Bread Lines, Politeness, and Survival When TSHTF. It’s Not Going to be Pretty

I have very little faith in my fellow man to behave well in an emergency and awhile ago I got to see a little bit of that in action.  Being frugal by nature I buy my  bread at a local bakery outlet where the bread is shipped because it’s nearing its expiration date.  The place opens Saturday at 10:00 am sharp and first in gets the bread for a dollar a loaf, regardless of what kind you get.  That includes hamburger and hotdog buns, donuts, and whole grain breads.  Whatever’s on the shelf, it’s all for a buck.  Quite a deal eh?

We found this little place about a year ago and we go about every two weeks to stock up.  When we first started going we’d get there a little after 10:00 and there’d be four or five cars in the parking lot.  Everybody was nice and polite and easy to talk to.  This morning we got there right at 10:00 and there was a good-sized line reaching into the parking lot.  My wife jumped out of the truck and made her way to the end of the line and trooped inside with the rest while I sat outside with my son.

There must have been twenty or more cars in the parking lot and I watched, fascinated, as one woman who already had her bread, backed out and motioned to another vehicle to take her parking spot.  As she pulled out some guy in a minivan screeched into the vacated spot cutting off the other car and some guy jumped out and literally ran into the store.  The car that got shut out had to continue looking for a parking spot.

My wife came out about five minutes later and I could see she was mad.  She piled the bread into the truck and started telling me about some of the behavior in the store.  People were elbowing each other and trying to cut in line in front of each other.  She said, “One guy came in acting like a dick,” and described the fellow in the minivan and some rather boorish behavior.

She described one petite elderly woman who was trying to get a loaf of bread on the top shelf and couldn’t quite reach it.  When nobody offered to help my wife finally stepped up and tried to hand the loaf to the woman, only to have the woman scrabble at the counter in a panic.  My wife said, “Hold on, I’m trying to help you,” and handed the woman the loaf of bread.  The woman was very thankful, but it says a lot when nobody will help the elderly in a stressful situation like that doesn’t it?

We talked a little in the truck and I said, “I can see how things could really go to hell in a Katrina-like situation now.”  She agreed with me and we talked about how the weak will get beat by the strong and ruthless when TSHTF for real.  Who will advocate for the elderly?  The handicapped?  The weak?

I’m sure we all have family members who are older, or handicapped, have medical issues or otherwise won’t be able to care for themselves or, at the very least, will need assistance to survive.  Do your survival plans take them into account?

If/when something does happen and the grid goes down – even temporarily – how will your family and friends survive?  It might be a good idea to talk with these folks about having a plan in place.  If they don’t believe anything will ever happen and it does, you have two options:  First, you could say, “I told you so,” and leave them to their fate because they were too stubborn to listen to you.  Or, when making plans you could take them into account and prepare for them. 

This adds a lot of complexity to your survival plans of course, but if you prep for your children doesn’t it make sense to prepare for the elderly or handicapped as well?  What will they need to survive if the lights go out for a couple of weeks?  Medicine?  Food?  Water?  What if they need to be evacuated?  How will you move them?  I never leave anything up to the government, as I’m sure you don’t, so it will probably fall on your shoulders because you’re the one who’s got a plan and has a level of preparedness that others don’t.  What are you going to do?

Believe me, there’s nothing worse than a crisis situation and everybody turns to you and says, “What do we do?”  and you don’t know because you don’t have a plan.

What’s your plan? 

-Jarhead Survivor