The United States currently owes more debt than ever before and economists fear a point of no return. The U.S. won’t be able to repay their debt, the economy will crash. CNN Money reports that more than 3/4 of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Less than fifty percent of all Americans could survive 6 months after a major life event crushed their finances.
People are unprepared for what is coming. They are either apathetic or refuse to admit the likelihood of a worldwide economic crash. We all need to make most of the resources we have regardless of how limited or plentiful they are at any given time. Natural disaster events and other hard times are unpredictable and good times don’t last forever.
If you thought the financial collapse of 2008 and the subsequent Great Recession were bad, that was just the tip of the iceberg. A more severe event is about to hit us, and it could be sooner than you think. Could you forgive yourself if you didn’t prepare and had to watch your family slowly run out of food and supplies?
The symptoms of Economic Collapse will be pretty clear.
The Financial System as We Know it Will Crash:
- Bond and stock markets will collapse as panic selling causes abrupt, dramatic price declines.
- Widespread asset deflation when houses lose their value and banks write off bad debt in trillions.
- Sky-high inflation will grip the economy, followed by possible hyperinflation of commodities such as gas, food and livestock.
- Major currencies such as the Euro and the US Dollar will crash like dominos.
- Secondary, less predictable events may include a spike in unemployment, travel restrictions, severe economic depression, protective tariffs and currency controls.
Lawlessness Will Govern the Land
The overriding issues during an economic breakdown are increased criminal activity and dangerous rioting, and looting. Law enforcement officials will have little control over the pockets of violence that are likely to break out in the streets. Martial law may be enacted across the nation.
- As anarchy becomes the new reigning power, you’ll need to prepare a defensive strategy to protect yourself and your preps not only from looting strangers but from looting neighbors.
- Never assume that your area won’t fall into lawlessness – always expect the worst.
- Keep your BOB on hand, plan escape routes, and locate safe havens. Avoid confronting a mob: it is better to keep your distance than to risk losing in a fight over supplies.
Food Shortages Will Be Prevalent
Food shortages are inevitable in an economic meltdown. The food industry operates on very small profit margins and can only survive when invoices are paid quickly. As extreme inflation cripples marginal businesses, including suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers, payments will cease. As inflation persists, more businesses will fail, and food will become a scarce commodity.
- Grocery stores only stock about three days’ worth of food at a time. If currency still holds some value, people will stampede to the local supermarkets and buy as much as they can. After that, shelves will be raided by looters in no time.
- Start stockpiling early. Make sufficient space to store freeze-dried meals, canned items, and dry goods and check that the temperature and humidity requirements on your preps match the climate of your storage space.
- Keep a balanced stockpile of nutritious, mineral, and energy-rich foodstuffs. You’ll need to ensure that your food contains enough protein, vitamins, fats, minerals, and carbohydrates to keep your immune system strong and your energy levels up.
- Many preppers make the mistake of stocking up on high-calorie foods and neglecting those with crucial vitamin and mineral content. Your body cannot afford to suffer a deficiency, so ensure that your stockpile contains enough iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins.
- Carbohydrates are essential to survival because they contain valuable energy needed to keep you physically resilient. Rice, flour, grains, pasta, and nuts have long shelf-lives and are very versatile.
- Salt is a wonder-ingredient for curing beef, preserving fish, and adding flavor to otherwise bland dishes. Plus, it never goes bad!
Maybe you do have some food stockpiled and a way to cook without power. So imagine you’re home and getting ready to sit down to eat during a SHTF scenario. Suddenly someone bursts in through your front door, waving a gun and demanding that you give him all your money and your supplies. What would happen? How would you make it if you gave away your supplies?
Here’s How You Prepare for an Economic Collapse
- Reduce your Expenses Now
- The smaller your financial footprint, the better off you’ll be in a crisis situation, and the more resources you’ll have at your disposable to get you through the worst of times.
- Conserve electricity now. This not only gets your family in the habit of using electricity only when needed but it will reduce the amount you pay out monthly toward electricity costs.
- Practice recycling, upcycling, and composting so that your family produces the least amount of garbage possible. See if you can eliminate the need to pay for garbage collection.
- Instead of buying that new car or taking that luxury vacation, repair your current vehicle and take a vacation that costs less so you can save that money.
- Increase your Income
Start a side business. You’ll need an immediate source of income, so generate cash with a home-based business. Choose something with little to no startup costs and legally deduct prepping expenses (such as survival gear purchases) from your small business’ takings.
Thoroughly go through your home and belongings. If you own things you aren’t using frequently, consider selling those items and either put the money into savings, or use it to buy supplies or pay off debt.
Learn how to barter. You may as well melt down your plastic when disaster strikes, because credit and debit cards are likely to stop working during an economic crisis. Instead, learn the age-old art of bartering and start doing using it before SHTF. Being able to barter for some items means you can use the money you would have spent on those items on something else.
- Equip Yourself for Self-Sufficiency
When SHTF, systems that we depend on now will cease to exist. Survival won’t be a matter of going to the grocery store to buy food or turning on a faucet to get a drink of water. In no time at all, the services we count on to survive now will disappear and that includes things like doctors, pharmacies, and public utilities.
- Start Stockpiling Supplies including non-perishable food, adequate fuel for your vehicle, firearms and ammunition, anything that you currently use every day to survive.
- Make Sure you Have a Reliable Water Supply including not only bottled water but also a plan to get water if public utility systems or your electric powered pump fails.
- Learn to Grow your Own Food. Start practicing your gardening skills now while you have time, so that you can master them and immediately begin bartering your crops post-collapse.
- Keep medical and personal hygiene supplies on hand. Things like bandages, antibiotics, and toilet paper will be the first things to disappear from store shelves.
- Prepare a bug out bag in case you are forced to leave. I provide a comprehensive list of bug out bag essentials in this article.
- Get Out of Debt
The global financial system is approaching crisis mode. In a situation like this, it’s best to ease your financial commitments. This means getting rid of debt. The last thing you need when SHTF is to have a mob of debt collectors knocking on your door.
- Use money you save to create an emergency fund, enough to cover at least six months of expenses. Every dollar saved is $1.25 earned because savings are not taxed. Keep your fund in several different locations including some hid in clever places around your home.
- Pay off as much debt as possible and take that money each month and put it into savings.
- Stop using credit cards for unplanned purchases. Research and adopt a cash only system for as many purchases as possible. Don’t close your accounts, just put the cards away and don’t use them until your debt is under control and you know you can pay the purchase off quickly.
- Get Educated and Stay Flexible
- Learn and stay up to date on survival knowledge and skills such as gardening, basic farming, self-defense, and first aid. Medical professionals will be scarce so learn about natural remedies for common ailments and prepare to provide first aid surrounded by chaos.
- Prepare yourself physically and mentally. You’ll need to be at peak fitness when SHTF. Make an effort to spend less time sitting on the couch watching TV and condition yourself for a life in harsh conditions, where finding food and physical labor are daily tasks.
- Train your mind to deal with difficult situations calmly and rationally. Remember that the life of the survivor is devoid of comforts and luxuries.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and assess opportunities, and threats. Review all of these carefully and then formulate a plan to address them now before SHTF.
- Buy Land
After you have your emergency fund and have paid off debt, considering buying a piece of land in a rural or out of the way location to use as either a bug out location or as a future permanent residence.
Carefully consider any land purchase to ensure that it will be sufficient to sustain you and your family when SHTF. You will need to be able to grow your own food and have a reliable source of water, such as a year round creek or spring. A sufficient section of wooded area is great too so you can harvest that for fires and building projects as needed.
Any land that you purchase should be as remote as possible. It should be located at least 7-10 miles from any major highway or interstate. The average person can walk 5-7 miles, in a SHTF scenario you want to be at least that far away from crowds of people who may be stranded, desperate, and trying to find supplies.
- Get Free of the Systems
- Buy precious metals. Gold and silver are used to hedge against hyperinflation. In fact, the value of gold can even increase during economic crises, so have on hand some shiny hard assets in small, tradable denominations. While federal reserves around the world are printing worthless paper money, you’ll have gold or silver to use as legal tender.
- Other hard assets which hold their value during a collapse include livestock, gas, oil, and crops. While paper money will become worthless, these items will never lose their value. It’s better to buy these while times are good, because prices will skyrocket when SHTF.
- Distance yourself from the affected currency. During hyperinflation, your currency will rapidly depreciate. Consider moving your cash to offshore accounts where the foreign currency is more stable.
- Consider alternative energy methods to power your home. If you own your land and it’s in a remote location where looting won’t be overwhelming, using solar or wind systems to power your home can be very beneficial now and lifesaving when SHTF.
- Develop Stronger Relationships
Suicides, mental health issues, use of anti-depressants, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills all increase during an economic crisis. Alcohol and drug use skyrockets. The loss of jobs, homes, and income has a massive emotional toll on people, because sudden financial insecurity can make anyone feel depressed, anxious, and hopeless. The additional fear of becoming a victim of crime, violence, and looting only makes things worse.
- Keep your family environment as healthy as possible at all times. Solid family bonding provides emotional stability for kids and adults alike.
- Talk about things. Explain the current events to your kids, because they’ll hear about it anyway and it’s best if they learn about it from you first.
- Seek support from your partner. This provides emotional intimacy and a safe space to discuss fears and feelings about what’s happening around you.
- Take part in a recreational activity. Doing something you enjoy, even if it’s taking a brisk walk, working out, or preparing a nice meal, activities like this will not only keep you fit but will give your morale a boost.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep does wonders for rejuvenating the body and mind.
- Know which neighbors you can count on and which ones you can’t. Find like-minded people and develop bartering relationships before chaos runs high.
The looming breakdown of our financial system is a confirmed threat to our society. You need to stay ahead of the game, anticipate disaster, and make sure you’re well-prepared to handle it. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can prepare for today. Maintain your skills and grow your knowledge daily, as these skills could save your life.
We don’t know what the future holds, but we can own it as best we can by being prepared and well-informed. Are you prepared for an economic crisis? How will you protect your assets and stay afloat?