When I think of the very real possibility of an economic collapse, I do not immediately think of a Doomsday survival prepper wearing camouflage, toting an assault rifle and wearing a gas mask. That stuff makes for great television ratings, but it is just not real world.
The problem with shows like Doomsday Preppers is that, although it wakes people up to the very real threat of a major disaster and gets them thinking about preparedness, all too often the preparations take the wrong direction.
Let’s take a realistic look at an economic collapse in America and what preparations would be needed to get by. The best lesson is the 2001 economic collapse in the second biggest economy in the Western Hemisphere: Argentina.
At the time, Argentina was an economic powerhouse with a thriving middle class and a great standard of living. Then it hit: the money was devalued by a third overnight and the middle class all but disappeared.
There weren’t a lot of Argentinians looking for gas masks or assault rifles. More of them were worried about affording food and having matches to light their candles when power outages became commonplace.
While crime did skyrocket and personal defense concerns became much more important, the “Mad Max” scenario of roving bands of criminals with weapons terrorizing the citizens didn’t happen.
The lessons to be learned from Argentina are that those who had a very well stocked pantry and money invested in things like gold and silver coins (not collector’s items – just regular bullion) did much better than average.
Food prices skyrocketed and people went from worrying about which new CD to buy to worrying about whether they could come up with a good idea for another meatless meal, which was all they could afford to feed their family.
So take a realistic look at your survival priorities for an economic collapse and think more about food than gas masks. If you have an extra thousand dollars, don’t use it all on an assault rifle. Buy a shotgun for one-third the money and use the rest of the thousand to buy some silver.
And while you’re at it, think about the worst case scenario of something happening that causes civil unrest when you are where you are the greatest amount of time: at work or away from home.