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Old 09-12-2017, 02:34 PM   #1
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Default How to avoid panic prepping

To be honest, panic prepping is a non sequitur but good article none the less.



Empty grocery store shelves

Why we prep

Here’s another reason why you – and your friends and family – should prep:

Hurricane Irma: A case of water sells for $99.99 on Amazon as residents fear price gouging

Headlines such as the above really frost me – and not just because the prepackaged “designer” water bottle has become the religious icon of the terminally clueless. Hey pajama-boy! They make this thing called a sink. Most people own one. Take an old milk jug or, heaven help us, an empty water bottle, fill it from the tap, screw on the lid and voilà! Water. Now take your spare $100 and buy some storable food.

The other reason I hate that headline is it perpetuates the notion of “price gouging,” a farcical concept and yet another socialist lie to inflame the gullible. It would be more accurate to call price-gouging a “stupid penalty.”

For example, let’s say I own a mom-and-pop store. I carry a limited amount of just-in-time delivery bottled water. But one morning, the TV weather wizards tell me a hurricane will be arriving in five days. So I order more bottled water. It’s a good bet I’ll sell it; but it’s only a bet. If I don’t, I’ll be holding a lot of water for a long time and that means payout without income. It also means loss of storage space.

But I get the water and I add a bit to the cost. What do you know? Demand is high enough that no one bats an eye or goes to a competitor (of which there are hundreds) for their water. I order more, but my supplier has to get it from further off because the local warehouses are empty. Shipping and handling costs are up; and therefore, so is my cost.

So I jack my bottled water prices up again to cover the expenses. But now it’s only 48 hours until the hurricane hits my area and I’ve got things to do (board up the windows, move perishables, pack up my family, head for high ground), and these will further increase my costs. I know it’s likely that when I get back, my building will have been damaged or destroyed by either the hurricane or by looters, and it could be months until I get back in business. So if you want my water – and you were too lazy or dumb to jug some up at home – well, you’ll pay what the market will bear.

I’ll never have to run frantically from store to store find water, food, batteries, generators or fuel, because I’m self-dependent. I already have a sufficient amount of these things to be able to help my less-prepared neighbors who are in need.

“But Pat!” you say. “People (even idiots) may die without that water! How can you suggest that someone make excessive profits at a time like that?”

Been to a hospital emergency room lately? Ever taken a dog to an urgent-care vet clinic at 2 a.m. because of an encounter with a porcupine? Ever had to order propane in December? Ever tried to buy a Congressman or Senator?

Conditions, scarcity, and demand effect price.

The best way to avoid the highs is to buy low. That’s what prepping is all about.

And that’s one of the reasons we prep.

A couple of months ago, I attended a prepper convention. The organizer of the event was an old friend and he graciously provided me with a room and the run of his home during the event. On Saturday night, he also hosted a barbecue at his place for a bunch of the presenters and vendors. There were so many bull-elephant preppers in the place you could smell the gun oil. And as usual – considering the crowd and the beer – many of the discussions that took place around the evening fire involved advanced prep for EMPs, Yellowstone eruptions, global communication failures, advanced weapons systems and the like.

Also seated at the fire was a young couple, friends of the organizer, who were pretty obviously new to the self-dependence trail. You could tell because of how much wider their eyes would open with each subsequent casual comment about a world-ending event. I went over and introduced myself and found that – yes – they’d really only just begun prepping and now they were getting worried that everything they’d done so far wasn’t nearly enough to survive the coming zombie apocalypse.

I had to explain to them that what they were observing was a group of people so far along the trail that there wasn’t any need for conversations about amassing a year’s supply of food. They’d already done that years ago. Everyone there already had mountains of guns and ammo and were now yakking about wants, not needs. My new friends were like garage mechanics at a Boeing engineer’s kegger.

I told these newbies that the best and most intelligent way to start becoming self-dependent wasn’t to plan for the end times, but for the present times.

It’s far too easy to get caught up in panic prepping. That’s the condition where you go into debt to purchase stuff that you will likely never need, to address a specific situation that is statistically unlikely to occur. Instead, start your prepping by working on the likeliest personal “disasters,” like a job loss or an injury that will keep you from working.

Just remember the DOs and DON’Ts:

DO buy a three month’s supply of food
DO put aside some treated water
DO make sure you can heat your home, and that you have clothing suitable to weather conditions
DO buy a good AM/FM radio and spare batteries
DO put together good bug-out bags for your family
DO put aside some money for the rent or mortgage and the must-pay bills
DON’T go into debt because you’ve listened to the “end-timers”
DON’T build a bomb shelter
DON’T spend money on a Geiger counter or a freeze-dryer or Tyvek suits
DON’T set up hardened defensive positions around your house

I’m not saying that the DON’Ts listed above won’t be appropriate goals in the future. But none of them will help you if you can’t work. Not one of them will feed your family or keep you warm in a blizzard. Not a one of them will stave off a foreclosure or an eviction.

Check out some options in the WND Superstore preparedness department. New products of all kinds being added regularly for all your prepper needs – from informational books, movies to shovels, water purifiers, and food from soup to nuts!

Begin your prepping for the little disasters. The DO preps listed above are vital; not just for the small disasters, but they are the building blocks for surviving a less-likely but more severe event, should it occur.

Walk first, before you run. It’s the best practice if you want to avoid falling on your face.
“The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Puppet Masters
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:15 PM   #2
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If I was completely new to the world of prepping, I think 1 of the least helpful places to be would be a prepper convention. Let's face it - prepping for extreme events, (extreme meaning unlikely to occur), often becomes the focus of those who have been prepping for years. They have food for years, can arm a small country, have safe houses, bug out locations, redundant bug out bags & often have invested tons of money into what really has become a hobby, if not a lifestyle.

That would be pretty intimidating for someone knew to the idea of looking ahead.

Most events that would necessitate some form of prepping are the types of circumstances that can happen to anybody - a job loss, catastrophic illness, fire/flood/extreme weather, a large & unexpected repair bill such as a furnace - these can & often are, catastrophic to those suffering these events.

Prepping isn't difficult to start but the most reasonable preps don't get a lot of sexy air time because they're pretty vanilla. But for most people, they're attainable. A good initial goal is to review your current life. What are you spending money on? What could you immediately cut if your life goes south? A good policy there is, if it doesn't keep you housed & fed, you don't NEED it. Cut down to what you need to survive until things get better.

Food & supplies, start slowly, as you can afford it. A few extra days of food, then a week, a month... keep building. Make sure you have the insurance coverage appropriate for your circumstances. Have your wills, POAs & guardianship of minor children squared away.

Even having these matters thought through, planned for & covered buys a lot of peace of mind.

The rest can come as time, money & interest permits.
Fish, relatives & hurricanes stink after 3 days.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:23 PM   #3
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Our neighborhood did not suffer much damage at all. The usual tree debris, some screens went flying, a lightpole went over, etc.

Shelves emptied on Monday, almost a week before the storm him. Most stores closed Friday so their employees could prepare, those that stayed open were closed by noon on Saturday. Most have reopened but with limited items available. Gas stations were closed for a week. Today is really the first day Gas Buddy is showing a lot of stations green for open. 40% of our county is still without power. The National Guard staged their equipment at a closed Target parking lot about 10 miles from us. They're still there.

Not to say some people in our county weren't hit hard - the rivers are flooding and areas that usually flood are under water. Schools that were turned into shelters will remain closed to house flood victims and feed repair crews.

In short, this was a bad storm that brought all the usual bad storm problems. But it wasn't more than that.

90% of the issues are because of the REACTION to the storm, not the storm itself.
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:29 PM   #4
Don't wrestle with a pig. The pig enjoys it and you get muddy.
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Oh yeah... no one has picked up our trash for the last 2 weeks.
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:09 PM   #5
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FB I know I would have been a buyer before the storm though it would have been a want to not have to. I know that fresh food can be hard to come by. My standing "storm" list includes foods like eggs, carrots, potatoes and cauliflower but x3 what I typically buy.
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:49 PM   #6
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About the only thing I had to get from the store was the stuff no one else was buying: Meats for the BBQ, snacks and chocolate for when playing cards, and lots of beer. Freezer was full, gas for genny was full, pantry is always packed, and if it actually runs out there's a few months of Freeze Dried stuff, MRE's........... No one goes hungry in my house.

Finally got all my utilities back late last night. Now I just have a weeks worth of work to catch up on.
"From so simple a beginning, endless forms, most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved"
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:32 PM   #7
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We don't keep snack foods in the house, so I stocked up on JUNK FOOD! Chips, soda, cookies, candy. If a tornado came for me I would go clutching a handful of chocolate.

Apparently it is genetic. In the middle of the night I texted my DD to see how she was doing and she was eating jalapeno cheese chips.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:28 AM   #8
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How to avoid panic prepping

Rule No. 1: Think it through

For almost any prep situation that one is likely to encounter there is no reason to go to extreme prepping. Nearly all of it can be done through your local grocery stores, Wal Marts, and hardware stores. It requires calm, deliberate thought. Haste nearly always makes waste.

Rule No. 2: DO NOT wait until the last minute

You will find yourself in the panicky crowd fighting for the last... whatever. Start NOW and work your way into it at a reasoned pace. The only thing one should find necessary to do at the relative last minute would be stuff like topping off your vehicle tanks and perhaps stocking up on ice in coolers if you don't have the freezer space to make your own.

Rule No. 3: Prep GENERALLY

There are many types of highly specialized preps that would be useful (perhaps vital) in some specific scenarios (radiation survey meters, etc.), but chances are the types of scenarios you are ever likely to encounter will require basically all the same sorts of preps. Cover the 90% they all share in common FIRST, then worry about the remaining 10% (or less) the specific scenarios may require - if and when - it begins to look like you may need them.

I honestly enjoy going to the grocery store in the day or two just before a hurricane. I find it educational to watch the way people behave. Much can be learned from such observations. Of course, I am also shopping myself. Mostly fresh meat and produce that will go into the coolers. People buy the strangest things. With Irma at the particular store I was in there were plenty of Coke and Pepsi products on the shelves, but I snagged the last two six packs of tonic water they had left and it wasn't the sugar-free type that I wanted! No toilet paper or paper towels left, but rather a lot of face tissue (Kleenex) which is what I wanted since my wife and eldest went into the storm with head colds. Cruise up and down the aisles and check out what is wiped out and what is plentiful.

Oh, and if you do buy something then KEEP IT. Buying it before the storm only to return it later is shameful. Though I must admit I got a nice table saw that way. Fellow bought it for Hermine then returned it, with sawdust still on it, so Home Depot sold me their top of the line saw for half-price.

If I had not had to drop big money on getting a new blower motor for my house central a/c the Thursday before the storm I'd be shopping for a new generator right now. My 20+ year old one went belly up on me last year with Hermine.
Chance favors the prepared mind.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:49 PM   #9
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Maybe you can pick up a used Irma generator at Home Depot?

Great post, Alan.
"You can solve all the world's problems in a garden." Geoff Lawton
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