Monthly Archives: May 2013

Will Wealth Expropriation Stop At Bank Accounts?

By: Tom Chatham

It is becoming a foregone conclusion that Cyprus was just the beginning of the new bail-in plan taking root in the world of finance. The mentality of the banking industry is that they will continue with their machinations as long as people are dumb enough to go along. The majority of Americans still live under the assumption that their bank accounts are safe and any loss will be covered by FDIC. Like a thief in the night the banking industry has changed the rules allowing the theft of bank deposits in such a way that FDIC insurance will not kick in to reimburse depositors. Many banks have sent their customers revised banking agreements in the last several months knowing that most never read these statements and throw them away. These new policies will not become known to most people until it is too late for them to protect themselves.

The banking industry is setting the stage for massive wealth destruction brought on by their massive misappropriation of funds. The bankers will walk away with their golden parachutes and massive bonuses while the ordinary citizen pays for it all. Credit markets will be destroyed and massive wealth in the form of savings will be destroyed leaving people a bleak future with many unknowns.

Even massive wealth destruction might be a recoverable event and new prosperity assured as long as hard assets survive the collapse. If the coming destruction were an accident that might be possible but the approaching destruction is organized and well planned. If that is true is it impossible to think that complete destruction of privately held assets is not the ultimate goal. Paper assets are the most readily available wealth but far from the only significant wealth in private hands.

Private property is the foundation of much of the wealth in the U.S. and the recent real estate scandals by TBTF banks gives us a look at a possible future. Much of the property held in America has a mortgage on it and would be easily foreclosed on by banks if the financial sector locked up in response to bail-ins and triggered foreclosures.

A sudden devaluation of currency could also cause default if debts were not indexed. An even sinister aspect of this is the fact that Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac underwrite most of the mortgage debt. A TBTF bank could easily foreclose and pass the property on to the government, after taking a sufficient handling fee of course. This would place much of the private property in the U.S. in government hands. Increased property taxes in the name of social justice would take care of the rest of the wholly owned properties.

In a world where there is rule of law this would be unthinkable but the rules are being rewritten almost daily now and it is only a matter of time before the unthinkable happens. Why would government want to deprive citizens of privately owned property?

Even with the destruction of wealth private property provides people the ability to be self sufficient and care for themselves. This places them outside of much of the governments control and control is the purpose of government today. Because of this private property must be eliminated along with private wealth. The nature of current events leads one in this direction and to ignore the potential of this possibility is to surrender any future prosperity sought by society.

He who controls money, controls commerce but he who controls property controls everything else including freedom.

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Free Market Capitalism Vs Crony Capitalism

By: Tom Chatham

Stock market gurus and central bankers are always eager to tell anyone who will listen that they have all the answers and know how to create prosperity. In their eyes, prosperity is something that can be created out of thin air with the proper knowledge which they are privy to. This miracle of economics could also be called something for nothing. The greed of men makes this prospect particularly enticing. All honest people know there is no such thing as something for nothing. Everything in life has a price and that price will be paid at some point by some means or someone. It is this greed that has caused society to want the easy path to prosperity. Why work hard all your life and end up with very little when you can have everything the easy way. This is something the money printers and speculators have learned to capitalize on to get rich themselves the easy way. These people have found a way to use society’s tendencies against them. It is known as crony capitalism.

Free market capitalism involves the production of goods or services that are sold to society at a price the market is willing to pay. Society is the free market and will dictate the rate it is willing to pay based on supply and demand fundamentals. Supply is based on the availability of natural resources needed to produce the goods society wants. Prosperity in a free market can only occur as fast as natural resources can be developed therefore natural resources act as a governor to prevent society from living beyond its means. This acts to prevent inflation and debt from rising too fast. These forces allow society to prosper at a slow steady pace that is sustainable as long as the natural resources are available in sufficient quantities and can be extracted to meet supply. This means excess production can be stored for future use by workers because the excess production is held in hard assets.

Crony capitalism is the ability to pull forward prosperity and utilize the potential value of future production now by means of speculation and money printing. It causes the market to signal a false prosperity caused by the misallocation of resources and false signals indicating increases in available natural resources. Those that are behind the speculation and money printing enable a system that provides them the use of future prosperity today at the detriment of society tomorrow. The false prosperity brought into the market is no longer based on developed natural resources but debt secured by future prosperity that will never occur. As currently available natural resources are used by those utilizing crony capitalism fundamentals, the producers in society that save current production, in the form of paper assets manufactured by the money printers, will one day seek to cash in their saved production for hard assets consisting of natural resources. When the day arrives that no natural resources are available for the conversion of paper assets, the system will cease to function. At that point all paper assets will be destroyed by supply and demand fundamentals that society injects and free markets will seek to rebalance all previous misallocation. This will happen by destruction of paper assets that were never backed by hard assets. The destruction of paper assets will be proportional to the amount of natural resources that do not exist in the markets. This means that those that hold paper assets at this time will lose all of their stored production. Crony capitalism is a way for money printers and speculators to utilize the excess production of workers now while depriving them of their saved production later. To put it simply, crony capitalism is the organized theft of society’s excess production in a way that most do not and will not understand which is why it is so effective.

Governments that engage in money printing and deficit spending are only able to do so because large portions of society save their excess production in paper assets. This allows the government to utilize natural resources that should be allocated to these savers. When paper assets begin to collapse due to lack of hard assets those that are able to convert some of their paper will find prices inflating at an ever increasing rate and they will lose a certain percentage of their saved production as a result. Those that are too late in converting their saved production will lose much or all of it. This is what is meant when people talk of investors heading for the exits.

There is increased talk by some that capitalism has failed but this is misdirection by those that know the truth. Free market capitalism has not been practiced in many years and those that thrive on crony capitalism must blame the ultimate destruction of paper assets on free market capitalism to hide a falsehood sold to the masses that will lose everything they have worked for. The only places you can find true free market capitalism today is in small communities scattered across the nation where barter and precious metals are utilized.

Any savings instruments that are not backed by hard assets are merely promises waiting to be broken. In the near future there will be many broken promises and hopefully society will survive to remember a hard lesson. The worst thing that could happen is that society is manipulated to believe in another system based on lies and promises. Free market capitalism must once again be ingrained into society to prevent future crisis. Unfortunately, many people do not learn from their mistakes until enough pain is incurred and a failure of fiat currency will inflict a massive amount of pain that society will remember for a very long time.

A smart man learns from his mistakes. A genius learns from other peoples mistakes.

The Three Stages of Crisis Revisited

The following is a repost of an article first published last year. Given the recent destruction in Oklahoma it may be a good time to revisit this subject.

By: Tom Chatham – Author of The American Dream Lost

In every crisis there are three distinct stages that occur to form the complete crisis scenario. Once a crisis occurs, all three stages will be experienced at some level. In preparing for a crisis, you need to be aware of the stages and prepare for each one. A failure to acknowledge any of the stages will cause hardship for those caught up in it. Our ability to foresee danger and take precautionary measures sets us apart from other animals and gives us a distinct advantage when it comes to survivability. We have the ability to create tools and store supplies to see us through the worst of a given situation.

The first stage of any disaster is the pre-crisis interval when a potential crisis becomes suspect. Some will investigate the potential danger further to deduce its’ ramifications on their lives while others will ignore the potential threat in favor of maintaining the status quo so they will not have to face the reality. Many people have a problem facing a reality that suddenly changes and pushes them out of their comfort zone. To acknowledge a threat is to question the sustainability of that comfort zone and the beliefs that the person holds. Those that acknowledge potential threats widen their comfort zones to encompass the threat and they incorporate that into their beliefs so they can accept a changing reality and adapt to it. Once a person accepts a potential threat as real, they determine how best to protect themselves from it and form a defensive plan to deal with it. The defensive measures are dictated by the type of threat and the resources available to the individual. The defensive measures taken act to enhance the persons’ comfort zone and provides mental clarity when reality suddenly changes. This is why some people handle disasters better than others. Their comfort zone already encompasses the new reality and they are able to comprehend what is happening. Those that prepare during a pre-crisis interval are prepared for radical changes in reality.

The second stage of disaster is the unfolding crisis itself. This could be short or long in duration depending on the variables involved. An earthquake is relatively quick while a 1930s style depression is very long. The analysis and preparation one makes prior to an event will determine how well the person gets through the situation. Even without all of the necessary items identified by the prior analysis, a prepared person will fare much better than the unprepared due to the fact that their comfort zone will not have been breeched allowing them to make rational decisions in a timely manner. The preparations made during the pre-crisis interval will lead to successful navigation of the crisis and prepare the individual for the final stage.

The final stage experienced will be the post crisis phase. No matter how bad or long a crisis is, eventually it will end and recovery will begin in some form. A proper evaluation of the potential crisis will provide some insight into what a post crisis reality will require in terms of human and mechanical needs. The recovery effort following a crisis will depend in large part on what preparations were made prior to the crisis to provide infrastructure for the recovery. The failure to plan for a recovery effort will extend the crisis until the necessary situation develops in which recovery can commence. The act of preparation sets the stage for recovery even before the crisis actually happens and can limit how far outside of the comfort zone the crisis extends for unprepared persons. For every person prepared for the crisis, the extent of the crisis will be limited in scope and duration by a proportional amount. Hence, if everyone is prepared for a disaster, the impact will be small and manageable and recovery will be rapid. Many people prepare for disasters but their planning stops at the crisis itself and fails to go beyond it. This can potentially extend the crisis in scale or duration until a majority of the victims learn to move beyond the crisis and define the new reality they will live in.

As an example, you may determine that you are at risk of a tornado strike because of your location. Because of this you decide that building an underground shelter to protect your family is a sensible action so you build one. This is where most planning stops. If you believe your family is in danger then the possibility of loosing your home is very high also. A complete analysis of the potential danger can lead you to a conclusion that you may also lose your home and leave you without the ability to care for your family. Because of this you may decide to build a more robust shelter and equip it with the ability to house your family for several days and provide for all of their needs. Your post crisis planning will limit the hardship you face and aid in recovery.

To prepare successfully for crisis, you must look through to the other side of the disaster and determine how to best mold the new reality that will exist and prepare for the disruptions that are likely to occur. A plan to redefine the limits of a new reality will speed the recovery and prevent the lost, hopeless feelings that usually accompany any serious crisis. A failure to plan for the post crisis reality will leave the new limits to be discovered by trial and error and lead to a chaotic transformation rather than a smooth one.

Post Collapse Retirement Plan

By: Tom Chatham

The majority of people work all their life and look forward to a pleasant retirement. Their retirement plan involves paper assets to provide for their living expenses in the future. The major problem with this type of plan is that they have no backup plan to provide for themselves in the event that all paper assets are destroyed through inflation or default.

It does not matter if your plan is wrapped up in stocks, bonds, currency, CD’s, pensions or social security payments. When fiat currencies collapse, all paper assets go at the same time. When this happens, you no longer have the means to pay for your future needs without working for them. This is the Achilles heel of the retirement system that we use.

The old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket applies here. It was not until the later part of the 20th century that retirement actually became a prospect for people. Until then most people simply worked until they died. Retirement is now considered a given in society but few realize how fragile the system is and how fast it can be taken away through a world changing event. It is this fragility that necessitates the rethinking and forward planning of retirement at this point in time.

There are two reasons to save for retirement.

1) To enable you to stop working full time and enjoy more of your time in a leisurely way.

2) To insure you can pay someone else to care for or provide services for you when you are physically unable to do so any more.

The most widely used method today is to save some of your current production in the form of currency or paper assets which provide a medium of exchange to acquire the things you will need in the future. In the event of a failure of fiat currency, you will loose your saved production for future use if it is kept in paper assets that become worthless.

One way to avoid this loss is to keep your savings in an alternate form that will still have value after a currency collapse. This can take the form of an alternate medium of exchange such as gold, silver or diamonds or in the form of goods that will still command a premium in the future.

It may take the form of land that can be leased, rented or sold in the future. Leasing or renting will provide a continuous income for many years while selling will provide a one time source of money that must be evaluated to determine if the selling price will last the amount of time you require. Some combination of the three may be appropriate over a long term period.

The ability to own buildings to lease, rent or sell may also be a way to store wealth until needed in the future. Regardless of the dollar value of things after a collapse, you will be able to adjust the price to current values maintaining your purchasing power.

Some people may say it is unwise to buy and hold because you might pay $100,000 for a building today and after a currency reset it may only be valued at $10,000. This is true on the surface but that is only if the new currency has the same purchasing power of the old one which will be unlikely. If the value of hard assets drop after a currency collapse it will likely be only in dollar value but not in purchasing power.

This is a distinction people will have to learn. A silver dime from 1964 is still only a dime that will buy very little today but the value of the metal in the dime still has as much purchasing power today as it did then. With a new currency if the value of your assets drops it will likely be relative to the value of everything else. That means a quart of milk may suddenly cost .15 cents and a loaf of bread .10 cents while your building becomes $10,000. Those hung up on the dollar price of things need to start thinking in value terms rather than dollar terms.

There are many different ways to employ a strategy to insure you can preserve your current excess production until you need it in the future. Your plan needs to reflect your personality, your location and your future desires in order to make you feel comfortable with it.

Here is one example that may work for some. You may want to buy a small plot of land maybe 10 to 30 acres in size. Construct a small but comfortable home on it equipped with the tools and livestock you will need to provide most of your necessities for years to come. Once you have the land set up to insure you can provide the things you need you will then need to think about how you will store your excess wealth in a way you can use in the future when it is needed.

You might want to build 3 or 4 small cottages that you can rent out. Each can have a small yard capable of housing some small livestock and a garden. You may have a small shed or barn in the backyard of each cottage as well for the tenant to use. This will provide a tenant the ability to produce much of the food they will need helping to reduce their expenses.

In the aftermath of a collapse, many people will be destitute and have few valuables to enable them to get by. Someone in this position will need shelter and food for their family and you will be in a position to offer it to them. In exchange for their help on your farm you can provide them the means to care for their family and later as things improve they may be able to earn money and pay actual rent. Their ability to produce some things themselves may allow them to sell products to do this.

Keep in mind that the two reasons to store money are to reduce your work load in the future and to help care for yourself when you are no longer able to do so yourself. In a restored currency situation you will be able to save money to buy the help you need in the future. In the absence of a restored currency system you will be able to offer a service, housing, in exchange for your tenants services that you are unable to do yourself. It may be growing some food or cutting wood or home repairs. As long as you get the things you need you will have the same benefit as having the money to buy it.

This type of collapse scenario works best if you have family members that can care for you later in life but lacking that, you will need a plan. The three main things people will need most are food, shelter and clothing. Your ability to produce or provide these things will give you a resource to help provide for your retirement. As things improve the opportunities will increase but the basics will never change.

The storing of your excess wealth in assets such as gold and silver will give you a store of value to draw on in the future but you should not overlook the basic things that may take precedence in society during and immediately following a collapse. Land, tools, livestock and buildings are always going to be necessary when society must fall back on the basics for survival. In the immediate aftermath of a collapse your precious metals may have little value until society restores itself to a condition where people have the basic needs fulfilled and commerce is once again possible.

With this in mind you need to develop a plan that you feel comfortable with to insure you will have the things you need later in life. Your planning horizon needs to be at least a few decades to insure you will have the resources available to get you through and insure a pleasant retirement.

The Truth

By: Tom Chatham

What is it that we should consider the greatest virtue of men? Is it courage, honor, brilliance, strength or perhaps loyalty? These are all important but there is another that the lack of can imperil men and destroy empires faster than anything. It is the truth. The truth must be the most important virtue because when a man lies he murders some part of the world.

The truth illuminates and empowers while lies breed darkness and despair. Lies infect and breed cankerous wounds that can never be healed. They infect all they touch with a rot that leaves a stench you can never wash off.

Americans often joke and laugh about the lies politicians tell. It never occurs to most that they are laughing at the means to their own destruction. Every time a politician lies to the people they murder someone by one means or another. It takes the shape of corrupt laws or regulations or unjust orders.

A free people cannot remain free and prosperous when they are subjected to a continuous bombardment of lies that they rely on as the truth and depend on to ensure their continued existence. As the lies grow so grows the pile of bodies that act as a reminder of what we should hold dear and sacred.

What are we to expect when a growing majority of the population hold untruths and immorality as a virtue and elect those that exemplify those characteristics that represent the majority. The truth will set you free but lies will put you in bondage eventually. Lies are the bitter narcotic that we chomp at to ease the burden of doing the right thing which is often more difficult.

The end of a nation is not brought on by the fall of its currency or the demise of its manufacturing but the untruths it lives by. When a nation tries to fool itself with falsehoods as a means to correct its problems it can never recover.

Only when a nation looks at itself in the mirror and admits the truth to itself can it begin to recover some of what it has lost. Until that occurs no amount of lies will prevent the darkness it brings upon itself. No amount of lies can fix a problem permanently.

When a politician lies it is always evident because they are left with the death and destruction that cannot be hidden from view. As long as the people are content to step over the bodies in an effort to continue their daily routine it will never end. As the politicians lie to us we lie to ourselves to justify the mirage we want to believe.

When a man lies he murders some part of the world and it does not matter if that lie is to himself or another, the damage is the same. Until the truth is once again the most sought after virtue, men will continue to stumble in the darkness and the bodies will continue to accumulate. Every new lie is a new body we must climb over in our struggle to reach the light. The lies breed darkness and the trouble with the darkness is, you can never see the cliff ahead until it is too late.

Barter Currency: The Know, Grow or Make it Approach.

By: Tom Chatham

Those in society that are used to getting a paycheck every week in return for their labor may soon find their skills are not sufficient to continue putting food on the table. A true commodity is one that you can store and sell at will. It is subject to supply and demand and demand is always present for human necessities that are in limited supply.

Labor can be a commodity of sorts but it cannot be stored for later sale, trade or use. Everyone is limited to the same 24 hour day and time is the great equalizer in that regard. Unskilled labor in and of itself is in large supply so you will be subject to the same supply and demand fundamentals as everyone else. This is the reason you should not rely on your physical labor alone as a trade-able item in a collapse scenario. The more unemployment there is, the less your labor will be worth.

Know –

The one source of labor that can be in demand at any time is knowledge. The knowledge you posses is more trade-able in a crisis than your physical labor will be. Anyone can lift the hood on a car but how many can diagnose and fix a malfunction when it stops. How many have the knowledge to identify and bypass the problem if needed parts are not available? Knowing what wild plants are edible, have medicinal properties or can kill has a value. Knowing how to produce a liquid fuel alternative or create electricity from a pile of junk parts has a value when energy is lost for long periods. Knowing how and where to find food and store it for long periods has a value. Construction knowledge or advanced lifesaving procedures may not be in demand every day but when they are they cannot be replaced easily. The larger your base of knowledge is the more trade-able barter currency you will have.

Grow –

The ability to raise a product to sell or trade is the power to control your life. This may be nothing more than growing some vegetables. The ability to produce something from little or nothing is a skill that many do not posses and will produce a commodity that others will be willing to trade for. Money really does grow on plants when you can take a few dollars worth of seed and produce hundreds of dollars worth of products. It’s better than having a printing press. The ability to produce seed for sale can command a high premium when supply is low and demand is high. The ability to produce livestock products is a step higher in the growing of commodities but the higher price will also reflect more hazard and labor.

The grow ability can also include the production of natural resources that are limited but available to you. The harvesting of trees or tree products like maple syrup, fruits or nuts should not be overlooked. The recovery of natural minerals such as salt, iron ore, coal or even precious metals bring commodities into being that did not exist before and may command a premium in society.

Make –

The ability to take a raw material and make something useful from it that society needs is another way to produce a commodity for sale or trade. Knowing how to make cooking oil, alcohol or bio-diesel from crops and having the equipment to do it will provide you with a commodity to sell or trade. Having the knowledge and equipment to make textiles from crops, reprocess scrap metal into tools, process animals for food, build furniture or boats or repair broken items will provide you with a usable commodity when you need to barter. The make function is a combination of knowledge, materials and tools that can also be used as a function of labor to repair items for others.

This can also extend into the realm of transportation and communication as well. These items will require the means to repair and maintain the function and will almost certainly require the production of materials and energy for their use by you. The ability to transport people or products by truck or boat or provide vital communications over long distances may be a commodity you can provide to others. The make function goes beyond the typical labor function and provides a useful service or product that is in short supply.

The worse the supply situation is in society and the more you know, grow or make, the better your chances are of getting the things you need and use. A self sufficient mentality will provide you with many of the skills and tools you will need to provide these three things in society. When fiat money fails, what you know, grow or make becomes the new barter currency until stabilization brings forth a new medium of exchange. Having a supply of barter goods is great but over a long period you will eventually run out. That is why know, grow and make will be necessary for long term situations. The basis of all commodities is knowledge so that is a logical starting point if you feel the need to insure your value in the future no matter what happens.

Five Plus Two for Survival Gardening

By: Tom Chatham

In a crisis situation the need for growing your own food increases with time. Many factors determine if you can grow anything and what that may be. Location, soil, water and weather are primary concerns that must be evaluated. In a crisis you need to grow the maximum amount of food in the smallest space possible. The ability to store your harvest with few modern conveniences is also a problem you need to address.

What you grow will depend on available seed stocks, personal preferences and location. There are no ideal items that fit every situation or location but there are some that will fit in most locations and situations. The following are some good choices to keep in mind when planning for the unexpected.

Five vegetables

Potatoes

Potatoes are an ideal food for year round consumption. Potatoes provide a lot of starch that helps to fill you up when food is at a minimum. That’s one reason the military feeds soldiers potatoes almost every meal. They can be prepared in many ways to help avoid taste fatigue and when stored properly can last many months. Yield per 100 foot row is about 2 to 3 bushels.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and also help to curb your appetite. They can be stored in many ways such as dehydrating or canning. Long keeper tomatoes can be harvested and kept for three or four months without refrigeration while they ripen providing you a source of fresh tomatoes well into the winter. The many uses for tomatoes will help diversify your meals to help expand the limited foods you may have. Tomato plants also provide a large return for the space used. Yield per 100 foot row is about 4 bushels.

Beans

There are many types of beans that can provide needed protein when food is scarce. The type of beans you grow will depend on your taste and growing conditions. Beans that are good for drying and canning are stressed. With a shortage of meat, beans become a necessary food to provide the protein humans need. When combined with a grain such as rice it provides a complete protein. The ability to store beans dry and in small spaces, make them a great survival food. Yield per 100 foot row is about 2 bushels for lima and snap varieties.

Cabbage

Cabbage is a good plant to grow to provide a leafy green food. Cabbage is a good choice for a winter garden. In many areas of the country it can be left in the garden throughout the winter and provide fresh produce during winter when fresh greens are in short supply. A good variety is late flat Dutch cabbage. It can produce heads as big as 12 pounds and provide more than one meal for a family especially when small potatoes are added. In areas where the winters are too cold, it can be dug up and kept in a root cellar for several weeks until needed. A few dozen heads of cabbage in the winter garden can be the difference between staying fed throughout the winter and starvation. Yield per 100 foot row is about 45 heads.

Turnips

Turnips are usually easy to grow anywhere and can provide the root itself as well as cut greens. Turnips are a good cold hardy crop that can be left in the garden during winter like cabbage. The addition of turnips to potato soup is an easy way to spice up your soup. Turnip seeds are small and relatively inexpensive and the plants take up very little space. Yield per 100 foot row is about 2 bushels.

Two Grains

Corn

Corn is a staple that can be used in many ways to expand the limited supplies you may have. It can be eaten whole or ground into flour for cornbread or used in a dipping batter. It produces a large amount of seed for the space used and can be dried and stored easily for later use. Heritage varieties will provide better nutrition and growing capabilities than conventional varieties when matched with the climate they are raised in. It will also provide a good animal feed if small livestock is kept. Yield is about 1 bushel per 500 sq. feet.

Oats

Oats are a good source of nutrition and can be used in many ways. Oats rank the highest in protein and run neck and neck with wheat as the all around most nutritive grain. It also provides a good livestock feed and the straw makes excellent bedding. Yield is about 1 bushel per 620 sq. feet.

In a crisis situation that may last for months or years you must decide what you can produce yourself for minimal sustenance. Keeping at least a minimal supply of strategic seed varieties will make a major difference in how you are able to cope with the crisis. Your decision may be determined by the amount of space you have to grow food. In that instance you must choose foods that are nutrient dense and will produce a heavy crop in minimal space.

You also need to keep in mind that desperation may cause others to target your garden. In a situation like this plants that others do no recognize as food plants will play a major role. Don’t laugh but there are many people in this country that do not know that potatoes grow under the ground. In many instances a potato plant will look like a weed that will be passed over by many looking for food. The same can be said for a crop like oats. Without the knowledge and equipment to process or cook it many people will pass it over for more readily recognizable foods.

These things should be kept in mind when you plan your crisis garden. While the listed varieties will give you a good selection to keep you fed, you must determine what will work best for you. Making your own five plus two list is the least you should do to prepare. Beyond this list of seven, any seed you store is an additional hedge against future crisis events.

The Three Categories of Preparedness

By: Tom Chatham

With many people now preparing for various disaster scenarios, it is important to put everything into perspective and organize your thoughts to enable successful navigation of a serious crisis. By placing everything into three primary categories it is possible to focus on the things you may need the most during a crisis. The three categories will allow you to evaluate these primary areas in a brief fashion and determine in a fast way what you may need to work on first or the most. In many instances, preparedness is more than just tangible things. Some of the most important preparedness items cannot be touched or seen but can be the difference between life and death nonetheless.

 

Physical items

When a person decides to prepare for a future crisis they usually start with items they determine they will need to get through the difficulties. These can range from food and water storage to power sources and energy to shelter, transportation and security devices. Long range items may include food production materials to clothing production, building materials and tools. Physical items make it possible to endure, recover and rebuild after a crisis. They provide a means to leverage a persons’ ability and reduce hardships to minimum levels.

Knowledge

The most valuable resource a person has is the knowledge they posses. With a wide enough knowledge base, almost any crisis can be dealt with utilizing knowledge and available local materials. Knowledge enables a person to leverage the limited materials available and overcome adversity to survive the difficulties. With enough knowledge even limited stores of supplies can enable a person to navigate the crisis successfully.

Mental preparedness

If there is anything that can be more important than knowledge it would be mental preparedness. When an out of the ordinary situation occurs, mental toughness can enable clear thought to navigate the situation. In some situations, mental abilities can carry you through a situation almost on their own. Even with a good supply of physical goods and the knowledge to use them, the lack of mental preparedness to navigate the situation has the ability to prevent successful survival with minimum discomfort. Even with supplies, the loss of hope and the onset of depression can decrease the odds of surviving the crisis.

The ability to survive potentially deadly situations by shear will is possible and must not be overlooked when preparing. Survival is always possible no matter what supplies you have and what knowledge you have only to the point that you give up and succumb to the crisis. To enable your ability to overcome the crisis, you must expand your comfort zone to include any unpleasant circumstances that you may face and decide how to deal with them. This will not only expand your knowledge base but will give you the confidence to overcome the hardship you may face.

 

As you prepare you must decide on the proper balance of the three categories to give you the best abilities at a cost you can afford and given the time available to prepare. Having the right mental state and a certain amount of knowledge can get you through many situations where supplies are short or non-existent. The proper mental state can be the difference between being a helpless victim and a strong survivor able to go on. A good deal of thought spent on the three categories now can prevent a great deal of suffering later if crisis suddenly occurs with little warning.