How to Survive a Serious Depression by Gary Benton
I’m no financial expert, anyone with access to my bank statements would quickly agree, but I see rough times ahead for all Americans. With the uncertainty of the stock market, home foreclosures, and with most food, along with gasoline, prices rising, it’s time for us to take steps to assure our survival during the uncertain times ahead.
In event of the total collapse of our economy, which I pray will not happen, things will turn rough as the “have nots” search for those that “have.” Law and order may no longer exist and crime will skyrocket in just hours of the announcement. I think mankind will revert back thousands of years, with only the strongest surviving. Now not just physical strength counts, so use your mind too. Plan, accept the fact it could happen, and be prepared on all counts.
One aspect of surviving rough times to consider is food. I know, I usually bring water up first, except it may not be as much a problem as eating. If prices for groceries continue to go up, there may come a time when we can no longer afford to eat or stores could close and then what will we do? I suggest we prepare now, not tomorrow.
When we think about food, there are a number of things we can do to insure our survival:
• Plant a garden during the spring and learn to ‘can’ your own vegetables.
• Buy dry foods in bulk, such as beans, pasta, flour, corn meal, and any favorites you might have.
• Purchase canned goods, but keep in mind the number of folks you have to feed and how the foods will be prepared. If gas or electricity is no longer affordable, how will you cook? Limited water?
• Dry meats and fruit, then store them in a sealable jar. You can dry them with the lowest setting on your oven, in a commercial dehydrator, use the sun (a slow process), or in a smoker.
• Or, if you have the funds, dehydrated meals and MRE copies are just fine and have about a 5-year storage life. Most have high calorie content and are designed to keep soldiers fit while in the field under combat conditions.
• Keep a large supply of vitamins on hand as well.
When it’s time to cook your foods and if the usual source for cooking is no longer available, remember to have no open flames in the house. For safety reasons (keep in mind carbon monoxide kills) do your cooking outside and it’s almost as easy as using your stove. The key to campfire cooking is to control the heat and that’s easiest done with a small fire.
Most campfires I’ve seen are way to large to cook on and controlling the heat is impossible. Besides, a small fire will consume less wood and will take less time to be ready to cook with. I’ve found once the wood has turned to glowing red coals, it’s time to cook. Unlike cooking on top of your stove, campfire cooking takes your full attention if you want a meal worth eating. Even with a controlled source, the heat will be uneven, which means you’ll have to check and move your food more often. If you don’t keep an eye on what’s cooking it will eventually burn or stick to the bottom of your pan.
There are a few different ways to cook foods and here are a few I’ve seen,
• Solar cooking, using the sun to cook your meal. It works and it’s absolutely amazing to eat roasted chicken cooked by the sun. You can find different ways to cook using solar power by doing a web search.
• Simple cooking can be done using your engine block, heavy aluminum foil (double wrap the foods), and placing the meal toward the rear of the engine. I would not suggest you drive while doing this and remember you’re burning fuel, which may not be easy to replace.
• Don’t forget the family barbeque grill if you have one. Don’t laugh, I once knew a man without any power and he did without hot food for three days, while his grill collected snow—he’d forgotten it.
I’m sure during a long emergency there will come a time when a gun will be needed, either for hunting or protection. My favorite survival weapon is a shotgun, because with the right load it can kill just about everything in North America. A shotgun is my pick because almost anyone can use it and usually hit what they point at. There are exceptions to any statement, but most folks who’ve used guns before will find, with the right load, a shotgun is hard to beat.
But, a weapon is not just guns. A knife, bottle, steel rod, or almost anything can become a weapon during survival. Wood can be sharpened to a point and then used as a spear, broken glass or sharpened metal can become a knife (just be sure to make a good handle), and even a rock can be used for protection or to gather wild game. I once killed a sitting rabbit with a rock, so it can be done. All the game I’d taken before had been with a gun.
If you’re like most folks who hunt, it’s possible a rifle, or rifles, muzzle loader, bows, pistols, and other weapons are already in the home. Make sure you have a good supply of ammunition on hand, or learn to reload your own. The idea of a weapon is it’s an extension of your hand, so a nail file, key, pencil, fork, frying pan, and many other things can do the job if need be, except some are easier to use than others. Remember, in some cases your weapon may require close contact with the game or assailant, so time your actions properly.
Now, let’s take a look at transportation and how we can get around. Gasoline may become difficult to attain and the price may be out of your reach, so what then? My brother recommends a horse, mule or donkey, which are all good, except most of us don’t live where they are allowed. So, a small moped, scooter, or bicycle may be just what you need. Of the three, only the last does not require any fuel and most of use have one or two in the garage right now.
While all three of my suggested transportation methods are cheap and easy to use, they cannot carry many people, may be hard on your rump and back, and the top speeds leave a lot to desire. Asians are famous, especially the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, for carrying unreal loads on bicycles, so it can be done, only you need to know what you’re doing. If it comes to a chase, I’d feel better on foot, escaping and evading, than driving a slow moped or bicycle down the street in front of my house. However, they are transportation and could be used to recover downed game, procure wild foods, gather firewood, along with countless other chores. Just keep in mind its basic transportation, not a thing more.
Last, lets look at two of the tools that are good ideas to have. A chainsaw would be one of my first choices for tools, along with an ax. With those two tools you could, and it’s been done, make a home along with the furniture, if the job needed doing. But, they can also be used as both weapons and tools, and any item that has more than one use is immediately considered by me as possibly important.
With an ax and chainsaw keeping firewood stacked beside the house would be easy, but always split your wood, so it dries faster. Splitting the wood exposes the inside of the wood to the air, which will allow the moisture to dry. Keep your ax sharp and in good shape, stored out of the weather.
Other items, tools and survival gear will be need, of course, but at least now you’re thinking about the subject of survival during rough times. Always have a survival kit, first aid kit, survival gear, packed, and ready to leave in a hurry. Or you can use them at home if the area is safe. If nothing else, plan, procure and prepare what will be needed, because once the demand goes up some of the items needed may not be available. I hope our economy improves with government assistance, but if it doesn’t—are you ready?