Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hello, Earl

I made a huge mistake last night.  I went to Walmart to do my "big" shopping.  You know, when you haven't been to the grocery store in about 2 weeks and you have been eating food storage for the last few days (not that there's anything wrong with that, but I like to have a lot of fresh produce around especially in the summer).

So, what's wrong with going to Walmart on a Wednesday night, you ask?  Earl, that's what's wrong.  I forgot about him when I decided to go.

Hurricane Earl is headed for the coast - in fact I think the storm has already hit North Carolina and I know there were some mandatory evacuations for some of the NC islands.  I live on the Virginia coast, on a peninsula, and although the weather forecasters have not said we are in danger, people still seem to be a little bit panicked.  I have never seen that many people at Walmart, and their carts were filled to the brim with bottled water, juice, bread, frozen pizzas, flashlights, cereal, and toilet paper.  Many of the shelves were EMPTY, including most of the produce shelves.  I'm not really sure what these people are preparing for; if anything, we are supposed to get some rain tonight and tomorrow but nothing much. (But hey, maybe I'm completely mis-informed and I'll wish I had joined in the hysteria!)

The lesson I learned is this: if you are prepared, you shall not fear (i.e., you won't have to run to Walmart, deal with hundreds of people, and stand in line for 45 minutes while you curse yourself for not doing it sooner).  I'll admit, I did grab a case of water because I still am short on water since moving into our apartment.  And, I was mad at myself for not buying it a few weeks earlier at Kroger when I saw it on sale, because here I was paying full price out of necessity.  

It really hit home the fact that the Church's counsel about being prepared is for our own good and safety, it's not just something we are instructed to do randomly.  And I don't even think it requires faith to follow this counsel.  It's just common sense.  Do it now, get prepared. Buy bottled water when it goes on sale (if you need it), so you won't pay higher prices (think price gouging) when it's necessary for water.  Buy canned goods and other food items when they are on sale, and stock up now, and you won't be forced (by necessity) into paying full price when a disaster is looming.  Being prepared not only gives us peace of mind, but it's smart economically too.

Are you in Hurricane Earl's path?  What have you done to prepare?


Shane and Brandi said...

I am on the West coast. Awhile back we had some flooding that knocked out our drinking water for 24 hours. I didn't think anything about it until Saturday morning when I went to get my regular groceries. It was crazy. The lines were insane and the water supply was gone. A friend of mine also went Saturday morning. When she saw the panic she grabbed a whole bunch of water, and then charged it to her credit card. She regretted having to do it, but she didn't have ANY water at home. Once I saw the lines I left. I was glad I didn't have to wait, or go in debt to have what my family needed.

Anonymous said...

You know...we are counseled to prepare for a reason. We had a hurricane a couple of years ago. I went to Walmart (also not thinking) for a few things I regularly need. The canned goods isles were empty! What an eerie feeling to see and empty grocery store. If we have our food storage we will be fine. Also, another hurricane I had no water stored. I went from store to store in search of water. Finally one store got a truck in while I was there. Was able to get what I needed. I won't run out again!

Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience when I went to the store for routine shopping but it happened to be before Ike hit. It was amazing how quickly our food supply can be cut off, and it gave me such peace of mind to know that I had storage at home. We are blessed to have the counsel we do.