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80% of Americans Living in Danger Zones

By Owen Sullivan

There are few things we take for granted more than our nation’s food supply.

Every single day, it ticks away in the background, unseen and unappreciated — a creaking behemoth of production and distribution.

Through these channels, millions of pounds of food are funneled silently to our supermarket shelves… only to be bought in a matters of days… and replaced so quickly you’d hardly notice they were gone in the first place.

But what if the supply suddenly stopped?

What if tomorrow morning, a city like Chicago — with a population of 2.7 million people — was cut off from all outside production?

How long would the food already in the city last?

The numbers don’t look good.

Sticking with supermarkets for a moment, the average store only keeps about three days’ worth of food on location at any one time.

This tight three-day window is just big enough to give stores ample supply to restock every night — but small enough to minimize storage and rotting.

However, this three-day estimation is 100% based on consumer activity during a regular shopping week. It doesn’t take into account how folks change their behavior in a crisis.

If there were a catastrophic event that stopped the production of food — be that an EMP that fried the national grid or an extreme global weather event that devastated our infrastructure — folks would know about it.

And the first thing they would do is stock up on as much food as they can.

The first day, there would be a frantic run on the stores. And between violent looting and legitimate sales, I doubt there would be anything left to sell on day two.

Now, depending on how much food you manage to grab… and how well you are able to ration… you might be able to make those supplies last for a couple of weeks.

But once that food is gone… there’s no more food coming… and there are 2.7 million people in the exact same boat as you.

Feeding the Beast

A city is a strange beast when you think about.

80% of all Americans live in danger zones, packed into high-rise buildings and cramped, narrow homes. We live on top of each under and under each other, trying to squeeze as many people into a few square miles as possible.

The idea is the more people in one place, the more opportunity. But the reality is… it leaves us all vulnerable.

Because “the beast” is so dense with people, it needs to consume an enormous amount of food… But with all the space taken up with offices and apartments blocks, there’s no room to actually produce any food.

So meat, produce, fish, and fast food are shipped in from the surrounding farmlands and factories across the country — and even imported from overseas.

But if you take away those supply lines… the beast starves… and it starves fast.

Experts estimate if our national grid were shut down — and the supply lines were severed — 90% of the entire country would die of starvation and disease in the first year.

Ninety percent of Americans dead in a single year. All because we’ve become too dependent on automation, machinery, and factories to feed our ballooning population.

Surviving in a Post-Collapse City

Trying to feed a city is a fool’s errand.

Ideally, everyone in city bounds would have a 90-day supply of food stockpiled to create a buffer of a few months to allow for lines of distribution to be re-established.

But you can’t expect other folks to be as well prepared as you are. And that makes a city one of the most dangerous places to be during a collapse.

Even if you have ample supplies and maybe even a method of producing your own food (more on that tomorrow), the vast majority of your 2.7 million neighbors do not. And in a post-collapse situation, they will do anything to get their hands on them.

At the end of the first week, things are going to start getting violent. And it’s only going to get worse from there. And I’m not just talking about roving gangs of violent youths here.

I’m talking about everyone. Starvation will make a perfectly normal person a heck of a lot more open to the idea of getting violent. They’ll do anything to survive and protect those they love. And they won’t care if that means hurting innocent people.

Living outside the city is a much more sensible option — especially if you can find a small town surrounded by farmland. That way you can’t be cut off from the food supply if the distribution channels go down.

If you have to live in the city because of work or relatives, I recommend being prepared to defend yourself and getting out of dodge at the first sign of trouble.

We’ll discuss this idea more tomorrow. And take a look at a single strategy for feeding your family and establishing strong financial footing in a post-collapse economy.

 


More Signs That the Great Collapse Is Upon Us. Take This 10 Survival Items That Sell out After a Crisis!

By Pat Henry

It could be your worst nightmare. A disaster happens and for some reason, you aren’t prepared at all. In a panic, you drive to the local store only to rush through the front doors and see row upon row of empty shelves. The survival items you need are gone, already picked over with nothing left except items of no practical use to you like cake decorating icing and gift cards.

Scenes like this happen all the time to people all over the world, but as preppers your job is to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Your family should be preparing well in advance of any potential disaster and we have many posts that outline simple steps you can take now to be more prepared in the future. But let’s just play along with the scenario above.

If you had only one chance to make it to the store, what items would disappear first? If you were in a race with your neighbors to get anything you could before the stock was gone, which items would you need to throw into your shopping basket?

Items that sell out after a crisis

In a lot of ways, the crisis will dictate to some degree which items sell fastest, but we can imagine that in every crisis, power will be off. This fact dictates most of what will appear in the list below. I want to go over each item and give my reasoning for why you should have these items now or in some cases, what you can have on-hand as an alternative so that you aren’t that guy staring at an empty store wondering how you can use shoe laces in a survival situation.

Generators

A backup source of power is not something most of us think about (before we prepped anyway) until we hear that eerie sound of silence when every electric device connected to the wall goes dead. In my house, I have backup batteries on my computers so as soon as the lights go out, the fridge stops running and any ancillary devices stop, I begin to hear an annoying beep. That beep is telling me I only have about 10 minutes before my computer shuts off to save any work, but it also signals that we are no longer connected to the power grid in a meaningful way.

Generator sales always peak after a disaster and I have heard stories of people fighting in parking lots over them. The day the hurricane rolls into your town is not the day to try to go to the big home improvement store and get a generator because it is likely too late. If you think you need backup power for emergencies, set aside time and budget now to get a model that will work for you. Most generators will not power your entire home, but a decent sized portable generator can power several lights, charge devices or one to two small appliances. These are great for just the essentials to keep you going. But you should ensure you have plenty of fuel on hand also.

Alternative: In lieu of a generator, you can use a power inverter and your car’s engine to do the same thing. You may even use less fuel and will certainly cause less noise.

Extension cords

So, you have a fancy generator running outside but you need to connect your devices to it. Extension cords are always in short supply after a disaster because people forget they need to get power to the other end of their home or across the street to a neighbor’s house. A few 50 to 100 feet medium duty extension cords will help you bring the power into areas and away from the noise of the generator.

Weather Radios

When the TV is out and so is the internet, people naturally revert to the good old radio for information, entertainment and comfort. A weather radio is usually purchased because most like the Eton FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio have a crank that you can use to power the unit instead of batteries. This will ensure you can listen to local broadcasts or even emergency weather alerts without the need for power. Well, you supply the power.

Batteries

Speaking of batteries, it’s good to do two things ahead of any disaster. First, standardize on a common battery size now. I prefer AA for most of my devices that take batteries. My radios, headlamps, flashlights all use AA. The second thing is to have plenty of batteries on hand before you need them. I have purchased a couple of the 48-packs of batteries and stored them away for emergencies. These are not kept with the battery supply that is dipped into for game controllers and toys for visiting children.

Alternative: Use rechargeable batteries and a solar charger to keep your supply fresh. Even the best batteries will die eventually so rechargeables are a longer running option.

Candles

Candles are a grid-down staple that can be used for other things beside light.  You can heat a room or cook with them if you have the right set up. They aren’t a perfect solution because I would still rather have a headlamp than a candle, especially to prevent fires but they do have their place. Funny, if you watch the walking dead apparently, they each have about 10 dozen with them at all times. Candles are your back-up’s backup.

Industrial fans

When the power goes out, a fan can be one of those conveniences that saves a lot of time and trouble besides just bringing a breeze. After hurricane’s Katrina and Sandy, industrial fans were used to dry out carpet before mold set in. In the summer time, they could cool a decent sized room too and keep things from overheating. Now, you are going to have to justify using the gas you have stored for a fan, but in some cases, these are sold out quickly. I can imagine how nice they would be in a hot Florida or Mississippi August.

Gasoline cans

What are you going to carry that gas in that you are standing in line for hours to get? Along with decreased or non-existent fuel supplies, having an appropriate container for transport is often overlooked. Your car is out of gas or more likely you don’t want to use gas to get to the store so you will need several fuel cans to cart any fuel you can obtain. Additionally, a yard wagon to haul 4 of these or more at a time (provided rationing will allow it) might be a good idea also.

Flashlights/Lanterns

Most home have some version of a flashlight around for emergencies. My dad had several strategically placed at my home growing up and I have followed suite to a large degree. You never realize just how many flashlights you need when the power goes out and it’s pitch black. I would add a decent headlamp to this list for everyone in the family because I think they are superior for working hands free. Lanterns are great for powering a room like the kitchen when we all sit down to a nice meal of freshly grilled venison steaks that were going to go bad in the freezer. We can use the lantern to have enough light to see each other and eat with and not spend the batteries in other devices. I have a couple of battery-powered lanterns (little to no heat and zero risk of fire) and several Coleman propane lanterns for outdoor use or winter time, controlled usage. The heat off these is great in winter and you can cook on the tops too if you are desperate.

Non-Perishable Food/Water

Now, the most obvious item that sells out after a crisis, and that is food. I didn’t want to create a list of 10 food items, but let’s just say that you know food disappears when panic sets in. You know your family is partial to eating food because they do it every single day. You know that when the power goes out, your options for cooking that food will be a little bit different so take time now to stock up on canned food items that your family can eat either by heating over a camp stove or grill or even a fire. There are a ton of options that you don’t even have to cook. Have plenty of these on hand to feed your family because the stores will run out if this is really a disaster. Even if they get things running in 3 days, do you want your family to go without that long? Take steps now.

This list is just 10 items that sell out in a crisis, but they are by no means the only things that disappear off shelves that we might wish we had. What is on your list of prepping items to make sure you have before it’s too late?

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Right now: The Worst Panic Food Shopping is Sweeping The D.C. Area

Record breaking winter snow storms… they might be extreme, but should they really be crippling cities across the country?

The Drudge Report is splashed with warnings to “shelter in place,” while reporting that food is running out, and grocery stores shelves have been wiped out. The East Coast is on the brink.

But should they be?

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