Monday, June 28, 2010

SHTF: Meetings are a waste of time

I don't know how much more blunt I can be. Meetings are a waste of time, post-SHTF.

September 11, 2001 - I was at home when the planes hit the WTC. My wife and I watched for about five minutes. I got up, went to my computer and transfered a certain amount of money into my checking account from savings. I then went to the car, drove to the store and purchased a good amount of food, batteries, bottled water, etc. I then went to the bank and withdrew a sum of money in cash. Then I went home. *

Here's how it goes in survival fiction. THE EVENT happens (bombing, war, EMP, economic collapse, etc). The Hero and his Family regroup at home. His Best Friend and Wife come over. Then his pal, the Deputy drops by followed by a Group of Neighbors who are having a Meeting at 7PM to talk about what happened. Everyone converges at Neighbor's house and has a two hour blabfest about "What Happened" and plans to protect the neighborhood. Everyone goes home late at night in silence "thinking" about what to do.

Guess what was happening why our main characters were having an "post SHTF encounter rap session"? The local Food Lion/Safeway/A&P was cleaned out by people like me.

Two or three days later, after the Hero and Wife have taken an inventory of the house and made The List, they get in the car and find out all the grocery stores are empty along with the gun store, hardware store and gas station. They scurry home and have another Meeting. "Let's talk about the lack of supplies and what can we do about it?" they moan.

In the meantime, I am ripping my hair out. "Why are you having a meeting and talking when everyone needs to be throwing their money in a big pot and sending three trucks to the nearest grocery store, hardware and gun store, pronto? Why are you listening to Long Winded Willie tell some big conspiracy yarn? Why is everyone getting to put in their bit and wasting T-I-M-E?" !!!!

In business, I have made some obervations about meetings. The most successful leader or boss never goes to meetings. He has better things to do. Like make decisions. And make money. Meetings are for his underlings to deal with. Successful people hate meetings. Everyone talking, complaining, worrying. Nobody in the meeting is working. Not making widgets. Not making sales. Not making the company money. Bosses, successful bosses, hate meetings.

Same with survival. Meetings are an excuse not to gather more supplies, to plant gardens, to build defenses, to WORK. Nobody is watching the front or back doors. Nobody is taking action. Just taking up time and space.

The lowest guy on the totem pole loves meetings. Sure, he gets out of work for an hour or so. But more important, he gets to talk. To put in his two cents. To spew all of his expertise which is usually wrong or half baked nonsense. He gets to feel important. Like he is part of the decision making process. He gets to be heard.

Meetings are a distraction. In a post-SHTF situation, gathering at a neighbor's house for two hours is the same as downing a handful of slow acting poison. Life goes on, but the inevitable is prolonged.

Not me. I turn on the TV and see Armageddon Right Now, like heck if I am going to have a pow wow. I am getting in the car and going to the Kroger around the corner and getting everything I can get my mitts on. Sure I got stuff stocked at home, but The End means no more trucks are rolling. My kids aren't going hungry one day more than the next guy if I can help it.

As for the meetings, have fun.  I won't be attending. By the way, don't make plans with my stuff at your meetings. While you were passing rumors and sharing your feelings, I got to the gun store and got the last of the ammo. Meeting adjourned.

* Like many here, 9/11 was the final wakeup call for me. Greenbacks in the bank don't do any good when the SHTF. Since then, I have built my supplies and cash reserves. If need be, I will stay home and batten down the fortress. However, if there is time, I will still hit the grocery and grab some last minute preps. There's never enough.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Prepare: The value of oddball ammo

A recent trip to Walmart for something naturally forced me to take a peek at the ammo cabinet as is my habit in WallyWorld. Good news to report there. Most calibers were well stocked including .25 caliber, .357, 9MM and even the once considered extinct .223. Not any more. Ammo is making a comeback.

Which led me to think in this time of plenty to consider adding a few boxes of odd ball calibers to your ammo stash. As always, keep plenty of what you shoot - for most of us that means the following

Main Battle Rifle - .223, .308, 30-06, 7.62x39mm
Shotgun - 12ga, 20ga
Handgun - .45, .40, 9mm, .38, .357, .44
Other - .22LR

This list covers the most common calibers that should be in your armory. Most of us don't have one of each gun, but have some combination. For example, an AR in .223, a 12ga pump, a .45 handgun and a .22LR for small game.

However, there is a place, with ammunition more plentiful in the stores, to stock a few boxes of odd calibers for just in case. Now, I am not advocating some bizarre old or obsolete round like a .318 or .35 Winchester. Rather, having a box or two of ammo you don't chamber, but has a good chance of being on someone else's person.

For instance, suppose a friend or family member shows up at your house to take refuge and brings along their backup pistol chambered in .380? Or what if a neighbor wants to trade their 30-30 Winchester for some food? What if that bad guy leaves behind a perfectly good, but woefully short on ammo .243 bolt action rifle?

An empty rifle is a poor club and an empty handgun is a paper weight. While you may not come across a Webley in .456, you will very likely come across .25, .32 or .380 calber handguns and having 50 spare rounds makes that extra gun a welcome addition to a friend or family member who is otherwise unarmed.

Word to the wise - I don't stock extra ammo for trade or humanitiarian purposes. Ammo sales often result in high velocity returns and recipients of charity may become the raiders of tomorrow.  I keep extra ammo for my needs and for those I trust.

Stocking a few boxes of ammo you don't use but which may be useful for a gun post-SHTF is smart, but only if you can afford to buy the stuff now. Keep an eye open for bargains and stick your finds in the back of the gun safe for a rainy day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Prepare: Survival Scenario - Economic Collapse

Read the news and get back to me...

Several European countries are in economic turmoil requiring infusions of cash from fellow EU countries, the US and international banks. Few of the EU nations want or have the stomach to make the changes neccessary to continue any version of their government funding systems.

The US national debt based upon federal deficit spending is about one trillion dollars from equaling the Gross Domestic Product of the country -  a key tipping point in economics. We will owe more than we are worth.

The physical resources needed to maintain our day to day lives are shrinking in available supplies. Fossil fuels for transportation of goods to market are going to be more in demand, harder to get and more than likely only available from volatile regions.

In short, one of three things will happen sooner or later...

1) Nothing, We will continue to plod along slapping short term economic bandaids on each crisis. The world will aspire to survivable mediocrity.

2) The world will have to make some fundamental and difficult changes to all of our economic systems and processes. Money will have intrinsic value, each entity in the chain will live within its own means and debt will be based upon physical collateral equal to the amount owed.

3) We continue to make bad decisions and the system will collapse. Dollars, pounds, euros, yuans, yens, etc will be nothing more than bookmarks and toilet paper and the world will decend into chaos.

Economic collapse will not occur a la James, Wesley Rawles "Patriots" extreme Crunch, but slowly.

Employment and spending, private and public, will curtail.  Governments will no longer be able to finance their debt and deficit spending as there will be no lenders or fincial aid available. Tax reciepts will continue to drop off and mandatory spending programs will end.  Failed theories of price and wage controls will briefly rear their ugly heads and skulk back to the economic trashcan. Governments and lenders will attempt to seize physical assets but the holders and squatter will fight back making such efforts a costly pursuit.

So how do you survive an economic collapse?

First things first. How dependent are you on an employer or a government program handing out a non-bouncing and regular check?

Second, how much do you owe and how likely is it that the holder of the debt will come after you for collection efforts including seizure of assets in the event you can no longer maintain your obligations?

Third, where are your assets? In government backed and issued non-negotiable currency, electronic, paper or metal? In physical and tangible assets with actual value based upon demand?

 Fourth, who knows how much you have, own or suspect you might have? Do you trust them? Do they live with you?

Fifth, what tangible skills do you possess that someone might need and be willing to compensate you for but does not put you at risk of involuntary servitude or slavery?

Finally, what chances do you have, on your own or in a limited community, to provide most if not all of your needs and security for a time period up to and including indefinately?

Work is cut out for you.

Here are some clues...

Don't depend upon any single source of income.

Eliminate at risk debt as soon as possible. Take money assigned to one debt once it has been retired and apply it to another debt. Don't incur more debt (this sounds like a no-brainer, but how many people celebrate paying off *something*  with a credit card financed vacation or night out?).

Have skills which pay the bills. It would be great to be able to rewire someone's home for cash, but anyone has abilities right now which make can make money. Mowing the neighbors' lawns, washing their cars, watching their children, house or pet sitting, running errands, throwing newspapers or delivering pizzas. Offer to hold garage sales for friends and neighbors for a cut of the action. Offer to clean out their garage, attic or basement with the caveat you get to sell whatever you take to the curb. The list is endless and goes on and on..

If money loses value, if goods become difficult to obtain or if the new coin of purchase is unavailable to you, how do you replicate what you need? Do you have a yard, acrage or access to a patch of land you can grow some food on? Do you have small livestock or can you get some? Did you stockpile toilet paper, diapers, tampons, aspirin, cooking oil and batteries when your currency and debit card still worked?

What do you have to barter with for more supplies? Is it limited or can you make more?

What about maintaining what you have? Do you have friends and neighbors who are likely to drop in with hand outstetched? Or arrive with evil intent?  Do you maintain a low profile and suffer along with the rest of the gang?

Physically, where are you? Rural? Suburbs? Urban? Good neighborhood or bad? A big target on the home or as non-descriept as possible?

It's a lot to think about. But here are some clues from history. As long as there are people, any economic collapse will not last permanently. People want society and place universal value on certain goods and services. Looting and slavery do not thrive long term. Humanity survived the Black Plauge, the Fall of the Roman Empire, invaders and conquerors, war and disease.

Final thought - the Roman Empire minted a coin which was comprised of a certain meaure and weight of silver. The coin was identified by the image of the Emperor featured on the obverse. Later versions of this coin were dilluted with base metals to increase their circulation and lower the cost. However, the original silver coin was used for over a thousand years and widely accepted as late as the 1400's in places such as Holland and England long after the Roman Empire was dead and buried.

Some things, minted and coined by people long dead,  have value and survive the darkest of the Dark Ages regardless of a complete lack of infrastructure or government. Even in an economic collapse, something will take the place of what is presently used or something previously used and trusted will "step up to the plate".

Keep faith and prepare for the best,


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prepare: The Road - Supply List and Shopping Spree

I was just rereading over Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" the other day after seeing that the movie is now available on pay per view. I also watched the preview trailer for the film last night.

I have not brought myself to watch the film for a couple of reasons though.
First, I know the movie embellishes some scenes, leaves out others and includes a bunch of stuff not actually in the book.
Secondly, I have having a movie ruin a good book. I liked reading "The Road" and I don't want some Hollyweird people messing it up.

Here's an imaginary excersize to play: Suppose the Father in The Road was given a thirty minute shopping spree in a present day Walmart. What would he take?

So in the door he goes with his trusty shopping cart. He can only take what fits in the one cart but he can keep the cart when he's done.

You know and I know he is going for the ammo counter first. Having a pistol with one cartridge is pretty frustrating. Bad news though. Walmart is notoriously short on pistol ammo, especially .38. But I think if dad found a single box of 50 shells he would be estatic. Nope - I don't think he would feel compelled to snag a Ruger Mini 14 or Remington 870 while he is there. Too much stuff to carry.

Next up, shoes. Since dad and son spend all their time walking the road, their shoes are falling apart and replacements are needed. I can see dad grabbing at least two pairs for each of them as well as a half dozen pairs of socks.

Then, it's on to the grocery section. All the food looks great after a decade or so of deprivation, but dad is an analytical guy. So he goes for lots of small cans - beans, sausages, vegetables. Most of all, several cans of pork and beans as it is the son's favorite. Then dry lightweight foods like nuts, raisins, oatmeal, and beans. He would probably grab canned tuna and more crackers as he and the son like them. As a treat, he would stuff his pockets with chocolate bars and packets of cocoa. Finally, I think he would probably take some fresh fruit - bananas, oranges, lemons. Things the boy probably had never had.

The camping section would be next. I think dad would want a warm sleeping bag for each of them as well as some other basic camping equipment. I don't think dad would want to haul along a stove though and a flashlight or lantern would be a bad idea.

Clothing. More pants and shirts for both of them as well as sweaters and long underwear. New gloves would be nice as well as coats if they were available.

Finally, over the pharmacy. Something for dad's cough which might prevent its spread and possibly reverse the damage. Also, a bottle of aspirin would have been a life saver as well as some antibiotics.

Although Dad would probably want to stay in Walmart with son forever and avoid the hell of the road, but rules are rules and after 30 minutes its back to his own world. Hopefully, better off than before and maybe, it might result in a happier ending.

If you have not read The Road or seen the movie, both are available now. Check it out. Not for the faint hearted though.

Tag and Bookmark

Disclaimer - This blog from time to time reviews products on this blog. Some, but not all, of the products reviewed are affiliate market products and do provide compensation to the blog operator. This blog does receive revenue from advertising on this blog and from the sale of products highlighted on the outside columns and frame of this blog.
This blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. For legal, medical, financial or any other professional advice, consult with a licensed professional.
We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.

Copyright - all content property of 2005 -2011 all rights reserved. Content scrapers and copyright violators will be prosecuted.
storable food, dehydrated food, fod, dry food, food storage, food insurance, freeze dried food, survival food, food sale prices, food sale, bulk food, collapse food, food shortage, survival seeds, non hybrid, non-hybrid, emergency food, dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated mixes, dried produce, spices, whole food, mountain house food, mountain house freeze dried food, alpine aire, alpine aire freeze dried food, alpine air, mountainhouse, richmoor, survival food storage, bird flu, emergency survival, emergency preparation, dehydrated storable food, emergency preparedness, long term food storage, long term water storage, long term storable food, camping food, emergency food storage, food reserves, long term food reserves, storage, long term, long-term, dehydrated, gourmet reserves, long shelf life, no cooking required, food storage systems, non perishable food, non-perishable, no cooking food, non cook food, non-cook food, no cook food, basic needs, basic food storage, dry, dry storable, storage, preparedness, personal preparedness, food supply, supplies, seeds, sprouts, food supplier, survival review, collapse food storage, world food shortage, american food shortage


Tripbase Travel Reviews