Last week, the Census Bureau released new figures showing that nearly one in six Americans lives in poverty – a record 46.2 million people. The poverty rate, pegged at 15.1 percent, is the highest of any major industrialized nation, and many experts believe it could get worse before it abates. If you’re a family of 4 and your income is less than $23,000 a year, my friend, you’re living in poverty.
At this point, money is tight and getting tighter for just about all of us. If you’re Bill Gates or that guy that owns Facebook, you can stop listening right now, but if you’re in the growing percentage of people who are slowly circling the drain, now is the time to move some of your assets into tangible items.
Preparedness and Basic Supplies
Let’s talk about what your needs are. Let’s start with water. You need to drink a gallon of water a day, minimum to stay hydrated. Just being down 2% of your total water content causes you to be anxious, lose your appetite and have decreased work efficiency. That means you have to have access to one of those 5 gallon water cooler bottles every day to have enough for a family of 4, and that doesn’t count cooking and washing.
Hygiene and Health
Remember that hygiene is important to stay healthy. Hygiene includes keeping your body clean, your teeth brushed and your clothes free of parasites. Lice, ticks and Fleas are going to do just fine in a collapse, because there are a lot of them and a lot of people for them to feed on. As a medical doctor, I can tell you that good sanitation and hygiene is going to keep more people healthy than anything that I can do personally. If you haven’t planned your sources of water and your methods of filtration to keep that water clean and usable, you are going to be in a world of hurt. If you’re living in the desert southwest, you might have to make some tough decisions about whether that suburban home near Death Valley national park is where you ought to be.
Now let’s talk some simple math about food. You’re a family of 4, and if you’re going to be eating three square meals a day, that 365 x 3 x 4. That’s 4,380 meals a year. You might look at that shelf of food storage and think it’s pretty impressive, but take a good close look and you might find it hard to put together that many meals out of what you have. I think less than a year’s supply of meals is just not enough in a collapse. Why? Seems like a heck of a lot of food to you?
Well, let’s see. Being honest with yourself, have you included every person that’s going to be headed to your retreat in a collapse situation? No man is an island, you probably know lots of people that are nowhere near as prepared as you are. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that you’ll be pressured to take in someone when the you-know-what hits the fan. Do you have the intestinal fortitude to say no to your 8 year-old niece? To your mom? To the neighbor who lends you his lawn mower every couple of weeks? In the last two years, there’s been a 25% increase in the number of adult children living with their parents. I will guarantee you that you’ll find yourselves on half rations sooner than you think.
It’s time to head back to your warehouse bulk item stores, there are still bargains to be had.
How can I say that? Because everything is on sale today, even if it’s not on sale. What I mean by that is that food shortages from the current droughts and crop failures here and abroad are going to drive the cost of nutrition higher and higher. Every year, there are more people on this planet competing to buy that food. Even if the prices stay the same, the amount of food per package will be less. Kraft American cheese singles, for example, now comes with 2 less slices in the same package. So everything you buy today is indeed a bargain, and the more you get the more likely you’ll keep it together if things fall apart.
Get with the people at Savnfood.com or whoever you get your bulk food storage from. Make sure you’ve got everything to keep people healthy. A warehouse full of rice isn’t going to make it, by itself. You need protein, you need fat as part of your diet. I recommend that everyone have stockpiles of multi-vitamins, commercial or natural, so that your people don’t get sick as a result of deficiencies. Don’t have enough vitamin C in your diet? You get scurvy. Don’t have enough calcium and vitamin D for your toddlers? They’ll get rickets. Low on Vitamin B. You get something called Beri-Beri. These are 3rd world issues right now, but there may come a time when developed countries have major problems with this.
What’s that? You’ve got your vegetable garden going? Got an apple tree or a blueberry bush? Gonna climb palm trees and collect coconuts? Believe me, it doesn’t take much for plant disease, storms and the zombie apocalypse to lay waste to your resources. If that doesn’t do it, you might simply be a victim of the learning curve, if you haven’t yet started trying to grow food. Do you really want to put that first seed you ever planted in the ground after the poop hits the propeller? Gonna live off the land? If you’ve got the skills,, you might be able to do that, but there are only so many deer and there’ll be a lot of hunters in a collapse. And down here in Florida, try to catch a grouper when you go fishing. There aren’t that many left down here. I look at old photographs of folks after fishing trips with hundreds of pounds of fish on the dock. You don’t see much of that where we are anymore.
Despite all this, there are still a lot of resources and a lot of food you can get to store away. Plan it out, figure out what’s going to be for dinner every day. Work a little bit each week into your budget. It’s in your hands, and you can do it. Work to accumulate these stores now, in the present, and you will guarantee yourself a future in a collapse.