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Five Bees

Last week I posted the results of our community preparedness meeting here. The high-priority concerns from that list are: hyperinflation, martial law, fuel cost doubling (in dollars) and personal job loss. The appropriate responses are: beans, bullets, bullion, barter, belong, strengthen community, community preps and a constitutional sheriff utilizing a neighborhood policing model. I’ll explain what they mean.

Beans: In just about any scenario projecting disruption to our average week, having some food in the pantry is paramount. Humans can last a long time on dried beans and rice with a little of this and that thrown in. We need to make sure we have that foundation and build a varied pantry from there.

Personally, it is a reminder to take inventory and start adding a few cans of this, bags of that and packages of the other to our weekly shopping trips. We cannot afford to buy a two-year supply of commercial “MRIs”, but substituting a few foundational necessities for a few luxuries could seem brilliant if/when things go wrong on a big scale.

Bullets:
Gun gear-heads will forever argue passionately over “the right gun”. If you are short of opinions, I’ll say a 20-gauge pump shotgun and .357 revolver nicely cover the basics of home defense while an AK-47 would be a good foundation for community defense*. Now have enough ammo for practice, with some left over to protect your home and neighborhood if the need arose.

For me, it means I need to check my reloading supplies to make sure a shortage of powder, primers or bullets doesn’t make me give up a good practice match in the next year. More would be lovely, but a guy has to have a base line somewhere.

Bullion: If you have money left in savings or investments after getting the above two in order, you should transfer a significant portion of it into timeless coins. Gold and silver have survived thousands of paper currencies and thousands of years. All of today’s paper currencies are in the late stages that paper currencies always go through before they disappear. Now is NOT THE TIME to be using them for savings.

Personally I am not strong enough on the other two to have much left for savings, but I shudder to think of friends and family who are significantly invested in the dollar-based economy with no foot in the more stable alternative. Don’t join them with an ocean of regrets next year.

Barter:
While the three Bs above are common parlance, I added a couple recently. Regardless of which unsettlement of our current society you plan for, having skills, tools and materials to do something others value will be almost priceless. Barter can turn your efforts into beans, bullets, bullion and a neighborhood that thrives while others flail and/or fail.

A person with knowledge, tools and skills to produce something needed will be a prize in any surviving culture. Your neighbor the CPA may seem as useless as tits on a boar in a post-hyperinflation economy, but his hobby of blacksmithing will make him one of the more popular guys in the neighborhood.

Belong: Here’s my real innovation to the standard 3-Bs list, belonging. We humans are weak individually, but powerful in a community. Look around you. Have some credibility in your neighborhood, town or logical subdivision of the geographic area you inhabit. If moving to a better neighborhood isn’t happening RIGHT NOW, then strengthening your neighborhood and ties to it should be.

I’ve recently joined five organizations that help my community and expand my circle of friends. I am honest, reliable, productive and honorable. Thus, I am welcome now and will be valued and credible when times get hard either short or long term.

Community Preparedness: I couldn’t say it with a “B-word”, but it is important that your community be prepared. It is obvious to me that I can’t put the 3 Bs aside for anyone besides my wife and I, but we can work to have a more prepared community. The neighborhood policing model is a related invention of mine that will also deserve its own essay (I think I’ll call its category,”Badges”).

Those last two are big subjects that I’ll save for another day. Meanwhile, look at your own 5 Bs. Those are within your control and are your responsibilities. The odds on needing them are much greater than your need for … well, darn-near anything on your want list.

* My best friend, true rifleman and seriously studious gun gear-head will be banging his head on the table at my suggestion that a cheaply-built, inaccurate but hard-hitting AK-47 with a pile of cheap unreloadable surplus ammo is a better choice than the extremely popular, common and versatile AR-15. I suggest you compare and decide for yourself and your situation.