Analysis Summer 2018
As we head into the Labor Day Weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to review some current events relevant to prepping.
1-Venezuela: we talked previously how the crisis in Venezuela has led to a food shortage. Food that is available is priced out of reach (see picture above – how much money is needed to buy a chicken = 14.6 million Bolivars which is equal to $2.22 at this time*), people in the cities are sorting through garbage to find or eating pets, rats, and even pigeons and other birds that normally would not be on the menu.
*my favorite picture in the series showed a stack of paper money needed to buy a roll of toilet paper – it was larger than the roll of tissue = might as well just wipe your keister with the paper money… reckons back to the stories of wheelbarrows of money needed in post World War I Germany to buy a loaf of bread.
Paper money (fiat money) is only useful as long as people intrinsically value it. Once the trust in the value of the currency is lost (such as when governments print money too fast), the currency collapses. Hyper-inflation of goods and massive de-valuation of money occurs. The market moves to barter systems, use of a commodity such as gold and/or silver to exchange goods, or simply turns to crime.
Prepper take-away: you need to stockpile food and goods that you can use for barter if the fiat currency is devalued. You should have some gold or silver set aside in case you need it. And you need to be able to defend your stores (stock up on guns and ammo).
Since this crisis is localized (limited to the failed economy of Venezuela) many people have been moving to where the food is – outside the country. And now we see stories in the news of the second and third order effects of the mass exodus: backlash in neighboring countries. Arrivals of large numbers of refugees has led to crimes committed by some and then anger against the refugees as a group. A refugee camp was recently burned and bulldozed in a Brazilian border town.
Prepper take-away: while you can move away from the crisis to a more stable area, if you end up moving with the horde, you might find yourself confined to a refugee camp or classified (rightly or wrongly) as an undesirable element of the group that is over-whelming the local economy – the impact of the crisis spreads to areas where refugees has concentrated with resulting food shortages, lack of jobs, and over-crowding. If you are going to “bug out” you should try to bug out ahead of the horde or keep moving until you are no longer with the horde.
2-Hurricane Lane aftermath: just as we saw after Harvey – while landfall of the hurricane can have devastating effects, the real damage occurs afterwards as large amounts of rain lead to rapidly moving water and flooding.
Prepper take-away: take care in selecting the location of your home or be prepared to dyke up against flooding. Check out this YouTube video on an inflatable dyke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vd3I5HSz4s
3-Land confiscation and gun grabs in South Africa: What happens when a government becomes authoritarian and starts to discriminate against a class of people? You can see for yourself looking at what’s going on in South Africa. If you look deeply into the problem, you will see a lot of the same rhetoric that we hear in the states about “the rich not paying their fair share” or “privilege” of a certain class or another or correcting past abuses. If we stand for equal rights before the law – this should be chilling to see “white farmers” losing their land to the government. But what struck me was to see that the SA government is also looking to confiscate guns.
In their wisdom our Founding Fathers codified gun ownership as an inalienable right. Governments that seek to take weapons from their citizens are seeking to take other things from their citizens. An armed citizenry is an anathema to an authoritative government.
Prepper takeaway: You should be thankful that we have the Second Amendment in our Bill of Rights and although I hope and pray we never have to oppose the government, you should exercise your right to keep and bear arms now just in case the government wants to try to take it away in the future or restrict future sales.
4-The next pandemic: Many experts feel that each year’s flu originated in southeast Asia, specifically China. So scientists attempt to predict each year which variant will spread around the world and provide a vaccine to immunize people based to a degree on what they see in China. And some speculate that the next pandemic will originate in China. Check out the article at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/china-ground-zero-future-pandemic-180965213/ if you are interested. Ok, so when China refuses to provide virus samples to labs in the UK and US as recently reported in the news – this could impact on our ability to weather the next flu season.
Prepper takeaways – If you do get the flu, the best treatment is rest, stay hydrated, and respiratory support. If the flu is in the area, exercise steps to quarantine yourself and your family. Face masks can reduce the spread of contaminated droplets emitted by sneezing or coughing but viruses are very small so these are not 100% effective. And as always, washing your hands with soap and water before touching your face or your food or after being exposed to someone who is ill is strongly recommended.
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