March 15th, 2011, 1130 PDT, CULVER CITY -- As oil and food prices skyrocket, civil unrest erupts around the globe, and international tensions approach the breaking point, more people are awakening to the inevitable reality of systemic failure. As the nuclear situation in Japan worsens and a massive radiation leak looms on the horizon, our collective sense of urgency is heightened.
If modern industrial civilization were a computer, it would be running an outdated operating system, plagued by spam and spyware, struggling to run countless unnecessary programs, issuing antivirus attacks against its own crucial components, and plugged into a very unreliable power supply.
Without constant fossil fuel energy expenditure, Planet Earth cannot support 7 billion horny, hungry, home-building humans. Unfortunately, due to the fundamental flaws of infinite growth economics coupled with America's #1 export (our cancerous consumer culture), humanity is on an unstoppable crash course with reality. Limited resources cannot meet infinite wants. Greed is not good. Fatal error: reboot required.
As the cost of living prices more people out of existence and a generational revolution spreads around the globe, people of all ages see the writing on the wall and begin to wonder, "what can I do to protect myself, my family, and my community?"
The most important thing to do is stay calm. You are not alone in this awareness. Millions of people around the world see what is happening and are preparing. Mike Ruppert and many others have warned us of this inevitable collapse for a long time. This is not the end of the world, just an exceptionally uncertain period in human history. Change is the only constant, and we’re in for a doozy.
There are many things that you can do to improve your odds, but there is no foolproof method to ensure your safety or survival. Everyone is different, and we all live in different circumstances. The appropriate preparations for a teacher in rural Iowa, a firefighter in Los Angeles, an artist in Tokyo, a fisherwoman in Alaska, or a bankster on Wall Street are all drastically different.
Around the globe, the survival strategy for many is to grab everything they can as the failing system crumbles. We see this in all-time record bonuses and salaries in the financial sector. We see this in the shameless bribes elected officials can now legally take. We see this in the gold and silver fever spreading around the globe. We see this in our own lives as our fear and greed occasionally gets the best of us.
Big bucks may buy you more options right now, but what will money be worth if all the stores are empty, and aggression, compassion, or trade is the only way to get what you need? More importantly, how will all those people left with nothing behave towards the wealthy few?
Anyone who pretends to offer a silver bullet solution to the collapse of industrial civilization is blowing smoke up your butt. The scammers who focus entirely on how to "get rich quick" off the dollar's demise or chaotic commodity prices are completely missing the point and greedily digging humanity's grave that much deeper. At the other extreme, false prophets who acknowledge the inevitability of collapse but naively assume it will pass by painlessly are living in a pseudo-spiritual LaLa Land.
Here at CollapseNet, we harbor no such illusions. Anyone who does is now or will soon experience a rude awakening.
Here at CollapseNet, you'll find info that can help you financially, but you'll also come to understand that money (and the stuff it can buy) is only part of the preparatory puzzle.
Here at CollapseNet, you'll find brilliant insights into the mental and spiritual aspects of confronting collapse, as you'll realize that constant stress and the madness of hunger will shatter the health and sanity of the physically unprepared.
Here at CollapseNet, you'll learn what's really going on in the world and come to realize that your own situation is unique... and that only you can properly prioritize your personal preparations.
In short, CollapseNet provides the most accurate map of a shifting world and can point you in the right direction, but deciding exactly where to invest your time, effort, and resources is entirely up to you.
Developing the capacity to embrace uncertainty, trust fate, and ride the waves of reality is the most important skill you can develop. Numerous articles by Carolyn Baker, Michael, and the CollapseNet bloggers address uncertainties. Building alliances with like-minded people in your area is another crucial component, and CollapseNet’s Hub social network can certainly help with that.
While you're making friends and mentally preparing, here are some general suggestions to help jumpstart your own personal preparations.
Get on it now.
1) Acquire at least three month’s worth of food for your household and encourage everyone close to you to do the same.
Three month’s worth of food is a good hedge against skyrocketing prices and enough to comfortably weather temporary supply shortages. It is also an amount easily stored and transported in most personal vehicles. With a three month supply of food directly on hand, you're in a better situation than at least 95% of the people on the planet.
Even if you're set up to grow your own food, a stockpile provides a crucial hedge against unforeseen variables. If you've got the money and storage space for more than three months worth of food, by all means acquire more. If you've got enough money to take care of yourself, consider helping your friends and neighbors stock up: they'll remember who helped them, which could prove very handy down the road.
2) Secure an emergency water supply.
A stockpile of fresh water could be the difference between life and death in a world where infrastructure fails or water supplies are too polluted to drink.
You don't need to spend any money putting together a water supply: the world is littered with empty plastic bottles that just need to be washed out and filled. If you have access to a swimming pool or bath tub, keep it spotlessly clean as it could one day become your emergency reservoir.
3) Acquire Potassium Iodide for radioactive fallout protection.
These inexpensive, non-prescription tablets greatly diminish the impact of nuclear radiation by blocking the absorption of radioactive iodine by your thyroid gland. If WWIII escalates into a nuclear exchange, terrorists resort to dirty bombs, or the Japan situation is not contained (which doesn't seem likely at this point) the atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere may be filled with radioactive fallout that will not quickly dissipate.
Decreasing your susceptibility to radiation poisoning obviously puts you in a much better situation that most other survivors of a nuclear event, and the pills could be valuable bartering items. These pills were easily acquired on the internet until a few days ago. Now most suppliers are sold out, but keep trying as production has been ramped up to meet the growing demand.
4) Get in shape.
Being physically fit will be crucial as the laws of Darwinian selection reassert themselves. No matter what your age or ailments, get active. Go for walks, ride a bike, lift weights, or do whatever you can to strengthen yourself. Try to eat as healthily as possible too.
Anything that makes you physically stronger and more resilient will increase your odds of survival whatever the situation. Working out is also a great way to dissipate stress and clear your thoughts.
5) Stockpile at least ten gallons of fuel.
Even if you don't own a vehicle, a cache of gasoline could come in very handy at some point. If you have to leave home due to civil unrest or unforeseen circumstances, increasing the range of whatever vehicle you find yourself in is always a good thing.
Fossil fuels are guaranteed to go up in value as we slide down the backside of the global oil production bell curve. Factor in destabilization in the Middle East, and it’s no wonder we’re seeing massive price spikes right now. Despite short term dips, oil prices will keep going up until the global economy shuts down.
Add a generous amount of "fuel stabilizer" as directions indicate to your gasoline stockpile to assure it will stay fresh for as long as possible. STA-BIL brand fuel stabilizer is available anywhere fuel products are sold.
If things get really ugly, gas or diesel will obviously be an invaluable commodity. If the economy falters and prices drop, take advantage of the situation to use your stored fuel and acquire a fresh batch.
6) Keep a small store of physical cash but trade in most of your dollars for tangible goods and/or precious metals.
Cash may come in handy in the days or weeks following systemic failure, but inflation guarantees that all fiat currencies will continue their agonizing death.
You're better off having $10,000 worth of crucial equipment now than having $10,000 to spend after TSHTF. Choose your expenses wisely.
7) Conduct yourself with confidence.
With poverty on the rise and law enforcement budgets being slashed, an increase in violent crime is inevitable. Predators always attack the most vulnerable-looking prey. Don’t look like a victim.
If you choose to arm yourself, choose your weapons carefully and learn firearm safety from a professional. Having a gun won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use it properly.
Just as the greatest deterrent to is to not look like a victim, the best shootout is the one that never happens. Remember that.
8) Sell off luxuries and acquire essentials.
If you're attached to a bunch of frivolous consumer goods, your judgment is skewed. No matter what lofty ideals are in your brain, if you need a month and a moving truck to go anywhere, your butt is still firmly wedged in the old paradigm. The old truism, "The things you own end up owning you" applies now more than ever.
If you bought into consumerism and insulated yourself from reality a big TV, a flashy car, expensive furniture, or any such nonsense, consider selling it off now while it still has value. Prioritize your possessions and get rid of what you really don't need. In the post-collapse world, a pair of durable pants and a good wool sweater will be worth more than a closet full of fancy clothes.
9) Put together a bailout kit and make contingency plans.
If you have to leave your home for whatever reason, you're better off being able to do so on very short notice. Prioritize and organize the things you'd want to bring with and practice loading up the car, boat, bike, or what have you before disaster strikes.
If you live in a major metropolitan area, try not to worry about roads jammed with standstill traffic. Concern yourself with routes out of the city, acquiring fuel, and where you'll go after leaving. CollapseNet and your own awareness will help keep you ahead of the herd. If your gut says “go”, GO. Odds are you'll be one of the knowing few that gets away from a bad situation before it's too late.
10) Share your plans with friends, family, and trustworthy neighbors.
By being open and honest about your beliefs and actions, you may be surprised to find that many around you are on the same page and making similar preparations. Choose wisely who you share specific plans with, but certainly don't keep them all to yourself. Alliances can form in the strangest ways, and eliminating the feeling of being alone makes confronting collapse much, much easier.
Check the Map and Hub (social network) of CollapseNet, and get in touch with like-minded people in your area. Even if you don't make concrete plans together, just chatting online, talking on the phone, or getting together for a cup of coffee could be an inspiring and enlightening experience.
The more open your expression and awareness is, the easier you will find all aspects of preparation to be.
Depending on your individual circumstances, there are plenty of other things you can do. Make a to do list and start checking off items because our window of time to prepare is closing and -- as we’ve seen in Japan -- one unforeseeable event could slam it shut.
In Collapsenet’s free Lighthouse Directory you'll find a great many people have been working on this for a long time and are eager to share what they have learned. We have it all organized for you there.
Please add your own suggestions to the comments section.
Good luck and God bless.