There you are at the local grocery store, picking up what you’ll need for the coming week. You’ve been here countless times and know the store like the back of your hand so you’re operating sort of on autopilot. Your phone buzzes and you glance at the screen, expecting to see yet another picture of your newborn nephew that your sister posted on Facebook. Instead, you are frozen by the message you see.
Major quakes along New Madrid fault. Massive damage is being reported in many locations. The balloon has gone up.
This message was sent to you by a trusted friend, a prepper and a member of your mutual assistance group. That last sentence about the balloon is a code phrase telling you this is a major situation and one likely to have far reaching ramifications.
Few of the sheeple around you at the store likely know anything about the disaster as of yet. Doubtful any of them would recognize the implications of it, either. However, you’re savvy enough to realize supply chains are going to be disrupted, likely for some time to come. Massive resources will need to be rerouted to lend assistance to those directly affected by the quakes.
As word gets out about the disaster and people start giving more thought to it, odds are pretty good that the shelves of the store you’re in right now will be wiped clean by the end of the day.
Given this insight, you have an interesting opportunity in front of you. You could stock up for the long haul, just in case things get nasty later, and not have to deal with throngs of sheeple clamoring and fighting for the last loaf of bread.
Your time is limited. You want to grab your goodies and get the hell out of Dodge before folks in the area wise up.
So, what do you buy?
The answer is going to be a bit different for each person, based on what they already have at home as well as the family’s food preferences. On top of that, of course, is the financial end of things. How will you pay for a massive cartload of groceries? To answer the second question first, if possible try to have at least one credit card available to you that has a low balance. Use this card ONLY for emergencies and pay it off as quickly as you can any time you use it. This gives you a cushion of buying power just for situations like this, as well as emergency car repairs, an unexpected hotel stay, and other similar situations.
Ok, back to our grocery store scenario. As I said before, you want to get out of the store as quickly as possible. Planning ahead will save you time. Sit down and make a “dream” shopping list. Put on that list everything and anything normally stocked at your grocery store that you’d want to be sure to grab during your last ditch shopping trip. Here are just a few ideas.
Canned veggies, fruit, meat
Canned soup, pasta, stew, chili
Dry beans and pasta
Powdered drink mixes
Granola bars, protein bars
Fresh fruit and veggies
Personally, knowing the layout of my grocery store as well as I do, I’m confident I could load all that up and be at the registers within 15 minutes or less. What I suggest is, after making your list, put it in your wallet or purse. Think about it like this — you’ll probably never need it but you’ve invested all of maybe 10 minutes of your life into making the list and it might prove invaluable someday.
In our scenario here of a series of quakes along the New Madrid fault, we’re not looking at a likelihood of massive power outages outside the immediately affected areas. Therefore, fresh meat and such can still be frozen or refrigerated at home. This isn’t truly a “stock up for the end of the world” situation but rather stocking up in advance of anticipated shortages.
Worth noting, too, is the law of supply and demand. As supplies of food and other essentials decrease, demand is going to increase. This often leads to higher prices. Stocking up in advance of this will save you money in the long run, as well as keep your family fed.
Note: Please do not take this post to mean that you should plan on heading to the store as soon as you hear about a possible disaster coming your way. That’s exactly what everyone else will be doing and you want to avoid crowds, not run toward them. The takeaway here is that by planning ahead, you might find yourself in a position where you can take advantage of some advance warning.