So I’m driving along the other day, and my daughter starts asking questions about stuff she’s heard about in the news. She’s thirteen, and painfully aware of the sucky economy, polarized political situation, Obama, and so forth. She looks at me and says, “Dad…if the wheels do come off and we have another Great Depression, what happens then?” Out of the mouths of babes. That stopped me for a moment. Or three. I said, “Honey, I don’t think anybody knows. The world suffered through one Great Depression. We can do it again. It won’t be the end of the world.” That was about as comforting as I could get, because I was turning the question over in my mind, wondering about it just as she did. Only I have the benefit of reading a lot of history, talking with my late parents and grandparents (who lived through it), and knowing that things are a lot different now than they were then. Sort of. So the question remains, what happens if the wheels come off?

Nothing like opening a can of worms, first thing in the morning, eh? Well, to get down to brass tacks, we first have to speculate on what ‘wheels coming off’ really means. By my definition, it would mean something that would be the End Of Life As We Know It. In other words, something that would push the economy into the abyss, by way of a breakdown in the government, riots in the streets, a paralyzing attack on our country/infrastructure – in other words, something catastrophic. I don’t know what, and I don’t know that specifics matter here. I’m not talking about an alien invasion from Mars, seeing a giant meteor heading for a bullseye on Planet Earth or something equally unlikely. Just something like the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression.

If you’re a fan of the late, lamented TV show Jericho, you’d have seen that it wouldn’t take a whole lot to rend the fabric of our lives. In that show, nukes took out our major cities, and with it, the government, the infrastructure (the electrical grid, transportation, food distribution, communications, et cetera). But that’s an extreme example. We saw with our own eyes how transportation can be crippled on 9/11. And something like that could have easily triggered things like a run on the banks, looting, profiteering (well, that DID happen, actually.) I think it’s far more likely that we have soaring prices for gasoline and electricity, hyper-inflation, food shortages, and eventually, riots, when there’s not enough food/food stamps/welfare and Social Security checks to go around. But what then?

I’ve lived through a couple of natural disasters. Fortunately, I’ve not had to pick up what’s left of my house after a hurricane or tornado. Nor have I had to barricade my house in fear of looters. But I know people that have lived through that. And it’s scary. You know, you get up in the morning, and expect certain things to be true – the sun rises, the water comes out of the tap, the lights work, that sort of thing. When it doesn’t, that has a way of rocking your world to it’s core. Add into the mix the potential of people breaking into your house to steal your stuff, and it can go from zero to freaky in about the blink of an eye.

So what do you do? Well, I’ve done some thinking on this. And what I’ve realized is I’m woefully unprepared for the worst that could happen. And I’m not much better prepared for even a minor rip in the fabric of our lives. Yes, I own guns. And ammo. And a Jeep, for that matter. But I don’t have enough non-perishable food to last more than a couple of days, and I’ve got about a day’s worth of water. That’s not good. And my financial liquidity is fairly non-existant right now. (If I could buy gold, I would, but that takes money.)

Let’s not get too far afield here, and limit the scope of our ‘what-if’in’ to self defense in a time of chaos. I have made a couple of decisions that, for better or worse, I hope will help if we get into a catastrophe. First, I’ve made a conscious decision to limit the number of calibers of ammo I need to stay in the game. Right now, my go-to weapons use .45 ACP, 12 gauge shells, and .22LR rounds. Oh, and for backup, .38 Special cartridges. I figure .45 ACP and .22LR are the most common, most plentiful, and easy-to-find ammo in the country. Ditto for 12 gauge shells. (On the other hand, if there’s a run on .22LR, .45 ACP, and 12 gauge shells, I’m screwed.) But at least I won’t have to worry about keeping a stock of every possible rifle cartridge, handgun cartridge and such, just to make my mini-arsenal run.

I live in a ‘safe’ neighborhood. But I’m aware that this counts for jack, should we be overtaken by some disaster that does something as simple as causing blackouts. Nothing like a little power outage, city-wide, to bring out the lawlessness in folks. So I am looking at my home, and I’m not liking what I’m seeing. I have security lights (useless in a power outage) and some decent locks. But from a strategic point of view, my house is not set up to be easy-to-defend. Too many windows (great for light – not so great for defense), too many blind spots, and no easy way out, should it be time to bug out. Not much I can do about that.

Which brings up my next big thought – how much preparedness is TOO MUCH preparedness? I am not one of these guys willing to go off-grid and live in a cabin in the woods, based on what might happen at some undetermined point in the future. Conversely, I’m not willing to go the ostrich route, and bury my head in the sand, hoping a crisis will never occur. So my thinking goes along the lines of the way the government plans for things like the flood ratings for property. Playing the odds, how likely is it that we’ll have a tornado? Odds aren’t that great, for I live in “tornado alley.” Hurricanes? Not this far inland. Fire? Always a potential problem. So having a bug-out kit (extra batteries, a little cash reserve, change of clothes, emergency food rations, first-aid kit) is a great idea. And basic theft deterrence/security is a great idea for the home. But past that? I don’t really know. I’m trying to figure out how much is too much. That would be a lot easier if I had any faith in our government. But since those in power (on both sides of the aisle) seem blind to the idea that you can’t spend your way out of debt (with a small handful of Tea Party caucus people and a few fiscal hawks on the Democrat side sounding the alarm), things look pretty bleak. And that brings me back to what my daughter asked.

You see, the difference between life the day before and the day after any disaster is largely the same, save for one important difference. Perception. The day before the stock market crash that triggered the Great Depression, there was “irrational exuberance” in the market. The day after, everybody thought they were broke. If something bad happens, we’ll all keep breathing. The sun will continue to rise every morning. The world will continue to turn. But the biggest thing that affects our ability to keep going will be perception, and that, paradoxically, is the hardest thing to plan for, and the most difficult to control.

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61 Responses to Okay…the wheels come off. NOW what?

  1. A friend shared this with me the other day:

    “Our model citizen is a sophisticate who before puberty understands how to produce a baby, but who at the age of thirty will not know how to produce a potato. And for this condition we have elaborate rationalizations, instructing us that dependence for everything on somebody else is efficient and economical and a scientific miracle. I say, instead, that it is madness, mass produced. A man who understands the weather only in terms of golf is participating in a chronic public insanity that either he or his descendants will be bound to realize as suffering. I believe that the death of the world is breeding in such minds much more certainly and much faster than in any political capital or atomic arsenal.”

    Wendell Berry, “Think Little,” in The Art of the Commonplace. (Shoemaker & Hoard: 2002).

    • Thanks for posting the Berry quote. He’s a very wise and insightful man and well worth one’s time. I’d particularly recommend “The Unsettling of America: Essays Cultural and Agricultural”.

  2. The biggest difference between the 1930s and today is that they didn’t have the sense of entitlement that most people have today. They were better prepared, emotionally, to face hardship and make sacrifices. The world didn’t owe them anything. Consider all the things that can result from that difference, alone. They didn’t need guns. We will.

    P.S. – I’m still having trouble with text entry in the Comment field.

  3. If you look at the parallels, it’s 1931 right now. While it certainly can (and probably will) get worse, it is bad right now.

    Go read FerFAL at http://www.themodernsurvivalist.com/ (his old site: http://ferfal.blogspot.com/ ) . He is still living through Argentina’s “wheels fell off” events of 2001 on. (I wish I had a summer birthday just so I could get someone to buy his book for me.) Get his book, and follow his advice. I have yet to see him advise something that doesn’t make sense even in our current economy. (My favorite part: he is dead-set against the “yurt in Idaho” survivalist mentality. He points out that, in South Africa, Argentina, and now Mexico, the bad guys see a lone family in the “wilderness” and smell blood.)

    As Denninger says, you can’t win an end of the world bet. You cannot prepare for The Road or any such event. Trying to do so will just stick a big bullseye on your back, and IMHO isn’t Biblical either (Jesus says God will feed and clothe us).

    Milady and I are taking a “stock ahead” approach. We buy enough to have an extra box in the pantry or the freezer, to hedge against inflation or a bank event. Number One Son and I are walking, to get the extra weight off. Get an alarm system, even if you don’t have external monitoring. Then, use your excess to help others when able.

    • Second the FerFAL recommendation. He’s already covered all of this, in great depth, and from personal experience.

      I’d say it’s 1933 right now, we’re about 3 years after the big break, heading into the second downturn. And while we’re making that comparison, let’s not forget that the Depression didn’t just end. It went on for a decade, and was then capped off with a World War that featured genocide, nuclear weapons, and the death of more Americans per capita than even the Civil War. And we got off light in comparison to most countries. That’s the real wheels falling off event.

      If the pattern holds, we’ve probably got another half dozen years or so of false recoveries and a worsening global economic and political situation. Do your best to get out of debt and reduce your obligations. When it comes, you’re going to want to be as flexible as possible. Guns are the least of your worries. Have one. Have some ammo for it. Beyond that, take your money and get out of debt and improve your security in other ways.

  4. We have a lot in common, Brad, including the bit about food preparedness, I’m sorry to say.

    My plan at present is to slowly build up my reserves in anticipation of the 2012 elections. If things continue peacefully after then, I’ll just maintain the reserves. I’m an optimistic guy so I don’t think the wheels will come off, but I think anyone who has children would be negligent to be unprepared these days.

  5. A few years ago I saw a product on the shelves of Costco that I have unfortunately not seen since. Luckily I bought a bunch of them. They were called “The Ark” and contained water purification and enough food for one person for 72 hours (3 days) and other basic survival gear. All in something smaller than a shoebox. I have all 15 of them in a Rubbermaid container ready to load in the back of the car and get out of dodge if the need arises.

    Also at Costco, but this time online, I got a big rack that holds cans and automatically rotates them for me. I have filled this thing up to the point I have about 6 months worth of food for my family on this rack and other racks. I have been called a food hoarder, but I don’t care. I will laugh at them when something happens and they come knocking on my door on day 3 begging for food only to be turned away at gunpoint.

    You may think this costs a fortune and there is no way to do it. Hogwash! It actually saves me money, tons of money. I didn’t go out one day and buy 6 months worth of food. That would have put me in the poor house. What I did is whenever something was on sale that I used a lot and was storable, I bought as much of it as finances, storage space, and the store would allow. So, for example cream of chicken soup is something we use a lot. I currently have well over 100 cans of cream of chicken soup of which the average price I paid was less than 60 cents, not bad when they regularly go for over a dollar. Before I started doing this, we would use say 10 cans a week at over a dollar a can, so over 10 dollars a week. Now, still use 10 cans a week, but they only cost me 60 cents a can so I save over 4 dollars a week. And when they are on sale again I simply by them by the case and restock my shelves. Do this with enough products and you won’t see much savings at first because you will be building supply. But once you got your supply where you want it, the saving will kick in huge.

    I also have at least 1,000 rounds for every gun I own. And the equipment and ability to reload ammo should it become necessary.

    Finally, buying silver and gold is nice, and if you can afford it by all means do so. But, some items will have a much higher bartering rate than they do now in a catastrophe. Foy example, I have started collecting bottled alcohol, even though I don’t ever drink the stuff (I do cook with it though). I think there will be enough people jonseing for some alcohol in a time when it is unavailable, that you could probably trade it for stuff far more valuable at the time like food, weapons, medicine, shelter, protection, or whatever you need.

    I am thinking of learning how to brew alcohol as well, as this could be a popular skill to make you a popular person in a time of need.

    That’s just me, and I am sure Magoo is going to label me loonie for it. But again, I don’t care because it saves me money now and in the unlikely case I ever need it; I will sleep well at night knowing people like magoo are dying while thinking jealously of me and wishing they had been a loon too.

    One thing though, if you are going to do this you need to either be the shopper and chef with a lot of spare time, or you need to have your spouse and kids onboard completely. Otherwise this won’t work. Canned food does go bad, so you need to train yourself and your family to primarily shop from the food supply for dinner and primarily shop from the grocery to refill the stock of your home food stores.

  6. My wife and 3 teenage kids have all asked me the same thing.
    the difference between the 1930’s and now is the US dollar will go through hyperinflation to worthlessness at some point. This is diffrent than the stock market crash and economic contraction of the 30’s. california, new york and a number of other STATES are headed for bankruptcy, alonf with many local government units.
    argentina , mexico and zimbabwea have all gone through this to some degree this in the past.

    My biggest fear is a power outage. caused by a financial breakdown . No power, no phones,banks,lights,refridgeration ,water etc. think katrina nation wide.

    worst of all , no TV . really scary

    • Another possibility is that the dollar may deflate because no-one has any to spend, or at are not willing to spend it, leading to overstocked store shelves, worker layoffs, etc.

      Either hyper-inflation or deflation will derail the economy (along with peak oil).

      The Fed is keeping the interest rate at zero to try to promote spending, it’s just not working.

      This time, it will be different than the Great Depression. We were able to borrow our way out of it last time (building roads and equipment for WWII). We burned lots and lots of fuel to accomplish that (coal, natural gas and oil).

      It won’t work this time. Global oil supply has peaked and the economy has started to notice. Just when recovery kicks in, we burn more, the price skyrockets, recovery slows.

      This is pretty much it. We can’t really recover from this. Just live like the wheels are already off and what you have now is just a bonus. You’ll be happier with what you have and when it’s gone, you won’t miss it.

      If you want to research it for yourself, look up the videos of Dr. Albert Bartlett (someone uploaded a series of 8 on Youtube). Dr. Bartlett talks about growth curves and doubling periods. You need to understand this in order to realize just how fast it will go down.

      There is another set of videos be Dr. Chris Martenson called the Crash Course. It will give you more background on energy and oil. Again, you really need to grasp doubling periods to understand why peak-oil is such an important turning point (we pretty much hit it in 2004).

  7. Yeah, just when newspapers are becoming irrelevant, the one thing that could bring them back would be the death/destruction of the power grid (although I don’t know how many letterpress presses there are out there any more). What gets me is how we’re so dependent upon the Internet and satellite communications. We live in a world with an infrastructure that is much more fragile than it was in the 1930s.

  8. Trade items are better than gold. Tinned tobacco and alcohol are my preference. Salt and pepper are probably good too.

    I suggest putting aside all change you receive from cash purchases. (I’m reasonably certain coins will retain some value, whereas paper bills probably will not)

    Avoid freeze dried foods unless you have access to lots of water. It doesn’t do much good to use drinking water for cooking. Also, it takes less energy to heat up a can of chili.

    Gold is all well and good, but if society truly melts down, you’ll be lucky to be able to buy a loaf of bread with an ounce of gold. Simply because gold is not edible.

    Even if you have enough stockpiled to eat reasonably well for a period of time, make sure to hit any soup kitchens or whatever government agency that is offering meals.

    Hitting relief agencies serves two purposes. One, what you have goes further, and two, it prevents people from wondering how you’re able to feed yourself.

    Basic hand tools should be collected. (sledge hammers, shovels, hand saws, hammers, etc.)

  9. When the wheels come off ol’ Buuurr will be out of this crappy city. Buuurr is leaving in two weeks to a place he is going to love. Orchards, farms, forests, rivers and lakes out Oregon way. If anything goes South I and my family will have my hunting and shooting skills to get us food from the hills and forests and my fishing skills to get me fish from the river. The land all around is what is going to sustain us in the long term. More square miles of apples, pears, peaches and vegetables then people is always a good thing. I pity those in the city with food stores, I laugh at those without.

  10. The wheels are not going to come off. We nearly had a global depression in 2008, but it was averted.

    The truth is these are not even terribly turbulent times. This is an era of relative tranquility, like the ’50s. You should have been around in the ’60s/’70s: the JFK, RFK, and MLK assassinations, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Watts, Kent State, Watergate, etc, etc. The country didn’t fall apart then and it is not likely to fall apart now.

    We do happen to have an African-American president. That’s what has the Glen Becks and teabaggers of the world so lathered up and insecure about their world. They just don’t have the self-awareness or historical perspective to realize it. What do we suppose the birther thing is all about?

    • “Happy Days Are Here Again!” huh?

      We’re back to a 1970s level of people-in-workforce (a better indicator than unemployment), record high food stamp usage, and all the indicators are trending down again. Meanwhile, we haven’t cleaned up any of the issues that caused the collapse in the first place, we’ve just covered them up and pretended they aren’t there. And it’s working. Denial usually does. For a while.

      So I agree. As far as social disorder goes, this isn’t as bad as the ’70s. Yet. We are a long way from being done with all this. The good news is, although it will be even worse in the end than if we’d addressed the problems immediately, in ’07-’08, the denial and delay does give us a little more time to prepare.

    • Oh Magoo,
      I to lived through the sixties, and seventies were my formative years. Yes there was a high level of discontent, and my family was only miles away when Watts burned. It was not pretty. The difference (as BLAMMO pointed out) is today’s sense of entitlement; coupled with massive government debt. This leads to a lack of political will (on either side of the aisle) to really address any problem we face. The collective us can not afford the things the collective we are demanding. By any sensible measure we are already bankrupt – what else would you call an entity that is 14 trillion in debt and losing an additional trillion plus dollars every year. Too many of us are not willing or able to make our own way so we vote our pocket book.

      That moron Carville got it right when he said: “People, you know, if it continues, we’re going to start to see civil unrest in this country. I hate to say that, but I think it’s imminently possible”. The only fix to the mess we are in is to stop spending so damn much money, when we do there will be hell to pay. If we don’t, the wheels won’t need to fall-off, they will be repossessed – then there will really be hell to pay

      BTW: I really don’t care if your President is pink with purple polka-dots and/or born in Ethiopia – his policies, his government, and his lack of fiscal restraint are even worse than the those of the goof-ball that preceded him in office.

      BTW, take 2: If you are not stocking-up on beans, bullets and band-aids you have no one to blame but yourself when the SHTF. The SHTF doesn’t need to mean the wheels falling off, it could be your run-of-mill natural disaster.

    • Magoo, let me be (one of) the first to say…um how can I put this politely…ah, screw it, you’re a loon. There. I’ve said it. It’s out in the open for all to see. If you read my article (doubtful, because I took great pains to divide the ‘reasonable’ from the ‘irrational’ concerning both fears and responses), you’d see that my primary concern is what to do IF something bad happens. And that something could as easily be a tornado or flood, as terrorist attack or financial meltdown. Have you ever lived through an emergency? Sounds like you’re squarely in the “put my head in the sand and hope the problem goes away” camp. Good luck with that.

      You’re a loon, because you see everything in terms of “right v. left,” “Tea baggers v. intellectual elites,” and “gun owners v. gun grabbers.” Grow up. You’ve opined here that you see the TTAG Armed Intelligentsia as “comic relief.” Take a look in the mirror, for “comic relief” is how we see you. I’d wager most of us read your posts and think “this guy just doesn’t get it.” (I’d say what the rest are thinking, but we try to keep the tone of discourse relatively civil here.) Simply put, you have but to open your eyes to see that this is anything BUT an era of “relative tranquility.” I am a child of the 60’s. I grew up less than ten miles from the country’s largest SAC air base and the home of the nation’s B-52 squadron. You know – the planes that were/are our first line of defense in the Cold War…the ones that carry our nuclear arsenal. I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, when my dad had our trunk packed with the family’s bug-out kit, and his plan to take the then-newly opened I-20 to get us the Hell outta Dodge.

      Interestingly enough (given your comments that those on my side simply don’t have “the self-awareness or historical perspective” to appreciate current conditions) I was sitting in an assembly at Louisiana Boys State in 1974, when Richard Nixon announced he was resigning. There we were, studying government, and history literally unfolded before us. We don’t “get it”? Speak for yourself, Magoo.

      Oh, and I love your irrational claim “we nearly had a global depression in 2008, but it was averted.” Change “averted” to “delayed” or “postponed for a bit” and I might agree with you. But if you look at the financial health of Greece, Spain, and the USA, and can look yourself in the mirror with a straight face and say “we cheated the hangman,” then I’d say you’re more than looney – you’ve completely lost touch with reality.

      To understand what’s happening now, you might want to go bone up on the history of pre-WWII Germany, particularly the story of the Weimar Republic. Argentina of a decade or so ago doesn’t begin to compare to what we face.

      Oh, and for the record, I proudly affiliate myself with other Tea PARTY (not teabaggers, asshole) members. My favorite candidates: Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, and Herman Cain. When last I looked, Cain is an African-American. He’s also a businessman who’s successfully run a large corporation, something Obama’s never done. (I don’t count “community organizer” as gainful employment in the public sector. Neither should you.) There are quite a few of us who see race as a non-issue. I wonder if that’s true of the Left as a whole, because YOU guys are the ones who keep bringing it up. Nobody’s telling Mr. Cain to ‘get to the back of the bus,’ and if he can raise enough money, he can be every bit as viable a candidate as Romney, Palin, Pawlenty, or Bachman.

      My parents were children of the Great Depression. I was raised on the stories of the kinds of sacrifices their parents made to make it. As such, what I see coming scares the ever-lovin’ crap out of me. But you go right ahead and refuse to see the truth. You’ll be one of the muddled asses yearning to breathe free air, water, and food, while those of us that see the dangers before us do our best to prepare for the storm ahead.

  11. It is prudent, not crazy, to keep on hand at least a few weeks of essential supplies. Build your cash reserves but diversify away from the US dollar. Sell your gold — it strikes me as the next balloon to go pffft. I have never understood gold as a store of value — it is a practically useless substance except in some specialized electronics and luxury goods. Buy all the ammo you can as a hedge against inflation (its components are in high demand as developing countries build out their infrastructure). If things really go all apocalyptic (which I think is unlikely) we are in uncharted territory. There is always the last resort option many of our ancestors took: emigrate.

  12. Good article Brad! Ah, I remember a group of us working Naval Weapons Base Security Forces were huge fans of Jericho-the writers’ strike screwed that show. I was one of the ones sending nuts to the producers to get the show back on. We would talk a lot about what if’s. My grandparents lived through the Depression. To her dying day, my Irish Mammy washed and reused aluminum foil and Saran Wrap. They kept loose potatoes in the tractor shed-they grew more continuously. The way to survive is small communities with members trading skills as barter. A well minded community can keep security, for you surely will have to protect what is yours. It is good to have your stock of tools, ammo, blades, weapons-but stores of flashlights and batteries would be invaluable too. Economical night vision can be a real boon, Yukon makes some good scopes I’ve used extensively for government contract security. I try to keep all my flashlights and night scopes on the same batteries, the CR123A lithium cells. Surefire cells can be bought in bulk, I buy a 12 pack evry few months for around $26. You will pay $10 for 2 CR123A’s at Wal Mart. 12 gauge is king in my book. I like to buy the 10 packs of 00 buck at least once a month. I get a few slugs along the way, but I don’t even waste my time with birdshot for snakes-we have some tough mothers around the swamps here. 00 buck saved my life once, from a huge feral shepard running flat out at me. One round in the chest dropped him. The thing I think best is to collect like minded fellows and have a pact, of sorts, to look out for you and yours-in case. What husband wouldn’t want to know that his wife and kids will be with a group if he doesn’t make it? I was trained to prepare, so I even stock up on good deals on BDU’s, some of the best clothing out there for durability. I do the same for back packs, duffel bags and water bobs. Dog food is good to stock up on for Fido, but also bait for prey. Bird seed brings squirrels, and country squirrel is real good eating. Just saying…

  13. Even in the depression if you had a job, life wasn’t bad. That said you do want to follow the Boy Scout motto. “Be prepared.” Hard times are going on now for many. I’ve been unemployed for 6 months and thanks to my prep’s over the previous 3 years, my family is eating well. I have a mortgage, so in order to insure I don’t get foreclosed on I moved to a cheaper state and rented an apartment while renting out my house. Presently there is a safety net in place that is keeping the effects of the current depression recession at bay. And the administration will probably come out with some form of QE3 which will buy some more time. So build up your pantry. Start now stocking up a little each month with food you like to eat (remember vitamins). You know the drill buy a few extra cans when you go shopping. And store up a gallon of water per family member, per day for a week. Store some pure bleach for water purification. And have stock pots for boiling water if necessary. If you have a grill make sure you have several 5 gal propane tanks full and on hand, or stock up on charcoal. Also stock up on basic first aid items. Make sure everyone has a good pair of boots and work clothes. Build your library with books on basics. Many are available for free online for download (Don’t forget to print hard copies). Or you can purchase used. Don’t forget comfort items like board games, cards, hard candy etc. If you don’t have usable skills, start developing them now (IE. Gardening, carpentry, welding, small engine repair, first aid). How neighborly is your neighborhood? Do you belong to any type of tight knit community (IE. Church, service organization, etc.)? If not, join one now and start building relationships. It seems like you’ve got self defense handled weapons wise, but since your home (as most modern homes) is not to defendable, being part of a good neighborhood watch group will go far. Some groups do neighborhood patrols. Not a bad idea in light of many municipalities cutting back on police patrols to save money. There are a plethora of websites with ideas the main one being survivalblog.com. And while Rawles advocates relocating, which many can’t do, he has ton’s of resources available for free. So get started now. Better to be a few years early than a day late.

  14. Heaven knows I’m in favor of owing guns and ammo just in case something bad happens (google the words “sunspots take out grid” for an example of what keeps me up some nights) but I think a lot of people put too much emphasis on them when discussing these scenarios. Food, water, sanitation, heat, communication and medical supplies are the things you’re going to need every single day and it’s really not that hard or expensive to stock up. Set aside $50 or $100 each paycheck and use it to buy supplies, you may be surprised how quickly things add up. I’ve always had good experiences with nitro-pak.com for my “end of the world” shopping.

  15. People, this is pretty simple. Gun loons love to fantasize about the End of the World (SHTF, wheels coming off, zombie apocalypse, robot rebellion, whatever) because then, suddenly they and their guns are elevated to a place of importance in society, instead of the utter irrelevance wherein they currently dwell.

      • Blake says: “If gun owners are irrelevant, then why are there gun control laws?”

        Okay, you got me there. You are relevant enough to require adult supervision.

        • “Magoo says:

          June 16, 2011 at 3:06 PM

          Okay, you got me there. You are relevant enough to require adult supervision.”

          Too easy, Magoof.

        • Magoo,

          Why are you here? I don’t troll over at the HuffPo, you don’t need to troll here. If we are that unimportant, our ideas and behaviors that meaningless, why waste your time?

          The world may may not experience any upheaval in our lifetime, or it may. In the interim, we have jobs, we are net contributors to the society. If we choose to buy food and tools with our remaining income after taxes, what concern is it of yours?

      • You know progressives like Magoo think the lessons of history don’t apply to today. The Magoo’s of the world think “it’s different this time” because of the technological innovations of the last couple of centuries. Magoo thinks the outward trappings of civilization mean the basic nature of man has changed.

        • No, you are not taking this personally enough. I just think all your predictions are hopelessly off-base.

      • CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says: “Roman Empire. The Dark Ages. The Black Plague. Aztec Empire.”

        Nobody predicted any of those events with any useful accuracy — like at all, let alone within oh, half a century. So what makes you think you can predict the collapse of the U.S. economy within 20 years? This reminds me of an old R&B song: “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?”

        • Magoo,

          That doesn’t make any sense. If no one can predict when if or how a problematic situation (natural disaster, man made disaster, medical disaster/plague, economic collapse, total SHTF/PAW/WROL, etc. etc.) then shouldn’t the prudent man always be at least somewhat prepared.

          I do not expect a fire, but I have a fire extinguisher. I don’t expect to get cancer, but I have health insurance.

          We’re not (just) talking about guns, but preparedness for any emergency

        • “We’re not (just) talking about guns, but preparedness for any emergency.”

          True that Ralph. Sadly that is all Magoo can see.

    • Magoo, you know what Glenn Beck says when asked “what do you hope people will say about you twenty years from now?” He replies “That he was wrong.” I hope he IS wrong about the economy. I fear he’s right.

      The last thing in the world I want to ever have to do is to pull my gun and point it at another human being. I think I can speak for most of the people that read TTAG, and say that they feel the same way. In your world, we’re all extras in the cast of Deliverance. In our world, we hope we never have to find out what it would be like to shoot another human being. I don’t think about being “King of the World” because I own a gun, nor do I look forward to the wheels coming off. But if the wheels DO come off, I’d like to be able to protect my daughter as best I can. Does owning a gun guarantee that? Of course not. But if given the choice, I’d rather have it and never need it, than need it and not have it.

  16. I believe that driving the productive out of society or keeping them from creating (ever-growing government regulation) is a very real threat to our way of life, maybe even more probable than economic collapse or major natural disaster.

    “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as bad luck.”

    –Robert A. Heinlein

    Be Prepared! Stock up, minimize your needs, learn skills, make plans, pay off debt, save cash, practice lock-down/evacuation/self-defense. And never, never, never read comments by Magoo. 🙂

  17. Brad Kozak says: “Magoo, let me be (one of) the first to say…um how can I put this politely…ah, screw it, you’re a loon. There. I’ve said it. It’s out in the open for all to see. If you read my article (doubtful, because I took great pains to divide the ‘reasonable’ from the ‘irrational’ concerning both fears and responses), you’d see that my primary concern is what to do IF something bad happens.”

    You may prefer to see it that way, but I read your essay for what it is. Here’s your first mistake: You think you know the difference between “reasonable” and “irrational.” Sorry, no. Brad, why do you THINK you wrote a piece about “the wheels coming off”? Do you think this comes up every day in non-gun blogs? No, this is a topic gun loons obsess about. Why? Oh, I think we know.

    • Despite what you say or think, my preparing for the worst case does not affect you at all. You may think it makes me a loon, honestly I don’t care. As I said, I am saving money now, and will eat well if something bad does happen, which could be something as simple as losing my job.

      Also, despite what you may infer, I don’t have the food to keep the guns; I have the guns so I can keep the food. My priorities are on the survival of me and my family, not anything resembling your deranged fantasy of wanting to go out and kill everything and anything.

      You on the other hand, you will run to Uncle Sam for handouts like libtards always do. So it is clear why you insist on burying your head in the sand and refusing to imagine something so terrible Uncle Sam doesn’t make it, where will you turn then?

    • Because most of us gun owners were boy scouts and grew up learning and sometimes living the lessons of “Be Prepared.”

      Too bad you were off having tea with Mrs. Nesbit instead of learning some very valuable lessons about reality.

      • Costco sells seed kits for 6-8 months and dried food for 4 months as well as beans and other dried foods for no reason. There couldn’t be a big demand for it because there just are not that many of us loons out there. Or! Or maybe there are clear headed people who plan for the worst and live for the day. Just maybe. What do you think, Magoo? Do you think Costco moves a lot of that stuff?

    • Magoo, the best thing I can say about you is you’re consistent. Consistently wrong, but hey – go with what you know. Now to your comments:

      That well-known Conservative pundit (NOT!) and fellow Louisianan James Carville recently opined that he foresees a time in the not too distant future that, should energy and food prices continue to rise, we’ll see Euro-style riots in the streets. That’s James Carville talking not some Tea Party ‘fanatic.’ Carville, if you’ll recall, was in Bill Clinton’s inner circle, and is about as Left as you can get, without going full-tilt Mao. What might Carville know that you don’t? Um…my guess would be he’s far better plugged in to the people that actually know what’s REALLY going on with the economy, and he knows we’re up the effluent creek without a paddle. And he’s not alone. Quite a number of those on the Left are suddenly raising a ruckus about the economy and saying that maybe it’s time for a little belt-tightening. Like now. Before it’s too late.

      By the way, would you characterize The Motley Fool, the Huffington Post and Slate as right-wing, gun-loon-friendly sites? Because they’ve all run stories on the economy that speculate as to what might happen. Wake up. Or not. I won’t take ANY pleasure in seeing predictions of a second Great Depression come true, save one. I will allow myself a grim smile, thinking of you wallowing in a fate you so richly deserve.

      • Brad, two words: Strunk & White. You shouldn’t ask me to plow through that much cliched verbiage unless you are paying me to copy edit it. I feel like I am being filibustered. So I’ll keep it short. The Boy Scout motto is Be Prepared, not Be a Paranoid Lunatic.

        • Magoo, I think you are paranoid by thinking that everyone on here is paranoid. Are you paranoid about the number of paranoid people around you, Magoo? Do you have feelings of anxiety you just cannot explain? Feelings of hopelessness?

        • Magoo, perhaps you might want to go back to high school and bone up on your debate skills. I find it fascinating that, any time someone nails on the facts, you begin whining about verbiage, style, or being “talked to death.” I was a Boy Scout in my youth, and part of being prepared is speculating on what might happen, so you can be prepared for it. But now you have my curiosity raised…exactly what youth organization did you belong to that taught you to ignore the obvious, bury your head in the sand, and pretend nothing’s wrong? IS there such a thing as the Boy Ostriches?

        • So just one question gooey:

          Why _ARE_ you here? You’ve been around enough to know you aren’t changing anyone’s mind about anything but your lack of intelligence.

          So Why Are You HERE?

  18. Hello.
    First, sorry for my “engrish”; English is not my “mother tongue”, and, despite my best efforts, my practice with it limited to reading mostly. With little addition (not addiction, mind you:)) to computer games and movies. Youtube included (though limited, my ISP is weirdo). And foreign language “kung-fu” is like shooting “kung-fu” – only practice makes perfect. Before being reprimanded about “you should learn official language” I want to say that I (and this is pretty much obvious) do not live in US. So I hope “with little help of my friends” I’ll improve my skill to tolerable level.;) Or even higher. Who knows.:)

    Back to the topic. Not as “gun loon wet dream” (shouldn’t we ©, ® and ™ that?:)), but merely as “thought of the moment”. I wonder, how many “ordinary” (not necessarily “organic”) potatoes, for example, sold in US, in supermarkets and alike, can grown, should they be planted? Say if you bought, 5 pounds of potato, plant it on your backyard (if you not use your backyard like hickok45:)) and some time later would you be able to harvest considerably more? Yes, I know how potato and other vegetables are growing, but that part of my vocabulary being lost years ago. Somewhere about after 6th grade:).
    I’m just curios because of all that “genes modified goods hysteria”, when “everything has been genetically preprogrammed for 1 year self destruction cycle” and “we will have third tail, should we eat this!” (like somebody have two already:)), are your vegetables and seeds (if they are sold in some sort of “plant it yourself, farmer-boy-wanna-be-store”) can give proper harvest? Or “oh no, we doomed, those gene-splicers occupied everything, Chantea preserve us!”
    No I don’t want to say that our “prepare for Fallout on-life release bag” should contain improvised GECK, but you get my drift, I suppose.
    Ow, by the way, I think I’ve found me a wonderful… site. 🙂 No, really, last several days I just reading, reading and reading. Many articles really made me ROFL (and some even MAO:)). Brilliant style, humorous, witty and informative. And one question, since I do not want to bring my charter to this “monastery” (and I wasn’t able to find any “rules page”) will it be Ok to “unburrow” old thread, like from April, to ask something?

    • You can ask in old threads all you want here. But it won’t bring them to the front, and so your questions probably won’t get answered.

      I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to plant potatos and have them grow. Sometimes I loose a potato in my pantry and after a few months it tries to grow in there.

      If it has been processed, probably won’t grow. If it is a generally seeded fruit or veggie that has been rendered seedless through mechanical or genetic means then again probabl won’t grow. My son planted the leftover seeds from a microwave popcorn bag that had beened nuked, amazingly several of them tried to grow (they where not planted in a good spot). So you never know.

  19. Things could get tough. Be prepared. Stock up on some extra food, ammo, tools (non-power tools), clothing, batteries, etc. Ya know, stuff you’ll buy anyway. Just buy a little extra each trip to the store. Going to the shooting range? Pick up an extra box of ammo/shells and put it in your storage area.

    Make friends with your neighbors. Find out who you can trust close to where you live. Know a doctor, mechanic, engineer, nurse, botanist, farmer, vet, etc. in your area? Make some friends.

    I know folks have a “me and mine” mentality when it comes to things like this, but humans have survived and thrived as a species because we work well together.

    Some interesting points from another blog I like…
    http://www.deathvalleymag.com/2010/11/12/financial-survival-tips-for-tough-times/

    http://www.deathvalleymag.com/2010/04/18/urban-survival-teotwawki-is-a-bs-scenario-made-up-to-sell-you-crap/comment-page-1/#comment-26045

    http://www.deathvalleymag.com/category/urban-survival/page/3/

    http://www.deathvalleymag.com/2010/05/30/urban-survival-preparing-your-family-for-survival/

  20. My wife and I don’t bother preparing for anything that kills the power grid nationwide for more than two weeks. We both use pharmaceuticals which require refrigeration and will last about two weeks if kept cool. Without those we will be dead in short order.

    That being said, we have two weeks worth of food and drinking water (including pet food)and a nearby creek if we really can’t stand the stench of ourselves. Plenty of ammunition for all the guns, and enough plywood and nails to cover all the ground floor windows, twice. Enough simple first aid supplies

    We live inside the Beltway in Virginia so we don’t plan on leaving the house for a week. I think it would take that long for the freeways to clear enough to get out of town. We have actually discussed this with a couple of neighbors who also shoot and the plan is for the three families to convoy out together if it is a localized problem. This has the added benefit of additional shooters should there be “unauthorized” roadblocks or just breakdowns. Each of the families keeps 20 gallons of gas in 5 gal. cans I empty mine into the tank every month and fill them up at the gas station a few minutes later.

    Trade goods for the trip out? Bottles of various types of alcohol (free! People keep giving them to us and we don’t drink.) Some silver, a little gold (Heh, we bought it at $650 years ago.) Spare boxes of ammo in 9mm, 22LR, and .45 ACP. I bought them cheap but never got around to buying guns for them. 10-1lb boxes of sugar sealed in plastic that I bought on sale before the doctor told me I couldn’t have it anymore. 10-1lb boxes of salt, same deal.

    If there is nowhere to go? We’ll still move out with the other families after a week headed wherever they want to go and we will give a hand as long as we can. When we are gone they can have everything they want.

  21. I think the army stocks 9mm and .223. Those are what I would think would be around the most. I mean, yeah, .22L but golly, you need so many for each goblin :-).

    That said, my long guns are 12G and 7.62×54. Guess I’m responsible for my own resupply…

  22. Can’t we all just get along? Leave Magoo alone. He’s entitled to his comments. How about more gun reviews and less political/social rubbish. It really is getting old.

    Life isn’t so black and white as some of the posters seem to believe here. A myriad of gray exists. No one is right and no one is wrong. It’s all a matter of individual perspectives.

    As a fellow gun owner, I’m embarrassed by some of the extremism here. It’s amazing what fear does to people.

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