Monthly Archives: October 2012
By: Tom Chatham
Many people prepare for emergencies and find their planning has some shortcomings after its all over and sometimes they are better prepared the next time, but how many times do people find themselves in a similar circumstance and realize after it happens that they forgot something. Many times its’ something they identified the last time but forgot to fix it or get one for the next time. It always happens and it does not have to. Many people tend to stop their plan when the emergency is over and go about their lives once again until the next time something happens. A good plan never has a stopping point but continues through all phases of daily life. Your plan should cover pre crisis, crisis and post crisis work. Your post crisis work will insure any deficiencies you noted will not be repeated the next time. This can help alleviate any mental anguish you may feel when an emergency happens. To do an after action review you need to ask yourself some basic questions that apply to your emergency planning. Having a list of questions and room beside each to answer them will help you organize your thoughts and planning. It is a way to track your progress over the course of time to insure you are making progress. Having it written down also helps you to remember things over a long period of time as well. Here are some questions you should keep in mind for emergencies. They are by no means the only questions you may want to answer but they offer you a good starting point if you do not already do this type of review.
Did I have sufficient shelter?
Did I have the proper clothing?
Did I have enough food for the crisis and was it the kind I needed?
Did I have enough water for the crisis?
Did I have the power systems I needed?
Did I have the communication and transportation systems I needed?
Did I have the heating and cooking systems I needed?
Did I have the lighting systems I needed?
Did I have the functioning sanitation systems I needed?
Did I have resources to mitigate or repair damage until the crisis was over?
Did I have the fuel sources I needed?
Did I have the means of self protection I needed?
Did I have the medical resources and medications I needed?
Did I have the refrigeration ability I needed?
Did I come through the crisis in a good physical and mental condition?
What would I have needed if the emergency had lasted much longer?
What planning worked the best during the crisis?
What planning worked the worst during the crisis?
What should I do different the next time?
You should write down the answers to these questions in a brief and usable format so that you can review them from time to time to improve your plan and to insure you fix any shortcomings. This will ensure you do not forget something you identified as a critical shortage for the next emergency. You may even want to write down any problems you discover as they appear so you do not forget them when the emergency is over. It could be something as simple as not having a long enough extension cord or running out of toilet paper. It may be something as critical as your generator stopping after only a few hours, because it was not serviced recently, due to a long duration of non use. In a longer emergency you may decide you need the materials to service your equipment before the crisis is over. Something as simple as leaving the new ethanol type gas in your equipment for a few months can be disastrous to your equipments operation. These are the lessons you need to learn to avoid serious consequences to your well being. You need to work out the problems during the small emergencies so you do not suffer during the long ones when it can be life threatening. Doing a written after action review after each emergency can help you avoid repeating the same mistakes and provide you with confidence when a big crisis unfolds suddenly with little warning.
By: Tom Chatham
When fiat money collapses, the world monetary system will be forced back into a gold backed currency. Those holding gold will have preserved their buying power and wealth while those who held paper assets will lose everything. Those holding gold will have opportunities and the ability to write their own destiny, but what if they discovered after the fact that most of their gold was fake? What if the millions of people that hold precious metals were in a position to force banks and governments to issue real currency but then lost that ability due to the false securities they held?
When the fiat currencies of the world revert to their intrinsic value of zero, those in control of the printing presses will have to overcome the peoples aversion to paper money. If a large enough segment of the population had the ability to shun a new paper currency it would limit the power of the banks and governments. To overcome this impediment to their printing of a new fiat currency, it would be necessary to eliminate the possession of precious metals in the population. The outright confiscation and outlawing of gold possession would be ineffective in most cases and would likely be met with widespread revolts from the people. So how would you take away their gold without causing a riot?
If the gold people thought they had turned out to be fake, the banks and the government would be off the hook and the people would not have the power they thought they were preserving. Even if some of the metals in private possession were real, it would be difficult to exchange them for fear of their authenticity by the receiving party. By flooding the market with fake bullion, only those that were in a position to verify the authenticity would be in a position to use it. This would preclude most of the general population.
In one bold move, the ability of people to use gold as currency once again would be destroyed and the banks and governments would retain the ability to force a new paper currency on the people thus ensuring their continued dominance. Let us take this one step further and imagine that a select group of people or countries are doing this not to their own citizens but to other world governments. When the fiat currency these governments use is reduced to zero and they attempt to create a new gold backed currency but find their gold is fake, what will the new currency be backed with that will make it acceptable to the world at large?
This lack of value will make these nations subordinate to those that have actual gold to back a currency and even subject to control by these nations or groups. Given that a lot of the gold in the world has been sold, leased, loaned and created out of thin air through the use of ETF funds, it is difficult to know exactly where all the gold currently is and who actually owns it. When the music finally stops, those that hold the actual gold will make the rules.
Fake gold coins have turned up in the U.S. over the last few years in the form of rare coins and bullion coins. Ten gold bars were recently found in Manhattan with tungsten cores. Fake gold bars and coins have been found in America, England, Germany, China, Ethiopia, South Africa, Vietnam and Australia. Germany has recalled some of their gold from New York and London to verify its authenticity and possibly for safe keeping. Venezuela has recalled its gold holdings from overseas vaults. Many countries around the world have been building up their gold holdings at a furious pace and China is recasting some of its gold into smaller ingots possibly to insure its authenticity and to back its currency. Some people have claimed that a lot of the gold in Fort Knox is fake which would be devastating for the U.S. if it ever had to back a new currency with gold.
Anyone who follows the gold market knows something insidious is taking place on a global scale and only time will tell what the ultimate plan is. For those buying gold, it is wise to buy from a reputable dealer who can verify its authenticity. Silver is a monetary metal similar to gold but on a smaller scale. Many of the things we see happening to gold will eventually happen to silver as the price increases and fiat money is devalued. Holding circulated pre ‘65 U.S. silver coinage may be the best defense against fakes but it is still no guarantee. Those seeking to preserve their wealth need to be vigilant in the coming years.
By: Tom Chatham – Author of The American Dream Lost
Any good farmer knows that a milk cow can be a very profitable addition to a farm. The milk cow, over the course of years, can produce many times its present value in milk products. It is therefore to the farmers advantage to care for the cow to get the most benefit from its production. A good farmer knows that if a milk cow is not pushed for maximum production, it can produce good yields for as many as 10 years and provide good annual income for the farmer with only a few cows. Many farmers who maintain large herds find it is most profitable when they press their cattle for maximum production. This burns out the cows production abilities in a few years but the farmer gains from this increased production and decreased feeding expenses.
This should be a good lesson in economics for Americans. The American taxpayer milk cow has been maintained since 1913 as a good source of income for the government. Each generation of taxpayer has increased the size of the herd making more profits for the corporation. The government helped insure the cows had good pasture and plenty of water to feed on which limited the governments income but made for happy complacent cows. Now that the herd is larger and the governments appetite for large, quick profits is increasing, they need to push for maximum production, or tax money, from the herd. The needs of the government has now surpassed the need for happy, complacent cows and production must be increased to extract the needed funds.
Pastures of clover are now giving way to feedlots full of cheap grain. The taxpayer is being pressed for maximum production and a few wealthy cows are keeping up production for the rest of the herd which is slowly decreasing production. If these wealthy cows were to suddenly leave the feedlot, never to return, for the pastures of clover they want, production would fall and these milk cows would suddenly become more profitable as beef cows to be sold for slaughter.
The wealthy in America, whether you like them or not, pay most of the taxes in this country. When the conditions become such that they refuse to participate in it anymore, they will leave for greener pastures taking their money with them. This will leave a struggling middle class to make up the difference which they cannot possibly do. At some point the government will decide its more profitable to strip them of everything they have left and send them to the poorhouse for the last bit of income they can get. We may be seeing the beginnings of this type of liquidation now. The cost of feed is going up and the income produced is going down so cheaper living quarters may be in the cards for this herd before the final liquidation of all assets.
The taxpayer is important to the government only to the extent that they can provide money for the government largesse. When this is no longer possible the government has no more use for the taxpayer and will stop trying to milk them and just turn them into hamburger. For those that cannot grasp this fact, a study of farming techniques and practices may help to enlighten you to the reality of how the world really works.
By: Tom Chatham
The next great depression will be worldwide and it will be deeper and more chaotic than anything ever seen before. When the whole world suffers it will blame the U.S. for it and everyone will want a piece of America for retribution.
The Nations of Russia, China and Iran, which will lead the Muslim nations in the Mid East and Africa, will gang up on America which will be even more devastated financially than most nations. The American forces will succumb to a massive attack that takes down most of our electronic equipment and destroys our high tech advantage.
The war that follows will become a mostly conventional affair fought on American soil. A massive invasion by millions of enemy troops will follow who will commit every war crime imaginable on the American people. The invasion will come after internal conflict, caused by financial devastation, has taken a high death toll among Americans fighting among themselves over diminishing resources.
The invading nations will see this as their best opportunity to destroy America permanently and gain valuable natural resources at the same time. This is why it will be mostly conventional after a possible limited nuclear strike to disable our military resources and infrastructure. To make matters worse, these invaders will be aided by elements within the U.S. government who will cooperate with these ground forces.
The battles that follow will be fought mostly by local and state militias reinforced by the few remaining active duty soldiers that escaped annihilation in the opening days of conflict. It will become a guerilla war fought in every corner of every state in CONUS. Alaska and Hawaii will be cut off and allowed to wither until they surrender.
The war will last for years and most large cities and towns will be destroyed to eliminate any resources that partisan fighters can use. The only civilians that will escape detention and death by enemy forces will be those that are hidden in rural areas and dug in deep to prevent detection. Any food will have to be grown in small isolated plots hidden from enemy forces. Every day will be a fight for survival as the number of American forces dwindle.
American forces will survive by becoming very mobile and remaining on the move. Small attacks that chip away at enemy forces will be the primary tactic. Only when an unstoppable outside force arrives to reinforce Americans will the tide of war turn. The enemy will ultimately be driven back and Americas borders secured but the cost of victory will be very high and the population will be greatly reduced.
Is this scenario a possibility? It becomes more likely every day that we proceed on our current path and if history is any indicator it could become a reality. Americans are oblivious to the possibility of any such turn of events but it could very well happen within a decade. The inability of Americans to accept reality and the need to continue living in the comfortable cocoon of illusion they desire will end in tragedy very soon. No amount of hopeful thinking will change events that require positive action. The lack of critical thinking ability will doom the U.S. to new depths of despair before a new nation will arise that appreciates our heritage and the sacrifices of those that came before us. Hopefully this is a lesson we will not have to learn a second time.
By: Tom Chatham – Author of The American Dream Lost
Chance favors the prepared mind. For those entrepreneurs that understand economics, a financial collapse situation is just another type of business environment. People will still need the basics of life and someone must be there to sell it to them. A financial collapse situation will be hell on Earth for those that are not producers in society or have a supply of hard assets to trade. There are three periods of a collapse that a person needs to be concerned with.
The initial stages of collapse will usher in a degrading economy where prices continue to rise and the acquisition of basic needs becomes increasingly difficult. As people become desperate to purchase food, those that have supplies to sell or can produce those things from scratch, will be sought out to engage in sales of those products. This is a time when urbanites will still have transportation assets to seek out products in rural areas. This time of collapse is characterized by increasing desperation and decreasing civilized behavior.
The mid crisis stage is when desperation causes civilized behavior to completely break down among a majority of the population. This is the most dangerous time in society when lawlessness peaks and defensive measures are at their height. During this time, those with assets needed by society are best served by being invisible and maintaining a defensive posture to protect their assets and family until such time that civilized behavior begins to return to the populace.
The final stage will resemble the initial stage operating in reverse. Decreasing desperation will lead to increased civilized behavior among the population that still remains. This will happen when the population and available resources begin to rebalance themselves and once again become a sustainable system.
These stages will occur at different times in different areas of the country and intensity will be largely dependent on the individual communities. During large portions of the initial and final stages, it will be possible to conduct some commerce to continue earning a living. Conducting business at these times may get you labeled as a black marketer by the government, not that anyone would really care at that point, so you should be leery of any bureaucrats.
The most demanded item in a financial collapse would be the need for food. This can be sold uncooked in bulk for home preparation or by the meal and ready to eat. As the situation deteriorates, it will become harder for individuals to purchase food due to lack of hard assets making the purchase of individual meals more common.
When looking at the situation from this point of view, you begin to ask reasonable questions. What will I sell? What will my customers pay with? Where will I conduct my business? These three questions may be the most important not only to earn income but to remain safe.
What will you sell?
This depends on where you are and the resources available to you. If you live on a farm and have access to fresh produce and meats, you can sell many types of meals. You may elect to sell from your roadside stand or from a truck or trailer in another location. In an urban area you may be limited to storable foods such as rice, beans, cornmeal, flour or oatmeal. You will determine the amount of food you can buy and store at the least amount of cost. If you have the ability to resupply from the source, you will need to determine how to transport those items in a deteriorating environment. In a collapse, a simple meal such as vegetable, potato or bean soup and a piece of cornbread may look like a feast to many so keep it simple. A pot of soup can be simple and cheap to prepare and the ingredients are easy to store. An inexpensive meal can be built around beans and rice as well. Prior planning and stocking of supplies will be crucial to successfully implement a plan such as this.
What will your customers pay with?
This depends on what you want for your needs. The exchange may be actual money, coins or maybe gold or silver coins. It might be raw materials like copper, building materials, clothing or a determined amount of labor. This is something you need to think about before you begin this type of endeavor. As the system begins to crumble you may already have some of your projected customers identified. While things are still functioning but continue to noticeably deteriorate, you may be able to impress upon these potential customers that they need to convert some of their money into gold or silver or even rolls of nickels. As they see the changing conditions and are assured by you that they will be able to exchange these things for your excess goods, they may do the smart thing. You may be in a position to exchange goods for their labor. If you have any type of production assets that require labor, you may be able to exchange a few hours of their labor for a few meals. Your location and situation will dictate your payment system.
Where will you conduct your business?
The implied threats in the mid crisis stage will make the conduct of business away from your home or storage location much safer as civility breaks down. It will provide you the opportunity to cease operations and hunker down in a safe location until the worst is past. A mobile location such as a truck or trailer would be ideal. You may choose to conduct business in places such as a deserted building, a warehouse, an alley or at a more public location such as a flea market. It should be an area where you can control traffic flow in and out to maintain control of the situation at all times. You should have a private route to enter and exit in the event of sudden chaos or danger. If you live on a farm you may decide that selling from a roadside stand or store is sufficiently safe to engage in business there. A small roadside location with a few tables and a wood stove would be very inviting in such a situation. Your threat assessment will determine where your location will be and what shape it will take.
For those caught without resources, you will have some difficult decisions to make. You will have to rapidly develop a source of exchangeable goods. A cell phone contains about 1/1000th of an ounce of gold. A standard tube type TV set contains about one ounce of silver solder and most electronic circuit boards contain silver solder that can be extracted and used for trading. The copper wiring in junk cars or buildings can be collected for a trading medium. Catalytic converters on vehicles contain platinum or palladium and rhodium which are very valuable. The knowledge of how to use a car alternator to make a generator or wind turbine will have value you can trade. Alternators and starters contain copper windings so even a inoperative unit has some value. When the world falls apart you must look at your surroundings for the tradable resources you need. Your next bowl of soup may depend on it.
Some will ask if it is moral to sell food in such a circumstance. If it is moral today why should tomorrow be any different? Every person that buys food from you is one less person that will be starving. The difference will be the extent to which you extract payment from those in need. If you charge a fair value for the services delivered you are conducting an honest business. If you are confronted with a family that has not eaten in two days your moral fiber will determine if they are fed and sent on their way or if they are merely sent on their way hungry. There are those that will take advantage of the situation and extract a painful toll on those in need of necessities and this is something you should avoid. Just keep in mind that there is a difference between a bowl of soup and a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of whiskey.
By: Tom Chatham
The U.S. population is more divided than ever before and regardless who wins this election you will see riots and strife and a declining standard of living. The inability of Americans to ask questions and do basic math has led us to the precipice of a black hole that will suck the life out of this country.
When the 46 million and growing number that receive food assistance and the millions who receive housing, social security, Medicaid, disability and unemployment assistance from the government have their checks cut off or devalued to the point of useless, there will be chaos unlike anything ever seen in this country. When the U.S. dollar collapses as the world reserve currency and imports of critical items cease and people cannot get the things they need, they will not understand why or care who warned them.
When people cannot pay their mortgage or rent, put fuel in their car, get electricity to cook and heat, or get enough food to survive, they will not care why but will expect government to make it all better. When government fails to produce the miracle everyone expects, they will go insane and become destructive.
Too few people today understand that the government has no resources or money but what it takes from the people and redistributes through programs. When the government can no longer print instant prosperity, things will fall apart. It makes no difference who is in the White House at the time, it will happen and it will be ugly. The only difference in leaders will be how much freedom we lose and how many people are killed outright by government forces trying to regain control, and even that difference will be small.
The inability of people to care for themselves and their refusal to take personal responsibility for themselves and their family will insure a disaster of epic proportions when the system as we know it ceases to function properly. It will happen and nothing can change it at this point. The only thing that can change the intensity of the coming crisis is a strong leader who is wiling to explain the problems we face in an honest way and prepare the population for the coming storm, but this will not happen because we will not have a strong leader with moral conviction to lead us through.
It does not matter who wins. They will preside over a nation in decline and will seek only to insure their own continued power and authority. At a time when we need a George Washington, we will have to rely on Big Bird.
By: Tom Chatham
As the world economy gets more chaotic every day, people begin to wonder how to protect themselves from the disruptions and uncertainty. It is always good to have some basic supplies at home to weather any crisis but you can only store so much. Your supplies may last for years but for any excess wealth you need a place to store it safely as well.
Stuffing dollars under your mattress may seem like a good idea but what exactly are you saving? Those pieces of paper are only worth what someone will trade you for them and the more that are printed, the less they will buy. Paper money can be printed to infinity and can eventually return to its intrinsic value which is zero.
Many people buy precious metals to convert their money into something more tangible. They do so for different reasons but the premise is always the same. They want to hold something that cannot be printed to oblivion. Tangible items will always have some value while paper can become virtually worthless.
Many people use precious metals as an investment to get a decent return on their money but gold and silver are not designed as an investment any more than a can of soup is. In certain circumstances, gold and silver can return profits when there is volatility in the markets but this requires you to sell these metals to access this profit. When you sell these metals you end up with more paper assets that can be destroyed by inflation.
Precious metals are real money and as such hold their value over time. Money is the agreed upon unit that represents proof of your production. Metals must be mined and refined which exemplify production value that is recognized by people. When you buy gold and silver you lock in the value of your production for future use. This stored value is what makes gold and silver a good monetary unit.
When you store your wealth in paper assets you allow those that control the printing of the monetary units to devalue the stored production value you had for the future and they are able to spend it now with little notice from you. The reason to store wealth is for the future use of it when you are no longer able to work. If this wealth is stolen from you it is as though you never earned it and your future can be bleak due to lack of these resources.
Gold and silver lock in the value of your savings and allow you to access this savings in the future to provide for your well being making it difficult for money printers to access this stored wealth against your will or without notice by you. Precious metals can be an investment in some circumstances but it is mainly a wealth preservation tool to hold until you decide to exchange it for other hard assets that you need in the future. Only hard assets are real wealth and that is what you need to remember. As the world economy becomes more unstable through the printing of paper assets, the possession of hard assets in the form of gold and silver will enable you to weather the financial storm and position you to prosper in the aftermath. Hard assets can take many forms but any excess wealth you have can be stored in precious metals to insure the survival of value until it is needed.
By: Tom Chatham
There are those in the world that think capitalism and free markets are the root of all evil and have an agenda to destroy these things. They ignore the facts of history that prove socialism does not work and free markets are the key to prosperity. They ignore the prosperity achieved in the U.S. when government stays out of the way. These people have an agenda and have sought the highest offices in the land to make their delusions come true. We are seeing this tragedy play out today in real time and little notice is paid by the population. The enslavement of a country can be achieved in three easy steps.
Destroy the ability of people to be independent
An independent man is a free man. When a person is capable of caring for themselves and their family, they are harder to control and coerce. The ruling authority must make everyone dependent on the state to gain complete control of their actions. A person must be denied the ability to produce food. Food can be used as a weapon against people who do not comply to cause obedience or suffering. The inability to travel will limit the ability to be independent. This will limit the ability to access resources and trade with others. The control of movement will control the movement of resources. The ability to provide self help for medical needs will limit the states ability to coerce persons. The state is currently engaged in a program of controlled medical care, forced vaccinations of individuals and the destruction of medicinal cures and vitamin supplements they cannot control.
The ability to be independent is attacked in three primary areas.
1) Freedom of food production
2) Freedom of movement
3) Freedom of medical care
Disarm the population to prevent dissent
The elimination of all tools that a population can use to resist an aggressive state must be eliminated to maintain control. The ability to speak out against the state limits the effectiveness of unbridled use of propaganda against the populace. The current declaration of anti-free speech zones and the co-opting of mainstream media outlets are the first steps in control of information. The current attempts to control the internet and voice communications are but the latest attempts at controlling free speech.
The ability of the population to actively fight back against the state must be eliminated to insure compliance with all state directives. The demonisation of protesters and their classification as potential terrorists seeks to silence any dissent against the status quo.
The lack of uncensored communications prevents the coordination of anti government actions to disrupt or disable state functions. The disabling of voice and text media during demonstrations and protests is the attempt to disable coordinated efforts against the state.
The need to disarm citizens is the last stage of control to insure the population cannot fight back with sufficient force to counteract government actions. Propaganda and false flag attacks can be used effectively as a pretext for disarmament of the population under the guise of security and safety. The demonisation of those in society with the training and weapons that can effectively buttress the state must be neutralized by any means possible.
Disarmament of the population can be achieved by controlling three primary areas.
1) Freedom of speech
2) Freedom of arms
3) Freedom of communications and knowledge
Take control of all property
The ability to control all property within the states sphere of influence will enable complete control of the population through lack of privacy and ability to control all materials that can be used against the state. The use of laws and regulations to restrict the use of privately owned land and control of what structures can be built will limit the abilities of the property owner. The destruction of the monetary base and the systematic impoverishment of the population can assure the lack of ownership of property. The destruction of businesses through laws, regulations, taxes and the destruction of the economy allows the state to gain control of resource allocation. The control of banking and the destruction of the currency units insures the population will not have the financial means to resist the state. The confiscation and destruction of savings and retirement accounts will insure dependence on the state for basic needs.
Control of property can be identified in three primary areas.
1) Freedom to own property
2) Freedom to own a business
3) Freedom to amass wealth
The ability of a person to own property, defend themselves, conduct business, provide their own basic needs and store wealth in a form government cannot destroy is the epitome of a free and independent person. The free and independent person is a threat to the sociopaths that frequently rise to power in government. It is these people that government officials filled with delusions of grandeur must destroy or ultimately control to fulfill their agenda. Once a freedom is lost, it is difficult if not impossible to get it back. The lack of eternal vigilance can exact a heavy toll in liberty and prosperity.
By: Tom Chatham
A group of influential economic experts has discovered what they call a” frightening pattern” that they say will be unlike anything ever seen. They have presented their findings to the U.N. and a long list of world governments and indicate that this collapse could happen before the November elections in the U.S.
One member of the team, Chris Martenson, stated, “We found an identical pattern in our debt, total credit market, and money supply that guarantees they’re going to fail. This pattern is nearly the same as in any pyramid scheme, one that escalates exponentially fast before it collapses. Governments around the globe are chiefly responsible.”
“And what’s really disturbing about these findings is that the pattern isn’t limited to our economy. We found the same catastrophic pattern in our energy, food, and water systems as well. For 30 years – from the 1940s through the 1970s – our total credit market debt was moderate and entirely reasonable,” he says. “But then in seven years, from 1970 to 1977, it quickly doubled. And then it doubled again in seven more years. Then five years to double a third time. And then it doubled two more times after that. Where we were sitting at a total credit market debt that was 158% larger than our GDP in the early 1940s… By 2011 that figure was 357%.”
“Most frightening of all is how this exact same pattern keeps appearing in virtually every system critical to our society and way of life,” Dr. Moors stated. “It’s a pattern that’s hard to see unless you understand the way a catastrophe like this gains traction. At first, it’s almost impossible to perceive. Everything looks fine, just like in every pyramid scheme. Yet the insidious growth of the virus keeps doubling in size, over and over again – in shorter and shorter periods of time – until it hits unsustainable levels. And it collapses the system.”
Fitz-Gerald says, “If our research is right, Americans will have to make some tough choices on how they’ll go about surviving when basic necessities become nearly unaffordable and the economy becomes dangerously unstable. People need to begin to make preparations with their investments, retirement savings, and personal finances before it’s too late”.
When everything collapses at the same time the primary need will be food. The disruption of transportation and distribution systems will create a nation of very desperate people that may be capable of anything. When the distribution of food stops the only way to feed yourself is to already have food stores and/or the ability to grow your own. The worst time for a collapse of the food system is in the fall and winter months. During the spring and summer months it is possible to grow some food locally just about anywhere but when the weather turns cold, if you do not already have food stores or a winter garden in place, you are more likely to starve. The winter weather will not only prevent local food production in most areas of the country but the lack of systems to provide fuel and keep the roads clear of snow and ice can prevent the relocation of people to other areas making them prisoners wherever they are. People will be without food at the time of year when their bodies need even more to keep warm.
This is only one aspect of a complete collapse and does not even get into the lack of heat for warmth and cooking, water , power and security issues that will be prevalent everywhere. While a collapse will stretch your coping ability to new limits, it will be far worse if it happens in the colder months of the year. The lack of preparations by a majority of the population will be nothing short of catastrophic because those people have simply refused to listen to the warnings up to now. For those that have prepared it will be difficult to have sympathy for those that ignored the warnings and continued life as usual.
Once the system collapses it will be difficult to restart and will probably be led by the local production and distribution of food and water. This will likely follow a massive die off of the sick, elderly and very young that will have a difficult time coping until things improve. If you are in one of these groups you may not get another chance to stock up on the critical items you need to live so use this time wisely. As dire as this sounds, the situation will in all likelihood be much more severe and dangerous for the unprepared and prepared alike. If you have not done so yet, prepare now.