Preppers’ government shutdown survival kit

Several years ago, the National Geographic Channel had a popular show about people who were prepping for hard times. As in really hard times. Like revolution, a reversal of the Earth’s poles, an asteroid strike. Bad stuff.

The idea was that whatever the disaster de jour turns out to be, people would be on their own for a long, long time. ATMs wouldn’t work, stores wouldn’t have food and your hungry neighbors, not to mention roving bands of displaced people, could be a problem. The dinosaurs didn’t have a Plan B and just look at them now. Well, in a museum.

One New York City couple, as I recall, was prepping for the (long overdue ) eruption of a monster volcano under Yellowstone National that could ruin everybody’s day for a long, long time. It last erupted in 1350 B.C. so you could say its is way overdue. Or not.

Some fearing Nuclear Winter moved their families to remote areas where there was game (food on the hoof) and defensible territory.


What they were prepping for — an East Coast Tsunami, an epidemic, global warming, global cooling —didn’t matter to the “judges.” If they thought the preppers were out of it, they pretty much kept it to themselves. What they did judge was the actual prepping. Did they have enough food, water, ammo or medicine? Could they grow food and renew resources?

The show was very popular with men, ranging from wanna be Daniel Boones to concerned and curious heads of households.

The show touched on lots of scenarios except a big one that has happened fairly often and is almost certain to happen while you are still on the job: a government shutdown.

President Donald Trump said he’ll trigger one unless Congress approves the terms of building the wall under construction (up to a point) along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mexico will pay for it, the president has also said. But, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has said he will not pay even one peso!

Until the issue is settled, which it could be, the countdown calendar is moving toward Oct. 1.

No cause for panic, yet. But a little prepping might be in order. During shutdowns certain feds are required to work while others are told to stay home. Yellowstone, for example, would be closed. Whether the long-dormant volcano would honor the shutdown rules (as in not work) is questionable at best.

Once the shutdown (if it happens) is over, people will eventually get paid. Whether they had to work or were forced to stay home. But when they get paid is the issue. Depending on when it starts (Oct. 1 is a Monday) and when it ends will make a difference.

You might not get paid a full check — or anything — until a few days past regular payday. Or a few weeks.

What are your daily, weekly, monthly expenses? Have you got the mortgage covered if you don’t get paid on time? Has your landlord been considerate of the rent in shutdowns past? What are your meal plans? Had you hoped to eat every day during the shutdown? If so, what?

Many financial experts say people should have anywhere from six to 12 months in a cash reserve. That’s easier said than done, even for some of the experts.

How many shutdowns have you been through? Which president or political party did you blame? How did you get by? How long did you go getting a partial paycheck, or did you receive nothing at all?

We’d love to hear how you weathered previous shutdown storms. We’d like your recollections, suggestions. They might help some people next time around.

All responses will be kept confidential or if published can be done under pen names if you prefer. Let’s make this next pending disaster fun. Send them to me here.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By: Steff Thomas

More than 80 million years separated the Stegosaurus from the Tyrannosaurus Rex. But the so-called Age of Mammals — which began when the non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out — has been going on for about 66 million years. This means that we are closer in time to the T-Rex than the T-Rex was from the Stegosaurus.

Source: Smithsonian Institution