Country Living Series

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Don't be so apt to...fill your house with food and water."

In response to my blog post People are Terrified to Death concerning the Egyptian riots and the shortage of food and water that was plaguing the citizens of Cairo, a reader sent the following comment:

Look, don't be so apt to go out and fill your house with food and water. Just imagine what will happen when everyone in your neighborhood that has no food or water will do when they realize you have plenty. They'll stop at nothing to get it from you.

I confess I find this a baffling approach. Does this mean no one should ever do anything to prepare for a disaster? That the people in the path of the massive snowstorm that hit the middle and eastern United States last week should have just sat there and twiddled their thumbs in case the neighbors had no food?

Or, addressing the Egyptian situation, is it better to have no food or water in the house when rioting strikes (thus assuring your family goes hungry or thirsty, or that you literally risk your life to go to the grocery store)? Or is it better to have plenty of food and water to ensure your family's comfort and hopefully have enough to share with hungry neighbors?

I would like to think the person leaving this comment isn't suggesting it's better to go hungry in the face of a calamity rather than take some sensible precautions. Then why leave such a comment? I confess I find it baffling and would welcome some clarification from the person who left it.

29 comments:

  1. I didn't leave the comment, but I am related to a number of people who feel the same way. They live in fear of pretty much everything. They are not proactive. They pay their insurance premiums "just in case something bad happens", but they never do anything personally, except hide. They are more afraid of what other people might do to them than they are of having no food or water.

    They think life is always going to be this way, we will always have access to provisions because, after all, we have grocery stores. They are civilized and when hard times hit, they will remain so. Right to the point where they dehydrate or starve to death. But at least they didn't do anything to make themselves vulnerable or appear foolish.

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  2. Maybe don't let others know you are stocking up? Or have a way to fend off the other people coming to you for your supplies. No idea what they meant either but both of these are things you have talked about before.
    Adele

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  3. So get your food and water, and then KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Why is this so hard to understand? I agree, the comment you received makes no sense.

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  4. Three words:
    Operational Security
    Charity

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  5. It's that confounded convoluted logic striking
    again!
    I'm calling this a classic example of Self-defeating personality disorder

    see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-defeating_personality_disorder

    notutopia

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  6. I myself think that it is always best to be prepared.No sense sticking your head in the sand. I hope if the dreaded day comes that we have enough to share,I wouldnt want to turn a child away. God forbid.Blessings jane

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  7. Michael Dean MillerFebruary 9, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    .



    Satan is whispering when pessimists speak.



    .

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  8. Now here is a quirky thought...

    If someone is REALLY paranoid that the neighbors will take his food stock, then why did the paranoid person not come up with this plan:

    Just as soon as the bleep hits the fan, go BARTER one meal off each neighbor. Later when food gets tight, the neighborhood will believe the paranoid neighbor hasn't any food since he was scrounging from the earliest onset.

    Better to stock up and be a bit paranoid than expect someone to take care of you through the entire event.

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  9. That is just so silly. We recently had our taxes done and are considering using our refund to purchase a freezer and a side of beef. And every day, when we finish a gallon of milk, we rinse the jug, fill it with water, and one of the boys takes it downstairs to the basement storage room. It's not much, but it's a start. We certainly aren't making these preparations because we're afraid--how ridiculous. I'm doing it because, as a mother of seven at home and an older daughter with a husband and child of her own, IT'S MY JOB to make sure that my family is well provided for. If either my husband or son-in-law were to lose their job or become unable to work, I want to know that there would still be food to eat. My great-grandad was one of thirteen children on a farm in Canada and lived this way as a matter of course, and his views on frugality and preparedness have survived through the generations because they bless the families who practice them! It's not fear that motivates us, it's a gratefulness of God's provisions, and a deep desire to be good stewards of what He's given us--our children, our friends and family, our time, our money, and every other resource available to us.

    Thank you, Patrice, for spurring us on to further good works!

    Birdy

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  10. Well, keeping your preparations to yourself is one thing, but just not preparing because there are bad guys and desperate folks out there is not the way to live. God will honor what we do when we do it in submission to His will. You never know what God will accomplish with the smallest effort :)! Jennifer

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  11. Well, wouldn't it be better to have food for the bad guys to steal than to BE the only food for the desperate thug? I'm just saying...

    Gracie Wray

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  12. OH MY GOODNESS. I cannot keep my mouth shut on this one. We live in these crazy times. If you knew you were going to loose your job, would you not start making other precautions to deal with it? I would rather hand out food to the hungry then be the hungry. We all have to do our part. We should know the area we live in and what the dangers are. We should also know where to glean food from nature. I cannot stand the people who think it will not happen to them!!!
    Just saying,
    Melissa

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  13. Personally, I think it's just that person's way of justifying to himself why he hasn't done any preparation. Google "cognitive dissonance" to see why people do this.

    He doesn't want to push himself outside of his comfort zone, so by defining those who do as "clueless" or "crazy" he convinces himself that his reaction is "sensible".

    Just ignore him.

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  14. I'm one of those people who just got pasted with 40+ inches of snow in the last 9 days. There's NO WAY you could have kept me from the store--I got kids and animals to feed. I swear some people just don't THINK very well.

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  15. Dear Birdy,

    I have read that milk jugs are not good choices for water storage as you never really get all the milk out, plus most of them have inadequate seals. I'm saving water in our juice bottles and 2-liter pop bottles, and it's going very slowly, but like you say, it's something.

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  16. It took me a second-actually had to re-read that last comment by Gracie Wray-it cracked me up!

    But truth be told, we actually experienced a little of such a situation after hurricane Katrina, here in Fl. We were feeling good we had stocked up on so many provisions; not only necessities but lots of extra stuff also.
    But after a few days of being the only house in the neighborhood running a generator, it became obvious that we had gasoline. (the stations had run out and most didn't have generators to pump even if they had any left) We had a lot-stored for some time.
    Anyway, to make this shorter:)
    The neighbors started assuming we also had other necessities and a small group came over one night to ask if they could have some.
    Since we do have some friendly neighbors we did share what we could.Small propane stove with some little tanks,extra lights with batteries, some oak from my husbands' wood pile.. they knew we had a large family-including my father-in-law (on oxygen) and they knew we we trying to share what we could&they were fine and appreciative.
    But this was a really small situation (power was out for a couple of weeks but stores and things got up and running fairly soon.

    We learned that it's important to make friends with your neighbors- be available-get outside and meet them-help them if you see a need. They may be the ones who will help you later.

    Do keep quiet about a large stash of supplies.
    Have some thngs to share-even barter if necessary.
    Letting people think your supplies are limited is the truth (you just don't have to tell them HOW limited:))
    And be careful not to flaunt what you have-in our case we chose to only use the generator a few hours during the day-when most people were
    gone and the city noise masked it. Kept things cold enough and allowed power for a few things we needed. We were fortunate our in-laws went to a hotel where he could have the power full time for his oxygen. Medical needs are really important!
    So, for Pete's sake, and your own, get the food and water!

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  17. All good comments. Being prepared is a super idea. Here is the kicker. You had better be prepared to shoot someone dead on the spot. If that does not sit well with you then it may all be for nothing. This will be a mental struggle as much as a physical needs thing. I would suggest that most people cannot grasp how ugly this could be. For the moment,we bask in God's grace. Thank you Lord.

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  18. See, now that's what I think...if the people KNOW what you have they will try to take it from you...in certain areas. Like in my area, I think that would happen because we have gangs and we're surrounded by people who are used to having everything given to them by the government. =P But that's not stopping me from starting to stock and prepare...So okay, so far I've only made orange jelly--LOL--but I've started and tomorrow I'll have something else--I don't know if I'll get flour or rice first--probably flour because I can use that more, but that's where I'm starting. I like the idea of stocking water in soda bottles--I have several (dozen) that I can wash out and start using for just that purpose. I was thinking I'd have to go out and buy water, but that's a much more elegant solution. By far the most important step that I'm going to take is to KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT. No one else has to know what I'm storing or how much I have...it's much better for me if they just think I'm the slightly nutty person who's making jelly and learning how to can vegetables. ;-)

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  19. Maria,
    Thank you for the heads-up. I should have been more clear--we live in a rental with an older well that goes out occasionally, and the milk-jug water is for the toilets on those days when we're waiting for the land manager to do repairs. I was recently very grateful for that water when our well went out on the morning I was expecting the bug man to spray my kitchen--ack. I was able to get everything wiped down and tidied up and was so thankful that we'd made the effort to plan ahead. You just never know when the preparations you've made are going to come in handy for some unforeseen cirucumstance!

    Like you, we store our drinking water in juice bottles. ;)

    Birdy

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  20. What great posts from all of you! I began to 'prep' as God showed me, to 'save many people alive' for a short time. Some of you may be led to prep for a longer time. I felt that this meant my family and friends that had no thought of preparing in any way but it may be bigger than that. God also made it possible (long story, won't bore you with it here) for me to now have a large walk-in cold storage/cold room in the winter and a place to store loads and loads of canned goods & supplies year round. Now instead of worrying about my few cases of green beans & soup being too heavy where they were, I now have a huge storage space for everyting we need. God is Good and He already knew what we needed long before we asked. Above all, PLEASE remember to keep God in all of your prepping and planning. He already knows what you need. 8-)
    God Bless,'
    Janet in MA

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  21. First, I am prepared to defend my stores. I will willing share food and water and gear with those who are needful and respectful. Those who try to take without asking will get some of my stored lead. I will have no problem doing that. NONE!

    Second, this is off topic, but I found it rather humorous so with Patrice's permission, I would like to share the story here. I have a keyring in my pocket that has a small Swiss Army knife, a small flashlight, a small tube with SAW matches (Strike AnyWhere) and another small tube with a day's worth of prescription medications in it. This is my EDC (EveryDay Carry) gear and I really do carry it every day just in case I need one or more of these things in order to get home or to my car or to save my life. So, for months I've been telling my family members that they should prepare for emergencies, whether natural or manmade, and that part of their preps should include EDC. Well, they scoff and joke and think it's all silly and slightly paranoid that I do this. But today as we had lunch together in a very dark restaurant, I pulled out the little flashlight so I can read the menu. Suddenly, everyone else at the table wanted to borrow the flashlight so they, too, could read the menu in the dim lighting. I made it a point, gently, that my EDC came to "the rescue" and that they should consider carrying similar gear in their pockets (or purses) whenever they leave the house. I think they may do that now. Score one point for preppers everywhere!!! Impromptu opportunities like this one will help influence loved ones to prepare. Little steps, people, little steps. :)

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  22. Yes, I will prepare. Yes, I will keep my mouth shut about it to folks I don't know and trust. Yes, I will be willing and prepared to share a bit with respectful folks. Yes I will be prepared to defend what's mine from disrespectful folks. And to this I add two more tactics: those who live nearby, whom I care about and trust, I will push, push, push to do something to prepare for themselves. I say - only half jokingly - that my "commissary does not sell to the public." I'm setting the stage and they know it. And speaking of setting the stage, I really like the disguise and disinformation tactic and have always intended to utilize it if the Schumer-hitting-the-fan circumstance dictates. I will be the first out front on the sidewalk, fretting with the neighbors and decrying the lack of rapid government assistance and wringing my hands and proclaiming that I just don't know what we're going to do, what we're going to eat, blah blah blah. One of the best defenses is to make people believe you're just as bad off as they are.

    Jeff - Tucson

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  23. Jeff-Tucson, you hit it on the head! I have already explained to my family that even though we have a good amount stored, we will be right out there with everyone else fretting and squabbling and standing in line for bread or soup, etc. just to make it look good. Another rule we have established is that we replace everything as we use it now, and double it if we are able. If we use a can of tuna or evaporated milk, we buy two more of each when we are next at the store. I wound up buying 10 cans of tuna today to replace 1 because they were on sale and they felt and sounded 'full' when shaken. Remember to give thanks in all things.
    God Bless,
    Janet in MA

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  24. I know this is a stupid question. Is life so dear that you will give up every idea that you ever held on the value of human life? Just a little food for thought. A life or death struggle will certainly teach you something about who you are deep down. Being alive and full of sorrow is not my idea of living well.

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  25. "Being alive and full of sorrow"....????? Sorry, I don't get that remark at all. Did I miss something? Being prepared is empowering. We can then help many others as well as ourselves. It is the Christian way. Again, what did I miss?
    God Bless,
    Janet in MA

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  26. O.K. then you are prepped. You will stand and face down every sorry story that comes your way. I am proud of you Janet. I only hope that your bite is half as bad as your bark because that is where the rubber hits the road.

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  27. Hi, whichever Anonymous you are, sorry for the delay in responding. Not to belabor the issue but I just wanted to assure you that my 'bark' is no where near as bad as my 'bite'. Diplomacy is a strength and a talent, but it only goes so far. Being a former Marine and presently serving as a 'Law Enforcement Officer', I can assure you that my family and my immediate neighborhood are well defended. We stand ready to help others in need as God leads and we are ready to dispatch justice as needed when the proper time comes. Any other questions? 8-)
    God Bless,
    Janet in MA

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  28. I think that covers it. God Bless!

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  29. Janet, thanks for the bio! :) No, seriously, it allows me say with all sincerity...thank you for your service to your country, and for the job you do every day. I have friends and family in LE, and like the military it's a job and a sacrifice that gets nothing like the sort of respect and gratitude it deserves.

    God Bless!

    Jeff - Tucson

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