Be Prepared

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by Keoni Galt on March 19, 2011

I was once a Boy Scout. I never attained the rank of Eagle, but the time I did spend in the organization has impacted my life and has given me tools and principles that are a part of me to this very day, over 20 years later.

The Boy Scout motto has always been my credo: Be Prepared.

I expanded it into my own personal maxim that I tell people all the time:

Better to have something and not need it, than to need something and not have it.

When I watched the events that unfolded after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, I realized that the veneer of civilization is an illusion. The breakdown of civil society is but one natural disaster away from occurring.

I was determined to never be one of the starving masses, huddling with fellow survivors in some location like the Superdome, waiting to be fed by a Government bureaucracy.

I began buying a little bit of canned food on every grocery trip.

Every time I buy a case of toilet paper, I take a few rolls and stash them in a closet.

I have cases of bottled water, plenty of extra butane, propane and lantern fuel, portable stoves, as well as an abundant stash of whiskey and plenty of ammunition for all of my firearms.

There’s no point in having supplies if you can’t defend them from someone who is desperate because they did not plan like you did, and they seek to steal or rob it from you.

That being said, I hope every person reading this article takes note of the recent disaster in Japan. Take note of what happens the moment a disaster strikes any urban or suburban community: the first that happens is a stampede of people at the grocery stores to buy up whatever supplies they can get their hands on.

From the appropriately named blog: SHTF Plan – (the Shit Hits The Fan Plan), What Your Grocery Store Will Look Like In An Emergency:

The Guardian reports that panic buying and fear is spreading:

People in the capital, home to 12 million, snapped up radios, torches, candles, fuel containers and sleeping bags, while for the fourth day there was a run on bread, canned goods, instant noodles, bottled water and other foodstuffs at supermarkets.

Retailers said the panic buying was reminiscent of the oil crisis in the 1970s.

The electronics firm Panasonic said it was increasing production of batteries, which were being bought in large quantities as far away as Hiroshima in the south-west.

Fears are rising that if the hoarding frenzy continues it will affect the ability to deliver emergency supplies to the disaster zone. “The situation is hysterical,” said Tomonao Matsuo, a spokesman for the instant noodle maker Nissin Foods. “People feel safer just by buying Cup Noodles.”

Prepare now, because you just never know.

The last place you want to be during a disaster is scrounging for scraps at the grocery store.

A perfect example of the panic buying that ensues depending on the disaster or emergency of the moment is what we are seeing with Potassium Iodide tablets. The essentials will go first, within a matter of hours. If you don’t have what you need before an emergency, don’t plan on getting it after it has happened.

Some people scoff at the idea. They will say it is unfounded paranoia. That it could never happen here. I’ve seen the grocery stores emptied out here in Hawaii on 3 different occasions within the last decade. All three instances here on O’ahu occurred in the face of a threatened disaster, not even an actual one. When there was an earthquake off of the coast of the Big Island that shook the entire island chain back in 2006, the safety features on the O’ahu power plants caused an automatic shutdown, leaving the island without power for almost 24 hours. The grocery stores were emptied in a matter of several hours after the earthquake.

The same thing occurred again when a Chilean earthquake in 2010 threatened Hawaii with a potential tsunami. Once again, the masses bum rushed the grocery stores leaving empty shelves…long before the 4 inch tsunami washed up on hour shores.

In the face of yet another tsunami threat from the Japanese Earthquake last week, it happened yet again.

Where ever you are in this world, there is some sort of natural phenomenon that can and will occur that will interrupt the regular mode of obtaining your daily food and water.

If you’ve got a SHTF Plan of your own, you won’t need to run out to the store and stand in line as the shelves are emptied by the panic of the unprepared in the face of the next catastrophic event.

Learn from history. Disasters, catastrophes, and cataclysms happen.  It’s not a matter of if…but when.

Will you be prepared?

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