finance


Demise of the Dollar. Photo c/o REX

Demise of the Dollar. Photo c/o REX

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I have often written about my belief that our most imminent threat of disaster is a financial collapse.  Our society is so co-dependent in so many different ways that just ONE industry’s collapse will surely cause a ripple effect faster than Obama can say “stimulus.”  In my research this week I came across this article written for The Independent.  I feel that it does such a good job outlining our current state of the Dollar, that I’d better serve you all today if I just pointed you in the direction of the link.  Click here for the full article.

Have a productive and prepared weekend, all!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Are you ready folks? The most recent food challenge is going to seem like a cakewalk to some of you compared to this one. But it’s an important trial run in which your whole family should participate in. It’s called the Preparedness Pro Commerce Independence Challenge.

Currency photo c/o AOL

Currency photo c/o AOL

Preparedness Pro Double Dog Dares You to go an entire 14 days without participating in any spending of currency…any, nada, zip, zero, etc. We dare you to be independent of all commerce interactions for a full 14 days. That’s in a row, folks, in a row. J This means that you won’t pay any bill, go out to eat, go to a movie, buy gas or anything for a full two weeks. Being independent from commerce as you know it will truly hone your preparedness skills. Your eyes will be opened to just how reliant you are on commerce exchange, electricity, conveniences, etc. My husband and I just did a Commerce Independence Challenge at the end of last year. Yes, it was a true challenge for us. But it gave us a greater anticipation and awareness of how things may be in the event of a financial or other type of economic collapse. Awareness always brings about more preparedness, right?

Groceries c/o kentohio.net

Groceries c/o kentohio.net

Now, here’s something I’m going to urge you to do before you accept this Challenge. Go ahead and prepare for it a few days in advance in every way that you can think of. Pay the babysitter now. Stock up on some gasoline for 2 weeks now. Get two weeks worth of groceries now—don’t forget the comfort foods. I dare say that this Commerce Independence Challenge will still be an eye opener for you as you will undoubtedly have something that you haven’t thought of crop up and throw you a curve ball. When it does, just deal with it. Don’t buy the school supplies, the groceries, the shirt, the hair spray or the new shovel for 14 days. You can trade goods for goods and services, but during the Commerce Independence Challenge don’t exchange any currency for goods or services for 14 days.

I’m specifically making this challenge at this time of year. It won’t be convenient. There’s Halloween parties and costumes that you’ll need to think about ahead of time. But I’m 100% convinced that this will be a valuable experience. 

I know that some of our challenge takers on our last challenge entered into it without letting the rest of the family know. (Sly little devils) But I encourage you to let the whole family in on it. Tell your friends about it. If they look at you weird, ask them if they could even go ONE DAY without being a part of commerce. How about 3 days? Worst case scenario, if this just sounds like “too much” for you, then challenge yourself for a smaller period of time. Regardless though, do take at least a portion of the Commerce Independence Challenge. I’m quite certain that you won’t regret it.

Here's your reason to say no to your kids! Photo c/o geekgirlfriends.com

Here's your reason to say no to your kids! Photo c/o geekgirlfriends.com

Come on. Don’t wimp out on me. You’ll still have the safety and comfort of your home, electricity, the microwave, etc. It’s not like I’m challenging you to live without plumbing for two weeks. You’ll still have the television or radio or board games to keep you entertained. And besides, you’ve been meaning to get around to organizing your food storage anyway. The walking or bike riding will do you some good too, right? And wouldn’t it be great if you could put a carte blanche “no” on spending for your kids everyday desires for a whole two weeks? Perhaps it will be liberating? It’s not called the Commerce INDEPENDENCE Challenge for nothing.

The contest begins today and goes through the 15th of November. You can pick whichever 14 days you want to accept the Challenge. By all means, please give the rest of our readers a peak into what you’re doing and how you’re dealing with it. There are no losers in the Commerce Independence Challenge. I’m quite positive that anyone who participates will indeed be a winner. The point is to push all of you to learn, by firsthand experience, what you’re really ready for. And as always, any blog comment entry you make through the 15th will be eligible for our regular prize drawings that we’re holding every two weeks.

This is going to be very interesting, isn’t it?

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Debt can weigh you down  Photo c/o usoge.gov

Debt can weigh you down Photo c/o usoge.gov

“I’ll start getting better prepared once I get out of debt.”  This statement makes me cringe, frankly. It’s a myth—a deceptive rationale—for SO many reasons. 

For starters there’s the misconception that being out of debt has “everything” to do with being better prepared. And yet there are countless aspects to preparedness that don’t require ANY money for success. Instead, they require an appropriate amount of willingness, a constant quest for knowledge, and a positive attitude. You can’t buy any of those things with money. In fact, I can’t think of a single time I’ve had to pay to go to the library and get books that educate me. I’ve also never had to pay for a CPR class or perusing the internet for additional information. Neither have I had to shell out a dime to a shrink to be better mentally prepared for a “what if” scenario. 

The other misconception about financial preparedness is that it’s a “top priority.” It isn’t. In fact, out of the 10 Keys to Preparedness, in order of priority, financial preparedness comes in at number 9. That’s right. There are 8 other more important aspects for you that will aid you in being better prepared for a disaster than having your mortgage and credit cards paid off. That’s not to say that getting out of debt isn’t important. But it’s not as important, for example, as making sure that you have food, water, shelter, and medical supplies in the event of a disaster. I assure you, your mortgage payment is the last thing on your mind if your child comes down with cholera, or the ground opens up all the way down your street due to an earthquake.

Overwhelming Temptation  Photo c/o southdacola.com

Debt Temptation Photo c/o southdacola.com

Also, as I’ve written about time and time again, it doesn’t always take money to increase your food, shelter, medical, and water supplies. There’s so much that’s simply given away at garage sales or by friends and family, and I can’t even begin to list all of the quality goods I’ve received for free or dirt cheap via coupons.

Another reason why financial preparedness mistakenly gets overrated is that folks tend to forget about the viable “fit hits the shan” scenario. One of the developing scenarios that I’m watching very closely is the possibility of an all out financial collapse—meaning that your money isn’t worth anything any more. And yet, if you had the necessary goods of sustenance in your home, regardless of what you paid for them, they will still be worth a great deal to you and your family. A case of tuna, regardless of whether you paid top dollar for it or got it for a steal will still give you 12 quality servings of protein in a pinch. I firmly believe 100% that there will come a time when a bucket of wheat is worth more than a bucket of gold. Why? Because currency will forever have its REAL place in the pecking order amidst a survival scenario—and that place is secondary to almost all others. You can’t feed your family on gold. You can’t even exchange gold for vital supplies if those supplies are limited in households across America. If you have a savings account plump full of money but no necessary supplies to survive an emergency it does you little good, right? What if there’s a serious power outage? How do you expect to access that hefty savings account, IRA, or checking account so that you can buy supplies? Oh, and let’s not forget about the fact that thousands of other people will have had that same idea just before you get to the store. (Going to the store at the first sign of trouble isn’t a plan. It’s a suicide wish.)

BXP27956

Just groceries or bargaining tools? Photo c/o motherjonesfoodpantry.com

When things go south, yes, some cash on hand will serve you well immediately—like in the first 24 hours if you’re lucky–but expect to see that acceptance quickly disintegrate into a non-currency environment. Commodities such as food, ammo, tents, diapers, etc. are what will be worthwhile. Having said that though, remember that being prepared has a great deal to do with being INDEPENDENT regardless of what comes your way. So, yes, being out of debt is a worthwhile goal for you to be focused on. Just don’t let the other aspects of preparedness suffer as a result. When compared with all else that’s more vital to your family’s survival, financial independence just doesn’t hold a candle to spiritual, mental, physical, medical, clothing/shelter, fuel, water, and food preparedness.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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One of the stock answer reasons why people aren’t preparing for emergencies we’ve all heard before is this: I can’t afford it. In response to this so-called-reason comes this article by Lisa L.called One Woman’s View of Budget Preparedness. Regardless of income level, Lisa explores what she’s learned some great things along the way and this is an excellent article for Preparedness Pro readers today!

Take a few minutes and click here to check out One Woman’s View of Budget Preparedness on the SurvivalBlog.com!

(Thanks to the Survival Mom for the heads up on this article!)

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By Kellene Bishop

Communication Breakdown by Spencer Wood

Communication Breakdown by Spencer Wood

If there were an occasion in which our nation’s communications systems were disabled for more than 24 hours on a weekday, you would see the first domino fall in the creation of a complete financial collapse. We are painfully reliant on our communication systems to keep our nation financially afloat. Land lines, internet, cell phones. These inventions have become the heart of our economy. Our health care system. Our banking system. Our trade system.

communication-collapse-lose-moneyHaving participated in the commercial finance industry for years, I had opportunity to consult in one of the highest echelons of commercial finance—you know the one where folks are dropping the word “billion” as casually as they order lunch. Whether you realize it or not, a great deal of our economic strength comes from the manipulation of seconds and small margins of profit on large sums of money. If communication lines were down and trades could not be executed, our nation would lose billions of dollars which would easily domino into trillions in less than 24 hours—and that’s just in the trading world. As you are aware, now is not a time in which our tenable economy could handle such a hit from a communication collapse.

Now let’s look at the great financial impact that would be felt by all of the other businesses in our nation. Deals would not be closed. Shipments of medical supplies, necessary hardware equipment, fuel, and food would not be requested or sent out. Credit cards would not be processed for payments. Just as so many consumers live hand to mouth or paycheck to paycheck, so do the majority of businesses in our nation. One day of communication collapse in which they are cut off from communication with their suppliers and their banks would literally be catastrophic.

communication-collapse-hello-anyone-thereThen there’s the world that may hit a little closer to home for you in a communication collapse.  9-1-1 would be useless. News updates would not be received. Even if we had electricity to watch the television, we wouldn’t know what was occurring right in our own backyards without the critical resource of communication. Without your cell phones, internet, and land lines, how would you locate your children who are usually scattered in all directions at any time of the day? How would you check up on your elderly parent? How would you coordinate with the rest of your family to ensure their safety and well being?

Out of all 10 areas of Emergency Preparedness, the component of communication is the only one in which you’re reaching out to others. And yet, as you can see, it’s not an area that can be taken for granted. Your primary concern in an emergency will not be what’s in your bank account. It won’t be how much food you have on your shelves. It will be about the well being of those you love. Thus you MUST have prearranged plans of action for how you will communicate and gather in the event of an emergency and subsequent communication collapse. If it is to be a long-term scenario, you must even have a plan for family members that live far from you. Will you all gather to a particular location? Will you get communication through to each other in a different medium? Taking a few moments to discuss these plans will save you and everyone else in your life a lot of stress and worry. And more importantly, it could save lives. Being at the right place at the right time is critical in surviving an emergency. Discuss this plan regularly with your family and close friends.

Photo c/o tlc.discovery.com/

Photo c/o tlc.discovery.com/

On a lighter note, I have been stocking up on pencils, pens, and paper during these “school sales.” (It’s not hard when the pencils are selling for 25 cents a package, pencil sharpeners are only 10 cents, and note pads are only 1 cent.)  What may seem trivial now, may be highly valuable in a world in which we can no longer rely on our traditional means of communication. Also, protecting our HAM radio and ensuring proper licensing and skills to use it is a critical part of that plan as well. (Now, if I could just get the rest of my family on board with that, I’ll sleep much better.)

Take a moment to stop and plan for an instance in which your communication methods are interrupted.  You’ll be SO glad you did!

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Paying attention can get you some great laughs, memorable moments, or vital warnings. Yesterday I was driving behind a police car and noticed that he had a license plate border that said, “Actually, I prefer bagels.” I got a much needed laugh off of that one. Glad I was paying attention.

Photo c/o globalcrisisnews.com/

Photo c/o globalcrisisnews.com/

Most Americans are unaware at just how tenable the financial culture is in our nation right now. But seriously, to not know it is simply a matter of not paying attention. It’s not like we have to trust in some kind of a prophet to see for ourselves. There is a bounty of evidence right now that begs for our attention so that we can be prepared for an inevitable challenge. This evidence spells out the critical need for us to get our own homes in order so that we can survive through the looming financial crisis.

In 1962, the “Cuban crisis” suddenly left the grocery shelves of stores nationwide empty overnight. Yet there was plenty of warning ahead of time to those who were paying attention. These persons had the ability to be independent of panic and price gouging. Yet did anyone pay attention to a looming financial crisis a year in advance of the triggering incident?

Didn’t Americans wake up to what they thought was a routine day on December 7, 1941? Unfortunately there’s some evidence military didn’t pay attention to and we were tragically caught unaware. 

While the “great depression” erupted in a matter of hours, its effects reached millions of Americans for years, in spite of numerous warning signs. Unfortunately, the indicators of today’s looming financial collapse are more rampant and indicate a much more severe collapse than that of 1929. Here are the reasons why I state as such.

1)     Financial Crisis Clue #1: A new batch of over $12 billion (yes, that’s a “B”) of pay option arm mortgages are coming due this fall. We’ve seen how those due dates have affected the market thus far. With unemployment rising, finance restrictions getting tighter, and the mortgage market being so stale, this is NOT going to be a pleasant ride, folks.

Australian Lacrosse Team Quarantined in South Korea Because of Swine Flu. Photo c/o theage.com.au

Australian Lacrosse Team Quarantined in South Korea Because of Swine Flu. Photo c/o theage.com.au

2)     Financial Crisis Clue #2: Flu outbreak. You do realize that one simple interruption in our nation’s transportation industry will cause a serious financial domino effect, right? There are over 250,000 trucking companies in the U.S. alone. The majority of them are “small businesses.” Just as you live hand to mouth, so do business owners. The trucking industry is no exception. We are due for quite the outbreak of this Swine flu this fall. I’ve never seen a more real potential for a quarantine in the last several decades as I do now. We’ve been warned of a possible quarantine as recent as the first of this month. I’m certain that the delays are being extended as long as possible holding out hope that it won’t be necessary due to the financial domino effect it will have. Other countries have begun some quarantine procedures, costing them over 5 billion dollars a day in lost commerce. I don’t think our economy is healthy enough to endure such a financial hit. The transportation industry is just the tip of the iceberg. Look at the effect a quarantine would have on everything else that doesn’t get paid as a result of consumers not being permitted to go to work. Then look at the businesses that could fail as a result of employees not being able to go to work. Look at the travel industry, hospitality, gasoline, groceries, utilities, credit, entertainment, etc. The cost of a quarantine on our nation would be immense and just by itself bring about a huge depression that would take us 7 years to recover from.

3)     Financial Crisis Clue #3: Hyper inflation. This year the U.S. needs to sell the equivalent of 1.5 times its national deficit amount in the form of foreign investments in order to survive the present financial set back. Unfortunately, we’re almost into August and we haven’t succeeded at that yet. This year our deficit is “only” $1 trillion. However, next year it is $3 trillion. If we aren’t able to raise enough foreign investors for the $1 trillion this year, how are we to expect to raise 1.5 times our projected deficit for 2010—a process which USUALLY begins the quarter preceding the year the investments are needed? When hyperinflation occurs, the only solution is to raise taxes, print more money, or sell foreign bonds. They’ve already raised taxes. We aren’t being successful in selling the bonds. So, what happens if we print more money?

emperor's-new-clothes4)     Financial Crisis Clue #4: Currency value is highly questionable. As I’ve attempted to explain previously, national currency only has value in a fully functional economy.  It only has value when there is a healthy balance between supply and demand. As we see in our news on a regular basis, we’ve long surpassed the criteria for a functional economy. I firmly believe our economy is as dysfunctional as Jon and Kate Gosselin’s marriage. Since the Federal Reserve refuses to publish the M3 report anymore which tells the American people just how much currency is in circulation at one time, we are seriously in store for an “emperor’s new clothes” scenario.  The fact that we don’t know how much money is in circulation does not change the fact that we’re seeing significantly higher amounts of currency being exchanged than ever before. The reason why our government has been staking claim to so much land (in spite of the fact that it’s unconstitutional) is so that there is more “collateral” for our foreign bonds. Fort Knox is empty, folks. Even food commodities which we have had in store in abundance in decades past have been exported in desperation to bring cash flow into our country’s government. The clouds are getting awfully dark in this warning, folks.

5)     Financial Crisis Clue #5: Credit crisis. Why in the world would credit card companies—who know full well that the economy is in serious trouble—start increasing minimum payment requirements to more than double the amount they’ve been in the past? What kind of financial sense does that make? Surely they will lose customers in doing so, or cause bankruptcies due to the irresponsible pool of consumers they cater to, right? So why would they make such a seemingly desperate move? It has to do with the fact that their money isn’t as valuable on the international trade markets any longer. As a result, the credit companies themselves have over extended themselves and thus have to cannibalize their source of income in order to bail themselves out. In addition, if you were to go to a grocery store consistently and find them out of milk each time, wouldn’t that start affecting your confidence in the availability of milk? You might start hoarding it when you did find it, or suspect there was a problem with it. The same is happening with money. Consumers are finding the “money shelves” bare at banks, credit companies, and lending companies. This directly affects consumer confidence so they are not parting with their “milk” quite so easily. Consumer confidence has a HUGE effect on currency value.

Utility Bills Could Bankrupt You. Photo c/o co.fort-bend.tx.us

Utility Bills Could Bankrupt You. Photo c/o co.fort-bend.tx.us

6)     Financial Crisis Clue #6: Credit crisis affects power companies. Most power companies purchase their power in bulk. They are able to do so based on their credit ratings through contracts known as power purchase agreements (PPAs). However, as the credit crunch in our nation becomes more obvious, even power companies are losing their stellar credit ratings and thus have difficulty renewing power purchase agreements, or at the very least, negotiating the best prices. This means, of course, that the power costs are going to go up this fall when many of these agreements are up for renewal. Couple that with the Cap & Trade “TAX” and you have a recipe for yet another financial disaster. It could come to the point where an employee literally cannot afford to drive to work. Your utility costs could bankrupt you. If this type of domino effect occurs, not only would there be a financial collapse, but several utility companies could go bankrupt with no one and nothing to rescue them. Imagine a power company sitting there looking like a ghost town.

Well, I think that suffices for now, folks. My purpose in sharing this with you is to give you yet one more reason why those of you who are preparing for “something” AREN’T crazy, and why the rest of you need to wake up and take advantage of the good times to get ready now. It sure would be a shame if the times of plenty lulled us into a sense of numbness to common sense, wouldn’t it? My friends, I beg you to please wake up and pay attention to the looming financial crisis and prepare accordingly. When this occurs, currency will be useless. Items which have an inherent value to them such as food, medical supplies, fuel, etc. are the only thing that will be worthwhile. Right now you can still obtain such items with our questionable currency. But how long will that last? Is that really a gamble you’re willing to make on your family’s life?

Wake up and smell the currency folks. The financial collapse is indeed looming.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Typically when I mention emergency preparedness to someone they automatically think of “food storage” or “the Mormons.”  Unfortunately, a focus on either will not save your family in a time of crisis.  There are actually ten vital areas to being prepared for an emergency whether it be a natural disaster, act of war or financial collapse.  Food is only one component that we’ve addressed recently.  So let’s take a look at all 10 areas of being prepared.

I’m listing them for you in the area of importance.

  1. Component of Emergency Preparedness #1: Spiritual. This category has everything to do with your belief system.  It’s where you draw on peace even in the midst of chaos.  It’s also where you draw on knowledge and understanding of that which is to come.  Your spiritual preparedness needs to be fed on a regular basis.  It will be incredibly invaluable in a time of great need, such as a catastrophic emergency.  If your spiritual preparedness is lacking, not much else you focus on will be of benefit to you.
  2. Component of Emergency Preparedness #2: Mental. This category has to do with your knowledge level, skills, and mental rehearsals for chaotic scenarios.  This area requires constant nourishment, education, and deliberate thought.  Unless you mentally prepare for a situation such as self-defense, or mass chaos, or the fact that all hell can really break loose, then you will be physically and emotionally paralyzed from being a leader and a protector to anyone, let alone your family and loved ones.  The mental preparation is what prepares you in spite of the crazy looks and comments you get from friends and loved ones.  Immerse yourself in movies, books, and conversations relevant to emergency preparedness (see #5).  Expose yourself to as much learning experiences as you are able.  Work that mental muscle as much as possible.  It will serve you well in a time of crisis as well as long-term survival.
    The key to your mental preparedness is Attitude, Skills, and Knowledge. Fortunately all three of these aspects can be obtained without monetary cost as there’s so much available through classes and online.
  3. Component of Emergency Preparedness #3: Physical. This area covers a great deal.  Physical preparedness has to do with your physical strength and ability to maximize your physical strength, such as the
    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    use of wagons or wheel barrels, your ability to protect yourself and your family, as well as planning for any necessary travel needs.  Keep in mind that your physical strength will be your primary asset when it comes to travel.  Since most of us aren’t trained extensively in military tactics and maneuvers, firearms are a key consideration for physical self-defense.  Make sure you have tools like small wagons, bikes, wheel barrels, etc.  You can strengthen your physical preparedness by adjusting your diet now to avoid foods that impede your performance or you won’t have access to later.  And no, I’m not going to rattle them off because you already know what you’re doing wrong in that regard.  Exercise is critical for your physical preparedness as well.  You will inevitably be called upon to be more physical in your survival efforts in an emergency.  Perhaps you will need to trek 30 miles.  Or perhaps you will need to do some heavy lifting to create a suitable shelter.  You will also need to function without air conditioning or heat like you’re accustomed to.  Take precautions now so that you are better physically prepared later.

  4. Component of Emergency Preparedness #4: Medical. This includes having what you need for first-aid, solutions for your existing medical needs, as well as sanitation.  First-aid needs includes bandages, a field surgical kit, pain relievers, herbs and essential oils, as well as the knowledge to use such items.  Your existing medical needs will be a challenge since most individuals can’t get a year’s supply of prescription medicines.  If I were you, I would make sure to study up on alternative options available, such as herbal nutrition, essential oils, homeopathic care, etc.  Recently, as a result of my goal to be more prepared medically, I set a goal to eliminate all of my prescription drugs.  I started the New Year with seven prescriptions on my nightstand, and I’m now down to one.  The most recent I was able to get rid of was my thyroid medicine by incorporating quality nutrition products into my diet instead of my thyroid medicine.  While my doctor wasn’t happy with the approach, he did acquiesce just this last Friday that my blood tests showed that I was no longer in need of my thyroid medicine!  I feel much more independent and capable now.  While I can’t supply a years worth of pharmaceuticals safely, I sure can keep a year’s supply of various nutritional products.  (Just FYI, I elect to use Reliv products.  No, I don’t sell them but you can locate them easily online.)
    As far as sanitation is concerned, you have to be sure you’ve thought this one through.  Digging a hole out in your back yard will not do.  You’ve got to have the chemicals on hand to break down the waste.  I assure you that if the hole in the back yard was everyone’s strategy, everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 30 days!  The holes have to be dug deep.  Plan on using some type of a disposal breakdown chemical regularly.  Disposing of the waste, keeping it covered, and minimizing its location and effect on everything else around you will be critical in a time of emergency.  Understand that this aspect of preparation will not be simple.  You should expect a lot of diarrhea initially as a result of stress, different foods, and drinking less liquids.
  5. Component of Emergency Preparedness #5: Clothing/Shelter. This category is a higher priority than food and water.  Many folks really overlook this critical area.  While being able to survive in your own home is ideal, it’s not necessarily possible for a myriad of different reasons.  Be sure that you’ve got SPARE clothing available for all of your children’s ages and have it readily accessible.  This may mean you need to go to a local thrift store and purchase clothes for a year in advance of your children’s sizes right now.  Sturdy shoes will be critical—especially if you have to walk long distances to get to safety.  Also, be mindful of your clothing and your shelter accommodating either warm or cold weather.  Be sure to have hats and gloves for everyone—spares so that there’s no chance of them “getting lost” in the event of a crisis.   Even if you are able to survive in your present dwelling, be sure you have tools on hand to reinforce it, such as hammers, nails, sheeting, duct tape, and even some plywood.  (My preferred sheeting is purchased at Costco.  It’s twice as thick as others, you get twice as much, and it’s less expensive.)  Be sure that you don’t have to rely on electricity and batteries for the use of your tools as well in the event of a solar flare or an EMP attack.
  6. Component of Emergency Preparedness #6: Water. Let me be perfectly clear on this.  A two week supply of water is NOT sufficient.  That’s short-term.  I hardly EVER address short-term preparedness in my articles, and am almost always focusing on long term.  As overwhelming as it may sound, you need one gallon of
    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    water, per person, per day.  That’s 365 gallons per person.  Yes, that’s a lot of barrels.  But that’s just the MINIMUM.  You’ll be using water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, sanitation, and bathing.  There are a myriad of different ways to conserve water, but you’ll want to employ those even if you do have the 365 gallons per person.  Water is the only thing that will keep your organs functioning properly.  You need water just as much in the cold as you do in the heat.  Your kidneys process hundreds of gallons worth of water each day.  You do not want to treat your kidneys like a teenager treats their oil filter, right?  You’ve got to continue to give your organs new water in order that they will not shut down.  Your body uses flavored water very differently than it does real water.  You use more energy to benefit from the flavored water than you do just straight water.  In addition to storing enough water, I also store a lot of paper goods that I can use that won’t require cleaning afterwards.  I also store cleansing cloths.
    You don’t need to treat your water before storing it if you’re using tap water.  Plan on treating it afterwards if necessary (8 drops of Chlorox for each gallon of water).  You can rotate your water once every 5 years and be just fine.  Stale water can taste a LOT better if you simply aerate it—such as pouring it back and forth from one container to another before serving.

  7. Component of Emergency Preparedness #7: Food. As I’ve shared in the last 8 part series, be familiar with the food that you’ve stored, be prepared to cook it without electricity, and be sure that it’s nutritious.  90 days of food is SHORT-TERM.  It’s not the end result.  One year of food supply for your family is absolutely necessary.  Also be sure that you have all of the tools on hand you will need that don’t require electricity.  Be sure you have nothing in your equipment stores that you have not used yet.  (In other words, don’t just buy that solar oven and put it in your basement.  Use it.)
  8. Component of Emergency Preparedness #8: Fuel. Your fuel should be usable on as many tools as possible, and every responsible member of the family should be familiar with its use.  I store butane for my small oven, propane for the grill, and kerosene for my lights, heaters, and another stove.  I also have some
    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    charcoal and some wood for other forms of cooking.  I’ve experimented with my cooking fuel coupled with my pressure cooker and have learned that I can cook 2 meals a day for 3 weeks on one can of butane.  It’s critical that you know how much fuel you need for your family.  It’s also critical you know that the lights you’re relying on can actually put out enough light.  We bought these “100 hour candles” only to discover one night that they barely put off enough light for us to see the match and the wick so that we could light the next one.  I recommend to all of my clients to try a day or two without electrical lighting.  I also recommend that they go a whole week without using any electricity to prepare their food—including the refrigerator.

  9. Component of Emergency Preparedness #9: Financial.  Financial preparation isn’t just about having debt.  Most of us will have a mortgage if nothing else.  I recommend my clients pay their utilities and their taxes in advance whenever possible.  It’s also critical that you have goods with which to trade such as wheat, sugar, and other stores that will be in high demand.  Anything more than $500 cash on hand is a waste, in my opinion, as a crisis will quickly make money worthless.  If you don’t already have what you need, you will NOT be able to buy it amidst a mob of crazy people who are unprepared. 
  10. Component of Emergency Preparedness #10: Communication. All of the other areas of preparedness I discussed are focused on you and your family.  This is the only area of preparedness that focuses on reaching out to others.  In order to be prepared for communication in an emergency, you should have a very specific plan of communication with you family and friends.  You should have a specific point of gathering agree upon for everyone to meet in the event of a disaster.  Additionally, plan on other forms of communication such as a HAM radio, accompanied by the license and skill to operate.  Also plan on good old fashioned message delivery.  (Another good reason to employ physical preparedness.)  Being able to coordinate with the outside world will become important during and after your initial crisis reaction.

Don’t get overwhelmed with all of this.  Just put it on your radar and start chipping away at it.  Look for opportunities to learn and strengthen your spiritual and mental preparedness first and foremost.  Everything else will appropriately follow.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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