Prepping: Why Business Models Matter

The story of how Elaine and I ended up here in the Piney Woods of East Texas is a book’s worth.  Three or four if we count all the lessons learned (from mistakes made) along the way.  With this weekend’s return of reports on UrbanSurvival we’ll be taking a more holistic view of prepping – which we pioneered in 2003 before it was ever considered MainStream.

Let’s look back:  After I finished my MBA in the 1990’s, it became apparent that the whole world is in a macro no-win situation.  Thanks to economic systems that are predicated on growth – and require it to survive.  This, coupled with constantly-depreciating (dishonest) money, and aided by several major religions that at their core plan long-term global domination via excessive procreation…well, you can see how it works out without too much coaching.

It becomes less a matter of IF there is a bad-ending out there; just a matter of when the brick wall shows up.

The personal problem is:  What can anyone actually do about it?

The answer comes down to a single concept:  Prepare.

OK, what do you prepare for?  Zombies in the streets?  Global weather events?  Earthquakes and crustal shifts?  Revelations about aliens?  Yet-another lying politician?  Financial collapse?  Pandemic disease?  Slow-speed radiation poisoning?  Global online revolution?  The list covers the waterfront.

Prepping – as a folder-heading – is still the only response that makes sense.  It’s like the word “Brace!” shouted just before the moment of impact in a car accident.  The crack-up of the global order, however, is a much more drawn-out thing.  Yet it will be as damaging – and possibly fatal – for a lot of us.

One of the best-ever “books on Future” ever written, in my view, was Robert Kaplan’s savory 1994 classic “The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War by Robert D. Kaplan and summarized in a piece for The Atlantic Monthly here, was prophetic and harmonized with what my long-range projections forecast in the mid 1990’s.  I was still on my sailboat and considering the 10-thousand mile bug-out.

Yet Kaplan was a breath of fresh air.  You see, as part of my grad school work, I’d developed a voracious appetite for learning and concept assimilation.  The problems we face today are global not local.  Jumping out of the frying pan didn’t make sense.  But funding a whole-lot of prepping?  Yeah…but only if of the strategic sort.

Kaplan’s research included this poignant quote about conditions in Africa in the early 90’s:

You see,” my friend the Minister told me, “in the villages of Africa it is perfectly natural to feed at any table and lodge in any hut. But in the cities this communal existence no longer holds. You must pay for lodging and be invited for food. When young men find out that their relations cannot put them up, they become lost. They join other migrants and slip gradually into the criminal process.”

Processes exploited by violence-prone religions anxious to expand their power-base.  Not in Africa but in over half the world.  As I studied the charts I’d acquired for circumnavigating the horrible reality sank in:  Where’s better than America?  Oh sure, maybe a one-year, once-around, but happily ever-aftering?  Remember, I’d already lived in the Cayman Islands for a couple of years and seen some of Central and South America plus a good deal of the Caribbean.  Vacation?  Sure.

The same processes that Kaplan chronicled in ’94 have slowly escaped from the Third World and are encoraching into First World countries.  Europe is ruled by stupid people, anymore.  Socialists with no understanding of history so their fate is just a matter of time.

Even the USA – is today on the brink of being taken down by the Global Anarchy that Kaplan brilliantly described almost a quarter of a century ago.

His vision was less digital.  Since he brought it into focus, Facebook and other social media has spread a mental disorder impairing people’s ability to kick-back and thing things through.  There’s so much ‘point and click’ socializing that young people are developing personality disorders not unlike PTSD.  Except it’s social stress and it’s only getting worse, save the hopeful news last week that maybe Facebook has reached saturation.  Let us pray.

For a while, in the early days, UrbanSurvival tried to raise people’s awareness and present them with self-directed actions and options that might be useful along the way.  However, dire forecasts of the future are not why you should consider a different approach to prepping.  It’s because people prep for the wrong things.

When a former colleague made some sincere, but so far incorrect forecasts, my personal integrity demanded I get off the “Doom Wagon” and sit back to evolve a more thoughtful approach.

So for the past five years we’ve been focused on honing our stock market skills and developing personal skills that should pay off well in the longer-term.

The Math Matters

Statistics are mean, nasty, and…predictable.

Most people don’t have a personal list of their “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” and specific plans to react.  Especially proactively when early-warning signs appear.

In coming reports, we will take this – one step at a time – as we return to running something akin to a Prepping School here (with a side of longwave economics) on UrbanSurvival.

Our main claim to expertise comes because we’ve made most of the mistakes.

Prepping Begins with a Vision

This is something most people don’t have.  We get into it regularly enough, though:

An informed outlook on the Way Forward is that we are today broadly in an economic topping process akin to the 2006-2008 broad social top that accompanied the NoDoc Loan Bubble.  You remember the aftermath and financial hold-ups by the financial sector that followed?

It wasn’t clear until 2008 that we’d be going over a waterfall of economic disasters…but you could “hear the falls” if you listened.

It’s time to start listening again.

An informed outlook will NEVER be shown on television.  While ostensibly a “right now” medium, television is “cold” – it only presents a single viewpoint.  Worse?  The viewpoints are distilled down into uselessly short snippets and vignettes. Got to have room for commercials.  Reporters have a terrible modern habit of asking questions designed to elicit “sound-byte” answers.

Therefore, in order to evolve an informed view of the future, you need to read deeper than what superficial media offers.  When you do sup a bit of media candy, do so realizing that the reporters are generally ignorant and unaware of their personal biases.  You see, time is a bias.  Short is a bias. Context is a bias. The only way to make sense of the world is to make two passes through the data: One short, one deep.

The First Step to Prepping is a Reading List

If you are going to be “crisis-ready” you really need to have consumed three kinds of books.  The first is obviously books that deal with the specific dangers facing you.

For all nuclear matters, for example, Cresson Kearney’s  Nuclear War Survival Skills   can’t be beat.  In coming weeks and months, we will go over additional books on things like search and rescue (in event of quakes and weather events, for example) as well as more arcane skills such as MOUT (Mobile Operations in the Urban Terrain).

The second set of books (and a much shorter list because a lot of garbage is out there on prepping) is in the genre of personal readiness.

The third set is the most fun:  It’s all about making because no matter where you go, there you are.  Food, water, shelter…those involve personal effort.  No, not clicks.  No take-out.

I’m going to shoot for one book per week and I’ll keep your budget in mind.  Silly as it sounds, people will spend $100-bucks for a couple to go out to dinner and a couple of drinks without a second thought.  But ask the same couple to “get on the same page” and read books that will help ensure that their relationship (oh, and family) has a much better chance of a successful life?  Miles of excuses. Too busy.  Got a lunch date with a friend.  Going on a (fill-in the blank).    It’s pathetic, but that’s what happens in a country of followers.

So the first book?

I’ve been telling you for years that Everything’s a Business Model

The most useful things in business life came from a brilliant businessman Bill Brock and from my MBA advisor, the late Dr. Charles Dalton.  I’m not going to tell you to run out and sign up for a 6-year course of study…it’s not only impractical, but we’re at a point in the world’s history when there may not be time left to get a reasonable pay-back.

Instead, roll with shorter-term, high payoff jobs and read The Personal MBA: Master the Art of BusinessJohn Kaufman’s book is readable and useful.  As he explains on the opening pages, there are three main reasons to read his book and I’ll distill ’em this way:

  • Business Angst: Because let’s face it, most people deep-down don’t know how to run a successful business.
  • Certification Intimidation: People who need “paper” to prove their superiority aren’t.  Only real-life performance matters.
  • Imposter Fraud:  Where you feat at any moment you fear that you’ll be “found out” because you’re already over your head.

Relax…you’re not.  To Kaufman’s agenda I would add two specifics that answer the question How can a BUSINESS book have any usefulness when it comes to Prepping?

  • Prepping Costs Money.  A good bit to do it right.  And the more you know about business, the more you will begin to think in income vs. expense terms.  Next weekend, we will launch into the Bug Out question – since it’s one of the popularly-paranoid concepts.  When we get into it, you’ll see how much thinking should be devoted to any prepping matter and how ALL  of it is based on economic decision-making which….oh-oh…here it comes….is what Business is all about.
  • Seeing Through News Fog:  This is the one that can provide hours of entertainment.  Stuck in traffic?  Take that last newscast you heard on the radio in the car.  Pick a story…ANY story…and work out the economics of it:  Who is making money?  Who made an investment?  Is someone trying to cash out?  Is there a broker involved or a middleman?  who’s buying what….why?

Once you develop the habit of thinking in business models, it’s like a new light source gets switched on.

You will even understand why the service you got at a restaurant was great…or terrible.  (Hint:  People who take servers for-granted tend to get awful service.  But, when we go with friends to dinner, we ask the servers name and take a genuine interest in them – we involve them, care and tip well…we NEVER get bad service!).

Note to self:  Is this “nice” or “good” or just “working the business model” afoot in society?  Not that there’s one answer….

When you don’t understand a story in politics, a Business Light will eventually come on that says “Aha!  Votes are the currency of Power!” and that will allow you to see through layers and veils of nonsense. Political correctness, you see, is a business model. As you’re lights come on, you’ll become disappointed in a lot of reporters for failing to ask the obvious or include it in their stories.

Business Models are power.  Media wraps ’em in oatmeal.

Maybe next weekend we can start with “A Prepping Business Plan” and role from there?  We have time before the full crisis hits…a couple of months, Acts of God notwithstanding.

Let me know where your interests are…but do read Kaufman as a dandy get-started that will pay benefits even if you don’t feel a need to prep.

Oh, and in your home and workplace?  My old mentor (Brock) pointed out that the difference between a neat and squared-away business look versus a jumble of junk is often as simple as getting boxes off the floor.

Wait!  “How could this have anything to do with “prepping” right?  But, oh, it sure does:  Cardboard on a concrete floosr can wick-up moisture and spoil things in a box. Mildew clothing and worse. Plus it’s like rolling out the red carpet for insects. Spiders and creepy-crawlies love cardboard.  So yes, even simple rules of “business neatness” do translate into a prepping payoff.

Write when you’re prepared….

24 thoughts on “Prepping: Why Business Models Matter”

  1. A man who is a hunter once told me, with one shot I will
    have every thing you have.
    Life is short. have fun.

    • Perhaps one should identify such “hunters” and preemptively prey upon them when/if time comes? Can you say “drones?” Any soldier I have discussed this with says that defensive positions are better/safer than ground assault of defensive positions.

      I have a mental list of individuals who have indicated an intention to use deadly force on others for offense, rather than defense, in SHTF situations. They are unaware of their situation if SHTF, but it will not safely be near me, as some assume.

  2. Great post this morning! You are so right about the excuses people give so they don’t have to buy and read books! People love to spend money but seldom do they INVEST in themselves. I spend hundreds of dollars a year on books and most people I know don’t understand it. Of course, I am lot more financially successful than all those people but they just look at it as luck instead of hard work and diligence.
    This morning it was a no-brainer decision to go ahead and purchase the books you recommended. I have followed your advice for years now and it has always served me well. I look forward to this next learning adventure you are planning to take us all on. As a regular reader of your columns who is the same age as George II, I highly value the great wisdom and digital mentorship you offer.

    Thanks George!

  3. Great article, and a perfect way to start Sunday! Reading one book a week is a great idea, though it’s easier in foul weather than perfect working times.

    Here’s an interesting survey article regarding Alzheimer’s and Herpes:

    Mental health is basic to prepping.

    On business, I have a question regarding a friend. She just got a promotion in a retail branch and is tasked with increasing revenue in a situation where there are only walk-in customers and she can’t advertise. Besides exemplary service, what can she do or motivate the others to do? Corporate forbids advertising by the branch and does nothing at the C level. I’m stumped. Any ideas?

    • X percent of next purchase within a month? Put a surprise “gift” in each bag? You know, when we order parts from China, the good companies always put in a gift…something small – piece candy, a pen, fridge magnet – something – anything as special thank you for your business.

      You bring up a book-length problem in corporate America Mike – giving people responsibility without the commensurate authority to actually make things work. God, that’s a sore spot with me.
      If they won’t give her control, a budget, or anything else? Yee gads!

      • “the good companies always put in a gift”

        Remember those nice gift blankets that were passed out? They’re tenderizing you. Probably have spyware in the gifts, or will in the future gifts. And another thing! Trump said stop buying from China – well, except for Ivanka goods… and Trump 2020 yard signs…

        Note: The Hudson Bay Co is still making blankets. Buy one right now for the prep-stack.

        I live on a subdivision postage stamp 60′-0″ x 120′-0″. I’ve been thinking about digging up my yard to a depth of 2′-3′-0″ and back filling with peat then topping with sod.

        When the collapse comes, I’ll peel off the sod and have a mini-farm.

      • The problem with the gift in customers bags with x dollars is a good one. The downside is the company is not willing to advertise. So any gift would be out of her pocket.

    • No ads and no budget is always a toughie if you’re “in the box.” The only way to do it is to draw attention to the place and ENSURE EVERY CUSTOMER HAS A GOOD EXPERIENCE.

      Stagger breaks, give employees two hours off, on condition they go to a different restaurant every day (preferably fairly busy ones.) – Script them to “talk about the good experience they had” at the establishment, or “how much they like working at the establishment.” In general, get the employees to talk about work and subliminally sell the establishment to their fellow restaurant-goers… People will overhear; people will come.

      Host a car wash for the local high school band, cheer or dance squad, or other competitive ECA that’s not typically funded in the school’s athletic budget or general fund. If possible, do it once a month or more, rotating groups. Write the Public Service Announcement yourself (do NOT let the school or the kids do it!) Make sure the event is promoted to the local radio & TV stations like: “Washington High School Cheerleaders are having a free car wash from 7 to 7 this Saturday at YOUR ESTABLISHMENT. Come on down to YOUR ESTABLISHMENT this Saturday and let the Washington cheerleaders wash your car. That’s YOUR ESTABLISHMENT, located at the corner of Freead and Manybux, this Saturday…” Emphasize the organization to which you’re donating your water and parking lot, not yourself or your establishment. Mention YOUR ESTABLISHMENT exactly three times. This sets the name in the listener’s mind, without the risk of overkill (“ad fatigue” which will actually drive some customers away.)

      NOTE: Because this is a PSA, it is technically NOT an advertisement. Upper management shouldn’t be able to fault your friend for “hosting an event which promotes community spirit and good will.” If they do, she should be updating her resumè…

      People see this stuff and figure the establishment (usually a convenience store or restaurant but I’ve seen doctor’s offices and at least one attorney and one nail salon each host a car wash) is trading water for a boost in junk food & trinket sales. They’re not. Even though the “advertisement” is a PSA for the local kids, it’s still an advertisement for YOUR ESTABLISHMENT. It gets the name out, it’s free, and the R&TV crowd love it because you’re prewritten a PSA for them that they’re going to air 16 times during the week, probably at least once each during “morning drive” and “afternoon drive…”

      There are lots of ways to advertise (without “advertising”) or garner publicity for free. They require a little more “adaptive thinking” than bankrolled ads, especially where local ads are verboten, and sometimes one must take a step or two outside the box to see them, but they’re there, and they work, often better than the bigbux MadAve madness…

  4. Dear Mr. Ure,

    Further to the webolution – today, two FB friends in my city of residence shared a FB Group incendiary post regarding an alt-right meeting at a veteran legion’s watering hole here yesterday evening which drew a crowd of three alleged fascists. This FB Group distributing the wave of concern about the meeting as well as expressing allegiance to LBGT and so on, people of color, Antifa, and anti-capitalist feelings does not list a leader. The group’s name incorporates First Nations’ Canadian treaty nomenclature so I figured the leadership would stem accordingly from that. I was completely wrong.

    I resorted to “Britannica’s” digital replacement, Google, for an answer. The founder of the FB group in question appears to be a muslim immigrant to Canada. He may have been a refugee although I did not pursue that thread of a lead at this time. Interestingly the individual had been called out 6 years ago on the CBC by a Jewish group. The gentleman in question was being challenged for allegedly making anti-semitic statements under a social media handle matching the name of an Egyptian cleric convicted in the UK and the USA of terrorism offenses, and presently housed in a US prison for life with no chance of parole. Back to the gentleman in question: the objectionable social media handle he says was simply the name of his son.

    The hour is late; pleasant dreams to all. Leave one eye open?

  5. Vision: Let me tell you about mine, and let me tell you about the downfalls on the way to making it happen. For years, we have been wanting to leave the big city and find a place in the country. Wonderful synchoncicity occurred and after several years, the place showed up. It took a while to get it, but we were able to by selling land and using inheritance. A small well built and well maintained house on one acre for $120k, and near a good flowing river. Elevation, check, water, check, rural, check, unincorporated city, check, low population, check. But guess what? Spouse is a half-full type personality/mentality. No matter how much the Vision was discussed, talked about, hoped for, planned for, agreed to beforehand, and eventually realized, it was like dragging an anchor. Everytime I got dragged down, I wore a life preserver called faith and perservered and popped back up. Every time, I got pulled back, I became stronger and kept the path, but it has been hell. YOU might have a Vision, but your significant other, with no ability to rise to the level of understanding a Vision, no faith, and no basic interest or education (no interest in reading a book, for example), and one who thinks it is great to learn from mistakes instead of learning from others who have already made the mistakes, thus avoiding them if at all possible, will be a drag on all plans, hopes, excitement, and aspirations, AND argue with you over every small, medium, and large detail/decision. Even though they claim they are in line and approve of the Vision. See, many people are scared and afraid, (and lazy, they won’t do the work) they won’t have your knowledge or ability, even those closest to you, so they don’t have your understanding, confidence, and courage. Can You handle that? Because let me say this, what’s coming is going to take ALL of your resilience; You are going to have to stick to your Vision, and lead. AND You will get pushback from those closest to you who have buried their heads in the sand. It won’t feel good to be right! YOU will have to constantly adapt and lead; that’s why YOU prep, and that’s why I come to this website. Some of You reading this will be ridiculed, laughed at, and will face a struggle. KeeP your Vision! Doors will open, the way will be shown. I have even found a job in this new area and I am moving into the new little house, AND significant other, for now, will be in the city, cause even after many months and years of preparation, WHEN the time came, the mentality was shocked and couldn’t believe it! Again, I am moving forward, charting the exit with my Vision, moving us forward, and I cannot wait, I have to go. Yes, this person will follow in time, but this person will NEVER lead. So, that’s my .02 today. And, no divorce is not an option! P.S. What I see George doing now, is giving everyone who comes to this website a chance to get on board together from the beginning, if need be, and be funneled down an old well traveled path together leading to knowledge; get on board, you won’t regret it.

    • ” Spouse is a half-full type”

      Yup been there.. my spouse was the same way.. she hadn’t experienced the dramatic instances that happened in my life so she couldn’t fathom my vision. she always had plenty.. I had four times in my life where fear and desperation set in.( I was fortunate.. on all four events some unknown person stepped in to help when I needed it more.. angels..someone from the future.)…NO ONE and I mean that NO ONE knows until they have been there…she changed her ideals around the year that we had nothing for a year..Now her vision has changed and she is supportive. she knew that my being the way I am that it saved us.. the only thing I can tell you is continue working towards your vision.. help anyone along the way. pay it forward everyone needs a hand up from time to time.
      Remember NOAH he built a huge boat on the high plains in plain sight and collected animals to put in that boat.. I am sure everyone crossing his path said.. HEY NOAH.. HOWS IT GOING TODAY.. kind of looks like rain..
      then getting to the coffee shop and laughingly said.. you see what that fool noah is doing.. does he know where he lives hahaha ha…it wasn’t until the rain started that his vision was realized.

  6. Regarding books:

    33% of high school graduates never read another book after gaduation
    42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
    80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

    May or may not be factual (I cannot verify it) but looking around… I can believe it.

    • Sounds like the foundation for a great sorting question to ask a new acquaintance to help determine if they should stay on your contacts list.

      “Read any good books lately?”

    • I set up at a 100 dealer, 1000+ customer Sunday morning fleamarket. I sell tools, and sometimes set out 30 to 100 books. Almost no one looks at the books. Yesterday I sold 4 books. Priced at $2 or less.

    • I believe it cpa…
      Many get caught in the work a day world trying to survive and it will only get worse.. today there is less time more work…. I even have slowed up my reading schedule..when I was young I use to read one and a half books a day ( because of my lifes challenges as a child I would bury myself in books.I was dyslexic and a teacher one she realized I was memorizing everything she said worked hard to change that.. I still can’t structure a sentence and my spelling is a good reason to push auto correct sales LOL. today the young bury themselves in other things) now I am down to three to four books a week.I am old and it is getting harder to find books I haven’t read. Now I try to figure out just whos book they had read that influenced them into carrying on the vision by writing the book they wrote.
      Many people are working such long hours to survive they don’t think they have time to read. Sad.. That is where the READERS DIGEST should be pushed and in everyones toilet and in every employee lounge.. a shizt length story in every issue.. bring back a little of the desire to read

  7. Mr Sinks;
    Thank the nice man for his warning and make sure he is in Front of you at all times.
    If the world gets crazy violent, you will need to kill your enemies and watch all your “friends” closely. Are you thinking about this, mentally preparing yourself to do really nasty things. Could you shoot,stab or beat/bludgeon someone to protect yourself or loved ones.Have you thought about it. Not everyone can or will. They and their families will pay a terrible price. Choices , Choices. Attitude. Will to protect those you love and yourself.Have you read the Gift of Fear. On Killing. Have any idea of the Cost? Emotional, mental ??
    Food for thought.

  8. BOOKS!!! I have LOTS of Books, and all that is written in these posts is absolutely correct. When I built my place, set aside one room for a library. The library has 12 large size bookshelves arranged in 3 rows. The shelves are filled to capacity. Where do those books come from? Meaningful books, I dig into my pocket and pay the price asked. Others, come from book-fairs where brand new books are dumped at $2 each. Those books may be obsolete, but when was the last time gravity became obsolete?

    When the local library was selling off their “obsolete” merchandise, for a $1/book I bought the whole set of Colliers Encyclopedia almost in mint condition. (published 1964) You may wonder why anyone would want those books since we have the internet today. Well, articles on most subjects were written by international academics from the late 1940’s to 1960. They were giants in their field of endeavor, and the articles reflected what they have learned after a lifetime of research.

    For example, in 1962 those experts indicated that as far as radio receiver design, we were almost at 90% of the theoretical limit. When it came to digital design, we just scratched the surface at 10%. It was predicted digital would be the next frontier. They were right on the money. In the sixties, telephone bandwidth was 3K. Several companies tried to develop picture phones using analog technology. The 3K bandwidth limited resolution to about 100 lines. Yet, digital streaming technology can transmit video over a plain phone line that would require a 60 MegaHertz analog bandwidth to give a video of comparable quality.

    All the phone books that have been dropped off at my front door by Telco companies, I have them all, as far back as 1974. What use are they? Well, a friend of mine wanted to start a business in 1992 for his daughter and wondered what would be a good one for her. I went through the phone books yellow pages and counted the number of pages in each business category. Through all the recessions, the one business that had the most staying power was a “Hair Salon.” His daughter still operates her own salon.

    This is just a small sample what can be done with a good home library. My library consists of books, on Architecture, Carpentry, Electrical work, Plumbing, Mathematics, Psychology, Medical (Mercks Manual, medical version, best for home care being the Methodist 3 book series), Radiation, Chemistry, Cold Fusion, Physics, Mechanics, Chilton automobile repair manuals, Sterling engine fundamentals, etc., etc, etc.

    In conclusion, the value of a book is determined by what the writer has experienced, what has been learned, and how to avoid mistakes made. Essentially learning from mistakes made by others, because you cannot possibly live long enough to make all those mistakes yourself!

  9. As a long time reader, one thing I have gleaned and benefitted from is the idea of solving multiple problems with the same process.

    Examples: solar power with battery backup creates numerous prepper benefits, creates untaxed substitutes for grid power, helps in blackouts, reduces property taxes (in Texas, at least), creates income tax credits for something with a calculable, untaxed, ROI, acts as a buffer in times of energy issues, such as right now, contributes to a sustainable future, is far more difficult to confiscate than a retirement account, promises to be a fuel source for plug-in hybrids, is a fuel source for golf carts, electric power equipment, wells, etc. and is a general backup system for many useful life functions.

    Food preservation and gardening are income substitutes, reduce trips to town, are often more nutritious, taste better, and are force multipliers for effort. Also nontaxable income alternatives. Jars lack the suspect chemicals of lined cans. And you know what chemicals you put on your own food.

  10. Book recommendation:

    4th Generation Warfare Handbook – William S. Lind.

    At 134 pages this is a very concise & practical tome on why the USA is not achieving it’s goals in recent military adventures; as well as what a successful “local” military force would look like.

  11. Phew… what a great post.. what do you prep for..
    I never gave prepping any thought till the year that farmers loans started to come in.. I had had a wonderful job working in govt.. but quit for moral reasons.. ( How stupid could I be..Why should I care if the boss was getting head in the breakroom by some young woman wanting a better paying job ) I ended up making radiators.. my first wife had one of those IUD’s that wasn’t tested and was sick all the time because of it.. One night it was colder than a witches.. 2#$ and the car motor blew up.. I didn’t have a car.. couldn’t find a ride to work.. no winter gloves or coat.. no snow boots.. all I had was an old heavy jacket.. I would start out at 1 am for the only job I had.( after that year I never worked less than two) and would have to walk the twelve miles to work.. froze my feet and hands.. I would wear two pair of pants and stuff newspapers in between.. then job cuts nation wide.. the recession you know.. jobs were scarce and we made radiators for tractors and the farmers weren’t doing very well.. they tried to keep the plant open.. unfortunately no one was fixing anything. hours were cut.. then the notice that the plant was going to shut down for the winter.. we didn’t have money for heat.. no electricity.. no food.. I would follow behind farm tractors and scrape the grain they would drop on the gound and beat it into a cruel gruel.. I went from two hundred pounds down to seventy five.. two babies to feed.. we would leave the apartment door open so the heat from the unheated hallway would heat the apartment.. Of course all these give away programs that everyone is excited over doesn’t apply to anyone that had a job.. no unemployment.. ( that is a joke.) no food stamps.. nothing.. I did find one job that was part time for one month scraping the fat off road kill fur.. they fat and the meat all were sold for other things.. steam cleaning blood tanks.( god I can smell both of them just thinking about them) it was hell on earth.. no car no jobs.. and I felt insulted that I couldn’t figure something out.. how hard can it be really.. then one day it was close to christmas.. and a farmer asked me if I would help catch the male chickens in the hen house.. he was willing to pay a dollar an hour.. boy I can tell you I was so excited.. a buck an hour and what five hours of work.. I could buy a few boxes of mac and cheese.. ( we cooked on an old coleman white gas stove .. still got it to) but afterwards.. he said I can give you the five dollars an hour.. or you can have all the chickens you caught and twenty dozen eggs.. I leaped.. my god I was so excited.. it was the best thing that ever happened to me.. when I got home.. the door to the apartment was closed..( we had gotten our eviction notice..) I was terrified.. where were the kids.. the wife.. did someone come escort them out of the apartment.. I thought we had two weeks left before that.. instead when I opened the door there was this warm feeling.. the heat was on.. in the kitchen.. the fridge was on.. we had had it unplugged.. the fridge was full.. a receipt for the heat and the electricity and the rent all paid up for two months..the branch we had as a christmas tree.. in an old coffee can was decorated and under it a toy and a winter coat for each of the kids.. I got to my knees and cried.. it was the best and worst christmas of my life.. it gave me enough time to find something .. what I got was washing people that had died.. and I did the incinerator as a part time job incinerating surgical waste and figuring out who was dead and who was alive in the medical charts.
    since that time.. I had never worked less than two jobs and during the eighties up to eight.. I thought it was six but my wife reassured me that I worked more than that.. I never forgot those days either.. I always made sure we had enough.. swore I wouldn’t ever go through that again.. and even thought my wife now gave me guff over my anal obsession now helps.. ( see what seven or eight years ago.. medicare cuts of eleven percent and jobs were eliminated for anyone making a higher wage..and of course we couldn’t get any of the giveaway programs of course.. and we didn’t have an income for a year.. my wife being brave as she is wouldn’t ever show that it bothered her but late at night when she didn’t think anyone was watching.. she would cry.. ) I am anal about making sure.. we are still trying to build up.. the food not so much.. I know how to do most of what we use.. I see a grim future the good thing is.. I won’t be leaping from a fiftieth floor.. most people think money or guns or this or that.. they have a book or two on a shelf and a plan that says if this happens this is what I will do.. but really until you have lived it you don’t have a clue.. the books are nice. I have many.. my wife actually had me clear out some so she could park in the garage.. power tools forget it get hand tools.. I get asked all the time how to prep.. everyone thinks to spend huge amounts.. instead break it down.. we have a pantry or cabinet.. you store food in line it up if you use six cans in a two week period of this or that.. then by seven when six cans are down then by seven again.. you will be shocked at how fast a food stock can be gotten by adding one can.. buy what you eat.. try it..
    If you really want to know what it will be like take your phones and put them in a drawer with your wallet and your keys.. shut off the gas and the electric and the water .. don’t touch them and go for a month.. if you want to visit with someone that is a survivor.. then go find a person living in a cardboard box.. or a dumpster.. I still miss the can man.. we brought him into the house so he could have a place to live out his life.. what a nice guy.. mr. manors and smart.. he just didn’t have any of the opportunities to exceed available to him once in the dumpster that is where he would stay..Every year I find someone that falls through the cracks.. my god you would be surprised to.. they are everywhere.. one of my favorites is a young woman single mom of two.. one girl twelve or thirteen.. and a toddler boy.. she got sick with the swine flu.. but wasn’t sick enough to be admitted.. went home got really really sick in the night.. I get a call.. heres one right up your alley..and I take off.. this of course happened just before we ended up without an income.. walk in and there is this very scared young girl.. terrified from the look on her face her mom was taken away the furnace wasn’t working and no food in the house.I was told the mom was in a coma.. my guess is they put her in a chemically induced coma…and a little boy crying.. it was heart breaking.. another favorite was a guy I seen back in the eighties riding a bike.. ( lets be honest it was a unicycle LOL ) in snow going to work trying to peddle that damned thing up a hill on snow and ice.. I picked him up.. he was so destitute that all they could get was one jar of peanut butter every two weeks.. he didn’t have insurance.. and had delivered his children on the kitchen table.. they would eat what their cat would bring in.. they saved the skins so they wouldn’t ever forget.. ( he knew who I was when I helped him.. I actually had to hold his hand and walk him through everything we are still good friends to this day and I hear from his kids all the time.. one is a doctor and one a mechanic and one is a social worker)
    I am a bottom feeder I spend a lot in giving others a helping hand up.. the latest one was a young lady from our church.. she was going to the PNW to help and got mugged and robbed.. no id no way to prove she was who she said she was and her parents passed on.. it was a mess..
    So what are you going to prepare for.. a nuclear war.. an emp.. war.. climate change. you cannot prepare for everything.. buying a shelter a thousand miles away is stupid.. how do you get there.. reading and being known.. I helped with our communities plan of action.. know your neighbors.. know their hobbies and their talents.. then remember the story of stone soup.. it takes a community working together to survive.. something our ancestors knew.. we forgot.. most pandemics and serious depressions happen around a climatic change.. money .. well as long as it is considered good then it is. in germany it was worthless.. in america it was worthless.. water in the early eighteen hundreds was worth three ounces of gold.. can you garden. do you have a medical kit.. build slow and steady one can and you will make it.
    reading material.. heck I am all for the book a week.. I read a couple.. well actually four.. at the grade school where my grand children go.. they have a trophy case.. if a child reads a book they get a prize.. if they read several they get a better prize.. I try to keep that case filled.. watch to see what the kids like then buy it.. for the best an adroid tablet ebook.. or someone said I should get a couple bikes to .. not a bad idea and cheaper than some of the things I get for that case..theres a few more than myself that try to keep that going.. so it is fun to watch as I wait for my grandkids to get out of school.. Learn as much as you can and try to do what you learn.. I use to be able to do moles and logs in my head.. I don’t do them regular any more and doubt I could do them so practice practice..
    keep hard cover.. ebooks are great but in an emp your screwed.. depending on the epicenter.. the grid.. well like some of the groups thoughts on the general pubic come to my mind because I think everyone dealing with our infrastructure are drooling idiots.. I of course understand why.. they are thinking cash money.. control.. instead of security and stability. so at present a couple well placed bursts and we all would be hurting.. what was the estimate.. eighty percent casualties.. I truly believe that shows like the colony, naked and afraid, dual survival, etc.. are being done just to see whether or not mankind can survive.. will be survive..

  12. Great post, George! I look forward to your Prepping Business Plan. And, thank-you for the Kaufman book recommendation; I bought it, received it today, and started reading it. It’s one of the better books I’ve read in a long time and is exactly what I needed to read at this point in time.

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