Preparing for the Future

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The question of how to prepare for the future is a question that comes up often. In the light of current developments and global trends, massive changes are now occurring around the world that will make the issue of personal survival a critical priority. This blog has documented many of these global conditions that are now converging together into a frightening, catacalysmic future that will severely affect every living human being on the planet.
> A great many people are struggling with what personal preparations are necessary for their future survival, what can be done, what should be done and even when to do it.
> Some important points to remember -
> *    What we do - will be what enables our kids and our descendents to survive.
> *    What we don> '> t do - is what will condemn our children and our descendents to lives of extreme poverty and difficulties.
> *    The longer we delay - the more difficult and expensive it will become. In the not-to-distant future, it won> '> t be even remotely affordable.
> *    We are ultimately talking about the very survival of the human race - the problem is that serious and far reaching.
> What it> '> s going to take to survive for the next 10 - 50 years? In my opinion, quite a lot. Everything we have taken for granted about life, living, civilization and society is no longer assurred. A devastated and blasted planet is rejecting its human host and the threads of civilization are snapping everywhere you look. What we are witnesses to today is just the beginning of a long decline, slow or fast, that will shatter our common futures. Of this I am absolutely certain.
> Warning signs are being posted daily by eminent scientists, researchers and analysts around the world. Global trends in economics, environment, energy, culture, politics, freedom and even the world> '> s oxygen supply are ominious.
> The very life systems we depend upon are no longer a certainty. The only certainty there is will be change - massive change disrupting the > '> normal> '>  ebb and flow we are all accustomed to. My prediction about the future isn> '> t based on anything more then an examination of history and the present and current trends. It> '> s fact, it> '> s not a prediction at all. It> '> s supported by scientific fact and evidence that is now cascading forward, warning the world of what to expect.
> How to best prepare for this climate of change isn> '> t an exact science. We will all wind up doing whatever it is we can do. But I contend that what we do right now is what will make the biggest impact of all on our chances for survival.
> I hold no illusions about my own chances, or that of anyone else actually. Even the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray. But chance is a fickle thing, and why tempt fate?
> I suspect my thoughts on this subject are a little more then > '> ahead of their> '>  time on three issues. First of all, it is nearly impossible to tell how things will actually work out. Climate is one of the biggest unknowns. We only know that climate change is swingly wildly in direction of extremes. Whether drought or deluge or thermohaline or global warming (all related), the global climate change will dramatically effect present and future life on earth. However, drought is the real problem that we> '> ll have to deal with in North America.
> Secondly, the rising fascism and police state tyranny and tactics could go in several different directions. A civil war could erupt in America over lost rights (eventually) or even an immigration war could spark a martial law crackdown. More likely however, is the civil war will erupt over lost priviliges and possessions (see below). Increased acts of domestic terrorism, real or fabricated, could generate a massive federal backlash upon the average citizen. Gauging what happens in a future police state isn> '> t an exact science either, however, the past and current trends does give us some insight.
> Thirdly, the massive energy collapse that is already now underway will preempt everything else. Our civilization existed on a sea of oil, which has now reached it> '> s peak and is headed for a severe decline. Food, agriculture, transportation, distribution, commerce, production, mining, everything requires huge volumes of oil. The global infrastructure is headed for a severe collapse, taking the economy down with it. Even worse, is global starvation as a result. Few understand the intricate links of oil to food production, but estimates run as high as 5 out of 6 persons will die as a result of the energy collapse.
> There is no substitute for petroleum in our oil-soaked world. Nothing even remotely comes close to meeting the global energy needs. Alternative energy, nuclear, solar, wind and even methane hydrates cannot even begin to meet the energy requirements to maintain our present civilization. No techno-fix is available. Energy collapse will be swift, certain and global.
> I suspect my thoughts are controversial, but they are beginning to take hold around the world as other people study the issues and connect the dots into a coherent picture. Not everybody has the > '> doom and gloom> '>  outlook I do. I> '> m not going to even bother to defend my point of view as I find this an exercise in futility. If you> '> re not already listening and aware of the current events and trends that are now taking place globally, then being told how to survive them won> '> t make any sense to you either.
> Choosing a lifestyle path that will assist your future chances of survival is critical in my opinion towards increasing your chances and that of your family. What you do right now will make the biggest > '> controllable> '>  impact in your life. The rest is entirely out of your control anyway.
> And there are a lot of myths out there that I really have to laugh at. I suspect that many of them are written by people who have absolutely no practical experience in the things that they are writing about (survival). One writer believes that you don> '> t need to prepare, just > "> survive> ">  (somehow) and > "> pick up what you need> ">  after the die-off happens (including skills, apparently). This approach will certainly get you killed, which may be the real agenda of such advice.
> Refugees do not fare well in any situation. Deliberately and knowingly putting yourself into a refugee status is suicide. And right now, refugees are taken care of by the larger society (if possible), which may not be the case in the future. In fact, refugees may be the > '> plague> '>  of any remaining society and will be exterminated or forced into concentration camps. This is not far fetched at all - this has happened all over the world already. Throwing your life away to chance and an unknown future is like giving up the controls on your car at 80 mph. What the hell do you think is going to happen?
> Okay then, leaving aside the mythology of > '> modern thinkers> '> , let> '> s categorize some of the issues we> '> re going to have to deal with.
> Economics
> The global economic meltdown is already underway. You will > '> need> '>  to cope with this on several fronts. Your income is dwindling and your purchasing power is going to be drastically reduced, rapidly. Right now, higher gas prices are being reflected in the cost of everything else, but we> '> ve yet to see the real impact of this. The housing bubble is set to implode, devaluing real estate dramatically. The derivatives market is grossly overextended, further excaberating the world financial situation.
> As the economy melts like the glaciers in Greenland, it> '> s possible that a tsunami sized event will trigger a massive freefall. I can think of several such event possibilities, but I don> '> t know if they will happen or not. Nuclear war would trigger such an event. Pandemic, sudden climate change, plague or even war. As they say, it> '> s not > "> if> ">  but > "> when> ">  the global economic meltdown starts affecting you. The how it happens isn> '> t particularily important on a personal level.
> So get debt free as quickly as possible. I repeat - get debt free if you can. I do not believe for a moment that the greedy bankers and mortgage companies will > '> forgive> '>  your mortgage just because everyone else is also failing in their mortgages. A global meltdown will NOT protect you from your financial obligations. It didn> '> t during the Depression and it won> '> t now. Moreover, money is the motivation and the grease behind the capitalistic economy and it won> '> t be abandoned just because there is a global or national or even regional economic meltdown. We are at least a generation away yet from abandoning capitalism, much more suffering will be in order to reveal to our thick skulls it> '> s dangers and destructive practices. Capitalism is at the very heart of why we are facing a global resource shortage and dangerous climate change.
> Liquidate unnecessary assets. Look around and identify all the superflous junk in your life that is only being held onto because you forgot it was there, or you thought it would be a > '> great investment> '> . The decline in purchasing power is making some (not all) of these investments a losing proposition already. The goal here is to free you up from your worldly attachment and responsibilities, get out of debt and generate some cash so you can buy some of the things you> '> re going to need.
> Relocate to a sustainable location. If you live in the desert and are dependent upon outside sources of water (such as the Colorado river system) that is now drying up, you> '> re in an unsustainable and unsuitable location for future climate shift. There are many reasons to relocate, this being just one, but water is going to be a HUGE factor in the future. Get near plenty of fresh water. Lowland ocean property is going to be flooded (rising sea level) and hundreds of millions of people are going to be forced to relocate, driving prices higher and higher. But you can> '> t drink salt water or raise crops with it, so find an area that has plenty of natural river systems.
> Water wars are the wars of the future. Some really stupid legislation is trying to be passed (or has been passed) to prevent you from gathering your own rain water, or is taking total control and ownership of all the water in wells (even drilled on your own land). You> '> ll have to either ignore this, move, or defeat this type of garbage. Water is life and in a continent that is going to dry up, it will become extremely important to your survival. You will be reminded of this daily, so plan ahead.
> Sustainable locations also means an area where there are already trends for self-sufficiency in growing, transportation (a big one), recycling, public awareness and power generation (wind, hydro, nuclear, but not coal or oil or natural gas). These areas area already far advanced over other locations that are still too dumb to realize what> '> s happening.
> Finding an area that presently offers a good growing season is essential, but you will have to judge whether or not if it will remain a good growing area due to climate shift. You might have to move again.
> The local and migrant population of the area will need to be examined for numbers, safety and sustainability. Can they feed themselves? Cities are a prime example of this inability, requiring massive inputs of food, energy, water, fuel and supplies to simply exist, day by day. Rural areas that provide small populations, self-sufficiency (or potential), plentiful water, and fuel (heat fuel, such as wood will be essential).
> Climate Change
> Climate change will affect everyone, everywhere. Signs of the times and the future are already being felt around the world with massive storms, hurricanes and drought. Global climate models reveal that many areas will suffer drought, others will be flooded and some will experience wild swings between wet and dry (including massive snowfalls or none at all).>
> Climate change will also make or break the global or national economy, depending on how fast we manage to adjust, if at all (it is somewhat doubtful we will be able to adequately adapt). But the world prices in essential goods for your survival will continue to climb as climate change causes increased expenses in everything.
> Lowland sea coast will be indunuated with rising oceans, forcing hundreds of millions to relocate. In some parts of the world, entire nations will be engulfed by the rising seas. Thousands of islands will simply disappear, island relocations have already started in several countries. There will probably be time to forcibly relocate most of these people, but where and what to feed them as their local and regional and national economies collapse will be difficult.
> Expect food prices to continue to skyrocket literally out of sight as climate change impacts global food stocks and growing areas. Dwindling energy supplies will also excaberate the impacts in agricultural costs, processing, transportation and distribution. Experts agree that food will one of the most severely impacted global resources on the planet. Massive, worldwide starvation is expected, with 5 out of 6 individuals facing violent death or starvation.
> Climate modeling is not an exact science since we do not understand all the mechanisms that affect climate fully. But we do know several very important factors. The global climate can change extremely rapidly (in one year or less). It> '> s historical impacts have already destroyed a great many civilizations before ours. And human-caused climate change is a fact. Continued exploitation and destruction and the resulting pollution of the worlds remaining resources is magnifying the problem. Because of this general awareness, expect restrictive legislation impacting heating, transportation and useage of certain products (oil, gasoline, diesel, chemicals and certain gasses).
> Carbon dioxide is a big factor in climate change, as is methane. Businesses, industry and the > '> consumer> '>  will be deeply affected by forthcoming legislation that dictates how you live, eat, drive and work as a result of human-caused greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere. The easist way to cope with this is to make the adjustments now to a low-impact, sustainable lifestyle. You will already be ahead of the game when it becomes mandatory.
> Police State / Tyranny
> The growing fascism in the US is in it> '> s infancy, really, but will undoubtedly (imo) become significantly worse. Governments do not relenquish power easily (or at all) until they are forced to do so (we> '> re talking revolutionary style force). The road to fascism is a one way street too. There will be no turning back now, which can only happen upon the ashes of the old.
> Increased surveillance, investigation, > '> thought crimes> '> , RFID (radio frequency identifiers), human implants, cameras, legislation, militarized police force, federalization of local, regional and state police, massive budgets and more bogus > '> terrorism> '>  false-flag events will continue to increase the goosestep into a fascist empire of tyranny.
> It> '> s effect on you will be far more noticable with mandatory demands for ID (Real ID comes next year), registration of guns, children, invasive > "> census> ">  reports, increased infractions for online comments and thought crimes, repressed dissent and protest, more extensive > "> free speech zones> ">  encompassing entire cities, more police presence at all public venues and transportation, > '> turn-your-neighbor-in> '>  programs with awards and cash bonuses, more seizure > "> fever> ">  and illegal private property thefts by government thugs.
> All of these are already underway and even more > "> authority> ">  is being demanded to increase such activity. Internment camps for Americans are also being setup to house dissenters and political > '> prisoners> '> . Bush is seeking exemptions from the Geneva Convention to continue to use torture and rendition in the > '> war on terror> '>  which now includes journalists, housewives, political protestors and children.
> Large, stupid segments of America will go right along with this as the guns are banned and their children continue to be brainwashed and indoctrinated by the media and schools. Resistance groups will develop but will be quickly overwhelmed by the massive police state apparatus and the publics perception of > '> terrorists> '>  being grossly distorted and manipulated by the media. Increased demonization of anti-nationalism and anti-patriotism will continue to distort the real meaning of those words.
> Coping will be very challenging if you> '> re the least bit outspoken. Already, millions of Americans have left the United States because of this one issue, while others will refuse to > '> give up their guns> '>  by leaving. This is another modern myth - gun ownership is useless if you> '> re unable or unwilling to use them, which adequately describes the situation today.
> Expect nationalization of the world> '> s remaining resources as supplies dwindle. This will include petroleum, water, food, agricutural crops and even human labor. In order to remain in control, they will enforce control on whatever resources are available. You can even expect confiscation of your assets, bank accounts, guns, food or other > '> important> '>  assets that will permit the government to retain power for a little bit longer. This isn> '> t idle speculation - this has also happened before throughout history.
> Racism / Extremism / Fundementalist
> Xenophobia is alive and well, demonizing entire segments of American population and especially > '> outsiders> '> . The bogus war on terror continues to manufacture problems (and profits), while the US media continues to fail to address the real issues.
> A > '> normalized> '>  America will be demanded, forcing conformity for all US citizens (already underway) in looks, language, beliefs and practices. The melting pot is turning out useless grey slag, which will be deemed more and more desirable then diversity or individual differences.
> Race wars within America will be more prevalant as individual groups struggle for identity and recognition. These will further serve the long arm of the State and it> '> s tyrannical plans for a militarized America. The easist way to control a population is through fear - and to turn it upon itself.
> Fundamentalist groups will excaberate these issues to rabid extremes, wrapping religion and race together as one and calling for their own private holy > '> jihads> '> . Caught in the crossfire will be millions of Americans who will bleat like sheep and demand even more > '> protections> '> . Huge cross sections of America will be punished with police crackdowns and large scale profiling.
> There will be no winners in this war as the fabric of American culture disintergrates even further while the politicians go on wringing their hands in useless and ineffectual gestures.
> Peak Oil
> Global oil reserves are in decline, despite the miniscule > "> huge finds> ">  that are being claimed and oil will continue it> '> s upward climb as the supply dwindles. The > "> huge finds> ">  will last then a single year at our current US consumption rates. This is fact, well understood by researchers and analyst. The government and media will continue to lie right until it> '> s total chaos about energy and it> '> s future, while private firms and researchers abandon government help and forge ahead on their own.
> Expect to pay more, a lot more at the gas pump and in heating costs, and all other areas (food <> especially) as global supply dwindles in the face of increasing demand. We> '> re not talking double prices at the gas pumps, but over ten thousand percent higher. Yugoslavia saw 5 quadrillion percent inflation in the 90> '> s in one year. China will become far more vocal and militarized in it> '> s quest for oil for it> '> s citizens and global ambitions. Global resource wars will be the result. A closure of the Panama Canal, Straits of Hormez or any of a number of areas around the world will spark a global war. Iran and Venezuela remain on the chopping block for Empire - expect more war, more lies and more death.
> Get rid of your gas guzzlers as soon as you can and revert to walking, biking and sharing rides and public transportation. Getting > '> local> '>  on food, work, transporation and housing, everything co-located that can> '> t be telecommuted will go a long ways towards lowering your personal dependency and exposure on oil and energy. When considering relocation, you will need to bear this in mind. Going > '> local> '>  is THE solution for billions of people in a world of dwindling energy supplies.
> War
> War will be the result of all of the above; climate, energy, hegemony, economics (war is good for business), water, food, strategic minerals and other resources. Basically, the world is not the least bit ready to > '> get along> '>  and overcome our perceived differences and governments around the world will desperately being trying to hold onto their imperial powers. A power-down world is going to be adamantly refused even while the resulting deaths will be witnessed everywhere. Wars, endless never ending wars will be the result. The 20th century saw more more war and more death then ever, expect the 21st century to pale the entire human history of war.
> War will mean a draft, a volunteer army will no longer be sufficient. Global war will mean induction into > '> service> '>  whether military service or not. As the > "> American way of life is non-negotiable> "> , so will your life. You will have no control over it and will be forced into service. Being forced into serving Empire even if you don> '> t carry a gun will be the norm.
> This will spark massive riots and protests and increased police state crackdowns. The losers will be the same as always, the citizens. Until Empire collapses, dissenters will continue to be the losers and will suffer some of the worst tyranny. This is already happening in the United States.
> Time Frame
> This is all happening right now. The news is full of reports and information regarding the progression to a chaotic world where there are no free choices left anymore to anyone. What we have left today isn> '> t really a free choice either, but there remains a tiny window of opportunity to choose from the > '> choices> '>  that do remain.
> To not put too fine a point on it, they are not really > '> choices> '> , but leftovers from a world gone insane. Civilization has destroyed almost everything that permitted true freedom and liberty, enabling absolutely nothing in this area except > "> pay as you go> ">  type of existence. Truly free humans would be allowed to live, eat, work, play and relax wherever and however they wanted without any encumbrances at all. Nor would they need a nanny state to coddle and protect them, the State simply wouldn> '> t exist, being totally unnecessary.
> This generation will not ever see such freedom, nor will it> '> s children> '> s children, if they survive. The projected timeframe for these massive changes above is starting now and will continue for the next 50 years or more. I can> '> t estimate what happens after that. Human extinction is quite possible due to gross negligence and deliberate destruction (nuclear war comes to mind and massive climate shift).
> Preparing for the above needs to start now. Positioning yourself mentally, financially and physically for these huge changes should begin immediately. Do this now while you still can.
> Disentangle yourself from superflous affairs that are not enhancing your chances of survival. This includes emotional, physical and financial attachments. You new SUV is not going to > '> save> '>  you, it> '> s usefulness is limited and it> '> s future is already determined, it has a very short lifespan. That house you love is the same, if it> '> s not sustainable (or cannot be made to be that way) and is located in an area that is not sustainable or safe, then this emotional and financial attachment will wind up killing you. Lose it while you still can before the bank takes it from you or it becomes worthless and you can> '> t even give it away.
> Start exercising daily doing things like biking, hiking, climbing, swimming, running, etc., real physical stuff that reflects the world to come. Get healthy by eating a proper diet, cutting out all the junk, sugars, useless carbohydrates and learn to raise some of your own food. Unload that garage full of clutter and start assembling the necesary goods and supplies that will enchance you chances of survival. And relocate if you are in an unsustainable area, soon, very, very soon before you are priced right out of the ability to do so.
> The global economic crash will affect everyone and can you really afford to wait for housing prices to fall before you make your relocation move? That might work - and it might not. I> '> d bet on what would work and don> '> t worry about the rest. Money is something this meant to be used, not horded. You> '> re going to die with nothing anyway.
> Learn practical skills in self-sufficiency. Gardening, animal husbandry, mechanical repair, including bicycles, motorcycles, welding and construction. Raising food is going to be essential for > '> localized> '>  citizens and how to do it. Food storage, preservation and preparation will be essential skills. Localized transportation and > '> employment> '>  will become essential. So will self-defense and marksmanship skills, para-military training (or the real deal) and situational awareness.
> Learn primitive living survival skills so if you must, you can simply live right off the land. Few are willing to take this route, but my investigations have indeed proven, it is possible in some areas.
> Learn to > '> assess the news> '>  and delve it> '> s hidden meanings and coverups. Unfortunately today, the news hides as much or more then it reveals and it> '> s bias is focused towards mass brainwashing and delusional group-think. Got to keep the herd calm, asleep and entertained. We> '> re all going to have to > '> wise-up> '>  to reality and read in-between the lines on everything.
> Form groups to enhance your chances. I have another blog post for this so will leave this comment very brief.
> Get > '> real> '>  about your present situation and cirucmstances. Stop kidding yourself. Assess your own dependency upon the entire system - it> '> s what> '> s keeping you alive right now. Without it, you would die. Learn to live without it> '> s support if you can. Disentangle yourself more and more, working on it constantly so that you become self-reliant and self-sufficient and capable of dealing with a world in chaos. Dependency is also a one way street and has created a world full of incapable humans who really cannot take care of themselves. They lack even the basic skills to survive. The future won> '> t permit that, so do something about it. Get educated, get trained, put practical skills into daily experience and learn how to take care of your own needs.
> These things are all going to be essential very, very soon and for some American, they already are. Remaining dependent upon crashing, colliding systems is suicide, but you can change if you put your mind to it and approach these issues with dedication and focus.
> Forming Survival Groups
> This is a continuance from Part I, Future Prep. Blog postings are usually meant to be short if they> '> re going to read at all. I don> '> t think anybody likes to read particurly long essays online.
> What I write next is based on many years of personal experience. Forming groups to survive the collapse is often inquired upon and this subject is very difficult to deal with. Most groups fail (over 95%) within two or three years (or even sooner). And that> '> s now, when tshtf isn> '> t > "> real> ">  yet and the greater society remains viable out there to catch the pieces (people) that go spinning off from their fractured group attempts.
> Here is where most groups fail (in no particular order):
> 1) Unrealized expectations. Either these were not fully discussed, written down (important) and agreed upon, expectations are often unfilled, causing dissension, implosion and failure.
> 2) Lack of > '> localness> '> . Forming a group from > '> outsiders> '>  is an almost certain recipe for disaster. The lack of local connections, customs, habits, expectations, and familiarity with all of the above, causes most > '> formed groups> '>  from people scattered far and wide to fail.
> 3) Lack of funding. A serious lack of planning, expectations and foresight, lack of initial startup costs, etc. Individual members don> '> t make equal contributions in terms of resources, land, money and resentment develops.
> 4) Habits and belief systems. Smokers, dogs, religion, politics, work ethics, even scheduling habits. Slackers, wannabe> '> s, lazy and incompetent people should be avoided at all costs.
> 5) Relocation. This is a gigantic > "> biggie> ">  which encompasses ALL of the above. Economic factors aside (which are monumental all by themselves) if resolved, still fails to account for the challenges and difficulties of relocation and the undue stress that this places upon ALL the participants. However, relocation is very often a prerequisite and thus, impossible to under estimate.
> 6) Familiarity. The lack of communication, understanding, expectations, realizations, habits, hangups, hanger on> '> s (extra family members, kids, troublesome friends, etc.) create extreme problems. Includes non-humans too (dogs, birds, cats, family > '> pets> '> ).
> 7) Impatience and lack of bonding. Most groups form in a hurry, based on a perceived need and almost always, a sense of urgency, which fails to address ALL of the above. Such groups are destined for disaster and failure.
> Groups are stronger then individuals, but you must carefully consider what you> '> re asking for - and expecting. And what people say - and what they do are two entirely different things. Stress can produce the very worst and the very best in humans. You have to know that your fellow members won> '> t crack under pressure. Most of them probably will.
> I strongly advise AGAINST forming a group from people that do not live close by that you cannot get to know personally, intimately and slowly. Time is against you right now to do this, but I still hold this opinion based on years of personal experience.
> If you are going to form a group, start with family. Then close friends. And close neighbors. Beyond that, forget it. It probably won> '> t work. It almost never does.
> There are many different kinds of preparedness groups in the US, usually based around a common belief or perception. However, close examination will often reveal that the same belief is not enough. Nor is the same politics, religion or expectations. Most of these groups implode. The human dynamics come into play when you put people together and you quickly find out just how compatible you really are.
> I could (and have) written an entire book on this subject, so I suggest you carefully consider what you> '> re asking for. Don> '> t ask for a copy, I don> '> t circulate it anymore.
> Groups must hold common values, morals, beliefs and have clear lines of communication, leadership and problem resolution. All that, plus all of the above.
> Be careful. I am not advising against it, but this is a Pandora> '> s box and once opened, can be deadly. Remember, groups implode, killing off each other, sometimes literally. Massive pressure is also created by society, law enforcement and others from without. Eventually, cracks appear and self-destruction ensues.
> Your as well off, if not better, sticking with family, close neighbors and friends. These > '> groups> '>  already have the > '> localness> '>  requirement (essential), lines of communications, understanding of habits, belief systems, ethics and many other very important factors, including private property (even personal property). These groups are far from perfect (no group is), but they have a better foundation upon which to build then putting together relative strangers.
> I> '> m am certainly not against forming groups - in fact, I think they are essential. It> '> s the > '> how> '>  they are formed that is often overlooked and what it means.
> I> '> d like to gently comment that the examples of camp, military, sports, college, business, etc., all have the same characteristic - and that is the support structure that exists within and without these > '> organizations> '> . Take away that support structure, ie., societal collapse, and all of that > '> outside help> '>  that all of these organizations rely upon to function correctly and you have a sure-fire recipe for disaster. There have been even rogue military groups that have impoded with the surrounding support structure collapses. Groups function > '> best> '>  when the surrounding infrastructure continues to provide. Take that away, and any group is subject to implosion.
> Which is in fact, exactly what happens when such organizations are stressed beyond their intended capacitity, capabilities and expectations. This scenario is extremely likely in our near future.
> Human relationships are built upon trust, communication, understanding and needs. This last point is almost always overlooked. A lot of people work because of needs, put up with a tyrant boss or crappy working hours based on this fact alone. Given the choice, they> '> d be doing something else. Which of course, is the option they choose at first chance. This can happen in a group too.
> They are in fact, already working for > '> survival> '>  with a tremendous > '> outside support system> '>  in place. Take away that outside support system (grocery stores, gas stations, doctors, cars, entertainment, comfort food (junk food), law enforcement, potentially all of it) and they won> '> t be showing up for work or anything else. In fact, who and what they really are will reveal itself rather quickly and sometimes quite violently.
> This is why > '> knowing> '>  your support group intimately is going to be so important - people that can truly be relied upon and trusted and won> '> t leave you in a lurch or turn against you. I cannot emphasize this enough.
> In crisis, the issue of needs (survival) becomes of paramount importance and the concept of > '> self> '>  asserts itself in myriad ways. The lack of a supporting network will really change people and I can pretty much state with assurance - you won> '> t like it. And they won> '> t like you either. The change will be abrupt, brutal and harsh.
> Survival is personal warfare, not in the sense of > '> attack and destroy> '> , but in the sense that all the rules are thrown out. All of them. We saw this with 500 law enforcement officers quitting during the Katrina disaster. It just didn> '> t matter anymore when their world was totally destroyed. We saw looters, assassinations, rapes, murders and probably much more. And that was in a regional disaster, actually fairly localized compared to what could occur on a global scale now.
> Loyalties got thrown out with the dirty flood waters and people reverted to self-preservation mode very quickly. Of course, not everyone did (or will), but many did, bearing in mind that they all expected rescue. What about when there is no more rescue? No more larger society to come tooling along and fix the problems? This is when things will really reveal themselves, the will to live, struggle, survive and go on will be the daily challenge, hour by hour, minute by minute.
> It> '> s when the food runs out (or runs low) that people will start getting really afraid (and really wierd). Food is comfort, safety and security. Food is life itself, few really seem to consider it> '> s critical importance or fragile nature. Civilizations and tribes throughout history have risen and fallen according to the food supply (duh!). I emphasize this because that is the very issue at risk. Humans can live without power, and humans can even cope with climate change (to an extent), but 6.8 billion humans cannot live without food that was raised with cheap power, cheap petroleum, vast distribution systems and predictable climates. When these go away, and they will, cheap energy, vast crop lands, affordable transportation, distribution systems and stocked shelves disappear, desperation will set in. And then violence will set in, with a vengeance.
> America> '> s homeless rarely starve to death because they have sources of nutrition available to them (and because we won> '> t let them starve, but that won> '> t last into the future). I> '> m not suggesting that it> '> s pleasant or easy, but they do manage to live, because there is still a support structure in place that they can glean off of. Collapse will change all of that, this paradigm of a vast, integrated and functioning infrastructure that provides for the minimal or maximum needs (depending on your status in life) won> '> t be there anymore. Food is the basic element (and water of course). As collapse becomes more enhanced, you can expect food rationing and empty shelves in time. During disasters now, this always happens.
> And when the commercially produced food runs out, desperation will set in. Cold showers, or skinny dipping in a lake are tolerable, but hunger is not. Expect people to fight each other and wipe out most of the wildlife. What climate change doesn> '> t kill, humans will. And then they will turn on each other, some sooner rather then later.
> I only want to make the point that crisis is a time of turning, a time of revealing what character is in people and whether or not you can trust them with your life, or if they will be selfish and sacrifice you because of their needs.
> It can a very innocuous and innocent request that can get you killed. Let> '> s just say that a pandemic outbreak has hit the States, everybody everywhere is quarantined and ordered to stay home. What happens when you> '> re neighbor comes over? What do you do?
> If he> '> s clueless, he won> '> t realize the danger he represents, just knocking on your door, asking for something to eat. Or water. Or medicine. Or toilet paper. Innoccuous request, but under pandemic, absolutely deadly.
> You need people who are paying attention and understand their > '> role> '>  and > '> responsibility> '> , otherwise, you risk disaster.
> So, our imaginary clueless neighbor, decides he doesn> '> t like you ignorning him and figures he> '> ll just help himself, smashing through a window and trying to enter your house to find whatever it was he needed. Suddenly, your isolation and quarantine is broken and you> '> re all in danger. You> '> ve got a big problem - brought upon you against your best desires. You> '> re going to have to handle it.
> This is why trust is so important. Hand in hand with trust is communication. This tiny example reveals that you have to > '> know> '>  your neighbors, they can> '> t be putting you (and then themselves) at extreme risk. Expect a lot of people to continue to do some really stupid things. This will only worsen as collapse ensues.
> None of this applies to the same degree when there is an > '> outside support> '>  structure in place. Your neighbor can simply go knock on another door, walk to the store, call for help, something, anything. He> '> s got other places to turn to. And so do you, if it happens to be you that needs something or help. But take that all away, take away all forms of social organizations and agreements, all available goods and distribution points, all means of safe travel, all means of constraints and limitations, potentially everything, and the social dynamics change radically, instantly.>
> Trust cannot be bought in a survival sitatuation, before or afterwards. Trust is earned, the hard way through time, committment, loyalty and experience. Societal collapse will expose every lie, distortion and assumption you can possibly imagine. Trust will be suddenly of paramount importance, but the factors necessary (time) will be gone.
> Get started now if you intend to do anything at all. You> '> ve little real time left and what remains needs to be used wisely.
> Family has always been the core for groups and will remain so. Blood is thicker then water. For most families, the commitment is already there and the desire for the family to live will be there too.
> Important reminder and a good code to live by. Watch what people actually do. Applies to absolutely everyone. Not what they say, but what they do. This reveals their true heart and intentions and why you can see right through them so easily. Lying, backstabbing and gossip in a survival situation will get you very dead. Pay attention to this now.
> Survival groups will form, but I no longer believe that small groups will survive. I> '> m not suggesting that the commentary above is wrong, I> '> m stating that small, isolated survival groups will have a very hard time of it because of a lack of diverse skills, security, infighting, resources and even opportunities to > '> better> '>  then situation.
> Community survival has many advantages to small groups and I think this is a far better solution then winging it on your own or with your family. But even with the community, there is still the core groups. Community survival will (probably) be built upon these core groups, made up of many families. This is in effect, what we have today in our small towns.
> A community will have a better chance because of the diversification of skills, labor, land and resources. They will also receive and wield authority and recognition of that authority, whereas a rogue band of survivalist won> '> t. This is going to be pretty important as lawlessness will be very prevelant.
> Communities will also be able to setup barter, trade and labor exchange (even slavery, ie., > "> work for food> ">  if it degenerates to that). Medicine and medical treatment will be top priorities for the members. I> '> d expect fiefdoms and warlords eventually too. History has many examples of nations resorting to such > "> law and order> "> . Law and order will be replaced with what works. A lot of our stupid laws and rules, permits, regulations and restrictions will be tossed right out the window. And a lot of would-be tyrants will try to take control. Get rid of them, by any means necessary (I am serious). They are and will be a serious danger to everyone. The community will function best when everyone works. Respect is earned, not implied or demanded. Leaders that do not lead, but dictate, orchestrate or tyrate should not be tolerated by anyone. We> '> ve got enough of these leaches now, there won> '> t be any need for them in the future.
> Communities will also have far better growing capabilties then small bands, marshalling labor and resources on a larger scale. They will also be able to deal with defensive issues against raiding parties and > '> outlaws> '>  (the small survivalist bands) far better then smaller groups. There will be both safety and oppression in numbers (just like now). This is one of the big advantages of communities over ecovillages by the way, I> '> ve yet to hear about an ecovillage that is prepared to meet the needs of the surrounding community, or even to adequately defend itself. Ecovillages will be quickly overrun and consumed by hungry people.
> The solution for survival isn> '> t a loner approach, or even a small band or tribe (unless you truly manage to isolate yourselves and stay that way and are willing to work like hell trying to stay alive). The solution is community based.
> Find a community that you can become a part > of and integrate yourself and family into that community. This community will need to have plentiful water as stated in Part I of this series. It will also require fertile soil, something I don> '> t think I> '> ve mentioned yet. Importantly, the community will need to come up to speed very quickly with the issues of community survival if it is not already.
> Some communities are already > '> on their way> '> , particularily in Cascadia. I don> '> t know all the details, but they are working towards sustainable living and have both plentiful water, good soils and decent growing seasons (for now, climate change may change that, thus you may find yourself moving again in time). The big problem with Cascadia is population, there are simply far too many people there and nearby that will migrate in to feed. This will be a huge problem in the US especially and in Europe.
> However, most communities are totally clueless on sustainability and will think you> '> re nuts to even suggest it. This is where the survival groups will come into play. Picking a community, forming survival groups with the intention of > '> converting> '>  the township as circumstances force them is a good strategy. They> '> ll get on board because they will have to. And if they don> '> t, they will have either left, killed you, or died themselves, but they> '> re not going to ignore the collapse, nobody is.
> Forming Survival Groups
> There is a lot of debate about the aspects of the coming crash, whether it will be sudden or slow, or somewhere in between. Wrapped up in that same discussion is whether or not the US Government will endure, and whether or not the financial system will undergo such a massive implosion that mortgage holders and debtors will be required to pay their debts.
> These questions are all predicated upon the > "> collapse> ">  of civilization, a process which is now underway and in reality, already underway for the past 30 years. The tipping points on an ecological scale have already been reached several decades ago while civilization continued it> '> s destructive advance and put maximum stresses upon planetary systems.
> I> '> ve presented the point of view that it has taken several decades for these human-caused changes to make themselves known and we are only just now at the very shadows of what will probably prove to be a very dark time in hisotry as these climatic and ecological changes are fully felt by this generation.
> Governmental tyranny is an extension of environmental stresses. The increasing lack of abundant and easily exploited natural resources reflects itself in negative societal changes. From a capitalist standpoint, freedom means economic opportunity. For a minimalist standpoint, abundant natural resources means freedom. Freedom was and still is dependent upon abundant natural resources. As resources and opportunities decline, fascism sets in.
> Today, the world pie has been sliced up into increasingly smaller proportions, regurgitated and reconfigured into innumerable and oft time, unpalatable other dishes, but still, it> '> s the same pie, with most of the nutrients now gone. There are no more recipes left to be baked and the cooks are now fighting over what> '> s left.
> Like bread dough that rises and then collapses in upon itself, the global civilization has also run out of fermentation because there simply aren> '> t enough nutrients left in the mix. How big and how sudden this implosion on a global and national scale will be is an important question. Preparing for this future then, becomes a question of just exactly what are you preparing for? Sudden collapse? Slow collapse? Or something in between? Or does it even really matter?
> I> '> ve read various economic > "> analysis> ">  but my gut feeling tells me their dead wrong. Most predict a sudden collapse, based upon a sudden devaluation of the dollar. The argument basically says that the interlocking dependencies of the various financial systems (globally) cannot sustain themselves indefinitely. Fiat money is fiat money, fabricated out of thin > air, and it only works as long as the faith of the people remain in the system. Moreover, these financial instruments can only continue to work as long as there is still the fundemental resources which can be leveraged, developed, bought and sold. The constant and continued exchange of property is both growth and development, essential to that > "> unlimited highway of gold> ">  that has led to the present day world.
> We know growth cannot continue forever in a finite world. And we also know that gross indebtedness cannot be sustained forever. Out of these basic arguments is the reasoning for sudden collapse. Yet I do not believe in this model as being accurate.
> Clearly, I am no fan of sudden collapse and really, never have been. It is my contention that sudden collapse is self-defeating for all concerned and will not be permitted to occur. Instead, I believe that something far worse will transpire, something that is much more ominous.
> Many adherants of the sudden collapse theory believe that the US government will fail and that the bankers will too, and will be unable to collect on mortgages, debts and outstanding loans. I disagree with this position too because it doesn> '> t make any sense to me. It is the > "> vested interest> ">  that will have the most to say about collapse. The stakeholders (owners) of this planet aren> '> t about to be told to go home empty handed, while we keep their property. No, they> '> ll get their due, of this I> '> m absolutely certain.
> Nor will the US government go away, although many of us wish it would. Sudden collapse during the Depression in America did not see the government fold up shop and pack it> '> s bags, and it didn> '> t happen in Argentina either when their economy. Bills came due and so did the bill collectors. Property forfieture was massive.
> One point I> '> d like to make or address and that is the assumption that collapse means anarchy. This is not true. The rules of society will not just simply go away, whether collapse is sudden or drawn out. > "> Rules are rules> ">  as they say and bureaucrats love rules, and so do most people. Bureaucrats won> '> t be going away. Zoning restrictions and taxes, speed limits and seatbelts, all these things will still be in place for the most part.
> Why? Because in order for the government and it> '> s agents and indeed, society to function in an orderly fashion (more on that in a moment), the rules will still need to be enforced. Even if not in person with say, highway patrolmen stopping speeders because gas now cost $14 a gallon, the speed limit will still be there. And you will be more likely to get turned in by your fellow American for squandering fuel, even though the highways are no longer being patrolled like they once were.
> Society functions based upon accepted norms and standards of behaviour, many of which are now codified into laws, requirements, restrictions, permits and permission slips. While I disagree with most of this as being unnecessary and an onerous burden on all concerned, that> '> s not the point. The fact is, society itself doesn> '> t disagree with it. Society will continue to demand it, otherwise, they> '> d have thrown off these chains off long ago. Lawlessness will not be permitted, certainly not for very long. The idea that anarchy will reign for any length of time is based on a lack of understanding of how societies function - and stay functioning.
> Society wants rules and regulations, cops on the streets and lawbreakers punished. Society further wants outlaws run out of town and the streets cleaned up. At the very least, society wants the appearance (illusion) of lawfulness and ordered society - this is what we have today (a massive, massive illusion). But it> '> s working. And it> '> s worked very, very well.
> Moroever, society will demand, incessently a return to the standards of life and living they had before. Why else do you think the > "> American way of life is non-negotiable> "> ? It really isn> '> t, and it> '> s about time people admitted it. They are quite willing to send your sons and daughters off to die overseas or even their own sons and daughters if it means that their way of life can be preserved (even the illusion) for a while longer. Of course, this is exactly what is happening today. Life is cheap, but lifestyle is not. Americans will do a great deal more to protect this way of life - and they will continue to do it right through the collapse. Life will get even cheaper in the collapse. Of course.
> Sudden collapse won> '> t change this demand at all. The societal demands to return to the way things were will still be there. If the collapse is gradual, the entrenched > "> American Dream> ">  lifestyle will continue to take a very firm root in the vast majority of people. Look around and you will see that this is what is happening today. The collapse is progressing rather nicely, and yet the general awareness and willingness to do without, or change lifestyles or to give up the idea of > "> getting ahead> ">  is simply beyond most people. They do not > "> get it> "> , right now even the warning signs are blaring everywhere.
> And they won> '> t get it, either, but I don> '> t want to digress too far off topic.Those that do get it, hope that a sudden crash will somehow > "> protect> ">  them from these societal rules (indebtedness being a primary one). This isn> '> t going to work. The benevolence of bankers isn> '> t going to change because the economy collapses. You will still owe those debts. The hard-heartedness of the Depression revealed just how ruthless these people could be (back when people still had morals, no less). Anyone > "> counting> ">  on forgiveness needs to look around at historical examples to realize that their indebtedness is going to be a deadly chain around their neck.
> If sudden collapse were to occur, I also don> '> t buy the anarchy scenario. Perhaps for a short time, but not very long. Stop and think about it. If say for example, oil hits $300 a barrel (which won> '> t happen overnight) and then, finally, whammo, the economy finally collapses. Or the housing bubble pops, or the derivitives market, whatever. Then shutdown, of everything. Food, fuel, transportation, employment, all gone. Anarchy could very well commence, but for how long?
> Nobody knows. But it> '> s quite possible it won> '> t last that long because of the need to take immediate and extreme measures. I would expect the government to immediately nationalize most assets and simply > "> take over> ">  all aspects of life, as much as possible. Why would they do this? Because it would really be their only choice. The > "> free market> ">  could not be allowed to do this because of stupendous rates of inflation. When Yugoslavia crashed, they reached inflation rates of 5 quadrillion percent in just over a year. The numerous failed attempts by the government to prevent this only made things worse.
> It is the remaining resources that would become absolutely critical in a crash, however, and whenever it occurs, and whether sudden or slow. These resources aren> '> t just food, water, fuel, medicine and raw resources. These would all be captured and instantly nationalized.
> Besides corralling the world remaining resources, what other resources remains to be captured? YOU. And what will they use to go after these resources? YOU. To do that, anarchy, which simply means society without government will not work and can> '> t be permitted to last very long. You are an asset to the US Government (go look it up, each of us is worth several million dollars as assets). Your warm, breathing, ill-clothed and poorly fed body is still worth something besides cannon fodder. Why? Because of profits. Even as a slave, you can be made to be profitable for the plantation owners. You didn> '> t just think they> '> d give up and go away, did you?
> And a lot of people will willingly, actively participate in the attempted > "> resurrection> ">  of any collapsed society, whether the result of slow collapse or a sudden collapse. Just like during the Depression, this will be where the jobs are. And where the jobs are is where the food will be. Work will be required in exchange for food for your wife and kids. Rent-a-cops and security guards, ditch diggers and thugs, the jobs will be there, and perhaps only there.
> You will be used whether you like it or not to > "> rebuild> ">  civilization - or better put, create a new civilization for the plantation owners. This will be a New World Order of the worst kind. That> '> s much more accurate. But it> '> s not a world that you can easily or willingly envision today (more below). The groundwork for this new world order is already well mapped out.
> As I> '> ve already said in my comments to Part I <> - government is not going to go away. It will get bigger, much bigger and a lot more local then you> '> ll care to admit. Enlistees and draftees will be inducted into this new service of the Empire because these people will need to eat and to keep the creditors from taking their homes. When the jobs collapse because the economy implodes and there is no more work, the working class will be government employees. I don> '> t know the current figure, but already something like 5 million people work for the government (civilian and military). I would expect this number to swell dramatically, in excess of 50 million. If you want to know who the survivors of the future are - there> '> s your answer.
> It is precisely because we already have a vast network of governmental employees fulfilling a huge array of functions (or pretending to) and because we have such a deeply integrated and vast infrastructure, that I do not believe for a moment that the government itself will actually collapse. In fact, just the opposite will happen, it will grow exponentially as federalism takes over everything, incoporating even mundane functions in your town.
> This, in my opinion, is the logical extension of Empire. What it cannot control beyond it> '> s shores (as we are now witnessing) it will do within. And it is perfectly capable of doing that too.
> I read the Gray 90> '> s (now retitled to Triple Ought) by Rawles a long time ago, but didn> '> t agree with it then and definitely don> '> t agree with it now. Neither anarchy nor governmental collapse will occur. Wipe out all of Congress and they will be replaced. Fire every Senator and every government lackey and they will be replaced, probably with something worse.
> Remember, these are the people that control and govern the resources for the big corporations (if you thought the public land was yours, I suggest you look around) and the big multi-nationals control the government. (There> '> s another hint at the future survivors - it> '> s the same group that controls the money and resources now).
> That same protection racket will continue, except you will be forced to become a part of it - or your neighbor will. And you will be instantly identified as a insurgent or a dissident if you don> '> t agree to go along with the new programs. This is already happening in Bush> '> s Amerika, with dissent now being outlawed, bloggers being targetted and thought > "> crimes> ">  on the rise.
> These programs will be work camps, debtors prisons and bond servants (indentured slaves). We already have this today with 2 million in prison now working for slave wages (or none at all) contrary to the Constitution, with most Americans being indentured servants to Empire now (indebtedness). What do you really have today that is really your own? Nothing. Everything is subject to confiscation. Modern society is a > "> pay as you go> ">  society, requiring everyone to participate in the Ponzi scheme of living. But the real point is, don> '> t expect this to change because of collapse, slow or fast. Expect this to get > worse as federalism takes hold.
> The only way things will get better is when the collapse is long enough, deep enough and generational enough, for the profiteers themselves to be destroyed and to finally lose control. As long as there are those that will exploite the Earth and it> '> s people, the systems that they create, control and govern(ment), will continue to worsen the human condition and opportunities for true freedom. They will continue to manipulate the populations and the worlds resources simply because they can and it will remain very profitibable for them to do so. Just like now. Collapse will be an extension of what we experience today, only much, much, MUCH worse.
> Collapse then, won> '> t change a thing for the better. Life will get much harder. And remember, whether slow or fast, collapse will only hurt the poor and the middle class. The rich will still be able to afford all the finer things and luxuries in life, and will have many ruthless mercenaries (ex-military) hired to protect them from the starving mobs. The division between haves and have-not> '> s will grow to even wider chasms then it is today, and the response to the deep resentment that will be revealed won> '> t be pretty. But that doesn> '> t mean > "> anarchy will reign> "> . Anarchy will probably come and go, depending on location, population, enforcement and local behavior.
> An example of this rising > "> federalism> ">  is happening right now in Venezuela, as Chavez is demanding (and taking) unused or unproductive properties and giving it to the people. The rich are complaining incessently about how evil this is (while not being hurt one bit), as the people are being given better lives, better working conditions and finally, a living wage. But don> '> t expect a Boliviarian Revolution to happen here. There aren> '> t that many rich people in Venezuela, but there are a LOT of rich people in the United States. They will vehemently protect themselves with a vengeance. And importantly, our government is designed to protect the rich. What do you think a democracy really is? That won> '> t change. And a lot of average middle class people will also go along with it, because they will continue to hold the illusions that they too can be one of the elite.
> For the rest of us, we will continue to slide down that slipperly slope to personal disaster and despair. This is already happening to millions of Americans now as they are being economically compressed to the breaking point, forced to sell off assets just to survive. You can see this everywhere, in job losses, property sales and foreclosures, bankruptcies and even in the classified section of the newspaper.
> This will worsen as the collapse progresses. And that is what you and I and millions of others need to prepare for. The system that once sustained us in exchange for our freedom will be turned into a system that will imprison us in exchange for our sustenance. This is already more true today then at any other time in human history.
> Think about it. The groundwork for this is already been well laid out. We are already massively dependent upon the system for our sustenance. We call this > "> work> ">  and > "> career> "> , but in reality, we are exchanging our daily freedom for bread and water. We> '> re presently permitted to have our jet skis and SUV> '> s, but even that won> '> t be forever for the > "> commoner> "> . In fact, it may not be for much longer, as we are being forced to slim down and sell off these > "> assets> ">  (they> '> re not really assets, but anchors) as the economic situation continues to progressively worsen.
> Only a very few are > "> getting ahead> ">  these days and able to accumulate more useless junk and toys. The rest of us are getting further and further behind. Worse, we> '> re unable to do anything about it. But I> '> ll tell you what> '> s even worse then that. We> '> re unable to break this cycle of dependency on a worsening system of life-support. > We remain as dependent today as we ever were, and this is why so many will willingly join the Empire as collapse ensues. They> '> ll have to. They won> '> t have any other means to survive. And Empire will want it> '> s assets working, controlling and enslaving all the other assets (you).
> The future of America is a slave-State. This is the logical extension of a modern society that has reached it> '> s limits of finite resources. The remaining resources will be carved up and divided and exploited for further perpetuation and continuance of the Empire.
> It> '> s ironic as hell that the land of the free became the land of the slave, but this is already well underway. The land of the free is the land of the fee, a situation that is worsening all the time. And when you can> '> t pay the fee, you will pay with the deed.
> It isn> '> t faith in the system that keeps America afloat anymore, it> '> s control of the system. They print the money and decide it> '> s > "> value> "> . They spoon feed the media whatever lies and misrepresentations that they want. They rig election and appoint their friends. They blatantly transgress the law and declare themselves immune. Now admit it, who wouldn> '> t want that kind of power? More importantly, who would willing give up that kind of power? Collapse is not going to change that, collapse will only worsen this kind of power abuse. And in order to keep that power, Empire is going to have to turn within onto itself and start abusing it> '> s own citizens. This is where the infrastructure is. This is where the resources are (you). This is also where the > "> need> ">  will be greatest and this is where it can still be controlled in a world full of toppling dominoes.
> But do not mistake that > "> need> ">  as care or concern or benevolence. The Katrina disaster revealed just how much the > "> concern> ">  there really was as people died of starvation and lack of medicine and dehydration. This should remain a searing reminder for those that think that > "> collapse> ">  will bring about a positive change and somehow change the inherent behavior of government.
> Government derives their power from the consent of the governed. And without that consent, they simply take it. The US Government has not been a lawful government for decades, the latest transgressions by the Bush Administration is a long series of government excesses, lies, abuse and coverups spanning a multitude of decades. Even though they have been caught an hundreds of times, we still have this corrupt government on our hands and we are nearly powerless to do anything about it. Collapse will NOT change that. Do not fall for this lie, it is a myth. Power corrupts, and the absolute power of today corrupts absolutely. They will not let it go.
> So, when considering how to prepare for the collapse, you must first understand what you are really facing. Part I, II and III were written to portray my view on what we are really facing, without being too harsh about it. But much more really needs to be said as this is really only the tip of the iceberg. This doesn> '> t even begin to address the practical details of preparing for collapse, but it does give a few tantalizing hints as to what to expect.
> Essentials of Survival
> I> '> m putting this pointer right up at the top, because it> '> s timely and important. If you> '> re still driving a gas hog of a vehicle, now is the last time to be the best time to sell it. You have about two months, tops to get rid of it. Gas prices will never be this cheap again. Dump it and move on into something highly economical. Gas prices will return back to their lofty heights.
> Part of gearing up, is gearing yourself up. The human body was not intended to sit in a cubicle and type on computer screens for months on end. This type of sedentary lifestyle is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Get up and get moving. Get that body active, daily.
> If you> '> re not riding a bike yet, start. The bicycle is one of the most efficient machines ever devised. The best bike for the money and versatility is the mountain bike. These are just as capable and nearly as fast as a road bike with proper tires (highly efficient road tires are available, if needed) and can carry much more gear then a road bike if properly equipped and they are a lot more comfortable. They also have the definite bonus of riding offroad. You can take a mountain bike just about anywhere. Good riders can ride where it> '> s difficult to walk.
> Riding a mountain bike regularly will get you in shape and build up your endurance. Endurance is exactly what is going to be needed to navigate the collapse. Riding is also less harsh on you then running. Biking also saves gas and gets you outside where you belong. Get a rear rack for it, they even make the kind that attach to the seat post and not the frame (if needed). For rear-suspension bikes, this works best. If you have a > "> hardtail> ">  (no suspension) a frame rack is better (stronger).
> I> '> m of the opinion that a mountain bike is worth it> '> s weight in gold. Simple is good, but technology is better - if you take care of it and have an adequate supply of spare parts (tires, tubes, spokes, derailleurs, etc.). A gas-piped bomber (single speed heavy bike) will last forever, but a gear equipped bike can also last a very long time if properly maintained and are much easier to use. Expect lots of biking due to higher and higher fuel costs. Collapse will pretty much dictate walking, biking, ride sharing or riding an animal. Cuba> '> s oil collapse in the 90> '> s demonstrated this fact, they imported and manufactured several million bicycles to deal with the problem.
> Only the > "> rich> ">  and affluent will be driving around much. Your bicycle will be your best and cheapest transportation, by far. Get one you like, one you can maintain (or learn how) and buy spare parts. Get two if you can (I have six and will probably get more).
> If biking isn> '> t your cup of tea, exercise daily with hiking, swimming, raquetball or any other aerobic sport. Daily stretching is a good idea too, keeps you flexible and less prone to injury. Paintball is a lot of fun too, just be sure to wear protective equipment. Losing an eye now would be near-suicide.
> You will need to mentally gear up too, in order to deal with collapse. It> '> s pretty hard to get your mind around what collapse signifies, but try. The best way I> '> ve found to do this is to not try and tackle everything all at once. Break it down into manageable chunks. Collapse will signify many things - economics, politics, transportation, preparation, relocation, social structure, family, trust issues, etc.
> On the economics - get out of debt asap. You cannot do this fast enough. Collapse will NOT protect you from the creditors, or a debtors prison camp. Don> '> t even risk it. Do whatever it takes and clear out your debts. Simplify, reduce and downgrade if you have to - everything. Houses, land, jobs, cars, consolidate bills and get rid of superflous junk and simplify your life as fast as you can. Have a garage sale or a dozen and turn that junk into something else you need. Once debt free - stay that way. Giving support to the slave-system isn> '> t a good idea anyway. Pay cash for whatever you need. If you do use a credit card, pay it off before the interest comes due (every month in other words).
> Restrict your gasoline bill deliberately by walking, ride sharing or biking to work, to the store, to visit friends and family. You> '> ll feel better and maybe somebody else will get the hint too. The money you save will add up.
> Discipline is one of the hardest things to develop on your own. But activities or habits put into practice for 30 days can be become a lifelong habit. There are many areas in our lives where we can > '> improve> '>  our personal standing - health, exercise, diet, finances, study, education, involvement and contributions (volunteer work). Do any of these things long enough and they become a part of you and your habits, a way of life. The same can be said for negative habits, they> '> re hard to break because (duh!) we keep doing them!
> Breaking the cycle of dependency of the predominant system is going to be of the utmost necessity. Self-reliance doesn> '> t come easy, but is essential. It is a combination of many skills and disciplines, put into practice daily. This is where discipline comes in, learning to deliberately withdraw from the system now while mistakes made are still survivable and affordable. Mistakes made during collapse probably won> '> t be. This is one of the primary ways that population reduction will be achieved. Most people simply won> '> t have any real idea on how to take care of themselves and will simply die.
> Water
> Collapse in the face of global climate change means water will become the commodity of the future. Drought conditions will exist in many locations, especially in North America. Adequate supplies of potable water will be a matter of life and death. Governments and municipalities will be severely struggling with this issue as aquifers, rivers, streams and lakes dry up.
> There is no simple answer on how to deal with the water issues. Most people will need to relocate as climate change impacts the regional water supplies. Being co-located to adequate catchment and drainage systems (such as the Columbia River Basin) will become extremely desirable. Cities and towns far away from their source of water supply may well dry up and blow away as hoarding of what remains takes place. A global drought is a very real possibility and adequate supplies of fresh water for agriculture and human consumption will be in extremely high demand. Rising ocean levels will force hundreds of millions to leave the lowland coastal areas and their abundant fresh-water river systems. Estimates are now already coming in that several hundred million people will be displaced due to rising ocean waters. Over 2000 islands alone in India will be utterly drowned.
> Because water will be such an extreme issue, this needs to be addressed in conjunction with relocation. Many of us will need to relocate for this one issue alone - adequate water supplies. This will dawn on millions and millions of people as they scramble enmasse for this essential need. Get their first if you can. It> '> s totally unknown how communities will deal with the influx of new immigrants. It> '> s possible that they won> '> t - immigrants will be forced to live elsewhere (prison / slave camps comes to mind). Also, the demands created by a mobilized > "> army> ">  of millions of displaced people will be stupendous on land, transportation, food and housing. Get > "> there> ">  first makes good sense.
> Where? That depends on several factors. Existing topographical terrain, climate patterns, population base, infrastructure (or lack thereof, which can also be highly desirable), regulations and police state presence all have to be taken into account. I would avoid all cities (personally) over 10k - 15k. For you, this may be far too small and will have to be adjusted accordingly. Larger populations have advantages and disadvantages, which I> '> ll briefly mention.
> The bigger the population, the more diversified the labor force (potentially, but not always in practical application). They also have a higher police presence, more regulations and rules, restrictions and covenants, and greater resource demands and importantly, usually rather high resource inputs (food, water, materials, energy). Nobody > "> knows> ">  if larger towns and cities will be able to adequately feed themselves during collapse. Theoretically, much is possible, but realistically? It> '> s a crap shoot. So far, I> '> ve seen no evidence that this is going to actually work.
> Smaller towns are less restrictive (usually, not always), more co-located to natural resources, especially water (oftentimes, but not always), have smaller police presence (but watch out for the corruption, it> '> s as much there as anywhere else), more self-reliant people as a general rule (percentage of population), and are oftentimes the > "> generators> ">  of essentials like food, water and electricity for larger towns and cities. Some smaller towns are exporters of these items, meaning they have an abundance, while some are not.
> They are however, just as dependent upon outside inputs too for those things (many) that they cannot and do not produce themselves. > "> Sustainable> ">  isn> '> t a concept in vogue (yet) anywhere except in tiny enclaves (ecovillages) and survivalist retreats.
> Picking a location isn> '> t going to be easy, but doing it early if possible will be better then doing it later. Water will be on the top of your list. Higher elevations can be desirable as global temperatures continue to rise. Lowland locations can turn into sweltering sweatboxes for the same reason. Cropland and whatever growing season climate change allows will be something that fluctuates with each location. The ability to locally grow most or much of the community food supply will be a top priority (don> '> t forget peak oil and what it means to the global food supply and transportation networks) and adequate water supplies for crops will be absolutely essential. Most crops should be grown in highly intensive, water saving methods, unlike modern agriculture today. This will enhance water recycling and conservation.
> Another method of growing crops is with forest gardening, the practice of creating edible forests. This will work for some people. Sheet mulching and it> '> s cousin, composting will be essential as poor soils are turned into highly productive soils.
> I would relocate to a major river drainage system that has adequate elevation gains nearby (so you can move up higher if needed), small population (under 2,000), self-reliant mentality, existing agriculture or potential, arable land, low land prices, favorable climate and good soils.
> Watch out for small-town mindedness (non-progressive, hatred of outsiders, survivalist groups, etc.) These can turn out to be as deadly or difficult to overcome as any other issue. Newcomers won> '> t be trusted - so arrive early.
> Food
> Adequate food supplies are going to be extremely problematic in the future. Food will be the weapon of choice by the State, more so then debt is now. The solution to this is obvious - grow your own. I> '> m not an advocate of growing all of your own - just some of it. Barter, exchange and share with others who will (hopefully) be doing the same for all the rest. Specialization will still be very helpful, provided you can engage in a farmers market or some sort of exchange (safely).
> This includes animals (unless your a vegetarian) and crops. Start learning how to do this now while mistakes are easy and survivable. Seasonal crops are an easy way to try out your green thumb. Learning to grow things isn> '> t hard, but it does take time to learn from your mistakes, so get started now.
> You will also need to learn food preservation techniques, how to can, dry, store and process foodstuffs. There are many books available on these subjects. If you haven> '> t started a self-reliant, self-sufficiency library, do it right away. It will take several years (minimum) to put into practice what you can learn from these books. There is a huge selection of essential books listed on the Survival Acres Sustainable Forum Library <>.
> Growing food can be fun and rewarding, and it taste far better then what you can buy in the stores today. Learn intensive gardening techniques and water conservation (get the books on this). Agriculture will be essential. While I admire Ran Prieur> '> s approach to forest gardening (gleaning sustenance from natural forest surroundings and those plants that were planted and left to fend for themselves), I do not believe this will be remotely adequate for the vast majority of people. I like the concept, very much, but adequate calorie requirements cannot be met in most cases using this method (and you will be in direct competition with every other living creature). Eventually, with the natural environment (that> '> s a big > "> if> "> ) stabilizes and the human population is reduced by 90%, this might work out just fine. But mid-collapse with starving hordes? I can> '> t see it working very well (or at all).
> I fully expect a massive depopulation of existing animal herds, both domestic and wild. Domestic animals are extremely water-intensive (wild animals are not) and may or may not be permitted at current levels for this reason alone. They will also be in high demand for food. I don> '> t know what this means for future animal populations, but I fully expect a massive depopulation of wild animals (poaching) to occur. This is happening right now as food prices continue to skyrocket, which is only going to get much worse. Food is cheap today compared to what it> '> s going to be in the future. Climate change will make gigantic impacts on food availability, price and distribution. Enjoy it while you can!
> The World Health Organization, US Government and other leaders around the world are now proclaiming that an adequate supply of personal food preparations is essential. They> '> re justification is the bird flu pandemic, but there are a great many other reasons to have food preparations <>.
> I am a strong advocate of food storage <>. A food storage program affords you time and the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. Food storage will NOT sustain you indefinitely, unless you are very rich and can stockpile a 30 year supply. But a good food storage program will definitely save your life, many times over, while the transition from a dependent lifestyle to independent, self-sufficient lifestyle takes place.
> If you haven> '> t got your food storage program started yet, get going. Dehydrated and freeze dried foods can keep up to 30 years when properly stored. And it> '> s comparatively cheap right now while abundance still means something (it> '> s cheaper then buying food at the supermarket!). Those days are numbered, so get started as soon as you can.
> Set aside as much as you can too. I have a five year food storage plan. It> '> s inadequate and I know it. Many people call me and ask about how much food they should store, thinking they need to survive 3 months of bird flu or something. Well yeah, you> '> ve got to start somewhere, but three months is a tiny span of time. Collapse signifies massive shortages, especially in food. Most people have no idea that petroleum produces almost all of our food today. When the petroleum runs out, the food will be gone forever. What we haven> '> t learned to grow, locally, will be what we will do without.
> The only other remotely similiar shortage items will be water and fuel. However, food (and water) will be the real weapon of choice used against you. Examples abound throughout history of food as being a strategic asset and a weapon used against invaders or defenders. Having adequate food storage will be paramount to your chances of survival - or somebody else who hasn> '> t properly prepared and thought this through.
> Don> '> t forget, none of us are going to > "> be alone> "> . There won> '> t be any Lone Rangers out there that will survive very long. Even the most dedicated survivalists get sick, injured or need help, or just plain lonely. We> '> re all in this gigantic mess together, like it or not. And we all>  need to eat - daily if possible. Food will give you your own sustenance, and even barter material for other goods you will require (clothing, fuel, transportation, materials, housing, water - anything you need). Everybody>  needs to eat - but not everybody will be able to eat. The rich men of the future will be sitting on a pile of food - and will be controlling all the rest.
> Clothing
> Obtain sturdy clothing. I shop almost exclusively at thrift stores, have done so for years. I have a reasonably large stack of stored clothing, gotten on the cheap. I can> '> t find everything there, but I can find quite a lot. I make exceptions for boots, shoes, socks and underwear, which I buy new. Everything else, I buy used, for pennies.
> Wherever you buy, you will need good outdoor clothing. You> '> re going to be working and getting dirty with all that gardening you> '> re going to be doing. Buy clothing appropriate for this. Clothing can be stored indefinitely if properly stored. I simply use cardboard boxes, folding up my supply and putting it away. Moths are not a problem here, but wool will attract them. Use a moth repellant. A natural moth repellant is cedar.
> Wool is an excellent natural fiber for clothing. Wool pants last an extremely long time and are much better then cotton jeans. They also will keep you warmer when wet. Shrinkage of wool garmets is a problem, wash in cold water and air dry them to avoid that.
> Wool hats are good - 80% of your body heat is lost through your head. A cap with visor keeps the sun out of your eyes (sometimes!), good to have. Wool shirts can be worn over something else if your allergic. Cotton T> '> s are cheap at thrift stores and I go through several dozen a year. Pick the
ones with tiny logos on them, those big giant walking billboard type with the large silk screen imprints are horrible, they make you sweat.
> A wool coat is also desirable for colder weather. They wear a long time, much longer then nylon or Gortex. Advanced fibers such as these (and there are many others) are great, but they are not cheap (and don> '> t last as long). Again, you can find a lot of this stuff in the thrift stores, or just buy them from wherever you can afford them. I have a lot of Gortex gear, which works very well. Foul weather isn> '> t really much of a problem if you> '> re properly clothed.
> You have to take better care of synthetic fibers and blends then natural fibers, they> '> re more easily damaged, burned, ripped, torn, scraped and penetrated, all the things that happen when your out-of-doors more often then in. I> '> d expect there to be a high demand for these > "> high-tech> ">  items as they dwindle in availability during collapse (that> '> s a hint). They do look better, dry faster, are much lighter, oftentimes better waterproof (as long as it lasts), and can be gotten dirt cheap at the thrift store. A $100 jacket can be purchased for $4.
> One of the most important items you can obtain is a good pair of work boots. These should be leather uppers, Gortex liner is fine. I avoid all insulated boots, if I want insulation, I wear socks. I can always wear two pair of socks if needed> ...>  Non-insulated boots can be worn year round too, not just in winter.
> Protecting your feet is paramount. This isn> '> t something many people think about, but they will. Climbers and hikers and outdoorsmen know that good footwear matters. Proper arch support, strong uppers and good soles are essential. Every soldier knows that his feet are his life. Dress shoes, high heels and other > "> useless> ">  footwear will be utterly useless. Tennis shoes are great to let your feet and legs relax (lighter weight), but for real work, quality work boots cannot be beat.
> Don> '> t scrimp here. Good boots take a fair bit of time to break in, so allow for that. You will develop horrendous, crippling blisters if your demand of your new boots exceeds their > "> break in> "> . Wear them around the house and to work, give them a month or so to mold properly to your foot and they> '> ll treat you right.
> I have seven pairs. I wear out at least one pair per year. I fully expect to need two pairs per year during collapse. They get damaged, easily. I hit them with chainsaws, rocks, sharp objects, etc. Good boots will cost you too. Some> times you can find really good end-of-season sales and save, but expect to pay $150+ per pair for leather. Avoid all > "> artificial> ">  uppers, your feet will hate you as they swelter in a pool of your own sweat.
> Don> '> t forget gloves. You will wear out a LOT of gloves if you> '> re really working. Wool gloves are great for simply keeping your hands warm, but do not wear well, snagging on any pokey object. I prefer surplus military wool gloves with fingers (not mittens). They> '> re perfect for hiking, driving or light duty work and dirt cheap. Leather gloves (not mittens) are essential for everything else. Protect your hands. Gloves can make the difference between life and death. Not just frostbite (a very real problem), but injuries. A mild, now festering sore can cause gangrene and kill you.
> I buy gloves in packs of twelve, destroying a dozen or so per year. Since I haul my own firewood and do lots of other things, I> '> m really hard on them. You will be too, so get plenty. I> '> ve never found used gloves that were worth buying anywhere, so I wind up buying these new too. They do come in various sizes, so try to buy what fits if you can, your dexterity will be much better.
> An Army / Navy surplus store is your friend. Lots of good, cheap, durable supplies there. Avoid all the cheap import crap, most of it is junk. Get US military issue gear, surplus. What your looking for is durability, versatility, quality and price. Other military gear from other countries is often very good too (Swiss, German, etc.). This is where you can find boots, pants, gloves, hats, coats, jackets, liners, thermal underwear, sleeping bags, tents, etc. They> '> ve also got some really cool > "> bug-out> ">  gear such as packs, firestarters, flares and such like, although I am NOT an advocate of the > "> bug-out> ">  scenario. Remember, refugees fair poorly, around the world. Bug-out is a last resort, a desperate and suicidal attempt to stay alive. It> '> s also a sign of poor planning (that> '> s another hint). Don> '> t bug out. Move.
> More to come on shelter, security and relationships. I will also be posting some information on primitive lifestyles and survival that will appeal to some.
> Shelter
> Modern home design has advanced in recent years to include super-efficient energy saving features. While this is really good, the cost of such a home is above astronomical. You will need high efficiency, but you don> '> t need a mortgage that drowns you in a sea of debt.
> A better way is to build you own home. Many people who don> '> t think they can do this are suprised at how affordable and easy it can be. I> '> m a strong advocate of earth sheltered designs, using a combination of natural building materials. These homes offer the lowest cost alternatives to box houses and are much more personable and efficient and will last much longer.
> You don> '> t have to do all the building yourself. There are plenty of people around who will work fairly cheaply and can assist you with all the heavy labor portions. It> '> s still far cheaper to hire this work out then to contract out an entire stick-built house project, or buy one prebuilt. Another thing to keep in mind should you be flush with cash - simpler is better. Not putting all of your money into shelter or what is already proving to be a depressed real estate market is good advice.
> When considering shelter, you will need to consider adequate storage requirements. Most homes are not designed with storage in mind anymore, although they offer large square footage. Empty space is energy inefficient and is not desirable. You> '> re going to need plenty of storage space. Supplies, gear, clothing, food and preparations areas (for processing garden and animals) all require a certain amount of space. Good home designs utilize basements, but these are not always possible. Earth sheltered homes don> '> t usually have basements, already being sunken into the earth > fully or partly.
> Really cool storage space > "> shelves> ">  can be built right into earth sheltered designs (and straw bale designs), affording plenty of storage space right into the existing walls. Desirable are walk-in pantries allowing easy access to food stuffs. Inside > "> root storage> ">  facilities are advantageous for energy efficiency and convienence.
> Earth sheltered designs offer passive solar heating, thermal mass, non-combustible, custom design, low profile, natural building materials, energy efficiency and the best security of all designs. Ground temperatures remain constant year round at about 4 ft. down, heat pumps and cold air exchangers can be utilized to take advantage of this natural feature (if you have electricity, otherwise, design for convection / thermal exchange).
> Earth sheltered homes also are asthetically pleasing and low profile, blending in with their environment best over all other designs. They can also be modified for expansion with a little planning and forethought. Additional rooms can be added on as needed, blending into the overall design.
> When considering shelter, actual site location is very important. One of the distinct advantages of doing it yourself allows you to situate the home on the best possible location given the terrain and land features, solar angles and existing vegetation.
> Deciduous trees naturally lose their leaves in the winter, allow much needed solar energy at this time of year to help warm your home, while protecting against the summer sun. Roof systems can be designed to collect rainwater for recyling into gardens and animal waterers. It> '> s very possible to build rain catchment systems that can meet your yearly water needs from the square footage your roof offers.
> Earth shelters offer the best defensive shelters, similiar to bomb shelters. Thick walls, low-profile designs and difficult forced entry (generally limited to windows and doors) make earth shelters > "> safe> "> , as safe as most housing designs tend to be. They are also highly fireproof, earthquake proof and even tornado proof. Designs utilized must take into account natural runoff and potentially unstable ground.
> Earth shelters need not be > "> dark, dank caves> ">  of mold and mildew, but can be bright, sunny airy environments that take best of advantage of the natural lay of the land, sunlight, passive heating and cooling and be aesthetically pleasing. Best of all, they can be cheap to build, although they are labor intensive. This is the only real drawback, but considering their actual advantages over stick-homes, this is well worthwhile, even if you have to hire out the hard work.
> Security
> Collapse will create serious security concerns for individuals, families and entire communities. The potential for marauding bandits, corrupt > "> officials> ">  and even military attacks are very real. Security can be broken down into personal security and home / community security.
> Personal security will need to be maintained at all times, even while in a > "> safe> ">  community. Of course, this is true today - most people lock their doors, cars and don> '> t carry lots of cash or valuables. Collapse will bring out a great many desperate people who will have failed to prepare adequately, or at all, and they won> '> t think twice about taking whatever it is that they need.
> There is NO adequate protection for this unfortunate outcome. Vigiliance, preparation and training is self-defense with and without weapons are extremely worthwhile and highly recommended, but having to be > "> on guard> ">  24/7 is very tiring and nobody can do it all the time. Even so, preparation is your best defense.
> Weapons training, marksmanship practice and combat training are essential. Learning how to keep your head when under extreme stress and make instant and judicial decisions will help keep you and yours alive. There are a number of good schools that teach these skills, if you can go, do so now. Then practice what they have taught you, refining your response time and > "> muscle memory> ">  to react quickly and decisively. You can be sure that any would-be thief or assassin won> '> t hesitate - you had better not either.
> Training should including hand-to-hand combat, pistol and rifle training and marksmanship skills and drills. Not just punching paper, but combat techniques, rapid reloading and defensive drills against multiple aggressors. The confidence and skill you gain will help you in innumerable ways.
> Such training can be highly beneficial to a community, where your best options for defense really lies. Individual homesteaders and independent survivalists are easy pickings for a marksman, who can eliminate you from a thousand yards or more. That> '> s 3/4 of a mile away, perfectly possible with today> '> s civilian weapons. A .50 caliber rifle can penetrate almost any defensive barrier or barricade, except several feet of solid earth, rock or concrete. .50 calibers are capable of 2000+ yards.
> It> '> s unlikely that you> '> ll have to worry about .50 caliber rifles, but the point is clear - you may well run up against highly skilled, trained soldiers or ex-soldiers or skilled civilians. Your best defense is your own training and preparation.
> There is safety in numbers - provided you can trust everyone else. Collapse will bring out the worst in people, and in some situations, the very best. You will quickly find out what everyone is made of and if they have the right stuff when they are put under extreme stress. The same can be said for you. This is where discipline and training come into play, and preparation. If you are suddenly subjected to a unknown, unexperienced situation, you may not respond properly, nor will anybody else.
> Run through various > "> scenarios> ">  when considering your defensive options. You won> '> t think up enough of them - the > "> enemy> ">  will.
> Your weakest link is your weakest > "> member> "> , be it yourself, your kids or your neighbor. Anybody can be turned, compromised, kidnapped, or betrayed. The only real defense against this is training and discipline. You must not ignore these facts, because the enemy, whosoever they may turn out to be, will find the weakness.
> Situational awareness is paramount. Understand and know what is going on around you. Loud music, drinking, drugs or any other distractions will make you vulnerable. So will simple carelessness or > "> blind trust> "> . Collapse will cause people to > "> seek the advantage> ">  in all kinds of situations, because they are desperate, hungry, hurt or greedy. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.
> Security also includes community security. Food supplies, fuel, families, children and even access routes may need to be watched and / or defended if necessary. I fully envision communities posting guards to keep an eye on things (community police force) if necessary. Moreover, I fully expect a tyrannical police state to abuse it> '> s > "> privilege> ">  and to take advantage of communities and individuals. This is a logical extension of the State-sponsored tyranny we are already experiencing now.
> Some of this will have to be tolerated - some of it will not. Your best defense is to > "> know your enemy> ">  (read Sun Tzu, The Art of War).
> The patriot movement in America contains some highly trained individuals who will be potential assets, with some being downright dangerous. This is unfortunate, but ideologies sometimes override common sense. People convienently forget that we are all in this mess together, going through the exact same trials and tribulations, with the same fears, same needs and same desires. Most of us just want to be left alone, but this is predicated on some basic assumptions, which are no longer proving to be true. The world is changing very rapidly for the worse and what we> '> ve long taken for granted is no longer true. The opportunity to simply live your life in peace is rapidly dwindling away. It will be tooth and claw when the oil runs out, the food runs out, the water runs out and the planet heats up to unbearable levels in some areas. On top of that, the police-state apparatus will be increasing it> '> s reach and tyranny exponentially as documented on this blog.
> Banding together in community is your best defense. You cannot do this alone. Outsiders will be distrusted, lack respect, lack awareness of community needs and operations and be > "> untried> "> . Communities will be forced to deal with many outsiders as immigration and mass migration occur. Communities should make plans for this as soon as possible. Not everyone is going to be your friend. That would be nice, but that is not the real world.
> Relationships
> Trust is paramount. Personal security and community security will depend on trust. Trust only comes from experience. It isn> '> t what people say that matters, it> '> s what people do. That> '> s your yardstick, the rule by which you measure folks by. That goes for family, children, neighbors, long time friends. Betrayal is difficult to accept and deadly in certain situations.
> Trust can only be built up and experienced over time. Collapse will force some extreme situations on everyone, and > "> instant relationships> ">  will be forged that may or may not be reliable. Best if you can work out the trust issues now (which is why early relocation is so important). Get situated, integrated and involved in the community. Get known so you can build the trust that is needed and vice versa. You have to learn to trust other people who will quite literally, hold your life in their hands. These things take time.
> Nordic Thora pointed out something that I> '> ve learned a lot from. The lack of > "> localness> ">  is one of the primary reasons groups fail. Groups formed from distant parts lack local connections, which eventually shows itself in numerous ways. Lack of social structure, local income, connections to the community, connections to the land, investment in the future stability of the group or community, etc., groups more often then not > "> implode> ">  from these > "> lacks> "> . They also implode because of family, pets, religion, ideology, work ethic, slothfulness, ignorance, belligerance and arrogance (sounds like the seven deadly sins to me).
> Groups form > "> best> ">  when there is personal involvement and investment. Not just financial (important), but time, labor, commitment and dedication. Buying your way into a survival community may work for some, for a while (what happens when your money becomes worthless?), but without your actual participation, you will be quickly isolated amongst your riches and distrusted. Maybe even destroyed. You need to become involved on a daily basis if possible. Contribute to the group / community and you will be valued as an asset instead of an ass. Offer nothing and you will be rejected.
> I covered many of these points under the ecovillage sections on this blog and why I ultimately rejected the general > "> design> ">  approach of ecovillages. Ecovillages are great in principle, but lack certain aspects of practicality. The relationship part of ecovillages are fine as far as they go, but they do not go far enough (in my opinon). Moreover, ecovillages fail to take into account some very serious aspects of collapse, including defense, the local community needs and requirements and mass migration. Essentially, this is why I> '> ve come to embrace the community solution, which is broader based, and much more similiar to what we already have today without joining a bunch of villagers.
> Don> '> t get me wrong - I approve of the ecovillage concept, but I don> '> t approve of the non-practical aspects I> '> ve read about. Collapse will be survival with no reliable existing support structure, and a survival approach with sustainability is what is needed. Communities offer this best.
> Within your > "> core> ">  relationship group (family, friends or survival group), getting everyone > "> on board> ">  isn> '> t easy (at all). Consider yourself blessed if everyone IS on board (and stays that way). Dissension, disillusionment and disgust are pretty common. Just keep plugging away, there> '> s not much else you can really do. Time and events will prove you right and if not, then it won> '> t matter anyway. Some people will simply refuse to face reality, even when they> '> re being tortured. There is nothing you can do for them. You will need to stay focused as best you can. Not everyone is going to make it. In fact, exceedingly few will over the next 50 years. Estimates run as low as 30% or lower survival rate. Some estimates are 5 out of 6 people will die violently, or starve, within the next generation.
> Bugging Out
> The subject of > "> bugging out> ">  often comes up when considering the implications of collapse, pandemic, tyranny or some other cataclysmic life-changing event, many of which are now on the horizon and getting closer everyday. Ecological collapse, agricultural disaster, economic collapse, tyranny, war, plague, pandemic, or even regional disasters like hurricanes or drought could create conditions where the need to bug out becomes a very pressing matter.
> The need for a bug out pack, a prepared pack or kit to get you out of dodge, has just exponentially increased with the new legislation passed by Congress. Americans are no longer guaranteed any of their rights under the Bill of Rights, nor are they protected under the Constitutional any longer.
> It> '> s uncomfortable to think about, but the odds of you being targetted <> because of your political views or non-support of the President, or his war or anything else have just dramatically increased, and could well mean you are no longer safe in your own home.The purpose of the bug out pack is to keep you alive while you get you away, intact and someplace relatively safe. As far as that goes, a 72 hour kit or better (recommended) is a good idea and everyone should have something like this on hand for emergencies.
> However, the general idea of bugging out is badly flawed. Bugging out presumes you have someplace safe you can go. It further presumes you will have the opportunity to leave, time to get there and a support structure or adequate resources when you arrive. I can think of a lot of situations where none of these criteria will apply. I will use some scenarios to explore this concept and show it> '> s basic faults.
> Individual Bug Out
> Bugging out to go off and hide in the woods is a fatally flawed idea. It does not work very long, even for the extremely experienced individual. If you have been targeted for any reason, then you are certainly not > "> safe> ">  anywhere. Wherever you would go on planet Earth, you are still going to be subject to the very same risk you were while staying at home. The best you could do is buy yourself some time. And then what?
> The fairly recent example of Eric Rudolph revealed just how difficult it would be to truly stay hidden and hide out for the rest of your life. Rudolph lasted a few years - but was eventually worn down and ready to quit by the time he was caught dumpster diving. But the lesson here is even hardcore survivalist types can> '> t make it very long on their own. The entire system is turned against them (and so are the people). They are basically stranded with few resources, little or no help and the constant struggle to simply stay alive (welcome to the future by the way).
> Bugging out individually is most likely a failed prospect under these conditions. Where would you go? And for how long? Who would hide you? Who would help you? Who would protect you? The reality is - nobody. You> '> re going to be on your own. The lack of a support structure is going to be fatal.
> I> '> ve recently come into contact with a tiny few individuals who have plans to live primitively, and could in a pinch, probably survive on their own if dropped naked into the wilderness. This isn> '> t theoretical either - they> '> ve done it already, some for a few years at a time. More power to them. This is how man was meant to live (imo) and if you> '> ve got the skills to live like that, what are you doing reading this blog? I don> '> t - nor do most people. Collapse will see many people try this as they flee the danger, some will make it, most won> '> t.
> Underlying a lot of individual > "> bug out plans> ">  is the idea that collapse will actually help you, eventually, because collapse is thought of as > "> chaos> "> , which is not a valid assumption. I think this too is a fatally flawed idea. Banking on collapse as a protective mechanism for your personal situation is an extreme gamble that you will probably lose.
> Group Bug Out
> In the Katrina disaster, refugees bugged out enmasse, and many had help. Moreover, there was a support structure (although a very bad one at times) in place to assist the affected. Many helping hands and agencies stepped in to help the refugees make the transition to a safe area. This made all the difference in the world, making survival for the refugees possible. Without this, almost none of the Katrina victims would have survived, at least, not very long. It was rather amazing, to me anyway, at the lack of basic survival skills I read about. Looting doesn> '> t qualify, but will be very common in the collapse.
> This shows how critical a support structure is, and having someplace to go. Many of the Katrina victims had an opportunity to leave, but didn> '> t. Of those that survived the hurricane, most got stuck in New Orleans and couldn> '> t leave later on until they were permitted. A 72 hour kit would have made little difference at that point.
> As long as a support structure still exists, and you can actually use it, then bugging out can work. But if the support structure has failed, or if you cannot use it for some reason, then bugging out is probably a bad idea. You will probably be better off staying put and dealing with the problem(s) if you can.
> I will emphasize again, the problem the world is in are collective problems, shared by all of society. Unless we collectively solve them, then individually, we cannot run away from them for very long.
> There are options to bugging out. None of which are pleasant. But since bugging out doesn> '> t necessarily provide any answer either, then we should at least consider these options.
> Stick it out (stay and fight)
> If this is a fight against tyranny, then you can stay and fight. You> '> ll last a few minutes, if you> '> re alone, but at least they won> '> t take you down without a fight. And no, you probably won> '> t survive it. Anybody that has tried this tactic was killed (Cooper), many burned alive (Kahl, Koresh) and only one case (Weaver and Harris) lived to tell about it, but his wife and son didn> '> t. You will simply be overwhelmed, irregardless of how much you have prepared. But this is still an option, because of the simple fact that your life is utterly ruined anyway, no matter what you do. You may not be able to get away anyway. Or you can rot in prison while being Bubba> '> s new friend. Take your pick.
> If this is a fight for survival due to a national crisis (economic crash, pandemic, whatever), then sticking it out makes the most sense of all. If the national infrastructure goes down, there is no place to go and no support structure to help you when you get there. So stay put and stick it out. You> '> re best prepared where you are best known, best settled and best familiarized. Outsiders will not be welcome (watch the Grapes of Wrath) and will find themselves shunned, abused or simply run off.
> If You Have To Bug Out
> Leaving, if you can, will only buy you time and not much else. There is no place to go, unless you truly leave (the country) for some other, better place, far, far away and become integrated in the culture there. If you stay, collapse will find you, no matter where you are. Don> '> t get delusions of grandeur that bugging out will change anything. It won> '> t.
> If you> '> re running for other reasons (political dissident), almost everyone will be turned against you, and those that you trusted cannot be contacted, ever. They will be>  watched and even arrested. You WILL be on your own. Your bug out pack then, will simply get you from point A to point B (maybe). If you get the chance to use it.
> It> '> s what point B entails and offers that really matters. This is what needs the most thought and consideration and this is the only reason I can truly envision for having a bugout pack.
> Before I get to that, I need to emphasize one particular point. If you have been targetted, your life is over. A modern example of this is Mike Ruppert, he fled to Venezuela, but that didn> '> t work out and now he> '> s in Canada. He> '> s yet to get his feet back underneath him, and may never. Everything that you wanted, dreamed about, owned or desired is on the chopping block. Family, friends, acquaintences, job, career, bank accounts, assets, home, possessions, say your goodbyes. Pack your bags and don> '> t look back and don> '> t ever contact anyone you> '> ve known again. Ever. You> '> re about to embark on a one-way journey and there is no getting off that train.
> Getting out of harms way, if possible, is a good idea. However, the basic premises of bugging out has some pretty serious flaws that are often overlooked. Not everybody is running from tyranny of course, there might be a regional disaster (chlorine gas cloud or something) the would require you to leave - temporarily. Bug out packs should be considered temporary survival plans. Your personal > "> escape and evasion> ">  to get you from point A to point B, but they will not keep you going very long.
> Your escape, from whatever it was, was a problem much bigger then yourself, which means it won> '> t just go away. You will have to deal with it, sooner or later. Getting out of harms way is a good idea - but reality returns rapidly and you will be forced to deal with the situation.
> The first thing to keep in mind, is refugees, anywhere in the world, do not fare very well. Katrina disaster victims, hurricane disasters, or war refugees all find themselves homeless, penniless and destitute, dependent in the extreme for the basic necessities of life (water, food, clothing, shelter). Bugging out implies you> '> re a self-made refugee, taking only the barest essentials with you (or none at all, depending upon your circumstances).
> Does it work? No, not really. Bugging out requires you to leave almost everything behind. A 72 hour kit will keep you alive, barely, for a few days, but then what?
> The real issue behind bugging out is - go where? Leaving a disaster zone may be essential, but you definitely need to leave for something better. A national scale disaster (nuclear war for example or plague) wouldn> '> t provide much opportunity to find something better. But the need to bug out may still be there if you> '> re in a dangerous area.
> Many people think they can bug out from tyranny, but this probably won> '> t work. Collapse will probably increase tyranny, not lessen it (see Future Prep III <>). Unless you can go someplace where you will be relatively safe from tyranny, simply changing locations won> '> t fix the problem. Tyranny develops over long periods of time, generations, and doesn> '> t just go away. It permeates everything if it> '> s been around long enough. Sooner or later the problem will have to be dealt with (all the while, while > "> they> ">  are dealing with you <>). Unless you can leave, permanently, to someplace safe(er), then the tyrannical > "> powers that be> ">  will continue to flourish until they implode from within or without.
> It> '> s ironic as hell that the United States has long promoted itself as a > "> free democracy> ">  while increasing the tyranny against it> '> s own citizens and the rest of the world, year by year. It> '> s very easy to see where this is going. Democracy is simply two wolves and a sheep discussing what> '> s for dinner. The crushing absolutist power that has now been given to the President isn> '> t something any of us should ignore. Take a hint - America will fall to tyranny in the collapse. If you are not making plans to deal with this - you should.
> You will either be forced to > "> go along to get along> ">  (comply) with all the tyranny and oppression, or you will be forced underground (refugee status) or you will be forced to leave, if you can. There will be, there is, no other choice.
> Part of Future Prep series is understanding the level of violence that you will be subjected to. I> '> ll say it again, understand the level of violence that you will be subjected to. This is not mad ranting, everyone in America is already subjected to much of this violence. You are already be coerced to comply (through the threat of economic or prison pain) on many fronts - licensing, taxation, regulation, restrictions, permits, etc. Your compliance is not an option, but a requirement, on threat of severe punishment.
> Most people consider this > "> normal> "> , however, this was not always the case. Two years ago, torture wasn> '> t > "> normal> "> , but is already becoming normalized in American thinking. I find this unbelievable, but it> '> s true. Social Security taxation deductions were not considered normal (they didn> '> t exist), but now everyone thinks they> '> re going to get social security benefits when they > "> retire> ">  (think again). Income taxes were not considered normal either, nor was licensing, a drinking > "> age> "> , drugs, or even voting for women. None of these existed for many years in this country.
> As our society has > "> progressed> ">  (and I> '> m all for suffrage, i.e., voting for women, I just wish voting worked like it was supposed to), we> '> ve fallen under a gargantuan level of laws, restrictions and required permission slips to simply live. We> '> re drowning in regulations. But this > "> advancement> ">  of our civilization has become very top-heavy, with a double-standard of requirements that are shouldered by the average American and simply ignored (or bought) by the > "> chosen> ">  in our society.
> To keep up this discrepency, it will be necessary to continue to pressure the lower class segments of society. We are already seeing this in the so-called War on Drugs. The lower class segments of society are paying very heavily for their involvement in drugs (which were once legal by the way), while the higher class segments of society are pretty much immune to prosecution and imprisonment. And evidence abounds that the US government is actively involved in perpetuating America> '> s drug addiction. This is of course, the Hegellian Dialect, create a > "> problem> "> , offer the solution, which is the real goal they wanted all along.
> The US government is directly involved in the importation of drugs into this country, while clamoring for bigger budgets, bigger departments and new toys <>. (I just picked up a copy of > "> The Big White Lie> "> , The Deep Cover Operation That Exposed The CIA Sabatoge Of The Drug War). This keeps them all well-paid, occupied and > "> on top of the heap> ">  in society while they dictate to everyone else how to live. This is the pecking order found in all societies. It> '> s no accident the war on drugs is a total failure, just like the war on terror. The government (and all the henchmen behind them) are actively involved in funding and playing both sides of these so-called wars, because it is extremely profitable for them. Neither of these so-called > "> wars> ">  can ever be won. Giving these monsters even more money and bigger staffs to perpetuate their horrifying duplicity is insanity. Of course, that too is an illusion - we have no choice in the matter anymore, they simply take what they want even when we object.
> If > "> that> ">  isn> '> t tyranny, I don> '> t know what is. Two MILLION Americans are already rotting in prison, more then any other country in the world. American prison con> dition are horrifying. More prison labor camps are being built around the country. An unbelievable level of legislation has been passed to create far, far more prisoners, who have now been stripped of all of their Constitutional rights. I can add this up just fine - 2otalitarianism + 2orture = TYRANNY.
> Therefore, the idea that > "> bugging out> ">  is in the cards for a whole lot of Americans is a valid concept. Or you can stay and fight. Most Americans have already chosen their > "> side> ">  as it were. They believe they can sit this one out, just like they> '> re sitting out everything else. As the United States blows children to bits in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, they believe that they can just pretend it> '> s not happening since it> '> s not happening to them.
> Any society that degrades human rights like the US has done will fall into tyranny and will eventually turn upon its own. This is the very purpose of the recent legislation - to target Americans. Germany had to fall (be destroyed from without) before it> '> s tyrannical powers could be broken. It has already turned into a tyrannical police state by that time, terrorizing and imprisoning it> '> s own citizens. By that time, tens of millions had perished. Millions more would have perished if it had not been stopped. The United States has now embarked upon the same path. The ill-defined and never ending > "> war on terror> ">  is a war on freedom and a war on life itself. The real terrorist are the ones who are propagating this monstrous hoax.
> Americans are > "> allegedly> ">  one of the most liberty minded people on the planet. But I don> '> t think so. I think we have forgotten what freedom was. I think we have become too soft and to apathetic to care. I think we> '> d rather trade freedom for our illusions of security and our Sunday football games. I think American are willingly complicit to the tyranny that is going on all around the world in their name by their government and big business (you still shop at Wal-Mart don> '> t you?). This has been going on for decades, of course we> '> re complicit. No other conclusion could be possible.
> Not everyone in America of course, is going along with it, but the reality is, the mythical > "> line in the sand> ">  keeps getting pushed back, again and again and again. It> '> s almost laughable if it wasn> '> t so damned sad. The patriot groups think that they> '> ll (finally) grow some balls and stand up > "> when they come for my guns> ">  which is absolutely absurd thinking. By that time, it will be too late. Gun confiscation is already occuring at the slightest infraction and yet these blowhards do nothing. Gun confiscation is de facto, right now. Have an argument with your wife and the neighbor reports the disturbance. Your guns will be taken away from you, even though you> '> re not guilty (or charged) with anything or even arrested.
> I see no help coming from the patriot crowd. They are weakened by their strong insistence that Constitutional law must be followed and then > "> all will be well> "> . This is yet another myth that is full of holes. The US Constitution is a weak document - it has permitted the very excesses we have today. It is ambigous in places where it needed to be resolute and strong so that no possible misinterpretation could take place. But the black thug Supremes have done just that, over and over again, interpretating what they want, when they want, and how they want, according to the demands of the Administrations under which they serve.
> Going further, look at what the Attorney General of the United States is advocating. Janet Reno was horrible, but Gonzalez makes Reno look like a kindergartner. So far, Gonzalez hasn> '> t burned any children to death, but he> '> s still in office, give him time. The US Justice Department is not defending the rights of the people, but actively finding ways in which to take more of these rights away from you. Isn> '> t it strange that ALL of our lawmakers are always so busy doing this? Instead of enabling Americans, they are constantly finding ways to disable you, punish you and restrict you in a myriad of ways?
> It> '> s not so strange when you realize that this is the normal progression of societies. Societies devolve into tyranny when they become corrupt on their own power and greed. After a period of revolution, growth and development, the protection of human rights, opportunities and advancement, societies become greedy, top-heavy, bureaucratic and eventually fall into tyranny. It> '> s no surprise that this is now the case in the US. By most estimates, we are actually long overdue, most Republics lasted about 200 years. Revolutions follow tyranny and the whole cycle endlessly repeats itself.
> Now, I didn> '> t mean to digress this Future Prep into a political diatribe, but bugging out has just become a serious proposition for millions of people. What are you going to do when they come for you? Everyday I am reading about case after case of individuals who are being targetted for really stupid stuff. Disagree with the Vice President and you wind up in jail. Where do you think this is going? This kind of abuse just don> '> t go away - it gets worse.
> This Administration has never admitted to any wrongdoing, no matter how horrible their crimes. They fully believe that if you are not 100% with them, then you are the enemy and deserving of anything that they can dish out to you. People hate the comparism of Germany to the United States, but they need to realize just how fast Germany fell. It can happen here - it is happening here.
> Your future preps need to consider this. This is an irrefutable fact. It> '> s bad enough we have climate change, failing ecosystems, pandemic and flying asteroids to be concerned about. We also have the face of fascism. <>
We think this came from the Survival Acres blog.