Friday, July 29, 2011

The Elephant in the Room (AKA is this the "IT" everyone is always talking about?)

The other day I made the trek to my credit union to close out an account that I no longer used. I just wanted to tie up one of those loose ends that I'm always thinking I will do when I have the time. After going to a teller I was told it would be a 30 minute wait before an account specialist could assist me and was directed to a waiting area.  Quite honestly it is the first time I have ever had to wait more than a few minutes at my bank for anything. Most stuff I do online but this particular thing required a visit in the flesh. So while waiting an elderly woman sat down near me. She obviously needed to say something and started a conversation  about how busy the bank seemed for a Tuesday. I politely engaged with what I was hoping was a joke by saying maybe this is what a run on the bank looked like and she responded with a nod and one of those looks that said "That's exactly what I'm talking about". The conversation went on from there. While we never actually mentioned what we were talking about, we both knew we were talking about the looming doom of the debt ceiling in Washington DC. I won't bore you with the details but I casually mentioned that I didn't think people were talking about "IT" but that they did seem nervous.  Her response was that it was like the Elephant in the room. I suppose she is right. It seems to be a quiet nervousness. Some people want to ignore it and believe it could never happen and some are quietly trying to prepare for "IT".

So what is "IT" and how do you prepare for it? I happen to be one of those people that want to be prepared and for the most part I have always thought I was relatively prepared for most emergencies. I have water and food put away and have discussed with my girls what to do or where to go in an emergency. We have a meetup spot in case of a house fire and in the case of an earthquake and Tsunami they know to go to a nearby hill and wait for us. I keep extra stores on hand and everyone has cell phones. So now I have to ask. How many different emergencies can you prepare for? What if whatever "IT" is destroys your preparations? Do you keep stuff in the car? In an out building on your property? To be prepared for all emergencies you would need a moving van to haul all the stuff you might need in case of....and then where is a safe place to put it so that it is unaffected by whatever the emergency is? In our case there is the slightest possibility of a tsunami because we live on an island. A somewhat protected one but an island just the same. We also have a major fault that runs right in front of our property so earthquake is a definite possibility even though we are pretty sure our house was built with that in mind. We are located between two volcanoes, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker that could spew ash and make life difficult and although I was relatively unaffected by Mt. St. Helen years ago I remember it well. So how about an economic meltdown? One where money is worthless because of hyper inflation. Any one remember the meltdown in Germany in the thirties (yes before my time) where it took a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread? Yike! Fortunately I know how to make bread. And a lot of other things too like soap, and cheese and butter etc. But there are a lot of people out there that don't even know how to cook anything unless it is frozen and microwaveable.

I like most people don't want to be labeled an alarmist however if this thing in DC actually happens I'm afraid there is going to be panic and marching in the streets. I wouldn't be surprised if the tea baggers didn't get lynched for being obstructionist. Even if you agree with them it is like closing the barn door after the horse got out. Too little, too late. I know there have been many many "depressions" and "downturns" etc., and that they  happen about every 20 years or so. You can find info on them starting in the 1800's here in the states.  We live through them. We learn from them. At least regular people do. Politicians don't seem to. Take a peek at history.

For those of you who want another good blog on self sufficiency here is one for you. Go through the archives and read. There is a lot of stuff here that is helpful. There is also some cute fluff so pick and choose.

I hope everyone reading this does at least a minimal amount of prep for it. The worse that could happen if it doesn't happen is you will have stuff to use for awhile.

Would love to leave you with a cute or funny photo but all my pictures are on my broken computer so this is just going to have to be an ugly looking post. However there are lots of pictures on cam mathers blog. Give it a try.


Spencer Schankel said...

This blog might have been a lot more helpful if it had been posted *before* the last election. The current *crisis* is a congress made one, not a volcano or earthquake over which we have no control. Not only is this *crisis* unnecessary, it is stupid to the tenth power. The lesson we can take away from this is that elections have consequences. Perhaps instead of sitting glued to commercials on television, voters might do a bit of research on their own; read up on a candidate’s past instead of swallowing whole what Madison Avenue serves up in thirty-second sound bites. Elections do matter and we blew it!

Modern Day Redneck said...

From how you described your place, you live in an area that could be hit with "IT" much easier than most.
No, we can never be prepped for everything. I blogged about this a couple of weeks ago and was just as frustrated because I was at a point where all I could think about was if this happens then I will need this and if this does this, then I will need all this as well. If a frog had wings, it would not bump it's butt every time it jumped. I got tired of saying "if". So what I did was prepped for the worst case scenario. In my case it would be a wide spread fire. Yes everything I have stored would be up in flames but in our BOB we would have what it took to live for three to four days until I was able to get back to our burnt out homestead and scavenge what was left. I would like to build a root cellar so in that case I can at least have some food and water left. I guess to be really prepared I could rent a mini storage in town so we would have a food bank there as well, but that is to costly.