Understanding just what exactly could happen in the first few weeks of a national or global crisis and how you must have your own emergency response plan in place could mean the difference between your family's survival or preventable demise. I hate to make that sound so harsh but the truth is once the grocery store shelves are empty (within a few hours if not minutes) you have to be able to sustain yourself and family for up to 3-6 months on what you have in your home.
Can you do that now?
Do you have enough food, water, cash and essential supplies to sustain your family in the event of a national crisis for up to 6 months? Some experts say it could even take years and less than 1% of the population have the ability to sustain themselves beyond a few weeks.
No one really knows what will happen when a major shut down occurs. However, since the U.S. infra-structure is such a fragile machine and the smallest of blockages will have a ripple effect on its stability, it is a certainty that having even the simplest plan in place could put you and your family in the top 1% of those who survive.
If you have seen those shows on TV, you see the fanatics who are planning for world war 3, nuclear holocaust, U.S. economic shut down, civil war, the rising of the Mississippi river, biological warfare, etc. The reasons are endless but if you think we are not coming upon some sort of major change whether one large event or a series of events that could cause a shutdown of our current society and essential services then you are living in the dark and will unfortunately be a statistic when it happens.
History has proven time and time again that civilizations come and go. They grow, flourish and then die out for many reasons. It's almost like the natural order of things. Our current civilization is due for a major re-calibration due to global warming, pollution and over-population. Mostly issues we have caused. According to many studies, our little world cannot support more than about 3-4 billion people and we currently have twice that amount and are growing at an alarming rate.
Let's review some of the most common issues that could happen quickly should we have a shutdown of our infra-structure:
Water supply -- Since most cities water supplies come from hundreds of miles away it is very possible to lose access or it become polluted, tainted and undrinkable. The systems used to get that water to your community or home could be destroyed or compromised.
Food shortage -- If the trucks stop moving so does the food. If the trucking and railroad system can't get fuel, the ability to get food delivered to stores will stop. It could take weeks or months to get even a small trickle of supplies to your community.
Power shut down -- It would be very easy to shut down our power plants. If trains aren't running and the coal isn't coming, many of the power plants will shut down. Plus, with the possibility of civil unrest or war, it is very easy to target our major power plants and water sources and take them out thus crippling most of the population within days.
Communications shut down -- Have you ever tried using your cell phone when there is a major storm coming and you get that message that the grid is full try again later. The cell phone infrastructure will be shut down and become useless. If you use an Internet phone that won't work either as the Internet will also be shut down sporadically in many areas causing a system overload. Hard line phones are your best bet, but again, that system too can overload and shut down, but not as easy as cell or Internet.
The mail system will cease to run due to the fuel shortage. In essence, we will be living in the Middle Ages once again. Carrier pigeons?
Riots in streets -- It is not crazy to think all the people who are un-prepared will take to the streets. There are lots of homes and businesses with all the supplies they need. A mob of 20-30 people with guns and clubs can ransack your house in about 10 minutes taking whatever they want and doing whatever they want with you or your family. The police will be overwhelmed and you will not be able to call 911 for help since the phones will be shut down.
Banks shut down -- The banks will run out of money and if you think your ATM card will work think again. Cash and bartering will be king. Those with cash (if it's worth anything) or something to barter like food and water will be able to get the things they need to support themselves. It is recommended to have some cash on hand just in case.
While these examples could be considered excessive to many it is very possible. Just think about the butterfly effect and how one small event on the other side of the world could snowball into a huge global crisis. Watch the news and see that there are the beginnings of these events happening all over the world. The possibility of a global crisis is not only possible but probable in the coming years if not months.
Let's review some of the current issues in the news as we speak that could cause this butterfly effect: - Middle East unrest - Global environmental changes - U.S. Dollar and economic struggles - European Euro decline and economic issues - Lifesaving drug and pharmaceutical shortages world wide - Toilet paper shortage in Venezuela - Food shortages even on the most advanced countries like the US or China - Over population - Smaller countries seeking and developing nuclear technology - Oil shortages not able to keep up with demand
While there are many more, these are the ones that can ripple into a massive global crisis.
Having even the smallest plan can make or break your family's survival. Even if you are living paycheck to paycheck like most families, it is very possible to build up an emergency supply cache over a small time period for little cash outlay. Make it a priority to buy or do something every week that will contribute to your family emergency response plan. Put together your emergency list and got to work. Make it a fun project for the family and watch how everyone gets involved.