Economic collapse preparation sounds like a pre-requisite college economics 101 class. Another boring required class that teaches a bunch of theories, few proven and most definitely unproven, that you dump from the memory bank immediately upon the end of the semester to make room for important information. Ironically, if you’re that college kid, who was raised by Survivalist/Prepper parents, you may take great interest in the class, to the disdain of your classmates, who will tire of your doomsday questions.
Sometimes having a Survivalist/Prepper mentality can become plain old tiresome and depressing. Think about it. Don’t we have to have a negative attitude about everything? The economy is going to crash, the power grid will go off line, food will rot in warehouses because there’s no way to transport it, and if there was … it won’t last a month. Let’s quite wringing our hands in despair or pull our heads out of the sand and take an analysis of the subject of economic collapse preparation.
What could cause the US economy to collapse?
Any number of events or combination of events could cause the economy to falter. For instance:
Should the US dollar suddenly and rapidly lose value, hyperinflation would be created. In other words, that $2.00 loaf of bread you bought last week … now cost $32.00.
The 2008 economic depression narrowly averted a complete run on the banks, which would have created economic collapse. This could cause banks to close, stopping credit and not allowing people access to their money. No ATM withdrawals. Your safe $20,000 CD will be worthless.
The internet could be cut off. Russian ships currently are threatening ocean information cables. No internet, no transactions, money or otherwise. A complete blackout of all World financial markets.
Widespread violence, inner-city riots or a civil war would overtax the government’s ability to react.
Possibly the worse scenario, and up until recently unimaginable, our own government, parts of it, intentionally bringing the economy to its knees. A concerted effort like this could bring the country to a complete standstill within a week.
That’s enough doomsday possibilities, but I think you’ll agree the unthinkable is in fact, not a fairy tale but a real life nightmare possibility.
Learning From Historical Economic Collapses
“Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door”
It’s an old adage used in business schools which simply means build a better version of an existing product and you’ll become rich. There are truths in those words, but … is it worth the hassle or the cost of learning a new way when a proven method is right there in front of you? Economic Collapse Preparation is not where you want to begin experimenting with what will save your families lives and what won’t. The civil war in Sarajevo and the recent collapse of Venezuela’s economy have produced verified accounts by survivors of what products disappeared the quickest from their countries when they failed. I have compared the two and despite the events being decades apart there are eerily similar answers.
I will not list every item, because there are hundreds, but I’ll include list duplicates and some items that may shock you. I’ll give you a little hint … this list may be a good place to start when considering your economic plan.
- Generators. Good quality solar generators are absolutely worth the high price.
- Water Filters & purifiers
- Coleman Fuel. Impossible to have too much
- Guns, ammo, pepper spray, knives, clubs. Any and all weapons.
- Oil lamps, wicks and oil. Buy clear oil if possible, any type if not
- Gasoline containers, metal and plastic
- Propane cylinders
- Cook stoves , propane, Coleman & kerosene
- Feminine hygiene/hair care / skin products
- Thermal Underwear
- Garbage Bags, bigger the better & more the merrier
- Hand Pumps and siphons
- Duct Tape
- First Aid Kits
- Batteries, all types, sizes, and brands. The newer the better
- Matches, strike anywhere type best, stick matches disappear fast. Waterproof matches are even better.
- Large Baking Soda, used as fire extinguishers in each room
- Garbage Cans, plastic or metal on wheels and with lids
- Liquid Laundry detergent
- Rat poison, Roach killer, mouse traps, ant traps
- Toilet Paper, paper towels, Kleenex lots & lots & lots
- Flour, Yeast, Sugar, vinegar,spices, & Salt, and other long-lasting foods
- Big bags of dog food. Any kind, bigger the better
- Bleach (4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) Plain not scented
- Glue, nails, screws, nuts & bolts
- Teas, coffee, cigarettes
- Wines, liquor of all types
- Goats & Chickens
- Boy Scout Handbook and other informational guides… nobody knows everything.
- Chewing Gum & candies
These items only scratch the surface, but if you notice they cover the entire gambit of being a human being. One survivor commented “Feeling like a human being can fade pretty quickly. Little things like toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne are great moral builders and very expensive.”
Economic Collapse Preparation in terms of what will be recognized as money and what is not can be debated, but we’re not here to debate the “what ifs” we’re staying with historical facts. Historically paper money will be considered worthless. As far as I know this will be the first time coinage won’t actually be coinage, but clad metals, and based on that, it also will be worthless after all coin operated machines are empty.
So what will be money? Gold and silver. Not gold and silver stocks and bonds, but the actual metal. Let’s look at ways of collecting these metals and possible methods of preparing them for exchange.
Gold and silver necklaces are excellent items. When purchasing these items try and buy necklaces that are links, some large .. some small links. The market will set the value, but by being able to divide the necklace into links, it’s like breaking a dollar bill to pay for a 60 cent product. Verified grade of the metal (10k vs 14k) will be extremely helpful.
The odds of finding a solid silver coin at random is virtually impossible unless you dig it up in the back yard. Therefore, you’ll have to purchase silver coins, gold also, from coin shops, jewelers, E-Bay etc. You have no need to buy silver coins for their historic or pristine value. You don’t care if it’s a 1964 silver half dollar or 1864, proof or not. You want the coin for its silver content, which is termed junk silver and sold only for its content with no regard for quality of the coin. You can also buy silver ingots, which come in different troy ounce sizes. I suggest buying ten 1 ounce ingots instead of one ten ounce ingot. Smaller denominations of any type of money is better to have for negotiating deals. One last thing, it doesn’t have to be US coins, foreign coins have equal silver therefore, equal value. Everything stated for silver will also apply for gold coinage. Just expect a huge price jump.
Bartering .. the other form of money
What is Bartering? It’s a fancy word for trading, but in a post-collapse it becomes a form of money.
Simple example: John & Joe are neighbors and both their yards need to be mowed. John can’t mow his because he has a broken foot. Joe can’t mow his because he has no gasoline. They barter… trade goods for services. John will give Joe a gallon of gasoline if Joe will mow John’s yard. Both get what they need, their lawns mowed, but no money was exchanged. You barter all the time without realizing it because it’s being neighborly, a good Samaritan or just a good old boy. But now Post-Collapse world, the things we freely traded or gave away before, become valuable.
I’m sick of making list, but …. let’s make a list and divide it into skills and products to barter. The first thing to realize is, whether you believe it or not, everyone has skills. Look around at your closest neighbors. Think you could go to their job and do it today? Chances are you don’t even know what their job is. Point is .. you have skills. List them:
- I’m a journeyman plumber
- I know how to build wood projects as long as they’re not too complicated
- I’m great at landscaping
- I can cook a mean hamburger
- …anything you can think of that you can do with some skill.
I guarantee you someone somewhere is looking for one of your skills.
Their wooden porch is rotting off. Their faucet leaks. They’re tired of fast food and want a home cooked burger.
Live or Die Bartering
Everybody knows at least one person who believes what he owns is worth a fortune and whatever you own is nearly scrap. I’m not talking about a shrewd businessman making financial deals, I’m talking Joe Blow at work or down the street who, for whatever reason, actually believes that way. Don’t be this guy.
In the world of bartering relationships must be built. That begins with trust, if the man says it works .. it works. A sense of Fair-play is crucial. If I know my item is worth $2 but I know you MUST have it and I gouge you for $10, I’ve made an enemy and a pay back coming. I may get $2.25 and an acknowledgment I know how bad he needs my part, but I’ve made an extra 25 cents and made a bond of honesty and fair play.
Last parting word on bartering. There was a television show about bartering that showed 2 guys who would start with a four slice toaster and barter their way to owning a $25.000 bass boat. Bull$hit. It don’t work that way, so don’t expect it to.
Economic Collapse Preparation is much more than just stockpiling material items. It’s an attitude and mental adjustment that slowly becomes permanent. We’ll explore more on this subject later.