Check out the prologue to "Alone In The Light" by clicking here

An excerpt from: Alone In The Light

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Preppers and rice!

I am going to talk today about a little thing I like to call, "You bought WHAT?"

I was in the Army for 10 years. Well, National Guard AND the Army for a total of 10 years. Point is, I spent a lot of time being dirty and hungry in some really unpleasant places. After my time in, I've become fond of things like being clean, eating food... not getting shot at... you know, things like that. And lately, I keep watching the news and I keep seeing a lot of panic talk about Coronavirus and other stuff.  And I believe it is strictly panic talk. I don't put a lot of stock into the doomsday people who claim that this will be "THE NEXT PLAGUE!!" - those people can piss right off.

Here's my issue - Imagined fear is just as dangerous, if not more so, than REAL fear. Fear in all its forms is bad. People make bad decisions when they're nervous or afraid and our news media is ramping up that fear like an uncle giving his niece and nephew 3 lbs of sugar while he babysits for 2 hours. Like the toddler full of sugar, the people feeding off the paranoid teet of the media are climbing the walls and it's going to have consequences.

People, in their illogical, panic-driven state have already caused prices of surgical masks to go through the rough and supplies to dwindle. A single box of 100 now costs 3x what it did 2 months ago... and you'll wait up to 3 weeks for shipping. I've looked.

What's next? Food and water.

The United States is 3 weeks away from critical food shortages in 90% of the country.

Why? Because we truck in almost ALL of our groceries. Urban centers have to food of their own. Rural areas don't keep their crops on hand. Everything gets moved around to make sure we're all fed... but what happens when the trucks get grounded over fear of this "pandemic"? - people will get hungry. They'll get hungry and then they'll probably get violent.

What happens when you're out of food at the local Kroger and the trucks aren't moving? Violence.

That's right! People have more guns and ammo in this country than Carter had liver pills. So, when Nathan, three doors down, is out of food and his kids are starving - he's coming over for your food. Doesn't matter that you've known him for 10 years and you play ball together. He has kids that need food, you're sitting on a pile of freeze-dried fish... and he's got a 12 gauge.

And this finally brings me to the point of this rambling mess - how ready are you for a possible calamity? It doesn't have to be a made-up super-flu. It could be a natural disaster like a flood, earthquake, fire, tornado... whatever it is, do you have 3 weeks MINIMUM in food and water for every member of your household? Do you have enough substance and calories for Billy, Betty, Belinda, AND yourself to last 21 days?

I have NO science backing up these percentages... but just going on what I've observed, I'm guessing 20% of the people out there do.

But that leaves 80% of people flapping in the breeze with about 48 hours of legitimate calories and fluids before they figure out they're screwed.

On top of that, MOST people are between 10 and 20 days away from being out of their medication... like insulin.

If things do escalate here - and I'm not saying they will by ANY means, I'm speaking in strict hypotheticals - how long will it take for the shelves in your local market to clear out? When water is $30 for a case or more, what can you do? People in this country have a hard time accepting a reality where these situations could actually happen - and that's really sweet in an "Oh, I'm going to pat you on the head and call you a sweet child of summer" way. But it can. And if it does - so many people are fucked.

But, Ben... how can I do something about this? I'm just one person!

Fear not! There are a NUMBER of shelf-stable foods out there. Start looking them up now. Canned, freeze-dried beef. Emergency Rations. Camping foods... A 10 lb bag of uncooked, white rice is like $11 at Wal*Mart and, properly kept, will last years on a shelf.  Don't wait until you see people getting twitchy to start setting food aside. Start now. Or, do what I did and start 3 years ago. I came home with 40 lbs of rice, 5 cases of Ramen, 10 lbs of pasta... and my wife said, "You bought what?"

You eventually cook some of this food and replace it with new. Then you're rotating your stock while keeping the full amount ready for emergencies. As an added bonus, It'll ALSO help ease the anxiety caused by the constant barrage of apocalyptic news stories about "another 200 infected."

This has been my Ted Talk.

Enjoy your weekend!

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