Thursday, July 14, 2011

How “prepared” should we be?

The question of “how prepared should we be” depends on what we think we should be prepared for.

A friend and I were discussing investing in food storage.  Doubting the need for more than a couple of months of food storage, he asked me “would you stop buying groceries at the store just because the price goes up a little?”  I answered “well, if the price goes up just 10 or 15% (which is still quite a lot within a single year – and it has already gone up even more than that), then no, I would not stop buying groceries at the store.  But,” I added, “if the price goes up 200 or 300 percent, I may not buy groceries at the store.”

What would cause food at the stores to go up 200 or 300 percent?  Here are some very real reasons that may be just around the corner:

  • Nation-wide meteorological conditions.  We’ve had record-breaking floods, we’ve had record-breaking drought.  Crops and crop land have been destroyed.  This will result in less land to grow crops on, higher agricultural land prices, fewer crops, more expensive crops, greater cost to feed cattle, and higher meat prices.
  • QE3 (the third round of printing billions of dollars out of thin air without any value backing it up) is just around the corner.  This increases our national debt, inflates the dollar, and makes all goods and services cost more dollars, including food.
  • Reduced credit rating for the US as a debtor nation may be just around the corner.  This increases our cost of borrowing, requiring our payment of higher interest rates to induce other entities, including nations, to lend us the money that we need to continue to borrow to maintain our solvency and sustain our economy.  This cannot end well, and may well lead to the burst of the “trust bubble” that is the basis for people trusting our currency.  This is the event that will result in social unrest, runaway hyper-inflation, and food shortages.  It has happened in other nations - as recently as 2001 in Argentina.  See the book “Surviving the Economic Collapse”. 

Those are the likely scenarios that would create food shortages and 200 to 300 percent price increases.

There are additional scenarios that are slightly less likely:

  • Electromagnetic pulse:  Either in the form of hyper-solar activity (due within the next one to three years) that severely damages our power grid and communications electronics; or a EMP attack which does the same thing.
  • Any other form of major terror attack, whether nuclear, biological, or conventional.
  • Political upheaval primarily as a result of a poor economy getting worse, or the left exerting its influence against what it perceives as middle America awakening to thwart the left’s socialist/Marxist aspirations.

So yes, I believe that at this time in American history, current events amply justify that each person should have at least 6 to 12 months of food storage.  Since it cannot all be the 10 and 16 oz. cans common in grocery stores because of the less than two year shelf life of canned goods and the hassle of a “can rotation regimen” that would be required, food with a longer shelf life is more practical.

Such long-shelf life food is available either in packets or cans from specialty retailers.  Google: “food storage” or “emergency food storage” for a list of options that will last for 5 to 25 years.

For those without the available cash to do this all at once, commit to buy a months’ worth of food storage once every two or three months until you reach your goals.  If you believe as I do that severe national problems will occur prior to 2013, you may be motivated to use some of your savings to stock up.  Food is a commodity.  If you are buying gold or silver, it makes even more sense to buy food.  Food is the first commodity that will be in high demand.

It is interesting to observe that those of us who are most well informed are the ones who are taking action to prepare.  Those who are not so well informed don’t see a need and will consider those that do as “rather odd.”

The word “oblivious” comes to mind to describe such folks.

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