Saturday I was sitting in the back seat of Survival Sam’s car, listening to Sam and Duane chat, while we were taking care of a few errands.
“Duane, are you always this easy to coax out of the house?” Sam asked.
“Well, Diane thought this would be a good day to get the hardware and supplies for fixing up that mess in the basement. She’s been wanting to make it more liveable down there for quite a while.”
“I assume Bill’s going to help out,” Sam said.
“Yeah. Sometimes it’s a good thing to have a handyman brother-in-law. He’s deer hunting this morning, but gave me a list of some things to pick up.”
“If you’re doing any plumbing, you’d better be ready to open your wallet wide. The price of copper is out of this world,” commented Sam.
“Yeah, I know. There was a story on the news about thieves taking copper from places like construction sites and abandoned houses. They said in some cases it would cost more to repair houses stripped of piping than what they’re worth nowadays.”
“Sad, isn’t it? Can’t say I’m surprised though.”
“bill says the price of ammunition is going up, too,” Duane said. “He’s even thinking about stocking up on it.”
“That doesn’t sound like the Bill I know. He’s usually pretty skeptical of anything that smacks of preparations for the future.”
“Yeah, that’s right. Same in this case. He’s just thinking of saving money. Nothing more.”
“Ammunition might be a good bartering item someday,” Sam said.
“He doesn’t care about anything like that, I guarantee it. But speaking of stocking up on things, I’ve been hearing something on the radio that surprises me.”
“Oh, what’s that?” Sam asked.
“For several mornings, when I’ve heard our local news on the radio, they’ve played sound bites from our state’s emergency management agency. They’re telling people to be prepared for winter weather and power outages. In fact, they’re recommending that people buy extra food when they go to the grocery store to buy supplies for those holiday meals. Also, have fresh batteries for radios and flashlights. They’re telling people to have energy food bars as part of their car’s winterization gear. Of course, those last two aren’t particularly new recommendations, but the rest of it caught my attention. Sounds like you wrote the script, Sam.”
“No, I assure you they didn’t consult me.”
“Can you believe it? The government’s saying these things. They’re hardly radical survivalists,” Duane said.
I chimed in at that point. I suppose maybe they’re trying to come across as caring and concerned for our well being.”
“I think there’s possibly another motive,” Sam said. “They’re telling people to prepare because they’re implicitly signaling they’re not going to be there when things happen this winter. Therefore, the wise will be ready of their own accord.”
“Yeah,” said Duane. “That makes sense. Bureaucracies of all kinds move mighty slow after a big event. Diane got a call from a distant cousin from Florida the other evening. She was calling from a party for a friend. Seems this lady was celebrating because she finally got some insurance money resulting from damage from a big hurricane there two years ago. If insurance companies move that slow, and they’re part of the private sector, as opposed to the government, how much can somebody expect to get help from Uncle Sam any time soon?”
“True, but there’s a case to be made in the government’s favor here,” Sam said.
“How do you figure that?” asked Duane.
“The state emergency management agency is recommending people follow common sense suggestions. As you said, they’re not radical survivalists. They’re not telling anybody to do anything outlandish. Their recommendations are within nearly everyone’s means.”
“You’re right,” said Duane.
Sam paused to concentrate on finding a parking place at the hardware store before going on. “Even the government gets it right now and then. So, I say, do what the government tells you to do. Buy extra. If you don’t trust the canned food at your favorite grocery store or favorite warehouse place, buy some storage food. It’s a good thing to do for one’s own safety and security. With the economy in the shape it’s in, one of these days that storage food might be more precious than gold. I don’t begrudge anybody having gold or silver, but they’re not very palatable.”