Empty grocery store shelves

Why we prep

Here’s another reason why you – and your friends and family – should prep:

Hurricane Irma: A case of water sells for $99.99 on Amazon as residents fear price gouging

Headlines such as the above really frost me – and not just because the prepackaged “designer” water bottle has become the religious icon of the terminally clueless. Hey pajama-boy! They make this thing called a sink. Most people own one. Take an old milk jug or, heaven help us, an empty water bottle, fill it from the tap, screw on the lid and voilà! Water. Now take your spare $100 and buy some storable food.

The other reason I hate that headline is it perpetuates the notion of “price gouging,” a farcical concept and yet another socialist lie to inflame the gullible. It would be more accurate to call price-gouging a “stupid penalty.”

For example, let’s say I own a mom-and-pop store. I carry a limited amount of just-in-time delivery bottled water. But one morning, the TV weather wizards tell me a hurricane will be arriving in five days. So I order more bottled water. It’s a good bet I’ll sell it; but it’s only a bet. If I don’t, I’ll be holding a lot of water for a long time and that means payout without income. It also means loss of storage space.

But I get the water and I add a bit to the cost. What do you know? Demand is high enough that no one bats an eye or goes to a competitor (of which there are hundreds) for their water. I order more, but my supplier has to get it from further off because the local warehouses are empty. Shipping and handling costs are up; and therefore, so is my cost.

So I jack my bottled water prices up again to cover the expenses. But now it’s only 48 hours until the hurricane hits my area and I’ve got things to do (board up the windows, move perishables, pack up my family, head for high ground), and these will further increase my costs. I know it’s likely that when I get back, my building will have been damaged or destroyed by either the hurricane or by looters, and it could be months until I get back in business. So if you want my water – and you were too lazy or dumb to jug some up at home – well, you’ll pay what the market will bear.

I’ll never have to run frantically from store to store find water, food, batteries, generators or fuel, because I’m self-dependent. I already have a sufficient amount of these things to be able to help my less-prepared neighbors who are in need.

“But Pat!” you say. “People (even idiots) may die without that water! How can you suggest that someone make excessive profits at a time like that?”

Been to a hospital emergency room lately? Ever taken a dog to an urgent-care vet clinic at 2 a.m. because of an encounter with a porcupine? Ever had to order propane in December? Ever tried to buy a Congressman or Senator?

Conditions, scarcity, and demand effect price.

The best way to avoid the highs is to buy low. That’s what prepping is all about.

And that’s one of the reasons we prep.

A couple of months ago, I attended a prepper convention. The organizer of the event was an old friend and he graciously provided me with a room and the run of his home during the event. On Saturday night, he also hosted a barbecue at his place for a bunch of the presenters and vendors. There were so many bull-elephant preppers in the place you could smell the gun oil. And as usual – considering the crowd and the beer – many of the discussions that took place around the evening fire involved advanced prep for EMPs, Yellowstone eruptions, global communication failures, advanced weapons systems and the like.

Also seated at the fire was a young couple, friends of the organizer, who were pretty obviously new to the self-dependence trail. You could tell because of how much wider their eyes would open with each subsequent casual comment about a world-ending event. I went over and introduced myself and found that – yes – they’d really only just begun prepping and now they were getting worried that everything they’d done so far wasn’t nearly enough to survive the coming zombie apocalypse.

Is prepping the right thing for to do for Christians? Or should we just be trusting in the Lord? Learn about that balance in “Be Thou Prepared” by Carl Gallups – “Equipping the Church for Persecution and Times of Trouble.”

I had to explain to them that what they were observing was a group of people so far along the trail that there wasn’t any need for conversations about amassing a year’s supply of food. They’d already done that years ago. Everyone there already had mountains of guns and ammo and were now yakking about wants, not needs. My new friends were like garage mechanics at a Boeing engineer’s kegger.

I told these newbies that the best and most intelligent way to start becoming self-dependent wasn’t to plan for the end times, but for the present times.

It’s far too easy to get caught up in panic prepping. That’s the condition where you go into debt to purchase stuff that you will likely never need, to address a specific situation that is statistically unlikely to occur. Instead, start your prepping by working on the likeliest personal “disasters,” like a job loss or an injury that will keep you from working.

Just remember the DOs and DON’Ts:

  • DO buy a three month’s supply of food
  • DO put aside some treated water
  • DO make sure you can heat your home, and that you have clothing suitable to weather conditions
  • DO buy a good AM/FM radio and spare batteries
  • DO put together good bug-out bags for your family
  • DO put aside some money for the rent or mortgage and the must-pay bills
  • DON’T go into debt because you’ve listened to the “end-timers”
  • DON’T build a bomb shelter
  • DON’T spend money on a Geiger counter or a freeze-dryer or Tyvek suits
  • DON’T set up hardened defensive positions around your house

I’m not saying that the DON’Ts listed above won’t be appropriate goals in the future. But none of them will help you if you can’t work. Not one of them will feed your family or keep you warm in a blizzard. Not a one of them will stave off a foreclosure or an eviction.

Check out some options in the WND Superstore preparedness department. New products of all kinds being added regularly for all your prepper needs – from informational books, movies to shovels, water purifiers, and food from soup to nuts!

Begin your prepping for the little disasters. The DO preps listed above are vital; not just for the small disasters, but they are the building blocks for surviving a less-likely but more severe event, should it occur.

Walk first, before you run. It’s the best practice if you want to avoid falling on your face.

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