If the coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s just how fragile the global supply chain is. In military operations, logistics is the very first thing to be sorted out. You cannot send troops to fight if you cannot keep them fed, hydrated, and resupplied. And notice which two things I listed first. The frontline action is the only the smallest portion of an operation.
We should be learning lessons from this. If logistics is that important to military operations, it should be to us as well. In a world of Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory, too many people suffer normalcy bias; the grocery store was full yesterday, so it should be today and tomorrow as well. While the recent situation has changed that mentality for many people, the sad thing is that most people have very short memories. As soon as the media tells them everything is fine again, they’ll stop thinking ahead. We see this every hurricane season in Florida so, I know it’s real from firsthand experience.
Going back to the COVID-19 madness when, for whatever reason, the entire nation decided they needed toilet paper above all else, we all saw just how fast supply can run out, and there may not be a resupply. My local grocery store still does not have a full aisle of paper products. And that’s one really sad example. As humans, we do not need TP to live. We need water, food, shelter, warmth, and security. Nowhere on that list is TP.
Meat became a little scarce, as did some fresh produce. This event should have been a wake-up call to the world that we are not living properly. This reliance on daily resupply is a gamble, I have friends that shop for their food every single day. If they didn’t drop by the market on their way home, they wouldn’t have a thing to eat that night or the next morning. That is a very dangerous reliance on an overly complex system that is far more fragile than they imagine. Here again, these people are stuck in normalcy bias.
Planning ahead, stocking up on foods you normally eat, every day, is only prudent. The potential disruptions to the JIT system are staggering. And it is literally everything you need to survive unless you are already growing your own food, keeping livestock and heating and cooking with wood heat. What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and found out that there was another pandemic or other emergency, and companies like Amazon have been nationalized and will only supply the government and their agencies? There would be a run on the stores immediately, food, water, gas, and other essentials would vanish in hours. What’s your plan to deal with it?
While we can never store enough of anything, no matter how much you have, it will run out someday. Figuring out now how you will deal with the day you run out will soften the blow to your life. You will still be affected by the event, however, by storing food and other supplies, your crash landing will be a lot softer.