The signs that a SHTF event is headed to the U.S. have become so overwhelming that I felt a responsibility to write this. In this article, I will talk about economic warning signs that are signaling a collapse. I will touch on the recent government activity that hints they are preparing for something big. I’ll talk about the reality of what might happen in a true crash, and finally provide some basic steps you can take to quickly prepare for what is coming.
Economic Warning Signs
There are so many economic indicators signaling that a crash could be headed our way that I couldn’t possibly begin to cover them in one article. Here are 3 of the major ones.
Interest Rates – The Federal Reserve has been printing money and using it to buy $85 billion dollars worth of government bonds per month. Doing this has artificially kept interest rates low, delaying the complete collapse of our economy. However, many signs indicate that the Federal Reserve is simply inflating the bubble before it bursts. Even mainstream media admits the bubble may already be starting to burst. Regardless of when it happens, a rapid increase in interest rates will likely result. Such an increase would be catastrophic for the economy.
Debt - We have a global debt crisis on our hands the likes of which has never been seen before. We all have seen what happened in Greece, but what happens when bigger countries like the United States can’t pay their debt back? Many experts agree that defaulting on U.S. national debt would be disastrous. The dollar could lose its reserve currency status and rapidly devalue, causing an inflationary collapse.
The scariest part about the debt crisis to me is that there really is no solution to it. Raising taxes and implementing drastic spending cuts would only begin to scratch the surface of our debt problems.
Unemployment - Unemployment numbers have been heavily “massaged” to make it seem like our economy is recovering. As you probably know, those who stop receiving government benefits are no longer considered unemployed even if they still don’t have a job. The truth is that the official unemployment rate is wrong. Furthermore, four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, are near poverty, or rely on welfare for at least parts of their lives.
Students just graduating college are expected to know more and take a lower pay to compete for entry level jobs. All the while student loan debt is being racked up faster than ever. This Huffington Post article from 2012 explains that only half of recent college grads have a full time job. Does that sounds like a recipe for a booming future economy?
Telling Government Activity
The government has been out of control for a long time. Recently though, the actions they have taken are becoming increasingly blatant. Many would argue that they are preparing for something big to go down in the U.S. Check out what some of our government agencies have been up to below.
NSA – The NSA has been caught spying on Americans. They have been collecting phone records, emails, internet searches, and just about every other type of digital communications that exist. Large companies like Microsoft and Google have played a part in this by handing over our data. The part that really bothers me is that I have yet to meet someone in person who actually approves of this. But this behavior goes on, clearly against the will of the American public.
If it couldn’t get any more outrageous, the guy who let us know about it, Edward Snowden, is being called a terrorist and a spy. Really?!!! In my opinion the government definition of a terrorist has become quite blurry. It’s starting to look like anyone that sticks their neck out for freedom gets their head chopped off.
TSA – You remember, the ones who pat you and your children down at airports? They have now created what they call Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) squads. These VIPR teams patrol sporting events, music festivals, rodeos, highway weigh stations and train terminals with firearms and bulletproof vests.
To top it off, the TSA is now looking to purchase an additional 3.5 million rounds of ammo.
DHS – The Department of Homeland Security has placed an order for more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. 360,000 of which are hollow point bullets made for killing, not training. If you are not familiar with firearms, hollow points are so lethal that they are banned from international warfare. Think about that. We won’t use them on our worst enemy but we have plenty ready for domestic use.
In addition to ammunition, the DHS has been accused of obtaining 2,700 Mine Resistant Armor Protected (MRAP) vehicles. Official response has denied this number, saying that only 16 MRAPs are used nationwide by the DHS. Given the governments track record, it’s not surprising that the official statement has been met with skepticism.
Local Police – Federal agencies like the DHS have been helping fund militarization of local police departments. Many speculate that all the free gear and training actually comes with a price. The price of using that gear against innocent American citizens. If you watched coverage of the door to door raids after the Boston bombing this year, you probably realize that this concern is more than just a conspiracy theory.
What a True Crash Could Look Like
OK, so if a crash is head our way, how bad could it possibly be right? Worse than you think! Here is what you can expect to see even during a short term disaster.
Panic Buying - When the general public finally realizes a disaster is headed their way, necessary items disappear from the shelves before you can blink.
Take for example the recent ammunition shortages in the United States. Out of fear that new legislation might further attack the 2nd amendment, gun owners kept ammo shelves empty for months. Just now we are starting to see ammo become available!
Another great example is hurricane Sandy. The panic buying of massive crowds cleared bread, water, batteries and more from the store shelves ahead of the storm. Many gas stations even ran out of gas!
Supply Chain Interruption - If panic buying isn’t bad enough, some disasters prevent new supplies from being delivered to stores. If stores are closed due to power outages or delivery trucks can’t get to an area, you won’t be seeing any new supplies come in.
Looting and Violence – The truth is that human beings quickly resort to looting and violence without easy access to food, water, and other necessities. It is a survival instinct. People will throw their morals right out the window and will be willing to injure or kill other people for basic items.
Looting was common after hurricane Katrina. With no law enforcement stopping them, expect to defend yourself and your property if you get caught up in a situation like this.
It also didn’t take long for violence to become a problem in the Katrina aftermath. A criminologist was quoted saying “We might not ever know how many people were shot, killed, or whose bodies will never be found.”.
Martial Law – As I mentioned earlier, we have seen a martial law test run in Boston this year. Yet some people are still convinced the government wouldn’t declare martial law in an emergency. Well, they may actually be right. After Katrina they didn’t bother to officially declare martial law! They simply went door to door and confiscated guns.
The police state is here and they are now only waiting for the chance to use all their shiny new gear to kick your door in.
An Easy Plan for Anyone to Start Preparing
Despite the horrors of a shtf event and the warning signs that one might be coming soon, you can still greatly improve your chances of survival. Many individuals avoided all the chaos in both hurricane Katrina and hurricane Sandy by having a simple emergency preparedness plan.
Don’t be a victim of the chaos if/when the time comes. Even having a basic level of preparedness will help you avoid the most dangerous parts of a disaster.
1. Create and Practice an Emergency Plan with Your Loved Ones - The single most important thing you can do is have a plan. It takes very little time and costs nothing. Here are some tips to get you started creating an emergency plan:
- Decide on an emergency meeting place – Disasters do not wait until you are at home polishing your rifle to happen. What will you do if you are at work and something major happens? Make sure your family members are on the same page so you can quickly re-connect if something goes down.
- Determine evacuation routes - Come up with a few different routes, preferably avoiding main roads, you can take to leave your meeting location if you are forced to leave the area. Although it is ideal to stay put, it is sometimes safer to leave the area. If you live in a populated area, it could become very difficult to get out once everyone has the same idea.
- Include extended family and friends in your plan - If a shtf event does occur, you can’t risk being held up waiting for the unprepared. Are you willing to bug out without your parents or your best friend down the road? If not, it is critical to include them in your planning.
- Have a backup plan - No plan is perfect. Have a backup plan in case something happens that prevents you from executing your original plan.
2. Keep Some Extra Supplies in Stock – Toilet paper, protein bars, water, batteries, feminine products, etc. You don’t have to go out and buy some expensive survival products right away. Start by adding 1 more of everything that you normally keep in stock.
3. Learn Critical Skills – Everyone has their own opinion of which skills are “critical”, but few could argue the importance of these two.
- Own a Weapon and Know How to Use It – If you find yourself in the middle of a true collapse, there is a good chance you are going to have to deal with increased crime and violence. Being able to defend yourself and your family is a critical skill that you need to know. Learn how to be effective with the most lethal weapon that is legal in your area.
- Learn Basic Medical Skills - Taking a class on basic medical skills is an important addition to an emergency preparedness plan. A doctor or even an ER visit might not be an option when the time comes.
4. Monitor the News and Be Ready to Act – Being able to calmly and quickly act is your best chance at making it through any disaster. Whether it’s getting last minute supplies or getting out of town before the traffic, you should always be one step ahead of the masses. Stay alert and keep your eyes on alternative news sources.
Preparing Beyond the Basics
Once you have a basic level of preparedness, you can take comfort in knowing that you are already better prepared for a crisis than the vast majority of the general population. Here are some additional steps you can take to further increase your preparedness and chances of survival.
Keep Printed Copies of Advanced Information - If a major long term shtf event occurs, we will all have to rely on our wits and ability to adapt to the change. If you are like me you probably don’t have time right now to learn all the skills to be completely self-reliant during such an event. Keeping some books that teach advanced survival techniques will ensure that you are able to learn the necessary skills should the time come.
Make Small Improvements Regularly - With a basic survival plan in place you can begin learning extra skills that you are interested in at your own pace. There are many websites/blogs available online to give you ideas on becoming more prepared. If you don’t have the time to discover and read through them all, I invite you to check out my website, Survival Pulse, where I read through hundreds of emergency preparedness blogs each day and link to the best articles.
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