The following are instructions for my wife, in the event that a run on banks occurs, or a bank holiday is declared, or if a financial panic occurs. The people in Cyprus have been in the midst of a bank holiday since this past two weeks. The crisis in banking in Cyprus has reach the point that a bailout is needed. Originally the bank holiday was to be 1 or 2 days. Now the holiday is extending through 2 weeks. The European Commission has granted Cyprus a bailout, but not without pain to the depositors in Cyprus banks. Accounts holding more than 100,000 Euros will have a significant losses, since the insurance limit is
As I discussed this situation with my wife over dinner, she pointed out to me that most people in the United States are frightfully ignorant of the ramifications of a run on banks. The stupid directive that depositors are issued a levy for a bailout may result in bank runs in Italy, Greece, Spain, and possibly Portugal. Why leave your money in the bank, when the government may simply take a portion?
Can a bank run, banking collapse, bank holiday occur in the United States? It nearly did occur in the 2008/2009 financial collapse. It most certainly occurred after the 1929 stock market collapse. The US Federal Reserve bank keeps expanding the money supply, which is creating real inflation. Inflation is hitting the economy is unbalanced ways. Yes, the price of real estate has dropped the past 5 years. But who buys real estate every day? My wife exclaims the increases in food prices these past two years. California, how are you enjoying the price of gasoline at $5 per gallon? The Federal government debt is nearing $17 trillion for direct liabilities. Unfunded future liabilities are in 10 times the size of direct liabilities. The global economic climate is heading in the wrong direct. Another “black swan” event or major earthquake or another war could easily push the United States into a rapidly descending recession.
If a bank run occurs in the United States, there is very little time to react. You need move quickly. The first in line at the bank MIGHT get their money out. Being last in line at the bank means you will lose EVERYTHING!
Instructions to my Wife:
Dear wife, this is a to-do list and set of instructions on how to handle a run on banks or an anticipated bank holiday. A bank holiday will have tremendous impact on our town and on our family. A great depression that will likely follow a run on banks and bank holiday can last for up to 10 years. In those 10 years, we can expect our family will have a dramatically lessened lifestyle. The first few days after a bank holiday will likely be stressful and confusing. But there is much we can do to prepare and react to a bank holiday. We need to react quickly, upon learning that a bank holiday is possible. You and I will need to divide up our initial efforts. These efforts are prioritized in sequence of actions (first to last actions).
Your Immediate Efforts:
First thing is to make sure you are safe. Do not enter any areas that might have protests, marches, or riots. At any sign of civil disorder, get home immediately.
- Go to a series of ATM machine immediate to withdraw as money as permitted. Continue to go to a series of ATM machines until the account balances are drawn down to zero or the daily withdrawal limit is reached. Similarly I will also visit multiple ATM machines.
- Go next quickly to the drug store. Please obtain the following items at the drug store:
- Please obtain refills of all of our family’s prescription drugs.
- Also at the drugstore, buy over-the-counter medicines that our family uses regularly. Buy at least a year’s worth of medicines.
- Buy 3 years of vitamins focus on multi-vitamins for us and the children. Also get extra vitamins for Iron, C, B complex, and vitamin D.
- Buy dietary fiber to prevent constipation
- Consider buy things that your elderly parents might obtain from a drug store, since we’ll likely be helping them.
- Next stop is the grocery store. Please buy food and household supplies in large quantities — as much as you can handle. Make multiple cycles of (1) loading the grocery cart, (2) pay for the items, (3) unload the grocery cart into the car, and (4) repeat until the vehicle is filled or your run out of money. Cover the items in the vehicle with a blanket, so that people passing by are not tempted steal.
- The first focus is canned goods. Canned goods last much longer than their stated expiration date. Focus on purchasing canned goods on items that have long shelf life. These items include: (1) Canned meat (Tuna, Salmon, Anchovies, Sardines, Spam), (2) Canned beans (kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, white beans, navy beans, baked beans, black-eyed beans, etc.), (3) Canned vegetables (green beans, carrots, potatoes, yams, corn, spinach, whole tomatoes, tomato sauces, and peas), and (4) Canned fruits (pears, peaches, fruit cocktail, mandarin oranges, cranberry sauce, etc.)
- The second focus is milk. But don’t buy fresh milk. Instead by powdered milk. Buy several boxes of powdered milk. I’ll repackage the powdered milk at home into glass jars. Also buy cans of evaporated or condensed milk. Again, buy as many cans of condensed milk as are available.
- Dry goods are next. Load up on dried pasta of all types. Dried pasta will keep for two years or more, if properly stored. If you find bags of dry beans and uncooked rice, load up on those as well. At home, I’ll repackage the dried goods in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber. This will further increase the self life of these items to 10+ years.
- Purchase several containers of olive oil. Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Olive oil is among the healthiest of fats. Avoid canola oil – it is not a natural source of fats.
- Another good source of fats is salad dressings. The salad dressing on the shelves has preservatives to extend shelf life. Normally preservatives are to be avoided. But salad dressings will keep well for two years without refrigeration.
- Avoid frozen foods. First, our freezer is typically well stocked, and has little room for more items. Secondly, frozen foods spoil quickly in the event of a power outage.
- Avoid fresh foods, such as raw meat and raw vegetables. Now is the time to focus on foods that will preserve for a long time.
- Stock up on basic sanitary items. Buy bath soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, bleach, toothpaste, shampoo, tampons, and toilet paper. Bleach is especially important, since it can be used for both water purification and for cleaning.
- After unloading the groceries, then I’ll ask you to go shopping for clothing.
- Please go buy the next 3 larger sizes of shoes for our children. Buy two shoes for each of the next three sizes. It may be years before we can buy shoes for our children again. This will give us a couple of years worth of shoes for our growing children’s feet. Pick up a pair of hiking shoes or boots for yourself. Fortunately, I already have spare pairs of hiking boots.
- Buy winter coats for the children which are two sizes larger than their current needs. They can grow into the coats over the next couple of years.
- Buy extra socks for the entire family. Focus on thick, warm socks, which can be worn while sleeping or in our hiking shoes. Socks will be invaluable, since we’ll likely be walking everywhere after the bank collapse.
- Buy several outfits for our children in their next larger sizes. Focus on basic clothing that will last for several years, such as jeans, long-sleeve t-shirts, and wool sweaters.
- I’ll suggest that you go to Goodwill Store to buy used clothing. For a little bit of money you can buy a lot of clothing at the Goodwill Store. We are not looking for high fashion at this point. Rather we are looking to buy clothing that our kids can grow into for several years.
- If the bank is still open, I will go to the bank immediately to draw money from our accounts. Also, I’ll empty the contents of the safebox.
- My first stop after the bank is the large hardware stores in our area (Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware). There are many things that I anticipate buying at the hardware stores:
- I’ll buy as much home canning supplies as available. I’ll focus on glass mason-type jars in pint and quart sizes. And will buy as much lids as available. I’ll include canning salt and citric acid, if available.
- I’ll buy a portable kerosene heater. Home heating will be very difficult, if the economy collapses. I’ll buy as many cans of kerosene fuel as available.
- I’ll buy small and large containers of propane fuel. The small containers will be used for our camping stove. The large containers will be used for portable heaters and barbecue grill.
- I’ll buy more oils for our lawn mower, chain saws, portable generators, and our vehicles. I anticipate oils and lubricants will be in short supply soon.
- I’ll buy lots and lots of batteries. Since we have a lot of gadgets that run on batteries, we’ll need a lot. The list of gadgets include walkie-talkies, CB radio, portable AM/FM radios, world band/ham receivers radios, flashlights, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, security devices, games and toys. The difference between civilization and the dark ages is batteries.
- Empty fuel cans will be worth their weight in gold. In every disaster situations, empty fuel cans will be in short supply. I’ll need the empty fuel cans for the next part of the journey.
- After the hardware store, I’ll like return home to unload and head back for the next stop in my quest to prepare. The next stop is the gasoline station. I’ll fill every empty fuel can that we have. We’ll need gasoline for our vehicles and portable generator. I’ll preserve the fuel with Sta-bil, which will extend the life of gasoline from 2 to 5 years. A special emphasis is placed on kerosene, which will be used for the portable heaters, in the event that we lose electrical power.
- Next, I’ll be going to the sporting goods store. There are several items that I want to obtain from a sporting goods store. These include:
- Ammunition – First buy ammo for our defensive pistols and rifles. Then I’ll but ammo in common calibers for barter and as a store of wealth.
- Lubricants, cleaning fluids and cleaning patches for our firearms.
- Long underwear for the entire family.
- Spare sleeping bags and sleeping cots — we’ll likely have family members showing up at your doors.
- Any available long-term camping food, such as Mountain House.
- Another camping stove, as a backup to our current camping stove.
After these shopping trips, we’ll both come home and unload our vehicles. We’ll take inventory of the items we have. Then we’ll calculate how long our food will last. Once we know how long the food will last, we can make good decisions about allowing extended family members to join our household.
An important part of all our supplies is diversify the storage location. It is unwise to have all our worldly goods stored in just our home. In a rental storage unit, we’ll store a cache of weapons, food, water, clothing, and camping gear. In the event that we are forced to leave our home quickly, some of our critical supplies are located within walking distance. We’ll also store some items with extended family members, who are within a short drive.
An important part of planning at this point is money. We need to make sure we have enough physical cash to cover several months of bills. If the banks are closed for an extend period, we might need to pay our electrical bill with cash.
A run on banks is the end of prosperity and the start of struggling. Fortunately, we have enough food and water to cover our needs for up to two years. After that, we’ll need to rely on our own ability to produce food. We’ll increase our garden. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to keep chickens and rabbits at our home, due to Home Owner Association (HOA) rules. But after a bank holiday and subsequent economic collapse, everyone will be scrambling to produce their own food. We’ll use some of physical silver to purchase chickens from local farmers.
People lived, survived, and thrived during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Since we are prepared and have some homestead skills, we’ll survive the Great Depression of 2010’s and 2020’s.