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Daily Digest 11/20 – Zero Real Yields Are Tripping Up Investors, The ‘Internet As We Know It’ Is Off In Iran

14 hours ago

Economy

Illinois Pension Costs Skyrocketed By 500%, Crowding Out Government Services (Saxplayer00o1)
State spending on everything from child protection, state police, college aid for low-income students and more has fallen by nearly one-third during that time.

State spending on pensions for government workers, meanwhile, grew by a whopping 501% – on top of a 127% increase in spending on health care costs for state workers.

For municipal defaults, booms are just as dangerous as busts (Saxplayer00o1)
The working paper, published by the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank and wrote by one of its researchers, Grey Gordon, along with Pablo Guerron-Quintana of Boston College, put it simply: “In response to rapid population growth, cities overborrow expecting future entrants to help repay the

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Daily Digest 11/19 – Alaskan Homeless Services Face Uncertain Future, The Worst Is Over For Oil Markets

1 day ago

Economy

The Changing Of The Overlords (Sparky1)
The country that Iran assumed influence over had been shattered by decades of war, military occupation, terrorism, and economic sanctions. Iraq is still struggling with the legacy of years of sectarian bloodshed, the emergence of violent jihadi groups, and widespread corruption unleashed by the U.S. invasion and occupation. In the face of this national tragedy, some citizens express nostalgia for the authoritarian stability of Saddam’s regime. Navigating this chaotic situation is no easy task for any foreign power.

A Spy Complex Revealed (tmn)
Many of the cables describe real-life espionage capers that feel torn from the pages of a spy thriller. Meetings are arranged in dark alleyways and shopping malls or under the cover of a hunting

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Off The Cuff: The System Is Purposely Insidious

2 days ago

In this week’s Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Wolf Richter discuss:
Only An Elite Few Benefit From The ‘Wealth Effect’
The System Is Purposely Insidious
Only Revolution Will Change Things At This Point
What The Heck Is The Fed Up To Next?
Get ready for ‘no punches pulled’ barnburner of a discussion. Both Chris and Wolf are hopping mad at the increasing squeeze our system is placing on the masses — the ‘wealth effect’ created by current Fed policy is only enjoyed by the already stinking rich, and everyone else is being left fewer and fewer crumbs.
Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com’s other premium content.

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The post Off The Cuff: The System Is

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Daily Digest 11/18 – Saudi Arabia Puts $1.7T Price Tag On Oil Monopoly, 70% Of Americans Are ‘Struggling Financially’

3 days ago

Economy

‘We can’t take it anymore’: As Lebanon economy skids, jobs in firing line (Sparky1)
Banks, which closed for half of October, have blocked most dollar withdrawals and transfers abroad to avoid capital flight. They shut again this week after a staff strike over safety fears as people demand access to their money.

The hard currency squeeze in turn has stymied trade, pushed people to stash cash at home, and pressured the Lebanese pound’s 22-year-old peg to the dollar.

70% of Americans say they are struggling financially (Sparky1)
The findings come from a survey of more than 5,400 Americans from the Financial Health Network, a nonprofit financial services consultancy. The project, which started a year ago, is aimed at assessing people’s financial health by asking about debt,

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Daily Digest 11/16 – Global Debt Reaches Record High, Protests Grip Major Iran Cities Over Gas Prices

5 days ago

Economy

Report: Global debt reaches record high, led by U.S., China (Sparky1)
The report said that record-low interest rates made it easier for companies and businesses over this time to borrow money. While the U.S. Federal Reserve has made cuts in the benchmark interest rate, the People’s Bank of China has refrained from doing so to avoid sharply rising debt.

Americans Are Cutting Back On Other Monthly Expenses To Afford Healthcare Premiums (edelinski)
Open enrollment is just beginning and insured Americans are less than impressed. We surveyed 1000 Americans about their personal experience with health insurance.

AP Photos: Hong Kong protesters resort to medieval weapons (Sparky1)
Protesters said they need the weapons to protect the campuses from police using tear gas, pepper spray

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Why The Risk Of A Correction Is So High Right Now

5 days ago

How our driven pursuit of “growth” is putting the entire system at risk
Why those running the system do NOT have our interests in mind
Why a correction risk is so high right now
Why our odds keep getting worse
If you have not yet read Part 1: The Federal Reserve Is Directly Monetizing US Debt , available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.
My main message here in Part 2 is to show you why, from my vantage point of following the economy and financial markets daily, things are serious right now.
I trust actions over words; and the Fed’s actions are consistent with a big problem happening somewhere deep in the shadow banking system.
Further, all of the global macro data I track closely is screaming that a slowdown is here.
On top of that, investor confidence in the

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The Federal Reserve Is Directly Monetizing US Debt

5 days ago

The Federal Reserve is now directly monetizing US federal debt.
Sure, it’s not admitting to this. And it’s using several technical jinks and jives to offer a pretense that things are otherwise.
But it’s not terribly difficult to predict what’s going to happen next: the Federal Reserve will drop the secrecy and start buying US debt openly.
At a time, mind you, when US fiscal deficits are exploding and foreign buyers are heading for the exits.
How It’s Supposed to Work
Here’s how it’s supposed to work when the US government issues new debt:
If the US Treasury needs to raise new funds, it announces an upcoming auction of US Treasury bills/notes/bonds.
A date for the auction is set.
Various participants bid for those bills/notes/bonds (including ‘regular folks’ like you and me if we’re using

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Daily Digest 11/15 – Good News Friday: How Meditation Can Help You Make Fewer Mistakes, Replacing Plastic With Compostable Material

6 days ago

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!
Economy

State Court Bars Using North Carolina House Map in 2020 Elections (Jen H.)
The ruling in the end came down to very different decisions in federal and state courts on whether blatant gerrymandering to benefit a political party is permissible.

Artist designs phoenix sculpture from donated keys of homes destroyed in the Paradise Camp Fire (Sparky1)
“In that moment, I kind of realized that he wasn’t alone and thousands of my neighbors were doing that same exact thing,” Mercer told CNN. “Everyone was like, “Wow, I have keys to my

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Save The Date: Our 2020 Seminar Will Be May 1-3

6 days ago

We’ve nailed down the date for the Peak Prosperity 2020 Seminar.
It will take place May 1-3, 2020. And be held in beautiful Sebastopol, CA in the heart of wine country.
Mark your calendars and start planning your travel now. This year’s seminar will be bigger and better than ever.
We’ll start sharing the agenda soon, but this next seminar will see:
More time (both structured and unstructured) to interact and bond with like-minded attendees. This was the #1 request from last year. So we’ve added a separate track dedicated to facilitating socializing for those who want to engage in deeper conversations (returning alumni: this is for you).
Top-notch expert speakers. Despite the high bar set this past year, we’re going after some BIG names for 2020.
More attendees. Meeting & interacting with

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Daily Digest 11/14 – Something Nasty Coming In Financial Markets, Can Hong Kong Heal?

7 days ago

Economy

Chile’s finance minister calls for return to ‘normality’ as peso slides (Sparky1)
The country’s currency plunged to more than 800 pesos per dollar, down more than 10% since mid-October, by midday on Tuesday as state workers and some unionized miners in Chile announced a nationwide strike, saying they were not yet satisfied following the government’s decision to rewrite the constitution.

Highways on Fire. Semesters Cut Short. A Recession. Can Hong Kong Heal? (jdargis)
Decisions by the city’s leadership, like an extradition bill that set off the protests and a face mask ban, have cemented fears that Beijing’s authoritarian reach stretches to Hong Kong. They are stark reminders that Hong Kong could become just another mainland Chinese city when the pledge expires in 2047.

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Daily Digest 11/13 – Moody’s Cuts Global Sovereign Rating Outlook To “Negative,” Global Trends Shaping Our Climate Future

8 days ago

Economy

Despite Obamacare, a ‘shockingly high’ number of people know someone who died after being unable to afford health care (Saxplayer00o1)
He says this high number is likely a combination of many factors, including the high cost of health care, a lack of savings to pay for emergencies, the fact that even with health insurance many Americans still can’t afford care, and that more people are now living without health insurance than even a few years ago.E

Argentina Is Running Dangerously Low on Dollars to Pay Back Debt (Saxplayer00o1)
“If you run out of money, you run out of money,” Morden, who runs the firm’s Latin America fixed-income strategy from New York, said in an interview. “There’s serious risk of a hard default next year.”

Bond investors are largely prepared for that

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Daily Digest 11/12 – NSW Faces Catastrophic Bushfire Risk, The Hidden Consequences Of Climate Change

9 days ago

Economy

Hong Kong violence prompts reminder that China troops close at hand (Sparky1)
China has a garrison of up to 12,000 troops in Hong Kong who have kept to barracks throughout the unrest, but it has vowed to crush any attempts at independence, a demand for a very small minority of protesters.

The editor in chief of China’s Global Times tabloid, published by the state-owned People’s Daily, said Hong Kong police had nothing to be scared of.

Man set on fire in Hong Kong hours after protester was shot (Sparky1)
Anderson Cooper speaks with CNN’s Paula Hancocks about the protests in Hong Kong, where the violence has escalated to some of the most dramatic moments in over five months of demonstrations.

Lebanon central bank says bank deposits are safe, banks to review curbs (Sparky1)

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Daily Digest 11/11 – CEO Departures Hit New High In October, Australia Declares Fire Emergency

10 days ago

Economy

Two of the world’s biggest economies are at risk of recession (Thomas R.)
Germany may post data Thursday indicating that it’s in recession. Economists surveyed by Reuters believe the world’s fourth largest economy shrank 0.1% between July and September — marking two straight quarters of negative growth.

It’s possible that Germany — which has been hit by the trade war, as well as falling global demand for autos — just dodged a bullet. Exports unexpectedly rebounded in September, rising 1.5% compared to the previous month. August data was also revised upward.

A $45,000 Loan for a $27,000 Ride: More Borrowers Are Going Underwater on Car Loans (Sparky1)
Nicole-Malia Tennent and Shyanne Fernandez, both in their early 20s, wanted to trade in the car they shared for something less

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Daily Digest 11/9 – America Facing A Pension Crisis, How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong

12 days ago

Economy

China Says Tariffs Will Go, But U.S. Doubts Remain (Thomas R.)
“If the phase-one deal is signed, China and the U.S. should remove the same proportion of tariffs simultaneously based on the content of the deal,” Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular press briefing. “This is what [the two sides] agreed on following careful and constructive negotiations over the past two weeks,” he said.

Carney’s Green Crypto Currency: Precursor to a Financial Meltdown (westcoastjan)
The fact that this highly coordinated push is happening now is not unconnected to the elephant in the room: not only is it a myth that the financial system recovered after the near-meltdown of 2008, but the truth is that the crisis has only become magnitudes worse today, with many signs now

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Should You Relocate To A More Resilient Area?

12 days ago

Likely a symptom of growing social unease, we’re seeing a surge in interest amongst our readership in relocation.
Many are folks living in urban and suburban areas worried that local resources and/or rule of law will not hold up well during a serious economic crisis, civil disorder or natural disaster.
Others have watched Peak Prosperity readers successfully transition to more resilient destinations or even build their own self-sufficient homesteads.
Specifically, we’re seeing a hunger for guidance on the key factors to assess when asking:
How resilient is my current location?
Should I relocate?
If so, where to? And what criteria should I prioritize in making my decision?
Several years ago, we recorded an interview with SurvivalBlog founder and former US Army intelligence officer James

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Off The Cuff: Descent Into Madness

12 days ago

In this week’s Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and James Howard Kunstler discuss:
America’s death-match style of politics
Corruption is everywhere these days
Society is dangerously close to violence as faith is lost
The shrinking Overton window
Strap in for an hour of angst. Acerbic commentator James Howard Kunstler addresses a litany of deficiencies in today’s system, most notably the many forces removing prosperity and freedom for the bottom 99%.
Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com’s other premium content.

Or Sign In with your enrolled account.

The post Off The Cuff: Descent Into Madness appeared first on Peak Prosperity.

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Daily Digest 11/8 – Good News Friday: Americans Saving More Money For A Rainy Day, Hard-Won Wins For Workers

13 days ago

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!
Economy

Oklahoma parole board OKs largest-ever US mass commutation (sv)
“This event is another mark on our historic timeline as we move the needle in criminal justice reform, and my administration remains committed to working with Oklahomans to pursue bold change that will offer our fellow citizens a second chance while also keeping our communities and streets safe,” Stitt said in a statement.

Americans saving more money for a rainy day (Thomas R.)
Savings rate jumps to 6-month high.

NFL player Carl Nassib makes millions but sticks to

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Daily Digest 11/7 – Chileans Debate In The Streets, Gold Down But Not Out

14 days ago

Economy

Chileans debate in the streets in ‘first act of revolution’ to determine their future (Rob B.)
The meetings seek to find resolutions to the profound inequalities that are driving unrest that has killed at least 23 and injured more than 2,000, with more than 7,000 arrested. The cost to the country is estimated at $3 billion in damages and lost earnings.

Three Facts You Haven’t Heard Much About Are Keys to Better Policy Toward Central America (tmn)
And just the same thing is about to happen in the Northern Triangle. The graph below shows that the very same youth surge has been happening in the Northern Triangle, about 30 years after Mexico. In all three countries, the annual growth in the number of young workers has been peaking, while we’ve seen high unauthorized migration from

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Grant Williams: A Reset Of The System Is Inevitable

14 days ago

While at the New Orleans Investment Conference this past weekend, Chris and I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Grant Williams, publisher of the economic blog Things That Make You Go Hmmm and principal of Real Vision TV.
There will be no smooth transition back to sustained economic growth, he warns
Instead, the distortion of today’s excessive asset prices will require a systemic reset to fix. Either by a deflationary event that destroys the malinvestment, or by an inflationary event that destroys the currency.
Either way, a shock to the system awaits us:

When the 2008 crisis hit, we were “at the brink”. Guys like Jamie Dimon will tell you that we were *this* close to the banking system not functioning, people being unable to get cash out of the ATMs.
If you live in Cyprus, if

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Daily Digest 11/6 – Rising Health Care Costs Stall Americans’ Dreams, ‘Mother Of All Bubbles’ Could Blow Up Economy Within 2 Years

15 days ago

Economy

Rising health-care costs stall Americans’ dreams of buying homes, building families and saving for retirement (Saxplayer00o1)
When it comes to health care, the average American household spent almost $5,000 per person last year in out-of-pocket expenses and insurance premiums. That’s a 101% increase from the roughly $2,500 per person that Americans spent about 34 years ago in 1984, according to an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditures Survey by data company Clever.

California cities, fire districts are being hit hard by CalPERS’ extra levies for ‘unfunded actuarial liability’ (Saxplayer00o1)
Throughout California, local officials have complained loudly about the ever-rising CalPERS assessments, saying they’ll have no choice but to cut services

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The End Of Money

15 days ago

[unable to retrieve full-text content]The unfolding wealth transfer is about to get markedly worse. Read why it’s so important now to position yourself to be on the winning side Click to read the full article >>

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Daily Digest 11/5 – JPMorgan Gets Back Into the Electricity Business, The Incredible Shrinking Overton Window

16 days ago

Economy

Alarmed by Libra, EU to look into issuing public digital currency: draft (Sparky1)
“The ECB and other EU central banks could usefully explore the opportunities as well as challenges of issuing central bank digital currencies including by considering concrete steps to this effect,” said the draft, prepared by the Finnish EU presidency and subject to possible amendments.

Digital currencies like Libra – also known as stablecoins – are usually backed by traditional money and other securities, while crypto coins like bitcoin are not. Both are cryptocurrencies.

7 key races and ballot initiatives to watch in this November’s elections (tmn)
In Mississippi and Kentucky, voters will weigh in on gubernatorial races, while in Virginia, people will have an opportunity to choose members of

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Daily Digest 11/4 – U.S. Stocks Outpacing the Rest of the World, America’s Never-Ending Oil Consumption

16 days ago

Economy

Wall Street’s leading stocks reveal investor caution (Thomas R.)
As concerns over a slowdown in global economic growth have loomed, technology shares and defensive shares in the real estate, utilities and consumer staples sectors have alternated in leading U.S. stocks higher. Technology companies are considered capable of earnings growth even if the economy falls into a recession, while defensive shares offer steady dividends.

U.S. Stocks Outpacing the Rest of the World (Thomas R.)
Global stocks are lagging behind U.S. shares, illustrating how investors’ faith in the domestic economy continues to drive a growing divergence in financial markets.

Jobs numbers and corporate profits soothe fears of an economic slowdown (Thomas R.)
With unemployment at or below 4% for the last 20

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Daily Digest 11/2 – The 1% Grabbed 82% Of New Wealth In 2017, Toxic Smog Descends On Delhi During Diwali

19 days ago

Economy

The 1% grabbed 82% of all wealth created in 2017 (Adam)
The report also highlights the detrimental effects of gender inequality with data that show more men own land, shares and other capital assets than women.

Rising inequality has been a major topic at Davos for years.

Life expectancy for American men drops for a third year (Sparky1)
The average lifespan of men in the U.S. dipped to 76.1 years in 2017 (the latest data available), amounting to a four-month decline in life expectancy since 2014. The findings shed additional light on economic research into the sharp increase in recent years in deaths from overdoses and suicides among white men with less education.

Capital One customers couldn’t withdraw money for hours during system outage (Sparky1)
One Twitter user also

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Time Is Growing Scarce

19 days ago

The debt bomb waiting to explode is truly staggering in size
Key warning signals we’re approaching a late cycle market crash
The Fed’s aggressive actions belie its fear that the system is extremely sick
How to use the time left to be on the right side of the coming wealth transfer
If you have not yet read Part 1: The End of Money , available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.
The Fed is now flat-out lying to us.
Jerome Powell insists that the Fed is not printing more money, is not engaging in QE, and is not directly intervening to make stocks go higher in price. But none of this is true.
In addition, the Fed has reversed course and is steadily cutting rates.  This even as the employment and wage data (if you believe them) have been strong of late.
So what gives?

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The End Of Money

19 days ago

Today we live in a bifurcated economy: it is boom times for some and bust times for others.
Your personal situation depends largely on how close you fall on the socioeconomic spectrum to the protected elite class, towards which the central banks are directing their money-printing firehoses.
Why should we care about this bifurcation? History.
2,000 years ago, in Plutarch’s time, it was already ‘old wisdom’ that unhealthy wealth imbalances ended badly for society:

Even those near the top of the wealth pyramid don’t aspire to live surrounded by an impoverished underclass, forced to live hiding behind their fortifications and guards, hoping the unrest of the masses doesn’t get any worse.
But sadly, the US is not far off from this fate…this is Los Angeles:

The streets of San Francisco,

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Daily Digest 11/1 – Good News Friday: The Rise of Renewables, How To Reduce Household Plastic

20 days ago

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header “Good News Friday.” We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!
Economy

The US city preparing itself for the collapse of capitalism (Adam)
“The way you change a system nationally is you do thousands of local things, and eventually the system evolves,” says O+ executive director Joe Concra, whose building I lived in when we first got O+ off the ground, and who volunteered full-time for years until grants and donors made it possible to pay modest salaries to three full-time and seven part-time employees. “Every time I walk into the clinic, I think: ‘Oh yeah, it is possible to build a new system.’ I

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Daily Digest 10/31 – The Global Protest Wave Explained, Toxic Air In “Cancer Alley” Is About to Get Worse

21 days ago

Economy

Fed again cuts interest rates as economic growth slows (TS)
“We now have a phase one trade agreement with China, which, if signed, could go toward reducing trade tensions, and would bode well for business confidence over time,” he said. In addition, “It appears that the risk of a no-deal Brexit seems to have materially declined,” he noted.

Dow Jones Futures Fall On China Trade Deal News; Apple, Facebook Lead Big Earnings Movers (Thomas R.)
Dow Jones futures fell 0.3% vs. fair value, while S&P 500 futures dipped 0.2%. Nasdaq 100 futures clung to a gain of 0.1%. Apple is the world’s most valuable company and a member of the Dow Jones, S&P 500 index and Nasdaq composite, while Facebook stock is an S&P 500 and Nasdaq megacap.

Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and

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Daily Digest 10/30 – Deficit Looms For L.A., How Student Debt Is Crushing the Next Generation of Americans

22 days ago

Economy

A deficit looming for L.A., city departments are asked to find a way to save $100 million (Saxplayer00o1)
In a report released last week, the city’s budget chief, Rich Llewellyn, outlined projected deficits of $200 million to $400 million in the coming years, if the city does nothing.

Treasury Prepares Another Debt Deluge as Fed Wades Into Market (Saxplayer00o1)
The U.S. Treasury this week releases the next stage of its strategy to cover a deficit that’s expected to surpass $1 trillion this fiscal year, as the department continues to search for new ways to attract buyers for its record debt issuance.It needn’t agonize just yet, however. For the next few months the Federal Reserve will be scooping bills out of the market — part of its effort to calm the repo market — about as

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Essential Bug-Out Resources

22 days ago

In my post yesterday Survival Learnings From A California Fire Evacuee, I promised to share the specific resources that have proved especially valuable during my family’s emergency evacuation due to the Kincade fire. So I’d better get to it…
Gas & Cash
Having now been surprised by two massive fires within the past two years, in both instances, the preparation I was most immediately grateful for — hands down — was having sufficient on-property stores of gasoline and cash.
The moment your community realizes that flight may be necessary, forget going to the gas station. In my area, the lines were 20+ cars deep.
Waiting in those kind of lines (when there’s no guarantee there will be gas left when your turn finally comes) can easily cause you to miss your window of safety. As I mentioned

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