It is useful to prepare for less severe disasters, as these tend to be more common: power outages, hurricanes, snow storms, economic downturns, and anything else that might present a relatively limited disruption to daily life. But there is no denying the lesson from human history that sometimes more severe disasters do occur. So this prepping and survival blog post is about realistic and severe, but hopefully rare, disaster scenarios, and how we might prepare.
Related article: Which Natural Disasters Are The Most Deadly?
The great depression in the 1930′s was less than 100 years ago. Some persons are still alive who lived through that rare but severe disaster. Has the economy changed since then, in such a way that an economic depression could not recur? Not at all. If anything, the economy is more connected to the economies of other nations than ever before. This makes any nation’s economy vulnerable to the economic misfortunes in other areas of the world. So a nation might have economic problems due to forces beyond its control. The near collapse of the economy of Greece is a good example. Other nations rushed to support the Greek economy because its collapse would have repercussions worldwide. Another great depression could occur.
How can you prepare? As is true for all the severe disasters, preparations are difficult and cannot entirely isolate you from the effects. Saving money is useful, but limited. It is like storing food. You use up the stored resource, with no way to replenish it. Perhaps it would be prudent to have more than one source of income, or another profession to fall back on. On the point about food, it is always a good preparation to have some land, on which to grow food, or at least a large backyard garden. But there is no way to completely avoid the effects of an economic depression. You can only prepare so much.
Buying Silver And Gold
Economics: Recession, Depression, or Total Collapse?
Food Shortages and Rationing
This disaster would likely accompany a great depression, but it could also occur independently of that type of event. Some stored food and some way to grow food are the main preparations. You might also want to have some items that you can barter, in case you run out of one particular type of food.
I would also suggest that the problems of food shortages and severe economic depression would tend to increase theft and robbery and other crimes. So having a means to defend self, family, and home is also a type of preparation for these disaster scenarios.
On that point, civil unrest is a type of severe and rare, but very possible disaster. The 1960′s in the U.S. had much civil unrest. The LA riots in the early 1990′s were an example of short-term and local civil unrest. This type of event could occur, and could be more extensive than in the recent past. Of course, civil unrest could be caused by the above mentioned disasters: severe economic problems and food shortages could be enough to motivate the unrest. Or some other event might be the cause.
In any case, to deal with civil unrest requires some means of home defense.
Dirty Bomb Explosion
Now we are considering a type of disaster that is even more severe, and even more rare. I don’t think this type of bomb has ever been used, but it is a real possibility. Nuclear proliferation is a problem, partly because more and more nations are obtaining nuclear bombs. But another aspect of the problem is the possibility of a dirty bomb: a conventional bomb that disperses radioactive material. This disaster is hopefully so rare that it would not occur in our lifetime, but we cannot deny that it is possible.
The possible preparations are limited. Have a good bug-out bag and a plan of where to go. It might be useful to have some means to detect radioactive fallout. This preparation would also work for a nuclear power plant disaster. In addition, you might want to keep a small supply of KI (potassium iodide) on hand, to reduce the risk of radioactive iodine uptake.
EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse)
This event would be much more severe than any of the above-discussed disasters. It is not merely theory. EMP has been shown, in past atmospheric tests of nuclear missiles, to destroy electronic circuitry. Given that modern society is very dependent on computers and electronic communication, the effects of an EMP event would be extreme. No electronics means that most manufacturing industries would be shut down long-term. No electronics means no cars, no trucks to deliver goods (including food), and no tractors to plant and harvest food. Over time, the number of deaths could be in the millions. Society would be thrown into chaos, with severe civil unrest and utter devastation to the economy. This type of event is one of the most realistic “The End Of The World As We Know It” (TEOTWAWKI) type disasters.
How can you prepare? Almost any preparations that you make would be both applicable to this disaster and insufficient.
The Dangers Of Electromagnetic Pulse