We live in the land of plenty here in the United States. There are grocery stores in every town, convenience stores scattered everywhere, and even hardware stores, video game shops, and just about every place we go have snacks and drinks for sale. Food and drink seem to be everywhere.
Most of us have income in the form of paychecks from our jobs, and others have checks from retirement funds of one kind or another.
We have a safety net for those in need, in the form of other types of checks and food assistance programs. The most commonly known one is food stamps. In addition to that program there are food banks run by various organizations in many towns and cities, as well as soup kitchens and other meal programs.
FEMA, the Red Cross, and others have plans and supplies to help when natural disasters occur. They may not have functioned as well as they should in some recent events, but they are always working to improve their preparedness plans and hopefully get better.
So, again… why store food?
I can think of a lot of reasons. Fresh in our minds is Hurricane Katrina. Resources were stretched beyond thin. There wasn’t enough to go around, and the disaster was too wide-spread to reach everyone in a timely manner. Even Sandy the storm that just came through had seen a lack of food and water for many people for quite a while.
New England has been hammered with some pretty big snowstorms the last couple of winters. Electricity was off for days in some areas, and driving anywhere wasn’t safe while trees, limbs, and lines were down. Kentucky had ice storms with weeks at a time without power and the same type of driving issues.
Tornadoes have been known to tear up wide swaths of land and destroy whole towns. Floods have forced people to flee their homes, or isolated them when roads were underwater and they couldn’t get to the grocery store.
There are also economic reasons to store food.
Gas is expensive and getting higher almost by the day (sometimes by the hour it seems). Every trip to the store costs more than 3 times what it did 10 years ago. If you don’t have to go as often, you’re saving money, and that money can be put toward more stores of food.
In the last several years there have been huge numbers of workers laid off. Unemployment checks are usually not enough to keep a person’s bills paid, let alone buy groceries. If it happens to you and you have some basic food stored, you can greatly increase your comfort and lesson the financial strain.
Again, there are safety nets for people who find themselves in that position, but it can take time to complete the application process and begin receiving assistance. At the very least it’s good to have enough food to carry you through those first few weeks. It’s a personal decision how much food you think you would feel comfortable storing.
The best thing you can do is to formulate a plan of your own.
In the coming posts I hope to share with you some easy ways to start this plan, even if you can barely afford to buy food each week.
I will share information from others that have also talked about this same subject.
For now just think about what has been said. Can you see any reason why you should “not” try to store some food?