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Living in a Salvage Economy

salvaged enginesIn the event of a major, world-wide disaster, whether natural or man-made, economic or physical, manufacturing as we know it will virtually cease to exist. As supplies of materials begin to dwindle, survivors will turn more and more to salvaging materials and reusing and modifying available items. The people with the know how to utilize and repair these salvaged items will quickly rise to the top of the new economic model.

As production ceases and consumer materials become scarce, the scavengers will begin to dismantle the current infrastructure. What was once useful in one role may have become obsolete in the new world and will be utilized in another fashion.Electrical cables will be stripped from buildings and melted down for use in new ways. Iron and steel, no longer being produced, will be melted down and turned into something more practical for a changed world.

As this new economy emerges, so will opportunities for gain. Like the current economy, those at the top of the economic ladder will not be those doing the scavenging, but those who know how to utilize and transform what is salvaged.There are many ways to go about this. One may control the trade and distribution of the “raw”; salvaged materials and items. Another may control the means of transforming the materials into something once again useful. Another option, one that can serve you well even before such an economic catastrophe, is to learn how to repair and revitalize old items.

The skills required to accomplish this will serve you well in many situations. If you want to be a ‘handyman’ in these circumstances, you’ll need to learn the fundamentals of such things as electronics and mechanics. You’ll need to know how common items function so as to be able to improvise repairs and fashion replacement parts.Learn not only how the items work, but the fundamentals of the underlying systems. A thorough knowledge of the theory of hydraulic, electrical, automotive, and plumbing systems will serve you well. It might sound like a lot, but I promise, it’s not as complex as it sounds and the skill you learn could be a lifesaver.

Some key areas that should be given especially close attention and high priority to are portable generators, radios, automotive engines, and tool making.These are skills that will be in great demand and the more you are able to improvise and effect repairs with no replacement parts available, the more valuable and indispensable you will be.Basic metalworking, machinery, electronics and mechanical skills will aid you greatly in these areas.

chain repair

When preparing for the post disaster economy, one must keep in mind that the goal of the education and practice is to be able to make repairs and design new items without the use of replacement parts and sophisticated processes. Improvisation becomes the name of the game. These days more and more technicians are becoming accustomed to simply replacing broken parts, without ever having to fully understand how they function.Modern automobiles are a perfect example. As computers control more and more of the vehicle’s systems, repairs become more a process of replacing the correct chip or control unit and less a matter of real mechanical ability.But at the same time, the basics of the internal combustion engine have changed very little since it was first invented over a hundred years ago. Imagine the mechanic who can take that modern vehicle, strip it of all the computerized parts, and put it back into working condition.This is the person whose value will know no boundaries in the new economy.

As with any skill , the time to start learning is today, well before your life or living depends on it. Get your kids involved in restoring “worn out”; or broken items. This is a cheap way to teach, entertain and prepare them for the future. Watch the look on your child’s face the first time that rusted, old lawnmower they have spent a month working on roars to life. From that day on, nothing will be beyond their ability.

A post mega-disaster world will hold many challenges, but like any renaissance period, it will abound with opportunities for the prepared and motivated.Wealth will still exist, but will be redistributed to those with the skills and vision necessary to adapt to a changed world.Learn the skills that will make you an essential part of that world and you will assure not only you and your family’s survival, but also your prosperity.

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