Survey: Future of Energy – Results: Ordering Preps for Collapse

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 6, 2015

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Discuss this article at the Survey Table inside the Diner

TAKE THE FUTURE OF ENERGY SURVEY HERE

For this Week's Collapse Survey TM, we are looking at the Energy question, with respect to Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Energy and Renewables, and what their future looks like over the next few years.  Results for last week's survey follow BELOW.

What is the future for these forms of energy production?  How long will they last?  How will Homo Sap adapt to a lower per capita energy future if we don't get some Magic Bullet like Cold Fusion from an Italian Inventor working in his garage or from the Ferengi arriving on Starship Freighters loaded with Dilithium Crystals and Gold Pressed Latinum, which they will trade just for a date with Kim Kardashian?

Copius amounts of energy are of course required to live the Technological lifestyle, from the energy required to move tons of metal around on the highways and byways; to the energy required to lift an Airbus off the ground full of Hawaii Vacationers; to the energy required to create your laptop and then to send information packets all over the globe on the World Wide Web.  This is a SHIT LOAD of energy!  So how much of this lifestyle will we retain, and if it is going to disappear, how fast will that happen?

Those are the questions for this week's Survey.

TAKE THE FUTURE OF ENERGY SURVEY HERE

Now, onto the RESULTS from last week's survey! πŸ™‚

survey-saysAll Kollapsniks TM think about Prepping Up for collapse in some way, but it is very Money Dependent for the most part.  How much Spare Change you have at the moment limits just how far along you personally can go into the world of Prepping.  If you're Steve Wozniak you can buy Doomstead property in New Zealand and probably afford to buy your own Micro-Nuclear Reactor from Hitachi too!  If you are a well to do former Stand Up Comedian like Hardscrabble Farmer, you can by a nice little Farm in Vermont and live the Gentleman Farmer life, at least for now before the Zombie Hordes start bicycling out of Beantown anyhow.

For most folks though, this kind of Prepping is just out of financial range.  At least 50% of the current population of the FSoA has no more than a month or two worth of savings to cover their regular bills, much less go spending it on a bunch of Collapse Preps!  So I decided to LIMIT the amount of money to something reasonable for an Amerikan still employed who has a little Stash of Cash that might be used for Prepping Up.

$10,000 seemed about right, you can buy a decent amount of food with this, you can buy a gun and some ammo, you can even afford a small plot of raw land out in the boonies for around $2000/acre.  This is still more cash than the average J6P has, but it's within reason.

How to allocate this money though?  What items are most important, which least important?

First question up, Order the Priorities!

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standard Deviation Responses Weighted Average
Long Lasting Foods (dried, canned, freeze dried etc) 17
(51.52%)
3
(9.09%)
6
(18.18%)
3
(9.09%)
2
(6.06%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
4.77 33 2.33 / 11
Food Production (Hydroponics, Aquaculutre, Garden etc) 1
(3.03%)
8
(24.24%)
7
(21.21%)
5
(15.15%)
3
(9.09%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
3
(9.09%)
2.49 33 4.61 / 11
Land 9
(27.27%)
4
(12.12%)
1
(3.03%)
2
(6.06%)
2
(6.06%)
1
(3.03%)
6
(18.18%)
2
(6.06%)
2.59 33 4.79 / 11
Guns & Ammo 0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
5
(15.15%)
7
(21.21%)
2
(6.06%)
7
(21.21%)
2
(6.06%)
1
(3.03%)
2.26 33 5.85 / 11
Barter Items (Booze, Cigarettes, Diapers, Tampons, Tools etc) 0
(0%)
3
(9.09%)
4
(12.12%)
2
(6.06%)
4
(12.12%)
5
(15.15%)
6
(18.18%)
5
(15.15%)
1.86 33 5.97 / 11
Cash (FRNs. Euros etc) 3
(9.09%)
4
(12.12%)
3
(9.09%)
2
(6.06%)
2
(6.06%)
4
(12.12%)
2
(6.06%)
2
(6.06%)
1.28 33 6.12 / 11
Alternative Shelter (tents, sleeping bags etc) 2
(6.06%)
5
(15.15%)
1
(3.03%)
2
(6.06%)
6
(18.18%)
3
(9.09%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
2.22 33 6.42 / 11
Alternative Transportation (bicycles, electric vehicles etc) 0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
4
(12.12%)
3
(9.09%)
2
(6.06%)
5
(15.15%)
4
(12.12%)
4
(12.12%)
1.35 33 6.55 / 11
Energy Production (Solar PV, Wind Turbine etc) 0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
1
(3.03%)
3
(9.09%)
6
(18.18%)
3
(9.09%)
6
(18.18%)
4
(12.12%)
1.76 33 6.73 / 11
Gold 1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
3
(9.09%)
0
(0%)
3
(9.09%)
3
(9.09%)
8
(24.24%)
2.52 33 8.03 / 11
Silver 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
4
(12.12%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
2
(6.06%)
3.52 33 8.61 / 11

The Gold Bugs will not be happy!  Gold & Silver rank the lowest on the list of priorities for Preps!  Cash in the form of paper notes got a much higher ranking, and Barter items higher than that.

Food unsurprisingly tops the list here, then after the food a way to Protect & Defend it, aka Guns & Ammo.  For the most part I agree with this ordering, although I think alternate energy production should be a little higher in prioritization.

Next up, how much of your small pile of FRNs do you allocate to long lasting foods?

  Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 0
(0%)
8
(24.24%)
11
(33.33%)
9
(27.27%)
3
(9.09%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
4.16 33

Once again a nice Bell curve, with most people coming in from $500 to $2000.  I'd go in on the high side with the $2000.  At about $3/day, this is about 2 years if you buy bulk and buy cheap.  A 50 lb bag of rice will last a long time, especially if you Vacuum Seal it into smaller bags.

How about buying a patch of land?

  Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 17
(50%)
2
(5.88%)
1
(2.94%)
4
(11.76%)
2
(5.88%)
0
(0%)
8
(23.53%)
5.51 34

The largest number of Preppers came in with the max amount of $5000, which could get you 2 acres of raw land out in the Boonies.  I personally would not spend my money that way though, unless you have several people involved who could each contribute.  Protecting & Defending the land would be difficult,

How much to CASH?

  Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 7
(20.59%)
6
(17.65%)
9
(26.47%)
7
(20.59%)
3
(8.82%)
0
(0%)
2
(5.88%)
3 34

20% of Preppers allocated ZERO to cash.  That is nuts to me.  Even in the worst case scenario of rapid hyperinflation, you can get rid of it for more barterable items in the last few days before the shelves go empty.  Put me in for $1000 in cash in the preps.

How much to Gold & Silver?

Gold Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 15
(44.12%)
7
(20.59%)
8
(23.53%)
1
(2.94%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
3
(8.82%)
5.11 34
Silver Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 17
(51.52%)
8
(24.24%)
4
(12.12%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
5.57 33

With such a small amount of available funds for prepping, most preppers allocate Zero to Gold & Silver, and I tend to agree with that.  Your money is better spent on some of the other items on the list.  If you have a lot more money to work with and have all your other bases well covered, then the PMs can be inserted into the prep supplies.

What about Guns & Ammo?

  Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 6
(17.65%)
10
(29.41%)
9
(26.47%)
7
(20.59%)
1
(2.94%)
0
(0%)
1
(2.94%)
3.83 34

Once again, you're working with a small chunk of change, so you can't spend too much money this way, but at least having your own handgun for self-protection is proabably a good idea.  If you are in an area where there is good hunting, a rifle as well would be good.  At gun shows and in pawn shops you can probably do both for $1000-2000.  Ammo is pretty expensive these days though, so if you are working with more than one caliber, this can drive your costs up rapidly.   After TSHTF, the ammo probably will become unavailable, so this prep has a limited lifespan.  For hunting purposes, you're probably better off with compound bow & arrow and/or crossbow, slingshot for small game like squirrels and traps.  Also Fishing gear as well of course.

How much for Energy production?

  Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 9
(28.13%)
5
(15.63%)
12
(37.5%)
4
(12.5%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.25%)
4.2 32

Once again, you're working with limited funds, and unless you have your own property on which to install a large PV array or a big Wind Turbine, it's pointless to spend a lot of money this way.  However, it is good if you at least have enough to keep your small electronic devices such as laptop, flashlights, FRS radios and so forth charged up. $500-1000 seems about right for this.  Small Wind turbines for RVs and Sailboats are available, and 1 250W Solar panel probably is what you go with on this one.

In the short term for short disruptions of electric power, you are simply out to lunch if you don't have a gas or propane powered Generator that can keep your electrics going for a week or two.  these things are NOT that expensive!  $300 will buy a decent one that will keep the fridge going, the lights on and your laptop up and running too!  20 Gallons of Gas or a 100lb Propane tank keeps you up and running for a week at least.

What about Food production?

  Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 7
(20.59%)
4
(11.76%)
11
(32.35%)
5
(14.71%)
2
(5.88%)
2
(5.88%)
3
(8.82%)
3 34

This also brings you back to having your own property, it's hard to be a food producer if you don't at least have your own property on which to do it!  However, even if you currently are living in a small apartment in NY Shity, you can experiment with Hydroponics and growing veggies in window boxes and so forth.  Learn how to save seeds, and use Heirloom seeds that will breed true.  At least you will learn the techniques.  So $500 spent this way seems OK to me.  This is a post TSHTF educational investment.  You're most likely NOT going to be able to raise enough food without a decent amount of space to feed yourself, but learning how to do it is worthwhile.  We do have one Diner though who manages to raise about 80% of his nutritional needs inside his McHovel utilizing Hydroponics, so you can make a real good dent here even in a small space.

How much goes to Barter Items?

  Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 5
(14.71%)
9
(26.47%)
15
(44.12%)
4
(11.76%)
0
(0%)
1
(2.94%)
0
(0%)
5.11 34

If you don't have your own means for producing Food, Barter items can be of great value in helping you last a while longer before you Buy Your Ticket to the Great Beyond TM!  I'll go with the majority opinion here of $1000 for barter items.  If you have your own distillation apparatus and can distill alcohol, this could help you last long term as well. πŸ™‚

What about Alternative Transportation?

  Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 9
(28.13%)
15
(46.88%)
5
(15.63%)
2
(6.25%)
1
(3.13%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
5.21 32

RE-EwzYou definitely want SOME form of alternative Transportation for TSHTF scenario, a good Bicycle with a Bike Trailer is MINIMUM here.  This you can do for the $500 that most Preppers suggest.  In my case, I have an Electric Scooter, the famed Ewz,  which I picked up for $550, plus an extra BattSet for another $150.  This can get me around a range of 20 miles or so, which is plenty in most circumstances.  So, $500-1000 seems about right for alternative transportation.  On the slim budget of $10K you are NOT going to be able to afford one of Elon Musk's latest EVs!

https://i1.wp.com/static5.businessinsider.com/image/530610acecad049d0316d24c/elon-musk-teslas-suv-will-be-more-popular-than-the-model-s-sedan.jpg

Do I need Alternative Shelter?

  Zero $500 $1000 $2000 $3000 $4000 $5000 Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 8
(24.24%)
17
(51.52%)
5
(15.15%)
2
(6.06%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
5.7 33

The majority of Preppers do favor spending some of your precious FRNs on Alternative Shelter, but not a lot. Basically this amounts to having a good Tent or Tents to use in Emergency Circumstances, like say Wildfires were threatening your McHovel and you had to make a run for your life.  You can do the Tents for well under the $500 mark.

However, you can do better than this depending how you allocate your $10K.  For instance, I picked up my ancient but well preserved Bugout Machine on the used market for $5000.  A very comfortable and well appointed Emergency Shelter, and mobile too as long as the tank is filled with gas!  Add in an acre of property to park it on, you might be able to make it for a year with enough food preps!

RE-BM-Camp3

You can do an even cheaper but better-than-tent shelter with a Used Van, which you can pick up on the used market for under $1000.  Roamer & me call this "Stealth Living", because it is possible to do even in an Urban environment.

For myself, obviously I did spend the $5K for the Bugout Machine, and it drove up my Prep costs to over the $10K we have to work with here in total.  However, the rest of my preps at the moment come in somewhat less than $10K, so I am not too much over the limit.

Now, if you are allocating some of your Cash Stash to Barter Items, which ones are best?

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standard Deviation Responses Weighted Average
Antibiotics 12
(37.5%)
3
(9.38%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.25%)
8
(25%)
1
(3.13%)
2
(6.25%)
0
(0%)
3.43 32 4.06 / 13
Toilet Paper 8
(25%)
3
(9.38%)
2
(6.25%)
1
(3.13%)
5
(15.63%)
2
(6.25%)
4
(12.5%)
2
(6.25%)
2.17 32 4.75 / 13
Cheap Booze (Generic Vodka etc) 4
(12.5%)
4
(12.5%)
6
(18.75%)
5
(15.63%)
3
(9.38%)
1
(3.13%)
2
(6.25%)
2
(6.25%)
1.74 32 4.78 / 13
Soap 1
(3.13%)
4
(12.5%)
6
(18.75%)
3
(9.38%)
2
(6.25%)
5
(15.63%)
5
(15.63%)
2
(6.25%)
1.91 32 5.31 / 13
Cigarettes 2
(6.25%)
4
(12.5%)
4
(12.5%)
7
(21.88%)
4
(12.5%)
3
(9.38%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.13%)
1.82 32 5.5 / 13
Bullets 4
(12.5%)
6
(18.75%)
3
(9.38%)
2
(6.25%)
3
(9.38%)
2
(6.25%)
1
(3.13%)
2
(6.25%)
1.55 32 6.00/ 13
Shoes 0
(0%)
4
(12.5%)
3
(9.38%)
2
(6.25%)
0
(0%)
3
(9.38%)
2
(6.25%)
7
(21.88%)
1.99 32 6.97 / 13
Laundry Detergent 0
(0%)
1
(3.13%)
3
(9.38%)
3
(9.38%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.25%)
3
(9.38%)
3
(9.38%)
1.78 32 8.03 / 13
Tampons 0
(0%)
2
(6.25%)
1
(3.13%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.13%)
4
(12.5%)
2
(6.25%)
6
(18.75%)
1.87 32 8.69 / 13
Expensive Booze (Single Malt Scotch, etc) 1
(3.13%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.25%)
3
(9.38%)
1
(3.13%)
2
(6.25%)
2
(6.25%)
2
(6.25%)
1.5 32 8.81 / 13
Pampers 0
(0%)
1
(3.13%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.13%)
1
(3.13%)
2
(6.25%)
5
(15.63%)
3
(9.38%)
1.95 32 9.06 / 13
Condoms 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.13%)
0
(0%)
4
(12.5%)
2
(6.25%)
2
(6.25%)
1
(3.13%)
2.06 32 9.25 / 13
Marijuana 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.13%)
3
(9.38%)
0
(0%)
3
(9.38%)
2
(6.25%)
1
(3.13%)
2.53 32 9.78 / 13

This was the most surprising result of this survey to me.  Although antibiotics do have great value when somebody gets sick, they're not too commonly needed and for the most part you can do without them and let your immune system take care of most infections if you wait it out, keep the wound clean and so forth.  Chicken Soup also works well. Jewish Penicillin. πŸ™‚ lol.

Matzoh_Ball_Soup

I would go with stuff more commonly necessary, like the Pampers, Tampons, Shoes etc.  Booze also since in a SHTF scenario many people will want to stay drunk as much as they can.  LOL.

Whatever your barter item choices are though, I would go with about $1000 spent total this way, and distribute it out amongst the choices.

Now, onto the ENERGY QUESTIONS!

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