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On The Fence

On the Fence about Prepping.
By PJ

Here you are on this website, quite possibly on work time pondering this whole prepping concept.  Curiosity motivates you more than anything and since you have some time until that next meeting you will keep reading.  You’ve caught a few minutes of Doomsday Preppers on National Geographic and thought most of the people portrayed on the show were wackos and have gone way too far.  Still in the back of your mind you still think having a couple extra cans of Beanie Weenies could be a good thing for a rainy day.  Occasionally the subject of the “sh*t hitting the fan” and the “zombie apocalypse” will come up amongst friends, usually culminating with laughter and talk of digging an underground bunker just in case.  Hey you have a few extra bucks in your savings account, a pistol next to your bed with a box of 50 extra rounds and those MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) your next door neighbor gave you before he moved away.  You think you are in decent shape compared to everyone else, but are you really?

Let’s conduct a quick exercise where I ask a question, and provide two answers to each question.

Question: How much food and water do you have in your home and if you had no opportunity for purchasing/obtaining more how long would you be able to survive?

Your Answer:  I probably have enough for a few days if not more, heck I could probably last a week on the extra cans of soup and ramen noodles that are stashed in the back of the pantry.  Besides the chances of not being able to get more food are highly unlikely, that’s just crazy talk.

My Answer:  Maybe you do have a week’s worth of food in your home but most people do not.  Realize that the opportunity to always buy food might not be there as often as you might think.  With our just in time system for food delivery supermarket shelves could be empty in a matter of hours prior to a major disaster, and if subsequent resupplies were delayed many people would be in a world of hurt.

Question: What if you lost your job tomorrow, found out that your retirement fund was wiped out and you could no longer access your savings account?

Your Answer:  Well for one I have a steady job and that other stuff is quite frankly impossible.  There is no way my retirement account could simply vanish and I’ll always have access to my savings account, besides it’s insured by the FDIC.

My Answer:  Keep an open mind on this one as I’ll cover this from an extremely high level just for the purposes of this exercise.  No job is ever 100% secure, nor is any retirement account.  During the last crash (2008) many saw their retirement accounts slashed in half and are just now back to where they were prior to the crash.  Who is to say if we had another (deeper) crash the consequences wouldn’t be even worse?  Many people today who thought they had good jobs and secure retirements or pensions are finding out the opposite is true and now they are left with the 1000 yard stare and wondering how it could happen to someone like them.  As to your savings account, if we were to experience another crash who is to say that accounts won’t be frozen to stave off bank runs?

I hope you enjoyed that little exercise.  Nothing mentioned was too crazy or detailed but just enough information was provided to keep you reading and to get the wheels cranking in your head.  Right about now you might be thinking that there sure were a lot of “what ifs” in those scenarios, stuff that might not ever happen so why even worry about it.  Let me ask you this.

Do you have one or any combination of the following?

-Auto Insurance.

-Homeowner’s Insurance.

-Life Insurance.

-Health Insurance.

So you pay monthly premiums for all of these things just in case something unfortunate happens and what do you have to show for it?  A piece of paper filed away in a drawer somewhere but in todays digital age you probably don’t even have that.  The reason you have all of that insurance is because if any one of those scenarios did happen and you did not have insurance you would probably be screwed.  Who has hundreds of thousands of dollars just sitting around to pay to replace a home that was destroyed by fire or a tornado?  Who has an extra $75,000 to pay for your car and the guy’s car who you smashed while texting and driving?  Do you see where I’m going with this?

Prepping could be considered another form of insurance in many ways.  Just like insurance policies each person can choose to prep according to their own needs and preferences.  Maybe you just want to cover the basics and have a small closet full of the essentials, or maybe you do feel the need to have a bunker built underground beneath your home.  Either way it’s up to you and encourages a form of self-reliance.  You prepare for tough and uncertain times because there is indeed a chance of something happening.   Still don’t believe me?  Here are a few links to articles you can read at your leisure.  As of the writing of this article all of this is going on in the world around you.

Why we are on the brink of the greatest Depression of all time.

 This time we are in such deep trouble, the only solution is a radical restructuring of the politicians, the economy, and the way we view personal responsibility versus government handouts. If those changes don’t come then we are facing a long decline and the eventual end of America.

Economists say Stockton, CA, won’t be the last U.S. City to go bankrupt.

Peter Navarro, a professor of economics at the University of California – Irvine, says there is, “a long queue out there of cities like Stockton that are going to be doing the same thing.”

Navarro points to cities such as Vallejo, Calif. and Central Falls, Rhode Island, which also went bankrupt, largely because of unfunded pensions. Jefferson County, Ala. filed for Chapter 9 protection, sinking in $3 billion dollars worth of debt.

Water shortages to hit food supply.

Dire warnings of water scarcity limiting food production come as Oxfam and the UN prepare for a possible second global food crisis in five years. Prices for staples such as corn and wheat have risen nearly 50 per cent on international markets since June, triggered by droughts in the US and Russia, and weak monsoon rain in Asia.

US slashes corn production forecast as drought raises crisis fears.

The key midwest growing area has been hit by the worst drought in 56 years. The department of agriculture earlier this week said that half of the nation’s corn crop was rated poor to very poor while the latest US drought monitor map showed conditions continuing to worsen.

Your complete guide to the coming fiscal cliff.

All you need to know about the fiscal cliff which will savage the US economy in under 5 months, unless Congress finds a way to compromise at a time when animosity and polarization in congress is the worst it has ever been in history.

Jim Rogers’ warning: Riots coming to America.

I’m more worried about those kind of problems [rioting] in the U.S. and Europe; this is where social unrest is going to be worse,” Rogers told the Journal.  “I would suspect that, when economic conditions get worse here and get worse in Europe, we’re going to see . . . you’ve seen governments fail in Europe; you’ve seen countries fail in Europe. I suspect you’re going to see more of it [rioting], yes.

Economic collapse, hyperinflation, sequestration, bankruptcy at all levels, natural disasters and many other terrible things are happening out in the world today.  To paraphrase the great words of Clint Eastwood there is just one question you have to ask yourself: “Do you feel lucky?”

 

 

 

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5 comments

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  1. Ranger W

    Quantitative Easing 3 will be announced this week. Short version of why that matters: your money in the bank, in your IRA, in your investments, just became worth les… it now has less purchasing power. Prices will seem higher but in most cases it is your money being worth less.

  2. PJ

    Creating money out of thin air. I wish I could do it like the Fed!

  3. Shanu

    You see this all too often such a great topic, thanks for pnositg. Of course, there are so many disciplines to prepping and survival that many people enter this path through different doors. My entry point was I got interested in the concept of BOBs. Once I felt satisfied with my first bug out bag, I started looking at car kits, then food storage, then water storage, then home gardening, and now I’m doing a lot of reading on solar power in my home. Balance in all disciplines makes for a successful prepper and there’s no real formula for how to balance them all, but getting stuck in a rut on any one facet is a definite red flag. Great concise post keep em coming!

    1. PJ

      Thanks for the comment. I agree everyone takes a different path when beginning the prepping journey, and balance is very important throughout.

  4. Miriam Lovelace

    I have always been on the fence about being a prepper but this article gave me more motivation to become a prepper. I have always been a closet prepper but this article made me realize that there is nothing to be ashamed of being a prepper.

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