My ponderings this week have
Hubby and I had already been talking about the empty shelves we sometimes find at Wal Mart, when I saw an article online about it being a nationwide problem. As a Quality Assurance Engineer, he worked a lot with the JIT (Just In Time) concept and he's said for years that it could cause challenges for a company as big as Wal Mart.
"Just In Time" is when a consumer company (from grocery stores to automobile plants) no longer stock parts or products in a warehouse but order just what they need for a particular day or week. Which sounds good in theory but has caused significant problems for some stores and companies.
When we first heard about the terrorist attack in Boston and later how the city was on lock down, Hubby said that is (on a small scale) what could happen on a much larger scale should their be multiple terror attacks at the same time through the country... which would mean semis cannot get into a city to resupply grocery stores.
Now, what is amusing (and I realize it is not a funny subject) to me is that he never used to think that way. While he agreed with keeping a pantry... for both our mothers went through the Great Depression and always had a pantry... he wasn't so sure about keeping a deep pantry. Until world events begin to shake the security of one who grew up in the 1950s and whose family did not build a bomb shelter. ;)
Where he was talking about major disruptions to supply lines... my thoughts were more toward how everything changed for the people in the Boston area... suddenly!
Our need for a pantry or using emergency provisions (such as flashlights, lanterns, food that does not need to be cooked, etc.) usually happens without warning. Even with a certain amount of warning as one would receive in a hurricane watch, by that time everyone else is on the same hymnal page and clamoring for what food and products are available, which often can be just a few products on the shelves.
It just makes good sense to invest in at least a little food and provisions to have on hand. Especially if it ever comes to a time when we can't leave our homes. I imagine the people in the Boston suburbs never thought in a million years that an entire town would be on lock down.
Even the best of us can assume nothing will ever happen in which we need to be prepared. People have asked me how I became interested in preparedness. Well, partially because my mother (having gone through the Depression and who grew up on a farm where they were self sufficient) didn't preach it as such but she lived it.
However, it was also one chapter in a book I read around 1980 called How to Prosper in the Coming Bad Years that caught my attention. Ruff wrote a chapter about stocking up on food and necessary supplies because of an experience he went through. He was in his car (but not near the town in which he lived) when he heard on the radio about what became the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He called his wife and told her to drop what she was doing and go to the grocery store and buy necessary food right then. He admits to being embarrassed because he's a Mormon but had never stocked up as was recommended.
If I remember correctly (and it has been awhile since I perused the book), the store was busy but there was food on the shelves. Very soon after that, the shelves were empty as more people became aware of the implications of the crisis. After that experience, he included the purchase of food and supplies in addition to any other investment.
Well, you know how some books become the one everybody is reading, that happened to this book and Ruff's writing became numerous in magazines and such. Somewhere in his writings, he also gave advice I thought was really good, also from his experience with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The advice was to keep a list of what you would purchase if there was a sudden emergency and you had to go to the store at the last minute as his wife had done. We all know what it is like to go to the store even when we're not rattled and come away without buying the actual object we went there for in the first place (or has that only happened to me?).
I have often had such a list and I carried it with me in my purse. I stopped doing it when my budget became so tight but it's still a good idea and all it cost one is the time to write it out.
It also comes in handy (when you have it tucked away in your purse) if you stop by the grocery store for just a few items... as a reminder if there is an essential item you have forgotten.
The Seven Core Areas of Preparedness... here.
I came across this article last week and thought it very informational for people who want to be more prepared for an emergency... or even a situation like long term unemployment.