What Are Folks Thinking These Day?
The economy has taken a major hit over the past couple days. I saw where the world's richest man lost $7 billion in 24 hours. The stock market had a dramatic drop. People are worried... not just preppers, but regular folks, too.
I got a call today from a friend in Texas, the guy I mentioned a week or so ago that almost had a chainsaw disaster. He's not a prepper. He's a good ol' boy who worked the oil fields in his youth and is a successful business man now. He's worried, and has friends who are expressing worry. We spoke for about a half hour today about how bad things might get, and what he can do to mitigate his risks.
He's a lot better off than a lot of people. He's got access to a family farm outside of town with 240 acres, pecan and fruit trees, running water (when they are not in a drought), feral hogs, and some passed down knowledge and experience in putting up food through drying and canning. He's also knowledgeable about building, power needs, mechanics, and other important issues. And he's worried.
We talked about water purification with a Berkey, storage, and grid down well access. He shared how his grandparents would gut a hog and put it on the tin roof during the hot, Texas summer, covered in salt and sugar, to keep the predators and scavengers away from it while it cured. We talked about the potential for barter, whether with skills, commodities such as produce and ammo, or gold and silver. He knew that the 65-70 Kennedy half dollars are 40% silver. I told him about the potential value in current nickels if the mint changes them to a cheaper metal in the next couple of years.
We discussed medical gear and training. He's been researching how to build a smoke house and has scoped out a location for one on the family farm. He reminded me of the difference in smoking to cook, like in a commercial smoker or home made one from a refrigerator vs. smoking to preserve with cool smoke over a long period of time. I described Thomas Jefferson's smoke house at Monticello and I plan to go up there this fall to take pictures of it for him (I'll write about it here).
He was particularly concerned with how long something might last and being able to share with distant family without putting his immediate family at risk of running short. He also updated me on his chainsaw accident. He is healing up very well, and he's very lucky that it didn't do a lot more damage. He's really motivated me to get some chaps before I start my fall cutting. I encouraged him to get some Quick Clot and a couple Israeli Battle Dressings for his first aid kit.
My friend in Texas is like a lot of people out there who are coming to see the need for preparedness. The more folks that are prepared, whether for an economic collapse, natural disaster, or local emergency, the better everyone else will be. With September being National Preparedness Month, I hope a lot of us will use that as a reason to broach the topic with family and friends, while keeping OpSec in mind, of course.
I was negligent yesterday in forgetting to mention the 221st birthday of the U.S. Coast Guard, founded on Aug. 4, 1790 by Sec. of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton as the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service. Their motto of Semper Paratus holds a special place to those in the preparedness community. To all current and former Coast Guard officers and sailors, thank you for your service and Happy Birthday!