How to survive the coming collapse

*I feel this is very important. The signs are already here, we are going into another great depression. Everything has consequences. Please prepare yourself now, not later.*

If you are one of the lucky ones and can afford to keep your home during the current financial crisis or an even worse one that could happen, what kind of neighborhood will your home be located in? Already, in the early stages of the mortgage meltdown some of our suburbs are turning into suburban slums as the homeless and criminals occupy foreclosed homes and mosquitos breed in abandoned swimming pools. (See news stories) Chances are that there are abandoned, bank owned homes near where you live. Who will buy them, even when the new government bailout plan buys them up and what shape will they be in on auction day? The situation now gets worse as the treasury secretary has decided not to use TARP funds to buy up foreclosed properties.

Now there are nearly 12 million U.S. homeowners (and growing) who are upside down on their loans. source They owe more than those homes are worth and many people are walking away, bad credit be damned because they can now rent for a fraction of what they were paying the bank. For those who choose to hang on to their homes it will be a challenge to keep that home safe as the crime rate increases.

Strategy # 1: Standing Your Ground In The City

If you are able to hold onto your home and can find work in the area where you live then your home will become your fortress against the increasingly dangerous urban world around you. Residents of “bad neighborhoods” such as parts of East Los Angeles already have experience in protecting their castles against invaders. But for those of us accustomed to living in “nice” neighborhoods the learning curve will be steep. You can start by spending some of the money you might have left on security bars for your windows, a shotgun, and a fence for your yard. By this time property associations will be bankrupt and won’t be able to enforce rules so make your fence as high as possible. You’ll be building the fence to keep thieves out and a dog in. Dog food is an added expense but a good watchdog can be worth their weight in gold. See the book “The Secure Home” for more ideas on how to protect your property.

You’ll need a backup source of power since the power grid will become increasingly unreliable and power may only be available for certain hours of the day. A tri fuel generator that runs on natural gas, propane and gasoline is a good choice. So is a diesel generator since you can store barrels of diesel more safely than gasoline. Ideally a large propane tank, in an area away from thieves, is the best way to go. You can run a tri-fuel generator several days straight on a 150 gallon propane tank. You will need at least 5000 watts of power to run your appliances.

A more lasting solution is to invest in a solar power system of at least 500 watts for battery charging and to power an inverter to run small appliances. If you can afford a larger backup solar power system of at least 3KW, with multiple deep cycle batteries now is the time to buy one before prices skyrocket. An Air Marine wind generator can provide additional power when the sun is not shining.

A wood stove can burn waste wood and lumber to keep your home warm in winter. Choose one that has a cooking surface. You will need a flue cleaning kit to clean your smokestack regularly when burning anything other than clean firewood.

For water you can divert your gutters into a 1000 gallon or larger fiberglass tank and use a solar panel and RV type demand pump to pressure up your plumbing if city water is interrupted. Broken water mains will be a frequent problem as cities go bankrupt and can’t afford to pay for repair crews.

If your yard is big enough you will want to replace much of your existing lawn with food producing plants including fruit trees. There are many varieties of greens such as mustard, collard and kale that grow in marginal soil and shade. You can plant pinto beans, straight from the pantry to produce green beans in spring and summer. Choose hardy varieties of plants such as hybrid tomatoes that are resistant to blight and fungus. Plant the eyes of russet potatoes in deep flower beds or stacked up tires filled with soil. You can kill pests with diluted dishwashing soap and by picking them off by hand. It is unlikely that you will be able to produce enough food on your own city lot to feed your family but your garden will fill in when other sources are scarce. You can also trade for different varieties of vegetables with your neighbors. Two excellent books about survival gardening are “Gardening When It Counts” and “The Self-sufficient Life and How to Live It”. In “The Self Sufficient Life and How To Live It” methods of food canning and preservation are described that will come in handy.

Since food supplies will be disrupted having a good supply of food on hand is a must. Buy canned staples such as corned beef, evaporated milk, brown rice and beans and keep them in airtight containers such as Rubbermaid trash cans. Rust is the enemy of canned food so add dehydration packets which are available at boating supply stores. Keep a stock of dehydrated and freeze dried food for more long term storage. One good tasting brand is made by a company called Mountain House. Also keep a good supply of multivitamins to supply the nutrients you may be missing. Body-builder’s protein powder made from soy or whey also keeps well.

Skills like sewing will be needed again to mend items. Get a good quality sewing machine, a supply of thread and spare parts for it.

You’ll need a source of news and it is unlikely you will be able to afford or even get cable at this point. A simple solar powered radio may become your entertainment center. A small portable TV that operates on 12 volts can be operated from your solar battery bank.

You may not be able to afford medical care. Keep a good supply of broad spectrum antibiotics such as Cipro and pain killers. You may want to consider stocking up on essential prescription medicines that you need but do so with caution and always store medicines in a cool dry place sealed in airtight containers. The definitive guide to emergency medicine is an expensive but indispensable book called Wilderness Medicine, 5th Edition.

It is unlikely that you will be able to afford cell phone service in a severe depression if it is even available. Instead you can utilize long range handheld GMRS radios to keep in touch with family around your neighborhood. With a little modification it is possible to add a rooftop antenna to a GMRS radio for long range communication of up to 30 miles. Unlike some peak oil “doomers” I don’t see high tech going away in the near term. There are enough garage inventors out there to scavenge and come up with all kinds of technology to fill in the gaps when the grid goes down as we have seen in third world countries. In Thailand entrepreneurs pedal around neighborhoods with solar powered Wi-Fi. As in India, neighbors may also agree to set up and share a single secure wireless connection across several city blocks with long range wi-fi antennas. Internet telephony services like Skype may replace traditional phones as land based networks become increasingly unreliable. There are now handheld phones that allow you to talk on the Skype network for free with any open WiFi connection in the world.

Someday you may have to decide to either hit the road or stand your ground.

Should you start buying guns? Should you start a neighborhood watch organization or patrol? Should you put in a garden for extra food or buy emergency rations? What about the infrastructure? Will power keep flowing down the lines with no money to fix our upgrade our electrical grid? Should you put in an auxiliary power supply such as solar panels or a generator? Maybe you should just pack up and hit the road.

Strategy #2: Going Mobile, Mad Max Style

For each of us our personal survival strategy may be different. For some it may mean leaving the home behind and taking to the road to find a less violent place to take shelter or an area where work can still be found. An RV, travel trailer or even a large tent might become your new residence as they have become for so many evicted homeowners recently. For those who choose the mobile path traveling smart and light are essential.

You’ll want a good supply of freeze dried food or MRE’s, tools, a multi – fuel generator for power and some communications gear such as a ham radio or CB in you vehicle for emergencies. You’ll also want a number of water storage containers and a pump system for filling from streams. You will need a good water purifier to deal with contaminated sources. You will need a means of buying food so you will want a hiding place in your vehicle or RV for cash and small denominations of silver and gold coins in case the dollar becomes worthless. A versatile gun that can also be used for hunting, such as a shotgun is a must . You’ll want a good supply of ammunition. Just remember to keep that gun in a safe place, both from thieves and your kids.

“Here’s your burger sir, that’ll be two twelve gauge shells and five 22 calibers please”. It is very possible that ammunition will become a currency itself so carry a large supply of the most commonly used sizes including 12 gauge shotgun shells and 22 caliber bullets. The barter system may replace currency for most transactions. Items such as disposable razors, cigarettes and hand tools will be good for trading for gas and food. Sticking with a group of like minded people will be good insurance against trouble. This means finding safe RV parks and campgrounds where law and order still prevails. You’ll need good neighbors to watch your things while you leave to find work, if there is any.

For those without a car you’ll need a good frame backpack and everything you need to survive in miniature. Weight is your enemy so choose lightweight tents, sleeping bags, water purifiers and take along freeze dried food and MRE’s to live on. Carry your cash, silver and gold in a money belt or shoe hiding place. You’ll want to avoid crime ridden cities and find shelter and camping in safe campgrounds or on farms where you can find work. Setting up camp near a body of water has advantages for bathing and catching fish. Since you may be crossing many jurisdictions carrying a pistol may not be wise. Consider large pepper spray – dye spray containers instead. You’ll need a lightweight crank or solar powered radio for news and if traveling with family a couple of GMRS radios to keep in touch with each other plus a solar battery charger.

There are other options. A small sailboat is one of them. A self contained sailboat can provide shelter and mobility without the use of fuel. It can allow for movement to areas where there is work and safety along the vast Intercoastal Highway and navigable rivers as well as a way to leave the U.S. if necessary. There are many books that have been written about self-sufficient living aboard sailboats. In a post peak oil world sailboats may be one of the only affordable means of covering long distances. A fuel efficient motorcycle is another. The same packing strategy for backpacking applies to traveling by bike. Carry spare motorcycle parts, tire tubes, a good toolkit and extra gas.

Strategy #3: Rural Survival

If you are lucky enough to own your own farm you will be in the best position of all for survival in a post peak or post economic meltdown world. You will be able to produce not only enough food to supply yourself but also for trade. Since the supply chain will be disrupted and parts hard to find you will want to have spares of everything and the means to can and store your own food. Farmers will undoubtedly form closer alliances with other nearby farmers and cooperative groups for tasks like firefighting and crop harvesting. Home canning and self sufficiency skills as described in the aforementioned book “The Self-sufficient Life and How to Live It” apply both to urban dwellers and rural residents. It will be essential for small farmers to re-learn the ways and the wisdom of the old timers before they pass on, such as growing crops without expensive chemical fertilizers.

Take The Middle Path, Be Prepared In The Early Stages Of The Crisis

I have met quite a few other individuals who call themselves “survivalists” in the hurricane ravaged areas where I have volunteered with the American Red Cross. Although it is never a good idea to try to ride out a hurricane, the ones that made it had electricity, water, food and medicine plus communication gear such as CB or Ham Radio. Unlike the common image of survivalists as gun toting hoarders, these individuals often became excellent volunteers, helping their less prepared neighbors and beginning the rebuilding of their community.

Start by preparing your home to be a safe place when outside support systems fail. If you can afford to add things like solar backup power and rainwater collection now is the time to do it, not when it is too late. Invest in things that make your home more energy efficient and vehicles that use less fuel. Stock up on freeze dried food and MRE’s now before they become unavailable or extremely expensive and have things like home medical kits and supplies already in place. In case paper money becomes worthless you should keep a savings of small denomination gold and silver coins in a good hiding place to buy food with.

Whether our nation turns a corner and is able to establish a renewable energy future and avoid a severe peak oil crash remains to be seen. Yet investing in home energy efficiency and more efficient vehicles is a win-win way of preparing. Having a stockpile of food and supplies is a cheap peace of mind insurance policy, regardless of how things turn out.

Ultimately it all comes down to preparedness and keeping one step ahead of the tide. Those who make fun of your survivalist ways will be the ones coming to you for help when the poop hits the fan.


12 thoughts on “How to survive the coming collapse

  1. Bruce says:

    I’m extremely concerned about our country’s future. I don’t think we’ll recognize it next year at this time.

    In addition to the usual dry foods, you can get canned meats, canned cheese and canned butter at

    May God protect you all!


  2. John says:

    This could be pretty overwhelming for those who are new at all this. I’d encourage anyone who’s serious about gearing up for survival to take it slowly and go one step at a time. Granted, none of us knows how much time we have before things are truly desperate, but having a little something and being on the path toward survival is better than being paralyzed mentally and emotionally and stuck without anything.


  3. deny says:

    good article…

  4. anarchore says:

    I don’t give a shit… I don’t own my house, so I will be kicked out and homeless anyway, I couldn’t care less about f*cking Yuppies protecting their precious lives.. f*ck them.

    I see the ‘survivalists’ as people who have hoarded wealth from the rest of humanity in times of plenty, who think they can live while their neighbours starve? HAHA pigs.

    The individualist survivalist is wrong-headed and borne of materialism.

    It would do the fat-assed survivalists some good to starve for a while.

    I have no fear of death from privation, I can eat pine sap and grass.

    Buy canned food- give me a break, you scared little idiots!

    You people that supported the police state, believe the holohoax, and supported the Zionists and their wars, when we were screaming about what was happening, you did nothing. Maybe we should execute you and use you as a food source? Not me, I’m vegetarian.

    Now when the logical outcome happens, you think you can save your ass by hoarding food? HAHAHAHA! See you at the death camps.

    • Well, that was a nice…outburst. I agree with you to a certain extent. Those of us who are prepared need to hoard certain things to protect ourselves, though…there are too many unscrupulous people out there, you know? In any case, none of us are fully prepared logistically. Too addicted to material items. The most important way of being prepared is through mental and spiritual conditioning.

      I do not find it yuppie like behaviour to be prepared. Sorry, but I have been preparing for over a year now…for you to label me as materialist is a blanket statement.

      My preperations have involved food, gnosis, farming and traditionalism…there is nothing wrong with that.

      I could care less about the masses…they would kill me in an instant, as would the tyrannical government. I do, however, care about my family and friends.

  5. anarchore says:

    Heidi, the comment was in not directed at you personally, sorry about giving that impression and going into Usenet mode there. I think a lot of the survivalist mentality is plain apocalyptic nuttiness.

    If there is a comet that hits the earth, yeah I’ll say you were correct and beg your forgiveness and ask admittance to your underground hermetically sealed Pleasure Dome Complex, with oxygen filtration, geothermal power, hydroponic food production and disco lights;-) while we wait a few years for the comet winter to subside and the toxic dust to settle and wash away.

    Other than that, what catastrophe are we expecting? What is more likely, a food catastrophe, or killer govt deciding once more that the people are the enemy.

    if things break down to the point where they declare farming illegal, then no amount of canned goods will save you from the gulags they will have set up, and we will break rocks in the NorthWestTerritories(Canada’s Siberia) for a railroad or canal to nowhere until we freeze and/or starve.

    As it is unlikely that the government will get away with outlawing farming, I am not too worried about mass starvation. I have a huge bag of oatmeal, spring is coming, and the store shelves are well stocked. Living in the big city might make you feel more vulnerable to shortages, but believe me, this country can produce a LOT of food, more than enough for us all.

    I will do my part by growing food this year.

    • One never knows if farming is at risk, with Monsanto running about…sigh. I also doubt it, though.

      I have had many visions that I need to start being prepared. I do not have the ability or anything to have a bunker or such. I have simply stored some extra water and cans of food. I had those visions when I was in the USA, though…gods know they need to be prepared, at least for financial reasons.

      It is difficult when one is vegetarian 😦

  6. anarchore says:

    “It is difficult when one is vegetarian”

    Yeah cannibalism is out of the question -so no ‘eat the Rich’!

  7. Annie says:

    What can I do?
    I am a disabled woman and live and our family is poor. What steps can we take to survive this? How can I find an afforable way to survive? I am so sacred,

    Who can’t afford MREs and other food services

  8. Annie says:

    I forgot to mention, due to health issues I am a Vegetarian and I also have a seizure condition

  9. anarchore says:

    Annie, you’re going to be fine. Being vegetarian means you already are on the right path. Start growing your own food if you can, buy bulk organic if possible beans and rice, they are cheap and better than MRE’s loaded with preservatives.

  10. Jim says:

    I think it is wise to form groups. We can all do better depending on eachother through this. Rally with your church, maybe your neighbors, friends or family. Cling together in small groups. I say small groups because you might need to be mobile.

    Plan an escape route just in case you need to leave your area. Especially if you live near a prison or a bad inner city area. In most cases it is probably safest to stay put . You know your neighbors, your area etc.

    Brown Rice is a great staple, avoid any food that is white…. White Bread, White rice etc.

    I would buy some tools, gardening if you have the land. If you are in an apartment, you might buy things to barter with. Wine is a great item to store and trade or dehydrated food in canisters.

    Water is essential to survival… Buy a large Gas can and fill it with water, make sure that you label it and use it just for water.
    You can survive for quite a while without food, but not water…

    I own firearms for protection and hunting if I need too.

    Many cities are located near rivers or lakes, I would buy some fishing gear if you are near a river or large body of water. The coast would be a great place to be during a bad situation. The ocean is full of food for the taking.

    I have to agree with Anarchore vegetarian is a great way to go, especially if you can grow your own food. You can learn about edible wild plants in your area. Dandelions are edible, Chickory and other common weeds are edible. Acorns are edible if you soak them to get rid of the tanic acid. White Oak acorns have the least amount of tanic acid. Be very careful if you go this route, many plants that are toxic can look similar.
    Avoid eating mushrooms and if you do identify what you think is an edible plant, just eat a very tiny amount and wait a few hours to see the reaction.

    You can plant blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries right in your yard. They need little maintenance, just water. Fruit trees and nut trees can be bought at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.

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