Empty Shelves: Hurricanes, Disasters and Civil Unrest – a Contingency Plan

by | Aug 28, 2011 | Emergency Preparedness | 90 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article has been contributed by Kevin Hayden of Truth is Treason. Kevin is a former police officer who has seen what societal collapse looks like first-hand during Hurricane Katrina.

    If you think that you’ll be able to simply drive to Wal-Mart or the grocery store and load up on food, water and supplies during an actual emergency, you are living in a fantasy world.  We now experience freak weather on a regular basis.  Oklahoma has experienced a record-breaking 53 days of 100+ temperatures, a massive hurricane is nearing Washington, DC and the New York City area, and NASA continues to amplify their warnings regarding solar storms disrupting our way of life.

    What if gasoline hit $5 a gallon and unemployment was still hanging around the current ~15%?  What if there were a few small protests that turned a bit violent – not even on the scale of what we see in Europe – but a few townhall meetings that get out of hand?  The level of comfort in this country is quickly sliding downhill and it will only take a few provocations, a few simple emergencies and all hell will break loose.  When it does, I hope that you have taken the time to at least have a 30 or 60-day food supply, some water and basic neccessities (if not a full-blown food storage plan and the related tools, accessories and means to provide power, warmth and protection).

    In 2008, the Pentagon announced plans to deploy a 20,000-soldier force inside the continental United States, set to be trained by 2011, specifically for civil unrest and quick response to nuclear, biological or chemical attacks, thus dovetailing into the current troop and equipment movements around the country reported by truckers, as well as many more troop sightings by everyday citizens.

    Interestingly enough, this plan directly correlates with a 2009, Army funded, Rand Corporation study that called for an internal United States police force (Stability Police Force or SPF) to combat American civil unrest. 

    JIT Supply and Trucking Services

    Empty shelves are a common sight nowadays due to small-scale “emergencies” such as an ice storm, unexpected snow and other natural phenomenon.  But what if the power grid went down due to space weather, electromagnetic incidents, cyber-strikes or even overheating?  Imagine a man-made event or a crisis that spans half of the country.  Imagine having no power for three, four…even six weeks. Perhaps years, according to NASA’s latest threat assessment of solar storms in 2013.

    These are very real things to think about.  It doesn’t take much to break that “Just in Time supply chain” that we all take for granted.  High diesel costs will bring those truckers to a grinding halt across the United States.  In 2009, several national trucking companies went into bankruptcy and many more could barely afford the high fuel costs.  What did they do?  They told their drivers to park the truck, walk away and to find their own ride back home.  Luckily, that was short lived and the larger companies pulled through, along with a lot of the independent owner/operators.  But their profits took a beating and I wouldn’t count on them spending their own money just to get supplies to your local store everytime.

    The Problem with Paper Money

    An important issue that needs to be understood before disaster sets in is that you will not be able to buy your way out of it.  During a hurricane or similar short-term event, perhaps.  But after a few days, you’ll quickly realize that your dollar bills either don’t go nearly far enough or people will flat out refuse them.  A fiat currency has no value in post-disaster realms.  During Hurricane Katrina, I was a police officer in New Orleans and it showed me that particular side of the economy and humanity.  It taught me a lot of lessons.  Not many people in America can truly understand the mentality and atmosphere during a total societal collapse like that experienced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    Unless you had fuel, food, alcohol or ice, you couldn’t really engage in many business transactions.  Several people were offering ammunition (due to their own ignorance, I suspect) but as often as we see the need for post-apocalyptic ammunition and hoardes of firearms in movies and books, it just didn’t exist unless you were one of the people looking for trouble.  Keep in mind, this was a short-term event with a light at the end of the tunnel.  The same does not apply for national, long-term collapse.

    During those few weeks, I saw an incredible demand for fuel (mainly for generators), alcohol and 12v pumps of various types; those that could pump fuel from gas station reserves or those that could pump water.  Along those lines, five gallon gas cans were a hot commodity, as well.  In the downtown area (near the bars), I discovered that several bags of ice could be traded for alcohol, which could then be traded for just about anything, especially food.  I was amazed at how many National Guard soldiers would offer four or five cases of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) in exchange for one bottle of cheap booze.  What did they care?  They didn’t pay for the MREs and could always get more.  I could then trade that food to neighbors or contractors coming into town for any number of items that I desired, including more alcohol, toiletries or fuel.

    In short term events, your silver and gold will not go far and will be wasted.  Most people do not understand the value of these metals, especially when they simply crave the basic essentials for another week or two.  Obviously, you should hold both of these metals in your inventory, but their advantage comes into full effect when it’s a national or long-term incident, along with simply preserving your wealth as the fiat currency crumbles or is refused.

    So what does all of this mean?  Well, it’s time to start giving consideration to some of the food related items that I think would be valuable from a bartering standpoint in a long-term event, such as a full blown economic meltdown, hyperinflation, domestic war, massive stock market crash, martial law, large scale natural disasters, and the like.  An important note to remember when developing an “insurance plan” is that buying or acquiring most of these items when the event happens will be next to impossible.  That’s why you need to start your insurance plan right now.

    For a more in-depth continuation of this topic, along with how to start an “insurance plan,” see this article:

    Bartering, Inflation and Growing a Garden

    Kevin Hayden is a former New Orleans police officer-turned-political activist.  He endured Hurricane Katrina’s chaos and societal collapse in the days following and after 5 years in New Orleans, he moved to Oklahoma.  Kevin currently runs www.TruthisTreason.net and works on local politics and education about our monetary, food and foreign policies while building an off-grid homestead and helping people become prepared.  He can be contacted directly at [email protected] or by visiting his website, TruthisTreason.net


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      1. I had this girlfriend. Let me tell you she was quite the HERricane indeed.


        • I bet she had her “eye” on you.

          • Ever went to see in a one man boat?

      2. I agree with most of the story line. Same stuff I’ve been telling everybody about, as have many of you. I would disagree about the so called troop movements. Most, if not all of that is National Guard going to training. However, pay attention to the mention of the Rand Corporation. The Rand Corp. is a think tank for the Globalists. These are some of the people that study us and tell the feds how to react to us and worse. They suggest some of the programs for the feds to enact. They probably wrote the Patriot Act.

      3. The patriot act was written by Joe biden the current VP in response to Oklahoma city bombing but didn’t have the votes until 9/11. This has been planned for a long time, just look into the congressional records to see what other fun things they have planned for us. This is just the beginning.

        • I suspect he doesn’t have the the cognitive ability. He may have proposed it, but most, if not all laws are written by lobbyists,etc.

      4. Note to self – Get more alcohol.

        • I like to have a couple after work. Yet for some reason I haven’t loaded any down to my food storage. When SHTF, I ain’t gonna have time to be buzzed, let alone sleep much. How many people get drunk in a war zone? Suicide is just assisted death. Something to think about friend.

          • Who said you have to get drunk? Alcohol has many benefits to it. Red wine is good for keeping cholesterol down. Beer with a high wort content has medicinal benefits as well. Not to mention that “knocking back a few” can be a good stress reliever as well. Don’t ignore ‘stress’. It’s a killer too.

            I don’t have a still. But I can brew my own beer. First few batches were rough, but what I’m making now ain’t too shabby. Post SHTF, it’s definitely something I can barter with.

            Bottoms up,

            • Don’t forget to add the “generic brand” 1.75L bottles of vodka to your prepper list of essential items. Inexpensive, great wound sterilizer…can also be utilized, as Mal mentioned, stress reliever.

              That said, be careful on consumption. Hard to fight off zombies when you’re a zombie yourself.

            • Eagle71,

              I use Skol brand vodka as prescribe by Dr. Reynolds, above. At $10 a bottle, it will keep forever and is a great stress reliever.

              Somebody said something about “not sleeping much”. Well, let me tell you this: Show me a man who doesn’t sleep much and I’ll show you a man that makes lots of mistakes, can’t hit the side of a barn and over reacts to many situations.

              Get your sleep. If beer or vodka helps that, its a good thing. Sure, too much would be bad but not enough sleep and too much stress will surely get you.

              Oh, and, Captain Mal, if you can brew beer you’re half way there. Boil the beer and run it through a tube and it will SHINE like the MOON in the morning!


        • Stay thirsty my friends, stay thirsty.

          • When the shit hits the fan, it misses him completely.
            The Golden Horde evacuates away from his property.
            Looters leave their loot at his doorstep.
            His words alone are considered barterable goods.

            He is, the most interesting prepper in the world.

      5. Empty shelves will be the spark that ignites the fire.

        People get angry or annoyed about $5.00 gas but not enough to enrage everyone at once. There will always be people who can still afford it.
        And unemployment doesn’t affect everyone at once. Those that have jobs feel sympathetic but not enraged.

        But when people go to buy groceries and start seeing empty shelves that’s more likely to start a major panic and then all hell breaks loose.

        • Agree completely. Empty shelves would QUICKLY cause a big time freak out…and that’s simply because the situation would not be normal in the experience of most people.

          I would also expect that once SOME items begin to sell out, that will cause almost instant hoarding of just about everything else in the stores. People will buy stuff just because it’s still there, without regard for whether it’s something they need or not. They won’t be doing it and thinking about barter..they won’t be that smart. It will be a very primal reaction to a threat of scarcity. And that reaction will end up amplifying the situation, quickly snowballing into fights over items, and then complete chaos.

      6. Well-thought out. There is another aspect. The typical family has three days reserves. If, for some reason, as protection against inflation, fear of continued shortages, a few empty shelves, they increased their target storage requirements to a week, or a month, we would see permanent continuing shortages. The shelves would be cleaned out. Reason: the population, after years of keeping few reserves, would, en masse, decide to store a month or more of food. This kind of demand increase would represent a many-fold increase in demand that our fixed just-in-time no-warehousing supply system can supply. This would cause such shortages that the Feds would ration food and manage the people under martial law. OHB would be commander.

      7. What happened to the article posted yesterday comparing seismic activity graphs from an earthquake to seismic activity graphs associated with a muclear underground detonation? The article implied the recent earthquake near DC was not an earthquake. Why was it scrubbed?

        • Good question, Mac. What did happen to that article? I wanted to show it to my husband and it’s gone.

        • I pulled that one after Bloody Fellow et. al. provided seismic evidence that was convincingly contrary to the nuke detonation theory. There were definitely “P” waves recorded prior to the earthquake and they were confirmed by four different seismic charts from four different locations. As much as the original article made sense, the seismogram on which the theory/report was based was incomplete.

          Rather then spread disinfo regarding the nuke theory, I thought it was a better idea to just pull it completely.

          My apologies on that one.



          • Good to see someone with that kind of integrity.

          • Thank you! It adds so much to your credibility that you would remove the artical!


          • *article

            (I can spell, really!)

      8. Oops! I said: “This kind of demand increase would represent a many-fold increase in demand that our fixed just-in-time no-warehousing supply system can supply.”

        I meant to say “cannot supply”. Think of it this way, the entire business structure of growers, truckers, and wholesalers supplying the supermarkets is built to a size supplying consumer demand that replensishes three day reserves. If the target reserve instead became three weeks, that would mean a seven times increase in product demand from these suppliers. Their inability to perform would mean the shelves would be permanently empty, and hoarding and hyper-prices would become ‘Argentinian’. Riots and violence in the parking lots would be commonplace, and food truck driving would be the most dangerous job on the planet.

        • This would cause relatively short term shortages, but panic can make people to wild things.

          Many of these last minute stocker-uppers are the same type of people who empty Home Despot et al of plywood, etc before each hurricane. I always wonder, what happened to the plywood from the last board-up? In places like Florida, it is a safe bet you will need it again.

      9. I don’t know alot about EMPs but would the American People know the difference between an EMP and a Blamed Solar Storm?

        • You’ll get advance notice from a half dozen space agencies at least about a solar flare. Hundreds of amateur astronomers out there as well.

          Also, if it’s an EMP weapon detonating in the upper atmosphere, you’ll start seeing cities incinerated by nukes too. An EMP detonation, regardless of which nation does it, will almost assuredly mean WW III. IMHO.


          • An EMP event would result in a blackout on communications from the government. That would also include a blackout on MISINFORMATION from the government.

            • “That would also include a blackout on MISINFORMATION from the government”

              Is there any other kind?

      10. Next prep item, a homemade still!

        • God bless Popcorn Sutton, may he rest in peace.

          • You know that Lightning is now legal here… After they killed Popcorn!

            • The Bastards!

        • Just make the wine and then freeze it to slush. Use a piece of screen to screen out the slush. Liquid left is 45-60% alcohol. Make some peppermint schnapps.

          During poor economic times, “sin” products always have barter value.

        • Got any plans or blueprints?

      11. I was in Lowes this past Thursday to pickup some more batteries after the Missus gave away most of ours to her relatives. A salesman was talking to me at the battery display saying that after the storm, they’ll actually have a lot of people return the packs of batteries that they don’t need for a refund. I got to thinking that they were probably all my wife’s relations. Unbelievable……..I guess.

      12. This was a good article. We need to read up more about think tanks like the Rand Corp. and other “Foundations” that finance activists. I’m still waiting for the heavies to join our struggle. I know you’re out there. I’ve spoken to some of you over the years.

      13. Due to a hurricane a few years ago, I was without power right about 2 weeks… fortunately; I had my own power source so it was only a minimal inconvenience for us. To conserve fuel, we ran the generator twice per day.. about 2 hours in the morning and 2-3 hours at night. That allowed everyone to “do their stuff” and our freezers etc. to cool back down. It did give me time to compose, what I think is the most exhaustive and comprehensive list of reasons why someone should NOT be prepared for the unexpected with food, water, food, fuel, cash, medicine, self-defense abilities, communications, entertainment and basically everything needed to maintain an acceptable level of a normal life. Every valid reason to NOT prepare is listed; after all, I had a lot of time on my hands. The List follows for your consideration:

        I hope you realize and appreciate the time taken in developing this all inclusive list. Please do not presume that you are able to add even one more valid reason for NOT getting prepared as I am confident I have listed every valid reason that there is.

        • Got tired of reading, but then I got bored last winter when I went to a drive-in movie.

          I was watching “Closed For The Season”.

          • How long was the movie?

        • How many of you have two sizes of generators? I currently have a “run the big stuff” genset for washing / freezer, but having a smaller one for miscellany would be good too. Perhaps a 1,000 Watt Honda Inverter since it is so quiet and sips fuel. It would certainly stretch your fuel supply. The only unknown is how well the small genny would take 100LL avgas (long shelf life without stabilization).

          • I do.. also have several dc-ac inverters of various ratings.. can you explain a bit more about the 100LL avgas ? Does it require any conversion of the motor / carb / injection system ? How long is the shelf life and, ignorance of all ingnorances.. what is 100LL avgas ? Aviation fuel ?

            • Yes, 100LL is aviation fuel. 100 Octane, low lead. Very long shelf life without treatment, designed to evaporate without leaving residue so it can sit in an aircraft’s tanks/carb without gumming up the system like regular gas would.

              My old Onan genny runs fine on it without any mods, but don’t know how well one of the Honda inverter types would take it. I’ve had some stored for a couple of years without treatment, and it still looks and smells fine. Still a clear light blue color, not turning darker yellow like my treated year-old auto gas did. This would be one thing I’d test myself (running in an inverter model). My research turned up lots of opinions, and people who cited personal experience in trucks / cars / whatever, said there were no problems. The Onan has had upwards of 10 gallons run through it without any issues, and this is with periods of 6-8 months between starts.

              At 7 bucks a gallon it’s expensive, but IMHO it is a great gasoline-type fuel to stockpile due to its longevity and non-gumming properties. While you may not see any performance improvement from the higher octane, the shelf life and clean burning are the desired properties here. Seasonally used small engines like chain saws might see the most benefit, because you can’t order a carb rebuild kit after SHTF. I’m not a fuel expert, but it works fine for me. YMMV.

            • OBTW, the lead in avgas will destroy a catalytic converter, so don’t try it in your grocery getter!

          • NOYB 2K tri-fuel Honda is only a couple hundred more. Generatorsales.com for tri-fuel, if they have any left! The trick is on an inverter generator is to buy one that powers what you need at 50% engine speed for least fuel & wear and tear while being very quiet.
            I have three different size gens and looking at a 15KW right now that runs off of a PTO at 1100 diesel engine rpm.
            Get fresh marina or off road farm fuel instead of 100LL if you can. No extra fuel taxes.

      14. To Sam not Sam:

        That was a mighty fine piece of thinking. Wish I had said it.

      15. Does anyone know of a business that sells “storable food” that is ok for diabetics? I have been sending storable food to my parents. My dad is diabetic and I want to be sending food that is appropriate.

        Any help in this matter would be appreciated. Thank you!
        KY Mom

        • KY Mom – check into freeze dried food. From my understanding, there are no additives, at least to the basic stuff. The Ingredients in a can of corn, peas, etc is just the veggies. The same seems to be true for the meat / eggs / fruit. Likely, the prepared dishes, I.E. Chili Mac, Chicken Ala King, stuff like that you would need to scrutinize the ingredients.. but freeze dired overall would probably be your best bet. They claim it lasts up to 30 years ( I hope so, I got a butt load of it ). There are several reliable companies.. but many are getting really slow on delivery and boosting prices noticeably. I hesitate to recommend one over the other, but for excellent delivery times, usaemergencysupply dot com has been ultra reliable for me. They have color coded suppliers and if you “linger” over the button, a pop up will tell you shipping times. I have foind it to be 100% accurate.

          • Also, to be fair, thereadystore dot com is a good source. They have excellent product information on their site. But they pissed me off pretty good with their INCREDIBLE slow delivery times and not just on freeze dried food but on non food items as well..

            • Sam not sam,

              Thank you! I will avoid the prepared dishes and stick with the basic items.

              KY Mom

        • check americanpreppersnetwork.com
          or preparedsociety.com

      16. MADAY!!! MADAY!!! MADAY!!!

        Whatever you do… DO NOT order Chinese Takeout after smoking your first bowl of the day!!!

      17. BzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzD’d

        • Insect repellent is a must!

          • Good point. My house was built in 2002 and has very cheap window screens made of some plastic “wire”, probably because so many people never open windows anymore.

      18. those empty shelves are at some store where the hurricane was coming thru, it’s nothing new, they’ll be filled up and running in the morning

      19. It’s the dopers that are killing America.
        Get off the dope. Stop driving 49mph in 55 mph zones.
        Read a book. Study a subject on the internet.


        • LMAO!! The dopers are sleeping, or possibly eating a bunch. Are you sure it was a doper on the hwy and not a blue-hair?

      20. My daughter used to work at WalMart. I used to quiz her about the Just In Time thing.

        The warehouse for the biggest walmart in the area is hardly any bigger than my home. Two things cause their shelves to be empty:

        A run on stuff where people buy more than “expected” or “predicted”.

        An interruption in the supply chain.

        …but what if you have both? *BLINK*!!! EVERYTHING disapears.

        This is a symptom of a breakdown in business. Business no longer cares about “The Customer” they only care about getting the “Customer’s Money”. Used to stores and businesses used to feel like there was more to their business than just making a buck. …not so much any more.

        Society is breaking down and has been for years. This is just another sympton. Storekeepers years ago would have felt a little bit of responsibility beyond their own bottom line. But today, government regs, taxes and greed have all but wiped out the storekeeper that cares. They’re all big conglomerates that only care about your money.

        • Net Ranger is so right. I’ve warned my friends and family about the supply chain for years now. If there is no ability to resupply, the major chains will be empty in days and empty for the duration of whatever crisis. And empty until the transportation system is up and running. This country is now a net importer of agricultural products. Because the corporate farms and big chains can buy food products cheaper from the 3rd world. I was told buy members of a dairy co-op that their corporate consultant told them to slaughter their milk cows and import the product form South America because they could make bigger profits. And so it goes in America these days.

          • Re Mr. B’s note – Went to buy Dole mixed fruit in a can (good pantry item) and was shocked to see on the label “Made in China.” DOLE??? So I looked at a can of peaches. And pears. And pineapple. And marmalade. All China. Another jolt – Avon, one of the oldest and best-known companies in America, is now making their dusting power in – yes, China. AVON!!! Also see that many product labels state “made expressly for XYZ Corp. USA” but do not state WHERE product is made, just who it is made FOR. Seems to me TPTB know that many Americans are trying to buy American, and are trying to dupe us by putting “USA” on labels the only legal way they can. Anyone else think likewise?

            • Yes, but strangely enough, I checked lots of groceries from Dollar Tree, and they mostly are made here…go figure!!!

            • The law passed by Congress in 2006–and the prepper sites have verified this–says, if made here no label needed, but if manufactured, or grown out of state, must be labeled.
              Helps me know what to buy.

              If manufactured, packaged here,it will say state.
              If manufactured, packaged, or made abroad, it must say.

        • Last winter I was in a Kroger (in OH) and saw a sign in the dairy dept. that said (paraphrase): “Sorry for the inconvience, but due to the recent snow, trucks are arriving several hours late and some items may be out of stock”. Several HOURS?

        • The general public isn’t interested in having preps they are interested on who can give the lowest price. Almost every retail organization today provides low pricing thanks to that very business model. I prefer it it. When SHTF I’m not going to blame Wal Mart for not having what I need….it’ll be my fault.

        • I believe that the stores use the internet for their “just in time” inventory. What happens if the internet went down, for any reason? It’s all computer controlled. Kevin

        • Well, true story about a small grocery, mom and pop store.
          The owner asked why I was buying so many macaronis??? since he had to get them from the top shelf..yes, topic then went to storing foods, water, supplies, etc for the economic collapse,or whatever…he said his wife has urged him to do what I’ve done….and he said, WHY???? I got the key!!!!
          Wow—and this from an owner/manager?? H-E-L-L-O???
          Distribution factors, truckers, gas, weather anomalies, market crash, economic meltdown, domestic terror…and more.

        • And thus we have the commoditization of the consumer. Why is customer service so bad? Maybe because they know their customer base will be there regardless if you get mad at them. They have X percent of market share, which may fluctuate a little, and so what if your product broke on Day 2? I suspect that the “customer service department” is little more than a formality to minimize litigation exposure.

          Your corner family-owned store gave a damn because if you did not come back, they actually lost business. If they were nice to you, maybe you were more likely to pick up a candy bar as an impulse buy.

      21. I heard on the news today that there was significant crop damage due to flooding in the Carolina’s. The wacky weather (floods, drought, extreme heat, cold in NW) we are getting is sure to put a strain on our food supply.

        • There’s also significant wheat and corn crop damage in Illinois and Indiana, and major cotton crop loss in Texas.

      22. Mr. Blutarsky – you’re right.. that’s another reason to perhaps consider moving a bit from P.M to a commodity ETF or two..

        Just watched “Livin’ for the Apocalypse” on TLC. I was sort of enjoying it until I realized that they were using progressively “odd” people in their “docu-drama” or whatever the heck it was. The final “couple” was so odd, so out of mainstream that it was obvious that the film makers very clearly wanted to leave the impression that Preppers are basically weirdoes and med popping borderline crazy’s.

        • Doesn’t TLC stand for “The Learning Channel? Kind of ironic.

        • I watched it too. They were very clever to ‘pepper’ the show with a couple of ‘sane’ people. But then they focused on the obviously… deficient… ‘transgendered’ guy/gal/whatever at the end.

          Typical liberal crap. Did you expect anything else?


          • I had no expectations.. there wasn’t much on and it caught my eye.. but their bias was WAY too obvious.. one of the best parts was when the last “couple” was having their garage sale, the lady says “don’t sell the cat/dog” whatever it was and Shim looks around as if to see if anyone was watching, leaned over the basket and said ” if someone offers me a hundred dollars, I am selling you”.

        • I watched the first part of it – the rest is recorded so I can watch it later this evening. It was clear with the first couple that the show intended to make the preppers look stupid. They had their own kids calling them crazy…..

          I am still in awe that these people allowed their security & privacy to be so compromised.

          • My thoughts exactly.. I was watching and thinking ” what the hell are these people doing ?? “. But if you thought the first couple was bad… just wait.. personally, I thought the first ones were fairly normal, a little “wide eyed” but normal. Their sock headed son looked like a meth freak..

          • I bet all you watched the show discussed on lots of prepper sites, and the first thing mentioned on most sites was OPSEC…operational security…which was definitely compromised from the get-go!

      23. We are crazy! At least according to FHA DHS FBI FEMA etc. Anyhoo, we don’t sit on rooftops hoping for help that never comes.

      24. Most of the article is spot on, and if it encourages anyone to get prepared for whatever disaster or disruption then it has served it’s purpose. However, a couple of things about the truckers should be clarified.
        1st- I only know of one trucking company that shut down and stranded it’s drivers. That was Arrow trucking based in Tulsa, and their problem was caused more by fraud and theft going on in the home office (by the owners of the company) than by fuel prices. The spike in diesel costs just exposed the theft when they didn’t have the reserves to cover increased fuel costs, plus they were so deep into their pillaging of the company (they kept at least two sets of books) that they decided to shut off the drivers fuel credit cards and skip town with the money they had been stealing. Last I heard, none of the culprits escaped.
        The thing to remember is that a big rig costs about 100 to 120 grand for the tractor, plus 25 to 50 grand for a trailer. No company (unless it’s run by crooks) is gonna abandon equipment like that. Arrow trucking was unique in that regard. The other companies that went bankrupt, either sold their assets to another company or let the bank repo the trucks.
        2nd- when diesel prices go up real fast it is almost exclusively the independant owner-operators (guys who own their trucks, and who are not ‘leased on’ to a company to haul only that companies freight) who park their rigs. The vast majority of trucks on the road today are company owned, or they are owner-ops who are ‘leased on’ to a company.
        For all those trucks, the cost of fuel is compensated for by a fuel surcharge that is added to the freight bill. The surcharge is recalculated at least once a week based on the national average diesel price. If diesel went to $20 a gal, the surcharge would go WAY up, but the trucks would still roll. Granted, the increased cost of moving freight is quickly added to the cost of consumer goods, and there would be a big slow down in purchasing, but the whole system would NOT shut down overnight.

        • Arrow could get away with dumping the equipment, because they leased most of the trucks and trailers.

      25. “In short term events, your silver and gold will not go far and will be wasted. Most people do not understand the value of these metals, especially when they simply crave the basic essentials for another week or two.”

        Sure, the People who are craving basic essentials might not understand the value of silver and gold, but the People who are well stocked and prepared understand quite well. If you want something they have, metals talk, paper fiat might nudge, and of course, b.s. walks.

        I guess the keyword is, short-term.

        Long term, however; is a whole nother ball game.

        Right here I’d insert the story from the woman who described going through the fall of the U.S.S.R. and how she said gold (and probably silver) was da bomb and everyone, like those in Argentina’s economic crash, wishes they had More gold.

      26. SmokinOkie says, “Granted, the increased cost of moving freight is quickly added to the cost of consumer goods”

        Yup, rising prices.

        “U.S. trucking companies may face a 30 percent surge in wage bills by 2014 as rising demand for freight shipments threatens to push the industry’s driver shortage to the longest on record, reports Reuters.”

      27. I’ve just recorded a bluegrass- banjo music album. Every song is about the people who never seem prepared for anything. The album title–“Easy Pickins”
        There’s some great tunes on it, including:
        Water Over Troubled Bridges
        FEMA Camp Blues
        You Took Me By Surprise, Again
        Is It Dark In Here, Or Is It Just Me?
        Empty Minds, Empty Cupboards
        Back In The USSR (*note- a smokin’ hot tune, I sprained my thumb playing this one)
        Government Cheese and Game Shows/Always On My Mind (medley)
        Huddled In The Corner, Waitin’ On The Man

        plus several other great songs you’re sure to love!
        Now, if my agent can work out the details with K-Tel, it should be in stores by Christmas. And if you think it’s overpriced, take my advice and steal it!

      28. Hello from the East Coast. Didn’t get too bad in my area. Never lost power, but a wire is down across the road from my mothers house next door. People are so friggin stupid. The road is blocked and they think they can just drive right through and drive inches from a hot wire! REALLY???? People will take their lives in their hands to get what they want. This has really re-inforced why we have our ammo. What would it possible have been like if it was a real disaster? My husband was out by the road and almost got ran over trying to get someone to stop driving under the downed wires.

        This event also showed me where the gaps are in our prep plans. We have family staying with us that was evacuated. Food goes real fast when you have 4 extra mouths to feed.

        Hope anyone else here from the East also made it through safely.

        God bless.

      29. You’al forgot to mention the cigarette…there will many that will offer almost anything for a cig and a cup of coffee.

        From the looks of the market lately, the powers-that-be have chased the rats out of their bank holes, and into the open markets, to take their chances, or lose their loot to the banks or the taxman. Poor rats…now they know how we feel.

        Great article…great posts…good luck to you all.

      30. Also, the fact that the present government is now allowing trucks to be driven up from Mexico, and throughout the country, does cut into the trucking economy. In this way, the country can be supplied with goods from countries south of us.
        This will supply the southern states first, and the northern states will be slow in getting serviced.
        Perhaps, Mexico and South America will be the economic bright spots in this part of the world…interesting.

      31. People drive me nuts. I can’t believe so many Americans still naively believe they can run to Walmart and stock up hours before a hurricane hits (or before any other disaster for that matter). The simple act of stocking a few extra cans/boxes of food seem to be akin to getting teeth pulled.

        • When the SHTF these people will indeed have to “run” because the streets will be one humongous traffic jam. To paraphrase Paul Simon: still clueless after all these years…

      32. most people arent going to get it, in any disaster the shelves will empty fast, F A S T…
        when i was a wee wittle boy, i wearned in cub scouwts to aways be pwepared…
        today they call it paranoid…

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