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Replace Your FUD with Preparedness Action–a Pre-Crash “D” List

All of the recent economic news may be overwhelming to some. This has left many people virtually petrified by Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD [1]). Don’t be a proverbial “deer in the headlights.” I strongly encourage you get past your anxiety uncertainty and instead of sitting around glued to CNN, wringing your hands and saying “ain’t it awful”. Replace that angst with action. Get busy preparing. Here is my suggested Crash Countdown “D” List, for folks that are already fairly well-prepared:

1.) De-Hummelize

Sell off any collectibles that are not family heirlooms. The worst offenders here are the mass produced “limited edition” Hummel figurines, Beanie Babies and those collector plates from umpteen artists. Because I’ve mentioned this, please don’t think that I’m a misogynist. Men can be just as bad about acquiring trinkets! They are just manly trinkets. Far too many men have gun vaults chock full of “commemorative edition” guns with engraving and gold inlay that they would never dream of shOoting, for fear that their collector value would be diminished. I most strongly recommend that you sell off those guns and replace them with truly practical ones .These days, I lean toward stainless steel guns with synthetic stocks, because of their tremendous longevity.and resistance to corrosion. By selling off your toys and trinkets, you will be A.) clearing space for important logistics, and B.) generating cash to help purchase those same logistics. Trinket items have a ready market with eBay, especially this time of year, as people are shopping for Christmas gifts. Take nice crisp photos, start most of your items at a penny, and make sure that you charge enough to cover your postage and tracking costs.

2.) Dumpster Dive

Watch your local Craig’s List [2] like a hawk. It is not unusual to find people giving away or selling a ridiculously low prices dozens of heavy duty canning jars, hand-crank meat grinders, chest freezers, shelving, and poultry brooder, horse tack, and so forth. I’ve even found running generators available free for the asking. (You haul.)

Mark your calendar for both community yard sales and the next time that your garbage collection service offers an “unlimited curbside pickup” day. Hook up your trailer the evening before, and see what you can find that is free for the taking. (Consult your local ordinances first, of course.) We’ve found lots of practical items that were still perfectly serviceable, such as rabbit cages, brooms, canes, geriatric walkers, and galvanized wash tubs (“gut buckets”) set out on the curb. It would be a shame to see useful item send up in a landfill.

3.) De-Procrastinate.

If you have been putting off any dental work, elective surgery, vehicle repairs, or getting new lenses for your eyeglasses, then start making appointments!

4.) Dump Your Dollars

Roll over your 401(k) and/or IRA into a gold IRA, available from through Swiss America Trading Company [3].

5.) Double-Up Your Staple Goods Shopping

Double up your staple groceries shopping. By doing so consistently, you will rapidly build up a supply of canned good. Make sure you mark the date of purchase on the top of each can with a permanent marker (such as a Sharpie pen), and put the most recently purchased cans at the back of the shelf . These are the essential points of “first-in, first-out” (FIFO) rotation.

6.) Divert Your Expenses

Cut out needless expenses [4], so that you can divert that cash into preparedness. Pare down your expenditures on movies and eating out. But don’t go overboard and make yourself (or your spouse and kids) miserable. OBTW, here is an example: The Memsahib’s sister found that she could skip Starbucks, and make herself an awesome Vanilla Latte at a 7-11 store, for less than half the price. Do comparison pricing. Is a NetFlix subscription less expensive than a cable movie package? Do you really have the time to watch that much television, anyway? I’m not say to do without life’s little pleasures. I’m just saying that there are some less expensive alternatives.

7.) Door-to-Door Introductions

Get to know your neighbors. Go door to door, if need be. Remind folks who you are. Connect names to faces. Make a list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Without being too pushy, quiz them a bit if they are “ready fort he next big storm”. Find out if any of them have prior military experience, or advanced medical skills. But of course don’t volunteer too much information about yourself. It is not wise to brand yourself at he neighborhood Whackamo.

8.) Drums, Cans, and Fuel Tanks

Top off your supplies of gasoline, diesel, and kerosene. Add fuel stabilizer and antibacterials (such as Pri-G [5] and Pri-D [6]), as needed.

9.) Detailed Contingency Plans and Packing Lists

Contact family and friends, and agree on contingency plans that you’ll follow, even if the telephone system and e-mail become inoperative. If any relatives are planning to join you at your retreat when TSHTF [7], then make sure they know exactly what they will need to pack. They may be able to make only one trip there, so they’ll have to make it count. (they need to have appropriate winter clothing, gloves, boots, gardening tools, bedding, and so forth to be productive at your retreat.