Posts Tagged With: Economic Collapse

10 Reasons Why Building a Community is Key When Surviving Disaster

This is reprinted with permission from the author. It was originally posted over at The Home For Survival and at Thanks Survivor Mike! You can check out his blog regarding surviving disaster here.

Doing the stuff,



Sep 28, 2012 by

Picture the below Surviving Disaster scenario…

You’re living in your suburban home, CNN has just said that the stock market has dropped for the ninth day in a row and people are now racing to their banks to empty their accounts. Couple these with an unstable euro, an unstable Middle East and a worldwide economic recession and you get the start of the sh*t hitting the fan.

How does your neighborhood react to this?

Who in your neighborhood do you trust?

Now take that a step further and imagine a state of civil unrest. Homes nearby are being looted and undesirables are now common in your neighborhood. You have a weapon, but the occupants of your home include you, your wife, and your two small children. You have a front door, a backdoor, and the garage door. How do you cover all three much less the first floor windows?

What I’ve described above is the situation you will be faced with when the SHTF. So, do you need to build a community of liked-minded folks when the sh*t hits the fan? I believe there are 10 reasons why building a community is key when it all goes down.

1) Strength in Numbers

Being in a suburban area, I tend to worry about what will happen if looters run amok. I imagine when the SHTF, criminals will likely run in gangs. Those gangs will target individual homes for looting and potentially seek to oust the folks living there. They would target homes with a small number of occupants to make their raids that much easier.

So, to avoid being in their crosshairs, it would be optimal to be viewed as a large group. These criminals will have quite a few homes to choose from when things get tough and there is no sense in being an easy target. Remember, giving the perception of a large force is enough to deter those with bad intentions.

2) More Hands, More Work Done

Continuing with the theme of a group, the more folks in that group, the more workers you have. Those additional sets of hands will be able to help garden, cook, pack supplies, gather water, and hunt for food. While you will have to feed and care for those extra bodies, the work you get from them should more than make up for it.

I would much rather have 5 people foraging for food and supplies versus 1 as time will be of the essence.

3) Pre-planning

Knowing you’ll have a community of preppers allows you to be proactive with planning now. You can request your neighbors start preparing by gathering supplies, preparing their homes and getting their financials in order. You can even go as far as planning the homes you will use for what purpose. By having those families focus on particular areas of prepping, you can be sure you will be best prepared when the trigger event happens.

At the very least, having your neighbors prepared will prevent them from being a liability when things go south. The last thing you need is a needy “friend” eating into your families’ supplies.

4) Multiple Locations

Having multiple homes in a community provides several advantages. Besides the tactical advantage of defending yourself, you acquire additional space for supplies, including areas to prep them.

Additionally, you provide the sense of normalcy for the folks in the community. Utilizing one house as a mess hall could be a possibility. Having a house serve as a medical facility is another. You would almost be able to build a town within the community. You cannot underestimate the importance of helping with the psychology of the group trying to survive.

5) Additional Resource Network

Your neighbors will have different supplies, different tools, and especially different skills. That alone is a huge asset when attempting to survive in uncertain times. However, the resources we don’t think about are the various contacts they may have.  They may have an uncle who owns 10 shotguns. A cousin that has an RV for sale. A friend with access to critical medical supplies.

Each neighbor will have their own network of contacts that may come in handy. Those contacts become even more valuable when things get very tough. You may even choose to join a larger group that your neighbors will have paved the way by providing that connection.  We can be sure that we will need to be creative during difficult times.

Read the rest here

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Free eBook: Education After The Collapse

If you haven’t already, you may want to download Education After The Collapse by Todd Sepulveda. Much is written in the preparedness community about the 3 B’s (Beans, Bullets, and Band-Aids). Todd takes on the task of preparing kids and parents for the 3 R’s (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic) in a post SHTF world. His book is focused on teaching the basics. Once your child is able to read, s/he would be able to learn anything with the appropriate material is available. He provides links and resources that can be downloaded and printed.

What will we leave behind for the next generation to help rebuild? In a recent post, I argued that producers will rebuild after a collapse. Part of being a producer is having the right tools and ability to apply knowledge. The rebuilding of civilization will require lots of stuff (tools), knowledge (hard-copy books), and work. A cache of books on math and science will prove to be a great asset. Homeschooling parents are way ahead of the curve in this area. Start collecting materials for all stages of learning for your children and grandchildren.

Todd mentions our “one size fits all” approach to schooling today. Each of us are individuals and have different learning styles. In my classes, as much as I’m allowed by my overseers, I encourage interest led learning. There will always be areas that bore students. But if allowed to follow their interest and passion, leaning the 3 R’s will be come naturally. Our present model of forced schooling has produced horrible results.

Prepare your children by giving them the tools to rebuild. Education After The Collapse is a great place to start.

Todd Sepulveda is the web master of Prepper Website, Education That Matters, and The Preparedness Review (archive of preparedness, self-reliance, and survival information).

Doing the stuff,

Todd Walker

Categories: Economic Collapse, Free Downloads, Government "Education", Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival Education, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Producers Survive To Rebuild

by Todd Walker

I wasn’t always a leech. I feel like one now. I no longer sign the front of paychecks. I’m a government worker – a school teacher. How do I reconcile this imbalance in my Libertarian mind? I produce nothing at my day job. I take money, with the help of armed government agents, from hard-working producers.

Just because I teach doesn’t mean I’m good at only one job. Over the years I’ve developed many talents. I’m constantly looking for new skills to add value to our quality of life and increase our chances of surviving the chaos about to be unleashed.

One of the best ways to survive the collapse that must happen is to be a producer. Granted, some producers will suffer during the coming crisis. However, leeches depending on the productive class will surely pile up in far greater numbers. Remember Katrina? Dependent upon government checks, the pillaging population took to the streets to get their due. Looting big screen TVs and Nike shoes are so useful for survival. Lesson learned? Nope. Productive folk, who aren’t familiar with human nature, might think the mammoth entitlement mentality would lose its momentum. Not a chance. I work in a government school and can testify that it is stronger than ever.

Hurricane Katrina Looters

What you didn’t see during Katrina

What MSM (Main Stream Media) failed to parade across your living room boob tube was all those Americans that were not looting, rapping, and murdering. These producers were prepared as they could be for Mother Nature’s romp in the Bayou. It’s not as if this was the first hurricane to ever make landfall in the gulf region. The self-reliant contentedly did nothing. They didn’t have to form mobs to plunder their neighborhood for food and water. They exercised foresight and stocked up on essential supplies based on their situation and self-interest.

What if…

Another large-scale natural or manmade disaster hits, let’s say, thousands of cities simultaneously? A real TEOTWAWKI event covers us like a wet blanket (fill in the blank for your version). Law, order, and authority are vaporized instantly. Millions/billions would die off. Life without technology begins. The ensuing deeper Dark Age emerges.

Who’s going to rebuild civilization?

The producers will. If you’re reading this, you are probably in this tribe of the self-reliant. Or at least you want to be. You may be thinking you should have paid a little more attention to science and math in school. What’s missing in many “list of lists” in the preppersphere are books dealing with lower to higher order thinking skills in these vital areas. What’s a survivalist to do when the last of his soap runs out? I highly doubt folks have stocked enough lye to keep their tribe sanitary. Just how many bars of soap will you need to last 3 years into an apocalypse? How about gun powder? Can you create your own? I figure I can learn any skill. In our worst-case SHTF scenario, a book on chemistry might help you be a producer of a chemical compound called sodium hydrogen carbonate. Ah yes. Good old baking soda. With its many survival uses, your image would be carved on the front page of your local Dark Ages Stone Tablet. Young cave dwellers will gaze in earnest at your NaHCO3 scribbled on the stone wall, preserved forever.

A childhood friend of mine owns a portable sawmill. He built his house out of wood he milled from his 50 acre homestead a few miles from our old stomping grounds. Producing dimensional lumber takes the right equipment and fuel. What happens when his gas storage dries up? Being a DIY country boy, he built a wood gasifier like this one. By turning scrape wood slabs into carbon monoxide and hydrogen (see, Science isn’t just for geeks) in his homemade gas refinery, his fuel needs would be met. The ability to produce lumber places him on the top of the trading/bartering circuit after the collapse. People will need and want my friend’s value-adding lumber.

Self-reliant minded individualists are people you should seek out. Network and build reciprocal trading relationships with these folks now. Brandon Smith’s was established to encourage networking, local community action and the exchange of knowledge and ideas. Free market individuals are who you’re seeking – people who put value on the individual and not the collective.

Will Your Stockpiling Strategy Work?

With enough time, your 3 B’ (Beans, Bullets, and Band Aids) will be long gone. Even that extra pair of boots you squirreled away eventually turns to brittle dust. I certainly subscribe to the stockpiling strategy. But it’s not sustainable in a true long-term sky-has-fallen scenario. I want enough stuff to help my tribe stay below the radar to avoid the previously mentioned desperate blood-sucking, looter mobs – especially the national statist entities. After the dust settles, we can emerge and begin rebuilding for our own self-interest and not to feed those who add no value.

I understand my last statement may cause misinformed to bristle. I sound harsh. I’m not. Truth hurts. Ignorance is not strength. For too long, we’ve been abused, pillaged, and rapped by the collective. Property rights, the means of production, have been stripped from individuals whom wish to be left alone. Forced charity at the point of a state gun is coercion. Never forget this equation: The State = Force. Once the “benevolent” government realized state-run welfare would enslave the recipient and rob the productive, the slide down the slippery slope of dependence began. Clamoring for charity – private or public – is no longer a social taboo. Nursing from the Government entitlement teat holds no stigma today. In the not so distant past, creative Americans exercised self-reliance and independence. The helping hand your grandparents may have used from time to time came from mutual-aid societies. There was no logical need for a forced welfare state. They depended upon each other’s reciprocity. Through time and its unquenchable thirst for power and total control, our Leviathan state slowly turned a nation of individualists into a society of panhandlers seeking the next handout.

Here’s the good news. There remains a remnant of creative individualist producers prepared to rebuild. Get ready. Find those willing to cooperate through trading value for value. Now, strap on your tool belt and your lab coat and produce something.


Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Rule Of Threes For Doing The Stuff

I use the phrase “Doing the stuff” in my salutation. I also started #DoingTheStuff hashtag on Twitter. I think I’m the only soul on the planet of 7 billion to use it. So much for trending. Who cares. This simple phrase has preparedness power. If you use it on Twitter, you’ll soon rule the world.

Ever tried relaxing on a stool with two legs? Not comfortable. Your body is constantly balancing and tense. A third leg would allow you to rest as much as possible on a stool. Your preparedness plan may only have one or two legs that are weak at best. As a hobbyist craftsman and one passionate about self-reliance and preparedness, I’m outlining my Rule of Threes for Doing the Stuff.

  • Acquiring the Stuff
  • Knowing the Stuff
  • Doing the Stuff

To avoid long hours of surfing the web and a headache from information overload, I’ll break down the Rule of Threes for you.

3 Seconds: If you find yourself in a deadly sleeper hold in a MMA match, tap out in two seconds. By a count of three, with no blood flow to the brain, you’ll blackout and be totally embarrassed in your flaming speedos with the word “Juicy” on the backside. Same goes for a heart attack or other serious blood restricting injury.

3 Minutes: Without O2, the typical humanoid’s lights turn off. Whatever the cause, air flow has to be jump started to live again.

3 Hours: You lose your ability to perform even gross motor skills when over exposed to extreme heat or cold. Death by hypothermia or hyperthermia is the number one cause of death in most wilderness survival scenarios. Find shelter and strip down to those “Juicy” trunks when it’s hot.

3 Days: You’ve only got three days (dependent upon temperature and exertion) to live without H2O. Factoid: Our cellular composition (not cell phones – you have to clarify these days) consists of up to 60% water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight, as is the brain; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. About 83% of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. There are exceptions to this rule. Club yourself in the head and hibernate like Mitsutaka Uchikoshi for 24 days.

3 Weeks: Most folks can only survive without food for 3 weeks. In our obese America, this Rule of Threes may be extended. What happens when you run out of Twinkies? Time to throw a Donner party. The family pets don’t look so unappetizing now do they?

The Rule of Threes helps us prioritize and build a sturdy preparedness platform.

Doing the Stuff in simplest form means:

A.) Acquiring the stuff. I know. Shiny objects are fun to collect. But remember, this is only one leg of Doing the Stuff. In today’s shrinking productive class, many find it quite challenging to just buy food for the week much less stock one to three months worth of beans under the bed. Think frugality. DRG’s last paycheck came at the beginning of this month. She hopes to return to work after Christmas when she’s done with the radition/chemo treatments. Lean times are waiting for our tribe. It’s not like we’ve never rode this bull named Scarcity. Fortunately, we stocked up when times were good. Think like the ant, not the grasshopper.

Photo credit:

If you have plenty of fiat currency growing on that green back tree out back, pick a bushel and use it now to acquire more tangible stuff. I’m not into the Zombie Apocalypse – I’m not trying to scare anyone, but…Prepare now for the collapse that must come. Even if it never happens, the tangibles you stock now will be worth more next year than today. Especially after Helicopter Ben showers us with Quantitative Easing 3. Tangibles trump paper! Keynesian economics will fail. Brace for impact.

What stuff should I get? All kinds of stuff related to the Rule of Threes listed above. Each individual has their own unique set of needed stuff. Don’t be afraid to buy stuff that you have no clue how to use. Others will. Bartering stuff and skills is on the rise as our country suffers through our Keynesian economic depression. So get busy acquiring the stuff.

B.) Knowing the stuff. Personal preparedness requires knowing how to do things for yourself.

Remember watching Katrina refugees in YOYO (You’re On Your Own) mode? Uncle Sam can’t fix dependency. Why would our government undo what it has spent decades and billions of dollars to build (entitlement mentality). Knowledge is power. Anyone with an elementary observation should conclude that living below sea level is foolish.

There’s another angle to YOYO I’ve seen on survivalist forum discussions. The Hollywood vision of being a lone wolf living off the land. If that’s you, please reconsider your strategy. When it comes to knowing all the stuff needed to survive, we all have things to learn. Plus, with the exception of my sixth grade history teacher, humans are wired for companionship. Build your tribe with different knowledge bases.

While I pride myself in being a jack-of-all-trades, I’m far from expert in my piddling. Mediocrity will have to do in most cases. Expert status is not required to survive. That’s why it’s important to develop relationships with others that can add value to your tribe via voluntary association. I’m sure I could pull a tooth if called upon. How hard can it be, right. But my victim patient would get better results from my dentist friend two farms down the road. I’d much rather barter my skill for his.

There are certain strengths that deserve my focus. I shore up the weak legs as I can. There’s not enough daylight to be an expert at all three legs of preparedness. So, I chose to focus on the last leg, the most important to the stability of my preparedness platform.

C.) Doing the Stuff. This leg deserves our devotion and full attention. Whether it’s random acts of prepping or scheduled list following, physical action is required. The proverbial rubber meeting the road. Curb your appetite for stupid reality shows and get busy. Take up a new hobby. Read a book on preparedness. Take detailed notes. Knock out a few of the DIY projects on the honey-do list. Get healthy and fit. Rediscover play. Don’t forget to enjoy life on your journey to preparedness and self-reliance.

Don’t allow yourself or your family to be at risk because you never practiced skills that would satisfy the Rule of Threes. Some ‘experts’ give cookie cutter solutions on what’s most important. Water usually tops the list. It all depends on your emergency situation. What if… you’re stranded in a driving, 35 degree rain without proper clothing and gear. I’d say shelter and fire wins your immediate attention. Use your head and plan accordingly. Producers will out survive leeches. Do you have a plan, and more importantly, have you practiced the plan to provide water, shelter, food, and defense?

Knowing what to do with the stuff takes practice. Knowing and doing are not the same. Under stress, we do what we practice. When the unprepared, government sponsored looter population dies off, rebuilding will begin. Will you be able to survive to help rebuild? If so, will you be able to add original value to the effort?

I’m planning to. How about you?


Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Barter, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

40 Items to Barter in a Post-Collapse World



Backdoor Survival


40 Items to Barter in a Post Collapse World   Backdoor SurvivalDo you know how to barter?  In preparedness circles, the term barter is used lot when describing a post SHTF situation when goods and services may no longer be available through normal channels.  According to Wikipedia, ”barter is a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money”.

A lot of people think of bartering as something to do when they are down an out, perhaps unemployed, or low on cash.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  Bartering has been around from eons and is simply a smart way to acquire goods and services under the radar screen.

40 Items to Barter in a Post Collapse World   Backdoor Survival

Today I would like to share some very simple tips for bartering as well as my own suggested list of items and skills that may be useful for barter in a post-collapse economy.

Categories: Barter, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Stop Bad-Brain-Think: Strategic Investment in Tangibles

by Todd Walker

Q: Why does stupid create bad results?

A: Evolution.

Now before you write me off as some nut case or evolutionist who believes we evolved from monkeys, let me explain. The effort here is to highlight our need to rethink bad ideas. When we continue to follow bad advise promoted by government, schools, churches, or any other person or entity, bad turns to worse. Darwin’s theory of evolution should wipe out bad ideas. However, bad brains that create bad ideas seem to be winning the battle.

Here are a few bright ideas spread by bad brains. Save and invest your money in the stock market (only if you are a well-connected insider like politicians and elites). Buy real estate (you never really own real estate, you just rent it from the government collective – don’t pay your property taxes and watch for the black boots to come knocking). Eat according to the USDA food pyramid (only if you want to be sick and die early). I know, we all want a little slice of the American dream. The dream is becoming a nightmare many. What to do?

My solution. Turn everything you’ve been told about investing on its head. Think for yourself. Train your mind to question everything. Look at what is not seen.

There’s not enough time here to delve into the cause of bad brained ideas. Since we can’t get rid of the bad brain collective, here’s a way to minimize the effects of their stupid ideas…until the evolutionary forces take over and they die along with their ideas.

There is a pronounced tendency when confronted with important questions to consider only what is seen and ignore that which is not seen. Frédéric Bastiat

In 1980, John A. Pugsley wrote Alpha Strategy. It’s a free download and worth printing a hard copy. We see prices of food, gas, and other basic commodities going up. I graduated from high school the year Mr. Pugsley penned his book. Oh to have known and practiced his Alpha Strategy then. It’s not too late. Start now.

Since the debasement of our money began with the creature from Jekyll Island (The Federal Reserve) and removing the gold standard, the age of inflation was born and is here to stay. Hiding paper money under the fireproof mattress is like building a pine box to cache food under the earth. The elements and environment will destroy the value. Inflation is our greatest enemy. A day of reckoning is coming. How do we prepare for the dollar collapse? Invest in tangibles.

James Wesley Rawles of SurvivalBlog gives sage advice below on how and what tangibles to acquire. Read the full article here.

Which tangibles? I recommend buying farm land, common caliber ammunition, guns, hand tools, good quality knives, silver bullion coins, and gold bullion coins.

To spell this out in greater detail, I recommend:

  • Productive farm land that is in a lightly-populated region with plentiful water and rich topsoil.
  • Factory made ammunition in common calibers (“ballistic wampum“) such as: 308, .30-06, .30-30, .223, .7.62×39, 12 Gauge, .22 Long Rifle (rimfire) .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and 9mm Parabellum (Luger). For your investment and barter stockpile, buy only name brands like Winchester, Remington, and Federal–and perhaps Hornady and CCI.
  • High quality guns from name makers, chambered in common calibers. Good choices include M4geries, AR-15s, Steyr AUG-A3s, HK91 clones, HK93 clones, Galil Golanis, Ruger Mini-14s, FN-FAL clones, M1As, .308 Winchester bolt actions, Glock double column magazine pistols, XD pistols, Colt and Kimber M1911 .45 pistols, and Saiga 12 gauge shotguns.
  • Well-made hand tools, with an emphasis on 19th Century technology tools, such as: shingle froes, scythes, adzes, draw knives, axes, crosscut saws, and so forth. BTW, many other old-fashioned tools are available from Lehman’s.
  • Well-made knives, such as: Swiss Army knives (of various models), CRKT knives, and Cold Steel knives. [Sherpa Note: ESEE Knives are great and made in the USA]
  • Silver bullion coins should probably be 1 ounce or less. Either buy 1-ounce bullion “rounds” from a name brand supplier like Northwest Territorial Mint or Tulving, or pre-1965 circulated US. silver quarters from a company like AMPEX.
  • Buy gold bullion coins only after you have secured at least 500 ounces of silver bullion coins. (Always prepare for a “disaster barter” situation first, and then move on to buying gold coins as a long term investment and inflation hedge.) In the U.S., I recommend buying only the most readily-recognizable gold bullion coins: American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs and Krugerrands.

It is difficult to predict when substantial inflation will emerge in the United States. There are too many variables that cannot be predicted. Some of them are essentially political, such as debt monetization, currency pegs, bailout programs, and changes in tax laws. Just be watchful for signs of resumed inflation, and be ready to act swiftly to get the balance of your investments out of dollars.

I’m thankful that my parents had the foresight to buy productive farm land 40 years ago. They bought over 200 acres at $200 an acre. It’s worth $5,000 an acre now. Of course, we’re not selling. It truly is a priceless family heirloom!

Develop a strategy that fits your individual needs. Get creative. And don’t forget to enjoy the process and journey.


Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,


P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

P.P.S – If you find value in our blog, Dirt Road Girl and I would appreciate your vote on Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding sites while you’re there… 

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Barter, Economic Collapse, equipment, Firearms, Gold, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Silver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Complete Disaster Non-Preparedness: DC Grocery Stores Out of Food, Gas Unavailable, Grid-Down As Summer Heat Rages

Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 21,721 people
Date: July 2nd, 2012

We’ve seen it time and again over the last decade. An emergency strikes and panic grips the city or region for days or weeks on end.

We saw a complete breakdown of emergency response and law & order during Hurricane Katrina. The 2011 Snowpocalypse on the east coast led to runs on grocery stores and empty shelves within a matter of hours. Widespread blackouts during Hurricane Ike left large sections of the Houston power grid down for up to four weeks. In all these cases gas was almost impossible to find, what was in your pantry was what you had until food distribution resumed, local water was not safe for consumption, and government response was limited to reinstating essential services first and foremost.

The bottom line, as Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project notes, is that after billions have been spent by Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and local law enforcement, we are no more prepared today than we were the day before September 11, 2011.

After a short but unusually severe thunderstorm that roared through the D.C. area on Friday night, the entire Washington Metropolitan Area was thrown into chaos.

Three days later, countless traffic lights are still out, hundreds of thousands of residents are without power, including myself, grocery stores and gas station are closed for lack of power, and the federal government is encouraging employees to telework.

[SHTFplan Editor’s note: Brilliant recommendation from the best and brightest – to “telework” when the grid is down. ]

Is this the work of a terrible terrorist attack? No, it is the complete disaster non-preparedness a decade after 9/11. Despite the fact that billions if not trillions have been spent since 9/11 on counter-terrorism and so-called “homeland security” measures, one of the major terrorist targets, the nation’s capital, cannot cope with a severe thunderstorm.

I received a message from PEPCO that most D.C.-area residents may not have power until next Friday at 11:00 pm – a full week after the storm hit. With temperatures this week set for the mid to upper-90s, that is a long time for residents to be with air conditioning, or fans, or refrigerators.

Two years ago, the Washington Post’s comprehensive examination of the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on “homeland security,” “Top Secret America” reflected that the D.C. metropolitan area was burgeoning with infrastructure, though apparently none of it focused on keeping the D.C.-area up and running after a severe thunderstorm.

I am not the only D.C. taxpayer wondering, where are billions in “critical infrastructure” protection and “homeland security?” They are not going toward obvious solutions like putting power lines underground.

The D.C. area’s responsiveness to unexpected events has not improved, but taxpayers’ pockets have been drained to create an entire secret city of “national security” in northern Virginia. Making sure citizens have food and power in an emergency should be a top priority, not a distant second to security theater like taking our shoes off before getting on an airplane.

(Pictured: Run on grocery stores; Snowpocalypse 2010)

Once again we are provided with ample evidence that not only is the government ill-prepared to handle a large scale city-wide emergency, but the residents of this nation are completely oblivious to the fact that if the shit hits the fan, no one will be there to provide assistance.

When Houston was hit almost head on by Hurricane Ike in 2008 the residents of the entire metropolitan area were shocked. Never mind the mass chaos as millions tried to flee the region, with drives to neighboring cities taking upwards of ten times longer than they normally would. Power for 90% of the city went out, and for some areas, including where we lived, power was not restored for almost a month. Suffice it to say our community was anxiety ridden, frustrated and tempers were flaring. When gas became wholly unavailable and the generators stopped running and we were overtaken with near 100 degree heat during the day, the situation for many became untenable.

FEMA’s own web site calls on Americans to have a two week supply of emergency items, yet most citizens have only a three day supply of reserve food available – whatever’s in the kitchen when disaster strikes is what they’ve got until things get back to normal.

Even after these recommendations from the very people who are tasked with responding to emergency and disaster situations, not a single resident in our community that we were aware of had emergency supplies on hand when Ike hit – even though many had gone through countless hurricanes before and knew what to expect.

After Katrina, Ike, the various earthquakes, wildfires, snow storms, “Derechos,”  power outages, and tens of billions in taxpayer funds supposedly appropriated into infrastructure, security and emergency response, it’s simply incredible that we are so unprepared as a society.

Imagine, for a moment, what happens in a scenario that affects not a single city, but an entire multi-state region, or, perhaps the entire nation. And imagine that the event(s) is so widespread that government is totally overwhelmed – food transportation stops, refineries can’t get gas to local areas, water and power utility workers stay home to care for their families, law enforcement is faced with widespread looting, the internet becomes inaccessible as do all avenues of communication due to blackouts, and grocery store shelves remain out of stock for weeks or months.

Such a scenario may be unlikely, but certainly possible – and the resulting effects on the population and our way of life would be nothing short of complete and utter pandemonium, especially for those who have failed to prepare.

Author: Mac Slavo
Views: Read by 21,721 people
Date: July 2nd, 2012

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

Categories: Economic Collapse, Food Storage, Preparedness, Self-reliance, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Things That We Can Learn About Shortages and Preparation From The Economic Collapse In Greece

When the economy of a nation collapses, almost everything changes.  Unfortunately, most people have never been through anything like that, so it can be difficult to know how to prepare.  For those that are busy preparing for the coming global financial collapse, there is a lot to be learned from the economic depression that is happening right now in Greece.  Essentially, what Greece is experiencing is a low level economic collapse.  Unemployment is absolutely rampant and poverty is rapidly spreading, but the good news for Greece is that the global financial system is still operating somewhat normally and they are getting some financial assistance from the outside.  Things in Greece could be a whole lot worse, and they will probably get a whole lot worse before it is all said and done.  But already things have gotten bad enough in Greece that it gives us an idea of what a full-blown economic collapse in the 21st century may look like.  There are reports of food and medicine shortages in Greece, crime and suicides are on the rise and people have been rapidly pulling their money out of the banks.  Hopefully this article will give you some ideas that you can use as you prepare for the economic chaos that will soon be unfolding all over the globe.

The following are 10 things that we can learn about shortages and preparation from the economic collapse in Greece….

#1 Food Shortages Can Actually Happen

Most people assume that they will always be able to run out to their local supermarket or to Wal-Mart and get all of the supplies they need.

Unfortunately, that is a false assumption.  The truth is that our food distribution system is extremely vulnerable.

In Greece, many people are starting to totally run out of food.  Even some government institutions (such as prisons) are now reporting food shortages.  The following was originally from a Greek news source….

The financing for many prisons has decreased to a minimum for some months now, resulting in hundreds of detainees being malnourished and surviving on the charity of local communities.

The latest example is the prison in Corinth where after the supply stoppage from the nearby military camp, the prisoners are at the mercy of God because, as reported by prison staff, not even one grain of rice has been left in their warehouses. When a few days earlier the commander of the camp announced to the prison management the transportation stoppage, citing lack of food supplies even for the soldiers, he shut down the last source of supply for 84 prisoners. The response of some Corinth citizens was immediate as they took it upon themselves to support the prisoners, since all protests to the Justice ministry were fruitless.

#2 Medicine Is One Of The First Things That Becomes Scarce During An Economic Collapse

If you are dependent on medicine in order to survive, you might want to figure out how you are going to get by if your supply of medicine is totally cut off someday.

Read the rest of the article here

Categories: Barter, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Self Defense, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

For TEOTWAWKI, Do The Easy Stuff First, by Dale Martin

Below is a great post by Dale Martin over at Survival Blog! Dale Martin is the author of several books, including Every Man’s Guide to Outdoor Survival. I just bought the Kindle edition for $2.99. Mr. Martin has written other books such as The Trapper’s Bible: Traps, Snares & Pathguards.

Source: Survival Blog

Author: Dale Martin

Date: 30 May 2012

For TEOTWAWKI, Do The Easy Stuff First, by Dale Martin

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There are a lot of things to be fearful of in this old world.  But, for most of us Joe Average North Americans, there are things we believe that are likely to happen, and many other events that are a lot less likely.
Most of us are not all that worried about a magnetic pole shift, the Mayan calendar ending this year, the Yellowstone super volcano, or an alien invasion from outer space.  It’s not that all those things are impossible, but there are threats that are simply a lot more probable.

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Average (the people that don’t have their heads stuck in the sand in denial) are most worried about an economic collapse.  Joe knows these events have happened historically in our own country (1929), as well as many other countries.  He is not so rigid as to think it can’t happen again.

In the current world, Joe hears about it from many different media outlets.  Prior to the last few years, since around 2008, Joe never heard such dire thoughts from any media source, much less from the now countless sources.  He knows the causes could be myriad, and everyone out there has a theory and a prediction.  It might be “just” a hard economic downturn like the Great Depression, and there still might be basic law and order.  Or, it could be truly apocalyptic social disintegration.  Joe is not so arrogant as to think he knows how all the countless variables will turn out.  He might not know what the eventual “tipping point” will be, but neither is he is oblivious to what is happening in the world around him.  He sees the signs.  A recent poll indicated that nearly 50% of Americans believe there will be an economic collapse within their lifetimes.  Many see it as imminent.
Joe, being a practical sort, has stored up a little extra food, water, and supplies, including outdoor gear.  Joe and his family would much rather “bug in” than “bug out”, but he can envision a social collapse where that choice might not be his to make.  He especially knows that if the power grid were to go down, all bets are off.  Joe, trying to look ahead, can foresee a time when cities might become dangerous places, at least for a fairly extended period of time.  Though he can see this possible future, he is still more than a little reticent about the thought of bugging out his family to a remote location in a “live off the land” scenario.

However, Joe, as I have described him, has a lot more going for him than he might think if he has to put into action his bug-out plan to a remote area.  Less than 2% of the population has made any preparations for such an event.  Joe has; at least to some degree.  When he reaches his bug-out location, he has food, water, and camping gear.  He also has a little basic fishing and hunting gear.  He may not have enough for months or years, but he has some.  Most of the population will have virtually zero.

Also, he has been thinking about all the “what ifs” this new world might bring.  Again, that is a lot more than the other 98% out there who think preppers are ignorant idiots who are wasting their time.  Those folks believe the government will “do something” so that it won’t get that bad.  Yeah, right.

Even for Joe, however, life in the wilderness won’t be a picnic, especially for months on end.  Joe, like the rest of us, will need a little change of mindset.  We will all have to realize that at least some of the rules have changed.

The following is a list of “possibles” to think about.  These are all situation oriented.  Obviously, what to do will depend on the exact situation we find ourselves in, and none of us can really predict that.  We have to prepare for a little of everything, but we don’t need to go out of our way to make it any more back-breaking than it has to be.

The mantra of this list is:   Use common sense, do the Easy Stuff First.

(1)  Joe needs to go to water.  Most of us live within a few miles of a stream, river, lake, creek, or even just a pond.  The easiest stuff to successfully accomplish is almost always near water.  Obviously, this won’t help if you are stranded in the Mojave, but Joe has transportation.  Find water.
(2)  Joe needs to clear his mind of at least some old precepts.  Not many people are going to be able to take their trusty bolt action rifle (that has been in the closet for years) and go out and get a deer every couple of weeks to feed their family.  Many people think they could, but it is really unrealistic for most of us.  There might be a few exceptions.  There are a few areas of the country that are simply teeming with large game, but those areas are extremely few and far between.  Even in those areas, there will be a lot of other people competing for that same game in a TEOTWAWKI situation.  Again, think easy.  Hunting is, in most instances, a fair amount of work.  You want to conserve calories, not expend them.
(3)  After setting up his camp, Joe should try water resources.  It is generally easier to obtain protein in (or near) water than elsewhere.  Try tiny hooks for small fish.  Almost any water source will have perch or other small fish.  I have caught many small perch by using bait I scrounged up at the site such as grasshoppers, grubs, crickets, etc.  Once, I used a petal off of a very tiny white flower (or weed) I found in the grass.  All you have to catch with this improvised bait is one of these tiny fish, and then you can cut it into tiny pieces for better bait.  Once you have these tiny pieces of fish flesh for bait, you can generally catch all you want of the little buggers.  Does it matter that you can only catch 3 inch fish?  In the old world, it would not have gotten you any bragging rights, but now is a whole new ball game.  A skillet full will be good, and will conserve the canned goods and MREs you brought with you.
After all, most of us Joe Averages out there have an immediate family of five or less.  Most Joes won’t be trying to feed forty people.
(4)  Joe will have started off with a success; not a failure.  It is, admittedly, a small success, but at least it is a positive outcome, not effort expended that produced nothing.  Failures breed worry and panic.  A positive outcome will help not only Joe’s attitude, but also his wife and children.  If the kids (and their Mom) see an initial positive outcome, it eases their minds.  On the other hand, if they see Dad fail miserably right off the bat, it scares them.  Dad needs to be seen as doing things that work.  A series of little victories is a good thing.
(5)  Set traps that will work while you don’t.  Again, think easy and conserve energy.  Cut a plastic 2 liter soda bottle so that you can reverse the cone end back into the larger end, forming a cone fish trap.  Chop up one of the tiny fish you caught earlier to use for bait inside.  Let it “fish” for you in shallow water while you rest.  Again, it will only catch very small fish, but so what.
(6)  Set individual lines from limbs overhanging the water (or cut poles) to fish while you do other things.  Multi-hooked trot lines, if possible, are even better.
(7) If the body of water has crayfish (poor boy’s shrimp), toss a burlap bag or some such thick cloth into the waters edge, pat it down flat, and let it set for an hour or two.  Crayfish will hide under it, and you can catch some of them by quickly yanking it out on the bank.  Some will have their claws caught in the underside of the bag.  A lot of them will escape, but so what.  You have expended little effort.
(8) If Joe thought ahead and brought with him a piece of large plastic pipe (4” diameter, or so, like is used in sewage drain lines), he can make an un-baited hollow log catfish trap with very little effort.  He would need a piece about 3’ long.  Wire off one end so that water will flow through, but the catfish can’t.  Leave the other end open.  Tie a rope to that end (to retrieve), and toss it into the water.  Leave for several hours at least.  Catfish will swim into these just like they will an actual hollow log that has fallen into the water.  Exactly why they do it, I don’t have a clue.  But, they do.  It is a fact.  “Noodlers” take advantage of this catfish behavior.  Have you ever seen the television show Hillbilly Handfishing?
(9) Something to think about.  Most of the activities mentioned thus far are things that will fish for you while you do something else, or maybe while you simply rest.
(10) Something else to think about.  Virtually all of the above things can be hidden so that a passerby would not even notice.  In a TEOTWAWKI situation, even a remote area might have some people passing through that would rob a fish trap (or set hooks) if they were visible.
(11)  Look for shallow inlet pools.  These are little offshoots of most all waterways where water (and fish) have overflowed into shallow pools just off the main body of water.  Eventually the water level dropped slightly, leaving the fish trapped in the small pool.  If the pool is too large to grab the small fish by hand, carve a spear to stab them with.  Bamboo is relatively easy to whittle into a multi-pronged spear with barbs.  Water birds (like kingfishers) utilize these small pools because their prey is easier to catch there than in more open and deeper water.
This method is obviously a little more work, since you have to physically have to spear or catch the fish.  It won’t work while you rest.  Sorry about that.
(12)  If there are no shallow inlet pools around, you can make your own fairly easily.  Find a spot on the bank where you can wade out at least a few feet without falling into deeper water.  Drive sticks (bamboo is good, but use whatever you have) into the mud making a fence out into the water.  Obviously, the farther out you go, the longer the sticks will have to be.  Move about three feet over, and build a second fence out into the water.  Then, form a cone back toward the bank from the end of both fences.  Looking at it from the bank, it should look like an “M”.  Leave the cone of the M open, so that fish can swim in.  In essence, it is just another cone trap like you made earlier with the plastic soda bottle.  Again, a little work is involved with this one, but once built it will work for you relatively permanently.
(13)  In some waterways, schools of small fish can be netted if you just had a net.  If you can cut a ten foot long pole with a Y shaped end, you can fashion one.  Take a t-shirt and tie the sleeves into a knot.  Then, tie the shirt onto the Y end of the pole forming what hopefully looks something like a butterfly net.  Again, small fish is about all you can hope for, but so what.
(14)  Hopefully, it goes without saying that if a “big success” stumbles into your lap, go ahead and take advantage of it.  Use that trusty old rifle if an elk ambles by your camp.  Everything is situation oriented.  Don’t let doing the easy stuff blind you to an opportunity of bigger and better.
(15)  If Joe has a minnow seine or a cast net, either is quick and easy to use if the water is shallow enough to wade out a few yards.  Again, these items produce a quick gain for little effort.
(16) After a pattern of success has been developed, and the initial panic and apprehension of being forced to bug-out has faded, Joe can move on to “bigger” things if he wants.  He can move on to trying for bigger fish, hunting wild game, setting animal snares, and the like.  Squirrel or rabbit hunting generally has a high success rate.  If his time in the wilds is extended, he will eventually have to set up a water filter for when his initial supplies run low.  The really hard stuff is now starting.   But, he will have avoided the initial fear and panic that could have proved fatal for his little family.

Hope for the best.  Prepare for the worst.

About The Author: Dale Martin is the author of several books, including Every Man’s Guide to Outdoor Survival

Categories: Economic Collapse, Preparedness, SHTF, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cash is Out, Bartering is King

It’s yard sale season now! It’s a great place and time to practice bartering skills and picking up cheap but valuable items. Part of my preps are acquiring items the majority of folks take for granted but will have huge value in an economic collapse situation. Fire, water, smokes, salt, spices, sanitation/hygiene items, etc. are just a few things that will buy me things I need and can’t produce myself in a SHTF event. Below, Tess Pennington pens her advice on items to stock for bartering. Don’t think it can happen here. Look at Greece. Spain is soon to follow. 

Author: Tess Pennington

Date: April 26th, 2012

Reality tells us that we may soon be coming to a point in which cash is no longer king.  The economy has been drying up for years.  Over one million Americans filed their initial unemployment claim over the last month.  The dollars we bring home are buying less on every trip to the grocery store.

Few of us are completely self-sufficient.  There are always going to be a few things that we cannot make for ourselves.  If your personal preps are in order, consider investing your prep dollars in a new way: purchase barter items!

A lot of things that are inexpensive now will be invaluable later.  As the economy collapses even further, people will be focused on survival and the barter system will reignite.  Barter items will be far better than cash – you can’t eat a dollar!

What kind of items will be worth their weight in gold?  Check out this list for a few suggestions:

  • Matches and lighters
  • Seeds
  • Canning jars, lids and rings
  • First aid items
  • Tools
  • Water Filtration Supplies
  • Sewing supplies
  • Vitamins
  • Salt
  • Feminine Hygiene Supplies
  • Vitamins
  • Fishing Supplies
  • Fuel (gasoline, propane, kerosene, etc)
  • Sweeteners such as honey, sugar and syrup
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Liquor
  • Cigarettes/tobacco
  • Small packages of food (baggies of beans/rice, etc)
  • Livestock
  • Cooking oil
  • Firewood
  • Farm supplies (pesticides, fertilizer, etc.)
  • Weapons, Ammo *
  • Batteries
  • Warm clothing
  • Hats/Gloves (think about those little dollar store stretchy items)
  • Soap/shampoo
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Dental care items (toothbrushes/toothpaste/floss)

*Caution: Exercise great discretion when bartering with weapons and ammunition.  It is entirely possible that those items could be used against you to take your supplies.  These are items to be bartered only with someone you trust implicitly or as an absolute last resort.

Barter items can be purchased at the dollar store, the flea market or at liquidation houses.  Don’t forget yard sales – even though you already possess a meat grinder, someone who has ammo that you need might not have one. Items that you can acquire and store inexpensively may one day be more valuable than gold.

Don’t forget about the items that you can produce yourself.  This goes hand-in-hand with the barter of skills.  Stock up on the supplies you need to create the following items for a long-term flow of “income”.

  • Fresh produce
  • Ammunition (see *caution above)
  • Home canned items
  • Preserved meats (jerky, ham, etc)
  • Warm knitted or crocheted items (mittens, hats, scarves)
  • Yarn spun from animal fibers
  • Homemade candy
  • Homemade soap
  • Homemade candles
  • Wooden or clay bowls and plates
  • Herbal remedies

Use this list to get your creative juices flowing.  What items do you possess the ability to make?  Which of these items will be particularly useful if the grid goes down or if the economy crumbles?

What items are you stocking up on for life in a potential barter-based economy?  Please share your ideas below!

Author: Tess Pennington

Date: April 26th, 2012

Categories: Barter, Economic Collapse, equipment, Preparedness, Self-reliant, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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