Just before Hurricane Rita made landfall I observed something that I probably will never forget, and that was a guy with a lowboy trailer loaded with 55 gallon drums. He was at the gas station filling up the drums – and we wonder why gas stations run out of fuel so fast during a disaster?
I am as guilty as the next person about panic buying. When the word comes that a hurricane is heading our way, my wife and I will take a trip to the local china-mart to pick up a few last minute items.
There is a difference in picking up a “few” items, and trying to stockpile several weeks worth of food in one trip.
Every time a hurricane comes around, people will kick into high gear panic buying mode. They run down to the store and start buying everything in sight.
As hurricane Ike was approaching a few years ago, I heard people at china-mart talking about how the store was out of this or that. The people that were talking agreed to buy “something”. That “something” was whatever was left on the shelves.
Its that “we have nothing, so we have to buy anything” desperation that makes the whole situation worse. People walk around china-mart, their eyes have a semi-blank stare, and their mouths slightly open, kinda like a deer in the headlights.
When my wife and I go to china-mart before the landfall of a hurricane, its to pick up some bread, maybe a gallon of milk, maybe some more bottled water,,,. Its not that we are out, or need the items, we just want a couple of extra.
Stress levels go up as the hurricane approaches landfall. The unprepared sheeple make the situation worse because they are in panic buying mode.
Some of the things to disappear during panic buying (from my observations anyway)
Over the past few weeks we have been talking about spreading your survival gear purchases out over an extended period of time. Instead of dropping several hundred dollars at once, spend $20 here, $30 there, and after a few weeks you and your family will have a nice stockpile of survival gear.
In this article, lets talk about first aid kits, fishing supplies and propane.
First Aid Kits – Almost always a good investment, especially if their on sale. A couple of weeks ago a local big-box-mart had a coleman first Aid kit on sale for something like 10% or 15% off. So I thought why not, we can use a first aid kit in our camping box anyway. So this kit was bought just to take on camping trips with the family.
First aid kits are one of those things that are often overlooked and neglected until their needed. And then its “oh crap” I forgot to put <insert needed item here> in the kit, what are we going to do now?
Personally, I like to have a camping / backpacking first aid kit, a kit in my truck, a first aid kit for home and one at the camp / bug out location.
Propane – is one of the few survival gear supplies that last forever. As long as the bottles are not stored in a wet location where they can rust, or where the bottles can be damaged, everything should be good. I like propane because the bottles can be stored at the camp, and when I need them they are there. Its not like gasoline that goes bad over time, or needs some kind of special treatment to preserve the quality.
Propane also has a wide variety of uses – lanterns, propane stoves, single burner camp stoves and space heaters for a few examples. Propane provides the small comforts of life that everyone likes – warmth, light and hot meals.
One of the problems with propane, once the cylinder is empty, there is not much you can do with it, except throw it away. I know people who buy the refill kits to refill the small 1 pound cylinders off of a 20 pound bottle. But sooner or later that bigger bottle is going to run out.
After Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Rita, some of my neighbors use their propane grill to cook with. After about a week, there were several empty 20 pound bottles sitting in the yard. After a SHTF situation, propane is going to be short lived, so enjoy it while you can.
Fishing Supplies – In my opinion, fishing supplies are some of the most underrated, over looked, and underestimated survival gear supplies that anyone can stockpile. Unless you live in a desert, the local rivers, streams, lakes and ponds can offer a supply of fish, which in turn can be used to feed your family.
The only problem with eating fish after SHTF, is the levels of mercury found in certain types of fish. Here in SouthEast Texas the local lakes and rivers have warning signs saying that people should not eat over a certain amount of bass, perch and fresh water drum every month.
One of the things about fishing supplies, they make great barter items for after SHTF. Lets say that I need some corn seed, or some squash seed. 12 pound fishing line come sin 700 yard spools. To re-string a reel, you do not use 100 yards. That leaves leaves 600 yards to barter with. Better yet, buy several spools of 10, 12 and 15 pound test, and that provides you with several miles of fishing line to barter with. If left in their original package, Stainless steel hooks should not rust.
Between several spools of fishing line, and stainless steel hooks, you have barter items that never expire and never have to be rotated out.