This article was originally published at Survival Blog and has been reprinted with permission from the author. The article’s original publish date was December of 2009, but it is as timely today as it was a year ago.
The economy has taken a dramatic turn for the worse for many Americans. Hundreds of pages could be written to describe how it happened and who did it. While many individuals and households have had the financial resources and good fortune which will allow them to weather economic uncertainty, many will simply not be able to maintain their standard of living. Many two income households are now one income households and that income may have decreased due to companies cutting back on work hours. This situation has been occurring for many Americans for many many months, forcing people to assess what is important and downgrade their lifestyle. The time to make hard decisions has arrived, and will dramatically alter the lives of many for years.
People who relied on spouses to pay the bills are now paying the bills. Those who have relied on savings and unemployment benefits to maintain their standard of living are now faced with the reality that those resources are exhausted. Bills are not being paid. Healthcare premiums are not being paid. Automobile and household maintenance is being neglected which will create costlier repairs down the road. Simply put:
- You might have to stop making your car payment and save those payments up to buy a used car. The car you currently have financed will be repossessed.
- You might have to stop paying your mortgage and save those payments up to move into an apartment.
- You might have to give up your healthcare, your magazine subscription, your club membership, your vacation plans, your charitable donations, your cell phone, your internet access or home phone service, your lawn care service, your financial support that you provide to friends and family who are having financial problems themselves, and many more expenditures not listed here.
- You might have to contact an attorney to discuss bankruptcy.
- You might have to sell off your possessions and assets.
- You might have to move in with other families, friends, relatives, or shelters provided by the government or charitable organizations.
- You may come to realize that what you thought was valuable and important to you has no value or significance at all.
Basic human needs will become the biggest priority in your life after you shed the things that have merely brought comfort and convenience to you. You may be forced to downscale your lifestyle so dramatically that it will cause you to question your own intelligence and hindsight for not planning for such a life changing event.
The things that you have always taken for granted could become difficult to obtain now that there is no longer enough money to buy those things. Basic needs become vital issues that need to be addressed:
- Food, and â€˜non-electricâ€™ means both to prepare it and store it.
- Portable water filtering devices and containers to store water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.
- Over the counter medicines, vitamins, supplements, first aid supplies, and some basic health and first aid literature in book form. Individuals using prescription medications, or require medical attention, will need to determine their best course of action during a period of financial distress.
- The need for shelter may require the purchase of a tent, camper trailer, and other camping equipment if you can longer provide an actual roof over your head and have no one to turn to.
- The need for personal protection will become more obvious as desperate people begin to take desperate actions to provide basic needs for themselves and their families. The level of security you choose will be determined by your location, your finances, and your personal views and beliefs. If chaotic conditions occur lawless activity will surely follow. Past incidents of disaster and mayhem give testimony to this.
The times that we endure today will be the history that others will read tomorrow. History has shown us events that have destroyed some societies and created new ones to take their place. Those who rise to power often decide the fate of millions. And there have been times when a people rise up as a nation, united to achieve mutual goals of prosperity and hope for a better future. Today as a nation, Americans must uphold their moral convictions and beliefs that a nation of people that stand united will not perish. There are events occurring in this country that could change the very existence of our nation as we know it. And no one person or political party can decide the best course of action to insure our prosperity and hopes will not be taken away from us. The answer to our problems is right in front of us, and we must cling to it as if it is our only hope, because it is the only thing We The People have left: The Constitution of the United States of America .
We must set aside our differences and unite as a nation before those that would profit from our demise succeed in destroying us. – T.R. in, Florida
Hat tip Wheedle