Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Get Out of Babylon, Now! Here's How...

By Timothy Gamble

Photo of NYC by Paulo Barcellos Jr(1)
I wrote about this topic in 2015, but want to revisit it (with major changes and additions) considering recent events, and the truly dire situation developing in America. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of the election, America's elite - who control the political parties, the deep state, the mainstream media, academia, big tech, corporate board rooms, and pop culture - are working hard to fundamentally change America, and the rest of Western Civilization. It is one of the three existential threats that I have identified. 

The elite want power, control, and the money that goes with it. They want to get rid of anything that stands in their way. This includes fair and honest elections, as we are witnessing right now. 
They want to get rid of the Constitution. They want to get rid of the people's fundamental rights (freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, the right of self-defense, etc.) They want to replace true free-market capitalism with socialism (the elite do very well under socialism, the rest of us suffer greatly). They want to get rid of borders, patriotism, national identity, the Church, and even the traditional family unit and gender roles. They want people to have no loyalty to anything other than an authoritarian state that they control. 

How do we fight back against this "new world order?" How do we protect ourselves and our families? Remove as much power from the elites as possible by building self-reliance as individuals, families, and communities. The less we need them, the less power they have over us. 

This advice has been given in many different ways by many different people: Go Galt. Don't feed the beast. Get out of Babylon. Come out of her my people. Be in the world, but not of the world. In other words, get out of the system that they are creating. 

Ultimately, the system they are building is unsustainable, and will collapse under its own weight (see what happened to the old USSR, for one example). But it will take a long time, and a lot of people are going to get hurt. By getting out of the system now, you will be less controlled by the elites and less exposed the dangers of their system. You will also be denying them the resources, opportunities, and influences they need in building their system. And by surviving the coming collapse, and there will eventually be a big one, you will be in a position to help restore traditional America, and perhaps even to build a better system for your children and grandchildren. But,  how can you get out of the system? Here are some ideas:

Get out of the cities and suburbs. This one is obvious, but many people just don't want to hear it. It may be possible to live in a big city without being tainted by Babylon, but it would be incredibly hard. And you are putting your family at risk in a number of ways by staying in the Big City. Move to a more rural area of the country. This doesn't have to be an isolated mountain retreat, but it defiantly isn't in a major city. The outskirts of a small town in a rural part of the country, particularly in a more conservative state, with no mega-cities nearby, may be an excellent location to build a new life. Preferably build it with a community of like-minded traditional Americans, even if you have to create that community yourself.

This and the other ideas presented here will be difficult to accomplish, and will require hard work and sacrifice to achieve. But the time of business-as-usual is past. You family's survival is worth the effort and sacrifice. 

Get out of the doomed financial system. Stop using credit cards and get out of debt. Remember the saying "The borrower is slave to the lender." Greatly reduce your expenses. Develop useful skills that you could turn into your own business. Begin moving to a barter and cash-only basis as much as reasonably possible, minimizing your dealings with large banks (use credit unions or small regional banks for what banking needs you have). Turn some of your money into junk silver (or even a few gold coins if you have the money), but be sure to keep an emergency fund.

I have written many articles on financial preparedness that you can read on this website. Start with Financial Preparedness: Back to the Basics (it has some great debt busting ideas) and then explore the other articles. 

Get your children out of the public school system. Separate your family from the failed public school system. Public schools are little more than indoctrination camps for the new system being built by the elites and progressives. One thing the lockdowns of 2020 have shown is that you don't have to depend on the public school system to teach your kids. Homeschool your children. Or at least send them to a good private or parochial school. Either way, stay actively involved in their education.

Get away from the corporate news media. The news media has gone from being merely biased to actually being willing and active participants in the fundamental change being forced on us by the elites. Even Fox News and the Drudge Report have sold out to the elites. But where can we get real news? The Epoch Times (website) is the best source of true, old-fashioned, real journalism, in my opinion. Whatfinger News (website) is a better news link aggregator than Drudge was in its heyday. Newsmax (website) and OAN (website) are emerging as good alternatives to broadcast and cable news. Other good sources of news include the Washington Times (website), Washington Examiner (website), and Breitbart (website), among others.  My news and education website,, may also be of interest to you, as it concentrates on news and ideas of interest to survivalists, preppers, conservatives, and Christians. 

Get out of liberal/progressive churches.  Liberal theology, modern feminism, and even socialism have found their way into many churches today, distorting scripture and the teachings of the early Church to fit modern ideologies and political correctness. Some people think the Church must change in order to be "relevant" to today's world or to appeal to younger people. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We should never compromise on the teachings of Jesus and the early Church in order to fit in with the modern world. Jesus taught us to be in the world, but not of the world (see John 15:19 and John 17:14-16). Modern liberal theology isn't just wrong, it is dangerous. 

Get out of the pop culture and entertainment system. We are way over-entertained as a society. We spend massive amounts of time in front of screens watching shows and movies, playing video games, listening to music, or just surfing the Internet for fun. That entertainment is overwhelmingly of a leftist, worldly, viewpoint. The cumulative effects of all that exposure does have an impact on us, and especially our kids, although we like to pretend it doesn't. Think about canceling your cable or satellite TV. Or at least thoughtfully seek out wholesome entertainment. And quit watching the cesspool of professional sports. Maybe toss a football or baseball with your kid in the backyard instead.  

Get out of our failing healthcare system. Government has made our healthcare system expensive, complicated, and intrusive. It will only become more so in the future, and likely will become rationed, too. Take care of your health. Learn to eat simple, healthy foods. Eat less sugar. Avoid over-eating (Americans typically eat huge serving sizes which is a major cause of the obesity problem). Get fit. Have a physically active lifestyle. Get adequate sleep on a consistent basis. Learn about first aid, as well as herbal and alternative medicine. The less you need the failing healthcare system, the better off you will be. 

Get away from Big Tech.  The rise of artificial intelligence, big data, and the Big Tech monopolies have become a major threat to our liberty and our privacy, and allows a very small elite class to control our world in ways we could not even imagine a quarter-century ago. There is no political will to break-up, or even reign-in, Big Tech. The only way we can fight against our Big Tech overlords is to not use their services. This is growing increasingly difficult since the lockdowns have forced much of our lives to be lived via the Internet - shopping, work, school, socializing, and even church. Instead of using Big Tech, choose Alt Tech instead, particularly those Alt Tech companies who respect privacy. For example, instead of using the Big Tech search engines of Google, Yahoo, or Bing, use DuckDuckGo (website) or Swiss Cows (website) instead. Alternatives to facebook include Spreely (website) and USA.Life (website). Alternatives to Twitter include Parler (website) and Gab (website). Alternatives to You Tube include BitChute (website) and Rumble (website). Alternatives to Wikipedia include InfoGalactic (website) and Consrvapedia (website). My favorite Alt Tech Alternative to Microsoft or Google browsers is Brave (website), but their are other alternatives. 

Get away from the attitude of dependence. Dependence on government and other "authorities" is a mark of the worldly system. Build self-reliance instead. 
The single most important thing you can do to survive any future chaos is to start taking responsibility for your own life now. I encourage preparedness and survivalism not so people can run away and hide at some remote retreat, but because the more self-reliant people are, the less they need government. And the less they need government, the less control government has over them. Learn skills. Especially learn useful skills that you could turn into your own business (yes, this is the second time I've mentioned this point - it is important). Get prepared for the worst that may happen (see my articles A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End and My NEW Recommendations for Preparedness and Survival).

In the coming months, I will be talking about each of these points in much greater detail. Please bookmark and subscribe to this website so you don't miss any future articles. Your email subscription is free and can be entered in the sign-up field near the bottom of the right-side column, and all my social media accounts are listed at the bottom of this page. 

(1) Image credit: Paulo Barcellos Jr Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

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Practical Self-Reliance - Reducing Your Dependency On Others, by John McCann. Whether you live in the city, suburbs, or country, you can practice self-reliant methods of living. This book is an in depth look at practical ways you can reduce your dependency on others, and work towards a life of self-reliance. It includes sections on obtaining, preserving, storing, and preparing food, recycling and repurposing, skills and tools of the trade for self-reliance, getting out of debt, the importance of water, lighting and alternative power, sanitation and hygiene, staying warm and cool, transportation options, and more. For anyone who wants to work towards being self-reliant, this book, with over 250 photos and diagrams, offers many helpful suggestions and ideas. 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Are Your Finances Ready For Disaster? Part 4 - Death, Wills, and Estate Planning

By Timothy Gamble 

Previous articles of this series:

Part 4 - Death, Wills, and Estate Planning

This is a deeply personal topic for me to discuss. My father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in 2006. He was just 62 years old. He had no will. He had made no funeral arrangements. He left behind no final instructions. He had handled all the family's finances, and my mother knew nothing beyond the checkbook. His finances were a mess, and he left behind no master list of financial accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, or other important information. He and my mother had never had a discussion of what to do in the event one of them died. 

We were left scrambling to find a burial plot, and make (and pay for) funeral arrangements. Mom had no idea if he had any life insurance (turns out he had a small policy through his employer) or retirement accounts. She didn't know all the loans or credit cards he had (a lot, it turned out), or even whether or not he had done the taxes yet for that year (no). All of his financial paperwork was literally stuffed in a desk drawer and two cardboard boxes, with no organization whatsoever. 

I don't know why Dad did no planning in the event of death. Maybe he thought he had plenty of time since he was just 62 and seemed in good health. Maybe the topic of death was just uncomfortable or even scary for him. Maybe he didn't want Mom to find out how deeply in debt they really were, and how unprepared for the future. Maybe he didn't want to face those facts himself. Whatever the reason, he left behind a huge mess for his wife and family to deal with, at a time when they were already grieving. Please don't do that to your family, whatever your excuses.

Myth: Wills are only for old people, or those who are sick. I'm young and healthy, so don't need one yet. False. My father was just 62, still working, and seemed healthy. Other people die even younger then him, and not just after some long illness which gives them time to make a will and do estate planning. People can die suddenly and unexpectedly at any ages.   

Myth: Wills and estate planning are just for the wealthy and people who own a lot of property. False. My parents were not rich, nor owned any property other than their house. Having a will and doing some basic preparedness and estate planning would have helped tremendously. Not doing so caused me a lot of time and trouble and my mother a lot of extra worry and grief. Even if you don't have a large estate, you still need a will and need to do some organization and planning now. If you don't have a lot, the good news is that it doesn't have to be a complex and costly thing to do. A simple will is something you can do for yourself. There are various books and kits with forms you can fill out available on Amazon and other places. Just make sure that it is valid in your state, and that you follow your state's rules regarding getting it notarized. And if you do have a large estate that needs more planning, then you can probably afford to pay an attorney to handle it for you. No excuses. 

Myth: The government will just do whatever it wants with my estate, so why bother? Ah, yes... The "blame the government so you don't have to deal with it" excuse. This simply isn't true. Individual states do have certain rules regarding probate, taxes, and distribution that you and your family will have to follow. But within those basic rules, there is a lot you do control. It is actually not having a will that enables the state to do whatever it wants. The fact is that going through the estate planning process, including creating a will, makes it a lot easier on your family and helps you to direct your assets according to your desires as much as possible. You can also take steps that will minimize estate taxes your family will have to pay. An estate attorney and a CPA can help you with this. 

For more on simple wills, see the Dave Ramsey article: What Is a Simple Will? 

In addition to a will, you need to do some other preparations for death, including life insurance, funeral arrangements, and what I call the creation of a Master List for your family after you pass away. 

Life Insurance -  From my previous article on insurance: "Life insurance is important at all stages of life. It can cover funeral costs, pay off medical bills that surviving family members may otherwise be stuck having to pay,  pay off debt owed by the estate, and provide living expenses for a surviving spouse and children. Even young, healthy people may die unexpectedly, which is not only devastating emotionally for surviving family members, but is potentially devastating financially, too.  Making sure you have adequate coverage for your personal circumstances is crucial. Be sure to review your coverage yearly, as your circumstances and needs change throughout life. 

Get started with this article on What Is Life Insurance and How Does It Work? It explains what life insurance is, and how it works. The article also goes into the different types of life insurance, who needs insurance, and how to decide how much insurance you need."

Funeral Arrangements - One of the difficulties we ran into when my father passed away was finding somewhere to bury him on short notice. We didn't have time to "shop around" to find the best location or the best deal. Same goes for finding a funeral home, a coffin, and arranging the other aspects of a funeral. It didn't help that my parents had never had a conversation about funeral arrangements, which caused Mom additional worry over what kind of funeral Dad would want. In the end, everything came together, but it wasn't easy or cheap. 

Funerals are expensive, potentially very expensive. There is no standard pricing. Prices for burial plots, coffins, and funeral home services vary widely. And these things all have to be done immediately upon death, during a time of high emotion and grieving. It would be much easier if this process could be done beforehand. The good news is that it can be. Pre-paid funeral plans are the way to go, in my opinion. Just make sure the plan you buy is transferable (some are, some aren't) in case the funeral home you buy it from goes out of business. We have done this with my mother. Her funeral, which hopefully she won't need for many years yet, is fully paid, and we know it is the funeral she wants because she helped design it. There will be no last minute scramble to figure it all out when she passes. 

For more, check out the Complete Guide to Pre-Paid Funerals: Plans, Costs, Pros & Cons (article on another website). 

My suggestion: Master Lists - Here is something that would have helped me if my parents had created them before Dad passed away: Master Lists of useful information for those left behind. 

The first master list I suggest is a list with updated contact information for all the people that will need to be contacted upon your death. In today's world, we all have friends, relatives, business associates, and various acquaintances scattered all over the place. Some we see on a regular basis. Others we haven't talked to in years. Mom had an address book with the contact info for most of our relatives, but there were several former business associates and a couple of Dad's old army buddies that we weren't able to contact before the funeral. 

The second master list I suggest, and I really needed this one in the months following 
Dad's death, was a list of all bank accounts, credit card accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, monthly bills, debts, and other financial information. Be sure to include account numbers, pin numbers, website login names and passwords, and so forth. I had NONE of this information, which caused much difficulty and wasted time. 

Keep these two master lists with your other important documents (see part 2 of this series).  

 Don’t wait—do it now! 

Now is the best time to create your financial emergency plan and to put it into action.  Its not easy. Its not fun. There is a lot to do. It may seem overwhelming. Just take a deep breath, and take baby steps every day. Eventually it will all come together. The peace of mind from knowing you and your family are prepared for any financial emergency will be worth it.


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ROLOWAY Large Fireproof Document Bag.  The ROLOWAY Large (17"x12"x5.8") Fireproof (to 2000°F) and Water-resistant Document Bag is perfect for your important documents, files, cash, and other valuables. Currently available on Amazon for less than $45 (as of 8-19) and free shipping.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Are Your Finances Ready For Disaster (Part 3 - Insurance)

By Timothy Gamble 

If you haven't read it yet, Part 1 of this article discussed Emergency Funds, and Part 2 covered Important Documents. 

Part 3 - Review Your Insurance

Insurance is a boring subject. It can also be complicated and confusing. And expensive. It might also seem like a waste of money if you never have to use it. But, insurance is important, and can be a real financial life saver when you actually need it. Here's a quick review of insurance you may need. 

Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance - If you have a mortgage, your lender probably requires you to have homeowner's insurance. They probably also dictate certain minimum requirements for the coverage. But you get to choose the company and specific policy coverage you use, subject to those minimums. Review your policy every year, and make sure it is current and sufficient. Remember, property values tend to rise over time, as does the cost to replace your home. So, if you have the same coverage you had ten years ago, it may not be enough to replace your home in today's market. This could also be true if you've done major improvements or additions to your home. If you don't know your home's current value, work with a real estate agent or appraiser to determine its value and replacement cost. 

If you rent instead of own, you may want to consider renter's insurance, even if your landlord does not require it. Renter's insurance covers your personal property, such as furniture, jewelry, and electronics, in the case of fire, theft, or many other perils. Liability coverage is also included in standard renter’s insurance policies, which provides protection if someone is injured in your home. Review your policy every year, and make sure you are comfortable with its limitations. 

Flood and Earthquake Insurance - Many people are unpleasantly surprised to learn that standard homeowner's and renter's insurance do not cover damage from flooding or earthquakes. Flood and earthquake insurance are extra. If you live in certain areas, you may be required to carry these. If not, carefully consider if you should have one or both. Make sure your coverage is adequate for your home and belongings.

Pro Tip for Dealing with Insurance Companies

Take a complete inventory of your personal property. Have a list, including serial numbers when possible, as well as photographs (or a video) of your belongings. This includes any valuable jewelry, antiques, and collectibles, in case they are destroyed. Don't forget your guns. Preppers, survivalists, and homesteaders typically have more tools and other supplies than the average person, so an insurance company may doubt your claim unless you have proof of what and how much you had. This list and photo record will help if you need to file an insurance claim. Make sure that you have enough coverage to replace these items. 

Consider keeping records and photos of your car, too, especially if it is an older vehicle that you keep in excellent condition. Many years ago, a man hit and totaled my car which was sitting in a parking lot. It was an older vehicle, and when his insurance company tried to settle with me, they gave me a real low-ball offer. But the car was in excellent condition, and I had the receipts to prove it had been kept in excellent condition, including the receipt for a new set of tires purchased only weeks before. Because of this proof the insurance company upped their offer by $800.

Life Insurance - Life insurance is important at all stages of life. It can cover funeral costs, pay off medical bills that surviving family members may otherwise be stuck having to pay,  pay off debt owed by the estate, and provide living expenses for a surviving spouse and children. Even young, healthy people may die unexpectedly, which is not only devastating emotionally for surviving family members, but is potentially devastating financially, too.  Making sure you have adequate coverage for your personal circumstances is crucial. Be sure to review your coverage yearly, as your circumstances and needs change throughout life. 

Get started with this article on What Is Life Insurance and How Does It Work? It explains what life insurance is, and how it works. The article also goes into the different types of life insurance, who needs insurance, and how to decide how much insurance you need. (I am NOT affiliated with Dave Ramsey or his company, other than being a fan.)

Health Insurance - Our health care system is expensive and, frankly, screwed up. Health insurance is extremely expensive, and the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) actually hurt more people than it helped. Your first, best, and cheapest option is not to get sick. Taking care of your health is extremely important, and is financially worth the time, effort, and expense. Most of us, including me, could take steps to improve our health and fitness. But, even healthy, fit people eventually need a doctor. What, then?

If your employer pays for your health insurance, that is great. If not, you have to navigate the confusing and expensive world of health insurance yourself.  Do not just ignore it. Start with this Dave Ramsey article: How to Save Money on Health Insurance.  If you are self-employed, check out the article How Do You Get Health Insurance if You’re Self-Employed? (also on Dave Ramsey's website). Unemployed due to Covid-19? Health Care Options for the Unemployed During COVID-19.

Car Insurance - If you own a vehicle or drive, you are required to have insurance. The minimum requirements vary state-to-state, and if you are making payments on your vehicle your lender will also have certain requirements you must meet. However, you get to choose where you get your insurance, and the cost of coverage varies HUGELY from company to company. It pays to shop around for the best rates. Do this every time your policy is up for renewal.  

Potential Money-Saving Tip: You may be able to save some money by bundling insurance policies with the same company. For example, many companies offer both homeowner's and auto insurance. In many cases, you could get up to a 10% discount by buying both policies from the same company. 

Part 4 of this article will be posted on November 22, and will cover Wills.  


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ROLOWAY Large Fireproof Document Bag.  The ROLOWAY Large (17"x12"x5.8") Fireproof (to 2000°F) and Water-resistant Document Bag is perfect for your important documents, files, cash, and other valuables. Currently available on Amazon for less than $45 (as of 8-19) and free shipping.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

ALERT: Big Tech's War on Conservatives is Heating up

11-8-2020 -  Twitter and other Big Tech companies are suppressing and censoring news stories detrimental to Joe Biden or that raise legitimate questions about the election. There was a pre-election purge of some conservative and pro-Trump accounts from Big Tech's social media platforms. And since the election this purge has picked up steam, and includes accounts not specifically politically partisan in nature, such as pro-gun and pro-free speech accounts. Basically, if you hold views that the Left deems unacceptable, Big Tech is coming for you.   

I am one of the targets of Twitter. In the past two weeks, Twitter has:

  • Locked me out of my DystopainSurv account (which is mostly my survivalist tweets)
  • Removed (without their knowledge) close to 1,000 followers from my TimGamble account overnight
  • Restricted the reach of my TimGamble account
  • Blocked several of my Tweets from being retweeted by others 

This is despite the fact that I have not violated Twitter's Terms of Service in any way. Those who follow me know that I do not engage in obscenities, vulgarities, or foul language in any way. I do not engage in personal attacks or threats. Twitter has no legitimate reason for their actions against me, other than that they simply disagree with my conservative politics and my message promoting traditional values and self-reliance. . 

I expect to be completely removed from Twitter within the next few weeks. Please help me stay in touch with you by following me on one or more of my alternative social media  accounts listed below. Thank you!

Kaito KA500 Emergency Radio. This one has is all: AM/FM/SW/NOAA (weather alert) bands; powered five ways (electrical cord, USB port, AA batteries, solar, and hand-crank); plus flashlight, reading lamp, and cellphone charger.


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Monday, November 2, 2020

Are Your Finances Ready For Disaster? (Part 2 - Important Documents)

By Timothy Gamble 

If you haven't read it yet, Part 1 of this article discusses Emergency Funds. 

Part 2- Record Keeping and Important Documents

The importance of maintaining good records and securing important documents cannot be over-emphasized. This will help you both in your regular life, and in the event of a disaster. 

We may think of paperwork as being an bothersome and time consuming requirement of modern life, but in reality it helps us to be better organized, which saves us time in the long run. It provides clarity regarding our current circumstances. It helps with planning for future goals and events. It helps in communicating with our spouse, business partners, or others what our concerns and needs are. Finally, maintaining good records helps to prove our case when dealing with banks, insurance companies or even the government. 

After a disaster, such as a tornado, hurricane, house fire, or Antifa riot, having an organized system for your records will pay off in a big way when you need to quickly get at important information, such as insurance records. (We'll discuss how to safely store these records later in this article.)

Some may say "But the government is going to collapse soon, and then we won't need paperwork." Actually, we will need it. Despite the common survivalist fantasy of a post-collapse world in which there is virtually no government (such a lovely dream), the truth is that even if the government totally collapses, a new government (probably worse than we have now) will form. And the first thing they will want to do is see our paperwork, particularly in regards to ownership of property, businesses, money, or other assets. You just wait and see. Having proper paperwork won't completely protect you from an authoritarian government, but it will help. 

What are the important documents we need to collect and maintain? Here is a list of some of the documents you want to have available at a moment’s notice, for yourself and all your family members:

  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificates
  • Death Certificates 
  • Copies of Wills, Trusts, Powers-of-Attorney
  • Copies of Driver's Licenses and social security cards
  • Military discharge papers
  • Copies of credit cards, bank numbers, and other financial info
  • Contact information for your bank and other financial institutions
  • A copy of your checkbook ledger, and a spare book of checks
  • Contact information and account numbers for insurance, investment accounts, utilities, etc. 
  • Tax, insurance, and other financial records
  • Title & Registration information for your vehicles
  • Passports
  • Medical and immunization records
  • A list of all medications 
  • Health Insurance information
  • Pet Records (registration, vaccinations, etc.) 
  • Copies of your high school diploma and collage degrees
  • High School and College Transcripts
  • Contact information for family, friends, co-workers, etc.
  • Home, Property, and Auto deeds
  • Mortgage information  
  • An inventory of household valuables (including serial numbers and photographs of expensive items)
  • Documentation for any small businesses you own, including business licenses, tax numbers, property and equipment ownership, customer and client lists, vendor lists, insurance information, bank account information, etc.
This is only a partial list of possible documents you may need to keep. There may be other documents you'll need depending on your own particular circumstances. 

Store All Documents and Back Up Copies Safely!

You probably already have paper copies of most of these documents at home in various desk drawers or a file cabinet. Your first action step is to collect everything together, look through what you have, and see if you are missing anything. If so, start collecting copies of the missing documents. DON"T JUST ASSUME YOU HAVE EVERYTHING ALREADY. Double check and make sure. 

Next, organize and store your important documents together in a secure place, probably in your home. A lockable, fire-proof safe, file cabinet, or document bag will work nicely. ROLOWAY makes a large-capacity document bag that is fire-proof (to 2000 degrees F), water-resistent, and lockable. It is currently available on Amazon. This is a great storage solution for most folks. Amazon also has a variety of safes and fireproof cabinets

Original documents that would be hard to replace may be stored in a safe deposit box, but you need to be aware of some potential problems. I'll discuss this in more detail below. Even if you do store original copies in a safe deposit box, keep photocopies or digital copies with your other documents.  

Security of your documents from theft should be considered. Although it is impossible to keep anything 100% safe from all possible threats, certain steps can be taken to reduce the risk of theft. These include commonsense home security such as using deadbolt locks on your doors, having some form of security system, and maintaining operational security (not making public knowledge when your family is and isn't home, not revealing the location of important items and documents, etc.). Keeping the documents hidden or under lock-and-key is important.  

Back Up Copies of Important Documents should be maintained. You might include them in your bug-out bag, store them in a safe deposit box, and/or store them safely at work or a trusted friend's house. I recommend keeping a separate set at your bug-out location if possible. Think through what works best for you. 

These back up copies can be digitized and loaded on an encrypted USB memory stick.. I carry a USB memory stick on my key chain and another in my bug-out bag. I personally like and use the rugged GorillaDrive USB drives. You could also put an encrypted copy of your documents on your smart phone.

However, in a SHTF situation, you may not have ready access to a computer, so it might be wise to have hard copies of some documents. I have two 9x6 clasp envelopes containing documents that fit easily in my bug-out bag without adding a lot of weight or taking up much room. Insert them in a plastic zip bag for waterproofing.  

In your bug-out bag, you don't have to have everything as paper copies. That would just take up too much room. For example, when I refinanced my home a few years ago, the mortgage paperwork was over 160 pages long. No problem on a memory stick (the mortgage company emailed me the entire package as a .pdf), but I'm not lugging a hard copy of all that around with me in my bug-out bag. Instead, I just put the two-page summary (which has all the important numbers and information) in the 9x6 envelope I previously mentioned.

I recommend keeping a separate set at your bug-out location if possible. Another possibility is keeping a set at work (locked in a desk drawer or file cabinet) or at a trusted relative or friend's place.

What about bank safe deposit boxes? This could be an option for some people, particularly for original documents that may be hard to replace. Just remember a few things: First, you won't have 24/7 access to the documents, as banks are generally closed at night, and on weekends and holidays. Also, in many SHTF circumstances, banks may not open during normal business hours because of inclement weather, natural disasters, or "bank holidays" during financial disasters. Second, if you are forced to suddenly bug-out it is doubtful you'll have time to swing by the bank to collect your documents, even if the bank is open. Third, your documents and other items in safe deposit boxes are NOT insured by the government (FDIC does NOT cover safe deposit boxes), and may or may not be insured privately by the bank. You'll have to read your agreement closely to find out if your bank maintains any insurance on the contents, and what the exclusions are. Finally, be aware of what happened in Argentina during their financial crisis. Banks were closed by the government for an extend period of time. When they reopened, bank customers found that their safe deposit boxes had been emptied out, either by corrupt bank employees or corrupt government officials. 

Part 3 of this article will be posted on November 12, and will cover insurance. 


ROLOWAY Large Fireproof Document Bag.  The ROLOWAY Large (17"x12"x5.8") Fireproof (to 2000°F) and Water-resistant Document Bag is perfect for your important documents, files, cash, and other valuables. Currently available on Amazon for less than $45 (as of 8-19) and free shipping.


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