In the Max Brooks book, World War Z, one of the characters is retelling a story on rebuilding the United States after a serious zombie outbreak. He says, “The more work you do, the more money you make, the more peons you hire to free you up to make more money. That’s the way the world works. But one day it doesn’t. No one needs a contract reviewed or a deal brokered. What it does need is toilets fixed.”
If a catastrophic world-wide event happened that wiped out a large portion of our population, infrastructure and destroyed many of our natural resources, what skills do you have that would be useful in rebuilding? What skills would you like to learn? Water, food, shelter and security are our number one priorities. Knowing how to grow food, take care of livestock, cook, can, smoke, and preserve food should be high on your “know how to do things” list. Depending on where you live, gardening can be as simple as starting out with containers and keeping rabbits, to maintaining fields of food and a herd of cattle.
If the event lasts a very long time and has horrible consequences such as ground water contamination or loss of all city services, you might need to know how to find water and build a well.
Construction and carpentry will also be important. Other services such as plumbing, electrical, mechanical, sewing, blacksmiths, and stonemasons will all be extremely valuable skills.
Any medical, dental, nursing, and first aid services will be in high demand. Knowing herbal remedies will also be a plus in case medications are hard to come by.
The best way to learn any skill is by actually performing that skill. Start practicing a skill that interests you. There is plenty of information online to get you started. Further, there are plenty of books written about any of the skills I mentioned that would teach you basics. Your local community college or trade school might also have a beginner’s course in any of the skills you want to learn. My local Home Depot store has free weekend workshops on a variety of topics.
Many survivalists join communities in order to take advantage of others’ skills. Where you may be strong in electrical repairs, someone else might know carpentry or nursing skills.
You might have stockpiled food, water, ammunition and guns, but thinking beyond a few days of disaster can put you ahead of the game. Knowing a little bit about all those essential skills means you cannot only provide for your family, but also be a good bartering tool. Any trade skill makes an excellent hobby—do you like to tinker with cars? Then you have some basic mechanic skills. Do you like to grow your own vegetables? Why don’t you expand that knowledge and raise some chickens? What skills do you have that will be beneficial during SHTF? Tell us about in the comment section.