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’m not worried about the end of the world, just the end of the party. Because unlike the end of the world when the party is over you have to clean up.”
Actually, that is a great way of putting it.
Heh. I never thought of heating jars in the oven for sterilization. Interesting. Thanks. On tomatoes, I’m just old enough to remember the kind that left a burning sensation in our mouths. Most people don’t grow that kind any more.
I live in a place that’s somewhat like Mars these days (high altitude) and am trying some of the shortest season tomatoes (small but acceptable heirloom types) with covers during the first and last months of summer (hard freezes).
Don’t bring a pointed stick to a gun fight.
I plan to keep buying them at yard sales. They'll be good for bartering too.
You’re right. It is a silly statement to say that 2012 won’t see a famine. No one is saying there will be a famine in 2012.
Food shortages are coming. There will be those that are enslaved to the government who will have to line up (literally or figuratively) to be fed, and then there will be the rest of the population who knew this was coming and figured out a way to become self-sustaining. These people will not be labeled preppers but “Enemies of the State.”
If Obammie the Commie manages to heist the election in 2012, that is when he and his communists and globalists will really tighten down the screws on the thumbs of Americans.
Troubles are coming. When exactly? No one knows. I seriously doubt 2012, as TPTB will do what they need to to defeat Romney (who would not solve the problem anyway) and ensure their puppet with the big ears is in the WH with his white-hating, America-hating, middle-class hating, komrades, which includes pumping the economy enough to float through 2012.
Add a bottle or two of Hydrogen Peroxide.
It’s not really for sterilization, although since the water is close to boiling, it probably does that. I did it just for the convenience of having the jars hot enough to not crack when I put the hot food in it. If I’m cold packing the stuff, I don’t do it.
You’d be surprised how many jars fit on those oven racks. You just need to be careful getting them out. I use a nice dry towel. It really speeds things up and saves on stove top space for not having boiling water to dip the jars into (which also tends to crack them very effectively).
I just got a seed order in and ordered the shortest growing season, cool weather tolerant seeds I could find. We’re in Central NY and the last date of frost is always a crap shoot. It’s been as early as late March and late as June 3.
And we have this annoying tendency to have weeks of mild weather and then just before Memorial Day, some light frosts. You wouldn’t believe the stack of old bedding I have in the barn that I use for protection once it’s no longer any good for the beds. Who needs to buy floating row covers?
I agree. I think things are going to take a decided turn for the better this summer. You watch, gas prices are already going down some. Watch them drop like a rock and a tax rebate be offered. I'll betcha unemployment figures will be manipulated to make it look like employment is going up and interest rates at the banks will start going up.
Then watch the SHTF right after the elections, depending on who gets in.
Re: CANNING JARS and LIDS
Some Classico brand pasta sauces are packed in real Atlas mason jars with standard screw tops.
Usually the 28 ounce and sometimes the small 5 ounce that contain pesto and sun-dried tomato are in reusable mason jars.
We have used these jars for canning for many years and never had a problem with breakage or sealing. Size-wise the 28 ounce work out about like a one quart and we use the small ones for chili sauce, relishes, etc.
As an experiment we have even reused the original lids and they work fine. We used them for pickles, tomatoes and other veggies. So now we also save any lids that aren’t damaged. In a SHTF scenario they will be better than nothing.
Find some friends or neighbors that use Classico and ask them to save the jars for you. We have even convinced some relatives who buy prepared sauces to switch brands so they can save the jars for us.
Some markets will also let you post a message on the Community Bulletin board. We posted a message on Craigslist looking for people to save the jars but never got a response. The markets near us sell a lot of Classico so there are a lot of possibilities. It depresses me to think of all the jars that are thrown away!
Twice a year Classico has a buy-one-get-one sale where I live and we always buy a few for quick meals and for the free canning jar! I think they sell for around $2.25, so at B1G1 it’s a little over $1.00 each - about what the cheaper sauces cost and we get another canning jar to boot.
The sales are usually around February and September where we live.
You can also call the company at 1-888-337-2420 and they will send you some coupons. The last coupons we got were $ .50 each and we used them to save even more at the B1G1 sale.
Good thread - thanks for posting it.
Couldn’t agree more.
Either as you say, or they’ll drag us into a war. They are already rattlings sabres with Iran and China. If they fear they are going to lose by Summer, look for a war as the October surprise.
Antibiotics too. Get them here.
I had a crowned lower molar tooth go bad the Day before Christmas. It was sore and the jaw was aching. I used Oragel for toothache for a few days, but then the glands below my jaw began to be sore, indicating an infection dumping into the lymph system.
An abscessed tooth can kill you, because of the circulatory system proximaty to the brain and heart. I happened to be storing Keflex (generic form) so I went on four per day (QID) until I could get to my dentist more than a week later. By the time he examined, the abscess was under control and he will be doing a root canal tomorrow, right through the gold crown.
Without the antibiotic and a PDR for referencing. I was at the mercy of doc in the box during the holidays. And if we get to the STHF period, any abscessed tooth can kill if not treated properly ... and I doubt that dental offices will be up and running then.
Moral of the story, store antibiotics. Below is the pertinent excerpt from the doctor's essay:
The drugs are listed below and the bottles list the antibiotic as the sole ingredient. They are:
FISH-MOX (amoxicillin 250mg)
FISH_MOX FORTE (amoxicillin 500mg)
FISH-CILLIN (ampicillin 250mg)
FISH-FLEX Keflex 250mg)
FISH-FLEX FORTE (Keflex 500mg)
FISH-ZOLE (metronidazole 250mg)
FISH-PEN (penicillin 250mg)
FISH-PEN FORTE (penicillin 500mg)
FISH-CYCLINE (tetracycline 250mg)
These medications are available usually in plastic bottles of 100 tablets for much less than the same prescription medication at the pharmacy (some come in bottles of 30 tablets). The dosages are similar to that used in humans, and are taken two to four times a day, depending on the drug. The 500mg dosage is probably more effective in larger individuals. Of course, anyone could be allergic to one or another of these antibiotics, but not all of them. (Note that there is a 10% cross-reactivity between "-cillin" drugs and Keflex, meaning that, if you are allergic to Penicillin, you could also be allergic to Keflex). FISH-ZOLE is an antibiotic that also kills some protozoa that cause dysentery.
One more addition to the stockpiling routine should be a Merck Manual and a fairly recent Physician's Desk Reference (PDR of drugs and their prescribing data). As a self-trained gunsmith for weapons maintenance in the SHTF period, I am also going to double as a 'field medic' when called for.
It sounds off-putting at first: A grocery store that sells outdated food.
But salvage stores are making headlines again, as consumers look for ways to stretch their grocery budgets amid rising prices.
I am more concerned that World War III will break out over the next 5 years.
ping to post #60
I agree with the scenario that people are going to be saying peace and safety when the end comes, and that the anti-Christ will come to conquer without the use of force. And I agree that we are in the end times as well.
Perhaps it would have been better to qualify the *when TSHTF scenario* to say IF it happens, I would expect it to happen after the elections. I think that the powers that be are going to manipulate things to be as favorable looking as possible for obama to give him as much chance of winning the election as possible.
I really don’t have much idea what’s going to happen after that. Perhaps things will improve financially for a while but I still expect the moral and spiritual decay to continue, if not accelerate, all in the name of progress and tolerance.
People tend to have short term memories and even if the previous three and a half years were awful, as they were, if the last 6 months are good, the credit will fall to the dems, instead of the blame.
That’s the reason I see to think that we’re going to see a great improvement in things like gas prices, food prices, etc. before the elections. So it will be a *See what the dems did for you? We told you we could fix everything the Republicans screwed up.*
It’s interesting, though, there’s been a movement within Protestant Christianity called the Emergent church and the New Apostolic Reformation, which IMO directly contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture concerning the end times.
All I can say, is that I’m ready for whatever. If things get bad before the end, I’m ready. If they don’t and we’re gone, then someone else can use the stuff.
Can't argue with that mindet. Eminently sensible. And oh yeah, AMEN!
Granny—Yeah, I have that Y2K reputation too.
Now I just tell everyone invest in the stock market and everything will be great—and hope they don’t believe me! :-)
Yep, I got your drift..
But, when the SHTF, they aren’t gonna be ready to take us in! Even though we have the skills and can teach.
Without the tools, they are like idiots without a flashlight when the power goes off, if you get my drift.
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