Drivers in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolina’s went into panic mode Friday afternoon when the news of a gas pipeline break began to hit social media. Gas stations were soon jammed with commuters looking to fill their tanks and inevitably the pumps began to run dry from the excessive demand. I heard several reports of fights breaking out (in the metro areas of course) as frustration levels began to rise, these days, it doesn’t take much. Of course there were people on social media saying it was a scam to drive up prices and all the usual things you hear from the uninformed masses, but the break was real and there was indeed an interruption in the regular supply of gasoline to these areas. Interestingly enough, some people, now 2 days after the story hit and 9 days after the leak was initially discovered, are apparently just now getting the word – how is that even possible? But I digress. Like others who got the news early, I topped off the tank and proceeded on to work like normal; no lines, no gouging, no worries. Later that same day as the news began to leak out – the mad rush was on.
So what the heck does this have to do with prepping?
Prepping is being prepared for whatever might happen. Now, my lovely wife has always been guilty (and me too at times) of running around on a 1/8 of a tank of gas, waiting till the very last minute to get fuel. However, as we began our prepper journey we agreed that we would try to keep the cars relatively full in case the power goes out and stations can’t pump or the banking system is down and the debit cards become useless. Now, with others panicking over supply and prices rising quickly, we find ourselves in pretty good shape. With full tanks and a supply of gas at home (originally intended for our portable generator) our prepping had paid off unexpectedly. Not only that, but having a good supply of basically everything, we find ourselves able to avoid any and all unnecessary trips to the store. With the fuel we have on hand we figure I can still commute to work for about 3 weeks without having to buy gas – stress avoided. Not only was I not sitting in line at some gas station or worse yet driving around trying to find one that still had gas, I could go on about my normal routine as if nothing had happened. It was Friday so as usual I hit a couple of stores to add to my prepper supply; loading up on bottled water, canned fruit, soups, chili, rice, dried beans, tea, coffee, powdered drinks, bleach, paper goods, etc, etc, etc. Though this definitely doesn’t qualify as a SHTF incident, it does indeed demonstrate how fragile our infrastructure really is and how quickly even a minor interruption in services can change our situation literally overnight. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.