Will Beans, Bullets, and Band Aids Be the New Wealth?

Welcome to this week’s Survive The Coming Collapse newsletter, brought to you by David’s book, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, which goes into detail on how to keep improving your firearms skills in a time of crazy-expensive ammo…if you can even find it.  If you own a gun, you need this book.  It’s less than a single ticket to the movies and you’ll save more than that in your first 5 minutes of training.  To learn more, go >HERE< now.

Survival Diva here with a question. Do you believe there will come a time when wealth will be defined by what food storage, survival goods and skill-sets we possess? I believe it’s highly possible. Looking back throughout history, whenever a crisis hits, people’s immediate concerns turn to food, water, shelter and the skill-sets and experience critical for survival.

As we struggle, pinching nickels and dimes to get food storage and preparedness goods put aside, it reminds me of the parable “The meek shall inherit the earth”. The more we struggle, jumping first through one hurdle, then the next, and the next, it becomes second nature to do without many of the things we once took for granted.

In the end, the every-day struggles seen as hardships now may actually be blessings in disguise as we learn to adapt to having less.  More than one person on the forum has mentioned they’ve suddenly become frugal.  Items like empty plastic containers that once would have been tossed are now saved to be used for food storage when they’re needed. Cardboard and old newspapers are being squirreled away for fire building when not so long ago it was viewed as clutter and thrown away. Even old phone books and catalogs don’t necessarily find their way to the dumpster…not when they can be used for emergency for toilet paper. These things will be needed!

Likewise, clothing is now mended rather than being tossed, and children’s clothing and shoes that have been outgrown are saved for others who may need them. Recycling suddenly makes perfect sense, and because of this mindset, we’re becoming more resilient and adaptable to the changes many are warning of.

When you think about it, being economically challenged might be a proving ground for survival. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to have a peek into the life of someone who has led a privileged life who suddenly finds himself facing a crisis he is totally unprepared for.

Stuart, the Banker

Stuart, the branch manager of a too-big-to-fail bank springs into action the second the emergency broadcast interrupts radio and TV transmissions. Details of the emergency is sketchy, stating only for everyone to remain indoors and to stay tuned for further information, which only serves to panic the bank’s clientele and his employees.

Stuart prevents any more account holders from getting into the bank by locking the doors. As customers are rushed through their transactions, he escorts them to the doors as quickly as possible, seeing them out as he refuses to make eye contact with the angry line of people standing just outside. They were there for one of two reasons: to make withdrawals or to access their safety deposit boxes.

Once the last customer is escorted through the door, Stuart insists his employees leave through the back door to avoid the growing line of people who by now are shouting in anger and demanding to be let in. What Stuart doesn’t share, even with his employees, is that most of the depositors’ money isn’t physically in the bank anyway. No bank that pays interest has ever kept depositors’ money on hand–they loan most of it out–and had he opened the doors, the cash on hand would’ve run out in minutes and he would have faced an even bigger revolt. The $300 ATM limit set by the bank would see most through…until the machines ran out of cash.

On his drive home, the news that forced him to close the bank–indefinitely–still isn’t offering specifics on the state of the emergency, which only increases his worry. After half an hour of the same recording being played over and over, Stuart decides to call his friends who are usually “in the know”, hoping they’ll have inside information. With each attempt, his calls bring nothing but dead air—no dial tone, not even a busy signal.

He must contend with gridlock on his short drive home to his high-rise condo, but the gridlock turns crippling when the traffic lights suddenly stop working. His commute takes him a full 90 minutes opposed to the typical 20.

It isn’t long before Stuart realizes his battle is just beginning.

Pulling around to the underground parking garage, the frazzled banker discovers the heavy steel garage doors won’t open, which is the first concrete sign the problem with the street lights is bigger than he originally suspected. It appears the entire electrical grid is compromised.

For a fleeting moment, Stuart feels concern for his customers who weren’t going to be able to access cash from ATM machines, but his concern is soon diverted while he hunts for street parking in front of his condominium complex.

The elevator is out, forcing him to take the staircase to his tenth floor condo in the darkness of the unlit stairwell. He reaches his condo out of breath, but Stuart is relieved to see the waning daylight still offers enough light to maneuver the condo’s spacious interior.

Stuart settles himself on the couch to catch his breath, wondering how long it will take before looting breaks out. His condo is located in the heart of a heavily populated area known for its quaint coffee shops, grocers, restaurants, deli’s and every other convenience imaginable. Just next door is a popular shop that specializes in exotic cheese and wines, and next to them is a butcher shop that draws people to the area because of their reputation for having the choicest cuts of beef in the vicinity. Getting to all these delicacies won’t take more than a well-placed brick or a club, and once the looting starts, there will be no controlling it.

He didn’t have long to wait, but the first disturbance isn’t centered on food.

The blare of a car alarm reaches past the living room’s floor to ceiling window and Stuart gets up to peer down to street level to investigate. A group of men are busy helping themselves to the radio, tires, and whatever car parts they can dismantle and carry off from his Mercedes. The battery is the last item to go.

There isn’t a thing he can do to stop them; not without a weapon. His growing concern for his safety has him searching for his flashlight in the growing darkness. He locates it in his bedside table, but he might as well not have bothered. The batteries are dead.

Angry, he marches into the kitchen, grabs a glass from the cabinet, and turns on the faucet. The pipes refuse to deliver even a trickle of water. The implications have him racing to the refrigerator. The warming interior reveals a bottle of semi-chilled wine, leftover steak in a to-go container, two sticks of butter, a small jar of mayonnaise, a bottle of ketchup, and a carton of milk that’s nearly empty. What he hoped to find was bottled water. In the freezer are two containers of frozen orange concentrate and a freezer-burned package of tenderloins.

As he contemplated the ramifications of his nearly nightly dependence on neighborhood restaurants and his dislike of grocery shopping, he pours what is left in the milk cartoon into his glass and chugs it in a few gulps.

Standing at the kitchen counter, he chokes down panic. Already he is without running water, which probably means he won’t be able to flush the toilet; plus he is without transportation.

As far as survival goods are concerned, he can’t think of a single thing he owns that will be useful in a long term crisis. He never had an interest in camping or hunting and fishing. That will cost him should this emergency prove to be long term, Stuart thinks to himself.

To confirm the trouble he’s in, Stuart walks to the pantry which is situated next to the refrigerator. The contents are as pitiful as he fears. There is a partial bag of flour, one of corn meal, and another of white sugar. On the middle shelf is a few paltry cans of condensed soup, which will be difficult to choke down without water or milk to thin it down…and he just chugged the last of the milk.

He doesn’t have a generator, nor does he have a camp stove or a way to heat his condo, which is already growing chilly.

He doesn’t have to check the state of his medicine cabinet to know all it contains are band aides, Neosporin, Tylenol, and a thermometer.

Stuart is trapped. Now that his battery has been heisted from his Mercedes, he no longer has transportation or a radio to listen to upcoming broadcasts. He can’t even turn to his neighbors. He’d never made the time to get to know any of them. Should he show up now, when things are crumbling around them, they’d likely slam the door in his face.

Several months ago he’d run into an old college friend who’d bragged about investing in an underground shelter and proceeded tick off a laundry list of items he’d stocked piled it with. Another friend bought a getaway cabin when the EU began to crumble. At the time he’d viewed both of them as paranoid. He’d been an idiot then, and an even bigger idiot today. Before he had left the bank he hadn’t thought to grab the gold and silver bullion stored in his safety deposit box.

He returned to the floor to ceiling windows. Just as he feared, the sidewalks are crowded with people walking aimlessly about. Several have guns, and others carry clubs. From his birds-eye view ten stories above, he watches a fight break out a few blocks down. The neighborhood is teetering on the precipice of unruliness. All it will take is the smallest spark to tip the scales into a full-blown breakdown.

As Stuart continues investigating the street below, he knows he will never make it safely to the bank and back again to retrieve the gold and silver without transportation and a weapon. Resigned, he walks back to the kitchen for the bottle of semi-chilled wine and a corkscrew. Before he returns to the couch he takes the time to grab the comforter off his bed.

It isn’t until he’s been sitting on the couch for several minutes with the comforter thrown across his shoulders for warmth that he sees the candles resting in decorative sterling silver candlesticks. He will have light, if only for this first night.

From there, he doesn’t have a clue how he is going to survive.

* * *

Now let’s pit Stuart’s lifestyle against Randy and Melissa’s.

Randy & Milissa, Preppers

For Randy, the day became a blur of activity the minute a coworker burst from the break room to tell them about an Emergency Broadcast. Randy doesn’t waste time asking questions, nor does he stop to call his wife Melissa. Their emergency plan is for them to meet at their children’s school. If they can’t drive the route from their work places to the school, their back-up plan is for them to meet at a park that is the half-way point between their jobs, even if it means walking, and continue on to the school.

Because cell phone coverage is likely to be jammed or down at the start of an emergency, they agreed to use two-way radios. The coverage left a lot to be desired, but other than an EMP attack, they’ve determined in a full-blown emergency, two-way radios are superior for reliable communications.

As a family they’ve practiced emergency drills often enough their children view them as just another family outing. Randy’s priority is hitting the road before the inevitable gridlock begins. Any delay gives time for the roadways to become impassable and they will be forced to walk the 23 miles home.

Just before he leaves the parking lot, Randy grabs a small battery-run radio from the glove box of his SUV and turns the radio on. The broadcast he hears is less than helpful. It’s the same announcement reported by his co-worker; people are to remain indoors and stay tuned for further information. Randy tunes out the repeating news loop to concentrate on the road.

Melissa will already be on her way to the grade school to pick up their son and daughter, and that’s where he is headed as he snakes in and out of the frantic traffic. Beside him is his go-bag he grabbed from his work locker on his way out. In the back of the SUV are duplicates. There were few things about preparedness that Randy and Melissa disagree on, and redundancy certainly isn’t one of them. They back up all of their prep goods. In each bag is three days’ worth of survival goods, including medicine, a compass, a topographical map, two-way radios, and other essentials. Between Randy and Melissa, their go-bags also contain a first aid book, a book on wild edible plants, copies of important documents, a collapsible fishing pole, a volcano camp stove, Urban Survival Playing Cards, one-strike matches and sundry survival goods essential to survival should they need to disappear into the woods if the situation warrants it.

They each carry a hand gun and bullets, which they hope will never have to be used, but they are resigned to the fact that during a full-blown emergency, there are bound to be folks willing to do whatever it takes to survive; including violence. Because neither can bring a gun into their workplace, Randy and Melissa store tactical survival knives in the go-bags they store at work. Months of tactical training and constant practice in Target Focus Training’s empty hands combatives have them confident they will be able to protect themselves and their children if ever it becomes necessary.

As Randy weaves around stalled cars and deals with the increasingly heavy traffic, he contemplates the many years he and Melissa have lived frugally so they were able to get prepared. The first thing to go were dinners out and movie nights. Instead of taking vacation, they used the money and the time to stock the basement full of food storage and MRE’s.

It took over six months to set aside enough money to dig a well and get a frost-free hand pump. Only last month, they finally found the cash to slap up a shed to camouflage the hole Randy dug for the outhouse. Although it was against their communities CCR’s, they both feel it was worth the risk.

Together they took CPR and wilderness first aid classes, and learned how to garden and preserve the overflow. Their first year of gardening had been disappointing, but by the following spring, they’d learned from their mistakes and the garden had richly rewarded them.

At times, the struggle of getting prepared was overwhelming, especially when the company Randy works for stopped allowing overtime and his weekly paycheck plummeted. It was Melissa’s determination that got them past Randy’s initial reaction to give up on prepping for the time-being. She insisted he invest in reloading equipment, and she made it possible by disconnecting their cable T.V. and by growing even more vegetables to save on their food bill. For over a month Randy spent his evenings reloading the bullets they needed and he finished the task just before bullets became scarce and their price skyrocketed.

Randy was still taking mental inventory of their preparedness when halfway to his children’s grade school, the street lights went out. To combat the serious gridlock about to happen, Randy hung a left and drove the back streets, just as he and his wife had practiced. Testing the extent of the outage, Randy tried his cell phone. There was no dial tone.

Once he was within two miles of the school, Randy used the two-way radio. “Melissa, you there?”

“I’m just pulling into the east side parking lot. I’ll meet you outside with the kids,” Melissa said. Her voice was every bit as calm as Randy expected it would be.

Randy pulled into the parking lot next to Melissa’s car and got out to wait. He continued to watch for red flags, not wanting trouble, but ready and able to handle what came his way. Within minutes, Melissa emerged from the school with their six year old son, Brandon, and their eight year old daughter, Sarah. Both children were calm as their mother kept hold of their hands on the walk to the car.

“Mommy said we get to go home early,” Sarah said, her blond hair glinting in the afternoon sunlight, so much like her mothers.

“Yep, today is an early day. When we get home, you and Brandon can play a board game,” Randy said as he buckled the kids up in the back seat of the SUV.

On the drive Melissa stayed close to the SUV’s bumper to avoid their being separated. It was slow going with stops and starts in the gridlock that now blanketed the area. Once they were away from the main corridor of the city, they took a detour to a secondary road and followed a zigzag route home.

“The announcements aren’t giving us any information,” Melissa said into the two-way radio, concern reflecting in her voice.

“Nope, they’re not. I’m thinking it’s more about what’s headed our way rather than what’s already taken place. When we get home, we’ll settle the kids in the basement,” Randy said, knowing Melissa would pick up on his meaning.

“Sounds good,” Melissa said, then signed off.

Their drive took a little under what they’d allowed for in their practice drills. They wasted no time getting the kids safely down to the basement. If the problem was a nuclear threat as Randy suspected, while it probably wouldn’t help much, the basement was the safest spot for them to ride it out.

While Melissa gathered up the household things they needed, Randy carried their go-kits to the basement, organized his weapons, and verified that both deadbolts were secured on the front and back doors.

The best thing about the basement as far as Randy and Melisa were concerned was it didn’t have daylight windows, nor was there a walk-out where radiation could penetrate. The basement had a mid-size bedroom which they’d set up with a bunk bed, a double bed, and a dresser that was filled with the clothes they would need for two weeks.

Randy walked to the storage area to double check their food, water, and medical supplies. Everything was there, organized and ready for use.

He went upstairs to help Melissa toss what they needed into a large hamper, checking off what they grabbed from their must-have inventory list. Finished, Melissa carried the hamper downstairs while Randy grabbed the heavy-mill plastic, scissors, and duct tape. The job of sealing off the doorway only took moments and Melissa and Randy settled in with their children to distract them with a game of monopoly with the radio tuned to the Emergency Broadcasting System.

The outcome of the next days and weeks was out of out of their control, but they knew in their hearts they had done everything possible to protect their children.

I’d love to hear your opinion whether or not you believe beans, bullets, and band aids will ever replace wealth…or will it BE wealth during a long-term crisis?  Have you ever thought that these difficult economic times might not be a blessing of sorts, one that drives us to be resilient and resourceful? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.

On the topic of wealth, if you didn’t get a chance to see David’s interview with Tom Cloud (who’s been a gold dealer for the last 35 years) on the benefits of gold, the best form of gold to buy, and David’s recommendation for who to buy from, you can read it by going >HERE<
Quick FYI: Chapter 7 of Implant is now available. Click Here to continue reading.

God bless and stay safe,

David Morris and Survival Diva






  1. My $0.02 worth is that the 2 most valuable things one can possess are knowledge and community. No one can take knowledge away from you, not with out brain surgery anyway. and a strong bond with friends and neighbors (coupled with the knowledge of how the “enemy” will try to undermine such) is valuable far beyond mere possessions. Ask yourself: Is it better to have medication, or know how to make medication? Is it better to have water, or know how to get water when none is apparent? I would answer yes to both sides of each question, meaning knowledge doesn’t mean you don’t need to prepare. It means that while preparing less it’s possible to achieve more.
    The community I speak of comes into play when you don’t have the knowledge, or the preps needed to see you through all scenarios… which is every last one of us right? No man is an island, and as such, at some point in time you’re going to need people you can trust to help you through. This means that YOU are going to need help them make it through sometimes as well. When choosing your community pay strict attention to character, as this will serve you well in the long run. Keep those who are selfless very close and BE selfless as well, while keeping the selfish at a somewhat more useable distance. I have a few friends I trust implicitly, and will stop at nothing to protect the alliance… no matter what.
    When you build community in this manner it means you don’t need to think of everything. One trusted friend is special ops veteran who carries more knowledge on tactics and interdiction than I could possibly learn in a decade, but he has little money for security and weapons. Another friend is going to paramedic school, as well as researching natural medicine and wilderness medicine. This makes him very valuable in medicine, but he lacks the mechanical skill to do much beyond the basics. I’ve been collecting weapons and reloading components for years now, plus small parts, gunsmithing skills, and have a small machine shop and generator to run it if need be. This makes me heavy on mechanical skill and weapons, but light on real world tactical, or medical experience. Alone we are limited to the scope of our particular specialties, but together we present a formidable obstacle to those who would take advantage.

    The things I’ve listed above are in addition to the basics. We all have food, water, medical supplies, and defense capabilities in whatever quantities we have room and finances for, but we develop our specialties according to our specific skills as well, so that we can shore up any weaknesses that present themselves in our small community of friends and family.

    In summary, gather what you can, support those you trust, and be selfless to those who will recognize and appreciate your kindness, even when compensation never comes. I’ve saved the best for last: As a Christian, I believe God has a place in all of this as well… right at the center of it all. He influences the manner in which I develop my community. Through Him, I have developed in myself the generosity and courage to form the bonds of which I speak, the wisdom to refine the skills which I already possess, and the fortitude to develop new ones. I believe that if what I think is coming actually happens, beans, band aids, and bullets will be valuable to be sure. But that which is contained in our heads, and in our hearts will be needed much more if we are to become once more what we as a species once were.

    Thanks for your time,

    • Survival Diva says:


      I agree with what you say here. We’ve discussed this on the forum. Where it gets dicey is knowing WHO you can trust. I sweated bullets when I finally approached a group in my community because I had a lot to loose should it turn out they weren’t trustworthy. On the one hand, you can be too careful and end up with no backup, which is risky. On the other, you can open yourself up to trouble when SHTF. Discernment helps. It turned out to be okay to open up, but I suggest doing so should be done cautiously.

      For anyone interested in forming a group, it’s a wise approach because the workload and safety can be shared, which will up your survival quotient. However, tread softly–Meet in a neutral setting and don’t hand over a laundry list of the preparedness items you have store until you get to know them well enough to trust them.

      I have traded sweat-equity and knowledge for supplies–buying what was needed with the agreement that we would pool resources, experience and manpower when the time came. But this was with family members I knew and trusted.

  2. Roma Turner says:

    Five years ago I bought my first gun, tent, sleeping bag and I took David’s Online Course on Urban Survival. I was a single 64 year old woman living in a city of 250,000. Two years ago I left that city and went back to my Dad’s hometown of 400 and love every moment of living here and feel much safer. Closer to nature and could live here without a car if I needed to. It is amazing how much I have learned and how much I have accumulated for survival. Somethings cost more money, like a firearm. Many other things don’t cost much, it is just thinking about their use and how to link things together that you might need. Thinking about scenarios, etc has been a stimulus to me, (part of my Alzheimer’s Prevention Program}. It has given me a whole new way to look at life, at an age when a lot of folks just get bored or boring. The point of my story is, you don’t have to be young or have a bunch of money. Just having a plan (take David’s Course) and doing what you can along will certainly add up over time. You will feel much stronger and calmer as you look at all the craziness going on.

    • David Morris says:

      Yes, Roma…I remember when you first signed up, your kind email when I had my second son, and the other interactions we’ve had through the years. Congratulations on moving to where you love life more, and thank you for the inspiration and encouragement that you’ve given me. Sometimes it’s nice to get a shot of encouragement and you’ve done that more than once through the years without knowing it 🙂

  3. You illustrate the fact that he value of a beans, bullets and band-aids vs gold is based on the situation. Prioritizing based on Maslow’s Priority of needs and deciding what and how many of those needs are threatened seems a good start. This requires doing exactly what you are doing: visualizing the possible threat and role playing it out. What one family needs in a hurricane evacuation varies slightly from a chemical spill, EMP or political unrest and war,etc.

    Hey, maybe someone out there is a computer expert and could put together a computer game that could do this! Could call it “PrepperQuest” or “World of PrepperCraft”!

    Btw, if a genius pulls this off, don’t forget me! Lol!

  4. I have to add to what Mitchell said, that righteousness will be what will save you the most. There is a God, He is a loving Father in Heaven and He knows everything that is going on and what you need more than you yourself do. I know this absolutely. He is still in control of the world and everything in it; if you are not living his commandments, you will have no protection, but with being in tune with him and listening to him you can be guided to always know what to do and how to be safe. People have been told where to go and have had the way opened to get what they needed under the most improbable situations, and things work out, somehow. Have faith, trust in Him, do as he directs and things will work out. sometimes we have to go through very hard times to learn what He wants us to, but things always work for our good. I read of people who have planned to “live off the grid” with a home and garden etc. in the country, but the time will come when the only place of safety will be in the Rocky Mountains. This I know for sure. Learn the gospel of Jesus Christ, be faithful to it, and do all you can to stock up to take care of yourself and your family, and always listen to the Spirit, and you will be much safer than those who put their trust in the arm of flesh of others or of themselves, without God.
    Also, I have seen that there are many who “think” they don’t have the money or space to get supplies, but are still going out to eat, to movies and sports and concerts, on vacations etc. For those who think they don’t have space to store food and other needs, my son and wife and their children all have their mattresses on stacks of boxes of food.
    there are so many places you can put things if you put your mind to it. You can do it, just think seriously about it, and make it an urgent issue.

  5. If you have a smart phone check out the free app called Flashlight. even if there is no cell service you can turn on the flash light that uses the cameras flash to navigate down a dark hallway or dark office room as long as you have cell phone battery life.

  6. I’d also like to say one last thing that I feel is extremely important is the power of prayer. Recently I’ve had occurrences confirming there is a lot on the other side of the spirit veil. For this reason I believe in god- I know a lot of people don’t talk about this but this is what I know to be the most important thing when it comes to prepping and survival itself. If you don’t believe me then pray yourself to know if there’s anything on the other side and pray to get everything you might need following it so that it isn’t discounted. Nonetheless I’d suggest praying you’re about to pray for god or so be it whatever is on the other side that is good will help you with what you need and being in tune also helps one in case of danger. I’d have to say pray constantly in one’s day to day life and also as far spirits go be careful for there is much on the other side which is deceitful – pray to overcome that which is of evil nature in all you do (and appears as a human or even god- but is truly not either of them).
    But with prayer and in being righteous- god will be on your side – I wish you luck and
    Ask to not underestimate the power of prayer- even though you see him not, just realize god is there to help so much as you ask and for this reason he is the most powerful prepping source. One last note on prayer is to ask god to help build a true knowledge of him so that you can trust and pray to him when you trully need this the most – but also pray he guides you to the truth. I’d also advise at the end of the prayer for god to speak to you(just note he’ll speak to the heart “burning in the bosom” – whilst other spirits can not- this is important), so ask to know what he wishes you to know and leave a moment of silence for him to talk after a prayer- note any thoughts that come by and write them down, dating as well. They may seem random but remember he has a reason for sharing them. Pray he guides you to the truth in all thing and also pray he acts through you to prepare (Also on this one can’t wait for god to act usually- but one must act and constantly return to god for advice and he acts “through” you and also wants you to grow in this- so that’s why one must act)
    I apologize for any offense I have made by bringing religion to this but I feel it is important given recent events in my life- but pray to know all of this for yourself – for I can only say so much but until it happens to you my words will matter little – despite all I say or show. Better yet pray to know the immaterial spirit of god. I wasn’t going to say this but specifically I picked the burning in the bosom from D&C 9:7-9 in the book of mormon and I am mormon if you must know- wasn’t always. I wish you all luck for the dangers that are to come and just realizs danger usually comes when it’s least expected which is the greatest reason that god is one’s greatest ally for he loves us all.
    I hope this helps and may you use it as soon as you can and cultivate it so it can be more effective- for it truly is the most powerful prepping source.

  7. Stuart and the couple represent opposite ends of the spectrum, prepared and thought out versus – ignorant and unprepared. I question rioting that quickly though!. our reality is that if you can make 3 weeks, bad water i.e. dehydration will quickly limit the number of folks rioting. For trading purposes, cartridges will be huge if you have a surplus or a great need for something else. Wines/whiskey are also huge bartering items – people love their comfort. I don’ t see gold or silver being used much until some type of system is in place that allows for exchanges. The other item that will have great value will be medicines or anti-biotics (and / or a way to make them, ie collodial water) – grapefruit seed extract is a good thing to have in the pantry along with multi-vitamins. If you can find 3-4 like minded folks to make a team that is fantastic, hard to do sometimes. I agree with the first writer though, hang onto your faith and practise as much as you can a Christian lifestyle with others.

  8. Believe it or not what I feel people truly need in survival situations is the skillset or the person. I see a lot of these survival things that emphasize getting stocked on food, weapons, etc. But what people need most of all is the skillset to survive without anything- guns included and despite the situation. I say this because there’s always a possibility that you won’t have certain items with you. For example what use are survival items if you’re in a car crash in the middle of nowhere with no cellphone/radio or survived an airplane crash? Better yet most criminals ambush people when they aren’t ready and there are some disasters which have plenty of warning signs. There’s also one problem with emt classes as well as some survival classes is that they RELY upon equipment or in the case of emt classes they rely upon a doctor- and in the case of disasters doctors are a luxury.
    So to get past this people need to be a jack of all trades, have base survival skillsets down(ie water)
    But one thing I’ve heard people say is it is always that which you didn’t expect that gets you, but it’s almost always useless to prepare for every situation given time etc. What I’d recommend people do is learn those big skills such as how to get water (ie solar still) without running water/ the tap, simple awareness(to be ready for ambush), negotiating, and most of all know to apply this knowledge. But to learn base principles in case of danger (Ie Awareness) and survival skills. I hope this all helps- any questions let me know.
    One last recommendation I’d say is righteousness- don’t be only out for oneslef as righteousness leads to building a community, order, and peace. Something easily lost in a survival situation but can be the most beneficial as surviving by yourself lacks purpose and I honestly feel destroys someone on the inside out – especially if it causes others to suffer.
    Something I’d recommend is practice survival skills with the intent of helping others so it’s engrained in one’s spirit when the tables turn for the worse.
    To reiterate learn base skills, principles, and awareness without the use of ANY equipment. Also pracitce using righteousness in this all.
    Also I wrote more on the vaule of righteousness on the above website; anunexpectedtruth. com- It isn’t directly related to this but The post on righteousnes – I believe it’s titled under light- Also remember the truth within yourself for when danger comes your way for this brings a life worth living-
    Hope this helps and good luck for the trials that come your way- may you find joy in them as you overcome them.

    • David Morris says:

      Hello Mitchell,

      I agree whole heartedly on skills vs. stuff. You should REALLY check out the Survive In Place course at: www.surviveinplace.com/index-3-13.php

      You might also want to read the piece that I did on the reality of specialization vs. jack-of-all-trades here: survivethecomingcollapse.com/1818/preparing-for-more-than-just-yourself/


    • Good point about the skills being so important. After your EMT class find a Wilderness EMT course to help you develop your skills without all the tools. Even the Basic EMT class has a lot on how to treat a patient with little.

      As an EMT I have helped doctors redirect their treatment plans both inside and outside the hospital. My EMT training gives me a different set of skills and a different approach.

      Your comment that EMT’s rely on doctors is true so far as one team member relies on another. In every case where I rolled up on scene where a doctor was already present the relief was quite visible on their face. They were very pleased to step back and let me take over patient care. I have been on a few runs where a doctor was on my ambulance, I was always treated with respect. If it was the doctors first ambulance run I was treated with more respect after the run. While outbound to the patient on one run I had a doctor tell me “I know I am the doctor but I’m just here for the experience. I will do what you tell me but I’m not trained in this type of medicine so you are the boss.”

      Doctors are a very important part of the team but if the EMT’s can’t get the patient to the hospital alive the skills of the hospital staff are of little consequence.

  9. Sue the Frugal Survivalist says:

    Whether a SHTF event occurs or not, stocking up on items you routinely use when they are on sale is always a prudent idea. I’ve always prepared for the future, disaster or no disaster. My daughter’s college fund was built on money saved by shopping sales, using coupons, growing a garden, and buying everything we needed at garage sales and thriftstores, if possible.

    When your pantry and freezer are filled with food and other househol products bought at the lowest price possible ( or homegrown ), you can make home-cooked meals cheaply. When we were both working, our monthly expenses were so much lower than our co-workers . They couldn’t ( or wouldn’t ) live more cheaply.

    Having a year’s supply of food and household items ( bought at the cheapest price ) makes financial sense for a family, disaster or no disaster. I always stocked clothing for my daughter for a year or two ahead. Shopping garage sales and thriftstores is often hit or miss for any particular item, but over time you find incedible bargains ( often in a larger size than your child currently wears. These bargains were stored in boxes by size, so when my daughter grew, the like-new clothing was waiting for her. Sure, I never found everything she needed ahead of time, but we found enough to really save serious money. For example, she was unexpectedly invited to the Junior Prom ( she was a Freshman in a new school district ). Thanks to our clothing storage program, she had a beautiful formal, matching shoes, and purse already in her closet. We’d found the dress for $18 dollars on sale the previous spring, while the shoes and purse came from a thriftstore. If we’d rushed out at the last minute to buy a dress, shoes, and purse, it could easily have cost $100 plus. It pays to be prepared.

    • Survival Diva says:


      I love what you shared here. I was a late bloomer when it came to being frugal. More than once, I’ve had to face the fact that I would’ve been so much better off had I been careful over on spending. But for the past 10 years, I’ve learned what you state here-you can save an incredible amount of money just by shopping smart.

      Wheat, beans, rice, corn, and fruits and vege’s can be brought straight from the grower, usually for 1/4 to 1/2 the price, and you can verify that it’s not GMO. Flat sales are held annually or semi-annually at grocery stores and will save 1/2 or more on canned goods. Christmas & Thanksgiving is a good time to get flour, sugar, baking supplies, canned milk, canned fruit (basically what is usually in demand that time of year) for up to 1/2 off. When you can save half on your food storage budget, you’ll have it done in half the time, plus as Sue says, even if S doesn’t HTF, you’ve saved a substantial amount on your groceries.

  10. Urban, suburban, big city little city…it doesnt take rocket science to put together a kit.
    Anyone can do it and everyone should do it.
    Its peoples perception of reality that causes them to doubt.
    If you ever plan to survive, doubt should be considered the devil and never allowed through the door.

  11. I concur with the indivudal who is a firearms instructor. I also have a firearms training school and we have been very busy. We get some students who don’t know anything about their firearms but spend several thousand dollars on an AR-15. We also have been conducting disaster prepardness classes and consulting. I recently had a client come to me and ask If I could help him start prepping. He just purchased a 7,000 square foot home, he is always travelling and owns a very successfull business. But he had NOTHING to use in a SHTF situation. I spent only 2 hours with him and he was in awe at how unprepared he was, how much learning he had to do and how far behind the curve he was. Time, education/training, trial and error, planning and supplies…..Good luck to you all.

  12. I am seeing a lot of “prepping can’t be done because of …..” or “I can’t do this because of ….” It is true that there are many obstacles ahead for prepping! Each of us have them. But may I add that you can stockpile practical knowledge no matter where you are or what your current living conditions. That in itself may be enough to allow you to trade for what you need. I was at one point living in an efficiency apartment. One room, and one closet. I could have stored enough food for at least a month. Would it have been a long range solution, no and I don’t pretend it would be. But it would have bought me some time. That is really all we doing here, because WE DON’T KNOW what may happen. All we can do is the best we can do.

    • Survival Diva says:


      So true! A can-do attitude is so very important. It IS doable, for most of us, but it may require a lifestyle change. It’s a matter of prioritizing. If nothing happens within your idea of when SHTF, you’ve still effectively inflation proofed your life and when needed, those supplies will be there.

    • If someone says “I can’t prepare because of… X” then “X” is the first target to neutralize. I look at it as any potential problem also provides the opportunity for a solution. Also, it helps to start with the end result of an idea, and then work backward from there.
      If I want to survive a power grid failure, I think: what will I do for water in the short term? Answer: Stockpile a 2 or 3 week supply.
      What about long term? I will need to replace my well pump with one that doesn’t rely on electricity. How? Solar is one answer. The frost free hand pump is another. Even a rotary pump powered by a bicycle and a fan belt will work.
      do I need a storage tank for the times when the sun isn’t shining, or have no time to physically pump my water? Sure that would help, even if it’s 2 plastic water drums giving me 110 gallons of water, I’ll buy some NEXT TUESDAY. Setting hard dates by which you will accomplish certain tasks will greatly reduce your aptitude for failure. A date can be pushed back a week if need be, but if you never set a date your day will never come!!
      This is the part that gets most of us: CAN I DO THIS? For me the answer is yes, with the exception of actually building a solar panel. I can’t do that. But I know someone who can, and that’s the key. Talk to your friends, or their friends about that which you cannot do yourself. You will be surprised at what you can come up with. You’ll likely have to pay a pretty penny for this kind of thing, but it’s pay now or pay later, and you may not have what is needed to pay later.
      Just to illustrate: I recently added a short gas line for a customer mine in his kitchen. The job totaled $75.00 or so and he asked if I needed some ammo. As I NEVER pass on ammunition I scored 200 rds of .308 and called it good. Now I have more ammo (i.e. another hole in the head… which I so desperately needed) and he has a cook stove that requires no electricity.

      Just remember, ANYTHING can be accomplished with the right amount of humility, and inquiry. What’s the right amount? As much as you can bring to bear!

  13. . Do you believe there will come a time when wealth will be defined by what food storage, survival goods and skill-sets we possess?

    Robert Kiyosaki, in Rich Dad Poor Dad, defined wealth as “The ability to survive a certain number of days forward” — I think your question really answers it self, yes.

    A person with 10 Million in the bank doesn’t have as good of a chance of surviving any days compared to the person with little money, a bug out bag and the skills to use it. And a family with an established garden, well, stock piled food and firearms would be one of the riches people around.

    Given the inflation, the financial instability, government over reach; I think it makes tremendous sense to focus on physical goods for creating/maintaining wealth.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Bob S

      “Robert Kiyosaki, in Rich Dad Poor Dad, defined wealth as “The ability to survive a certain number of days forward” ”

      So true. Thanks for posting this.

    • The TV show Revolution makes the point of “wealth” in a SHTF scenario. One of the characters was a Google exec with like $80 mill in the bank. But without power his out of shape body and lack of survival skills makes him vulnerable and a liability. If you have no money to set aside food you can at least get yourself in decent physical shape (run a mile, do sit ups/push ups/pull ups) etc. So your body can handle stress. You can also read and practice skills like fire building, basic first aid, or something. There is always something you can do even if it is only buying an extra can or two of food when you go shopping for your long term storage.

      • Survival Diva says:


        You’re right about the millionaire character on Revolution. And there is always something we can learn, and physical conditioning. It all counts!

  14. Deborann1 says:

    It is coming! It is getting closer as we speak. And that does not mean it coming to happen this week, month, or year–But, if it is this week, month, or year, what are you going to be able to do about it.???
    There is going to be a lot of disappointment and self condemnation. Two year old canned beans might be soggy but, by that time, you will be so glad to have 2 yr old beans that you will be saying, Thank You God! ( Yes, I know, lots don’t believe in God-nor my Trinity- but, that is okay-I do.)
    Something is better than nothing and, sometimes, something better than nothing is going to have to be enough.
    Do you really want to be living in the days that are coming?
    The alternative is rather depressing and way too final.
    A can of beans, fruit, juice, meat…., can-and will- mean a whole lot to just about all of us
    Just do what you can–as often as you can–wherever you can.
    God Bless us All

    • Survival Diva says:


      I couldn’t agree more. All we can do to prepare is to do our best. That’s it. It’s doing our best that some take seriously, and others put on the back burner. I can’t imagine what it would be like to reflect on a tropical vacation, or a $200 pair of designer jeans that could have filled in the holes of storage shelves while watching loved ones doing without the basics.

  15. joseph L M says:

    Interesting stories I can relate to both, Stuart is over half of my family they beleive things will only get better and they spend money as fast as they can make it.David you see these jugheads on black fridays or when ever there big sells at the big box stores buying crap they really don’t need, they vauction at least once a year or more. There homes look like Homes and Gardens they have great lives. But they beleive the if things go bad and I qoute my older brother by 10 years “the goverment will take care of us that why we pay taxes”.
    The time I have been alive on this earth I have seen thing that scares me and make me angry , I don’t want to be somebody victim or one of those Stuarts who going have to beg to stay alive , that why prepping is part of my life .
    Thank you for these weekly articles ,you give me new ideals to look at with my prepping.I beleive knowledge is power nothing like the power of a ideal that can change the world all it take is one person to listen and that the start of change.

  16. John, the janitor at Stuart’s bank, had to walk to his subsidized downtown studio apt, because public transportation was not in operation– it took him about the same amount of time as Stuart’s drive, because the sidewalks and streets were so crowded.

    He also had to walk up the 4 floors via the fire stairs because the elevator was out, after getting through the mob of people in the lobby, who were complaining about the lights and water being off. It took him about a half hour to climb the stairs– not because they were crowded, but because arthritis and emphysema made climbing difficult, especially after the 90 min walk. The emergency light at the end of the hall let him see to insert his key in the knob– no dead bolt, because management didn’t deem it necessary nor allowed “alterations” to the premises; heck, he couldn’t even hang pictures on the walls! His neighbors weren’t up yet– they were shift workers, but when they did get up, they were probably going to express their annoyance….

    John moved the sofa bed in front of the hollow core door, and set the chain lock, for whatever good that would do. It was halfway between paydays, so he still had most of a loaf of bread and a carton of eggs– though how he was going to eat the eggs without cooking them, he didn’t know. Raw, if he had to, he supposed. And he had several cans of beans and stew, which he kept for those times the paycheck didn’t last the pay period. He also had a pitcher of orange juice and a jug of water in the mini-frige, and a six-pack of soda… just one beer, though, and gee, he wished those VA docs hadn’t made him quit smoking, even though he probably would have anyway because of the costs….

    It was getting dark, so he couldn’t read, and the small riot down below his window was a bit too noisy to sleep though, even though he was pretty tired. His neighbors were now yelling, too. So he sat, staring out his window at the dark clouds? smoke?, and wondered what he could have done differently, with the limited resources he’d had since getting off the streets. He had enough meds to get him to the end of the month– should he cut back on the dosages or take a chance that the clinic would be open when he could get his refills? He mused that his work buddy, George, the college kid, was in much the same boat, except he still had his health… for now, and hoped he had been able to bike it back to his dorm OK. Well, looks like it *was* smoke out there– sounds like a fire truck is trying to get through….

  17. Folks,

    I’ve tried for 30 years to keep groups together and failed. As a firearms instructor I have recently found some of my students who are like minded indviduals and done basic skills classes, first aid classes, home storage and many others. Where I live you have to store water and wells are too deep to access. Of course we all work on our firearms skills, food and ammo storage, but without water you die in a short period of time.
    Can you run a generator, an air compressor, mix gas for a chain saw, sharpen a chain saw, tie down a load on a truck, use a skill saw, chop saw, sharpen a hand saw, keep an edge on your knives, use a winch and snatch block on truck, stitch up a wound, reload ammo, start a fire in a rain storm or live out of your bugout bag for even two days?
    We teach and practice all these skills and more, and while the tactical firearms classes are more fun, the basic skills have to be the base of your survival.
    Yes, I can teach a student how draw and fire two rounds into an assailant in one and a half seconds and keep his or her shotgun running and engage multiple targets with an AR15 while using cover and concealment.
    But I have students who show up with lots of gear who can’t use it and don’t even know how to jump start a car or fix a flat.
    Their gear has never been tried and the idea of setting up that high dollar tent in the dark or in the front yard with a sprinkler going has never been considered.
    But they are learning; I’m still learning and we’re working on it.
    Ya’ll keep up the good work!


    • Survival Diva says:


      “I’ve tried for 30 years to keep groups together and failed.” Your expertise has me wanting to ask why they failed. Your experience could help the rest of us avoid the pitfalls. It’s long been a mystery why, when survival will be easier with a trusted group, do people choose to go it alone. I’ve heard from so many others who tried to reach out to others, yet their attempts failed. I would love to have a clearer understanding why.

      • Diva,
        I figure these groups don’y last because they are socialist in nature. To a significant degree people need to work for the group. This works well within the family and I have seen it work with very close friends. Love is the cement that holds these groups together.

        Friends or neighbors may come together in a time of need but the bonds required to keep a survival group together when the good times last decades rarely exist.

        Every member of a group is going to have a different level of commitment. When Uncle George buys that 300 inch TV rather than preps you shake your head but your love means that you’ll help him in the lean times. However, George Newcomer is expected to be at least as committed as you are.

        Socialism only works within the family and not always then.

        • Survival Diva says:


          I’ve been asking people the same question for years and this is the first time an answer has made perfect sense. As far as socialism not always working within families goes, I can testify to that. Thankfully, not immediate family. Thank you for the insight!

  18. B, B & B : Whatever reason that it becomes imperative to have more than ‘currently’ necessary, at the very least, I am protecting myself against INFLATION and stocking up for whatever RAINY DAY. If you use something that can be considered a ‘survival’ item even as little as 1ce a year, there is no loss in having a spare if for no other reason than eventual replacement.
    The biggest hassle is storage and organization of extras, especially if you do not have a basement or large secured shed.

    • Survival Diva says:


      You’re so right. In all areas; prepping goods, food storage, gold & silver–putting what you can today inflation proofs our lives.

  19. CaptAmerica says:

    So does that mean Obama’s Anti Hording executive order will not steal all the money, Bullets, guns, food, and water first? Leaving the people with nothing but the air to breathe.
    However they are working on that.

    • Survival Diva says:


      I can’t argue this issue is a biggie! Food caches and staying alert is the only answer, but even then, there aren’t any guarantees. The lower the profile, the better…which leaves folks who write about prepping obvious targets.

      • Redundancy of the necessities is an absolute. Also, if it is necessary to bug out, then when possible, cross load everything. This was learned by the paratroopers of WW11, and is still the norm today. Just as you don’t put all of your command and control in one plane (vehicle), you don’t put all of your heavy weapons in one vehicle. That goes for supplies, too. In my case, I plan to bug in out of necessity. I’m old and banged up, as is my wife. However, if it becomes necessary to bug out, my family of 18 will need a lot of supplies/equipment just for the initial first 3 days. We cannot depend on caches entirely, it would be really difficult to cache the amount of food, water, and shelter for that many people without it being possibly compromised. I’m sure there are alot of us in the same possition. It would be a lot simpler if we had resupply opportunities, and we were all young and in good shape, but alas, that is not in the cardss. Viva PRP

        • David Morris says:

          Viva PRP 🙂

        • Survival Diva says:


          I am with you on the shelter in place. Within my family group are 7 children. I don’t expect that bugging out would be possible with infants and very young children. And I agree that caching enough food and supplies for a long-term SHTF would not be realistic. I plan on praying that the powers that be will be busy enough with looters to leave the rest of us alone, but admit it may be wishful thinking.

  20. Gardening successfully for survival does have a steep learning curve. Soil preparation and fertility will be an issue for most people–also when to plant, dealing with weather or pests and more. Having a can of heirloom seeds is not enough. I urge people to start gardening in earnest now.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Nana T

      You’re spot on Nana. That steep learning curve has me concerned for newbies. The best case it to get started BEFORE the garden represents life and death. Even if it’s on a small scale, gardening now is important. It’ll reveal possible problems that can be improved upon beforehand. Deer fencing, soil enrichment, composting, watering, insect control…it’s all important.

  21. Ive talked to neighbors who would listen and some are doing minimal prep they are aware we should work together on comunity security knowing roving bands would want the little we have.
    I am working on a 30 day supply of food and water almost there now i will go for a 45 day supply, i have worked on fortifying the house we have guns with thought about types of ammo we have a well i intend to get a hand pump for and water filters
    And a medium supply for First aid
    I know this is barely sufficient but it will serve us for a while by that time garden should produce

    • Survival Diva says:


      You’ve already started prepping and are taking care of the most important things you’ll need. You’re ahead of 97% of Americans. Time will take care of the rest, but time is growing shorter…if you stay on track, it’ll get you where you need to be. You didn’t ask, but if possible, strive for at least 1 years’ worth of food and supplies. The reason for this is because in a long-term crisis, you need food to get you to your first growing season.

  22. Unfortunately too many scenarios focus on the single family unit as the primary survival modality. I believe that while it may not “take a village” the pooling of intellectual resources is quite vital. Not only will bullets,beans and band aids be types of barter items but acquired skills; for example, I fix your generator and you pay me with a box of bullets! Just saying.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Tim S.

      I agree with you! The story lines were meant to represent the norm, but as I’ve written before, grouping together is best for tactical and practical reasons. When you contemplate having to patrol around the clock during times of unrest, it would be nearly impossible for a husband and wife to do all of the necessary every-day chores and THEN watch over their home day and night. This aspect of prepping is many times the most difficult to solve–how to join with other preppers you don’t know, or having to trust family and friends who do not have tactical training or experience.

      • The Concrete Fairy says:

        I’d love to see an article with practical ideas on that, Ms Diva… That is my major issue right now, no support group.

        • Survival Diva says:

          The Concrete Ferry,

          I will! I really like this idea because from the very first, writing about prepping, I was worried about people trying to go it alone. It will take a bit of doing, to interview successful groups and unearth how they were successful. I have given basic guidelines in other posts, but have not devoted an entire post to it. You have my promise…but it will take a few weeks for the detailed research and interviews.

    • “Unfortunately too many scenarios focus on the single family unit as the primary survival modality.”
      “The story lines were meant to represent the norm,…”
      Norm?? For where? Randy’s prepping wouldn’t be possible for many urban dwellers, and although the “Stuart’s” there could at least stock their pantries and med cabinets, there isn’t much else possible to “secure” their premises and transportation, especially if they are renting.

      • Survival Diva says:


        The scenario could have been one of dozens; the pensioner who’s health is failing, the college student, the group….painting a picture begins with a point of view. That point of view will never be shared by everyone, nor be lived by everyone.

        Because demographics show 50% of the population live in the suburbs, the story represents the “norm”, whether you take exception to this term or not.

        I suppose I could have said: Randy and Melissa lived in:

        _____ the city
        _____ the country
        _____ the suburbs

        (the reader can check which applies….)

        But in respect to the flow of the storyline, I wrote that Randy and Melissa lived in the suburbs.

        I strongly disagree with the blanket statement that “prepping wouldn’t be possible for many urban dwellers.” Most here on the forum do without conveniences in order to prep. Yes, it takes time while the economy slips a little more each year, but it’s possible and many here are examples of what can be achieved with a positive mental attitude and prioritizing what is important.

        • “I strongly disagree with the blanket statement that “prepping wouldn’t be possible for many urban dwellers.””

          I agree– it COULD be done. But where is the info on *HOW* for those who don’t have a 3 BR house with an attached garage and a storage shed on a quarter-acre lot that they own? Who have no transportation other than their feet and whatever public transportation is available? Whose paycheck barely covers necessities, or who are reliant on others for sustenance, meds and shelter? Who have no secure storage space? **Where and how do they start???**

          Or, come the Apocalypse, are they supposed to just lay down and die, or should they join the zombies?

          • Survival Diva says:


            There are many things a person can do to improve self-sufficiency. I’ve listed several here.

            1. For those who can barely cover monthly expenses, 50₵ cans of vegetables, canned fruit, rice, top ramen and beans are inexpensive. Setting aside a little at a time is a start and it adds up.
            2. Walking keeps the body fit. That can be expounded upon by exercise and free classes like CPR classes the Red Cross offers. A fit body equates to survival.
            3. There are many blogs and Internet sites that give free info on how to build snares for large and small animals and how to fish, both which offers an excellent food source.
            4. A positive attitude goes a long ways towards survival. Many who survive in war-torn areas had a never-give-up attitude and survived, while those who were “privileged” didn’t.
            5. A used book on edible wild foods specific to the region is a valuable resource.
            6. Water can be stored in 2-litre pop bottles that have been thoroughly washed–never use old plastic milk containers because they are made to start breaking down and they will leak within 6 months.
            7. Craigslist has a free section where sometimes prep goods and construction materials can be found.

  23. After evaluating his complete failure to attain any level of self-reliance, I surmise that Stuart would not have had gold and silver in a safety deposit box. He’s a prototypical Yuppie: my experience with local bank branch managers is that they are entirely clueless about real economics. They are merely minions.

    • Survival Diva says:


      Over the years, I’ve met people like Stuart, and a few–only a very few–eventually started to get prepared. There were others who had gold and silver not for when SHTF, but to build personal wealth as the dollar became more devalued. But I agree with you that they are many times unaware (or unwilling to see) what was right there in front of them.

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