15 Ways To Prepare for a Rogue Wave of Collapse

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Spend ten minutes on the web surfing the key words “prepping skills” and you will be presented with site after site preaching the gospel of prepping for the time when the stuff hits the fan, something we commonly call SHTF.  The truth is it is a bit bittersweet to see so many of us planning for a major meltdown of our economy, food supply, power grid, country, society, and quite possibly our planet.

Call it a feeling or an intuitive guess, but It is as though we are preparing for a huge rogue wave that will hit an any moment.  There is a huge, 100 foot wall of disaster that is zooming toward us. We don’t know what is coming or when, but we know in our gut that it is on its way.  And so we prepare.

15 Ways To Prepare for a Rogue Wave of Collapse | Backdoor Survival

In my opinion, every once in awhile we need to go through a self-assessment to determine how well we are doing in planning for this rogue wave of collapse, in whatever form it might take.

Will There Really Be a Catastrophic Collapse?

I first wrote about the coming “rogue wave of collapse” in 2011.  What I write today is a very different article.  Back then, I was almost sure that a global collapse, economic or otherwise, would happen within months.  Clearly, what I envisioned did not happen, or at least did not happen in the manner expected.

My current opinion is that these past six years have brought an insidious and sometimes imperceptible decline in life as we knew it before the crash of 2008/2009.  I believe there is a high degree of complacency and most folks figure “this is just the way it is”.  My guess is that many have conveniently forgotten what it was like to get regular raises, purchase health care insurance at a reasonable price, and look forward to retiring at age 65.

While the alteration in our perception of life in the 21st century makes for an interesting and important discussion, that is beyond the scope of the tips I share today.  Still, it is wise to recognize that this new normal is setting a precedent for future generations and the path we are on is not a good one.

I do sometimes speculate that the act of prepping creates some sort of cosmic inertia that will somehow fulfill itself.  In psychology, this is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The fact is that so many of us are preparing for a dismal future and as a result, the fabric of our daily life is changing.  Because we expect the world situation to go from bad to worse, we are changing our attitudes, our habits, and our personal culture to adapt to a situation we think is going to occur.

And that is the crux of the matter.  We are planning for something bad to happen and in the planning, we are changing the course of our individual life plan.  Are the facts mixed with speculation? Or are facts mixed with a fiction that becomes the new reality?  This makes for a fascinating study.

Let me be clear.  I am not saying that prepping and acquiring survival skills is wrong.  And most assuredly I am not saying that planning for self-reliance and survival will lead to global food shortages and societal chaos.  Instead, I am throwing out the possibility and probability that life as we know it is indeed changing not only for the bad, but for the good.  We are making it change, one baby step at a time, with each can of beans, bag of rice, and box of bullets.

The life we are changing may be only a ripple when compared to some unknown, unpredictable catastrophe but it is change none-the-less.  And perhaps that in itself, over time, will change the direction of our world.

15 Things To Do Now To Prepare for a Collapse and for SHTF

1. Get your food and water supplies in order

This is going to mean something different to everyone, depending on where you live and what you feel is coming.  For some it may mean stocking up on pantry items and bottled water, whereas for others it may been purchasing additional freeze dried food and fillable water containers.  Regardless of your situation, get your food and water supplies in order sooner rather than later.

Additional Reading:  20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan

2. Have at least two ways to filter water

Consider a Berkey or other system such as a LifeStraw Family as well as personal devices such as the Sawyer Mini or personal Lifestraw.  Pool shock is an excellent option but only if you know how to use it safely.

Additional Reading:  How to Use Pool Shock to Purify Water

3.  Establish a cash fund, preferably in small bills

If the grid goes down, banks credit cards, and ATMs will no longer work.  If there is a major economic collapse, banks and our government may ration access to our own funds.  Think it won’t happen?  Look at recent events in Venezuela and think again.

4 Ensure you have both the means and fuel that will allow you to cook outdoors and without power for an extended period

Cooking over a campfire is fun when you are doing so as part of a weekend getaway but being forced to do so is a whole other matter.  Build or buy a rocket stove, build or buy a solar oven, and learn how to use same.  Extra tanks of propane are a good idea just be sure to check with local authorities who may have limits as to how much can be legally stored on your property.

Additional Reading:  Propane for Preppers:  The Five Part Series

5. Gather extra first aid and medical supplies

Think about sick room supplies as well as basic first aid supplies. In addition, get at least one good book on dealing with medical emergencies when help is not on the way.

Additional Reading:  How to Create an Emergency Ammo Can First Aid Kit

6.  Study alternatives to prescription drugs

There are a lot of choices when it comes to alternative medicine.  Start a medicinal herb garden and learn to effectively use essential oils to resolve common medical issues.

Additional Reading:  10 Useful Medicinal Plants To Cultivate From Seeds and 9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit

7.  Bolster Home Security to Discourage the Bad Guys

Regardless of where you live, there are things you can do to beef up the security in and around your home.  Examine your locks and the foliage surrounding your home.  Is your lighting bright enough to spot and possible take target on intruders?

Additional Reading:  20 Home Security and Crime Prevention Secrets for Preppers

8. Prepare yourself psychologically to defend your turf

There are many ways to defend yourself and your property.  Some involve firearms and some do not.  Whatever you do, have a good chat with yourself to determine what you are willing to do (or not) and why.  This is an important aspect of personal defense; do not ignore it.

Additional Reading:  10 Ways to Stay Calm and Prepare for a Disruptive Event and Can Nice People Shoot?

9. Don’t believe everything you hear in the media or read on the Internet

Without dwelling too much on this, sometimes it is the mainstream media and sometimes it is the alternative media that is all hype no substance.  Remember that fear sells.

And that is all I am going to say about that.

10. Keep your vehicle in good operating condition and keep the gas tank topped off at all times

Hopefully you will not need to evacuate but if you do, you want to be ready.  Don’t forget to periodically check your battery and tires, including the spare.

Additional Reading: Survival Buzz: 46 Must Have Items for Your Emergency Vehicle Kit

11.  Keep extra clothes on hand and don’t get behind in the laundry

You want to be prepared with climate suitable clothing, including socks and jackets.  That said, they will not do you a bit of good it they are in the laundry. It is also a good idea to have study shoes or boots for every member of the family.

12.  Stock up on basic hygiene supplies

Whether you are experiencing a short or long term disruptive event, you are going to want to maintain proper hygiene.  Wash your hands as often as you can, and make copious use of alcohol based hand sanitizers.  This is one area where you do not want to scrimp.

Additional Reading: Survival Basics: Hand & Surface Hygiene When There’s No Water to Spare

13.  Know how to deal with waste if there is no running water or traditional sewers are no longer functional

There is a whole lot more to dealing with waste than having 48 rolls of toilet paper.  If the sewer system is no longer functional you are going to need buckets, bags, odor control, and some way to dispose of waste.

Additional Reading:  Dealing with Poo After a Disaster

14. Establish where you will go and how you will get there if forced to evacuate

Although being able to shelter in place is always the best option, if your home is destroyed or the environment dangerous, you need to be prepared to leave and leave quickly.  Identify in advance both where you will go and the routes you will take to get there.

Additional Reading:  Finding Your Way Back Home Without a Map and Compass

15. Keep your bug out bag stocked with what you need to survive for a short period while on the road

I almost said while “on the run” because that may be the case, especially if avoiding a trip to Camp FEMA.  Bug Out Bags need to be individualized and no one kit is appropriate for all situations.  Have as many kits as you have family members, taking into account individuals needs.  More family members means more is needed in terms of extra food, water, and medical supplies.  On the other hand, there will be more people to carry the load so you can spread the weight around.

Additional Reading:  How To Build Your Own Perfect Bug Out Bag and The Conundrum of Bugging Out and What To Do About It

The Final Word

I was prompted to write this piece after reading George Ure’s article last week: Coping: A Pop Quiz for Preppers.  He poses a set of questions along with his own answers. I encourage you to do the same, substituting his what-ifs with your own scenarios.

Finally, I want to reiterate that even though we may feel that the world is going to heck, it is still our world.  Keep on living, keep on loving, and keep on prepping.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to a handfful of items related to today’s article.

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier:  The Lifestraw Family contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and is the perfect solution to your portable water purification needs – whether bugging in or bugging out. Read my review here.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  FREE SHIPPING! The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz.  making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review. Also available on Amazon.com.

Solo Stove_21

Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo: Ultralight Wood Burning Stove: This combination is perfect for your bug-out kit and especially for heating water for use with freeze dried meal pouches.  The stove nests inside the stove.  Lightweight and it burns biomass, no other fuel is needed.  Recommended!

UltraFire Mini Cree LED Flashlight:  I personally keep flashlights in every single room of my house and you should too.  Consider ordering a dozen of these Mini-Crees.  For less than $45, you will have enough flashlights to stash everywhere including extras for nightstand drawers, desk drawers, and just about every place else you an think of.

At the time of this writing, these flashlights are $3.15 with free shipping. Or you can purchase 4 for $13.95.   These favorites are super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, they use a single, standard AA sized battery.

mini Cree_0         

BYBLight TML-T6: This flashlight is extremely bright, casts wide angle and, when zoomed, a very focused beam.  I swear that if there were a rattlesnake out in the desert outside my back yard this flashlight would find it.  It’s a sturdy thing with an aluminum casing that is not at all heavy.  It has 5 built in modes including the standard high, medium, low plus a strobe and SOS mode. It includes a rechargeable battery and a charger plus an adapter to hold AAA batteries.

BYB Flashlight 250

Just to see it stacks up with my other favorites, here is a photo showing the differences in size and form factor between the BYBLight, Coast HP1, and the UltraFire Mini-Cree.

Berkey Water Filter System:  For in home use, nothing beats the Berkey. My own Royal Berkey represents a key component of my water preps.   The Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance.

Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: Accidents around the homestead do happen.  As much as we practice safety, it is a fact of life that stuff happens.  Quickclot is a must for any first aid or emergency kit; it stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.

Israeli Battle Dressing, 6-inch Compression Bandage: This is another inexpensive, yet critical item for your first aid kit. Combat medics, trauma doctors, and emergency responders all recommend this Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD) for the treatment of gunshot wounds, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other traumatic hemorrhagic injuries.

New-Skin Liquid Bandage, First Aid Liquid Antiseptic:  I have been using New Skin for years.  It is an antiseptic, invisible, flexible, and waterproof.  It works.

First Voice Self-Adherent Stretch Bandage (Pack of 10):  I first learned about self-adhesive bandages when my dog came home from the vet such a bandage wrapped around his leg.  A light went off telling me I needed to add some to my first-aid kit.  And so I did.  This is a fantastic price and rivals the price at the farm supply.


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15 Ways To Prepare for a Rogue Wave of Collapse — 27 Comments

  1. Attached – maybe – label from the newest package of bacon — This is a 25% reduction in contents — Used to be you would buy a Pound of Bacon — 16 ounces! It’s now 12 ounces. Lots of current packages are the same price for 25 or even 50% less product! Glad I have a garden — May need to add some other production items to get protein — meat etc.

  2. Great article as always. And right on time. I’ve become a bit complacent and my preps are neither organized nor inventoried.

    I would like to put a personal point out there because others may be experiencing it too: At the time we most need to be prepared, I have stopped working on it because money is so tight.

    My husband no longer gets bonuses. He also took a pay cut when his company was sold. My Medicare prescription drug plan went up in price in every way. Deductible, premium, and co-pay. And, as the previous commenter mentioned, the price of food is going up while the weight or amount of each item is going down.

    In the big picture of unemployment, these are very small setbacks. But our income has fallen enough that my husband has asked me to stop buying food for storage.

    So I must say: these losses in income are a sign that the falling economy and rising inflation are already upon us. This is the time to find the sales, find the coupons (I get mine at the library), and store more food and water.

    And do everything on Gaye’s list of 15 things to do now to tighten our preparedness.

    • Karen S: We are in the same boat, but the boat is not sinking, it just lost a sail or two. A few suggestions, if you eat out stop, if you have credit cards, shred them. Don’t give adult kids any money either. Also, I do not believe for one minute the tread of optimism in this article. It is no longer our world and we are going down big time. Hang on to the preps, and make sure you have plenty of water. I got out old receipts the other day and looked at prices from when we started prepping five years ago and the difference between then and today is really big. Keep the faith and God bless

      • We are in the same boat too. We are currently selling our house to free up cash, lower debt and will get a less expensive rural home so we can begin stockpiling again. What Taxdn2poverty suggests is true: we’ve just lost a sail or two. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Keep on doing whatever you can do to dump debt and prepare. We got this, friends.

        • That’s what we did. And we moved to the Midwest from California. It’s far too expensive to live there and there are too many taxes and regulations. It is easier to prepare here and much less stressful. I encourage you! If you’ve looked carefully and found a good rural home, you will have some adjustments to make but I think you’ll be much happier! Best to you and yours!

  3. It d o es seem like everything is going up and things are getting smaller….
    I feel as if we are being squeezed as much as we can be…I really don’t know how single parents even make it…I think the government is getting people to depend on their programs and eventually own everybody…. ..Heaven only knows…I am prepping in every level I can but I feel like I am slipping and going to fall and never recover….I keep keeping up..I spend most of our money on food preps and hygeine….we live in a very large house and already had such of what is on most lists…….we are farmers and have a ton of tools of all sorts and my husband can repair most anything…but I still fret over everything..I have so much immediate family that I will need to help and I am just about to emplode…I want to know that everything I have done has made a difference for all of us…does that make sense to anyone?

  4. Hi Tractor Girl. It sounds like you’re prepping to cover extended family? Hopefully it will be a win-win. You will need all those extra people under your roof to help with the work of survival. Farming, gardening, canning, tending fires, cooking, washing clothes by hand, chopping wood, carrying water and boiling if not from a well, security patrols, watch duty, and guarding the people working outdoors. They will be earning the food you’re prepping. And you will need them to guard your premises and protect the food.

    I don’t have people so I have thought a lot about it. I hope to take in a couple families on my street to cover all these jobs.

    I’ve read a lot of post apocalyptic fiction. It takes 10-15 people minimum to do all the work of survival. And many more to protect a street or neighborhood. I hope our volunteer fire fighters will take on the role of security for my small town.

    • Yes all the family will have a part in keeping our little community safe…we all have a gun and lots of ammo…our house sits in a 10 acre woods and is off the main county road about 500feet…got an alarm at the road..I have all the fixings for so many different cooking senerios….well for water..huge generator ..two very large propane gas tanks…only thing that needs to be changed is our water heater..it is electric..can’t get the hubbie to change it..always talks about it but never does it…we will shelter in place….so I have so much stored away…I could go on and on…..I think right now I need to get busy on an inventory ..maybe that would put everything in perspective.. Thanks everyone

  5. Just a note,Gaye (and others ) including Dennis, tractor girl and Karen,who wonder sometimes if we are inviting and/or encouraging paranoia by focusing so much on prepping and imagining what exactly and how bad the SHTF scenario will be…
    I recently asked my doctor for extra Rxs and of course he asked me “Why?” Long story short—he wrote me 1 years worth with a note to pharmacist it was okay with him to fill them all at once. Insurance will only pay once per rx because “they don’t want to pay again if I lose the medicine.” But something he said about my anxiety and level(frequentcy) of panic attacks really made me feel better. Anxiety affects almost 70% of the population today and it is more positive than negative! Its roots are genetic from wary cavemen and cavewomen. “They are the ones who survived because they were alert enough to watch out for the saber tooth tigers”. Managing the LEVEL of the anxiety is the tricky part. Gaye said, “keep living” but “keep preparing”. We should trust ourselves to be alert, wary, and ready for the challenges ahead. Paranoid? Maybe. But prepared for whatever may come!

    • That is good news about the meds, Maury. Interesting that he/she considered anxiety to be a positive thing. I never really put it in the caveman context you described.

  6. RE: ‘I do not believe for one minute the tread of optimism in this article. It is no longer our world and we are going down big time.’

    Yah. Like a two ton heavy thing, swinging this way.

    No doubt, the same two ton heavy thing which was swinging this way in 2011, only now, it’s picked up more momentum.

    • ??? Sorry I do not understand your comment. Comments with profanity are caught by spam filters as are those spewing ads for Viagra and such. All comments with third party links are moderated since many are simply advertisements for dubious products. I can only do what I can do.

      • Well, I was responding to a comment which said, in part, “‘I do not believe for one minute the tread of optimism in this article. It is no longer our world and we are going down big time.”

        What happened to that cuss-less and link-less comment I responded to?

        After I posted my reply, both our comments disappeared. It made me question things. (I suppose I could in error, but I doubt it).

        What happened to that other fella’s comment? It’s in, ‘the Zap’?

        I mean, everyone here is so positive, it’s almost like any contrary thought is rejected out of hand or something.

        Also, you all’s optimism is unfounded based upon the facts I’ve been reading. THat said, I can understand why you all would dismiss the facts. …I just think it’s a Very bad call. YMMV.

        • Still confused since I have not deleted any comments after they were posted.

          The comment you say you responded to still appears above. See Taxdn2poverty on June 14, 2016 at 8:06 pm. It is still there. So is your comment: “helot on June 14, 2016 at 8:53 pm said”.

          Sometimes comments will not appear due to caching either by my server or your ISP. It happens. You might try clearing your cache and see if you can see these comments.

          • Just a lot of bull Gaye. I responded to someone who accused me a being paranoid ( on another article) and both my comment and link to back me up were never published. I tried several times to respond but each time my response was never published. I don’t know who your mods are but perhaps you should take a close look and see if they are left wing Nazi fascists.

  7. Great article, as always. Thanks for the thorough effort you put in to your pieces. Have a splendid day!

  8. Gaye..I didn’t mean to bring down your article….I am trying best..I am just overwhelmed with details….I am going to take your advise from your article v and stay cool and calm…thank you for hard work to help all of us struggling with out preps…

  9. Gaye, this is the first time I’ve seen/been on your site, as I google searched “prepping” looking for an article to post on my prepping/homesteading Facebook wall. THANK you for this thorough article that is thread with hope and faith. Every step we can each take to improve our individual situations is one step toward betterment as we face an uncertain future.

    • And thank you, Laurie. My spirit of optimism has come under attack these last few days but so be it. You would be shocked at the number of hurtful emails I have received this week. I don’t understand why people do not simply move on. Sometimes it is difficult to have a tough skin.

      Anyway, glad you found the site and hope you stick around. Good luck with your own website. Blogging is a lot of work but can also be rewarding (if you can successfully fend off the trolls.)

      • I am so sorry you are being attacked for your blog…sure don’t understand why….you are not in any way confrontational…I think you are awesome and have led me all the way to preparedness in the best way…thank you so much…

  10. To Helot. There seems to be some confusion about the intent behind this blog. There is no intention here to pin down the facts about current and future disasters and their causes.

    Here is my personal opinion about optimism, as a reader of this blog. Gaye Levy presents useful information on a wide variety of DIY topics. Everything from food storage to preparing a sick room for Ebola patients. She does this while maintaining a positive atmosphere within the blog. So I am here to say that by minimizing fear, I have the strength to work much harder toward survival goals and skills. Fear paralyzes people and that is why it has no place here.

    So I don’t care what your opinions are about how bad things are going to get, even though I happen to agree. What I care about is which survival skills have you practiced today?

  11. gaye, your optimism and balanced approach to prepping are two of the reasons why i always read your blog first when i’m looking for prepping info. i’m sure the amount of drivel you get from people must make you want to give up on humanity altogether sometimes–but, using your mental balance and optimism, you screen out the crap so your readers don’t have to. that’s no small favor, and i truly appreciate it.

  12. Preparedness means (should mean?) different things to different people… It seems to me that what makes sense for one person or group in one part of the world or in a certain financial situation might not make sense to others in different situations or locales. Living in a small desert community with a river running through it, it is easy to think of likely events and triggers for those events. We focus on what are the primary and most likely disruptions. It is beneficial to prepare for those first, and additional preparations can begin with the next most likely event. It is well to consider the demographics of the local population, too. I like this thoughtful article.

  13. If you have the fuel to cook, you have the fuel to use a Waterwise non-eletric distiller (www.waterwise.com/productcart/pc/1600.asp) to remove the VOCs and other chemicals from drinking water that filters won’t. For instance, should well water become contaminated with MTBE or benzene, triple distillation can be the only viable method to make it safe.

  14. Great Article. I loved the analysis . Does anyone know if I could obtain a fillable OPM Qualifications Availability Form C example to work with ?

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