Wednesday, December 08, 2010

SHTF: Food Riots

The spectre of food riots comes up in everyone's minds when considering preparedness and disaster. Generally, in the fiction world, an "event" happens (nuclear war, EMP, financial crisis, etc) and the mobs decend upon the grocery store and riots break out. It's good imagination footage for the reader to enjoy.

In the real world, food riots occur after the shortage conditions have arrived and the government or private organization attempts to bring in food supplies in an unorganized and destabilized environment. The helicopters land or trucks arrive, the crowds break impromptu barriers and relief workers are overwhelmed. Food riots ensue.

For preparedness sake, the possible scenario of food riots in the US would be a combination of the two.

A few scenarios..

An event takes place that would lead to the disruption of supply chains. That could be a natural disaster but on a national level, a massive terrorist attack on our infrastructure, or a war.

Another would be a financial meltdown which would paralyze key components of the food chain - farmers refusing to take credit payments for crops, truckers refusing to deliver goods, feed lots refusing to release stock, etc.

The second "shoe" would drop when stocks drop in stores. That means all stores including grocery, big box wholesale, fast food and all restaurants and even convinience stores.

At first, people would get by on what they had, but after a certain amount of time, one or two weeks at most, people would get antsy and start going to the market daily and waiting or listening to the news for food distribution in their area.

This is America. For all the law abiding folk, and for all the ones who are willing and ready to wait in line for an agreed amount of emergency food, a limit on grocery purchases or the need to cooperate, there is a huge segment who thinks otherwise.

Look at it this way. How many times have you been to the bank or any other place where you had to wait in line, and three people in front of you is the person with "the story"? About how they lost their driver's license or how they have 14 people at home who are sick or how they meant to have the paperwork in order but they left their only pen in their cousin's car?

Or how many people in America will think that because of their position or personal opinion of their importance will think that lines and rations are for "other people"?

Finally, how many borderline criminals exist in the USA? Not just the typical gang and thug members. But how many people swipe a few things from work, fudge their taxes, allow the clerk to give them too much change and walk away feeling entitled to their windfall?

All of these folk will be in the food lines as well and when they arrive and start trouble, there will be problems. They will demand, push and force their way to the front of the line. They will want more than they are allocated. They will see a shortage as an opportunity and demean all others around them.

Depending upon the severity of authorities' response, many innocent people will get hurt. And further supplies will not be forthcoming or recipients will be required to register at their local FEMA camp for ongoing meals.

Therefore, the same conclusion applies. 

- Stock food now. Many types of food, like rice, beans, flour, yeast, generic canned vegetables and fruit are cheap and everything is available now at the store.

- Don't get caught up in the food riots. When trouble starts, get away.

- Don't make the idea of shortages force action when it's too late.

- Finally, don't let others know what you have. Join the lines, get the ration cards, buy the allowed limit (as long as personal freedom is not limited) but don't let others see you "not" taking part as you have enough food at home. Others will visit your home if they think you are "hoarding".

- Make plans to get away from urban centers when food runs low. There is no more dangerous place to be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I nornaly never post comments but I had to commend you for warning of the dangers of distribution lines. I was in Charleston SC for Hurricane Hugo and In Gulfport Mississippi for hurricane Katrina. No i am not very lucky. I have seen normaly reasonable people turn into nut cases while waiting for ice or water to be handed out. The lowest thugs spend lots of time going from line to line day afer day getting whatever they can. people will kill for water or food so dont get caught up in the insanity

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