Let’s get something straight here: preppers have, for years, been ridiculed and mocked simply for being ready for an “event,” such as COVID-19. Or the zombies. Whichever. Now, many of them are being lambasted in the media, social included, for having those same supplies.
Yes, it’s true that some people have grabbed every item on its respective shelf, either out of panic or with plans to re-sell and make a profit. Either of those is wrong, although panic can be forgiven much easier.
I asked, on my personal Facebook page, what people considered “hoarding.” Answers included such things as “having more than you need” and “excess items with no plan.” Seems like regular everyday people aren’t exactly buying into that media hype about the bad, mean, evil douchebag preppers.
COVID-19 happened to coincide with my annual purge/inventory/re-supply schedule. I normally have supplies for a six-month period—some may call that excessive, as I know no one expects this to last that long. Expectations often fail; however, there could well be other supply issues that arise in the aftermath. Or not. No one is psychic, no one really knows.
Another thing no one really knows is “how much” a certain person or family actually needs. I read a column in the Post this morning, and the writer asked “what was your most random purchase recently?” One of the answers was “chocolate chips—but I didn’t buy anything else to make cookies, just the chips.” Well, geez, who doesn’t have butter, flour, sugar, eggs, etc. in her dang kitchen? Really?
My point is that, yes, I have a couple bags of chocolate chips, but they weren’t random. At some point during my six-month period of prepping, I will sure bake cookies or use them for something else. Maybe a cheesecake. I don’t know, but I know I’ll use them.
And what about these other panic buyers? They see “wash your hands a lot” and grab all the soap they can, just in case. But here’s the key: you should KNOW how much you use and KNOW how much you need. For instance, I have three large bottles of hand soap—that is how much we use over six months; and that means ONE of those would last a couple months for two people. Do the math, folks, BEFORE you shop.
Yes, I keep a running list of inventory and at least once a month I physically COUNT everything. Too much trouble? Fine, than risk running out of something that either you can’t go buy or isn’t available.
THAT is the crux of prepping. Not hoarding.
A friend posted a link of pics of crazy shoppers—an entire cart full of milk? Or eggs? WHAT are they going to do with that? Now, I suppose it’s possible that these people were part of a group or very large extended family, and they all took part of the list and went shopping. Maybe. I did see a lady here with an awful lot of toilet paper, but it turns out she was buying for three or four families; sometimes you just have to ask…
And I try to be considerate. Yesterday, in Walmart, there were two large bags of sugar on the shelf—and that was it—and it was on my list. I took one, left the other, and someone snagged it right away. I also ran into a young girl who apparently was there only to buy cheesecake ingredients. Well, okay…I mean, I’m all about cheesecake! She was disappointed that they were out of brown sugar, so I told her she could make her own; similar convo with another lady who had been looking for powdered sugar.
Now, you may not agree with our having a six-month supply, but I guarantee that what we have will be used. And if everyone would plan ahead and take care of themselves and their own families in any emergency situation, the government would be a lot less involved, which means that the situation will be much better managed by the people themselves.
Think of it as being on a plane and putting on your oxygen mask BEFORE helping someone else. This doesn’t mean we’re sitting here for six months, guns at the ready, it means we don’t have to think about shopping during a pandemic or finding the things we need. You might not need or want six months’ worth of anything, or have a place to store it even if you did, but you could certainly plan for one month—and considering the situation right now, that would be a smart move.
Well said. Refreshing clarity in your writing.
Shopping for one month is routine for me. I hate to shop, so I go the first week of the month, buy everything I need with the exception of extra produce, as it would spoil. A couple of weeks later, I go buy fresh produce again and maybe milk and bread if needed. Depends on how much baking I do. Shopping monthly is a great habit to get into. It saves time and money in the long run.