10 Things We Can Learn From Egypt About Preparing for Economic and Societal Collapse
As riots spread across the world, having started first in Europe and now engulfing the Middle East, most people in the U.S. outright reject the possibility that the same could happen right here at home. But the fact of the matter is that we remain in economic crisis and there is a real possibility of a total collapse of the system we have come to know.
If the system does happen to collapse, be it because of a hyperinflationary currency meltdown, political uprising or anything in between, here are ten things you can expect to happen, just as they are happening in the Middle East today:
- There will be a general break down in law and order. Law enforcement will not be policing your neighborhood. This will likely lead to a community response and vigilante groups setting up neighborhood security details. The law and justice will be determined by those walking your streets with sticks and guns, so be sure to mind your P’s and Q’s. (LINK)
- Food and water will become scarce. The average American has about three days worth of food in their home, and likely very little water, as most are dependent on their local city for this essential commodity. As with any major disaster, like hurricanes or earthquakes, panicked people will immediately make a run for the grocery store, either before or at the onset of crisis, looking to acquire any non-perishable goods. They’ll buy everything they can in one trip, which leaves less food for the next guy. Our just-in-time inventory management systems ensure that there will be no reserves in the back of the grocery store, so once the store shelves are cleared, it will be a while before they are restocked. (LINK)
- Looting will be rampant. Until all of the food, water, diapers and HDTV’s have been cleared from store shelves, looters will be breaking into retail businesses in search of goods. In Egypt, most of the population is not armed. In the U.S., however, it’s a different story and the general rule on looters is: shoot them. Regardless of whether you are trying to acquire food for your baby or a free Xbox, you will be considered a looter if you enter a private business. (LINK ; New Orleans LINK)
- If the rioting and looting gets bad enough, expect full deployment by the military. As we are currently seeing in Egypt, and like we saw in New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina saga, government is prepared to restore order by whatever means are available. There will be heavily armed soldiers, tanks and unmanned aerial vehicles patrolling your city. (LINK)
- When rocks start getting thrown, Molotov cocktails start exploding, and citizens take it upon themselves to shoot at military and law enforcement personnel, soldiers will fire back – and the firing will be indiscriminate, just like we’ve seen in Egypt and during the Iranian riots of 2009. One report out of Egypt indicates that President Mubarak of Egypt has issued shoot-to-kill orders giving the military authority to open fire on anyone it deems a threat. (VIDEO LINK)
- Hospitals will run out of basic medical supplies. We saw this in Haiti and we’re seeing it in Cairo. As the injured and wounded stack up, medical personnel will be overwhelmed. Basic medicines like hydrogen peroxide and antibiotics will disappear, and minor injuries may lead to amputation or death in a matter of days if supplies are not restocked. As more dead bodies stack up, this could potentially lead to widespread outbreaks of disease like it did in Haiti. (LINK)
- The internet will get shut down. Governments have realized that the internet is the communication medium of choice to organize protests and riots. When Iranians protested their Presidential elections in 2009, Twitter and other social networking sites were used to organize, as well as to broadcast pictures of the events in near real-time. This gives the government ample reason to shut down all digital means of communication, the most important being that government is unable to stop mass gatherings, nor are they able to control the news propaganda of the event itself. Egypt is the first country to have taken steps to completely shutdown everything from traditional internet connectivity via ISPs, as well as phone and text communications. Expect the same in your neck of the woods if and when it hits the fan. (LINK)
- Banks will be closed and ATM’s will be out of money. With no law enforcement, banks will be unable to operate. There will be no one to refill the cash in ATM’s, and it’s possible that even if they do have money you will not be able to withdraw it because problems with electronic processing will prevent it. Those who don’t have cash or barterable goods on them will be left with no way to transact. (LINK)
- The real value of gold and silver against most other assets will rise. Though only anecdotal reports exist at this time from the streets of Egypt, it’s clear that anytime governmental, economic or social instability hits a particular region, the value of these precious metals rises. The 2010 riots in Greece prove this point, as the price of gold on the street rose to a reported $1700 per ounce, even while gold in global commodity exchanges was trading at $1100. When there are no open banks or working ATM’s, precious metals will become the de facto reserve currency on the ground. (LINK)
- The ‘important’ people will probably get the heck out of Dodge. If you’ve got money and power, you’re going to be fast-tracked out of the region. President Mubarak’s sons quickly fled Egypt when the riots broke out. In Tunisia, the President’s wife made a beeline for the nearest international destination – with a ton of gold in tow. While the elite will have access to evacuate a disintegrating regional riot or collapse, everyday folks will likely be stranded. Expect that wherever you are when it hits the fan is where you’ll stay, so be sure to be stocked up on the essentials. (LINK , LINK)
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Date: January 31st, 2011
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