Recently, a few economic naysayers have leaped ahead of those warning about a recession, and are now warning about a depression. They’re not talking about a situation akin to the Great Depression of the 1930s – current US banking and market regulations prevent that severe a disaster – but rather a depression similar to the one Japan suffered following the collapse of its real estate and credit speculation bubble of the 1980s. Their economy suffered deflation and falling wages throughout the 1990s and still hasn’t recovered.

I’m not sure things will get that bad – Congress and the Fed know what happened to Japan and they don’t want it to happen to us. However, they’re slow to act, so we can’t rely on them completely.

If you’re concerned about the possibility of a depression rather than a recession, here’s how to prepare for it:

Pay Off Debt
At the very least, pay off your high-interest debt. Personally, I wouldn’t focus on paying off a mortgage unless you’re meeting all of your other savings and retirement goals, but get those credit cards paid off now. As we’ve seen with the current credit crisis, when banks lose money one place, they try to make it up somewhere else, usually with variable interest credit products. Don’t let them milk you dry!

I wouldn’t worry too much about federally subsidized student loans, either. Those have very generous deferral terms if you lose your job or suffer an extreme financial hardship.

Shore Up Your Emergency Fund
If you don’t have an emergency fund, start one now. Aim to save at least three months’ living expenses if you work in an in-demand field like nursing, and up to six months’ living expenses if you work in a discretionary spending area, like retail or entertainment.

Build Your Network
Don’t just build a network of colleagues in your own field – in an extended depression, you may need to transfer your skills to a new area, so make friends with people in fields where you can use your skills. Especially concentrate on people-oriented businesses that can’t be outsourced.

You should also build your network of friends. During a depression, you’ll come to rely on each other for moral support and sharing goods and food. Make friends with your neighbors now so you’ll have access to their canned goods later (and vice versa.)

Learn to Prepare Food at Home
If you don’t like cooking or your idea of “dinner” is opening up a box of Hamburger Helper and adding some meat, it’s time to learn to cook. Once you start, you’ll discover that it’s really not that hard and usually it’s cheaper, too.

Learn to Shop Wisely
If you don’t already use coupons or look for bargains at the grocery store, learn to shop wisely. See my series on eating well for less for tips for doing just that. But in a depression, you may need to go further. Become friends with generics and store brands of comparable quality and safety. Visit your nearby 99-cent store. Although they’re also raising prices, you can still stock up on staples for much less.

Plant Some Food
If you have a garden, it’s time to make room for food. In addition to herbs that can add freshness to that 99-cent canned stew, plant hardy vegetables native to your region and native fruit trees. Although there are initial start-up costs, once your food is growing, you should see some savings.

Learn to Live Below Your Means
All of the above can be summed up as: learning to live on less. Even if you can spend more, that doesn’t mean you have to. Instead, send your raises directly to savings and learn to budget your money to have something left over every month. That will make it easier to cut back further if a depression occurs.

Keep Your Car in Good Condition
By this I mean a car you own, not a car you lease. A car you lease could quickly become a car you no longer have. But if you keep your paid-off car in good condition, it will serve you well during a serious downturn.

Buy Classic Clothing Styles and Keep Them in Good Condition
Don’t worry about buying the latest trendy thing and instead focus on high-quality classics, and then keep them in good condition. I have shirts and jeans that are more than five-years-old that are still in good condition and still in style. A classically-cut white shirt never goes out of style. A good men’s suit is always in fashion. When it comes to trends, stick to the affordable accessories to dress up your classics. Even high-quality clothing is affordable if you own it forever.

Avoid Super-Aggressive Portfolios
Unless you’re young and single, don’t put the bulk of your investments into a really aggressive portfolio or stock in the hope that you’ll hit it big. Instead, take a balanced approach with index funds, bond funds, and international funds. If you’re youngish and want to take more risk, you can also build a position in a growth fund.

Vote Wisely
Finally, vote for politicians who are more concerned with the needs of real people, not lobbyist groups and big corporations. If a depression comes, it’s the people who ultimately bear the brunt while hedge fund fat cats glide around the Mediterranean on yachts.

Now as you look at this list, you might be thinking: shouldn’t I be doing all of this anyway? Yes, yes you should. Being frugal is always a good idea, even when the economy is flush, because you never know when your personal economy might go down the tubes.

Do you have any other ideas for preparing for a depression? Tell me in the comments, or post it on your own blog and link back to it here.


63 Responses to “10 Ways to Prepare for a Depression”

  1. erik on August 19th, 2008 9:08 pm

    Awesome post Aryn. This is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while…and preparing for. Who knows? Shall we hope for the best and prepare for the worst? I think so. I appreciate your insights. Keep it up.

  2. Depression » Blog Archive » Depression And Money on August 20th, 2008 1:05 pm

    [...] 10 Ways to Prepare for a Depression [...]

  3. Stacey on September 23rd, 2008 5:58 pm

    Thank You for the post! I have started to store can goods and food. I think people really need to take this step. So what if you have 4 months of food stored in the basement? Better to have 4 months of food sitting there than to have 4 months of nothing to eat. I like to think be perpared then just say “it will all work out”. God bless everyone!

  4. Aryn on September 24th, 2008 4:04 pm

    That’s a great suggestion, Stacey. I have food for an earthquake (3-4 days), but I really wish I had room to get serious about canning (and also room for a garden.)

  5. nic on September 25th, 2008 9:06 pm

    So – I have always laughed at ‘food hoarders’ because I always assumed they were saving for the apocalypse or something crazy :) I actually went to the store today and got enough beans, rice, lentils, peas, etc. for us to get by a couple months for around $50.00. Better safe than sorry – its a small price to pay considering the alternative. I figure that if groceries become terribly expensive it would at least give us enough time to figure something out.

  6. travis on September 29th, 2008 4:59 pm

    Stockpile firearms and ammunition and become properly trained in the use of them

  7. Aryn on September 29th, 2008 5:16 pm

    I’m not big on guns, so I’ll be skipping that one, but having the ability to hunt your own food could come in handy if things get really bad. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

  8. Arian on October 7th, 2008 10:59 pm

    This is relative but more less an example of a good idea.
    During the Great Depression, Popcorn became extremely popular. I had read a story about a man who lost all his farm land, and managed to purchase a popcorn machine. Long story short, he ended up being able to buy back his lost land, and he made enough money to hire people under him to do the same.

    So worst comes to worst, I might be selling yins popcorn haha.

  9. Carolyn on October 9th, 2008 3:02 pm

    Learn to make a solar oven from a cardboard box or even a pizza box, and if you do not know how to make simple biscuits and cornbread, learn how. Store up flour and cornmeal by using permaguard or diatamateous earth, which keeps the weevils and bugs out of it. You can live a long time on bread and gravy. Gravy is good if you make if from a roux and it will even taste like it is made with meat. Soud extreme? Things may get extreme.

  10. Aryn on October 9th, 2008 4:21 pm

    For those of you interested in homemade solar ovens, I found instructions here:

  11. Aryn on October 9th, 2008 4:23 pm

    Nic, I also recently stocked up on beans. They truly are a wonder food. For those of you interested in beans, buy them dry rather than canned. You can cook a whole bag at once and then freeze the result into smaller bags with some cooking water. Follow the instructions on the bag and you’ll have cheap, delicious beans with less sodium than canned.

  12. Ted Seay on October 10th, 2008 1:37 pm

    My grandmother stockpiled toilet paper. Seemed like such a strange thing for my brother and I growing up. Now, I am racking my brain trying to figure out what else she kept in that pantry. I could have learned so much from her about this, she had to live through the big one.

  13. Marie Martin on October 10th, 2008 4:40 pm

    Oatmeal is also a great staple. Takes very little energy to cook and super good for you – storing dried fruit is valuable if you live where winter suspends the growing season.

    As far as the gun issue – we do have them – not for hunting but they can be useful on our farm when dealing with possibly rabid animals like raccoons (yes we had one).

  14. Bob on October 14th, 2008 6:12 pm

    We increased our garden 3 fold this year.
    Freezing over 40 quarts of corn, lot’s of tomoato’s, string beans, squash and potato’s.
    We raise our own beef as well.
    Now we are concentrating on dry goods.
    We have bought several bags of dried beans and starting now on canned fruits which has a shelf life of 2 years. Also, some instant coffee and powdered drink mixes such as tang and powdered tea. Wife uses tons of coupons and this helps out greatly. Will also be stocking up on toilet paper and soaps.
    Don’t forget the bleach as well
    I have plenty of ammo to defend my food.
    God Bless

  15. Denise on October 14th, 2008 10:14 pm

    I have dreaded for this day to possibly come. For those of you who has had those great aunts, grand mothers, etc, start thinking back on all the things they used to do. My great aunt used to prepare meals on a wood cook stove and if that had problems the old stone fire place. Never did I know that I would had to reflect back, we didn’t have electricity and thank God I got a house with a fireplace, boy did it come in handy for warmth and to prepare meals. I cooked beans breads and fried chicken on my fireplace. Never say you can’t because survival says you can, especially with having a family and little hungry faces are depending on you. And, about guns, I don’t favor them at all, but, predictions may show, for lifes sake, yours and your family for what ever reason you may need it. Just be so very careful yourselves, nothing worse then un-careful mistakes. God Bless You All, and stay safe.

  16. cammie on October 23rd, 2008 10:14 am

    I worry about being able to provide for my 1 year old. My grandpraent lived through the last depression. They brushed their teeth with baking soda, drank powered milk, and didn’t have a trash can because thwy produced so little waste. They were well off, put continued to wash tin foil and reuse it. Papa also had a safe and quite a few guns. Considering the state of our economy I understand them much better. I just wish they were still alive to give me advice.

  17. Sharon Finley on October 24th, 2008 12:35 pm

    We need to turn our hearts and prayers toward God. We must ask God for forgiveness because we have sinned against Him – greed, not loving our neighbor as we were commanded, and not practicing the Ten Commandments. God has blessed us with so much, and we have forgotten Him. This worldwide crisis can be overcome if we sincerely put God in our lives.

  18. Aryn on October 24th, 2008 4:50 pm

    Cammie, it might be time to try making your own toddler food. You can steam carrots and other veggies, then cut them into small bites and freeze them. Buy them fresh from a local farmer’s market or produce stand to get them at the peak of nutrition and the best price. They’ll keep for several months, then you can supplement them with affordable cereals.

  19. Kathy on November 6th, 2008 2:34 pm

    I just had our house wired up with Brinks-motion detectors etc. Have a gun license so stocked up on shells and am thinking of buying gold boullion. If you live near an urban area, expect crime to escalate. And thanks so so much to the Obama supporters out there.

  20. Greg on November 11th, 2008 4:00 pm

    I also, want to thank Obama supporters as well as the liberals who voted for the bailout. Why can’t the fat cats live on their savings, instead of putting us further in debt. God Bless the military for
    tolerating the idoits (our government) who would rather give the money to the banks and car companies, then to the soldiers who deserve it.
    If the depression comes in 2009, you can bet the blame will come on someone else….
    not our outstanding government.
    Yes I am preparing for a huge turndown, and am getting alot of firewood also. Thanks for the other tips. Guns good—-taking away the 2nd amendment bad.

  21. Mia on December 2nd, 2008 12:20 pm

    Some of what I hear people doing to prepare isn’t going to last them very long if this does turn out really badly. But also, try not to buy stuff you won’t end up using if the really bad doesn’t come to pass..Buying a grain mill is an investment but griding your own flour fresh is SO much healthier than store bought. I have a Jupiter Mill and the attachments…we flake our own oat groats(oat meal), I could turn it or any other grain into flour. Muffins, breads, pancakes, gravies. Then find or coordinate a grain co-op and buy your bulk grains directly from a mill. An investment initialy, but THE cheapest way to do it in the long run. Food storage is important or pests will ruin your stash. You can buy and store your grains in the grain buckets and mix with Diatomaceous Earth or use oxygen absorber packs.Bags stored out will become infested otherwise. Gama Lids are a good investment because they twist off rather than having to pop off those original lids that sometimes take that special lid tool. We buy nuts bulk and grind our own nut butters. We recently bought a nubian goat and a jersey cow and will soon get chickens for meat and eggs. You have to protect chickens from predators.A chicken tractor is the best thing. Make sure you have plenty of healthy cooking oils too, stored so they won’t go rancid.Olive Oil, Coconut Oil (Tropical Traditions online carries the healthiest and its cheaper to buy in bulk vs SO expensive from the grocery store!) If you have a small yard, you need to learn to grow a garden, learn proper ph, etc… Also learn how to sprout seeds…that will be SO healthy and little storage and space required and might not sound that appealing but it will fill a nutritional need-its a “super food”. Canned stuff will leave you nutritionally depleated over time; fresh is best. Dry storage is best…if everything is frozen, you could loose it all in one day! On the grains, you can order from Natural Way Mills (organic and non-gmo!) or Montana Wheat Farms…takes a minimum order so coordinate a grain co-op for your neighborhood and learn these cooking skills together.Ask someone to come teach a class if you get the people there. Nice if we all stored extra to share with those who might it. Also, another investment but will save $ in the long run is a portable water purifier called an Aqua Rain. You can pour in pond water and it will be safe to drink apparently. This is my next purchase. And then what about medical? My husband works in the oil industry right now so has great insurance, but I’m TIRED of “Big Pharma” and the way our medical system is set up to just keep you on dangerous meds and not fix the orig prob… We dropped his full coverage (us and his employer each paying in $300.a month to cover us equals $7000. a year!..we DO have hospitalization after a $2000. deductible, but we don’t have to pay for that plan) A local natropathic doc has showed us how to use Essential Oils for everything. I have a desk reference and can look up which oil to use for lowering my baby’s temp, internally as a natural antibiotic (MORE powerful than antibiotics but without killing the good bacteria in the gut) I fix my families problems SO much faster than anything I ever got over the counter or from a doc…headaches, stomach aches, sore throats (all these w/in about 2 min, literally), ear aches,etc.. ..A drop of an oil on the wrist lowered my husband’s friend and my trash guy’s blood pressure…one 20 min later and one just 3 min son had a dog bite that was getting hot and inflamed and after the oils, it looked 2 wks old and healing the next morning…my 3 year old had a pocket of puss in her heel from barefooting, and by the time I even knew about it there was a line of red going up her ankle..blood poisoning, right? I had to use sense and judgment and monitored her very closely all that night and the line receeded thru the nite and she was fine the next day…that wouldve DEF been a trip to the ER and days of observation had I not had the tools to act evasively and I wouldve rushed her in if it hadn’t worked so fast. My 10 year old son’s pediatrician said “you can’t cure asthma, your son may outgrow it one day”…under his care, my son was on CONSTANT advair, singulair, albuterol and too many times rushed to the ER when those didn’t work, for Predisone, a dangerous steroid. In the mid of a BAD asthma season last year, when he was hospitalized I got desperate and contacted our natropathic doc and told her I’d do whatever it took to keep this from hap again…in the MID of cold and flu season, she told my SON what to do and he no longer suffers from asthma…if we didn’t combine eating right(fresh whole foods with lots of fiber to keep his gut clean and nothing processed plus no sugar or dairy) with the essential oils, he’d have another he isn’t “cured” but this is SO much healthier than meds that didn’t always work. This is our experience and I’m not recommending others do it unless under the supervision of a doc. My 22 month old came down with asthma 2 month ago and I’ve got to do the same with her to avoid those meds. Because those two have asthma, I have them eat SO much healthier than my other 4 kids can get by with. This is the first year my hubby hasn’t had to take ALL his vacation as sick days…He and my asthmatic son haven’t been sick ONCE since we started the oils…That will be an entire year in Jan for my son! They are the two that were always the FIRST toget sick before! Do your own research and only use oils that are safe for internal use as well…if its not safe internally, you don’t want it on your skin. With 6 kids, our pediatrician NEVER sees us and even SHE recently started using the oils on her own kids, and she’s a reg MD!The main doc’s boys are asthmatics and his wife (the PA) is now asking me and the other doc about the oils that help asthma. The oils we use EXCEED the AFNOR standards.I didn’t start this to become self-sufficient, but I am building a nice stash of oils now in case because that’s what it’s done for my family with 6 young kiddos.You can go to: Type other ailments into search and learn. The book I get my knowledge from is the 4th Edition Essential Oil Desk Reference, plus the oil test website. We also just bought a Great Pyranese puppy to protect our livestock and have a German Shepherd for the family. Prob need a few guns…that’s on my list. I think a moped too for low cost errands if gas gets bad. I figure we can hunt to feed the dogs and ourselves, plus we plan on more goats and dairy cows.We’re about to close on 35 acres but this can be done small scale on just one acre.Neighborhoods need to be prepared to pull together. Community gardens can be formed and skills taught and shared. Start pulling together now and coordinate..don’t wait! People are happy to volunteer their skills to help many others. God Bless!

  22. jen on December 5th, 2008 9:25 am

    Glad I listened to my grandparents and their stories of surviving the depression. I wish I had listened more about cash only living. Store as much non-perishables as you can. I learned how to can from my grandparents and parents. Learn how to grow things even if you live in an urban area. You can grow things in pots on a patio. or vacant lot with neighbors. I know some do not like guns but you have to consider them. Not just about protection but for hunting purposes. You have to learn to be a hunter gatherer just in case everything goes to hell in a hand basket. Take care of yourself and get together with your neighbors this way you have a partnership not a stand off for resources. Learn from older folks and from each other. I know people pick on country folk butthey have skills that are useful, learn those skills. Even in the darkest moments We must try to preserve our humanity.

  23. b on December 5th, 2008 1:56 pm

    there are some really good ideas here i have lived this way all my life if you can get your hands on a readers digest book published in 1981 called Back To Basics this gives you the basics for living in any enviorment . there are lots of resources in there and do your research food , clothing , shelter — what do you really need to live and if you dont know how to do or make something ask some one who does they will tell you . alot of the older boy scout out door living books have survival tip and any old world war 1 and world war 2 military books . go to the government web sites that tell you about preparing for natural desasters ie earthquake flood ect these will give you some ideas

  24. John Elias on December 18th, 2008 1:13 am

    I am very pleased to read information that is ignored and ridiculed by the average person.Everything all of you have stated is true and needed.I also have known about what is coming since the 80`s and have been preparing for this for some time.I also hope to our GOD it does`nt happen.SHARON FINLEY:YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.Keep the faith people.GOD Bless all of us.and Thank You.

  25. Pam on December 18th, 2008 11:01 am

    I have read alot of helpful hints on this site and thank all of you. As for guns were I live we are forbidden to have fire arms. If you already had them you were required to register them with the government. As I do not have a licence and dont hunt I am forbidden to carry fire arms. I pray that it does not come to the point that we have to kill or be killed. Truth be said I am terrified of what could be coming. I have to sons and couldnt bare seeing them go through a depression. I am now starting to stock up on foods, and oils for lamps, matches and other stuff. We do not own our own home and that concerns me also that we could be left to fend on the streets. I pray that we dont see a depression were people have to live on the streets and rob others for survival.

  26. NoRecoveryWithoutSomePain on December 29th, 2008 8:07 am

    Great post! I only take one exception…

    “…vote for politicians who are more concerned with the needs of real people”

    These types of short-sighted, feel good, politicians are exactly the reason we are in this mess to begin with. You should vote for politicians that know that we need to take a healthy dose of our own medicine before we get out of this. Yes, that means economic pain and hardship.

    Many of the “needs of real people” will have to be unrealized before things get any better. Be wary of politicians promising something

  27. Leigh Smith on January 29th, 2009 6:33 pm

    Today our newly elected officials passed the $800,000,000,000 plus(is that enough 00′s ???)bail-out package.
    Seems the reason we are in such a mess is we as Americans have been living far beyond our means. Does this package mean we will continue living beyond our means compliments of our children and grandchildren?

    I have never felt so depressed and saddened by what is going on…and what we will be seeing very soon. As a “Baby Boomer” I had sorta hoped for a happy and peaceful retirement. With what I feel is in store I shall be working and scraping trying to make a living ’til the day I die. My retirement will be when they shove me six feet under!

    My parents lived through the Great Depression. They are gone now, but I still rememeber them talking about Hoover Carts, the public works programs,(WPA my Father’s version We Poor Asses) Soup lines etc.

    Fortunately, they were farmers and somehow managed to survice and raise a large family.

    Lets hope we do not have another depression…youngsters today will think nothing of killing as a means to get what they want…most have never experienced hunger or had to do without.

    Better grab your guns and ammo and stock up on non-perishable foods.

    Leigh, down on the Ol Cape Fear River

  28. Jeff Renson on February 3rd, 2009 10:54 pm

    Excellent post. The only thing you may have forgot were wepons. Guns ammo and knives. A stockpile of these would be most useful especially if one lives in the city. A water purifier, fire starting toolsa good solar or crank radio would be good to have.
    It would also be a good idea to put together A GOOD TO GO PACK that holds 72 hours of food and water, first aid kits including minor surgery kits and good first aid guide book. A side arm with 100 rounds. A rifle with 500 rounds, 2 knives , solar blankets flashlights fire starter, flashlight with red or blue len, string and fishing bobbers and hooks. JUST INCASE THEIR ARE RIOTS AND YOU GOT TO SCRAM, YOUR GOOD TO GO.

  29. WiTeBoi on February 17th, 2009 7:35 am

    The Titanic couldn’t sink.

  30. Tom in WV on February 20th, 2009 8:55 am

    The survivalist rhetoric is certainly applicable. But I’m wondering what to do about the finances. With the government committing to spend trillions just in the last few days and consumer confidence plummeting, it seems more and more likely that the major banks will collapse and the stock market wil tank. Is it time to turn everything into cash and bury it in the back yard?

  31. Aryn on February 20th, 2009 11:10 am

    Well, Tom, I don’t recommend burying cash in the yard where the worms and other bugs will eat it. The banks are still FDIC insured, so the risk of losing anything is low even if your bank fails. The only bank where people have lost money was IndyMac, because it failed before the FDIC could engineer its sale. Since that points, many banks have failed, but no one lost a cent of their insured money.

    However, if you have more than $250,000 in any one bank, I’d look at spreading that money across several banks.

    Now, if you still want to bury it, make sure you get a waterproof box and seal it up tight.

  32. Tom in WV on February 21st, 2009 7:31 am

    I’m not worried about losing it if my banks fail. If most of them go down, I’m not sure that the FDIC will be reliable. That program is designed to deal with a few closures, not a complete collapse of the industry. The reports I’ve seen say it can cover 1% of estimated current deposits.

  33. Jeni H on February 21st, 2009 4:58 pm

    Lots of great ideas here… but please don’t freeze alot of things. That makes you dependent on electric. Balance the freezing with home canned and dried goods.

  34. Corbey on February 22nd, 2009 7:09 am

    My main goal lately has been to get my monthly expenses as low as possible, in case I have to survive on a reduced income. Of course this includes paying off credit card debt, but I’ve also been thinking about some other things:

    - If you have a mortgage and haven’t refinanced lately, now is an excellent time to do so. Rates are incredibly low right now (under 5%), and you might be able to lower your payments considerably.

    - If you have a high car payment, either downsize your car and pay it off or roll the balance into your mortgage when you refinance. You really need to have a paid-off vehicle.

    - If you were to lose your job, start thinking about how long you could survive and ways you could supplement your income to get you through: Could you rent a room in your house? What basic skills do you have that you could use to make a little income?

    - Maintain your health and conditioning. If you’re overweight and out-of-shape, start losing it! You not only want to avoid high medical expenses, but you may need to be able to do physical labor to survive.

    - I don’t recommend burying all your money in the back yard, but you my want to have some emergency cash available that you can get to easily.

    - And as the original post said, build your network. Americans are big on rugged individualism, but we may all need to rely on our friends and neighbors to help us get through whatever is coming.

    Good luck and all the best to you.

  35. jeff on February 22nd, 2009 7:58 pm

    How about buying gold or silver. From what I understand there is likely to be hyperinflation. If so, are gold or silver coins a good way to go right now?

  36. carled lacy on February 24th, 2009 1:41 pm

    If you’re going to hunt to supplement your food supply, then stockpile LOTSA salt.

    If the electric grid goes out, or even becomes unreliable, then salt is the easiest way to preserve meat.

    It’s real cheap in “now” money, stores indefinitely. Preserved meat and your extra salt could be great barter items.

  37. Dave on February 25th, 2009 8:26 am

    Great ideas all aound. However, for those of you discounting the need to have a gun and ammunition, you are forgetting that when times get tough, crime increases and police budgets get cut. What you own will be coveted by those who have nothing. Ignoring the need to defend your home and family is analogous to sticking your head in the sand. Own at least a good pump action shotgun and a handgun, with plenty of ammunition for both. I would also recommend a .22 rifle. Ammo is cheap and it can be used to hunt small game nd even medium game with carefully placed shots.

  38. Chuck Roberts on March 6th, 2009 1:08 pm

    I have actually taken the stock piles of food OUT of my basement. Now that we have a level head at the helm I feel like we are no longer on a path of self destruction.

    I was saving cash, stockpiling goods, leaning to farm and shoot when I heard John McCain sa there was nothing wrong with our economy. According to him we were just retards who could not manage our own lives. Now THAT scared the heck out of me. The thought of him leading us drove me mad with worry.

    With Obama trying to turn this Titanic around, I feel hopeful for the first time. It is a sinking ship but if we can hang in there, it will improve. Maybe by summer. Forget the stock market. I dont have enough money for that to effect me.

    What does effect me is the crazy folks that live near me, buying guns! They are nuts already.

  39. Laurie on March 6th, 2009 8:39 pm

    I would like to suggest to everyone to purchase a Berkey water purifier. No electricity required. A little bulky, but light. There is a several month lead time on getting them right now.

    OTC medications (triple antibiotic salve, aspirin, tylenol, hydrocortisone, etc.)

    Several months of your RX meds before the prices go up to an unaffordable level. Consider obtaining your prescriptions from overseas! I have used them and they are primarily the same manufacturers from the U.S., and some are other brands. But, the antibiotic pills and eye drops worked the same as the ones I’ve gotten in the U.S.

    Extra pairs of eye glasses or extra contact lenses. Contacts can also be purchased from overseas if you are not able to afford a new eye exam each year, but you know your eyes are not worse.

    Establish a secret hideaway for jewelry and important papers if a safe deposit box is not comfortable for you.

    Some method of protection from a possible nuclear fallout should also be in your plans. I know the depression is our focus, but we cannot forget about Iran for a minute.

    Consider merging your efforts with family or close friends in order to make it through any situation that could come around. Strength in numbers, and it could also be less costly.

    I do have a question for everyone. Is vacuum packed food a good idea? Are there some items that can be vacuumed packed without being refrigerated?

  40. Marcia on March 29th, 2009 9:58 pm

    Find a Mormon cannery in your area. Usually anyone can use it to can your own dry goods, or purchase things they already have available. The shelf life on many dry goods is (believe it or not) 30 years. My neighbor gave me a large can of dried apples from her cannery. This also keeps our bugs from your dried goods. Also, you can can money to keep from spending it. Think about purchasing from a camping supply store or even Wal-mart. They have irons that you put in a fire to make anything with bread on both sides. You bake and sandwich in the fireplace with cheese or pizza sauce or even pie filling. It makes a great meal and the kids love to participate. Also, we live in California and it is anticipated that water will be rationed. It is already costing a great deal more in the amount you use it you go over what the city wants to limit you to. Store water in barrels. Find more information on the web. It can be safely store for 10-20 years.You may need it to reconstitute your powdered drinks.

  41. Peter Morrissey on April 14th, 2009 9:35 pm

    Find every person in your local phone book with the surname of Bush or Cheney…make sure that they never ever get elected into office.

  42. Steve on May 1st, 2009 10:15 am

    Well, now that the Swine Flu has arrived, maybe some of the comments and ideas in this article and below, are worth considering! Stay healthy everyone! All that canned food and ammunition isn’t worth much if you can’t get out of bed or worse…

  43. Susan on June 3rd, 2009 11:12 am

    I have read all the comments and have been preparing for what I feel will be a worse depression than the 1930′s, and last twice as long.

    The President bought back our own debt, he is spending at an alarming rate, and the past economic situation that he walked into and what he is doing now spells disaster in my mind’s eye. I pray I am wrong.

    I have done all of the above and more.

    Stockpile food, I have sealed my beans, rice, and flour. I have purchased very inexpensively bulk high gluten flour to use in my bread machine, and if power goes, then I still have the ability to do it by hand….they used to do it, so can I!

    I have always had a garden, so that is a given,but have increased it this year.

    I have been listening and learning from other people whenever I can.

    Salt is a great idea…I have bought some, but not for the reasons mentioned here, but I am glad I read this when I did. If we have to shoot the rabbits, and deer around, then salt is a wonderful asset to have on hand.

    We have cut our bills down, we have no outstanding debt, besides our mortgage. We have no credit card debt. We have no car payments.

    We have decided to NOT trust the banks and have invested in other areas. Stocks will fail, and crumble, and I fear for the folks that are still in the matrix. I chose to take the right pill, and at exactly the right time also.

    My family is in the matirx still,and will not listen to what is right in front of thier faces…

    Thanks so much for the help. I feel I am as prepared as I can be.

  44. Me on June 13th, 2009 7:35 pm

    Is it just me or do some of these read like a zombie apocalypse is coming?

  45. T. Jefferson on June 23rd, 2009 11:15 pm

    Well – we do have a huge financial mess looming on the horizon that will make last fall look like a Sunday Church picnic.

    With the rate of Obama’s spending borrowed money on things that are unfunded and will only continue to add to the annual deficit, the fantasy of universal health care (which is actually a power grab – those that control government now can control legally who lives and who dies – just like GOP supporting dealerships were more often closed than those who donated to the DNC), TARP I, TARP II, the porkulus budget, the hidden billions to ACORN and other worthless communist and subversive groups – stocking up on as many of the staples of life is a very good idea.

    Guns and ammunition will be helpful – just pray that enough governors are smart enough to not back the coming martial law.

    Very helpful will be an Emergency radio, duct tape (1000+ uses) and sterilizing alcohol (some whiskey might be good too).

    Stock up but don’t forget to pray that somehow, Congress pulls it together and stops one Kenyan born man from destroying over 200+ years of liberty.

  46. Susan on June 24th, 2009 6:16 am

    I have to agree with everything that T.Jrfferson says.

    I have tired to prove myself wrong on the coming depression, but I just can’t find any truthful encouragement.

    It is going to hit us, and I am still preparing, as the forecasts now say it could last as long as 10-15 years. I hope I can hang on to my house.

    For those still in denial, you had better wake up, and start preapring as it is coming !!

    Also, I have read to have a emergency bag packed that can sustain you for at least 72 hours if you have to make a quick temporary move.

    Hang on America…

  47. Susan on July 2nd, 2009 5:58 pm

    If anyone is reading this on 7-2-09, you best make some serious decisions to take this depression, hyper-inflation idea seriously…

    It’s happening….get prepared quickly !!

  48. Larry T on August 24th, 2009 9:57 am

    A disc does not take up much space so I would recommend building a library of HOW TO articles, how to dress deer, how to butcher animals, how to sew, how to grow your own food etc;.

    Another recommendation of mine would be to acquire tools that may be used to make your own products. Anything that you can make on your own is one less thing you need to buy.

    Gold- purchase gold (coins, small bars etc) you can’t possible know what will happen to the value of money in the future. In the 29 depression money had value but it was hard to get, in the future it may be the opposite you may be able to acquire money but it will not have much value.

  49. Susan on August 29th, 2009 6:16 pm

    I also advise to buy spendable silver. It is 90% silver. It can be spent as regular silver (dimes, nickels, quarters,and dollars), but can also be turned in for the price of silver too. ‘

    From my research, silver is suppose to out perform gold.

    Do not buy gold certificates, buy tangible gold, and silver.

    God help us all. I pray everyday for AMERICANS !!!

  50. Cassandra on February 4th, 2010 9:10 am

    In order for us to properly prepare for OUR OWN economy’s demise we will have to take responsibility for OUR OWN mistakes from trying to live excessive lifestyles. One single PERSON (as people should be recognized as a person FIRST and foremost and not by their ethnicity, background, or birthplace) did not cause us to overspend, exceed our credit limits, outsource jobs to other countries, etc. Unless he is Superman, that is humanly impossible. So everyone PLEASE WAKE UP and realize that our current president did not cause the disparities in health care, bonuses, food prices and affordability levels. WE ourselves caused this and the only way to handle it is to fix our own mentality and live below our means. STOP BLAMING OTHERS AND FIX IT AT HOME FIRST!!

  51. susan on February 19th, 2010 10:22 pm


    I don’t feel I should have to live “below” my means. Why?? I work 2 jobs. I make the money, why shouldn’t I live within my means. Why shouldn’t everyone pull their own weight?

    I don’t live a lavish lifestyle by any means,I live my life with a few treats to my family along the way by having dinner out her and there, but I rarely spend money I don’t have.

    It is the govt that feels it needs to take from me to give to the lazy, the non workers, the drug addicted welfare generation(s) of families. I am sorry that I am non willing to pay it any longer. If you want to feel free. I want to keep what I earn as I work hard.

    I am getting upset that this govt and passed govt. has this mentallity!

  52. Pippie on March 12th, 2010 6:41 pm

    I too have been storing up some foods like canned goods, sugar, flour(in fridge), baking soda and powder, canned meats etc. Then also stocking up on meds like sinus pills, allergy pills, pet meds and pet food . I rotate items as new ones come in. Like the other day FL had canned named brand dog food for 29 cents a can, I bought everyone they had. also like the charcoal for 5.49 bag for 18lbs, bought 4 of those.I have also been collecting Depression recipes of how to make cakes without sugar or eggs. Bread recipes, have a fund going for emergency’s and slowly working on 6 months living expenses if not more. Instead of that big gulp I tuck that money away, take coffee from my house instead of wawa or 7-11. When stores have 2 for 1 sale, I stock up on those bargins like FL had canned Libby veggies on sale for 39 cents, I made 5 trips to the store to get stocked up only allowed 12 at a time. so I’m trying to get prepared, I rather be prepared then not prepared, My family ( extended) thinks I’m nuts LOL

  53. Ken Sher on June 25th, 2010 12:47 pm

    For those of you who can, drill a well and ad a purification filtration system. Create a wind and solar generator system. We are converting our cooking methods away from propane and into electric. The sooner you are off the ‘grid’ the longer you will be self sufficient. Buy 1/10th oz gold pieces. They are easy to carry and small enough for sellers to make change for and when the dollar is totally destroyed they will have great buying power. If possible, buy a home away from the city. We found a place about 15 to 20 minutes from all the shopping we could need but it’s far enough into a rural area for the buffer needed to slow down raiders. Everyone between us and them makes a decent buffer for us. They will defend what’s theirs before anyone gets to us. We have a couple of acres and what’s not living area we have made into growing areas. Try to store some fuel for your vehicles. Make sure to have plenty of fuel stabilizer for long term storage or it won’t be useful. Purchase the heavy duty nylon drums and the smaller easier to open dog food style screw top containers to protect your dried goods from pests and rot. Use desiccant pouches to keep moisture from forming in them for long term storage. Weapons go without saying. Keep them up and spread around for easy reach in emergencies. Get some of the magnesium bars with flint backs for emergency fire starting. Emergency medical kits are a must. The military has made several excellent survival books and there are several civilian survival guides with all the info you will need if we get down to the nitty gritty of it all. Besides growing your own food, build a larder with about a 6 months supply MRE’s (meals ready to eat). These help cover whatever you can’t grow. They say they are only good for 5 years but folx are still eating C-rations from WWII. There many food stuffs that are irradiated then vacuum sealed which also gives them an indefinite shelf life. Don’t worry about the radiation, none of it carries over into the items, they are perfectly safe. If you are looking to find these things try eBay first and a Google search 2nd. This is much of what we have done and are continually refining to protect us from another depression. And, if you don’t think one’s coming, get your heads out of the sand. You can count on God if you wish but he will be able to help you more if you’re prepared for any eventuality you can think of.

  54. wanda4089 on August 24th, 2010 9:03 pm

    I have a friend who belongs to the Mormon church and they have great warehouses called the Bishops Storehouse, I go with my friend and we buy all kinds of long term storage food and no tax either. We borrowed their canning machine and bought inexpensive cans to put our food in, also we buy in bulk from local Amish stores that are set up to supply their communities with canning supplies and bulk flour, oatmeal, sugar and many other supplies for living without electricity. The stuff is out there, you just need to research and find it. We have been preparing for the last 2 years for whats coming even though our kids believe we are crazy. They will be glad we are preparing when the need comes. We have all the guns, ammo, home grown food, lanterns, lamp oil, and other things you need, lets pray we don’t need it and if we do, well we are ready.

  55. Heather on August 27th, 2010 9:02 pm

    I have food for 7 months for a family of 5, not including my pantry items.
    I am not mormon but you can learn a lot from them on how to stickpile food and in cans that last 5 ish years for dairy and up to or over 30 years for other foods!!!!!
    canned from the grocery store doesnt really have a long shelf life. We also planted 11 fruit trees, our first garden and we are in the city with a home owners association. Next summer the back yard will be full food production no wasted space;)

  56. Kieva on August 31st, 2010 5:25 pm

    Been preparing ever since the economy tanked about three years ago. Started by selling our house and moving to the country to down size. Now we can afford for me to stay at home with our kids and we also have a rental property that we are buying from a friend. She owns the house out right and has already told us if hard times come we will not have to pay her again until we get up on our feet. So we have another secure house to go to if we loose this one for one reason or another. We have planted fruit trees and berries and hav a half acre vegetable garden. We are working on getting a small jersey cow. And we also have chickens. We should be debt free very shortly here other than the houses and we own our cars out right. and We have about 5 months food supply so far along with about 3 months worth of lighting stuff including candles, fuel, lanterns and replacement wicks, and 2 months worth of cooking fuel. We have also set up a dutch oven cook area outside and are working on getting bags of coal. We have about two years worth of seasoned wood for heating the house and are working on getting more cleaning supplies and vitamins. Would love to get a well dug also but our neighbor has one if all else fails. Got about a three page shopping list of things we are needing to keep stocked so everytime we go to the store we get a few more things and make sure to renew those that we have used. We have also gotten quite independent from the refridgerator and are picking up non-electric alternatives to those everyday things we use like the vacuum cleaner, coffee maker and washing machine. Hurricane Earl may be hitting our area soon and we are definately prepared to take it on if it does come our way.

  57. Rourke on December 28th, 2010 4:32 pm

    Excellant article and this is very important.

    Food storage – like gardening, is important in difficult times. Depending upon how bad things get – and I hate to suggest this – but firearms as well may be an essential survival tool – hunting as well as protection.

    Thanks – Rourke

  58. Gail Gardner on March 4th, 2011 4:03 pm

    I’m one “naysayer” who is telling you that an economic crash even worse than the Great Depression is inevitable because they’re printing money right and left. We are in the final stages of what has happened to EVERY Fiat (not backed by anything of value) currency that has ever been issued and what comes next is always hyperinflation.

    No one has yet found a rabbit magical enough to pull out of their hat to stave off this type of collapse and it is not a matter of IF – it is a matter of WHEN.

    They may be able to keep postponing the inevitable but eventually they will run out of ways to manipulate things. Food prices worldwide are already up ~30% and are predicted to go up another 30% by year end 2011.

    See all the evidence in the post I’ll link to this comment. Anyone who reads that information who still thinks our economy is going to magically recover did not clearly understand it and should read it again until they do.

  59. Aryn on March 4th, 2011 4:48 pm

    Just so we’re clear, EVERY currency in the world is a fiat currency. Are you saying that every economy in the world is going to collapse?

  60. Susan on April 25th, 2011 5:06 am

    Since we went off the Gold Standard (1930 I think) there is nothing to back up most currencies, and yes ours will be so devalued, you will pay upwards of $10 for a loaf of bread.

    Get your money out of banks, they are using your own money against you. Put your money into something of value that you personally hold in your hands. Not paper.

    Stock up on food while you still have a chance. Look at what happens when a tornado, or a tsunami comes, the first things to go bare are the food shelves. Now, what is coming our way, is going to last for a LONG time.

    Learn how to be self reliant now.

    I agree with the ohter post, it’s not a matter of if, it’s when. Most Americans are still in the matrix of “it will be fine”, or “it can’t happen in my country.” Well, it is happening, right now, slowly. They are giving us the slow burn, but it is sliding downward. The dollar is at an all time low, only 73.8, and Gold and silver are at all time highs. Other countries are trading in other currencies because they don’t believe in the US dollar any longer. They see what the Fed, and our own govt is doing to it. They are killing the dollar. On purpose. They want the New World Order to be ussured in when it all falls apart. Global bankers, global government.

    Yes, ammo and a gun is the also one thing to get. Don’t like guns, never owned one, but times are so different that you may need one.

    I so hope I am wrong, but just feel it in my gut that I am not. Look around at the prices, look at the money the banksters get in bonuses, and the amount of money in the bailouts that they were given. They did not help anyone with that money, nor give out loans. So, where did your hard earned money go?? To the banksters with the blessing of our govt.

    Prepare. Wake up. It’s coming.

  61. Christina on October 1st, 2011 8:39 pm

    Amen to what you said. Also we need to stock up on stuff that is not food like medical supplies, toothpaist ect.

  62. southern patriot on October 28th, 2011 10:16 pm

    Good evening, I keep being reminded of the Boy Scout code of being prepared. So with that in mind it might be a good thing to purchase extra cans of food and other supplies that you might need during a crises. We’re in some deep water in this country and I’m not sure how much longer we can tread water.We’re trying not to panic in making decisions for our family,we just want to use some common sense and be ready for what ever is coming our way. You might want to get a scout handbook,it has a lot of good advise.Take care.SP

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