by J. G. Martinez D., The Organic Prepper:
Today I want to talk about something essential: Making money in a post-collapse world.
I am the kind of person that makes plans…and EXECUTES them. This is something that has been keeping me ahead of many people I know. This localized collapse opened the windows for really profitable business operations that could be useful if a similar situation presents someday in the part of the world you are living in.
I had to limit the selection to easy-to-learn stuff, not especially advanced skills but producing processes that are all over the internet and anyone with some technical knowledge could safely perform. Of course, poultry production, fish, cattle, and stuff is intended and overseen. This is going to be a basic need. Part of our starvation is because people have not gone massively to the country or cultivated every available meter with something to eat.
The main failure was, the way I see it, I planned for an event too short. Won´t go again on that though.
There are ways to make money in a post-collapse society.
Let´s see how (in an ideal world where the right to NOT be imprisoned and your products seized, though) we could make some income in an economy like the mess is in my country right NOW.
One of the first and very important items that are scarce is energy. With the excess of energy (remember my obsession with oversizing everything in the designs?) available we could put to work some hours a day a small freezer and make some ice for sale. Pricing will depend on each one. Other products could be, if you have milk to spare and one of the neighbors produces honey, could be ice cream or some other dairy-derived without too much complication. Just make yourself a name and people will come to buy or trade. With enough space and some knowledge, a walk-in refrigerator with a proper unit can be set up, in a basement or similar facility. Renting a small space for medications that need refrigeration, or perhaps blood, plasma, albumin, you name it.
If you´re lucky enough to have a permanent stream, and can redirect and makeshift something similar to a dam and can install some turbines for hydropower generation, the energy excess could be very beneficial if sold. If the collapse was a good one (pun intended) there will be no authorities left to mess with you. And hopefully no politicians neither.
What kind of equipment do you and your neighbors have?
Perhaps one of your neighbors owns a workshop and needs to run the machines, or some other is an MD with hospitalization facilities. How this could be done, is something that technicians and engineers will have to deal with.
Energy provision as a business is not only electrical. There is plenty of innovation that perhaps has been laying around for some time, but with the abundance of oil and derivatives just had not kicked in. As an example, I have always trusted in the power of the tangerine peelings flammable liquid. Just see how that little droplets burn if you press one of those peelings close to a flame. I have to research but I am sure that good quality fuel can be extracted from this, and perhaps other natural products. I remember that the quality of that liquid as a solvent is so good that it was used for crude tank cleaning! Environmentally safe, and the raw material is practically endless. Just the equipment for the extraction is needed, and it shouldn´t be so complicated.
Perhaps your thing is gasifying wood. Do you have a pickup with a genset that both run on gas wood? Great. You could ride it to the place of someone who needs to charge their battery racks, and trade for some goods. Oh, the collapse was a good one and your 4 years old tires are busted? Install a tracks system and keep riding! Homemade, easy to repair, but practical, and will take you everywhere. Forget about getting stuck in the mud again. I´m a tropical, so I don´t know about snow because never drove on it. But yes I do know about mud and river. Long term collapse or something similar and one lives in a secluded place? Tires too expensive and scarce? Tracks for me, please. I know enough about metals for a good debate with any polymers specialist that wants to comment. If the terrain is hostile enough, perhaps makeshifting a tracked vehicle could be an option or pay someone to do it for you. I have seen some interesting ones that can float. If you have the means, and the time, it would be a nice addition. Or make one and with a rack to carry a boat so you can go fishing. Of course, diesel engines are preferred because of the biodiesel capability. Auto transmissions too.
Charging someone else´s battery pack or vehicle is a good business if things go to heck. They are charging 1$ for 10 minutes for your cellphone in Venezuela. It´s all over Twitter. And many people mad about this, too. They have offered to charge phones for free because it´s highly abusive to ask so much money for such a little time. Solidarity is a value that crisis has enhanced in many people.
Now please pay attention to this.
Health-related products are in demand after collapse.
One of the main products to be sold in any kind of long term disruption of the chain supply is soap. Those of you who know how to make soap and have access to the ingredients have one step forward and your troubles will be much less than with any other income. This is basic. Soap avoids us to get sick and allows us to remain comfortable. For plenty of us, truth be said. The scarcity has led to the appearance of all kinds of DIY soaps. I mentioned in a former article, now I confirm it. This is a first need product. Cleaning wounds and burnings are going to be the main issue if antibiotics are not readily available. Foods and herbs that boost your immune system are going to be a first need product too. I have been eating so much garlic (one of the most powerful antibiotics in nature but you knew that already) that I could kill Dracula and a few vampiresses just with a smile and talking to him from two meters away. One less threat for me to worry about: vampires.
Sanitary products are a great post collapse business. If you have access to a small mill, you could learn how to make toothpaste with coal. Daisy has some recipes around here.
Cleaning up is very important for boosting morale. Someone sweaty, smelly, starving and thirsty hardly will make good choices. And bad choices could hurt you or someone you love.
Of course, producing lubricants require a much more complete specialized knowledge, but I don´t doubt this can be made at small, local scale.
Even a small plant with recycled oil industry materials like pipes, flanges, and vessels can be made. This could be used to both produce derivatives or recycling used oil. There is already plenty of experience with this worldwide.
Post-collapse businesses are best started before the SHTF.
Engineering skills are needed for a safe operation, though, but the benefits for a long term recovery of the local economy is huge. And the moment to invest in such setup is before the event happens. Not after. Putting everything together while there is no power from the grid is going to be ten times more difficult.