again – figure it out.

  12. GoneWithTheWind,
    I would have to disagree with spending money at the different phases. Each event will in all likelyhood cause prices to go up. The fact is when it comes to food, ammunition, or whatever it is you think you need to get by it will never be any cheaper than it is now. Just look how much things have gone up in the last year alone. If you wait to long it make be cheaper to wipe your hind side with a green back becuase that tolet paper is worth more. The bottom line is purchase extra things that you would use anyway. This would be the best use of your hard earned money.

    1. My point being that the first phase may be one thing and if you spend what little savings you have for that what do you do when the second phase is something totally different? For example you lose your job/income but you decide with $20k in savings to just make the house payments until you can get work. 6-10 months down the road most of your money is gone and now you are in a full blown depression with no hope of getting work and saving your home. Which choice was smarter in that situation; using your savings to maintain the status quo or deciding to eliminate all expenses even if it meant not paying your mortgage? Simple example but it is unlikely anyone will know in advance what the final phase of the coming collapse will be so preparing for phase one as you see it unfold may be foolish. Just saying…

      1. That’s a good point. If anything, this scenario highlights the importance of being debt free. You would only have utilities, taxes, and living expenses to worry about. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of the situation.

        1. I understand your point and it is correct to have cash on hand to deal with those fix debts that will be unaffected by inflation or hyperinflation for that fact. That 20k will still make your house or car payments for a year or more even if we have crazy inflation where 20k would not even buy a days worth of food.

      2. “Which choice was smarter in that situation; using your savings to maintain the status quo or deciding to eliminate all expenses even if it meant not paying your mortgage? ”
        Actually, both.
        In a SHTF situation, a job loss is a much bigger event than it would be in perfectly good times, and would require a longer evaluation.
        I rent, so $9k would pay my rent for a year out here around PDX (and thanks to tenant laws, I could tack on another three months to that). In this hypothetical, that would leave me $11k to do something else with.
        For those with a mortgage, you have to know when to pull the D-ring, but a year (perhaps two) of mortgage money saved up will give you a lot of time to see how things develop (and this is on top of unemployment money, etc). If you’re already living at your bug-in place,
        In the case of both a lease (rent) and a mortgage (if it’s fixed, not an ARM), inflation won’t change the payments.
        Unless you got fired for cause, you have unemployment insurance paying up for at least a year , likely more. This isn’t an entitlement, it’s something you pay into, so it isn’t likely to simply disappear. You use this money first, which stretches your savings out by quite a bit.
        In spite of all this, I’m not arguing against your point, because it is perfectly valid – at all times during that period you should evaluate the situation. If there are no jobs where you live, look into either moving to where the jobs are (preferably in your specialty), moving in with a relative, or simply using your savings to buy a suitable patch of land in BFE and homestead it.
        If we’re talking full-on depression/malaise, then that $20k could be used to buy an ultra-cheap place off of someone who desperately needs the money – after all, you’re not going to be the only one hating life, and you have cash. You can even use it to buy a couple of acres from a farmer who is in a tight bind, and use your preps (you have them, right?) to build a home on it and do things old-school.
        If we’re talking hyperinflation, then you may be better off trying to ride it out where you are – a fixed payment (be it lease or mortgage) is infinitely preferable to having to set up a new rental lease where the rent will start costing 100x more per month, no?
        Overall, the best situation would be to live debt free as much as possible. This is what I’m shooting for… saving every penny I sanely can, and using it to buy my own land (then a house to park on it) by 2016… if things hold out that long.

  13. Tell you what I wouldn’t do, I wouldn’t go anywhere near a big box store. Anything I might want to get isn’t worth getting caught in the mobs that would be headed there. I might drive around and see if I can find a gas station that isn’t mobbed with people and top off the car and the jerry can. But, who needs gas when you wont be going anywhere for the near future?
    Thanks to the nature of my job I’d still be headed into work, but that’s just a couple miles from home.

  14. Globalization is a failed experiment that needs to go away . This country needs to drop out of it as fast as possible . If the global economy does collapse , The Russian Federation will seems most likely be better off than most of the other countries will be . Dick Cheney’s company has been building their oil pipeline and other vital infrastructure for a long time now . They will also be minimumly affected as compared to the rest of the nations because they are and always have been Isolationists . Trade and involvement with other countries is very limited from an economic side . China ? they will take a crap also ! they have made their economy dependent on selling things to US ! and others . Not to mention a growing population that is being westernized . Gunna get real ugly over there in a collapse . Prep like crazy ! because here its going to be real bad as well . I would suggest actively planning on BOTH strategies . Hunkering down and defending is preferable but we need to also plan and prep for a mobil strategy as well . We may be forced to become very mobil in order to stay safe if hunkering down becomes untenable . BOBs are typically not designed for long term use ( 3-5 days is standard ) You may want to reconsider that concept . I plan to hunker down BUT I also have planed and spent much money and effort in my mobil strategy . My BOB is an Eberlestock blue widow with a rifle scabbard , hydration bladder and spike camp duffle as options , I’m way over equipped in gear by some peoples standards …. thats my choice , as my BOB is meant for long term use . I also have tactical load bearing vests and web gear fully equipped and ready to go next to it . If I have to use it , I wont be heading out the door alone . Good luck to all and hope our preps are never needed !
    Stars & Bars !

    1. You are correct (partially) about China. IF the US economy goes too far south, so will theirs. I daresay that theirs will likely suffer first, as US (and EU!) citizens tighten belts and stop shopping so much.
      BTW – the word is “mobile”.

      1. Dont worry about English spelling too much , if the American demographics keep going the way they are , Spanish will soon be our new national language .

  15. At this point you might see prices falling do to demand destruction. But, I’d be careful about going into any stores as crowds at this point are really something to be avoided.
    I might talk to my neighbors about setting up a block watch, or at least get an idea about when people are awake and around so that we’ve always got at least one pair of eyes watching the street.

    1. Price deflation depends on the good.
      Oil, food, electronics, and the like are very sensitive to demand fluctuation, and can fall by quite a bit if demand is slack. Even food demand can drop if folks begin to abandon one type of food (e.g. luxury foods) for staple crops.
      OTOH, if there are crowds in stores all looking to stock up on food, then the demand is demonstrable and prices will definitely be high and rising.
      In the case of Jarhead’s hypothetical, stores are going to charge whatever the market can bear, and the market will likely bear a hell of a lot, especially on items that start to run short. Personally, if you have at least 3 months worth of eats stashed away (personally, my missus and I currently keep six, counting iron rations), then you can safely consider food to be an overrated item on the shopping list, and instead do some shopping at hardware stores and the like.

      1. I have quite a bit of food on hand. Not so much because I’m “prepping” but because I grew up in a household that did most of its shopping once a month and grew a large percentage of the food we ate. I’ve never felt comfortable without the shelves stocked.

  16. well i take the wife’s car n top it off, because she keeps”forgetting” to keep it that way. buy all the beer left in the store and get home. watch the news as all the zombies wake up and rush to the empty stores like they do every snowstorm. start cooking all food in the fridge. invite the neighbors to the party. we been prepping like crazy for the last year or so, i think we’re good on this one. if it lasts long enough that the entitled get restless, we have plans to enact then. figure we have a week or 4 before they get mobile enough to get here.

  17. I always try to maintain half to three quarters of a tank of fuel in the car and SUV 4×4 due to driving Los Angeles freeways for work you never know.
    If I thought something was going to turn for the worst I would hit the local gas station or Rite Aid avoiding the grocery stores and Walmarts stocking up on milk, meats and start bags of ice and ice packs/blue ice in the deep freezer to avoid having to use the generator if possible or to a minimum.
    I have a 14 gallon portable fuel pump that I rotate into my car/suv, two 5 gallon jerry cans (for off roading) and two one gallon cans (empty and keep in the cars) I would top those off to have 22 gallons in reserve. Local law prohibits anything over 15 but I won’t worry about that.
    I keep cash in the safe but would use credit/debit cards or try to before using cash if that option is there and have bartered with friends in the loop so we have a system down if need be.

  18. We don’t change our plans/activities at all. I make my Friday trip to the store, to try to buy my usual weekend milk/eggs/etc, plus maybe some extra easy to store fruit and veggies – there’s rarely a run on cabbage and carrots. If I can’t get the milk and eggs, it’s not life or death.
    Internally, I’d be terribly worried. So I’d probably spend the weekend expanding the garden and starting more seeds. I can start more turnips, cabbage, cucumbers, beans, and other items thru’ the end of July (some I can start thru’ the end of August) and still get great crops.
    If I have more tension to work off, I’d finally get around to putting in the root cellar under our deck.
    I’d probably have the TV going (no sound, but have closed captioning up and running) all Sunday night with the TV set to Bloomberg Financial.

  19. i’d probably take a two or three hour nap first. i’m just home from my night shift job with the postal circus. i will need a clear head. whatever i do, i’ll need to have most of it done before sunday night, because i will be expected to show up for work again, then, and on time. people will still expect their mail monday morning, crisis or not.
    whatever i have that truly can’t be replaced, will be dispersed to my parents house, and my mother-in-laws house. (that includes the wife and son) if my son needs to go to work, i will ask him not to take any of his deliveries to the “sketchy” parts of town. if he has to give up the job, oh well… i wanted him to go back to school, and complete his degree anyhow.
    if i have the money, i will pay my storage bill ahead for a month, and inquire about getting a second unit. i will try to empty the apartment, as my schedule will allow, because we will need to be looking after our folks, not paying for an empty apartment. when i need to be at work, i’ll leave a few weapons with my dad. the wife and son will stand guard at her mother’s. if my paycheck keeps coming, most of it will go for food. i will keep going to my job until “normal attrition” catches up with me. then we will re-evaluate our plans…

  20. Thinking about this while out mowing the law I came to the conclusion that I would mow the lawn. If people decided to use this as an opportunity to loot they’d probably start with houses where it looked like people have left town. A nice trimmed lawn and a few lights on should convince them to look elsewhere.

  21. The good thing about this one is that — if your plan is to bug out — you have plenty of days to exercise that option here before it would be too late.

    1. Yet many people would still not act. they would wait and see if it “blew over” first. Then, when they did act, it would be too late. Almost like Katrina all over again, but instead of getting soaked, they’d just be getting hosed.

      1. You are right… but in this particular case, you really can wait to see if it blows over. You have all weekend to gauge public mood, and to see if crimes go up.
        If this were to happen before next year, I’d personally start hitting the maps for BOL routes to take, but otherwise I’d probably look to stay where I am. My job is a very short bicycle ride away, and going to work on Monday is not going to require any gasoline… I’d just go into work at 5am (to avoid being seen going there) instead of the usual time later that morning.
        If this were to happen next year to 5 years from now, I’d call in and say that I’m working form home for a week or so, using that time to evaluate what to do next, check in with neighbors, organize watches, etc. I’m pretty sure, given that I can telecommute part of the time anyway, my managers would be perfectly okay with this, and can watch things to see if/when it would be safe to go to work normally again.
        If this were to happen five years on or later, then I’d be working locally out in the sticks, be mostly self-sufficient, and would pretty much not give a damn what happened in the city – I’d just check with the neighbors and make sure they’re okay, and keep an eye out towards any mass migrations.

  22. Great article and great comments, best of luck to all of you when this scenario plays out. My primary concern will be to get my children ready for their bug-out. They live in the big city to the south but will be able to get out when it is necessary. My next concern will be my neighbors. I have been surreptitiously trying to assess their preparedness level for the past year or so and am convinced that they do not have a clue (UFC=utterly clueless). They will present the greatest danger as most of them have three serious defects; no food, many weapons and a overriding belief that jesus will provide for them if TSHTF. I have approximately ten families within one mile, and half of them could present a threat. Guess it would be time for a neighborhood meeting. I will try and ally myself with the ones that are somewhat prepared and we will turn against the others. I also have a couple of comrades that have plans to join us if the situation gets really bad. They will come in handy as they will be bringing some food ,some weapons, some training and a proper attitude. I will definitely ally myself with farmer Rink as he has a backhoe and we will cut a big trench in the road near where it joins the highway. All of you people that come into these hills on the weekends will be sorely disappointed when you try to reach your wilderness bug-out locations. That is why I bought the .308 and the 20 power scope. Someone has to back up the gate-guard.
    You have no idea how bad this can get. Better talk with jesus…

    1. Many of those people would be coming to their weekend places and maybe to their relatives and friends houses just like your friends and family might be coming to yours, would they not? Do they not have the same rights as you do?

      1. Murder is murder , especially when the threat is in your head . Private property is private property , if its yours you have an absolute right to access it . Period .

        1. For TR… In a SHTF scenario, all bets are off. Murder is not always murder. How about our troops in combat or the man who is protecting his home and/or family? If we have to isolate ourselves to protect our families, we will keep others out of the area and will do WHATEVER is necessary to protect our group. Private property rules will be unenforceable as well as the rest of social convention.

        2. It is murder UNLESS they are trying to TAKE from you ! Period . No excuses no justification otherwise . period . Ya gunna bayonet a baby for shits and giggles after you have gunned down their parents ? for trying to get to THEIR cabin that they may have been stocking and just have been a lot more discrete about it than you ? Make you feel in control ? Thats where the meeting has a flaw , your tipping your hand that you are doing this , and if you antagonize the wrong guy , all it takes is one phone call to put you on the radar of the authorities . The patriot act is very broad , you understand that right ? it means no due process of law if you are deemed or classified as a domestic terrorist or threat . Have no illusions , the feds will defeat any group of backyard buh buhs in combat . They do want to know who and where we survivalists are . Not for a good reasons either . How is that going to benefit your family ? remember Waco and the ATF ? Our troops in combat are not anywhere near the same thing , that is a military action in a war zone with rules of engagement , not some wacko out in the woods with a confederate kepi that doesn’t know the civil war is over . Defending whats yours is a god given right . indescrimenant paranoid killings is not . I hear what your saying and agree to a point , but unless you have actually killed a man in cold blood , we actually dont know how we will react when not in legitimate defense of our family from a no doubt whatsoever threat . If you have killed a man in cold blood before , the authorities need to be looking at you anyway . We are all arm chair quarterbacks once in awhile , I’m as guilts as anybody , but if we were to get on the football field , we couldn’t do it . Same goes for murder without undeniable cause . Those you plan to wipe out are not going to always be adults . I aint gunna shoot a single mother unarmed with a 4 and 6 yr old in tow just because she wants to get to the family cabin to shield her kids . You shoot one , ya have to shoot the kids to .By doing so , you have in affect sentenced your family to the same thing by others . In a full blown SHTF situation , rural people will be overrun . We have been at ” war ” for over 10 years , that should tell us how many fully trained discharged veterans with combat experience there are out there , most with families they want to protect , some are making a living training civilians what they know . There are organized crime gangs and cartels that are well trained and well armed . Any one of those groups will take you out ! Argentina is an example of rural people being raided successfully in a very organized and brutal way . Taking out those that are plainly not a threat will only make a person more of a target . Ask any soldier or cop how it is to kill somebody , unless we have been there , we dont know what we are talking about .

      2. If we get into a full blown SHTF scenario, the rules all change. If you dial 911 and get no answer, who you gonna call? Our security comes first and foremost. I see no reason to provide for those who have refused to provide for themselves. As for “Do they not have the same rights as you?” In a survival of the fittest situation, your question is irrelavant.

        1. I think you have missed T.R.’s point all together. Every SHTF has an end and you will be held accountable for your actions. Through out history this is proven time and time again. During times of lawlessness the good people tend to band together and deal with the outlaws which you would be seen as if you become a highway man and just start killing people because you felt like it. I think you have alot to learn about being a prepper, but then again sometimes the only thing you can do is put down a rabid dog!

    2. Like Michael said… how are your buddies going to get there if you’ve cut off access to the place?
      Personally, instead of planning to kill/eat/whatever your unprepared neighbors, how about helping them out when/if the time comes? Seeds are cheap, and having a few extra bags and maybe a bit of extra food set aside for their use is a lot more Christian than planning to “turn against them” is.
      If the SHTF is to hit in a true and grand style, then maybe, just maybe, you might want to use your head and think for a moment. Your “UFC” neighbors are going to get hit with a clue-by-four once it comes around, which means that they’re going to be more than willing to do what it takes to help out – especially if they find out that you’ve gone a few extra steps to help them out as well.
      It is far, far, *far* better to have allies than enemies in troubled times. I’m willing to wager that those “UFC” neighbors of yours will be far more loyal than your own family if you just take a couple of steps and treat them as fellow human beings. As a bonus, they’re armed, which means you can defend together.
      Besides, considering the overcast of OPSEC, how do you know they’re not prepping? If you stopped by and visited my wife and I, you’d never have a clue that we prep, and I keep it that way for reasons that should be pretty frickin’ obvious.
      IMHO, I’d take the time to lay up some extra food, a few bags of seeds, and some spare books on self-sufficiency that you can lend them. The moment the SHTF, invite them into your meeting with the others. Use that time to give them the goods and ask them to join you. I’m willing to bet that nearly all of them will happily and gratefully do so (the occasional meth head exempted – that guy will be someone you’ll have to detox quickly and forcefully.)
      One final thought – a smart raider will take time to recon your situation… if you’re too busy fighting your neighbors, the raider and his cohorts will see it, and can use that to advantage – they’ll strike when you and yours are busy fighting off the “UFC” folks, no?

      1. Oatmeal’s 6¢ a serving if you buy it in bulk. I’ve got enough oatmeal and things to go with it socked away to feed the neighbors breakfast for a few days. All dolled up that oatmeal’s probably 15¢ a serving. 15¢x20 neighbors =$3.75.

        1. For Michael…Your math does not make sense. If TSHTF I expect for there to be a six month period before things start to calm down a little (ie.die-off-period). We plan to farm in an agressive manner when it is possible but to provide three meals a day for six months for people who are not smart enough to see the writing on the wall is a non-starter. We have no plans for cannibalism as implied. What do you think the backhoe is for after we cut off the road?

        2. You’re right .15×20=3 not 3.75. Not quite sure how I messed that up. Anyway it makes those breakfasts even cheaper.
          Nothing in this weeks scenario would indicate a need to cut roads (which would just get rebuilt anyway) or shooting at people. We’ve been through this before in the great depression & Black Monday.
          “As for “Do they not have the same rights as you?” In a survival of the fittest situation, your question is irrelavant.”
          I doubt all the people that will be using those roads, including the police, fire, and national guard, who will still exist Monday morning after this scenario plays out will see this the same way as you.

        3. “but to provide three meals a day for six months for people who are not smart enough to see the writing on the wall is a non-starter.”
          Some problems with your justification:
          * Who said you had to provide three meals a day for six months? Personally, I get by just fine on one-two meals a day, and I’m quite well off. I’m sure that they could get by similarly if it comes to that.
          * Rice and (as Michael mentioned) oatmeal are cheap. So are beans and flour. A couple 20-lb bags of each per family will be a *lot* cheaper than the ammunition and medical supplies you’ll use up to fend them off.
          * Who said you had to help out all by yourself? You have neighbors who are prepping as well, right? You each pick a family in your locale to ‘sponsor’.
          Look up the term “force multiplier”. Having extra neighbors on your side is a prime example of that for defense. As a bonus, they can act as one in agriculture too, by helping out with the farming. If you pool everyone together, you stand a better chance of providing enough to feed everyone.
          Now note that if you lived in a larger town, this would obviously be impractical. OTOH, community is how humans survive.

      2. For “Odd questioner”..Obviously we will have a method for vehicles to pass but we will control access to the area very closely. Maybe the UFC neighbors will be hit with a clue-by-four but that will not help with the overewhelming need for food and other supplies. I am sure that they will be quite compliant but that will be no substitute for preparation. If I share my supplies with them, my grandchildren will go hungry. Sorry, no deal. I am not worried about outside raiders, you have no idea about our situation and our preparations. Best of luck to you and the others. Remember, those who beat their swords into ploughshares will eventually plow for those who don’t…

        1. See above where I posited a series of similar responses. I suspect that with your tactics, you’ll not last very long. The only extras I’ll cover below:
          ” If I share my supplies with them, my grandchildren will go hungry.”
          You seem so certain… yet I see no evidence. Please explain.
          “I am not worried about outside raiders, you have no idea about our situation and our preparations.”
          You’re correct in that I do not, but I do know a few things about human beings:
          * desperate people can get damned clever
          * close enemies who know your land/house/etc are going to require more of an active defense (and supplies to do it) than those who do not.
          * as noted above, beans are cheaper than bullets.
          “Remember, those who beat their swords into ploughshares will eventually plow for those who don’t…”
          No one said you had to do either one. Take your mind outside of the (survivalist) box for a moment… it gives you more options to achieve the goal of long-term survival, and the view is pretty good out here. 🙂

        2. TJ, this was an idiotic dialog on your part & believe you’ve been watching way to many movies or are completely delusional or both. Maybe seek out a pre-SHTF therapist as soon as possible to set you on a better path of mental health.
          >> IF << the SH'sTF & it gets anywhere close to your imagined circumstance, one of two things will happen:
          1. You will probably kill some innocent person in the name of self preservation or whatever other wrong, concocted notion you have created and am sure all of those you have secured in your perimeter will hail you as a hero – yea, right.
          2. You will take a shot at the wrong person who will stealthy find his/her way into your presence & slit your throat.
          Forget about the plowshares proverb, those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

    3. Blocking access to your own property and that of your associates, sure. Put of clearly marked no trespassing signs and trespassers beware.
      Shooting people trying to access what I assume is a public road, to get to their own/family/friend’s property – which is what you allude to in your comment above and follow-up ones – and you screwed up, no. I think you’ll be surprised at how others will react when you decide their private property rights aren’t theirs anymore.
      You’ll be part of the problem, people like you is in part why I prep.

      1. SS,
        Good comment that I’m sure will fall on blind eyes.
        Someone once told me that you cannot use reason with the irrational.

  23. I don’t know about you guys but I spent my day working in my garden, stocking up, readying my bug out bag, and testing out some new .177 caliber hollow points for my air rifle.

  24. Wow as l understood the scenario, it kind of left you with a weekend only timeline. Basically no real decisions can be made for the long term til that Monday. So l would think be ready for chaos but don’t invite it.
    I also agree with the general consensus to try to group with the neighbor before going commando on them. Unless you live in a really bad side of town, your neighbors are basically like you just maybe a little dense when it comes to being prepared.
    I too have tried to add to my preps for errant neighbors and any possible threats or stragglers. l bought a crap load of extra rice and the cheap mac and cheese boxes for just that occasion. Not to mention my friend suggested always having a “stew” on the fire or solar cooker box so you can add a little each day that can be snacked on as the need to eat arises as opposed to always trying to fix 3 square meals a day per person. Especially now while it’s hot as blazes here. We eat little but drink lots of water and juice and take more vitamins.

  25. In a very real sense I would find it difficult to balance between being chicken-little and warren buffett.
    In case anybody wonders – the entire financial empire is predicated upon ONE thing, to get YOU to give up your labor and/or resources and to make a buck on that transaction. When the financial guys ran out of what are known as “reliable” borrows (people that will pay things back no matter what) they had to find a way to harvest the rest of the masses that didn’t have the slave-worker ethic. They did it based on numbers, first pursuing those who paid back things MOST of the time, then going after those who had a dismal history of doing so.
    Which leads us to ask, exactly when did we turn into a nation that worshiped at the altar of something called a credit rating? In case anybody is wondering, it started happening in the 1960’s. We are a mass of resource, our nation’s creditworthiness is directly related to the government’s ability to get us to take on more and more debt in every sense (public and private).
    Which brings me to my point. The first reaction any market has is “wait and see” we will simply do nothing, and hope that it’s a “fluke”. The wallstreeters are right, the best time to do anything, is when others are doing nothing. But there wont be many of those – not enough to make any difference. Warren Buffett predicates his wealth on the ownership of insurance policies of one form or another, but more importantly, insurance policies that are backed by individuals – not governments. He’s as much part of the problem as anybody, he just takes smaller losses because he’s never put down any money on risk that wasn’t backed solidly. He has no real faith in America, he has faith in money.
    If I run around doing prep work that I don’t already have, then I send a bit of a shockwave through my neighborhood. Those of my friends and neighbors who know who I am and what I do, will be scared – which means they’ll do the same things they perceive me to be doing. If I do nothing, then I reassure the sheeple around me that there is no threat.
    The short answer is that the day before a crash is no time to do anything. I should have already had so much in place and ready that I should have no last minute stuff that is so essential, that I appear to be ruffled in the slightest.
    At some point, if things are THAT bad, I should have already educated my neighbors about prepping and helped them increase their ability to handle bad times. The BAD part about this is that more and more of my neighbors are on some form of government assistance, and they count on the government to seize assets from those that have (me) to give to them.
    There used to be an undercurrent of preparedness in the poor. They had pantries. newspapers ran articles about canning and gardens that were useful. There was slight shame at being on welfare or assistance, our national mentality has switched, even those who are working and honest about things, can be of the opinion “hey, it’s there for free – I’m taking it”.
    This coupled with a recent revelation that I have a dibilitating illness, I now qualify for SSI. It disgusts me that I even consider it.
    Being surrounded by ‘we deserve’ mentality people makes me as fearful of my neighbors as the government. I cannot let anybody know the depth I have my preps at, because when it gets ugly those who’ve grown up getting provided for will see it as their right to take my property.
    Remember the debates about “is it looting if they’re only getting things they NEED” and the near universal opinion that it wasn’t really stealing?
    No, I’m going to do nothing in your last-minute scenarios, to do anything else violates OPSEC and if the ball falls as it’s being described – then I am definitely in the middle of an op.

  26. Stock up on the gas before anyone else, did this for Katrina, and I avoided the worse of the prices and my wife didn’t need to stop at gas stations for work driving.
    Fill everything that can hold water.
    Hook up a trailer.
    Plant anything that will mature in three months.
    Read the Bible to the family, especially Deut 28:12, so they understand why it is happening.
    Sleep with loaded guns.

  27. > I have a dibilitating illness, I now qualify for SSI.
    > It disgusts me that I even consider it.
    Take it, I am able body and don’t mind people getting disability insurance. What I mind is paying benefits to :
    1) prostitutes that have more kids so they have more money for drugs (I use to live in a neighborhood surrounded by welfare houses)
    2) the pensions for prostitutes in Congress, from Barney Frank and Charlie Rangel to John McCain.

  28. But, on second-thought, if I was going to do anything, I would do the following:
    Convene a neighbor meeting, as many as will show.
    Propose a mass purchase of foodstuffs, like rice.
    Gather funds from all.
    buy massive amounts of rice, beans and flavorings (like salt) and cooking oil or consumable fat (i.e. frying lard) and vitamins. Since most places will have purchase limitations in place at this time, then we need a group of us to descend and make individual purchases.
    The WORSE thing that can happen is a lot of dry food that nobody eats – and the investment isn’t that much money.
    The BEST thing that can happen is we get our first taste of working together. Because working together will be the only thing to bring us through. At the end of things those that survive will remember those who set themselves apart from the struggle. While it will surely be true that any human has the right to go theri own way, when the success of our neighhborhood becomes apparent and things start to normalize – those who didn’t contribute will be paying a hefty tax on food, goods or services that were created by those of us who worked together. Sadly, by that time your horde of gold/silver and ridiculous amounts of nickles will not be something we will trade for, you wont have the things we actually value, you’ll be a pauper in OUR new neighborhood.
    Borders, fences, etc… Are all artificial. When examined we will find that our “absolute property rights” are no more morally justifiable than our perceived rights to anything. Shoot me or one of my neighbors, and there’s no way you can occupy your redoubt without taking a 50cal bullet from 1000yards at every time of the day. At the point where your gun took someone’s life to preserve your “property rights” my gun will explain to you the error of your ways. Sniping a fixed defense is ridiculously easy.

  29. OK, so NOT the last word….
    Just rereading more sitrep posts – and find a lot of people saying they stock for those that didn’t prep. Stuff like cheap food, etc.
    They are your neighbors.
    They will see you eating moutain house while you pass out GENERIC mac and cheese.
    consider, also, the “rights” group. In thinking of people that talked about the “bad part of town” way of thinking of your neighborhood. How many “bad” neighbors does it take to make your neighborhood a bad part of town? And what constitutes “bad”. I’m pretty certain we all have visions of gang activity of one sort or another. Does 1 house in 10 constitute a bad neighborhood? 4 houses with large welfare families WILL constitute a vocal majority. My home is 4 of us. The three nearest welfare families are, respectively: 6, 11 and 9 people – or the equivalent in humans of 6 houses like us ‘normal’ people with 2.2 kids, etc. Factor in the politically motivated people, the “bleeding heart” liberals if you will. How many are REALLY part of the good guys, and how many will advocate for the bad guys? Bad, in this case, being ANY person who represents a drain on resources, without any appreciable addition to the larder/supplies or skilled labor. I think what we all end up struggling with is the moral dilemma that a crying hungry child represents.
    What do I plan to do if the ball falls and things get ugly in the sense of “no food” in the markets, etc?
    I plan on offering free rides to the shelters. I will encourage the welfare-mentality folks (which only counts those people who think their existence entitles them to things they dont own) to group together in the FEMA camps with their breathren.
    If it comes to sharing stuff, I will share exactly what I have – I don’t have special supplies – I will eat rice and beans flavored with rendered kitty like the rest of my neighbors – avoiding envy is a huge factor.

    1. “I will eat rice and beans flavored with rendered kitty like the rest of my neighbors – avoiding envy is a huge factor.”
      You actually bring up an excellent point.
      Personally, most of my stocks are basic staples, so anything I do share will be pretty much what I’m eating anyway.
      OTOH, to be honest, I think an honest person who is hungry (or facing eventual hunger) will be pretty grateful to have what you do give them, and likely won’t be seeing you eat whatever you do eat, since each will be in their own house.
      If envy becomes a big enough factor, then there are bigger problems than simple unpreparedness, and you’d be better off assessing those now, and planning to do something about it. No, this doesn’t mean shooting folks, but that ‘something’ could mean being anonymous with your donations (and attaching a note saying that they have a choice – work together with the rest of the neighbors, or use that food to travel out of town). As you’ve stated, it’s not a bad idea to help point such folk to the nearest refugee camp, giving them enough supplies to get them there in good order (or at least enough so that once they run out, they’ll be far enough away from you to not present a threat).
      In the case of the gent who plotted against unprepared neighbors, I was pointing out that even basic staples are cheaper than lead, and I stand behind that statement.
      That said, there’s a bit of a diff between neighbors and refugees. As long as you don’t let on to the refugees where you live, donations may not be a bad idea, but IMHO certainly not compulsory… it’s hoped that you’re far enough off the beaten path that you won’t/don’t see any show up.
      Neighbors OTOH are a vastly different story. They know you exist, they know your land, and they’ll be able to tell pretty quickly if you’re doing better than they are post-SHTF. The closer the unprepared neighbor, the more likely you’ll have troubles as time passes. The idea is that you help them to help themselves, so that even if you ate caviar every night in full view of them, they (if honest people) won’t mind as much, since their bellies are full too. They’ll also be more likely to help you fend off a threat, so long as you help them to do the same. Meanwhile, take the time to share surpluses and bounties… if you catch a deer or your horse dies, share the meat equally, and let them know you’re a friend. Odds are good they’ll likely do the same for you if they’re honest, God-fearing folk.
      The whole idea is to foster a sense of community, and to bring the benefits that a community will bring: mutual defense, respite from boredom, mutual labor, a larger pool of prospective mates (either for yourself or your kids/grandkids/whatever), and most importantly, a larger group of creative minds that can make life better for everyone involved, each in their own way.
      Sure, there are drawbacks – infighting, politics, the anti-social self-entitled dumbass, etc. But… so long as the core community members have a simple and equitable set of rules, and enforce them *fairly*, the drawbacks become limited at best, and manageable at worst.

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