If you haven’t yet got the message, it may be almost too late. PREPARE NOW!


I’ve hammered the theme of preparedness for emergencies in these pages for several years.  Since COVID-19 made its appearance, I’ve emphasized that even more;  and given the political, social, economic and cultural unrest (euphemism!) in these dis-United States over the past couple of years, that’s merely added another element of uncertainty to our already uncertain future.

I’ve quoted Michael Yon on the subject before.  He’s one of very few journalists I respect, because he’s put himself into danger to report and not relied on third-hand gossip and propaganda.  Here he is just yesterday:

I’ve loudly warning since January 2020 of PanFaWar. I’ve said a thousand times in the past 22 months to STOCK UP on items you need. First real of Prep Club is there is no Prep Club. I would not breathe a word of my preparations if it were not my responsibility to take a leadership roll at a time like this.

Prices will go up up up as shortages ripple across the earth. Actual shortages will coincide with devaluation of our money. One curve up, the other curve down. Crime will explode. One of the greatest dangers will be neighbors. Ask your cop friends.

There’s more at the link.  He warns that most foods in nature will disappear fast because everyone will be after them, and notes that international competition for food may lead to war.  (That last shouldn’t surprise you;  it’s been a reality for literally millennia, and modern times are no exception.)

Here are a few more warning signs I’ve noted during the past week.

  • An acquaintance works for one of the major Texas power utilities.  He told me last week that after February’s disastrous power outage in that state, the utilities had given “undertakings” to the Texas government concerning their ability to cope with any future such crises.  He tells me they’ve had to inform Texas that they may not be able to keep their “undertakings”, because the federal government – specifically the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency – are hamstringing their efforts to have emergency power generation capacity ready to go at a moment’s notice.  Apparently that won’t be approved or allowed due to “pollution” or “environmental concerns”.  They’ll have to apply to the Feds for permission to use them;  and unless and until that permission is granted, they’ve been told they’ll face criminal charges for using such capacity.  Result;  Texas may be screwed for power once again this winter – and not just Texas, because other states are apparently being hammered with the same requirement.  One gets the impression that environmentalist and ideological purity are more important to the Federal government than practical reality.  (Note that right now, just when demand for heating fuel is peaking at the beginning of winter, the Biden administration is actively considering shutting down yet another major fuel pipeline from Canada.  Of all the ideologically-motivated stupidity . . . !!!)
  • I’ve had several online orders from places like Amazon, Walmart and other vendors over the past few weeks that have been “delayed” or are “missing in transit”.  This has happened occasionally in the past, but the sudden increase in such cases (currently affecting seven of my orders) is unprecedented.  One third-party supplier sent the wrong product.  When I called the online vendor to complain, I was told that the supplier had been “deleted from their system” because of failure to supply what had been ordered, or supplying the wrong goods.  I was given a refund, but to find a supplier selling normally one week, but deleted the next, is surprising.  So is the suddenly increasing scale of the “delayed shipment” problem.  Over the past two to three weeks, it’s affected over a third of my online orders.  Looks like supply chain issues are trickling down to the microeconomic level, and are no longer just national or regional problems.
  • Local meat prices, particularly beef, rose by plus-or-minus 12% in the space of 48 hours two weeks ago, and they’re still rising.  That’s a heck of a price jump in such a short period.  I spoke to a local butcher I trust, and he could only shrug his shoulders.  That’s what their suppliers are charging.  His advice was to establish contact with a local farm-to-market direct buying network, and to buy half a cow, or pig, or whatever, from a local farmer who may charge higher prices for his meat, but at least you’ll know it was properly raised, slaughtered and prepared.  He says a lot of the meat the big wholesalers are offering is not up to his standards (which are admittedly high, but that’s why we patronize his store).  Food for thought, that.
  • The shelves of local supermarkets are still considerably understocked compared to the norm.  On careful examination, I’d say they’re at least 30% understocked, and are positioning cans, boxes, etc. to hide the fact that there’s a lot of empty space towards the rear of the shelves.  Choice is also reduced;  instead of six or eight brands of a given food, one might find two or three, and those will be reduced in quantity and size selection as well.
  • Food production worldwide is threatened by economic factors.  A Norwegian fertilizer company has just warned that rising energy prices are severely restricting fertilizer production.  “I want to say this loud and clear right now, that we risk a very low crop in the next harvest,” said Svein Tore Holsether, the CEO and president of the Oslo-based company. “I’m afraid we’re going to have a food crisis.”  That’s world-wide, not just in the USA – which means that food we currently import may not be available, and countries that rely on us to export food to them may also be S.O.L.
  • There are almost no Thanksgiving turkeys to be had anywhere.  The big stores have some, but not a lot, and at much higher prices than usual.  The smaller shops are just plain out.  An assistant at one of them told me that their suppliers have nothing to give them, because “the big stores” ordered them all months ago, and thanks to COVID-19-related staffing problems, the producers have not been able to prepare enough birds to meet market demand.  We’ve grown accustomed to buying turkeys during post-Thanksgiving sales for a few cents per pound.  This year, there won’t be any.
  • An acquaintance who works at a local vehicle service facility told me last week they’re getting an increased number of calls to “rescue” drivers who’ve run out of gas on the side of the road.  He says people are simply too short of cash to refill their tanks completely, and are trying to make their daily rounds on partial tanks.  Given that fuel tank gauges aren’t the most reliable instruments, they’re running out of gas before they expected it, and are having to call for help.  If their transport budgets are being hit that hard, what about their food budgets?
I’m worried enough by what I’m seeing that I bit the bullet and sold another gun last week, to pay for a few more emergency preps.  I’ve had certain items on my “wish list” for literally years, but postponed buying them because they’re relatively expensive and really only needed if worse comes to worst.  Well, this combination of factors has decided me that I’d rather be prepared than left dangling.  I bought a heavier-duty Camp Chef 2-burner propane stove with a griddle accessory, a ten-quart pressure cooker that can speed up cooking time over gas (and pot-roast meat, whole chickens, etc.), and a few other items.  They’re overkill for occasional meals during power cuts (for which our traditional camping propane stove will be more than adequate), but if the grid’s down for an extended period (weeks rather than days), as it was in places last February, I want to make darn sure we can cope with such outages.  (I also increased our propane storage.)  I took care of other needs a few weeks ago, expanding our emergency preparations even at the cost of a higher credit card balance to pay off in the near future.  I’m worried enough by what I’m seeing and hearing to “bite the bullet” and get ready for hard times.  (If the government of China is telling its citizens to do the same, and trusted voices like Michael Yon’s are sounding a warning, I’m certainly not going to ignore them!)

Remember Ernest Hemingway’s famous dialog about bankruptcy in his novel “The Sun Also Rises”?

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

That’s what I’m afraid is happening with “normal” supplies of essentials like foodstuffs, electricity, gasoline, propane, and the like.  Things have been getting worse, but slowly.  Now the rate of deterioration is speeding up.  As I noted about our supply chain difficulties some weeks ago:

If the supply pipeline gets much more clogged – and it’s getting worse almost by the day – there will come a time when nothing can move.  The deadweight hanging over the system will squash it flat, and everything will come to a grinding halt.

I wasn’t joking about that.  It’s happening right in front of our eyes.  As the supply chain gets tighter and tighter, everything in our economy is slowing down.  I’m worried it may end up so clogged that routine business and commerce becomes almost impossible.  That may happen faster than we’d like to believe.  Remember Hemingway’s words:  “Gradually and then suddenly.”  I fear we’re almost at the end of the “gradually” phase.

Looking at the evidence all around me, that’s what I see.  I hope and pray that I’m wrong . . . but the facts on the ground suggest I’m not.  What say you, readers?



  1. I've read your warning about this subject for years. I do have adequate supplies, preparation, etc. However, I've always (and I mean always) read your posts (and most of their links) with a fair amount of skepticism. Alarming, . . . but then, . . . written to be that way. But this one contains what is supposed to be something that is irrefutable, yet contains a remark that no one (or at least most people) would have any clue as to what is being talked about. It's made to sound that we're about to go to war, to war mind you, and the evidence is referred to as the PanFaWar. What is a PanFaWar? Who would know that? I looked it up on Google. All citations are from Mr. Yon. All of them. This, . . . is exactly why I suspect most of your readers don't believe what you've written about this subject. Do you understand? It can't possible come across as little more than so much hype, so much hyperventilating, just one more time, etc.

  2. @bultaco1495: Here's Michael Yon's definition:

    "PanFaWar: Pandemic, Famine, War — traveling buddies from Hell. When one arrives, the other two soon roar in."

    From here:


    As for "so much hype, so much hyperventilating, just one more time, etc." – I'm sorry you read my warnings in that way, but that's why I offer so many citations, quotations and other evidence to back up my points. It's not just me, and it's not just hysterical hype; it's real-world evidence, going on now, as reported by many sources.

    If that evidence isn't good enough, then I guess readers are free to ignore what I say. On the other hand, if they (and you, perhaps?) are seeing some of the same warning signs around them that I'm reporting here, then perhaps my warning isn't just breathless hysteria.

    YMMV, of course.

  3. I have been buying my beef by the side for 20 years.
    The initial price tag seems steep, but at $3.49 a lb (I think that was the price on the last one), that is averaged out among all the cuts. So, it’s $3.49 a lb for the leanest ground beef, but it’s also that same price for a t-bone or sirloin or roast. The painful part is paying for 600lbs (or whatever your “hanging weight” is) all at once.

  4. Here in the Triangle area of NC, we have not seen much change yet in grocery store inventory.In our particular suburban area, there are 4 major grocery chain stores within a couple miles of each other. Very few empty spots on shelves- though, of course, prices have gone up- and only a few items we have looked for are scarce (weird things like club soda.??).But I know it's coming, so we have been stocking up.

    Our state-run liquor stores are a different story- I am seeing more empty spots each time I go, especially for things that are imported like scotch.

  5. bultaco1495

    Other than you, I never heard anyone here complain about his articles on prepping.

    Say the truth, your the one with a problem.

    I doubt that you have any preps, you sound more like someone who would mock those who do.

  6. Regardless of false or early warnings in the past, if one doesn't see the tidal shift in our lives then they never will. It's historically only a few per cent of us that realize what is happening and a similar few willing to do something about it. The world changed in January 2020. We have been given a liberal window of opportunity to get things in order, our health, finances, needed supplies, repairs. I see this small group of people doing this very thing, the masses are oblivious as are many close to us. This is the Pella Window, and it's gradually closing, then suddenly.

  7. It’s all about to get very real. Those who failed to prepare will be relegated to living off the land with what they can dig or trap or steal, all activities subject to high incidences of injury. As their bodies weaken due to poor diet, even trivial wounds sustained in their quest to survive may become life-threatening. As municipal water systems fail and what water is available becomes contaminated, even getting a drink to quench thirst evolves into a game of Russian roulette. That’s life for the unprepared masses.

    Unfortunately, it may not be much different for many of those who “prepare” (a very small percentage of the population), because their preparation has been focused on the acquisition of goods without the accompanying practice of using those items. Or they have failed to have plans B, C, D, and E for everything. They only have one water filter and no knowledge or means of purifying water in any other way. They only have a simple cook stove for meal preparation, with no means of baking bread. Dinners are all just-add-water.

    Or they believe that shortages will be an issue for just a few months, and that everything will return to normal. There is no going back to normal. Normal is in the rearview mirror and it’s just been nuked.

    This is why I’ve spent the past twelve years living a prepared life. (The twenty years before that were spent just building up the preps gradually. I’d hate to be starting just now.) And the last three years I’ve been writing everything down for my children (all adults and some with families of their own) and anyone else who’s interested, one topic at a time, every single day. (My blog is at Prep School Daily.) It’s been a monumental effort, but one I’ve been grateful to have undertaken. Writing the process down and having to describe procedures in detail makes a person learn and remember better. I wish I had another year or so. There’s still so much to learn. Sadly, time does not appear to be on our side.

  8. It's a good time to check your preps also – for example, can you follow the instructions and on your stored foods (if they have them)? Do the times and quantities given work where you are? For example, I've found certain items need less water and more cooking time then the label says. I've also found that certain items don't cook well on tiny stoves.

  9. The 4Patriots food is both lousy and over-priced. Mtn. House is better, but not by much. I've eaten both.
    Our local stores (Costco, Grocery Outlet, Albertsons, and Vons) have plenty of expensive turkeys. Shelves are full, but selections on some items are oddly diminished. No Mailorder issues (yet-crosses fingers).

    However, Premium Gas is over 5.00 at Chevron ($5.09) and Sam's Club is cheapest at $3.99 a gallon for the regular. Oddly Chevron has lines as long as those as Sam's. Do the CHevron Customers pay by Credit Card and not notice the huge price difference with other stations?

    I live in Central California, about 150 miles north of Aesop, and work in the Oilfield Service industry. I No evidence of any awareness that things are going badly amongst my co-workers. The concerns they discuss are the usual for this time of year. (i.e. X-mas Gifts, Overtime Pay, & In-Law issues). I say nothing about either my fears or preps. Only other concern they talk about is COVID. Most have gotten the shots. Very few willingly. Most under pressure from Spouse or other Family. None believe in the shots, and about 1/3 have already had it. Just had a 50-something year old, Tool Pusher collapse on the Drillsite this weekend in El Centro. He was taken by his family to Hospital on Saturday. Crew was told Monday Morning that he is "retiring" and a new Pusher is replacing him. No word on if he was Vaxxed or not.

    Yet, all seem aware in at least a sub-liminal way that things are not normal. But, work has to be done and facing the changes and what they might portend, is not a game for the weak of heart. I am no better than they are, just more paranoid and well read.
    Had the chimney sweep out last month to get my fireplace ready to go, however. Been 6 years since I did that. Now to get a cord or two of wood.


  10. While the symptom is supply-chain and inflation, the root cause is central planning, something that EVERY modern nation who has tried it (used it) eventually went by the wayside.

  11. I would just like to say thank you for your warnings and especially for the specific prepping ideas you have given. I grew up rural and we always had months worth of supplies because you don't want to go shopping more than a few times a year when the stores are so far away. But I have expanded my garden and general efforts in light of how things seem to be going these days. Hubby and I have come to realize we will probably be called on to help select neighbors who don't have the means to be prepared so we are redoubling our efforts. We have some very worthwhile neighbors who may be in need and we want to be able to offer judicious help to them because they are very helpful in other ways besides prepping. And we will all be called on to use our best skills if things truly go bad.

  12. Just an observation on one pound propane stoves in the cold.
    During the summer I use a week burner, fueled by a one pound canister of propane, to quickly light my BBQ. I can't get enough vapor pressure with the small canister to be able to use it in the winter. Larger propane tanks will still work but if you don't have a way to attach them to your stove they won't matter. I have a couple of 40# tanks on standby as well as an old style white gas/unleaded gas Coleman stove with a few gallons of fuel.
    Just because you have something doesn't mean you'll be able to use it.

  13. One note about running your car out of gas – modern cars with in tank fuel pumps, the gasoline being pumped both lubricates and cools the pump. If you run it dry you are liable to burn the pump up. That is not a cheap thing to fix, recommend against doing that.

  14. Down here in the antipodes when I can absolutely no longer avoid going to the supermarket I've noticed gaps in the shelves. This is an industry which never, ever permitted any gaps on the shelves, now there's a lot.

    Most shockingly for me anyway, yesterday I went to the hated big box hardware shop. There was no 2×4 (technically 70×35) construction pine. Like not a stick available for sale. I have never seen that before.

    I read yesterday, "Empty shelves are the hallmark of Communism." Could be they're just easing us into it.

    Filled the car up with 91. Price was $1.63.9 AU per litre. You can do the conversion to USD and US gallons.

  15. As JW notes about fuel (injection) pumps:

    I patrolled the freeways in N CA in the early 00's. Often, when people were sitting on the shoulder, I would discover they had no fuel pressure at the engine. Pump quit working.

    After seeing this for a while, I started asking if they had run out of fuel recently. MOST of them stated that this had occurred within the previous week, often just a couple days.

    Replacing the fuel pump can easily run over a $1000, since the tank has to be dropped to access it. Some have an access panel to avoid that, but that is not common. The labor cost is the problem, as most pumps are less than $200, and often under $100, at the local parts store. Dealers, of course, will be much higher.

    Add in the cost to have it towed to a shop or home, and running out of fuel gets REAL expensive!

  16. I'm on my quest to purchase land in the Ozarks and get out of Phoenix. The real estate agents say they've had more business this year than they've seen before, folks coming from all over, looking for a safe haven.

  17. Tweel may think the Ozarks is a safe haven, but it ain't. The rules come our way in waves, kinda like a software update. The people who are supposed to hold the line follow "best practices" instead, which means they are petty bureaucrats who rubber stamp everything. If you head this way, please be ready to hold the school board's feet to the fire and be sure to vote MAGA. We don't need you otherwise. We already have enough sell outs.

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