Something that I wanted to share and maybe it’s just me wanting to put thoughts to paper. I work at a credit union as a lead, which means if there are any big problems with people’s accounts I get to muddle it all out. Given that, and also the fact that I also trade currency on the foreign exchange market, I get a pretty good glimpse of what’s happening financially. And I will tell you – the last few years have been scary. Our credit union has been repossessing a lot of BMWs and Mercedes. People have saddled themselves into $700-$1000/month car payments and are suddenly out of a job. Can you imagine? a $1000/month car payment!
I say this to say – we are in a depression. But I think about the Great Depression and it kind of scares me. Why? Because back in the Great Depression, people knew how to take a chicken and cook it. People knew how to grow food, and how to prepare meals from raw food materials like untrimmed veggies & meat. Nowdays, people don’t know how to do that. You go to the supermarket, buy a box of food, and nuke it.
So what happens if that isn’t there anymore? In our economy today, all grocery stores practice what is called “JIT” (Just-In-Time) warehousing. This means there are no big warehouses, and if the supply chain of trucks is interrupted for just a day or two you can see how quickly the store shelves empty. This is no big deal to those of us with pantries but there are people who never keep more than a day or two worth of food in their house… for them, what? Can you see with me how quickly this could degrade into violence?
I’ve been really making a commitment to myself to learn about how to store food and to learn more about putting it “by” just as a hedge against this. Yes, I know how to garden and that is a great skill because I also save my own seed and with this I will always have the ability to grow veggies but what use is that to me if we starve over the winter? I think about the earthquake in Haiti – those people were completely unprepared. Besides having a no suitable building codes and being as poverty-stricken as they were – there is NO REASON that people living in a country like that need to be unprepared. I think in their case, a helpful government as opposed to one intent on keeping it’s people “under the thumb” would have made all the difference in the world. But then we think about all the other terrible disasters that can befall us and I really don’t think there is any reason to be “Pollyanna” and think nothing bad will ever happen.
A lot of the people affected by Hurricane Katrina were not actually the ones with their homes destroyed. There were quite a lot of people forced to leave because there was 1. no clean water and 2. no food available. Can you imagine how much EASIER their life would have been if they had prepared for something? Even a 3 month supply of food & water would have made all the difference. Big huge snowstorms can shut off power for days. Are you prepared? I’m not. I have no effective way to heat my home without electricity. No good, huh. This year we lucked out. We had one short power outage that lasted a day and a night. The funny part is that I had some kerosene lamps I inherited from my granddad “Uncle Dutch” and I had actually bought kerosene for them. My husband and I spent the evening in relative comfort and our kids (Ballerina Girl is afraid of the dark until she falls asleep) were able to fall asleep to the soft glow of the lamps. I have some co-workers affected by the same outage and the night did not go so well for them.
So I guess this is my long rambling and all of it to say – I think we as a society need to be more prepared and to learn more skills. Who are we to be so arrogant and think that we won’t need to be self-reliant?