Author Topic: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?  (Read 18005 times)

uniFI

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SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« on: September 26, 2014, 03:08:09 PM »
So...what if Wall street takes a catastrophic hit?  We've read and agreed that Mustachians will adapt, and there will always be something to invest in.  But what would be prudent to go ahead and purchase now, while situation normal?

I've seen things go from 60 to 0 in a few hours during Florida hurricane season.  Then it's too late to go hmm...maybe we should get some plywood or a generator...or soup or bread.

What if currency becomes worthless, and the wheelbarrow is more valuable to someone than the load of bills it could carry?

I'm not a fearful person.  I'm not a doomsday prepper.  But I've been thinking there are probably some things that would be useful to have in and of themselves, as well as for bartering value if the lights go out.

What would you choose?  Guns, knives, cigarettes?  Is gold really a safe ticket fallback? 

I don't like having all my retirement eggs in one Wall Street basket. Portfolio diversity schmersity - it's all in the cloud when it's numbers on electrically powered computer screens.  Just brainstorming here.  This could cover temporarily moving the portfolio balance to something safe, all the way to canning food and storing water.

Curious what your thoughts are...

Eric

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2014, 03:39:02 PM »
I'm pretty sure all of the financial companies on Wall Street DID just go through an absolute catastrophe of epic proportions just a few years ago.  Likely, in my estimation, the worst I'll see in my lifetime.  Many parts of the country are still recovering from it.  So think back to 5 years ago.  Was there something you thought would've been more prudent then?

surfhb

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2014, 03:46:19 PM »
^^. This.    The American financial system was very close to collapse 5 years ago

For the life of me I don't understand why you would worry about such an event.   Very little beyond food and medicine would be of value.   

Btw.....what are your investments in?    Silly not to invest on WS when the market has never gone down ever.   Never say never but I think you may have a deep misunderstanding of how market investing works 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 03:53:34 PM by surfhb »

Beric01

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 03:46:46 PM »
I've actually been thinking a bit about this. I think some of the doomsday prep stuff is an overreaction (underground bomb shelters?!), but what if there's a local natural disaster?  Or what if, worst case, our currency were to become worthless? How would we survive?

Right now I'm thinking about buying myself a water container to store a couple weeks' water, a water filter, a few months' nonperishable food, and perhaps a first-aid kit and some other emergency supplies. Preparing for the worst like this should cost a few hundred dollars at most, and so even if there's a 1% chance of something really bad happening, it's cheap insurance.

I actually think this kind of preparing for some worst case-scenarios makes a lot of sense. If nothing does happen, that's perfectly fine!

For the life of me I don't understand why you would worry about such an event.   Very little beyond food and medicine would be of value.   

So doesn't having some food and medicine on hand make a lot of sense?

EDIT: and to address the OP's other comments, I've also theorized about buying maybe a few hundred dollars silver coins, and learning to use a firearm (I've never shot a gun in my life). Those thoughts are less serious, though.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 03:50:42 PM by Beric01 »

surfhb

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 03:56:02 PM »
Sure.....it's always good to be prepared in case of an emergency but to think that currency will collapse and the world will become Mad Max times is just plain silly and a waste of your time

Chranstronaut

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2014, 04:00:00 PM »
I think being self sufficient until the world re-balances is the best way to maintain your position.  I can only speculate a little, but I truly believe what you know and can do will always matter more than what you own.

However, emergency prep is near to my heart.  Here are some of my thoughts:

Small emergencies (house fire, power outage)

Keep a 72 hour grab-and-run kit.  This should have enough clean undies, emergency medication, food and water for a single person for 3 days.  Check out the red cross website for more information.  If you have pets, keep a bag for them as well including extra leash and collar.  Keep pictures and contact information (on paper) for anyone you might be with or need to get a hold of.  You can use this at home to tide you over in a real emergency, or grab it on the way out if your house is on fire and you're staying in a shelter tonight.

First aid kit: bandaids, tape and gauze, scissors, tweezers.

Always keep some quarters and cash at work.  If you get stuck and have to eat from the vending machine over night, you want quarters.  If you can somehow find a payphone somewhere, you need quarters.  Have enough cash at work to get you home.

No speculative investments available.  Likely you are one of few affected, but you might be able to save some cash by being self sufficient.


Medium Emergency (black outs, city-wide event)

Cash is king.  If there's no power, there's no credit cards.  Don't keep a bunch of 100s stuck in you mattress, but maybe a couple hundred in small bills in a safe place so you can still buy groceries in a few days.

72 hour kit + first aid kit

Don't clean your pantry out to zero.  Some people say you should have different amounts of food and water (up to a year storage or more!), but you should do what you can.  At least always have a few cans of beans or something in case you can't get to the store on your planned day.

If you have advanced warning, fill your bathtub with clean water.  Should last you a couple days if they shut it off.

No speculative investments available, but you might be able to get some pies from a neighbor by helping them out with food and water.



Big emergency (Katrina style hurricane, massive wildfire/earthquake)

More cash, but it might reach it's limits of usefulness.

72 hour kit + 1 week kit in your car.  Same as above, but more full changes of clothes, weather appropriate outer gear.

Bigger first aid kit: compresses, splints, generic medications for more than one patient

Always keep your car gassed up at least 1/4 tank so you can get well away from your area before needing to refuel.  Consider spare oil and gas tanks in your garage.

Have several weeks worth of food storage and water at your house.  Consider a composting toilet if you plan to stick it through.

This is where speculation gets fun.  Water, food, batteries and phone chargers will be used as currency.  Medical care might be bartered for, but it's an ethical question you have to solve for yourself.  Looting might get you somewhere, but long term it won't matter.  Oil and gas will make you a target for attack but earn you quite a lot.  Home farming might not help you if your emergency is weather related.  The ability to GTFO is sacred.


Giant Fucking Emergency (Aliens, zombies,

GTFO.  Find the most rural person you know because you are going to their house as a staging point.  Hope you know how to live off the land because that's your only investment now.  Bring all outdoor gear, hunting and fishing and medical equipment.

uniFI

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2014, 04:02:33 PM »
i knew this would elicit some dismissive responses.  That's fine.  I'm more interested in thoughts from people who've thought about it.

There are levels here.  On the extreme end, on the silver and gold angle, if someone is hungry, does it really have any value?  Maybe land and seeds are the ticket, and the knowledge of how to grow your own food.  That's a usable and valuable skill to have regardless of good times or bad.  It's Mustachian even.  So there's some crossover that's reasonable without being crazy.


Beric01

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2014, 04:02:55 PM »
Sure.....it's always good to be prepared in case of an emergency but to think that currency will collapse and the world will become Mad Max times is just plain silly and a waste of your time

I agree with you that the probability is very low, but I have to wonder with the debt and spending out of control and money being printed, that something might not happen to the currency. Look at the most severe hyperinflation incidents in history. Zimbabwe in 2008 - prices doubled every 24 hours! I definitely give it a low probability, but I don't think it's zero.

Having 0.1% of my portfolio in silver coins could make some sense.

uniFI

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2014, 04:05:09 PM »
Good stuff Chrans.  Oh yeah, Zombies!  Forget about them...

Ybserp

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2014, 04:32:07 PM »
Emergencies happen, but it isn't worthwhile to spend a lot of money on zombie/teotwawki-style emergencies.

Sure get 6 months worth of canned goods, but rotate your stock so you don't have it going to waste. If you don't have the discipline to eat the stuff before it goes bad, you aren't actually prepping - you are just hoarding.

Buy some bottled water if you must, but realize you are paying an insurance premium and not adding a whole lot of value for it. Filling reusable containers from the tap before the hurricane (or whatever) hits will give you fresher potable water.

Buying a generator might be a good idea if you have the discipline to do the maintenance on it and you are smart enough to always set it up outside where you won't kill your family with the exhaust fumes.

For most small to medium disasters, having some of your emergency fund in cash and having a friend in another city is all you really need to get through it.

Chranstronaut

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2014, 04:36:49 PM »
Another idea: buy companies that produce weapons and companies that produce medicine. Start a war. Ooh wait...

To lend a little seriousness, I think a big issue that deserves real consideration for FI or doomsday is to realized that we don't know everything but some things trend over time.  You can also look at it from two sides of the same problem: do I invest in what's scarce or in what needs to be developed (or both)?  Would you invest in oil or clean energy or both?

Does my investment have multiple uses? Gasoline looks dumb if people stop using cars, but it can also start fires and that's useful. Following this mental path, high chemical energy items are most useful (either to eat, create light or create heat).

Another question: if the world doesn't end but the economy totally and completely crumbles, being "rich" might mean something TOTALLY different. My great grandparents felt rich during the Great Depression because they had enough money and food to give some away.

I don't think any of that is much of an investment vehicle though its fun to philosophize over it

GizmoTX

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2014, 04:41:19 PM »
We installed a natural gas generator that can keep the refrigerator/freezer going, provide heat & a few lights in bedroom & kitchen, & power a few sockets. Gas range & grill for cooking. It's been very appreciated during ice storms when the entire neighborhood was without power for almost a week. Power outages happen in the summer too.

Hyperinflation is a real threat given the insane US debt. Having a sizable store of food & supplies is a very good idea, but should be hidden & not advertised.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2014, 05:01:55 PM »
I was just starting to get a lot into shtf planning but kind of came to my senses.  I had an uncle that was into it, but he was severely overweight with type 2 diabetes.  He completely ignored the most likely danger while focusing on the least likely cases.  Eventually his lack of health took him early.  Since then I put way less effort into this stuff and try to focus on the things statistically most likely to kill me early (poor health, unsafe motorcycling, etc).

That being said, I still do some things.  It very much depends on where you live and what the most likely situations are.  I wish I knew where I read it but there was a really good forum post on a shtf site where someone did a lot of analysis on where he lived and the most likely dangers (he lived downhill from a dam, in snow country, etc) and planned for those specifically.  It was very well thought out, down to if the damn broke how long before sirens went off and how long he had to gtfo, and what the best uphill routes were through the woods.  For myself, I carry a few things in my work backpack like a smoke mask because I ride the subway every day and fires happen.  Not often, but it is a risk, and it's a zero-weight $7 mitigation.  We also use one of our camping backpacks as a bail out bag for the apartment, keeping the most important of our backpacking gear in it.

For complete disaster there was a really f'n good story by a guy in I forget what country where the military closed off a city.  No one allowed in or out, but they also didn't help the people trapped inside.  It got as bad as you could think.  He said in hindsight the best thing to stock up on would have been lighters.  You can buy a shitload for cheap and they don't take up much room like a 6-month supply of food and water would.  People always need a way to start fires so you can trade them for pretty much anything.  But that's getting into 'how likely is this really?' and are there more likely scenarios you could be focus your energy on (like diet and exercise).

angelagrace

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2014, 05:19:40 PM »
I don't think it's dumb at all to prepare. I've often thought that there's sort of a hole in the mustachian ideas in this respect. If we all become financially independent based on the stock market and it really does crash, we will all be screwed. I enjoy MMM but I also read other blogs and prepping is one topic and enjoy. Let's just say I won't be surprised if things seriously go down by 2015 or so. But I don't live in fear either.

We have a few things in the way of prepping insurance. Like a big bag of dried beans and some rice in the basement, a stash of heirloom seeds, and a big thing of matches.  We also do have some of our money in silver, even though a lot of people in this forum would give me crap for it, it might turn out to be a great idea someday. Plus, silver has been artificially suppressed for the last several years and is probably about to go up as well.

I guess I just think that most Americans think that nothing bad could really ever happened to them, but if you look at the history of the rest of the world and even here in America, lots of bad things have happened in the past. So I think it's wise to be prepared in a variety of ways.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 05:21:16 PM by angelagrace »

deborah

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2014, 05:36:38 PM »
For short disasters:
Make sure you have a plan, and have practiced it.

Keep your mobile phone charged.

Look at this site http://www.abc.net.au/news/emergency/plan-for-an-emergency/ which has emergency checklists for a number of situations. It is Australian, and it is good. Remember, we have lost an entire capital city to cyclones (look up cyclone Tracey), lost 80% of an entire state to bush fire, lost another capital city (twice - Brisbane) to floods, so there is actually some very good advice there.

Beric01

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2014, 05:43:09 PM »
I've often thought that there's sort of a hole in the mustachian ideas in this respect. If we all become financially independent based on the stock market and it really does crash, we will all be screwed.

I fully agree.

The stock market has really existed only so long. I am not paranoid and am fully invested in equities for my early retirement, but I have to think that some contingency planning makes sense.

seattlecyclone

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2014, 05:47:17 PM »
I don't think it's dumb at all to prepare. I've often thought that there's sort of a hole in the mustachian ideas in this respect. If we all become financially independent based on the stock market and it really does crash, we will all be screwed.

If there is a major disaster of the kind where stocks become worthless and people start bartering for food, I say we'll be much less screwed than average. We live minimally as it is, so the adjustment to the new world will be less of a shock to us. We try to do many things for ourselves already, so we'll be able to roll with the punches better than those who currently hire people for every little thing. Heck, we may even end up finding ourselves able to trade our know-how for the things we need, and become rich all over again in the new economy.

I'm not saying it's silly to be prepared for a disaster, but be reasonable about it. Want to keep a few weeks' worth of food in your pantry? Go ahead! Want to keep a few silver coins around in case hyperinflation hits? Go for it if it makes you feel better. I'll start to look at you funny when you buy a generator, a 50-gallon fuel tank, five-gallon buckets of beans, a rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition for each member of the family, convert half of your remaining savings into silver coins, build up a stash of liquor for barter in case silver doesn't catch on, etc.

I prefer to put most of my effort into preparing for things that are likely to happen, and spend little time worrying about the farfetched scenarios. In case an apocalyptic event does occur, my skills will put me well above average. I'm not going to devote a huge chunk of my financial stash toward building up a physical stash of goods in my basement that will most likely never be used.

Neustache

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2014, 05:49:59 PM »
We have friends who have loads of gold.  Instead, we (okay, okay, my husband) can hunt small game and deer, if we can ever find the suckers.  If things ever really go south, not only to we have a rural property to which to run, but we posess skills that are valuable and can harvest meat.  Our friends will have gold....that others won't probably want during a financial collapse...cause it's a bar of gold that only has value if everyone says it has value.  So...I like our plan better.  But I say this with a smile..we aren't really preppers, just a family who likes to collect useful skills.  We are just amused because they ARE preppers, yet our skills will trump their gold, IMO. 

Kriegsspiel

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2014, 06:07:06 PM »
In addition to everything else, this site was written by a Katrina survivor, he talks about stuff that actually matters (copies of your birth certificate, stuff like that) vs having a years supply of food and bullets in nuclear-war-proof containers. It's like a non-crazy persons' TEOTWAWKI page.

Beric01

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2014, 06:30:01 PM »
We have friends who have loads of gold.  Instead, we (okay, okay, my husband) can hunt small game and deer, if we can ever find the suckers.  If things ever really go south, not only to we have a rural property to which to run, but we posess skills that are valuable and can harvest meat.  Our friends will have gold....that others won't probably want during a financial collapse...cause it's a bar of gold that only has value if everyone says it has value.  So...I like our plan better.  But I say this with a smile..we aren't really preppers, just a family who likes to collect useful skills.  We are just amused because they ARE preppers, yet our skills will trump their gold, IMO.

I saw on some prepper site (yes, I've been reading a couple of them lately, though I'm not totally sold on the idea) that hunting really isn't a viable long-term food source. With the amount of firearms and hunters in the US versus the amount of game, the entire US would be hunted out very quickly were food to become of short supply. Probably not a good food source to count on...

Eric

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2014, 06:39:08 PM »
I've often thought that there's sort of a hole in the mustachian ideas in this respect. If we all become financially independent based on the stock market and it really does crash, we will all be screwed.

I fully agree.

The stock market has really existed only so long. I am not paranoid and am fully invested in equities for my early retirement, but I have to think that some contingency planning makes sense.

Sure, but people have been investing in businesses since the beginning of civilization.  The stock market just eases that transaction.  It's not a new concept at all, only a newer implementation of the same concept.

Neustache

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2014, 06:40:43 PM »
Hunting isn't a long term plan - I'd agree with you there.  But gold's not really a good short-term plan.  Hunting works really well in the short term if things go south, and we don't have to load a ton of buckets of food to take with us down to the cabin.  If we want to be really simple, bow and arrows and then some clothing and other needs.  I figure we are pretty resourceful in the long term and we'll barter later.    But we could get out of dodge in a hurry. 

Beric01

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2014, 06:54:09 PM »
Sure, but people have been investing in businesses since the beginning of civilization.  The stock market just eases that transaction.  It's not a new concept at all, only a newer implementation of the same concept.

I'll agree with you there. Businesses WILL emerge from any disaster - it's the human way. The question is in a horrific disaster if it will be any of the same businesses in business today. If ALL of the currently existing companies fail (or the dollar becomes worthless) then I am left with nothing.

That's what I think this whole concept is about. If everything goes great, then you're living off of your investments for the rest of your life. On the unlikely chance that it all collapses, if you spend a little more time to prepare for the worst you have a significantly better plan to get yourself back on your feet than the average person. I don't want to die of thirst in 3 days because I was too high and mighty to store a little bottled water in case of an emergency.

domustachesgrowinhouston

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2014, 08:01:28 PM »
I think being self sufficient until the world re-balances is the best way to maintain your position.  I can only speculate a little, but I truly believe what you know and can do will always matter more than what you own.

However, emergency prep is near to my heart.  Here are some of my thoughts:

Small emergencies (house fire, power outage)

Keep a 72 hour grab-and-run kit.  This should have enough clean undies, emergency medication, food and water for a single person for 3 days.  Check out the red cross website for more information.  If you have pets, keep a bag for them as well including extra leash and collar.  Keep pictures and contact information (on paper) for anyone you might be with or need to get a hold of.  You can use this at home to tide you over in a real emergency, or grab it on the way out if your house is on fire and you're staying in a shelter tonight.

First aid kit: bandaids, tape and gauze, scissors, tweezers.

Always keep some quarters and cash at work.  If you get stuck and have to eat from the vending machine over night, you want quarters.  If you can somehow find a payphone somewhere, you need quarters.  Have enough cash at work to get you home.

No speculative investments available.  Likely you are one of few affected, but you might be able to save some cash by being self sufficient.


Medium Emergency (black outs, city-wide event)

Cash is king.  If there's no power, there's no credit cards.  Don't keep a bunch of 100s stuck in you mattress, but maybe a couple hundred in small bills in a safe place so you can still buy groceries in a few days.

72 hour kit + first aid kit

Don't clean your pantry out to zero.  Some people say you should have different amounts of food and water (up to a year storage or more!), but you should do what you can.  At least always have a few cans of beans or something in case you can't get to the store on your planned day.

If you have advanced warning, fill your bathtub with clean water.  Should last you a couple days if they shut it off.

No speculative investments available, but you might be able to get some pies from a neighbor by helping them out with food and water.



Big emergency (Katrina style hurricane, massive wildfire/earthquake)

More cash, but it might reach it's limits of usefulness.

72 hour kit + 1 week kit in your car.  Same as above, but more full changes of clothes, weather appropriate outer gear.

Bigger first aid kit: compresses, splints, generic medications for more than one patient

Always keep your car gassed up at least 1/4 tank so you can get well away from your area before needing to refuel.  Consider spare oil and gas tanks in your garage.

Have several weeks worth of food storage and water at your house.  Consider a composting toilet if you plan to stick it through.

This is where speculation gets fun.  Water, food, batteries and phone chargers will be used as currency.  Medical care might be bartered for, but it's an ethical question you have to solve for yourself.  Looting might get you somewhere, but long term it won't matter.  Oil and gas will make you a target for attack but earn you quite a lot.  Home farming might not help you if your emergency is weather related.  The ability to GTFO is sacred.


Giant Fucking Emergency (Aliens, zombies,

GTFO.  Find the most rural person you know because you are going to their house as a staging point.  Hope you know how to live off the land because that's your only investment now.  Bring all outdoor gear, hunting and fishing and medical equipment.

You get the winning answer in my book.  Living prepared for the first 3 scenarios makes sense.  Beyond that, adaptability is key, not preparedness IMHO.  On the last point, I would suggest not going rural.  Isolated places are much easier targets for looting and raiding.

angelagrace

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2014, 08:02:11 PM »
Sure, but people have been investing in businesses since the beginning of civilization.  The stock market just eases that transaction.  It's not a new concept at all, only a newer implementation of the same concept.

I'll agree with you there. Businesses WILL emerge from any disaster - it's the human way. The question is in a horrific disaster if it will be any of the same businesses in business today. If ALL of the currently existing companies fail (or the dollar becomes worthless) then I am left with nothing.

That's what I think this whole concept is about. If everything goes great, then you're living off of your investments for the rest of your life. On the unlikely chance that it all collapses, if you spend a little more time to prepare for the worst you have a significantly better plan to get yourself back on your feet than the average person. I don't want to die of thirst in 3 days because I was too high and mighty to store a little bottled water in case of an emergency.

Yes, I agree on both points. I think that it's helpful to have some useful skills as well as things for if SHTF, like to know how to fish, survive in the woods, and even things like entertain the neighborhood with music.

It is a very small chance that anything like this will happen, but I think it's smart to maybe invest say 99.9% of your investments traditionally, and maybe take .1%, for the .1% chance something does happen, and get a few things like a bit of food, water, ammo, etc. But this is all just my personal opinion :). To each his own!

angelagrace

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2014, 08:07:14 PM »
I think being self sufficient until the world re-balances is the best way to maintain your position.  I can only speculate a little, but I truly believe what you know and can do will always matter more than what you own.

However, emergency prep is near to my heart.  Here are some of my thoughts:

Small emergencies (house fire, power outage)

Keep a 72 hour grab-and-run kit.  This should have enough clean undies, emergency medication, food and water for a single person for 3 days.  Check out the red cross website for more information.  If you have pets, keep a bag for them as well including extra leash and collar.  Keep pictures and contact information (on paper) for anyone you might be with or need to get a hold of.  You can use this at home to tide you over in a real emergency, or grab it on the way out if your house is on fire and you're staying in a shelter tonight.

First aid kit: bandaids, tape and gauze, scissors, tweezers.

Always keep some quarters and cash at work.  If you get stuck and have to eat from the vending machine over night, you want quarters.  If you can somehow find a payphone somewhere, you need quarters.  Have enough cash at work to get you home.

No speculative investments available.  Likely you are one of few affected, but you might be able to save some cash by being self sufficient.


Medium Emergency (black outs, city-wide event)

Cash is king.  If there's no power, there's no credit cards.  Don't keep a bunch of 100s stuck in you mattress, but maybe a couple hundred in small bills in a safe place so you can still buy groceries in a few days.

72 hour kit + first aid kit

Don't clean your pantry out to zero.  Some people say you should have different amounts of food and water (up to a year storage or more!), but you should do what you can.  At least always have a few cans of beans or something in case you can't get to the store on your planned day.

If you have advanced warning, fill your bathtub with clean water.  Should last you a couple days if they shut it off.

No speculative investments available, but you might be able to get some pies from a neighbor by helping them out with food and water.



Big emergency (Katrina style hurricane, massive wildfire/earthquake)

More cash, but it might reach it's limits of usefulness.

72 hour kit + 1 week kit in your car.  Same as above, but more full changes of clothes, weather appropriate outer gear.

Bigger first aid kit: compresses, splints, generic medications for more than one patient

Always keep your car gassed up at least 1/4 tank so you can get well away from your area before needing to refuel.  Consider spare oil and gas tanks in your garage.

Have several weeks worth of food storage and water at your house.  Consider a composting toilet if you plan to stick it through.

This is where speculation gets fun.  Water, food, batteries and phone chargers will be used as currency.  Medical care might be bartered for, but it's an ethical question you have to solve for yourself.  Looting might get you somewhere, but long term it won't matter.  Oil and gas will make you a target for attack but earn you quite a lot.  Home farming might not help you if your emergency is weather related.  The ability to GTFO is sacred.


Giant Fucking Emergency (Aliens, zombies,

GTFO.  Find the most rural person you know because you are going to their house as a staging point.  Hope you know how to live off the land because that's your only investment now.  Bring all outdoor gear, hunting and fishing and medical equipment.

You get the winning answer in my book.  Living prepared for the first 3 scenarios makes sense.  Beyond that, adaptability is key, not preparedness IMHO.  On the last point, I would suggest not going rural.  Isolated places are much easier targets for looting and raiding.

That's why you get guns and plenty of ammo if you're going the rural route :D Cities are generally the first to panic and start killing each other

domustachesgrowinhouston

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2014, 08:20:32 PM »
That's why you get guns and plenty of ammo if you're going the rural route :D Cities are generally the first to panic and start killing each other

Numbers win in conflict.  But even if you have the numbers, by holing up you've already done the work of sieging yourself.  This guy sums it pretty well:

http://ferfal.blogspot.com/2014/04/prepper-myth3-homestead.html

Beric01

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2014, 08:22:31 PM »
That's why you get guns and plenty of ammo if you're going the rural route :D Cities are generally the first to panic and start killing each other

We really need to break into firearms here - I keep seeing ammo pop everywhere in the thread. I've never used a gun, but now I'm thinking I should take a safety class at a local firing range and learn.

I read somewhere that the Glock 17 is the best "prepper handgun" for self-defense due to the wide availability of ammo and replacement parts. Would others agree? Unfortunately a larger firearm is not an option as an apartment dweller.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #28 on: September 26, 2014, 08:28:56 PM »
No.

Get a Glock 40 S&W, then get the Lone Wolf conversion barrel, that way you can shoot 9mm and .40 S&W with the same gun.

domustachesgrowinhouston

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2014, 08:36:32 PM »
Get wasp spray and a baseball bat.  Easier to use, just as effective, and zero chances of shooting through walls into something or someone you didn't want to hit.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #30 on: September 26, 2014, 08:53:17 PM »
Does wasp spray work on zombies? What kind of roll multiplier are we talking here?

wtjbatman

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #31 on: September 26, 2014, 09:00:40 PM »
We have friends who have loads of gold.  Instead, we (okay, okay, my husband) can hunt small game and deer, if we can ever find the suckers.  If things ever really go south, not only to we have a rural property to which to run, but we posess skills that are valuable and can harvest meat.  Our friends will have gold....that others won't probably want during a financial collapse...cause it's a bar of gold that only has value if everyone says it has value.  So...I like our plan better.  But I say this with a smile..we aren't really preppers, just a family who likes to collect useful skills.  We are just amused because they ARE preppers, yet our skills will trump their gold, IMO.

I saw on some prepper site (yes, I've been reading a couple of them lately, though I'm not totally sold on the idea) that hunting really isn't a viable long-term food source. With the amount of firearms and hunters in the US versus the amount of game, the entire US would be hunted out very quickly were food to become of short supply. Probably not a good food source to count on...

That's why I plan to go straight to people hunting.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2014, 09:02:58 PM »
We have friends who have loads of gold.  Instead, we (okay, okay, my husband) can hunt small game and deer, if we can ever find the suckers.  If things ever really go south, not only to we have a rural property to which to run, but we posess skills that are valuable and can harvest meat.  Our friends will have gold....that others won't probably want during a financial collapse...cause it's a bar of gold that only has value if everyone says it has value.  So...I like our plan better.  But I say this with a smile..we aren't really preppers, just a family who likes to collect useful skills.  We are just amused because they ARE preppers, yet our skills will trump their gold, IMO.

I saw on some prepper site (yes, I've been reading a couple of them lately, though I'm not totally sold on the idea) that hunting really isn't a viable long-term food source. With the amount of firearms and hunters in the US versus the amount of game, the entire US would be hunted out very quickly were food to become of short supply. Probably not a good food source to count on...

That's why I plan to go straight to people hunting.

Do we really want all those fat, unconditioned people to go to waste? At the first sign of trouble, these people are just going to curl up and quietly die anyways, why NOT harvest their deliciousness? I'll bet they taste fucking great.

mozar

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2014, 09:09:51 PM »
I took a firearms course. Guns are pretty easy to use, and you'll probably shoot yourself accidentally before you can defend yourself.

My way of preparation is to live in a co-op. My entire neighborhood is in the co-op. We have emergency preparedness seminars all the time, but the important part is that it is a very tight knit community and if shit goes down I know all my neighbors. And there is the infrastructure in place to reach everyone (quickly if there is electricity). I already barter with my neighbors for fun and we have access to many useful skill sets because of the diversity of staff employed here.

domustachesgrowinhouston

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2014, 09:16:57 PM »
We have friends who have loads of gold.  Instead, we (okay, okay, my husband) can hunt small game and deer, if we can ever find the suckers.  If things ever really go south, not only to we have a rural property to which to run, but we posess skills that are valuable and can harvest meat.  Our friends will have gold....that others won't probably want during a financial collapse...cause it's a bar of gold that only has value if everyone says it has value.  So...I like our plan better.  But I say this with a smile..we aren't really preppers, just a family who likes to collect useful skills.  We are just amused because they ARE preppers, yet our skills will trump their gold, IMO.

I saw on some prepper site (yes, I've been reading a couple of them lately, though I'm not totally sold on the idea) that hunting really isn't a viable long-term food source. With the amount of firearms and hunters in the US versus the amount of game, the entire US would be hunted out very quickly were food to become of short supply. Probably not a good food source to count on...

That's why I plan to go straight to people hunting.

Do we really want all those fat, unconditioned people to go to waste? At the first sign of trouble, these people are just going to curl up and quietly die anyways, why NOT harvest their deliciousness? I'll bet they taste fucking great.

Bump just so i can reload the post and read this again.  :)

Beric01

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2014, 09:24:59 PM »
We have friends who have loads of gold.  Instead, we (okay, okay, my husband) can hunt small game and deer, if we can ever find the suckers.  If things ever really go south, not only to we have a rural property to which to run, but we posess skills that are valuable and can harvest meat.  Our friends will have gold....that others won't probably want during a financial collapse...cause it's a bar of gold that only has value if everyone says it has value.  So...I like our plan better.  But I say this with a smile..we aren't really preppers, just a family who likes to collect useful skills.  We are just amused because they ARE preppers, yet our skills will trump their gold, IMO.

I saw on some prepper site (yes, I've been reading a couple of them lately, though I'm not totally sold on the idea) that hunting really isn't a viable long-term food source. With the amount of firearms and hunters in the US versus the amount of game, the entire US would be hunted out very quickly were food to become of short supply. Probably not a good food source to count on...

That's why I plan to go straight to people hunting.

Do we really want all those fat, unconditioned people to go to waste? At the first sign of trouble, these people are just going to curl up and quietly die anyways, why NOT harvest their deliciousness? I'll bet they taste fucking great.

This thread is just awesome.


I'll have to put some more research into guns. It looks like firearms training courses are pretty expensive themselves, let alone the cost of actually purchasing one, so I'll have to think about whether this is a skill I want to learn.

frugaldrummer

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2014, 09:44:38 PM »
So, this is a topic that has been on my mind lately - not in a short-term emergency way (although living in an earthquake prone area, those precautions are routine) but in a long-term "will relying on my stock investments for retirement really work in a changing world?" sort of way.

I've been reading an excellent book called The Long Emergency- lots of food for thought about long-term trends and the likely collapse of our oil-fueled consumption bubble.  And while I'm still reading it, it seems to me that retirement to a self-sufficient plot of land near a walkable small town in a climate zone that will still be good after global warming, on a rail line or near a port that is not flood prone, would be the best hedge against economic/political disaster.  That, and perhaps diversifying to some rental real estate to offset stock market risks? 

I'm not a prepper, but considering long-term changes to society that might affect my retirement seems prudent.  (For instance, I live in So. Cal. right now - but with climate change and increased water stress, this may not be the best place to be 20-30-years from now?).

Also -short-term emergency advice - a couple of years ago we experienced a catastrophic power outage in our area.  Not a big deal, weather was mild, easy to light candles and cook on the gas stove.  But traffic home from work was bumper-to-bumper as everyone left at once and traffic lights were out.  And none of the gas stations worked because they all rely on electronic pumps and apparently don't have backup!!  So now I try to keep at least half a tank of gas in my car at all times, just in case.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 09:47:07 PM by frugaldrummer »

mudgestache

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2014, 10:34:30 PM »
See here is where I get to mention that this is where those of us with "luxury"pets and kids will have an advantage over those of you that were more frugal ;)

Beric01

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2014, 11:32:25 PM »
See here is where I get to mention that this is where those of us with "luxury"pets and kids will have an advantage over those of you that were more frugal ;)

Those of us who were more frugal might just have to relocate those kids and pets to "safer" quarters - to ensure they're properly nourished, of course. ;)

mudgestache

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2014, 11:46:47 PM »

See here is where I get to mention that this is where those of us with "luxury"pets and kids will have an advantage over those of you that were more frugal ;)

Those of us who were more frugal might just have to relocate those kids and pets to "safer" quarters - to ensure they're properly nourished, of course. ;)

Lmao. Touché

Spartana

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2014, 01:51:31 AM »
We have friends who have loads of gold.  Instead, we (okay, okay, my husband) can hunt small game and deer, if we can ever find the suckers.  If things ever really go south, not only to we have a rural property to which to run, but we posess skills that are valuable and can harvest meat.  Our friends will have gold....that others won't probably want during a financial collapse...cause it's a bar of gold that only has value if everyone says it has value.  So...I like our plan better.  But I say this with a smile..we aren't really preppers, just a family who likes to collect useful skills.  We are just amused because they ARE preppers, yet our skills will trump their gold, IMO.

I saw on some prepper site (yes, I've been reading a couple of them lately, though I'm not totally sold on the idea) that hunting really isn't a viable long-term food source. With the amount of firearms and hunters in the US versus the amount of game, the entire US would be hunted out very quickly were food to become of short supply. Probably not a good food source to count on...

That's why I plan to go straight to people hunting.

Do we really want all those fat, unconditioned people to go to waste? At the first sign of trouble, these people are just going to curl up and quietly die anyways, why NOT harvest their deliciousness? I'll bet they taste fucking great.

Spartana

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2014, 02:06:44 AM »
I currently live in the 'burbs in a house so have room for extra supplies. I live in coast SoCal so no need for heating or cooling. I have lots of water, canned food (almost all of which can be eaten cold if needed and are packed in water or juices to make my drinking  water last longer), pet food, basic backpacking gear like a cook stove, fire starter, water pump, a big tent and extra sleeping bags/pad so I can sleep out side if needed (in earthquake country), some medical supplies, etc... Could probably last a couple of months or longer living like that without need for money (house is paid off and I could go without utilities and also camp in yard even if it collapsed) with no need of outside help (and yes I do have several firearms and extra ammo - I'm also ex-military and law enforcement). I have extra copies of all my important papers stashed elsewhere. I also have a bug-out bag in case I need to leave asap that includes all the stuff listed above in a scaled down version (single person tent, freeze dried or powdered food, extra clothes and boots, and yes, extra ammo and some important papers. Have my bike and bike trailer for dog and to haul supplies in case I couldn't use the car and had to leave the area by walking out fairly far. Could probably last several weeks on what was in my bug out bag. Have some stuff in my vehicle too because I travel a lot so always keep things in there like camping gear, extra food and water, clothes, etc... 

I don't worry to much about a financial collapse as I could probably survive indefinitely on a small amount of money until things stabilized  (government pension so no personal money in the stock market but pension could evaporate in a collapse that took out the governments too). All I really need is to be able to get some food and water.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 02:10:23 AM by Spartana »

MsRichLife

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2014, 03:01:39 AM »
Well my Masters thesis this year is on Peak Oil and the militarisation of energy security, so yeah, I think a lot about SHTF scenarios.

Australia is an island at the end of a long supply chain, and is highly prone to natural disasters. Without exaggerating too much, quarter of the country can be on fire while another quarter is under water and then throw in a cyclone or two for good measure. This is a country where a large percentage of the population have lived through a serious disaster or is close to someone who has.

Also, I was living in SoCal during the GFC and started to worry about what millions and millions of people in a small area, on the border with another country might do in a serious disaster (i.e. 'The' Big earthquake due within the next couple of decades or so). We made sure we had made preparations and on one occasion we did grab our bug out bag during a big earthquake and got out of the house while the ground bucked and weaved beneath us.

Anyway, by way of preparations we currently do the following:

Have some cash on hand in case electricity goes out or bank is hacked (Have already used this prep)
Keep a deep pantry. We buy more than we need and rotate it. (Don't want to be rushing to the shops when people panic. Sister has horror stories from the Brisbane floods when she had a newborn baby)
We keep an emergency kit that we can throw into the car and get out quickly if we need to. (The suburb we used to live in was rebuilt on fire destroyed homes. People died when they didn't get out quickly)
We always keep the car at least half full. (see above)
We grow veges (Fresh food if the shelves are low)
We cultivate relationships with our neighbours (Who grow food, collect rainwater, keep chickens etc)

None of these preps are doomerish. They are all prudent insurance given the risks that do exist (Low probability, but high consequence).

We do think about longer term preps for more serious scenarios, but I'll have to come back later to talk about that.

StartingEarly

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2014, 06:17:41 AM »
Not sure if it's been said, but the person stating that you need to rotate canned goods every six months doesn't know what they're talking about.  Canned goods have been shown to be nutritious and healthy after sitting for 100 years as long as the can is kept in good shape.

Ybserp

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2014, 06:47:49 AM »
Not sure if it's been said, but the person stating that you need to rotate canned goods every six months doesn't know what they're talking about.  Canned goods have been shown to be nutritious and healthy after sitting for 100 years as long as the can is kept in good shape.

I didn't see anyone say all canned goods go bad in six months.

Canned goods do go bad. Check out some of the posts of children of hoarders who have had to deal with the results.

I'm saying check the expiration dates on your canned goods and if you are not rotating through your stock quickly enough to avoid wasting food, do something about it. You could stock things with a longer shelf life. You could purge expired stuff and replace it periodically. (This food waste is a likely face punch worthy thing if you aren't FI already.) You could figure out your consumption rate and donate to food banks at the three months before expired mark and buy your resupply. (If you are FI this is a hobby and a form of self insurance with a premium cost worth the value of the food you can't use less any tax deduction for the donation.)

uniFI

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2014, 07:34:17 AM »
Good stuff!  I really believe the community aspect is important. 

I'm really interested in asset protection and strategy here too.  I don't know much about it honestly.  I'm primarily in 401K + home equity, so my choices are severely limited at the moment.  But I can see real estate being good in some ways if everything else tanks.  I don't really understand the advantage to owning gold or silver.

We say averages over the long haul are inclusive of the worst the market has seen.  I get that.  Still, living through the Depression didn't sound very fun.  There has to be a better way to protect your investments than 100% Wall Street.

Maybe I would feel better investing in some land.  The returns aren't there necessarily, but it is tangible and useful.  I guess I keep coming back to the pragmatic side of things.  When the lights go out, most of our society doesn't know how to live.  Everything gets turned on its head rather quickly.  Some dude farming in a third world country doesn't even know there is an issue.  He gets up, has another normal day.  I think about that.  We live in a fragile state that gives an illusion of security and safety.

I've seen this switch flipped with hurricanes.  We can hope it never gets to Zombie Apocalypse stage.  Then again, hope is not a plan.

uniFI

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2014, 07:42:06 AM »
On hunting, I agree that is a very limited resource that would go quickly.  I am a long time hunter.  I value the knowledge and ability to take and process game on my own, but I don't see that being a viable strategy for long term food provision.

uniFI

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2014, 07:49:22 AM »
I don't think it's dumb at all to prepare. I've often thought that there's sort of a hole in the mustachian ideas in this respect. If we all become financially independent based on the stock market and it really does crash, we will all be screwed. I enjoy MMM but I also read other blogs and prepping is one topic and enjoy. Let's just say I won't be surprised if things seriously go down by 2015 or so. But I don't live in fear either.

Could you share some recommendations of other sites you read?

frugaliknowit

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2014, 08:26:50 AM »
I recommend looking over the near free course catalog at your local community college.  Take some courses that interest you.  Get ideas on launching a new career and make it happen over the next 3 years.  Nursing, medical encoding, medical technician of sorts...careers that don't require a huge amount of education that are in demand.

As others have said, cut your expenses to the bone.  What would a rental look like in your area?  It might make sense to shortsell the house.  What has the average annual maintenance been?

Eric

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Re: SHTF Planning...disaster scenario prep?
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2014, 10:35:33 AM »
I recommend looking over the near free course catalog at your local community college.  Take some courses that interest you.  Get ideas on launching a new career and make it happen over the next 3 years.  Nursing, medical encoding, medical technician of sorts...careers that don't require a huge amount of education that are in demand.

As others have said, cut your expenses to the bone.  What would a rental look like in your area?  It might make sense to shortsell the house.  What has the average annual maintenance been?

I just checked and my local community college does offer a class on Zombie Apocalypse Preparation.  Kind of surprising to me, but as evidenced in this thread and other places around the internet, it's a growing concern.  However, I'm not sure if you could make a career out of it yet, as they only offer one class and this is in a densely populated area.  I'd think that a broader skill set might be desired, but of course, I'm a little skeptical of zombies in the first place, so feel free to take my poo-pooing of Zombie Apocalypse Professor as a dedicated career field with a grain of salt.

You do raise an intersting point that no one esle has yet, in that we have not even considered how much home maintenance will cost once the zombies start leaving diseased rotting limbs throughout your home.  Hopefully this will get the ball rolling on disinfecting ideas and clean up costs.