Back in the summer of 2019, I had a brief conversation with the plant manager where I used to work. I relayed to him my worries about the JIT system or the 'Just in Time' system, set up after WW2 ended in Japan which became the worldwide standard we now live in. I was tracking the Baltic Dry Index, an index which tracks the movement of goods by ship and saw a collapse in movement the previous few months in the springtime. This employer manufactures medium voltage drives which are transported by ship around the world. My former manager didn't really take me seriously at the time but by the time I quit last April, the company was in panic mode as ships along the west coast started backing up. This began to affect production. Parts weren't arriving on time and the finished product would sometimes experience delivery delays. There were a few instances where the company had to resort to shipping by air which was a huge cost increase.
In the last week, the amount of ships backed up waiting to be unloaded on the coast of California reached another record high. There are now about 170 ships waiting in line to unload. Truckers have been blamed. Dock workers have been blamed and of course the plandemic and mandates got blamed as well. I even read a rumor that an executive order signed by Trump just before leaving office is to blame. The rumor mill states that this executive order forbids the USA from conducting trade with a country or state in which it is at war with and most of the ships waiting to unload are from... China!
I have caught rumors that indeed we are at war but that this is a silent war, an information war. Wars have always evolved. Bows and arrows evolved to cannons and muskets. Battleships evolved to aircraft carriers and aircraft have evolved to unmanned drones. Would an enemy today prefer monstrously destructive nuclear weapons or a bio-weapon such as a virus to cause maximum death without all the destruction and radiation?
I don't have the absolute proof we are at war at this moment but all the rhetoric about Taiwan, the border between Belarus and Poland, Syria, a US submarine banging into a submerged mountain in the South China Sea, China / Russia military drills and so on should be a wake up call to all of us, not to mention North Korea insisting its citizens begin raising black swans for consumption.
I am certain though at this point that the JIT system is collapsing. The days of getting what you want anywhere, anytime in any store you walk into are nearing an end. Relying on a country on the other side of the world to make your t-shirts and socks are on the wane and it marks the end of globalism as we know it. We'll have to re-learn to make things locally and regionally. Simple things that were so easy to buy yesterday may be very difficult to get your hands on tomorrow.
Same goes for food. In Canada, where I live, we don't grow our own bananas and oranges. I expect shortages of some of these exotic foods in the near future. I have been learning to grow my own food in my backward. I've stocked up on dry and frozen goods. When I heard of the flash frost that wiped out millions of tons of coffee in South America this summer, I knew this would affect coffee prices so I stocked up on coffee beans and instant coffee.
Think of the things you will need in times of crisis. Last week, I bought plexi-hose in case i need to repair my water lines in the future. I also stocked up on water softener salt. I got extra light bulbs and candles. I stocked up on indoor / outdoor wood screws in case of having to do emergency repairs on the house. I topped up two gas containers as backup for my snowblower this coming winter. Now, I'm thinking I should get a spare oil filter and a container of oil and coolant for my Rav4.
Critically, get yourself a few extra jugs of water and keep it stored in a cool, dry and dark area of your basement or a closet. If the water stops flowing, you'll be glad those water jugs are within reach.
I've already purchased extra shoes, winter boots, pants, socks, underoos, shirts and jackets and put them away for later use when my present set of clothing begin to break down. Most of these items mentioned above come from overseas and you may soon find yourself in a pickle next time you go shopping. I read last week that Walmart began placing photographs instead of the real thing on some of their shelves because they are experiencing shortages.
What else can you think of that are a necessity. I'm sure you're already stocked up on toilet paper but do you have a good supply of bars of soap, shampoo, dish / laundry detergent, toothbush/ toothpaste? How about band-aids, hydrogen peroxide, vitamins, seeds? How about a bit of cash on hand? A few silver bars would come in handy too.
Even the simplest things like playing cards and board games to keep you occupied would come in handy, although it's not a necessity. If the power goes out, those video games become irrelevant.
It's time to get out there and get the things you need now to protect yourself and your family. History is rife with horrible setbacks and today, it's no different. Winter is coming and we never know how winter is going to play itself out.
Stay healthy, stay sane and most of all, stay prepared. God bless!