Everyone has their own particular idea of what the justification for their preparedness looks like. For some its ‘Peak Oil’, for others it’s a civil war, some folks believe in ‘The Rapture’, and others are waiting for that big 9.0 earthquake…theres also hurricanes, race war, invasion, nuclear terrorism, rogue asteroids/comets, economic collapse, global pandemics, food shortages, global droughts, etc, etc. and, if youre a Scientologist, a return of Xenu. No matter the cause, you can be pretty sure theres someone somewhere stocking up against it. And theres nothing wrong with that. The guys stocking up for Hurrican Katrina II will do just fine when things come to a halt because of a freak ice storm. The guys digging in for Bird Flu will come through with flying colors when an earthquake rattles their area. Generally speaking, being very prepared for one type of disaster will put you in good shape for surviving most of the other kinds. So, really, theres no bad reason to prepare, although some reasons will raise more eyebrows than others.
My own personal scenario, and I guess some would call it my ‘personal fear’, is a period of economic instability and decline. Massive unemployment, high prices, limited product availability, decreased .gov spending (in the sense of reduced social programs that, naturally, lead to civil disorder when folks suddenly stop getting ‘their’ checks), slumps in manufacturing and production, etc, etc. Or, to put it in more simple layman’s terms: my fear is being unable to afford or acquire food and fuel, pay the mortgage, have a reliable connection to utilities, and be able to afford to live a life similar to the one I’m living now.
Already, for whatever reasons, we’re starting to see some of that. Fuel prices are affecting the price of other goods. Food is up, fuel is up, people are getting laid off from jobs, credit is tightening up, the dollar is losing value, etc, etc. Its enough to make me want to stockpile food, fuel and money…which, unsurprisingly, is pretty much what Im trying to do. On the bright said, preparing for such a situation also puts me in a position of being prepared for pretty much anything else life wants to throw at us.
Apparently, I have an impulse control problem. I was helping a buddy move and in the process of cleaning out his ‘man room’ I wound up with a Barnett crossbow and a handful of bolts gratis…sort of a thank you for hauling a dozen heavy milk crates of bullets up the stairs from his old locale to his new one and down the stairs there. (Sweaty, annoying, tedious work…) Not sure what Im going to do with a crossbow but a powerful silent weapon that’ll puncture most soft body armour could be handy sometime. Certainly it’ll be just the ticket for annoying stray dogs or cats. Where it would really shine is for a little urban poaching. Theres no shortage of deer wandering around town here, Impulsively, I also picked up a S&W 422 that my buddy was wanting to sell. (He’s moving to Hawaii and is getting rid of anything not suitable for pig hunting or saltwater environs.)
The little flat S&W semiauto .22’s were only made for about ten years but I was always kinda impressed with them. They were lightweight, compact, flat, reliable and decent shooters. And the price was right. Unfortunately they fit almost nowhere inside my preconceived logistical parameters. For my needs, and the sake of my planning, there is but one .22 auto pistol – the Ruger MkII. Ubiquitous, plenty of aftermarket support, solid gun…whereas the S&W , while a fine pistol, is going to require me to stock more magazines, different holsters, etc, etc. So why’d I get it? Well, the price was good for one thing. Also, when given the chance to buy a quality, inexpensive, paperless handgun I think it’s a smart idea to jump on it. I’ll probably just pick up a couple spare mags, pack this thing up and tuck it away as a tertiary backup or possibly make it a dedicated kit gun for my hunting bag. We shall see. Maybe use it as trading stock against any MkII I come across. I took it too the range this weekend and it expressed a definite preference for Federal over Remington. Fortunately, Federal is the brand that most of our bulk .22 is in.
I was thinking about China and its move towards ‘food security’. Im sure that anyone who has ever talked about TEOTWAWKI with their buddies has joked that when the apocalypse comes, we’re all gonna meet at CostCo and take it over as our own personal stockpile.
Well, if you think about it, that’s exactly where this is going to go. The Chinese are going to build their own food production/distribution empire and then when things get ugly their going to go secure that facility and its inventory… never mind that it may be on foreign territory.
China certainly isn’t going to be the only nation doing such things… they’re simply the biggest and most visible at the moment. But I’ll bet you there’s huge ranches and ag operations in those warm, temperate southern climates that are being contracted/leased/bought by various state-owned (or fronts for state owned) companies. The natural question to ask is “Hey, Zero, that’s great and everything but how does that affect me and my plans for preparedness?” Directly, it probably doesn’t and wont. Indirectly, it might. Ten years from now Chinese influence could be as pervasive as Communist influence was back in the 70’s. The Chinese could walk into the various countries they have holdings in and ‘ask’ for ‘favored’ status in trade. Maybe exclusive contracts for oil sales, freezing out other purchasers like the US. Same for strategic minerals. In short, someone who doesn’t like us may be in a position to make tings difficult for us in terms of foreign resources. Something to think about.
The weather is warming up, gas is still $3.50 a gallon. (By the by, I find it amazing that people who bitch about gas being $3.50 a gallon have no problem buying coffee drinks that work out to $25 a gallon.) Im riding my bike more, and I recommend you do the same if for no other reason than to stay in shape and to develop a feel for the neighborhood you live in, and need to pick up some info on bicycle maintenance, repair and modification. Can anyone recommend a good book on the subject? I want something that’ll show me how to repair/replace every part, how those parts work, why they’re important, and how to make modifications. A good, solid mountain bike is a very nice thing to have, folks. When the freeways are jammed, the gas pumps are shut down and you need to be mobile they are unmatched for their utility. (Although, to be fair, an enduro-style motorbike would be my first choice if I had the fuel.)