There is a major snowstorm on the way to the northeast. It is the first one of the season and the weather channels, news channels, and everyone is predicting 12 — 18 or so inches. After returning from my families home for the Christmas holiday, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items I knew I would need since I had not been home for a few days. When I got there, parking was scarce, and I guessed there was a mob inside. What I didn’t expect was that there was a slightly crazy mob inside, jogging, walking quickly, cutting people off, and clamoring to get their milk, bread, water, eggs, and comfort food items for the storm that is going to last less than two days. Meats, poultry, milk, bread, soups, and other items were all scarce and the shelves were half empty of the staple items.
I saw, for a moment, first hand, what a mildly concerned crowd of people trying to get their Oreo cookies and Captain Crunch before the next guy could get them first. I had to stop and look around a little just to observe. I thought “this is what it would be like if it were worse, except people would not be as civil to each other.”
So, what were my post grocery store visit concerns just as the snow was starting to fall?
- It was one day after Christmas and people were mildly panicked about a snow storm and running around without a plan. You would think that when they went to the store to buy food for their Christmas dinner that they might buy additional food for their home.
- It was obvious that I was the only one in the grocery store who seemed to have preps at home and wasn’t worried about water, proteins, and other items.
- In a real emergency, the grocery stores would be pilfered first, and it would be 36 hours before people might emerge on the streets looking for food and/or supplies. This provides a possible 36 hour window to bug out with fewer issues.
This is all the more reason to prep than ever in my opinion. I am going to evaluate this week how I am storing some of my preps and look for a way store them more efficiently going forward. This was a good lesson.
Warning — Some images may be too graphic for some viewers
I always get a chuckle out of the people buying 4 loafs of bread and 7 gallons of milk just before a storm — as if they were actually really going to use all that before resupply came. (Even w/o resupply it would probably go bad long before they got to eat it!)
Had an even more “wake up call” experience from this storm: Monday night we lost water in our house! About 11pm the water went by-by. My first thought was a broken frozen pipe. But even then we’d still have some water (had a pipe break a few years back and we didn’t loose water). Then I wondered if the municiple water line to the house may have froze but that seemed unlikely. Long story-short, I looked out the window and saw flashing lights at the head of our block and heard jack hammers going. Must have been an emergency repair on the water main. Water was restored some time during the night and all was well by morning. But I was *VERY* happy to know that I have many cases of bottled water on hand! (though I know I can — and will — store more.)
ps- Good video, though I put looters (remember the video and pics of people from Katrina of people looting stores for jeans and TV, then it was claimed they were going to use them as ‘barter’?! Yea, right…) in a different catagory than people scrounging for food and more useful supplies.
I got a chance to experience much the same thing, for similar reasons. Usually, I wouldn’t go near a supermarket before a storm, but the wife ‘needed’ some things that apparently couldn’t wait a day. (sigh)
I’d agree, that people were a bit more edgy, less polite, and apparently forgot en-mass how to drive and park. I agree that the supermarket is probably someplace one should avoid in a real situation.