Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
Editorial Note: Sometimes people ask me, “If I was your family member, what would you advise?” I had begun writing a letter to my loved ones about what is coming and how to prepare for it and I wanted to share it here. If you have family members who you’d like to see get better prepared, please share this with them. They – like my loved ones – may or may not heed the warnings, but I care enough to try. ~ Daisy
Hey, you guys! It’s me! Your favorite kooky conspiracy theorist relative/friend. Don’t worry. I won’t rub it in that I’m not so crazy anymore. (Much – haha!)
In all seriousness, I wanted to send you a note about what I believe we can expect to see over the next little while and my recommendations on preparing for it. I’m sending you this not to nag or harass you, but because I love you and I want you to be ready if things go sideways.
Because I really think they will.
I’m adding in some links to articles on my website if you want more information about the things I’m suggesting. I won’t push you to do anything other than to read this letter. Please just give me a few minutes of your time and do that – it’s very important to me. After that, you can choose to look more deeply into what I’m saying or you can carry on and hope for the best. Either way, know that you’re loved and that’s why I’ve written this.
So let’s dive into this.
What to Expect
It’s no secret that things in the US are a hot mess right now.
We’ve already had all sorts of riots and fighting (see here and here), and people are planning to protest – perhaps violently – after the election, and it won’t matter who is announced the winner. (I wrote about it here.) You may feel that you are located in a place that is safe from all the hostility but please don’t let down your guard. The danger is reaching further and further outside of the cities. Perhaps it won’t end up on your doorstep, but will it block the road when you’re trying to get home? Will the danger strike while you’re at the store trying to get groceries? It’s vital that you understand this violence is not just a problem happening in Seattle and Portland. It’s spreading, like a cancerous growth, across our nation.
But this is not the only problem.
It may soon become difficult or outrageously expensive to find supplies like food, linens, hygiene supplies, clothing, footwear, medications, and cleaners. There are a lot of reasons for this – to name just a couple – the supply chain is broken and we’re no longer getting regular imports from China. At this point, the “why” doesn’t even matter anymore.
And I know this is starting to sound like a Ginsu knife commercial, but wait, there’s more.
I think we’re going to see another round of lockdowns. And I think it’ll happen fairly soon. Now some of you believe this virus is nothing while others believe that it’s practically the end of the world. Honestly, it doesn’t matter which it is. The lockdowns and the further breakdown of our system are the things that will affect us most direction. My friend Selco, who is from Bosnia, wrote about the breakdown of the system here.
These measures will cause even more economic damage and the country is already in pretty dire straits. We’ll see an uptick in poverty and hunger. Hand in hand with that will obviously be an increase in crime. When people are desperate, they do desperate things.
What I think you should do
You may be thinking, “Why should I be listening to her? She’s always the Voice of Doom.”
I totally get it. These aren’t fun topics. Some of you have known me since I was a goofy, awkward kid and some just as a goofy awkward adult. But this is what I’ve done for a living for the past ten years – I’ve studied disasters and collapses that have occurred all over the world. I’ve taken courses, I’ve researched what works and what doesn’t, I’ve interviewed survivors, and I’ve personally been through a lot.
I just want to share some of the things that I’ve learned over the last decade which may be helpful to you. What you do with the information is up to you.
Stock up as much as you can.
If you have any spare money, I strongly recommend you stock up on the things that I mentioned above: food, linens, hygiene supplies, clothing, footwear, medications, and cleaning supplies. If possible, get the longest-lasting version of these things possible. Remember how empty the shelves got last March? That’s going to happen again. And we may not bounce back when it does.
So when shopping for food, go for big bags of rice, canned goods, dried beans, pasta, sauces, peanut butter, crackers, oatmeal – stuff like that. When shopping for clothing and housewares, get things that are sturdy and will last a long time – forget any delicate dry-clean only stuff. If you can get your cleaning and hygiene supplies in concentrated versions and just add water, it’ll save space. Start going for reusable choices instead of disposable ones, and look into getting ingredients for DIY products. If you’re taking medication, get as many months ahead as you can, even if you have to pay out of pocket for it. You could soon have trouble getting it at all if the issue with imports continues.
And also – grab a few Christmas gifts. You might have difficulty finding what you want closer to the big day.
I know this costs money. Do without treats for a while so you can make it happen. Please trust me on this. Here are some articles if you want more information about this stuff.
- The US Is Running Out of These 9 Foods FAST
- How (and When) to Prepare for the NEXT Lockdown
- 9 Things to Buy Every Time You Go to the Store
- Here’s Why You Should Start Getting Ready for Christmas NOW
- 12 Ways to Save Money with Reusable Stuff in a Disposable World
- It’s NOT Too Late to Start Prepping Right Where You Are
Secure your home.
There are two major reasons you’re going to want to do some work on your home security. First, there’s the aftermath of the election. If things get crazy where you are, you’ll want to be ready for it if you aren’t already.
I wrote an article about preparing for civil unrest quickly – you can read it here.
Secondly, above, I mentioned that as the economy gets worse, you can expect crime to increase. And it’s understandable – if your babies were starving, how far would you go to feed them? But that doesn’t mean you want to be a victim of these criminals. If you’re not doing these things already, please start:
- Keep your home locked up at all times, both when you’re there and when you’re out.
- Don’t leave anything in your vehicles.
- Invest in some security measures like a lock for the gate, video cameras, and a more secure door and door frame.
- Carry your firearm all the time, even at home. If you don’t use firearms, investigate other possible weapons you might be more comfortable using.
Put back some money.
I know, money, money, money. It seems like all I’m doing is trying to get you to spend money. But if at all possible, you’ll want to free up some money for the months ahead.
Jobs, even the ones that seem secure today, could be lost. Everything will very likely start costing a lot more. You could find yourself in a bad position financially. Do not spend money frivolously right now, please. You’re very likely to regret it if you do.
Do what you can to put back some money that is easily liquid – so cash or precious metals. If you need to sell some stuff to raise these funds, do so. An emergency fund has never been more important than it’s about to be – and I’m HUGE on emergency funds. Here’s more information about rainy day money.
Have a back-up plan.
All the stuff above is Plan A. It’s stuff you can do to combat the things that I suspect could happen soon. But if you can’t manage to pull Plan A together, or you go through all your supplies and money, or something else bad happens, consider Plans B-Z. You don’t necessarily need to take action on these things, but consider the following questions and think about back-up plans.
- What would you do if you could no longer pay your rent or mortgage?
- What if you ran out of food and couldn’t get what you needed (either because of a lack of money or a lack of available supplies)?
- With whom could you band together if things got really bad? Are there neighbors you trust? Nearby friends or family members?
- What would you do if it became too dangerous to stay where you live right now? What if it was for a couple of days? What if it was for a couple of weeks? What if it was for longer?
- If you couldn’t get the medication you take regularly, what are some back-up options? Are there other meds that would work in the same way? Are there natural options?
- What would you do if you lost your job? Are there any side gigs you could start? Do you have your resume up to date? What is the employment situation in your industry right now?
I don’t bring these things up to scare you. I just know that for me, I handle things a lot better if I’ve seriously considered the possibility before. Sometimes fast decisions are required and if you’ve already done the research and the mulling over, you can make those choices quickly.
Why I’m telling you this
I know this note may seem like it’s out of the blue, but with my finger on the pulse of all this stuff, I have been feeling an increased urgency to be prepared for the future. I don’t have a crystal ball and things could muddle along as they have been for a long time. But my educated guess is that they will not and that we are on a slippery slide right now.
Please, please, consider what I’ve written carefully and don’t just dismiss it because it sounds “crazy” or “paranoid.” If you have ANY questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help.
I’m writing this because I love you and I want you to be safe, healthy, nourished, and comfortable. This is my way of taking care of the people I care about the most. If I didn’t at least try to warn you, I couldn’t live with myself if these things come to pass and you suffer because of it.
But all I can do is sound the alarm and point you in the right direction. The rest is up to you.