There are many types of independence. My focus is the ability to sustain life under a wide range of circumstances. This involves some degree of independence from outside sources for food and shelter.
Technology has made life in the United States relatively easy. Under what has come to be considered normal circumstance, we have easy access to food and water from a variety of convenient and reasonably priced resources. Basic housing is so inexpensive that our wants have escalated. Most of our houses are very large compared to other civilizations and eras. Technology has made possible conveniences such as cell phones and satellite television that we now consider necessities.
Unfortunately, the technology that has made life so easy and convenient has also made us very vulnerable. For example, an extended electrical power outage would not only deprive us of our conveniences, the loss of power will disable our supply systems. Gas and diesel pumps will not function without electricity. Delivery of food will be halted. Heaters and air conditioners will not work. Water distribution pumps will be powerless. In short, the technological systems on which we depend will fail.
With the failure of transportation, grocery stores will be empty in a very short time. When people start to starve, rioting and looting will occur. With an extended total loss of electrical power, many people in the United States will die within weeks. The people who survive will include those who are not totally dependent on the supply systems tied to the electrical grid.
There are many circumstances that could disrupt the systems that make life easy and convenient. Some circumstances are localized such as a tornado while others can be widespread such as a hit by an asteroid or volcanic eruption that send ash into the atmosphere blocking the sun for most or all the earth. Some circumstances are short-term and others are long-term. The matrix below breaks the circumstances into four survival categories.
My plan for independence is to minimize reliance on the centralized supply systems. I plan to prepare for long-term, widespread situations. Survival under these circumstances will depend on prior planning and preparation, available natural resources, and the blessings of God.
Most people strive for financial independence by maximizing their financial resources. My approach for financial independence is to minimize expenditures for food and shelter. This approach is practical during normal conditions and may be life sustaining during collapse of the supply systems. Under some situations, big bank accounts and impressive stock portfolios may not be accessible and may be worthless even if accessible. A stock of food and the ability to produce food will have value under any circumstances.