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#102 - When The Shelves Go Empty, What Are You Going To Do?

Everyone believes that the convenience of being able to simply go to their local grocery store to pick up their food will never go away. But what the do not realize is how intricate the food supply system actually is, and therefore how delicate and suseptible to interruption it is.

Grocery stores in your cities and neighborhoods have plenty of foods on their shelves because of one reason, they constantly receive resupply shipments many times a week if not on a daily basis.

Throughout the United States grocery stores typically hold about 3-days worth of food. If they are not resupplied, within 3-days their shelves are bare. Here in Hawaii, a typical grocery store will go bare within 2-days without resupply shipments.

Think about last year when Hurricane Lane threatened to make landfall in Hawaii, or any other hurricane. People head to the stores to buy up as much bread, bottled water, batteries, and toilet paper as they can. Lines at gas stations spread dpwn the streets as people try to fill up their gas tanks before the storm arrives. All of this panic happens BEFORE the storm ever arrives. Luckily many times the storms never arrive and we are spared, but think back to Hurricane Iniki, that time the island of Kauai was not so lucky.

Remember the flooding on Kauai last year which destroyed the only road to the north side of the island, stranding everyone who lives up there and effectively cutting them off from the rest of the world. Luckily they were able to use boats and helicopters to ferry food, water, and supplies from other communities into the people there, but what if the other communities were also affected and there was nothing left to send to them?

Everything in Hawaii is dependent on continnual shipments being received through the airports and harbors. If anything were to happen to those locations, it would be extremely difficult and time consuming effort to resupply the islands with food and vital supplies needed to get by.

If Hurricane Lane would have made a direct hit on Oahu's south shore as it was predicted to do, both Honolulu Harbor and the airport would have been in its path. If both of those resources were taken out by a Category 5 hurricane, it could be weeks before necessary repairs could be made to them to allow container ships and cargo planes to begin resupplying the island.

The easiest of the two to repair, on an emergency basis, would possibly be the airport. Cargo planes would not be able to bring in enough food supplies to feed the over 1 Million people on this island fast enough. The airport simply can not support the amount of air traffic necessary to ship that much food that quickly. Even in normal times, the bulk of our food supply comes through the ports on container ships. Getting the harbors and ports repaired and usable for those container ships would be the priority. But that is not something that is going to happen overnight.

So, what would you do in this situation where the grocery store shelves were empty and they may remain empty for days or even weeks?

Here in Hawaii, we live in a culture that is very strange to people in many parts of the world where we do not have large food pantrys in our houses. We are used to being able to just go to the grocery store as many times each week as we need to, so we don't feel a need to keep food stocked up at home. Even though the government and many people have been telling you for years that you need to have a 3-day supply of food and emergency supplies stored, we ignore their warnings. They have now changed that advice over the past few years and are now telling people to have at least a 21-day supply of food, water, and emergency supplies ready.

This situation has happened many times in the United States in recent years with the hurricanes in Florida and the Carolinas, Texas and the Gulf Coast, and Hurricane Sandy un the North East. Not to mention the recent flooding and snowstorm events across the country stranding communities for days or weeks at a time.

So, do you have at least 21-days worth of food, clean drinking water, and emergency supplies for every member of your family stored for an emergency? The most important next question is why not?

People need to break the idea that the government will take care of us. "We don't need to worry about that, FEMA will be there for us, after all that is why we pay taxes, right?" This thinking is absolutely absurd. Even FEMA is telling you that you need to have a minimum of 14-days worth of food and drinkable water, and remember, they are taliking about the entire country. Here in Hawaii we are a little different in that we are more isolated than the rest of the country is. We need to have a longer food and water supply stored up just in case something were to happen and it took a little longer to bring more supplies into the state.

What if the emergency is not just a localized even here in Hawaii? What if all of the sudden we had an economic collapse, or a terrorist attack took out the electric grid of the entire US? What about an outbreak of a global Pandemic that is spread through our international airports before the government is able to contain it? In those situations and many more, FEMA would not be coming to your rescue anytime soon, if they did at all. You would be entirely on your own, with what little supplies you were smart enough to store up as people panic and chaos spreads through the cities.

Consider the recent hurricane disaster in Puerto Rico, and how long it took to get adequate food and drinking water supplies delivered there. Their harbors and airports were destroyed as well which made resupplying them quickly very difficult. Remember, Puerto Rico is twice as close to the mainland United States than we are here in Hawaii. Think about how much longer it would be, and how much more despirate the people here would be if a similar disaster happened here.

I would suggest having either dehydrated or freeze-dried foods along with canned goods stockpiled in your homes that can be utilized in an emergency to get you by until normalcy can be restored and the grocery store shelves are resupplied.

Many people think that dehydrated and freeze-dried foods are basically the same thing, but they are vastly different from each other. Over the next couple days I will do a separate article on each to show you the differences between them so that you can make an informed decision about which version you want to have stored.

But, whichever way you decide to do it, do not wait. Get started n your emergency food and water storage today. Don't put it off until tomorrow, becayse "tomorrow" will never come and when a disaster does happen, you will still be sitting back waiting with no emergency supplies stored up for your family. The safety, health, and future of your family is in your hands.

So, what are you going to do?

Until Next Time,

Aloha & 73


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