80% of Americans are under the thumb of some sort of debt. Saving rates are abysmal, and it seems that our society is moving closer and closer to a ‘burn it all down man’ type of mentality. Its hard to find an institution that doesn’t fall into the cross hairs of some group or another.
What keeps us from ripping each other apart – the only thing – is the fact that we still have access to all the trinkets and distractions that keep us “happy” for the time being.
We have already watched pensions being slashed in states across the nation, and the government is supplying more than 50% of Americans with some form of aid. The financial markets are volatile, and to be honest people are strapped. Our youth come out of college with such a heavy debt burden that their chances of success are arguably the same as before they went in.
Related: 5 Things You Need to Do When There’ll Be No Rule of Law
Our system needs only a breath of calamity to topple it. If one or two of the safety nets we have become accustomed to fails, the whole of our society will come tumbling down with it. We could call it the next Great Depression, but I’m telling you straight, it will be more terrible than anything that happened in the 1930s. If you want to get through it in good shape you’ll need to be well prepared. Here are some of the things you should be looking at doing.
1.Diversification of Income
Investors tell us to diversity our portfolios, but the reality is we should also be diversifying our incomes. I believe that the age of the single salary is coming to an end. Most Americans struggle to make a living with a single salary as is.
In a depression we will not be able to know which markets will suffer and which will flourish. The truth is you need to start considering your SHTF career as we speak. For example, you can learn how to make money off grid (making a living from your homestead). This article looks at SHTF careers and how they might be effective for you.
Related: 10 Great Depression Era Strategies For Saving Money
Here are some examples of SHTF Careers
- Grow Food
- Raise Chickens for meat and eggs
- Raise Rabbits
- Process Wood
- Cleaning (for example, this common household cleaner has over 50 survival uses)
- Medicinal Herbalist
- Selling Goods
- Refurbishing Damaged or Abandoned homes, tools, items
2. Emergency Fund
As hard as it is to find something to spare, we need to start putting cash away. Even if the downturn makes that cash nearly worthless, there is something to be said about building an emergency fund. That fund can also be made up of gold and silver.
Put a little something away each week. Your long-term goals should be to be able to cover a months’ worth of expenses with your emergency fund.
3. Non-Traditional Food Sources
I have been on a path to sourcing nontraditional protein and other foods for myself and my family. The time has come to:
- Hunt for food
- Grow food
- Buy from local farmers
- Frequent farmers’ markets
- Consider getting your own livestock
In a depression, supermarkets will be bare and those local sources will become your best option for ensuring a reliable food supply. Get used to them today. Consider your own livestock. Simple hens can provide protein for you and your family.
4. Alternative Medicines
There is a good chance that medical help will be in high demand or will be too costly to consider in a depression. Practices may close altogether, considering things like Medicare may meltdown. To combat this, start learning about alternative medicines. Study natural remedies and begin using essential oils.
- Medicinal Herb Garden – A large medicinal herb garden can be a wonderful way to treat things like viruses, that doctors cannot really help with anyway. Soothing herbs like lavender can help with rest, and powerful antivirals like oregano can help fight disease.
5. Mental Stability
Most historians agree that suicides surged during the Great Depression to about 22 per 100,000. Since the Great Depression we have seen the same trend whenever there is a stark economic downturn. It’s an ugly statistic, but in the coming depression it will be no different.
- Introspection – You must take an unbiased look at yourself and see where you stand mentally. Are you going to crack under the pressure of a serious collapse? Can you stand going days without food or sleep?
- Mental Resilience – The best way to build mental resilience is to do hard things. Start training for the GORUCK challenge or take on some other challenging practice. Test your might physically and mentally while you have a warm bed to go home and recover in.
One of the earliest and most important preps we all can make is building stronger and more interactive communities. I don’t mean prepper communities, but learning about the people around us and what they are all about.
- Community Power – From here we can develop things like community gardening, communications plans and a neighborhood watch. All of these can easily be evolved into a sustainable community in times of disaster and depression.
In fall of 2017 I published a book called Come Unity; Community that offers the clearest path to turning a normal community into one that thrives on interaction and purpose. Our neighbors don’t have to be enemies; they can be allies when disaster strikes.
7. Personal Security
If you aren’t prepared to protect yourself in today’s world, you are living under a veil. It’s a veil of confidence in the perceived protections of society. The truth of the matter is that you are the only person who can really keep you safe.
- Concealed Carry – Right now you have the right to carry a gun on your person in most states. That gun can be in a handbag, a holster or in a backpack. This is the idea behind concealed carry. If you don’t have a concealed carry permit, get one as soon as possible. Every state has different requirements but it’s well worth it.
Related: How to Conceal Weapons in Your Vehicle
In a depression, desperation will run rampant. Desperate people do desperate things. You must be prepared to counteract that with the help of things like self defense training and firearms.
8. Intelligence Plan
If you bug-out, or if the power goes out as society falls apart, how will you know what’s happening in the world around you? How will you know when the madness has begun to wane? Well, that is where a powerful intelligence plan comes into play. Here are a few items to include in your intelligence cache.
- Police Scanner
- Emergency Radio (here are the best SHTF radios and SHTF survivalist radio lists you need to know about)
- 4k HD Video Drone
All these items can give you information on what is happening outside of your home and in the world around you.
9. BOL (Bug Out Location)
A great depression in modern times could unleash such anarchy that you only have one option: BUG OUT! If this is the case you have to be prepared to take the chance, and you also better have a place you can go ahead of time.
An actual structure that you can ride the storm out in would be best.
- Communal BOL – You may also consider going in with a few friends to build that structure and buy that land. Either way, a modern Great Depression is something you need to be prepared to run from.
10. Physical Fitness
Whether we are talking about the bugout or your post-depression income, you will need to be in good physical shape. Life behind a desk is not preparing you for depression life. You may have to take jobs that involve back-breaking labor, or you may have to reinvent your entire property to support your family. This will take conditioning.
Don’t wait to get in shape. Start running and doing bodyweight exercises today. Both are free and will pay dividends.
FIGHTING PERSONAL DEPRESSION WITH PREPAREDNESS
Many Americans are fighting their own personal depression today. The most interesting thing about preparing for the coming depression is that the challenge and the rewards will likely pull you out of your own personal funk! Get started today.
You may also like:
Find Out What Areas Would Be Targeted by FEMA When SHTF (they’ll take your supplies)
The Ultimate Bug Out Home for just $400 (video)
23 Motives to Prep Even If Doomsday Never Arrives
12 Pioneer Skills We Can’t Afford to Lose
10 Trees Every Survivalist Should Know and Why
I’m wondering if learning how to use a slingshot might be useful. I’ve heard that if used with a ballbearing it could be nearly as effective as a 22 caliber handgun. Does anyone have any knowledge on the subject?
The advantage a slingshot has over a .22 caliber handgun is that any heavy reasonable spherical object can serve as ammunition. You will only be limited by your imagination as far as ammunition is concerned.
The downside, in my opinion is that it takes more practice to be proficient with a slingshot than it does even a .22 pistol.
In my opinion, a better choice than either of those is a pre-charged pneumatic air rifle. Just last night I was reading that Umarex has broken the price barrier with a p.c.p. air rifle for $299. If you buy their $170 air pump, you can have a very effective small game rifle that is almost silent for under $600. You also need to buy a sight for the rifle and it wouldn’t hurt to have a spare air chamber and spare magazine. .177 caliber pellets are very cheap and will take small game and birds at close range. .22 caliber pellets are a little more expensive but cheaper than .22 caliber cartridges. A .22 caliber pellet from a rifle at 900 feet per second which the Umarex is capable of will handle any small game that I can think of except perhaps a bobcat or coyote but there we are getting into medium game size. Bobcats and coyote really need .22 magnum or larger to handle them. I know, more game has been taken with a .22 than any other cartridge, but unless you are an outstanding hunter and Annie Oakley, you need the larger caliber.
There is growing interest in p.c.p. air rifles and you can obtain them in calibers up to .50 caliber. That size is not silent, however. It takes a lot of air to push a pellet that size and it is not quiet.
If by “slingshot, you mean the old fashioned wooden fork with rubber bands, I would suggest a better slingshot is the pouch with two thongs that one whirls around one’s head and releases the projectile. You can develop more force with that type than you can the fork with rubber bands. In addition, in an EOTW situation, it is easier to make the thong and pouch type of slingshot than it is to come by rubber bands. I haven’t done any studies nor have I read of any comparing velocities between the two types of slingshot, but it is my belief that once you have become skillful with the thong and pouch type, you can achieve higher velocities with it than the rubber band type. Someone with first hand experience with both types may have better information than I. If you have the time to practice, it is not a bad skill to have and could be useful. Personally, I would rather spend my time polishing my rifle and handgun skills, but to each his own.
PCP air rifles are excellent, and something everyone should look at. If you have a bullet mold for it, and some kind of compressor, you can keep hunting long after all the conventional ammunition has run out. I can see the benefits of a slingshot though; an air rifle is viable if you already have one, but if you’re trying to make weapons after the event most of us aren’t going to be able to build a viable air gun. That’s where slingshots come in – and don’t forget about bows, either.
Hello, Mr. Walton. I know that things aren’t that rosy for a lot of people but you’re talking as if the “next great depression” is a done deal. A case of not if but when. Isn’t that taking a bit of a pessimistic approach? People as a whole are very resilient and resourceful. What do you base your predictions on? As Bill said this article is not bad but very general in nature. If the US can make it through the crash of 2008 I figure they can make it through almost anything.
WHEN it happens you may look back at 2008 and call it the “good ‘ol days”, I personally feel that when America as we know her dies there will repercussions felt worldwide, and they will continue for years. In 2008, I lost a lot of money, but I never felt unsafe, I never had to bug out, and remained living in Richmond CA, but late in 2009 my wife and I had a 2 months holiday, we went to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand looking for somewhere safer than USA to live forever, somewhere that is somewhat insulated from what happens at home, we decided on New Zealand, and then I started prepping in a big way, I have a nice house on 2 acres in “way out” suburbia, with my own power and water and many other items that most preppers have, but even though I’m half a world away from home, I know WHEN it happens, I’m still going to be effected. Try to look at 2008 being just a housing bubble bursting, and the next one as everything including the government, all infrastructure and services coming to an abrupt end.
Armin, our leaders, for many years have been spending money they borrowed, and when it came time to repay these loans, they would borrow the money, and a bit extra for interest and incidentals and carry on from there, this is like a person with a good paying job and an expensive habit or two, he gets a credit card and maxes it out, then pays the monthly minimum with another card, he keeps getting more card and continues, until he has got all the available cards and they are all maxed out, his good paying job is worth less than the monthly interest, and then he loses his job in a company downsizing. This is coming to our country, and it can’t postponed indefinitely.
I work with a young guy who was all excited about Bitcoin. I feel uncomfortable with electronic money, but he had a valid point that what we call money today is phoney-backed by nothing. The U.S. has 130 Trillion in unfunded liabilities. The Western world and China $300 trillion. If something happens that causes people to lose confidence in the printed money, not only will the U.S. crash like 1929, but this time the entire world monetary system: Only this time, there will be no creditor nation to borrow from. No one has ever seen an event like it, so we really can’t conceive of the enormity of it, but it sounds very bad. The U.S. economy only produces $3 Trillion in value each year, so it is inconceivable that we will one day actually pay off the debt. The only chance is to own things that won’t disappear: Land, Hard currency ( gold, etc.), apple trees, cysterns, guns, tools, you get the point. No guarantees, but do you have anything to lose by being totally self sufficient, and have a far away place to go if you need to?
Dennis, isn’t bitcoin money loaded onto electronic chips? So if there’s an EMP wouldn’t it wipe the records of the deposits off the chips? Also could they be hacked? I don’t know anything about them except what I’ve seen in movie, so any further info would be appreciated.
“it is inconceivable that we will one day actually pay off the debt.”
You’re right, and the worst part is that we’re within two decades at most of the point where we won’t even be able to pay the interest on the debt. The American people won’t stand for the level of taxation that would be needed to actually start paying it down, so a catastrophic financial collapse is pretty much inevitable.
Claude, are you living in 1995 or what, its now been a couple of years we have been unable to even pay the interest on or debt, China has hinted (quite loudly) they aren’t going lend us anymore, Japan tries to avoid the subject completely and the middle east are talking about not only the interest rate, but also land grants, maybe to build some terrorist training camps, nobody else is going to lend us anything, because they know that the US of A is now a bottomless pit
Right now we CAN pay the interest on our debt, which keeps us borderline credit-worthy even if we’re not so good at actually making the payments. The point’s not too far away when we just won’t be able to do that, though. In the mid to late 2020s the whole federal budget won’t be big enough to cover the interest payments, and that takes us into new and scary territory.
Interested in others thoughts on how much money to leave in a bank and how much to have on hand
Leave as much in a commercial institution as you can afford to lose. Keep as much cash in hand as you can afford to watch devalue to a wheel barrow full to buy a half loaf of bread.
Considering that banks are paying minuscule interest these days, leaving funds in a savings account is not much better than having it stuffed in a coffee can in the garage. I had a couple of thousand parked in a saving account at a credit union. They charged me an “inactivity fee” which, while only $5.00 was more than the interest they paid during the period in question. Obviously, I closed that account and that cash is now sitting in my safe. What banks may pay in your area may be different from my area, so you will have to judge for yourself.
If the kind of crash this article talks about comes to pass, paper cash will rapidly lose its value or disappear from financial institutions. In the event of an EMP or CME affecting computers, your money in any kind of financial institution will disappear. The only thing you will be left with is cash in hand or valuable goods that you may barter. While I am not a gold bug, historically, even during times of famine, gold and silver retained some value and there were those who were willing to trade food for gold and silver. The problem with investing in gold and silver is that coins sell for more than the precious metal content and gold bars or silver bars are always suspect as to actual precious metal content. Perhaps there are some who can tell a 14 kt. gold bar from a pure gold bar but I know I can’t. If I were accepting a coin, I don’t care what kind of fancy stamping is on it, I am only interested in its precious metal content. I am sure that some secure method of evaluating precious metal will evolve quickly, but right now I don’t know of any method by which a lay person can evaluate such.
If you have cash on hand, I would recommend that you dispose of it as quickly as you can because in an economic panic, as we have seen historically time and again, paper money devalues with breath-taking rapidity. Goods retain their value. So I would acquire food, alcohol, medicines, personal hygiene items, ammunition and firearms, tools and oils, lubricating and edible. I would acquire diesel fuel over gasoline and acquire lamp kerosene and kerosene lamps and wicks. All of those commodities will retain value and may well increase rapidly in value in a general economic panic.
As to the likelihood of such a panic, I don’t know what effect the national debt will have on economic stability, but it seems to me our whole economy is a castle of cards and it wouldn’t take much to put it all into a deep hole. The 2008 crash was due to a specific industry being grossly overvalued as was the 2000 crash when dotcom companies were grossly overvalued. The staggering national debt which congress continues to refuse to address is, to me, of far more concern than either a market segment that is overvalued or a housing market that is overvalued. I don’t just discard the possibility of a crash that makes the crash of the 30s look like a walk in the park. Will we eventually recover from such an economic disaster? Most certainly. How long will that take? Well, if I knew that, I would be quite wealthy and I am not.
I think my comment about disposing of cash on hand as quickly as one can is open to misinterpretation so I will attempt to muddy the waters.
I was speaking of after a financial collapse has occurred it is important, I believe, to not have significant amounts of cash, but to try to buy the hard goods I mentioned as quickly as possible because cash will rapidly lose value and the cost of goods inflate as a financial panic escalates. We can recall tales of the Weimer Republic in Germany after WWI where a loaf of bread cost a wheelbarrow full of Deutsch marks. Although the leftist press doesn’t report much of what is happening, I believe Venezuela is experiencing the same kind of inflation due to an economic crisis.
Hard goods will have barter value and their value will reflect the scarcity of the item.
That’s a great point, Chuck. You mentioned the Weimar Republic; when inflation there was at its worst, most workers were paid twice a day. Wives would turn up at their husband’s workplace at lunchtime and take his wages for the morning, so they could spend it right away before it lost anymore value.
Thanks for the info re slings vs guns. As an addendum to your barter list I would suggest tobacco products. Stressed out smokers would likely appreciate even a pack of “rollies” and Tops and Bugler have foil packs that make about 20 cigarettes for $5 or less and keep well if unopened.
Put all your money in the bank, keep no cash at home, because when the crunch comes, the bank will need all the money they can get.
“If you aren’t prepared to protect yourself in today’s world, you are living under a veil. It’s a veil of confidence in the perceived protections of society. The truth of the matter is that you are the only person who can really keep you safe.”
It’s so unfortunate that so many Americans are blind to this fact. I learned this quickly while in college, and I swore to never be a victim again. You are the best defense against an attacker, and a firearm helps even the playing field- especially if you’re a woman.
I appreciate your remarks about building community, history teaches that even in the worst of hard times communities are more likely to come together than to fracture into warring factions.
As to the likelihood of another depression,just google up a list of depressions and panics in the U.S. the last two centuries. There will be one.
Read The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. Preppers fear economic disaster and environmental collapse, this is the true story of when both happened here in Amerika.
Seeds. Save your seeds.
And get non-gmo heirloom varieties.
Amen to that. Heirloom seeds will re-seed. Modified or hybrid seeds will not. A few plants may carry over, but not past the second year. Also, try to get seeds that have different harvest times. You want a variety of early harvest, regular harvest and late harvest. If all of your crops come in a once, you will go crazy trying to can all that bounty. If you spread your harvest out you can can more of it.
Frenk, you are so right, most people relate a SHTF event as being something a little worse than a bad storm over a large area, the water supply shutdown for a few days and electricity shutdown for a couple of weeks, this is not what is going to happen, I moved halfway around the world to get away from most of the bad things that are going to happen, I’m self sufficient with water and electricity, I have food for a year or so, and I have an EMF proof vehicle, but continue to work on more ways to be safe later.
All vary good comments.
I lived in a city of 13000, in a mobile court and just moved out of there in march and bought a small house in a small village of a bout 300. .Your vary limited what you can have and if it get has bad as they say it could , A big city is the last place you want to be
But i am not that sure if how safe this is being I live a lone, , They have been steeling from me here also. My guns are loaded and doors and windows locked , , And if this all comes to pass , I may head for the woods , Nature has a lot of what you need if you know what to look for, and stay out of sight, , Or would it be better to die and come back in the after life , As I have seen , and have a live picture of it, I took in a cheese factory in the state of Oregon , But did not see it on my camera till i up loaded all my pictures on my lab top, I called them and they begged me to send them this picture as thin g happed there and they could never find the cause of it, , THERE IS a after life once we leave this one, I am now vary convenced of this. I have no time for greedy people , And for as greed as they are , They can never take it with them , There is great power in the after life , Do not ever dough that , and mother nature , I have a true story to tell and will soon on here because face book will take it off , I think people on this sight will love to read it , This happened to my sister and I and these people have never stopped trying to destroy our lives even to this day , It all started right after we were born, and hid from us for 45 years, It has took 17 years to dig up our past who we really are and it all begain in NORWAY with one mans wealth , Our Grand father Igor . I am a retired Wisconsin licensed Cheese , after 45 years ,
I build wood toys and sell at craft shows , Farmers market, Flee markets