By: Tom Chatham as originally published at Project Chesapeake
The global financial system is beginning to come apart like a cheap suit. When the normal life you rely on ceases to function properly, what are you going to do? If you do not have a plan you will be left helpless in a rapidly deteriorating situation that will put you and your family in danger. It costs you no money to think through some basic questions and come up with realistic answers. The sooner you address this, the more secure your future will be when things don’t go as planned. Everyone expects the government to be there with a safety net when things go wrong, but the government may not be there in the future when you need them or they may require things of you that you are not willing to do or give up. When times are uncertain, it is your responsibility to care for your family and that is a responsibility you cannot pawn off on someone else. If you have no plan or don’t know where to start, you can begin with some basic questions.
How will I feed my family? – If your income is cut off or your food supplier is shut down, what is your backup plan to provide food for your family and how long will you be able to do so? The acquisition of potable water is also a concern you need to address.
How and where will I shelter my family? – If you lose your job and the ability to pay your bills, will you still be able to live in your? If your community becomes dangerous will you stay there and if not where will you go?
How will I provide security for my family? – When the financial system breaks down, many who depend on it will become desperate. They will do things they normally would not do in order to maintain their living standard. Many will become violent as their comfort zone is breached by many unknown variables they are not ready to confront.
How will I preserve my wealth for future use? – If you have wealth in the form of paper assets and they are stored with institutions, you may lose access to them in an emergency. They may also become lost, stolen or greatly devalued depending on the circumstances. If the well being of your family depends on those assets, are you prepared to lose them? If not what are your contingency plans to protect those assets so you have buying power in the future no matter what happens to the system?
What will I use for transportation? – In a depression type of collapse it may be difficult to acquire fuel or get your vehicle repaired. What is your backup plan if you need to evacuate your family to another area? Do you have a storage of fuel supplies, an alternate fuel source or the ability to maintain your own vehicle? Do you have an alternate source of transportation you can use?
How will I provide clothing for my family? – If you have no income or savings, how will you provide clothing for your family? Can you make your own or do you have a plan to trade for what you need? Should you store extra clothing now for future use and how much should it be?
Do I have others I can depend on if I need help? – If the situation deteriorates, do you have others you can rely on? It may be a need for food, clothing, shelter or security but in a prolonged situation you will need help in some form at some point.
What will I do to earn a paycheck? – In a serious downturn that lasts many years, what will you do to earn a paycheck? What skills do you have that can be traded for the things you need? What equipment do you have that can be used to provide a product or service?
How will I provide medical services to my family? – If the situation is desperate and medical help is expensive or unavailable, how prepared are you to care for a sick or injured family member? While broken bones and internal injuries may require a professional, can you care for minor injuries and provide medicine for sick individuals?
Can I provide power and communications if the grid is disabled? – The financial collapse of nations can lead to the shutdown of major service providers or leave you unable to pay for those services. If you can provide your own power and communications during critical times, it can provide you with information and capabilities to keep your family safe. Even a solar panel, 12v battery and small power inverter can give you many capabilities.
Once you have answered these questions in as much detail as possible you will have the outline for a basic plan to follow. As you answer these questions, more questions will arise that will lead to more detailed planning. Planning is a continuous process that develops more capabilities as you progress. In the future, the more capabilities you have, the easier it will be to navigate the disruptions in society that you are likely to encounter.