Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Items to get before SHTF

Hi Ferfal,

I have a question for you. I believe that the US is headed toward a financial collapse similar to what you lived through in Argentina, with a looming debt bubble about to burst, and the value of the dollar likely to plummet. When the first signs of the collapse appeared in Argentina, what were some things you wish you had stocked up on right away that were still available for awhile in stores, but later were hard to obtain? I'm most interested in food items, "luxury" items like gourmet coffee or wines, household items, appliances, anything that is not survival-gear related like you normally discuss but which make life a little nicer when the SHTF. I'm thinking, one day in the US we will hear about a treasury bond auction that tanks, and we will have a short time to get these types of things before it is apparent to everyone that a collapse is coming. In this strategy/scenario, I am thinking there is a global economic depression, and that I am staying in my current home and getting through it as best I can.

Thanks for all the info, Ferfal. Love your book!

Arizona, USA

Hi Karen, you’re right about food. I had some but I quickly got more because of the lootings, closed supermarkets and empty shelves. You never knew when a group of protesters would drop by and if they didn’t reach an agreement with the supermarket clerks, it could end up in looting.

Even worse than food, when we had problems with the water supply a couple years later, it was amazing how the shelves went empty in just a few hours. Water is much more precious, but people are too used to having it readily available.
I was just getting married and had an old TV, I wanted a new one but for some reason I postponed the “silly box” purchase for a bit too long. Before I realized the silly box went up in price in pesos to meet its old US dollar price, so I very much regretted not buying it before.

Ammo went up in price too, and I wished I had stocked better in some calibers ( 22LR mostly that used to be so cheap) before the crisis. I should say that I had enough guns and ammo, but a firearm would sure be at the top of the list if I didn't have one back then. Keep this in mind, those of you that are still unarmed.

Electronics and appliances went up in price a lot, and you rarely think of a spare washing machine as a Preparedness good, but if you have to replace a broken one after a financial collapse with hyperinflation killing you, you’ll see what I mean. That’s why I recommend in my book, "The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse", having spare appliances if you happen to come by some of the most important ones at a good price and in good condition. A spare chest freezer or a spare fridge in the basement or garage, another washing machine (using both so as to keep them both operational) and a second car, a spare used desktop computer and printer, those are all good ideas.

Keep this in mind before throwing away anything simply because you bought a new one or it broke. Its often easy and cheap to repair broken appliances but people don’t even bother asking around. It used to be that way here too, but now anything that can get fixed gets repaired, unless the cost is greater than buying new.
You don’t want to end up buying a new washing machine after a financial collapse, even used appliances go up in price a lot, often more than the used to cost brand new before.

Anything that was imported, makeup for the ladies, certain shampoos, it all went up in price.
Its not a bad idea either to buy/sell using ebay to make some money, checking out yard sales or auctions and selling it on line.
Better to start doing all these things now and not think of them as things you do “after SHTF”.



Loquisimo said...

Laptop computers are so common in the US now, and so many computer technicians won't touch them. I am taking a class or two to learn how to solder correctly so I can repair things like the DC jack on a laptop. Laptop DC jacks are always going bad because people use the laptops while they're plugged in, and soon the jack shorts out. And so many techs won't fix them.

Find one that does, and keep your laptop for a while, or buy a new one now if you have the money, because computers will become nearly impossible to find after SHTF, and the internet is vital to getting around media blackouts and such. Also, buy a shortwave radio and store it without the batteries in it, and keep it for long internet outages. Make sure your frequency list of your favorite stations is updated every March and October.

If your refrigerator, washing machine/drying machine, or chest freezer is old, buy a new one and keep the old one as a spare. I'm talking over 10 years old in most cases. If you, like me, have a car with a lot of miles on it, try to buy a new or gently used one that's newer, because Fernando noted that cars go up in price 10x after SHTF.

Also, you need to get established as a small business owner NOW, because after SHTF you will suddenly be competing with hundreds of new businesses doing the exact same thing you are. I'm already seeing this in California-there's suddenly a glut of computer repairmen and other types of easy to set up businesses, run by people with far more advanced degrees who are trying to do basic work to pay bills.

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog makes me feel a bit more confident when I see stroies like this, from Boston:

Store Shelves Stripped, Some Fight For Water
Stores Close, Residents Stock Up On Water

Shortly after residents in Boston received an emergency call warning them of the water crisis, supermarket aisles stocked with water were quickly wiped out.

"They are fighting over it, literally fighting over water," said a customer at the Roche Bros. in West Roxbury. "I just had to fight my way through the aisles cause it's crazy in there."


Wolfen aka "Ravenwolf31" said...

You would be surprised at what we take for granted now, would soon become a necessity or a luxury when there is none. Really I am talking about things like food and water.

Anonymous said...

You should read the Alpha Strategy by John A. Pugsley to learn how to hedge for inflation. It is a free e-book just a do search on the Internet.

Gallo @ the GTA forum.

Anonymous said...

FerFal... you would be surprised how many appliances, tv's, computers, etc. are given away for free here in the states. Check craigslist.com

I live in Maryland and have picked up a chest freezer, washer and dryer, and a modern dell desktop (all in perfect working condition) for free.

Older (like 1970's) appliances can still be very functional as well. My parent's home has a full back-up kitchen in the basement; which they used to use for canning. The appliances, which still work fine, are all from when they got married in 1972.