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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/21/08

Surviving an Economic Crash: Resources and Tips

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Message Kathryn Smith

Dear friends:

With concerns about the economy posted all over the web, and with some people fearing a total economic collapse (ie, depression and not recession), it is wise to be prepared. “Act, don’t react to situations” is a phrase I once heard. I have always remembered those words of wisdom. And while, in my own experience, the things we fear *almost* never come to pass, it’s still wise to cover the bases.

Since canning up a storm to stock our cupboards this year, and buying a few staples in bulk, I have to say that I have a cozy feeling about it. It’s sort of like having money in the bank: “Phew, if anything goes wrong, we will not be hurt. We will be okay” is my feeling. And I want to see all my family members, friends, and our collective community prepared in the same way.

Just how do we survive an economic crash? I don’t know, not having “been there”. But having read a lot, and brainstormed a lot, and using links (below) which were posted to a previous article I wrote, here is a compilation of ideas which I hope will prove useful.

First of all, one blogger who survived the Katrina affair wrote about crime in his local neighborhood thereafter. In order to prevent such crime, I suggest that education is the key. What are our survival options? If we distribute leaflets, ask others to photocopy them and send them around, and write our local newspaper editors, perhaps we can prevent such wrongs from occurring. In fact, we can even spawn sharing and proactivity. Feel free to use any and all ideas below, without quoting me as author, because this information is communal property and does not belong to me! Certainly I hope global survival is a communal issue! Please distribute this information, far and wide! I only ask that nobody make any money off the ideas here. Not even one cent. Please spread the word of hope, free of charge! Thank you. (And feel free to pass these ideas on to journalists, who may print some or all of them in order to help the community).

The links below are good for cooking, gardening et al. Below that, I will write ideas about how to get food in our community, with resources going above and beyond what we might ordinarily think of. There may be lots more out there than we think!

Here are website instructions in multiple languages (Catalan, French, Russian, English, Spanish, you name it) for how to make your own solar oven out of cardboard boxes, with or without glass tops:

Here are two links posted by blogger Pixie for making cooking stoves out of cat food tins:

Here is an excellent website with many tips and links for surviving an economic crash: Includes links for how to build your own solar home heating system, building your own solar generator for about $300, converting your car to run on hydrogen, gardening, soap-making at home, a few herbal articles written by me (I am a certified herbalist), etc.

Here is where you can buy a solar crockpot/oven for about $350: plus solar generator for about $1600, plus many other solar gadgets for sale at only 10% above wholesale cost.

Blogger Camanokat writes: “Check out this's an urban garden on about 1/4 of an acre in Pasadena CA. They grow between 50% to 90% of their own organic food (depending on season):"

Blogger Christopher Wright wrote about a communal power coop in his neighborhood. Wowee! I didn’t even know such a thing existed. Brilliant! Let’s organize now to start up local wind energy farms, and become as self-sufficient as we can!

Lacking such resources and funds, here is a site where funding can be acquired, with grantors donating in every category, both nationally and internationally, in the four-digit or seven-digit categories alike: (FYI I personally have applied for four and been granted three out of those four grants, based on donors listed in this website. It’s for real, not a pipedream).

Christopher Wright also wrote about salvaging hand tools and repairing them. No doubt we all prefer our powered gadgets as convenience items, but given a financial crash we could, if necessary, go back to hand-harvesting and hand-rototilling the land. Not a bad idea to start salvaging dumped garden tools and bringing them up to snuff. Or, buy them new at your local gardening center.

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This quote summarizes the nature of my concerns and the content of personal experiences which stir my activism: "Necessity is the plea for every infringement on human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves". --Paul (more...)
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