Last week, our stock market began to freefall. By Friday, August 21, the market was down more than 1300 points. Over the course of two days, it dropped further than any single-day crash in American history.
But it wasn’t just the US stock market that had a bad week. According to Zero Hedge, markets across the globe are going to heck on a greased slide:
- China’s worst week since July – closes at 5 month lows
- Global Stocks’ worst week since May 2012
- US Stocks’ worst week in 4 years
- VIX’s biggest weekly rise ever
- Crude’s longest losing streak in 29 years
- Gold’s best week since January
- 5Y TSY Yield’s biggest absolute drop in 2 years
Updated to add: The stock markets of Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar have just crashed.
I’m no financial expert, but this seems like a collection of very, very bad signs. It’s time to sit up, pay attention, and be prepared to take immediate actions.
It’s time to pay attention because this could go one of two ways.
This could just be a tremor before the Big One hits. The economic gurus at the Fed could find another way to kick the can a little bit further down the road, giving you more time to get your personal financial situaion under control. Obviously, things just aren’t right, and you can consider this a warning bell.
This could be “it”. If there are no creative, fake-money-from-thin-air remedies left, the market will continue to fall when it opens on Monday. If the market is still dropping, it’s game on.
Take these immediate steps if the market continues to fall.
I hate predictions.
I really cringe when people try to make economic predictions or pinpoint specific dates for impending financial disaster. So please realize I’m not making a prediction when I say this.
Watch the market on Monday. Carefully. Like it’s your job.
If it continues to fall, we could be in big trouble.
If on Monday, the market is still plummeting, it’s time to take action immediately. None of these steps will have long-term consequences if things level out, but they could make your life a whole lot easier if things get worse. Here’s what you need to do immediately in the event of a stock market crash.
- Take your money out of the bank ASAP. If you still keep your money in the bank, go there and remove as much as you can while leaving in enough to pay your bills. Although it wasn’t a market collapse in Greece recently, the banks did close and limit ATM withdrawals. People went for quite some time without being able to access their money, but were able to have a sense of normalcy by transferring money online to pay bills or using their debit cards to make purchases. Get your cash out. You don’t want to be at the mercy of the banks.
- Stock up on supplies. Make sure you are prepped. If you’re behind on your preparedness efforts and need to do this quickly, you can order buckets of emergency food just to have some on hand. (Learn how to build an emergency food supply using freeze dried food HERE) Hit the grocery store or wholesale club and stock up there, too, on your way home.
- Load up on fuel. Fill up your gas tank and fill your extra cans also. Quite often, fuel prices skyrocket in the wake of a market crash.
- Be prepared for the potential of civil unrest. If the banks put a limit on withdrawals (or close like they did in Greece) you can look for some panic to occur. If the stores dramatically increase prices or close..more panic. Be armed and be prepared to stay safely at home. (Although this article was written during the Ferguson race riots, civil unrest follows a similar pattern regardless of the cause.)
- Be prepared for the possibility of being unable to pay your bills. If things really go downhill, the middle class and those who are the working poor will be the most strongly affected, as they have been in Greece during that country’s ongoing financial crisis. This article talks about surviving if you are unable to pay all of your bills.
After the crash, focus on information
Hopefully there’s no need to empty out your bank accounts, stock up on last minute supplies, or lock-and-load for home protection. However, if this is a crisis situation, an actual 1929/2008-style stock market crash, you need to take your preps to the next level.
Information is the key. It’s imperative that you learn everything you can so that you know what you need to add to your preps. Do these two things if it looks like the situation is more than a blip:
#1. Bookmark these preparedness websites. (Free)
The internet is a wonderful place, and best of all, this knowledge can be found for FREE! The more you know about crisis situations, the more ready you will be to face them. Some sites are friendlier to beginners than others, so if you stumble upon a forum where people seem less than enthusiastic about helping people who are just starting out, don’t let it get you down. Move on and find a site that makes you feel comfortable. Following are some of my favorites, and the link will take you to a good starting point on these sites. In no particular order:
Following are some of my favorites, and the link will take you to a good starting point on these sites. (Actually, it’s wise to begin increasing your knowledge even if we get a reprieve.) In no particular order:
- The Organic Prepper (obviously!)
- Backdoor Survival
- Ready Nutrition
- Graywolf Survival
- Underground Medic
- Survival Blog
- The Survival Mom
- Herbal Prepper
- Prepper Website
#2. Build your library. (Small expense)
This is where some money could come into play. Most of the time, people in the preparedness world like to have hard copies of important information. This way, if the power goes out and you can’t access the internet or recharge your Kindle, you still have access to vital advice.
Some of these books are for just such an event, while others are guides to building your self-reliance skills. Commit to picking up a good book each pay period until you have a library to reference during any type of scenario.
- The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster (This is the be-all and end-all Bible of prepping. I wish I could put my own book first, but Tess’s book is the most complete compendium out there, broken into easy, manageable steps.)
- The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget (This is my newest book, which outlines building your pantry while on a strict budget)
- The Complete Tightwad Gazette (While this book is about hardcore frugality, trust me, there’s crossover. There are a lot of great suggestions for creating stockpiles on a budget, living simply, and doing things the old-fashioned way. And saving money is always a good idea, so that you can use it to help you become more prepared.)
- SAS Survival Guide: How to Survive in the Wild, on Land or Sea (I keep this little gem in my vehicle, my bug out bag, and in my kids’ backpacks. It doesn’t go into lots of detail, but if you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere, this small book could save your life.)
- The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself(A compendium of all things self-reliance)
- Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary (If you can’t protect it, you don’t own it. It’s that simple.)
- How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times (By James Wesley Rawles, who many consider to be the “Father” of the modern preparedness movement)
- The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster (Quick, inexpensive preparedness steps that anyone can take)
- The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way (It’s vital to have a guide on hand that doesn’t rely on 911 for serious injuries, in the event that you’re completely on your own)
- The Organic Canner (It’s awesome to grow your food, but how will you make it last through the winter, particularly during an off-grid scenario?)
- Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Written by my friend and colleague, Cat Ellis, this book has everything you need to know about creating your own medicine and caring for your family’s health in the event of a crisis.
- Get Prepared Now: Written by the autor of The Economic Collapse Blog himself, this book will provide you with budget-friendly, practical, collapse-specific advice.
- Prepper’s Financial Guide: By prolific author Jim Cobb, this book will help you figure out how to function in a post-collapse marketplace.
Be sure to check out used bookstores, libraries, and garage sales, too. Look for books that teach self-reliant skills like sewing, gardening, animal husbandry, carpentry, repair manuals, scratch cooking, and plant identification. You can often pick these up for pennies, and older books don’t rely on expensive new technology or tools for doing these tasks.
Collapse is inevitable
Hopefully this is a brief crash and the market recovers. That gives us more time to prepare, and nearly everyone could deal with a little more time.
However, it’s imperative that you be watchful. This might be the triggering event for our next Great Depression. Be prepared to take action.
This may just be a warning bell, but we all know that it’s only a matter of time until we’re all out of warnings.