Purchasing gear in preparedness comes with the territory. We purchase the good stuff because we want it to last, just in case the poop hits the fan and we can’t replace said gear. But the fact is that everything has an expiration date, including our lives! The following is something that I wrote for my email list many, many years ago. My friend Gaye Levy, asked to publish it on her website soon after. I realized recently that the new owners of the blog had removed the post, so I’m posting it on my site now.
Many preppers are older. Maybe because we know the “good times” don’t last forever and have a little bit more wisdom behind us. But with the increase in years, also comes the fact that life eventually comes to an end. What happens to those who we leave behind? What if they didn’t believe in preparedness like we do? How will you leave them with an understanding of what you put in place was for their own good, even if they didn’t believe in it?
This letter is an attempt to help put into words what we can leave behind for those loved ones when or if we’re gone. If you would like, feel free to use the letter as a template and adjust for your own personal needs.
Dear Wife (or husband, partner, son, daughter),
If you are reading this letter, then you know that I have passed from this life. I can’t imagine what you are going through. I’m sorry that you are alone. But I want you to know that my faith is strong enough to know that one day we will see each other again in Heaven.
I’m writing this letter, as my final gift to you, to share with you some things that I have put in place to make things a little easier for you in case the world seems to fall apart. In the past, I have alluded to this secret part of my life, but didn’t make a big deal about it because I felt you didn’t see things from my point of view. I prepared with the idea that I would always be there and that I could help put those plans into action if the need ever arose.
Unfortunately, I am not there, but I want you to be as prepared as I was. Below I will provide you with some plans and advice. You don’t have to take it, but I hope you will understand my heart and the reason why I think this is so important.
I love you and I want you to be safe and prepared.
Insurance – My life insurance policy is in the 2nd drawer of my desk on the right side. When you open the folder, you will find the phone number to the insurance company, the policy and the account number. You should get $500,000. That’s a lot of money, but I want you to be careful with it. First, don’t listen to anyone else on how you should invest it or spend it. Your life has been turned upside down and you need some time to take everything in. You should not be making big decisions right now.
Don’t pay off the house. Others might have a problem with this, but the interest rate on the mortgage is so low that I rather you pay the monthly mortgage and have large sums of money if you need it.
Make sure that you split the money into five different banks. If for some reason one bank fails, you won’t lose all your money. The FDIC insures deposits up to $100,000 although that limit has been temporarily raised to $250,000. And having your money in five different banks gives you more options later.
Once you feel that you are in a good place, feel free to use the money any way you wish. It is yours, just take time to pray about big purchases.
Gun Safe – You know that I have had my gun safe for many years. It holds all my rifles and pistols along with extra ammo. I never went crazy buying a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t need, so every firearm in the safe has a practical purpose.
I wish you would have taken some firearms training with me, but I know it just wasn’t your thing. If you change your mind, use the gun in the black case marked “Glock.” It is a 9mm and you should be able to handle it ok. I have plenty of ammo in the safe. Talk to one of the guys at the shooting range to set up some training.
I hate that you are alone at this time. I hope that you will consider using a firearm for protection.
Also in the safe is a false floor. You will have to remove all the ammo, which is a lot. If you place your finger in the far right corner, you will feel a groove that you can pull up on. This will start pulling up the false floor. Underneath you will find a few pieces of gold, silver and $5,000 in cash.
I know, you’re shocked! You didn’t realize that I had all this, but believe me, I was thinking of you! The gold is in small rounds of 1/2 oz. The silver is a mixture of American Eagles, 1 oz. rounds, 1 & 5 oz. bars and pre-1964 silver dimes. The silver dimes aren’t just regular dimes! They are made of silver, so they are worth a lot more than 10 cents.
I will go into why this is in the safe in a moment. Just please know that it is for a good reason. After you inspect everything under the false floor, just put it back in the way it was. It is very safe in there. The safe is bolted to the ground and is very heavy. It is safer than having it in the bank.
Oh, if you forgot the code to the safe, a copy of the code is in “our” secret little place.
Office Closet – Thank goodness that my office had a walk-in closet! I guess that was a perk when we converted one of the extra bedrooms into my office. Inside the closet you will find boxes of dehydrated food/meals. Most of these meals just take water. They are decent, I’ve tried them myself, and will last for 25 years.
Also, you will find two “Water Bobs” in the closet. These are 100 gallon plastic containers that you would put inside of the two bathtubs to fill up so you would have potable water to drink and cook with. They can only be used one time, so after the water is gone, you can’t use it again.
Again, I know this is kind of weird for you, but I will explain.
The world that we live in is in a fragile state. For many years the American people have lived with abundance of EVERYTHING. We are consumers and we have consumed! The laws of supply and demand will tell you that you can’t keep taking without ever giving back. At some point, our resources will be so strained, that something will have to give. This might seem alarmist, but it isn’t. I have done my research. And you know me, I thoroughly research topics that are important to me.
I’m not going into all the resources that are strained right now. But I do want to mention the economy, because I think this is a critical one that can spark a chain reaction very quickly.
The United States has a huge amount of debt. I’m sure you have heard me comment on that when I hear something on the news or when an election comes up. The fact is that it is not possible to pay it all back. Right now things are ok because of the low interest rates that the government pays, but if that ever goes up, things can spiral very fast. Many have said that it is a mathematical certainty that our current path is unsustainable. At first it was economist on the fringe that said this. Now, even mainline economists, some you see on the news are saying it too. It’s just a matter of time.
The scary thing is that they don’t know what it would look like if the economy starts to spiral. It could be very controlled and orderly or it could be mass chaos with rioting all over the place. This is why it is important to stay informed.
One reason I have the gold, silver and money in the safe is that if the economy does take a turn for the worse, the government might call for a bank holiday. This is when they shut the banks for a certain amount of time. During this time, your ATM and credit cards will probably not work. As everyone saw with Greece recently, their people didn’t have access to any of their money for days. When this happens, people will operate with cash. That is why I have the $5,000 in the safe.
If you ever need to touch the money in the safe, use the cash first. If there was a bank holiday, people will gladly take your cash. Only keep what you need on you at all times. This is a good time to know that you have been trained with a firearm!
If the bank holiday persists and people don’t trust what the government is doing in regards to money, people might start using precious metals. That’s why I have the gold and silver. Gold and silver have always been used as a means of exchange. If you don’t need to use it, just keep it in the safe. I purchased the gold and silver at low prices, so if you ever have to sell it, you will get a good deal.
If you have to dig into the gold and silver, then things have become pretty bad. It is possible that food trucks and groceries will become scarce at the store. This is why I have the food in my office closet. This is why I also insisted on keeping a well stocked pantry.
I wasn’t always honest with you about why I wanted to keep a well stocked pantry, “I’m a hungry man” and “I like variety” and “I want to be able to go into the pantry and find anything I want” wasn’t the actual reason. But you were kind and obliged anyway. Now you know my real reason. Please keep it that way for yourself. By the way, keep the stock of toilet paper up too. Food, water and toilet paper, you will always need it!
Again, there are so many things that could possibly happen. It is important to stay informed. Our friends, the Donvan’s, can help you. A while back, when I was chatting with Chuck, the topic of the economy came up. Chuck shared with me that he was preparing for the economy crashing. After a few more beers and some serious conversation, he confided in me that he and Mary are preppers, people who live a life of preparedness. You would have never guessed it. But they believe the same way that I do. They are very knowledgeable and are willing to help you if you will just ask.
There are so many more things that I would like to tell you and share with you. Many of these things would be overwhelming. You don’t need that right now. But I hope that you understand that this letter is a letter of love. It is something that I can do for you even though I can’t be there with you.
You are a wonderful, smart and caring woman. All the reasons I fell in love with you are still present in you today. You are going to be fine and you are going to get through all this. Stay close to people you trust and rely on your faith. Faith has never steered us wrong before.
I love you.
Of course, this is an example of a letter that you would write. Your letter should be relevant to your situation and circumstances. Your spouse might agree with your prepping. Or, you might not have a safe. The main thing is that you leave a letter that encourages your spouse to continue to live the prepared lifestyle.
Where would you keep a letter like this?
If you have an insurance folder, it might be a good idea to keep a copy inside that folder. Or, if you have a drawer that is only yours, you could keep it there.
Another option would be to keep a letter that points to your Preparedness Letter. For example, you could leave a letter in your sock drawer that points your spouse to read THE Preparedness Letter that can be found on the top shelf of your gun safe. You could also leave the letter in a safety deposit box at the bank or the top drawer of your desk.
One thing that I would be careful of is writing all your preparedness plans in one information letter. For instance, the example letter above does not include the code to the gun safe.
This is a topic that could be a little deflating. However, leaving plans for your spouse (or partner) is one of the best preps you can have in place.