Alright, I’ve had it with the backwards slams about stockpiling.
You know, “we don’t feel we need to hoard food above our current needs, we prefer to donate any extra food we pick up for cheap (with coupons) to charity.” The ones that use the word “hoarding” or the ones that imply that those who stockpile food/supplies are selfish.
Let’s set the record straight.
And while we’re doing that, let’s keep in mind that smart stockpilers don’t discuss their stockpiling. I’m not necessarily talking about myself here. (And, really, I’m only a wanna-be stockpiler.)
My family (Dh, me, kids) have plans for what we would do under nearly any scenario. We know where we would go. We know how we would survive in the city in our own home, and we know where we would go if we need to leave and how we would get there. I’ve scoped out potential sources of water. Where we could forage. We have thought through heat sources and energy sources. Etc. We even have (more tentative) plans for where we’d go if we needed to leave the midwest. We are building up our skills (shooting, food prep, etc.) and doing what we need to to get ready for pretty much anything. I believe if you prepare for the worst, then you can make it through anything else. If we’re prepared for total societal breakdown, then our area gets slammed by a tornado, we can surely survive that. Right? That’s the theory.
OK, so along with that comes something I see as FAR less extreme – keeping a good supply of food. It’s not HOARDING. It’s being prepared.
If you have a supply of food (and other necessities) that will last your family 2 weeks, then when you are hit by a major blizzard that keeps you trapped in your home without power for a week, you’ll be FINE. (even more fine if you have a source of heat that doesn’t plug in.) If you have a supply of food/necessities that will last your family for 3-6 months, then when you’re hit by unexpected job loss, at least you won’t have to worry about how you’re going to eat. (from a societal standpoint, this means that you won’t be taking food from the food bank and can leave that for less prepared families, yes once again proving that those who plan ahead ultimately end up getting screwed.)
What the stockpile of food/supplies also does is provides you with a way to bless other families, in a far more personal way. I have to agree with Glenn Beck here – charity is much more satisfying when it’s personal. (and it’s more efficient, too.) I know most people are more COMFORTABLE just giving stuff to the food bank, or the salvation army, or whatever, but how much more of a blessing is it for ALL involved if it’s more personal? Having a stockpile lets you take action when you learn that your sister’s family has been struggling with unemployment and is not sure how they’re going to buy groceries this month. Without busting your own budget, you can slip down to your stockpile and gift them with 2 weeks of food.
I just don’t see stockpiling as being selfish. (now, hoarding 80 bottles of BBQ sauce like they do on Extreme Couponing, yes, that’s what I’d call “hoarding” and would typically see as a bad thing.)