General Question

sketchstudios's avatar

What are some good ideas to do to prepare for a Great Depression in the U.S.?

Asked by sketchstudios (87points) October 10th, 2008

I would like to compile a list of things to do, things to have, perhaps places to go, and other vital information to know if/when things get extremely bad and another Great Depression hits. (I’m talking well into the final stages: survivalism, etc)

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22 Answers

Judi's avatar

plant a garden
learn to can
conserve energy and find alternative energy…

cooksalot's avatar

Yeah what @Judi said.

Bri_L's avatar

@ Robmandu- that is fricken COOL! And it’s vegitarian! My wife is.

squirbel's avatar

Buy seeds. Tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, cucumbers, squash, broccoli, etc.
Buy clean water, and buy tablets to purify bad water. [more of the latter, imho]
Learn to preserve meats, veggies, and other perishables – methods that don’t require refrigeration.
Save your money, and don’t spend frivolously anymore. If you can, exchange amounts in batches for gold or another, more stable currency.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Buy the Solar Living Source Book by John Schaffer and Back to Basics by Abigail Gehring and do what the previous posts say.

buster's avatar

Get a shotgun and kill yummy wildlife.

Magnus's avatar

Get your house of the grid, power it yourself.
Invest in gold/silver.

cooksalot's avatar

Remember Y2K? I think the ideas would be about the same. Just no moola to do it with.

scamp's avatar

@robmandu I plan on getting one of those to take camping! Thanks for the link!

Lovelocke's avatar

@Robmandu: Intense! I have a Costco card too… I haven’t seen that in the store, however.

Also: Anyone thinking about SEEDS/GROWING FOOD – A lot of good it will do you when you get kicked out of your home.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Build a time machine and go back to 1929. The stuff we learned from that one will keep the next one from happening.

The conditions in 1929 were not dissimilar to what is happening now, but the way it was handled was very different, and very wrong. The Federal Reserve tightened the money supply in response to bank failures, which cascaded into more failures. There was no SEC, no FDIC, and no one who had a lick of sense what to do until it was too late. It is not too late now. Wait. This will pass, probably before the middle of next year.

Bri_L's avatar

@ ALL – NOTE: You might want to call ahead and verify they have it. The sight indicates that some of the products are only available on

galileogirl's avatar

I have been prepared for years. It’s called being thrifty. Never spend more for living expenses than you earn. Live in a home you can afford. Never buy new things just because your old stuff is “outdated”. That includes your car, your appliances and your winter coat. Luxury items are for special occasions and “I’m too tired to cook” is not a special occasion. Children don’t need a closet crammed with clothes or a room filled with toys. Try limiting gifts to Christmas and if the grandparents are buying toys, give the kids clothes Besides Christmas underwear and pj’s, shopping should be limited to back to school and maybe a couple of spring/summer things. Don’t forget Goodwill or home sewing for play clothes. Instead of buying gifts for the inlaws, host family dinners. Grandpa doesn’t want an iPod, he would rather have a nice supper with well behaved kids-then 2 hours later he gets to go home.

Before you go crazy gardening/preserving think about the real costs. Do you have the the pots/pans/jars/condiments needed. What do you have to do to your yard? Do you have to buy tools, rent a cultivator, enrich your soil. Before you start a money saving project think of the alternatives. Growing corn, beans, squash and tomatoes may look economical but are you willing to store a years worth and eat 3 or 4 vegetables over and over. Buying a variety of canned and frozen fruits and vegetables on sale might prove to be more economical.

The idea is to pare down not to take on expensive and time consuming projects. Just like a food diary helps you to lose weight, a spending diary can help economize. But the most important thing is to always have 3–6 months expenses in a savings account, whether the economy is good or bad.

Lovelocke's avatar

Some people in the US are being evicted from their homes, even if they can afford it and DO pay every month on time. Their landlords (for renters, at least) aren’t keeping up with payments on their end, and so, hundreds of families across the country are coming home from work to find their stuff on the front lawn.

It’s even worse for apartments who allow both section 8 and non-section 8 residents. Whole apartment complexes are being allowed to fall behind on repairs and code, so that the city can come in and shut them down and evict the entire population. This takes many months to “build up to that point”, meanwhile the owner is stockpiling cash via neglect. When all of the people are out, they spend the stockpile to fix “things”, then discontinue their participation in the section 8 program, charge an additional $100 – $150 a month per apartment and repopulate… pushing the poor out of the way, and charging a premium for new residents for what’s essentially a new paint job in the same crap holes.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@LoveLocke, the Cook County Sheriff, who handles evictions in much of the Chicago area, has stopped evicting people who are in this situation. There are a few heroes left out there.

JackAdams's avatar

As information, the Cook County Sheriff is Thomas J. Dart.

May Gawd richly bless him for his compassion, and “May the Gold of a million Leprechauns be deposited into his jockey shorts.”

He should also be nominated for Sainthood when he passes on…

Jack79's avatar

…move to Mexico?

Jack79's avatar

or you could simply get on a raft and sail to Cuba. I’m sure Fidel would be waiting with open arms. Well, some arms anyway…

VzzBzz's avatar

I’ve been mentally and fiscally preparing during the last 5 years because I knew this depression we are experiencing now would come and I believe it will be with us awhile.
If you have to, can you fit your essentials into a car? Do you know how to camp outdoors? Have you pared down your bills to the bare expenses that can be paid from any location? Have you considered raising a few small food animals such as rabbits or laying hens? Do you have contacts in other states/cities/countries where you could go if you become homeless? Have you put aside items that could be considered valuable for barter such as weapons, jewelry, books, antiques?

Spirit_of_the_Nomad's avatar

@buster lol what are you going to do when you run out of ammunition?

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