Friday, September 11, 2009

A Basic Preparation Exercise for TEOTWAKI

Walk the area in a quarter-mile around your place of residence this weekend. Meditate on the types of houses or apartment buildings near you. How many of your neighbors do you know? How many do you at least recognize? How many have gardens?

Meditate on this: War has broken out between Israel and Iran. Oil supplies are interrupted from Saudi Arabia. Venezuela stops shipments of heavy crude to refineries in Texas. Gasoline rationing is imposed. The "just in time" inventory system that keeps Wal-Mart and grocery store shelves stocked becomes unreliable.

Is what you have on-hand sufficient to handle several weeks of shortages? What about your neighbors? Who do you think you can rely on in a time of trouble?

Item for consideration: When a multi-week supply chain interruption of some sort occurs, consider hosting or helping arrange a neighborhood potluck. Have nametags available and use it as a way for everyone to get a little more familiar with each other. Most people, when they think of crisis or supply crunches, automatically default to Armageddon-like scenarios of violence and predation. Be ready to help set up an alternative, constructive way of handling a crisis in your tiny little patch of earth.

Also, even if you have a significant stock of food stored up - make sure you are seen to be standing in line for whatever food becomes available just like everyone else. No need to rub it in anyone's face that you are a little bit more prepared and make sure you and yours keep your mouths shut about food or weapons. Loose lips invite mob action.

Action Item

Get a piece of paper or set up a spreadsheet and go through the canned, boxed, bagged or otherwise stored foods in your house. Add up the total calories (if you want extra credit, note the percentage of carbs vs. protein vs. fats as well). Divide that total calorie number by the number of people you hope to feed with your food stock. Divide that number by 1800. That will give you a (very rough) idea of how many days, per person, your on-hand food supply will take you.

Obviously the above is just a rough idea. I am leaving out any food you might have in a freezer. I am also assuming you will have access to useful amounts of drinking water. Your situation will be unique in the details, but please make sure you have a good idea of just how far your supplies will carry you. We in the Northern Hemisphere are headed into fall and winter will be here before you know it. Be prepared.

1 comment:

David said...

Great thoughts, Michael. Stockpiling goodwill should be as much a priority as food, water, etc. and higher than stockpiling ammo.

No man is an island. Our standard of living will preserved only to the degree that we preserve the division of labor...and that starts locally.