by Jim Saemann, AB3RA
SURVIVAL NET Session 6 took place on February 10. While we normally like to use 3.983, the frequency was occupied so we moved to 3.977. Band conditions were decent but we did run into some QRM from another net on a nearby frequency.
The topic of discussion was financial survival in times of economic distress. Before summarizing our discussion, I would like to thank Dieter (K3DK) for standing in for me as net control on January 27. I was taking my daughter back to college that night and Dieter ran a lively discussion about emergency power generation.
I’d also like to thank everyone on the Liberty Net last Saturday for allowing me to stand in for Vic as net control while Vic was addressing an antenna issue. There was a long list of check-ins that night and we had a lively discussion. My respect for Vic, which was already high, grew by leaps and bounds when I had to stand in his shoes for 2-1/2 hours!
Last week’s Survival Net started with a discussion about defensive measures families can take to prepare their finances. Important points were getting out of debt (especially high interest credit card debt), cutting back discretionary spending, and having a six month cash reserve on hand for emergencies. We then focused on energy conservation — insulating the home, replacing old doors and windows, cutting back on driving, etc.
With that in mind we had a lengthy discussion on investing in precious metals such as gold and silver. We all agreed on the importance of having the actual physical metal in hand rather than a potentially worthless piece of paper. The topic of precious metals in IRAs came up, with one concern being that the “progressives” may attempt to confiscate retirement accounts to fund the bloated government. However, Vic pointed out that all of the rich elitist liberals have assets in accounts like this, so they probably wouldn’t stand for confiscation.
Dieter brought up how one intriguing way to invest in precious metals is to purchase “junk silver” coins. These are pre-1965 US coins that contain 90% silver, but are of such low grade as to be undesirable to collectors. You can buy bags of junk silver at spot market price or a very small markup. The advantage of these coins in a bartering situation is that they contain silver in very small amounts. While it may be difficult to lug large heavy gold bars around, one could easily carry around pockets full of silver to use for barter.
We had brief discussions about other topics such as: what everyday household items might be useful for barter; real estate (especially farm land); having a second income stream and/or starting a side business to boost your income; learning trade skills so you can take care of your own needs; keeping a good collection of tools; stockpiling food; staying in good physical shape; and keeping a low profile so you don’t become a “target” during a crisis.
For February 17 I’d like to discuss the social aspects of survival. I would like to address forming alliances with your neighbors, families, and friends. While some people may think you are “crazy” for even thinking about survival, many Americans are giving this some serious consideration. You can’t be a lone wolf in a survival situation and you are going to need help. Another social aspect I would like to address is the psychological impact of a disaster or crisis on people, and what types of behavior to expect to encounter. These topics aren’t as “sexy” as guns, power, and money but they are important if you want to survive a large scale crisis.
We’ll meet on 3.983 at 9 PM on Sunday. I look forward to speaking with everyone.