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For most of us, money acts as our primary or sole medium of exchange. While the value of the American dollar is not fixed, in the short term, its purchasing power is stable, with real value loss (or gain) occurring in the long-term. When making preparations for a disaster scenario, be it an aftermath from a devastating weather event or prolonged civil unrest, it is important to remember that the value of currency will almost certainly decrease due to inflation.
When determining one’s level of preparedness, one cannot simply substitute savings for the necessities an individual or family will need if social/economic collapse occurs. We spend a few pennies, on average, for a gallon of city tap water, while the value of that same gallon of safe drinking water, in a disaster scenario, will increase significantly.
Not only does the value of money change but also the value of goods, especially, basic necessities. Were the value of money remain stable, access to drinkable water, fresh perishable goods, medical supplies, ammunition, etc. is still likely to be limited. It’s best to have what is needed, as you cannot predict the general availability of the items you need, your ability to access them, nor the price at which they may be acquired.
Direct barter transactions, exchanging one good for another, have become popular, again, on account of computers and other means of mass communication allowing people to advertise their goods and services to a large number of people at once, as well as, making it possible for the seller to update information in real time as circumstances (location, stock level, or prices) change.
The last few of years, we’ve seen that despite incidences of civil unrest, violence, natural disasters or other emergencies, social media sites and online market places have not become completely inactive during crises, although many people lose access. These lines of communication aren’t guaranteed to be open, should an emergency situation arise; however, it would be wise to become acquainted with online barter communities, as well as, offline barter exchanges, in order to learn who produces what, the level of interested in what you have to trade, and with whom you might potentially exchange goods.
In a barter economy, the good or service itself acts as a store of value. Outside of producing or stocking for the needs of the individual or family, it would be wise to have items to exchange that will be in high demand but low supply. The law of demand states that the higher the price of a good, the lower the demand will be.
This is not the case in a disaster scenario. The types of goods and services desired in an emergency tend to be inelastic, meaning; the demand remains the same even when the “price” (in this case, the number or quality of goods for which a good can be exchanged) increases. This is the reason some states have laws against price gouging during weather emergencies; people will fill up their tanks even when the price of gas has jumped several dollars per gallon. If a good or service will be in limited supply but high demand, it will have a high value barter good and is an ideal item to stock up on, Check out my 40 top bartering items to stockpile below:
Bonus: Root Cellar That Can Be Used as a Bunker
If you can't afford the box culvert option you can look into is building a backyard root cellar that can be used as a bunker.
If you want to learn how to build a backyard bunker like your grandparents had, without breaking the bank, then check out Easy Cellar.
Easy Cellar will show you:
- How to choose the ideal site
- Cost-effective building methods
- How to protect your bunker from nuclear blast and fallout
- How to conceal your bunker
- Affordable basic life support options
Easy Cellar will also show you how a veteran, with only $421, built a small nuclear bunker in his backyard.