In the next few paragraphs I’ll be tackling four issues that for many years, I’ve labelled “The Four Gs.” One of my contemporaries, Richard “Doc” Sweeny, even made the concept into and acronym: GGGG, for “God, Gold, Guns, and Groceries.”
I consider faith in God the cornerstone of my family’s preparedness. Faith in God’s sovereign control of the future gives my family hope and peace in these troubled times. If there is no hope, then why prepare? Our hope is in Christ Jesus.
There are continuing reports of shortages around the country of wheat flour, corn meal, rice, and cooking oil at some of the “big box:” stores such as COSTCO and Sam’s Club. This phenomenon is not uniform. Some readers tell me that it is “business at usual” at their local stores, while others report “one bag per customer” rationing signs have been posted, and a few report empty shelves. With galloping wholesale prices and shortages at the wholesale level, I expect these spot shortages to continue.
I’ve had a half dozen anxious e-mails from readers in the past week, complaining that their storage food orders have been delayed, that they can’t get a firm answer on delivery dates from the vendors, or that the vendors won’t even return their calls or e-mails. In nearly all of these instances, the companies in question are not SurvivalBlog advertisers. I’ve heard from several vendors that the big packing and canning outfits like Mountain House and Alpen Aire are essentially sold out of stock on hand, and that their order backlogs are at least 30 days, and growing. The problem is that in “normal” times, these companies serve a “niche” clientele. They just aren’t scaled to handle the order volume when more than 1% or 2% of the population places orders. I witnessed a similar situation back in 1999, just before the Y2K rollover. Some good news that I can mention is that several of our advertisers such as Ready Made Resources actually still have some storage food on hand. It is actually on the shelf (“in captivity”) and ready to ship. For any of their items that are back ordered, just be patient. You may have to wait four to six weeks. The other good news I can offer is that our advertisers all have good reputations. (If they didn’t, then they would not be allowed to advertise on SurvivalBlog.) The most reputable food storage vendors will not bill your credit card until the day that your order is actually shipped. Beware of small “fly by night” vendors that don’t keep any inventory on hand and that will bill your credit card weeks ahead of when they know they can ship. If you buy from a vendor that is not a SurvivalBlog advertiser, my advice is simple: pick your order up in person only from stock on hand, and pay cash on the spot. If you are taking delivery personally, then there is no need to leave a paper trail. Buying with a credit card is advised, in instances where immediate delivery is not promised. In that case, your credit card’s “charge back” buyer protection policy could protect you if you are defrauded. Keep in mind, however, that a charge back complaint often must be made within 30 days of the time of purchase.
The next presidential election is huge question mark: Will the Democrats take the White House? And if they do, will another so-called “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazine ban be legislated in the US? (Something similar to the 1994-to-2004 Federal ban.) At present, these possibilities are difficult to predict. But even if the “worst case” (namely, another ban with no sunset clause) doesn’t come to pass, I still consider battle rifles, full capacity magazines, and ammunition to be good investments and excellent barter items. If nothing else, like other nonperishable tangibles, they are good hedges on the falling dollar. Stock up, but do so quietly. If it is legal to do so in your jurisdiction, make all your gun purchases from private parties with no paper trail. Keep your eye on the local newspaper classified ads, as well as ads from sellers in your own state on GunBroker.com (on-line auctions) or GunsAmerica.com (fixed price sales–usually more expensive) Search only for sellers from your own state. That way, you won’t run afoul of the Federal law that prohibits the transfer of a modern (post-1898) gun across state lines, except through a FFL dealer. It might also be worth your time to drive long distances to some of the larger gun shows in your own state. Once there, you should of course buy guns only from private parties.
The upcoming Heller v. US supreme court decision should be interesting. I suspect that instead of striking down all Federal gun laws–which they rightfully should–the supreme court justices will pen a decision that is tightly worded and hence will only apply to just that one gun ban in the District of Columbia.
OBTW, for any of you that think that my advocacy of gun ownership and training is somehow un-Christian, all that I can do is direct you to Christ’s words in Luke 22:36.
I’m addressing gold last, for a reason. You’ve undoubtedly seen the recent headlines like this one: Gold at $1,000 on Weak Dollar, High Oil. Keep in mind that $1,000 is a psychological barrier. This might trigger some profit taking that could push the spot price of gold down as far as $920 per ounce. Take advantage of such dips. However, don’t get caught up in precious metals buying fever. Your key responsibility is to provide for your family, not to be a speculator. Don’t even think about investing any of your money in precious metals until after you have all of your crucial “beans, bullets, and Band-Aids” preparations well in hand. If you don’t have an honest one year food supply, then stop wasting your time hitting reload at the Kitco web site! (You probably won’t get the web page to load with any regularity anyway. The recent spike in gold and silver prices have generated so much web traffic that it has nearly crashed Kitco’s server. You might have better luck at the Swiss America web site.)
Remember: You can’t eat gold! There may come a day when you need to barter for day-to-day essentials. In such times, barter goods like common caliber ammunition or one-gallon cans of kerosene will be more sought-after than gold. Recognize precious metals for what they are: storehouses of wealth and hedges on the dollar. Think of them as a “time machine”. They can be trusted to preserve your wealth from one side of an economic collapse to the other.But do not expect them to keep your family fed in the midst of a socioeconomic collapse.
An afterthought: Perhaps I should add a fifth “G””, for Ground. I have long been a proponent of buying productive farm land. The nationwide market for real estate is clearly in a tailspin, and probably won’t bottom for several more years. But I firmly believe that the price declines will not be nearly as significant for good farm ground. Just be sure to be a wise buyer. Study local markets thoroughly (including soil surveys), and don’t feel rushed into making a purchase. In today’s market, time is on your side. I now recommend keeping a close eye on foreclosures, using services like Foreclosures.com or RealtyTrac.com.