When developing a self-reliance plan for the family, hands-on training should be a constant priority. The “one is none and two is one” philosophy teaches us to have backup for our backup from a supply purchasing standpoint. To be completely self-reliant, we must use that same mindset as a guide when considering how to spend not just our cash, but our time. Stockpiling long-term food storage items, growing your own food, and buying bullets and bandages are the beginning steps to self-reliance, but educating yourself and your family are of equal importance.
Very few college degrees will be worth the paper they were printed on in a post-power grid society. Doctors, nurses, dentists, and veterinarians will of course remain necessary. To some extent, attorneys will vital as well. The country needs to maintain the rule of law when rebuilding society as the intent of the Constitution must be preserved – or we will lose the very essence of America.
Those individuals with degrees or training which taught them how to use both their minds and their hands will be the ones that remain in high demand after the lights go out.
Simply because you make a living as a stock broker, insurance agent, or secretary now, does not mean you do not have, or cannot obtain, the viable skills necessary to thrive during a long-term disaster. Turning a hobby or interest into a post-disaster career is quite possible once the type of services needed after a power grid failure are reviewed. Farmers, ranchers, folks who know how to build alternative power systems, and gunsmiths are among the obvious “top earners” during the new normal which would be created by a long-term disaster.
Enroll in some workshops or take an adult education class to earn a certificate in subjects in which you may already have and interest, and are likely to become necessary or desirable after a power grid disaster.
Top 25 Post-Power Grid Career Ideas
1. Farrier – Horses will replace gas-powered vehicles (for the most part at least) on the roadway. Horses need to be shod about every 6 to 8 weeks – sooner if ridden or driven on pavement.
2. Leathercraft – Shoes, boots, belts, Saddles, straps, gun holsters, knife sheaths, and a host of other items now easily purchased at the local mall or online, can be crafted from leather.
3. Photography – Even in a world without power people will get married and children will be born. Our desire to preserve memories will not end when the power goes out. Finding film and developing supplies has not become an easy or cheap task since digital cameras were invented. Even if you can find the necessary equipment, developing just one photo for a customer would still require putting an entire roll of film into the winding canister for development. The new Polaroid cameras print single small images immediately and easily. If you buy a couple of cameras and stock up on the film packets, make sure to store the items in a Faraday cage.
4. Seamstress – Many folks barely know how to sew on a button anymore, darning socks is a concept foreign to most as well. Clothes will become worn out quickly when daily life involves a lot more manual labor than it does now. Babies and children grow quickly – and they will need clothes. Manually powered sewing machines are not easy to find, but not impossible either. Making a living as a seamstress will likely involve a lot of “by hand” work. Add sewing patterns to your prepping budget and stock up on fabric not just when it goes on sale at your local craft store but by purchasing items at yard sales to deconstruct or offer for sale in your post-disaster apparel store. Stock up on the items necessary to make stuffed toys and dolls as well.
5. Pottery – Dishes and other cooking items will break and need to be replaced.
6. Knitting, Crochet, and Quilting – Hats, gloves, scarves, and blankets will also need replaced over time.
7. Carpentry – Furniture, wagon building, and home building will also remain necessary after the power grid fails – hand tools and the skills to use them required. Wooden toys will also likely become very popular again.
8. Blacksmith – Making or repairing items by hand with iron could become a very lucrative career again as well.
9. Newspaper – Print media will rise once again after the power grid fails. Finding an old-fashioned printing press will not be easy, but could definitely be worth the money and time spent acquiring the equipment, supplies, and learning how to use them.
10. HAM radio – Offering a message relay service and developing a business arrangement with the newspaper office to share information from the outside world is yet another way to make a living during a long-term disaster.
11. Beekeeper – Honey is not only a sweet topping it is also has many natural remedy attributes. In many areas of the country, beekeepers rent their hives to farmers, especially citrus growers, to pollinate their fields.
12. Wood Cutting, Sawyer, and Timbering – Supplying wood for cooking and heating as well as chopping down trees for fence-posts and home building is hard work that should pay off after a power grid down disaster.
13. Cooper – A cooper turns wood into barrels and buckets and made wood vessels – all will be needed in the years following a power grid failure.
14. Teachers – Children will still need to learn how to read, write, and do math. Educating youngsters about American history and the Constitution should also be included in the post-doomsday lesson plans.
15. Books and Music – Although there will not be a lot of time for leisure, we will still need pleasure activities and time to relax. Teaching others how to play an instrument and performing for the public could help musicians barter for needed items. Check yard sales and annual library book sales to score cheap instruments, sheet music, and reading books.
16. Cobbler – A person who makes and repairs shoes and boots.
17. Tinker – Individual who makes and repairs tin ware.
18. Rope maker – Making rope and teaching others how to tie knots is also a skill not to be underestimated.
19. Gunsmith – Making and repairing firearms, as well as ammo reloading skills, will also be in high demand.
20. Basket maker – While handmade baskets can be beautiful decorations, they are also very necessary for use in an agricultural society. White oak has long been the preferred basket making material.
21. Apothecary – An old-fashioned drug store of sorts. Making and selling herbal remedies could be a highly viable career choice as well.
22. Brick maker – An individual who molds, dries, and fires bricks for use in construction.
23. Wheelwright – A person who makes wooden wheels that are bound with iron for use on wagons and carriages.
24. Weaver – An individual who spins primarily wool and cotton into cloth to make fabric. Natural dies can be used to make the material more attractive.
25. Trading Post – Open an old-fashioned mercantile to serve the community.
Survival Skills You Should Learn Before Disaster Strikes
A first aid stockpile, a safe full of guns, and cases of bullets will only protect you and your loved ones until the supplies run out or break. Although you have managed to buy thousands of bullets, if the devil at the door trying to take what you have, has spent more time practicing shooting than your entire family has, he will likely leave with a bundle of food and supplies.
The two or three solid shooters in your family will be the leaders of the group when defending the home from attack, making them the primary targets. Do the women and teenagers in your family know how to shoot well enough to stop the invasion if all the grown men are injured or killed? Does more than one person know how to treat wounds in case one of the injured or killed is the family’s primary first aid expert?
Cross-training is vital to the survival of the family or mutual assistance group. OPSEC is always a concern for preppers, but sharing your self-reliance tips and preparedness as insurance mindset with your neighbors will make the community more stable ready to react when a long-term disaster does occur.
Regardless of where you live, there are likely a multitude of on-site training courses the entire family can, and should, take to enhance their collective self-reliance skills.
FEMA/CERT training classes are routinely used to educate emergency responders and rescue teams around the United States. FEMA definitely does not have a stellar record for quickly and adequately mobilizing during a disaster, but the extremely specific educational courses have been deemed as top notch by police, EMS, fire, and Red Cross crews.
The CERT course offerings include training in victim care, disaster medical operations, disaster psychology, family and workplace preparedness, fire suppression, fire safety, rescue operations, light search and rescue, and hazardous materials, just to name a few.
There is also a Teen Cert options to help educates the younger folks in your family. When only one person in the family or mutual assistance group is skilled on a specific survival function, the “one if none” rule has been ignored and could spell doom and gloom during a disaster situation.
Excerpt from the FEMA/Cert community responders introductory course:
“IS-317, is an independent study course that serves as an introduction to CERT for those wanting to complete training or as a refresher for current team members. It has six modules with topics that include an Introduction to CERT, Fire Safety, Hazardous Material and Terrorist Incidents, Disaster Medical Operations and Search and Rescue. It takes between six and eight hours to complete the course. Those who successfully finish it will receive a certificate of completion. IS-317 can be taken by anyone interested in CERT.
However, to become a CERT volunteer, one must complete the classroom training offered by a local government agency such as the emergency management agency, fire or police department.”
• Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy as well as the Patriot Nurse offer, offer thorough and hands-on medical preparedness courses around the country. There is a fee to attend the courses, but saving up for the possible travel expense will most likely be money very well spent.
• American Red Cross CPR and First Aid training is an inexpensive way to garner the emergency medical skills that could one day save the life of a loved one. Red Cross programs exist in virtually every county in America. Community colleges and other social services agencies often host the training programs several times per year.
During the month of May, most public schools schedule or coordinate Red Cross First Aid and CPR trainings for their coaching staff and would likely permit community members to participate as well.
• Amateur or HAM radio training can also help you keep in touch with not only loved ones away from home when disaster strikes, but with the outside world as well. The ARRL, an association for amateur radio operators is a great resource for training opportunities. HAM radio clubs host group training exercises at least once per year. The family-friendly events may also present the opportunity to commune with like-minded folks also eager to become more self-reliant.
• The National Rifle Association (NRA) offer gun training classes for both beginners and advanced shooters. The NRA even teaches gunsmithing, game hunting specific, and youth programs. The gun training emphasizes safety and proper cleaning procedures as well. Self-defense and putting food on the table will become top priorities during a long-term disaster scenario, and are vital skills for anyone living off the grid.
• Concealed carry training is typically offered by at least one certified trainer in every county in America. In most states the average cost for the class is between $75 to $100. But, states with strong gun control advocates have pushed for the training course to have a much heftier price tag. The duration of the training varies by state law. An individual must be 21 to attend a training course and a background check is required.
Soap and Candles
• Candle and soap making classes are offered at many hobby shops, and free online videos are also helpful for those who do not need a structured classroom to facilitate learning. Soaps and candles will make quality bartering items during a long-term disaster as well as being useful on a daily basis in an off the grid living situation. Cleanliness will help prevent the spread of disease during both disasters and long winter months when the family is cooped up inside together for extended periods of time.
Mormon Canning Classes
• The canneries or “Home Storage Centers” are typically filled with extremely volunteers eager to help both Mormons and non-members alike. Depending upon the cannery’s policies, during designated times the canning equipment can be used by customers and some borrowing of equipment may also be allowed.
• The only thing better than driving to an LDS cannery to buy bulk food or purchasing their offerings online, is being able to master the canning skills yourself. Home canning in Mason jars is commonplace for preppers – take the food preservation skills one step further and learn how to create your own store-bought style canned goods. Training courses are available at many of the Mormon cannery locations. The Provident Living LDS website lists locations of all the cannery facilities.
• Shop classes were once commonplace in American middle and high schools, but due to budget constraints and liability lawsuits, most such courses are now a thing of the past. Adult career centers and community colleges often offer career diplomas and individual training courses to enhance woodworking, automotive, electrical, and welding skills. The knowledge gained from adult shop courses will not only save money when home or vehicle repairs are needed, but also offers more bartering and post-power grid failure career options.
Veterinary Assistant or Technician Courses
• Many of us treat our pets as members of the family, so learning how to keep them healthy is a worthwhile goal, but that is not the primary reason to take a vet tech or vet assistant course. When the power grid fails or another major disaster strikes, we will not be able to call a doctor, a dentist, or a veterinarian. Keeping livestock healthy is integral to the survival of our family, and furthers bartering options.
Wilderness Skills and Orienteering Classes
• Both state and federal natural resources officers routinely schedule backpacking, map reading, and basic wilderness survival skills classes each spring and summer. If using the GPS in your car is not an option, or you are forced to walk home from work and avoid populated areas, some basic backpacking and orienteering knowledge can mean the difference between life and death.
• Community garden or seed exchange clubs, or perhaps even the local Grange association are great places to learn how to enhance your green thumb. Growing and raising your own food is merely a lifestyle choice now, but would quickly evolve into a necessity should disaster strike. Even experienced gardeners and farmers could benefit from a refresher course or forum designed to keep growers aware of potential environmental threats and insect infestations which could ruin a harvest.