With destabilization in the Middle East and a convergence of man made and natural disasters many folks are feeling an urge to do “something” to prepare. Preparation for an unseen Economic Collapse is as personal as dieting. Each person approaches the task on their own terms and each gets a certain, often predictable, series of results from their approach. In order to fully grasp what you are up against with survival preparation and economic collapse, check the stats on your dieting strategies and success rates. Before you get too depressed, look at the strategies and success rates of those who have been successful. The cycle is easy to recite, but a little more difficult to apply, especially to survival. Motivation, action, commitment, self discipline, and consistency until it becomes an effortless lifestyle change. To work through this predictable series of events, most people have to fail multiple times before getting it right. Ask any smoker or ex-smoker with regards to quitting, it ain’t easy. The kicker is that refined sugar and flour is more addicting than cigarettes. First, if you are only now thinking about creating an independent life style apart from the support system that has fed you, transported you, and provided you with Supersized Happy Meals and plasma screens, step out of the aisle so that those who can fit through the door and slide down the inflatable raft can make it. Don’t worry, you’ll be help enough….on a spit. For those of you who have had a gnawing feeling that you should do something but couldn’t find the time or opportunity and trust that the first responders are gonna come and help if things really do go bad, keep watching those survival you tube videos put out by “primitiveskills”. You won’t really know how to do the skills, but you’ll believe you can and, apparently, your comfortable with that. The majority of you folks will be responsible for clogging the major routes of transportation well enough to protect the rural areas for a few extra weeks from the shiftless predatory “survivalists”. These are the folks who plan on “just headin’ out to the country, woods, oz, who knows where. Due to their limited or lack ofin depth training, they find themselves dependent on processed foods, manufactured ammunition, even machinery. They are so addicted to these luxury items that they will break in to homes and even kill folks to have them. The rioting and looting will eventually spill out in to the rural areas. The government crack down or other forms of mob rule will impose restrictions on travel, curfews, and impose martial law in the larger urban areas. Rioting and looting will still occur. This scene has played ad nauseam in the Baltic States, South America, Haiti and the revolving country names of the political jigsaw puzzle collectively known as Africa. Closer to home it’s happened in Louisiana after Katrina. We have documentation of societal economic collapse and the predictable patterns of cultural fall out in our current news stretching back to when Nero played his fiddle. Luckily, we also have examples of how folks made it through these hard times and don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Victory Gardens, local bartering, strong community, a work ethic that ties hard and smart labor with ones own personal freedom, not a government hand out or hand in (your pocket). are a good foundation. Missing is the realization that we are intimately tied to our landscape. The health of our soil and our land is a direct correlation to our own health. It’s long past time to bring back a sense of stewardship. instead, those who work the land to promote health all around are going to see this one through. Those who rely on tokens and public transportation have simply become too specialized a subspecies and share their fate with other species that become too specialized in a changing environment. Say hello to the Saber Toothed Cats for me, okay? So what’s the plan? First, address immediate action, then intermediate action, and then you’ll be able to address long term action. Immediate action: Remember that Attitude, Shelter, Water, Fire, and Food are the order of the day when it comes to securing your immediate survival needs. Do you have a secure shelter and a weeks supply of water, firewood, and food set aside? If not, there is your first course of action. Be smart and acquire items that will last for years and require not electricity to prepare or store.

Next, your intermediate plans: Extend your Immediate Plans to last for a year or more. Add to that an assumption that you cannot rely on government agencies for help or support. Even now, first responders will normally take well over five minutes to get to your house once called. That means a person shooting you has five extra minutes to keep shooting after you calmly dial the police and, ignoring all those fascinating exit wounds, you inform the dispatcher of your situation. If you thing the response time is going to get better when the infrastructure is strained…then you either never met a state worker or you are one (denial is NOT a river in Africa). Your fire arms and ammunition should be used to acquire meat as well as defend your family. A shotgun and knife are the two best home defense weapons. Handguns are fun, easy to negotiate around corners and a blast to accessorize, but they usually leave survivors who either need to then be treated or who turn around and press charges. Your gardens should be well established and diverse. Communication equipment and procedures for you, your family, and your close community members should include escape routes, rally points, and emergency procedures.

Long Term Plans: Caches in five gallon buckets buried through out your landscape or your escape routes should include shelter, water, fire, and food or the equipment to acquire them. You are studying and practicing herbal medicine and seed propagation for a “medicinals” garden. You have planted your orchards and have coordinated with others in your intentional “sustainability community”. You are aware of what they will grow and raise and how you intend to barter with them. First aid training up to and including Wilderness EMT is important. Learning how to make acorn flour and how to can, dehydrate and pickle are important as you work toward being able to grow your food nearly year round and store food to get through the winter. All of this can be done in the guise of a trendy movement, like “permaculture”, or “hobby gardening”.

If you develop a healthy work ethic and cultivate an attitude of connection to the landscape, stewardship, and a sense of adventure, then a coming Economic Collapse will just seem like another growing season, hunting season, tree tapping season, ice fishing….ahhhhh, you get the point.