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7.10.2019 - Free Investment Newsletter Bookmark

Go Bag
 
I recently received the following Email:

 
Bob,
We here in Florida are urged to have a 'go bag' in case of emergencies where we have to leave our homes. If we don't we are urged to have water, canned food, etc. I appreciate your articles on the Berkey water purifier and other short-term fixes.
 
So, should a person have silver coins as well as cash in case ATMs aren't working, or the monetary system has a 'reset' (it seems gold is too high to be used as an exchange medium and might attract unwanted interest)?
Could you re-issue your article(s) on small cooking systems, generators, etc.? It seems a good time now.
Thanks
N.S.
 
Although that’s just a few short sentences, the explanations are quite diverse. Just the idea of a “go-bag” takes on several different meanings, depending upon “why” you need to “go.”
 
For the most part, I think that Mr. S. here is asking about go bags, because we have entered Hurricane season, and in fact the first one of the year might just land on Texas this week as a Cat 1. So, let’s start with that.
 
The first thing YOU have to think about in this situation, is “I have a go-bag, but where the hell am I going??” That right there is a very interesting question. If the storm is really tracking well up the East coast, you might be best off to drive to the West coast and South. If it’s coming up the West coast, you might be able to dodge it by going East and South. ( I mention south as in trying to get “under” it. Hurricanes very rarely change coarse from going north or northwest and suddenly turn Southwest. )
 
If it’s so large that just crossing the state means that you could still take an ass-whoopin, then you have no choice but to go north.

Now, let’s say a monster is coming ( NOTE>> this applies to any area geographically that could be attacked by a hurricane, meaning from Texas all the way around the gulf and up into Mass. ) The reports seem to place it on you, or really close to you. Remember this, it’s better to bug out, and find out the darned thing missed your homestead completely, than to say “nah, it will miss us” and get pounded.

However you should KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING. If you think that two days out from landfall, you’re going to leisurely cruise up the interstate and find a welcoming Holiday in with a “vacancy” sign out, you’re sadly mistaken. I know people that drove all the way from Ft. Myers, to Atlanta and couldn’t find an empty room.

If a Cat 3 - 5 hurricane is being predicted to land on you, by the time it gets close enough where you figure “okay, I gotta go” it’s probably too late. When Irma came up the coast in September of 2017, thousands of people tried to get north on the Interstates. Hotels filled up, cars broke down, traffic sat for miles on end. It was ugly and many people weathered the storm in their cars, stranded.
 
So, job 1 is this, get out as early as you can ( IF you are going to run for it) Do not wait until the thing is one day away, by then it’s too late.

 You’re not going to make it to Georgia. Period. You won’t find a room north of Orlando. So again, if the forecast suggests it’s going to land on you, and you aren’t willing to tough it out in your home, get moving.
Job 2 is “know where the hell you’re going.” The destination may be the home of a relative who lives outside the crisis zone. It may be a hotel in a distant town.

It may be a vacation home or cabin, or it may just be a campground. That means you’ve researched hotels in destination towns, and even made reservations. With todays fairly accurate Hurricane predictions, you can “almost” know 5- 10 days in advance if the chances are good you’re going to get hit. Well, figure out the inland safe zone you want to bug out to, and get a hotel room. Yes you might have to book it for 2, 3 or 4 days, depending on how fast the storm is coming and how far you’re traveling. And yes the storm might not even land on your home. All your preparations “could” be for naught. But, you will at least have had a workable plan, and if it costs you a few hundred bucks to be “safe than sorry,” so be it.
 
Now, just because you’ve got your target shelter area in mind, you’ve gassed up the car, you’ve got your GPS, etc, what do you bring with you? Just what goes into that bug out bag? As much as you can cram in your car. Really.

FEMA suggests packing the following items in a hurricane go-bag:

One gallon of water per person per day, for at least three days
At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, with a can opener if you are including canned food
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio, a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle, to signal for help
Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air
Plastic sheeting and duct tape, for sheltering in place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties for personal sanitation needs
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Red cross bag with emergency supplies for hurricane preparation
 
All of that is “good stuff” and I agree with it. But if I’m bugging out, there’s a LOT more that I want along for the ride “just in case.” Remember folks, cars break down. Crashes occur. Blocked highways happen. There’s always a chance you can’t make it to your bug out destination, for unseen problems.
 
If you know me, then you know that there’s NO WAY I’m bugging out without some weaponry. A couple good handguns with a few boxes of ammo lead the list. A really good Hunting knife, and a pocket knife round that out.

But here’s some things to think on. What if you find out the Hurricane (Wild fires, twister, super storm, nor-Easter, etc) Did hit your homestead. In fact, you can’t return, there’s little to return to? That’s why I recommend taking everything you can get in your trunk, or van or what have you.
 
Let’s start with Cash (at least $500; recommend $1,500)
*Phone charger - ideally, one that can be charged in the car adapter, or a small solar charger. You can buy them now for like 15 bucks and the sun will shine again.
*Shelter - either a tent or some other form of protection from sun, wind, and rain. Sleeping bags or blankets to keep you warm in cold weather.
*Investments/high value items - this would include jewelry, precious metals, art, antiques, coin or stamp collections, and other items of high financial value.
*Computer or laptop. Upload your most important files to the cloud, then bring your laptop with you.
*Prescription medication, contact lenses, and prescription glasses
*Important documents, If they’re not in a safe deposit box at the bank, then take them in a waterproof container: birth certificates, *identification, insurance information, bank account information, *immunization records, and any documents you might need if you lose access to your phone and/or computer
*Diapers and infant formula for babies
*Toys and games for older children
*Sleeping bag and/or warm blanket/Mylar emergency blanket for each person
*Complete change of clothing for each person, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes
*Hats to keep head and neck protected from sun/rain
*Portable water filter, something like lifestraw.
*Water purification tablets or household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper. To use bleach as a disinfectant: Dilute nine parts water to one part bleach. To use bleach as an emergency water treatment, put 16 drops into each gallon of water.
*Fire extinguisher
*Matches or a Bic lighter, in a waterproof container
*Something to cook on. I like rocket stoves, but it can be propane camp stoves too.
*Personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, tampons or pads, soap, shampoo, etc.
*Mess kits, paper cups/plates, plastic utensils, paper towels
*Paper and pencil
 
If you can manage all that, then you can pretty much weather any bug out situation, and for quite some time. But it’s ALL IN THE PREP folks. Start on it this weekend, make a checklist of exactly what you will take. It is NOT time to try and figure out if you’re taking aunt Suzies photos, 3 days out from a hurricane. Make a list during the good weather and decide on all those emotional items. You can’t take everything, so you have to place values on everything and only take the most valuable.
 
I’ll revisit some other disaster prep in the near future.
 
The Market
 
Powell day. Yes folks, today was the day that Fed head Jerome Powell was going to get questioned about monetary policy. Everyone and his mother’s brother was listening to every word, looking for hints about him and his band of cronies cutting rates later in the month.
 
It turned into a bit of a roller coaster day. When his printed statement about the economy hit at 8:30 in the morning, the futures went from down 60 points, to up 40 points in seconds. When we opened, it only took minutes for them to get us up 200 points, and both the S&P and the DOW made new “all time highs”
 
But soon enough he started talking, and the more questions he answered the more the market pulled down. At one point, we were up just 49 points.
 
So, what did Powell say? As far as I’m concerned he said all the things he needed to say, to suggest that we are absolutely getting a rate cut at the end of July. The only question left was “25 or 50?” You all know, I’ve been leaning on 25 since the Jobs report.
 
However, Powell was so dovish and talked so much about the “bad” things going on, while I still say they do a 25, a 50 won’t shock me.
 
Anyway we cruised into the close with 13 new S&P points and 76 DOW points. They liked it...”enough”. But between today and July 30 when they’ll probably do their cut, we’re going to endure a ton of pretty lousy earnings. Could it be that today’s pop for joy, that pushed the S&P to 3004, has marked a short term top?
 
It’s pretty possible. Maybe even probable. So, we have to show a bit of restraint in here. However, as always, even in true bear markets, something’s moving higher. They just have to struggle to do it.
 
I went long OSTK a while back. It’s been volatile, but it’s been powering ahead. I scaled out of some of it with a 2 dollar a share gain. Then it went higher and I shed some more of it, for a 3+ dollar gain. Now it’s still moving higher. After such a run, if you’re in it with me, keep a close eye on it, it’s moved a long way in a short period.
 
Have a great evening all, and hey, think about those Hurricane preparations folks, I’ve been through two of them (Sandy and Irma) and I know about how miserable they can make your life if you’re not ready.

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