“Atash Hagmahani is not waiting for the stock market to recover. The former high-tech professional turned urban survivalist has already moved his money into safer investments: Rice and beans, for starters. “I hoard food,” says Hagmahani, 44, estimating that he has enough to last his family a year or two. “I’m not ashamed to admit it.” “People keep asking when this (economic crisis) is going to clear up,” says Hagmahani, who agreed to be interviewed on the condition that he be identified only by this pseudonym, which he uses for his survivalist blog, or by his first name, Rob.
The answer, he predicts, is that the country is entering what he calls a “Greater Depression.” “Maybe they jolly well better get used to the change in lifestyle.” Hagmahani is not alone in concluding that desperate times call for serious preparations. With foreclosure rates running rampant, financial institutions teetering and falling, prices for many goods and services climbing, and jobs being slashed, many Americans are making preparations for worse times ahead. For some, that means cutting spending and saving more. For others, it means taking a step into survivalism, once regarded solely as the province of religious End-of-Timers, sci-fi fans and extremists. That often manifests itself as a desire to secure basic emergency resources “‘ what survival guru Jim Wesley Rawles describes as “beans, bullets and Band-Aids.”