By: Tom Chatham
The recent cyber attack on computers worldwide is just the latest wakeup call to the future we are blindly building for ourselves. The vast majority of humanity embraces technology like it is their next breath of air. Without it, they feel like they will die.
Technology is a double edged sword that we wield that must be handled with care less we cut off one of our own limbs. Technology allows us to be more productive and work faster than without it but as we embrace more technology to relieve us of many manual tasks we must not let it rule our very existence.
Technology must be used as a lever, not a crutch. When we give up our ability to function in daily life and allow technology to rule our every move, we ultimately give up our freedom. To allow technology to dictate what we can do and when we can do it is to reduce ourselves to nothing more than compliant slaves to it.
When a hospital cannot perform operations or even see patients because their computers are down or we cannot communicate or travel because of computer hacking, we have allowed technology to become a crutch that prevents us from falling on our faces in its absence. When we cannot buy food or fuel or depend on electrical power for basic needs we have become too dependant on the technology we invented to assist us.
The use of technology is a good thing that allows us to move forward and build things we never dreamed of before but when it becomes a weakness, we need to reexamine our use of it. If we become so dependant on technology that we cannot function without it we are preparing ourselves for a doomsday scenario when it eventually fails and we are helpless to care for ourselves.
It is only logical to have backup systems to utilize in the event our technology fails for some reason. This is the whole reason we have people to warn us before hand such as the EMP Commission to tell us we are in danger if certain events happen. Technology provides us with many good things but it also leaves us susceptible to many bad things as well if we ignore our responsibility to use it wisely and not become too dependant on it.
Many people today can actually have withdrawal symptoms if they lose access to their technology for any length of time. This should be an alarm to society but most just brush it off as fear mongering. When the loss of technology causes a business to completely stop operations, that should be an indication they do not have sufficient backup systems to fall back on.
One of the prime tenants of the prepper movement is that they have multiple backup systems to rely on if technology stops working. This is just a logical step taken by people that have taken the time to analyze the threats posed by the loss our technology and determine action is warranted for the preservation of life following certain events. The less technology you require to take care of daily activities, the more freedom you have to live a normal life.
Most people still do not take the threat of technological disruptions to society seriously. They think that if something happens, someone will fix it and life will go on as normal. What they refuse to contemplate is if something happens and nobody can fix it. As society moves along this technological road they become more dependent on it and the risk to their lives increases as they lose the ability to do basic tasks. Hopefully this latest cyber attack will instill in people the need to have backup systems in place to continue their daily activities and live life as a free person and not be a slave to the technology they so eagerly seek.
By: Tom Chatham
If you realize that we live in an ever changing and dangerous world where anything could happen at any time then you have probably also realized that you should have a plan to provide resources you need if the supply system is ever cut off. This mindset takes you into the realm of prepping.
The amount of preparations you have is relative to the type and extent of the event you are planning for. The problem is that we never know just how bad an event will be until it happens. Many intelligent people have supplies laid in just in case they need them but what will you do when they run out? We hope any event will be short in duration but what happens if it lasts for decades?
You may have a small farm to rely on but even if it is designed to be largely self sufficient, you will still run into problems later on. For instance, if you have a solar or wind system for power generation, what will you do when the batteries finally fail to work? Even the best lead acid battery will begin to fail after 10 years of use. What will you do then? There are other types of batteries but they all will fail at some point. Some batteries can last many decades such as nickel-iron batteries if you can replace the electrolyte every decade but that would require you to look ahead and store extra chemicals for that job.
If you farm and you need to buy fertilizer, seeds and fuel every year, what will you do when those supplies are cut off? There are ways around those problems such as using manure from your livestock to fertilize fields, using bio-diesel or wood gas for fuel and cultivating open pollinated seeds for future use. All of these solutions require prior planning to utilize them if it is necessary. And for machinery, keep in mind that you may be able to make fuel but lubricating oil and filters are a different matter that will require storage of extra supplies that you cannot make yourself.
Growing and canning your own foods is a smart move but do you have the supplies to do it indefinitely? If you use disposable canning lids how long will your supply last? If you use reusable canning lids and store extra rubber gaskets you will be able to can for many decades.
Following any large event that shuts down the grid or distribution system for several months or more, the supplies you need will not suddenly reappear on store shelves immediately following power restoration, transportation and banking. Many factories will have ceased operation during the event and may never reopen. The production and distribution system is a hardy weed but it will not reappear overnight once it has been shut down and you need to understand that and prepare accordingly.
Most people have a planning horizon of only a week or month at best. Preppers extend that to several months or a few years. If you really think we are headed for some type of catastrophic event then your planning horizon needs to be 5, 10 even 20 years out to foresee any problems you may have and plan your logistics to compensate for it.
Planning for the unknown 20 years out is a big step and the cost of some of the projected logistics could be enormous but simply looking at the problems now and coming up with cost effective solutions can have enormous benefits in the future.
Having a few basic tools and the knowledge to make leather shoes or boots can guarantee you a supply of footwear in the future. Having a sewing machine, spinning wheel, loom and some cotton seeds can provide you with the ability to make clothing indefinitely. A small charcoal foundry will allow you to make many types of metal products.
While we may not want to resort to these primitive types of production, it may be your only option if the worst happens. Simply having the materials and knowledge to resort to these types of production can be inexpensive today but priceless tomorrow if they are ever needed.
Looking ahead today and planning for tomorrow will allow you to deal with anything life throws at you in the future. The more resourceful you can become now, the more likely you will have a good quality of life in the future. It all starts with planning.
By: Tom Chatham
One thing many homesteaders and farmers need is extra income, especially if they are new to the area. It can be difficult getting a market established if you have to compete with others that are veterans to the local market. Producing a product is usually easier than finding enough return customers to make the farm sustainable. In this situation you need to think of unconventional services and products you can provide to fill the financial gap.
Rent RV storage space- There are many people that have RV’s or camper trailers for traveling or even bug out use if the need arises. These people may not have the room to store these items where they live or an economical place to store them. By providing a few parking spaces in an out of the way area on your land you can give them a cheap alternative.
Rent storage lockers- It seems everywhere you go these days you see storage units. One way to separate yourself from the pack is to offer these services to urban and suburban preppers that may not have a place to bug out if things get bad in the cities and need a place for their extra stuff. A 20’ cargo container makes a great storage locker and a potential temporary shelter.
Sell bulk grains to individuals- If you only grow a few acres of grains you want to get the maximum price for them so why not sell directly to people who want to store bulk grains. These people are usually willing to pay prices that are premium for the farmer but still lower than people can get from retailers. If you can process these grains as well into flour, cornmeal or rolled oats, you can get even better prices from potential customers.
Make your farm a vacation destination- If you have sufficient area to park a few RV’s or camping sites, your farm could become a seasonal vacation site for some people. If you can also offer things like a small store, horseback riding, swimming pool, fishing or hiking then you have something to draw people in. You could even offer the “farm experience” where they help slop the pigs, collect eggs or milk the cow.
Bug out site for urban dwellers- You could go one step further with the RV parking space and allow extra footage so a person could park their RV, have a storage unit and have room to plant a garden. This might be very appealing to many preppers that see the need to get out of the cities at some point but have no place to go long term.
Just over an acre of land can provide 12 50’x75’ blocks for rent. A road down the center of the area with blocks on either side and a gravel pad down one side of each block to place the storage container and park the RV is all that is needed. At $75 per month per block, a farmer could potentially make $10,800 per year if all blocks are rented. For the price of a monthly cable bill you could provide someone with storage space and a place to camp anytime they wanted.
When you have to compete with others in a small market, it may be necessary to find that niche that others do not see that you can fill. With the large number of preppers scattered around the country, this segment of society may be a good demographic to target for services they cannot find elsewhere.
We see offers for food storage and survival land for sale but seldom do you see anything in between that people with limited funds can afford. A bugout camping site on a farm may look very appealing to many on a limited budget that see the need. If the need ever arose the farmer would have likeminded people on site that would be of great benefit to him. If the world suddenly turns into a lemon, it would be good to have people around to help make lemonade.
By: Tom Chatham
The ability to provide emergency assistance to the local population following an event is critical to preservation of law and order, not to mention life. The ability to keep the population calm in the face of mass destruction will make recovery much easier by freeing up valuable manpower for recovery efforts. The ability to provide food and water will be the primary resources that will be needed to maintain control of the situation for long periods of time. A food storage and distribution system will be needed to provide sustenance to local populations very quickly following an event.
The need of civil defense personnel to provide the manpower for this function can not be over emphasized. Following an event such as a nuclear war or EMP strike, communication, transportation and deployment of personnel will be difficult if not impossible. If CD personnel are already present in the local communities nationwide, deployment will be automatic and immediate. There will be no need to find available personnel and transport them to the site. Local CD personnel can begin emergency operations within a few hours of an event providing the stability and direction the community will need to face the event.
A local CD program can be as small or as extensive as the community wishes. It can consist of a few dozen families on the same street or a whole town. It can simply have food stores to distribute or it can provide food, medical assistance, fuel supplies, power generation, shelter and transportation abilities. Food is the most basic need and must be stored before anything else, For a food distribution system, minimal equipment will be required if bulk storage is located locally and CD members have a distribution plan already mapped out for the worst case scenario.
A basic ration that can provide suitable calories to survivors can be packaged and dispersed on a monthly basis at designated dispersal areas. Local individuals can be issued a ration card in the initial days following an event that can be used to receive monthly rations. The card can have designated boxes that can be punched out every month when rations are received. Parents can be issued cards for each child to insure each person will get a monthly ration. A basic ration can consist of the following items.
183 lbs. Hard Wheat 15.25lbs./month
45 lbs. Oats 3.75lbs./ month
137 lbs. Corn 11.4lbs./ month
113 lbs. Beans 9.4lbs./ month
46 lbs. dry milk 3.8lbs./ month
1.5 Gal. Veg. oil 16oz./ month
45 lbs. Sugar 3.75lbs./ month
7.5 lbs. iodized salt .625lbs./ month
These items and amounts will provide one person with a basic daily ration for one year or month as noted. The ability to store these items in bulk will provide an efficient means to store a food supply for a community that can feed them for up to a year. One simply has to multiply these amounts by the number of people you will need to feed to determine the total amount of food you should store for such an event.
A community that knows it will have basic food supplies regardless of the situation will prevent acts of violence and desperation following an event when people will normally panic due to the many unknowns in their future. Providing them with a certain number of knowns will keep the panic to a minimum and allow the community to focus human energies on alleviating their longer term problems.
Power for basic systems can be provided by fuel storage and ultimately by the use of wood gas generators for longer term situations when fuel resupply is not possible. Wood gas can also be used for vehicle fuel if functional vehicles are available. The ability to provide local energy for critical systems like water and sewage pumping will go far in alleviating suffering due to lack of functional infrastructure. It will also provide power needed for any functional communication systems available to the community.
A local civil defense corps can fill many of the needs a community will face following a catastrophic event and is one of the only solutions that can be run by local communities that offers immediate results. Local governments like to think they have a plan to deal with most emergencies but when it comes to the low probability/ high impact events, they are all largely ill equipped to handle them. A power grid failure can cascade into something much worse if the problem is not resolved fairly quickly. It is the potential for these cascading failures to occur that makes modern life so deadly for the population.
Government entities do not possess the ability to care for the entire population of the country if everything stops suddenly. The government has little in the way of food stores that can feed the nation without going to individuals and companies and taking what they have to be distributed in an ad hoc fashion.
Having bulk supplies in every community nationwide is the only way to insure we have the means to survive the worst if it ever happens. By explaining the potential dangers to locals and gaining their support by real leadership, money can be raised in the community and used to construct bulk storage sites and equip a civil defense unit. When our previous civil defense organization was folded into FEMA we lost all local control of any response and the benefits it brought to local communities and individuals.
As with most things, you do not have to do it all at once. Simply buying 9 food grade 55 gallon drums and filling 4 with wheat, 2 with beans, 2 with corn and 1 with oats, you will have sufficient grains and beans to feed over 50 people for a month. This is at a cost of about $310 dollars at current prices. That is a small investment to insure 20 families are working together rather than against one another. It should also be noted that those with the resources following an event will have control over the population. Would you rather some government entity have that control or your community.
While there are no simple answers that will work equally well for all communities, having something to work with in an emergency is a far better situation than having nothing. We often forget that in our just in time delivery system we can go from everything to nothing in a matter of hours. When something goes wrong, how well our communities handle the aftermath will depend on what they have to handle it with. With the many dangers we face today, it is likely only a matter of time before we are forced to respond to an event, and what price will we pay in our current state of readiness?
By: Tom Chatham
Many Americans have been in dire straits for the past 8 years since the last economic implosion. Many still do not have full time jobs and some do not even have part time jobs. These people have been left behind while Washington plows ahead as if everything is just fine. To those with government jobs life is just fine. When times are bad it helps to have a guaranteed paycheck regardless if you produce any meaningful work in society.
For those that need employment all they are greeted with is a chorus of go get a job from elitists. That is easier said than done in many cases. When you are confronted with a need to earn money, you need a plan to make it happen. When jobs are hard to find then you need to think outside of the box and create a job for yourself. Having good luck is great but for the rest of us brainstorming is a must to find a niche to fill.
To brainstorm, all you need to do is take a sheet of paper and pencil and begin writing out a list of things you know how to do, things you have the tools to do it with and things you think are an unserved need in your area. Once you have a good long list start looking over it and assess the potential of each item.
Typical ways to make extra money are to offer a service that people in your area may need such as lawn maintenance, tree trimming, small engine repair, auto repair, welding or handy man services. These are some tried and true jobs that work just about anywhere. This is a way to cash in on some of your hobbies or special talents such as wood working, sewing, riding lessons or teaching a musical instrument.
For the last two decades, the internet has provided people with ways to earn extra money through web design, web sites and e commerce sites to name a few. New technology is always welcome when making extra money requires new ideas.
One problem many people will run into these days is the fact that many ways of earning extra income are service related jobs that depend on a good economy and people that have money to spare. When the economy gets bad the types of jobs will shift to things that people must have or will save them money by having you do it.
In a bad economy certain things happen like cars and homes get repossessed. The people who end up with these items may need someone to clean them up for resale, repair items or maintain the location until it is sold. You can sometimes find these kinds of jobs by talking to your local banker. Many people may find these types of jobs distasteful but if you need the money you’ll have to make a decision.
The first things people will seek to satisfy are food, shelter and clothing. These are the primary needs of humans. So in a bad economy something that fills one of these needs is a good choice if you can provide an economical price in your location. Growing some food to sell, converting your garage into a small apartment to rent out or mending clothes are good examples. If you are good with cars you might be able to buy cheap cars to fix up and resell for a small profit. In a bad economy many people will be looking to get a cheap car because they need transportation but cannot afford a newer one.
What services or products do you look for when your money is tight and you need to stretch it out? Is there something there that you can provide for others? We all hope things get better but if history is any indicator, things will likely get much worse before they improve substantially. The west line has shifted from North America to Asia. The west line indicates where the shipping center of the world is at any given time. Once it shifts away from a country that location will suffer the types of economic degradation we are now witnessing in the U.S. We can try to get some of our jobs back but that ship has sailed so we must learn to work with a smaller, slower economy if we are to survive as a nation.
Many people will not want to hear that but the truth hurts. Those that understand the dynamics of this phenomenon will be better able to cope with the new reality and plan their future to deal with it. This means understanding what products and services people will need and having a plan to provide them as the economy continues to be unstable for years to come until some type of equilibrium is achieved.
Many people have dreamed of being their own boss and running their own business. The economy we see unfolding will make it imperative for you to have more control of your income opportunities. Taking some time now to evaluate your current finances and developing a plan to insure your family has the things they will need will determine your standard of living in the coming years. Failure to plan now will likely end in a lower standard of living for you and force you to navigate the many difficulties ahead with far fewer resources.
By: Tom Chatham
Most people would agree that when disaster strikes, what you know is one of the most important things you will have to work with. Your knowledge base is the one thing you can carry with you wherever you go. It will allow you to create items from locally available materials and improve your situation, whatever it may be. It is this mindset that many preppers use to improve their chances if the unthinkable should happen.
But lets take this mindset a step further. What would you be capable of doing if a global catastrophe happened? One such as a pole shift that destroys much of the infrastructure, knowledge and people that know how to build things and how they work. Would you be able to recreate some of the things you would need to rebuild society if you had to start from scratch with only your knowledge to guide you?
I like to play a mental game sometimes to help me understand just how much I actually know so I can identify what I need to learn. One scenario I use is to imagine that I am suddenly left in a destroyed world. What complex system could I recreate that would help me utilize many of the technologies I have lost? One system I use is the aircraft carrier. That may sound strange but just think of all of the various systems that comprise of that one ship.
While you may not be able to recreate all of the systems in their current form you can retain the knowledge to build primitive versions of those systems. You may not have the ability to build microprocessors but you can build vacuum tubes. You may not be able to recreate the telephone but you can build a telegraph set. You may not be able to build a nuclear reactor but you can build a wood fired steam engine. You may not be able to build a GPS unit but you can build a sextant and compass.
All of the technology we have today was built on the foundation of previous technologies we once used. Even if you do not understand current technologies, knowing how antiquated equipment worked gives you a base of knowledge you can build on. The following are some of the technologies it is helpful to know if you ever need to recreate them from scratch.
How to identify iron ore in rocks and refine it into cast iron and steel
How to weld or rivet steel plates together
How to build a boat or large ship
How to build a simple steam engine fueled by wood
How to build a propeller for a ship
How to make oil lamps and fuel for them
How to make a basic light bulb
How to make copper wires
How to make a simple telegraph set
How to make a basic battery
How to make a basic radio set or crystal radio
How to make vacuum tubes for radios
How to build a simple airplane or glider
How to build a simple generator
How to build a crossbow
How to build a flintlock rifle
How to make gunpowder
How to make glass
How to make paper
How to build a water wheel for power
How to build basic machining tools such as a lathe or milling machine
How to build a water pump
How to build a saw blade to cut lumber
How to make lead pencils or ink
How to make cloth
How to build a still
How to build a compass
How to build a mechanical clock
How to navigate by the stars or sun
How to make a camera or tin type
How to make camera film
How to make a telescope or binoculars
If this list seems overwhelming, that is the idea, and this is a small list. Most people do not realize how much technology we use on a daily basis and most have no clue how any of it works. If they were suddenly cast out into the wilderness, they would likely revert to caveman living if they survived at all.
Learning about how things work does not have to be boring. Many people would find sitting around reading about making stuff enough to say forget it. If you want to learn about building boats you don’t need to build a ship, just build a canoe or row boat in your spare time. If you want to know about radios get a crystal radio kit or build a basic tube radio from scratch. If you want to learn about the basic structure of airplanes buy a balsa wood airplane kit and build a model from scratch. If you think a clock is too difficult to build try a paper clock kit that works. If you have kids these projects can be even more fun and educational if you do it with them.
In the event of a world cataclysm, if the few survivors could even recreate the technology of the early 20th century, they would have a good start on rebuilding our technology base. When knowledge is lost, it takes centuries to rediscover it. Just look at the achievements of the Romans and how much knowledge was lost when the Roman empire collapsed. Many of the areas reverted to more basic technologies until centuries later when the knowledge was rediscovered. Roman concrete was much harder than modern cement because they added volcanic ash to it to make it harder. How many people today know that?
When disaster strikes humanity at any level, the more MacGyver’s there are in society, the more likely we will recover from it with much less pain. Knowledge allows humans to be creative and constructive following a crisis while lack of knowledge turns people into animals doing anything they can to survive. Modern society has very little real knowledge and that does not bode well for the survival of humanity if the fateful day ever comes.
While very few people today may be able to recreate all of the things on this list, the more each person knows, the better off society as a whole will be in the future. You should endeavor to learn something new as often as possible until the day you die because you never know when that little bit of knowledge will be a lifesaver. It would be a shame for something to happen to this planet and the survivors be forced to revert to medieval living and the hardships it would entail for lack of knowledge of our most basic technologies.
By: Tom Chatham
We are heading into a new depression. It is not coming. It is already here but we are only in the beginning so it may not be easy for many people to see just yet. Once it is easy to see it will be too late for any meaningful actions to mitigate the effects. Just as you must prepare for a tornado ahead of time, you must prepare for economic conditions early.
We have 20 trillion in debt, over 200 trillion in unfunded liabilities and over a quadrillion in derivatives held by the banks. Our GDP is only about 17 trillion a year and world GDP is only about 60 trillion. It does not take a math wiz to realize that even if we are not paying any interest at all on this massive debt, there is no way to ever pay it all back short of some type of default.
That is what depressions do. They wipe out all of the misallocation of resources and bad debt and provide a reset for the economy. These resets can be relatively easy or they can be very destructive depending on the amount of misallocation that is present in the system. The amount of debt, brought on by decades of unrestricted credit creation, is the largest in history. That means we are in for a very bad ride in the near future.
Much of the money that people think they have is really only made up of digits in some computer somewhere. The banking industry has already taken this money for its own use. To eliminate the need to ever give it back to the rightful owners they must destroy these digits. That is what the new bail-ins are all about. They can at some point just wipe all of those digits out of existence and say tough luck suckers.
The depression of the 1930’s was a deflationary one in nature. People lost their jobs, prices fell and cash was king. People holding bonds did very well. In an inflationary depression, prices rise, people will get paid in increasingly worthless paper and bonds will collapse. Banks will enact bail-ins to stay solvent and people will go broke while holding piles of cash.
In the end the inflationary depression will end with the currency collapsing and people losing everything they have that is not fully owned. Eventually we will see deflation as prices fall due to the destruction of the monetary system. At this point most people will be financially devastated. Those that make it to this point with their wealth in tact will be the new wealthy class.
So how can a person survive something like this? You simply need to focus on the needs of your family over this period of time. If you can provide the needs of your family regardless of the prices at the time, you will make it through the worst of times, This means you need a plan to provide these items to your family whether prices are rising or falling. If you have a years supply of food, it does not matter what the current price is, you will have the means to feed them.
If your home is paid for, your car is paid for and you have a supply of energy or a way to produce it yourself, it will not matter to you how fast prices are changing or how much money you bring home every week. You will be able to live outside of the rapidly changing economy. The rapid changes that will destroy others will only provide you a glancing blow.
Those that survive on credit will be devastated as their access to credit is cut off and they become unable to continue making payments on their possessions. They will be devastated even if they still have a paying job. For those that expect to survive on their savings and pensions, they will find those accounts empty following any bail-ins.
Where you live will also play a major role in how well you survive the depression. What do you think will happen when those dependent multi generational families lose their welfare and food stamps following the breakdown of the credit system and prices rise faster than benefits? The ability to produce some items yourself will also depend on your location and the ability to stay safe.
The whole of the production and distribution system depends on 30 day credit. When the credit system ceases to function, goods will stop being produced and transported. This will lead to high prices and few goods to buy. So even if you have a bag full of money you may not be able to buy what you want at some point.
Just like a tornado that tears through a community, a depression can leave the people without the resources they need unless they have them hidden away safely for future use following the event. This is why having resources, real physical goods, put away now will allow you to thrive when the system fails. When the system resets, you will not get a second chance to do it right. You only have one shot and that requires you to finalize your preparations now while you still can make a difference.
The whole point of preparing for this type of upheaval is to maintain a standard of living that you find acceptable. Lack of preparation in this type of event will likely find you living much poorer than you would like. If you are successful in maintaining your standard of living and preserving your wealth throughout this event you will have won the battle and set yourself up for a better future when things stabilize.
By: Tom Chatham
The people that are preparing for some sort of chaos in their future are only doing the prudent thing considering the environment we are now living in. Those with growing piles of supplies for disasters, war or some type of collapse have made the mental leap that is required to prepare themselves for unknown eventualities that can be life altering. These people have made a plan to survive the difficult times that come and live to tell of it.
What many of these people have not contemplated is the day when the chaos is over and life begins to return to some new type of normalcy. Most people simply plan for chaos and never think about coming out of the other side at some point. While chaos can leave you in an unknown place you should have some idea what you will do when normalcy begins to return to society.
If you planned ahead you probably have a plan to provide necessities such as food and water for the duration of the chaos. Ultimately you will have a plan to provide these things in a sustainable way since you do not know how long the crisis will last. Once society begins to reestablish some sort of order you need to have some type of idea what your next move will be.
If you already have the means to produce food and water sustainably you may then want to move into excess production to trade to others as a way to get other things you need. If the local market is saturated with others like yourself there may not be a big demand for food so you need some other product to trade. These are the things you need to think about for after the chaos.
When society begins to stabilize and rebuild itself people will want many of the things they have been deprived of for the duration of the crisis. As society begins to build up there will be a need for people to produce these things either on a small scale or a large scale depending on the item. This is what your post crisis plan needs to take into account.
The ability to produce these items will require infrastructure of some type. Depending on the type of crisis you went through, many of the resources you may need to produce things will likely have been destroyed. In a worst case scenario you need to have either production equipment that survives the chaos or the ability to make new equipment yourself. This is how a production base will be reestablished in a post crisis era. Those that have this production capability will be very important persons in the community.
This production capability does not have to be a large scale proposition. It can be as simple as a floor loom and spinning wheel to make clothing, a grinder to make flour and meal, wood working tools to make furniture, metal working equipment to make tools or equipment to produce some type of fuel such as alcohol. This production capability also extends to services that people need such as medical services or transportation.
Having some type of production capability is not only good for surviving the crisis but also to have the means to improve living conditions after the worst is over. At some point you will want to once again ply a trade to generate income for your family.
Two hundred years ago many small communities were largely self sufficient. You had farmers producing food, blacksmiths working metal, individuals making cloth, coopers making barrels and wheels and mills grinding wheat and cutting lumber. The whole community worked as a self sufficient unit.
There are those today calling for people to create small groups or communities to ride out any chaos that may come in the future. The primary reason is for collective security in the event society becomes violent and uncontrollable. This same small group can provide the basis for a self sufficient community following an event.
An individual can become self sufficient to some degree but there are only so many hours in a day and many types of basic production requires many hours of work to produce a product. This means that an individual is very limited in the amount of goods he can produce in a given amount of time and thus is limited to the amount of excess production he can produce. With a community of producers, every person can work in the field they are most productive in and increase the overall supply of goods. It is for this reason that small groups will be valuable after an event as well as during.
If each of the members of this group can provide different capabilities to the group as well as production equipment, it will enhance the overall standard of living of the entire group. Maintaining a production capability during the crisis that can be ramped up once conditions have stabilized will benefit those in and around the community and greatly improve conditions in the months following.
While conditions can be violent during a crisis, the lack of resources following the crisis can extend it longer than necessary as people fight for the limited supplies. When people have the things they need they are easier to live with and infighting is greatly reduced. It is for this reason that the ability to produce following a crisis is just as important as during . Having a plan to insure production capability for necessary goods following an event can help to stabilize the situation and eventually normalization to the local area. The Marshal Plan that helped to rebuild Europe following WWII did just that.
For those that believe we are headed for difficult times, they need to think up their own type of local Marshal Plan to help rebuild following an event that could fracture the country and leave behind a third world country in its wake.
By: Tom Chatham
It is the conclusion of many that in any serious world altering event it will likely be far safer in a rural location than an urban one. Many of the hazards we face during and following any event can largely be reduced to one main threat. People. The more people there are in a disaster area the more competition there will be for any resources that are necessary for life. Population density can become a serious threat in and of itself.
For this reason the rural retreat is seen as the answer to reducing many of the threats we are likely to face. While rural areas offer many advantages, they are still prone to situations that can be detrimental to survival. As I have often stated, those who prepare and have a rural home still need to be concerned about the possibility you may have to bug out of your location. The recent fires in eastern Tennessee are a case in point.
The rural areas hit by these fires could be seen as ideal retreat locations due to their remote locations, low population density and closeness to a national forest. Even with all of these things going for you it is still possible to be forced out of your retreat location by natural and man made forces. It is for this reason that alternative sites should be surveyed ahead of time in the event you have to leave in a hurry.
It is also important to know when to leave. As we have seen with these fires, many people were virtually trapped and unable to evacuate. They waited too long and then had to hope for the best as fires swept through the towns and communities. Roads became blocked with burning trees as people rushed to get out. This situation could have ended much worse than it did.
Having a rural retreat location to hunker down in is preferred but you must take stock of other dangers once you are there. Natural disasters like fires, floods, earthquakes and tornados or dangers such as war or a social breakdown can make your safe haven a death trap. It does not matter if it is a fire or a group of scavengers moving across the land, you will be in great danger at some point unless you have planned for that eventuality.
Even a simple plan can be lifesaving when the time comes. Simply having a hidden cellar where you can store your extra supplies or even your family until the danger is past can make a lot of difference. Having a cellar dug in deeply at some place away from your primary residence that is protected from natural or manmade forces can provide you with options in an emergency.
Having a bug out plan for your retreat is also an option depending on the danger. There are times when leaving is the only option to stay alive. Having some of your supplies stored in a small trailer that can be quickly hooked up to your vehicle can make evacuation much faster. This trailer can also be set up to provide a makeshift shelter until you can return home or to a safe area. You are only limited by your imagination.
Many people live in urban areas and do not have the luxury of moving to a safer area. When disaster strikes, these people can be in the most danger and they need to have a plan to relocate by some means in the event it is required. These people are still at risk of fires , floods and earthquakes not to mention social disorders that can make their current position untenable. For urban dwellers a simple plan of relocation along with resources to support yourself is necessary.
For these people, having a plan to shelter in place under most circumstances is reasonable and proper but there may come a time when you must go. It is important that you realize the implications to you and your family if you fail to at least consider the possibility of evacuation under certain conditions and have a plan to carry it out.
Many people are breathing a sigh of relief now that Trump has been elected but our problems are not over by any means. The many dangers we face in the future are still present and just waiting to unfold. Those that are easing up on their preparations should not be led into a false sense of security. Now is the time to be even more vigilant and review your preparations just in case things do not go as planned.
Of all the dangers we can face our own lack of preparedness is the one most easily corrected and reduced to a negligible level. You do not need to be wealthy to take simple common sense steps to reduce the hazards we will all face at some point in the future. As we have seen in the past, our worst enemy is our own lack of imagination to the threats we can face and the actions we can take to deal with them before they get out of hand and become too big to deal with in a timely manner. There will always be threats to our existence and we will have to face them with a plan or suffer the consequences of our inaction.
By: Tom Chatham
Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in North America. This settlement was meant to establish a functional colony that would earn money for the company that was financially backing it. The new world was overflowing with natural resources yet to be exploited.
As a business venture the men who thought up this colony failed to think it through to its inevitable conclusion. That lack of planning led to the death of many people and almost ended in total failure. They made many assumptions that ended badly. For one thing they intended to supply the colony with regular shipments of food from England. The inability to deliver this food in a timely manner led to massive starvation.
The people that were chosen to populate this colony were regular people that were used to living in an established, stable society where the things they needed were readily available. In reality, the people they needed to establish this colony and get it operational needed to be woodsmen and rugged types that knew how to live and survive in the wilderness. The lack of personnel with the appropriate skills to live here caused much hardship for several years until they figured everything out the hard way.
John Smith was able to work with the Indians and trade with them. Following an accident, Smith went back to England and the relations with the Indians went bad. The colonists became trapped in their fort and slowly starved to death. Did that need to happen?
These colonists were depending on things to work as they had planned but life teaches us that the best laid plans often go awry. They had few contingency plans if things did not work right. They failed to take stock of the resources available to them and learn how to use them to their advantage.
What really amazes me is that they slowly starved while living only yards away from the James River. This is a waterway that was teaming with seafood. Fish, crabs and oysters are just some of the resources available in this waterway but the lack of knowledge to harvest this food led to massive suffering.
History teaches us lessons and we become wiser by learning those lessons. We can learn the easy way, from other peoples mistakes, or the hard way, by making those mistakes ourselves and hopefully surviving it. I prefer to learn from others mistakes as much as possible. So, what does this have to do with modern civilization?
If and when we are suddenly taken out of the comfortable, well organized world that we know and are suddenly thrown back onto our own resources, what we know will determine how well we get by. Knowing how to acquire food from the local area and how to avoid dangerous places and people while doing it are just some of the things you will need to know if the current distribution system ever shuts down for any length of time.
Learning history gives us more than just dry historical facts. History tells us what questions we should be asking ourselves and shows us what the consequences are for not knowing the answer. Knowing history is just as important as knowing survival skills. History teaches us what works and what does not. It helps to put the survival skills into context. It teaches us what comes next when something bad happens. We now know that lack of sanitation can lead to contaminated water that leads to cholera epidemics. We know this because we know history.
While you are learning to survive disasters you also need to learn some history to go with it to help you answer the questions you have not even thought of yet. Knowledge comes from many places and in many forms and allows us to adapt to changing circumstances. The technology may change but we have been in these situations before and learned to deal with it. Learn from the past so you can better deal with the future. There is nothing new under the sun.