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Cramer’s worst case scenario survival guide

Wednesday, 9 Oct 2013 | 6:23 PM ET
Where to turn?
Wednesday, 9 Oct 2013 | 6:25 PM ET
Mad Money host Jim Cramer looks at some "safety stock" plays, like Costco, ConAgra and Procter and Gamble.

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

It's time to think about the unthinkable, said Cramer. That is, it's time to prepare in the event there's no debt deal.

"You absolutely have to be thinking that way," Cramer insisted. That's because Wall Street has already started.

"It's sending down the stocks of the high-fliers because portfolio managers want less risk," Cramer explained. "Wall Street is also walking away from the big industrials because the President has assured us we'll have a severe recession if and when we default."

And, perhaps most important, Wall Street is sending survival plays higher. That's right, Cramer has spotted three gainers in the market and he thinks these advances are perhaps more telling than the declines. His insights follow:

Bjarte Rettedal | Stone | Getty Images

1. Costco rallied even though the company missed estimates. "Costco is a company that does well when Americans hunker down. You join the club to save money. You shop there for bargains," Cramer said.

2. Food maker ConAgra caught a bid after a steady march lower. "ConAgra has trade down brands that people tend to buy in a recession, not just its branded products, but also the store bought private label brands which are stocked up on when people feel poor."

3. Coca-Cola has stopped going down. Coke makes people feel good. It's comforting. Period. "In a post-thermonuclear war environment we would probably still drink Coca Cola," said Cramer. The same is likely true if the government defaults on its debt.

Because these stocks are attracting buyers today, a week ahead of the October 17 default day, Cramer is convinced consumer stocks are becoming safety stocks.

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Now Cramer has made it clear that if the government defaults, all stocks will go down. Yet, "I also believe some stocks will bounce more quickly than others; even in the event of a worst case scenario."

Although the stocks mentioned above are defensive, Cramer prefers other consumer plays; specifically stocks that have fundamental catalysts in their favor as well as the rotation.

"First is Johnson & Johnson," Cramer said. Not only should this giant attract buyers in the event of a debt default, Cramer sees other catalysts too. "It has a AAA balance sheet, a dynamite set of brands and a partnership in a novel cancer treatment," said Cramer. They should all be tailwinds.

Also Cramer likes Procter & Gamble. Again, the Mad Money host sees PG as more than simply a worst case scenario play. "I believe Procter is taking share back from rival Unilever," he said. "Also, it could restructure in a heartbeat. And the company often boosts the dividend."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com

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