What Should I Do?

The most common question by far we get on this website is “What should I do?” Once people watch The Crash Course and are awakened to the very real threats posed by Peak Oil and reckless monetary policy, they understandably want to know how to position themselves intelligently.

Our recommendation: start building resilience into your life today. Ensure that you, your family, and your community are as prepared and sustainably situated as possible so that you can enjoy a high quality of life regardless of how the future plays out.

My staff and I have distilled the astounding wealth of knowledge our community members have shared on this site and combined it with our extensive experience to recommend specific steps and products for you to consider in your personal preparations. We think this compilation offers tremendous value: For someone just starting out, it would literally take hundreds of hours to replicate this informed guidance yourself. We're proud to offer it to you today, free of charge. 

Click on each step below to read the full post:

    Step 1: Getting Started                       

   Learn the six concepts of preparation and how to take your first step towards personal resilience

    Step 2: Water

   Recommendations for storage, filters, purifiers plus our forum's Definitive Water Thread

    Step 3: Storing Food

   Start a deep pantry and build up your long-term stores

    Step 4: Growing & Preserving Food

   Locate sources of local food, start a garden, and learn about dehydrating & canning

    Step 5: Health & First Aid

   The kits, key supplies, training, and books you'll need to provide treatment on your own

    Step 6: Heat, Power & Communications

   Ensure you can cook, warm yourselfsee, and stay informed in times of electrical outage

    Step 7: Protecting Wealth

   Strategies for taking control of your finances, buying gold & silver, and allocating other assets 

    Step 8: Community

   Build connections and invest in relationships with those on whom you will depend

    Step 9: Your Next Steps

   Invest in your ongoing education, participate in our forums, and help others new to preparing

Our new ongoing What Should I Do? blog contains specific in-depth articles on some of these topics. 

To view the full collection of these additional articles beginning with the most recently published, click here

For a list of links to available articles by title, click here.

We strive to provide comprehensive information and support here on our site, and we gratefully welcome feedback.  Good luck with your preparations, and remember to trust yourself.


Full disclosure: In this series, we recommend specific products and services that we have found to be especially suitable and relevant. If you click on a link to purchase one of the recommended products or services, PeakProsperity.com may receive a small commission. This will not impact the price you pay for those items -- you can locate and buy these products elsewhere if you wish -- but with the funds we receive as the result of these transactions, we can continue to expand our other community offerings, produce the next wave of videos, and bolster our outreach and educational efforts. You win by saving time and having easy access to our well-researched product recommendations, and we win by receiving your support and encouragement to continue doing what we do.

We’d also love to hear any feedback based on your firsthand experience with the products and vendors that we recommend. Our goal is to ensure that we’re doing our utmost to offer the best guidance for utility, value, and service.

12 Comments

maxwellbach's picture
maxwellbach
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2009
Posts: 29
Beyond Resilience - Personal Morality

Beyond Resilience - Personal Morality

In a recent posting to this site James Howard Kunstler  spoke about the failure of many in the environmental community to really grasp the challenge of a post-carbon future. He talked about their “techno-rapture” over cars that run on fuels other than gasoline but lamented their inability to envisage walkable communities or effective public transit systems.  I often feel this same disappointment reading some of the commentary on this site (not so much Chris’s official posts) where the conversations are very focused on preparing for the material impacts of peak-everything. I’ve posted some commentary here previously suggesting that material preparedness may in fact be the smaller part of a much larger story. The challenge confronting us isn’t to make it thru any transition to a post-carbon future with as many material comforts as possible, but rather to make it through with our integrity intact.

I worry about the kind of people we might become if we construe the task in front of us as merely a logistical challenge, rather than a spiritual one. When faced with novel and significant ethical choices, doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons is no easy task. Virtue, like any form of expertise, requires cultivation and experience. The first step toward this goal is correctly diagnosing your situation. I suggest that being materially prepared and having a reliable reference group (community) is essential but not sufficient. I believe that the ordeals facing our society and our Government’s response to them will test our core values, our courage and our moral integrity much more than our material resilience. Of course we’re never going to rise to the moral challenge ahead of us if we’re short on the most basic material provisions but once we have these covered its important that we appreciate and prepare for the ethical predicament ahead of us.

I’m always amused by archival footage from the US Atomic Energy Commission which includes such pearls as “Duck & Cover”. Less well known but still just as amusing is the AEC’s advice on backyard nuclear bunkers. Such bunkers were an item of serious discussion in America during the darkest days of the cold war but interestingly not many were ever constructed. At the time there were debates about whether a nation of shelter-owners would be more or less likely to stumble into nuclear war. People questioned whether a post-nuclear world would be worth surviving at all and the RAND Corporation ran scenarios on the moral dilemmas of locking the shelter door on family, friends and strangers. The threat of a nuclear holocaust and the possibility of surviving it in a bunker forced people to contemplate questions about the meaning of life, mortality, charity and personal morality. Their answer, aided no doubt by the high costs and dubious practicality of such shelters, was more or less; "let's just forget about it". This time, we won’t be so lucky. The questions will demand an answer.

The advent of peak-everything will force each of us to address at a very real and personal level some of the central questions of life, e.g:

- What constitutes a good life and how should I live mine?

- If the norms of my current civilized society no longer apply, what moral framework will I live by?

- What will be my moral boundaries?

It’s important to answer these questions for yourself sooner rather than later. Egregious moral lapses usually occur in unfamiliar situations where the normal moorings which regulate our moral reasoning and conduct are absent. This situation could arise for many of us if there is a sudden and serious energy or financial crisis. What concerns me most is the behavior of our governments during such a crisis. What will you do if your government starts to enact laws and policies which you find morally objectionable? Would you stand up and risk their censure or would you pretend not to notice programs or incidents which didn’t directly affect you? Think of the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930’s. The Nazis were democratically elected in the midst of a crisis. They enacted viable solutions to some of Germany’s most pressing economic problems which gave them some initial legitimacy but the scope and ferocity of their racial agenda took everyone by surprise. Whilst very few people were directly involved in the worst of their atrocities, many knew of them and simply “looked away” perhaps out of fear, impotence, or nonchalance. Years later the complicity associated with passivity came back to haunt a lot of people both publicly and privately. Quite a few prominent individuals including Kurt Waldheim, the former Austrian President and UN Secretary General, found themselves exposed to an unforgiving retrospective moral revaluation. 

If the comforts and conveniences of our everyday life are suddenly suspended because of an energy crisis or second financial meltdown it would help to be mentally, morally and spiritually prepared for the worst. In this case the worst could be the further reaches of what we might to do to one another – or rather allow our governments to do - out of fear, self-interest or indifference. The blogosphere is alive with allegations of government conspiracies, plots, coups and connivances. If just one of these many contentions turns out to have a grain of truth, it would be incumbent upon us to take a stand against it and risk the Government’s wrath. Looking away would mean complicity. I think government incompetence rather than malfeasance is the greater danger in any crisis but even incompetence demands we take a stand against it; especially if its burden falls on the most vulnerable in our society.

Those of us who are better informed and equipped from the outset are likely to endure any crisis more successfully than those who are not. This places certain moral obligations upon us. Rather than retreating into locally privileged (patrolled) communities of like-minded and prepared families and ignoring the plight of people outside our community, it will be incumbent upon us to think and act on a larger scale. Like Mohandas Gandhi, this may involve us risking or even sacrificing many of the privileges we’ve worked so assiduously to accrue.

There are many people in our broader community who have insufficient resources to meet their immediate needs, much less prepare for an uncertain future. What we and our governments do - or don’t do - for these people in a crisis will be the measure of our morality. So far, the prognosis for such people is not looking good. The possibility of localized apartheid developing between prepared & unprepared communities is high. Such differences are likely to be exacerbated by any government response. Limiting our moral boundaries to our own local homogeneous community is unethical. We all condemned the citizens of Johannesburg in the 1980’s when Soweto lay smoldering on their doorstep but we’ll need to be vigilant less we fall into the same trap ourselves. As noted elsewhere on this site, we can’t help the disadvantaged by joining them so somehow we’ll have to strike a balance. What that balance point will be for you & your family will be something you'll have to work out for yourselves, depending on your own unique situation. Having well considered responses to the Socratic questions listed above may help you keep your perspective while others about you are loosing theirs. This is what moral leadership is all about. Once things settle down it would be satisfying indeed to look back on your conduct over this period with pride rather than equivocation or a cringing sense of guilt.

Maxwell Bach

herewego's picture
herewego
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2010
Posts: 81
Re: What Should I Do?

Hi Maxwell -

I just now read your "Beyond Resiliance - Personal Morality" article.  I appreciate the widening of focus from personal and community preparedness.  Even though that's mostly what I need to get done these days, it's clear that it is insufficient.  I do not know how to bridge that gap between prepared communities and everybody else, but that doesn't disappear said gap.  It will still hit us hard.

What I'd like to add to the morality discussion is that our "core values, our courage and our moral integrity" are already being tested by the way the world is set up.  Since birth, I have lived in a world where we all tolerate the unspeakable if it is happening to people far enough away from us.  We also go along with the ruin of our biosphere decade after decade.  How is this consistant is this with my values?  How is it that I keep on colluding?

As much as I feel pulled, urgently, to change the shape of my life into something potentially sustainable in hard times, I also feel called, deeply, to re-make my morality, or values.  The ones I inherited from the culture around me are blatantly unfair to other people, deadly to the life of the planet and generally anti-survival.  The functioning of civilization in this form also requires that I live as if I don't care about the well-being of our biosphere (including other humans).  This is profoundly untrue.  Can I find and hold to something truer?  These questions are with me NOW, not later when the going gets rough around me.  I am used to comfort and affluence (working class North American = really wealthy globally speaking).  There is a long way to go. 

Challenging the pervasive ignorance of how my life gets to be the way it is leads to a lot of good re-evaluation from multiple perspectives and to life changes.  It is hard going and also satisfying.  There is a chance that I could learn to live with just my rightful share of this planet's surplus.  How would that look, I wonder?

Thanks, Maxwell, for offering your awareness of the morality challenges in this interesting situation, and Chris and Co. for providing such an excellent forum for all of us.

Cheers -

Susan

larshill's picture
larshill
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Posts: 7
Re: Beyond Resilience - Personal Morality

Well said Maxwell! I remember twenty years ago building a homestead. My then wife wanted us to buy and stockpile guns and amunition along with all the foodstuff we were accumulating. I really thought about it and realized that if we had the only food and our then neighbours, with two kids, were starving would I actually shoot them to protect our food supply. I decided that I didn't want to live in that world and refused to buy any guns. That marriage ended and that may have been one of the crucial pivots for me.

         This is something Americans have to really think about. My mother was a teenager during the depression and talks about the men travelling around looking for work. They would knock on doors looking for  small chores to do and some food in return. Doors were never locked.There was no theft.  If things take a bad turn what will America look like. Most people are well armed and attitudes are quite different today.

A Canadian small farmer

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
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Posts: 344
Re: Beyond Resilience - Personal Morality

Just read your post - months after it was writtten I realize.....what a load of shit.  You're saying that dead but virtuous is superior to alive but ........ what exactly?  Getting prepared doesn't guarantee anyone anything, but the sheeple will be slaughtered.  The good "bad" Germans as you so aptly point out reacted out of simple human nature - but most lived to tell the tale (see also: crocodile tears).  Its your brand of liberal crap, no - bullshit ... pure, plain, and simple that makes me want to vomit.  Did you feel like you were writing the trailer for some hollywood post-apocolyptic drama when you wrote?  Tangible, practical, versatile.  Those words relect what will be needed and no, I don't enjoy slamming you and your kind of well intentioned thesis minded kind.  Get your game face on.

lifeisadventure's picture
lifeisadventure
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Posts: 0
Thank you

Maxwell,

Thank you for a thoughtful and courageous essay.  There is so much to contemplate. I agree with preparing oneself and one’s community for the difficult and challenging decisions that we may need to exercise today and in the future. It is a test of what we really believe life is all about. Hopefully fun, grace and the ability to stretch ourselves into places we never knew.

seanross's picture
seanross
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Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 0
The ethics of "looking out for #1"

Your response makes comment that appears to ridicule self-sacrifice and then mentions (non-jewish, non-gypsy, non-gay, non-Catholic) Germans living to tell the tale by voting NAZI's in.  Is that what you are advocating?  That if you knew that you would survive by murduring a large swath of your society, that you would do it? 

Any ethical system other than "look out for #1 and devil take the hindmost" can result in  situations in which one might sacrifice ones own interests, including life, for the good of another.  This isn't a liberal vs. conservative thing.  It is an ethical vs. amoral thing.  Most American conservatives accept Christianity which is based on the story of a person, Jesus, sacrificing his life for the good of everyone else.  Most America conservatives honor military service, which is when we ask our young people to put their life on the line for the common good.  Even the NAZI's believed in sacrificing individual interest for the good of the father land. If your ethical system is truly looking out for #1, then you are neither conservative or liberal.  You are a party of one, isolated from your fellow beings and fighting against all comers. Is this really true for you?  There is no one, spouse, parents, children that you would sacrifice your self interest for?  There is no cause that your regard as greater than yourself for which you would dedicate your time and your life to?

We all die friend.  No escaping that.  It is a matter if how and when, not if.  In between now and then, we all have very important decisions to make about how that life is lived.  Ultimately, you will either die virtuous or die selfish.  As for me and my house, I would like to have been of some use to my fellow beings during my time alive.

pyranablade's picture
pyranablade
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 8 2010
Posts: 39
The specifics of this "moral" question

Thanks for you comment Maxwell - I first saw it only after the new website made it more visible (at least to me).

Anyway, I think it is great that you brought up the issue of morality.  Too often people - even on this website - seem to be mostly concerned with "getting theirs" instead of the greater good.

l think that our looming and converging crises (plus your comment Maxwell) pose a great opportunity for us to examine the ethics or morality of all of this.  If we take Maxwell's comment seriously, we have to look at specifics and why not start with the specifics of the master resource - oil.

There is an excellent video that shows how American foreign policy has been influenced (warped) by the resource of oil since the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. 

The last thing that I want to do is to steer this conversation towards political idealogy - that would be counterproductive.  But - in my opinion - greed and agression are moral issues and modern society's dependence on oil has led us (globally) down a path towards increased greed and increased aggression.

I'd be interested to hear what others think about this.

Chy51's picture
Chy51
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Posts: 0
Morality vs Society

The thing that most people under the age of 40 or so don't realize is that the entire last two generations or so have been entirely deceived and indoctrinated by a carefully planned program of social manipulation. This is detailed in Dr. John  Coleman's book, "The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations", and also, it would do well for any of you to read Edward Bernay's "Propaganda" if you have the slightest doubt of what Dr. Coleman says in his books are true. Look also at Carroll Quigley's books, "Anglo-American Establishment" and 'Tragedy and Hope", and you will see much of the roots behind the so-called "conspiracy theories" of today, and you will get the sinking feeling they aren't conspiracy theirpies at all. There is also the marvelous Dr. Webster Tarpley, whose vocabulary would stymie Noah Webster (LOL), and his "Synthetic Terror, 9/11", and then  there is James Perloff, Dean Henderson, and Richard Cottrell. Jerome Corsi has written a book called, "The Selling of America", and quite a few others. These gentlemen are highly respected scholars and historians, and some of them, like Dr, Colemen spent years in intelligence themselves. They are not crackpots or tin-hat wearers, but men of integrity and high morality. They all say the same thing: those that are in power are psychopaths, liars, murders and thiefs. They have violated Constitutional authority and are no more than war criminals. It behooves us to resist them and remove them all from office with every means at our disposal. I would go further and demand the Federal Reserve be shut down. It is not Federal, it is controlled by the Bank of  England and os registered in the City of London. By the way, our government has been controlled by the RIIA for 60 years. That is who chooses the president, and who he takes his orders from. The CFR is a sister organization, in fact they were organized by the CFR to restore the US as a colony of Britian. 

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Posts: 2542
For Whatever Ails You.

I hope that you find this video as inspirational as I did.

Dinohsaurus's picture
Dinohsaurus
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Joined: Nov 2 2014
Posts: 0
Hello People,       I have

Hello People,

      I have just recently read this article and found that there is missing information in here that could in fact end up getting people killed. Let me start off with saying no I'm not trying to discredit Chris or the Peak prosperity corporation. I'm just mentioning that there is more that needs to be added to this article that would get Chris demonized and shunned making his message of preparedness nonexistent. I'm talking about that fact that once this collapse hits not everyone will have prepared like you have and that they will be very desperate. Let's talk about the economic collapse of a famous country called Argentina. Argentina used to be a very high standing country in the world having a one to one ratio for the Argentinean peso to the dollar. That was until many things went wrong with the lending and spending of the country that I will not get into. Once the collapse hit many people lost everything and society degraded  quickly with crime ever increasing. It very quickly became a police state with curfews and an unforgiving policies . People started to become victims of serious obscenities from rape to murder to robbery of all kinds. I'm not exaggerating when I say that Argentina turned into a complete mess to say the least.

     Despite of all of this many people of Argentina managed to survive and continue daily life. This was only with the exception of a few things, admitting that people with try to take what little you have and kill you because of it, the government will do very little to help you and in fact may harm more often than not, lastly that if If I'm going to live I might have to break some skulls to protect my family and me. The Argentineans did most if not all of the things above to adapt but they also changed their mindset to be tougher and stronger individuals, not to be completely incompliant with other individuals(because as you can see Argentina was apart of Fifa 2014 showing that Argentina has some collectivity as a nation) but to know that their wellbeing and their family's wellbeing comes first. Thank you for you time and good luck in future endeavors.

Sincerely,

Dinohsaurus

P.S. Many people think that buying guns makes you a bad person but in reality it is just a tool that can be used for saving your life or someone else's not meaning that you have to kill but to be prepared to is how its really used.

Dinohsaurus's picture
Dinohsaurus
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Posts: 0
P.P.S.

If you are truly concerned about the topic of survival then please, PLEASE! You should read through The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse by Fernando "Ferfal" Aguirre. This book was written by an Argentinean who is experiencing the results of the collapse in Argentina and tells exactly what he has done to readjust to the new society he lives in. I only recommend this because of the eye opening information on what things happen in a situation like that without filtering out important information.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 597
Dinoh

Don't sweat it man.  FerFal has posted several articles here and follows PP as well.  You are among like minded here wink.

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