Monthly Archives: February 2015

Disaster Proofing Your Life

By: Tom Chatham

If you are reading this then you understand the danger we face or at least want to understand it. The daily assurances by the government and MSM are all that most people need to relieve them of the burden of individual responsibility. Ultimately, the buck stops with you when the welfare of your family is at stake.

In The American Dream Lost I outlined a simple strategy to disaster proof your life if everything falls apart in society. For the benefit of those that have not read it before I will outline the basic strategy here. Time is getting critical and decisions need to be made. The strategy is designed for those with minimal savings to draw on but can be used by those with substantial assets as well.

It does not matter if the emergency is loss of employment, natural disaster, civil unrest or economic collapse. The results are similar. Your ability to care for your family is hampered to some degree and life can become difficult very fast. The credit system we rely on can break down and leave you with few or no resources to continue normal daily living.

As many in the preparedness community have stated many times before, there are certain things you need to have to get by in difficult times when you cannot afford them or possibly find them. Food is universal in all lists but that is not the only critical item to have. Food will keep you fed but there are other environmental conditions that need to be addressed.

Here is a list of critical items you need to have covered no matter what happens.

Food & household items
Water
Shelter
Clothing
Security
Energy
Transportation
Silver

These are not the only things you should have covered but they are the top of the list.

You need to store enough basic foods to feed your family at least two good meals a day for one year. Three meals a day is better but two is a minimum to prevent starvation and desperation. Basic, inexpensive foods should be emphasized such as flour, cornmeal, beans, rice, oats, pancake mix, cooking oil, powdered milk, canned vegetables, canned fruit, syrup, honey, potato flakes, gravy mix, canned meats and pasta. Cooking essentials should also be included such as granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, pepper, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, yeast, cocoa and spices. You also need to store basic household items such as dish soap, washing powder, toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, razors, shaving cream, sponges and scrubbing pads.

Water filtration is essential where water sources are suspect. Either portable filters or countertop models will insure you can maintain good health during difficult times when potable water is not readily available from the usual sources.

Shelter is a critical element and can determine the quality of life of your family over long durations. If you do not fully own your present shelter you are in danger of losing it if you are unable to maintain payments at some future time. Even if you own it the location may present security problems in the future so other alternatives must be available. A good used camper trailer allows you the ability to shelter your family year round and also provides you with mobility when you need it. A good used camper trailer can be found today for under $3,000 dollars and some for much less but you will have to shop around. The sooner you start looking, the more time you will have to find good deals.

Clothing is an essential need of humans. While most people have ample supplies of clothing to get them through several months, it is good to have a backup supply of some basic clothing for each family member just in case the difficulties last longer than expected or you lose most of your clothing due to disaster. You should buy two complete sets of clothing for each family member and store them in your trailer.

Security is important and its relevance depends on your location. Those in a remote area will have fewer security problems than someone in an urban area depending on the disaster and its aftermath. The ability to defend your family is critical depending on events and you need to have a plan and equipment to take care of unfolding situations. If you do not currently own a gun and have limited gun knowledge a pump shotgun and 500 rounds of ammo would be the best thing to start out with. It will provide you with good defensive capabilities and the ability to hunt.

Energy is a critical element and the longer you must care for yourself, the more critical it becomes. You must have the ability to provide conventional energy for short durations and have an energy plan to cover needs for longterm situations. Propane and a generator work well for short term but once you run out of fuel you will suffer. You must have a way to provide alternative energy for your systems regardless of the situation. One good alternative is to build a wood gassifier unit. You can use this to run your generator and your truck. With a sufficient wood supply you can run most of your items for months or even years on locally available wood supplies. Other systems such as solar, wind or wood stoves are good but they are limited to only a few things where a gassifier can be utilized to provide power for most of your energy needs. A combination of these energy systems would be best if you can afford it.

Transportation is critical if you are not in a safe location when everything destabilizes. If you have a camper trailer you will also need something to pull it. Older pickup trucks can be found for under $1,500. When combined with a wood gassifier, you have a transportation system with almost unlimited range when conventional fuel supplies are cut off or unavailable.

Silver is a good commodity to have when the economic system is not functioning as it should. Holding at least $30 dollars in face value of junk silver coins provides you with the ability to buy items when money is scarce or not accepted. It also provides you with a way to save money over the longterm until it is needed. If you have sufficient financial means, larger amounts of gold and silver provide a medium that is easily stored and transported.

With a fully stocked camper trailer and truck, you have the means to get out of harms way very quickly and maintain a reasonable quality of life wherever you go. If you lose your job and home to economic disruptions, it is good to know you can still care for your family properly until you can improve your situation. This is something many people do not think about until it is too late.

Most people like to run things out until they have no resources left to take care of their family. They ignore the threat and then must rely on government assistance to provide the things they need. What happens when you lose everything and there is no government assistance available to you? That is a problem that many will have to deal with in the future and when it happens it will be too late to do things differently. The disinformation coming from multiple sources in the government and media are setting people up for disaster and the people will suffer horribly for it for years to come.

If you have the means to buy a small property in a rural area that you can live on in your trailer that would be ideal but many may not have the resources for that so what can you do? If you live in the city and determine you may need to relocate during some type of disaster you need a preplanned destination. Simply driving around in a collapsing environment will likely end in tragedy.

One thing you might want to do is make friends with a farmer in a rural area. In the event you need to relocate, you may be able to park your trailer on his property in trade for helping him around the farm and keeping an eye on things if the situation deteriorates. If you are already friends with him he is more likely to help you when the time comes.

For those that already have a plan, you are ahead of the curve but for others that have not thought about it this should give you something to think about and begin the process of disaster proofing your life when things go wrong in society. Take this basic plan, adjust it to your needs and abilities and make a plan that works for you. It is your responsibility to care for your family no matter what happens. This is not a responsibility you can farm out to government agencies so get busy now.

No Goods For You

By: Tom Chatham

As many have pointed out over the past few days, the port shutdown on the west coast will have longterm effects. There has been a slow down at the ports for a few months but now the work has stopped completely. What many do not understand is that the retailers in the U.S. must make their orders months in advance in order to have the product on the shelf when they need it.

Even if the shutdown only lasts a few weeks, it will cause ripples through the distribution system for months. Even if we are still getting goods in the stores now, when the supply system runs out, the shelves will go empty. Even if the goods are put back into the system within a few weeks before the shelves go empty, there will likely be a dead zone where the products have not had time to make it through the system to the stores. That means a temporary disruption of supply on the shelf.

Many in the preparedness community have talked about supply disruptions as one possible danger that can leave society in need of everyday goods. It does not matter if there are shiploads of goods sitting in the port. If it is not on the shelf when needed it might as well be on the moon. When the shelves start to go empty it will not matter if it is just a temporary problem. People will start to panic buy and exacerbate the problem.

One problem is that if this goes on long enough, the seasonal goods that are needed in stores will not arrive in time to be sold when in demand. This delay will carry on for multiple seasons until the distribution system catches up to the supply. It takes time to unload each ship and transport that cargo to its destination. If it carries on long enough, the transport system will not be able to overcome the backlog of goods. You can only transport so much at one time with the available carriers in the system. As the shutdown goes on it could cause more longterm problems if transportation systems go out of business as a result of the shutdown.

In the shipping industry, when the industry slows down owners tend to sell older, marginally productive ships to the ship breakers. This reduces the number of transports over time and when the economy picks back up the ships are not available to use so new ones must be built. This creates a lag in the industry for a few years until the ships can be built. It is a repeating cycle that the shipping industry operates on. Anyone keeping up with the Baltic Dry Index knows it is now at multi-decade lows which is more incentive for owners to sell. This slowdown will likely exacerbate the reduction of shipping available as ships are sold to maintain bottom lines.

This will also put stress on the credit system as goods are not unloaded and sold so retailers can pay for the products. The 30 day credit system that is the mainstay of our economy will breakdown as we know it. It will ripple all the way from the retailer locations to the producers overseas. This is true of the whole distribution system including the transport sectors like trucking companies and railroads. Companies that are marginal will likely go out of business as everything stagnates.

One good aspect of a long shutdown is the fact that many people will then realize how dependent we are on imports and that may spur a call for more local production, but don’t count on it. Americans have a short attention span and once the supplies are back on the shelf they will likely go back to their iphones and sports channels and forget about any problems in the past.

This will likely resolve itself soon but it may be months before we are able to evaluate the damage that is done to a system that is already hanging by a thread. This is just one more reason to be less reliant on the system as it is. A distribution shutdown means lost revenue for companies and lost pay for all those affected by it. In a time when large numbers of Americans are unemployed and the rest are struggling, it does not bode well for the future.

The Winds of War

By: Tom Chatham

The winds of war are now blowing around the world. One day we will look back on these days with longing as one would look back on the gentle breezes of summer as the hurricane blows outside.

The winter season of the fourth turning is increasing with intensity as most people are fooled into believing that summer is just a few days off. When the winds become deadly and the snow begins to pile up, many will not be prepared to care for themselves. They will find themselves helpless and unprepared for this new weather system. Many will die and many more will suffer as they are cut off from the supplies and materials they depend on for normal living. They will become immobile and have little communication to tell them what to do. When the weather has them at their most vulnerable, the wolves will begin to show up at their door.

It cannot be over emphasized as to the amount of danger America is facing. We are being systematically cut off and separated from our allies and will eventually stand alone to face the fury of the hurricane that approaches. We are currently being set up to take a fall that some hope will be the end of this nation as we know it. The treason and treachery being perpetrated on this nation is a result of the mutation of the population from ants to grasshoppers. We are about to get exactly what we voted for and most people do not understand what that means.

Our birthright has been sold for a hand full of magic beans that will turn out to be rancid leftovers from someone’s failed business adventures. The wealth this nation has amassed over the decades is rapidly dwindling and will suddenly disappear in its entirety as the nation sleeps one night in the near future. The masses will awake one morning in a strange new land that holds no future for them or their children. They will be dumbstruck as to how they got there. The warnings will have been dismissed as insane talk by delusional people that don’t conform to societies norms.

It will be these few delusional, insane people that will determine the future of the once great nation. They will be the only ones that understand the dangers and are prepared to deal with the deadly winter weather. When the snow piles up they will have supplies and heat. When the wolves appear at the door they will have the weapons to fight them off. When the winds blow away the shelters of society the few will be safe in their structures reinforced to handle the tempest.

Those that deny the coming weather will be laid naked before it and will pay the price. No amount of facts or pleading will change the mind of most of these grasshoppers until it is too late.

There is a storm approaching and measures must be taken before it is too late to prepare. Just as you would prepare for a hurricane, the population must lay in stores of food and supplies to maintain their standard of living for the duration of the destruction. They must make sure they are in a safe location that will not get brown away or inundated with water from the storm surge. They must have the means to provide heat and cook food when the power system goes down. They must be able to protect themselves from any wolves that appear in any form. They must be prepared to rebuild after the storm passes. They must be prepared to weather this storm for 10 to 20 years until it blows itself out.

War is being fomented in the Middle East and in Europe and when it comes the U.S. will be hard pressed to survive it. Our military is being downsized, weapons systems are being reduced and many senior commanders are being fired for dubious reasons at best. The civil population is being systematically impoverished while government operatives tell them the nation is strong and getting stronger. Our manufacturing base has been dismantled and over 17% of our food is imported today. We have bankers that are stealing hard assets with fiat funny money and plan to steal peoples savings with new government regulations and laws. We are on the verge of losing reserve currency status and our banking system as we know it.

We are being inundated by foreigners that seek government entitlements and refuse to assimilate the American culture or language further dividing the civil population into domestic tribes hostile to one another. We have terrorist training camps within our borders and a lack of border control. We have members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the highest levels of our government and leaders that are ignorant at best and treasonous at worst.

In 1996 Thomas Chittum wrote a book called Civil War Two where he describes the breakup of America into ethnic regions. Many of the things he wrote about are evident today in society and spell doom for this nation as it is, even if we were not threatened with world war we would be headed for balkanization. The increasingly dysfunctional nature of this nation as it is will provide its citizens with many difficulties to overcome in the coming years.

War is coming to the world and to America on many levels and it cannot be stopped. The best anyone can do is to prepare and try to stay out of the way of the most serious fighting and bide their time until they can get the upper hand in their locality. The world is about to change in a very radical way and many are not prepared for it either physically or mentally. The forecast has been given and the storm flags are up.

Wealth Trumps Income

By: Tom Chatham

Richard Russell made an interesting statement recently. He believes wealth trumps income and after thing about it, I have to agree. Many people today do not understand the difference between wealth and income. They think one equates to the other.

When people look at someone else today they immediately try to determine how much they make as a way to determine how wealthy they are. While it is true that the more you make, the easier it is to accumulate wealth, that is not a guaranteed outcome. What you do with your money is more important than how much you make in most cases.

The psychological aspect of income is all most people immediately respond to. A recent study indicates that most women will not even consider dating a man that does not have a steady job. While there are exceptions, this indicates that most women see income as the most important element when it comes to finding a mate. While having a job is one indicator of potential wealth, it is not the only defining one. There are many people today making over $100k per year and find it difficult to survive because they spend more than they make.

On the flip side, how many wealthy old men do you see with beautiful young wives? If you see a well dressed man throwing around hundred dollar bills and getting into a limo, few people ask if he has a job. They only see a wealthy person and respond to that perception. This is getting off the track a bit but is something to think about.

Wealth is a matter of what manages to “stick” to an individual over the course of time. I actually know someone that inherited around 50 million dollars some years ago. Within 10 years it was all gone and he had nothing to show for it. As unbelievable as that sounds, it is a true story.

Someone that makes $10k a year and is careful with their funds can actually have more wealth within a few years than someone making $50k a year and spending freely trying to live like their neighbors. As I have said before, wealth is not the paper assets you have but the physical things you buy with it. This includes knowledge. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “when a man pours his wallet into his head, no one can take it from him”. Knowledge is a form of wealth that you can spend over and over again and never run out.

Getting back to the wealth trumps income statement, it is obvious over time that the amount of money that sticks to you is independent of income and ultimately determines your wealth. This is why wealth is ultimately more important than income on many levels. Your income can be cut off at any time and leave you with nothing but bills you cannot pay but wealth is already in your hands and being used every day in the form of physical goods to maintain your current standard of living.

You don’t need income when you have sufficient real wealth. Real wealth is what allows you to sleep at night no matter how good or bad the economy is. That is something someone with a safe full of gold or a self sufficient homestead knows. Granted, some income is necessary these days if for nothing more than to pay taxes but the need for income is greatly reduced when you have real wealth that provides the things you need to survive from day to day in a nominal state of comfort.

For those that contemplate the future with dread as the economy sinks ever lower, it is important to realize what has the most impact on your economic future. Making sure that much of the income you get will stick will make a larger impact on your standard of living than anything else. You can try to wing it through life as most people do or you can sit down and decide how to leverage the funds you get and amass true wealth to insure you can take care of your family no matter what the economy does in the future. How much you make is not as important as what you do with it.