Be Prepared in Case of Emergency-Part 3
By Susan-Steffen Kraft
Medical supplies are an important thing to have and if you have room for extra ones then I suggest stocking up on duct tape and butterfly sutures. Wound dressings, antibiotic ointments and antiseptics such as peroxide and alcohol will come in handy. Pain killers help too. From aspirin to chemical ice bags plus a few things for allergies such as an epi-pen and antihistamine would be helpful also. And always keep on hand things that apply to your own unique medical conditions if you have any.
Sugar is usually and was many times in the past, an item that people wanted badly. If you have that, someone will trade you for something you need. There are always people with a sweet tooth around. Toilet paper, well there is no need for an explanation for that item because many will not want to use catalogs or leaves from a tree. I would rather use strips of rags if need be, but stock up if you can and keep a little extra of the Toilet paper just in case.
Speaking of rags put some away because they come in handy for many things. Cleaning, wiping, etc. A big bag should suffice and they don't need to be new; just clean. You will need them and others may also.
Matches and lighters, batteries and candles, bleach to sanitize and clean stuff, water purification drops for yourself and to trade to others, water bottles and detergent are also among the things people will be looking for. Add to the list bars of soap and should you be so inclined wine and cigarettes. Although that is not something I personally would use or keep they will make great bartering potential because people may be cut off from them.
Gas and oil are also too valuable consumables that people will want to trade for. Coleman fuel, kerosene and firewood are other items people will start trading for depending on what items they own.
And anyone who can provide a useful service will be in demand for that service such as mechanic skills, for example, which will come in handy to trade for items they need.
Coffee is another item people will want. True, they may not need it but trust me, many will have coffee withdrawals when the time arrives and will trade you to have their caffeine fix.
Speaking of which I will assume many of you know what bartering is, but if not here is a simple explanation. Bartering is simply exchanging goods or services for other goods or services. It is trading without using money which unless you have real coins and not paper dollars will probably be worthless anyhow.
Barter also comes down to how desperate you are and to how critical the items really are for you to give them up to barter for something else. Can you live without toilet paper versus that last wool blanket? I would say in the winter that a wool blanket would be important and having an extra one or two for those who do not will net you a lot in your bartering. You yourself will pay dearly for what you did not see fit to store now. Water, food, shelter, warmth are always four things you know you will need; these are critical needs to take care of versus whimsical needs. This should always be taken care of first when prepping. However, once you do that then you add the other things so you have them and have extras to trade.
Remember when you think of the best items to store for bartering, they will have these features:
a. inexpensive now
b. anticipated high value later
c. store easily
d. useful if retained, not bartered
Barter with people you know, at least as acquaintances or neighbors. In disastrous times, it might be unwise to barter with people you don't know because of the fact that you have no idea who they are or what they might pull on you. In other words they are an unknown factor. But you will have to use your own judgment on this.
A person who goes by the name of Hammerun suggested that "bolts, screws, washers, brads, nails, oil, grease and here’s an interesting one, an assortment of springs. Do you have any idea how difficult making a simple coil spring is? Fabricating metal, steel aluminum, corrugated tin, sheet steel, channel, square/round tubing, angle, flat, MIG welding wire, rod. Retain “any” usable metal remnants, all of them no matter how small. You can always get rid of them later, just imagine when you need one and there is no place to get one, now!"
He went on to say "You will make do if there is no other alternative, just have a place to start and have something to start with other than a want and an idea. For the more advanced, get a vertical mill (glorified drill press) and the tools that go with it. I have a feeling in a post-apocalyptic atmosphere when you can’t buy a new one you will want to repair the old one. If you have nothing else, a mill will always do. Tire repairing materials, patches, plugs, valve stems. Tools to break down tires. Just a bead breaker and a set of spoons."
He also added that "I didn’t say it would be easy, but it’s better than nothing. Another one, alternatives to power tools. Just the simple drilling of a hole will be a task without that cordless DeWalt. I can’t stress tools enough; they can make your tasks easier and will in all likelihood make you a small living. Oils are another thing I am big on. Machines don’t run well with no oil. “Any” oil will do. It might not be the fancy multi-grade, high viscosity, whizzbang stuff that we are use to, but then again, it’s better than nothing. Try to make a can of it!"
The best money to keep on hand to barter with is a good mix of gold, silver, U.S. dollars. A silver 10 oz. coin is worth ten to twenty dollars. Having a little gold is fine, but if your ten pieces of gold are worth one thousand dollars and that is all you have you would have to be really hungry to trade one gold coin off for that bread. This is why a mix of money is the best answer.
You may think the paper dollars are worth nothing but to someone else they may still believe in their value and just in case, I would have some fives, tens, and twenties plus they are easier to conceal because of the fact they are made of paper. My best advice is that gold and silver make a great barter and are accepted by many which would include merchants who are selling goods and services. These should be available convenient smaller sizes.
Also, many times I think the coins that had real silver in them before the substitution of copper as in dimes and quarters plus silver dollars are easier to buy and keep to barter with. The story is that silver coins have to be minted prior to 1964 because they were 90% silver. After 1964, they were nothing more than copper sandwiched between a little "chrome" on the top.
In a quote from survialistboards.com; "If silver gets to $50 per ounce and we need to use silver for barter, all we have to know is how much actual silver is in the individual coin and we can calculate its value based on a $50 per ounce. For example, the Mercury Dime contains 0.07 of an ounce of silver, and if we multiply that times $50 an oz. for silver, it equals $3.50. If a loaf of bread is $3 or $4, you could use silver for barter to buy a loaf of bread with that Mercury Dime. A quarter contains 0.18 of an ounce of silver and would be worth $9.00. A Walking Liberty half-dollar contains 0.366 of an ounce of silver and would be worth $18.30. A silver dollar contains 0.777 of an ounce of silver and would be worth $38.85".
For safety reasons never keep all of this cash in one place. Pop cans, hollowed out books, use duct tape and tape to the bottom of a drawer, and even a hollowed out book. There are many other unusual spots one can find to conceal their cash.
Here is a good article on metals and bartering value.
By the way, no one will want your credit card in times of disaster, EMPs, terrorist attacks, etc. They will want to barter for real cash and other essentials from food to toilet paper. Part 2 which I already published covers that.
Everyone should be armed in some way, and as a fact of human nature when the harsh reality sets in, even the people who clamored to outlaw guns will be clamoring to get one. I do not own a gun so am not an expert on them or the bartering of them. However, I can read and ask questions so thus I will present a little information on this topic from my gleanings.
By customizing your trading stock and having some of all the most popular calibers you are enabled to diversify your purchasing power when the "world goes to hell in a hand-basket" as the old saying goes. If you are willing and able to stock up on ammo for barter, get the most common calibers: .45acp, .40 S&W, and 9mm, .22, .38, and 12-guage shells, etc. are also potential barter or so goes the advice. Guns without ammo are just like throwing an object. In that case, you might as well have a throwing knife or any kind of knife which really is not such a bad idea anyhow along with pepper spray, tasers and tear gas which will afford you with some protection.
Ammo, as a matter of fact, is something most can use to feed and protect their families when civil/social disruption is going on. Ammo for barter will also provide much more flexible negotiations. It is also divisible into rounds, boxes, cases, or even truckloads. Ammunition prices are not going down in the near future considering the restrictions that have been placed on the manufacturing and sale of ammunition that has been happening lately. In a post collapse, no one will care much for those restrictions that many will ignore anyhow. Ultimately, read up on and learn more about bartering as it can help you in times of crises and possibly save you from the many problems which arise during those hard times. Knowledge is gained by learning and again I have only touched the tip of the iceberg. I am trying to present some ideas and facts and you will have to go on from there. Many articles are out there to guide you to what to do and how to do it.