The other days I received a very interesting email, from one of my readers (he signed his email James) and after reading it I said to myself it is time to hit the keyboard and write not just an answer to this gentleman but an article as well.
Me and my family are very much aware of what is coming down the pipe in case of a serious total collapse, unrest, famine and all that. Due to low paying jobs, we barely make it from paycheck to paycheck and we struggle financially with no savings.
My question is how can we start preparing for what is to come and at the same time how can we connect with other families that are like-minded given our current situation.
Also, how can we move from one place to another safely to meet with people that will not hold against us our race (African-American) we live in Billings MT.
Please help us with this so my family has at least a chance to survive if you can. Thanks, James.
Now James here raised 2 very good points so first, let’s start with his second point.
Discrimination and preppers
The vast majority of preppers (can’t say all preppers because sadly exceptions do exist) are color blind. What does that mean? When we look at a man we see that person as he is, what skillset and talents he has, what he can do to help the community, and only after all the above has been taken into consideration we will see if his color is black, yellow, brown, white or blue with green strips for that matter.
Preppers, in general, treat everyone as they are, they don’t make any difference when it comes to different races, and also they don’t believe that any race deserves special allowances or any entitlements whatsoever.
It is unfortunate that there‘s this obscure fuzzy linkage that some individuals discern between being a survivalist and prepping which then ends up to be a wild mountain man which leads to implying either that we are the Unabomber or an Aryan advocate.
This is just what I call unfortunate nonsense. We are just normal folks, nothing more, people that have responsible concerns about the safety of our future and a great desire to protect our families and somehow safeguard this grey future.
Because of that, when it comes to discrimination we understand it perfectly since we are discriminated against. We are stereotyped as something we are not and never been, we are ridiculed, we are sneered at, and we are insulted for what we do.
Maybe for any other group out there, a person’s origin is a big deal, but not for preppers. What you need to understand is that you won’t be discriminated against and at the same time don’t expect any special treatment. Everyone must contribute and pull their own weights as an equal member of society.
And this is not me being idealistic, most prepper advocates and leading websites share the same opinions on this matter. I have to believe that is echoed among all the other preppers out there as well only because it is sensible and it is rational, and preppers are very rational and sensible people.
So James, come find and join us. We do understand what is like to be judged, labeled and tagged just because it is convenient for them to do it rather than to challenge their own prejudices. Anyways, keep in mind that joining a prepper group has a downside for you as well. Now you will be found guilty of being black and a prepper. But, the good news is that such sort minded people will have real problems to consider you a white supremacist.
Let’s move on to the other problem that James raised, preparing when you have a low income.
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Preparing With A Low Budget
To answer this is in a single article that is quite impossible. This needs a series of articles devoted to this topic only and for sure we will have some published in the near future.
But to narrow it down to replay James’s question, the bright side of your current situation is that you are not locked to a high paying job. That means you are free to move at any point without the risk of losing too much. If I were in your position I would move west…to let’s say some small town of NW Montana and find some decent paying job there.
The best thing in James’s position (and many others in the same situation) is that by not earning a lot they are free to make lifestyle changes that he would not be able to if let’s say he would have a job paying $7-8000/month, but with car payments, a mortgage and any other commitments that would drain all that income. Right now, by finding a new job in a safer area he has more to gain and less to lose. Allowing him and his family to develop a strategy to survive in that place, rather than working to create a separate retreat location and bugout there when things go south.
Surviving in place strategy requires a number of key factors, and one of the most important would be for you to become a part of that community. Join the local church, have a chat with the local law enforcement from time to time enough to be known. Make sure all family members will properly behave themselves in town. It is essential to integrate on as many different levels as you can. The more you integrate, the less likely it is for you and your family to end up in problems.
You should plan to find like-minded people that have some degree of preparedness because in a future chaotic collapse, you won’t know who would be your friends and you need to be able to select such friends, not on their terms, but on your own terms.
You can only hope and plan for the support of people that have a mutual interest when things go south. What is good for them would be good for you as well. Those might be your other retreat neighbors that would become a good defense force and a strong community by grouping together when the s**t hits the fan.
The next thing for James to consider would be a supply of essentials to get the entire family through hard times. I have said this a lot of the times before in many of my other articles, in a collapsed society money would lose they value very quickly and the most essential asset to possess in those times would be SKILLS. In a post collapsed world if I had to choose a huge pile of money or an in-demand skill I will always go for the skill.
Of course, money is nice to have now but in the long-term and especially in a collapsed society a skill is more valuable. Consider this: a good skill will never run out, can increase in value with time learning new stuff and become better at what you do, can not be stolen, can be easily converted in other needed things.
Ideally, you should learn a skill/trade now that will hopefully provide for your family and will continue to be needed in a collapsed society as well.
A programmer, for example, won’t be needed in such times, a banker as well (not even an internet writer) but if you have a trade/skill that is working now and would be needed in a future collapsed society then you are set up to successfully surviving.
Keep in mind that if your skill requires some consumables you need to stockpile those now. Your skill should be able to be performed using low-tech equipment and tools as well in order to be relevant in a grid-down situation where energy and fuel are limited or non-existent.
I will not go in this article into how to build up a supply of food and water, this has been covered so many times on our website and other websites as well. The best way to learn about how to it efficiently is not by doing research but by reading a book that has everything covered for you with time tested steps and strategies. Yes, you could do some research and find hundreds of articles giving ideas and ways to do it, but most are not accurate and the time needed to sort the good from the bad is just a waste of time and energy.
I am not saying this is going to be easy, but unless you win the lottery and get free of financial constraints, hard work and discipline are the only ways. Don’t expect to have a 3 years supply overnight. Start building a 24 hours reserve then go to a 48 hours reserver and keep doing it and before you know it you will be better prepared than you are right now.
If you smoke and/or drink I am not saying you should quit but doing it a little less or choosing a cheaper brand will save you a lot of money. Don’t eat out and instead prepare your own food at home. Don’t go to movies to often, downgrade the tv cable, pay up high-interest debt first and do what you can to avoid overdraft fees and so on.
One thing to remember is that baby steps in the right direction are the key to success. And don’t try to find easy answers because you won’t find any. Hard work, dedication, and discipline will slow and steady get you to achieve your goals.
So, James, I wish you the best of luck in your journey and hopefully, this article will answer some of your questions and you will move forward with your preparations the best you can.
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