Could You Make a Final Run to the Store Before the SHTF?

We’ve all read about it, talked about it, watched videos on it and even imagined it, when the poop hits the fan, many preppers believe it is going to come at NASCAR speed and send the nation into a panic.  It could happen that way, but then it could come a lot slower and pick up steam as many realize the severity of the situation.  I believe it will depend on the nature of the event.

A Tale of Two Hurricanes

Back when Hurricane Rita was projected to hit Houston, my wife and I learned very quickly how fast things can fly off the shelf.  This was pre-preparedness for us.  Hurricane Katrina was fresh on everyone’s mind.  My school district canceled school that Friday so that we could make preparations and even evacuate if we wanted.  Since I was going to be off on that next day, I decided to sleep in and go to the store mid-afternoon.  Yeah, you guessed it!  Everything was gone!  I picked up what I could find and came home to share it with my wife.  Luckily, we always planned a menu a week in advance, so we had food.  We know that Rita didn’t come to Houston, but we learned our lesson.  Again, this was pre-preparedness.

When Hurricane Ike was projected to hit Houston (and it did), we did things a little bit differently.  This was still pre-preparedness, but we decided to go to the store the minute the models showed the hurricane was coming to Houston.  Still, the false alarm of Rita had a lot of people unprepared.  So even though many experienced the empty shelves during Rita, many Houstonians were still unprepared for Ike.

Many of us still remember the pictures of those on the East Coast dumpster diving because they were looking for food.  They had very advanced warnings that Hurricane Sandy was going to hit.  But they still were unprepared!

Here’s my point – Just because preppers live in an understanding and climate of preparedness, doesn’t mean the rest of the nation is going to instantly become preppers when an “event” happens.  Many will be stunned, shocked, waiting on the government, not realizing the severity of the situation.  In those hours and maybe even days of an approaching event, it will be a good time to top off or get those items that you still might need.

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The Event

I believe that the “event” will play a big part  in how quickly people react and respond.   For example, let’s look at a stock market crash.  The general population (meaning non-preppers) will not really know what to think if there was a full blown stock market crash.  We haven’t experienced one in our day and age.  The fact is many will not even know anything has really happened until they read about it on Facebook or their parents call them to talk to them about what is on the news.  Many people think that the stock market is for rich people and that they are probably getting their due.  Many don’t realize that the stock market is tied to many other facets of our economy and will signal some serious issues.

To contrast, many preppers stay informed and are reading blogs, alternative news sites and monitoring things like the stock market.  As preppers “see” thinks go south, they can act!  Before the stock market “crashes,” or as they see big negative days right after another happen, they can stop at their bank and withdraw money before the “run on the banks.”  If not, they could visit their ATM and withdraw the maximum amount – before they place limits (like in Greece).   They could get their items out of their safety deposit box, if they use them. etc…

Maybe a stock market crash isn’t a good example.  Let’s look at a major power grid failure!  You are at work when the power goes out.  You grab your phone and realize that the power has gone out in a good chunk of the United States.  You tell your boss you have to leave since you can’t do any work, grab your things and head home.  On the way home, you stop at the neighborhood grocery store to stock up.  Yes, they don’t have electricity to run their registers, but you have cash.  You convince the manager to sell you groceries because you have cash and well, the company would want them to stay in business if possible.  Once the manager has gathered his thoughts, he allows you to purchase items.  You can walk up and down the aisles because you have a flashlight.  You stock up on all the canned food you can afford.  You pay for it and are home before the world really understands the gravity of the situation.

Of course, all of this DEPENDS on your situation and the event.  I work very close to home, so I can imagine the above scenario happening for me.  But, there are a ton of different events and scenarios that we could discuss.  I would rather spend the rest of this article sharing my reasons why I think there might be some time at the beginning of an event before all HELL breaks loose!

 Also read: 

Some Reasons Why You Might be Able to Make that Last Run

1. People just aren’t as informed as we might think. – We tend to view people the way we might respond and react.  The fact is that many people are buried in “Dances with the Stars” and Facebook.  Many of us know that the main stream media doesn’t report everything accurately.  We know that we have to depend on alternative media and even at that, we need to filter what we read.

Non-preppers don’t realize the inter-connectedness of all of our infrastructure.  They think that if the stores shelves are bare today, that they will be full tomorrow.  They believe if the lights go out, the electric company will get them back on ASAP.  They believe that there will always be someone there to lend a helping hand.  I understand why they believe this, because that is the way things have mostly happened in the past.  Even in Katrina, the government “eventually” came riding into town.  But we know that there might be a time when no one is coming!

2. Suffering from the “Cry Wolf” Syndrome. – Just like when a hurricane doesn’t do the damage the “experts” said it would or 2012 or Y2K, many people are suffering from the “nothing is really going to happen” syndrome.  We saw it during Hurricane Sandy.  We’ll see it again during this winter season!  People hear the warnings, but they don’t HEED the warnings.  Why would anything change if there was a major event about to unfold?

3. People won’t understand the severity of it all until it’s too late. – As preppers, we know how long the power can be out if terrorist take out a substation or hackers deliver a nasty virus to the electric company’s computer networks.  Because many people haven’t had to deal with a lights out scenario, they will just “live it up” until all the beer is gone!

4. People will be depending on the government and take a “wait and see” approach.  Since the government has ALWAYS been there and most people believe that the government is their sugar daddy, people might take a wait and see approach before they start to panic.  This will give the prepper a few hours and maybe even days.

5. People will be glued to their smartphones, internet or TV trying to find out “What does this all mean?”  Come on, you’ve seen it!  People about to walk in to a car because they were texting on their phone!  People can’t do anything anymore without their phone and internet.  If something serious does go down, people will be “talking” about it online, but not necessarily doing anything about it.

Which Store Do I Go To?

Again, it all depends on “the event.”  So you need to stay aware of what is going on.  But that is nothing new for preppers.  We are always on the look out and aware of what is going on.

So, what would you do if you knew that you could make a last run to the store or whatever….?

1. Go to the grocery store and top off or fill some of the holes in your supplies.  You might want to splurge and pick up some steaks or other fresh meat and vegetables.  You might want to stock up on canned food or hygiene supplies.

2. Go to the Sporting Good store.  You might want to stock up on some heavy duty shoes.  Or, you might want to buy some extra heavy duty socks or even see what is available in ammo  (yeah right).

3. You might want to fill up your gas tanks.  If you have a generator and have empty gas tanks, you will want to fill those too.

4. Visit the bank.  If you can get to the bank, although I think they will be one of the first to close their doors, you might want to withdraw cash (in small bills) from your account.  Of course you should walk up to the counter excited because you “found that used car that you’ve been looking for your son to drive.” (wink wink)

Taking a Risk?

Of course, the best thing to do is to be so prepared that you don’t have to make any runs at all.  In an “event,” you might want to make it home and make sure the whole family is there and go through any family related plans.  Going out could be too risky.   Again, you need to stay aware!

Then again, the collapse could be so slow that people don’t even know they are in a collapse.  The normal American might just limp along, becoming poorer and poorer, wondering where the “good times” are.  And the prepper would continue to prep, be frugal, make good decisions and build community with like-minded people.

Again, I know that I’m going to get flack for this, but just imagine for a second…. if you could make one last run, where would you go?  I would love to hear your thoughts….or flack in the comments below!



By Todd SepulvedaEd That Matters


13 Replies to “Could You Make a Final Run to the Store Before the SHTF?

  1. Does anyone know what happened to Dimepiece Los Angeles celebrity streetwear brand? I am unable to check out on Dimepiecela site. I’ve read in Harpers Bazaar that the brand was acquired by a UK-based hedge fund in excess of $50m. I’ve just bought the Dimepiece 90’s Cuffed Beanie from Ebay and totally love it xox

  2. one thing i have ready are cell phone batteries to use to hear downloaded videos sermons, gospel music, because when and if power goes and the famine of the “WORD” happens, it will not be pretty. also have generator, vitamins, candles, paper towels, and tons of chips and those delicious hot peanuts and corn nuts and huge bags of m&ms, and 3 Bibles to get thru solitude

  3. I’ve heard of disasters that will cause water to come inward as far as north alabama, covering california, etc. What and how is all this prepped stuff supposed to be moved, if you have no choice but to evacuate?

  4. Yeah, I tell people you will be standing in long lines all day then told to go home. You’ll go home empty handed day after day and till you end finally end up with just a bag of cheese and stale bread.

    BUT, if you prepare NOW you only need to go down to your basement at your convenience AND privacy.

  5. In all truth, if you don’t have everything you need right now without running around in the madness when it happens, it’s too late. Sad but true because the list of things you will need on hand in “the evemt” is so extensive and expensive, if you haven’t been preparing for years, what ever you might be able to procure will be minimal. Read some of the responses and then add upmall the hours and milage it would take to domall of that ASAP. It’s isn’t possible. To be honest, I can’t even imagine putting myself or family members out in the desperation and chaos that will be everywhere and taking the chance of being severely injured or killed over a few cans of food. Unless you are a high roller, prepare yesterday!
    When 911 happened, I lived 1900 miles from ground zero and within 5 hrs. gas had been priced over $8 a gallon and the lines were hours long! Just for some gas! People! Be blessed today. Prepare now and avoid the dangers.

  6. Something to think about, if it’s a power emergency, most gas stations aren’t going to be able to pump gas which is why it’s so important to have a least 1/2 tank in your car at
    ALL times.

  7. Can you ever have enough water??? Also, depending on the crisis, I would get some comfort snack food and some regular food (again, can you ever have enough).

  8. If the power went out, the Banks would be closed, they can not process withdrawals without their computers. I recommended having some cash on hand before the event, as for gas stations most places need to have a working power grid to keep the pumps working, however in Florida after all the hurricanes of the early 2000s they were required to have a back up power generator.
    As you have said it really depends on where you are, but also what time of day, and even what day of the week. A grid failure at four in the afternoon local time, on a work day would be a different scenario than one that happened late at night on a Sunday.
    Also important is how much cash on hand was available.
    But in for example the 4:PM workday event.
    I would focus on food, water, fuel, and ammo. If I was not home I would take what cash I had and gas up my car (later if I had any cash left I would make sure all of my half dozen or so 5 gallon cans were full).
    I would go home set up my water bob and fill it up while there was still water pressure, I would grab all my available cash and head out to dollar general and stock up on canned goods, I would avoid the big stores like Walmart because they would be chaotic what with all the EBT crowed being turned down. Plus Dollar General has a large assortment of food, and yet is small enough to get around, this is of course if they would sell for cash, and they would do so if they could not open their registers manually.If they were reluctant to do so, I would ask them if they could hand write a simple receipt and put the cash in a drop safe.

    Gas would be next, and so I would bring any canned goods home fill the car with gas cans and fill them up if possible, topping off my tank again as well.

    If I had any cash left I would go to the local gun shop and buy as much ammo as I could in whatever caliber they had, because it will be good as gold.

    I would go home and fill as many water containers as I had even my trash cans with as much water as I could,then wheel them behind my house i because even if I could not drink it, as I have a septic, I could still flush the toilet with it.
    I would head to my moms doctor and see about getting some meds from his samples, as much as possible.
    If I had any money left I would stock up on Dog food, and fish antibiotics.

    However a lot of this is dependent on stores willing to sell products while the power is out, most places will probably tell you to come back when the power is restored, of course by the time they realize that the power is not coming back, so will the sheeple, and it will be chaos.

    Which is why you need to be ready ahead of time,

  9. We have been preparing for a while. My family knows to head straight home. It is already changing out there. Democracy Spring starts April 2. We have already setup alternate routes to enhance the safety of daily travel… longer but safer. Why risk making that last stop? Prepare now.

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