Author Archives: sierra2one

Do You Have A Backup Plan?

By: Tom Chatham

Most people that take future disruptions to their lives as a given usually go to the next step and have a backup plan to deal with those disruptions. Some people set aside extra money to pay for unexpected breakdowns or appliance repair. Some set aside money to pay rent and utilities in the event of job loss or sickness. Some set aside supplies in the event of natural or man made disasters that cut off their normal supply systems. Some even prepare for world altering disasters that may only happen once in a millennium.

In any case people are taking responsibility for their own well being and doing what they think is reasonable diligence given the uncertain world we live in. Do you have a backup plan to deal with any disruptions in your normal daily life? If you do not, then why not? Now is a good time to sit down and contemplate some of the things that could alter your life but could be substantially minimized if you only take some preventive actions now.

Disasters that can prevent you from going about your daily routine for an extended period of time can be life altering. Especially if these disruptions prevent you from acquiring the basic necessities of life you have come to depend on. The inability to satisfy your needs can be depressing and even life threatening at some point. The following is just one of many ways you can reduce possible problems to mere inconveniences with just a little though and preparation. This list only lists food and energy in the solutions but can be expanded to include anything you might deem necessary. Just think of it as a starting point.

Plan A-
Normal operations in your daily life that encompass small manageable problems that everybody faces from time to time.
Mitigation options: Maintain 30 days worth of money to deal with unexpected financial problems.

Plan B-
Temporary disruptions that disrupt your daily routine and can prevent you from doing certain tasks that need to be done. The disruption will limit your access to food, water and energy resources for up to two weeks. It can be a power outage, cyber attack, natural disaster or man made disaster.
Mitigation options: Generator with 20 gallons of fuel storage, battery pack with power inverter to reduce generator use, canned foods, water storage, cash on hand.

Plan C-
Long term disruptions that alter your daily routine and can prevent you from doing certain tasks. This disruption will eliminate all availability of food and energy resources for the duration of the emergency. The situation is much like a temporary disruption except it can last much longer putting the health and welfare of the population in serious risk.
Mitigation options: generator with at least 50 gallons of fuel, batteries with power inverter, solar and wind generation as backup, larger food stores or garden production, water filtration and storage, alternative fuel source ie: wood gas or biogas system, wood stove with wood supply.

Plan D-
This could be a long term disruption that falls outside of normal circumstances. It could be something like an EMP or CME that takes down the technological infrastructure. It can also encompass your response to a long term disaster that goes beyond the limits of your technological preparations in earlier plans.
Mitigation options: Oil lamps and lamp fuel, hand operated water pumps for wells, water filters, gas stove with bio gas fuel or wood stove with wood supply, absorption refrigeration with bio gas system.

This is merely an example of how you can break down potential problems and devise solutions to the type of situation. It also allows you to jump ahead to the proper plan given the known problem allowing you to react in a timely fashion. The faster you can respond to the problem the better you will be able to limit the negative effects on you.

In many disasters it is all too familiar to see people running around in a daze not knowing what to do. It is these people that present the greatest threat to keeping society stable when things seem to fall apart quickly. The more that you can reduce disasters to mere inconveniences the better off you and your community will be. Having a plan and resources standing by when that happens is instrumental to maintaining order and allowing some type of recovery to begin.

Granted, living in a rural area on a few acres of land will give you many options that an apartment dweller will not have so it is important to do a realistic appraisal of your situation and determine the best course of action in the event of a disaster. Your plan needs to be tailored to you and no one else. This is why you must give considerable thought to it and not just try to copy the plan of others. While others may have very good ideas to incorporate into your plan your plan must work for you when the time comes.

A plan does not have to be complicated or expensive, it just needs to work. When it comes to disasters the greatest asset you have is your own mind. Expanding your knowledge base and just taking the time to think through different situations will greatly increase your response to situations that might send your neighbors over the edge. When disaster strikes, how you are able to respond will determine how well you get through it so give yourself every opportunity to stay safe and healthy.

Prepare For The Greater Depression and What Will Follow

By: Tom Chatham

The current declining state of the economy is just the first leg in a long journey to the bottom of the pit of misery we will all know in the coming years. The cycle of business has been turned on its head as bankers rush to save themselves and their ill gotten loot. Never in the course of human history has so much been stolen from so many by so few. All of the human labor that has been converted into wealth has been diverted to the ruling elite and now that they have gotten all that they can get they will pull out of the system and let everything else crash. It is a slow process as they move their wealth around to insure most of it survives but when they reach that point the lowly masses will see the next leg of the greater depression unfold.

The withdrawal of this wealth from the markets will insure the system crumbles and what little that is left will be fought over by the masses as they scramble for dwindling resources. The life work of many people will be reduced to a few scraps of worthless paper in the end. After these people realize they have been robbed they will look for the person to blame but the machinations of the elite will insure this anger is redirected to other priorities. When the masses are reduced to poverty and misery they will then be subjected to war. This is the slight of hand that will keep the bankers safe for the time being. Hopefully by the time the war is over the masses will be so glad, they will have forgotten how it all began.

As the wealth is pulled out of the financial system the distribution system will begin to crumble from lack of credit to function in the just in time delivery system we now employ. This breakdown will seem like a slow motion train wreck as things slowly get worse until they simply stop one day. Truckers are now in survival mode as loads are drying up nationwide. Hundreds of locomotives are now parked on rail sidings because there is no freight to move. Major retailers are closing hundreds of stores and laying off workers because consumers no longer have the credit they need to maintain their former lifestyles.

Hanjin, one of the largest freight carriers in the world is now in bankruptcy and the 500,000 containers filled with goods still on their ships are now in limbo. Some are now using the word chaos to describe what is happening as customers and manufacturers rush to find new carriers and get their containers of goods back. This is just the first crack in the global distribution system that we are seeing and more cracks will appear in the future as shippers succumb to lower shipping rates and fewer goods to haul. Most of the goods and about 50% of the food eaten in the U.S. is imported. As these goods stop flowing into the country the population will see their standard of living get worse.

This loss of goods will trigger internal strife and fighting among the population as they seek to maintain their living standards. Unlike our ancestors who knew how to live in hard times, the snowflake generation will be unable to adjust to the desperate times. This combined with the over medication of our population will make the world a very dangerous place. Society will gyrate from withdrawal and fear to fits of rage on a regular basis and this will do little to help the average person make things better as we try to work through our problems as a nation.

Unlike previous hard times when people worked together and made the tough decisions needed to recover, the future will be very different. It will be a time of chaos, deceit, violence and lack of sympathy toward others. Families will be torn apart and social groups will fight one another. The war that comes may very well be on our own shores this time and Americans will be the cannon fodder for the global cover-up of theft and mismanagement of resources.

The coming days will truly try mens souls as we each work to live day to day and survive the turmoil that follows. Each person will need to understand the changes that are to come and determine what infrastructure they will need to get by for the several years that anarchy will rule. They need to know what they will need to do now so they will have the resources available when they need them. When the social safety nets collapse they may not have anyone to turn to for their needs. The future may seem bleak but the human spirit is more than able to compensate and see us through if we allow it and we all rise to our potential.

In times like this it is all too easy to allow a country to slip into a dictatorship in the hopes that some strong man will fix our woes but that never happens in the real world. The fundamental loss of freedoms will lead to more misery and poverty as the few remaining resources are diverted to the ruling class and the excess goods are used as a weapon to control the masses. Those that do not go along to get along will find themselves hunted as enemies of the state and see neighbors turn into informants to stay in the good graces of the state.

The only recourse in times like this are to become invisible and stay out of the way of the state while you work behind the scenes to undermine the states power and control through covert methods. Being off the beaten path will be the best method of survival that will allow you the most freedom to utilize natural resources and live a decent life away from the machinations of those that would enslave you for their own purposes. Hard times are coming and ignoring this will not change the future it will just make your life that much harder. Times change but how well you live through them is entirely up to you.

What Comes After Oil?

By: Tom Chatham

If we follow the premise that all things on Earth are finite such as the physical resources we use then we must assume that at some point we will begin to run out of these resources as they are more heavily utilized. Our use of energy is one such item that should be addressed by the average person before we hit the wall of limited and then lack of these resources.

There are those that think solar and wind will be the salvation of our energy problems but these people fail to take into account the limitations of these energy sources. It still requires energy to extract the raw materials needed to build solar panels and these must be replaced at some point. Wind turbines require steel, concrete, fiberglass and copper just to name a few of the resources needed to make these things work and they too must be replaced every few decades as they wear out.

One problem with solar that I have talked about to people is the fact that massive amounts of energy must be stored in order for it to power the grid continuously. One person recently calculated that batteries to store enough energy to power the U.S for one day would require batteries covering 923 sq. miles and costing 41 trillion dollars. While I am an advocate of wind and solar I do not believe they are capable of powering our grid reliably. I think their benefits can only be utilized as stand alone systems on individual buildings.

Those that think solar and wind can replace oil do not understand our energy requirements at the present time and certainly do not understand the power requirements of things such as ships, trains and semi trucks that move the bulk of our commodities around the world. Cheap oil has made the current world trade system possible and the lack of cheap energy will cause a collapse of the status quo. The collapse of our current energy system will cause widespread chaos and depressed living standards if we do not address this issue now. It is for this reason that we need to look forward to the energy we will use in the future.

Hydrogen is more akin to a storage battery as it takes energy to separate the hydrogen from other elements to utilize in most cases. Fusion is still a promising energy source that we still do not know how to produce and maybe in the future if we figure it out it will change things but that is some time off. Things such as oil, natural gas and coal are heavily used today but they will only last so long and a growing population is using them at a faster rate as time goes on insuring their demise at some point. Nuclear power plants are filled with controversy and their future is uncertain unless something changes.

If our fossil fuel system begins to erode we will have to fall back on what we know. In this case the most available source of energy available to the population is that age old element, wood. As archaic as it sounds if our energy grid begins to shut down wood may be the go to system for individuals at the local level. A mature wood lot can produce about ¾ of a chord of wood per acre per year. When utilized within these limits it becomes sustainable for the long term.

A small homestead with a good woodlot and some solar and wind power may be the future we are forced to embrace until some new energy source becomes available in large enough quantities to fulfill our needs on a large scale. Now is the time to begin this conversion before we are forced to do so when the materials we need are no longer available to the masses. There are many people that have made this change and live off the grid today and are very happy about it.

Wood is also a viable source of energy for vehicles utilized in the local area. Wood gas can provide the energy to power much of the agricultural equipment we need to maintain the food supply. While this is a step back it will likely become a necessity at some point if we wait too long. With wood gas a conservative estimate of wood power indicates about 20 pounds of wood equals a gallon of gasoline when utilized in a motor vehicle. There is some power loss with wood and production efficiencies vary from system to system.

Much of the population growth of the world has been made possible by the availability of cheap energy and the loss of this cheap energy will cause a drastic adjustment to the population on this planet as we run into resource scarcity. The abundance of food we now produce depends on vast quantities of cheap, available energy. Nature has a way of balancing things out if we refuse to do so on our own. People need to understand this.

While a small homestead with solar and wind power and equipment powered by wood may not be the ideal plan, it is one you can be working towards while you can do so with minimal disruption to your lifestyle. In the near future if energy prices and availability should become more of an issue than it is now, having alternative energy systems will minimize the effect on your quality of life. I suggest you have a plan that works for you and your family before you are forced into one by events.

A plan to deal with an energy shortage will not only protect you from a shortage but also from manmade and natural disasters that would curtail or eliminate the timely delivery of energy to the masses. The ability to provide the majority of your own energy needs makes you less vulnerable to shocks that can send society into panic and disrupt many lives. Over time things change. This can be beneficial or detrimental to our well being and your ability to adapt to those changes will determine your quality of life in the years to follow.

Our energy resources may be stable for many years to come. Then again they could change drastically in a matter of weeks. Walking into the future with your eyes closed knowing full well you could fall off a cliff is a dangerous way to live, especially when you could take steps to minimize the dangers and insure your quality of life if something does happen.

The Reason Our Standard of Living Will Fall

By: Tom Chatham

The prosperity we once knew as a nation was made possible because of cheap oil. When the EROI, Energy Returned On Invested, was at 30/1 we had unprecedented prosperity. The EROI is now falling below 10/1 and is taking prosperity with it. The EROI is the amount of energy we expend to get energy, in this case oil, out of the ground. We are getting 10 units of energy for every unit we expend to get it. Shale oil production results in 5 units of energy for every unit we expend.

This matters because everything we use depends on cheap energy to maintain the status quo. An EROI of 10/1 is necessary to maintain our current standard of living. The Hills Group project oil will drop to $11.76 by 2020. This may sound good on the surface but cheap oil will not mean much if you have no job and no money to buy it. As the next depression sets in many more people will lose their job and as a result prices will collapse. They project by 2020 we will have 75% fewer gas stations as a result of collapsing oil.

Today most of our population lives in the city. When jobs see their final collapse those people will have no way to survive. Living in the city requires stuff being brought in from other places. Those living in the city must pay for this stuff with the pay they earn. No jobs mean no pay and no goods.

During the last great depression many city dwellers had family in the country to move back in with to stay fed but most city dwellers today are several generations removed from the country life and no longer have living family members in the country to move in with.

Many of the farms that were left to city dwelling children after the parents died were sold and the money either spent or put into paper assets for retirement. When those paper assets evaporate those people will have nothing to fall back on.

I have said before that when this next depression hits it will devastate everyone and the only way people will be able to get by is if they produce most of their basic goods themselves. This will require a small farm and a family to help run it.

The U.S labor department has reported that productivity has declined for the third straight quarter. The real hourly wage increase reported in the first quarter at 4.2% has been revised to a decrease of .4%. GDP growth annualized for the first two quarters is 1%. S&P 500 companies are reporting declining earnings for the fifth quarter in a row. Economic growth is at its weakest rate since 1949. Gold is up 25% this year so far. All of these metrics are indicative of a stagnant or declining economy at a time when we are told everything is doing great.

The massive amount of money being printed is the only thing holding the economy in place right now but we are now moving beyond the point where that is even effective. From here on out more money will only cause more damage and it will compound the effects when the economy finally fails in earnest. Those that do not see this train wreck coming will still be sitting calmly as everything falls apart around them. They will be lucky to survive the impact and will be totally helpless in the days following. Those that see the danger will have gotten off a long way back and will be in a better position to help themselves and their family.

It is good to help others but you can only do so after you have taken steps to help yourself. The carnage we are about to see in world markets will affect everyone in some way. The best way to help is to understand what is coming and be prepared to deal with the realities that will follow. Global markets will revert back to local markets and those prepared for these changes will survive the initial collapse and thrive in the aftermath.

You can read more about EROI at https://srsroccoreport.com/the-coming-breakdown-of-u-s-global-markets-explained-what-most-analysts-missed/

Should You Dig In or Bug Out?

By: Tom Chatham

Should you dig in or bug out? That is a question many people will have to ask themselves at some point in the future. That answer will be different for many people due to a range of circumstances and conditions.

What is right for one person and location may be lethal for someone else in another location. That is why you need to have situational awareness and critical thinking ability. You need to analyze the threats and determine the best course of action in that time and place. What once was a safe location could quickly become a death trap if you fail to see the changing situation. This is why normalcy bias kills.

Just like a person who loses their job and decides to stay where they are and continue life as normal while watching their savings quickly depleting. They fail to look ahead and contemplate the dangers if they take no action. If they did an honest assessment and determined they probably will not find a new job before they run out of money and lose their home, they would come to that conclusion while they still had resources to work with and determine a safer course of action.

Your knowledge, location and preparedness level will largely determine what you should do at any given time. When disaster arrives what you do and when you do it will determine how well you overcome the problems and make it to the end.

If you live in a large city and something happens that destroys basic services and the ability to care for your family, you may not have much time to act. In some situations you must act before the disaster strikes if you are to have any chance of getting through it. Hurricane Katrina is a good example. Martial law that cuts off cities from surrounding areas is another.

In most survival situations your chances of survival in a rural area is about 10 times better than in a city. That is because you have lower population density and you are surrounded by the resources you need to survive. That means fewer people competing for those resources. You also have the space to produce more resources that you need over time.

Even in the country you will face dangers and have to determine if you should stay in place or move to another location. Fires, floods or roving bands of survivors from other places may make a rural location unsafe. You need to see those dangers coming before they happen and decide your best course of action.

In the end, your knowledge, location and preparedness level will help you decide what you should do before you find yourself in a situation you cannot get out of. There are many unknowns when a disaster happens. Being prepared and having thought through some of those potential problems reduces some of those unknowns so that you can make good decisions. The better informed that you are, the better your decisions will be.

The decision to dig in or bug out will be a pivotal moment in your life because it will have serious repercussions on future events. You need to make decisions that greatly enhance your chances to survive not put you in more danger. You need to expand your comfort zone to allow you to think outside of normal situations and doing so will help eliminate your normalcy bias and give you the best chance to make good decisions in a timely manner. When the worst happens, you may not have the benefit of someone else telling you what to do, it will be up to you to make those decisions. Once you make a decision you will have to live with it.

Surviving Long Term Without Electricity

By: Tom Chatham

We all like to think that even if something catastrophic happens we will still have at least some access to electricity to run some of our most critical items. It is in our nature to be optimistic when it comes to our well being. Unfortunately the universe has no limit to the ways it can harm us. Whether through natural or manmade occurrences, we are subject to crisis at any time.

It is this potential for hardship that we are required as thinking persons to take due diligence and insure we can overcome potential events at least to some degree. Preparedness allows us to exert a certain amount of control over what happens to us.

It does not matter if it is a hurricane, earthquake, CME or war. How well we cope with the event is entirely up to us. When the worst of events happen we are forced back onto our own resources until things stabilize and resupply of basic needs is restored. In some cases it could be weeks or even years before this stabilization happens and distribution systems are reestablished. This will depend on the type of event and its damaging effects.

When the worst happens and society as a whole is stripped of its modern conveniences, only those that can cope with the new reality will likely survive. This means knowing how to use the ways of past generations to get by from day to day. Survival will depend on how prepared you are to revert to these older techniques to fulfill logistical needs. Here are some of the major items you will need to deal with when the worst happens.

Water sources and pumping –
Finding and retrieving clean water is a critical need when services are cut off for extended durations. Knowing where to go locally to find clean water and having a way to collect it and carry it home become life saving measures. Having the means to filter water or knowing how to build devices to do so becomes priceless knowledge.

Growing food –
Having food stores is essential to staying alive following an event until distribution and production systems are working again. Storable food gives you the time to find new sources of food or to begin growing your own food. The ability to grow your own food provides you with a sustainable source of food for indefinite periods of time. Extra food production also gives you a product to trade with.

Storing food –
Once you have food you must have a way to store it until you use it. Different foods have different storage requirements and shelf life. You may need several types of storage to satisfy all of your needs. Root cellars, dehydration, canning and salting are some of the most popular methods that do not require electricity to maintain food supplies.

Providing heat and light –
Providing heat and light without electricity will require primitive methods to some extent. Wood stoves for heating and cooking are necessities over long periods of time. Some stoves with glass doors will even provide some light. Oil lamps and candles are the most basic types of home lighting. In desperate situations it is possible to make additional candles and produce liquids to burn in lamps.

Transportation-
When modern types of transportation no longer work you must cultivate older systems to fulfill your needs. Bicycles, horses, boats and walking will be the fallback systems most will use when modern systems fail.

Communications-
Without electricity to send and receive signals from afar, older more local systems will be required. Bike or horse messengers will become standard again. For more technical minded people like ham radio operators, Morse code can still be utilized with the use of signal mirrors or signal lamps. Message boards at central locations will be useful for dispersion of information to local populations.

Sanitation-
Poor sanitation has the ability to kill more people than anything else on Earth. We see it all the time following major disasters. Whatever your living situation is now, it could drastically change within minutes. Understanding proper sanitation methods such as how to build an outhouse in your yard can mean the difference between life and death. You need to know how you will dispose of waste safely if your current system stops working. This is especially true if you live in a city where your options may be limited.

Security-
In the old days before telephones, the sheriff was a long ride away. Any imminent threats had to be dealt with by you. That can happen again and does following some disasters. Being able to keep your surroundings safe following some event will allow you to start the rebuilding process. Lack of a safe area makes survival much harder especially long term.

Medicine-
Long ago when a person got sick they either sent for the doctor or carried the sick person to him. This usually required actual horse power in either case meaning it was slow. When this happens today we have the advantage of having modern medicines and equipment to keep people alive when they would have likely died in the past. Many of these modern techniques and medicines can be maintained by individuals to insure they are available to injured persons if help cannot come. Knowledge of medical procedures and organic medicines would be necessary if a long term disaster occurred.

The possibility of total loss of electrical production and electrical devices is very small but not impossible. The only way to be fully prepared for any type of event is to assume the worst case will happen and have a plan to deal with the needs of the community. It is good to have back up equipment to satisfy your needs but some natural disasters can destroy that equipment leaving you only the most basic means to work with. When that happens what you know becomes very important.

Knowing how to take care of basic needs for long durations without the aid of modern conveniences becomes more critical as the world around us becomes more automated and technologically based. Many people today cannot function when something as simple as a power outage or communication outage occurs. They have forgotten how to think for themselves and think through the most simple problems.

If the worst should happen such as an earthquake or major war, leaving you cut off from modern services, it will be up to you to work through the problems you face with the tools available to you. Help may not come for a very long time and if that happens your life will be in your hands.

Revenge of The Silver Bugs

By: Tom Chatham

It has been a long wait for the silver bugs but the future may indeed see them richly rewarded for all of their patience. Those that have held on are now about to see the end game unfold.

There have been many projections on the highs that silver could hit in the future ranging from a low of $100 to highs of $1,000.

It should be noted that much of the above ground silver has been used in the past few decades for industrial purposes that leave most of that silver not reclaimed due to the small amounts used in individual products. The plans of China to increase solar production will take a great deal of future silver production to power their energy grid.

The current production has silver at about a 10 to 1 ratio of gold. On the surface this means that silver should be valued at least at the 10/1 ratio. The current disproportionate ratio of 78/1 will insure silver rises at a higher percentage than gold during the current bull market.

If current projections of $10,000 gold are anywhere near correct that would put silver in the $1,000 range. Regardless of the ultimate price, gold and silver will rise substantially as chaos enters the markets. It is this chaos that will also require people to store the necessary resources to care for their families until the chaos subsides. Gold and silver holdings do not insure access to resources during chaos but will be valuable afterward to take advantage of good deals due to revaluations in the economy.

In times like this when most people are at risk of losing much of their wealth, the current low price of silver can help the average person not only preserve what little wealth they have but even increase it many fold to offset the failure of incomes to keep up with real inflation over the past few decades.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to beat the bankers at their own game. When the economic leverage shifts back from the paper wealth to real money those holding real money will reap the benefits. Even small holdings of silver will help individuals to insure their wealth will remain in tact after this economic cycle comes to an end.

Gold and silver are a form of escape hatch in the banker controlled economic system we are forced to play in. When they pull the plug on the current paper wealth, those that know no better will cling to those worthless paper assets to the very end never dreaming they will someday be totally worthless. The very few that understand what is taking place will use that escape hatch to save what they have so they can continue to prosper in the future.

The bankers know of this escape hatch but they have few ways to close it without alerting the people so they use their position and trust to convince the population this doorway is dangerous. They call it a barbarous relic that has no place in a modern society. They do this because they know the truth. If they can convince the people long enough, by the time people know the truth it will be too late to exit this door.

Those that have already taken this door out of the system are now looking in at the fire that is about to burn the house down. When the rush to the exits happen, many will not make it out. There is still time to get out ahead of the crowd but time is now very short. Any more procrastination on your part will likely be lethal to your economic health. On this Independence day free yourself from the banker controlled system by purchasing some real money and renew your declaration of freedom.

Small Homes: A Shelter For All Economic Seasons

By: Tom Chatham

With the economic conditions becoming ever worse around the world every day it is becoming harder for the average person to build or buy large homes that make their owners feel successful. In recent decades it has become the norm to keep up with the neighbors in consumer spending. Nobody wants to be the neighbor that has the smaller home, the older car or an older phone. Competition has gone to extreme limits and now those limits are becoming unsustainable as people find themselves working lower wage jobs part time.

A home used to be a shelter for your family and nothing more but now they are seen as a savings vessel and a trophy to hold up to society as a whole. This mantra is coming to a catastrophic end very soon as those that still have a good job will soon find they can no longer keep up with the payments as society becomes mired in massive inflation and later deflation destroying everything not fully owned that can be protected from theft by politicians and bandits alike.

The more you have and the bigger it is the harder it will be to protect it in the future. You cannot simply pick up your 2,000sq.ft. home and move it when necessary in a turbulent environment. That elephant becomes a ball and chain. That’s even if you own it outright which most people do not. All of the years of payments you put into it could easily be lost through no fault of your own even though you did everything right.

When everything goes wrong in the economy you will still need a place to call home to provide shelter for your family. Being comfortable does not mean being big. A small home can provide everything a family needs to get by whether times are good or bad. It will be less costly to build, to maintain and cost less in taxes every year.

Most people can not fathom having to live in the small homes that many of our grandparents called home. That mentality will have to change and will be for the better as it will allow people to relearn the difference between needs and wants.

A small cottage or cabin can provide everything a family needs to have a good life. When times are good and they have extra money they will be able to save it rather than pour it into an asset that can go down faster than it goes up. Having actual savings is very important especially if credit is difficult to obtain.

A small home of only a few hundred square feet can be used as a vacation spot, a primary residence or an opportunity to rent it out for additional income. It can also provide a struggling millennial with a low wage job the ability to actually own a home now. This last fact will become more important as time goes on. Not only that but the ability for you to own a home free and clear will alleviate the anxiety if you come on hard times and risk losing your primary home. Knowing you still have a place to go that you can afford to maintain will be worth a great deal to you and your family.

Most people do not realize how cheap a small home can be built for. A great deal of the expense of a home comes from the size, the zoning regulations and the cost of labor to build it. Not to mention the cost of land in certain markets. A small home that can be built by you from kit form is a poor persons dream. It only requires a person to think in terms of function rather than size and looks.

A small home is a way for people that are marginally getting by to survive until they can improve their situation. Small cabin kits can be found for as little as $7,000 that two people can assemble in a few days. Imagine being able to buy a small piece of rural land, put in a well and septic system and build a livable home on it all for less than the cost of a modern luxury car. It’s possible in many areas.

Here is just one place where you can find prefab cabin kits for very little. Getaway Prefab Wooden Cabin Kit bzbcabinsandoutdoors.net

Even if you decide to build from scratch yourself these kits can give you some good ideas to start from.

In the coming months having a fully owned shelter you can depend on will become harder as the economy gets worse and people lose much of the money they think they have. It only takes a second for all of those digits in your banks computer to disappear forever.

Even if you have a good shelter now a cabin can provide you with an income producing opportunity that should not be overlooked. Also for those that have collage aged kids that are probably having a hard time in today’s economy, you can help them get a good start by helping to provide them with a small paid for home like a cabin that they can call their own. Having a paid for home starting out in life can open up many opportunities for a young adult. The money they can save even over a few years can be very helpful.

A small home provides a stepping stone to better things in the future but if things go terribly wrong in the economy you will have a place to go no matter what. Starting out small and working up is the way people have lived for centuries. It is only recently that people have been exposed to easy credit that has allowed them to live beyond their means and the future collapse of this credit will force people to return to a saner, more reality based existence. Start small, live within your means and follow your dreams and you may someday have the mansion on the hill to show for all of your effort.

How Will You Cope With A Lower Standard of Living?

By: Tom Chatham

The forces are mounting that will eventually overwhelm most Americans and send their standard of living to unknown depths. Americans that have only known the post WWII prosperity are ill equipped and educated to deal with depression level living. Easy credit and instant gratification have created a nation of whining, self absorbed, entitlement minded people with no moral or mental toughness.

Doug Casey believes we are headed for what he calls a super depression created by the ending of a debt super cycle. The bigger the debt cycle the bigger the depression that follows. That’s how reality works and most people are not prepared for reality.

When this depression, which has already started, gets momentum, it will overwhelm the plans of a society that is expecting to get things like social security, pensions and payouts from retirement plans they have paid into for many years. All of those things will disappear almost overnight and leave society gasping and stupefied over what to do. Their reactions will be to yell and scream and try to identify who to blame but the only person they should blame is the one in the mirror.

Many very smart people have raised the alarm and done their best to warn the sleeping public, but those slumbering masses have ignored the warnings and hit the snooze button one more time. The masses do not understand economics, do not want to understand economics and they will pay dearly for that ignorance in the coming days.

When the real unemployment rate becomes common knowledge as it increases substantially, people will be left to survive on what resources they have saved up outside the banking system that cannot be stolen by the politicians and bankers. That is a key point here. The assets you have outside the system that cannot be stolen from you with a few key strokes on some computer.

Those hoping for some miraculous event that will send the U.S. back to the days of manufacturing might and jobs for all will never see it happen. Those days are gone. The west line theory tells us our economy will slow down and become more modest as the shipping center of the world moves west to the next powerhouse region which is Asia. This is what history teaches us.

When people suddenly wake up one morning and they have no job, their retirement is gone and they need to care for their family, what will they do? When government services have collapsed and they suddenly realize they are now living in a third world country with few government services, what will they do? When the banks are closed and only a select few connected people have any type of money or access to goods, what will they do?

This is the reality that many people will face in the future and they have no idea how bad it can get. They refuse to contemplate the harsh reality they will be living in and take steps to mitigate the effects. To do so would be to acknowledge it could happen and they are taking personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is a dirty phrase in today’s entitlement society. To see some of the effects one only has to look at the collapse of society in Venezuela today to see what awaits.

When it happens it will all fall back to you to take responsibility for your family and take care of them for the duration. To do that you need to plan now for that eventuality and build up the resources you will need to provide food, shelter, clothing and security when the system fails to do it for you. You need to be Noah on his ark not the people watching as he floated away.

Having resources stored up is a must but it may not get you all the way through if the situation lasts for many years. That is why you need some type of plan to replace those resources as time goes by and have some way to generate some type of income or at least items to trade. Usable goods are for the short term and things like gold ,silver and production equipment are for the long term to help you get through the crisis with the least amount of pain.

Even with proper planning the days ahead will not be easy as the standard of living of society will fall substantially to levels only seen in failed third world countries or old pictures. The assets actually owned by people today is very small compared to how they live. They will default on their home loan, their car loan, and their credit card debt leaving them with very few real possessions and few ways to move what they have left even if they have some place to go. Ultimately these people will become the new serfs to the wealthy class that will take possession of anything of value. Feudalism will once again rule.

The lack of planning by society will make this a reality if it is allowed. What will you do when everything you have worked a lifetime for is suddenly taken away? Do you have a plan to keep what you have? Do you have a plan to make money when you cannot find a job? Do you have a way to take care of your family until things stabilize? Do you have a home you will not lose if the whole system breaks down? What will you do if electricity or fuel is too expensive to buy or not available to the general population? These are the questions you should be asking yourself now and you better have a good answer because your family will be asking them when the greater depression sets in.

How To Prepare For Wheelbarrow Economics

By: Tom Chatham

Wheelbarrow economics become apparent when you find yourself toting a wheelbarrow full of paper money to the store to buy a loaf of bread. The loaf of bread always retains the same value, it is merely the value of the fiat currency being used that drops in value forcing you to carry ever more notes to make a purchase. Tomorrow’s version is the addition of new zeros to a bank account accessed by plastic cards. This is one reason there is a push for a cashless society. It would allow a government to simply add numbers to a bank account rather than actually printing fiat notes. Paper is far too valuable to debase it by putting numbers on it.

When currency begins to debase at a faster rate, such as weekly or monthly, by a large amount, the holder must convert it into real value as soon as possible to prevent the loss of their purchasing power. At some point the distribution system begins to break down as credit becomes more difficult for producers to utilize. The typical 30 day credit cycle that most developed societies use becomes untenable as value is lost and it becomes more profitable for producers to stop producing and selling on the open market thus preventing the loss of their work. This is where black markets begin to appear to satisfy the needs of producers and consumers.

If you do not understand the dynamics of what you just read you simply have to study the events in Venezuela over the past two years to understand. The people are on the verge of starvation and the government seems powerless to stop it. They made the age old mistake of assuming they could just print their way out of their problems. They have been selling their gold to pay for the billions of paper notes they had printed for circulation. This is the action of socialist politicians that do not understand economics. The same socialist actions are being implemented in most developed nations today in Europe and North America.

The simple cure for many of these problems would have been to simply use their gold stores to mint gold legal tender coins and the value of their monetary system would have slowly stabilized and production and distribution would have resumed in short order. Instead they have more pain to suffer as the country breaks down into chaos.

What you see happening in Venezuela will come to America and Europe if the current status quo continues. So, the question is what to do. If you understand the reality that awaits you in the near future you know you need to do something to prevent the kind of suffering you now see in Venezuela. If you knew a can of beans would cost $10 a year from now or a can of ham would cost $50 you might come to the conclusion that you should buy extra now so you wouldn’t have to spend much more later. If the money you earn in the future buys much less than today and your income does not keep up with this inflation you will slowly starve if you can even find anything to buy. So, how do you prepare for something like this?

You need to keep in mind that who you are and where you live has a lot to do with how you prepare for a situation like this. Someone living on five acres of land in the country may stock up on seeds and canning supplies while a person living in a multistory apartment in the city might want several cases of canned goods. You need to take any suggestions with a grain of salt and develop a plan that is tailored for you. Having said that there are some things you need to think about.

No matter where you are you need a supply of food and water you can depend on for a specified period of time. You need to decide what that period of time should be based on your assessment of the situation you foresee. You need to store foods you normally eat or could stand if they were the only thing available to you. They need to be shelf stable for longterm storage without refrigeration and be easy for you to prepare with minimal energy inputs, meaning heat. You need sufficient water storage for the duration just in case you cannot get any after the system breaks or at least a way to find and filter water if you have to forage for it.

When things get really bad you will have to have a way to protect yourself and those things you need to survive. There will be those that are unprepared for the events that will unfold and they will be desperate and willing to do anything they must to get what they need. This is what we are now seeing in Venezuela today. People are being robbed of the little bit they are able to get before they can get it home.

Economic problems will eventually lead to energy problems at some point. This means that if you depend on electricity for life sustaining systems you will need to have a backup system to fall back on if the power is not available off the grid. If you depend on a vehicle to get to work or someplace important you will need to have a way to get fuel if you can no longer buy it through regular channels. A few solar panels and some deep cycle batteries can go a long way to providing electrical power and a supply of fuel or alternative like a wood gassifier can keep your car running when others cannot. Just keep in mind that having power or a running car when others do not can make you a target so you need to keep that in mind.

When the system stops working properly it will be difficult to get the proper medical attention if you are sick or ill. Having some basic supplies to take care of all but the worst conditions can be a life saver and having a supply of medicine to cure viral and bacterial infections could be the difference between life and death. When urban systems begin to shut down the lack of proper sanitation can cause many of the dangers you must protect yourself from. The ability to maintain proper sanitation and hygiene will become more important as time goes on so supplies to take care of those things are very important.

Depending on where you live, the lack of heating or air conditioning may be a life threatening situation so you must have a way to provide those things or have a place to go to minimize the effects. Having a wood stove or quality sleeping bag to keep warm or having some place below ground level to keep cool will make a lot of difference when the time comes so you need a plan to deal with those problems now.

When you have satisfied yourself that you have taken reasonable precautions to deal with a situation out of your control, one final thing you need to think about is how you will preserve any wealth you have saved up for future use. No matter how well you plan there will always be something you forgot so you will need a way to buy what you need. If your only recourse is to use the quickly debasing currency that is still accepted you will be hard pressed to get what you need at any reasonable price. For this reason you will need to store that extra wealth in some form that will maintain its value. This can be in gold or silver coins or as a stockpile of easily bartered goods. A combination of the two might be the best solution. It is difficult to foresee a serious injury like an operation or broken bone that needs mending but with gold or food items that a doctor needs you will have access to those services.

Situations like we now see in Venezuela are survivable but most people suffer horribly due to the lack of understanding and preparation for situations that develop over time. Would you want to survive the crisis with very little suffering and loss of wealth or barely make it through having lost everything, possibly even your life. Those are the choices you must now consider while there is still time to affect the outcome.