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
So, you’ve got your food all stored away to last the next several years. You have your fuel barrel full and your generator and solar panels ready for the end of the power grid. You have enough weapons and ammo to deal with anything. You are mentally and physically prepared for the long hard days ahead.
You are prepared to fight the war that will eventually show up at your front door someday in some form and for an unknown length of time. You are prepared for the chaos, but are you prepared for the eventual peace?
At some point, the situation will stabilize in some form. It will become possible to walk down the street without being shot at. It will become possible to reopen businesses or to barter. It will become possible to breathe a sigh of relief.
When that day comes, how will you survive? You probably have your stash of silver or gold and some barter items but how long will that last? When the system goes down it will take most peoples jobs, their savings, their retirement accounts and pensions and much of the property they thought they owned.
Everyone will be forced to start over again. It could be years before the job market is functioning again. Until then, how do you plan to take care of yourself and your family? What is your plan to generate some income to live on and acquire the things you need?
Surviving the chaos will be a full time job but when it’s over, then what? Your gold and silver will take you a long ways but they only provide you with a temporary solution to your future needs. At some point you will need to start saving for the day when you are no longer able to do useful work.
Most people are busy preparing to just survive the coming chaos but some thought needs to be given to the day after it all ends. Even a few minutes spent now developing a basic plan will be critical to helping you transition to the new normal. A basic idea and the acquisition of a few basic tools or supplies to help you develop your new income stream will help you leverage your time and supplies to get by in the future.
Knowledge is the primary tool you need to navigate the future. Knowing how to make physical things or repair things will help you meet the future needs of society. Next to that, the storage of tools, machines, raw materials and information relevant to start a new business needed by the community will give you an edge.
In a prolonged period of chaos much of our infrastructure will likely be destroyed. In the aftermath, those with the skills and tools to rebuild will be a valuable asset to society. The ability to repair vehicles or machines, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, electrical, healthcare, farming and skills to build physical products will all be needed by a populace that wishes to regain some of the creature comforts they have lost in past years.
The more skills and materials you have when that day comes the sooner recovery can happen. Some may say it is a bit presumptive to plan for a day when things get better but if you feel things will never get better then why prepare to get through the worst of times at all? If you have the courage to plan for difficult times then you should also give yourself the ability to enjoy the day when things get better. Planning ahead for the distant future was never more important than it is right now.
By: Tom Chatham
That seems like a simple enough question, yet many people have yet to answer it to any satisfaction. Most people live their lives in day to day desperation with no more thought than to make it to the end of the month with enough money to spare.
What is your destination in life? Where are you going and how do you plan to get there? If you cannot answer these questions you will be forever lost on the highway of life and may never reach your destination. That is why so many people seem to go around in circles and never seem to get anywhere. They have no idea where they are going and no plan except to move forward and see where it takes them.
Many enlightened people see the destruction that is happening to this country and know where it will eventually lead. They have made their plans to get through it the best that they can. Even with limited funds they have a destination in mind for the short term and know where they want to end up. This is a good beginning but not a complete plan.
You really need to sit down and decide where you want to end up in life. This entails deciding what kind of home you want to have and the living conditions you are willing to accept. Everyone wants a mansion with a swimming pool and a fancy car but is that a realistic destination with your current income? Being realistic in the current economic environment is what will make or break you in the end.
You may need to downgrade your hopes for the future to something more realistic and doable. To decide on your future destination you need to determine the minimal standards you will accept and work toward that end. Once you achieve that, you may decide to upgrade based on your resources.
Here is an example:
You want to have a quiet peaceful retirement in the country that you can afford. You are willing to do certain things for yourself to decrease your expenses in the future. You develop a plan and list all of the items you will need to complete this ideal retirement package on the least amount of money.
1) You decide 2 acres of land will be sufficient
2) You determine a small cottage or trailer will provide you sufficient housing
3) You decide a certain number of solar panels will provide you with sufficient power for future needs.
4) You determine you will need certain canning equipment and supplies to last for a certain number of years.
5) You decide you will need a small garden tractor with implements to plant sufficient food.
6) You decide you want a certain number of fruit trees in your yard.
7) You determine you will need propane or wood for some of your energy needs and determine how much it will cost and how much you will store.
8) You determine you will need transportation and an old sedan and a truck will be easier and cheaper to maintain and operate for the limited uses you will have.
9) You decide if you will have any livestock and what equipment you will need for them to include how you will feed them.
10) You determine your clothing needs and how you will satisfy them. Will you buy later, buy now and store or make what you need later?
11) How much will you need in savings to live on every month and how many years will it last?
12) Will you have some way to earn extra money to supplement what you have saved?
13) What will you do for medical needs and how much will that cost?
These are some of the things you will need to answer and determine what the bare minimum will be for your planned destination in this example. Once you know what the destination is you will be better able to plan a route to get you there to insure you know when you arrive. Once the minimum is taken care of you can expand on this and add items to provide more enjoyment and comfort. Without a detailed plan you may miss the only exit and have a very bad experience that you will have to live with.
Your current resources and desires will dictate what your destination will be but in any case you need a detailed plan to get there. The lack of long term panning is the cause of hardship for many people today when a simple plan would have solved many of their problems. The conveniences available today make life much easier and enjoyable but they come at a price. If you are unable to meet that price you will have to either suffer hardship or develop a plan you can afford.
The way many people lived in the early 20th century is not glamorous but they had the basics to get by day to day. This is a basic level of living that should be a starting point for any economically challenged persons that want to relax later in life rather than go from one emotional problem to another. One item you must evaluate now is your ability to maintain your current living conditions. If you are living at the edge or beyond your means then this is your starting point in planning your ultimate destination.
You cannot get where you need to go if you have no excess resources now so it is imperative to reduce where you can to create the excess you need to fulfill your list of needs detailed in your plan. If you are unable to cut anywhere now and things get worse in the future you will be forced to reduce your living standard even more so a realistic look at how you would live under worse circumstances may help you reevaluate your current circumstances.
Reality will soon visit the people of this nation and most are not prepared to accept or deal with that new paradigm. A small piece of land, a small comfortable cottage or trailer, a garden, a wood cook stove and an old but functional sewing machine are some of the items that will enable you to care for your family and endure a severe downturn while providing the basic necessities they will need.
A small number of key physical goods will help you get to your destination and enjoy it once there. It is your job to identify those physical goods now and acquire them while you can in a manner you can afford. Your future years will depend on how well you mapped out your route and what destination you have chosen. Lack of planning will ultimately get you to a destination but it may not be the one you want or can live with comfortably. Your future is in large part up to you and you only have one shot at it so don’t miss.