Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

By Angry Old American

Copyright Angry Old American, October 7th, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

This is certainly a day to mark down in the history books; Angry Old American has good news for a change. What is this good news? Those in the audience that have put emergency preparedness on the back burner and procrastinated will no longer need to prepare. You can only prepare for an emergency BEFORE it happens. Preparation will soon be impossible and you can all erase the task from your list.

The global supply chain failure has become common knowledge. The public has been told to do their Christmas shopping early because goods may not be on the shelves this season. We have all been told that prices for EVERYTHING will increase through this Winter, and continue to increase through 2022. The UK and Europe are already experiencing a fuel crises, and energy producers here in the USA have warned of similar shortages here this Winter with rolling blackouts and brownouts.

Remember how bare the market shelves got when the Pandemic was announced? That was nothing compared to what is coming. As the purchasing power of the dollar decreases, people will exchange their dollars for tangible goods as soon as possible. Why keep money in the bank? Instead, they will spend it on anything of value.

A running theme that I have addressed for over a year has been emergency preparedness. Considering the extreme weather, natural disasters, public unrest, riots, looting, arson, mayhem, permissive lawlessness, draconian government policies and false flag events that we all have witnessed over the past years, it is hard to deny the need for emergency preparedness, Only the most dense, brain-dead, mass media lobotomized TV Zombie could ignore the circumstances that are staring us in our face.

Some of the possible events that we might face include: Sustained disruptions of financial, communications, transportation, supply, energy, water, solid waste, sewage, and emergency services. Natural Disasters due to storm, flood, tornado, polar vortex, earthquake, tsunami, drought, wild fires, or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)- Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP). Man-made Disasters due to government purges, martial law, public unrest, mass lawlessness, riots, industry job strikes, transportation strikes, hospital strikes, emergency services walk-outs, cyber-attacks, economic collapse, civil war, foreign invasion, nuclear EMP weapons, grid failure, sabotage, terrorism, and all-out anarchy. 

Except for those who thrive on living dangerously, most of us retain a “Prudent Emergency Reserve” of cash to meet the inevitable challenges that life sends our way. Keeping one or more months expenses on hand can provide a buffer against job loss, bank failures, and other financial obstacles to our peace of mind. Personally, I have experienced a local credit union failure. If your primary bank fails, it takes an average of three months for the bank to be audited, restructured and sold in order for you to access your funds. During that time, there will be no ATMs, Lobby Services, or Phone Services, as all employees are locked outside the bank while the “Treasury Department Task Force” sorts things out. If you cannot pay your bills because you cannot access your money, NOBODY will care about your problems. If your pay or retirement checks happen to be direct deposited to a failed bank, the funds will remain there til it is restructured and reopened. Thus, it is nice to have a secondary bank account with checking privileges with sufficient funds to cover a month of expenses. Why a month? It takes a month on average to change your direct deposit from a failed bank to a solvent one. It is also a good idea to keep a modest amount of cash at your home for dire emergencies.

Many people keep a bulk of their assets in the Stock Market, or in Mutual Funds and other traditional investments. Some folks diversify their “Liquid Savings” into Bitcoin or Precious Metals as a hedge against devaluation of the US Dollar. The US Dollar can lose value if the government recklessly inflates the money supply through massive multi-trillion dollar spending measures; which of course would never happen. Like conventional investments, the only caveat to such hedges is to make sure they are available during an emergency. Bitcoin would be totally worthless during an EMP or cyber-attack grid down situation where computers are no longer linked or even functioning.

Keeping cash on hand for rent or mortgage and basic utilities is important. However, other needs like food and supplies are important too. Do not rely on cash to provide for these needs during all emergency situations. What normally happens before a hurricane strikes? During a natural disaster, store shelves and gasoline pumps empty quickly, leaving those at the back of the pack wanting. The time to prepare for an emergency is BEFORE IT HAPPENS!

The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have guidelines for different states of preparedness, and specific recommendations for various types of emergencies. Your time would be well invested to study these materials in order to develop your own emergency preparedness plans for yourself and your family.

There are three types of emergency or disaster to prepare for; local, regional and national. Local disasters are the most forgiving, as there will usually be regional and national government assistance during and after the event. Regional disasters are much harder to survive, and outside assistance may take weeks to arrive. National Disasters will touch the entire Country, and may take months or even years to overcome. For example, FEMA recommends a minimum of six months provisions for a regional grid down event. Should all three national electrical grids go down, we would be without electricity of two years or more.

Planning, preparation and practical exercises are key to surviving a Local Disaster or National Emergency. Your best hope for long-term survival in most situations is to “Shelter at Home.” It is impractical, if not impossible, to carry sufficient supplies and equipment for extended survival during a National Disaster.

There are situations, like Wildfire, Floods, or Tsunami, where it is absolutely necessary to “Bug-Out.” A Bug-Out Bag contains all that you will need to survive for two weeks, and it is important to keep one on hand for every member of your family. Your vehicle should be equipped with Bug-Out supplies. All vehicles should also contain a “Get-Home” Kit, in case you get stranded and need to walk home during an emergency.

Here is a short list of basic supplies and equipment to keep on hand.

Shelter: Even if you have a home, a small dome tent is handy for use indoors to survive extreme cold events. Folks in Texas that never encountered snow, recently experienced an Arctic Depression that few people were prepared for.

Water: You will need at least one gallon of water per person, for each day. Be prepared to collect rain water or fog condensation, and to purify surface water of impurities. A solar-still can be used to desalinate ocean water.

Food: Caloric intake depends on the size of a person and their energy output. Soldiers in combat will require 3,000+ calories, while sedentary survival may require 1,000 calories or even less. Food options include canned food, fermented and pickled foods, dry goods, dehydrated foods and freeze dried foods. Those with a fertile vegetable garden and the know-how to preserve food will do very well. Those with the knowledge of foraging local wild foods will do well also. For Bug-Out Bags, freeze dried foods are light and quick to prepare, but very expensive; a less expensive option is dry goods.

Energy & Light: Options include gasoline or propane generators, stoves and heaters; solar panels and generators and 12 volt or low voltage appliances; conventional or “Rocket” wood stoves and heaters; and alcohol stoves for Bug-Out Bags.

Medical: Always keep a supply of your medications on hand. Learn what alternatives are available should these medications be unavailable. Should medical assistance be unavailable, keep a supply of off-the-shelf antibiotics, anti-histamines, analgesics, and other medications on hand. Learn home remedies used by your parents and grandparents, and study the medicinal herbs for your immediate area. Keep emergency first aid supplies on hand. Although the “First Aid Kits” commonly available are nice for minor injuries, it is recommended that they are augmented with trauma bandages and equipment carried by EMTs. An excellent book yo keep on hand is “The Survival Medicine Handbook: What to do when help is NOT coming” by Dr. Joseph Alton M.D. and Amy Alton ARNP.

Security & Defense: Your greatest threat will be other people who did not prepare for emergencies and are desperate for supplies and equipment. Although the many criminals recently released from jails and prisons will be on the top of your threat list, don’t forget your neighbor who procrastinated til it was too late and may be sniffing the air for something to eat. In this age of “Entitlement” you can expect everything from pilfering and theft, to strong-arm or home-invasion robbery. Securing windows and doors includes alarms, locks and physical bars and blocks. Securing your home perimeter includes signs, physical barriers, alarms and surveillance cameras. Defense is any means to protect your family against attack. Defense in the home can include less than lethal rubber bullet firearms, pepper spray, tasers, conventional firearms or field expedient weapons (crowbar, hammer, kitchen knife). In public, we have a choice of pepper spray, hand-held tasers, and Concealed Carry Permit Firearms.

Communications: In most locations hit by Natural and Man-made Disasters, telephones and cellular phone service is either sporadic or non-existent. Two way hand-held radios are a good back-up communications option. The “Bubble-Wrap” Walkie Talkies available at Walmart and other outlets are short distance Family Radio Service (FRS) devices that do not require an FCC license to operate. Despite the claims of manufacturers, FRS radios will be lucky to transmit a block or more in urban and suburban environments. The next step up are General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radios, which can reach ½ mile or more in urban and suburban environments with the right antenna. GMRS radios require an FCC license ($70) that is good for the whole family to operate, but an examination is not needed to get a license. An advantage of GMRS radios is the ability to use powerful “Repeaters” that can send signals far away. Finally, we have HAM radios, which require a license with examination to operate. Ham radios can transmit from a half-mile or more without a Repeater, to worldwide depending on power output and antenna. Ham Radios can also transmit signals via satellites or bounce signals off the Moon!

Tools: Do it Yourself (DIY) will be the standard operating procedure should a National Emergency happen. The ability to make your own soap and candles, to preserve food, make your own clothing, and repair your home will go a long way. Basic repair tools will get you by, while specialty tools will provide an income for your services through barter and trade. A mechanic who can fix gasoline generators, or an electrician who can repair a solar generator will be in high demand. Basic trades like blacksmiths, carpenters, chemists and engineers will be in high demand.

You might be saying “OK, that’s all great for folks who have a bunch of bucks; but I am lining paycheck to paycheck!” Please read on.

First and foremost, learn to budget and do without. Learn to pinch a penny til it screams for mercy! Cut every expense that is not necessary for you to survive.

When I first cut-out luxuries for basic survival, I quit using both my hot water heater and regular heater. I wore warm clothing indoors and heated water as needed on the stove in a kettle. No eating out, entertainment or leisure travel. No ready-made processed foods from the stores; I made all meals from scratch. More and more of my food came from my garden as skills progressed. In winter, I grew sprouts. I shopped from second-hand stores for what I needed, and learned to improvise with plastic, glass and metal container “trash.” Before tossing out “Trash” I would strip salvageable screws, nuts, bolts, wiring, and hardware that could be used later. I installed a bidet on my toilet so I wouldn’t need toilet paper. I used cloth napkins and dish-rags instead of paper-towels. I learned how to make soap and candles. The next one is controversial; I learned to treat my own ailments naturally. By changing my diet and exercise routines, and using natural remedies, I eliminated all of my chronic medications. Today, I have not seen a doctor in nearly a decade and don’t use pharmaceutical medications at all. My monthly bills went down dramatically.

If you have very little, then you must make do with what you have. Do you have a smart-phone, tablet, computer or other device that is internet enabled? Do you have access to one? Then fill it with free survival downloads while the information is still available. There are archives of public domain books on survival, wild edible plants, farming, livestock production, food preservation, emergency shelters, and just about every do-it-yourself subject imaginable. Knowledge is your friend!

Learn to improvise. Many long-distance hikers make their own alcohol stoves from a soft-drink can. You can make a heater from a one gallon paint can, a roll of toilet paper and denatured alcohol. Soap can be made from lye and bacon grease. If you need survival gear that you cannot afford, then make it!

Don’t have land to garden? Then share crop! Approach someone with land and water to work in exchange for a portion of the crops. During a long-term national disaster, there will be plenty for front lawns converted to gardens.

Exchange work for items that you might need. Learn skills and trades that will be in high demand. If you are disabled, then assess what you are capable of doing. If you cannot walk; then can you use your hands to mend clothing or prepare produce for storage? If you can’t use your hands or arms; but can walk, can you run errands? If all you have is your eyes, can you watch pressure caners while batches of jars are being processed? Can you keep watch on the neighborhood and use a radio to call for help?

If you have nothing, the best you can do is live as healthy as possible. Get strong, exercise, learn to heal yourself with diet and exercise. You will be surprised to learn that the most expensive foods are also the least healthy. Foraged vegetables, though bitter, are also packed with vitamins, minerals and other healthy substances.

Of course, there is really no need for anybody to trouble themselves with preparation. Procrastinate until it is too late. Then you can either die, mooch off family and friends, or become a menace to society.

One thought on “Good News!”
  1. Three books to read that are germane to this essay: “Living Cheaply with Style-Live Better and Spend Less” by Ernest Callenbach, “The Alpha Strategy” by John Pugsley, and “The Long Emergency” by James Howard Kunstler. The first two are out of print, but can be found at used bookstores or online.

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