Things to Know When the Economy Falls Apart
Will the Good Times Last?
Could a global economic disaster someday force us into a lifestyle more like that of our great-great grandparents?
People in earlier generations grew their own food, traded locally with neighbors and depended on personal talents and skills to supply their everyday needs. The economy of many small countries still operates in a similar way.
On the other hand, modern people of industrialized nations with advanced technology and complex economies a have lost touch with basic pioneer skills. They could be hit hard by a financial collapse. Many of us do not realize how dependent on technology we have become.
Ironically, people in "poor" less developed areas with an agricultural base will be better prepared for any drastic change. They already know how to live without the advantages and luxuries we take for granted.
The First Necessity is Information
Those who plan ahead could survive an economic storm with old-fashioned hard work and know-how.
- Do you know how to grow and preserve food?
- Can you make and repair practical necessities like clothing, tools, and furniture?
- Do you know first aid and simple home remedies?
- Do you know how to survive without your usual sources of fuel and power for heat, light, transportation, and cooking?
- Do you have at least ONE skill that can be used to make things or provide a service that other people need?
Get it in Writing
By the Book
If you do not already have basic skills, it is time to expand your library with information about old-fashioned technologies.
A basic cookbook, a gardening reference, a first aid manual and even a how-to book for basic building techniques could come in handy.
There are several books offering useful advice on all of these subjects and more. It might be a good idea to have some of them on your shelf. If your power is out, you won't have Google.
Build Your Own Library in a Notebook
Another way to build a skills library is to collect information from internet sources while you have access.
Right here on HubPages, you can find a huge amount of helpful content, that will help you put together your own resource notebook full of information.
1. Gather supplies for your basics book:
- A large three-ring binder
- A three-hole punch and a stapler
- Divider pages with tabs, preferably with pockets.
- A highlighter pen, Page protector sleeves (optional)
2. Decide What Information You May Need
Your notebook could include information on ways to grow, prepare and preserve food, using alternative energy, sewing, carpentry, craft skills, keeping chickens, cooking outdoors, making soap, making candles, home remedies and any homesteading skills that used to be common.
You might not need to know all of these skills, but even just having a few would make it easier for you to barter with neighbors.
Why should you print out pages when they are always available on the net? What if your power goes out, or you can't afford internet service? You should have a printed copy that's easy to reference.
Assembling your "Basics" book
After you browse HubPages for topics and articles that might be helpful….
- Label your dividers with topics.
- Print out your informative articles.
- Use a three-hole punch on your printed sheets or slide the sheets into page protectors.
- Highlight articles to show tools and supplies you might need for each activity.
Once you have your information organized in a way that is easy for you to access, there are other things you can do to make that information easier to use.
Working Towards Self-Sufficiency, Step by Step.
Tools and Supplies
Your notebook binder will give you an idea of what tools and supplies you may need to use the knowledge you have accumulated.
For instance, if you know you can grow corn or other grain, or if you know you can gather acorns for making bread, you could make flour by pounding kernels between stones, as was done in ages past. With that thought in mind, you might also want to buy a hand-cranked grinder to make that process easier.
If you want to make soap, getting some molds or a pan that will let you make several bars at once.
What Kinds of Information do You Look For?
If you need to cook over an open fire, some cast iron pans or kettles would be practical, as well as indestructible.
If you need to provide for yourself and your family, you will want to search out general topics on HubPages like "Frugal living", "bartering" and "do-it-yourself".
You will find plenty of articles about planting fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs as well as canning, drying and preserving your harvest.
There are more than 200 articles on candle-making, more than 80 on making soap, several dozen on metal crafts and leather-work. There are scores of articles about sewing and knitting, as well as several about weaving and even spinning.
There are hundreds about cooking, including making simple staple ingredients like cheese, homemade bread (even using acorn flour), vinegar, beer, and wine.
Home Remedies and first aid articles also are easy to find.
Gardening and information about farm animals and livestock, including sustainable agriculture and farming, abound.
If you want to find out about beekeeping or raising goats and chickens you will find information on HubPages.
There are a couple thousand hubs about fishing. Other subjects include building furniture, sharpening tools, irrigation systems, alternative fuel. You can search out valuable information pertaining to any of these subjects here.
Other HubPages authors with Info
In addition, there are several articles by Brie Hoffman about living off-grid including how to live without a refrigerator. Marye Audet also has a number of articles pertaining to homesteading topics. Montana Farm Girl and homesteadbound also have valuable information.
I have left out scores of others who have information you will want in your notebook. Feel free to suggest articles in your comments below..
Now, let's get started.