Heed the warning from Hurricane Irma

Screenshot from New York Times video

Americans are used to plenty of “food.” Most of them can’t imagine not being able to go to the store to get food of some sort. It truly takes vision and planning for the future, especially now.

I hazard to guess that fewer than 10 percent of the readers of this blog could live more than a few days or weeks if something happened to the food supply chain. An interruption due to power grid failure, attack, earthquake, storm or other unexpected event would set them on the road to dehydration or starvation from want of food and water, or injury and death while fighting in the streets over scraps.

Preparedness is something that we have to do before we need it. Think now, if we needed stored food today, it would be too late.

Inevitably, when I write about preparedness one or two (at least) wags chime in to ridicule and fulminate against me for being ridiculous and wasteful. “People won’t be without food,” they say. “We have FEMA and Red Cross for that.” They are fools.

It’s taken less than a week in the Caribbean islands hit by Hurricane Irma for a complete societal breakdown to occur. As the Sunday New York Times tells the story of what’s going on in Marigot, St. Martin:

At dawn, people began to gather, quietly planning for survival after Hurricane Irma.

They started with the grocery stores, scavenging what they needed for sustenance: water, crackers, fruit.

But by nightfall on Thursday, what had been a search for food took a more menacing turn, as groups of people, some of them armed, swooped in and took whatever of value was left: electronics, appliances and vehicles.

“All the food is gone now,” Jacques Charbonnier, a 63-year-old resident of St. Martin, said in an interview on Sunday. “People are fighting in the streets for what is left.”

In the few, long days since Irma pummeled the northeast Caribbean, killing more than two dozen people and leveling 90 percent of the buildings on some islands, the social fabric has begun to fray in some of the hardest-hit communities.

Residents of St. Martin, and elsewhere in the region, spoke about a general disintegration of law and order as survivors struggled in the face of severe food and water shortages, and the absence of electricity and phone service.

Anyone who depends upon government for sustenance is a slave. And in a widespread emergency, even if government services still exist in some fashion, government is at best slow and inefficient.

We have long urged you to store food. I have stored food for more than 45 years. I rotate and eat out of it, except the vacuum sealed, freeze dried food with long shelf life. It is not a waste of money, as some claim. It is insurance. And I dare say I have actually profited by buying much of it when food prices were much lower than they are now.

Even an honest man will steal food if  his family is starving. How anyone can see the looting, suffering and chaos in a place like St. Martin and not take it as a warning sign to begin protecting himself and his family is beyond my understanding. Parents should at least take into consideration the needs of their children should a major crisis occur.

Everyone should have at least three weeks of food and water and other essentials on hand at all time. More is better. I have enough food and water stored for months, and most of my relatives do as well.

You should have at least one month of cash on hand, as well. When the power is out, plastic does not work. Nor do ATMs. I also recommend gold and silver and items for barter.

You should also have a gun or guns and plenty of ammunition and adequate training on how to use them so you can protect your family and what is yours. If you don’t know where to start, check out our On Your Own section, which is loaded with tips and tricks from experts writing expressly for the preparedness-minded individual. Or you can order my book, How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization, by clicking here.

Don’t wait until crisis hits. Then it’s too late.

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