The 13 Signs of a Societal Collapse

There are times when I sit and think about the collision course this country is on and the so-called leaders who put us here. It is excruciating to watch and see the signs that no one wants to see. Rather than being perceptive to what is going on around them, many have chosen to blindly go about their life and spend their hard-earned money on what the television tells them to buy instead of what they need in order to live.

We are quickly running out of time to prepare for what may be the biggest collapse we have seen in our lifetime. History has always repeated itself, and if we sit idly by and ignore these historical repetitions, then we have wasted the precious time we have left. Take notice of these significant signs and be ready for their impact:

  1. Wars over resources
  2. Exorbitant debt for country and countries around the world
  3. Hyper inflation
  4. Government corruption
  5. Currency manipulation
  6. Stock market manipulation
  7. Bank corruption
  8. High unemployment rates
  9. Civil unrest
  10. Bank runs
  11. Barriers around country’s borders
  12. Militarizing the police force
  13. Food shortages

I am terrified for our future, and frankly, fear that many of our dear friends and family members will fall victim to the dismemberment of our economic system and be caught in the crossfires of economic unrest, poverty and third-world country conditions. Like it or not, we are in an economic depression and a large percentage of the population is completely ill-equipped to survive it. Not only do many members of our community lack the resources and the knowledge to survive, but, as a whole, our nation is complacent, lazy, and lacks the values that those individuals had to get them through the first economic depression. Only the prepared will have a fighting chance at surviving what is to come.

Despite my current state, I believe that a true optimist is the one who recognizes the current reality for what it is, imagines a better future, and then has the strength, courage and willingness to dig in, make choices and do the work necessary to bring about that desired outcome. In order to recognize our reality, we must have our eyes opened to it in order to see the signs of change.

One day enough signs will occur and there will be a complete and utter collapse. And only then will people wake up to their new reality and wonder how this could have happened. How many signs do people need to witness before they begin to see the chain reaction of a collapse? The signs are here folks, what are you going to do?


The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published September 12th, 2011
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30 Responses to The 13 Signs of a Societal Collapse

  1. Kyle says:

    Good article,

    although i would say that securing borders has always historically, been a sign of a strong country, not a weak one..

  2. Jan Steinman says:

    We’re working toward food and energy sufficiency in a collaborative farming environment.

    But we could use some help. Most people who live in G20 nations are “hyper-individualistic,” which I think is really bad news in the coming trials. We’re looking for a quarter- to a half-share in our land and buildings. 

  3. Sgt. Bob says:

    Let me guess, you just happen to sell long term storage food?

    • I have always been an advocate for being prepared for both short and long-term disaster situations. I feel that every family should do their part in ensuring their family’s well being during a disaster. And, if I can help them find products that leads their preparedness, then I am happy to help.

  4. amy wynn says:

    Tess, thank you for all the great articles and hints.  You are a gift to our family.  I’ve shared your website with many appreciative people.  I hope you keep this going, even if tshtf!

  5. European Amercian says:

    There’s still way too much money out there for “them” to intentionally pull the plug. Read my lips  

    “N  O    C  O  L  L  A  P  S  E”

    Read ’em again.

    “S  L  O  W    M  E  L  T  D  O  W  N”

    They’ll milk this for every penny they can suck out of the millions of narssisstic American slaves addicted to: debt, obesity, texting, Rx and nonRx drugs, GMO junk food, sex, TV, internet, being busy doing absolutely nothing with their lives attitudes, social networking, etc., etc. etc., Why? Because they know how to control the masses with fear. 

    Everybody’s afraid. Everybody. It’s a very sad commentary on the state of mental health of this country.

    Events are going to intensify, but only in pockets here and there. We live in a Fascist state and they are in control.

    Slow, methodical meltdown taking many years. Yes, many personal collapses will be taking place, but not the society as a whole, per se. 

    I’ve been preparing since ’81. I kept thinking, “it’s just right around the corner”. Funny how 30 years later, “it’s still, just right around the corner.”

    Think about it. 

  6. clark says:

    Kyle wrote, “securing borders has always historically, been a sign of a strong country, not a weak one..”

    The Soviet Union had secure borders.
    East Germany had secure borders.

    They were thought of as strong countries, then suddenly they weren’t, they collapsed.

    I’m trying to think of some examples of countries with open borders that have collapsed but I can’t think of one, let alone several.

    • No1UNo says:

      The Soviet Union had secure borders? It spanned 11 time zones! There weren’t enough people IN the Soviet Union to defend all the borders!

  7. @ European American,

    It has been a slow meltdown – I do not disagree with that. But think how much this country has changed since you first started prepping. Given the signs, think where this country is headed. 

    There is an underlying anger in this society, and violent hate crimes are increasing. We feel taken advantage of, conned and basically abandoned by the “leaders” we voted into power. I do not forsee this getting better, but much worse. This article was me voicing those frustrations and signs that I am seeing. You cannot deny that the signs are here. 

    Thank God you had to foresight to prepare for harder times when times were still relatively easy going.

    Thanks for the comment,


  8. jack says:

    Clark says:
    “I’m trying to think of some examples of countries with open borders that have collapsed but I can’t think of one, let alone several.”
    Funny, I’m trying to think of one country with open borders that hasn’t collapsed. Perhaps you can name one? Indeed, a country with no borders isn’t really a country, is it?

  9. Fred says:

    +1 Clark.

    Our borders are indeed very secure in the “Soviet Sense” of not letting people escape with their wealth.

    They are not secure at all in letting impoverished Hispanics in to force wages down.

  10. Tess, it’s nice to see others who are awake.  To your list I would add false flag events.  In addition to the Pearl Harbors and 9/11s, this would include things like the FBI setting up would-be terrorists and the ATF pushing weapons to Mexican drug gangs.  I was going to suggest adding more rights-infringing legislation, but that usually comes after a false flag event, whether large or small.

    Last Oct I moved my family to 5 rural acres with pond.  My wife started our garden with heirloom seeds last spring and I planted some fruit trees.  This fall I’ll try my hand at deer hunting.  Next spring we’ll expand the garden, plant more fruit trees, and start a flock of survival chickens.  Aside from that, I’ve stocked up on lead and copper and am teaching my two daughters how to shoot.  If time permits, I’d like to build a root cellar.  Most importantly, we’re making deliberate connections with our 6 nearby neighbors and with others of like faith through our website / home fellowship.

    With all that, I know I’m still playing catch-up.  I’m finding that, more important than acquiring stuff is the knowledge of how to use it and how to “do things”.

    If you haven’t read “Surviving Off Off-Grid” by Michael Bunker, you might find it earth-shakingly interesting.  If nothing else, be sure to check out the reviews of it on Amazon.

    • @ Ancient Paths – thanks so much for the book suggestion. I will add it to my list at Amazon. Your prepping and homestead put you at a huge advantage for when this collapse does happen. Keep working at the improvements. I have found that we are never finished prepping, there is always something else or another skill that we need.


  11. Fred51 says:


    I love your quote of what a true optimist is. If you don’t mind, I would like to copy it and use it for my email tag line, which is due for a face lift.

    Thanks so much for the great thoughts! 

  12. Misty says:

    Prepping for hardtimes is smart.  It may not be the shtf but most of the wolrd has other reasons to have some food and supplies stored (hurricanes, snow storms, earthquakes,etc).  It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.  And no I don’t see things getting better in the USA … I see them getting worse.  No one has put forth any real solutions.  And I personally liked the article – it was well written. 

    Our borders wouldn’t need to be secured if our government would stop sticking taxpayers with the medical bills and all those benefits for the people that run up here illegally.  If you enter a country illegally you should not be rewarded (especially at taxpayer expense) for breaking the law.

  13. Strider says:

    @ Clark:
    So I guess you keep your home’s doors unlocked and let anyone barge in and steal your stuff, rape your wife & daughters, and beat you senseless. You also let rats, rattlesnakes, scorpions & black widow spiders roam at will. Or do you exempt you & yours from your open-borders dogma?
    The USSR, GDR, etc. had strong borders to keep their own people in. That’s weakness. Japan, China, S. Korea, Switzerland, etc. have strong borders to keep the riffraff out. That’s strength — a strength the US used to have.
    You want examples of open-borders nations that have collapsed? Unless they tighten their borders and throw out the 3rd World trash (IOW, come to their senses), that fate soon awaits the US, Canada, Australia and the entire EU.

  14. Desertrat says:

    Gary North makes a good case against #3, hyper-inflation.  And it’s easily stopped, as those of us who remember Volcker as FedHead can attest.
    Otherwise?  Yeah, although I’ve always called this mess a slow-motion train wreck.
    The social unrest is of major concern to us ancient types whose bodies aren’t really up to dealing with any sort of mob scene or violence.  But, prepped and at home…

  15. Justin says:

    hey Tess, I wanted to pass on a link to part of the solution: it is a community exchange, meaning a cash-free barter network.   You can trade items and services there, cash-free.  It is just getting off the ground, I am hoping to help spread the word.  As our economy continues to collapse, more and more people will be without jobs, and they will need to “create their own job”, which the community exchange is designed to facilitate.  Anyway, just trying to get the word out, the link is

  16. LAOSUWAN says:

    Wars over resources  SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME
    Exorbitant debt for country and countries around the world SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME
    Government corruption SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME
    Currency manipulation SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME
    Stock market manipulation SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME
    High unemployment ratesSINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME
    Barriers around country’s borders BY DEFINITION, A BORDER
    Militarizing the police force BY DEFINITION, A POLICE FORCE


  17. michael says:

    If you check history, you will see that all most all famines are caused by the monetary policy of the governments.  Some did it to seize control, get rid of enemies, etc. and some just had no idea what they were doing.  We may have a little of all three going on.  

  18. SILVERBILL says:

    The world is not going to end fokes, all that is takeing place is the world is changing.
    I agree a bit with  European Amer. The Central Banks have much more than the people have to loose. The world is about money,  not people. Isn’t the dollar almost gone, the purchasing power is down to two cents. For  97 YEARS the dollar has been a fiat paper money.
    Its going–going but it’s never gone.And if it does go.We will have something else to replace it.   You can worry yourself to getting sick, There will be a Q4-5-6 AND more.
       Changes must take place, We cant live in the dark ages. isnt a car much better than ,a horse, running water,electric, ect. These survival kits and books are money makers, you have to know that, nothing wrong with money I love makeing it,in our last market drop<it wasnt bad , a little over a trillion dollars was lost.  Manipulations have been going on from
    Washingtons time. So really, come on folks whats the big deal.
       I will be here,  You will be here, and the money changers will be here.
    No disrespect to anyone , Im sure you have it all wrong.


  19. Candace says:

    There are as many ideas as to what is going to happen as there are comments on this page.  I just have one thing to add.  All who say nothing is going to happen, you are probably right.  And to all those who say something is gong to happen and you need to prepare….you too are probably right.  The point I am trying to make is…who knows what is going to happen.
    Here is where I take action on this.  Since I have children, I don’t want to have to look at their faces when they are hungry and tell them I have no food and we won’t be able to get anything for a few days, weeks, or whatever.
    It is much easier to collect food and use what you have collected, on a rotational basis, and keep adding to it so that you are not depleting your resources.  Then if one day for whatever reason the stores are empty, you will have food.  If on the other hand nothing happens, you will have food.
    If you use this idea and buy your food when it is on sale, you won’t have to be shopping when prices or up just on a day to day basis.
    I hope I did an adequate job of explaining this. It is more about self sufficiency and keeping costs down than planning for Armageddon. Have a good day.

  20. Fiona says:

    I think we have two ways of looking at this – it’s either just around the corner, or it’s business as usual. Either way, it seems to me that being prepared covers both options, doesn’t it?  Tess might sell prep supplies – but if she’s consciously committed to what she thinks is in the wind, and can make a living helping others, who are we to judge? Don’t nurses and doctors do the same? Give the woman a break! 
    Until the last 50 years, people always put things by and were prepared. Why do we feel this is unnecessary now? Because of JIT delivery systems and a neverending supply of whatever we want? Do we truly think that will never be interrupted? I’ve lived through ice storms, tornadoes, and earthquakes. I know better. My children won’t go hungry, whether or not something happens. It’s just COMMON SENSE.

  21. Fiona says:

    Oh, and by the way, I’m also reading Surviving Off Off-Grid. Apart from some anti-Catholicism and established religion biases, he’s got some solid historical information in there. I’m about halfway through. If you have a kindle or ebook, you can download it for less than a dollar, I think.

  22. Gloria says:

    You are doing an outstanding service for the public.  Keep up the great work and I admire your courage, to tell it like you see it.  Some people are just to arrogant, to realize the facts in front of them.  I support your efforts and have also put your link,  52 Weeks Preparedness, on my site, for those who are willing to see reality for what it is, and do something about it.  Once the entitlement programs, run it’s course and end, they will be wishing they paid attention, to your thoughtful advice.  Thank you very much for all your time and research, to bring us this information, that motivates us into action.

     Persistence wears down resistance.  
    Aloha, Gloria 

  23. No1UNo says:

    There are many signs of societal collapse that are far more subtle and sinister than you might think. When an entire generation is led to believe that someone else is responsible for taking care of them, when they don’t have to pay attention to things like grammar, spelling, self-improvement, personal hygiene, or even being polite, THAT’s when you should start worrying. Know anyone like that? Think they’ll lift a finger to make a difference?

    I weep for the future.

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