A question that always gets asked by those new to the concept of survivalism/prepping is "How do I know when it is really the fecal material impacting the air handler?" It's a reasonable question that in all honesty doesn't really have an answer. You have to define your terms, such as SHTF, and everyone will have a different definition.
However, if we start defining those terms, we can develop some indicators to watch. Any single indicator means little to nothing, but added together they can give you some advance notice (which could ranges from hours to months) that something wicked this way comes.
Recently, I've been actively cataloging things that I think may be those indicators. Today, I've found one that may be another. I rarely quote someone at great length, but this one has to be.
Given the razor's edge the financial system now teeters on, analysts estimate a Treasury Bond interest rate of 3.5% is about where a death spiral begins. Of all the 10-year Treasuries held in the world, the Federal Reserve owns a bit less than a third. Should the interest rate tick up toward its normal 4% to 6%, the Fed would need to "print money" just to break even, meaning more bonds need to be issued to put it into play. What seemed "manageable" is transformed into a runaway, self-compounding event. Rising interest rates also trigger serious effects outside the bond market. Derivative implosions, for one. The spiral starts when buyers see the Fed losing control of artificial low rates, which is where they get the 3.5%. The spiral ends when the entire federal budget goes to pay interest. The numbers suggest this could take only a few months, start to finish. Somewhere near the final rollover look for near-total wealth destruction when DC seizes nominally private accounts—retirement, savings, checking or what have you, partly on the theory private transactions are criminal transactions until proven otherwise. But mainly because the EU and South America have shown them they can. And what they can do, they will do.Easy to track, can be tracked in an automated fashion with alerts sent out to your smart device, email or what have you.
Yes, I probably need to do something longer on this. One thing at a time, these days.