It’s been a long time since I’ve talked much about emergency preparedness. Not because the topic has become any less urgent, I just haven’t had much time to write about everything I’ve been wanting to share.

Also, let’s face it. The phrase “prepping” has become somewhat taboo. People are afraid of being associated with “preppers”. They’re afraid of being stereotyped as a crazy survivalist or an anti-government extremist. The media (even the alternative media) has done a good job of propagating this fear.

I’ve met a lot of people who consider themselves preppers at events where I’ve taught canning classes, and I can tell you there are really good people out there in the preparedness community. For the majority of us, being prepared is just good old fashioned wisdom. It isn’t about conspiracies or phobias. It’s about being aware of what’s going on in the world, being realistic about what life can throw at you, and being knowledgeable of history and what mankind is capable of.

Friends. We’re living in amazing times right now. Despite our ups and downs, we have more freedom, opportunities, and resources today than any people at any time in history.

We’re also living in dangerous times. A lot is going on in our country right now. A lot is going on with technology, the economy, and the world stage.

It would be naive of us to assume that life as we know it will always be as it is now.

Some of you are too busy to pay attention to what’s going on in the world around you. Others would rather bury their heads in their social media networks and not think about it. It’s too stressful. Too scary. Too much. Maybe you’re happier just not knowing.

I’ve never been one to tuck tail and run. I’d much rather know what I need to be preparing for so that my family isn’t caught off guard and left vulnerable. Give it to me straight, don’t sugar coat things. I need to know what to be planning for.

Let me ask you this. If you were about to be laid off wouldn’t you want to know so that you could make the necessary preparations? If a tornado was coming through your area wouldn’t you want a warning so that you could find shelter?

Of course you would. You wouldn’t bury your head, you’d be proactive! Would it be scary? Sure. But you’d much rather be prepared for what was coming than stay in a happy little bubble of obliviousness.

So how is it any different to be prepared for other emergencies?

I’m not saying that you should live in fear or that the boogie man is around every corner. Far from it. I am, however, advocating that you keep your eyes and ears open to what’s happening around you, and that you stay alert. In every situation in life.

I do a lot of reading. I read history and current events. I read about the holocaust and stories from survivors. I consider the circumstances which led up to their captivity and what they did to survive. I read autobiographies of North Korean defectors and survivors of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. I read stories of genocide, guerilla warfare, revolutions, economic hardships, famines, plagues, dictatorships, wilderness survivors, kidnapping survivors, pioneers and settlers, sociological experiments, natural disasters, homelessness. Past and present. I try to glean whatever I can from the situations others have endured throughout history. I read of tragedies and triumphs.

I read these things to have a better understanding of human behavior and historical outcomes. There’s a lot to learn from the mistakes and the quick thinking of others. You’ve likely heard the famous quote from George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. There is a lot we can learn from history to be better prepared for the future.

So what am I preparing for right now?

With so many others talking about nuclear war, economic collapse, pandemics, terrorism, EMPs, and other threats to our very existence, you might be surprised by what’s most pressing on my mind.

As I’ve been trying to stay on top of the headlines, sorting through what’s important and what’s distracting, a common theme seems to have emerged. And it kinda scares me.

Technology.

The world is about to make a massive plunge into the Digital Age.

Love it or hate it, we’re in for some major changes. And it’s happening rapidly.

Technology is fast replacing the working man and will eventually reduce the work force to bare minimum. Case in point: Amazon’s new “grab and go” technology. Have you seen it? It’s already being tested in brick and mortar grocery stores across the US.

It’s actually a very appealing concept in our fast paced, tech heavy culture. Analysts are saying this is the future of retail. Amazon estimates that only 6-10 human employees will be needed to run an entire grocery store: https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/6/14527438/amazon-go-grocery-store-six-human-employees-automation.

You can be sure that every major retailer will follow suit as this technology gains in popularity. When this happens, think of how many people in the retail industry will be out of a job. It will be catastrophic to the economy.

What is our government doing to prepare for the predicted job losses on the horizon? There is a huge push right now for what they’re calling Universal Basic Income. It’s supposed to help offset growing “income inequality” due to automation and the subsequent job losses. The idea is that every citizen with a social security number will be “given” a set amount of money every month, directly deposited into their bank account, to help them with their basic living expenses. Whether they work or not.

It sounds lovely. But who is going to pay for this? I think we can all see how this is going to pan out. Higher taxes and more government intrusion.

What worries me about the Universal Basic Income?
More than anything, I’m concerned about where it leads. Not just economically, but what it means for our freedom as well.

Tying in to all of this is another massive push for change.

Governments all over the world are talking about moving toward becoming cashless societies. India is already in the beginning phases of rolling it out, as are other countries. I just read this morning that even Swiss churches and the homeless are now accepting digital donations via mobile phones as they go cashless:Β  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-14/in-cashless-sweden-even-god-now-takes-collection-via-an-app.

When this happens, governments will call in cash bills to be deposited into banks and exchanged into digital currency. Your cash would be worthless after the deadline. This is exactly what India just did. People were lining up for days to get their money to the bank before it was devalued.

By the way, I find it interesting that the US helped fund the push for India becoming cashless ( https://www.usaid.gov/india/press-releases/oct-14-2016-usaid-launches-catalyst-drive-cashless-payments-india). You can be sure we’re studying the effects of demonetization there.

India didn’t come out and tell its people that they were going cashless. The government told the people that they would be exchanging their “old” currency for the “new” currency to help fight against counterfeiting and the black market. But when people turned their money into the banks the government didn’t make enough of the new currency available, leaving people without any means of buying goods and services. Without enough physical cash to go around everyone was essentially forced to use and accept digital forms of payment.

In a cashless society stores will no longer accept cash money as payment. Everything bought or sold would be through a digital payment (such as a debit or credit card, Smart phone, or cryptocurrency like bitcoin). We will no longer be able to buy or sell without every single transaction we make being traceable and taxable. Down to the kids’ lemonade stand on the corner.

All of our money will be in digital form. All of it completely susceptible to hackers, or the whims of governments, or EMP.

So what will your future look like when these changes are implemented? Will you lose your job to technology and be dependent upon the government’s monthly deposit of UBI? Will you be forced to spend that money on what the government deems acceptable?

I guess my ultimate question to you is this:

Are you setting yourself up right now to be debt free and self-sufficient so that you won’t be trapped into a system that you might not want to depend upon.

If not, then it might be time to take a long, hard look at your situation and figure out what you can be doing right now to brace yourself for what’s coming.

Maybe you don’t mind the idea of somebody else being able to control how much money you have access to and how you’re allowed to spend it. Call me crazy but I’m betting the majority of you wouldn’t be too fond of such a system.

There’s so much more I’d like to share with you, so much more on my mind that I feel a responsibility to share. But don’t just take my word for it. Please do your own research and consider the implications of what is to come and how it will affect you personally.

Look up the Universal Basic Income, Amazon’s Go stores, Cashless society, and how technology will replace jobs in the near future. Watch YouTube videos, do online searches. Research, and inform yourself of what things may look like in the near future.

This isn’t conspiracy theory. This is fact. Technology is moving at an incredibly rapid pace. If you don’t keep up with what’s going on you’re going to be caught off guard.