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Unprepared: What Do You Think Would Happen If A Greek-Style Crisis Hit America?

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Despair And Depression - Public DomainIn this article, I am going to share with you some statistics that prove that most Americans are completely and totally unprepared for a Greek-style economic crisis.  According to one recent survey, an all-time high 72 percent of all Americans are concerned about an economic downturn, and yet the amount of actual preparation that is taking place for the next economic downturn is very low.  As 2008 has faded into our memories, most Americans have been lulled into a false sense of security.  Most people seem to be far more concerned about the latest exploits and scandals of their favorite celebrities than they are about the very real problems that this nation is steamrolling toward.  Hopefully what is going on in Greece right now will serve as a wake up call, because the truth is that similar things could happen in the United States much sooner than most of us would dare to imagine.

When a major financial crisis strikes, what is one of the first things that usually happens?

People start pulling their money out of the banks.

A few years ago when problems erupted in Cyprus, photos of long lines at ATMs rapidly circulated all over the Internet.  And now the same thing is happening in Greece.  The following is just one example…

This is why it is so important to not put all of your eggs into one basket and to always have some emergency cash at home.  Most Americans just assume that the money that they have in the banks will always be available, but that is not necessarily true.  When a major emergency erupts, you don’t want to end up like this guy

On Monday, cash machines remained closed until midday, and then opened for withdrawals of no more than 60 euros a day. “I’ve got five euros in my pocket, I thought I would try my luck here for some money. The queues in my neighbourhood were too long yesterday,” said plumber Yannis Kalaizakis, 58, outside an empty cash machine in central Athens on Monday.

Sadly, a lot of Americans don’t have any money saved up for emergencies at all, so they wouldn’t even have any reason to line up at the ATMs.  According to a survey that was just recently released, 29 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny in emergency savings.  That was the highest level that has ever been recorded.  An additional 21 percent of all Americans have less than 3 months of expenses saved up. Those are some incredibly disturbing numbers. A different study posed the following question to people…

“Do you have 3 months emergency funds to cover expenses in case of sickness, job loss, economic downturn?”

Incredibly, 60 percent of all respondents could not answer that question affirmatively.  In addition, another recent survey found that 57 percent of all Americans do not consider themselves to be ready for a “sudden financial setback”. So what will all of those people do when things start melting down? Yes, there are a few people that are trying to financially prepare for the hard times that are coming, but they represent only a small percentage of the U.S. population.  It has been estimated that less than 10 percent of all Americans own any gold or silver for investment purposes.  To me, that is an absolutely frightening number. But of course it isn’t just money that we need to be concerned about when a major crisis strikes. In many U.S. cities, even the threat of a major storm can cause people to storm the supermarkets and clear the shelves of essential supplies. So what would happen if there was actually a major national crisis? In Greece, supermarkets are doing a booming business at the moment as people feverishly stock up for the coming days.  Right now, Twitter is being flooded with pictures like this one…

When things get bad, food becomes an extremely high priority for most people.  During a major emergency, you won’t necessarily be able to rely on being able to go to your neighborhood store to get the things that you need.  That is why it is so alarming that 53 percent of all Americans do not have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water at home.

Just think about that.  If they were not able to resupply themselves at the stores, more than half of the country would start running out of food and water within days.

And let’s not forget about medicine either.  During a major emergency, people still need to take their daily medicines, and this is becoming a significant problem in Greece right now

Drugmakers said they would continue to ship medicines to Greece in coming weeks despite unpaid bills, but warned that supplies could soon be in jeopardy without emergency action.

So what about you?

Do you have extra medicines stored up for an emergency?

And what would you do if a family member sustained a major injury and you were not able to get to the hospital?

One survey found that 44 percent of all Americans don’t even have first-aid kits in their homes.

To say that we are woefully unprepared as a nation would be a massive understatement.

We don’t think ahead, we don’t plan, and we are exceedingly dependent on the system.  If the system fails, we are going to be in a massive amount of trouble.  Here are some more numbers that come directly from the official FEMA website

A recent Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) survey found that nearly 60 percent of American adults have not practiced what to do in a disaster by participating in a disaster drill or preparedness exercise at work, school, or home in the past year. Further, only 39 percent of respondents have developed an emergency plan and discussed it with their household. This is despite the fact that 80 percent of Americans live in counties that have been hit with a weather-related disaster since 2007, as reported by the Washington Post.

In the final analysis, a Greek-style economic crisis is not the only threat that we need to be prepared for.  In the United States, we also face the threat of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and even volcanic eruptions.

Other potential dangers include civil unrest, terror attacks, EMP shockwaves, major pandemics and drought.

Even if you are not a “prepper“, it only makes sense to do certain common sense things to prepare yourself and your family for a major emergency.

Sadly, most Americans will not listen until it is far too late.  And then once a major crisis strikes, they will be forced to rely on the kindness of others because they have not made any preparations themselves.

  • Airborne 71

    It ALWAYS gets me boiling mad when I hear one of these “Experts” say: “you need to have a 30 day stock of extra medicines on hand for emergency’s” My one word question is: HOW ?!?! Those folks on meds are usually on fixed incomes like me , I am 66 Years old. Do you think my health care provider is going to foot the bill for the 4 meds I take a day so I can have a reserve? Pigs will fly out of my butt first ! There is simply no way that is going to happen. So we are stuck with getting our meds every month regardless of is happening in the world or around us. So take your “expert” advice and stick it .

    • Ouida Gabriel

      Take a pill here or there and set it aside. Find a homopathic remedy if you can. You are not stuck getting your medicine every month because when the buck stops, you wont have any. Find a solution if you can. It is not the experts fault that the system works this way. And please, try to act more mature than a bratty teenager with your comments. It is disguisting to see an elderly person speak in such a way.

      • Jack Crabb

        “It is not the experts fault that the system works this way.”

        Actually, it is.

        “Health insurance” benefits the insurers, not the individual.

        • Ouida Gabriel

          Yes, I agree with you. However, when I said expert, I meant the people that say to have a 30 day supply. Those experts do not have influence over the insurance companies.

          • Jack Crabb

            I understand now. The prepping experts.

    • Robert

      I understand your frustration. It is not only meds but also “good ideas” such as growing your food supply or having a reliable source of water etc. So easy to say it but virtually impossible for most. And say you do manage to store a supply. What happens when you run out? Why would anyone expect the supply system to be fixed in a month or ten months? Good luck to you.

    • Eric Pearson

      Plan ahead and anyone can have extra meds. I did, for I’m not a idiot like others that do not.

      • Gay Veteran

        lucky you, but a lot of people are living paycheck to paycheck

        • Michael Simpson

          You presume to know Eric’s life. How do you know he doesn’t live paycheck to paycheck? Maybe it isn’t luck but his ability to delay gratification. There sure are a lot of liberals here who want to make their problems, others’ problems.

          • Gay Veteran

            not sure what liberals you’re talking about.
            I don’t assume someone is an “idiot” when I know absolutely nothing about their life, especially their personal finances

          • Michael Simpson

            Paycheck to paycheck sucks. However, even with paycheck to paycheck, there are things one can do. My grandmother, during the great depression, would dumpster dive and find things with a bit of value. She would sell those things and buy my dad and his brother, oatmeal with blue skim milk. Evidently, peanut butter was cheap. He hated oatmeal and peanut butter until the day he died.

          • Gay Veteran

            and did your grandmother find any prescription drugs she could use in those dumpsters?

          • Michael Simpson

            If she needed any, she would have found them. I know for a fact that I would be able to acquire them, and I am not in the medical field in any way.

          • Gay Veteran

            in the dumpster………riiiiiiiiight

          • Michael Simpson

            You really are a tool, anonymous gay guy. Is there any reason I would lie to you? Someone else here says you are a resident troll; that you just have a chip on your shoulder. You are a total putz.

          • Gay Veteran

            you’re the one claiming your grandmother could find prescription drugs in a dumpster but I’m the one who is a tool.
            wow

          • Michael Simpson

            I said my grandmother was resourceful and if there was a way, she would have found it. She hand built a cabin in Florence Oregon. It’s now a landmark. My guess is you wouldn’t be able to build a Lincoln log cabin with the plans included. And yes, I build stuff all the time, so I would be able to build it.

            I stand by my original assertion, you are a tool….and I’m upping the ante to drunk. Only a drunk would exhibit your behavior. How’d I do? I’m usually really good at reading people.

          • Gay Veteran

            key point: I said my grandmother was resourceful and IF there was a way, she would have found it.
            that’s assuming there was a way

            “…How’d I do? I’m usually really good at reading people.”

            fail

          • Michael Simpson

            Well, unless you decide to step out of the shadows, the world will never know, anonymous coward.

          • Gay Veteran

            first of all, I have not way of knowing if you are actually Michael Simpson.

            second, lack of empathy is a sign of psychosis

          • Michael Simpson

            You’re not a very bright man, are you Forest.

          • Gay Veteran

            Forest is a far better man than you could ever be

          • Michael Simpson

            Oh look, someone sobered up long enough to stab at his keyboard with his thumbs. Good boy. You can go pass out now.

    • Michael Simpson

      Why does the expert make you boiling mad? If you don’t agree with the opinion, you just don’t follow the advice. I suspect that the advice makes you a bit worried as you are not certain what to do about it. You may want to have a frank discussion with your Dr to see if there is something you can do.

      • Osamabeenscrewed

        You obviously don’t have a clue about reality.

        • Michael Simpson

          The admin does not want to approve what I had written to you.

          In a nutshell, look in the mirror.

    • Tommy

      Uh, it’s YOUR fault if you don’t have food, medicine, and money stored up. If you’re 66, that means you’ve had over 40 years to save up money. If you’re in the same position as someone fresh out of highschool, that is YOUR fault, not the world’s fault.

      • Gay Veteran

        you don’t know anything about Airborne 71’s life

        • Michael Simpson

          We don’t. I do know that I am responsible for my life, and to some degree, the lives of my family. If I don’t plan and save, does it become Gay Veteran’s fault?

          • Gay Veteran

            no it does not, but it wouldn’t excuse me for criticizing someone that I know absolutely nothing about

          • Michael Simpson

            Okay, so let’s all go “Poor Airborrrrrnnnnne!” Feel better now? That sentiment doesn’t change Airborne’s situation. Tommy is right. Airborne’s situation is of his own making, even with fates mixed in. It is up to Airborne to play the cards he is dealt and figure out a plan. It really is that simple. It may be that Airborne doesn’t come up with one and dies. Or, he figures out how to network with his neighbors. The fact that he was Airborne means he knows how to use a rifle. There is value in that. The meds are definitively going to be a problem. Diabetics are really going to be in a world of hurt. The insulin requires refrigeration. Before insulin, diabetics died. And as tragic as all that is, it is up to Airborne to figure it out. If he doesn’t, and wants to blast people here, well….66 years is a good run.

          • Gay Veteran

            you know NOTHING about Airborne and yet you jump to criticize him, not very Christian of you.

            “…Being able to empathize means to be capable of identifying and understanding another person’s feelings, without experiencing them for yourself at that particular moment. It is – just as previously discussed – the ability to literally experience the world from another person’s perspective; to walk in their shoes, to view life from their living conditions and to feel what it feels like to be that person….”

          • Michael Simpson

            Your empathy, while it may make you feel like a better human being, does nothing to help Airborne.

          • guest

            His empathy isn’t sincere. He is the resident, bitter, troll.
            He cares squat about airborne beyond using his situation as a cudgel to beat Christians with.

          • Michael Simpson

            Yes, reading his history of posts, he smugly proclaims his religion of atheism; supreme. He wants to impress with his mock empathy, and yet he repeatedly, verbally abuses the faithful. Where’s the empathy? Or, maybe Gay views himself superior, possibly god like, and is the dispenser of empathy to his ideal faithful. Such a hypocrite. His punishment isn’t hell, it’s having to live within his skin here on earth.

          • Annie8749

            If you are looking for extra profit of about $50 to $300 a day for doing easy jobs on your computer from home for 3-4 h daily then this may interest you…

    • VigilanteCaregiver

      Contact your local Red Cross office. Some locations have emergency medication purchasing programs. If they can’t help, try United way and see what they have. And if so inclined, contact your local Mormon Bishop; we have utility assistance, food assistance, and we can help with medications if needed.

      • Michael Simpson

        The Mormons are your best bet. They have this stuff wired better than anyone.

        • Crystal7852

          If you could use extra income averaging $50-$300 every day for freelancing on your computer from home for few hrs each day then read more here…

    • Shari Lewis

      i got my Dr. to write a 3 month supply finally and its cheaper

    • Patricia56988

      If you are interested in getting extra payment with average of 50 dollars to 300 dollars every day for doing simple work from your home for few hrs each day then this may interest you…

  • Guest

    Only the filthy rich can survive a global economic melt down. Sure they may have their bunkers with Olympic side swimming pools but what kind of life will they have with no more middle class to sponge off of? How long will they last?

  • K

    Michael your advice as always is excellant. And yes I know it is not easy for retirees, I am one of them. It took me ten years of slowly working at getting ready, to get where I am.

  • Max

    Regarding medicines and stocking emergency supplies of them – if possible. Does anyone know what kind of shelf life they arbitrarily would have? Just as a generalization. thanks

  • Mistanick

    Michael, the impetus of the Greek financial matters has given way in the main stream media to all sorts of hand wringing about the potential of that same thing happening in the United States. You are falling in line to support that wringing. Don’t!!. It is as if the ushering in of the stupid socialist Greek financial crisis, who fell victim to the IMF loose and evil lending practices, is being used as a fear mongering tactic to instill fear in the United States poor dumb folks. Greece and the USA are not equals, but you wouldn’t know it by the news today and the fear mongering.

    Yes, we in the USA are deeply in debt, but we are not in the same situation as Greece.

    The real issue here is the IMF and its goal of seizing the natural resources of the countries it lends money to. That is the key. Who in their right mind, with even a junior high diploma, would lend money to a country that has no means to repay it? Yet, the IMF and the European Union continue to do so to Greece and other countries. What is their security? What? It is the natural resources of the country they lend to. That is the key.

    Michael, don’t jump on the bandwagon to instill fear in the US. That is the easy way. It gains readership and clicks to the question. Don’t take the easy way.

    What is the answer? Questions need to be asked to Congressmen about their position on debt financing and balancing the national budget. Until and if that is done, vote them out unless they pledge to stop the slide. The globalists will try to coerce the incumbants to stay the course, keep raising the dept ceiling, and continue the slide for the sake of economic well being. Those who give in are not worthy of even a handshake on their way out the door.

    The Greek financial crisis is a theater put on to influence world economies to fall in line to avoid a similar fate. Take our loans, give us, as security, the natural resources in your country (water, minerals, a cut of your GDP). In short, money. That is the grease on the skids of the globalists.

  • Paul F

    America has decayed morally, ethically and most importantly: Spiritually. The only thing, in my opinion, that is keeping this crippled country going is its financial structure. The GOD of Israel, I believe, is about to knock that crutch out from America, bringing america to ruins for its wicked sins (abortions, filthy gay marriages, to name a couple). america has turned against and rejected the GOD of Israel and HIS HOLY SON YESHUA MESSIAH/JESUS CHRIST THE LORD. america has become an abomination and now, I believe, the GOD of Israel will utterly destroy this country, a country that refused to repent and a country that seeks wickedness and abominations over GOD’S HOLY WORD. Wow to america, for it has become a breeding ground for demons. america, your day has come.
    As for those that belong to the GOD of Israel through MESSIAH YESHUA/JESUS CHRIST THE LORD, they completely understand what the scripture speak of concerning nations that turn against GOD.
    I do ask people to get food, water and medical supplies into their homes because a time is coming when america will be unable to restock it’s stores. However, food and water isn’t what is going to save us: The GOD of Israel will save us through HIS HOLY AND BLESSED SON.

    • Gay Veteran

      hmmmm, you really hate abortions, guess you have adopted some unwanted children

      “…filthy gay marriages….”

      bet you got stiffie writing that

      “;;;bringing america to ruins for its wicked sins (abortions, filthy gay marriages, to name a couple)…”

      interesting how all your examples involve genitalia but you are silent about our war crimes. now that says a lot about you

      • Mistanick

        Homosexual behavior veteran (sorry, you can’t have the word ‘gay’), killing babies and glorifying homosexuality are sins against God and humanity. Although the custom is to call evil good and good evil, such reasoning to validate sinful behavior will never hold true.

        • Gay Veteran

          don’t you have a street corner to pray loudly at?

          killing babies? bet you adopted some unwanted children, right?

          • Mistanick

            So, if a child is unwanted by it’s mother, you believe it should be killed? Scarry, man and depraved.

          • Gay Veteran

            wow, what an incredible strawman you built!

            and again, bet YOU adopted some unwanted children, RIGHT?

      • Paul F

        you’re still trolling with your lies I see. I haven’t adopted an unwanted child because my wife and I have our own. War crimes? Israel didn’t begin one war but she sure finished them–go ask Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan how it feels to be defeated when they all at once attack an innocent country and have their armies beat by a small group of people who just came from the ashes of the Holocaust. you can troll with your lies but the truth will always defeat you. enough said. moving on.

        • Gay Veteran

          “…I haven’t adopted an unwanted child because my wife and I have our own…..”

          you want to ban abortion, then ADOPT

          “…War crimes? Israel didn’t begin one war but she sure finished them….”

          hey junionr, I wasn’t talking about Israel, I was talking about the U.S.

  • GetReal4U2

    get ready…September approaches quickly…

    • Gay Veteran

      October approaches quickly

  • Tatiana Covington

    Maybe Ocare was just another way to mulct more billions or trillions to stave off the mathematically inevitable end. And not for long. Per the NYTimes today, Puerto Rico has ca. 15 x the per capita bonded debt, as do the 50 several states, averaged amongst them.

    • Michael Simpson

      Obamacare is a program designed to get more revenue. It is the same with cap and trade in CA. You can’t get a new tax through, but hey, free health for all isn’t a new tax. ACA has ballooned the large insurance companies’ bottom line. Health care insurance has ballooned to 27% of GDP. It’s not a real product. The program does nothing to increase American prosperity. It has the opposite effect as an anchor on the economy. Anemic jobs growth and real wage growth.

  • Avner

    “Sadly, most Americans will not listen until it is far too late. And then once a major crisis strikes, they will be forced to rely on the kindness of others because they have not made any preparations themselves.”

    I see opportunities out of this. Buy a box of soaps for however much, then when it goes to hell and they didn’t prepare and havent’ bathed for weeks… see how much you can get for a bar of soap. Make em pay for their stupidity.

  • Avner

    I’m of the same mindset in some respects. Make them pay for their stupidity.

  • Gay Veteran

    our current warfare/welfare economy is not sustainable

  • Michael Simpson

    I was schooled in Austrian economics. Our economy is not sustainable. It is mathematically impossible for a recovery.

    I will not take pleasure in others’ suffering however. there are many, through no fault of their own, going to be caught up in the collapse. Conservative voters in many areas are disenfranchised, such as myself. I try to vote for the right thing and it doesn’t matter. Too many people want free things.

    I will say that I will require a voter registration card and an valid id before I provide assistance. That card better say anything besides Democrat.

    • Carol Little

      Unfortunately (here in Texas, anyway), no proof of citizenship is required when registering to vote. So, potentially, many registered voters who produce their driver licenses as identification may not even be citizens.

      • Michael Simpson

        I was being a little facetious with the simplicity of my test. ;-) I’ll help where I can, but family first.

  • Sonokar

    30 days of supplies? I guess this expert is not aware of the anti-hoarding laws in the US. ‘Tis true. There is an obscure federal law preventing any group or individual to have more than 2 weeks of supplies on hand. Its to prevent groups like the Branch Davidians from hunkering down for an extended time. The reason why the feds ‘suggest’ keeping 30 days of supplies is 1) so that they have a reason to confiscate your supplies 2) so that they only have to wait one month to starve you out of your fort.