Tuesday, May 26, 2009

National Geographic Joins Prepper Movement

Well, maybe that is a stretch.

It is curious to me that as prestigious a publication with a history going back over 120 years has joined those sounding the alarm over growing food scarcity. Special Report: The Global Food Crisis, The End Of Plenty.

This coupled with Mayberry's note of the article citing a spike in suburban survivalists has me wondering when the false panic will set in.

I note "false panic" because the panic will be buying only, not a true emergency.

More people are becoming aware that folks are out there buying stuff up. Everything from water purification equipment to tents and sleeping bags. Fairly soon, the placidly grazing sheep will realize, "Hey. How come all these people are buying this stuff? Maybe I should buy it as well."

It just takes a few, and then the stampede will be on. Supplies will dry up, much like we have seen recently with ammunition, and that will compound demand and raise the panic level even higher.

Remember just a couple of years ago, many people in the know were advising people to stock up on ammunition. And what have we seen this year?

The same thing can happen on when it comes to certain prepper supplies. If you've been sitting on the fence about a big ticket item you'd really like to have (say a Berkeley Water Filter) maybe you ought to really think about buying it now.

I've lived through some fairly sizable disasters, although localized and not regional like a hurricane, and it does strange things to people. People who don't eat canned tuna buy canned tuna....even though they won't eat it. People who don't eat canned ravioli will buy canned ravioli....even though they won't eat it.

Catch my drift here?

Once panic buying sets in, people will buy almost anything even if it is something that they don't normally consume, or use. They will think anything is better than nothing. Similar to the old adage "Any port in a storm".

This will further exacerbate issues as the items needed and wanted by people who will use them are no longer available, and they then start seeking substitutes, and the chain continues from there. A chain reaction buying frenzy.

Some may think this will be a good thing in the long run. More supplies out in the public's hands, and more people ready for a true emergency.

I beg to differ.

How many of you have ever been camping and run across people who can't figure out how to set up their tent? Or worse, keeping food in their tent in bear country.

I've seen women with curling irons and blow driers when the nearest outlet is miles away. This is California, after all.

Some of this stuff is going to give people a false sense of security. The guy who buys a chain saw, and yet hasn't any gas or oil. Doesn't know how to maintain the chain, or even how to safely use it. Last winter there were several cases here in California where people had their power shut off due to non-payment. They set up generators in the house and promptly gave everyone carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you're new to the preparedness drive, make sure you buy only what you will use or use for trade. If you buy something that you are unfamiliar with, please take the time NOW to learn to use it properly. Especially if that item is a firearm. Take the time to buy accessories like gloves, and other personal protective gear. Remember to stock alternative sanitation items, such as baby wipes, plastic garbage bags, and some kind of a chemical toilet if you are in an area where you may loose these services.


Maitreya said...

Yeah, seems like the mainstream is starting to pick up on what preppers have been so concerned with....
Wehn people see bare shelves, you can feel the energy of panic humming in the air.
All it takes at that point for full scale looting is a power outage or other excuse.
(Man, I gotta go fill my gas tanks..)

HermitJim said...

What you say makes perfect sense to me...but then, I may be slow but I ain't stupid! Why some folks buy what they do is beyond me!

Takes all kinds, I guess!

Maitreya said...

Taking the hair dryer and curling iron camping cracks me up.
It's almost as good as looting a plasma TV when the electricity is out for hundreds of miles....

Well, I guess everybody gets what's coming to 'em.

Humble wife said...

Good Post. I know that times are going to bring increased ignorant buyers.

On a side note we had a woman come to visit and ask about our chickens. When we shared why she was physically ill. She could not comprehend that we would kill something to eat it. I asked her if she ate chicken and she said yes, but not like mine! Holy toledo!
New Mexico Prepper