Over the past few months we have seen protests in many parts of the world. The most recent is in Egypt. Most people don’t pay too much attention to any of these. We have so much going on in our own lives that we don’t give problems in other parts of the world more than the 75 seconds it takes to tell a story on the news. We may catch the headline in the newspaper but most of us don’t read the whole article. It is time we all start to pay a little more attention to these events because I believe this is a preview of what we are going to see here in America.
Most protests don’t get more than a few seconds on the news if they make it at all. When protests become violent, they are then riots and that gets attention. The old adage “If it bleeds, it leads” is still the first rule of journalism. It then gets a few more seconds of our attention.
Here is what we have seen and what we believe is coming.
Greece and France. These countries are bankrupt from the social safety nets they provide to their citizens and especially government workers. We saw riots in both countries when the government said they needed to cut back the benefits people received from the government.
Tunisia. Young educated people are taking to the streets to protest the lack of jobs. Tunisia’s unemployment rate is at 14%. We are told that ours is 9.4% but if you aren’t collecting unemployment, you are not counted. Our actual rate is probably close to that of Tunisia. The protesters were told to get a good education to get a good job and there are no jobs for them. This is also a backlash of two other issues. One is the price of food is going up quickly making it harder and harder to support families and feed their children. Two, The Dictator in Tunisia has heavily repressed the population for more than 2 decades since he took over the country. This has led to bottled up anger that is now exploding amid widespread political corruption.
By the way, the Dictator, President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled the capital city of Tunis. It is reported that his wife left the country with 10′s of millions of US dollars in cash.
Egypt. This conflict is about the rapidly increasing cost of food, a dictator that has been in power for over 30 years, government corruption and unemployment. To quell the protests, the government cut off all cell phones, they cut off the Internet and closed the banks.
Could this really happen in America?
Government cutbacks. Happening here and there is lots more coming
The rising cost of food. Have you compared prices lately?
Chronic Unemployment. Everyone knows someone that is unemployed or underemployed. Do you really believe that the unemployment rate is 9.4%? What is anyone in government doing about it?
Government Corruption. Do I have to spell this one out. It is rampant here.
We have the same issues here that are causing big problems in other countries. Not only could it happen here, we believe it will happen here.
So what happens to people who are not protesting (rioting)? How are they (you) affected.
1. Gas deliveries are stopped. When the gas stations run out, they are out.
2. Interruptions in power. If power is off for an hour, it’s an adventure. If it’s off for a day, it’s an inconvenience. If it is off for a week, it is a hardship. If it is off for a month, it’s devastating.
3. The grocery stores are empty. You local grocery store only keeps enough stock for a day or two. They are constantly getting deliveries. If there is no fuel for the trucks or power for the coolers and freezers, that interrupts their stock. You have seen what happens to the shelves in the grocery stores before a big storm. What would happen if there was a real disaster or civil crisis? Keep in mind, no power, no credit or debit cards.
4. Communication is interrupted. Egypt took the most drastic measures by cutting off cell phones and the Internet but in every one of these incidents, communication was interrupted. Will this happen here. The President has the power to do it and more.
So what do you do?
You can turn this potential disaster into an adventure with a little preparation. Here are the top 5 things you can do in case of civil unrest.
1. Keep your car full of gas. This will at least give you the ability to move around if you have to.
2. Keep 3 months worth of food at home. AS food prices continue to go up, you will be hedging against the cost by stocking up now. If the power goes out for an extended period of time, you will need access to a good water source or your own stored water reserves.
3. Prepare for what you will do in an extended power outage. This includes your plans for heat, preparing food and medical issues.
4. Keep some cash at home. If the power is out for any length of time or the banks close, you will need a way to trade. Business won’t or won’t be able to take cards, cash will be the only way.
5. Alternate Communications. If cell phones and Internet communications are down, you will need a way to stay in touch with your family. Land lines (so far they have remained up but the traffic on them made completing calls tougher). Pre-determined meeting places to gather to get to a safe place.
There are lots more things than this but this is a good list to start with.
Just because these things have not happened here in the past like they have in other countries, don’t be lulled into believing it can’t or won’t. The people that prepare (preppers) will be better off whether anything happens or not. The signs are there and they are here too.