Economic collapse could be looming on the horizon. Preppers across America have long worried that we were headed in the wrong financial direction. The federal government continually spends far more than the massive entity takes in, 47 million people (a new record) are on taxpayer-funded assistance, Obamacare has caused massive layoffs, and hundreds of thousands of folks have simply stopped looking for work and have fallen off the unemployment rolls. It appears that the dire predictions in Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbinger might be coming to fruition one day soon.
On August 24, the stock market plunged immediately after it opened. Within five minutes the Dow was down 500 points. Less than 10 minutes after the opening bell, panic started to occur when the market hit 1,000 points down. Fiscal experts on all the cable news shows deemed the turbulence a “fluctuation” or “correction” that was long overdue. The value of the dollar fell 1.6 percent on the dollar index scale.
Oil is now down to $40 per barrel, and the Chinese devalued their currency; neither occurrence eased mounting economic collapse concerns. Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 3.9 percent by the close of trading on August 24. Dow “stabilized” at 588 points down. Just about the only positive from the day of frantic trading was experienced by U.S. Treasury Bonds. The bonds were reportedly looked upon as a safe haven for many investors, according to the New York Times.
Despite the fears of a stock market crash, the United States Federal Reserve thinks now is the time to raise interest rates. For almost the past seven years the Fed has kept interest rates at almost zero, but that could change during its September 16 meeting. While the market rebounded just a bit on August 24, the threat of hyperinflation and economic collapse still remains.
The survival of your family depends in no small part on your financial security, and I’m not just talking dollars and stocks here, folks. Investing in tangibles is always a solid bet and will help bolster the level of preparedness of your family or tribe (my favorite term to describe a mutual assistance group).
Accruing a stockpile of self-reliance tangibles will protect your family from an economic collapse or hyperinflation scenario in the short-term and can make your or your group “the bank” during a long-term disaster, such as a power grid down doomsday event. Should we enter an era of hyperinflation, the cash and plastic in your wallet will not purchase a fraction of the needed items it once did. When society collapses, it happens quickly. Desperation will take hold in your community, and civil unrest will not be far behind. Imagine how much something as essential as a brick of ammo will cost as America sinks into massive financial turmoil.
Play it smart, hedge your bets, and get ahead of the game now! Set aside a portion of your weekly prepping budget to include purchases that could make you a fiscal giant during a barter economy. If a long-term disaster hits, you will still need to provide for your family. Odds are there are a few things you will need or want that you cannot provide for yourself. Investing in tangibles will not only provide good individual barter items but could help you develop a lucrative post SHTF career by starting a trading post in your community.
The first time I read a James Wesley Rawles book it was by recommendation of my pal Rick Austin, aka the Survivalist Gardener. Rick’s traditional form of gardening creates a camouflaged survival food forest that utilizes the natural benefits of weeds while keeping your fruits and veggies hidden from the starving marauding hordes that could pass by after the SHTF.
I love to read, but finding the time came to be an issue. I was surprised to find how much of an audiobooks fan I became and how much preparedness knowledge I gained after downloading that first Rawles book Rick suggested. I could “get in some reading” while doing dishes, walking the wild dingoes (our lively Blue Heeler pups) at the track, or relaxing with a Jack and Coke in the hot tub after finishing my homesteading chores. The ultra cool aspect of audiobooks is the ability to bookmark a spot and type notes. The plethora of prepper knowledge I learn while listening can be quickly saved and shared with my husband Bobby and added to our overall survival plan.
The Rawles book noted how important it was to invest in tangibles as an economic crash began to materialize. Unfortunately, some of the folks in the book waited almost too long to spend their weak dollars on common-sense items that would be in great need once our fragile economic system ceased to exist. I became a bit of a tangibles fanatic after finishing the book.
After some research and inventory of our SHTF stockpiles, I made a list of items that both preppers and struggling non-prepping members of our community would find highly desirable after financial collapse or any disaster scenario. Armed with my list, I began hitting store sales and yard sales and investing heavily in tangibles. My greatest find to date was at a church rummage sale. I happened across the sale on the second and final day, just a couple of hours before they had to pack all of the unsold items back inside and arrange for a Goodwill pickup.
When I heard one of the ladies shout, “Everything’s now a quarter!” I was glad it was not a hot day and the wild dingoes could sit in the SUV more than the couple of minutes I had planned when we stopped at the church on the way back from a hike. I bought 28 heavy winter coats, raincoats, and lightweight coats in a broad range of child and adult sizes. Extra coats for my loved ones at the 25-cent price was quite a prepper bargain, but stocking up on items others would be willing to barter for sooner or later made this stop a huge investing tangibles win. I also bought gently used sturdy footwear, flannel shirts and sweatshirts for the same cheap price.
Top 10 Preparedness Tangibles You Should Be Stockpiling Now!
- Long-Term Storage Food – If you have a basement full of long-term storage food you will never be pushing a wheelbarrow of fairly worthless dollars to a nearly empty grocery store just to buy a loaf of bread. The shelf stable food will not only provide for your family if you lose a crop due to weather or a virus impacts your livestock, but also provide a highly desirable barter item for other goods and services you are lacking.
- Clothing – Purchase clothing in all sizes at end-of-the-season clearance sales and anywhere gently used secondhand clothing is available. Even during the cold weather months when yard sales no longer exist, you can score both small and large lots of clothing via virtual yard sales posted on Facebook community pages. Babies and children grow quickly; our grandkiddos have durable clothing and coats the next four sizes up stored among our preps.
- Footwear – Boots, shoes, insoles, laces, and any other repair tools and supplies should be snagged whenever the opportunity presents itself and the budget allows. We will all be doing a lot more physical labor during a long-term disaster. Doing so with holes in your soles will slow you down and leave you vulnerable to cuts, which could become infected.
- Fuel – If the power grid fails due to an EMP, solar flare or economic collapse, people will still need heat and energy to survive. Make sure to stockpile gas stabilizers, fire starters, off-grid cooking tools and supplies to make bio-diesel fuel. Don’t forget you can “rent” access to your solar generators.
- Sewing – Fabric, thread, needles, patterns and an old-fashioned manual sewing machine also make excellent tangibles. Skills are valuable as stockpiled preps, so if you do not know how to sew now, take a class with a member of your family or group. Cross-training is key! If the only person who can sew, hunt, garden, etc. dies, the rest of the group will suffer.
- Seeds – Stockpile and properly store heirloom seeds and extra gardening implements. Printed gardening tips or gardening books purchased cheaply at library book sales may also be of value after the SHTF.
- Ammo and Weapons – These two are perhaps the most obvious prepper tangibles, but perhaps there are a few related items you have not yet thought to add to your list. There is of course a safety aspect to consider when bartering ammo and weapons, so be very selective when trading these precious and deadly items. In addition to ammo, guns, knives, bows and arrows, stockpile repair parts for all of your own and potential trade firearms and bows. It would also help to purchase cleaning supplies, sharpening stones, holsters, and reloading equipment and supplies. Learning how to reload ammo is a skill that would likely serve you well during any doomsday scenario.
- Education – During a long-term disaster, children still need to be educated. Stock up on homeschool supplies. If the children can’t read and do basic math, they will not be able to help read recipes, measure ingredients or wood that needs to be cut, and a wide variety of other homesteading chores. An older member of the family or a perhaps an expecting mother or teen girl could serve as a teacher for the community, allowing other mothers to complete needed chores. Services that can be bartered should also be incorporated in your overall plan.
- First Aid – Both common first aid supplies and the skills to use them make excellent barter. Again, expand your knowledge base and learn how to become a de facto first responder to increase your bartering potential during a disaster. I could perform minor surgery or dental work with the emergency medical supplies my husband has stockpiled. We are both working on increasing our skill base and have networked with like-minded community members who have an EMT or nursing background to enhance our chances of survival and bartering options.
- Water – Portable water filtration systems, filtration straws and the knowledge and supplies to teach others how to filter creek and pond water will be valuable commodities after the SHTF.