So it has happened. You’ve been at least somewhat aware of the risks but didn’t really think it would happen so you didn’t prepare. Perhaps it has happened and you stumbled across this site in a desperate web search. Collapse is imminent and you are wondering what you can do at the last second hopefully before everyone else realizes it!
Well, I’m not going to sugar coat it; you’re kind of “up a creek” and here’s hoping you have a paddle. The paddle might be money, precious metals, or some practical skills. Practical skills include medical skills, gardening, farming, electronics, radio communications, hunting, building trades, or tactical abilities. With skills like these, you might be able to barter work and expertise for essentials. However this section is more about what to do and/or buy at the last second if possible.
Things To Do
1. Get to a “safe” Location: In a total collapse, nowhere is truly safe but some areas will be safer than others. If you can reasonably get away from cities to a relative’s place in the country, that would be very advisable.
2. Reaffirm Community: Whether you stay home and hunker down or you bug out to the country somewhere, you need to connect with your neighbors. Making alliances and pledging to support each other will be hugely important. Maybe even start a neighborhood watch schedule and set up lines of communication or alarms.
3. Water Storage: If you don’t have a reliable source of water where you will be staying, start filling every container you can spare until the tap runs dry! I’ve been saving orange juice bottles for quite some time now…there are also some pretty cool bulk storage products available.
4. Study Your Geography: Routes to and away from your place could be important. Analyze lines of sight and potential blind spots for defensive purposes. I know this sounds extreme, but knowing your surroundings in times of trouble is invaluable! Look at your home for potential weaknesses in terms of break in vulnerability.
5. Take Inventory: Draw up an inventory of everything you can use for food, drink, heat, communication, and defense. This will give you a much better understanding of where you stand, how long you can survive, and what you will need sooner rather than later.
What to Buy
The order of this list will be very debatable and totally depend on your personal situation!
1. Defense: Ammunition for whatever kind of gun(s) you have…lots of it. Not because you’re going to be fighting a war but because it can be used to hunt, defend, or to trade for other needs later on.
2. Food: Try to get your hand on as many canned and dry goods as you can. This stuff will fly off the shelves as soon as the panic sets in. Unfortunately we live in a very panicky, reactionary society!
3. Bottled Water: I’m torn on this one because if you are relying on bottled water you simply won’t be able to buy enough. However, water is important enough that it belongs on the list in some capacity. Filters would be nice but not really needed if you have the ability to boil.
4. Fuel: Gas, propane, kerosene, etc will all be at a huge premium for heating, yard tools, vehicles, and cooking.
5. Communication: Uncertainty is one of the worst things to deal with. Having a way to communicate amongst your neighbors, the other people at your place, and listening in to what news is available is absolutely critical. Transistor radios with shortwave if possible, good walkie talkies, or even a ham radio would be great purchases!
6. Change Your Money: If collapse is imminent and it is economically, politically, or power grid based, trade your money for something of tangible value. Gold, silver, platinum, or again, ammo are all good ideas. Some other “strange” items that might have serious trade value in a long term collapse include cigarettes, alcohol, or coffee.
7. Medical Supplies: This one should be farther up the list, possibly number one for some, but it varies so widely from family to family that I put it down here. Medicines that you take regularly like insulin, heart meds, blood pressure meds, etc. should be stocked up on very soon! Other stuff is a good idea too including antibiotic cream for cuts, aspirin, laxatives, diarrhea meds, and electrolyte mixes. Also, think hygiene here, especially with limited running water!