Do You Need Disaster Currency?
March 16th, 2020
4 minute read
If you like to prepare for the various events that can happen, then chances are you’ve put some thought into the kinds of things you’ll need for a given situation. Maybe if you’re in a hurricane- or tornado-prone area, you want to keep boards, duct tape, and other supplies on hand.
If you live in a place that gets a lot of snow, then shovels, rock salt, and warm clothing are things you’ll need. Understanding your environment — and what could happen there — is paramount to planning correctly.
But what about money in a disaster? With the spread of something like the coronavirus, commodities could become more valuable than money.
Is There a Need?
No matter what kind of disaster or situation you could face, however, you’ll need some kind of currency. Depending on what’s going on, the cash in your wallet could be completely worthless, leaving you without any way to buy, sell, or trade the goods and services you may need. That means you’ll need something else to act as “money.”
You might be thinking that if you’re adequately prepared, you won’t need currency because you’ll have all you need. The truth is that no matter how much “stuff” you acquire, there’s always a chance that you’ll be missing a critical component. The hard truth of a disaster or other grid-down event is that you don’t always know what you need until you need it. Having some items that can serve as currency, however, means that even if you don’t have something you need, you might be able to get it.
Many people who prepare for disasters think traditionally when talking about stocking up on currency. Gold or silver bullion, maybe regular cash in small bills, gemstones or other valuable tangibles. There’s just one problem. The market — regular old supply and demand — dictates what the value of that material is. In a true grid-down situation, what do you think there will be more demand for: Silver Eagle coins, or bread?
You can get pretty creative with currency items. Think about things that are relatively cheap or even free, and easy to get right now. If people tend to take their availability for granted, they might make a good currency. If they perform a function that people might need later, even better. These can be used as bribes and trades, or even to boost your own morale if necessary.
Here’s a list of things you should consider:
- Lighters – These are less than a dollar, but will be incredibly valuable later when they’re in short supply. Add in matches, too.
- Alcohol – Both rubbing alcohol and the little 1 oz. bottles will be good things for trading.
- Chocolate – You might be surprised how many people would see chocolate as a rare delicacy in a grid-down situation.
- Cigarettes – It’s doesn’t matter if you don’t smoke; others do, especially during stressful times. When there aren’t any cigarettes at the corner market anymore (or no market to go to), you could find yourself to be a very popular individual in a post-event society if you have them.
- Water – Whether you have bottles or purification tablets, water is always a big deal.
- Salt – Our bodies need it, and unless you live somewhere where you can boil down seawater, you might need to be able to trade with/for it.
- Ammo – while it’s my personal opinion that you can never have too many guns or too much ammunition, you can use ammo as a trade material. Think about it: if you were out of ammo, what would you be willing to do to get some?
- Gasoline – If you need to get somewhere — or away from somewhere — during a disaster, some spare gasoline could be priceless.
- Nails, nuts, bolts and screws – Hardware can be literally priceless. For want of a nail the war was lost, as the saying goes.
The list above isn’t all-inclusive; in fact, it probably got you thinking about a few more things you could have around for trading purposes. The bottom line is that anything can be currency; what is just an extra lighter to you might be the only chance for someone else to make a fire and eat some hot food. Think ahead, stock up and be ready. You might end up being far more “wealthy” in a disaster than you are now.
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