With the state of the world today, one of the things many preppers can agree upon is an economic collapse is likely. With the near collapse of the U.S. economy in Sept 2008, followed by the crises in Greece, Argentina, and Venezuela, it’s becoming harder to deny the likelihood that an economic collapse is inevitable.
It’s nearly impossible to predict exactly what will happen when an economy begins to fail but an economic collapse can certainly have a domino effect on a country and its people and can impact many different areas of life.
Signs of an economic collapse include:
- High Unemployment Rates
- Increased government debt
- Government Instability
- Less Consumer Spending
- Trading on Wall Street higher than ever
Some Things Impacted by an Economic Collapse include:
- Food Production
- Retail Sales
- Government and public utility shutdown
- Housing Market
So for those who are looking to be more prepared for what may come and the impact it can have, we’ve put together an A to Z guide to prepping for an economic collapse with some suggested advice and/or actions to work toward being prepared to survive and even thrive in an economic collapse.
Analyze your current assets, income, and expenses. You can’t measure improvement unless you know where you’re starting from. Set goals with an eye towards increased self sufficiency.
Consider implementing long term resources such as aquaponics gardening system or planting apple trees or other fruit trees that will provide food for your family. Stockpile antibiotics and other OTC medications as well as any addictive habit items such as cigarettes or alcohol for your own use and for trading.
Band together with friends or family and make a plan to get fit and stay physically ready to do what is needed to survive. Prepare a comprehensive bug out bag in the event you need to leave home. Plant berry bushes which will produce fruit that can be canned or dehydrated to add to your food stockpile. Gather items to be used for bartering for items you may need and can’t produce.
Cash on hand is important because experts agree that banks will be one of the first systems to shut down. Having cash on hand in the initial days following a collapse could help you secure last minute items for your stockpile.
Also consider stockpiling gold and silver pieces which almost certainly will become more useful than cash in an extended crisis. Home canning produce and meat can extend the shelf life of your food stockpile and reduce your dependence on refrigeration. Install a composting toilet to improve sanitation in the event public utilities are shutdown.
Durable goods are more valuable when cash loses value. For example, a pile of lumber for building has value but a sawmill has more value to someone because it allows them to create additional lumber. Fresh chicken eggs will be scarce and thus will have value but one or more chickens to continue to lay eggs is more valuable. Hand tools, batteries, solar panels, rope, nails, and stoves are durable goods.
Dryer Lint and other materials for fire starting are good to stock up on for your own use. The ability to dehydrate vegetables and meat will help reduce your reliance on refrigeration and be a source of lightweight food in the event of a bug out situation.
Establish an emergency fund with 3-6 months cash to cover expenses. This should be one of your first steps to preparing for an economic collapse. The first three steps of Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps are a great way to do this. EveryDollar is a free tool to assist you in creating and maintaining a budget to achieve your goals.
Fire-starting is a crucial skill for anyone who wants to be prepared for an economic collapse. Those families who have a stockpile of firewood and an axe or log splitter as well as fuel for their generator and equipment, will be furthest ahead when it comes to being able to cook and heat their home following a complete economic collapse.
Being frugal, and the ability to reuse and recycle items is one way of prepping for an economic collapse. Many families who survived The Great Depression did so because they were able to practice frugality to save precious money for items they really needed. Finding freebies in your neighborhood and even online can help you save money to pay off debt or grow your emergency fund.
Generate additional income through side projects, a second job, or supplemental earnings through craft or other homestead products (excess produce, jams, worm farm, eggs, raise livestock to sell, etc.) Go Grid Free Gradually by taking small steps you can now while paying off your home or property, reducing debt, and planning for self sufficiency in phases.
Habits can make you or break you following an economic collapse. If you don’t make the effort to break bad habits and replace them with good ones now, you’ll struggle in a crisis situation. Reduce your use of electricity as much as possible. Hit yard sales garage sales, and flea markets to find great deals on quality items to help you reduce spending habits.
Investments that you make should be easy to liquidate so that you can get access to additional cash quickly, hopefully ahead of a banking system crash if you’re paying attention.
Jams and jellies make great additions to your food stockpile if you home can them for long term storage. Just keep taking one step at a time toward self sufficiency.
Join local or online groups to learn the skills you don’t already have.
Keep practicing basic survival skills such as fire starting, shelter building, foraging for food and wild edibles, hunting, trapping, and fishing. The more comfortable you are with all of these skills, the better off you will be following an economic collapse.
Kindle apps and books can be a great resource when prepping for an economic collapse. Invest the time to load your kindle with apps and books that have information you’ll need in a grid down or financial crisis situation. There are apps for first aid, wildlife and plant identification, and many other topics.
Many books can be read for free through Amazon or from Gutenberg. These can be important references for you if you find you’ve forgotten something you’ve learned or just want to confirm what you think you know.
Learn about our economic system. The more you understand the economy, the better you will be able to see signs of an economic collapse before it happens. Study the events that followed economic crisis around the world to get an idea of what types of threats to prepare for and how to survive them.
Book suggestions include:
- Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics
- John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hitman
- Piero San Georgio’s, Survive–The Economic Collapse
- Mark Goodwin’s, American Exit Strategy
- Fernando Aguire’s The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse
Prepare for and understand the procedures for Martial law, which is likely to be enacted in part or all of the United States in the event of a widespread economic collapse. Know what to expect and how to protect yourself and family when this occurs.
Nature can provide a vast amount of resources if you simply learn how to find them and tap into them for what you need. From firewood and wild edibles to deer meat and even power from the sun, you can get it all if you know how and plan ahead.
Organic gardening is a great step toward prepping for an economic collapse. Be sure to start your garden with heritage or heirloom seeds (non GMO) which will produce a better yield year after year.
Properly save seeds from your organic garden so that you will have seeds for future years without having to depend on purchasing seeds from a supply store.
Purchase property, build a home, and get it paid off to reduce the chance of losing it following an economic crisis.
Quality tools and equipment can go a long way toward making your family self sufficient following an economic collapse.
Quit waiting for the perfect time to get started and make a plan to gather manual tools you may need to rely on to survive after an economic collapse.
Reduce expenses as much as possible. This includes conserving water and power until it becomes habit to just use less.
Stockpile canned vegetables, dehydrated fruits, and other food and supplies to sustain your family for at least 6 months to 1 year. Determine a food rotation system that works for your family and know the biggest threats to food storage to ensure that if an economic collapse occurs, the food in your pantry will be the freshest possible.
Talk to like-minded family and friends about how best to assist one another in surviving if a crisis occurs. Those who form mutual assistance groups will be in a better position to survive long term following an economic collapse.
Understand the types of dangers you are most likely to be confronted with in your area or location and focus on defending against likely threats first.
Uncertainty will become the norm when the economy collapses. Prepping for an economic collapse means being able to make decisions and act quickly even in times of great uncertainty.
Verify that your passport is valid. If you don’t have one, make sure to apply and get one as this process can take several weeks or longer to complete. Even if you don’t plan to leave the country following an economic collapse, a passport could become valuable in getting through martial law checkpoints.
Seek valuable insight into what to expect from an economic collapse from countries such as Venezuela, Greece, and Argentina which have recently experienced economic crisis.
Watch the wealthy for signs that they are prepping more actively or liquidating assets. Many of the networks the elite are part of will be the first ones to get word that something big is threatening the economy.
Wheelbarrows and other equipment and tools will be vital when the grid goes down and everything must be done manually. Make sure you have manual tools to accomplish survival tasks and any other chores you’ll need to get done around the house.
Prepare for Xtreme increases in violence following an economic collapse. Desperate people will do desperate things. One critical component of prepping for an economic collapse is knowing how to defend yourself and your family and having the firearms, ammunition, and other weapons ready and working to help you do that effectively. Stockpile as much of the common ammunition as possible (9mm, .45 ACP, .22) or for even more value, learn to make ammunition and stockpile those supplies.
Yesteryear can be a source of knowledge for how to survive hard times. Study the skills and techniques used by people who survived the Great Depression and other difficult times in the past. Learn the skills that early pioneers and Native American tribes used to survive when resources were lean.
Zero in on critical resources like shelter, water, and food first. When prepping for an economic collapse, your ability to provide the basics for your family to survive can greatly increase your odds of long term survival.
Are you ready for an economic collapse if one occurs in the next five or ten years? What if your local economy fails within the next 12 months? Or if you or your spouse lost your source of income in the next 6 months? How ready are you? Let us know in the comments below.
A mother of four and grandmother of nine boys and one girl, Megan is living the lifestyle any prepper would want. Gardening, homesteading and constantly planning for emergencies big and small, she’s a beacon of knowledge in the prepping community.