Why Prepare Now?
by Idaho Homesteader
You have probably heard it said that it is better to be prepared an hour to soon than a day too late. Personally, I have found several reasons why it is prudent to stock up before you need it.
1) Limited inventory in the pipeline.
Back in 1999, I decided to gather all my pennies and buy an Aladdin Kerosene lamp. My husband and I had moved off-grid and our main light sources were wall mounted propane lights. An old fashioned hanging Aladdin Lamp which gives off the brightness of a 60 watt bulb would be the perfect thing to brighten our dining room table. I [placed an order through Lehman's catalog in September thinking that this would be more than enough time to receive the lamp before Christmas. I wasn't even thinking about Y2K. Long story short, we finally received our lamp in March -- 6 months later.
The market for survival/off-grid/camping supplies is normally pretty small. When everyone decides to stock up at the same time, supplies are quickly exhausted. If you really want or need something, I would recommend to get it before the herd awakes.
2) Ethical reason.
By purchasing your stockpile early, you can leave what inventory is in the pipeline for others who didn't prepare in advance. We've all seen the pictures of the empty grocery store shelf when a big storm is expected. Personally, I would feel bad taking the last loaf of bread and seeing a mother with small children behind me looking at an empty shelf.
When you purchase your supplies early and over time, you enable the just-in-time inventory system to keep up with demand. In fact by following a regular plan and buying "x" number of something every week or month, you are increasing the inventory at your local store because they will order more to met the anticipated demand. So when a disaster does strike, there is actually more stock on the shelf for others to purchase.
3) It's cheaper.
When you take the time to draw up a "wish list" of things you would like for your stockpile, you can keep your eye out for sales. I know that I will use approximately 2 cases of olives every year. So when the holiday season rolls around, I wait for them to go on sale and buy my year's supply saving almost 50% over normal prices. I have also used my wish list to pick up old tools at yard sales and thrift stores. I have found the older steel tools to be much better quality than what can be bought at the big box stores today.
Over the years, I have also expanded my basic food storage (wheat, beans, oatmeal, flour, sugar, salt) to include some freeze dried foods from Mountain House. I have been able to afford this by waiting for sales. Most of my freeze dried food has been bought with a discount of 25-50% over regular retail price. I don't buy much because it is still fairly expensive but by doing this over several years, I have a nice variety of proteins (chicken, hamburger, ham, sausage, cheese), vegetables (broccoli, peas, corn, tomatoes) and fruit (apples, pineapple, strawberries, pears) to round out my basic food supplies. On a side note, I prefer to stockpile ingredients over prepared items. It gives me greater flexibility when making a meal especially as our taste change over the years.
4) Less stress.
I don't know about you, but I hate feeling panic and stress. By stockpiling early, you don't feel the urge to rush to the store and race around putting odd left-over items in your cart so you can survive the storm. Over the years, I have position my family to be fairly well prepared so we can face almost everything that is thrown at us. When calamity hits, I can spend my time dealing with the few things that can't be prepared for.
Several years ago, my husband fell with a ladder and broke both elbows and his wrist. He faced surgery, pain, no movement of one arm for a few months and no way to work. I had a lot on my plate to worry about but I could feed my children, pay our bills, heat my house, etc. This enabled me to focus on everything else that needed to be done.
When disaster strikes, it can be overwhelming. By preparing early, you can lessen your workload which is especially helpful when you really don't have the time to be focusing on mundane things.
To sum up, all of us will face hard times throughout our life. This is a given. It could be something personal like unemployment or bad health to a regional or nationwide disaster. Since it is inevitable that we will face challenges, doesn't it make sense to prepare while it's convenient and not wait?
* Be smart
* Make a plan
* Get started
- Idaho Homesteader