It is not too late to prepare for the hard times that are coming. But time is short, so I am going to be brutally blunt. Prices are going up. If you don’t already expect double digit inflation, you haven’t been paying attention. If you are just realizing that you need to prepare for the future, forget buying barter goods. Forget precious metals to swap for what others may be willing to sell.
The idea of buying things so that you can swap them for other goods or services later is bad policy. That’s right. I’m advocating that you buy no precious metals and no barter goods. Instead- you need to prioritize purchases of things that you need right now. Sitting on a pile of sewing needles, can openers, or thousands of dollars of face value in gold or silver is not going to stop you from starving to death, freezing to death, or dying gasping in your own fluids.
This is not a slam on Mr. Rawles’ excellent advice to invest in tangibles. It is not even a criticism of his recent post on barter items to acquire, or of his advice to invest in precious metals. JWR is a voice of reason in a world gone mad. This letter is a reminder that all those things are good advice only after you have squared away your personal needs. Only after you have duplicate sources of potable water, shelter, a substantial food supply, a deep medicine chest, and ample supplies of sturdy clothing and footwear should you invest in barter goods or precious metals.
Here are your priorities:
You need breathable air to live. Most of us expect that to be available for free. Your next priority for sustaining life is shelter from extreme elements (your home and a way to heat it during winter), then potable water. Let me make this explicitly clear. Unless you have clean water to drink, you will die in a matter of days. It is not the government’s job to make sure that you stay alive. It is your responsibility to care for yourself and your dependants. You are responsible to ensure that you have access to clean drinking water or a method to filter, boil, or collect it. If you have no method to do so, go get one. At the very least, plan on a way to boil water over an outside fire.
After air, shelter, and water – you need food. Come what may, you and those who you love will need to eat. Buy food. The cheapest food that you can get will keep you alive, but my advice is to buy extra of what you already eat. Oatmeal, grits, rice, pasta and potatoes are all relatively affordable and life sustaining. Potatoes will store for months. The others will store for years if properly packaged. Yes these alone would make a very bland diet. Use them to stretch your regular grocery meals while the other supplies last.
What next? Get over-the-counter medicines. Diarrhea will kill you. The stomach flu will kill you. Pneumonia will kill you. Allergic reactions will kill you. There may not be any 911 to send help. There may not be an emergency room to flee to as a last resort. There may not be a pharmacy with inventory to sell at 3 a.m.. Buy vital medicines now. Look in your medicine cabinet. If you do not have the medicines to treat an allergic reaction, stomach flu, and a chest cold; go buy them today. $10 spent on medicine could save your child’s life. It won’t if you can’t give it to them. Go buy it before you go to sleep tonight.
If you can avoid getting sick that’s even better than treating illness. Hygiene is critical to health. Buy toilet paper and tissues. You will need them, why don’t you already have them?
You should have sturdy warm clothes and footwear for each member of your family.
And yes, you should also have a means of defense and forage. A simple shotgun and shells for it will let you defend your doorway and harvest birds and bunnies if need be. If you are contemplating buying your first firearm then I strongly recommend that you take an NRA-sponsored firearms safety course as soon as possible. Firearms are a vital tool, but whether you ever need to defend you home, you will need to drink, sleep in a dry place, eat, and stay healthy. God has given you the resources and wisdom to prepare, the rest is up to you. Now pray for wisdom and go take action. – Mr. Yankee.