What have we learned?
Have we learned anything yet? With the 2020 pandemic a lot of people realized that preppers were not really all that crazy. They learned that it was pretty smart to have enough food and household essentials on hand to last, at a minimum, a month or so. Even our government(s) started pushing preparedness. Then, just one year later, the Polar Vortex of 2021 hit. Both incidents causing shortages of food and essentials on the shelves. Have we truly learned anything yet?
Okay, so maybe I was a little bit motivated to write this article by the fact that when I placed my grocery order for Walmart Pickup just a couple of days ago, there was no Diet Pepsi (in bottles) available. Can you imagine that?!? No Diet Pepsi? At Walmart?!? I was crushed! (I don't know if they had cans of Diet Pepsi, as I don't drink from cans.) Then my daughter came to my rescue and found some bottles of Diet Pepsi for me at another store in our small town. What a hero she was!! She literally saved my day!!
But, the fact that this Diet Pepsi shortage affected me so much made me realize something. Even though I've known it for years...I am addicted to Diet Pepsi. Oh, I've tried breaking the addiction a few times over the past couple of decades, but to no avail. Then in acknowledging this addiction, I also realized that I am not truly prepared. But, I'm a prepper! Some might say I'm a "die hard" prepper! How can I not be prepared?!? Well, it kind of hit me right in the gut. The realization of it was pretty heavy. I mean, I've known it for quite a while now, but it was always in the back of my head...way in the back. You know, something you know, but you just want to ignore and so you do.
You might ask, how does my addiction to Diet Pepsi affect my prepping? Well, it doesn't really. Not in the literal sense anyway. But yet, it does. How can it not affect it and affect it at the same time? I'll try and explain. You see, I do not stockpile Diet Pepsi. Therefore, it must not be important to me as a prepper. Yet, when my grocer was out of Diet Pepsi (in the bottles) I pretty much panicked. Ugh. I guess what I've deduced from this small and yet very large inconvenience in my life is that I need to stock up on Diet Pepsi. Pronto! No! No! That's not what I've deduced. It's what I wish I could have deduced. But, it's not what I deduced.
You see, there would be no way in the world I would have enough room to stock up on enough Diet Pepsi to get me through a long term SHTF situation. And, that's what I personally prep for...long term SHTF. I would need a warehouse to be able to do that. A very large warehouse. So, what I need to do is wean myself off of this Diet Pepsi addiction. It just seems there's always something more we need to do in order to be prepared to face and endure whatever this world throws at us.
Wow, that was a very long bunny trail I took! Okay, now to get back on subject. When the coronavirus turned into a world wide pandemic, some very important essentials became unavailable to us. For example, toilet paper. And, food. And, cleaning products. And, garden seeds. And, canning jars and lids. Things that we need in our every day lives to stay alive and well. That's when the world realized that preppers weren't so crazy! Well, at first we were accused of hoarding food, and that we were keeping others from being able to buy food. But, then "they" soon realized that we weren't the ones out grabbing food and essentials off the shelves!! Not us real and bonified preppers. We already had everything we needed right and home. And, we stayed home (or at least we didn't have to go out and scramble for food) so that those who did not have could have. It was those who had panicked that were hitting the shelves and taking everything they could get their hands on! Without a thought or concern for others. Now, I'm not saying that's wrong, because it is human instinct. However, I am thankful that many who did that learned that it was better to have extra food on hand at home to ensure that if anything like that ever happened again, they would be prepared. Thus, they became preppers! Yay!!
Then, more recently, we have the 2021 Polar Vortex that hit our country (the U.S.A.). We are still in the middle of that and it's repercussions as I sit here writing this. This was the reason that I had that Diet Pepsi crisis. I'm pretty sure it was the result of trucks not being able to travel and deliver food on time to many stores. Even UPS and the USPS had to stop deliveries. Once again, food is sparse on the grocery shelves along with necessary essentials. In fact, there were people, down in Texas, standing in lines outside in the cold (that they are not accustomed to) in order to purchase propane because they had no power. Millions of people all across the southern and lower mid western states have been without power for up to 3 days now. In temperatures they are not accustomed to nor were they prepared for. In other words, they did not have the necessary clothing for cold climates, they were not prepared to cook or heat their homes without power, and most were not prepared to dig themselves out of the snow. I'm not blaming them. They do not live in climates where these things are normal. In fact, I'm praying fervently for all who were affected by this polar vortex. They knew it was coming, but they did not know how to prepare for it. That's why it's important NOT to wait until the last minute to be prepared.
I am sure that many who have lived through this 2021 Polar Vortex have learned from it. At least, I hope they have. Even if we do not live in a certain type of climate, we need to be prepared for any type of climate. This world has gone crazy, and not just the people! I don't mean being prepared by just having enough food. Even if those who live in the South did have enough food on their shelves, there are so many other things they need to survive this polar vortex. In fact, there are so many different things that could happen to cause us to be without electricity, water, sewer, and gas for extended amounts of time; not just the weather. You see, prepping is more than just storing up food. (See one of my first articles, There's More to Prepping Than Food.) It's about being ready for whatever circumstance may come our way. Whether it be weather related (heat waves or polar vortexes), natural catastrophic events such as fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; or job loss, unexpected illness, unexpected accidents (such as car accidents), pandemics, EMPs, etc. As a result of the 2021 Polar Vortex, many utility companies, across our great nation, in areas that have not experienced power outages, are having to affect manual blackouts or brown outs in order to prevent complete power outages (which could take several months to repair). The electrical grid cannot handle the stress of these states that are not normally cold climate states. They are using more power than normal to heat the homes. I can't stress this enough...prepping is more than just food! (See an article I wrote a couple of years ago, A World Without Electronics and Electricity.)
First we had the pandemic, which taught us (or at least should have taught us) the necessity of having shelf stable foods stored up. Then, the polar vortex which is teaching us to be ready to live without electricity, water, sewer, and gas utilities. I can't help but to wonder what's next? Maybe it won't take an EMP to shut down our power grid. Maybe our power grid is already weak and crumbling. Maybe it's just a matter of time. And, maybe, just maybe, that time isn't far off.
If we have learned anything from these two occurrences, it should be that we need to be preppers - in every sense of the word.
Here is the dictionary's definition of a prepper:
a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.
"there's no agreement among preppers about what disaster is most imminent"
We all most likely know what it means to stockpile food and ammunition. What might those "other supplies" consist of? Well, that is a topic for another discussion (article). So, stay tuned for that upcoming article. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning and growing as a prepper take the time to browse through my other articles. There's a lot of information to be gleaned from them.
Thank you for spending a few minutes of your time with me! If you have any questions on this article or prepping in general, please feel free to comment below, or send me an email message by going to the About/Contact page and filling in the contact form there. It is my prayer that you will heed the warnings that God has been sending us with these two incidents, and if you are not already doing so, that you will do all that you can to be prepared; and if you are prepping that you will push forward and keep on keeping on.
Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!
1 Peter 5, 8-9, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." (KJV)