When We Need to Prep for Economic Hardship

By Harriet, Editor At Large

As I look back over my own life and through the generations as far as our family is concerned, I think our biggest risk is not a collapse of the power grid, nor TEOTWAWKI, but financial hardship due to loss of employment, loss of a working partner, changing social circumstances or a slow, insidious reduction of buying power at a time when there is low income. So with this in mind here is a quiz:

  1. Do you have a full store cupboard to see you through a bad patch of three months? Twelve months?

  2. Do you have a vegetable garden that produces enough fruit and vegetables to be useful?

  3. Can you survive using only one third of the power that others with the same size family do? Do you know how much power and water you use daily? Do you know how many units of power you use and how much it costs you to oven roast a meal, do a load of washing, use the slow cooker?

  4. Do you have solar panels or other ways of producing power for your use? Can you use your solar/other power if the grid goes down?

  5. Do you have access to alternative fuels to keep warm in winter if you cannot afford electricity, oil or gas? If you have to chop wood, are you fit enough/well enough to do it? If it is really hot where you live, do you know how to keep cool without an air conditioner?

  6. Do you have a form of cooking that is energy efficient depending on where you live? Eg: solar oven or the equivalent of a hay box for cooking in?

  7. Do you know how long your towels, sheets, tea towels and dish cloths last with normal use? Two years? Ten years? Do you have at least 20 years supply of linen for your current household?

  8. Do you know where you can buy second hand goods at cents in the dollar? Are you well known and well thought of there, so that if something comes in you are looking for they will put it aside for you?

  9. Can you make your own soap, washing powder, personal cleansers and moisturisers and do you have a 12 month supply of washing soda, borax, bicarb soda, lye, oil, and essential oils?

  10. Do you have a system to dry your clothes if you cannot afford to use your drier?

  11. Do you live within walking distance or cycling distance of the local shops, the library and medical facilities? Are you fit enough to do it?

  12. Do you grow your own herbs and know how to use them to meet your health needs?

  13. Have you weaned yourself off medically prescribed medications by improving your health? Or do you have 12 months supply of medications? Do you know how to improve your health after a medical diagnosis without using expensive medications? Do you know the risks of using medical and alternative approaches to managing your health?

  14. Have you paid off your mortgage or alternatively have 12 months of payments aside for the mortgage or rent?

  15. If you use a credit card do you pay it off completely each month?

  16. Do you have sufficient money put away to pay for the next 12 months of insurances, utilities and local government taxes/rates/levies?

  17. Do you have emergency money put aside for unexpected expenses such as a car crash, unexpected medical expenses or a suicidal child ringing up from the other side of the country or world and you need to get to them?

  18. Are your hobbies reasonably priced? That is, can you scale them back in times of acute financial shortage while still being able to enjoy them?

  19. Are you increasing your employment skill sets? If you are retired you still need to be increasing your skills or keeping them current, so that you are perceived as being useful in your community rather than a burden.

  20. Do you value your possessions and keep them in good order, so they will last longer before you have to replace them?

This is supposed only to be a start. What other questions do we need to be thinking about?



Rourke’s Recommendations

Doulton 10″ Super Sterasyl Ceramic Gravity Water Filter Candle

The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition – Book

11″ x 50′ Foodsaver-type Vacuum Bag – roll

WaterBOB Emergency Drinking Storage System – 100 gallons

Ronco Pocket Fisherman – a classic!!!


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