How an “Act of God” Pandemic Is Destroying the West – The U.S. is Saving the Financial Sector, not the Economy

Before juxtaposing the U.S. and alternative responses to the corona virus’s economic effects, I would like to step back in time to show how the pandemic has revealed a deep underlying problem. We are seeing the consequences of Western societies painting themselves into a debt corner by their creditor-oriented philosophy of law. Neoliberal anti-government (or more accurately, anti-democratic) ideology has centralized social planning and state power in “the market,” meaning specifically the financial market on Wall Street and in other financial centers.

At issue is who will lose when employment and business activity are disrupted. Will it be creditors and landlords at the top of the economic scale, or debtors and renters at the bottom? This age-old confrontation over how to deal with the unpaid rents, mortgages and other debt service is at the heart of today’s virus pandemic as large and small businesses, farms, restaurants and neighborhood stores have fallen into arrears, leaving businesses and households – along with their employees who have no wage income to pay these carrying charges that accrue each month.

This is an age-old problem. It was solved in the ancient Near East simply by annulling these debt and rent charges. But the West, shaped as it still is by the legacy of the Roman Empire, has left itself prone to the massive unemployment, business closedowns and resulting arrears for these basic costs of living and doing business.

Western civilization distinguishes itself from its Near Eastern predecessors in the way it has responded to “acts of God” that disrupt the means of support and leave debts in their wake. The United States has taken the lead in rejecting the path by which China, and even social democratic European nations have prevented the corona virus from causing widespread insolvency and polarizing their economies. The U.S. corona virus lockdown is turning rent and debt arrears into an opportunity to impoverish the indebted economy and transfer mortgaged property and its income to creditors.

There is no inherent material need for this fate to occur. But it seems so natural and even inevitable that, as Margaret Thatcher would say, There Is No Alternative.

But of course there is, and always has been. However, resilience in the face of economic disruption always has required a central authority to override “market forces” to restore economic balance from “above.”

Individualistic economies cannot do that. To the extent that they have a strong state, they are not democratic but oligarchic, controlled by the financial sector in its own interest, in tandem with its symbiotic real estate sector and monopolized infrastructure. That is why every successful society since the Bronze Age has been a mixed economy. The determining factor in whether or not an economic disruption leaves a crippled economy in its wake turns out to be whether its financial sector is a public utility or is privatized from the debt-strapped public domain as a means to enrich bankers and money-lenders at the expense of debtors and overall economic balance.

China is using an age-old policy common ever since Hammurabi and other Bronze Age rulers promoted economic resilience in the face of “acts of God.” Unless personal debts, rents and taxes that cannot be paid are annulled, the result will be widespread bankruptcy, impoverishment and homelessness. In contrast to America’s financialized economy, China has shown how natural it is for society simply to acknowledge that debts, rents, taxes and other carrying charges of living and doing business cannot resume until economic normalcy is able to resume.

Near Eastern protection of economic resilience in the face of Acts of God

Ancient societies had a different logic from those of modern capitalist economies. Their logic – and the Jewish Mosaic Law of Leviticus 25, as well as classical Greek and Roman advocates of democratic reform – was similar to modern socialism. The basic principle at work was to subordinate market relations to the needs of society at large, not to enrich a financial rentier class of creditors and absentee landowners. More specifically, the basic principle was to cancel debts that could not normally be paid, and prevent creditors from foreclosing on the land of debtors.

All economies operate on credit. In modern economies bills for basic expenses are paid monthly or quarterly. Ancient economies operated on credit during the crop year, with payment falling due when the harvest was in – typically on the threshing floor. This cycle normally provided a flow of crops and corvée labor to the palace, and covered the cultivator’s spending during the crop year. Interest typically was owed only when payment was late.

But bad harvests, military conflict or simply the normal hardships of life frequently prevented this buildup of debt from being paid. Mesopotamian palaces had to decide who would bear the loss when drought, flooding, infestation, disease or military attack prevented the payment of debts, rents and taxes. Seeing that this was an unavoidable fact of life, rulers proclaimed amnesties for taxes and these various obligations incurred during the crop year. That saved smallholders from having to work off their debts in personal bondage to their creditors and ultimately to lose their land.

For these palatial economies, resilience meant stabilization of fiscal revenue. Letting private creditors (often officials in the palace’s own bureaucracy) demand payment out of future production threatened to deprive rulers of crop surpluses and other taxes, and corvée labor or even service in the military. But for thousands of years, Near Eastern rulers restored fiscal viability for their economies by writing down debts, not only in emergencies but more or less regularly to relieve the normal creeping backlog of debts.

These Clean Slates extended from Sumer and Babylonia in the 3rd millennium BC to classical antiquity, including the neo-Assyrian, neo-Babylonian and Persian Empires. They restored normal economic relations by rolling back the consequences of debts personal and agrarian debts – bondage to creditors, and loss of land and its crop yield. From the palace’s point of view as tax collector and seller of many key goods and services, the alternative would have been for debtors to owe their crops, labor and even liberty to their creditors, not to the palace. So cancelling debts to restore normalcy was simply pragmatic, not utopian idealism as was once thought.

The pedigree for “act-of-God” rules specifying what obligations need not be paid when serious disruptions occur goes back to the laws of Hammurabi c. 1750 BC. Their aim was to restore economic normalcy after major disruptions. §48 of Hammurabi’s laws proclaim a debt and tax amnesty for cultivators if Adad the Storm God has flooded their fields, or if their crops fail as a result of pests or drought. Crops owed as rent or fiscal payments were freed from having to be paid. So were consumer debts run up during the crop year, including tabs at the local ale house and advances or loans from individual creditors. The ale woman likewise was freed from having to pay for the ale she had received from palace or temples for sale during the crop year.

Whoever leased an animal that died by an act of god was freed from liability to its owner (§266). A typical such amnesty occurred if the lamb, ox or ass was eaten by a lion, or if an epidemic broke out. Likewise, traveling merchants who were robbed while on commercial business were cleared of liability if they swore an oath that they were not responsible for the loss (§103).

It was realized that hardship was so inevitable that debts tended to accrue even under normal conditions. Every ruler of Hammurabi’s dynasty proclaimed a Clean Slate cancelling personal agrarian debts (but left normal commercial business loans intact) upon taking the throne, and when military or other disruptions occurred during their reign. Hammurabi did this on four occasions.

Bronze Age rulers could not afford to let such bondage and concentration of property and wealth to become chronic. Labor was the scarcest resource, so a precondition for survival was to prevent creditors from using debt leverage to obtain the labor of debtors and appropriate their land. Rulers therefore acted to prevent creditors from becoming a wealthy class seeking gains by impoverishing debtors and taking crop yields and land for themselves.

By rejecting such alleviations of debts resulting from economic disruption, the U.S. economy is subjecting itself to depression, homelessness and economic polarization. It is saving stockholders and bondholders instead of the economy at large. That is because today’s rentier interests take the economic surplus in the form of debt service, holding labor and also corporate industry in bondage. Mortgage debt is the price of obtaining a home of one’s own. Student debt is the price of getting an education to get a job. Automobile debt is needed to buy a car to drive to the job, and credit-card debt must be run up to pay for living costs beyond what one is able to earn. This deep indebtedness makes workers afraid to go on strike or even to protect working conditions, because being fired is to lose the ability to pay debts and rents. So the rising debt overhead serves the business and financial sector by lowering wage levels while extracting more interest, financial fees, rent and insurance out of their take-home pay.

Debt deflation and the transition from finance capitalism to an Austerity Economy

By injecting $10 trillion into the financial markets (when Federal Reserve credit is added to U.S. Treasury allocation), the CARES act enabled the stock market to recover all of its 34 percent drop (as measured by the S&P 500 stocks) by June 9, even as the economy’s GDP was still plunging. The government’s new money creation was not spent to revive the real economy of production and consumption, but at least the financial One Percent was saved from loss. It was as if prosperity and living standards would somehow return to normal in a V-shaped recovery.

But what is “normal” these days? For 95 percent of the population, their share of GDP already had been falling ever since the Obama Depression began with the bank bailout in 2009, leaving an enormous bad-debt overhead in place. The economy’s long upswing since World War II was already grinding to an end as it struggled to carry its debt burden, rising housing costs, health care and related monthly “nut.”

This is not what was expected 75 years ago. World War II ended with families and businesses rife with savings and with little debt, as there had been little to buy during the wartime years. But ever since, each business cycle recovery has started with a higher ratio of debt to income, diverting more revenue from business, households and governments to pay banks and bondholders. This debt burden raises the economy’s cost of living and doing business, while leaving less wage income and profit to be spent on goods and services.

The virus pandemic has merely acted as a catalyst ending of the long postwar boom. Yet even as the U.S. and other Western economies begin to buckle under their debt overhead, little thought has been given to how to extricate them from the debts and defaults that have accelerated as a result of the broad economic disruption.

The “business as usual” approach is to let creditors foreclose and draw all the income and wealth over subsistence needs into their own hands. Economies have reached the point where debts can be paid only by shrinking production and consumption, leaving them as strapped as Greece has been since 2015. Rejecting debt writedowns to restore social balance was implanted at the outset of modern Western civilization. Ever since Roman times it has become normal for creditors to use social misfortune as an opportunity to gain property and income at the expense of families falling into debt. Blocking the emergence of democratic civic regimes empowered to protect debtors, creditor interests have promoted laws that force debtors to lose their land or other means of livelihood to foreclosing creditors or sell it under distress conditions and have to work off their debts.

In times of a general economic disruption, giving priority to creditor claims leads to widespread bankruptcy. Yet it violates most peoples’ ideas of fairness and distributive justice to evict debtors from their homes and take whatever property they have if they cannot pay their rent arrears and other charges that have accrued through no fault of their own. Bankruptcy proceedings will force many businesses and farms to forfeit what they have invested to much wealthier buyers. Many small businesses, especially in urban minority neighborhoods, will see yeas of saving and investment wiped out. The lockdown also forces U.S. cities and states to cope with plunging sales- and income-tax revenue by slashing social services and depleting their pension funds savings to pay bondholders. Balancing their budgets by privatizing hitherto public services will create monopoly rents and new corporate empires

These outcomes are not necessary. They also are inequitable, and instead of being a survival of the fittest and most efficient economic solutions, they are a victory for the most successfully predatory. Yet such results are the product of a long-pedigreed legal and financial philosophy promoted by banks and bondholders, landlords and insurance companies reject economy-wide debt relief. They depict writing down debts and rents owed to them as unthinkable. Banks claim that forgiving personal and business rents would lead absentee landlords to default on their mortgages, threatening bank solvency. Insurance companies claim that to make their policy holders whole would bankrupt them. So something has to give: either the population’s broad economic interests, or the vested interests insisting that labor, industry and the government must bear the cost of arrears that have built up during the economic shutdown.

As in oligarchic Rome, financial interests in today’s world have gained control of governments and captured the political and regulatory agencies, leaving democratic reformers powerless to suspend debt service, rent arrears, evictions and depression. The West is becoming a highly centrally planned economy, but its planning center is Wall Street, not Washington or state and local governments.

Rising real estate arrears prompt a mortgage bailout

Canada and many European governments are subsidizing businesses to pay up to 80 percent of employee wages even though many must stay home. But for the 40 million Americans who haven’t been employed during the closedown, the prospect is for homelessness and desperation. Already before the crisis about half of Americans reported that they were living paycheck to paycheck and could not raise $400 in an emergency. When the paychecks stopped, rents could not be paid, nor could other normal monthly living expenses.

America is seeing the end of the home ownership boom that endowed its middle class with property steadily rising in price. For buyers, the price was rising mortgage debt, as bank credit was the major factor in raising property prices. (A home is worth however much a bank will lend against it.) For non-whites, to be sure, neighborhoods were redlined against racial minorities. By the early 2000s, banks began to make loans to black and Hispanic buyers, but usually at extortionately high interest rates and stiffer debt terms. America’s white home buyers now face a fate similar to that which they have long imposed on minorities: Debt-inflated purchase prices for homes so high that they leave buyers strapped by mortgage and compulsory insurance payments, with declining public services in their neighborhoods.

When mortgages can’t be paid, foreclosures follow. That causes declines in the proportion of Americans that own their own homes. That home ownership rate already had dropped from about 58 percent in 2008 to about 51 percent at the start of 2020. Since the 2008 mortgage-fraud crisis and President Obama’s mass foreclosure program that hit minorities and low-income buyers especially hard, a more landlord-ridden economy has emerged as a result of foreclosed properties and companies bought by speculators and vast absentee-owner companies like Blackstone.

Many businesses that closed down did not pay the landlords. Realizing that if they are held responsible for paying full rents that accrued during the shutdown, it would take them over a year to make up the payment, leaving no net earnings for their efforts. That was especially the case for restaurants with compulsory limited “distance” seating and other stores obliged to restrict the density of their customers. Many restaurants and other neighborhood stores decided to go out of business. For hotels standing largely empty, some 19 percent of mortgage loans had fallen into arrears already by May, along with about 10 percent of retail stores.

The commercial real estate sector owes $2.4 trillion in mortgage debt. About 40 percent of tenants did not pay their rents for March, April and May, from restaurants and storefronts to large national retail markets. A moratorium on evictions put them off until August or September 2020. But in the interim, quarterly state and local property taxes were due in June, which also was when the annual federal income-tax payment was owed for the year 2019, having been postponed from April in the face of the shutdown.

The prospective break in the chain of payments of landlords to their banks may be bailed out by the Federal Reserve, but nobody can come up with a scenario whereby the debts owed by non-elites can be paid out of their own resources, any more than they were rescued from the junk-mortgage frauds that left over-mortgaged homes (mainly for low-income victims) in the wake of Obama’s decision to support the banks and mortgage brokers instead of their victims. In fact, it takes a radical scenario to see how state and local debt can be paid as public budgets are thrown into limbo by the virus pandemic.

The fiscal squeeze forces governments to privatize public services and assets

Since 1945, the normal Keynesian response to an economic slowdown has been for governments to run budget deficits to revive the economy and employment. But that can’t happen in the wake of the 2020 pandemic. For one thing, tax revenue is falling. Governments can create domestic money, of course, but the U.S. government quickly ran up a $2 trillion deficit by June 2020 simply to support Wall Street’s financial and corporate markets, leaving a fiscal squeeze when it came to public spending into the real economy. Many U.S. states and cities have laws obliging them to balance their budgets. So public spending into the real economy (instead of just into the financial and corporate markets) had to be cut back.

Sales taxes from restaurants and hotels, income taxes, and property taxes from landlords not receiving rents. U.S. states and localities are having a huge tax shortfall that is forcing them to cut back basic social services and infrastructure. New York City mayor de Blasio has warned that schools, the police and public transportation may have to be cut back unless the city is given $7 billion. The CARES act passed by the Democratic Party in control of the House of Representatives made no attempt to allocate a single dollar to make up the widening fiscal gap. As for the Trump administration, it was unwilling to give money to states voting Democratic in the presidential or governorship elections.

The irony is that just at the time when a pandemic calls for public health care, political pressure for that abruptly stopped. Logically, it might have been expected the virus to have become a major catalyst for single-payer public health care, not least to prevent a wave of personal bankruptcy resulting from high medical bills. But hopes were dashed when the leading torch bearer for socialized medicine, Senator Bernie Sanders, threw his support behind Joe Biden and other opponents for the presidential nomination instead of focusing the primary elections on what the future of the Democratic Party would be. It decided to focus the 2020 U.S. election merely on the personality of which candidate would impose neoliberal policy: Republican Donald Trump, or his opponent running simply on a platform of “I am not Trump.”

Both candidates – and indeed, both parties behind them –sought to downsize government and privatize as much of the public sector as possible, leaving administration to financial managers. Past government policy would have restored prosperity by public spending programs to to rebuild the roads and bridges, trains and subways that have fallen apart. But the fiscal squeeze caused by the economic shutdown has created pressure to Thatcherize America’s crumbling transportation and urban infrastructure – and also to sell off land and public enterprises, basic urban health, schools – and at the national level, the post office. Fiscal budgets are to be balanced by selling off this infrastructure, in lucrative Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) with financial firms.

The neoliberal rent-extractive plan is for private capital to buy monopoly rights to repair the nation’s bridges by turning them into toll bridges, to repair the nation’s roads and highways by making the toll roads, to repair sewer systems by privatizing them. Schools, prisons, hospitals and other traditionally public functions. Even the police are to be privately owned security-guard agencies and managed for profit – on terms that will provide interest and capital gains for the financial sector. It is a New Enclosures movement seeking monopoly rent much as landlords extract land rent.

Having given $10 trillion dollars to support financial and mortgage markets, neoliberals in both the Republican and Democratic parties announced that the government had created so large a budget deficit as a result of bailing out the banking and landlord class that it lacked any more room for money creation for actual social spending programs. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell advised states to solve their budget squeeze by raiding their pension funds to pay their bondholders.

For many decades, public employees accepted low wage growth in exchange for pensions. Their patient choice was to defer demands for wage increases in order to secure good pensions for their retirement. But now that they have worked at stagnant wages for many years, the money ostensibly saved for their pensions is to be given to bondholders. Likewise at the federal level, pressure was renewed by both parties to cut back Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with Obama’s 2010 Simpson-Bowles Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to reduce the deficit at the expense of retirees and the poor.

In sum, money is being created to fuel the financial sector and its stock and bond markets, not to increase the economy’s solvency, employment and living standards. The corona virus pandemic did not create this shift, but it catalyzed and accelerated the power grab, not least by pushing public-sector budgets into crisis.

It doesn’t have to be this way

Every successful economy has been a mixed public/private economy with checks on the financial sector’s power to indebt society in ways that impoverish it. Always at issue, however, is who will control the government. As American and European industry becomes more debt ridden, will they be oligarchic or democratic?

A socialist government such as China’s can keep its industry going simply by simply writing down debts when they can’t be paid without forcing a closedown and bankruptcy and loss of assets and employment. The world thus has two options: a basically productive public financial system in China, or a predatory financial system in the United States.

China can recover financially and fiscally from the virus disruption because most debts ultimately are owned to the government-based banking system. Money can be created to finance the material economy, labor and industry, construction and agriculture. When a company is unable to pay its bills and rent, the government doesn’t stand by and let it be closed down and sold at a distressed price to a vulture investor.

China has an option that Western economies do not: It is in a position to do what Hammurabi and other ancient Near Eastern palatial economies did for thousands of years: write down debts so as to keep the economy resilient and functioning. It can suspend scheduled debt service, taxes, rents and public fees from having to be paid by troubled areas of its economy, because China’s government is the ultimate creditor. It need not contend with politically powerful bankers who insist that the economy at large must lose, not themselves. The government can write down the debt to keep companies in business, and also their employees. That’s what socialist governments do.

The underlying problem is finance capitalism. Its roots lie at the heart of Western civilization itself, rejecting the “circular time” permitting economic renewal by Clean Slates in favor of “linear time” in which debts are permanent and irreversible, without public oversight to manage finance and credit in the economy’s overall long-term interest.

It often is easier to get rich in such times of disaster and need than in times of normal prosperity. While the U.S. economy polarizes between creditors and debtors, the stock market anticipates fortunes being made quickly from the insolvency of business with assets and property to be grabbed. Coupled with the Federal Reserve’s credit creation to support the financial and real estate markets, asset prices are soaring (as of June 2020) for companies that expect to get even richer from the widespread distress to come in autumn 2020 when evictions and foreclosures ae scheduled to begin again.

In that respect, the corona virus’s effect has been to help defeat the financial sector’s enemy, governments strong enough to regulate it. The fiscal squeeze resulting from widespread unemployment, business closedowns, rent and tax arrears is being seized upon as a means of dismantling and privatizing government at the federal, state and local levels, at the expense of the citizenry at large.

When the Looting Start: 6 Traps to Place on Your Property Against Looting Rioters

Protests against the murder of George Floyd have led to protests around the country. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this happen, but it is probably the most widespread and has lasted the longest than ever before. The Black Lives Matter seems to have gained legs and is receiving lots of support from a wide range of places, including many who didn’t support them before.

Unfortunately, there have been many cases in which peaceful protests have been hijacked by bad actors, probably from ANTIFA, who have turned those peaceful protests into riots. A number of different police chiefs have come forth, stating unequivocally that the demonstrators were not the rioters, but rather that the rioters were embedded in with the peaceful demonstrators, using them as camouflage and trying to shift the blame for their bad actions onto those who are just exercising their First Amendment rights.

That camouflage has been largely successful, as many people aren’t seeing the difference between the two groups. Not only that, but the actions started by the agitators has encouraged others to join them, following the psychology of “mob mentality.” This has led to blocking roads, attacking cars, looting and even some deaths.

With all this going on, it’s no wonder that a couple in St. Louis was afraid for their lives when a group of several hundred people broke down the gate of their private community. Dubbed “Ken and Karen” by the media (disparaging terms), they stood in front of their house, armed, guarding it. While the legality of this move has been questioned in some quarters, it appears that they didn’t do anything that breaks the law. Missouri has implemented the “Castle doctrine” allowing them to protect their property.

On the other hand, I’m not sure I can agree with the wisdom of that couple standing in front of their home, armed. Some can claim that their actions were provocative and threatening to the crowd of protesters. While the man held his rifle appropriately across his body, his wife doesn’t appear to know what she is doing and is seen to be pointing her pistol at the crowd, with her finger in the trigger guard.

Personally, if I was guarding my home, I would try to do so without being quite so obvious. While they might have done what they did to be a deterrent, two armed people, with no spare magazines visible, aren’t really that much of a deterrent to 100 people, let alone a few times that number.

With a little preparation, there are a number of things that they could have done or that any of us can do, which will help make our homes more secure from raging mobs, without having to stand outside our homes making targets of ourselves.

We want to be careful about this though. US law does not allow the use of booby traps; or rather, you are liable for any harm that your booby traps cause. So I’m sorry, you’ll have to forget about the caltrops and land mines. That’s too bad, as I’m really fond of caltrops. But, even though they don’t kill, they are intended to injure, which you would be legally liable for.

Lights & Cameras

The first thing that any of us should do is to mount lights and cameras on our home. Outdoor lighting is a good protection against your home being broken into anyway, making it a good idea. While that lighting may not stop a mob going down your street, it will make it easier for cameras to get a good shot of anyone who comes on your property.

6 Traps to Place on Your Property Against Looting Rioters

Don’t bother trying to hide your cameras; but place them high enough that they can’t get to them. Roof-mounted cameras are hard to get to, and if anyone climbs on your roof to get to them, they’ll be caught on camera, assuming you have your cameras set to ensure that you have full coverage.

By the way, those lights and cameras should be triggered by motion detectors, so that you don’t have to leave them on full-time. They can be connected to your computer, so that you can have a permanent video record of what has happened.

Hedges

One of my favorite defensive measures for the perimeter of your property is hedges. If you put a fence in front of your home, it’s obvious what it is. Few of them are any problem for that mob, as they can either knock them down or climb over them. About the only fence which will do much good is a tall one with pointy spikes on the top, but that’s rather obvious.

6 Traps to Place on Your Property Against Looting Rioters

On the other hand, you can plant a hedge around your property line, which, if done properly, is much harder to get through. By “properly” I’m referring to several things:

  • Planting the bushes close enough together so that people can’t push between them. No more than two feet apart.
  • Make sure that your hedge overlaps any fences or corners of your home, so that there are no gaps there.
  • Intertwining the branches of the bushes, so that the top of any one branch might be two or three plants away from its roots.
  • Using some sort of bush with sharp thorns. I like bugambilia, which grows very quickly.
  • Grow the hedge both high and thick. Four feet high is high enough to be hard to get over and three feet thick makes it very hard to climb over it, especially with the thorns.

No hedge, like no fence, is going to be a perfect barrier, but it is a deterrent. People who really want to get to you will find a way. But if you put a gate at your walkway, they’ll take that. This gives you a way of channeling how they get onto your property, controlling any following confrontation into a position that is favorable for you.

Electric Fence

If you have a fence or hedge, you can easily make it an even bigger deterrent by electrifying it. Electric fences are used to control animals on a fairly common basis, giving you a way to explain it away. You can either say that you’ve installed it to keep your dogs in or stray dogs out.

6 Traps to Place on Your Property Against Looting Rioters

Electrifying your fence doesn’t mean making the whole thing electrified, but rather adding an electric fence element to it. This is usually a single uninsulated wire, mounted to the inside of the fence with standoffs. It provides a non-lethal electric shock to anyone who touches the wire.

I think technically that you are required to post a sign for an electric fence, warning people that it is electrified. That’s fine, the sign serves as a deterrent too. But posting it doesn’t mean that you have to post it every five feet. Find out the minimum requirements for your area, they aren’t real close. For example, Forth Worth, Texas requires posting every 25 feet. So be sure to do that and not allow it to be any farther, so that you are in compliance with the law.

Tripwires

The term “tripwire” can mean a number of different things. Typically, trip wires are connected to alarms of some sort, regardless of whether they are mechanical or electronic tripwires. They can also be connected to a variety of snares and traps, all of which would be of questionable legality.

If you don’t have your lights and cameras set up on a motion detector, I’d recommend an electronic tripwire just inside the borders of your property. These usually use some sort of laser, which unlike the ones they use in Hollywood, are invisible. Properly mounted in hidden locations, they are virtually undetectable and can turn on your lights and cameras.

6 Traps to Place on Your Property Against Looting Rioters

However, there is another way that I think you can get away with using tripwires on your property and that is to use them to trip people. Running ankle-high wires across your lawn, firmly anchored, so that they won’t pull out, can be an effective way of tripping up anyone who comes onto your property, without permission. You will probably need to grow your grass a bit higher to hide them, but it will be worth it.

Spike Strips

Spike strips are one of the few traps which are not illegal. While you can’t use caltrops to puncture tires, you can use spike strips. Go figure. Placed across your driveway or even embedded into it, these can make sure that anyone driving onto your property isn’t going to be driving back off.

Of course, this is only useful if someone is driving onto your property. It’s not going to do you much good against protesters on foot. So this method is of limited utility. Even so, it might be worth doing.

6 Traps to Place on Your Property Against Looting Rioters

One thing you need to know about this is that while the spike strips are not illegal, you might end up having to pay for people’s tires, even those who enter your property without permission. Taking care of those damaged tires just might be the price to be paid, in order to avoid being charged for some crime.

Dig a Ditch

If you have enough property, one of the best things you can do is to dig a “drainage ditch” at the edge of your property. Dug properly, that ditch can be made easy to get into and out of from the street side but difficult to get out of on your property side. That way, anyone who gets into it, might not get any farther.

6 Traps to Place on Your Property Against Looting Rioters

If you want to make that even worse, put a barbed wire fence in the bottom of it and throw a bunch of junk in the bottom too. Old rusty junk with sharp edges and corners will make transitioning that ditch even harder, discouraging people from even trying.

Once again, this won’t be perfect, because they can always come in via your driveway. I guess you could turn it into a moat and install a drawbridge, but keeping the crocodiles in the moat might be difficult.

What Could Happen In One Year If The Economy Does Not Restart – The time has come for preppers to take advantage of all their hard work

You could argue that we are already 6 months into a shattered economy. Towards the end of March nearly half of the nation was in some form of lockdown. From that moment the wheels of the economy began to grind to a halt.

Most Americans assumed that by the summer we would be firing the economy back up, people would be spending hard on big vacations after being locked up and the economy would bounce right back. Now we are back to making tough decisions as the first wave of COVID-19 creeps into new places and cases spike as people peek out into the world to see if all is clear.

Historical Cues

In 1929 the ball started rolling on the great depression. Hoover came to power and took little action to assure the economy would remain sound.

It was clear that the stock market had peaked, and the roaring 20s growth had reached its limits

By 1930 Hoover was imposing greater tariffs on foreign nations which started to collapse international trade. There were massive bank failures that year and some of the nation’s biggest banks and their affiliates, many did not belong to the Fed. This meant they had to survive on their own cash reserves. Bank runs soon followed.

The first year into The Great Depression was punctuated by the Dust Bowl which was a tremendous drought that stymied food production in the nation. 23 states were affected and even farmers themselves were going hungry!

By the way, did you know that congress bailed out the banks in 1932 to the tune of 2 BILLION dollars! It is estimated that would have been a 30-Billion-dollar bailout in today’s money. Sound familiar?

World Affairs

Never has the world been run by a benevolent superpower. Just think about that for a moment. America is not out conquering, in the literal sense. Let’s not get into the semantics. We help people. We give money, we give our doctors, we render aid and we promote democracy. It may never be better than this.

America could be the first and last benevolent superpower on the planet.

If we face a longer period of economic depression there is no doubt that the world will suffer right along side us. Depressions lead to isolationist thinking. In 1931 Great Britain became the first nation to abandon the gold standard and abandoned their role as the world’s major international lender.

A world pressed into isolationist thinking will eventually result in war. The isolationist policies of the US, following the Great Depression, kept America away from WWII until Pearl Harbor. However, similar thinking lead to Japan moving into China and Germany into Poland.

The US Dollar

The state of the US dollar is an interesting thing because its value is all about confidence. Its about confidence in the constant progress and growth of the United States.

For years I have been listening to a mixture of scoundrels and economists, sometimes one in the same, proclaim that the death of the dollar was just around the corner.

Our nation has been burning through dollars as though its value were some strain of Pandemic more deadly than the Spanish Flu that needs to be burned out before it can spread.

We are pumping money into the banks, businesses and even the taxpayers are getting a sliver to assure they keep the machine alive.

If the rotors on the US economy were to slow down even more and imports dropped substantially, confidence in the US dollar would undoubtedly falter. Add to that a growing civil unrest in the streets and a government struggling to control it. It’s easy to see how other nations might present their currency as a viable replacement to the once unstoppable US dollar.

Of course, this would lead to real inflation and the nightmare we all hope to avoid.

Food Shortages

As we speak there are serious food shortages affecting our nation.

The supermarkets are doing their absolute best to keep up with it but if the supply is not there than there is not much you can do. People are eating at home like never, in recent times, and many industries are struggling.

The largest brand in beverages addressed their issues on a social media platform:

“We are seeing greater demand for products consumed at home & taking measures to adapt, working to mitigate the challenge during this unprecedented time. We appreciate your loyalty to our beverages; please know that we’re working hard to keep the products you love on the shelves.”

You have seen the shelves yourself. Despite the fact that less people are working, and less people are traveling, there is less food than ever.

Big names like Conagra, General Mills and even Campbells Soup are working overtime to meet demand but falling short.

Civility

The streets are already alive on the topics of inequality and capitalism. I read that 1/3 of all restaurants in LA are going under no matter what happens. To understand the effect that has on the economy you must look at the restaurant supply chain on a hole.

1/3 of the employees in that market never go back to work, 1/3 of the orders placed by restaurants for food and other supplies will disappear affecting an already ailing restaurant supply industry.

This works its way back to factories and farms. A tsunami of layoffs and closures rushes through the restaurant supply chain.

This is just one industry.

People have to work. When people don’t have work and they don’t have money they go into the streets. They go there for answers. They hold up signs or burn down buildings. Depending on how bad it gets and how long it lasts, they might run up into homes and take what they need.

Civility in our nation will be at a breaking point if our economy suffers for a full year.

Families

We like to think that our love and our families will get us through the hardest times. That might be true for some, but it has hardly been true for all through this lockdown and subsequent civil unrest. There has been a spike in all kinds of destructive behavior.

We saw domestic violence up as much as 27 percent through May. Drug overdoses also saw a significant spike. Divorces and custody battles were just another example of how being locked down and out of work can affect the family dynamic.

Those numbers came from just 2 months of struggle. Imagine what it would look like if people were out of work for a longer period!

A second American Depression would undoubtedly send the world at large into a tailspin. We buy everything! To be frank. Our tourism dollars are precious, and these are just examples of what we do from a consumerist perspective.

There is a chance other powers would step into the fold to take advantage of a weakened America. Would China finally have their chance? While it sounds like a nice plot, they stand to lose the most from an American Depression!

The time has come for you to build your own economies. You need local suppliers and businesses that you and yours can sustain through this dark time. It is a time for self-reliance and independence. It is a time for preppers to take advantage of all their hard work.

What Kind Of Guns Are Best Stored To Leave As An Inheritance

Anyone who has ever gone in a gun store understands that guns can be expensive. Those of us who own several of them (and who doesn’t?) can have quite a bit of money invested in our gun collection. That makes it something to be considered as an important part of our kids’ inheritance, when the time comes.

But the financial value of our guns isn’t the only reason to consider carefully what we’re leaving behind. Ongoing efforts by leftist politicians to eliminate or severely restrict our Second Amendment rights could make it difficult or outright illegal for our children to buy the guns they might want in the future.

That means that leaving our guns to them is more than leaving something of financial value, it’s leaving a legacy of being able to throw off a tyrannical government, should that become necessary; the very reason why we have a Second Amendment in the first place.

Granted, few people think about their legacy when buying guns, but maybe we should. Rather than just buying guns because we like them, perhaps we should be looking at those guns from the viewpoint of what they will mean to our kids, either from a financial or from a freedom point of view. If the choice is between buying one gun or another (as it often is), then it just make sense to buy guns which will mean more to our kids than just being guns.

With that in mind, here are some ideas of what kinds of guns you might want to consider buying, or what of your guns you might want to take some extra care in storing away, just to make sure that your kids end up with them.

Guns with Sentimental Value

Pass them on to Your Children as an Inheritance

Probably the most important category of firearms to leave to your children are those with some sort of sentimental value. This can mean different things to different people.

Perhaps it’s the gun your child shot their first deer with or one that belonged to your granddad. Maybe it’s one they carried in the war or an enemy firearm they brought back home as a souvenir.

Regardless of where that gun came from, it’s something that has meaning to your family. That makes it worth having.

Historic Firearms

Pass them on to Your Children as an Inheritance

Perhaps some of those family heirlooms are old enough to be considered historic firearms.

If so, they could be worth a lot of money. Old firearms, especially rare historic pieces, can be extremely valuable. I know a man who was able to secure a loan to buy property and build his home, using his historic firearm collection as collateral.

True antique collectors of any sort know how to find a bargain. They rarely pay full price for the things they collect. Rather, they keep their eyes open for deals on items, which others don’t realize the value of.

My friend built his antique firearm collection that way and my mother built a collection of antique glass the same way. In both cases, they paid much, much less than the “book value” of their acquisitions.

Commemorative Firearms

Pass them on to Your Children as an Inheritance

If you want to buy firearms that will go up in value, then you should be looking at commemorative firearms.

Many of these are absolutely beautiful engraved pieces, and only a few of them are made. While the market for reselling these commemorative firearms is small, people are willing to pay big bucks for them.

My dad’s retirement business was carving custom gun-stocks for one-of-a-kind commemorative firearms. These were typically done for collectors, but a few of his pieces are on display at museums now. A well done commemorative firearm is truly a work of art; something that is worth putting on display.

AR-15s

What Kind of Guns are Best Stored, so You can Pass them on to Your Children as an Inheritance

If there is any one category of firearms that our children may not be able to buy, it’s the various models of the AR-15. More than any other category of firearm on the market, AR-15s are in the sights of those who want to diminish or eliminate our right to bear arms.

The stated reason for going after our AR-15s is that they are “assault rifles” or “military grade firearms,” both of which are untrue statements. Yes, they look like military grade firearms, they’re supposed to. But they aren’t.

Nevertheless, if there is ever a second civil war or revolutionary war in our country, this will be the number one firearm used by the public. That’s probably the real reason why they want to take them away from us.

Semi-Automatic Pistols

Pass them on to Your Children as an Inheritance

The other category of firearms that seems to come under attack is semi-automatic pistols, especially those with large magazine capacities.

Again, there’s a stated reason for this, but there’s also the potential for a more nefarious reason to try and take them from us. Going up against armed soldiers is bad enough; doing so with a six-shooter doesn’t sound like any fun at all.

Semi-automatic pistols also happen to be the best thing to use in defending yourself and your home. That alone is a good reason to make sure that you leave some to your kids. I actually ended up giving my daughter and her husband matching pistols as a wedding gift. I’ve got a great picture of them, looking like a couple of gangsters, with their matching pistols.

Ghost Guns

Pass them on to Your Children as an Inheritance

If they ever do manage to start confiscating firearms, our best protection and the best protection for our children, is to have untraceable firearms.

In other words, I’m talking about firearms that don’t have a serial number stamped on them. This is actually legal, if you build the firearm 100% by yourself.

There are a number of firearm frames or lower receivers which you can buy 80% versions of. This means that the frame or receiver is only 80% complete. They haven’t been completed by the manufacturer.

According to the law, they are parts in process, so they don’t have to have a serial number. The serial number would have to be added once the parts pass the next step in manufacturing. But if you do that step yourself, finishing out the part and then the gun, they never have to have a serial number added, because you aren’t a firearms manufacturer.

This makes them completely off the books and untraceable by the government.

Should gun confiscations ever start, there would be no way of the government knowing that these guns exist. Therefore, as long as they are kept hidden, they would not be confiscated. That would make them available to your children to defend family and home, or even if there is a second American revolution.

Black Powder Reproduction Firearms

Pass them on to Your Children as an Inheritance

Another category of firearms that are not regulated and tracked are black powder firearm reproductions, which are considered historic firearms. You can buy kits for a number of different models of black powder rifles and pistols, which can be built by anyone with a decent workshop and average do-it-yourself skills.

The resulting firearms will be both functional and attractive.

Granted, these would not be very effective in that second American revolution; but they would still be effective for home defense.

Besides, it’s just something cool to have in a case, hanging on the wall. For your kids to be able to say “Yeah, my dad made that” would probably be a great experience for them.

10 Tips To Choose The Best Tactical Knife

We have spent a lot of time outdoors and at home testing and researching tactical knives to find the best qualities you need to keep an eye out for when choosing a tactical knife.

On the outset, if you do want a great performing tactical knife that delivers a top-of-the-line performance is the Schrade SCHF9, which offers a tough and reliable fixed blade, a light make and secure design at a reasonable price. Our second choice is the ESEE 4P fixed blade, which is much smaller and just as reliable. But if you are looking to shop around for a tactical knife, this article will show you what you need to look for.

Historically, knives usually had one specific purpose and that was to cause damage to a target, whether that be a prey animal or an opponent. Nowadays, the use of a knife is far different as it comes with a multitude of practical uses every day, some professions more than others.

The design and construction are primarily influenced by their utility and historical influence. But the basic design of a knife remains the same. It has a non-grip handle with some sort of hand guard than a blade that will either be single or double-edged depending on the age and geographical origin.

Given that these kinds of knives are useful for getting any kind of jobs done whether it be survival outdoors, as an EDC knife, or for just around the home, it is necessary that you will not only find a tactical knife that can work with basic needs but a knife that can meet whatever preferences you have. The process of finding the best one might be a crucial task for some, but having the following guides in choosing will help you to get the best one.

So let’s take a look at what you should keep in mind when looking for a great tactical knife.

Is it a fixed blade knife or folding knife?

Some tactical knives have a folding blade, making them easy to transport and small for pocket use. The other type is a fixed blade knife which would be kept in a sheath. Both types of knives are great and have their own pros and cons, but are each as good as the other.

Whether you choose between a folding knife or a fixed blade knife, it is necessary that the one that you will choose can fit in with your uses.

There are some strong tactical pocket knives out there but when you are in a hunting scenario, you tend to get the performance you need from a knife better if it was a fixed blade because they require less maintenance and their full body construction just cannot be matched against a folding blade. All regular and special forces have their own version of folding knives or fixed blade full tang tactical knives because you know that the performance will be there when you need it.

Blade design

Tactical knives seem to be evolving into a single design. A tactical knife today has a wide variety of uses, such as self-defense, opening cans, breaking car glass, cutting flexible material and rations as well as capable of being used to dig small holes in the ground. While earlier military knives have a spear point and mostly double-edged, today’s tactical knives have a single edge and are partly serrated. The spine seldom is completely smooth and usually has a clip point edge.

Blade core

Tactical knives usually have a high-carbon steel construction because it holds an edge and points better. This is very important since you will not have a lot of time to properly sharpen your blades in a combat situation if you are in a profession that requires that, and having a reliable point is a requirement for your knife.

Size of the tactical knife

If you are aiming for a knife that you can carry anywhere you want, then there are many choices that you can get on the market.

Take note that choosing a large knife is not recommendable, contrary to what you see in different action movies. Most of the time, small blades can meet the expectations of users and even override those that other knives can provide. Military tactical knives are seldom more than 10 inches long with a blade consisting of at least half of the total length.

You don’t need a monster knife to get the job done, that is what most will tell you and that is quite true.

Ergonomic handle

Keep in mind that when choosing a tactical knife, the handle is also important just like the blade. Take time to pick a knife that is designed with finger grooves and a textured pattern. It is also better that your knife will have a grip that can help you in holding the handle firmly. Though there are many kinds of materials that you can choose from, it is best that you choose one you are familiar with, or that has been peer reviewed.

Handle grip

The grip most tactical knives have is a non-slip design but how they achieve such purpose is where the difference remains. Some knives have finger grooves while others use various “grippy” materials. Either way, most of these knives will have a form of handguard to prevent the hand from slipping and for any liquid to drip to the handle.

Weight of the tactical knife

Aside from the size, you should also take care in choosing the weight of a tactical knife. The weights range from the type of material used with the blade. When you choose a heavier blade, you can expect it to last for a long time even in rough uses. On the other hand, choosing lighter blades are more recommended to be used for normal daily tasks.

No matter what weight you choose for what seems to be the ideal knife for you, it is still best that you pick the one suitable for your uses.

The perfect weight of a tactical knife must be balanced in a certain way that you can easily carry it wherever you go and can assist your easily with any tasks. A knife with a weight of 10 to 15 ounces is considered as an ideal one to be used and carried around. There are people who think that choosing heavy knives are way better than the light ones. But such knives could easily tire any user especially when stuck in the wilderness.

Observe the tang

For those of you who are wondering what the tang of a knife is, it is essentially the body, or ‘tongue’ of the blade that connects to the handle. There are a number of terms you will see when looking for a knife, such as full tang, half tang or even a rat-tail tang. Essentially, a full tang is much like a sword, it is one single body with no separation between the blade and the handle. A half tang will be mended into the handle, either with glue or heat. It is two separate parts.

It is recommended that you pick those with a tang that is extending to the handle or what is called as a full tang. Picking a knife with an extended or full tang can provide more sturdiness and more durability to the knife. Most military tactical knives have a fixed blade full tang construction to maximize strength.

Full tang construction is the one thing that most tactical knives have in common. Most tactical knives even have an extended tang design that allows their users to have a strong pummel at the bottom of the handle that can be used for a number of purposes. Take note that knives with shorter tangs are prone to breaking easily after an exhaustive work.

Knife capabilities

This is the most important factor that you should consider when looking for a tactical knife to make sure that it can serve its purpose in your life.

If you are planning to buy a knife that can work on your repair tasks anywhere you may go, then a multipurpose model is the suitable one for your choice. It is best that you consider checking the features of a particular tactical knife and what it can do for you.

Lastly, the sheath

A bad sheath will always make an unreliable knife. For a good tactical knife, it is necessary that you will pick a sheath that is rugged and covers the knife completely. Choose knives with sheaths that can cover it well to keep it secured every time you use it.

Don’t forget to visit the two best tacticals knives we mentioned at the start of this article. If you are looking for top performing knives, the Schrade and the ESEE are fit for your needs.

With these guidelines in mind, you can be sure that you will not make a wrong decision by picking only the best tactical knives that you will be adding to your collection.

Is the Purge Real in America? Here’s How it Could Happen

For one night, laws do not exist. Would you survive?

The Purge – it is a concept where laws stop being enforced and the crazies of the world let loose and do whatever they want without consequence. But it has happened before, and it was exactly what you expect, murder, chaos, and complete anarchy, as society saw the worst in people.

If you haven’t heard of The Purge, it is a popular film series wherein for one night of the year people can do whatever they want without the restriction of rules or laws. Basically, for 12 hours, anything goes, and is supported by the government due to crime rates dropping, population control and revenue from weapons and security.

But what if the purge happened in real life? Well, it did. In Espirito Santo, Brazil, where police went on strike and the murder rate climbed by 650% in just three days.

Let’s take a look at what happened in that version of the Purge, and see what would happen and how to survive in a real-life purge.

The Brazil Purge: Three days of anarchy

For me, I always like to think that in tough times, people would work together to pull through. I have seen this happen in natural disaster cleanups and flood recovery efforts, where communities have banded together to volunteer and help clean up, repair, and share supplies. But that’s not all true, and the Brazil Purge was a reflection of the chaotic morals that some can people possess.

When police in the State of Espirito Santo took a six-day strike over work conditions and wages in February 2017, it was a sign to many that people could do whatever they wanted to with no repercussions whatsoever.

In one city alone, just after a few days, there were a reported 52 murders, thousands of cases of rape, theft, shops being robbed, vehicles being torched and people fighting with guns and machetes on the streets attacking and killing whoever they please. It was an awful scene not only for Brazil but for humanity.

As a response to the lawlessness and chaos, the Brazilian military stormed the streets to retake control from the ungrouped criminals and restore order and discipline.

To survive the Brazil Purge, many locals stayed in their homes during the entire ordeal. They boarded up their windows, kept all lights off, and sat armed with whatever they had in their house listening to the screams and gunshots in the streets outside. One of the locals said that things were “absolutely crazy” and that there were “people running around with guns in pretty populated areas, dozens of people stealing from malls, even dead bodies on streets”.

Because of the complete lawlessness, schools, parks, and health services closed. This meant that there was no way any injuries, medical treatments or vaccinations for a yellow fever outbreak which Espirito Santo residents were battling with.

This goes to show that if the purge really did happen, there would be much more at stake than just violence and disorder, as services have to close down. Hospitals, food supply lines and other necessities that we need every day would have to shut down due to security concerns, which would cripple a city, state, or country, months after social order has been regained.

Where did the Purge come from?

The idea of the Purge isn’t new. In fact, the idea of the Purge comes from the concept of two different ancient traditions that had lawlessness and social disorder as their overarching themes.

Saturnalia – The first tradition was the Roman festival Saturnalia. The festival was a week-long carnival that allowed illegal activities, as well as role reversals where the servants of that time were served by their masters. During the festival, not only were ritualistic sacrifices made to gods, but it was also a holiday from all forms of work. This meant that schools were closed, courts were not open, and no enforcement of rules was able to be carried out.

The role reversal side of the festival enabled slaves to mistreat their masters which I am sure many servants enjoyed the experience of. Every slave had the utmost freedom to do and say whatever they wanted. This kept with the overall theme of the festival, which was to turn the current world upside down and cause chaos by reversing everyday norms and practices.

Krypteia – Another tradition, which I believe has more of a similarity to the Purge’s theme, is the Krypteia tradition of Spartans. Specially chosen Spartan men who had excelled in their training were instructed to go out into the Helot countryside and surrounding villages and kill any person they wanted and take any food they pleased. The tradition’s reasoning was to prevent the threat of rebellion and to keep the Helot population in control.

If these pre-18th Century festival were to be revived today, we would ultimately see something similar to the Purge happen and a recreation of the Brazil Purge. But what if the purge was real? Let’s take a look at what would happen.

What if the purge was real?

As far as the film series goes, ‘The Purge’ is a fictitious ‘civic tradition’ embedded in America’s constitution by a political party that goes by the name of “The New Founding Fathers of America”. Their rise to power was during a financial collapse where poverty, crime, and national debt was at its highest. In the films, the Purge is a tradition that benefits the nation’s health by greatly decreasing crime rates, unemployment, a strong economy through the purchase of weapons and home security, and population control.

Now don’t forget, this is only a movie. But what if the purge was real? While Brazil’s Purge was unorganized and started without much notice, the purge in real life would be quite different and as an organized and calendered event, is something that would allow for more preparation and leadup.

What would happen before the purge?

If the purge was to happen, in the buildup before it people would stock up on supplies and protection. This was one of the resounding factors that the film hit on with the purge’s economic success – gun sales and home security purchases would go through the roof in the weeks and months ahead of the event. I have no doubt that preppers would have already stockpiled what they need well ahead of an event such as this, and would be the best prepared to keep their family safe.

Businesses – I imagine businesses would need the most preparation for a purge event. While violence on the streets is one of the biggest issues, looting and theft would come in at a very close second, as all laws are removed. This means that if you are a shop owner, you would have to consider using high-impact proof and bulletproof windows with exterior sheeting protection.

Governments would also have a responsibility to safeguard banks. In a world without rules or laws, while most of the criminals are committing violent crimes, the more organized criminals will be targeting financial institutions in an attempt to make a high monetary gain in their 12-hour lawless window.

Community meetings – While businesses and government buildings will be focussing on their structural protection and defenses, community organizations will group together to have a plan of attack in regards to what they will be doing during the purge. The film shows that most people have a hidden agenda and that their true inner-criminal nature comes out during the purge, I believe that a higher amount of people have decent morals and would rather stay safe than to be on the streets looking for potential victims.

The community meetings would no doubt focus on the concern of safety for those who are more vulnerable in society. This includes the elderly (retirement centers and elderly living on their own), children and animals.

Bugging out – If there were to be an event like this, there will be mass traffic jams of people leaving city areas, looking to escape to the wilderness or safe country areas with few, or no other, people around. There is no doubt that the worst possible place you could be in during a societal breakdown or a purge would be an urban or city environment. The more people there are around you, the more likely you are to be the victim of a criminal.

As with all rules of bugging out of an event, leaving early is the wisest decision. Packing the car and driving out of the city just before a purge starts will leave you stuck in thick, congested traffic surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of anxious and stressed people looking to protect themselves and their families in a lawless world. Instead, planning a much earlier departure would be a safer bet.

Where would the best place be to bug out of a purge? Out of the country, of course. If a purge is only country-wide, that means the lawlessness only applies to that area. Ideally, situating yourself in an embassy or international airport would afford you the protection of international, not domestic laws. However, as social chaos ensues, I’d much prefer to be out of the country, or at least out of a busy area.

Now while these are some of the preparations to keep yourself safe, or your business secure, in a possible purge, there will also be meticulous planning and preparation done by the people who would benefit the most out of it – the criminals and gangs. Most organized crime syndicates and gangs would have predetermined spots they would hit, whether they would be opposing gang-owned territories, common enemies, or financial institutions.

What would happen during the purge if it was real?

The streets would be quiet for the most part. There are, of course, areas where it would be busier. Most of the busy areas would be ones where we already see much of the violence on the news, such as gang member-dominant areas and low-socioeconomic regions. The violence (statistically already high) would just increase in those areas.

For more wealthier neighborhoods, families would instead focus on staying indoors and safe, rather than risking their lives on the street for the sake of being a criminal. If the purge was real the choice would be simple, if you want to be a criminal you would put yourself at risk of being killed by another criminal. If you want to stay safe, staying in a secure home, or bugging out, would greatly increase your chances of survival rather than getting involved in a gunfight.

What about after the purge?

While the purging in the franchise films works well as people slip back into their normal, non-criminal mindset and claims it helps the nation, in reality, this would not be the case for people or society.

For people in the purge – For the people that have participated in the purge, it is not just a paintball game where you put down your gun at the ring of a timer. If your family or friends have been killed by someone there is a natural tendency to seek revenge and continue the fight, whether it is legal or not. This is definitely the case for gangs who are at war with each other. There is no peace treaty at the sound of the horn. Instead, they will most likely continue warring on well and truly after a purge has finished.

For the more civil individuals that participated in the purge, there would be no trust in a community for them. In a true lawless society, we would see some people change and become deviants, anarchists and sadistic as their true inner-nature is revealed. The same applies to the concept of the purge. Those nice neighbors of yours might be true inner criminals, and after seeing that, how could you, or anyone else in a community, accept those people knowing full well that they cannot be trusted at all?

For businesses – I imagine no matter what precautions a lot of businesses take, nothing can withstand a truck driving through the front door allowing the complete looting of the business. During natural disasters and protests, damaged stores would generally be able to claim much of the damage and stolen or missing contents through their business insurance, however with the purge, insurance agencies would either have a clause rendering purge-related claims invalid, or many insurance agencies would go bankrupt with the number of claims they would have to pay out.

For emergency services and medical facilities – Medical admissions is where the aftermath of the purge would be felt the most, as people start checking themselves in with gunshot wounds, knife wounds and other things resulting from the night before’s activities. This would create an immense over-demand on the medical system with the country’s hospitals not having enough space, staff, or supplies to cater for all of the injuries and casualties a purge has caused.

Financial – While the film’s purge was formed as a way to boost the country’s economy, in fact, a 12-hour purge would likely cripple the economy. Trucks would stop driving, supplies would stop moving and trading, and systems would stop functioning as workers would all be pent up in their homes waiting for the criminals to have their free-roam period. Then, as the country resumes trading, it would be slapped with an enormous bill as the country goes into recovery crisis mode with emergency services dealing with the cleanup, public works repairing public property, and businesses out of operation leaving a high rate of unemployment. This would cripple a country’s services, economy and productivity rate and a reason why a purge would never happen.

How would you survive the purge?

Okay, so let’s face it, whatever government is present, there will never be such a system as the purge. It just won’t happen. But that’s not saying that something similar can’t happen, as we saw in Brazil. Instead, what is more likely to happen is lawlessness during a crisis. So how would you survive a purge scenario? Here’s some simple tips.

Don’t be there – No matter what the circumstance, get out of dodge and go somewhere safe and well ahead of time. Doing this early ensures that you don’t get caught in the congested traffic with everyone else getting out, or that you are blocked by criminals eager to start early. Instead, leave at least a few days, if not a week, early and have the supplies to last you an extended amount of time longer than just the set period.

If you have no option but to stay during a purge or chaotic society, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of survival.

Stay indoors – In an event where criminals are in the streets doing whatever they want, your best bet of survival is to hide and stay indoors. The priority is to make sure your home is secure, but not so secure that you have high fences, barbed wire and security cameras all the way around, as that just creates more of an incentive for criminals to see what is behind all of that security. Instead, using more ‘grey man’ home security techniques, as well as reinforcing any entry points to your home from the inside will work as a much more efficient type of security.

Hide even further – If you have a hidden attic, basement, or a wardrobe that is hard to find, hide in that. Having that extra level of invisibility when criminals are doing a quick search of your house could be enough for them to conduct a search and deem the house as clear.

Have something to defend with – If it’s a person carrying a weapon, you can’t fight it barehanded. Simple home defense items are kitchen instruments or garage tools that are able to cut or bludgeon an intruder.

Stay away from the safe places – If you have to leave the home, don’t go to a place you think would be safe. Essentially, safe places such as shelters, schools, police stations and food halls will be fishing nets for criminals waiting for desperate people to come. The best idea is to avoid any type of public place or place where people gather, altogether. Instead, move further out of town or away from central areas and stick to the back roads and quieter areas.

Would you survive the purge?

If a purge was to happen in the country, it would signify to me that it’s time to buy a one-way ticket and leave that place until the government sorts itself out. Thankfully, we can all remain assured that an event such as the purge is only going to stay in the movies.

But as we have seen in the Brazil Purge, similar scenarios can, and do, happen. So if the purge was real, do you think you would survive?

HOW WELL YOU CAN SURVIVE, AMIDST LOOTING, VIOLENCE AND THE DESPERATION OF THE UNDER- OR COMPLETELY UNPREPARED, WILL DEPEND ON YOUR OWN GOOD SENSE AND YOUR ABILITY TO PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME

Whether you’re unsure of how to plan for a bug out situation because you don’t know where you would bug out to, or you simply prefer the idea of battening down the hatches in your current dwelling to weather whatever catastrophe may strike, urban survival and bugging in are two important topics that are quite worthy of consideration.

Most people now live in developed suburban and urban areas rather than out in the countryside, so in the event of an emergency, many people are going to find themselves trying to survive in the concrete jungle.

How well you can survive, amidst looting, violence and the desperation of the under- or completely unprepared, will depend on your own good sense and your ability to prepare ahead of time. Aside from stocking up on basic supplies like food and water, you don’t have to spend a fortune to prepare yourself for urban survival or bugging in, either.

First and foremost, one of the most important things to consider is self-defense for yourself and your loved ones. If an emergency crops up or a disaster strikes, law enforcement will likely be overwhelmed or possibly disbanded entirely, leaving civilians vulnerable to criminals. Those who are clearly well prepared become immediate targets of the unprepared.

To mitigate your risk of being targeted there are some very good things you can do (please note that these are basic guidelines, which can and should be adapted to the specifics of your circumstances and the emergency or disaster that has occurred):

  • Identify local resources ahead of time, including water alternative water sources for if / when the taps run dry. A reliable water source and method of purification is critical not only to basic survival but also to maintaining any semblance of cleanliness and proper hygiene, which is in turn necessary to avoid the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Avoid detection by boarding over the windows, keeping lights off at night (don’t underestimate the pitch black of a night without urban light pollution; your lights will stand out and draw attention to you, so keep them off) and entering or exiting your home from a discreet location or when no one is around.
  • Secure your home or dwelling as well as you can, without being too obvious and drawing attention from the exterior. Additional reinforcement at doors (if not to stop then at least to slow intruders) such as door jammers or barricades, chain locks and additional bolts can all make entries and exits more secure. If it is within your means to do so, you can also use the Russian method of a double door; the front door of an entry point is a heavy, solid metal door with multiple bolts and chain locks, followed by a secondary door of heavy, solid wood with a peep hole or viewing hole, additional chain locks, bolts, etc. If you’ve ever seen a traditional Russian tenement, you know what this looks like.
  • Whenever possible, try to cultivate a closer and more unified community amongst your neighbors ahead of time. If SHTF and you’re prepared but no one else on your street is, you may find yourself having to hide from or deceive the people you live alongside. Alternatively, your needy neighbors may end up targeting you in their desperation. A closer and better-developed community is especially necessary in the event of any long-term survival situation that may arise following a serious collapse or disaster.
  • Maintain an unattractive appearance to your house; while many people may be inclined to erect a veritable fortress around their house, this is more apt to draw attention to your location; a house that looks guarded and well stocked is an attractive target to roaming gangs who will probably outnumber and/or outgun you eventually. By comparison, a house that doesn’t look like much, is overgrown in the yard, and has every appearance of having already been ransacked a time or two, is far less likely to attract attention.

Now, in terms of your food and water, when you’re planning on bugging in you are at something of an advantage. Bugging in has its disadvantages, too, but if you have the room for food storage, you can eat like a proverbial king while bugging in.

Compared to bugging out, when every ounce of weight in your pack matters and canned food is a heavy luxury item, if you’ve got an empty pantry to fill, canned foods offer a great, economical investment in tasty, quality food that will generally last 3 – 5 years or longer. Compare that to an MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) or some astronaut food.

Also, avoid burning your dwelling down; keep a few fire extinguishers stored for use in case of an emergency and practice safe cooking rules when using fire at any time. Lighting fires inside your home or using a grill is not recommended; if you don’t have a fireplace, don’t light fires inside, period. Likewise, don’t leave anything cooking unattended and if you ever try to dispose of trash or yard debris by burning it be extremely careful.

Finally, a well-packed urban survival bag (also sometimes called a get home bag) can be invaluable in case of an emergency that strikes while you’re away from home. Packed with slightly different supplies than a standard bug out bag, an urban survival bag is designed to help you survive an emergency long enough to travel from your current location to your home or to another suitable location you intend to bug out from.

Items commonly packed in an urban survival bag include:

  • A basic emergency first aid kit
  • Fine particle masks (or possibly a gas mask)
  • A window punch (for use escaping from a vehicle or building when glass obstructs you)
  • A crowbar
  • Potentially a small quantity of cash
  • A pair of sturdy shoes (and possibly socks) esp. for women who wear heels regularly
  • Sunglasses, a handkerchief or bandana, and;
  • Some water and/or snacks for the trip home, it might be a long walk

You’ll probably also want a flashlight with spare batteries, a small, portable radio and a thermal blanket and/or warm jacket, depending on the climate you live in. You might want coins for operating a payphone, and if you rely on your cell phone for important numbers then write down those numbers in an address book and toss it in your emergency bag just in case.

For long-term urban survival following a bug in, there are several additional points to take into consideration, but to get into everything here would go beyond the scope of this article.

Suffice to say, for long-term urban survival following a crisis, emergency or other collapse, there would be concerns with trash, vermin and rodents, as well as sanitation, human waste removal, medical care, new food production, guard duties and additional security, and keeping yourself healthy.

How to Make a Nutritious One-Year Shelf-Life Vitamin Bar for Your Stockpile

Shelf stable nutrition is a big part of creating a sound food storage program. Nutritional diversity should be something you concern yourself with while you are building up your deep pantry and your long-term food storage solutions.

This is one of the reasons why you are seeing preppers focus much more on food production like gardening, livestock and even hunting. We all understand that a decade of rice and beans doesn’t offer the type of nutritional profile that anyone really desires.

You have more say in what goes into your body than you think.

Homemade Food Storage

What was once a buyer’s game, food storage has become just as much about DIY in the prepper’s journey. One thing you can say about preppers is that our skills and motivations evolve quickly. We are talking about a group that has only existed, in name, for a decade.

The media portrayal and main sources of information taught us early on the fact that preppers were stock pilers who worked hard to buy and train their way to survival in a post collapse, SHTF landscape. This could include dried foods, guns, bunkers, and any other extreme measures to survive.

Eventually, the movement started to round out. It got injected with some of the homesteading fever and before long preppers were looking at the quality of life overall. Massive changes started taking place and if you got the average prepper of 2010 in a room with a 2020 prepper, they would be speaking different languages.

Ownership is probably the right word. We have taken ownership of processes like food storage, food production, food preservation, community relationships and these things have made us much more formidable.

Understanding how to cook and make your own food is the basis of homemade food storage. I am going to show you how to create a dense vitamin bar that is filled with nutrition and has a 1-year shelf life. Now, making bars is a lot easier than you would think. I hope you give this one a try.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ Cup of Sunflower Seeds
  • ¼ Cup of Chopped Almonds
  • ¼ Cup of Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Cups of Quick Oats
  • ½ Cup of Honey
  • 1 Cup of Almond Butter
  • 2 TBSP of Coconut Oil
  • 1 TBSP of Turmeric
  • ½ TSP of Salt
  • 1 scoop of Protein Powder

Process:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

How to Make a Nutritious One-Year Shelf-Life Vitamin Bar for Your Stockpile
How to Make a Nutritious One-Year Shelf-Life Vitamin Bar for Your Stockpile
How to Make a Nutritious One-Year Shelf-Life Vitamin Bar for Your Stockpile
How to Make a Nutritious One-Year Shelf-Life Vitamin Bar for Your Stockpile

Mix your nuts, seeds turmeric, cranberries, and oats in a large bowl.Add the rest of the ingredients to a small saucepan and warm the mixture up together. This mix doesn’t have to simmer or anything, just warm it up, so it is pourable and mixable.Mix everything together in your large bowl and be very thorough. Try to coat every single oat with some of that mixture.Spread the mix out in an 8×8 baking dish. We are going to cook this mix for 30 minutes on an exceptionally low heat and try to dry it out for long term storage.Once they have cooled, cut them into squares.

You can now increase the shelf life of these bars even further by slipping them into a mylar bag, with an oxygen absorber and sealing them. You can get a year and beyond if you store these vitamin bars this way.

Nutritional Content

These vitamin bars pack a seriously nutritious punch! The nuts, seeds, turmeric, and oats take this mix to serious heights and the addition of your protein powder elevates things like Vitamin K, A, C, and Iron. Using protein powders also gives you the ability to increase things like Vitamin C without adding a bunch of sugar, with some types of dried fruit.

In the batch that I created in these pictures I excluded the cranberries and the mix was fine.

Oats are a complex carbohydrate, and this means you have a source of energy that burns slowly and consistently to give you energy throughout digestion. Processed sugar burns fast and enters the bloodstream like a blitzkrieg. It forces your body to release insulin to deal with it. This is a bad way for you to manage your energy systems.

All these benefits combine to make this simple, nutritious vitamin bar that can be stored for more than 1 year.

Sealing for 1 Year and Beyond

For those of you who have never used mylar and oxygen absorbers, this section will be particularly important. On the shelf you could likely get 1 year out of these bars, if you kept them in zip locks that were airtight and maybe stored them in a Tupperware as a second layer of protection.

However, to assure you get the necessary shelf life and that these Vitamin bars are there for you when you need them, you should invest in some Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers: 50cc Oxygen Absorbers, Quart Sized Mylar Bags.

Fill your quart bags about ¾ of the way with your cut bars and drop in one 50cc oxygen absorber. Squeeze as much of the air out of your bags as possible and using a hair straightener you can heat seal the bags closed.

Don’t forget to mark the bags, so you know what they are and when they were sealed. At this point you have nutritious Vitamin bars that will last 1 year and beyond!

Your prepper pantry and long-term food storage plan can be made up of much more than beans, rice, and canned goods. By creating your own foods and packing them yourself, you can create what you really want.

These nutritious Vitamin bars will give you a shelf life of one year and become a great snack that your family will love. Remember, you can add or subtract ingredients in these bars. You can also modify these ingredients.

Don’t use sunflower seeds if you don’t like them! Use walnuts or something else. If you don’t have almond butter at home than, use peanut butter. The taste will be different, but it will get the job done all the same. That is the beauty of cooking your own survival foods, you can create them however you want!

How To Survive And Thrive During A Time Of Crisis: Having the right people with the right skills in the right place, at the right time

I have never lived through a national scale crisis and like most people, I hope I never have to. That said, with the growing instability present in the state of the world today it would be rather foolish to assume that the near future holds nothing but fairy dust, unicorns and gumdrops. Preparation is a necessity.

Many Americans cannot yet relate to the concept of full spectrum crisis, but most of us have at least experienced localized disasters. In order to understand what a national emergency might look like, one simply needs to examine the microcosm of localized disasters and then imagine the same exact problems but magnified 1,000 times.

From my personal experience with local crises, I can say that the worst threat comes not from the event itself, but the ways in which people choose to deal with the event. That is to say, for smart, courageous and prepared people with the right traits and skills, there is no such thing as a crisis. For stupid people who overestimate their abilities or who let fear dominate their thinking, any crisis becomes an insurmountable moment of utter terror.

The right people in the right place at the right time — no crisis. The wrong people in the right place at the right time — total destruction. Therefore, the key to surviving any crisis is to have the right people in place, and to be well away from the wrong people.

The question is, who are the right people? How do we identify them? And, how do we examine ourselves and determine if we are ready or unready? Here are some of the increasingly rare character traits and skills that make a crisis manageable for any community.

The Ability To Act Without Permission

This is one of the hardest character qualities to find in people in a moment of crisis. Remember back to any crisis moments you have personally experienced and ask yourself how many people around you actually tried to solve the problem immediately, and how may stood around waiting for someone else to take the lead?

During larger scale disasters this frequently manifests as widespread apathy. Thousands or even millions of people milling around for someone in “authority” to tell them what they should do rather than taking measures themselves. I am not a big believer in leadership by dictation. The moment you give one or very few people the power to dictate the actions of entire groups, your society is already doomed. However, I am a believer in leadership by example because I have seen it work.

Unfortunately, people who have the ability to lead by example are few and far between. Without people of this quality within your community, it is unlikely you will survive. Decisiveness wins the day.

The Ability To Teach

When I mention the ability to teach, I am not referring to people who we designate officially as “teachers” or people who call themselves teachers. Most teachers do not actually know how to teach anything.

I am thoroughly convinced that the ability to to teach, to transfer knowledge in a way that people can easily understand and replicate, is an inborn skill — a few people are gifted with it, most people are not. I have seen men and women with expert level knowledge in numerous fields of study who are bumbling buffoons when it comes to passing that knowledge on to others. This is because it is not enough to have mastered a skill set; you must also be able to read other people and figure out how they process information. You have to be highly intuitive to teach, and this is not something that can be learned, it is something that comes naturally.

Finding great teachers during terrible times is the best way for a community to strengthen rather than weaken. It is also the only way that a society can rebuild after a collapse.

The Ability To Think Outside Of The Box

Crisis scenarios sometimes require imaginative solutions in order for the threat to be removed. Thinking outside of the box means a person is unafraid to gamble, and also unafraid to enact measures which have no precedence in history. Thinking outside of the box is not guaranteed to work, but it is a desirable trait when predictable responses are likely to fail.

An outside-the-box thinker is a kind of inventor – he invents or engineers a mechanism that no one else could have conceived of because he does not see the crisis in front of him in linear terms; he does not see it as a situation he is trapped within. Rather, he sees the crisis as if outside the bubble looking from above. Many people have done this at least once in their lives; few people are able to do this on a regular basis.

The Ability To Stay Calm

It is truly amazing how few people are able to recognize they are in the midst of an emergency or disaster and remain calm and collected. Keep in mind, people who are apathetic during a crisis are not “remaining calm,” they simply are too ignorant to understand the gravity of the situation. Remaining calm requires you to see the danger and to act accordingly without panic.

Vetting people for such a character trait is pretty easy; just watch how they respond to smaller stress events. Do they run and hide every time literally or psychologically, or do they stand their ground and work out the problem? Do they let their emotions take full control, or do they manage them?

Reactionaries can make any crisis far worse by their mere presence. Get rid of them, or teach them how to manage stress if you can.

The Ability To Direct Force Intelligently

Sometimes a crisis is not a natural event but a man-made event, and the only way to stop the crisis is to eliminate the man or men responsible. This requires self-defense, and self-defense requires force. Sadly, when most people do direct force to stop an attack rather than cowering in fear they tend to do it haphazardly and without intelligent direction. They simply lash out in anger, and sometimes the wrong people get hurt in the process.

This is kind of like using a shovel rather than a scalpel to scoop out a tumor.

The ability to direct force intelligently requires not only a propensity for acting without permission, but also in some cases remaining patient. When action is taken, it must be done with precision and insight. Finding a person who appreciates this methodology is like finding a four leaf clover nowadays.

The Ability To Psychologically Process Carnage

Disasters are usually messy and horrifying affairs leading to grisly and macabre scenes. The key is to be able to process the sight of such carnage without being mentally broken by it, while also maintaining one’s humanity. I call these people “quiet professionals.”

People who think that dealing with the pain and death of others requires you to act like a robot have missed the point entirely and are not safe and functional people to have present in a crisis.

Instead, it is vital that we continue to hold onto our empathy, but not let it disrupt our ability to take action to help those who are suffering. Anyone who simply shuts off all emotion is likely a sociopath, and while sociopaths do have a knack for functioning well in grisly jobs they also have a knack for putting other people at risk. Sociopaths are incapable of caring about others, while quiet professionals take responsibility for others despite the ugliness of the situation.

The Ability To Self-Sacrifice

This is not a quality that can be easily seen in other people. Situations that actually call for self-sacrifice usually occur only in the worst of times, and it is nearly impossible to know for certain how anyone, including ourselves, will act when that time comes.

To be clear, self-sacrifice by itself is not a noble quality. There are people out there that long for martyrdom, but they do so in the name of personal glory rather than in the name of saving others. Not only should self-sacrifice be enacted only when it is certain to save lives and no other options are available, it should also only be enacted without selfish aspirations of promoting one’s own legacy. Such an attitude invariably leads to disaster rather than redemption.

The Ability To Recognize When Others Are More Qualified To Accomplish A Task

It is vital that people have the ability to take initiative during a crisis and get things done. But, it is also vital for people to recognize when the person next to them is better qualified for a specific task.

“Leadership” — good leadership — is about deferring responsibilities in a practical way. If you cannot do this then you are not a leader, you are an annoyance or an obstacle. I have seen far too many people in leadership positions sabotage their own efforts by refusing to hand over responsibility to those better suited to certain tasks.

If you are a motivator, but not a teacher, then motivate your best teachers to teach rather than trying to take charge of both tasks and failing miserably. If you are not skilled in a particular area, then don’t try to micromanage people who are. Finding people who are “doers” is a fantastic thing, as long as they can refrain from overstepping their realm of ability and stepping on the toes of others.

The worst possible scenario I can imagine is to have a community in which leadership is not shared according to expertise to some extent. Identify micro-managers and mini-tyrants early, or suffer the fate of a completely dysfunctional community in the face of unprecedented challenges.

It is perhaps not coincidental that all of the above character qualities are growing rarer as our culture grows more and more unstable. The notion of preparedness for crisis revolves far too much around collecting supplies and menial skills and not enough around collecting people of excellent character. That is to say, true preparedness is about building up necessary supplies and talents, but it is also about organizing with uniquely qualified people. Ignoring the latter task is to set yourself up for inevitable failure.

Neither FEMA Nor Any Other Governmental Agency is Prepared to Take Care of You In the Aftermath of a Major Crisis. I Lived In A Post-SHTF World For 3 Years, And This Is What I Learned

Editor’s note: This article was written by Maybell Nieves, a professional physician from Venezuela.

As a professional physician having always lived in a big city, I never imagined that at some point in my life, the social and economic situation of my country, Venezuela, would lead me to learn and use survival skills that I had read about but never even thought of applying.

Without being in a declared war or a formal armed conflict, we have experienced different situations of chaos for about 10 years in Venezuela. But in the last three years, the country has become a true SHTF scenario, where the only way to move forward is to learn how to survive.

I feel that the lack of food, clean water, and, at the lowest point of the situation, electricity, has given me new skills that have undoubtedly prepared me for any catastrophic situation.

After three years in this contingency, I can now share every situation that took me by surprise and the techniques I had to learn by doing.

There is no such thing as “too much” stored water

Water is one of the most important resources we need for life. Unlike other supplies, it is not interchangeable with another product, and to be ingested, it must go through a purification process.

I have never been prepared for a water shortage before. Now I know it is important to keep water stored safely in closed containers. If water is not drinkable, it must be purified before ingesting it since contaminated water can cause serious gastrointestinal diseases.

Water is not just for drinking but is used in many other activities, such as cooking and cleaning, so I had to learn some purification techniques that can be done at home.

One of the most popular techniques to decontaminate water is to boil it for three minutes. Purification tablets are also very useful, not that expensive, and easy to use.

Adding five drops of chlorine per liter of water as an emergency measure is another way to clean the stored water.

Grains are my friends

To eat properly, it is necessary to consume proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

The moment I realized that animal protein was scarce—in addition to the fact that the electricity problems spoiled it—I had to investigate the nutritional content of other foods in order to keep myself well-fed.

Lentils are grains that are easy to store, non-perishable, and high in protein. Together with a cereal like rice, they make a complete meal that keeps us well-nourished and in good health.

Let there be light: candles, matches, flashlights, and batteries

After spending more than four hours without power, I began to worry. I had some candles saved, but I did not know where they could be. I also had a couple of flashlights, but I had removed the batteries to prevent them from being sulfated.

Candles and matches must be in several easily accessible places. Likewise, the batteries should be in the same place where the flashlights are kept, and we must be sure that they have a charge.

During this year, the country suffered the most serious electrical crisis. In several areas, there were blackouts of up to five days.

After a couple of days without electricity, the candles will not be enough, so learning to make oil lamps becomes a vital skill in this situation.

The lack of electricity can lead to a state of anguish that grows with the passage of time. It is important to do everything possible to minimize that effect.

Be prepared with medicines, but it’s better to learn from nature

Due to my profession, I am always very attentive about keeping basic medications, such as anti-inflammatories, analgesics, and antibiotics, in the cabinet.

When I had to live in an SHTF situation, my medical supplies became insufficient, and I couldn’t find any in the pharmacies or they were too expensive. So I had to learn a little more about natural medicine, its uses, and its benefits.

I must say that this is one of the most important things I learned during that time.

Many anti-inflammatory drugs and synthetic analgesics damage the stomach mucosa as a side effect. In situations of stress, there is a large production of acids in the stomach, so using drugs that further damage this organ is not the best idea.

Roots such as ginger and turmeric are excellent anti-inflammatories. They are easy to get and easy to store. Likewise, garlic is a potent analgesic.

In the case of presenting wounds or cuts and not having antibiotic ointments, honey, ginger, and cloves are foods that have scientifically proven antibiotic properties.

Chamomile and lavender are natural relaxants and help fight stress and insomnia.

No matter how big the supply of medicines we have, it will always be more economical, favorable, and easy to store the natural product, with equal and, in some cases, greater effects.

Cash

Banks have made life easier for us with the use of debit and credit cards. However, there are situations in which having a lot of money in the bank does not help much, and I learned it the hard way.

When there is an electrical fault, despite the fact that light and other electrical services have been restored already, the digital communication of the points of purchase become so affected that it is impossible to buy anything in this way.

For this reason, I understood that it is always important to keep some amount of cash for this type of contingency.

Take advantage of any time you get to replace supplies

Although during those years I did not have to be locked in a bunker without being able to leave, the feeling of confinement was quite similar. When, in spite of having the money, you can’t find what you need to eat or, despite having a private vehicle, you can’t move for lack of gasoline, the situation becomes desperate.I understood that in those moments in which there was an opportunity to replace the supplies I had at home, especially water and non-perishable food, I had to do it.

The situation in my country has improved. Although still not at the best economic and social level, and with many problems of scarcity and lack of some supplies, society has been regularized.

However, I appreciate the years that taught me these valuable lessons that I still apply.

The most important thing I learned was to be prepared for when an SHTF situation strikes again.

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