Could You Go Off Grid?

Could You Go Off Grid?

We take modern conveniences for granted, assuming they will always be there. Electricity provides near endless comfort and convenience like air conditioning, hot water, fast cooking, entertainment, internet, hot coffee, etc. These things make our lives easier, more comfortable and more productive, but they haven’t always been there. My grandfather, born in 1918, grew up on a farm in Magnolia Arkansas where they had no electricity, no running water, and no TV. However, they managed to run a successful farm, raise a family and make it through the great depression with relative ease. Growing up in this environment, he learned how to solve problems through ingenuity and what you have on hand.

How would you fair if a storm knocked the power out for three days?  What would you do with the food in your fridge, or your deep freezer? Do you have a good LED lantern or some long lasting candles? How about hot water? What if that outage lasted longer and/or was intermittent for months on end?




Test Run

 As an experiment, you could try living without power for a weekend. Go to your circuit panel and shut off everything, except maybe your fridge/freezer, but shutoff everything else.   How is the house going to feel without air-conditioning, hot water, lights, internet, tv, phone charging, etc?   If you haven’t gone through a power outage lately, you might find this experience a bit jarring. This exercise is also a great way to psychologically prepare for



What it takes to go “off grid.

 Going “Off Grid” can be expensive and daunting, but in reality can take many forms and fit a broad range of budgets. If you wanted to take a 4,000 square foot home completely off grid, but use power the same way you would normally, you might be looking at $50,000-75,000.  On the other end of the scale, if you wanted only essentials backed up, you could take a fridge, freezer, coffee maker, phone chargers and a handful of lights off grid for maybe $4,000.  

In-between there are many options to keep costs in check, but ensure you have the important things backed up.  














Inflation & How It Affects Your Family

Inflation & How It Affects Your Family

Costs of Inflation- gas prices rising

Inflation is real, it is rising, and it reduces your spending power and quality of life AND, there is not any suggestion that it will be dropping anytime soon. The latest government published inflation rate is 8.6% which is bad enough, but real inflation is several times higher ranging from 15-25% and even up to 100%+ based on product type. Fuel is an obvious one, but so is every other regular purchase like food, energy, cars, rent, etc. What it really means is your hard earned dollar only buys you 80% of what it used to, or put another way, you’ll need to work an extra day a week to have the same purchasing power.

How It Affects Your Family

In most cases, you don’t have the opportunity to earn more, so you will instead have to cut. You’ll need to cancel subscriptions, drive less, eat out less, stay off Amazon and generally trim back. Most things won’t hurt, but this will reduce what your family can do for entertainment, recreation, and whim.

This is all uncomfortable and a real bummer, but what if it gets worse? Generally, the U.S. has been pretty stable and even when the economy takes a hit, the pain is limited. Many other countries have faced far worse issues with inflation, where every day their money buys less and less. In several instances, the value of the currency was less than the paper it was printed on. It would take wheel barrels of cash to pay for a few groceries.

Jobs & Supply chain

Inflation hits companies too and we will start seeing more and more businesses laying off and cutting spending. Eventually that shows up with reduced output and more shortages and possibly more inflation. It also means that you job may not be as stable as you would hope. You must consider what life looks like if you are laid off. How do you pay bills, keep food on the table and manage the essentials of life.

Shrinking Savings

Not only does your paycheck not stretch as far, but your savings and investments are also worth less. Your retirement plans will seriously be impacted because most of these are not inflation adjusted. Social Security is inflation adjusted, but it is based on the official government

What To Do?

If you have more than $10,000 to $20,000 of cash savings, consider going ahead and buying any items you’ll need in the next 6 months or so. food, pantry items, car service items (tires, oil, repairs, etc), clothing, tools, etc. Once that is squared away, consider buying other hard assets that will be useful or valuable like land, gold, silver, ammo, or anything else that has long term value or functionality. Otherwise, those dollars will shrink in real value. You might even reevaluate your 401K, stock holdings, and other financial market based investments as those will continue to drop. If you need to access that money in the next few years, it’s probably a good idea to take it out now, even if a loss from our recent highs

10 Reasons to Get Prepared Now

10 Reasons to Get Prepared Now

If you are on this site, it’s likely that you are more than aware that all is not well, or as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’. Something is rotten and the stench is getting worse by the day and there is little sign that things will get better soon. Hopefully seeing this list in one glance will provide additional motivation to get prepared now.  

1. Food Shortages
Not since the great depression have Americans had to consider food shortages and going hungry. Our current trajectory shows it is a possibility. Just inflation driven food and energy costs alone are going to put some families into a tight spot. However, the situation is possibly much worse. The turmoil between Russia and Ukraine has taken two of the largest grain and fertilizer producers out of the game. Between the two, they produce almost 25% of the WORLDS grain, and now this falls crop has either not been planted, or will be tied up in embargos and trade conflicts. Most of that grain goes to Africa and European countries, but we will still be impacted by price. On our shores, a number of farmers have either not planted or scaled back their crops due to the cost of fuel, fertilizer and seed. This mean this fall’s harvest will be greatly reduced, driving prices up and possibly impacting grocery store shelves.

That’s not all folks! Nope, to add insult to injury, food processing plants, chicken houses, and food distribution centers have been catching fire left and right. Hard to believe, but two were hit by planes falling from the sky. Adding to the craziness, avian flu concerns caused the USDA to order the destruction of millions of egg and meat bids. Don’t forget the thousands of cattle in Kansas that dropped dead all at once due to a “heat wave”. It’s not hard to imagine some conspiracy in these occurrences, but even setting that possibility aside, it still means that our food supply is strained on yet another level.

“Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can

control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.”

Henry Kissinger

2. Inflation
Inflation officially stands at 8.6%, a 40 year high, but real inflation is likely higher than 15%. That is about 3 times higher than the norm, and is worse that the 80’s. Our current administration seems to be more interested in ignoring the issue, or passing the buck, so I wouldn’t expect any government action that helps resolve the issue. It’s bad today, but likely worse tomorrow, so if you are going to buy anything, might as well do it now, versus waiting for it to be more expensive.

3. Supply Chain Disruptions/Shutdowns
We are still feeling the impact of COVID related supply chain disruptions which in reality are minimal. However, that minimal disruption has caused much grief, with the infant formula causing distress in quite a few families. Imagine if those disruptions were 2 times, or five, times or even ten times worse.

4. Economic Downturn
A depressed economy often goes hand in hand with inflation, compounding the pain. Expect lower business revenues, job cuts, companies going out of business, salaries may be cut, 401K’s slashed, home values diminished, and more. We are currently seeing layoffs happening now along with the stock market crashing, destroying 401k values. It is all pointing towards a multi-year period of economic recession, possibly even depression.

5. Social/Political Unrest
The past five years have exhibited unrest not seen since the sixties. BLM, Antifa, Bugaloo Boys, and even the capitol riots are examples that our society is not healthy. Legitimately or not, people are upset and are trying to foment change both through political mean and violence. There is so much of a spread between viewpoints on the right and left, coast versus flyover country, metropolitan areas versus rural that’s not entirely out of the question for a civil war. It seems far fetched, but there is a growing rift between the federal government, states and the people that could cause a major break and ensuing conflict.

6. International Conflicts

The Russia Ukraine war is currently just a regional issue, but has the possibility of spilling over into Europe and dragging us further into the conflict through NATO. A hot war with Russia would cause further instability the global economy. This conflict could possibly embolden China who has it’s eyes on taking over Taiwan. Not only does that mean a larger potential conflict, but Taiwan is by far the largest computer chip producer in the world. If China controls that resource, it’ll probably not be a good position for the U.S. Who knows where it’ll all go, but it’s another item in the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) column.

7. Energy costs/shortages
While inflation is a major driver in fuel costs, there are a slew of other issues that are causing energy prices to skyrocket. Nationally, we are producing 10-15% less oil than we were two years ago, which is no surprise when this administration declared it wanted to end fossil fuels. Doing this at the same time demand is rebounding from Covid shutdowns can only result in one thing, Higher prices. The current administration is showing no sign of supporting growth of domestic fuel or energy.

“We Are Going To Get Rid of Fossil Fuels”

Joe Biden

We are also seeing an increase in rolling brown and blackouts as energy producers are stretched thin and infrastructure is pushed to the limits. California just asked for people to avoid charging their EV because of demand on the grid. Major grid disruptions can cause a larger collapse of the grid as we saw in 2003 in the Northeast and Canada. If you have solar and batteries or at least a generator, it is a small blip. Otherwise, you could lose thousands in frozen and refrigerated food.

8. Health Emergency
Covid hasn’t quite left the scene with cases across the U.S. bumping up a bit, but for the most part it seems a mild risk at most. However, Joe Biden just mentioned that there was going to be another pandemic that where we need additional money in order to prepare. Once again, you don’t need to lean on conspiracy theories to take this threat seriously. We live in a very interconnected world where disease spreads and spreads quickly. It doesn’t take a man made disaster, nature herself can throw something at us that is far worse than Covid.

9. Terrorist Attack
It’s certainly not off the table, even though we’ve been distracted by other disasters. Our enemies might find our current disorder a perfect time to kick us while we are down. If an attack were to happen, fear could spiral out of control.

10. Asteroid
Why not, everything else is crazy, so throw that into the equation. Kidding aside, part of being prepared is to be ready for issues that you just haven’t thought about.

Any one of these issues should be an inspiration to evaluate just how prepared you are. Best case scenario, you have purchased food and goods at a lower price than they will be next month and next year, saving you a few bucks. Worst case scenario, you keep your family alive, reduce the fear you feel, and be in a position to make good decisions and help others. Either way, it should be clear that serious effort and dollars be put into motion to prepare yourself and family for the strange times we find ourselves in.

“Plan for what it is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.”―

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

So….now that you are thoroughly depressed and angry, what do you do? First, take a breath and realize that previous generations have had it much worse and they managed to survive and those that were prepared, thrived. Second, evaluate where you are and decided where you want to be in the next month, quarter and year. Third, take action and do something every day to make sure that you and your family can navigate this crazy world. It’s not easy and there are a ton of things to think about, but we can help you define and reach your goals and get prepared.