Monday, May 18, 2009

Prepare: Last Minute Emergency Preparedness Purchases

Preparing for an emergency, both long and short term is an ongoing process. It is not something we run to the mall or grocery store and complete in a single day. Food for months or even years cannot be obtained with one trip to Kroger for instance.

We know it, but here is something that bothers me when push comes to shove.

If you watch or read survival themed fiction, it seems the main characters never act fast enough. The dawdle on the phone or at work when time is precious and seconds count. They go home and set to work on some long term project like "I had better get the trailer out and make it still works in case my best pal and his family come over. Oh, and I better inventory my tools and make sure they are all in their places".

What is up with that?

So I am at work, or at home with the family. The TV is on and the news cuts in and announces "Big natural disaster/Nukes flying/aliens have landed!"

The last thing I am going to do is clean out the garage! For crying out loud, I have plenty of stuff on hand, but if you knew the supply of Charmin was about to get real low real fast and permanently, wouldn't you run down the street and get a few rolls?

So, the emergency crisis happens, I jump in the car and head to the nearest grocers first. Food is king. I am going to bet that most people are in "deer in headlights" mode and staring at CNN OR on the phone with Aunt Sally in Schenectady OR talking with their coworkers about how this will affect the quarterly budget. Unlike the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1961, most Americans don't think to stock up on canned goods like they used too.

At the grocers, I go for substance.
- Bulk food like flour, sugar, salt, oil.
- Lots of canned foods
- Protein bars, Slim Fast (canned protein source), protein and weight gain powder.
- Bulk pasta, rice and beans, all dried.
- Quick ready to eat convinience foods.
- Drinks like coffee, tea bags, powdered cocoa and Tang.
- Over the counter medicines, aspirin, cold, flu and stomach preparations are high on the list.
- Vitamins
- Toilet paper, paper towels, feminine products, diapers, wipes.
- Dog and cat food, dry in big bags
- Bottled water but more important, filters and bleach.
- Bottled gas if they have it, matches, batteries

Once that is done, I go to the gas station and fill up. Gasoline is one of the first things to go in a major emergency, but most people will be coming from work. The suburban stations, those not near a major road, highway or freeway will be the best bet. If there is a line, I take my chances on hitting another neighborhood station rather than the big discount chain.

Next, I get cash. Cash is the currency of choice in an emergency, but you can't eat it or run your car on it so get it last.
Depending upon how much I have in the bank, I may hit an ATM several times (at grocers, gas station and elsewhere) before they run out of cash.

Then I go the final destination for my emergency preparedness run, the gun or sporting goods store. Most people will be at the grocers at this time while I buy bricks of .22, boxes of 12 gauge and what little center fire they have available in my calibers.

Then I go home.

In a last minute emergency scenario, getting away may be the only option. But the concept that rioting and looting will happen in seconds is not realistic short of aliens landing en masse or the Rapture. But you have to think fast and get what you need in the right order. It sure beats sitting at home or the office fooling around with trivial projects which can be done after supplies have been obtained.


Staying Alive said...

Your blog is one of the highlights of my day. You do very well.


John said...

Michael You are too kind. I read yours daily and enjoy it immensely.
Thank you

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