How To Prepare For Black Swan Events
216: Basic Considerations Everyone Should Have
Sometimes the spirit of the times is obscure: Recognize it not by what is loudest and most obvious in it, but by what lies hidden and dormant.
— Robert Greene 48 Laws of Power
Sometimes I struggle to come up with new post ideas and other times the subject and focus just slams me in the face — like this weekend.
Media is reporting that on Wednesday, October 4 at 2:20 p.m. ET, every TV, radio and cellphone in the United States should blare out the distinctive, jarring electronic warning tone of an emergency alert, accompanied by a notice along these lines:
“This is a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, covering the United States from 14:20 to 14:50 hours ET. This is only a test. No action is required by the public." (USAToday.com)
Why would the US be actively testing a mechanism to alert all Americans of a dangerous or disastrous event?
Curious this comes right when lockdown 2.0 seems inevitable and Covid is ravaging America again.
Hmmmm - political tensions are also at Banana Republic levels…..
This news along with the updates listed out below are signals to be weary of in the broader context of various geopolitical, macro, and social trends we have been watching play out and worsen over the last several months and years.
Over the last several weeks we’ve seen the Maui fires, a refinery in Louisiana erupt into a massive fire, more trains derail, cyber attacks in multiple countries, Trump get booked in Fulton County jail, worsening economic conditions, and a string of mass shootings rock the US.
Economic conditions are getting worse, savings are dwindling, and on top of all of that we just can’t seem to get enough of random black swan events from fires to industrial “accidents” to acts of violence and more.
"Uncertainties, both old and new, complicate our task of balancing the risk of tightening monetary policy too much against the risk of tightening too little," Jerome Powell said in Jackson Hole last week with some flat to negative sentiment on the ongoing fight against inflation in the US
The BRICS economic alliance, which currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has officially chosen to stop using the US dollar in ongoing trade settlements, is aggressively expanding, and is testing dollar alternatives like digital currencies and gold backed currency.
Protestors gathered across the US to protest Trump’s charges
A fire erupted at granary in La Rochelle, France
The third largest oil refinery in the US shut down after devastating fires in Garyville, Louisiana
Wildfires in Greece led to dozens of arson arrests — I suspect many of the fires we are seeing globally have arson involved
Hurricane Idalia expected to make landfall in Florida as a major category 3 hurricane, NHC says. Hurricane warnings in effect (BNO News)
Aug 26th marked the third day in a row where ERCOT (the Electric Reliability Council of Texas) has asked Texans to conserve energy due to demand surges and a lack of reserve supply
The Department of Health and Human Services’ research agency announced a new initiative to better protect the nation’s hospitals from mounting cyberattacks and attempts (Fedscoop.com)
The Biden administration has announced that it will soon be “encouraging” Americans to get their updated COVID vaccines by September of 2023
Multiple firefighters were on the scene of a massive fire engulfing multiple storage piles of railroad timbers in Fayetteville North Carolina
More and more details continue to emerge from the Maui fires — namely, that roads were blockaded, emergency services were not able to be connected, water was shut off, and
Ryan Christopher Palmeter killed three Black people in a racially motivated attack at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida
A shooting occurred Monday at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, leading to the death of one faculty member. University officials initiated a campuswide lockdown as they sought an individual who was considered "armed and dangerous” now known to be Tailei Qi — and get this — he studied at Wuhan University. Also good to know the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill initial was where gain of function research was done in Ralph Baric's lab. Bit of an odd coincidence
An incident at a high school football game in Choctaw, Oklahoma resulted in the fatality of a 16-year-old male and injuries sustained by four additional individuals, as reported by authorities
Police have reported that a parade on Saturday morning in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston was marred by gunfire, causing injuries to a minimum of seven people
Widespread gasoline contamination with diesel - is being reported across Florida The stations affected by the contamination have been asked to stop selling gasoline until the fuel is replaced and the tanks are cleaned. This is in effect man made or negligence induced sabotage which will potentially impact thousands of vehicles and generators right before a major storm is set to hit
The developments above along with many of the other themes we’ve been tracking are all indicative of a regression in society — people are lashing out, economic conditions are worsening, racial tensions are growing and being fueled by the media, political tensions are at all time highs with the Trump indictments, extreme weather and infrastructure fires/disasters keep occuring, and acts of violence that are becoming common.
Many people — including people you know, are not prepared for negative outcomes.
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Today’s post is a bit different — diving into the granular financial and other considerations I personally take to prep or hedge against the societal and macro volatility we are seeing in the world right now. We’re not talking about aliens flying above us in a shipping container eating ramen and playing poker — we’re talking about completely real scenarios that could occur stateside in the US or overseas.
We’ll walk through my high level thoughts on financial and economic considerations and then get into some basic physical preps/kit I have including a standard go bag and other thoughts on some steps to take for your home, residence, or lifestyle — whether that’s commuting to work, hanging at home in the country, or traveling internationally.
“Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I'm a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst case scenario. I call it 'the eaten by wolves factor.' If I do something, what's the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves?
One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don't worry about, because I have a plan in place if they do.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
I’ve been getting more questions on crypto cold storage — so that will be covered here. Financial considerations for the current environment should center around risk averse portfolio strategy (for most people) and an emergency stash to hedge against some wider black swan type event.
Think a situation where your access to banks, ATMs, or online accounts is limited.