(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ The SHTF, then what?)
A. Houston – We Have a Problem
13 Jun 2011, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/houston-we-have-a-problem/
Set the stage:
The ‘S’ has hit the fan. The dollar has collapsed and is now worth just 30% of what it could purchase just 6 months ago. The reasons for the collapse are not relevant any more. Most people don’t understand why it happened, and are now truly in dire straights. They are just trying to survive.
The DOW has dropped to 5,000 and gold is now $5,000 an ounce. Unemployment has soared to 35%, and those that are still working are sinking fast while food and energy prices skyrocket. Nearly all traditional investments have gone bust. Most people are in despair having lost what savings they had along with the value of their 401K retirement plans. The crash of 2008 is miniscule in comparison to what has just happened.
Many major cities have fallen into chaos. There aren’t enough police to hold back the rioting and roving gangs of desperate humans – many of whom were just ordinary blue-collar working folks just 6 months ago. Now they are congregating in numbers in search of food, fuel, and supplies – just to stay alive and survive. Even some of those working in law enforcement within these large population centers are not showing up for work, being more concerned to secure their own families safety.
The government in a desperate attempt to thwart off the raging populace has begun rationing food supplies and are attempting to re-establish food supply distribution channels (most drivers have stopped hauling due to extraordinary fuel prices and the risk of being attacked for their haul). What supply chains remain into the city regions, are being attacked by organized groups and gangs, while the supplies themselves mostly do not make it to their destination.
You live within the urban sprawl of a major city region, and although not located within city limits, you are surrounded by many thousands of others who themselves are hurting badly while trying to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.
Burglary is now blatant, even during the daytime. Groups of 5 or more will surge their way through an area or neighborhood and break through homes mostly without resistance, while residents fear for their lives and freely give up what supplies that they have.
As the various groups of thugs and gangs slice their way through the chaos and desperation, they organize and grow in numbers to larger and more sophisticated forces. The government has underestimated the threshold at which desperate people will do what they must to get what they need. It is out of control.
You are caught in an unimaginable horror. A horror not even conceivable in your mind just 6 months ago.
Does this sound like something that could only come from a novel? Do you think it is ridiculous to consider something like this actually occurring where you live?
Yes, this is a doom-and-gloom scenario, purposely to make you think. It is human nature to be set in your ways and to assume that things will remain as they are now, at least within some reasonable variation, plus-or-minus…
While it is true that often times ‘things’ remain in a similar state (more or less), there are also times when abrupt change will occur after having reached a tipping point or threshold of some kind. If caught unaware or unprepared, these abrupt changes can hit you like a train.
Many people know in their gut that the economic situation within the US and some other countries of the world are teetering at their limits of debt service, having borrowed extraordinary sums to keep their systems going. Having read quite a lot of information from many different sources on this general topic during the past several years, and although I am not a financial or economic expert, I do know that despite what we hear from the mainstream, we are definitely at risk for some economic hardships beyond which we’ve ever experienced in our lives.
Things may not come to this, but then again, they may. Are you the type of person to stick your head in the sand? Or are you the type of person to take precautions and learn to adapt to an extreme situation.
This article offers no solutions, but instead is purposed with the hope of having you consider that things ‘could’ change, and change for the worse. The first step to recovery is admitting that there is a problem. And as heard from the crew of Apollo 13, ‘Houston, we have a problem…’
B. Cash will be King
6 September 2013, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/cash-will-be-king/
How much cash do you have on hand, right now? Do you rely on electronic money for most or all of your transactions? You might want to reconsider that philosophy…
Three in four Americans (73 percent) say they use less cash today than 10 years ago (source: Mastercard). From online shopping with credit, debit and prepaid cards to making purchases via electronic apps, electronic money is convenient and easy to use, and is favored by most merchants because it enables electronic book-keeping methods that eliminate most human intervention.
Electronic ‘money’ is speed, convenience, guaranteed payment for merchants, and provides some security for consumers and merchants, while also enabling transactional records for governments.
There are two major risks however, when one transacts electronically.
1. Although not everyone is concerned with this… using electronic money will leave a definitive footprint, captured forever, of your every purchase (‘where’, ‘when’, and ‘what’). Your spending habits are quickly profiled and updated each time electronic money is used, most of it in databases that you don’t even know about.
Cash, on the other hand, is anonymous.
2. Since nearly all of our modern-day transactional systems are electronic, if these systems fail us for any reason, we will be left without a commonly accepted means of exchange. This could include power failure (local or otherwise), internet/network failures, or even a financial/banking collapse.
Cash, on the other hand, will be accepted (by most), for a while – at least up until such time that it may become clear that TSHTF (if it were to get to that point).
So it seems to me, that cash not only is king, but will be king (for a while) during a system meltdown of some sort.
In today’s electronic world of money, there is only a comparatively very tiny amount of actual cash out there in circulation. If there is ever a panic, and enough people begin withdrawing some or all of their money from the banks, the cash might run out very quickly. Then what?
At least for the short-term, if you have cash, you will be able to procure some things. Long term however, and we’re all in a different boat, so to speak…
How much cash to keep?
In a world of electronic money, how much actual cash money should one keep on one’s person and how much cash should one keep at home (be your own banker)?
Well that depends if you are going to eliminate most of your ordinary day-to-day debit transactions or not, and how much of a cash security blanket that you feel comfortable with.
When I made the transition from using my debit card (although essentially the same as cash) to using cash instead, I started out by simply going to the ATM and withdrawing a few hundred, and when I saw my wallet getting thin, I replenished it.
After a week or two of doing this, you will soon realize the appropriate cash flow for you. Not only that, but by using cash instead of debit (even though it’s the same ‘digits’), you will very likely begin to spend LESS than you did before. For some reason, using cash just seems like more money (because it’s tangible – even though it’s just paper).
A big advantage to using cash for transactions is that you will have more of it, on you, all the time. A merchant will always take cash – provided that their system allows it.
You can use it to get yourself out of a jam in an emergency. Ordinary ‘people’ will accept cash, because they are not equipped to accept your electronic money. If two people were bidding on the same thing or service (especially in an emergency situation), nearly 100-percent of the time the person with cash will win over someone with electronic money (debit or credit). Cash is king.
How much to keep at home (be your own banker?)
While it may sound over-the-top, if you can set yourself a goal to build a supply of 3 to 6-months worth of transactional cash that you would otherwise spend using debit/electronic, you would be doing yourself a favor. Look at it this way… the banks don’t give you any interest, so why should you give them your money?
During normal times, you won’t be tracked. During short-term disaster, cash will be king. It’s up to you…
C. Not Prepared: 17 Signs That Most Americans Will Be Wiped Out By The Coming Economic Collapse
25 June 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Michael Snyder
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/not-prepared-17-signs-that-most-americans-will-be-wiped-out-by-the-coming-economic-collapse_06252013
This article has been generously contributed by Michael Snyder. You can follow his regular writings, research and analysis [online] at “The Economic Collapse Blog” and “The American Dream”. Read his recent book, The Beginning of the End, to get an idea of what America may look like in the very near future.
The vast majority of Americans are going to be absolutely blindsided by what is coming. They don’t understand how our financial system works, they don’t understand how vulnerable it is, and most of them blindly trust that our leaders know exactly what they are doing and that they will be able to fix our problems. As a result, most Americans are simply not prepared for the massive storm that is heading our way. Most American families are living paycheck to paycheck, most of them are not storing up emergency food and supplies, and only a very small percentage of them are buying gold and silver for investment purposes. They seem to have forgotten what happened back in 2008. When the financial markets crashed, millions of Americans lost their jobs. Because most of them were living on the financial edge, millions of them also lost their homes. Unfortunately, most Americans seem convinced that it will not happen again. Right now we seem to be living in a “hope bubble” and people have become very complacent.
For a while there, being a “prepper” was very trendy, but now concern about a coming economic crisis seems to have subsided. What a tragic mistake. As I pointed out yesterday, our entire financial system is a giant Ponzi scheme, and there are already signs that our financial markets are about to implode once again.
Those that have not made any preparations for what is coming are going to regret it bitterly. The following are 17 signs that most Americans will be wiped out by the coming economic collapse…
#1 According to a survey that was just released, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. But most Americans are acting as if their jobs will always be there. But the truth is that mass layoffs can occur at any time. In fact, it just happened at one of the largest law firms in New York City.
#2 27% of all Americans do not have even a single penny saved up.
#3 46% of all Americans have $800 or less saved up.
#4 Less than one out of every four Americans has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses.
#5 Wages continue to fall even as the cost of living continues to go up. Today, the average income for the bottom 90 percent of all income earners in America is just $31,244. An increasing percentage of American families are just trying to find a way to survive from month to month.
#6 62% of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.
#7 Small business is becoming an endangered species in America. In fact, only about 7 percent of all non-farm workers in the United States are self-employed at this point. That means that the vast majority of Americans are depending on someone else to provide them with an income. But what is going to happen as those jobs disappear?
#8 In 1989, the debt to income ratio of the average American family was about 58 percent. Today it is up to 154 percent.
#9 Today, a higher percentage of Americans are dependent on the government than ever before. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government. So what is going to happen when the government handout gravy train comes to an end?
#10 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps. [rising from 2% to currently 15%]
#11 It is estimated that less than 10 percent of the U.S. population owns any gold or silver for investment purposes.
#12 It has been estimated that there are approximately 3 million“preppers” in the United States. But that means that almost everyone else is not prepping. [less than 1% preppers]
#13 44% of all Americans do not have first-aid kits in their homes.
#14 48% of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies stored up.
#15 53% of all Americans do not have a 3 day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.
#16 One survey asked Americans how long they thought they would survive if the electrical grid went down for an extended period of time.
→ • Incredibly, 21 percent said that they would survive for less than a week,
→ • an additional 28 percent said that they would survive for less than two weeks,
→ • and nearly 75 percent said that they would be dead before the two month mark.
#17 According to a survey conducted by the Adelphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the government will come to their rescue when disaster strikes.
Just because you are living a comfortable middle class lifestyle today does not mean that it will always be that way.
If you doubt this, take a look at what is going on in Greece. Many formerly middle class parents in Greece have become so impoverished that they are actually dumping their children at orphanages so that they won’t starve…
Scores of children have been put in orphanages and care homes for economic reasons; one charity said 80 of the 100 children in its residential centers were there because their families can no longer provide for them.
Ten percent of Greek children are said to be at risk of hunger. Teachers talk of cancelling PE lessons because children are underfed and of seeing pupils pick through bins for food.
If the U.S. economy crashes and you lose your job, how will you and your family survive?
Will you and your family end up homeless and totally dependent on the government for your survival?
Get prepared while there is still time. If you do not know how to get prepared, my article entitled “25 Things That You Should Do To Get Prepared For The Coming Economic Collapse” has some basic tips, and there are dozens of excellent websites out there that teach people advanced prepping techniques for free. See the “25 Things…” article at: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/25-things-that-you-should-do-to-get-prepared-for-the-coming-economic-collapse
So there is no excuse. You can trust that Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama have everything under control, but as for me and my family we are going to prepare for the giant economic storm that is coming.
I hope that you will be getting prepared too.