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I'm glad you can manage on your little Island. Here, the huge size of the US is such that it acts as a self-insuring system
I'll admit the thought is in my mind, if a shooting war did happen, Singapore being somewhat a likely theater center I'd be one of the first down on the East Cost (actually more South than East) with my bathers on looking to swim straight to Aus (only have to dodge or short-cut through Indonesia on the way down.) OK, not literally swim, but in the case of war and things were bad I would be exploring all options to get away soonest possible.
pestilence [ pes-tl-uh ns ] noun
1. a deadly or virulent epidemic disease. especially bubonic plague.
2. something that is considered harmful, destructive, or evil. Synonyms: pest, plague, CCP
You seem to take for granted that no emergency situation will cause the transportation system to break down; you can always get stuff from other places. The physical transportation facilities will not break down, and there will be people to operate them.
That is certainly the case for a number of emergency classes, but not for all. Even if the facilities are available, the truck drivers may be in quarantine, hospital or bed with the pandemic. Borders may be closed (even state borders in the US!). The supplier may be unable to deliver the goods because the production facilites are closed down due to a pandemic.
When I was a boy, my parents bought a year's supply of potatoes, carrots and other vegetables in fall. During summer, we picked berries for making jam that lasted through the winter. We bought 25 kg of dried stockfish. We had firewood and coke for the next year delivered by truck... For many years, I thought of that as the normal, having a stock of essentials to last for at least six months. Maybe that never was generally true, but I believe that there has been a real change over the last fifty years: Today, there are very small stocks in most areas of business - not just food, but everywhere. Parts, raw materials, finished products that can cover a sudden increased demand (e.g. for TP...). The less capital bound in stocks, the higher the profits! But it makes the activity far more sensitive to broken supply paths.
Going inland or to another state to stock up may work for a week or two, maybe even four - it all depends on how large area is hit by the emergnecy. If the entire nation is hit, supplies may dry out quite rapidly. If diesel oil is the first to dry out, it may have ripple effects on the lots of other supplies as well.
It all depends on how large catastophes you want to be prepared for. If the second wave comes with ten times the strength of the current one, and society is completely locked down - you are not allowed to leave your village or city district - and it lasts for half a year, then you could benefit from keeping a larger stock. If you take for granted that nothing worse will happen than a hurricane passing by, then you don't need much of a food locker in your basement.
With the exception of a few rather rare events (major earthquake or tsunami, for example) there is always adequate warning. Getting out of Dodge isn't just to pick up supplies. It's to dwell elsewhere as long as is necessary. Elsewhere extends pretty far in this country.
As for a year's supply of produce? Where the hell can one keep it? Perhaps if you live in some arctic tundra, your entire worlds a refrigerator most of the year. For the rest of us, if it's not frozen, canned or dried it's going just end up as compost. That, of course, depends upon what you consider a year's supply. If you eat one or two potatoes each year it's no problem.
Handling these types of problems is strongly dependent upon the degree of urban vs. rural setting one is in. The local climate, landscape, and national-level of backup. Also, the season of the year (for those of us who have distinct season).
Filling a cave with food and firewood is not a viable options for most of us. The real goal should be hardening the communal infrastructure to mitigate the extent of the problem.
As for a year's supply of produce? Where the hell can one keep it?
That you consider it as a fridge reveals that you have no experience with a good cellar. Around here, even new apartment buildings provide at least one basement booth per apartment. The temperature is not at refrigerator level, typically 8-12 C, but quite stable. Usually, the humidity is (due to the low temperature) so high that if you store vegetables and fruit, they do not dry out.
We have a tradition for quite small and low apartment buildings (2-4 floors tall), so frequently there are room for each apartment to have two basement boots and maybe a boot in the attic as well. In chained, semidetached houses, where one family occopies all floors from basement to attic, there is of course plenty of basement space. In detached houses, you have all the basement space you want.
I am currently remodeling my 1959 vintage house: The old 7 square meters food booth had plenty of room for both yearly supplies potato and carrots, oninon braids hanging from the ceiling, an long shelves for rows of glasses of jam and canned fruit, winter apples and pears, leek, turnips and rutababa, all from the garden. (The previous owner, and builder of the house, was a Home Ec teacher.) It is far more than I need, so I split it into two rooms: One 4 sqm room with a cooler keeping it at almost fridge temperature. The cooler deposits the heat in the room taking the remaining 3 sqm, making it a warm room for fermenting beer and fruit wine made on products from the garden. Having a basement cool room like this is quite common around here.
Somewhat less common: At a power outage, a basement cool room will keep the temperature reasonably low for quite a few days, but temperature will rise. I am also installing a heat pump, with a ground circuit a couple of meters down in the ground for collecting heat at winter time. In summer, the heating fluid circulates to be cooled, for air condition through heat exchangers - the only energy required for cooling is that of the circulation pump and the fans in the heat exchanger. No compressor is required. This draws so little power that it can be run off a solar panel. I put a heat exchanger in the cool room as well, so at a power outage when the cooler doesn't work, the heat exchanger will probably be able to keep the room at 6-8 C, all run on solar power.
A major reason why I reduced the size from 7 to 4 sqm is that house remodeling gives me lots of new basement space (I am building a "winter garden", with basement underneath). Stuff that doesn't need fridge cooling, such as canned food, dried food etc., will have plenty of shelf space there. That will release plenty of space for stuff that doesn't really need the cooling for preservation purposes, but that I would like to be cooled when I go to pick it up, such as carbonated drinks (even unfermented varities!).
If you live in a 12 floor metropolitan apartment building, with the basement reserved for car parking, and there is no attic, your situation is obviously different. Here, we have some, but not very many, apartment buildings like that. To most families, finding room to store canned, dried or inherently storage-friendly food (like poatoes or carrots in humid sand) is no major problem, if they decide to.
The supply chain is multi-dimensional and, like the internet, a network.
The multi-dimensional part is that a store may only have three days worth of food - but there are a very lot of stores. Similar for many other items. Gasoline is overtly manipulated. A nod and a wink and the basic premise of capitalism (supply and demand govern pricing) goes down the toilet.
In the current pandemic, there's not been a shortage of availability or even transport. Just that aspects of the supply chain hadn't prepared (for example) of switching from commercial bulk to consumer level "packaging". A lesson they'll hopefully learn and be able to efficiently balance production between the two (to optimize profits - not necessarily increasing prices).
Cut off the supply chain? All of it? Atomic war would do the trick. Not much else.
Where has the US supply chain been screwed? By the dependence upon imports, particularly from China. Maybe we'll finally get the message that buying there cheap, shoddy, and often contaminated products is not really cheaper at all. That primarily hits the manufacturing sector.
In terms of food production and transportation/fuel, we're pretty heavily loaded in diverse regions. As for reliance on government? That depends upon who's running the store.
Right now, the party-in-power was put in to supposedly shrink government - and that's turned out rather badly. When it comes to shrinking the government, the real description of how people behave (as they're basically simple-mind and narrow-minded) is to shrink all of it, except, of course, for the parts that are good for them. It's the mentality that even through we're all in the same boat, they're not concerned about leaks anywhere but where they are sitting.
If there is one thing people should learn from this pandemic is that you cannot rely on the government or society's infrastructure. You need to be prepared
I am totally with you. And it really isn't a big deal: Ask your grandparents how they did it! Most likely, they grew up with basement shelves filled with glasses of homemade jam, hard apples suited for long time storage, a big wooden crate filled with carrots in humid sand, another big crate of potatos, ... That was normal! The way you did it!
If you plan for a major disaster or catastrophe, do not rely on "society" to function as normal, to serve you. Some services may still work, others may not, but you do not know which. Make sure that you can at least survive if any one service is completely lost (and let those still provided contribute to a better quality of survival!).
I will remark, however: "one thing people should learn from this pandemic" - that is very much a USA / metropolitan issue. Every second year or so, the Norwegian "Direcorate on safety and preparedness" (I don't know if there is an official English translation of the name!) finds an excuse to promote through media their home preparation checklist, of which an essential part is what you should make sure to have available - recommended quantities of durable food, matches and candles, alternate heating etc.
If you move out of Norwegian cities, especially in North Norway, you see that it is certainly praticed as well: When a storm is on the horizon, the kerosene lamps are made ready, the camping cooker brought into the kitchen, the 25 liter tank of drinking water is checked. We still have a tradition for stocking vegetables and fruit in our basements, rows of flour packs, rice and pasta in our pantries.In the outskirts, you simply have to be prepared to be on your own for a week or two. Maybe the storm cracked a tree falling over the power line to your village. Maybe a landslide tore away two hundred meters of the only road to your village. Maybe the landslide tore the water supply as well, and without a road, you cannot have water tankers suppy you with drinking water. Even in towns and cities you may have similar problems. True enough: Younger city people, living in downtown flats, may laugh it off (the American way), but for the most part, this kind of preparation and preparedness has long and established traditions in Norway.
There were a group of people in the North Georgia mountains in the USA during the Great Depression that had no idea what was going on because they lived off of the land and did most everything themselves. Welcome | Foxfire[^]
When the rest of the civilized world was falling apart they just kept on going. It was normal for them.
Member 7989122 wrote:
that is very much a USA / metropolitan issue.
Member 7989122 wrote:
Every second year or so, the Norwegian "Direcorate on safety and preparedness" (I don't know if there is an official English translation of the name!) finds an excuse to promote through media their home preparation checklist, of which an essential part is what you should make sure to have available - recommended quantities of durable food, matches and candles, alternate heating etc.
That's great. Back in the earlier part of the 1900s the US government encouraged people to own chickens and to plant gardens. Now, in many places it is illegal to have chickens and also illegal to have a garden in your front yard. Crazy. Our government has definitely contributed to people being dependent on them, which is a terrible thing.
Social Media - A platform that makes it easier for the crazies to find each other.
Everyone is born right handed. Only the strongest overcome it.
Fight for left-handed rights and hand equality.
Back in the earlier part of the 1900s the US government encouraged people to own chickens and to plant gardens
Maybe offtracking a little bit, but I choose to risk it:
We have (and really have) an American employee: I happened to mention poultry farming, and he was very eager about it: That's simple, and provides great food at at low cost! ... He had a lot of practical advice on how to do it.
He is still working for us, after returning to USA to take care of his sick mother. After he left, I heard that when he was here, he regularly transferred most of his pay to his mother to cover her health expenses. The reason why he knew so much about poultry farming was that his family had been all dependent on their own poultry, not to starve. Yet, they were able to send one son to college to get a education, making him a top rate professional allowing him to go abroad to become a highly valued expert in his field. I guess that the family's sacrifices were great, to say the least.
A few years ago, the children's book Susan Patron: The Higher Power of Lucky[^] was awarded the Newbury Medal (awarded by the American Libary Association). The book is great, and funny! Read it! ... The society described is so poor, economically, that I wrote to the author asking how realistic the story is. She returned a very friendly response, confirming that in parts of the USA, daily life is most certainly at this level, in material "wealth". I started looking up the statistics of average family income in that area (semi-desert areas at the west coast, with a large native population) and realized that it was most certainly true.
Maybe it is not just in semi-desert and native areas. I spent a year in the Midwest as an exchange student, arriving from a rich, everybody-equal country. To some degeree, I "saw what I expected to see". Later, it struck me that at that time, I didn't really understand how much my host family sacrified in opening their home to exchange students (they had been host families for many years). They didn't take me in as a family member because they had resources to waste, but because they honestly wanted to share whatever they had got. It would be wrong to call them "poor", yet they were certainly not well-to-do - they were far from that!
When the US is promoted internationally, you may easily get the impression that everybody in the US are rich and successful. Poverty is so limited that you can ignore it. Today, slum has been eradicated ... Not! There is poverty, but US culture pushes strongly hide it, build a shield of make-pretend wealth. There is slum, but the successful world steers you away from it.
People in the US still have their hens in the backyard and grow vegetables in their back yard, not as a pleasant hobby but as their way to survive.
not interested in eating stale crap for the rest of the year because we panic bought anything in a tin.
I think that is one mistake a lot of people make. For most stuff (food in particular), you should not have an emergency store; it must be part of your ordinary chain of consumption. Take dried pasta: When you restock, you put it at the back of the shelf; today you eat that pasta bought two months ago. Similar with canned food, dried bread, bottled water or whatever.
I keep stocks roughly corresponding to how much I consume in half the typical "Best Before" period. Typical for canned food is a BB date two years into the future, so I may have up to one year's worth of, say, canned peas in my basement. Bottled water may hav BB in six months, so I keep a stock lasting 2-3 months.
If you live in a culture where most food is made directly from fresh ingredients, the read BB may be a few days into the future. That makes it a lot more difficult. Of course I also eat a lot of fresh food. If all supply lines are suddnely broken, it would definitely affect my household; it would have a lot higher fraction of vegetabels that can be stored for months (like carrots, rutabaga, beets) and less tomato and cucumber. The pasta supply which would normally last for four months migh be gone in two. Still, I would not be eating "other" food if supplies are unavailable, just more of what has a long shelf life.
Just make sure that you are prepared for a loss of electric power for at least a few days. What you keep in a deep freezer may still be edible after three or four days (if you do not open the lid too often); after a week, it has been thawed for too long to be healthy.
Your water kettle, coffee machine, SodaStream and electric stove will be useless when power is gone. If you have a gas stove, you may be out of luck as well: I was just about to buy myself a new one when I discovered that my selected model had a security mechanism requiring elecric power to open the gas valve. No electricity, no gas! (I found another model without this "security" feature!)
The second important thing you should be prepared to loose: Drinking water. Even if it is still running, it may be contaminated. With some contamination, you can boil it for a few minutes, but that doesn't go for all kinds. And maybe no water at all is available. Your dried foodstuff may be less useful then.
Sandy: Electric Gone; Gas Turned off for Safety; Water plant in my area literally blew up.
Solution? Live someplace else for a while. We can make due with very little. I've eyed some generators . . . but they require gasoline. That's a problem because the gas stations were inoperable (Sandy times) and, although they now have mandated electrical backup generators, they aren't any good if there are no fuel deliveries.
Just "get the hell out of Dodge" is the plan. Based on what's coming will determine where we go and what we take (vs. what we put in large plastic chests). A little food in the fridge will not be anything like a priority.
(oh, yes - there was bottled water hoarding, as well, for COVID-19 - a commodity I all but never buy).
You probably realize that this is a "So why don't they eat cake, then?" type of response, You may have a second home within driving distance, that you can freely make use of. Lots of people have no such alternative.
If a pandemic is truly global (or at least nationwide), it makes no sense to invite yourself to a friend or relative. That could be the case even for natural disasters as well: Your friends and relatives may be as hard hit as you are. And the roads may be hit.
Lots of people do not have the opportunity to just go away for a period. Their work may not permit it. Maybe they have livestock, or maybe they do dogsledding as a hobby and have eight huskies to take care of.
Maybe authorities will restrict your freedom of movement as well. During Easter, a great share of the Norwegian population go up in the mountains, to their mountain cabins, to hotels, or the visit the large number of self-service cabins. Many of the small mountain villages increase their population by a factor of 5 to 6 during easter. The health services are dimensioned for the year-round needs. If 25,000 citypeople gather in a 5000 people village for exchange of corona viruse, it could lead to a major catastrophe. So, cabin owners were not allowed to spend Easter at their cabin as they always did before. That caused a major uproar among the cabin people!
So, while "Just go away for a while" may be a solution for a few people in a limited set of circumstances. I would guess that to the great majority of the population, the option is not available. To everybody, there may be circumstances where you have to stay at home, even if the alternative dwelling exists.
So, this "Just go
You may have a second home within driving distance
I don't have a second home within any distance. Just where I live.
I mean leaving and heading to where I think it's safe, hopefully, ahead of the surge so there is such a place.
Where I live, livestock? Huskies? I had forgotten that you're still afraid to identify yourself as Norwegian with your CP ID (but don't hesitate to put it in posts). Explains the year supply of
foods by simply living in a refrigerator. Funny that your mountain area doesn't see fit to make allowances for the crowd who's money they're glad to take by building better medical facilities. Cancun (Mexico) had a tourist area: they redid the entire water system to make sure no further outbreaks occur. Medical facilities (for trauma, in particular) are quite available. They invest in their customers well-being - maybe your Norwegian resort areas should consider the same.
Quite simply, I've coped - for nine straight months - living with just a roof over my head and heat in the winter - and was glad to have it. Electricity was an added plus when it was restored. For what I had, I count myself lucky. I'm not going to do it a second time. Only a fool doesn't know when it's time to move on. Seeing one's home surrounded by (and containing) ocean gives one a very authentic perspective.
There may be no hiding from a pandemic - but utilities and such remain available. In general, I can stay put. As for destructive natural disasters? They are limited in scope. How far inland do you think a hurricane can get this far north, even with climate change? If one doesn't wait until the last minute, an hour or so drive takes one well away from whatever weather happens.
I had forgotten that you're still afraid to identify yourself as Norwegian with your CP ID
Certainly not! I just accepted defaults!
If your interpretation of my postings is seriously affected by my nationality, then it is more your problem than mine. Remember, I might actually be from China ("which we call Red China"), which would more or less invalidate every argument I bring forth, wouldn't it?
If CP wants to introdue a "Nationality: unspecified", that is perfectly fine with me. I'll gladly enter that category. In the meantime: You are free to ask my nationality, if you need that information to judge the validity of my argruments. Just consider what would be the effect of me giving a dishonest answer - replying that my arguments come from a US citizen vs. coming from a Chinese. If that affects your judgement of the arguments, it as more to do with you than with me.
If your interpretation of my postings is seriously affected by my nationality, then it is more your problem than mine.
No - I remember my first time in Europe. For a while we traveled with a Canadian and a Scotsman. The Canadian would wear a shirt with an USA flag on it and he behaved rather badly. People who saw him blamed "the Americans" - and that is what you're doing. "Default" - a pretty lame excuse at this point: fix it! Or do I detect you are imitating that errant Canadian?
Member 7989122 wrote:
I might actually be from China ("which we call Red China"), which would more or less invalidate every argument I bring forth, wouldn't it?
Politely put, this argument is blithering nonsense.
Member 7989122 wrote:
If CP wants to introdue a "Nationality: unspecified",
Now I don't encourage people to just wave their national flag for some weird ego boost - but this just emphasizes your reluctance to simply correctly identify your location, and now, it seems, you've made it a point of pride, you will resist fixing your own error and come up with absurd excuses and justifications . . . as in this post. Reminds me of kid. "I used the default" == "The dog ate my homework"
Or perhaps it's just a deep seated desire on your part to migrate to North America which you can't quite seem to hide.