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Decent article from Newsweek.  I like the fact that they distinguish between being prepared for common situations versus the collapse of society.  It does seem somewhat odd though, to frame preparedness in the context of fear and paranoia as opposed to simple common sense.

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Swine Flu

It seems to be even milder than the normal flu, so I’m not too worried right now.
Then again, the 1918 pandemic started out mild, disappeared for a little while, then came back with a vengeance to kill hundreds of million people the world over.
So it warrants keeping an eye on it.

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Worsening Conditions

The economy appeared to stabilize in December/January, but is now taking a turn for the worse.  Many will continue to call bottoms, only to be disappointed shortly thereafter.  Eventually the economy will turn around, but we have a rough couple of years ahead of us.  Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.

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New Year’s Resolutions

Top Ten Preparedness Resolutions:
1. Assemble a bug out bag or improve your existing one
2. Put together a vehicle kit
3. Buy a generator
4. Implement a food storage program
5. Plant a garden (come the Spring)
6. Test/update fire extinguishers and first aid kits around the house
7. Get your financial house in order - save more and eliminate debt
8. [...]

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Reconnecting with food

Great article from the BBC on why our food system needs a “fundamental rethink”:
One of the recommendations is more localization of food supplies.  Apart from the logistical benefit, there is also the psychological benefit of reconnecting with your food.  Too many people these days, particularly the young, have no idea where their food comes from [...]

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Home Heating Alternatives

Just saw this article in the New York Times:
Apparently, coal-burning stoves are making a comeback, at least for those in close proximity to coal mines.  It’s dirty, stinky,  and not very enviro-friendly, but apparently it can be much cheaper than natural gas or heating oil, and, if you have the space, fairly easy and safe to [...]

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Cloth Diapers

This tip comes via my wife and two year old daughter.  At first, I was a little turned off by the idea.  However, I have come to see it as a very wise move.  We use the Bum Genius brand.  They’re not like in the old days where you had a square of cloth that [...]

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Surviving Deflation

Last week’s CPI (-1.0%) and PPI (-2.8%) confirmed what many economists feared - the financial market crash and economic slowdown was triggering a period of deflation (falling prices).  Deflation is bad because it can cause an economy to come to a grinding halt.  It works through a number of insidious pathways.  Consumers defer purchases because [...]

Posted in Economics and finance | 2 Comments

Prepare for what exactly?

This sounds like a simple question, but let’s give it a little thought.  Prepare for the unexpected, obviously, but recognize that (unless you’re extremely wealthy) you have limited time and resources to apply towards your preparedness plan.  Don’t focus on “end of the world”, “collapse of civilization”, “Armageddon” type scenarios.  Focus on unexpected events that [...]

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Some really troubling economic signs

Last week, the unemployment rate rose to 6.5%, the highest it has been since early 1994. However, that’s not the big story. The big story is how fast it’s rising given how early it is in the current recession. The last recession ran from March 2001 through November 2001. The unemployment rate started rising two [...]

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