Lets say the US economy crashes in a day. What kind of specific things should we expect in the first 72 hours? How can we best stay safe and out of harms way?
What quick last minute preps should someone who has followed your advice for years now take?
The worst case scenario would be one in which the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 02. Even if that happens an actual default could take a few more days or weeks. In any case if you look at a worst case scenario it could be similar to what we saw in December 2001. Looks scary? Sure does. Can it be dangerous? Sure, even more so if you don’t know how to act in such cases. Is it the end of the world as Americans know it? No, and eventually order would be restored, but the political and economic reality in USA would be permanently crippled if it happens. Then again many of the things that concern people are already happening, even if it’s not as dramatic as an outspoken default.
What you would be looking at would be civil unrest in most mayor US cities and thousands of minor ones as well. Once the images of people looting and getting away with it hit the TV you’re looking at thousands of bums thinking of doing the same thing and rushing out the door to the nearest store. That gets bad pretty fast. You’re talking about looting, fires, closed stores, destruction of vehicles and private property, and given US context some gang related activity taking advantage of the lawless situation as well to settle scores. While invasion of residential properties wont be as common as the looting of commercial property, it can happen in several cases.
In this context the worst thing you can do is getting on a vehicle and travel to wherever you think might be safer. Traveling and being out there is exactly what you want to avoid. For thousands if not millions of people staying put back during the 2001 collapse was the best choice, even if they saw all this pandemonium happening through the window and right across the street. For that reason that’s exactly what I’d recommend. Lock the doors, have a flashlight in case the power goes down and a weapon in case some two-legged vermin gets any ideas.
This anarchic situation can last a few days but it eventually calms down. After that you may see sporadic cases of rioting and looting starting again, an overall sense of greater danger and criminal activity in general, but other than that things go back to “normal”.
Of course the economy being purely a psychological matter the stock market will fall like a ton of bricks, the dollar will fall, and the economic scenario will be dire to say the least. You’re looking at decades worth of recovery if something this serious happens in USA. When Argentina collapsed it was just another country, if a giant like USA collapses it may never get back on its feet and simply be a shadow of what it once used to be from that moment onwards.
What to do tomorrow?
If you’ve been following my blog for some time now you already know the points I constantly insist on such as having food and water, weapons for protection and some cash and precious metals.
Lets say I’m in USA and looking to round up my preps in case of a worst case scenario. What I would do first thing tomorrow would be to drop by my bank and get some of my money out of the account. How much? It depends. If you only have a few thousand bucks or so I’d close my account, then look for a PM dealer near buy and put half of it in gold and silver, keep the rest in cash. If you have more money then maybe just extract 40% or 30% of my money and do the same thing.
Being able to defend yourself being a priority, I’d already have a gun. This would be the time though to get a few more boxes of ammo if the amount you have isn’t adequate. After that I’d fill up my gas tank, take any jerry cans I have and fill those up if they aren’t already full. I’d go to the supermarket and stock up on canned food and water if you haven’t done so already for some reason. I would also buy a good amount of fresh meat and vegetables to consume in the following days. If you don’t have any extra fuel for emergencies, tomorrow would be the day to buy some jerry cans (the equivalent of an extra gas tank) and get those filled up too so as to have two full gas tanks worth of fuel. Use your credit card for buying all this and keep as much cash as possible. It may come in handy later. Drop by the pharmacy and stock up on medications you may need.
If a trip to the bank isn’t possible, at least get as much money as you can out of the ATM. If there’s trouble expect the ATMS to run dry within hours.
Once I’m home again I’d prepare everything security wise in case there’s trouble: No tools left around the house that can be used to break in, lock any exterior buildings like sheds and such, lock any windows that don’t need to be open and in general prepare for the possibility of trouble.
Finally, I’d call my family and loved ones to check on them, tell them what I’ll be doing and ask them what they’ll be doing the next couple of days. You do this so as to have more info in advance, in case there’s civil unrest, you call them to check that they are ok and you don’t find them, when in reality they had planned to be out of town for some other reason.
Basically I’d make the common preparations we talk about and simply stay put if there’s any degree of civil unrest.