Don’t Wait to Build Your Survival Kit

The predominant culture often views those who value disaster preparedness as fanatical and irrational. Their predictions may sometimes sound apocalyptic; their preparations, drastic. The idea of an implosion of the national infrastructure and financial system simply strikes some as the stuff of fantasy. An honest look at the numbers, however, reveals that survival planning is actually a wise and prudent endeavor. In fact, academic research, practical business experience and good old common sense corroborate the very real possibility that such national and global dysfunction is real, and growing more likely every day. Taking steps to ensure the safety of and provision for a family or community is a reasonable—and advisable—strategy.


Over 40 years ago, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology predicted a severe resource shortage by 2030. Some scientists agree that the forecast is right on track. Meanwhile, numerous financial experts believe that the international debt bubble fueled by easy credit and inflated currencies will soon burst, leading to an even more intense recession and causing massive social unrest. While many are still bullish on the stock market, more sober-minded analysts see stocks soon losing over half their value. The increasing income gap and swelling national debt create an even more dangerous economic environment.

Economist Martin Feldstein, one-time Chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisors, believes that the current responses of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors are short-term fixes that will lead to higher inflation and higher interest rates in the future. Beyond that, artificially low rates relieve the pressure on the president and Congress to address the fiscal deficit. Although the Fed had previously held to a two-percent ceiling on inflation, Feldstein notes in the Wall Street Journal, it is now allowing that the limit will be exceeded. What can this mean for the financial and social future?

Higher inflation leads to, of course, higher prices. It bears noting that many news outlets will broadcast the “core inflation rate” that excludes food and energy from its factors. The reason behind this is that other variables than money supply, e.g. weather and geology, will affect the prices of these commodities. Yet these necessities are nonetheless subject to monetary policies, and are fundamental to survival should hard times come in the wake of economic meltdown. For this reason—and others—the importance of building a comprehensive survival kit in advance can not be overstated. Should scarcity and desperation hit American shores, those with the foresight to store and courage to defend will fare better than others.

A survival kit adequate to a future financial implosion will be more than what might be found in a backpacker magazine. Stockpiling dried foods, for example, is preferable to cans and jars in that these foods use less space. Storing one gallon of water per day for each person and pet in the household is essential for survival. A two-week supply of food and water should be saved at a minimum. Commercially bottled water is likely the safest option for storage. In addition, thorough preparation will account for the storage of a gasoline reserve. Whether for an emergency generator of for extended travel, gasoline should be stored below 70 degrees in appropriate fuel cans—the larger the better—and supplemented with additives that preserve potency and slow evaporation.

Protection of supplies and loved ones during times of desperation and social unrest is crucial. For an all-purpose firearm, the 9mm handgun is widely acknowledged as effective and easy to use. Consequently, no survival kit is complete without lots of 9mm ammo. Unfortunately, recent years have seen unprecedented ammunition purchases by government agencies and anxious gun owners, so time should not be wasted in obtaining a significant cache. Without sufficient protection, the hard work of acquiring and storing supplies becomes futile.

Author: Lee Flynn

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  1. I had the fortune to have grandparents who survived the Great Depression…while I didn’t gain a lot of skills from them, I did inherit the idea of always having a well stocked pantry…even when times were tough, raising my family, I shopped frugally and we were never hungry…bored with food choices, well, yeah…and if I needed help, I asked my parents to grocery shop for us, not for money…and I now help my kids in the same way, I won’t give money but out of my stocked pantry, I will share food…I can’t let my kids or grandkids go hungry…but I won’t give up money to be spent un-wisely

  2. And actually, I can’t say I didn’t learn skills from my grandparents, either…I’m no rocket scientist, but I can fix a lot of things…Grandpa always had at least a minimal tool box in any situation…and DH has helped build on that a lot…I am not a baker, but Grandma was, and I did learn from her…

  3. my grandparents ALWAYS where either canning or buying extra stuff they both surivived the great depression and I learned a lot from em

  4. When my wife and I gave away Crisis/Disaster Buckets as Christmas presents in 2012, I wrote a little letter to put with the survival supplies. Basically, I reminded our friends and family that folks don’t have to believe in a “Gloom & Doom” prophesy or “End Of The World” prediction to take a few prudent measures for their families security. Although I used the example of Hurricane Sandy, there actually have been multiple disasters across the globe in the past decade. So, for those who think that we Preppers are just paranoid, I cite the tornadoes across the Midwest and Southern states, tsunami in Japan, Hurricane Katrina and snow storms in the Northeast as reasons to have survival supplies handy.

  5. Great article
    Along with “Beans & Bullets, are skill sets. I grew up hearing family stories past down from the Great Depression. My mothers side of family is from Iowa.
    Skill sets sooooo important, something is better then nothing, the more we can acquire the better. It will give you some peace of mind. Except when you hear of hard times happening in a region where you have tried to warn or advise friends and family of things they can do, and you know full well some of it could have mitigated.

  6. Great post Lee.
    Attitudes tend to be generational. I joke that I was raised in the Great Depression, not that I was, just that mom and dad lived their lives as if the depression never ended. Little was thrown away, banks were not trusted, food was first followed by clothes, and luxuries were rare – yet my parents were wealthier and harder working than most. My children took a different perspective on life believing that knowledge was money banked (a daughter will be a physician in May) and generally eschew keeping surplus supplies on hand. They value their cellphone more than a full larder. At least they were raised with a rifle in their hands. I fear they may learn the error of their ways and hope if so it is at a time when my wife and I are still around to help them through the hard spots.

    I put premium value a world class water filter such as the Katadyn pocket classic much more than a cases of bottled water. Of course I live in an area where water runs out of seams in rock layers and there is a lot of surface water. Were I in a desert, stored water would be of primary importance. Those of you who read my posts realize that we store gasoline and diesel in bulk tanks and rain water is collected in two 3000 gallon tanks. I suppose there are degrees of paranoia …


  7. I too am someone who had a father who grew up during the great depression. Born in 1911. He was of a mind, if you did not have it you did not need it.He was a plumber, we were the last ones on our block to have running water and an inside toilet. I remember when I was about 4 or 5 my sister would walk me out to the privvy and wait for me, I guess you could say I was afraid of the dark.We were also the last ones in the neighborhood to have a T V just a passiing fad he would say. I learned to do without as my brothers and sisters did. I sure hope I can do it now.I did learn how to hunt and fish, He got his deer every year. Loved rabbit stew, and fresh caught brook trout. Kids nowadays don’t know how good they have it,maybe SHTF would be a good thing in some ways.

  8. My dad and mom grew up during the Great Depression as well. I learned how to can and make jams and jellies from my mom. My Italian grandparents taught me how to make bread, and my grandfather taught me how to garden. I still can’t stand tomato hornworms, but I do know how to save the plants from cut worms. Each of us 4 kids had jobs when it came to canning during canning time. As our hands grew too big to fill the jars, we were moved up the line to the next task. My dad taught me to always have spare change around, so my hubster and I preiodically buy scrap silver coins and put them away. Ny dad also taught all 4 of us to shoot. None of us would ever win any shooting prizes, but we did keep the muskrat population under control. The hubster and I are not the “rabid” preppers that the reality shows portray, but we are slowly building our reserves and at least our family unit will be able to survive should anything happen.

  9. Nay I say, nay Mark. Experts predict and I believe a 90% die off SHTF. Of course then only the conservatives and/or very lucky would be left alive. My grandparents lived out of a garden, kept a few hogs, chicken, and a milk cow. The grandchildren had to pick a quart canning jar of bugs off of the garden plants in the summer before we were allowed lunch. When each full jar of bugs was approved, we released them to the chicken yard where they were gobbled fast. Some memories are better just memories. The grandparents had an outhouse and well. Water was drawn each morning and distributed to the bedroom pitchers. The slop jars we called thundermugs were dumped and rinsed with a clorox solution, a chicken or two was killed, plucked, and readied for the evening meal, and then it was to the garden we went, either to hoe or to pick. Of course grandpa had already milked and cared for the hogs. Good old days in memory and that is where I hope they stay. And yes I have an outhouse by the shop even though we have a septic system, cows and bulls, chickens, and a garden. A neighbor has goats and hogs. The garden could be easily expanded and a few eggs left to hatch to increase the flock and cows could be traded for goats and hogs. We could get by, probably better than most, but live that way. No way. PR

  10. Good post and good responses. I take food to our son and his family every time we visit.Its tough for young people now .We have taught them how to homestead and farm organically .Its important to pass along skills as well as values.
    We just had an ice storm and blizzard here and its so good knowing we are prepared.
    Keep prepping. Arlene

  11. Being a retired Army Ranger I have seen a lot of s*** in my time. My wife was not on board with the whole survival thing until she went on a mission trip to Africa. She thought she knew what it meant to be poor until she arrived at one of the deep country villages and saw for herself what people do to survive. When she returned it was “what do we need to do”. As such I have done everything I can to help my family prepare for both natural and man made disasters. As all my children and grandchildren are female it gives me a whole different set of problems. I have trained all of them – giving them the knowledge and skills I have learned over the years. They can all fight, hunt and live in the woods. Each started their training at the age of 5. They are all trained marksmen and each has a weapon appropriate to their size and age. My girls will not be victims. They know how to say NO – with force if necessary.

  12. John, thank you for your service to this country. We need more parents raising men and ladies who are self assured and confident.

    Wife and went on a hunting safari and saw the same poverty. Millions and millions of dollars of aid have been poured into the suffering of the dark continent and still nothing changes. We had Masai trackers who were real survivors and if possible, I’d brought back some to work at my ranch.


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