It’s been months.  Perhaps years.  You know the crisis is coming to an end because you have regularly been seeing the U.S. Army vehicles out on the roads.  Rumor has it the power grid is going to be back up within months.

However, it’s been quite some time since the lights went out, and several months ago, your groups started rebuilding.

From your poconos compound, there were roughly 20 platoons of people (comprised of clans and friends) totaling maybe 1,000-1,500 people.  They were all kinds of different backgrounds, and early on, the military and survivalist types were extremely important in keeping everyone alive and on point.  As time went on, there were now demand for more services:

  1. Religious
  2. School
  3. entertainment/music
  4. story telling
  5. commerce

When times were tougher, there were a few from the clergy amongst the groups that had a sort of impromptu mass at one of the camps.  Word got around, and several times a week services were held.

All of the kids that were at camp also needed their minds shaped.  Out of the 1,500 people, there were 700 children.  Luckily, there were 20 who had been teachers, and we were able to have make shift classes.

Some of the people who headed for the hills brought their guitars, violins, and precious instruments.  During the days, some of the adults would teach the children how to play.  During the evenings, some guitars came out during camp fires and you could hear some singing.  In the day and age of high priced electronics and houses filled with useless shit – people came together as they may have done 100 years ago by a fireplace to sing.

With the fires came the ghost stories and stories of people.  The stories of heroes during the bad times.  The stories of suffering.  Of rebuilding.  Of triumph.  Some of the writers of the group had been busy trying to capture as much detail as possible.  Some of the lit people knew tons of stories to also entertain the children during school and English lit.

Lastly – some of the accountants, finance people, and bankers amongst the group taught people about how to save money, inflation, supply and demand, and concepts of the monetary system.  For some of the young adults, they taught a lot of skills like balancing a checkbook, starting a business, commerce, and sales.

With the above skills being shared, we are approaching the time where people will have the option of going back home to re-engage in modern conveniences.

Fuel trucks are now starting to get back to gas stations, where owners are now coming back to set up shop.  Mobility is now back, for those who want to use it.  Many people are finding this way of life more enjoyable and enriching than their previous life, and they decide they want to stay.

Some power comes back to the compound which helps with getting news from the outside world, air conditioning, and refrigeration.

Those who have left, now leave with a lot more skills and perspective on the world.  Like our ancestors who lived through the great depression, this generation will forever now be linked to conservation and efficiency with things like financial resources, stocking for a bad day, and canning.  Our wild economy will take decades to come back, as people learned to live without tons of the shit products that were on the market.  Commerce starts back up slowly, with preference towards building durable products that can assist if the lights go off again.  Things like:

  1. Water filtration/collection systems
  2. Wood crafting products like lathes, saws, planes
  3. Tools, building products
  4. Canning products and systems for food preservation
  5. Farming/gardening equipment
  6. Survival equipment
  7. Camping equipment
  8. RV’s and pull alongs
  9. Pickup trucks and SUVs as opposed to cars and electric cars
  10. Wagons/wheelbarrows.

 

Shunning modern convenience

I live in Pennsylvania in the United States – and where I live had close contact with the Amish for many years.  You see them all the time with their horses and buggies.  They do use some modern power for construction, but generally don’t have a lot of it.

If all of you look around your homes today, you might find so much money you put into things like sconces, decorations, fancy furniture, and countless items that aren’t needed.  You think to yourself – “maybe I need to focus more energy on being prepared in case any of this happens”.

For the next 6 months, you decide to forego some modern luxuries in order to focus more on your preparedness.  Maybe in month 7, you go back to collecting your junk, but you decide to make a concerted effort to try and prepare, in advance.

While the scenario in this series obviously did not happen, there are some takeaways from this mental exercise:

  1. No one is fully prepared for every contingency.  Because of this, we will have reliance on others.  Have some sort of plan with your family.  Make a joke out of it, if you will, with your “zombie apocalypse team”, if you will.  But have some sort of academic discussions about what you would do if SHTF.
  2. Most people don’t have a bunker and 5 years of supplies.  What you might be able to do is spend a few hundred on some basics and every time you go to the grocery store, spend an extra $10 on emergency supplies.  Band aids one week, 4 extra jugs of water the next, a 20 pound bag of rice the next.
  3. Running to the hills should not be your first action, unless you are in a violent city, have no supplies, and have a stocked cabin to go to.
  4. Weapons are incredibly important to survival in the early stages of SHTF.  Not only can you protect what’s yours, but if the situation calls for it, you may have the means to take from someone else, in a dire emergency.
  5. No one really knows what will happen.  We have models we can study, movies we can watch, and real-world scenarios which could be applied.  However, no one really knows what would happen if sunspots hit us, fried all electronics, satellites, and within the same week, the poles flipped.

 

The BIG takeaway:

Life skills are extremely important, and none of us have many of them.  While I have two master’s degrees and recently completed a triathlon, I think my next challenge in my 40s, while I continue to exercise and get to 170, is to learn more skills.  Drywalling.  Construction.  Investment.  Wood working.  Metal working.  Engines. Welding.  Small scale mining/refining – to go along with pouring metal.  Maybe some EMT skills?  Gardening/farming.  Hunting/shooting.  I feel like as a human, there’s a lot more dimensions I need to add to me.

So much of my life was about doing my math homework so I can get into college so I can get a job so I can have a family and buy a big house and nice car and send my kids to college.  OK.  Done.  I’m 44.  I think this was some of the attraction of joining the military in my 40s.  I have everything needed on paper for a direct commission and could significantly help our armed forces – but there’s skills there I wanted to learn as well in a form of trade.  I wanted to learn things like weapons training, survival skills, leadership, and – more discipline.  I wanted to really give back, but life got in the way.  About a year ago, I was full steam ahead for it.  I didn’t stop my pursuit, but my mom got sick and…we are now having a baby boy in 6 months.  So – I was hoping to get in, do my training ASAP, and then spend the next 10-20 years doing the 1 weekend a month/2 weeks a year, with maybe a 6-12 month deployment once every 5 years or so.

While I think the likelihood of any of this series happening is low, it’s also far from zero.

Maybe 2% per year?  Maybe .1%?

One of my buddies suggested that the US is too big to fail.  I disagree.  While I do not want the US to fail, we have nation states constantly working against us, not only in open conflict, but behind the scenes.  The article I wrote yesterday points out to a lot of evidence that a significant downturn in the economy is coming.  What if this is rather significant AND paired with a disaster like in this series?  A recession will happen…6 months, 1 year, 5 years – at some point it will happen.  The question is, will there be a “pop” with this, or will it be a gentle pull back of the markets?

How can we prevent it?  I’m not sure we can.  But we can work to:

  1. Be better humans.  Do our part to prepare for tough times.  By proactively preparing, you are less taking from others and are in a better position to help others out.
  2. Get in better shape.  Those who are in the best shape can not only contribute the most in tough times, but also prevent financial problems with reducing healthcare costs in this country.
  3. Learn more skills in the new year. Volunteer to help a friend or neighbor drywall.  Watch some cool videos on learning new skills.  Take some adult education classes?
  4. Focus more resources in the next few years towards preparedness and less on useless shit.  Why not buy good things second hand?  Is there some law that says you have to buy top price retail for everything?  Bargain shop.  Go to flea markets and yard sales to get products marked down to absolute low prices.