Some Thoughts on the Greek Economic Collapse

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Topics: News and Tactical Advice

  • SumoMe

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Lines at a Greek ATM

Lines at a Greek ATM


I’ve been watching with interest all the news reports of the ongoing financial collapse in Greece and can’t help but wonder when it will happen here in the USA.  Most of you reading this article will be thinking something along the lines of “It can’t happen here.”  I’ll remind you that the residents of Cyprus, Venezuela, Argentina, and Bosnia all thought the same thing.  They were wrong too.


I don’t much care for talk about the politics and history of the debt crisis, so I’ll just take a look at the impact being felt by the average Greek citizen.  If you have missed the news, Greece is almost in economic default.  The country can’t pay its bills.  Because of that, the government has instituted some controls on money in the country.  Banks have been closed and citizens may not withdrawal more than the equivalent of around $65 per day from the ATMs.  The restrictions have caused citizens to panic.  ATM lines are hundreds of yards long.  Many ATMs are empty and have no cash to dispense.  Stores and gas stations have sold out of essential goods.  Take a look at this article for a good summary of what’s going on.


You don’t want to be caught penniless and without supplies like the majority of Greek citizens if a similar collapse should happen here.  It would be smart to have a few critical items that will keep you out of the ATM and supermarket lines if the worst situation happened here.  You don’t have to go full “doomsday prepper” about all this.  Just have some supplies on hand that will help you get through any emergency that you might be presented with.  Here are the very basics that I think everything should have stored in their homes:


1) Cash.  Cash is king in an emergency situation.  Why would you need cash in a financial collapse when you can use credit or debit cards to pay for whatever you need?  Because many stores stopped taking those forms of payment and only accept cash.  I would suggest having enough cash hidden in your house to provide for a full month’s worth of food, water, and utility payments for your entire family.  Hide the cash well in multiple, unconventional places.


2) Water.  In a long term collapse, getting potable water should be a concern.  To be best prepared, have at least five gallons of water per family member stored in your house.  I use Aquatainers for my storage, but any food-grade plastic container should be fine.


In addition to stored water, you should also have the ability to gather water from rain or other natural sources.  Make sure you have a few large buckets and/or a rain barrel catchment system for the gutters on your house.


You’ll want a water filter to purify this water as well.  There are lots of excellent models on the market.  I use the Life Straw Family filter as well as the Katadyn Hiker.  If you are on a budget, water purification tablets or plain chlorine bleach can purify your gathered water supplies.


3) Food and a means to cook it.  I think you should have at least two weeks worth of food supplies stockpiled for your family.  I like the Mountain House brand backpacking foods, because they are tasty. have a 30 year shelf life and only require hot water to prepare.  You don’t need to go to that route if costs are a concern.  Put away some instant oatmeal, powdered milk, a 20 lb. bag of rice, and a bunch of canned tuna.  Your meals won’t be delicious, but they will be adequate to keep you going and it will be cheap and easy to acquire the items on your next grocery shopping trip.


You’ll also need a means to cook if your power goes out.  Many folks already have propane grill (with a side burner).  That will work fine.  Make sure you have an extra tank of propane.  A small propane backpacking stove would be a cheap and useful acquisition as well.


4) Battery and electronic chargers.  If the power goes out, you’ll want to be able to charge your cell phones, flashlights and small electronic items.  I use a Solio solar charger for my phone and iPod.  I’ve carried it all over the world.  It’s durable and effective.  I also have a solar charger for AA batteries to power lights in the house.


5) Medicine.  Look again at what is happening in both Greece and Venezuela.  People can’t get their prescription drugs from their local pharmacies.  It’s prudent to have at least an extra month of any prescription or OTC drug you regularly use.  Talk to your doctor about your concerns.  He will likely give you an extra script as long as you aren’t asking for controlled drugs.  Your insurance may not cover the extra, but it’s worth paying out of pocket for a little security.  If your doc won’t write the script, come to my System Collapse medical class and I will teach you some alternate means to legally acquire prescription drugs.


It’s only a matter of time, folks.  What is happening across the globe will eventually make it here.  Spend a little money now to ensure that you aren’t caught short when it does.





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10 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Marcus Wynne says:

    Morning, Greg. Very smart (as usual) and likely prescient article. In my various travels personal and professional, I’ve seen that kind of chaos up close. Not fun. Most Americans have no idea.

    If I may I’ll offer a couple of suggestions — some of these are available on Amazon, but I’ll leave you to find them and link them so you get credit. I used to evaluate outdoor/survival gear for most of the magazines, as well as for professional users —

    Cash — hiding small denomination bills like 5s, 10s, 20s, — hard to break a hundred if its cash only and you need a loaf of bread and some diapers

    Water — absolutely. I like the the 14 gallons per person, because most houses/apartments have lots of unutilized storage space, that gives someone 14 days of necessary drinking water before you have to go foraging for it. Spot on about storage and carriage containers for water — you can get work buckets at Menards/Home Depot that are five gallons with a sturdy handle for about $2.

    Also for water — the Kayadyn is excellent so are low cost options like you recommend — I highly recommend the Sawyer filters. No moving parts, rated to over one million gallons, very simple and robust based on dialysis technology. And the threads match standard plastic water bottles like pop bottles, etc, which make it very easy to find a container. Reasonably priced — just don’t let it freeze as the membrane inside can’t handle that well. They make them in kits to turn a plastic bucket into a filter container or just the filter, and a smaller less expensive version ($25).

    Batteries: yep, also consider getting a 12V inverter that can run off a car battery. The better ones have cables you can connect directly to a battery, as well as a plug that goes into the lighter socket. These can run quite a few household devices depending on wattage (fridge, medical equipment, fans) as well as charge smartphones, laptops, radios, etc. Lots of car batteries lying around.

    ps: what does it take for you to do your Grid down medicine course? How many people do you need and what kind of costs to host you?

    Thanks for sharing great information.

    cheers, m

    • Greg Ellifritz says:

      Thanks Marcus! Great suggestions! I’ll send you an email about the class info.

  2. Barry Ross says:

    Good info, thanks. Just a FYI, the “water purification tablets” link and the “Katadyn Hiker” link go to the same place (the Katadyn Hiker link).

  3. Shooter1911 says:

    Now this is some sound advice weather it’s due to a financial crisis, hurricane, tornado, grid failure, or God only knows what else. I’ve been thinking about doing this, but it’s time to stop thinking about it and moving on a plan. Good advice given in the article.

  4. Tasha says:

    You’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head with this post. The problem is that most people don’t pay attention to what’s going on around the globe or are too distracted to care. However, economic collapse or not it is always good to be prepared for an emergency situation because you never know what will happen. Our reliance on technology could one day cripple our ability to function and survive if we don’t know how to be self-reliant. I commend you for taking the time to inform other’s about a subject they probably never even think about…prepardness.

  5. Gary Hoff says:

    Don’t forget the 80 gal water tank in your basement.

  6. Rick Strawser says:

    I would also recommend going to for some good reading as well. He has several sites that offer some of the best preparedness advice around, like his site. All his sites are linked from the first one I list. He is arrogant as all get out, but he is very intelligent and gives great advice and links to the products he recommends.

  7. Richard says:

    Without getting into collapse scenarios, the most like financial event is a bail-in. Essentially, your bank account is seized by the bank (with government cooperation) and exchanged for an equivalent of stock in the bank. While the long-run prospect for the bank stock is not terrible (who wouldn’t like a stock ultimately protected by the government), in the short run there is a problem. If you need money for food, mortgage payments, utilities, etc you will have to liquidate stock at the same time when everyone else is doing it. There may be exceptions for some mandatory payments like mortgages but you shouldn’t count on it. Naturally, this will depress the value of the stock. So you need cash to ride out the initial period. Having various necessities stored as feasible is not a bad idea either.