Could You Make a Final Run to the Store Before the SHTF? Think It Through!

store

LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN….  This post is a “think about it” or “imagine the possibilities” post.  IT IS NOT a “DO IT THIS WAY POST!”  I’m saying this because not too long ago, another site posted an article about a “final trip” to the store as the collapse is happening.  He had so many negative comments that he asked me to hold off on linking to another article for a while.  I don’t necessarily care about negative comments, but I would rather you read the article and consider my points and reasons, and think it through.

___________________________

We’ve all read about it, talked about it, watched videos on it and even imagined it, when the poop hits the fan, many preppers believe it is going to come at NASCAR speed and send the nation into a panic.  It could happen that way, but then it could come a lot slower and pick up steam as many realize the severity of the situation.  I believe it will depend on the nature of the event.

A Tale of Two Hurricanes

Back when Hurricane Rita was projected to hit Houston, my wife and I learned very quickly how fast things can fly off the shelf.  This was pre-preparedness for us.  Hurricane Katrina was fresh on everyone’s mind.  My school district canceled school that Friday so that we could make preparations and even evacuate if we wanted.  Since I was going to be off on that next day, I decided to sleep in and go to the store mid-afternoon.  Yeah, you guessed it!  Everything was gone!  I picked up what I could find and came home to share it with my wife.  Luckily, we always planned a menu a week in advance, so we had food.  We know that Rita didn’t come to Houston, but we learned our lesson.  Again, this was pre-preparedness.

When Hurricane Ike was projected to hit Houston (and it did), we did things a little bit differently.  This was still pre-preparedness, but we decided to go to the store the minute the models showed the hurricane was coming to Houston.  Still, the false alarm of Rita had a lot of people unprepared.  So even though many experienced the empty shelves during Rita, many Houstonians were still unprepared for Ike.

Many of us still remember the pictures of those on the East Coast dumpster diving because they were looking for food.  They had very advanced warnings that Hurricane Sandy was going to hit.  But they still were unprepared!

Here’s my point – Just because preppers live in an understanding and climate of preparedness, doesn’t mean the rest of the nation is going to instantly become preppers when an “event” happens.  Many will be stunned, shocked, waiting on the government, not realizing the severity of the situation.  In those hours and maybe even days of an approaching event, it will be a good time to top off or get those items that you still might need.

The Event

I believe that the “event” will play a big part  in how quickly people react and respond.   For example, let’s look at a stock market crash.  The general population (meaning non-preppers) will not really know what to think if there was a full blown stock market crash.  We haven’t experienced one in our day and age.  The fact is many will not even know anything has really happened until they read about it on Facebook or their parents call them to talk to them about what is on the news.  Many people think that the stock market is for rich people and that they are probably getting their due.  Many don’t realize that the stock market is tied to many other facets of our economy and will signal some serious issues.

To contrast, many preppers stay informed and are reading blogs, alternative news sites and monitoring things like the stock market.  As preppers “see” things go south, they can act!  Before the stock market “crashes,” or as they see big negative days right after another happen, they can stop at their bank and withdraw money before the “run on the banks.”  If not, they could visit their ATM and withdraw the maximum amount – before they place limits (like in Greece).   They could get their items out of their safety deposit box, if they use them. etc…

Maybe a stock market crash isn’t a good example.  Let’s look at a major power grid failure!  You are at work when the power goes out.  You grab your phone and realize that the power has gone out in a good chunk of the United States.  You tell your boss you have to leave since you can’t do any work, grab your things and head home.  On the way home, you stop at the neighborhood grocery store to stock up.  Yes, they don’t have electricity to run their registers, but you have cash.  You convince the manager to sell you groceries because you have cash and well, the company would want them to stay in business if possible.  Once the manager has gathered his thoughts, he allows you to purchase items.  You can walk up and down the aisles because you have a flashlight.  You stock up on all the canned food you can afford.  You pay for it and are home before the world really understands the gravity of the situation.

Of course, all of this DEPENDS on your situation and the event.  I work very close to home, so I can imagine the above scenario happening for me.  But, there are a ton of different events and scenarios that we could discuss.  I would rather spend the rest of this article sharing my reasons why I think there might be some time at the beginning of an event before all HELL breaks loose!

Some Reasons Why You Might be Able to Make that Last Run

1. People just aren’t as informed as we might think. – We tend to view people the way we might respond and react.  The fact is that many people are buried in “Dances with the Stars” and Facebook.  Many of us know that the main stream media doesn’t report everything accurately.  We know that we have to depend on alternative media and even at that, we need to filter what we read.

Non-preppers don’t realize the inter-connectedness of all of our infrastructure.  They think that if the stores shelves are bare today, that they will be full tomorrow.  They believe if the lights go out, the electric company will get them back on ASAP.  They believe that there will always be someone there to lend a helping hand.  I understand why they believe this, because that is the way things have mostly happened in the past.  Even in Katrina, the government “eventually” came riding into town.  But we know that there might be a time when no one is coming!

2. Suffering from the “Cry Wolf” Syndrome. – Just like when a hurricane doesn’t do the damage the “experts” said it would or 2012 or Y2K, many people are suffering from the “nothing is really going to happen” syndrome.  We saw it during Hurricane Sandy.  We’ll see it again during this winter season!  People hear the warnings, but they don’t HEED the warnings.  Why would anything change if there was a major event about to unfold?

3. People won’t understand the severity of it all until it’s too late. – As preppers, we know how long the power can be out if terrorist take out a substation or hackers deliver a nasty virus to the electric company’s computer networks.  Because many people haven’t had to deal with a lights out scenario, they will just “live it up” until all the beer is gone!  We saw that “dramatized” in NatGeo’s American Blackout.

4. People will be depending on the government and take a “wait and see” approach.  Since the government has ALWAYS been there and most people believe that the government is their sugar daddy, people might take a wait and see approach before they start to panic.  This will give the prepper a few hours and maybe even days.

5. People will be glued to their smartphones, internet or TV trying to find out “What does this all mean?”  Come on, you’ve seen it!  People about to walk in to a car because they were texting on their phone!  People can’t do anything anymore without their phone and internet.  If something serious does go down, people will be “talking” about it online, but not necessarily doing anything about it.

Which Store Do I Go To?

Again, it all depends on “the event.”  So you need to stay aware of what is going on.  But that is nothing new for preppers.  We are always on the look out and aware of what is going on.

So, what would you do if you knew that you could make a last run to the store or whatever….?

1. Go to the grocery store and top off or fill some of the holes in your supplies.  You might want to splurge and pick up some steaks or other fresh meat and vegetables.  You might want to stock up on canned food or hygiene supplies.

2. Go to the Sporting Good store.  You might want to stock up on some heavy duty shoes.  Or, you might want to buy some extra heavy duty socks or even see what is available in ammo  (yeah right).

3. You might want to fill up your gas tanks.  If you have a generator and have empty gas tanks, you will want to fill those too.

4. Visit the bank.  If you can get to the bank, although I think they will be one of the first to close their doors, you might want to withdraw cash (in small bills) from your account.  Of course you should walk up to the counter excited because you “found that used car that you’ve been looking for your son to drive.” (wink wink)

Taking a Risk?

Of course, the best thing to do is to be so prepared that you don’t have to make any runs at all.  In an “event,” you might want to make it home and make sure the whole family is there and go through any family related plans.  Going out could be too risky.   Again, you need to stay aware!

Then again, the collapse could be so slow that people don’t even know they are in a collapse.  The normal American might just limp along, becoming poorer and poorer, wondering where the “good times” are.  And the prepper would continue to prep, be frugal, make good decisions and build community with like-minded people.

Again, I know that I’m going to get flack for this, but just imagine for a second…. if you could make one last run, where would you go?  I would love to hear your thoughts….or flack in the comments below! 😉

 

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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36 thoughts on “Could You Make a Final Run to the Store Before the SHTF? Think It Through!

  1. Georganne Brow

    Thank you for your articles and opinions. I enjoy what you write because you make it simple, you give food for thought, you don’t appear angry and you are sensible. Thank you!

  2. NRP

    Wellll, here I am to give you one HUGE ration of anti-flack, good article, kinda makes one think a little more on the preps. I’m more in the belief that the next crises will either be a huge BOOM, or a slow death of the society as we know it. Personally if there is time to “warn” the masses and they don’t heed the warning than —– well enough said.

    Last trip to the store? Nope, not going to happen, no way, now how, for no reason!!! I will guarantee you if I see something happening so will tens of thousands of others, and who wants or needs to be fighting or even killed over a can of Green Beans? Just do a quick search on Black Friday Shopping. My last run will to be back-home and hunker down.

    NRP

    1. Sleepydog

      Yeah- no last trip to the store for me either… Been there, done that, learned lesson, never again. I do all this prepping because I know what it’s like to wait in line for ever, to get very little and pay 5 times more than it should cost. That was just an Ice storm, can’t even imagine what it would be like if something really happened. self reliance or bust 🙂

  3. Donna Brown

    Great article, got me thinking! I’m lucky enough to live in a small town with the grocery store, hardware store, bank and 4 convenience stores within a 2 mile radius. I work 1 mile from home so no problem making it home. My stops would be bank, grocery store then at least one convenience store for a couple extra propane tanks and a fill up on diesel. I have 7 propane tanks full but would pick up another one or two just in case and both tanks in my truck are full and rotated front to back every week. I never let one tank get below 1/2 before I top off. At the bank, withdraw most of what I have in there with whatever excuse I think of, and at the grocery store, mostly fresh meat and veggies to go with what I have here. If I am wrong about what is happening, it was a good trial run and I can use whatever I picked up, but if I am right, I’ll be a bit ahead of most people in this town!

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author

      That’s kind of the way my store feels…like a small town store. I drive by it everyday and I can judge how busy it is by the small parking lot. The best thing is that it carries big sacks of rice and beans and flour.

      Peace,
      Todd

  4. S.Lynn

    After topping off gas, hit grocery store for fresh fruits/vegi’s/dairy then I’d hit up my vet and ask for some antibiotics…..for the dogs 😉

  5. Josephine

    We’re well stocked, if power goes out will be a problem now, because my husband has been on Oxygen for a few months now. Hopefully this is not a long term problem for him. We do keep extra tanks for when he’s not on his home machine. Even if the power goes out as long as it’s winter (which it always seems to be here in the mountains) we use the outside as a freezer.

    1. Todd Sepulveda Post author

      Josephine,

      Could you use a deep cell battery backup with a solar panel to charge it for your husband’s oxygen? I wonder how much power it draws. It might be worth it as a backup.

      Peace,
      Todd

  6. padre

    So I wrote a similar article some years ago on another site and got all sorts of flack for it, but in general I think you are right, this article is a well thought out analysis of the possibilities.

    A couple thoughts I might add though.
    1) In terms of the “cried wolf” scenario, be ok with being wrong. Its better to splurge on a few hundred dollars of food, especially if it is storable, and be wrong, than to be “prudent” and wait and see, because when everyone realizes that the SHTF you will no longer have the option to go shopping.
    2)Have a shopping list prepared, particularly if you have multiple group/family members so that if your confidence is high that a SHTF situation is occurring you can get as much as possible!
    3) Hope for the best, prepare for the worst–unless I am certain that I am well ahead of the eight ball I plan to get my group shopping as a team, utilizing the list mentioned above, teams of shoppers (ARMED but concealed) will get different portions of the list, and will be backed up by a security element that will stay with the vehicles to provide overwatch and evac options using short range radios to communicate threats and organize pick ups and drop offs.
    4) Even once people start panicking think outside the box. Most runs start at the grocery store…when many items essential to survival can be found at the often forgotten hardware store, sporting goods store, or even pharmacy. Think to the most recent natural disaster, can anyone recall runs on Lowes or Home Depot. Although once the rush begins I would not try a gun store unless you know the owner, army navy stores likewise have lots of things you might need and may be the last place on people’s minds! Other places you might try: pet stores, restaurant supply stores, feed stores, farms, etc,

    1. padre

      As far a fuel…the gas station is one of the first places I would stop if ahead of the eight ball, but once a fuel rush begins remember you can likely buy propane without hassle at your normal vendors (so think about propane fueled generators, heaters, etc.). Also if you drive a diesel home heating oil is diesel without a dye used to denote that the fuel has had road taxes paid on it. Finally if you live by an airport consider both buying and storing some aviation fuel, both because its unlikely to see a line of cars at the fuel pump on the tarmac and because this fuel is ethanol free and thus better for storage.

  7. Prudence

    Fantastic article Todd!!! It is a great reminder and thought provoker even for those who are prepared and especially for those who aren’t…who sadly won’t spend the time to read this anyway.

    I do agree though, in the case of a disaster, chances are I won’t make that last run to any store as there will be to many who are unprepared who just may be smart enough to be doing their last store runs and I don’t want to be in their way because they will be in a panic.

    The key is to, at least once a week, make a run to the store like there is a disaster, play a scenario in your head for the week and make a store run for a particular disaster, okay, maybe once a week is too often, but once a month for sure. That way, when (not if, but when) the disaster happens you have already made your “last store run” ahead of time…oh wait, that is what those of us who are prepared already do. 🙂 Thanks again for the great article…God Bless You this new year! http://VigilPrudence.com

  8. porkybeans

    IT’S NOT CALLED FINAL RUN FOR NOTHING! We will be fully prepared when teotwawki hits, rather it comes slow as molasses or with warp 10 speed, or we will die enroute, inside the store, or on the return trip home. The only exceptions would be if you live in a very small town where your neighbor will not be your enemy. It is that simple, that unforgiving, that deadly and anyone that agrues with it is committing suicide. And just for reference this is not a NEGATIVE COMMENT!

  9. Rocky Racoon

    Good article.
    I shop on a month to month basis. This allows for mid-month purchases outside of regular supplies and stocking up on specials. ‘ Event ‘ acquisitions are of course is dependent upon the ‘ Event ‘ and the ‘ public ‘ behavior(s).
    Jerry cans, vehicle topped up and any other fuels/oils and other supplies needing a bit more, on hand or topping up on.
    Money in bank is less than ATM limit, so this will be cleaned out with withdrawals or purchases with debit card (if that method is still available). One of the rare advantage of being poor is that having a lot of money in the hands of the banksters is not a problem we have to deal with.
    The ” Cry Wolf ” mantra’s does get old (even to seasoned preppers). I simply remind myself that another tier has just been added to the dam. And that dam is 30 years past capacity. When will she blow, is anyone’s guess ? Meanwhile, ” Pitter-Patter and keep at her ” is my mantra.
    Until then (if even not in my lifetime) I will go to the gym (cut & split firewood. Turn over the gardens. Go for hikes in the woods ….). I will go to school (learning off internet/books and documentaries learning stuff I can use or at least have some knowledge on). Eat at the best restaurant (my kitchen and the high quality foods we raised/harvested and processed). It is a lifestyle that many will have to adapt to in a heartbeat, should the dam break. I know that we are far from on the easy side, but we have real world experiences and knowledge that money/gold can not buy.

  10. canadagal

    Wonderful article with lots to ponder. It would depend on the problem & how close it’s approach. If time I’d buy another wood stove & some gyproc to fix up the old garage/garden shed for relatives that might come home. Also living near 2 small towns I could also stock up on a few more supplies but not to much needed. Keep abreast with the times & we might have an advantage.

  11. JLynne

    If it seemed safe, I would go and get items which don’t store as long. Things which have a shorter shelf life, so I hadn’t bought a great deal up until this point. For example more bleach (yes, I have pool shock too), LOTS of cooking oil/lard/shortening ( for calories/ingredients), Peanut butter (can’t store a lot now as it gets rancid before we eat it since the kids are grown,) some prescription/OTC medications which spoil faster, injectable penicillin from animal feed store (supposed to be refrigerated but can last for a few months without.) I might go next door to the organic fruit/veggie stand with cash and buy all of their apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic since they will stay fresh for a month or more without electricity.

  12. Crazy Teacher

    I was 5 years old, living in Houston, when Hurricane Carla hit. My dad had prepared way in advance. Each window was taped up with tape, then covered with thick blankets NAILED to the window frames.
    All 5 of us kids and our parents ate well, knew how to use our lanterns and because our parents didn’t freak, we had a really nice family night while the hurricane raged on.
    The day afterwards, I walked out of my house and got to swim in my street! When we were called into the house for lunch, ALL the kids followed us into the house because they were already hungry! Even at that age, I knew those kid’s parents were stupid.
    My dad ended taking his Colman stove out to the front yard and fed the neighbors for a week!!
    THAT’s why I’m always prepared. I NEVER saw FEMA, RED CROSS, POLICE, or any church/ organization during Hurricane Carla or during any clean up.

    By the way: NOT A SINGLE FAMILY repaid my dad for feeding them, and he refused to ask them, but he never forgot that part.

    1. Dunsinane

      Unlike you, I was 11 living on Long Island during Hurricane Carla. We saw the devastation and the effects of Hurricane Carla on the news. Our defining moment was the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. My dad and my two younger brothers and I built a concrete block bomb shelter in our basement in mid-1961 and had it fully stocked. We told NO one what we had or what we were preparing for! Operational Security was the word.

      My dad was ex-military and worked closely with the military after WWII – he wasn’t the only one who knew what was coming down the pike!

      At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, people were saying “why should I prepare, I’ll just go to my neighbors house and mooch off them!” This made quite an impression on me and my brothers!

      Our defining moments, September 1961 and October 1962, were completely different times from today. People were more self-sufficient, moral, and mentally prepared for hard times back then. That is certainly not the case today!

      These people believe that it is their inherent right to take what others have. It’s a shame, I miss those simpler days.

  13. Smooze1775

    Good article! The only 3 places I could see going to would be the grocery store for water (you can never have too much), Academy or like store for ammo, propane or whatever I can get my hands on, and finally to top of gas, though not necessarily in that order.

  14. Lorri

    My first stop would be the Drugstore. Two of my most precious treasures-my husband and my 15 year old-are physically fit insulin dependent diabetics. I carry a list of vitamins that help lower blood sugar with me, in case of an ‘event’. We try to keep super stocked up on insulin (we’re blessed to have insurance that gives us a lower rate if we get our prescriptions 3 months at a time-how IRONIC is that) and we’re very conscious of our preps-no pastas or ramen in this house!

    And for those of you who are wondering: ginseng, Fenugreek, bilberry, Chromium, Cinnamon, thiamine and green teas. I’m not a doctor, not a herbal hippy (no offense meant), I’m just a mom who is in hopes to have her hubby and kids with her through it all.

    And yes, I read, ‘One Second After’. It’s the reason I’m a prepper

    1. ozarkat

      One Second After—a good book to make you think.
      Read Patriots (James Wesley Rawles) too. I wanted to go thru that one with a high-lighter pen….

  15. Tiffany

    Y’all are crazy!! Stoping at the bank, most likely they will be closed!! We don’t keep large amounts of money in the bank because once you put it in, it’s theirs!! I don’t trust that system one bit!! Todd- I love that your a pastor yet your being prepared! My hubby’s going to bible college right now and although we’re nowhere near most preppers, we are surprised that so many believers are not getting prepared! Many have told me, don’t you trust in God? Heck yes but I also trust in the wise spirit he’s given me and I’m getting ready for SHTF… We’ve had enough terrorist attacks and shootings (weither government orchestrated, fake, or not) to be alerted that things are changing around the world. Being a Christians it baffles me that my fellow believers have no clue of end times and one world order etc… Thanks for writing this!!

    1. Smooze1775

      Awesome! I have family that says the same things. And of course I belive and trust in God but so did the Israelites when they were taking over their promised land, God didn’t “give” it to them, they had to fight for it!!

  16. Karen b

    I quite agree on stocking up on fats. You might be able to scavenge greens etc but fats in the wild are hard to come by. I would get saturated fats which are the most stable with a longer shelf life- ghee, coconut oil, palm oil. Sufficient fats in the diet are vitally important for absorption of fat soluble vitamins- A, E, and D.

    Thinking about this makes me want to stock viable sunflower seeds, so that I might grow crops for oil. The Home Depot stop might yield seeds of all types. Probably not heirloom but still I would stock up.

    Once the foodstuffs have been depleted from stores I would head over to the bookstore and Fill any gaps in my home library on books about foraging for wild foods and herbs, plant identification, hunting, fishing, herbal medicine, candle making, first aid.

    1. ozarkat

      You can buy 40lb bags of black oil sunflower seed (bird food) pretty cheap…about $12-15 or so. More bang for your buck than a handful of packages at an outrageous price.

      As for your comment on books, I’ve been considering an e-reader and stocking up on books that way. You can also buy a solar recharger for the reader. If you have to ‘bug-out’, it would be so much easier to take your collection. A hard copy of some real basics might be a good idea anyway—first aid, medicinal plants, foraging.

  17. Magyar

    In case of hurricane, you may need some plywood to cover your windows.
    Keep minimum amount of money in the bank. Safe deposit boxes are not safe.
    Gasoline backup should have STA-BIL added for long storage.
    Agree with medicatoin for your Dog! (even if you don’t have one)

    1. truthseeker

      I also saw that comment about meds for your dog upthread and am wondering are you referring to antibiotics? If so, wouldn’t antibiotics for dogs be different from those prescribed for humans? I’d be concerned about taking an antibiotic (or any prescription) from a Veterinarian. Don’t mean to sound stupid, but just wondering here.

  18. Chirpy

    Excellent post!

    Born and raised in coastal Texas, we have always been reasonably prepared for the impending hurricane. But around the last presidential election, which just so happened to coincide with the financial meltdown of 2008, I started my long term preps in earnest. Studying, researching, learning and stocking up on essentials for my family.

    As we all know here, there are an abundance of situations that could be construed as shtf. There is no way possible to cover all of the events that could trigger a true shtf scenario for me and my family. It could be anything. So, in my planning and preparations, my thought is solely on what my family and I need to eat, drink, sleep, dress, entertain, maintain our health and livelihood on a daily basis and how to provide each of those on a long term basis. Regardless of the trigger event. This is my focus.

    Closer to the big cities, there are too many people. Too many not prepared, too many people who will rush the banks or stores or wherever. Too many waiting for someone else to help them. And since I don’t like standing in lines anyway, I certainly do not envision myself standing in line waiting for someone to give me a case of water or anything else I may need to survive. There are too many people! The system will be overwhelmed in an extremely short amount of time in and near the large metro areas.

    So I try to be prepared for anything…all of the time. If there is a triggering event, I may stop for fuel or money or a few extra batteries or toilet paper or ammo – probably depends on the triggering event (and the crowds in the parking lot!). But, my main goal will be to get home as quickly as possible and make sure my family is safe and sound.

    Enjoy everything, be patient & prudent, be healthy in mind & spirit, laugh & smile, give someone a hug…and always be prepared…today and everyday….

    Always enjoy your site, Todd, thanks for sharing your knowledge and ideas!
    ~Chirpy

  19. Christopher de Vidal

    I don’t understand hateful responses to an article like this. Asking if you can make a final run to the store is like asking how long is a string. There are an infinite number of factors that could make a final run either a great or a terrible idea. In a slow collapse, a final run is everyday. Even in a rapid currency devaluation you’d have time. A nuclear blast or EMP, probably not.

    There’s a funny thing about crises: You don’t get to decide what they look like beforehand. People who are utterly confident what a crisis will look like are foolish.

  20. Jamie

    I tend to think a SHTF scenario would be much like the power outage of 2003 – it was almost a full day before people really started to panic and by then the power stared to come back on. My family learned a lot of good lessons those day’s. Think ebola – it’s out there but no one is panicking and running to the stores until the schools are being closed down. Plenty of time for the “concerned citizen” to head to the store.
    With the power outage the gas stations were shut down as well as most of the stores closed their doors so there wasn’t the ability to fill up your gas tank or grab a prescription.

  21. Desert Dawg

    Veterinary antibiotics are almost all manufactured by the same companies as human antibiotics. I get large quantities from my vet for my horses. (A 1000 pd. horse uses a lot). I haven’t bought any in years from a pharmacy. And btw antibiotics don’t expire despite what the label says. they just lose some potency. keep them cool and dry and they last a long time.

  22. RK

    I’ll put it this way: if some wholly foreseeable big event is going to occur, then yes, it might be a good idea to make one last big supply run before the event occurs. Things like hurricanes and widespread blackouts and forest fires are (sometimes) foreseeable big events. Based on the collapses of various civilizations throughout history, though, “big event” collapses are much rarer than doomsaying about them. Rather than some all-encompassing “SHTF” scenario, we really should be counting more on our civilization’s collapse being a steady slide into ruin punctuated with occasional local big events, as with the collapse of Rome, the Wiemar Republic, and (most recently) Venezuela.

    With Rome, long before the barbarians sacked its capital (big event), there was a steady breakdown in the rule of law leading to increasing violence and anarchy (steady slide). With the Wiemar Republic, German doomsayers were still making predictions of impending catastrophes and collapses even as Allied bombs were raining down around their ears in Dresden; a lot of their detractors understandably had to ask, “What worse disaster are you awaiting than we’ve got already?” In Venezuela, one would be hard-pressed to find any single event that marked even the beginning of the end; socialist dictator Hugo Chavez’s election certainly counts for having ultimately ruined the country, but I should point out that he’d already been dead for years when that ruin was finally demonstrably accomplished.

    In short, it’s good to have one last supply run as a contingency plan in the event of a sudden disaster, but don’t count on any such big disastrous event occurring, or on your getting any advance notice of it if it does. Instead, the bulk of your planning should be for a steady slide into ruin of the sort we’re seeing already: rising unemployment, stores closing, basic goods and services getting scarce, and the rule of law crumbling as parasites begin to outnumber producers in more and more locales. You should be planning for things like roving bands of government goons coming for your supplies to redistribute them (to themselves, of course), roving gangs of criminals preying on your neighborhood (for much the same purpose), and the breakdown of basic utilities such as water and electricity.

    Feel free to draw up your wish list for a final run, therefore, but don’t spend too much time fantasizing about it.

  23. David

    I think I would hit the feed store to stock up on as much chicken food dog food cat food and what the hell bulk corn as well. It might not be as crazy as a grocery store in times of crisis and we only have so much pet food set aside.

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