Tail Risk

Doomsday Preppers

Tail Risk – Definition: A form of portfolio risk that arises when the possibility that an investment will move more than three standard deviations from the mean is greater than what is shown by a normal distribution.


By the SurvivalCache.com Team

Tail Risk is a term, that until a few years ago, very few outside of the investing elite on Wall Street had any knowledge of its meaning.  According to experts, this Wall Street term which has become popular as of late has less than .5% chance of happening but the possibility is still out there.  Tail Risk investing is now something that many high net worth investors are looking at as a way to hedge their wealth against a possible destructive economic tsunami like the collapse of the Euro or the US Dollar or even the enviable collapse of the Chinese housing market which has been in fire for years.  The theory goes, by investing a small amount of your overall portfolio in these “Tail Risk” funds, if the economy collapses and your investments take a big hit at least one investment (a Tail Risk Fund) will make money and you will still be wealthy.

How does this work?

An investor would buy shares in a Tail Risk Fund.  As the stock markets around the world began to fall, a Tail Risk or Black Swan Alternative Investmentsfund would profit because it owned the options to sell shares in the stock index at far higher levels.  The more the world indexes decline, the more valuable those options would be for the Tail Risk Fund.  I think of it as buying insurance at the black jack table.  The dealer has an ace showing, you think he might have black jack.  You buy the insurance and the dealer flips up a King.  You lose your bet but you get a little bit back on the side.  You live to gamble another day.

What does this mean?

It means that people who are a lot smarter than you and I know that there are substantial “black swan” risks out there to our way of life.  These are events or actions that cannot be anticipated but could have long reaching adverse effects on our daily lives.  These investment advisers are advising their high net worth clients to put a portion of their wealth into these investment vehicles to insure their standard of living during a crisis stays the same.

How can you invest for Tail Risk?

Tail Risk or Black Swan investments do not make a lot of sense for us regular investors, they tend to lose money every year and Black Swanthe upside might not justify the constant portfolio losses.  One way you can plan for a potential “Tail Risk” or a “Black Swan” event is by getting involved in the modern preparedness movement and becoming more self-sufficient.

Here are some ideas for investing for Tail Risk (for everyone else):

1. Buy a small amount of Silver & Gold with each paycheck.  (Gold has Long term food planalways had value since recorded time)
2. Keep some cash at your home or apartment (invest in a good safe and keep it hidden).
3. Begin to invest in a long term food plan.
4. Store water and have at least two ways to purify water.
5. Have a back up family shelter and quality sleep systems for everyone in your family.
6. Organize with your neighbors
7. Invest in alternative power & heating sources (wood burning stoves, solar panels, generator)
8. Invest in tools to help you protect your property and possessions.
9. Invest in good outdoor clothing.
10. Invest in everyday use items (toilet paper, paper towels, soap, shaving items, etc).
11. Keep extra fuel on hand (use fuel stabilizers like Sta-Bil).
12. Invest in survival tools (fire starters, cutting tools, knives, fishing gear).
13. Plant a garden or live on or near a farm.
14. Invest in everyday home repair items (hammers, nails, screw drivers, saw, etc).

In reality, many of these ideas are things that preppers & survivalist have been planning for and preaching about for years.  The fact that Wall Street is now offering investment vehicles for SHTF events is further proof that all of us need to be prepared for unforeseen events.  If you have more ideas for Tail Risk investing please share them below.

 

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

CaptBart July 16, 2011 at 10:43 am

Well done article. The fact that the Wall Street guys are hedging their bets is a real reason for concern about the future. If you have not already started prepping, now is the time to do so before the black swan swims into your life.

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bob July 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm

i live on a farm, grow my own veggies, i have tools, a good rifle and ammo. and a good well, and other necessities. too bad mres are so expensive, so ive had to learn how to dry my own fruits and vegetables ..gold is a great investment, as is silver. ive been buying chains for years , and i hunt and fish year round. but something is missing…good article and happy hunting

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Dave H July 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Very good article! Financial and economic survival is an equally important aspect that many preppers overlook.

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CaptBart July 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Food for thought … gold is unstable price wise and does seem to be rising rapidly. That is the good news. The bad news is that gold is hard to convert into a tank of gas for instance. At over $1500 an ounce it would be tough to get 'change' for your gold maple leaf from the gas station. Gold has also been illegal to own at times past.
Silver is much less expensive and a couple of 1 ounce silver coins might get you that tank of gas for $80 instead of $1500. Also, unlike gold, it has never been illegal to own silver. Just food for thought – if you can have both, great! I'd do 60% silver and 40% gold. If you can only have one, I'd go for silver as being more useful post TSHTF. Gold is good for financial survival; silver is good for both financial and physical survival.

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Bushman March 19, 2014 at 8:28 am

You make a good point about using gold to buy gas however you are thinking in terms of one oz coins. One could always use 1/10th oz coins or even a 1/20th oz coin to pay for that $80 tank of gas and get $70 back in change. Also it has never been completely illegal to own gold (in the US at least) they merely restricted it to approximately 1 oz per household. This happened during the Great Depression when each household was only permitted to keep a single $20 gold piece or its equivalent (containing .9675oz pure gold). I would agree with you though that silver may be more useful in some situations where there is no change available also it is still cheaper than even a smaller weight gold coin. Personally I would keep more silver than gold but would not rule gold out all together just because it could be tougher to make smaller purchases with.

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TINDERWOLF July 17, 2011 at 6:59 am

Very good article, its a nice change of pace with the finanical aspect in the reading. awhile back i had own 30 ounces of silver, bought when it was 15 bucks an ounce…..stupidly ended up selling it when it het 27 bucks an ounce. Wish I had kept at least some of it but thought I needed the money at the time. For the common person silver is much easeir to obtain…I don't have an issue spending close to 40 bucks an ounce off a paycheck for silver verses 1000 bucks. Even if you don't live on a farm you should have your own vegetable garden, if you can make it big enough you should also be canning. Even if you live in an apartment buy some pots and still plant. ( which is actually easier to take care of) Even in just a few big pots you can grow a very healthy number of foods.

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CaptBart July 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Good point, sir. Using techniques like 'Square Foot" gardening it is hard to say 'I don't have room to garden.' If you have a 4X4 foot clear spot in the sun you can plant some food items that would help provide survival needs.

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CaptBart July 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Food for thought … gold is unstable price wise and does seem to be rising rapidly. That is the good news. The bad news is that gold is hard to convert into a tank of gas for instance. At over $1500 an ounce it would be tough to get 'change' for your gold maple leaf from the gas station. Gold has also been illegal to own at times past. Silver on the other hand has never been illegal to own; is raising in value; is not so expensive as gold and if I have to use it for a tank of gas, I'd be a lot happier not getting change for a silver dollar than I would be not getting change for a maple leaf.

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SurvingJerry July 18, 2011 at 6:39 am

Gold comes in a wide variety of "denominations" or weights.
I personally have 1 ounce coins, 1/10 ounce coins, 1 & 2.5 gram bars and vials of gold leaf/flake.
I agree with everything else you say and keep a good stash of silver, again in ounces and grams, to use as a "currency" alternative to paper.

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CaptBart July 18, 2011 at 8:43 am

Well said, sir. A solid mix of gold (Au) and silver(Ag) is best, in my not so humble opinion. I've seen everything from 60/40 Ag/Au to 80/20 for recommended mixes. Any such combination covers both the 'tank of gas' case as well as the 'rebuilding after a deep SHTF' case and anything in between.

The smaller weights and non-coins are a good way to go with a caveat. My main concern with the vials and bars is the possibility of them not being accepted as gold during an emergency. Not many folks are equipped to test the purity of gold leaf or even bars for that matter; they may refuse to recognize them at face value.

As always, precious metal stocks presuppose that the rest of the preps are good and you can survive TSHTF. If ALL you have is Au/Ag stockpiled then you are going to lose weight on a diet of silver and gold.

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SurvingJerry July 18, 2011 at 9:55 am

I've written it somewhere, maybe not on here, but again you're right about some not appreciating the value of gold or silver, at least not right away, and deferring to the "known" value of cash, even when that cash may, in fact, become value-less.
So you must have both.
What I mean is, people are so used to dollar bills that they may continue to accept them on the "good-faith" that they may again be a store of value (in spite of the fact that cash itself has NOT been a good store of value for decades, but that's another story).
Ignorance and unfamiliarity of precious metals may also cause those same individuals to be wary of trading for gold and silver.
So, be wise about what your metals are worth. When I started hoarding, silver was about $13/oz (troy ounce, that is… know the difference?). Today it's around $40. That's a big difference and you need to know that what once just bought you a meal can now fill your gas tank (more or less). This is of course subject to change, and in a TSHTF scenario likely to shift more in your favor, IMO. Which is why you need different denominations, too. So when silver has the relative value of $80, you know that is 2 tanks of gas, and you also have 1/2oz coins in your possession.
Personally, I'd feel fairly confident in accepting government issued coins. A scale is useful to check against "copy" coins (plated). Privately minted silver isn't as much of a risk due to the lower value of silver, but with familiarity you can fairly easily tell silver by how it feels and looks (tarnish, etc). I'd also add that for the most part, it wouldn't be cost effective enough to counterfeit silver coins. Sorta like how counterfeit $100 bills are more likely to be produced than $5 bills (when was the last time anyone questioned the authenticity of a bill under $20?)

Again, I agree with you that while silver and gold look purty, they have minimal nutritional value, altho I've read of silver coins being used to treat/purify water. I haven't been able to verify that claim.

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SurvingJerry July 18, 2011 at 10:00 am

I have also considered that value of having some 925 silver jewelry in the stash. For one, you don't have to carry it, per se. Instead you wear it, inconspicuously. Could be useful for small trades or to sweeten the pot.

Straydog July 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

IMHO, for precious metal investment, I'd invest in brass, copper, lead and primers for the investments you already have. I might buy stock in powdered nitrates as well. Of course, this is just a suppliment to food stores and water filtration devices. There "could" come a time when a "Bic lighter" makes for better barter than a silver eagle, 2 cups of dried beans could ensure safe passage through a trouble spot, or a pack of smokes could get you hard shelter from a storm.

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Minarchist_1776 July 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm

One of the other things that has been traditionally used as a barter good is alcohol. Granted it's harder to carry and store in a backpack than silver and gold coins are, but a fifth of good scotch could potentially be traded for quite a bit down the road.

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Straydog July 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Absolutely! I have a couple of minatures of Jack Daniels in the Get Home Bag and a flask in the Bob! You never know when a freak ice age could hit and that could keep a man from freezing to death or maybe sterilize a wound?

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CaptBart July 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

A fifth of BAD scotch could get you places in the right conditions. Alcohol has so many uses that stocking it is wise. I prefer single malted scotch as my drink of choice and being a bit of a weird duck I like the island scotches ( http://www.laphroaig.com/ ) which taste like they have a touch of diesel in them. A matter of taste (or lack thereof) I guess. What I suggest folks stockpile is a clear alcohol. Vodka is my choice in as strong a proof as you can get (think ever-clear). It can be cut for drinking, used to make ice packs (mix with 4 parts water to 1 part Vodka; soft freezes in the freezer and holds the cold a long time; then you can drink it), used as an antiseptic, used to take rust off of tools, as a fire starter (anything over about 150 proof burns nicely), what ever the need is, it is there. Since most uses involve cutting it with water, a quart goes longer with this than with a solid drinking alcohol.

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Rescue7 July 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm

OTC derivatives were also run by “smart people.” The top 14 US banks that bought them were also run by “smart people.” Frank Paulson who let Lehman Brothers fail was also a “smart person.” I’m done getting ripped off by the smartest people in the room.
If you are a real believer in the EOFTWAWKI you should be investing in building materials and tools. Ever see the movie about Richard Proenneke Alone in the Wilderness? He invested in a good rifle, tools, and some rudimentary building materials. He also had a garden. If you really think the world is going to hell in a hand basket what good will money be then? Buy roofing paper and good wood working tools.

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John Hawg Ham Hunter July 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm

StrayDog makes the point. Gold is great at $1600 an ounce today, but who are you going to trade it to and for what equivalent value? In the absolute worst SHTF event there will be no outlets to swap gold for food, medicine, or other essentials. Seems to me you have to have tangles that other people need, prime being food and water. Other items could be ammo, extra tools, shelter goods, or bartering with a skill like carpentry or plumbing, etc. I just took a random selection of extra knives to a gun show and came away with $660. For now I can buy other useful goods rather than gold coins or bars. Certainly if the curtain rises eventually the question remains how to transform hard gold into the prevailing currency. Sooner or later you will be faced with having to turn gold and silver into something to sustain life…..

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SurvingJerry July 19, 2011 at 12:32 am

This has been discussed here before. Larger gold stashes are a means of preserving wealth for the future; ie. eventually things will settle down and some sort of society will emerge. Having a 5000 year history of being valued, gold is a fairly safe bet.
I've also said before that in those dire situations, I bet you WON'T really be willing to start trading your ammo away.
Again, you need to have at least a general idea of what your PMs are currently worth and what trade value they may have so you don't end up exchanging a 1oz bar of AU for a gallon of petrol (of course, over time and situation, that could end up being the right trade).
What I am fairly certain of, is in your absolute worst SHTF event, I'd rather be sitting on gold than greenbacks. (Well, except I could probably start a fire with the bills.)

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CaptBart July 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

You are quite correct – the ultimate question is do you think the world will ever come back or are we done for in our lifetime? If the world is ever coming back, the Au/Ag will help you get established better than with nothing. After some serious thought, I would not trade guns or ammo in a SHTF scenario. If the guy I trade the Mak 9 to decides I gypped him he may decide to sweeten the pot by sending just the bullets back to me! I have passed out guns and ammo in a SHTF, to people I knew AND in a situation I knew to be short term. Long term or with folks I don't know well, the risk is too great.
As for greenbacks, while you can start a fire with them, I can make bullets out of gold or silver (I paid attention to the Lone Ranger!) and the metal is still good even after it has been fired.

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Rescue7 July 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

I’m not an EOTWAWKI believer… Personally I think we are going to see a localized natural disaster. Our currency will probably still hold weight and outside the area of disaster will still pay for goods and services. Cash in an account you can access electronically will most likely still be the safest way to go. 9/11 closed the stock market down for a week. Trying to trade shares in and get cash out if they are shut down again will not fill your gas tank or get you a motel room. When the market reopened there was a huge crash in prices. Many lost more than 50%. While waiting for a recovery in prices many people ran up their credit cards. Financially, not the best course of action. I have a small stash of cash to get out of Dodge and a separate account I put funds in every time I get paid for emergency.

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CaptBart July 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Rescue7,
I agree with you, sort of. I think a deep SHTF is a lot more likely than a single TEOTWAWKI event. While TEOTWAWKI is possible, it can easily be a slow motion event (like Japan is undergoing now for example) or a 'bank holiday' like we saw in the 30's. Most folks forget that the banks did reopen. Still, money in the bank is money at risk in today's environment. Credit cards might also be refused if the machines and power that make everything work are not available. I think that some money in the bank, some in cash at home, some in medals, and some in survival trading goods is a great idea. What ratios you decide to use depends entirely on your vision of the future. Yes, a Carrington Event could shut down the electrical grid planet wide for up to a decade. That would certainly change the world as we know it but just how likely is another occurrence is the issue. How the government would react would also be a question.
I don't quibble too much with folks who prepare for TSHTF but don't think TEOTWAWKI is very likely. Out to about 4 or 5 months the two are probably indistinguishable in most cases. Depending on your lifestyle, even a year of grid down may not be much effect. On the other hand, if you live on the 83rd floor in NY, even a few days without power in December could be catastrophic.
The government will attempt to maintain control as that is what governments do. That means some services will probably be up, money may still have some worth, some law enforcement should be functioning, etc. The real key is not to be living 'day to day' but have the resources to weather what you see as the most likely events.

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SurvingJerry July 21, 2011 at 12:55 pm

As a NYer, I can tell you that there are only a very, very few who live on, near or above the 83rd floor. Most residential apartments cap out around 40 or 50. Of course, that's still 500 feet of vertical. I live on the 20th floor and the walk up the stairs is doable for me, but it sucks. I'd rather do it in December than today in July. Simply put, the heat is harder than the cold. In the blackout of a few years ago, it was hard without water. I happened to be very close to home when it happened, so I immediately bought some ice and water and carried it up. Put it in the freezer and nothing spoiled. Honestly, the ice didn't even melt at all. I also filled every available container with water and the tub before the water in the building tank ran dry.
Our building, until recently, experienced regular water shut-offs for renovations, etc, so I've had a lot of experience in preparing for water outages. Every time it happens, I wish it would be the electric to go out instead. It's much easier to do without power than water. Try it yourself sometime.

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SurvingJerry July 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Actually, a little research shows that the new (ugly) Frank Gehry building right next to the Brooklyn Bridge is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, and it's "only" 76 stories. The Trump tower on the east side of Manhattan is 72.
Folks up to the 6th floor in most of the city should have water without additional, local pumping.

Grunt Doc July 19, 2011 at 11:23 am

Not having the financial standing wherein my meager disposable income can be reasonably spent on gold or silver, I prefer to invest in stocks of items other folks, who are less prepared, may be willing to trade for. For instance: salt, some canned goods, cooking oil, any food grains/flour, cigarettes, etc. These things are still (thankfully) easy to obtain and will increase in value as demand increases. Barter has been a fairly reliable system of exchange since Esau traded with Jacob. And, in a real SHTF situation, you can't eat precious metals but you'll find a can of beans filling, nourshing and quite priceless. Additionally, having a marketable skill such as carpentry or mechanical ability could serve you and your family well.

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CaptBart July 20, 2011 at 8:42 am

Doc,
one of my complaints with many other sites is the amount of time they spend trying to get me to invest in their gold/silver plans. It feels to me like they are interested in THEIR prosperity now, not the survival of their readers.

I agree that once you are prepared for your personal survival, then you should get the trade goods. It worked for the pioneers and that is where we'll be after TEOTWAWKI. Once that is done,THEN you can look for the metal stuff. It is a matter of priorities. Without the medal, you have still survived and are in a position to continue. The gold/silver just makes it easier. If you bought medal instead of food, you may well be like the banker in 'Alas, Babylon'; plenty of money that is totally worthless. Those that survive will then get what you saved.

A warning though; I don't think any of us live in a 'freehold' ( http://www.legal-explanations.com/definitions/fre… ) state (one where our land can't be taken by the government for taxes or the HOA for 'association dues'). You need to make sure that you have enough monetary resources to pay property taxes or mortgage payments on your land. Otherwise, your retreat might be legally taken from you by the government leaving you with nothing. Then you are starting over with less time to prep because everything is already collapsing. This is a real problem in a slow motion SHTF like what is happening in the economy now. Millions are out of work but the collection folks are still out there looking for things to grab. Uncomfortable times we live in, especially for folks worried about keeping their houses.

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CaptBart July 20, 2011 at 8:42 am

Doc,
one of my complaints with many other sites is the amount of time they spend trying to get me to invest in their gold/silver plans. It feels to me like they are interested in THEIR prosperity now, not the survival of their readers.

I agree that once you are prepared for your personal survival, then you should get the trade goods. It worked for the pioneers and that is where we'll be after TEOTWAWKI. Once that is done,THEN you can look for the metal stuff. It is a matter of priorities. Without the medal, you have still survived and are in a position to continue. The gold/silver just makes it easier. If you bought medal instead of food, you may well be like the banker in 'Alas, Babylon'; plenty of money that is totally worthless. Those that survive will then get what you saved.

A warning though; I don't think any of us live in a 'freehold' ( http://www.legal-explanations.com/definitions/fre… ) state (one where our land can't be taken by the government for taxes or the HOA for 'association dues'). You need to make sure that you have enough monetary resources to pay property taxes or mortgage payments on your land. Otherwise, your retreat might be legally taken from you by the government leaving you with nothing. Then you are starting over with less time to prep because everything is already collapsing. This is a real problem in a slow motion SHTF like what is happening in the economy now. Millions are out of work but the collection folks are still out there looking for things to grab. Uncomfortable times we live in, especially for folks worried about keeping their houses.

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bob July 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm

ive invested in pyrodex, caps and lead balls . gold, i got a little stashed, silver as well. i also have seeds and a tiller and plow and a small garden tractor. gas is no longer economical and stabil only works once, water is king and so are dried gods (beans , popcorn
and wheatberries) as well as a large stash of ammo for shotguns and water purifyers i think it wont be long . generators cost a mint but i got one cheap. and beware of black market junk…happy hunting

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CaptBart July 22, 2011 at 7:58 am

Not bad, sir. You are right about gasoline. Unfortunately, generators are expensive and noisy and require gasoline unless you convert to natural gas or propane but the conversion doesn't solve the problem, it only postpones it. The solar generators are expensive but they work quietly. A homemade system can be put together for under $300 but the commercial systems are likely $1500 or more depending on capacity. I guess it depends on how much you need power.

I like wheat berries by the way. With a little local honey on them they make a great breakfast, the left over water can be used to rehydrate dried fruit and what's left after that makes a good hot drink. They go well with salads and deserts as well. One caution for everyone; if you haven't been eating whole wheat (the grain not the misnamed cereals from the store) they can have a laxative effect for a while after you first start eating it. Better to get that over with now than after TSHTF but just be warned.

Again, looks like you have a balanced approach and that is the most important thing. Concentrating on only one scenario can leave you vulnerable to anything and everything else.

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Wolvesrunfree July 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm

I have a little gold and silver but as the others have said I really believe that barter items will be the best thing to have on hand. Try and buy a little extra food each trip to the grocery and build a stock to last you and your family for a minimum of two months making sure that you have extra foods to barter with.

Keeping plenty of gas and propane on hand is also an excellent idea. Just make sure that it is stored properly. Use the stabil and use the gas after a year and repeat the process. Besides your propane grill it would be wise to have other means of cooking with propane like a Coleman stove, you also need propane heaters and a source of light. There are many ways to to provide light so you can decide which ways you want to go but make sure that you have many batteries on hand.
You deffinently should have good radio on hand, perferrly one that has a crank, solar and battery power system

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millenniumfly July 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I knew there was a reason I couldn't make any money in the market… tail risk funds here I come!

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Regulator5 August 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Someone told me today that they outlawed the general public from buying silver and gold (08-08-2011). I was wondering if anyone knew whether this was true or not?

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SurvingJerry August 17, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Not that I heard of. It has happened in the past. While the government reserves the "right" to do it again, I have not read much in regards to the likelihood of this happening again.
My take on it is that in this fragile economic environment, such a move would be seen as an admission of weakness in the currency by attempting to remove competitive forms of wealth holding.
The country is also a different animal than it was in 1933 (ask CaptBart, I think he was around for it… JUST KIDDING!!!) and the resistance that would be encountered now would (hopefully) make it political suicide to even bring to the table.
Still, all the more reason to hold real gold (not ETFs or pool accounts) in your safe or other secret location and NOT IN A SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX. Why? Safety deposit boxes can be frozen, searched and the contents seized before you can get to the bank to get it out.

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malbernaz December 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I don't think this is true Regulator5, regarding the outlawing of the general public from buying silver and gold. I very recently purchased several oz of sliver from APMEX (American Precious Metals Exchange) without issue. Paid by credit card and coins were delivered by USPS, no problems at all. Prices are a bit above spot but easier for me then dealing with locating a precious metals dealer in my area who's not a rip off artist.

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CaptBart July 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm

OK, so I have just demonstrated for everyone that I am totally ignorant of the size of buildings in NYC. That admitted, I don't like 2 floors, never mind 20! You urban folks have some unique problems, even if you're not on the mythical 83rd floor. Once thing you might consider (if you have a reliable source of sunlight) is one of the 'solar generators'. They are not cheap but can provide about 2 KW (a little less, I think) for a fairly long time and the solar panels recharge the batteries. Gives you enough for at least a few hours of freezer running which can keep cold food for a long time. Water, of course, is another and more serious issue.

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SurvingJerry July 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I have unobstructed windows to the east and north and access to a common roof deck with unobstructed views in all directions. I have a small solar panel, but only good for AA(A) batteries.
If it gets bad enough, I have places to go, but getting there will be the trick.
I did get out of here after 9/11 (which I witnessed from here), but not until the evening under cover of darkness. At that time there was no one around. Walked right across 42nd Street from Times Square to Grand Central. I wouldn't expect that again, and didn't expect it then, but that's the funny thing about expectations.

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CaptBart July 22, 2011 at 7:47 am

Jerry,
I suspect your GOOD options are pretty dicey if you don't time everything just right. I've got Houston on every main road between me and anywhere so I have to watch my timing for evacuation. I suspect NYC has similar issues.

http://www.mysolarbackup.com/ has a 1.8 KW solar generator that is reasonably portable and could help a lot for around $1500. Would not run a main AC unit but would power a portable AC that could cool one room. Your roof might have an Op Sec problem but that might be manageable.

The fact that you managed 9/11 is a good thing. Good practice, especially if you have a solid BOL somewhere close. Texas is automobile country – in any direction the nearest town is better than 100 miles (more like 250) so it's either drive or a LONG walk. I learned that in the NE things are a tad more 'compact' so walking out might be a better option.

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SurvingJerry July 22, 2011 at 8:21 am

You're right, timing would be very important, but also very hard to predict given the distance and extensive diversity between here and anywhere. I actually think that taking to the waterways might be the safest, once you manage to get onto the water. It's hard to practice as inflatables are not allowed to launch from public ramps (they may not even be allowed period in the NY harbor) and manually moving a hard-sided craft presents other obstacles. Practice would be helpful due to the nasty currents found in the tidal estuary of the NY waterways. They didn't call it "Hell Gate" for nothing (where the East River meets the Harlem River and the Long Island Sound).
My first stop is about a marathon's distance away, over at least 2 major waterways, 3 boroughs and countless neighborhoods of varying populace.
Wish me luck! :)
However, on the "bright side," things around NYC have become a little different since 9/11 from a police and security perspective. I suspect that with any major event the forces will be called out for control. I think that is the time to make a move and to move in a larger group, even if strangers, like a school of fish. Stay near the police, guard and security. (And I always thought a Police State was a bad thing). I wouldn't want to be caught alone in a desperate neighborhood. Until you get to the burbs, I suspect there will be many others heading in your general direction.
In a terrorist attack, I would be wary of going with crowds that are too large as I can easily imagine how they could be a secondary target. In both 9/11 and the blackout, the Brooklyn Bridge was packed with pedestrians. Literally thousands of sitting ducks.
I have a car, but unless the circumstances are right, I don't build my plans around it being usable. If it is, great! If not, well, I didn't plan on it anyways.

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