Subject: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply
Khalil Bodhi wrote:Hi Jack,
I'd be interested in hearing what you plan do to to prepare and any hints or tips you might have for someone living in NYC. If you want you can PM me or just post here. Thanks.
Basically we have divided our preparations into three time periods.
Short term (1 - 4 weeks)
Mid term (First year)
Long term (Onwards)
Stockpiling is one of the easiest and best things you can do to prepare for any event that may cause a break down in the fragile system we live off. the Just-in-time mode of living from the supermarkets leaves most people in the western world only about 1 to 2 weeks out from starvation at any given time.
Here is a list of the 100 items that would disappear first in such an event:
http://www.thepowerhour.com/news/items_ ... rfirst.htm
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Personally we have been building up a stockpile of the following:
- Toilet paper (I think we have about a 3 month supply + some room for barter)
- Rice (I've read estimates that you need about 20 - 30kg per person for a year's supply)
- Sugar and salt (never go bad, will be very good barter item and also have a range of uses such as food preservation)
- BIC lighters and matches (Lighters will be highly desirable in future)
- Baking soda (cleaning, home made toothpaste)
- Vitamins (especially C, to keep the immune system chugging and prevent scurvey in a situation where fruit and veges are not available)
- Tinned beans, fruit and other canned food.
- First aid gear
The perishables we rotate through as they arrive close to their use by date we use them and then replace.
Fortunately when my Grandfather died he left my Mum and her brother and sister equal shares in his house in a small town by the sea, which is also surrounded by vast undulating alluvial plains which are excellent for crop cultivation. My uncle owns a farm many miles from the town, so in situation where the proverbial hits the fan, he'll most likely bunker down on the farm with his live stock and arable land. My aunty on the other side living in the suburbs with her family would be unlikely to decide to pack up and move to our holiday house, but if they did we would find a way to accommodate them.
So we're keeping a very close watch on the state of the economy and if the obvious signs start to show we'll make plans to pack up our stockpiled food, transportable valuables, seeds, tools, books and anything else of value that we can take, then we'll abandon the house move up to the our bug out crib in the sea-side town - The decision will probably come when we both lose our jobs, or jobs are no longer worth working due to the eroded purchasing power.
That is the mid-term contingency, it gives us a place to go to that's away from the city, in a community that will probably avoid the worst case scenarios of starvation and violence. From there my Mother's excellent knowledge of gardening and crafting will come in handy as we cultivate veges and bamboo and work with others in the community to help them get set up to do the same.
However we are also planning for an optimistic long term situation where the worst effects of the collapse are still 5+ years down the track and that the New Zealand govt through a series of quick acting measures will be able to turn a fast collapse into a long and steady decline. For my part I am returning to University in the hopes of getting a science degree in geology, with a focus on gold mining. Gold is something that will remain valuable as long as you or I will live, especially so in a climate of perpetual economic recession. Even a fast collapse scenario (provided it still happens no earlier than 2014) an ability to find gold would still have value to society in what ever future may come.
Mum for her part has been doing a lot of research on bamboo farming, which she is quite sold on. Her plan is to be able to sell her current house and buy up a decent amount of land in the country side, which she would use to grow veges and bamboo. It's sort of similar to our mid-term plan, but has the added advantage of being even more isolated from the cities. We are also making an investment in silver (poor man's gold). Silver is an excellent investment for the long term, because it's cheap enough that anyone can get into it, and precious enough that it will hold it's value no matter what happens to the fiat currencies. In the short to mid term it won't be worth as much as it's weight in rice or toilet paper, but in the long run when eventually new currencies arise: Having some silver will put you among the wealthy.
Now, about living in NYC and preparing for these kinds of situations. My first question is: Can you get out? The survival of most of the citizens of New York is entirely dependent upon the trucks bringing the food in, you have to envisage a situation where the trucks simply don't come. If you can move your family to plot of land in or near the countryside where you can cultivate your own food, do so. If you can't do that then start talking contingency plans with anyone you know who does
have land in the countryside, maybe that you could move to their place in the event of a disaster and help them cultivate the land? But if that's not an option (even long term) then that's not the end of the world, and you can turn your long term focus to recycling and living off NYC's vast internal resources, once the people are gone of course.
I guess the first thing is to get a wee stockpile going - Enough to survive 2 weeks, then 4 then progressively longer. You don't need to blow the budget on it, you can build it up gradually over a period of months. Basic things for survival and a bit extra to trade or give away, the list posted above has some great suggestions. In a worst case scenario you'd basically want to bunker down in your apartment for a long period and wait for the people to disappear, either by exodus or natural attrition. You'd need to ensure you have the means to fresh water, assuming that the tap water becomes contaminated, having a collection system set up and ready to be fitted out side your apartment window, will prove invaluable. It would be especially good if you had some form of balcony or roof you could climb onto. Sanitation is another one, if you've got ample finances right now the investment in a portable toilet may not go astray.
Eventually when the city quietens down, you'll be able to scavenge for most things you need, you could even look at getting a vege garden going on the roof of your apartment building (assuming most of your neighbors exit stage left). I dunno, I'm just chucking ideas around now, but hopefully it puts you on the right track.
That'll do for now.