Sunday, December 6, 2009

The most likely SHTF Event

Yet the one most survivalists never prepared for.
Other than health issues, losing your job and being left unemployed either permanently or for long periods of time is something many people, even survivalists, never envisioned.

A couple years ago, for many, if you didn’t have a job it was because you didn’t want it bad enough. When I first started posting back in 2002, many comments were of that kind.
Now things have changed some, and I’ve read aobut lots people of people in survival and prep forums that are in that same situation. People of all ages, many with good skills and years of experience (some of those SHTF proof trades as well) there’s just no job to be found!

1 Problem

Food & water. This is the one many preppers have covered because of their importance. Its becoming a common theme in the forums, people losing their jobs and digging into their preps to get buy when money is short. 6-12 months worth of food is a wise idea. Means that you at least have that much time in which you know you’ll be able to put food on the table. Much easier to sleep having that safety net.
Now, 99.9% of the people (and I’m sure I’m being optimistic) do not have even a single month worth of food stocked for emergencies.
No money + no food cache = You’ll be begging for food or eating out of a dumpster in less than a week.
Now that’s something we’ve seen lots of and still do.
I’ve seen some messed up things like many

2 Problem

People simply losing their homes because they can’t keep up with the payments is another common problem. We didn’t have much in the way of house loans to begin with, so even if people did lose their homes here too, it wasn’t as common as it is in USA these days.

So much for the problem, what’s the solution? Here, and in other palces and other times as well as right now, family usually help. Young adults moving back to the parents house, or several adults, the family along with a couple uncles and grandparents, all chipping in to pay for the roof.

When you don’t have that, the need for some sort of shelter becomes more primal. A tent isn’t much of a home but it is better than nothing… for a couple days. The camper or motor home feels much more like a home and there are lots of people that get by for medium or long periods time in one of them. Of course its, safer and more solid, and for your moral its miles away from crawling into a small camping tent. Heck, there’s even people that liver permanently in their motor homes or campers. There’s this travel journalist lady, she travels all over and keeps a blog, so her lifestyle is also her source of income, which leads us to problem 3.

3 Problem

The job just doesn’t appear.
You keep looking, you have your experience, buy the paper, search on line but there’s just no job to be found.
Because of age, because of to much offer, you have to seriously consider that if you don’t create your own job you wont have any.
We’ve talked about this before. Someone emailed me a couple days ago when I said you don’t compete with Budwiser and Marlboro after a crisis. “Hey FerFAL, you said we have to start our own jobs and now you say this…”

Well of course. Last time I heard 75% of the new business fail the first year. Trying to compete with a well established firm is a sure ticket for that.
Use the search engine and read the posts related to home business and making money. Replacing the failing institution, finding out the new niches, personalized service, good marketing. That’s what people did here and in other places. Not starting your own liquor firm because you’re making moonshine in the back yard.

You know what people will think? Same thing everyone with an ounce of brain would: Risk my health, risk spending thousands of dollars to save a couple cents, thanks but no thanks, I’ll buy the brand name. Don’t try to compete with multibillion dollar firms people, that should be obvious enough and no, they wont disappear. Ever.



Early Retirement Extreme said...

Like in a motorhome has a few things going for it. First, It is cheap to buy (relative to housing) and once you have it, you will never been without a roof over your head. There are still places to park if you have gas to move it around slightly. Gas is certainly cheaper than rent. If nothing else, you may be able to arrange to park in someone's driveway. Second, it is mobile and so it can be driven away if an area starts sliding. If you find yourself being threatened, you may even be able to drive away insofar you are not permanently hooked up (and your tires aren't slashed). Motorhomes come wih a 40-80 gallon emergency water supply and about 20 gallons of propane. They also tend to have built in generators. With a little practice, you can remain disconnected for two weeks and after that your problem will only be to empty and refill the tanks. That's automatic disaster prep right there. So overall, motorhomes provide quite a bit of flexibility. They are not bad at all to live in. (We live in one full time.)

FerFAL said...

Thanks for your comment, any advice for people looking for one as a plan B emergency home? tips or what model, etc?


Anonymous said...

I haven't tried them yet, but Bridgestone makes some puncture resistant tires that might be worthwhile.

I've seen motorhomes camped in the desert in groups of five to twenty parked around a campfire, that looked like fun and a smart way to increase security.

The downside of a motorhomes is it's cheaper to rent an apartment if a new location is needed, in many places you cannot park them in your driveway, and (as far as I can tell) they're not insulated enough for the northern climates of the U.S. - but those limitations can be overcome.

Anonymous said...

Since the economy started slowing down here in the south-central region of Michigan, USA we are seeing people living in RVs on vacant land much more often. I can't imagine staying in one during Michigan winters, but apparently it is being done. Some have camper trailers so they can drive something else to work in factories as temporary workers, some have motor homes and walk, bike, drive or hitch rides. My wife and I have kicked around this scenario if things get bad enough around here. If I had to buy a motorhome I would get one with Ford or Chevrolet drive train, whichever you are most familiar and comfortable with. Maybe a converted school bus, but I've heard that it's a lot of work (and $$$) to make them so that they are comfortable.

Anonymous said...

Your right about the big firms not going away. Just look at the big banks, and the auto industry. Too big to fail will become a common saying and the gov't will bail out failing firms. It's hard for the little guy to get a start when your government trying to "save jobs" by zombifying any failing firms.

Anonymous said...

I expect in our little town that jobs will be nearly impossible to get, that's until many leave for the big city in search of work and the economy improves. Being well known and liked by the local business owners and managers as a customer now may prove helpful in year to come. In any event, should work not be available, we have the basics covered for several years. The prospects 2 or 3 years out may improve and a home business may work out. We should have the time to adapt and remain relatively comfortable during a transition. Living now as one might be forced to do in the future, would not only make the transition easiler, but also save money for additional prepartions.

a couple of quick suggestions:

Recommend propane ovens, lamps and portable stoves. Multi fuel lamps and stoves are good if one can only have one of each, yet propane is the most cost effective, safest and easiest to store.

The king in lighting is the low tech karosene lamp that is both inexpensive (the lamp) and the most reliable, however, karosene is two to four times the price of propane. For portable heat in confined spaces, Mr. Heater brand Buddy Heaters. These have a low oxygen shut and are safe to used in doors without ventilation. These can also be run off of 20 pound or larger tanks as well as the 1 pound bottles. There is a fitting that will allow one to refill 1 pound bottles from 20 to 100 pound tanks.

Diversification is important in investments and equipement, providing redundancy and ability to use a variety of fuels, but propane might be the best choice for you as the main source for lighting, cooking and heat. It can also power a propane refrigerator. In a rural area, wood is of course the way to go for heating the home, and even for cooking with the cheapest heat source, but set aside 2 years worth as feul to haul it may become very costly in the future and one may become sick or injured.


Jack said...

I have already suffered "The most likely SHTF Event" - extended, longterm unemployment. So, I am also giving up my home in the subarbs and moving into a RV full time with my family.

I am doing this for several reasons:
1) Cheaper. I am on a fixed pension and should be able to afford RV living. And I can supplement the pension with side jobs where ever we go.
2) We currently live in Florida and will be able to travel North to avoid the hot summers and the hurricanes, and then come back for the cooler winters.
3) We will be able to see more of the U.S. while our kids are still young and living with us.
4) If any area gets to be too dangerous/unstable, we can move to a safer area immediately with all our essential possessions.

I chose a large fifth wheel trailer instead of a motorhome. My reasoning was that a motor home is usually a lot more expensive, and you have to worry about the engine and transmission, and you have to tow an second vehicle behind for local trips when you're parked and then worry about another engine and transmission in that vehicle too. With a fifth wheel, your tow vehicle is the only vehicle you need - and since it's a normal vehicle (a pickup truck), the maintenance is cheaper and it's easier to find knowledgeable mechanics.

RV's in general are very energy efficient when parked, and you can use a generator and/or solar panels as backup energy. In most RVs the fridge runs on electricity or propane, giving you even more flexibility. The only energy hog on an RV is usually the heating and cooling system, but we intend to go North and South & to higher/lower elevations following the better weather, so I'm not too worried about that.

Since I can't carry everything I may every need in a RV, I am also stockpiling some extra food/tools/guns/ammo at several places around the country with family and in a storage facility, "Just In Case!".

Lamb said...

I had my personal SHTF when my marriage failed. I was left (literally) on the street with $5, my backpack containing family photos and two changes of clothing, and a tent I borrowed from a friend.
For 5 and 1/2 months I lived in that tent. In the winter. In the mountains of North Carolina.
It can be done. It can be done comfortably.
Would I want to do it again? Hell, no.
I worked my way out of it. That was almost 6 years ago.

As far as other ways to find shelter...well, I pay no rent. My job managing properties for an out of town owner gets me free rent and utilities (including cable & internet!) and a vehicle to use.
I have had MANY jobs that provided living quarters/utilities.
Here's a few to look for:

Property manager.

Running a storage facility (a lot have an apt. attached for the manager)

Managing a small motel.

Working on a farm or ranch. Many farms want full-time employees ON SITE because of emergencies. (Calving season, weather issues, etc)Commonly, they also provide basic utilities, a half of a cow or pig and a garden space. Sometimes a vehicle is provided for the workers use. The work is HARD, so don't bother applying unless you are content with no vacations, few days off, damn hard work and low pay in exchange for your housing.

Now, on to creating your own job...I have done this, too!
Find a segment of the local business world that is underserviced.
An excellent one to look for is the local small landlords!
Find the folks that own under 100 units--rental houses, apartments and/or rooming houses. They cannot afford to have a handyman on a weekly payroll...or a property manager...or a cleaning service, etc.
In these days of foreclosures galore, you can also check with the local bank. Find the person that handles the foreclosures. Print up some business cards or flyers for your cleaning service, advertise on Craigslist, etc. Do *trashouts* at a cheaper price than the big companies. Don't charge by the hour, charge by the job. If state law allows, keep the *good stuff* you find while cleaning out a foreclosed house or the apt.s that people have been evicted from and sell it for extra cash. I once got paid $250. for cleaning out a house and mowing the lawn...but I made $800.00 selling the stuff the former tenant left behind! That is $1050.00 for two days work!

Use your imaginations...there is ALWAYS someone out there looking for a service or product out there that hasn't been able to find what they need/want!

Early Retirement Extreme said...

(I meant to say "Life in a motorhome" ...

Insulation is a big deal unless you relocate with the seasons. The only company that I know that makes insulated RVs is arctic fox.

If you have slide outs, it will make the vehicle substantially heavier and decrease carrying capacity substantially down to maybe even a few hundred pounds extra per person which is pretty ridiculous but consider than RVs are generally built for "comfortable weekend trips". If you don't have slideouts you will likely have the same engine and thus lots of towing power/pickup and also lots of carrying capacity (thousand pounds+/person). Alternatively, you could reinforce/insulate the walls.

A fifth wheel or a travel trailer is definitely more flexible but obviously you'd need to exit and get into the car to drive away. This may be a problem if safety is an issue, like parking in the boondocks.

In my experience, RV neighbors seem to be a lot friendlier and helpful than suburban neighbors. People tend to keep an eye out for each other and since they are parked very close nothing really escapes anyones notice.

azurevirus said...

Having lived in a 28' camper I wouldnt hesitate to live in another one..especially a motorhome..also I once lived in a camper I made from a school bus in upstate was cold for sure but I survived the winter..I know a motorhome here in the south would be alot more comfortable..and there are tricks to make them warmer..I wish I could afford one now I would have one..especially with the government and its eminent domain crap I see happening more and more of