by Alec Yandy
Plans to acquire food:
If you’re hit by a major disaster are you going to be sufficiently stocked with food to outlast the event?
This is something important to think about. If you are militarily deployed overseas and your family is alone at home it could be very difficult for them if there aren’t resources. Some readers are truck drivers or simply traveling away on business for days or weeks at a time. Some spouses, busy with children, will have a very difficult time trying to adapt to a difficult situation. Stocking up on food allows them to function while you are away.
Keep in mind, that if a disaster strikes, it may not be a short-term event. Any essential supplies that a big-box or corner grocery store stocks is going to be sold out before a mild event occurs, such as a blizzard that shuts down businesses for a few days or even a couple of weeks. You can probably get by with the help of friends and neighbors in the short-term. We live in a time where national rationing hasn’t impacted anyone in our country. Those who lived through World War II can tell you how hoarding occurred and how scarce certain essential items were to obtain.
But, what about a disaster that exceeds local capabilities and requires a broad range of state and federal assistance? If you recall what happened during Hurricane Katrina you will remember the mayor and the government delayed preparing and responding to the event. Many local and state leaders have to muddle through layers of bureaucracy to get citizens the help they need. And even if they could provide the help quickly, doesn’t mean that they will act at all to serve you. There are good and bad leaders in all political layers and levels of government.
Because we live so well, in comparison to some people in other countries, there’s an expectation that we will be served and rescued by our government in the event of a disaster. Yes, our government will respond, but it will take time. This is time your family may not have. A sick baby or a hungry child has needs that cannot be addressed easily if you are away on deployment or on the road.
Socialists in Venezuela face shortages
In countries where there is a lack of governance, people have learned to take care of themselves, and there isn’t any expectation from them that any local, state of federal response will ever come to save them. They are self-reliant.
In the case of rural areas, people are used to being without electricity and fuel, and are very self-supportive. Many who live in rural areas have put away a year’s supply of food, clothing and fuel and they are ready for most disasters.
Grocery stores don’t stock up on weeks of food anymore because the supply chain has changed over the years. But transportation via trucks and trains can be shut down even by the tamest weather events. If an earthquake, tornado, or major disaster occurs, your local store will likely be without a resupply for weeks.
If you start early, you can be prepared. There are many Americans that have a real concern about being sufficiently prepared and sustained in an emergency and they have taken the right measures to not solely rely on others.
If an emergency lasted for more than 72 hours before help arrived, would you have sufficient food and water?
- Food you acquire should not be for today or tomorrow; you should have a minimum of 3 days (?) of food in the refrigerator and or on the shelves. If your food is already close to the expiration date, what happens when the stores are closed for days or weeks? You will not be able to rely on a few items to get you through until a local response effort takes place.
- If you are looking for food it should be for day four or beyond.
- Is food commercially available? (is food available at the grocery store or are the shelves bare?)
- Are the grocery stores open or have services been suspended and commercial establishments closed?
- Are closed stores being vandalized (closed stores being burglarized by the populace) seeking food on the shelves?
- Is there (food) contamination issue?
- Is there enough food to go-around, or is the shortage of food an issue for the population?
- What is the situation regarding water? Is potable water readily available or should you consider the water contaminated?
- Is the populace “desperately” seeking food and water?
- Is the populace out in the neighborhoods looking for food?
- Has the local, state, federal government acknowledged a food shortage and may any provision for added security or food delivery into the local area?
- Do you have any commodity items that you think you use to exchange/trade for food?
- Do you think you will have to “defend” the stores of food you have from perpetrators?
These are all what ifs that you should ask yourself. Plan on needing a lot more supplies than you think. Contamination issues, infestation by rats or insects can ruin your stores, flooding can also reduce what stores you have on hand.
Also, don’t be too sure that a disaster will be short-term. You should approach stocking up on food with a long-term vision. This can be done easily by purchasing 1-2 cans of food a week. Many chain stores offer clearance food items from time to time, so look for these. Prior preparation when it comes to stocking up on food and water is a prudent thing to do, even when planning for small emergencies. (Purchase MRES here.)
Alec Yandy was born in the 1950’s and raised by parents who were charter members of “the greatest generation.” His father served in Europe during WWII as an Infantry Platoon Leader and retired from the Army reserve in the 1960’s. He was raised with a sense of duty, honor, and country, and faith in God. He attended elementary school in the 1960’s and high school and college during the 1970’s. He attended and graduated from The Military College of South Carolina, in Charleston. There he learned a great deal about discipline, leadership, himself, and other people. After graduating he went into the Marine Corps and retired 20 years later. He spent 9 plus years overseas serving in a variety of combat engineer units and intelligence staff assignments, afloat and ashore assigned to conventional and special operations forces. Since retiring from the Marine Corps he has been working as a DoD contractor supporting the Combat Support Agencies, in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. He reads and studies history; is a firearms and survival enthusiast; works out and spends as much time as possible at the range, in the woods, or on the beach.
Alec Yandy subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.