Skip to comments.How To Prepare For The Difficult Years Ahead
Posted on 01/10/2012 11:28:44 AM PST by blam
How To Prepare For The Difficult Years Ahead
How should people prepare for the difficult years that are coming? I get asked about that a lot. Once people really examine the facts, it is not too hard to convince them that an economic collapse is coming. But once they accept that reality, most of them want to know what they can do to prepare themselves and their families for the hard times that are ahead. Well, the truth is that it does not have to be complicated. Many of the things discussed throughout this article are things that most of us should be doing anyway. Now is not the time to be splurging on luxuries or expensive vacations.
Now is not the time to be going into large amounts of debt. Instead, we all need to get back to the basics and we all need to do what we can to become more independent of the system. Just remember what happened back in 2008. Millions of Americans lost their jobs and millions of Americans lost their homes. Now experts all over the globe are warning that another great financial crisis that could be just as bad as 2008 (or even worse) is coming. Those that don't take the time to prepare this time are not going to have any excuse.
But there is also a lot of sensationalism out there. There are some people out there that claim that the economy is going to collapse all at once and that we are going to go from where we are now to some type of a post-apocalyptic "Mad Max" society almost overnight.
Well, that is just not going to happen. We are not going to wake up next week in a world where we are all fighting each other with sharp pointed sticks.
Just like anything else, an economic collapse takes time. I like to describe what is happening using an analogy from the beach. When you build a mighty sand castle, it is not totally destroyed by the first wave that comes along, right?
Well, it is the same thing with the U.S. economy. It was the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen, and it is most definitely in decline. But there are stages to that decline.
The "wave" that came along in 2008 did a huge amount of damage. Our economy has not recovered from that.
Now another wave is coming. But that will not be the end. There will be other waves after that.
Eventually, this thing is coming all the way down. Someday America will be such a horror show that it will be hard to believe that it is the same place that many of us grew up in.
But in the short-term, we are going to be facing a major league recession and millions of Americans will lose their jobs. It won't be the end of the world, but for some people it may feel like it.
So when you are talking about "how to prepare", the truth is that it depends on what kind of time frame you are talking about.
In the long-term, a lot of the things that even the hardcore survivalists are doing will not be nearly enough.
In the short-term, there are things that all of us can do to weather the coming storm....
Get Out Of Debt
The global financial system is headed for a massive crisis. Just like in 2008, a lot of people are going to lose their jobs and a lot of people are going to lose their homes.
In such an environment, it makes sense to travel as "lightly" as possible.
That means getting rid of debt.
Some forms of debt are worse than others. Mortgage debt is not that bad. We all need somewhere to live, and not all of us can run out and immediately pay off our mortgages.
But there are other forms of debt that are absolutely toxic. A good example of this is credit card debt. There are very few things that are as good at bleeding your finances as credit card debt is. For example, according to the credit card repayment calculator, if you have a $6000 balance on a credit card with a 20 percent interest rate and only pay the minimum payment each time, it will take you 54 years to pay off that credit card.
During those 54 years you will pay $26,168 in interest rate charges on that credit card balance in addition to the $6000 in principal that you are required to pay back. That is before any fees or penalties are even calculated.
But a lot of Americans still have not learned to stay away from credit card debt. In fact, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.
The truth is that in future years there is a good chance that you may be facing a situation where you are not making as much income, so you want to try to start reducing your expenses right now. Getting out of debt will help you to do this.
A shockingly high number of American families are operating without any kind of financial cushion whatsoever....
-According to a Harris Interactive survey taken in 2010, 77 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
-According to one recent survey, one out of every three Americans would not be able to make a mortgage or rent payment next month if they suddenly lost their current job.
This is one reason why so many Americans have lost their homes and why so many Americans have fallen below the poverty level in recent years. They simply had no cushion.
Last year, 2.6 million more Americans dropped into poverty. That was the largest increase that we have seen since the U.S. government began keeping statistics on this back in 1959.
Don't let this happen to you. At a minimum, everyone out there should have a cushion that will cover at least 6 months worth of expenses. Preferably, you should have a cushion that will last you at least a year.
Yes, I know that is a tall order. But you would be amazed at how much money the average American family wastes in a typical month. Almost all of us have areas where we can cut back.
Trust me, in the middle of a major recession you will be really glad that you are sitting on a pile of savings.
Get Independent Of The System
What would you do if you lost your job tomorrow?
Would you have any other income?
How long would it be before you lost your home?
Those are very important questions.
The truth is that the system is failing and so we all need to work hard to become more independent of the system.
So what does that mean?
Well, instead of relying on someone else to employ you indefinitely, you can start up a business in your spare time. Yes, it will cut into your television time, but if someday you lose your job you will be extremely happy that you still have some income coming in.
Another way of becoming more independent is to start a garden.
Yes, you can run down the street and buy giant piles of cheap food right now, but that will not be the case forever.
Store Food And Focus On The Essentials
I might get into a little trouble for saying this, but the truth is that there is not going to be a major famine in America in 2012.
However, that does not mean that you should not be storing food and other essentials.
In the old days, our grandparents always saved up food. It was just a natural thing for them to do. This was especially the case if they lived through the Great Depression.
When hard times come, you will be glad that you have food stored up. Plus, food is never going to be cheaper than it is today. Having food stored up is a great hedge against the rising food prices that we will see in the future.
No, we are not going to see hyperinflation by the end of the year like many of the sensationalists are warning. But someday you will be really glad that you stored up food for yourself and your family.
We live in a world that is becoming more unstable with each passing month. You never know when the next natural disaster, pandemic, war or national emergency will strike.
It only makes sense to store food and other basic essentials that you will need in the future.
In a previous article entitled "20 Things You Will Need To Survive When The Economy Collapses And The Next Great Depression Begins", I listed 20 of the things that you would need in the event of a major disaster, a national emergency or a total economic collapse. These are things that you are going to want to make sure that you have ready right now, because after the crisis begins it may be too late to prepare....
#1) Storable Food
#2) Clean Water
#4) Warm Clothing
#5) An Axe
#6) Lighters Or Matches
#7) Hiking Boots Or Comfortable Shoes
#8) A Flashlight And/Or Lantern
#9) A Radio
#10) Communication Equipment
#11) A Swiss Army Knife
#12) Personal Hygiene Items
#13) A First Aid Kit And Other Medical Supplies
#14) Extra Gasoline (But Be Very Careful How You Store It)
#15) A Sewing Kit
#16) Self-Defense Equipment
#17) A Compass
#18) A Hiking Backpack
#19) A Community
#20) A Backup Plan
In the comments to that article, the readers suggested the following additional items....
A K-Bar Fighting Knife
A Camp Stove
An LED Headlamp
Maps Of Your Area
Rifle For Hunting
Gold And Silver Coins For Bartering
Once again, a lot of these things are not going to be needed right away. The economy is going to go through a lot more ups and downs before it totally dies.
In the short-term, keep an eye on the European debt crisis, the Japanese debt crisis and the U.S. debt crisis. There are a lot of similarities between what happened back in 2008 and what is happening now.
And what happened following the crisis of 2008?
Unemployment shot through the roof.
So be prepared for that.
Make a plan for how you and your family will survive if you end up unemployed.
Also, when it comes to "how to prepare", there is one aspect that is often overlooked.
During the difficult years ahead, we are all going to have to be mentally and spiritually tough.
It won't matter how good your physical and financial preparations are if you are cowardly and paralyzed by fear.
The times that are coming are going to test all of our hearts.
Some people are going to make it and some people aren't.
Some people will become so consumed with fear that they will give up completely.
Don't let that happen to you.
Prepare your heart, soul, mind and body right now for what is coming. For those that are cowardly the years ahead will be a total nightmare, but for those that overcome the fear the years ahead have the potential to be a great adventure.
I don't think so.
I toss a pack of canning jar lids into my cart each time I’m at Walmart. I’ve used lids that are 30 years old and still seal well.
Panic in the year zero?
I'd have to agree with that. It's the 2014 time frame and beyond that concerns me with regard to famine.
Did you notice that a packet of 12 went from $1.50 to $1.68 recently.
I buy canning jars at garage sales for 10 cents each. I have 20+ cases (12 per case) of jars now.
“May you live in interesting times” does have the possibility of being a curse.
And once again another list that has no firearms or ammo on it. One knife on the whole list? Please.
Don't rely on google maps because the electricity my be off and the internet down. Have paper maps on hand. While state maps are fine, you'll want to know the back roads so get a local or county map showing little known roadways. Here, they're offered free at the Chamber of Commerce. If not so in your area, print out copies from maps of your area off the internet. Topographical maps are good to have.
"Consumers increased their debt in November by a seasonally adjusted $20.4 billion, the largest increase since November 2001, the Federal Reserve reports."
I store my jars in the garage in their boxes. The other day I needed a jar and opened a box of special jars only to find out it was empty. It should have been completely full. Someone stole my jars! I have others but that says something when canning jars are being stolen. Going through the garage to find out if anything else is missing is at the top of my spring cleaning list.
Free Republic doesn't have the financing of some billionaire, hidden in the background. Free Republic is "grass roots" all the way. We're not looking for 10 donors with $10,000 each, but we sure could use 10,000 donors with $10 each. The dollar amount may be the same, but the difference is in how we get there.
WE NEED YOU! Anything you can give is so greatly appreciated. If you can become a monthly donor, that is fabulous. If five dollars is what you can manage, bring it! Your on-going support is crucial, and our thanks to you are immeasurable.
Amazon and Walmart have these in stock. Never know when you’re going to need an alternate route.
“And once again another list that “
Seems open to interpretation to me.
“And once again another list that has no firearms or ammo on it.”
I’m sure we’ll all just get along fine...even with severe food and clean water shortages. /sarc
Thanks for the link...I’ve been wanting to try these :)
An acoustic guitar, extra strings and a good Canadian whiskey. Someone’s got to repopulate the world.
I never knew the lids could be reused - do you have to do anything special other than resterilize them?
Lol, I should have been more specific. I only use lids once, but I have used lids that I’ve found in my grandma’s basement that were around 30 years old.
“We are not going to wake up next week in a world where we are all fighting each other with sharp pointed sticks.”
Least until all the ammo is spent.
I also started saving jars from prego and other quart sized jars with sealed lids. I ran out of canning jars this year and a friend said she used salsa jars over and I tried some prego jars and they worked just fine for water bath canning. If you don’t bend the lid in any way when you first open it you’ll be all set. I ran the lids through the dishwasher first to recondition the deal material. Hot water bath would do the same. She has reused jars like this many many times.
oops deal = seal
Captain Wild Bill Kelso: My what?
Colonel "Madman" Maddox: Your guns ! Ack, ack, ack, ack, ack!
shucks - there’s gotta be a way - sigh another project to add to the list
Don’t ever reuse lids (AKA flats). Maybe the bands (rings) a year or two but not the lids. I lived around hillbillies for years, gardened and safely canned. They don’t reuse lids, either.
Stock up on lids for years ahead. They’re cheap. Use new lids each year. If the rings (bands) and jars are okay (not warped, mashed, cracked, etc.), they should be safe (after yearly visual inspection). And don’t hot bath tomatoes (that is, don’t cook them without a good pressure cooker). That was done in the days of tomatoes with much higher acidity (but no more).
Get a good and recently published book on safe canning, and follow every instruction to the letter. The USDA might also have a current publication online for canning.
Black clouds cover the horizon, the lightening is flashing and there is the distant sound of thunder! The storm flags are going up, who you heed them?
I think that at best we are in for a collapse much like that of Argentina. A excellent 12 part documentary on the economic collapse of Argentina can be see on YouTube with opart one here:
I am very aware that if its the great end that there is nothing I can do to stop or change it, but history is full of instances and times when man or nature have caused such a calamity that people have cried out and begged God to end it all.
The bible has many verse such as this:
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
NIV Proverbs 22:3
This verse and others are there for a reason and I urge all to take heed of them, because we are clearly on the edge. Everyday there is a new story about the Yutes who grow more restless everyday and when you add the fact that because of the economy people are already on edge it wont take much to set things off.
Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Siege of AR-558 (#7.8) (1998)
Quark: Let me tell you something about Hew-mons, Nephew. Theyre a wonderful, friendly people, as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people... will become as nasty and as violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You dont believe me? Look at those faces. Look in their eyes.
Today we have yutes who roam our streets who are with out morals, without respect for law or life itself. They will look are you with the same doll eyes a shark does before he eats you and they will feel no more compassion than the shark does.
That will be the test of many. Most preppers I know are Christian people and they will hesitate to do what they might have to do to stop the yutes. On the other hand the yutes wont think twice nor lose a minute of sleep, in fact they will smile and laugh about it.
For those who are just starting or are old hands at prepping you may find my Preparedness Manual helpfull. You can download it at:
(NOTE THIS DOWNLOAD IS FREE AND I DO NOT MAKE A DIME OFF OF IT. ALSO NOTE THAT THE MANUAL IS CLEARLY MARKED AS NOT BEING FOR SALE. I PUT TOGETHER THIS MANUAL FOR ONLY ONE PURPOSE AND THAT IS TO HELP FELLOW PATRIOTS TO PREPARE THEMSELVES FOR WHAT I BELIEVE IS COMING.)
For those of you who havent started already its time to prepare almost past time maybe. You needed to be stocking up on food guns, ammo, basic household supplies like soap, papergoods, cleaning supplies, good sturdy clothes including extra socks, underwear and extra shoes and boots, a extra couple changes of oil and filters for your car, tools, things you buy everyday start buying two and put one up.
Though I believe that the collapse we face will be much like that of Argentina I also believe that ours will be much more violent and there will be what I call Pock Progoms which will be very violent and life for some will quickly become much more like that of Bosina.
For a somber, yet realistic look at what SHFT in Bosina was like I urge you to read some of a Bosinian name Selcos posted here:
If you like to read more about what SHTF in Bosnia was like take a look at this post on Bosnia War Survivor Selcos Blog at:
There is no greater disaster than to underestimate danger. Underestimation can be fatal.
As the LDS say When the emergency is upon us the time for preparedness has past.
Bottom Line: Everyone needs range stakes, markers, and dual watercooled machineguns with overlapping fire, esp. on the southern border:)
I still own a mint condition Wild Bill Kelso pin-on button from the movie's initial release promotion back in 1979.
Mass quantities of booze, cigarettes and Hershey bars.
For bartering purposes only, of course. ;-)
If things get as bad as many of us think, what difference does debt make at that point? Does anyone really believe with communications, food delivery, water and power services gone, public safety services curtailed or no longer available at all, that someone will be calling you about your late credit card payment?
Why would someone planning on TEOTWAWKI worry one wit about credit card debt?
I canned wild grape jelly several years back and wanted to do more of it, but my wife was on me about the costs of the lids and such so I didn’t continue. I knew you could reuse the jars and rings after checking them...I’m sure there must be a way to reuse the lids if they aren’t damaged...just a matter of figuring out what needs to be done I suppose...investigate what causes them to not be reuseable, if it’s the seal how to redo the seal, etc...that’s why i said it was a project for the project file...
until I resolve that it’s more a matter of continuing to do what I already was - sneaking :)
I do the same . I also stock extra parts for my canner .
I guess one way to look at it is to hold off paying off debt until the hyper inflation hits. Then you can pay off your debts with fiat that is worth a lot less.
Actually, he has this listed, but not with nearly enough emphasis on its importance.....
Rifle For Hunting
There are also these.....
Tattler Reusable Canning Jars lids.
They work on the same principle as the old style bail canning jars. I bought some and tried them this year. Not all the jars sealed well, I think I had two failures, but should the regular Ball kids be unavailable, it’s better than nothing.
The canning jars from Wal-Mart are made in China. I understand that Ball/Kerr are made in the USA, but cannot find the information on the web, but honestly haven’t searched thoroughly.
However, in my search, I found this interesting web site....
Made in USA Forever.com
I don't follow their instructions to the letter.
My biggest point of rebellion is in heating the canning jars. I put my clean ones in my oven and set the temperature to 200, close to the temperature of whatever I'm putting in them and have NEVER, EVER had one crack on me.
It would not be wise or safe to heat them much beyond that, but it warms then enough to take the hot food without the thermal shock that tends to crack them.
I hot water bath can all my tomatoes and have never had a problem.
How do we get our adult children to understand that they are frogs in a pot?
They do not want to believe that the future could be, at best, problematic, and will do nothing to prepare. We can’t do much, since we are in “senior-assisted living.
We will have to depend on our adult son, but his very nice wife is not interested in the thought of “hardship”.
I suppose they see me as the “granny who cried wolf”, because of the Y2K alarm, and now I have no “creds”.
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