As I began to think about each prepper scenario the programmer in me could see the common elements associated to the majority of them. This allowed me to then differentiate the unique aspects of each one. Once I could see the scenarios in this way I was able to better determine what areas of prepping are most important to hit up first to cover as many situations as possible in the least amount of time. Here are my first thoughts on some of the most common segments associated to the vast majority of prepper scenarios.
Overview: The power grid is one of the most vulnerable aspects of daily life. Our high tech society relies on power for everything we do even the sewer and water lines. Recently we have begun consuming power at an unprecedented rate. The power companies can’t keep up with demand even though they are constantly increasing their sources of power. Losing your power is a common occurrence after a bad storm. Some parts of the cities can be without electricity for upwards of 30 days. What if the time was a lot longer, or the problem more wide spread?
Scenarios with high probability of a power outage: Blizzard/Natural disaster, Job loss, Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP), Solar Flare, Economic Collapse, War, terrorist attack, or Dirty Bomb/ Nuclear attack
Additional Scenarios Created: Riots and Civil Unrest, Lack of supplies
Action Plans: Consider what power do you really need? Can you replace electric items with older antiques that work by kinetic energy (you). Can you do without? Consider how you will heat/cool yourself and family, cook meals, etc. Consider generators, or getting your house onto alternative energy such as wind or solar.
Riots or Civil unrest
Overview: Good will won’t go on indefinitely when a scenario happens that throws people out of their comfort zone, or shows how much they lack and others have. They become desperate and are willing to go to any lengths to survive. A great example of this in recent history was Katrina. As well a general unrest or unhappy group of people can be sparked a frenzy over anything, for instance the Rodney King Trial verdict resulted in the massive LA Riots.
Scenarios with high probability of Riots and Civil Unrest: Economic Collapse, Natural Disaster, EMP, Viral Pandemic, Drought and Food Shortages, Dirty Bomb, Nuclear attack, or Tyranny/ Police State
Additional Scenarios Created: Police State, Lack of Supplies, Economic Collapse
Action Plans: Avoid city living if possible as there aren’t enough natural resources to support the population density. Buy Firearms and plenty of ammunition as a means of protection. Enroll in martial arts training. Have a bug out bag packed and ready to go in case it’s time to get out of dodge. Cache or hide your prep to prevent being targeted. Work with neighbors to form a prepper group and share in the security of your area and reduce the number of unprepared people.
Lack of Supplies
Overview – In most scenarios supplies are hard to come by. Such as; Food, Water, medicine, fuel, etc. The world we live in revolves around a supply chain. The food you see at your walmart was trucked there within the past 3 days. If everyone felt a need to stock up all of a sudden the stores would be picked clean. The ammo shortages woke many gun owners up to this idea. In fact when news of a hurricane hits a town the stores shelves are bare as everyone bought everything they could get their hand on. In general no stores have a warehouse in the back anymore they have all their goods on the floor and are frequently resupplied. What if that breaks down, or supplies are unable to reach you?
Scenarios with a high probability of Lack of Supplies: Natural Disasters, Economic collapse/hyperinflation, EMP/solar flare, Civil Unrest, World War, Dirty Bomb/Nuclear attack, Viral pandemic, Drought/Crop Shortage, Job Loss, or terrorist attack.
Additional Scenarios Created: Civil Unrest, Police State, Hyperinflation
Action Plan: Work towards a stockpile of supplies to cover you for at least 90 days. This will give you time to see if problems subside and return to normal as well as work out your next course of action. Learn how to gather supplies from your local area, such as rain barrels for water, knowing the location of streams and wild life. Learn skills that may make up for the lacking supplies such as filtering water. You should store Heirloom seeds and the means by which to grow your own food if the lack of supplies goes on indefinitely.
Inability to solve problems with money
Overview – In a personal crisis such as a car breaking down you can use savings or credit cards to sneak by if you had to. However for something bigger in scale your money won’t be able to help you. In situations like Katrina people were more concerned about food and durable goods needed to survive then money. The ability to trade money for what you needed was unlikely and if opportunities to trade arose it would be at a hyper inflated rate. Imagine an economic collapse where money is worthless. Or due to power outages you are unable to retrieve cash from the bank. There are many scenarios where money won’t help you.
Scenarios with a high probability of money being worthless: Natural Disasters, Economic collapse/hyperinflation, EMP/solar flare, Civil Unrest, World War, Dirty Bomb/Nuclear attack, Viral pandemic, or terrorist attack.
Additional Scenarios Created: Civil Unrest, Police State, Hyperinflation, Lack of Supplies
Action Plan: A stockpile of food and durable goods will help you adjust. You should consider adding trade goods to your prep. It is commonly believed even if the dollar collapsed that Gold and Silver would become the universal trade. However I believe this is only after people’s basic needs are met and society starts to rebuild. Additional common currencies could include food, ammo, alcohol, tabacco, and Coffee. Learn skills that can be applied in such conditions to make trade-able items or sell-able services.
These are the most common attributes I have found across all scenarios thus far and are a good basis for a strong prep. Each scenario will have their unique conditions that need to be met, for instance dirty bombs or viral pandemics will require chemical suits and protecting your house. But these attributes are pretty specific to these scenarios or variants of them. So when you are figuring out how to best prepare start with what’s common to cover the most ground quickest then work on the specifics of the individual preps you are most concerned with.
I believe the precious metals dealers are scam artists. Gold and silver are valuable for two reasons, rarity and usefulness. Eliminate either of those and one might as well have an equivalent mass of sand. An economic collapse of any significant period of time will result in the loss of the manufacturing sector. But rest asshred, your investments in these commodities won’t be in vain. both are relatively soft and have low melting points. They should make dandy sinkers so you can catch your dinner!
If you look at human history Gold and Silver have always been a universal currency. The main reason is because they are pretty and can be made into things to show off someone’s extravagance. Now I agree with you that I think they are useless outside of circuitry and other modern needs, but doesn’t mean others won’t still see value. if enough people see value then everyone else will to because they can trade it to those people. Now in order for people to be willing to accept gold a somewhat stabilized life has to happen. People’s basic needs have to be met.
Gold and silver may be useless PRACTICALLY useless without a functioning economy, but their practical uses were limited before anyone heard of the Integrated Circuit, people like Gold and Silver because they are rare, don’t tarnish (gold), and are pretty.
I will grant you that IN a SHTF is the WORST time to be trading in Gold or Silver, PRACTICALLY USEFUL goods which we take for granted will skyrocket in price in the absence of supply. However long term, when there are goods to buy, Gold and Silver are, as they always have been, good ways to portably hold wealth, the fact that you can’t eat it being granted.
I speak from personal experience, my family was wealthy before the second world war and managed to preserve and grow that wealth throughout the war and the subsequent 50 years of soviet control, through land, useful skills, and gold.
What’s interesting is if you are smart and have more then enough supplies and barter your extra goods for Gold and silver at the initial onset you will be able to get some good deals. Ideally right away people won’t trade for the gold and silver because they don’t have enough supplies to trade for something useless. So fewer people will accept it initially but that means you can get the gold low. Then later trade it for more when an economy starts back up. It could be a great time to change your families status and fortunes.