A lot of highly opinionated survivalists will tell you that US dollars are nothing but “worthless paper” in a survival situation… that the only things that will have value are bullets, food, and medical supplies.
Chances are they’re using hyperbole. If not, they’re highly misinformed…
That’s because almost all of the most likely SHTF scenarios are relatively short-term and/or regional. In these cases, paper currencies will be used as the most desirable mediums of exchange… not cigarettes, bullets, or even gold coins.
Think of it this way: If a disaster shut down major infrastructure tomorrow, what would you be most comfortable trading?
- If you don’t know how to verify the authenticity of gold or silver coins, you may fear getting ripped off.
- Why would you accept rifle ammo if you only own a shotgun?
- If you have a gas car and generator, why would you trade for diesel fuel?
As you can see from the examples above, bartering requires both parties to have an item that the other party wants. That’s why bartering would only become essential in a medium to long-term disaster scenario.
Bartering is a largely inefficient way to trade goods, which is why it only occurs primarily in situations where there is no other reliable medium of exchange.
Now consider this scenario
A natural disaster knocks out power in your area and your family wants to bug out before forced evacuations, how will you get money? The ATMs aren’t going to be working… If your bank is open, which is highly doubtful, it will be bogged down with extremely long lines until it runs out of cash (banks carry surprisingly little cash these days).
That’s why Cash is so important to your survival plan. It doesn’t matter if you have millions in the bank, if you can’t get them out…
You won’t be able to buy gas along your route… or food.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that inflation doesn’t exist, or that the US government isn’t in serious financial trouble. However, the truth of the matter is that holding at least a few hundred dollars in cash is more likely to be helpful in a crisis than a stockpile of bullets, vodka, or any other bater good.