Now, Are You Prepared?

Credit toMeridianMagazine,  Carolyn Nicolaysen


Here are some headlines from the past several days:

“2011 Tornado Season has seen increase in Storms, Record Death

  • “Missouri River Flood of 2011 one for the
    History Books”
  • “The recent floods and tornado outbreaks mark
    the most costly disaster in American history”
  • “Food price shock ahead”.

All of these are headlines seen in the past few days in June. Is
the time for preparing past? No, but it will now be much more expensive than it
would have been just a few months ago.

The National Weather Service has announced the forecast for the
coming hurricane season. Although the prediction is for more named storms this
year, that alone is not the most interesting part of the story. What we should
really be taking note of is the fact that we are returning to the weather
patterns of the 1950s and 1960s. During those years there were serious weather
conditions which hit the northeast coast of North America, the jet stream
lowered its path, and temperatures were confused – it was much colder in
normally warm areas, and much warmer in normally cool areas.

We have seen the results this spring with tornadoes not only in
the Midwest “Tornado Alley”, but also in diverse places such as California and Massachusetts.
All of this news means we can expect to have weather only our parents and
grandparents remember well. The time for preparing has not passed, but the
urgency has increased.

The winter of 2010-2011 has seen record snowfall in all the
mountain ranges west of the Mississippi.
Spring in these areas has been colder than normal, setting up a disastrous
scenario for the remaining weeks of spring and summer. Rivers and reservoirs in
some places are overwhelmed, and heat waves may follow the cool spring weather
in many areas. Hot weather will eventually come to the West, and when it does
there may be severe flooding. Four states not part of the Mississippi River
system, where horrific flooding and loss of life and property have already
occurred, – Montana, Idaho,
Wyoming and South Dakota – have already declared a state
of emergency due to flooding.

Are you prepared to remain out of your home for a month or more?
Are you prepared to be without grocery and pharmacy supplies for weeks? This is
already the case in some areas. Do you really still believe natural disasters
can’t happen to you?

We have heard so much about flooding and tornadoes this year that
it should come as no surprise that some North American crops have been
destroyed or not planted at all. The logical conclusion: prices will go up.

On the other hand – are you aware that in some regions there is
still a drought?

Texas, Arizona,
New Mexico, Florida,
Oklahoma, Colorado,
Kansas, Georgia,
Louisiana, South Carolina
and Alabama
all have areas of extreme drought or worse “exceptional drought.”

This is also the case on other continents:

“Several submerged sections of an imperial tomb of the Ming
Dynasty (1368-1644) have resurfaced in east China’s
Jiangsu Province as a result of a severe drought
that is still affecting the region. The tomb was built for the ancestors of Zhu
Yuanzhang, founder and the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, in AD 1386, on
the west bank of the Hongze Lake in Xuyi County of Jiangsu.

“The mausoleum was flooded in 1680, when the Yellow River broke
its banks, changed course and converged with the nearby Huaihe River.
Now local residents have got to take their first look at the tomb, which hadn’t
seen the light of day in more than 300 years.

“Stone arches and other parts of the tomb emerged on Thursday as
the lake’s water level continued to recede because of the recent drought. Local
residents also got a look at a paved path leading to the tomb.”¹

In China,
725,000 acres of land are drying out causing not only enormous crop loss but
leaving 820,000 people in the region without sufficient food and water. Where
will the food come from to feed these people? Will China
purchase crops normally sold to industrialized nations such as the United States, Canada
and Australia,
leaving them short?

Food riots have already occurred around the world. The United
Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is warning the drought conditions in
China, Europe and Great Britain may lead to the worst food inflation we have
seen to date. Combine this with the loss of crops in Japan
due to the earthquake and tsunami and flooding, plus drought and tornadoes in
the United States
and the outlook is not good for food supplies and food prices. The fear is food
shortages will increase the frequency and intensity of food riots in many more

The price of oil has already gone up making the cost of petroleum
based items rise. The price of cotton has soared making the cost of everything
from clothing to camp tents rise.

Has the time for preparing passed? No, but maybe the time to ask
what we are preparing for has. It is here. Now is the time to gather your
family and to discuss your priorities for the coming year. Summer is almost
here and it is not too late to plant a garden. It is not too late to plan a
stay-at-home vacation to save money for self reliance goals. Summer vacations
from school are the perfect time to clean out used items and sell them at a
garage sale or online.

There will never be a less expensive time to purchase preparedness
items or to learn skills that will save you the money you are now spending on
them. Now is the time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this won’t affect
you. It will. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it can wait and looking back
months from now and wishing you had taken action when prices were lower.

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