Planning for System Failure and Weighing the Consequences.
By Matthew Giguere
I like to look on the bright side of things but it’s always good to have a backup plan; I’m not predicting some sort of epic meltdown here. I do, however, think it is a reasonable assumption that as economic conditions deteriorate in certain countries, the basic systems we take for granted will suffer.
Overall, we shouldn’t dwell on the negative; it demotivates us, keeps us from being our best and making the most out of our lives. But, we should take precautions and cover all the bases. Think of the USMC “P Rule”, or in other words, proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance. Pardon the crude language, but it gets the message across. Prepare now, while you can, because nobody knows when it is going to be too late.
Here are a few personal thoughts you can take to get started and help yourself survive in a bad economy.
Minimize expenses and maximize income. Of course, if everyone does this, money will be tight for a while. The key will be who has already started. But you can’t afford to simply spend like you used to. Prepare for possible loss of income by spending only what you must and saving the rest, or buying tools, investing in silver and food supplies, with an overall goal of self-sustainability in mind.
Work with like-minded people in your community. Barter and trade. Offer to fix someone’s car in return for help with getting a cord stacked in the basement, or whatever is fair trade for services in your area. Consider starting a small local currency, similar to the Ithaca Hours concept, to trade rather than money that is hard to come by.
Find a niche that will help others weather the tough times, and make some money at the same time. Look into food production. For example, start a small-scale meat cutting business or a free range chicken farm to feed your family and others in your community.
The Food System
Learn to plant and grow your own.
Rip up your chemically treated lawn and turn it into a vegetable garden.
Plant fruit trees and berry bushes that grow in your local environment.
Look into hydroponics and even aquaponics if you live in cold areas of the country that have relatively small growing seasons.
Consider, if you have a yard and live in a location that doesn’t zone you to death, acquiring a small goat for milk and cheese. Or pigs.
Learn permaculture. a.k.a: self-sufficiency.
If you live somewhere urban, make friends with the farmers from your farmers’ markets. Make friends. Don’t just buy their items. Give them a service in return. Maybe they are getting up there in years and need some hay moved to the barn?
Buy or grow in bulk and learn to preserve: traditional forms of food preservation include drying, canning which you can also do with meats or fish. Look at what people have done for centuries, then do that.
If you eat meat, find someone who will sell you the whole animal, or half of it. Learn to cook parts other than just the muscle meat and other popular cuts. Get a chest freezer and store the meat there, or learn to salt it and store it. Learn to hunt and fish should be a no brainer. If you are not good at it make sure you are good friends with someone who is.
The Water System
Start capturing rainwater in a cistern, and invest in low-flow toilets.
Do what it takes to gain access to a well or a good clean gravity fed spring. If that means digging a 15 foot hole in your backyard, get digging sooner rather than later. You can find groundwater in most places. Remember to recycle your gray water.
The Energy System
Research what green energy system is going to be most effective in your area: wind, solar and geothermal are the most promising alternative energy sources this day in age. Then take the plunge and invest in it! Make it happen Now! We naturally procrastinate when making a big foreign decision like this because it’s not the normal status quo. Do what you can to reduce your own energy consumption; once you’re off the grid, you can sell what you don’t use and invest it back into your own system. Wouldn’t it feel awesome to get a check from the power company every month and in 12 months buy a brand new battery pack that lasts 50 years!
For when the big one comes.
Consider gaining a second passport; it’s the biggest insurance you can give yourself. When things hit the fan, a second passport will give you an escape hatch.
If you’re an entrepreneur, consider setting up an entity abroad.
Think about establishing a trust; it makes it much harder for someone to seize your assets, whether because of capital controls or because your neighbor decides to sue you when their dog drowns in your swimming pool.
Invest in precious metals and store them overseas, far from your home government if you feel safe doing that. Note that you’re not hiding anything: you MUST report this and all other assets. You’re just using a legal method of making it harder for bureaucrats to take from you what’s rightfully yours. Remember though it’s always good to have a little silver on hand and hidden on your person after the dollar collapses, just in case of emergency.
There are other types of systems that can collapse to make life more difficult. But remember there are always other skills and assets you can learn down the road when needed, but these are a good start to any of you out there that want to start prepping.