OPINION: RedEye’s guide to preparing for governmental collapse


Outside source

An image taken in Minneapolis during the protests around George Floyd’s murder by police.

Justin Farris

In January of this year, RedEye posted a story about the podcast “It Could Happen Here,” and the possibility of a second American civil war. That piece was a review of the podcast and a breakdown of the events that might lead to a second American civil war. That is not what this piece will focus on. This piece will focus on something more simple and directly practical- what you can do to prepare for the possibility of the government falling apart. It’s not certain nor even necessarily likely that the US government will collapse, but it is increasingly possible. These are a few simpler measures you can take to prepare for that possibility. 

Firstly, our basic amenities. Food and water. Optimally, you want to have a stockpile of these. This is a step that is helpful in the event of almost any natural disaster as well. In the podcast referenced above, Robert Evans recommends MREs, as they last a long time and are fairly cheap. Failing this, you want a plan for obtaining more food and water that does not rely solely on the grocery store having food, because if war breaks out, your food shipments might be affected. Gardens are an option for food, and running water in houses will likely stay around for at least a while even if war breaks out. 

Then we move on to other crucial items. If you’ve got medicine that you need to function or survive, don’t let yourself get low on that medicine. Electricity may become unreliable or cut off entirely for days at a time, due both to sabotage and collateral damage. Be sure to have clothing for both warm and cold temperatures available if possible, to reduce discomfort and, more importantly, risks of temperature-related illnesses. 

There are also toiletries- soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, toilet paper- these things will run out at some point, and, again, you can’t expect them to be available all the time in our hypothetical scenario. If you can stockpile enough for a few months, you’ll be more prepared than most. These aren’t necessarily required, but staying clean will help your mental and physical health in times of stress. 

Next, we have some ideas that are important and worthwhile, but not as crucial to survival. For one, if things really develop into a civil war, you will need to accept that internet is probably going to be unreliable as well. Internet’s not critical to survival, but it is a large part of our work and entertainment. Internet outages will probably happen, and there’s little you can do about that short of building your own source of internet, which will require technical know-how or professional help, and, importantly, extra money. 

And that ties in to another important point: money. If America falls apart, how will the US dollar fare? If things don’t stabilize quickly, we might see a drastic drop in the worth of a dollar- after all, the dollar’s worth comes from the American economy, and if that economy isn’t functioning anymore, what value does it have? All this to say, a return to barter economy might be, at least temporarily, the reality for some people in a divided America. 

Do all this, and you will be significantly better prepared for a collapse than most. If you have enough supply for several months, it will hopefully be enough for some kind of authority to assert itself and make sure that food and water are available at the very least. Once power reasserts itself, you will hopefully be through the worst part of an American governmental collapse.


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