The year 2020 has brought a global economic slowdown like we haven’t seen in generations. We’re already entered into a recession and there’s a very real possibility that the U.S. economy could enter into a lasting, deep economic depression. The chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, Mark Zandi, stated that a serious second wave of the coronavirus scientists are projecting this fall could push the economy into a deeper recession. He is optimistic that the country can avoid an economic depression, but he is reluctant to rule out the possibility since the risks are extremely high. And it’s not just the virus weakening our economy either. Government furlough payments and housing forbearance programs will soon come to an end. In addition, civil unrest in some cities is slowing down the economy, and to make matters worse, we’re at the start of a brand new hurricane and fire season. These issues by themselves are enough to hammer any economy, but with the uncertainties our nation will face this November during the elections and the potential fallout despite which candidate emerges victorious, our nation is facing compounding problems that only seem to pile on top of each other at a pace that is rapidly changing the economic playing field leaving many to wonder, could we tip over into another Great Depression? If so, what are some practical things you can do now to prepare?
In this blog, we’ll cover 10 things you should consider purchasing to prepare you and your family for what may be coming next.
In a recent blog, we discussed the things you need to know in order to prepare for an economic depression. In this blog, we’ll go deeper into the 10 things that you should consider purchasing before our economy potentially enters into a depression. Some aren’t very expensive and some can be costly, but we’ve tried to focus on items that will have the greatest use to you if an economic depression does occur. The Great Depression in America lasted nearly a decade, so it’s not unreasonable to conclude that should the country fall into a depression, the relative value of some items will increase greatly while the things we normally think of as having value will be worthless. Let’s look at the 10 things you may want to consider purchasing:
The most expensive but most valuable asset during an economic depression is land. And it should not be just any land. It should be a property that can provide you with clean water and have the capacity to let you produce food. Food and water are going to be two of the most crucial resources that you will need during an economic collapse. Having land where you can plant and grow different crops and have access to clean water will ensure that food and water will be less of a problem during a depression. The land is also yours in name and it will be harder for other people to take it away from you, except through eminent domain or by force.
An acre of land in the countryside is already a good property to start your homestead. Being away from the city is also good since you’ll be far away from population-dense areas in case riots or civil unrest takes place. It is important that when you purchase land somewhere, you should get to know the neighbors of your land. Get to know who they are and what they do. You basically need to know the community that you will be part of. It’s crucial that you have an idea of who they are to help you know if you can trust them or not. Also, know all possible safe routes that you can take to go to your land. You never know what will happen when disaster strikes. Several of the roads going to your land might be impassable, so having back up routes will help you out. Once you have land, you can safely store all of your emergency needs and supplies there. Just make sure to properly secure your supplies so they are not visible or obvious to others. Burying them on your land is one of the best ways to safely store and hide your emergency supplies.
A more affordable thing to acquire before an economic depression is knowledge. Whether you read a book or take a course, knowledge gained before a crisis occurs is a worthy investment. A dollar spent on learning now will pay you countless revenue in the future. Obtaining land for farming and gardening is one thing but knowing how to properly start a vegetable garden or farm is another. In fact, no tools in your survival kit are more important than your knowledge and skills. All of the tools that you have will only be as good as your knowledge in using them. This includes your land since its usefulness and overall potential will greatly depend on the skills and knowledge that you possess. This is why knowledge is the second thing that you need to acquire before the collapse. Knowledge about farming, gardening, and animal husbandry are things that will help you properly utilize your land. You should also learn how to hunt and forage in your area, which are key things to know for your survival. The more you know how to do things, the better your chances of surviving become. You should also be a student of history. An economic depression is not new, our country already experienced this in 1929. Read about how people survived and thrived during those times. Learn the skills that they had and use that information in your own preparation.
It is also critical that you learn these new skills before the economy enters into depression. You might think that this is a waste of time, but it’s way better to acquire new skills and knowledge before you actually need them. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to learn quickly how to braid because you are in a dire situation and need a rope. Don’t wait to learn how to raise chickens before you need to corral them during a disaster situation and build a coop. Proper preparation for any crisis is done early and focuses on self-reliance and previously learned skills. Whether you read a book or take a course, knowledge gained before a crisis occurs is a worthy investment.
Money and precious metals
When banks fail, the paper currency we use for buying things becomes worthless and our society will start to use other forms of currency to purchase goods and services. Having funds outside your single bank account will increase your likelihood of having money resources to use during times of disaster. And one form of currency that will likely retain its value, even during an economic collapse, is precious metals. They are known as a good hedge against inflation and the collapse of currencies. One fortunate benefit of our highly connected world is that large sums of money can be transferred from a failed economy to a stronger economy. In a global economic depression, some countries will still fare better than others. Precious metals provide you a transferable commodity to shift your funds from failing systems to recovering systems.
Minted silver and gold coins are precious metals that are likely going to retain value. Gold, in particular, performed well during previous stock market crashes. Looking at the crashes we’ve experienced before, gold usually rose in value as the stock market crashes.
In another blog we’ve done before, we discussed using precious metals as a hedge against hyperinflation, which usually accompanies an economic depression. Here are just a few points about precious metals, they usually come in coins, ingots, bars, and rounds. Coins will have the most significant value since they hold the added value of their precious metal assay or purity, and the stamp of authenticity lent to them by their minted coin form. If someone gives you a lump of shiny silver metal and an equal amount of silver coins, you’re more likely to trust the silver coin than the lump of shiny metal. When it comes to acquiring them, I recommend using a bullion company. Not only can you purchase precious metals from them, but they provide added security since they can ship the purchase to you. I’ll post a link in the description section of the video and you can check it out if you want to learn more about precious metals. You may be able to set aside a few dollars every payday to help you build a usable reserve, hopefully, before an economic depression hits. Some preppers are recommending using bitcoin or cryptocurrencies as another form of currency you can use during a disaster. However, we don’t really see any practical application for virtual money during a grid-down scenario. That being said, if you feel that you can transfer your money out of one economy and to another, cryptocurrencies may be a way to do that outside of bank transfers. You can probably, also, have a few hundred dollars on PayPal or Venmo for use in a non-grid down situation, as an alternate form of payment.
Bulk staple food
Bulk staple foods are the second most important thing to have in your prepper supplies with water being the first. Use this time to wisely restock your preps. The first part of 2020 we saw a lot of store shelves run empty and we saw some disruptions to our regular food supplies. We have a great opportunity here to restock and increase our supplies of dried food, peanut butter, hygiene products, medicines, vitamins, and so forth. The first part of this year was, hopefully, the worst of what we will experience, but what if it was just a glimmer of the future?
In the desperation of the great depression, some families turned to pickling and eating tumbleweed. You can avoid or stave off that level of desperation by replenishing and even increasing your supplies of staple foods. If you are new to prepping, here is your window of opportunity to quickly get up to speed with your staple food storage. If you’ve been prepping for awhile, this is an opportunity for you to address any shortcomings of your supplies you realized in the first part of this year and to increase your levels of stored foods according to what you currently feel is on the horizon. The more food you have stored up the longer you can survive through an extended economic depression.
Personal security items
Personal security items, such as guns, ammo, and other forms of personal protection that you prefer are things that you will also need to buy before the country experiences a depression. It is going to be almost impossible to purchase these things during a disaster. If you already own a gun, you saw how quickly ammo supplies disappeared in the first part of the year. Take advantage of this opportunity to restock your supplies. In a crisis you would have to find a store that is still open for business to buy these things, and you will likely have to deal with a shortage of supplies and very long lines. It is also better to deal with the background checks, even for ammo purchases in some states, prior to a disaster where things are still normal. Aside from purchasing a gun, you should also know how to properly use and care for them. Just like with a land, a gun is only as useful as your skills and knowledge on how to use it. Your knowledge of how to use guns and other self-defense items can be the difference between life and death during a grid-down scenario.
If guns are not your preferred form of protection, there are other items you can get like knives, batons, pepper spray, and so on. You just have to make sure that you have the personal security item or items you need to protect yourself, your family, and your belongings. If a depression gets worse or it becomes prolonged, it’s not hard to imagine numerous people becoming desperate, especially if they are running out of options to survive. This could lead to civil unrest as people take matters into their own hands and do whatever they deem is necessary to survive the situation. So having the means to protect yourself and your loved ones is critical.
Medicine and medicinal plants
Medicines are another important item that you will need to purchase prior to an economic depression. This is especially true if you have a critical need for ongoing medication. Pharmaceutical companies can become unreliable during a crisis. You cannot be sure they will be able to supply pharmacies with the stocks of medicine that you will need. So stocking up on the medicine you will need is crucial. For this, you might have to ask your doctor to provide you a prescription that can allow you to buy in bulk. You should also check if laws in your city or state allow bulk purchases of prescription medicine and how many you can buy. You can also try purchasing from out of country suppliers just to get all of the medicine you will need. If buying bulk non-OTC medicines becomes an issue, you can also consider looking at less effective, but functional medicinal herbs. Many drugs derive from the concentration of the medicinal properties of plants. Should supplies of certain medications disappear, your only possibility might be medicinal plants.
But even if you’re not taking ongoing medication, having a supply of basic medicines and other important health emergency kits are still important. You never know if medical care will be available during a disaster period, so having access to basic medicines in your home is critical. Have some supplies of basic medicines such as those for cough, fever, colds, headaches, stomachaches, and so on in your supplies. Make sure you check the expiration dates of the medicines you are getting. You would want to store these medicines for as long as possible without the worry of them expiring soon. Aside from medicines, make sure you also have a decent first aid kit with bandages of different shapes and sizes, safety pins, sterile gauze dressings, rolled bandages, disposable sterile gloves, tweezers, and more.
Denim, canvas, and cotton fabric
It’s also a good idea to stock up denim, canvas, and other durable fabrics. These items will be useful, especially if the economic depression drags on for years. Clothing manufacturers and retail stores are going to be businesses that won’t fare well during this period. Many stores and companies will likely go out of business, which means getting new clothes and apparel or even repairing them will be hard to do during this time. You can create clothes, bags, and other useful items with the denim and fabric that you have. Or you can use them to repair clothes or apparel that you have. The beauty of creating clothes and apparel or repairing them is that you can use that skill to barter for other items or supplies with other people. With clothing manufacturers closed, many people will be looking for other ways to get new clothes or have the ones they have repaired. As a child, it was common to have for my mother to put patches on the knees of my pants when I ripped them. She learned sewing from her mother which lived through tough times. My grandfather before his passing not that long ago would still repair clothing and rarely threw anything anyway. We live in a disposable world, but previous generations understood the importance of repairing and extending the life of their clothing.
Even if you don’t know how to sew, stocking up on denim, canvas, and cotton fabric will be useful. You can still use these items to barter for other supplies. With retail stores closed, many people will likely resort to creating their own apparel or repairing their broken ones. You can use your stock of denim, canvas, and other durable fabrics as bartering items. You can barter them for other supplies that you will need. It’s easy to seal and preserve bulk yards of these durable fabrics. You can just place them in vacuum-sealed plastic and keep them stored for years, keeping their quality intact. A final note on cloth, add to your prepping supplies at least one pair of new blue jeans for each of your family members. For kids, purchase in larger sizes.
Hunting and fishing supplies
It’s no surprise that food is going to be one of the most sought after resources during an economic depression. The coronavirus pandemic has already exposed how fragile our food system is and that same system may suffer worse if a depression were to happen. This is why it’s also critical that you have hunting and fishing supplies in your home or bug out place. You need to be prepared for the possibility of our normal food supply chain being disrupted or disappearing altogether, and knowing how to fish or hunt can be the difference between you and your family starving or surviving. Even if you have a garden, a farm, and enough stocks of staple food, there’s no harm in having another way to acquire food to eat. You need to be prepared for everything that can probably happen, and having the supplies to hunt and fish ensures you and your family won’t starve to death in case something goes wrong with your other source of food.
Many people during the Great Depression in the 1930s relied on hunting, fishing, and foraging for their survival. This is one of the reasons why many people during that time didn’t starve to death, despite the limited or even non-existent access to food for the majority of the population. You don’t need to have expensive and complete hunting or fishing gear stored in your home. Even a simple pellet gun or fishing line and hook are enough for you to fish and hunt for small game that you and your family can eat to keep from starving. As always, it is also important that you have the knowledge and skill to hunt, fish, and prepare your game properly. These tools and supplies become useless if you don’t know how to use them, so make sure you also acquire the knowledge and skill needed to fish and hunt properly.
A cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven
A cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven should be part of any preppers supplies. You might already have some pots and pans that you use for cooking and you think that is enough to help you cook and survive during trying times. That might be true to some extent, but many of the modern pots and pans that we see today are not really durable, break easy, and will not fair well after repeated cooking over an open flame. This means that you could find yourself without a good means to cook during a crisis. To prepare for that, you will need to have a cast-iron skillet or a Dutch oven. Cast iron skillets with lid and Dutch ovens are very strong and sturdy. From the stove top to the oven to open fires, you don’t have to worry about them breaking. One of the cast iron skillets I use at home is easily 100 years old. This type of cookware can last for many generations if properly maintained.
What makes cast iron skillets strong and durable is the fact that they are made of a very dense metal, making them very tough and very hard. You may already have a cast-iron skillet in your camping supplies, but this may be a good opportunity to add another cast iron item to your supplies and practice cooking with them. It does take slightly longer to heat the cast iron, but once it fully absorbs the heat, it can become red hot without becoming damaged and will hold the heat for a long time. The dense metal used also provides steady heat, which can cook food more evenly. If it gets a little rusty, you just need to remove the rust, re-season the pan, and you can start cooking on it again.
Essential survival items
The final item in our list of things to buy before an economic depression is essential survival items. These items will have greater use for you, especially during a prolonged economic depression. One survival item that you will need will be a good water filter. We personally have a Berkey water filter with backup filters. Another survival item you will need is a durable pair of hiking boots. It’s important that you make sure they are really durable since it could be the last pair of shoes you might have to wear in a while. For processing wood that you can use for construction and in building a fire, you will need an axe. You will also need a way to start a fire, a portable shelter, some camping gear, multi-tools, pocket swiss knife, light sources, and more.
To properly know if you are already prepared or not, try asking yourself if you could camp for a week, two weeks or three with your current supplies and equipment? Do you think you already have enough or are you still missing things you would need to have? You should also ask yourself if your camp is mobile to allow you to easily go to an area with jobs and resources. The reason why you need to ask these questions is that there is a real possibility that you could be homeless during an extended period of economic depression. As we said earlier, it is not impossible for your land to be taken away from you. Having the ability to camp out for a week or longer but be mobile enough to travel to different places where there are jobs and resources can be a crucial factor in making sure you and your family will survive a prolonged depression.
The threat of an economic depression is very real and one way to properly prepare for it is to make sure that you have already purchased the items that you will need before it happens. These are critical items that will be harder to get once the country enters into a depression. From land to food to cast iron cookware, this is your window of opportunity to make sure you have the essential things you need before you need them. We can learn from the first few months of 2020 to resupply or bolster our supplies of essential things we will need in the future. When the pandemic hit, the surge of people rushing the stores and clearing everything out was an example of what could happen again if the economy takes a turn for the worse.
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