Written by Jack Billington
A few years ago I found myself on the receiving end of an inbound hurricane, a first for me. I have experienced minor earthquakes, tornados, wildfires, ice storms, blizzards, and a variety of strong storm systems before but this was the first time that I was on an island, with nowhere to go, waiting for a swirling mass of mother nature named Iselle to inflict her damage on us. (We were fortunate, the hurricane turned south and missed our island.) It is worth mentioning that because of technology, we knew that Iselle was on her way a full week ahead of her arrival. This gave me the opportunity to observe the chaos that ensued before the hurricane was even 2000 miles away.
There was an obvious race by everyone on the island to secure items necessary to sustain life following the hurricane. It was so bad that radio and news stations were reporting the locations that still had items like water and generators. Most stores were limiting the quantity of specific items that could be purchased. The governor issued an emergency proclamation to prevent retailers from gouging prices on the sale of items but it didn’t prevent private citizens from selling cases of bottled water for upwards of $50 a case. It seemed to me that this situation was caused from two major factors; most people did not have what they needed on hand and most people also realized that we are on an island and there wasn’t any more inventory coming in with a storm on the way.
Items that quickly sell out before a hurricane
Some of the “hot” items that were being bought up faster than they could be put out on the shelves were:
Shelf Stable Food
Battery Operated Radios
This is only a short portion of what would be a long list. To me, this would demonstrate the need to keep at least a minimal stock of these items in the event that there ever is a disaster. This is especially true with things happening recently like the that algae bloom that caused over 400,000 residents in Toledo, Ohio to be left without any water to drink or cook with for a few days. You would think that events like this would convince people that preppers may not be so “crazy” but that is not the case. Today’s newspaper already featured an article on a large number of items like generators that were being returned because they were not needed.
My family and I were fortunate in that we have taken the steps to ensure that we are not in a crowd of people at the hardware or grocery store fighting over the last sheet of plywood or a loaf of bread but I think this made us the exception to the rule. Take it from someone who just lived through a close call, do what you need to do and get what you need to get NOW before you find yourself in a situation where danger is imminent and there are no supplies available to ensure your survival.
If a hurricane were headed your way, would you have everything you need to survive the aftermath?
About the author: