next three months

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kathrine's picture
kathrine
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Joined: Jun 20 2010
Posts: 5
next three months

Hi.  My name is Mary and Ilive on one of the many islands off WA state.  I  am fairly new to this site and this is the first time I have ever posted on any site.  Hope I am doing this correctly. 

 I am wondering what folks think I should be tending to in the very near future.  Should I have all of our family cash at home?  Or is it still ok in our local bank?  I have a wood cook stove and we are in the process of buying solar pannels which will keep our freezer and a few other electrical items at home going.  We have a storage of many dry goods, but at this point I am wondering how many years worth of grain and such I should get???  ANd how long do I have to get it.  It is hard to prioritize and figure out how much of our limited savings to spend on goods and how much cash we should have on hand.    If we are going into a real "Great Depression",  I am a little overwhelmed with all the things I would need to have on hand to keep us ok.  And wonder how long I have to make that happen.  I would love to know what you think we can expect in the next three or so months and what things I should tend to right away.

 

 

land2341's picture
land2341
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Joined: Aug 20 2009
Posts: 402
Re: next three months

Hi Mary!  And welcome aboard!  Cool

I cannot speak for everyone but most of us went through this phase.  For me it was almost a panic.  If I had a crystal ball I could tell you definitively how much time you have to accomplish what you need.  I do not know.  (Really wish I did.)

Over the last two years we started prepping by beginning serious stocking up on food supplies.  I made deals with my sisters about BOL and who was responsible for what part of our prep. Then I went to canning classes.  We bought a generator but are fully aware of the fact that it will only be useful for a short while in a true breakdown scenario.  We had a wood burning masonry heater built in our house that is able to serve as the primary heat and cooking source.  We've done others but let me tell you this.

Storms have hit this past year that knocked out our electric for three days and had us housebound for a week.  NO problem.

We even earned more money then than did others because we had supplies and machines on hand that others did not.  We gave quite a bit away,  but most people refused to accept charity and either bartered or paid.

My spouse got laid off and was out of work for quite a while.  We never touched the severance package.  Our substantial savings stood us in good stead and I went 2 months without grocery shopping at all.   Things were leaner,  but not uncomfortable by any means!  He's working again now (whew!)  so I am replenishing supplies.

I have read several survival manuals and honestly cannot envision a way to manage what they propose.  I do what we can.  buy what we think we'll need as we can afford it.  Work on learning lost arts.  Adapt to doing more with less.  We raise chickens now and are getting goats next month.  Little steps.

Prioritize for yourself,  your budget and your comfort level.  I always feel better with plenty of food on hand.  hubby prefers weaponry and ammo!  I honestly think prep in this case is almost as much changing your attitude as much as anything you can buy or store!  There are tons of threads on here with "essentials"  take your time and read through some.  Breathe.  At least now you've started.  Smile

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
Re: next three months

Hello Marybeth,

Welcome to the community. I realize that the list of recommended prepper threads is impossibly long. A good place to start would be Dr Chris Martenson's eight-piece series on the basics of resiliance.

As to what I did, I tried to get my family ready for longer and longer periods of disruption, all the while thinking of a long-term strategy for a life without cheap energy. For us, that meant having the basics you'd need if there were a one or two week power outage, then a three-month supply in a pantry (in case just-in-time food deliveries were interrupted). We then planned toward a deep larder, which is currenly at the one-year level. All the while we were gardening, and learning what did and did not grow in our climate, with a view toward supplementing the larder with fresh things.

I'm in South Carolina; your needs in Washington state will be different, but think how you'd make it through the more extreme temperature fluctuations in your region without power, and try to find ways to be resilliant. Water is the third big thing, and making sure you have that should be a priority.

(I confess to at first feeling just as overhwlmed as you are. I dealt with that by buying Surviving the End of the World as We Know It, and making a spreadsheet with a page of its suggestsions that worked for us per chapter, and then trying to prioritize my list and knock of something each week, no matter how small.)

Just keep chipping away at things: a little prep is better than no prep, and you can build on it.

bluestone's picture
bluestone
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Joined: Dec 29 2008
Posts: 263
Re: next three months

Mary

Welcome to the community

1. First of all, take a deep breath.  (it's not likely that everything is all going to fall apart in the next few months, or for that matter over the next year)... but now is the time to be diligent

2.  think of your most important basic needs.  I'd buy a couple of water filters.  Maybe a berkey water filters.  Maybe get a supply of iodine tablets personally I bought filters (a Berkey and a couple of hand helds from LL bean) and about 500 iodine tablets

3.  then start building a deep pantry.  consider purchasing 5 gallon buckets (food grade - I believe #2).   These are available at Lowe's or Home Depot.   buy some mylar bags and oxygen absorbers (google Major Surplus and many other sites provide these items).  and buy a supply of beans rice and other staples.  There are some nice demonstrations on youtube on how to store food using the buckets, mylar bags, and O2 absorbers 

 4.  I would take some cash out from the bank $1000 at a time.  I would not take all of my cash out personally, there'es certainly a liability in holding it at home (theft, fire etc)

5.  consider purchasing some silver and gold bullion coins.  Dr. M has a description and advice on purchasing precious metals. go to the menu bar.

6.  do not put all your eggs in one basket.  ie - keep some cash on hand, some in the bank. own some precious metal coins, consider owning some precious metals in a reputable company which stores in a vault.  get out of debt if you can.  Start buying (as you are doing) things of value - warm clothing, shovels, rakes, etc

7.  if you have a little land, start gardening, plant some fruit trees next year.

good luck

Brian

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: next three months

The 5Gs: G*(religious edit), Gold (Silver too), Guns, Grub & Have even more faith that the Government will scr#w it up fixing what these morons broke to begin with.

Not offering financial advise - the 5 G's are my guiding principles, the only thing I have faith left in.

kathrine's picture
kathrine
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Joined: Jun 20 2010
Posts: 5
Re: next three months

I guess I should add a little more. i am a little farther along than I mentioned.   We do have a cow, goats, chickens and a garden.  Esentially a farm.  Our new solar panels should also run our well pump.  I am just feeling a growing sense of anxiety in the air and wonder how long we have to get more things in place.  I am worried about having our money in the bank but my husband thinks our money is ok there at the moment.   And one big question is if we were going to have gold how would we determine the amount to buy given our personal finances.  (how much cash on hand, how much should we use for storage food, how much for material items like a rootceller, etc.)  And i am going out on a limb here (hoping people don't think I am crazy) mentioning this but do we need to get things like clothes for our children for the next five years?  Can you see where I am going with this?  I am not sure how far to take my preparations.

kathrine's picture
kathrine
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Posts: 5
Re: next three months

Thanks for the tip on Dr. M's article on buying gold.  Although I am a member i had not found that article.  There is so much good information on this site I have trouble finding it all!  I will read this article and I can tell it will really help answer some of my questions.

nickbert's picture
nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1207
Re: next three months

Marybeth,

Sounds like you're doing pretty well already.  I've asked myself those same questions, and the strategy I've adopted has been to keep 3-4 months of regular expenses worth of cash locked up at home and 3-4 months more in the bank.  Any money I accumulate past that I split between buying gold/silver, acquiring various prep items (last one was a Honda 2000watt inverter generator for shorter term emergencies), and paying down my student loan debt.  Seems to work well enough for us, though you might have different requirements (for some a few months worth of cash might be too high an amount to feel comfortable keeping at home, for example).

Personally I would focus a little more (but not exclusively) on more near-term potential concerns like short-term disasters/emergencies (financial or otherwise) and short-term but high-impact supply disruptions.  If or once you've got that covered to your satisfaction, then just have a list of the medium to long-term preps and try to assign each a priority level based on both importance and urgency.  For example future clothes for the kids might be worth getting only if you see some super sales, but the US is not likely to run short on clothing before we run short of other things (so the urgency is not terribly high).  A root cellar, though, that would have both higher urgency and impact/importance.

Hope that helps a little!

- Nickbert

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2237
Re: next three months

Hi Marybeth!

   It sounds like you have a really good foundation already!

   You asked if you sounded crazy asking about buying clothes for your children for the next 5 years.  Well. if you are, you've got company!  I remember looking at all these cheap clothes and shoes and boots we get from China and other countries, and wondering "What happens if we stop getting all these cheap goods? " (for whatever reason: dollar collapse, hyperinflation, oil shortages impacting shipping and long-distance trucking..?).  So I tried to get those things that I thought would be the most important  to have in that case for my son.  E.g., inexpensive (but decently made) snowboots, workboots and sneakers in sizes from his current size on up.  Then a couple pair of jeans in various sizes.. Snow hats, winter coats and mittens.  Socks and underwear.  I had to buy it over a time, but that's what I did.

   So what has happened so far?  Hey, when his sneakers don't fit anymore; we just break out the next size!  In other words,  it is all stuff we end up using anyhow.  And you don't have to spend a fortune buying new things; this is emergency back-up clothing "just-in-case", so if you just want to make sure you're covered, you can pick up things cheaper second-hand at a garage sale or thrift store.  We have thrift stores in nearby local rural towns where you can get a bag of used clothes for maybe $2.

   I know, it probably does sound extreme to a lot of people. But I'm a mom, so it was worth the peace of mind to me!

   best of luck (and I wish I had chickens, goats and a cow already!:)

   pinecarr

earthwise's picture
earthwise
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Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 846
Re: next three months
Marybeth Dickerson wrote:

I guess I should add a little more. i am a little farther along than I mentioned.   We do have a cow, goats, chickens and a garden.  Esentially a farm.  Our new solar panels should also run our well pump.  I am just feeling a growing sense of anxiety in the air and wonder how long we have to get more things in place.  I am worried about having our money in the bank but my husband thinks our money is ok there at the moment.   And one big question is if we were going to have gold how would we determine the amount to buy given our personal finances.  (how much cash on hand, how much should we use for storage food, how much for material items like a rootceller, etc.)  And i am going out on a limb here (hoping people don't think I am crazy) mentioning this but do we need to get things like clothes for our children for the next five years?  Can you see where I am going with this?  I am not sure how far to take my preparations.

Congratulations on your preparedness. A farm? You're far more prepared than most. Your big question about cash in the bank: I don't sense a great risk in bank accounts but nonetheless I withdrew 90% of what I had there. Why risk it for no gain (interest) when it can be as secure hidden elsewhere as deposited there. As far as how much gold, food, clothes and other preps to buy, the way I look at it is that I'm going to use these things eventually anyway so there's no waste involved. In my mind holding gold, food and clothing is a storage of wealth just like cash, less liquid but more secure. More secure because it can't be devalued by inflation (more likely) but still useful in deflation (quite possible) and absolutely essential in a collapse. You're definitely on the right track, just keep readin' and you'll figure out what's right for you.

Good luck!!!

 

LG's picture
LG
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2009
Posts: 59
Re: next three months

Marybeth,

As for long-term food storage, I would locate a local Mormon for food storage advice. Many Mormons, not all, have a deep knowledge about what will keep well and what will not for your humid area. They can also direct you to a source.

LG

yoshhash's picture
yoshhash
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2008
Posts: 271
Re: next three months
Marybeth Dickerson wrote:

 do we need to get things like clothes for our children for the next five years?  Can you see where I am going with this?  I am not sure how far to take my preparations.

I am hardly in a position to be giving advice- I have a long long way to go myself.  However, I honestly do not think you need to stockpile clothes.  Rather, learn to take care of what you have already, be more selective of the clothes you do buy, collect mending equipment and start paying attention to the "repairability" of your clothes- (well, actually everything, not just clothes.  Same could be said for all this cheap pressboard furniture that you see everywhere. ).

I'm sure you've noticed that a lot of clothes are not really fixable once they start to fall apart.  A lot of "stitching" is just painted on, or fake texture in plastic or rubber these days.  There is a lot to be said for real leather, double stitching, sturdy grommets, removable liners, etc.  Cheap zippers are not meant to last more than a season, but a good one should last a lifetime.  A few years ago, I went out trying to buy a replacement button and discovered that they can be extremely difficult to buy in some neighbourhoods.  Get "shoe goo" or similar.  Learn to put buttons back on, make your own liners, mend pockets, etc.

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