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What if .....

Motorists drawing guns to secure petrol, residents looking through rubbish bags for food, no power to over 3.8 million homes and businesses causing food stores to petrol stations to close.   These are the headlines in the Daily Mail on the 3rd November 2012, five days after the super storm ‘Sandy’ struck in the United States. 

The rest of the article made frightening reading and it made me think how fortunate we are in Great Britain by not being in the ‘hurricane belt’.    But disasters can strike at anytime and anywhere, so should we be complacent? Could we cope and deal with a major catastrophe here?

One would hope that the authorities here have plans in place for any such  emergency, but  as it has shown in the USA,  even if you do have plans it will take many days before any semblance of order and normality begins.    It has also shown to me that in the case of a major disaster you are pretty much on your own.

There is a theory that we are all nine meals away from disaster.  Nine meals equates to three days.  Nine meals refers to the amount of food the average family keeps in its pantry and fridge.  The people of New York and surrounding states were scavenging for food and water by five days or less after the storm struck and they had some warning of its coming.

Have we all perhaps become too complacent by knowing that we are able to nip to the supermarket day or night for our food, so we no longer bother to keep much food in our homes?.  

  But our food supply chain is very fragile.  Supermarkets no longer keep massive stocks, they instead rely on regular, sometimes daily deliveries from their warehouses in different parts of the country.  So if they are unable to get deliveries, as nearly happened when the fuel crisis occurred  as few years ago, the shelves will be empty in no time, probably less than three days in a disaster scenario.  

And think on this,  3.8million homes and businesses were without power in the United States, that means that even if our supermarket shelves are full, with no power to operate the checkouts, how are you going to pay?  Pay by cash from the ATM - nooooo, that’s not working either.    We  have all become so reliant on modern technology and pieces of plastic, that we easily forget that without electricity - they are all worthless.

So how would you survive in the event  of a major disaster?   Those poor people in the States are finding our the hard way and perhaps we should each give some thought to this. 

It is all to easy to say ‘it’ will never happen here - to use the title of a Bond film  ~  Never say Never.


© Penny Vickers

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