Monday, December 8, 2008

What if everything gets scrambled?

No, I'm not talking about eggs, though it's a good idea to have a source for your food storage--dried or fresh. I'm talking about the whole system as we know it--having food on the shelves wherever you shop, being able to pay with money that is worth something, or having enough money to buy basic necessities for yourself and/or your family. The way that the economy is going, it would not surprise me at all if everything in the food chain part of our system got "scrambled". The question is, do each of us have enough resources in reserve, that we would be able to survive until we figured out how the new system worked?

One of the things that brings this to mind is the fact that not long ago my husband and I found out that a couple who we would very much hate to see go hungry had no food storage. I had wondered about it, but ( I don't know whether you will agree with me on this or not) it is very difficult to just come right out and ask people whether they have food storage or not. This is especially true when it comes to people who know and/or ought to know that they need to get a supply of food storage, which is definitely the case with the couple in question. The statement was made that they had no food storage, and the conversation went on. I'm not sure at what point the question was asked, (yeah, it was probably me who asked it) but a question was asked along the lines of, "What will you do, then, if everything goes south?" There was little to no worry on the part of the other party, who claimed (again, this is according to my memory) that they would simply go to the grocery store--they didn't eat that much, and they could afford it. I don't recall pointing this out, but my two main concerns with this scenario, I would say, are thus:

1) What if there is no food in the grocery store to buy? I don't think that it is a far stretch of my imagination when I say that there are multiple reasons why this could turn out to be the case. One is that the economy is so bad that people are losing jobs and businesses are suffering every day. What people get in the grocery store has to get there somehow, and what if trucking companies go bankrupt and/or close due to the credit crisis? Potatoes may have eyes, but I have yet to see a vegetable with legs... Point being, that if there is no way to supply the grocery store with needed items, the items simply won't be there.

A second reason could be that when everyone finds themselves in the same situation that this couple would be in, and there is any kind of manmade or other type of crisis, there could be a run on the store's supplies, and there simply wouldn't be anything left to buy unless they had the good fortune to get there first. I have news for this couple that I really don't dare say to them, but which applies to everyone (if you have the means at all, and this couple does have the means): the time to get there first is now, if not yesterday. They, however, are very unconcerned about it, or at least that appeared to be the case to me. Hard to say, since I am very worried about food supply in the future, and I'm sure that I don't always see things objectively.... :)

2) What if the monetary system as we know it changes, and is, in effect, scrambled? What if the food is available, but not for any price that you can afford, or is only available through people who have had the wisdom to put some aside, but don't want your money? What if they are bartering in tangibles or skills? Wouldn't it put you in a better situation to have some resources stored on your own, so that you would be able to eat while trying to navigate a changed system?

Do I know if/when these things will happen? No, of course not. But I can easily see how they could happen, and the more people that are prepared, the less people I have to worry about. And believe me, I do worry.... That's why I try to prepare for the worst while I hope for the best.

This couple would in all likelihood come to us or some of the people we know if they found themselves in a situation where they didn't have any food. My husband was talking to someone about the above conversation more recently, someone whom the couple would also likely approach if/when they were in need. The response from the other party, from what I understand from my husband, was that the couple obviously had what they wanted, and if they wanted help they would ask for it. My response to that is, will there be anything available for them if/when they finally ask, if no one has made preparations for it? Everyone wants to feed their children first, and if food is hard to come by, it wouldn't be surprising that it would be harder than ever to give what you have stored to someone who "obviously had what they wanted" and knew about the importance of food storage when food was still available.

My husband and I already put some food in our storage that we consider "extra", even if it's only "extra" in the sense that we won't necessarily feel that we are taking it from our own family if we end up giving it to someone else when things get harder. It's just a mentality, thing, obviously, because it's the same kind of food that we are trying to store for ourselves. But like my husband says, if we save it intentionally for them, if they don't end up needing it, it's just more for us. We're still working on our amount of food storage, and how to use it. There's just no question that there is a high probability to certainty that we will at one point or another be asked to share.

How do you talk about food storage with the people that you know? That (surprise, surprise :) is the poll question this week. I hope you don't have to--that they are already working on it. Oh, and my thanks goes out not only to those who answer my poll questions, but those who put out information about food storage, in whatever form it may be---blogs, books, groups, magazines, etc. I heard someone quote William Arthur Ward recently:

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

So if you are preparing and/or are helping others to prepare, I say--thank you!


MeadowLark said...

I have tried to keep this subject in the forefront with Husband's family. They live in a large city and tend to believe that "everything will be OK"... I'm doing better at the angle that "what if there's a huge snowstorm or..." and that seems to be about the only way they'll even consider it.

But it's a start.

Ron said...

That's a very good question to pose. It's kinda silly to assume that a job or business will always be there, as many people are realizing now.

Always good to be prepared!


Marie said...

Meadowlark-- I've found that it is especially scary/frustrating to me when people say things like you have mentioned or just say that they intend to do it later. I think your angle is excellent--you never know when something like a weather problem is going to happen--and then when can you do it later? There are so many ways that you could end up needing food storage, and the weather one could happen anywhere for one reason or another (drought, earthquake, hurricane, etc.) That is a great way to approach the subject.

Ron--I do think that many more people are realizing that now, because economic problems are so much more widespread. Now if everyone would realize that it really could (business failing, job loss, etc.) happen to them, (even though everyone hopes it will not)maybe we will have more people who are prepared. Like you say, it's always good to be prepared. Whether you end up needing it or not...

Thanks for your comments--I really appreciate them!


hsjacobus said...

We're told in my faith that "if ye are prepared ye need not fear." I've always focused on that, but times like these of so much uncertainty never seemed so big. Now I almost feel like we should have been versed in how hard it would be to watch our friends suffer, who knew better but chose not to prepare. We can only do so much to help others. We cannot save everyone, each person must choose to save themselves. We can certainly do as you've done and put a little extra aside, but we can only do so much and they've obviously made their choice. I'm sorry for that because I know just how heart wrenching this kind of situation is. You've provided for your family and worked very hard at it. You really can only do so much.

The Scavenger said...

I have a bad feelong that the life we live today may be a memory in the near future. Trips to the grocery may leave you coming home empty handed because of availibility or cost. For me food storage is about independence, I just don't think it's anyone's job to store food for me and my family while I sit and stare at the sky. With all the information found here and other sites on the net people must know the importance of this subject. I know others will come my way in hard times that have been warned time and time again. I will give as far as I can, but me and mine are no going to go hungry because of their carelessness, I don't feel we should.

Marie said...

HSJacobus--I think that you've hit it on the head for me--it is hard to watch other people have a difficult time, even if you are only reading about it in the paper. It's especially aggravating, when, as in the example I used, the people in question are making a choice to not prepare. I know that I can only do so much, because I'm still preparing for my family, but it will be hard especially if the people who ask for help have children to feed--but like you say, you can only do so much. It's just a sobering situation to contemplate all around--thanks for your comment.

Chris--I agree with you about the independence part of it--if you have what you need you have a lot more freedom and a lot more choices. My food storage is for my family first--I hope it doesn't make me sound like a horrible person, but I think of some of it as "extra" so that I will actually share at least some of it--otherwise it may be hard to share any of it at all because I will think about how my own family might need it later. Like I said in my previous comment, it would be very hard indeed to think that I have food I could share with children, who don't have the choices right now that adults do, and might find themselves in a bad situation. I appreciate your comment.

I would just like to say that I'm impressed with the knowledge that both of you share on your blogs--thanks for sharing, because it has made my preparation that much better and easier.


Anonymous said...

Hi Marie. I make the conversation about money, giving examples of how much I save on inflation, how only having to buy when things are on special can save a fortune etc etc

Another aspect aside from weather is health, pandemics etc. I just change the reasons one would do it to suit the crowd I'm in at the time, most times it gets a reasonable interest in the subject going.

Marie said...

Molly--I think that your ideas are excellent--and among the scenarios you mention, if they don't think that anything else will happen, almost everyone is interested in a financial angle. You really have to know the people you are talking to to know what would strike a chord with them about food storage, and then have the courage, or just care enough, to bring it up. Thanks for your ideas--I appreciate your comment!

I drive my tractor in pearls... said...

With friends I have started a conversation about the cost of food - "Can you believe how much such and such has gone up?" and then I tell them about food storage - If there is an emergency, you have your food and if its just an increase in food costs, you have your food.

I also blog and its amazing how many emails I get from people who were forwarded my blog by someone that thought they needed to read about food storage or something.

People are afraid and when they have a plan and are proactive, the fear is replaced with peace.

Finding this blog has been a pleasant surprise - Thanks :)

As always, Pray, Praise, Prepare :)


Wendy said...

This post sure struck a chord with me. We have a neighbor who is resistant to -- even angry about the idea of food storage. His comment is that he'll just hike down to Wal-Mart if things get tough. There are so many reasons why relying on Wal-Mart is not a good idea. Part of me wonders if his approach is really just about denial.

Marie said...

Pearls--I like your approach--then food storage just sounds like a common sense, money-saving idea without scaring people. There's a lot to be said about being prepared--you certainly don't have to worry as much or be afraid of as many things. I actually recently read your blog and liked your ideas about toilet paper (the cheap kind does not last as long as well) and ideas about comfort food. I love to see more blogs with good preparation ideas--thanks for sharing!

Wendy--I wouldn't be surprised if some of the behavior people choose has to do with denial--even if it's only the common denial that bad things only happen to other people. That, or sometimes I wonder if people get defensive about food storage because the thought of "classic" food storage, with just baking supplies and rice and beans and the like is just overwhelming--there's a lot to learn if you are just starting. Obviously, I don't know about your neighbor, but I hope he gets something in for harder times. There are probably as many reasons for not storing as there are people who make them, and yet that same number of people will still need to eat...thanks for your comment, and for making me think! :)

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Marie said...

Deborah--Thank you very much for your kind words, and thanks for reading--I hope you find it helpful!