So we all think about it, what will we do when the meltdown happens?
Now when I say that I don’t necessarily mean a pandemic flu hitting and everyone is rushing to get stuff to lock themselves in for 3 months, It could be anything from a Hurricane to that less likely but still possibly event.
To make things more convenient for my writing I will focus on say “A” meltdown and not “THEY” meltdown, lets take the economic paradigm shift that is coming sooner or later as a framework.
Fade to Black…
Camera opens on a grey sky, and pans to a Television, the newscaster is talking with a round table of financial “experts” who all talk about why the Dow has just took a 4000 point slide and the Government circuit breakers automatically halted trading at 2:25pm NYST
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has 3 circuit breaker levels (as of Feb 2013 these are correct)
- Level 1- 10% drop (as of Q1 2013, 1300 points)
- Level 2- 20% drop (as of Q1 2013, 2650 points)
- Level 3- 30% drop (as of Q1 2013, 3950 points)
If it is before 3:25 pm NYST a Level 1 or 2 will halt all trading for 15 minutes, after 3:25 it will not halt trading, and any level 3 drop will halt trading for the day.
Anyways back to my story…
Now people are starting to freak out, talk of the Great Depression is on everyone’s lips, mentions of Black Friday, worries about whats in the bank, things go bad quickly.
Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Will this be the beginning of a swift end or just a major bump before a leveling off and another “recovery”
Speaking to you as preppers at whatever level you are, you have at least some things put away and are better off than 99% of the people you see on the street, you start to think of your Bug in/Bug out plans and wonder what to do next
Well this is what you need to do and what to consider for your next move.
WHAT ARE MY STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
You should have a pretty good idea what you have in your preps already, where you are in your food preps, self defense, power, etc.
The reason I am writing this is so IF…IF this happens in this way you wont have to be thinking this out like we are right now.
You should be constantly keeping tabs on what you have and where you want to improve on next, this way you know…”OK I’m good with food, but I’m short on some ammo for my personal defense weapons…” or “I need to have more gas for the generator and the car…”
Lets say for instance you needed gas, when you first saw all the troubles, I would take your vehicle (and if you have a spouse, significant other, family, etc. have them come in their car as well) go and head to the nearest store that carries gas cans, buy as many as you can and head to the gas station.
People might already be freaking out, but if you are on this early on you can probably skip the long lines and maybe only wait for a few people.
Fill up your car first then as many gas cans as you can before you the limit on your card hits, then bring in the next car in your family convoy and do the same, perhaps send the other family member back home and you get back in line to fill up more, that is up to you and depends on how many you bought.
This applies to all places you may go, but lets take the gas station for instance.
If you are holding up the line filling up your gas cans and some jackass who’s all riled up in his corvette worried that things are crashing down and all his money is tied up in expensive crap that isnt going to help him any longer starts to give you grief, DON’T RESPOND. Don’t try to argue just (in my opinion) just finish filling the can you are, load up and go.
There’s no need to get into a fistfight in public over gas, and if you end up badly injured you are now in worst shape than if you hadn’t gotten the gas (or food, etc) in the first place.
Stay calm, don’t overreact, just do what you came to do and avoid confrontation. Now if you feel you are in danger, respond accordingly, don’t escalate, but take measures appropriate to respond to the hostile actions of the other person. This is all situation dependent and remember….you are not in mad max scenario yet, nor you probably will never be, so overreacting and pulling a gun or something could get you locked up or worse, and once again you are in a worse situation than when you went there.
Now even if you have years worth of food and all your preps are pretty well covered it would still behoove you to maybe grab a little more. This is all situation dependent and you will have to gauge the risk vs reward on your own, depending on what things look like TO YOU
In the great book “How to Survive the End of the World as we Know it” by J.W. Rawles he has some sound advice in regards to this exact situation.
When the panic starts to hit, you will still probably be able to safely go to stores, people may be on edge and panicking, however things wont go to Book Of Eli in the blink of an eye. You’re best bet is to go to a place like Costco or Sam’s Club. Grab one of their large flat bottom carts and go to the strategic areas first.
Hit up the aisles with the food/misc products you need or want the most of, this could be…
- 50 lb bags of Rice
- Pancake Mix
- 25 lb bags of Sugar/Salt
- Olive Oil/Cooking oils
- Batteries (car and or/AA/AAA/D, etc)
- All of the above
With the Flat Bottom carts you can stack A CRAP TON of stuff. Food may be a priority so hit those up first then move to batteries/clothing. Stay away from fresh foods of course unless you are planning on smoking/salting/etc. it. in this situation non-perishable is the key.
This is all situation dependent if people are truly freaking out and it seems dangerous, don’t go. The point of Preparedness and being a prepper is to do the things that increase your survivability, not decrease it.
WHAT IF ALL THE ‘GOOD STUFF’ IS GONE?
What do you do if you are johnny come lately and the stores have already been picked over, no bags of rice, no cans of chili, etc.
Now this is…once again…situation dependent, if its a hurricane, than i wouldn’t necessarily worry about doing all of the stuff that will be mentioned, this is more geared towards an event that you think might be signalling the “A” meltdown that just might be “THEY” meltdown.
Look for items that would still have barter value, or be of use for self sufficiency, but haven’t been picked over.
These could be…
- Canning Materials
- Cheese Cloth
- Crisco jars (remember…candles!!!)
- Rain Gear
- Mosquito repellant
- Camping supplies
- Salt Licks for Deer can be consumed by people
- Exotic Ammunition for weapons you don’t own (30-30, 45-70, 7mm Mauser, etc.)
- Shampoo, Soap, Facial Cleansers
- Feminine Hygiene Products (even if you are NOT a woman and have none in the home, excellent bartering)
- Baby Diapers, Rash Creams (same reason as above)
- Shoes/Boots (good working kind not flashy basketball shoes unless that’s all that is left)
- Some food may be left like beets/etc. that no one likes. Grab it, beets make a better meal than a empty plate.
- First Aid Supplies, gauze, Tylenol, band aids, etc.
- Musical Birthday cards for improvised Security
- Hand Warmers (can be used for sealing buckets of food)
- Yeast/Bread Making supplies
- Anything that can store and be of use
If you are at one of the big box hardware stores look for
- Hand Tools (hammers, screwdrivers,etc)
- Gardening supplies
- Food Grade Buckets (Lowes has food grade buckets now)
- Gamma Seal Lids (Home Depot often has these)
- Spray Paint (Drab Colors)
- Pool Shock, I wrote a post about this so read more here
- Batteries (Try to get Low Discharge Rechargeables like ENELOOP)
- Small battery Motion Detectors
- Small Door/Window Alarms
- Hand Warmers (can be used for sealing buckets of food)
There are also a multitude of other places you can go to at the last minute.
- Bakeries. Often they sell whole grain by the pound, the one near me sells hard red winter wheat (whole) for a Dollar a pound, often you have to bring your own buckets, but this is a good reason to have extras beyond what is filled in your long term storage preps.
- Small military supply stores for a few extra pieces of gear
- Gun Shops, pick over whats left if anything
- Restaurant Supply stores are often overlooked, but they will have bags of Flour, Sugar, Salt, Buckets of butter, Honey, etc.
- Pet Shops, they may not be the ideal rabbits, etc. but you can get a breeding pair to keep indoors and breed out some babies to eat later.
- Dollar Stores. They may have some canned goods and other trinkets of use left
- Thrift Shops. Often can have cheap extra clothing for different seasons
- Supermarkets. Now this was already covered but if they have a bakery section you might be able to finagle some buckets of oil, butter, flour, etc from the manager for a ‘side deal’
- Automotive. Going to the local Autozone or O’Reilly’s may be of some use to grab those extra belts for your engine, tires and other things that more often break. Look at motor oil, Coolant and Fuel/Oil Filters as well.
- Baby’s R Us/Boutique shops. Same reason as getting diapers/baby stuff at the super market. Even if you don’t have a child it could be used as barter or charity depending on your situation/good will. Also look at the more expensive re-usable cloth diapers, those could be gold for a parent, you can use them, wash them re-use them.
- McDonald’s/Fast Food. You may be able to pay under the table to the manager to make off with some cooking oils and anything else of use like tubs of mayo, boxes of ketchup packets, etc.
- Restaurants. Same thing as fast food and Bakeries, you may be able to buy non-perishable buckets of oils, flour, butter, yeast, anything.
- Book Stores. Look for books on self sufficiency that you HAVE read and liked (to pass on) or on subjects you think you will need to learn NOW, but haven’t yet.