by Shane White
Many steps can be taken now to make sure you are prepared and are self reliant for after the coming apocalypse. You need to be sure you have your short term supplies, a place to go, plans on where you are getting your food, where you will be living, and you have self protection. What am I missing?
Well…Let me tell you something. Even the best laid out plans have holes in them. You may have thought of everything but it is almost a certainty that you have forgotten something. After the event is not a good time at all to find this out.
When you discover you have missed something critical, what do you do? You had better make sure that you have preparations to have something valuable that you can trade to your neighbors for things they have that you may need. If you have something that they need and they have something you need, then you have an ideal arrangement.
Here are some ideas for things that most people will need that you can use for trade:
Clean Water – this is a resource that you cannot do without. You can only survive without water for a few days at best. Without water your body will quickly shut down. Many of your neighbors will find that they are in need of this resource. Make sure you have plenty of extra water that you can trade. Water can be collected from rain, rivers, wells, lakes, reservoirs, and other places like this. The hardest part is having enough storage for your water. I suggest having water storage tanks or barrels that you can keep lots of water in. Make sure you clearly mark which water is clean and which is not. Another option is getting water from a well. The problem with wells is that many wells today are powered by electricity. Make sure you have a way to get water from your wall. Plan ahead and get a hand pump now. Collected water can have bacteria and all kinds of other contaminants in it. Make sure you have a good long term way to purify it. Also remember that you don’t necessarily have to purify all of your water. Water for bathing and for your garden doesn’t have to be purified.
Food – Everybody needs food. This is probably number two after food. If you have a garden and some animals, make sure you have enough that will allow you to store some for the future and some extra to use for trade. Food laying out in the open like a garden or a cage full of chickens might look like an easy target for hungry people in the night. Make sure you have some means of defending them. Another thought, trading food for food is an excellent way to make sure you are not eating chicken and green beans every single night. You will find that you will appreciate having a variety of different kinds of food.
Skills – Make sure you know some skills that would be valuable in a post-apocalyptic world. It will not be long before people will be needing things like shoes, clothes, general repairs to their equipment, and other things like this. Find a few things that you think you might be good at and get good at them now. If you are already good at some things that might fit into an post-apocalyptic world, figure out if you how you can do them without resources like gas or electricity, and how you can create things with less than ideal parts. It is also a good idea to have some paper books around on a variety of topics relating to homesteading, survival and other similar topics for reference and ideas.
Gold and silver – These resources have been used for thousands of years and will likely still be used, even after a world changing event. The greatest advantage of gold and silver is that they are valuable and can be stored easily. This is obvious, but you might ask, why is silver and gold still going to be valuable? People already know how money works, so picture this…everything you want to trade is readily available from your neighbor. You might need water for example. Your neighbor needs shoes. Your neighbor doesn’t have water, but you make the best shoes in the county. In this case he gives you the gold or silver in exchange for your shoes and you find someone else who has water and buy the water from them. It is a very fluid system and has worked for thousands of years. Even if gold and silver are not immediately desired by your neighbors, it is only a matter of time before this is the desired form of trade again.
Other Stuff – There are other things that people will need such as tobacco, coffee, cotton, metals, horses, and a lot of other things like this. If you have a few items like these that initially might be hard to come by, you will be a not have any trouble working out deals with your neighbors.
Whatever you do, make your plan to have something that is useful for trade. Whether it be food, water, gold, raw talent, or something else. There is no way you will be able to produce everything that you will need for the long term. Be as self sufficient as possible, but also be prepared to establish trade relationships with your neighbors. Many of them may not have any trade plans, or even survival plans. If you make plans, you will have a better chance for survival, and may even do quite well long term.