Country Living Series

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Preparedness 101 - #13 - Why prepare?

A few days ago, an English reader expressed bewilderment at our preparedness efforts. She said she was bewildered that we should even think it necessary to prepare, or that being prepared would make much difference if some economic disaster did occur.

I've been mulling this comment over in my mind, largely because I couldn't believe anyone would think that being prepared isn't a smart idea in the face of economic disaster. Quite simply, if the bleep hits the fan I'll still be able to feed my family. What's bewildering about that? I had to chalk up her incomprehension to a "If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand" mentality.

However, I just read something last night that might clarify some of our reasons for stocking up.

As with most other people in the U.S., I've been following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with great concern. My mother was born and raised on the bayous of Louisiana, and she grieves for the loss of industry, ecology, and beauty of her birthplace. The stories we hear - from oil-slicked wildlife to despondent boat captains committing suicide - are heartbreaking.

So I came across this article which examined the worst-case scenario for the BP spill. What if the well can't be capped?

"For the U.S. economy, already weakened by a still-unfolding financial crisis, a worst-case scenario in the Gulf could be the last straw. The cumulative impacts — falling grain exports, soaring unemployment in southeastern coastal states, higher oil prices — would almost certainly spell the end to any hope of recovery and might push the nation into the worst Depression in its history.

"We would all prefer not even to contemplate such a scenario, much less live with it. It is irresponsible to inflict needless worry on readers on the basis of entirely speculative and extremely unlikely events. But the more I learn about the technical issues, and the worse news gets, the more likely this scenario seems. We all hope that a relief well will succeed in stopping the oil flow sometime around August, and that until then BP will be able to siphon off most of the oil escaping through the riser and damaged blowout preventer. But one has to wonder: is anyone at the White House seriously considering the worst-case scenario? And what should citizens be doing to prepare, just in case?"

Worst depression in its history. If that's not enough to scare the pants off anyone, then they're not thinking straight.

And that's why we're preparing.


  1. The erupting volcano shutting down airspace should have been a big wake up call for our friends across the pond. What happens when the cloud is worse and airspace is shutdown for months - goods become scarce and cost more.
    There's so many similar scenerios no matter where you live. Heck, I live on a pennisular (not an island) and I've seen even the smallest of issues grind my city to a hault.
    My British mother (who was a child during the war) taught me Lord Badden Powell's (another Brit) motto of "BE PREPARED". Yup, a whole lotta Boy Scouts and Girl Guides know that motto. To me it's just common sense... (but then again I also believe in 'saving for a a rainy day' which seems to run contary to the entire world economy... *sigh*)

  2. This is a great point. As someone who lives along the bayous of South Louisiana, it's not looking too good for us...and that's not even considering potential hurricanes. The gulf water is much warmer because of the spill so it could be a very devastating hurricane season for us. My husband and I started on the road to preparedness last year. We've been working on it, but still have a long way to go. I find your blog very interesting.

  3. All I can say is, Great Post!! I think that gets your point across of why we need to be ready for anything. Someday we might not be able to just walk into a store and buy everything we need.

  4. I often tell folks I wasn't born in the Great Depression, but I was certainly raised by it. Being frugal second nature and it's impossible to be 'over-prepared.'

    I grieve for the tragedy unfolding in the south. I don't think a lot of Americans realize the load the south has been under in recent years as it's struggled to cope with wave after wave of natural disasters.
    They'd been unable to fully recover as it was and now this???

    Dear God.

    And color me cynical, but based on what I've observed so far, I'd say yes, the White House is considering the worst case scenario only insofar as it might be exploitable in the furtherance of the current administration's political agenda and lust for power. What they are thunders so loudly one can scarcely hear what they say.

    A. McSp

  5. Save the Canning JarsJune 25, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    The second anonymous mentioned the H word...hurricane. Seems I heard something today on Fox news about a tropical event starting to form and wondering if it would end up in the gulf. Has anyone ever seen a hurricane go through massive amounts of oily water? Can you imagine an oily storm pounding your home and property? It's time for America to humble herself and pray.

    Did anyone see this article on WorldNetDaily "On April the 19th, Fox News reports that the U.S. will no longer automatically support Israel in the United Nations. The next day, on April the 20th, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes. Coincidence?"

    God says He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her.
    Time for America to wake up.

    Last night, a friend went to a "party" hosted by her financial investment advisers. Well attended by investors. They did not sugar coat anything. Told the people they expected the economy to take a second dip recession and this is a global problem. Told people to watch Japan and England as well as Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Hungary, etc. Said to expect years of financial instability for the U.S. I say, just because we have not seen what is coming in OUR lifetime...does not mean it is not coming. Get your house ready.

    Today I asked myself what I don't want to be without. SOS pads came to mind. I scrub lots of pots and pans. I got with my grocer and he gave me a discount of 40 cents/box and I ordered 3 cases (36 boxes). Get creative, save money, and get stocked up!

  6. I suspect that your English corespondent may be a victim of their largely socialist system where taking care of yourself is discouraged in a thousand small ways so that it has simply become unimaginable, or even somehow wrong.

    Bill Smith

  7. Maybe it's in our genes, but Americans have generally been prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. Ben Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny earned" and that is also in our (former) national character. We used to be a nation of savers and of preparers, now too many of us are waiting for the government to help us (shades of Hurricane Katrina?) and they will be sadly disappointed. We must help ourselves and then help our friends and neighbors, we must return to being savers and preparers. Your blog teaches us how.

    Anonymous Twit

  8. Being a native to Louisiana, I'm a gun owning prepared citizen. As Hank says," A country boy can survive."