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Guest Post: Matthew Stein Asks "How Prepared Are You?"

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Adam Taggart of Peak Prosperity,

During the height of the 'Goldilocks economy' of the mid-1990s, Mat Stein wrote When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency [9], a master compendium of do-it-yourself preparation skills.

Fast-forward to today's Great Recession, drought-stricken, $100+ oil, post-Katrina, post-Fukushima world -- many are realizing the prudence of taking basic precautionary steps to reduce their vulnerability to whatever the future may bring. Whether you're concerned about the fallout from a breakdown of today's weakened global economy, or simply want to be better able to deal with the aftermath of a natural disaster if you live in an earthquake/hurricane/flood/wildfire/tornado-prone part of the world, the personal resiliency measures Mat recommends make sense for almost everyone to consider.

In this interview, Mat begins with his universal advice for developing basic preparedness -- a 72-hour kit covering the basics needs for living, an emergency plan for your family, lining up local and out-of-town contacts, etc. -- and discusses specifics on what gear to procure and steps to take in unexpected emergencies. For more protracted periods without access to central services, many more situations are covered in his books [10] and at his website [11].

It's important to note that Mat isn't a doomer bent on fanning fears of a zombie apocalypse (though those concerned about social collapse will find much utility in his work). Like Chris, he believes that our current fossil fuel-driven, hyper-consumptive, and over-leveraged way of life is not sustainable. So before the unsustainable, by definition, stops - it's best to invest now in developing the skills and habits that will serve us in this new future;  one sure to place a higher premium on self-reliance.

On the Rule of Threes

The Rule of Threes give you an indication of, in a crisis time, where your energies really should lie.

The Rule of Threes basically says:

  • If you've got 3 seconds without blood flow, meaning a heart attack or critical injury, then without blood flow to the brain in 3 seconds you pass out.
  • If you have 3 minutes without oxygen flow -- either you aren't breathing or you don't have access to oxygen -- you're out.
  • If you have 3 hours without proper shelter or clothing in extreme weather - extreme heat or extreme cold, you get hypothermic or hyperthermic -- you start to die or lose your ability to think and function.
  • If you have 3 days without water and you have to be physically active and it is fairly hot outside, then people start to die. Water is extremely critical.
  • Most people in America could live at least 3 weeks -- and many of us far longer than that -- without food. You may not be happy. You may not feel good. You might not have a lot of energy. You could do it. 

On the scale of things, that gives you an immediate priority list of what things you must address and deal with. Obviously the life-threatening things have to be dealt with first. 

On the Approach to Developing Resilience

There are three big buckets of preparedness. There is stuff you have. There is stuff you know. There are the skills and things you can do. This is also including your mindset. 

The most important is the skill set, including the mindset. You take that with you wherever you go.


A lot of people have plenty of money. By all means, gather stuff. Gather supplies. Store food. Have some beans, Band-Aids and bullets -- the three B's. Beans means your food and supplies. Band-Aids means medical skills and medical knowledge, medical supplies. Bullets means the ability to protect yourself. Again, that is not really my bag, but it's a necessary evil.


Get the stuff. Even if you are not really great at using some of these things, you can trade. You can barter and you can share. You can team up with people. The lone wolf in a collapse situation will probably not do very well, unless he is super-MacGyver. Someone who is meaner, tougher and better organized will come along and take all his cool stuff away from him. It is really in groups that people will do better. Think medieval times, castles, villages and groups. There was safety in numbers. People have skills and talents. It really takes a village to pull through.


Think about your strengths. Naturally if you can develop all three areas, great. If not, if you are stronger in one, focus on that. If you do not have money, focus on your skill set. If you are likeable and get along well, if you have great skills and talents, then you will probably manage pretty well. Maybe you are older and you are not very strong you cannot do much. If you have good financial reserves, then you can stock up on things. You will be able to team up with a whole bunch of people. They will be thankful and grateful for you, if and when that day comes when that stuff is needed.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Mat Stein (59m:45s):

Click here to read the full transcript


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Sun, 09/09/2012 - 22:50 | 2777412 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

He forgot to mention you can only survive 3 months without more QE...............

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:12 | 2777455 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Benanke? Is that really you? I thought I heard a helicopter overhead....whew...I guess I'll be OK when I take the lawn vacuum out and Hoover up all those FRN's. Clicked my heels three times and said "There's no place like Rome, there's no place like Rome..." that is if Italy pulls this off where Greece can't? /s

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:33 | 2777949 Spirit Of Truth
Spirit Of Truth's picture

"Bankers make money the old-fashioned way....they print it..."

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 07:30 | 2777851 Dismal Scientist
Dismal Scientist's picture

Meat and drink to ZH readers, this kind of stuff. Doomer porn and no mistake.

If the wishes of your average ZH reader come true, then I would be prepared to bet that most of them will wish they hadn't...

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 09:29 | 2778098 oddjob
oddjob's picture

Preparedness is a winning trade, dismal showing on your part.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 22:50 | 2777413 Arnold Ziffel
Sun, 09/09/2012 - 22:57 | 2777422 Hulk
Hulk's picture

The good side of hyperthermia is that after a while, your brain plays tricks on you, making you think you are burning up. You then remove all your clothes and jump into an icy creek, thus speeding up your demise.

So we got that going for us !!!

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:08 | 2777444 mtomato2
mtomato2's picture

...which is nice...

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:20 | 2777471 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Big hitter, the Lama.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 07:54 | 2777878 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

I once did exactly that: Jumped into the west branch of the Penobscot River just below Ripogenus Dam (Northern Maine) early in the spring. I was lucky to make it the two feet back to shore. Every muscle in my body instantly went numb, weak, and nonresponsive. Strange and scary feeling, let me tell you.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:05 | 2777897 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Waded into that river one June around the Old town mill with a light pole and bucket of worms..  Pulled out more small mouth than I thought that river held, amazing day, beautiful river..

Wed, 09/12/2012 - 01:59 | 2784366 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

I seem to recall reading some news a year or so ago about that mill possibly closing down due to pollution issues. Never heard what happened.

A very long time ago I hitchhiked to Bangor from Ripogenus Dam to see the first Star Wars movie. When hitchhiking back after the movie ended at midnight or thereabouts, someone dropped me off just north of Old Town. It was as dark and unpopulated out there on 95 (one lane each direction) as one could imagine. Not a single car for miles, maybe tens or dozens of miles.

So I'm walking along looking up at the stars when, all of a sudden, the stars above me started disappearing. I stop and look closer, and sure enough, the stars in patches are disappearing and reappearing right above me.


I suddenly became aware that I was standing right next to a moose whose antlers were above my head and he was, I guess, looking around.

I screamed and jumped probably 20 feet from a dead standstill.

The moose, in the meantime, had the same epiphany as I, and also leaped 20 feet from a standstill in the other direction.

Scared the crap outta me. Probably the moose, too.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 01:53 | 2777671 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

thats hypothermia there broham

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:00 | 2777429 valkir
valkir's picture

I am prepared,but i also know this wont help me a lot.72 hours kit-what a bullshit.I survived socializm/capitalizm mantra change in 1990.I survived hyperinflation in 1996.I have my own house with garden,2 wineyards,have my own apartment in big city/with property taxes around 50 $/year/.I have those barbarians relicts in 2 continents,buried in different places.And i am still afraid i am not prepared full.Why?Simple i see the shepple around me,and i am terrifyed.Have a nice week all,bitchez.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:07 | 2777440 newengland
newengland's picture


Chill. You've done what you can do. Now find a community, people that like you for you. All will be fine. Have faith in you and them. It's all gonna be ok.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 03:42 | 2777756 margaris
margaris's picture

now help other people prepare.
At this moment It's cheap to buy a years worth of food supply and some big canisters you can fill with water...
Keep on explaining to people why such a buffer is important and can also save you money...

you want to minimize the amount of possible victims around you...

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 19:21 | 2780193 Backspin
Backspin's picture

Preparing for societal collapse and general mayhem isn't so much the issue as preparing for the ever growing encroachment of the police state.  IMO.


Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:02 | 2777435 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Okay fellow Hedgers. I've been thinking about this for a while. I know a lot of you are in the same boat. I have been aware and prepping since 2001 and really started accelerating in 2008. My dilemma is my wife wants to stick her head in the sand and ignore the problems. She is a very smart woman and knows that sometime is terribly wrong but she doesn't go past that. So my question is ... If you had one single movie/ documentary to reccomend she watch what would it be. It has to be something where she can grasp why we are in this trouble and how bad the outcome can be. I am at my wits end with this one do any help would be appreciated.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:10 | 2777439 newengland
newengland's picture

Cuddle up to her, and watch 'Inside Job'.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:13 | 2777458 Hulk
Hulk's picture

and if that doesn't work, try the Devil and Mrs Jones.

At least you will have fun...

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:24 | 2777479 newengland
newengland's picture


Ta for the suggestion, but I always have fun with my inside job ;-) My beloved is grr snarly paratrooper. 

I make money. He defends me and mine. 

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:28 | 2777496 Hulk
Hulk's picture

As a plane jumper myself, I have no idea of what you are talking about...

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:25 | 2777487 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Thanks for the recommendations. I appreciate them.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:27 | 2777491 newengland
newengland's picture

Dr. E.

You and your wife are good people. Best wishes to you and yours.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:05 | 2777560 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Thank you all for your recommendations. Some if them I've seen or read, some I haven't. I'll check out what I haven't. I do appreciate all the suggestions.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 01:18 | 2777652 salvadordaly
salvadordaly's picture

If you want shock therapy "The Road". It is extreme, "Nuclear Armigeddon" maybe a worse case scenerio, but that's your call. In my situation, I just explain to mine, that I can not look at at my children when they ask "what are we going to do? and I tell them "I wish I would have,,,,,,,,? Instead I have a plan, maybe not all covered, but I have something to get us by for a certain amount of time. Just "F"ing do it! It's your responsability to take care of your family! Your not CRAZY! Do not feel guilty!

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 07:58 | 2777885 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

100% thumbs up on The Road.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 06:48 | 2777821 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Last Man on Earth\starring Vincent Price...

used to be available on InternetArchive as free download...but I've had trouble finding it there today when I went to get the url - that's disturbing in itself!* Apparently there's a google version available for download, but I don't do google, so yu're on yur own there... is a yutube version,  but yu no hoo yu toob be too, doncha!

this movie tied up a lot of loose strings for me. I only watched it after I had managed to dekommision the 9\11 psy-op terror from my head(like, 8 years after the fact!) - and only after my own dearly-beluved one had left this dimension...

if yu see this movie with yur wife n kids, and realize the loss factor that Vincent emotizes so professionally in his role, they will know well enuff that yu don't want to be there without them...and do what they have to do to let yu chart the course...

hell man, it be ruff enuff to have to face down zombie hordes on a daily basis, with little more than garlic braids n a bad attitude - doin it all by one's lonesome is a bad situation!

Find that flic, n watch it wit da family!

*"The item is not available due to issues with the item's content.
If you would like to report this problem as an error report, you may do so"  - from Internet Archive -"Error report"...gulp - if I ever thought that any part of my acute n perpetual paranoia was overdone...those fears have been put to rest forever today! IA was one of the last bastions of unfiltered truth...looks like it's been finally laid to rest...and that the zombie apocalyse be real!

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:11 | 2777450 mtomato2
mtomato2's picture

"The End Of The Road."

 I finally got my wife to watch it tonight.  She's convinced.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 18:14 | 2780007 Meatballs
Meatballs's picture

Watched it last night- a few points and a few laughs but glad I didn't pay the $4.99.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:12 | 2777452 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Does she let you plan for and purchase what you feel is necessary for the health and survival of your family? If so, count your blessings and do your best to protect her from the ugly reality of it all. That's why we are men.....

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:16 | 2777466 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

She des to a certain extent , but she half thinks I'm nuts. Every time I fill another jug with water and take it downstairs or fill another bucket with rice she just shakes her head.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:24 | 2777482 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

If you're  doing it a three in the morning while wearing a ghillie suit and NV goggles there might be an issue.........

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:39 | 2777517 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Its his playing "ride of the Valkyries" at full volume that really gets to her !!!

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:27 | 2777492 sunaJ
sunaJ's picture

First rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.


I'm in your same boat.  I agree with the post above:  Let her enjoy the life she has now, since you know she is resisting it, but you are the man that is preparing for the security and safety of your loved ones.  Find a good middle ground, like go camping with her, take up canning, or other skills/activities that are enjoyable yet also help prepare for the Great Reset.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:49 | 2777533 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

One of the biggest blessings in my life is that my wife is onboard.  For me, the big early eye-openers were:

 New:  The Rodney King Riots and Katrina;

Internet pages:  Olduvai Gorge Theory by R. Duncan (; and all the fantastic 9/11 sites;

Internet movies:  The Crash Course, The Keynes v. Hyak music videos (I and II); and Gold as Money;

Books:  The Long Emergency by Kuntsler; Twilight in the Desert by Simmons; and Resource Wars by Klare

Reports:  The Hirsch Report

Don't know which would resonate best with your wife, but probably the ones that had the biggest impact on me were Gold as Money, The Long Emergency, and the Olduvai Theory.  By the time I saw The Crash Course, I was already well on that page.

Good luck Dr!

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:08 | 2777900 Muddy1
Muddy1's picture

Do it when she is not around.  Today when my wife goes to the gym for an hour, and tomorrow when she goes to do her volunteer work for 4 hours I will be stockpiling more.  As for medical supplies, we have a friend who is an EMT.  When they were here for a visit I asked him to look at my medical kit and see if there was more I needed.  I NEVER presented it as  a survivalist medical kit.  His comment, "I need something like this in my own home.  I think you need better scissors and an air splint.  I'll send them to you after I get back home and get to work."  That endorsement by a professional gained some acceptance by my wife of my preparations.  A carefully selected 3rd party can be an asset.  Not to be dishonest, but to avoid stressing her. I presented prepping as, "I believe it is my responsibility to do what I can to provide for my family."  Same as keeping the utilities on, life insurance, car maintenance, etc.  Some days when she needs something to prepare a meal I don't go to the store down the street, I go get it from our store downstairs and quietly give it to her.  She has learned that it is nice to have things on hand and not having to run to the store for something.  She now refers to it as "our store". 


Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:24 | 2777921 centerline
centerline's picture

I have been in the same boat for a long, long time.  Bonified sheeple for family.  What I do is keep poking at the simple stuff that is obviously not right but people just glaze over as if it is normal.  There is just so much of it, it is like shooting ducks in a pond.  The hope is that when the SHTF, the foundation and knowledge will exist within her so the denial stage will be short and we can on with doing whatever is needed for benefit of our family.

Of course, my wife won't do the 2+2 thing at all right now.  Refuses actually.  Uses every excuse in the book to avoid educating herself.  Instead is glued 24/7 for various devices that are connected to Facebook, email, texting, etc.

I could probably write an essay about why I think she does all this.  And how I think she is a pretty good example of how most people are.  Most of it is not thier fault.  This has been done to them.

I am not claiming any sort of superiority here either.  Just maybe I sensed something wrong about 10-15 years ago and could not shake the feeling.  The last 5 years or so has been a real wake up call and motivated me to start asking real questions.  I did not like what I found out.  Nor can I put the genie back in the bottle.

The trick is to live for today and also me mindful of what is likely coming.  Tough to do.  Especially when you feel that in the present you are not on the same path as your family.

While I don't expect anything to change, some of these movie suggestions look pretty good to me.  I might try this approach.  It would be helpful if she knew how dangerous a situation we are likely up against.


Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:14 | 2777462 Savvy
Savvy's picture

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still

-Ogden Nash


You won't convince her. Do what you need to and keep the harmony in your house. easier that way.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 03:51 | 2777762 margaris
margaris's picture

Exactly. Or try and improve your cooking skills. You shouldn't stock up on fast food and prepared foods, but on simple cooking ingredients.
Surprise your wife with appetizing creations that taste good and are also very cheap. Your wife will admire that you cook for her... and if you keep cooking on a daily basis you will really save a lot of money and she might start cooking herself...

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:22 | 2777476 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Read the Deep Winter trilogy. Read Patriots.  Read Lucifer's Hammer. Watch 2012. Any number of scenarios can threaten family/personal security. Katrina wasn't enough of a wakeup? Youtube has dozens of decent examples of what happens during a FRN default or an EMP event. Or consider gross mismanagement by .Gov or just plain de-funding of .Gov offices with control over your resources...scary all around...


Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:59 | 2777548 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I'm not saying any of this is wrong, but I would suggest that you are reading a listening to a pretty one-sided, self-selecting type of literature.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 03:32 | 2777742 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

READING only gets one so far. 

Unfortunately there is no substitute for the knowledge gained through the experience of DOING something.  

Consider something as simple as tying as tying one`s shoes... If you had never done tied your shoes and then read a pamplet describing the process...

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 07:29 | 2777856 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Read Lucifer's Hammer when I was in my teens.  Read Patriots while it was still online a number of years ago, same with Deep Winter. Read 'One Second After' much more recently. As is usually the case, an interest in a topic does tend to draw ones attention to further reading on the subject but it doesn't mean that's all I read/watch. I also read ZH and a ton of economic articles on the web most of which are negative now but there's not a lot of positives out there that I see. I have certainly altered my thinking after years of digesting the above titles and current economic news but that's simply opened my thinking up to the possibility of what events might happen. And that should prevent me from looking like Tyler's 'Deer in the Headlights' if one should occur because it's already entered my consciousness and therefore will not be a shock to me. I appreciate the heads up though and will post back if I start buying copies of  'The Catcher in the Rye' uncontrollably and wallpapering with aluminum foil... ;)

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:24 | 2777481 VinnyTheBlade
VinnyTheBlade's picture

Try and find a video called "After Armageddon" which aired on History Channel a few years ago. I believe it is available on iTunes. If she likes to read fiction, then have her read "One Seond After" or "Lights Out". Both are based on life after an EMP, but the preparedness principles one should aspire to are demonstrated nicely in both, and can easily be extrapolated to life after the "Economic Armageddon" we are bound to experience soon.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:36 | 2777510 Mr. Lucky
Mr. Lucky's picture

The Carrington Event from 1859 was very real.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:37 | 2777511 au_bayitch
au_bayitch's picture

Dr. E, Have you tried using here interests and hobbies to your advantage. If she enjoys cooking, suggest canning, smoking meat, or making jerky. If her interest outdoors activities, camping, off-road biking, fishing. You can use the opportunity for test your equipment and skills. Indoors lady, maybe sewing, buy her items for your planning. Take whatever her interest is and use it towards your prepping. Forcing the issue just causes issues....and less sex....with her.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:37 | 2777512 rhinoblitzing
rhinoblitzing's picture

Rollover - 1981 w Jane Fonda...

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:01 | 2777552 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Rollover... An oldie but a goodie. I forgot about that particular movie. Thanks for the reminder.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:39 | 2777516 DavosSherman
DavosSherman's picture

Does she have money in paper (401K, IRA...)?

If so, just wait until this week when she loses her ass.  She'll be all ears, big ears.

It is NOT that she doesn't want to listen or doesn't listen to you.  It is she doesn't want to let go of the minimal amount of good she has in her life and fill it with "bad" right now, which will spoil the good.  We all know the problem with that "logic".

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:27 | 2777591 Rantabulous
Rantabulous's picture

Dr E

I was in the same boat with my wife. She is a senior scientist and I thought she would 'get it' quickly when I spoke with her about it. It did not work that way.

But I eventually got through and it was Chris Martenson's crash course that did it for her. (combined with me consistently predicting a few macro events over a few years - which was standing on the shoulders of giants for my part).

I thought this from ZH the other day was not to too bad:

Also - be careful with trying to sell an idea on 'how bad the outcome can be'. I stear clear of this nowadays with people. Let them figure it out when they are ready. Try to help them with transitional concepts, like, 'do they truly believe we can infinitely increase production rates of a finite resource', 'do they truly believe that house prices never come down', simple obvious things.

Even this can be threatening for some. I had a conversation with my sister-in-law a few weeks back. They have just over-spent severely on some housing renovations and she was telling me about how it will all work out when the price of the house goes up. She kept talking about it and so eventually I felt compelled to say, "I don't believe that house prices always go up, look at the US or Europe". She looked at me like I had just taken a dump on her living room floor. She literally stopped speaking with me and looked out the window. We all live in Australia....

Best wishes


Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:39 | 2777610 Votewithabullet
Votewithabullet's picture

Shoot the bitch and put band-aids on her bullet holes

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 01:12 | 2777646 Seer
Seer's picture

She needs to be increase her wisdom... being "smart" without knowing how to use it isn't, well, smart.

For a story-like angle try this (What a Way to Go: Life at the end of Empire):

For a more fundamental/scientific angle, try this (Aritmetic Population and Energy):

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:19 | 2777915 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

There was a movie set at the end of the Ottoman Empire starring Ben Kingsley (sp?), too.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 06:55 | 2777828 2500saturdays
2500saturdays's picture

Dawn ot the Dead

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 07:37 | 2777860 Vet4RonPaul
Vet4RonPaul's picture

"Take Shelter"  was really good.  There was a review on it on ZH a week ago so i bought it - $21.99 for HDD but definately worth it to me.  Whole family liked it and now i don't look so crazy! haha

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:30 | 2777940 Nobody
Nobody's picture

Saw that one over the weekend with the wife.
After, she accused me of thinking I was a prophet.
I told her that hard knowledge of macro economics doesn't equate to having prophetic nightmares.
Her head went back into the sand.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 17:17 | 2779869 Vet4RonPaul
Vet4RonPaul's picture

sometimes when their head is in the sand, their best side is showing.  just sayin

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:22 | 2777918 Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss's picture

I have the exact the same problem with my wife. She is all about the mall and she hates my crazy psychological doomer viewpoints. I was thinking that perhaps "When Atlas Shrugged" might be a movie that would help her see how society might look if peak oil plays out. I tell her no food. Higher oil...higher food. The correlation is obvious, and obviously sails right over her head.

Some prepper things make sense and have a tangible reward such as gardening. She understands the difference in GMO and the cost of non-GMO. She is okay with the garden and eventual greenhouse. Stuff like buying extra toilet paper and toothpaste can also be passed off as one of those large consumption based decisions that American's accept when there is a big bargain at your local big box retailer.

You should have sen her when I purchased body armor. She went ballistic. ;-) The body armor went back, I'll have to get it at a gun show in a month or so and hide it away. The idea of home invasion or neighborhood invasion during an oil embargo comes to mind. I live in South Florida. Not a good demographic for extreme potential futures.

Good luck to you and your wife. By the way, I really enjoy reading your posts.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:45 | 2777971 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture
* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000 * Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000 * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000 * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000 * Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000   Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:   * Annual family income: $21,700 * Money the family spent: $38,200 * New debt on the credit card: $16,500 * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710 * Total budget cuts so far: $3.85
Mon, 09/10/2012 - 09:26 | 2778088 mendolover
mendolover's picture

This one might be a good base to start off with and get the mindset tuned up.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:03 | 2777437 newengland
newengland's picture

Thank you, Tyler, and Mat. I saved the link, and will enjoy watching it when I have more time. 

Best to you and yours.


Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:07 | 2777442 saturn
saturn's picture

Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back. Look! Mat Stein is smiling! :)

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:13 | 2777453 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Every time I see TOTUS on the "vacuum tube", I want to stick my damn finger in a light socket! Is there a "Band Aid" for that?

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:57 | 2777544 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

YC, tip of the day.  An electrical outlet can double as a key cleaner.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:06 | 2777556 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 LOL. I meant the "round one", you screw the light bulb into silly!  Check out my link (V) below.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:07 | 2777566 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Just giving you another option.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:14 | 2777460 island
island's picture

Been without food for 20 days.  You actually have more energy after the first few days.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:31 | 2777503 newengland
newengland's picture


Sorry for your troubles. Stay strong. Very generous of you to make a comment here.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:15 | 2777464 lyjX431
lyjX431's picture

Need to work together with AD 900 or Clone King.
This 4D key programmer machine connect with the computer, then immediate to clone 4D -EH2.? lyj

Car key blanks

auto key blanks

benz key blanks

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:18 | 2777470 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Watch the serie The Colony...

It's pretty cool.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:22 | 2777475 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

everyone underestimates the craftiness of the average american-there is so much obesity because people know that when the SHTF they will be able to live off of  their stored fat much longer than anyone in "good shape". also "Stein" -the author- Mossad disinformation agent??? and what is with only one "t" in "Mat"?

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:33 | 2777505 newengland
newengland's picture

otto, silly bint.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:41 | 2777520 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Cannibals have longer life expectancies.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:59 | 2777547 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I was going to post this earlier, but refrained.  I thought it might not be apropos. Since you broke the ice, I'll go ahead. :-}

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:06 | 2777562 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Think there's any way we can convince the central bankers of the world to have their next meeting at Papua New Guinea's remote northeast interior?

Never mind, I just read they eat flesh not fettid shit.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 09:17 | 2778063 mendolover
mendolover's picture

Yeah eat the evidence!  Reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode where I think it was the wife knocked off the husband with the frozen leg of something and then cooked it up and got rid of the evidence.

Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:53 | 2777539 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

He forgot the most important 3 types of people in government.  Those who can count, and those who can't.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:02 | 2777557 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

The modern big cities full of suburbia are in many ways a creation of our modern financial ponzi system. Rome was a big city too during the height of the Roman empire as were many others of that era but many cities drastically shrunk in terms of population, once the coinage and social institutions of the empire became worthless. What did actually happen to all those citizens of Rome?

Did they die off or did they simply relocate and become the Industrious market gardeners of the traditional Italian countryside?

I'm sure many who had marketable skills in the new paradigm did quite well.

But I'm not convinced that simply hoarding beans bullets and bandaids would have been a very good long term plan.

It seems like a short term measure at best, much better to broaden your range of skills to include some that may be useful ( or marketable) in a wider range of potential future scenarios.

Adaptability (not opposable thumbs) is our greatest strength. IMHO.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:03 | 2777558 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

This is not well thought out.

Any time you see someone saying "I'm not a doomer and not calling for a Zombie Apocalypse" it means you're talking to someone who Doesn't Take It Seriously.

There are no zombies.  Tossing that into the conversation cheapens the concept.

What is going to happen is oil scarcity is going to cause wars.  No one is going to volunteer to get none and no one is going to divide it up evenly if they are getting more than even now (which the US is, burning 26% of the world's burn with 4% of the population).  And so there will be wars.

The wars will take out the various refineries and presto no food transport, and it's more or less forever.

Gather with a village?  Every mouth needs 2000 calories a day.  Have guns to defend yourself?  There are 300 million people in the US and if they are hungry, they are coming for your food.  They won't be evil.  They will have hungry children.  They will be "in the right" and you'll be the bad guy.  Gonna shoot the kids?

Get the hell away from villages and the extra mouths.  Have a hideout somewhere that you can last just one winter, which will wipe out most of your competition.  

There's lots of other concepts but that's the key one.  99.99% of people cannot "survive in place".  Have your plan to walk to your prepared place.  Operative word, walk.  Don't be seen going into your prepared place.  You don't defend it.  No one knows it's there.

That's how you survive what's coming.  Not with guns.  Let winter do the job of your guns.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:23 | 2777582 r3phl0x
r3phl0x's picture

Worked for the Russians in WWII. I wish I could upvote this twice.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:53 | 2777625 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

That's all very well and good but what happens when the Eskimos invade

Sorry couldnt resist that..

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 02:06 | 2777685 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

the whole winter thing is great, but means you yourself must overwinter someplace damn hostile for that first winter

winter means fire, which means smoke, which makes you easier to find

all that said, it is my plan

gets forty below at my place

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 03:30 | 2777740 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Lots of solutions.  Caves.  Houses with not much above ground.

Coldest at night, when smoke can't be seen.   Or in a storm, when no one is out trudging in the snow.

And if you're 50 miles from the nearest significant city to begin with, the numbers work for you.

No question smoke must be thought of.  And noise.  Archery, not rifles, to supplement your stash.

Winter helps another way, too.  Snow.  Water supply less an issue.

Remember, the vast majority of the toughest and smartest (those with the gumption to leave cities rather than wait for a gubmint solution) are going to head for a coast and south, to flee winter and imagine they can fish.  Pick your hiding hole elsewhere.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 05:24 | 2777796 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

Seriously is this a realistic option?

How would you brew beer if it is that cold?

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 08:35 | 2777954 Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

CIO gets it..  Most prepper "educators" recommend a move to w armer climate ha, the locusts will overwhelm all possible advantages of being south.  Go as far north as possible and wait soon there will be less competition for resources, winter is not that hard if you know how to live in it.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 05:54 | 2777807 falak pema
falak pema's picture

lol, the final bottom line : back to cave man living. Civilization has come full circle!

I wonder if I want to be part of it! 

C'est la vie! 

Santé, while I have access to my wine cellar! 

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:15 | 2777574 TicoTiger
TicoTiger's picture

I read his book several years ago and it does contain some useful general information. I am all for self-reliance and self-sufficiency and am trying to provide for my family with those goals in mind. However, the book was disappointing for me (and the interview) because the author rehashes the usual sheeple propaganda doom and gloom scenarios, i.e. global warming, over population, lack of food, declining oil production, etc. Yawn, yawn. Might as well watch the latest stupid prepper episode.

Of course, those who don't study seriously and prepare reasonably for the many real uncertainties surrounding us, whether they be environmental, financial, or political, will as usual be taken completely by surprise when nasty things happen. That's as it's always been.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 00:52 | 2777623 Jungle Jim
Jungle Jim's picture

This is what I'd call prepared.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 01:05 | 2777636 TicoTiger
TicoTiger's picture

Ha, ha. That yellow stuff sure is pretty, and it certrainly has it's uses. It didn't help Smaug in the end, however.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 05:55 | 2777808 Jungle Jim
Jungle Jim's picture

Well, it's true that it mostly just made people want to come up there and try to rip him off. However, he was not even at home when he got killed. He was out flying and trying to roast some Lake-dwellers when one of them nailed him with an arrow.

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 02:56 | 2777720 Hangfire
Hangfire's picture

I use a Junglas to open my mail!  Does that count?    

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 04:00 | 2777764 QEsucks
QEsucks's picture

The Last Wave. Peter Weir

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 07:17 | 2777847 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

...The lone wolf in a collapse situation will probably not do very well, unless he is super-MacGyver. Someone who is meaner, tougher and better organized will come along and take all his cool stuff away from him...

klearly spoken by someone who hates n fears the "lone wolf" - a motif which lurks* in the minds of the westerner as a default safety valve for the ultimate lesson in personal responsibility and the obvious necessity to control one's environment through force of will.

Clint E taught us well, first in the Rawhide series, then thru the body or work he did as director\producer on his own account...Pale Rider, Hang em High, Outlaw Josey Wales, then the urban themed flics with the pissed off cop on the outs with authority - it's all there for to understand...the man wasn't mean...wasn't even tuff - with the ladies, a gentleman tender to the core...but the man knew himself, strength n weakness both, n knew how to be a man, an how to kill one too;  it took him thru every trial. 

Bin fifty years or more since he started workin that theme. I've yet to see it proven wrong, for all that's it's been proven elusive.

*tempted to change the tense to lurked! I can't be sure that the usurpers in our midst have not succeeded in their goal of wiping clean from the minds of our youth the myths and legacies of our great Norte Mericano continuum-which is really just a continuation of our (even greater!) Scythian and Atlantean stored heroic cycle-now all but outlawed by the powerz who fear our past more than they fear us, who have fairly betrayed it! ...Kudos to Otto S for spotting the kosher kook!

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 10:05 | 2778192 Backdraft
Backdraft's picture

Great posts all around here on this suject. I have been talking to people that I think might be receptive to the idea of alliances. I had been prepping for several years though before I ever talked to my wife about it. I used the quote from Abe Lincoln ..."It's better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.". I told her that "maybe I was going to remove all doubt but listen to this"; turned out she had felt the same way and had just never wanted to talk about it. I used the same approach on my duaghters, brother, bro-in-law and a few neighbors. It surprising to me that most all of us were thinking along the same lines but just never spoke of it. Hang in there... nothing lasts forever.

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