Although I basically have an optimistic view of humanities capacity to survive and thrive, there will always be some kind of crisis each generation must suffer and conquer.
There are always two sides (at least) to every story and to every prediction. Trends we see developing today could lead to nuclear war, economic failure, collapse of the world’s power grids and loss of many of Mother Earth’s resources. On the other hand, those same trends could lead to greater peace, a cleaner environment, more sustainable power sources and greater opportunity.
My Grandparents lived through the Great Depression and the dust bowl. My parents handled World War II and the cold war. The boomers lived through the Stagflation, the oil embargo, Vietnam, 9/11 and the Great Recession. Generations following will handle different crisis’s and learn different lessons. History will tell their story. One of them may be a privacy loss crisis.
Standing here in America today, looking at an uncertain economic recovery, predictions of a student debt crisis, a trillion dollar plus national debt crisis, a retirement crisis, a health care crisis, and the threat (once again) of nuclear war (this time courtesy of North Korea), we who have been bitten once are twice shy. We look for ways to protect ourselves against future crisis. Are there actions we can take (or avoid) to lessen the impact of possible future crisis events? Can we take those actions in a sane, orderly and economically feasible manner?
No one can predict the future, least of all me. These are just my thoughts and opinions, so please don’t take action on them alone!
What can you do to soften the impact of future crisis?
The cost of good healthcare in the US will increase and its availability decline over the next decades. Hospitals are already laying off employees at all levels to compensate for the cost of ‘Obama Care’.
The cost of health insurance will rise and will cover less. You will need to prepare to spend more of your own dollars for the health care and medicine you need. Already, over the counter drugs cannot be purchased with your pre-tax flexible spending account dollars.
Your best bet is to live a life style conducive to good health. Stay slim, exercise and eat healthy. Go for the right preventative care. Line up a network of people who can help you stay in your home as you age, at the best cost possible.
What I am doing: I am exercising each day; attempting to shed 20 pounds this year; getting a colonoscopy (yuk); starting to research elder care options and thinking about where I want to live when older.
Reduce your reliance on other people, institutions and on certain geographic areas.
From your employer to the plumber to the grocer and accountant find ways to handle more things yourself, or at least gain knowledge on how to do so if need be.
Learn how to grow your own vegetables. Learn how to defend yourself and your family and obtain the necessary tools to do so.
Diversify your investments so that if one institution goes down, you can still rely on others. Don’t concentrate everything in one area or one country or one region.
What am I doing: I’ve already learned to garden and have preservation equipment. We have the tools to defend ourselves. I continue to diversify investments using our asset allocation and will buy more gold when prices come down. We have multiple accounts at multiple institutions, and although it sometimes is a pain in the rear, it helps me sleep at night. We also keep a cash stash for emergencies close at hand. We have real estate in two different areas and our descendants are also spread out geographically.
Although it seems counter to reducing your reliance on others, you do also need to build alliances. People always seem to accomplish more working together than they do working alone. Find people at work, in the church, in the community and in the government that you can help and be helped by. Find people that can teach you and that you can teach. Find people with insider information that you can use (legally) to learn what is coming and prepare for it and share information you have with others.
What am I doing: I need to do better here. I have started serving as our condo association secretary, I do have contacts from my last job and we do know several of our neighbors. I also am part of an online network which provides some specific information and knowledge about online stuff.
Be prepared for loss of goods and services.
Although unlikely, it is possible that future events could disrupt the world wide flow of goods and services. What if, on your trip to the grocery stores, the shelves were bare? What if the fresh fruits and vegetables you like to eat during winter, the ones grown in South America, can’t be found? What if you have no power, no water, no natural gas and no gasoline for your car?
Survivalists, in my opinion, go overboard to prepare for this situation. They may have the last laugh, but we should all be prepared for at least a temporary disruption of the supply lines. Our own government has been telling us that for years. Since they don’t usually like to incite fear in the population, I’m betting there are reasons they aren’t divulging for telling us that. Yes it does make common sense, but if we knew the full story would we be hearing how close we have come to that situation multiple times?
What am I doing: I keep water and food and an emergency bag at the ready. I have planted fruit trees and blueberry bushes and have read up on local and natural remedies and edibles. We have candles and kerosene lamps, matches, camp-stoves and heaters, tents and cots. There is a stream running through our land as well. We have wood for heat. We both have bicycles for transportation if needed. I’d like to have a well, a generator, a wood burning furnace that doesn’t require electricity, a root cellar, an ice house and an outhouse!
You may need to become a citizen of the world, instead of just one country. You might find it necessary to move due to lack of a job, lack of opportunity, unfit living conditions, war, disease or any of a thousand other reasons.
You may need to quickly learn new skills and obtain new knowledge and experience to earn a living.
You may need to rely on your own knowledge, or physical books in your possession instead of the internet. The internet is currently under attack from people and groups across the world. Bringing down the servers, sat elites, cables and programs that make it work would cause great disruption.
What am I doing: We have lots of how to books on the shelves. I’m learning new online skills every day and I’m trying to think outside my box to look ahead at future possibilities – good and bad.
Do you take steps to avoid an unknown and uncertain future crisis? What do you think that crisis will be and how are you preparing for it?