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How To Prepare To Survive An Economic Collapse: 12 Ways

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As we witness other countries’ economies collapse, we look back at our crises over the years and wonder how our families would survive an economic collapse? Can we keep our heads above water, or would we find ourselves struggling to keep a roof over our heads?

These questions can haunt us, interrupt our sleep, and leave us wondering, what would we do? These thoughts can be overwhelming and cause unnecessary stress. But they don’t need to!

To help you navigate the uncertain world of an economic collapse, we have twelve ways that you can prepare to survive an economic collapse! Keep reading to find out how you and your family can survive any economic issue that comes your way!

How To Prepare To Survive An Economic Collapse

To help you prepare for an economic collapse, there are several things you can do. The more prepared you are, the higher chance you have of surviving with minimal impact to you and your family.

You can use one or a few of these ways to prepare, but we recommend using all twelve for best results!

To help you learn more about how you can best prepare, we are going into more detail below. Keep reading to find out how you can prepare for an economic collapse.

1. Stock Supplies Needed To Sustain Life

stockpile supplies

If food shortages, the impact of the pandemic, and countries like Venezuela have taught us anything, it’s that a healthy supply of food storage is the best way to protect your family from economic issues or collapse!

In cases of economic crisis, food is one of the first items to rise in price. Before you know it, you are Jean Valjean stealing bread and spending your life on the run, not what you want! So what can you do?

Store Basic Staple Foods With A Long Shelf Life

A good way to ensure you and your family are well fed is to store foods with a long shelf life. Storing a year or two of basic food staples that can last for 25-30 years in storage is sure to sustain your family during economic challenges!

Whether it’s unemployment, food shortages, hyperinflation, or other crises, you can rest easy knowing you can eat! So what should you store? Basics like rice, pasta, beans, wheat, oats, sugar, and dehydrated or freeze-dried foods packaged for long-term storage are excellent options!

It’s also worth looking at how you can package your food to last longer and the ideal storage conditions. There is plenty of information and tutorials about this online, so be sure to do some research before storing your food!

You will also want to ensure you have plenty of storage for your food. There are plenty of options out there, so you can find the storage that best suits your space. There are also plenty of suppliers that can help you build up your stock of long-life foods.

Look for Everyday Foods

You will also want a supply of short-term shelf-stable foods that are used every day. These will help minimize the impact when you can’t get to a store as you usually would.

We refer to these as short-term foods as they will not last for the 25-30 years in the way long-term staples will. However, it’s important to have both to ensure you don’t go hungry!

So what are short-term items? Canned goods, packaged dinners, cereal, ketchup, boxed mixes, and similar items are what we class as short-term items. These typically remain good for 1-7 years, depending on the food, packaging, and how you store it.

Now food can take up a lot of space, and it can be difficult to store it. You will want plenty of space to keep your food organized and rotate to ensure nothing goes out of date!

Be sure to check out storage ideas online, and don’t be afraid to ask on forums what other preppers are up to and how they are storing their food. Get inspiration from wherever you can to ensure you are prepared!

Storing food is a wise investment to make too. It prevents you from paying higher prices when inflation hits and ensures that no one in your family has to go hungry!

Basic Non-Food Staples

Along with food, you will also want a supply of non-food essentials such as toilet paper, feminine products, soap, shampoo, contact solution, and other items you use daily.

Consider non-food items that you regularly purchase, make a list, and start creating a supply. You don’t want to be out of toilet paper or without shampoo, do you?

First Aid and Medication

Do you take prescription medication or have a chronic condition? It’s worth speaking to your doctor to see if you can have a little extra on hand.

Most insurance companies will refill a prescription at 25 days, giving you a five-day buffer before your medication runs out. Take advantage of this and refill your prescription as soon as you are eligible. This will allow you to build a backup supply.

Your doctor might also give you some samples to help build your supply, but this does vary depending on the doctor. Don’t be disheartened if your doctor does not allow this, as you can still gather a little stockpile yourself.

You should also consider any over-the-counter medications that you regularly take. Ideally, you will want a backup supply of over-the-counter pain relief, cold and flu medication, allergy medication, or whatever is appropriate for your family.

It’s worth having a stockpile of vitamin supplements too. You don’t know how difficult it will be to source fresh fruit and vegetables should a crisis occur!

Should the economy collapse, then you might need to treat minor injuries without medical help. A well-stocked first-aid kit with the supplies you need should be included in your stocks.

As with food, be sure to check the dates on your medication and rotate them to ensure that you aren’t ingesting any out-of-date medicine. That is an incident you will want to avoid if you can’t get medical attention! You will want to make your health a priority.

Be sure to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet as this can help prevent some health issues. You will also want to ensure you have enough rest and sleep for your age. Try to get out daily too for fresh air and sunshine. That vitamin D will come in handy should we end up stuck indoors again!

It’s also worth staying up to date with medical and dental appointments and completing other tasks that help to build health and resilience. You want to be as healthy as possible so that your body can fight off infections better.

2. Grow Your Food

grow your own food

To ensure you get fresh food, you will want to grow your food. It’s best to start growing a small amount of food as part of your daily life now, so you know what to do when you need to rely on this food.

It can take years to build your soil and skill set to a point where you can produce a reliable crop with plenty of food to feed your family, so don’t be disheartened if you encounter any issues along the way!

Try and grow what you can manage to care for; even if it’s some potted tomatoes, it’s better than nothing!

Incorporate Fruit-Bearing Plants Into Your Landscape

If you are looking for an easy way to produce a reliable food crop, then plant some food-bearing bushes, vines, and trees with your landscape. You will be surprised how many edible plants will look beautiful in your yard.

Apple trees are a fine example of this. They can be pruned into various shapes and sizes and look beautiful in the spring when their blossoms emerge.

Well-cared-for fruit and nut trees are a beauty that should not be underestimated! Bush cherries are another example, and these shrubs are hardy and productive too.

You can also include goji berries which can be incorporated into the landscape with ease. These plants also fix nitrogen into the soil, which will help other plants to grow better.

You can also add medicinal herbs like bee balm, coneflowers, chamomile, feverfew, hyssop, and lavender. These plants will add beauty and variety to your landscape and provide herbal remedies that are sure to come in handy!

Have Some Chickens

Chickens are an excellent addition to your garden too. Some laying hens will provide fat and protein while being easy to care for. You will need to have the right set up to ensure that your chickens are happy and well cared for.

There is plenty of information out there so you can transform your yard into chicken heaven with ease! Don’t forget to have enough corn and other foods to keep your chickens well fed too!

3. Stockpile Valuable Tools

stockpile valuable tools

Another good idea is to have some basic tools on hand. These will make a massive difference in your ability to provide for your family in an economic collapse, so be sure to stock up on the tools now!

It’s best to get them while they are available and you have the funds to purchase them. Take a look at the tools you already have, and use the following ideas to help fill in the gaps and get the right tools for you.

Kitchen Tools

Kitchen tools are sure to become valuable when cooking at home instead of relying on restaurants and fast food to sustain you. You will want a few good-quality can openers to ensure you can access all the food you have placed in storage!

Another tool is a good grain grinder, especially if you have stored wheat or other grains. These can also be handy if you are grinding corn or beans. You can use electric grinders if you want or opt for cheaper hand grinders that won’t require any power to work.

It’s worth noting that these can be harder to work, and you are best opting for the highest quality grinder you can afford.

General Tools

Grab some auto and home repair tools too. You will want a cordless drill, a ladder, hammer, screwdrivers, chisel, level, tape measure, utility knife, a range of saws, ratchet set, flashlight, socket set, safety glasses, gloves, and a range of other tools.

Keep a stash of spare bits, nails, glue, blades, fasteners, screws, and other consumables you need to get the job done.

Garden Tools

These will tie into our next point of growing your food, where you need some gardening tools for success! Shovels tend to be the item that gardeners go through the most, so be sure to have a few of these on hand!

Avoid purchasing cheap garden tools, as these aren’t very durable and are essentially a waste of money. Opt for quality tools that can cope with lots of work! Be sure to keep them protected from the elements, too, as this will help increase their lifespan.

Ideally, you want a few heavy-duty shovels, a square mouth shovel, a rake, a tuning fork, a small trowel, a small garden rake, large, medium, and small pruners, and a wheelbarrow.

Grab some good work gloves, too, to protect your hands. If you have a smaller space, t-posts, t-post pounder, and twine should also be on your shopping list.

4. Prepare To Do Without Or Provide For Yourself

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When the economy collapses, you will need everything you can to take care of yourself without relying on others.

Along with the resources you have stockpiled, you might need to get creative to make do with what you have. It’s worth picking up some books for these scenarios. After all, who knows if Google will survive an economic collapse too?

5. Prepare For Little Or No Electricity

An economic collapse features many variables. One of which is whether we will have power or not. And if we still have power, how will you pay for it?

To reduce your reliance on electricity, look at how you can reduce your energy consumption. It’s also worth considering other energy resources like solar power and propane as part of your plan.

You might need to survive with little or no heat, so prepare for this as best you can. Don’t forget to invest in some thick and warm clothing that can be layered and plenty of blankets to ensure you can keep yourself warm in colder weather.

There are plenty of tips and tutorials about living with little or no electricity online, so be sure to check them out if you need any further assistance or information!

6. Learn Some Basic Skills

making your own bread

Basic skills will become invaluable should the economy collapse. Carrying out auto, home, and other repairs will allow you to save some cash, and it also means you might be able to make some cash offering these services to others in need.

You can also learn how to make your bread, grow veg, fix leaks, repair broken locks and other damaged household items are easy ways that you can save money and improve your quality of life when times get hard.

Think about the skills you have. Could they be bartered with if needed? Maybe it’s time to take up a new hobby that could help you develop the basic skills you need.

7. Keep Your Passport Up To Date

You might need to leave the country, so be sure that legally you can.

You will want a current passport and some plans in place that keep the option of leaving the country quickly open!

8. Strengthen Your Financial Status

money in the wallet

We know that it’s easier said than done, but reducing the impact a financial collapse will have on you and your family is a step you must take.

To help build some financial resilience, you will need to learn to live without. Learning to live with less and be happy can be challenging and take some time, but once you have mastered it, you will be surprised how little you need to live a happy and sustained life.

We have some tips below that can help you strengthen your financial position should an economic collapse hit.

Avoid Debt

Remember the 2008 housing market crash? Remember how many people you knew struggled, lost their homes and their livelihoods as a result? Us too. And it’s a thought that scares us.

To prevent this from happening to you, you will want to avoid debt as much as possible. Debt can cause you to overextend yourself and leave you vulnerable if a crisis hits. If you are in debt currently, consider how you can reduce and clear your debt.

Speak to financial advisors about this, consider credit cards that can help consolidate your debt and other ways to pay off your debts without impacting your lives. Be sure that you seek out financial advice before doing any of this to ensure it is the right choice.

Avoid adding more debt to your existing debt and try to stay out of debt once you have cleared it. Once you are out of debt or clearing through any existing loans, you can look at our next tip.

Create A Financial Reserve

Learning to live on less than you earn gives you a chance to save some money. Saving is invaluable when a financial crisis hits and can be the difference between you surviving and struggling.

Ideally, you want a financial reserve of at least three to six months worth of expenses, and this will provide you with some time to find a solution to the cause of your financial stress.

This can provide you with time to secure new employment, pay off any medical bills, recover from an illness, pay for unexpected car repairs, or whatever your issue might be.

Keep Cash Around

Cash is a powerful tool. And although we rely on our cards these days, you never know when cash might come in handy!

You will want a good supply of cash that can be withdrawn from the bank immediately if needed. Should the banks collapse, you will want to keep a small amount of cash in your home.

Ensure that any cash kept in your home is secure and listed in your home insurance policy. Don’t attract attention to the fact you have cash in your house either to prevent any attempted burglaries.

Invest in Precious Metals

The value of paper money can decrease rapidly, whereas the value of precious metals tends to retain its value.

Metals like gold and silver are worth investing in to ensure you have some degree of financial security should the dollar become worthless.

These metals can also allow you to barter or act as an alternative currency if needed. While these can be valuable, we think it’s more important to invest in your food supplies before precious metals.

You will want to ensure you can eat before having a collection of precious metals! Gold and silver don’t fill your stomach in the way some pasta will!

Diversify Your Income

We are always told to avoid putting our eggs in one basket, which is true for our income! It’s worth investing in ways you can supplement your income.

Small streams of income that flow into your financial river ensure that you still have money coming in should one of the avenues not pan out as expected.

Consider any hobbies or talents you have that you could turn into a part-time home business. What about other family members?

Could they take up part-time employment to add more money to the pot? There are plenty of ways to make some more money, with lots of ideas online to help you!

Consider what skills and talent every member of your family has and how these could be used to add to the family’s success.

9. Build Relationships

family spending time together while camping

People are an incredibly valuable resource that should not be forgotten about. By working together, humans are proven to increase their chances of survival and success.

Families are fantastic examples of this! The relationships with our loved ones can help boost your well-being and comfort, providing a support network you can rely on.

But it’s worth looking outside of your family too. Start to build relationships with like-minded people and your neighbors. You can use these relationships to practice your bartering skills too!

You can offer to fix a leaky faucet in exchange for your neighbor babysitting or watching your dog while you attend a doctor’s appointment. You could also move some heavy objects for a lone or elderly neighbor and receive homemade bread as a thank you.

You will be surprised at the kindness and generosity of others, as well as their willingness to help. All of this will come in handy during a crisis. Everyone will be affected differently; having help on hand will go a long way, especially if you can provide some help too.

10. Get Ready To Share

This entire article has explained how you can best prepare to take care of ourselves and families during a crisis. And despite our best efforts, we can find ourselves in need of help from others.

We could find ourselves stuck in a city miles away and be indebted to a stranger who feeds and helps us home. It could be a child or family member that needs help from others.

This kindness should be reciprocated too. To rebuild and survive, we need a support network and are willing to offer support when needed. This could be sharing some of your supplies with those in need or offering a lift to someone.

Don’t be afraid to extend kindness to others; you never know when you might need some kindness shown your way!

11. Be Ready To Protect Your Family

learning self defense

We see this during times of crisis, things can turn ugly, and you need to be protected. Sometimes, the state fails, and you can find your family left defenseless. Thankfully, there are ways you can prepare to protect and defend yourself and your family.

Learn Self-Defense Skills

Taking some self-defense classes is worth doing too. These will help you stave off any attacks should you need to and can sometimes be the difference between life and death! It’s worth making sure you have the right tools too.

A metal baseball bat, cast iron pan, stun gun, knives, and pepper spray can ensure you are safe and defend yourself when necessary.

When times get tough, there is no telling what some people will resort to, so be sure you can keep yourself safe!

Secure Your Home

It’s also worth securing your home and turning it into a less appealing target for thieves. You will want all entry points into your home to be secure and strengthened where possible.

You can plant thorny barriers like roses as a deterrent, build strong fences, install alarm systems, and keep all valuables secured and out of sight to ensure your house is as unappealing as possible to potential thieves.

To ensure your house is as secure as possible, you will want to know all your vulnerabilities. Having family members or a close friend gain access to your home or valuables without breaking in is a good way to find areas that need to be fortified.

This exercise could help you find a defenseless area and prevent a potential break-in!

12. Prepare For The Worst, But Hope For The Best

After all that doom and gloom, it can be hard to remain positive. We might not see the warning signs of an economic collapse, but with increasing debt, unstable governments, and a pandemic that is not yet over, your worries are justified.

While we cannot control the future, being as prepared as possible gives our families and us a fighting chance of survival.


Be sure to use the points we have covered to take reasonable steps to prepare for the worst-case and ensure that your family is as safe as possible.

By adopting these ways, you can protect yourself and ensure you can navigate the uncertain times ahead.