When the economy of a nation collapses, almost everything changes. Unfortunately, most people have never been through anything like that, so it can be difficult to know how to prepare. For those that are busy preparing for the coming global financial collapse, there is a lot to be learned from the economic depression that is happening right now in Greece. Essentially, what Greece is experiencing is a low level economic collapse. Unemployment is absolutely rampant and poverty is rapidly spreading, but the good news for Greece is that the global financial system is still operating somewhat normally and they are getting some financial assistance from the outside. Things in Greece could be a whole lot worse, and they will probably get a whole lot worse before it is all said and done. But already things have gotten bad enough in Greece that it gives us an idea of what a full-blown economic collapse in the 21st century may look like. There are reports of food and medicine shortages in Greece, crime and suicides are on the rise and people have been rapidly pulling their money out of the banks. Hopefully this article will give you some ideas that you can use as you prepare for the economic chaos that will soon be unfolding all over the globe.
The following are 10 things that we can learn about shortages and preparation from the economic collapse in Greece….
#1 Food Shortages Can Actually Happen
Most people assume that they will always be able to run out to their local supermarket or to Wal-Mart and get all of the supplies they need.
Unfortunately, that is a false assumption. The truth is that our food distribution system is extremely vulnerable.
In Greece, many people are starting to totally run out of food. Even some government institutions (such as prisons) are now reporting food shortages. The following was originally from a Greek news source….
The financing for many prisons has decreased to a minimum for some months now, resulting in hundreds of detainees being malnourished and surviving on the charity of local communities.
The latest example is the prison in Corinth where after the supply stoppage from the nearby military camp, the prisoners are at the mercy of God because, as reported by prison staff, not even one grain of rice has been left in their warehouses. When a few days earlier the commander of the camp announced to the prison management the transportation stoppage, citing lack of food supplies even for the soldiers, he shut down the last source of supply for 84 prisoners. The response of some Corinth citizens was immediate as they took it upon themselves to support the prisoners, since all protests to the Justice ministry were fruitless.
#2 Medicine Is One Of The First Things That Becomes Scarce During An Economic Collapse
If you are dependent on medicine in order to survive, you might want to figure out how you are going to get by if your supply of medicine is totally cut off someday.
In Greece, medicine shortages have become a massive problem. The following is from a recent Bloomberg article….
Mina Mavrou, who runs a pharmacy in a middle-class Athens suburb, spends hours each day pleading with drugmakers, wholesalers and colleagues to hunt down medicines for clients. Life-saving drugs such as Sanofi (SAN)’s blood-thinner Clexane and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s asthma inhaler Flixotide often appear as lines of crimson data on pharmacists’ computer screens, meaning the products aren’t in stock or that pharmacists can’t order as many units as they need.
“When we see red, we want to cry,” Mavrou said. “The situation is worsening day by day.”
The 12,000 pharmacies that dot almost every street corner in Greek cities are the damaged capillaries of a complex system for getting treatment to patients. The Panhellenic Association of Pharmacists reports shortages of almost half the country’s 500 most-used medicines. Even when drugs are available, pharmacists often must foot the bill up front, or patients simply do without.
#3 When An Economy Collapses, So Might The Power Grid
Try this some time – turn off all power to your home for 24 hours and try to live normally.
Sadly, most people simply do not understand just how dependent we are on the power grid. Without power, all of our lives would change dramatically.
In Greece, authorities are warning of an impending “collapse” of the power grid. If it goes down for an extended period of time in Greece, the consequences would be catastrophic….
Greece’s power regulator RAE told Reuters on Friday it was calling an emergency meeting next week to avert a collapse of the debt-stricken country’s electricity and natural gas system.
“RAE is taking crisis initiatives throughout next week to avert the collapse of the natural gas and electricity system,” the regulator’s chief Nikos Vasilakos told Reuters.
RAE took the decision after receiving a letter from Greece’s natural gas company DEPA, which threatened to cut supplies to electricity producers if they failed to settle their arrears with the company.
#4 During An Economic Collapse You Cannot Even Take Water For Granted
If the power grid goes down, you will soon no longer have clean water coming out of your faucets. That is one of the reasons why it is absolutely imperative that the power grid stay operable in Greece.
Sadly, most people don’t understand just how vulnerable our water system is. In a previous article, I quoted from a report that discussed how rapidly our water supply would be in jeopardy in the event of a major transportation disruption….
According to the American Water Works Association, Americans drink more than one billion glasses of tap water per day. For safety and security reasons, most water supply plants maintain a larger inventory of supplies than the typical business. However, the amount of chemical storage varies significantly and is site specific. According to the Chlorine Institute, most water treatment facilities receive chlorine in cylinders (150 pounds and one ton cylinders) that are delivered by motor carriers. On average, trucks deliver purification chemicals to water supply plants every seven to 14 days. Without these chemicals, water cannot be purified and made safe for drinking. Without truck deliveries of purification chemicals, water supply plants will run out of drinkable water in 14 to 28 days. Once the water supply is drained, water will be deemed safe for drinking only when boiled. Lack of clean drinking water will lead to increased gastrointestinal and other illnesses, further taxing an already weakened healthcare system.
What will you do when clean water stops coming out of your faucets?
You might want to start thinking about that.
#5 During An Economic Crisis Your Credit Cards And Debit Cards May Stop Working
Most people have become very accustomed to using either debit cards or credit cards for almost everything.
But what would happen if the financial system locked up for a period of time and you were not able to use them?
This is something that the citizens of Greece are potentially facing in the coming months, and this is something that all of us need to start thinking about.
#6 Crime, Rioting And Looting Become Commonplace During An Economic Collapse
Big corporations are already making extensive plans for how to protect their stores in the event that Greece switches from the euro to the drachma.
The following is from a recent Reuters article….
British electrical retailer Dixons has spent the last few weeks stockpiling security shutters to protect its nearly 100 stores across Greece in case of riot.
The planning, says Dixons chief Sebastian James, may look alarmist but it’s good to be prepared.
Company bosses around Europe agree. As the financial crisis in Greece worsens, companies are getting ready for everything from social unrest to a complete meltdown of the financial system.
#7 During A Financial Meltdown Many Average Citizens Will Start Bartering
During this economic depression, alternative currencies have already been popping up in Greece.
When things fall apart on a global scale, will you have things to barter for the things that you need?
#8 Suicides Spike During An Economic Collapse
When you think of the Great Depression of the 1930s, what do you think of?
Many people think of images of people jumping out of buildings.
Well, something similar has been happening in Greece. Suicide statistics in Greece have been absolutely soaring during the last couple of years.
Once prosperity disappears, many people feel as though life is not worth living anymore.
#9 Your Currency May Rapidly Lose Value During An Economic Crisis
Just remember what happened in Germany during the Weimar Republic and what has happened recently in places like Zimbabwe.
The truth is that it can happen anywhere.
Right now, Greeks are pulling their money out of the banks because they are worried that their euros will be turned into drachmas which would rapidly lose value.
If I was living in Greece I would definitely be concerned about that. The return of the drachma seems to get closer with each passing day. Just check out these screenshots.
#10 When Things Hit The Fan The Government Will Not Save You
Has the government of Greece come to the rescue of all of those that are deeply suffering right now?
Of course not. The truth is that the Greek government can barely take care of itself at the moment.
History has shown us that governments simply cannot be counted on when things hit the fan.
Just remember what happened during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In the end, the only one that can be counted on to take care of you and your family is you.
So you better start preparing.
Unfortunately, as I wrote about the other day, time is rapidly running out for the global financial system.
Even some of the top economic officials in the world are warning that another major crisis could be on the way.
Just check out what World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the other day….
“Events in Greece could trigger financial fright in Spain, Italy and across the eurozone. The summer of 2012 offers an eerie echo of 2008.”
He also compared a potential exit of Greece from the eurozone to the collapse of Lehman Brothers back during the last financial crisis….
“If Greece leaves the eurozone, the contagion is impossible to predict, just as Lehman had unexpected consequences.”
So what are some things that the average person can do to get prepared?
Well, a recent article on SHTFplan.com entitled “The List: A to Z Survival for the Abysmal Times Ahead” contains hundreds of ideas for preparing for the chaotic economic environment that we are heading into.
Preparation is going to look different for every family. No two situations are exactly the same.
But there are some practical steps that nearly all of us can take to better position ourselves for what is coming. Now is the time to get educated and now is the time to take action.
Or you could be like all of those that laughed at Noah while he was building that big boat.
In the end, things did not work out too well for those folks.
There is just way to many to post!
Brother – “So, there I was sitting in a restaurant feeding my face, when I couldn’t help over hearing this Goth dresses couple in the next booth discussing their survival plans. You got to be kidding me I said to myself”.
Girl – “I think it is so cool the way you and your buddies have started…like…preparing for the Zombie attack”.
Boy – “Yeah, I know it is really rad. We have this place in the woods. It is all stocked up with our food, guns, ammo and stuff. You should like come with us. This is about the safest place for you. Especially, like when they run out of food in the cities…they are going to like make their way out here to the country you know. That is why I have like…this scoped rifle so I shoot the zombies from way out there…long before they can get to me.”
Girl – “That is totally so awesome…yeah I am in. I need to be some place safe. My place is…well my parents are…well they are going to be zombie food.”
Girl – “So like I see you are still driving your mom’s car! I thought like you were getting your own?”
Boy – “Yeah, so I need to get my own place first though.”
Brother –“Ok, I had I enough. I took the last bite of my burger and I was on my way. It took everything I had not to slap the pinhead in the back of the head on my way out.”
Here is another interesting read…
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Move over vampires, goblins and haunted houses, this kind of Halloween terror aims to shake up even the toughest warriors: An untold number of so-called zombies are coming to a counterterrorism summit attended by hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, firefighters and others to prepare them for their worst nightmares.
“This is a very real exercise, this is not some type of big costume party,” said Brad Barker, president of Halo Corp, a security firm hosting the Oct. 31 training demonstration during the summit at a 44-acre Paradise Point Resort island on a San Diego bay. “Everything that will be simulated at this event has already happened, it just hasn’t happened all at once on the same night. But the training is very real, it just happens to be the bad guys we’re having a little fun with.”
Hundreds of military, law enforcement and medical personnel will observe the Hollywood-style production of a zombie attack as part of their emergency response training.
In the scenario, a VIP and his personal detail are trapped in a village, surrounded by zombies when a bomb explodes. The VIP is wounded and his team must move through the town while dodging bullets and shooting back at the invading zombies. At one point, some members of the team are bit by zombies and must be taken to a field medical facility for decontamination and treatment.
“No one knows what the zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do,” Barker said. “If a law enforcement officer sees a zombie and says, `Freeze, get your hands in the air!’ What’s the zombie going to do? He’s going to moan at you. If someone on PCP or some other psychotic drug is told that, the truth is he’s not going to react to you.”
The keynote speaker beforehand will be a retired top spook _ former CIA Director Michael Hayden.
“No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it’s going to be a federal incident, so we’re making it happen,” Barker said. Since word got out about the exercise, they’ve had calls from “every whack job in the world” about whether the U.S. government is really preparing for a zombie event.
Called “Zombie Apocalypse,” the exercise follows the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s campaign launched last year that urged Americans to get ready for a zombie apocalypse, as part of a catchy, public health message about the importance of emergency preparedness.
The Homeland Security Department jumped on board last month, telling citizens if they’re prepared for a zombie attack, they’ll be ready for real-life disasters like a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack. A few suggestions were similar to a few of the 33 rules for dealing with zombies popularized in the 2009 movie “Zombieland,” which included “always carry a change of underwear” and “when in doubt, know your way out.”
San Diego-based Halo Corp. founded by former military special ops and intelligence personnel has been hosting the annual counterterrorism summit since 2006.
The five-day Halo counterterrorism summit is an approved training event by the Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Areas Security Initiative, which provide funds to pay for the coursework on everything from the battleground tactics to combat wounds to cybersecurity. The summit has a $1,000 registration fee and runs Oct. 29-Nov 2.
Conferences attended by government officials have come under heightened scrutiny following an inspector general’s report on waste and abuse at a lavish 2010 Las Vegas conference that led to the resignation of General Services Administrator Martha Johnson. The Las Vegas conference featured a clown, a mind-reader and a rap video by an employee who made fun of the spending.
Joe Newman, spokesman of the watchdog organization Project on Government Oversight, said he does not see the zombie exercise as frivolous.
“We obviously are concerned about any expenditure that might seem frivolous or a waste of money but if they tie things together, there is a lesson there,” Newman said. “Obviously we’re not expecting a zombie apocalypse in the near future, but the effects of what might happen in a zombie apocalypse are probably similar to the type of things that happen in natural disasters and manmade disasters. They’re just having fun with it. We don’t have any problems with it as a teaching point.”
Defense analyst Loren Thompson agreed.
“The defining characteristics of zombies are that they’re unpredictable and resilient. That may be a good way to prepare for what the Pentagon calls asymmetric warfare,” Thompson said.
Organizers can also avoid the pitfalls of using a mock enemy who could be identified by nationality, race or culture _ something that could potentially be seen as offensive.
“I can think of a couple of countries where the local leaders are somewhat zombie-like,” he joked. “But nobody is going to take this personally.”
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Federal, State, and Local Governments are frantically trying to get the word out to residents of the Eastern United States in helping them brace for the “Perfect Storm” or Hurricane Sandy as she has been named by NOAA. British Columbia coastal residences are trying to assess the damages left behind from the 7.7 earthquake that shook things up and Hawaii is under another Tsunami watch.
Emergency agencies and officials have established very informative websites with directions to shelters, how to prepare guides, equipment list, all way down to what to do when you lose power. These agencies are flooding the many media outlets right this very moment to get the people this information.
Great information but too late! As we have seen previous large emergencies…the storm is on the door step… those that have failed to plan have also failed to prepare…and those are the people that started getting supplies two days ago.
Sense of Urgency – the quality or condition of being urgent; pressing importance: the urgency of the call for help; pleading with urgency. The opposite of a sense of urgency is a sense of complacency. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Sense_of_urgency
“The Zombie Metaphor” – There are creeping feelings of panic and a sense of urgency beginning to set in on those who have not set themselves up for success by planning ahead. Along with this new found sense of urgency a realization for many develops. A scary picture of “We are screwed unless we get help”. We see the effects that this state of mind can have on individuals in media coverage over and over. The photos showing anxious hoarders stripping the grocery store shelves empty, at the local fuel station the security cameras display the sea of cars with angry hordes waiting to suck out the last bit of gas, or the Sky News chopper coverage of the building traffic jams from the ensuing exodus.
The Truth About Your Local Grocery Store, By Jay M. Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010
Copyright 2005-2012 James Wesley, Rawles – SurvivalBlog.com All Rights Reserved
“The problem occurs when some outside factors come into play. This can be as little as the weather man predicting a snow or ice store. If that happens people go nuts buying everything they can get their hands on. The system is not set up for this. If the situation only affects a few locations then they can get back in stock within 2-3 days on most of the basic supplies. However if it affects a large region such as half a state then the warehouses run out fast also. They are on the JIT program as well and aren’t stocked in a way to restock 100 stores all at once. Many areas of the country are primed to be affected by an earthquake. If that were to happen the shelves would be cleaned out within hours and wouldn’t be restocked for who knows how long. Even if the stores local area wasn’t affected, most likely the roads between the store and the warehouses would have bridges that if not destroyed would certainly be shut down for a time in order for inspectors to clear them as safe before trucks were allowed to cross.
The other factor I explain to folks is that when they shop day in and day out it looks like a ton of merchandise on the shelf. For example a store may stock 60 propane bottles for camp stoves on a regular basis. But in an emergency situation whether it has happened or only predicted the customers who get there first to buy some don’t just buy one or two. They will buy at least 10 so then only the first six customers get any. Many of the big box and grocery stores you shop in every day average between 3,000 and 6,000 customers a day. Do the math.”
The Fuel – The average 7/11 stores holds anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of fuel in the underground tanks. The average car holds 14-16 gallons of fuel in the gas tank. For simplicity we will use 15 gallons for the car and be generous at the 7/11 with topped off tanks holding 15,000 gallons. Take the 15,000 gallons divided by 15 gallons per car and that gives a total of 1,000 cars or families to be fueled. How many gas stations are in your town? What is the population of your town? With the average home having 2-3 cars, that 1,000 families per gas station just fell to 333.33. A similar type of scenario can unfold for the fuel stations as we saw above for the grocery stores. Do the math and plan ahead.
The way out – Really, why is this always an issue? Outside of a surprise event like an earthquake and etc we usually have some notice to an event. Seriously, we have amazing weather forecasting, news, TV, internet, and other technology that provides many days of notice to an event. Why must there always be scenes of mass traffic jams during a known emergency? The only reason I see is because people do not take planning and preparing serious enough until it is too late! Plan your routes out of town. You need to have several routes planned to get to your destination. Make sure to plan for stops and fuel as well.
Plan to succeed not fail – There is a great deal of information out there to help us help ourselves plan to be ready for an emergency. Don’t let yourself become one of the anxious hordes who failed to plan and failed to prepare!
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin
WASHINGTON – The storm that is threatening 60 million Americans in the eastern third of the nation in just a couple of days with high winds, drenching rains, extreme tides, flooding and probably snow is much more than just an ordinary weather system. It’s a freakish and unprecedented monster.
How did it get that way?
Published October 28, 2012
Modern engineering marvels such as water sanitation plants, indoor plumbing, and refrigeration all have made the simple task of accessing food and water go unchallenged for most of society. With the audible click and hum, clean filtered water passes into a glass from the opening in the refrigerator door, the lifting of a handle on the faucet at the sink, and even the unscrewing the cap off of a fresh filtered bottle of water amplify just how easy it is to obtain fresh water. However, we need to remember to always incorporate emergency planning regardless of how good things may be right now.
The opened doors of a refrigerator can usually offer the viewer a selection of beverages, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and the like. For the majority, there is little to no concerns except to decide what to eat and drink for our next meal. Choices-it is nice to have so many choices. With a sea of fast food joints, restaurants, and even grocery markets at our calling, we usually have little to worry about when seeking food. How simple the chore of finding something to eat can be with so many choices.
We presently are blessed to see heaping shelves displaying the results of bountiful harvest as one navigates the aisles of fresh produce, meats, and foods in our local grocery stores. We are currently a country consumed with and accustomed to excess. So what happens when something unexpected comes to pass that disrupts this flow of milk & honey we have grown dependant on? Where will you be and will you be ready for what these events may bring?
With current conditions being what they are, i.e., the abundance of food & water and easy access to it daily, it is not hard to see why most Americans take emergency preparation for granted. This false sense of comfort or security is one of the main contributors as to why so many are not prepared for emergencies, disasters, or as the Department Homeland Security says; “ The Zombie Apocalypse”. The Department of Homeland Security jokingly referenced Zombies in a recent article “Zombie Apocalypse: ‘The Zombies Are Coming,’ Homeland Security Warns” by ALICIA A. in the AP, “Tongue firmly in cheek, the government urged citizens Thursday to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, part of a public health campaign to encourage better preparation for genuine disasters and emergencies. The theory: If you’re prepared for a zombie attack, the same preparations will help during a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.” Seriously, putting all Zombies aside, following the DHS advice for preparing is probably a good idea. For most families, spending money to prepare for emergencies that may never happen is an after thought. For them it may be very hard to justify spending money on surplus food and equipment only to see it sitting on a shelf in a state of “break in case of emergency”.
What does it mean to be prepared? Are you prepared? Where do you start in preparing? In order to start preparing you will need to change your perception on how preparing is an essential investment, not an optional luxury. You will need to think of this as an insurance policy for you and your family’s safety and well-being in the time of a crisis.
In order to start to prepare you first need to establish what it is you want to prepare for. You need to identify what you feel is the most dangerous threat closest to you. There are many members of the 20 pound head club out there who have, at a great cost of money and time, attended some of the finest institutions in America to obtain degrees in order to tell us how to do risk assessment and threat assessment. Guess what, we are not talking about National Security here! But seriously, you can do your own simple assessments to help build your plan for preparation. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” I am sure many have heard the old saying “Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.”
In the military when confronted with a potential enemy we would do a simple test, something called a “Threat Assessment”. We first try to identify the current enemy facing us. Then we need to establish two things, what my enemies’ most probable course of action (MPCOA) will be and what our enemies’ most dangerous course of action (MDCOA) could be. Understanding the enemy basically allows me to employ the right tools of the trade to try to defeat or survive my enemies’ attacks. Having conducted an assessment will now allow you to focus your efforts in a more efficient manner when building your plan and conducting you preparations.
Do not be surprised if you actually come to the conclusion that you have multiple threats or risk that you want to plan to prepare for. You can scour the internet and find all kinds of threat assessment tools and even pay good money for some of this stuff. Below is an example of a simple assessment chart that can work as a template in creating your own threat/risk assessment tool.
Your assessments are not limited to just your home, they can branch out to neighborhoods and communities. You may want to go check out the FEMA website and see more examples of family emergency planning tools and even community planning tools.
Through the years I have crossed paths with many individuals that have invested large amounts of money in acquiring useless stuff in their efforts to be prepared. During a time of crisis, many of them came to the realization that a majority of the items purchased were a useless waste of money. Having the budget to prepare is a great start, but having the knowledge to ensure you spend it wisely will most certainly make your budget go a long way toward reaching your goal.
I recently attended the 2012 Survival Expo held in Las Vegas. I was completely taken back by the abundance of poorly made items, useless items, and just garbage that was mixed in with the good stuff. By doing your research and being informed, shows like this can actually be very productive in your preparations. There are many deals waiting for you at trade shows, especially on the last day as the vendors will have items that they do not want to ship home.
Most importantly you need to be able to prepare by making smart purchases with the budget you have established. Do your research and compile a shopping list to help you stay on your purchasing plan. Plan to purchase quality goods that will last and if possible have multiple uses for your kits. Spending your budget wisely, along with getting and staying informed, are critical processes in your ability to prepare well.
What are home emergency or disaster supplies kit? These kits are simply collections of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Assembly of your kits well in advance of any emergency or crisis is critical to your success, as trying to prepare during an event will be too late. In the event of a crisis you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. Having your kits staged and complete will save you precious time rather than trying to search for the supplies you need or shop for them.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Your home emergency kit may consist of water storage, shelf stable food storage and other supplies to support you in your home.
In the event you have to move or relocate from your residence you will need to have the supplies to do so. Ever more popular are 72 hour Emergency Go Bags, Bug out Bags, or Grab & Go Bags that were expressly designed for just that…Grab & Go! Specifically, most of these bags are intended to meet the needs of one person for 72-hours. When buying these kits it is important to know that they are not complete. Kits of this sort will need to be tailored for the individual, i.e., medications, spare glasses, personal hygiene items, and etc.
As we can see our emergency plan will consist of several types of kits. Some other kits to consider having ready are, a Vehicle Emergency Kit and Medical /First aid / Triage kit. In the event a crisis happens the local officials and relief workers will eventually be on the scene of the disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. There is potential that you could get help in hours or it might take days.
Additionally, your basic home services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. It is important that your emergency kits contain items to help you manage during these outages.
So in winding up today we can see there is a tremendous amount of information concerning emergency preparation. The importance of getting the information and staying informed cannot be emphasized enough. We have seen today the significance to focus our efforts by doing a few simple steps; Conduct a Threat/Risk Assessment, Make a Plan, Budget for the Plan, Be Informed/Stay Informed, and Build Your Plan!
See you soon, PreparedToday.