Thanks to the power of the “pipes and tubes”, one can meander the realms of the unknown … meander here and there, to and fro, circle it, whip it, beat it, “wine it, dine it, bang it over the hood the car”, and of course the ever-popular and pertinent, “wham, bam, thank you ma’am”.  Oh the “pipes and tubes”, will you ever stop?

And then of course one runs across all sorts of interesting new tidbits.  There are of course the birthers.  I believe they think JC was born in the US, … right?  They even have a queen.  She has her own website.  On aforementioned “pipes and tubes”.  Therefore, ipso facto, e pluribus unum, Avada Kedavra (anyone else notice how much that sounds like abracadabra?  can we say total rip?), de facto,  vox populi, deus ex machina, … yada, yada, yada, … we can all logically and rationally say that yes, JC was born in the US.  I mean come on people, she has a website and everything.  And what about the talking monkeys?  Ya, I thought so.

But before there were birthers.  Before the Easter Bunny (nothing creepy about that, right? … there’s more).  The Tooth Fairy (nothing creepy about some figment of the imagination that creeps into the bedroom of children and takes their teeth because she does leave money in exchange, … isn’t that just a form of capitalism?).  Santa Claus (breaking and entering?).  Before all of them, there were the Preppers.

What the heck-fi is a Prepper?  Well I’m glad you asked.  These are people who are prepping for the “end” of the world”.   Or at least the end of the world as we know it.  You know these guys.  They’re the ones with small armories kept in their bunker-buster proof bomb-shelters.  Enough food to last for a long time (I guess the “end” of the world is going to kinda suck, and they’re prepping for it).  So ya, good times.  Alex Jones hocks these type of products all the time.  Including seeds.

I believe conventional wisdom says “they be crazy”.  Mad Hatter crazy.  And how’s that “conventional wisdom” working out?  So maybe they’re not “that crazy”.  Of course the premise and assumptions I have made thus far certainly do not justify such an opinion.  But there’s always the “pipes and tubes” …  go forth “pipes and tubes” and fetch me the answers.

And with the click of the mouse: Read This First Before You Decide That Preppers Are Crazy.  Oh “pipes and tubes”, will you ever be stopped?

Well, an article had just been posted over there about a report put out by the American Trucker Associations entitled “When Trucks Stop, America Stops“.

I went and found that original report and I was stunned as I read it.

Is this socialist saying that capitalism is imperfect?  Commie!  And he’s using truckers as a reference?  The guys (and galls) who drive stuff around.  Why not just listen to cab drivers?  Or bus drivers?  Or bicycle couriers?  But OK, let’s at least hear what they have to say, … then we (ie. I) can ridicule them.

The truth is that our “just in time” inventory and delivery systems leave us incredibly vulnerable to a nationwide disaster.

You see, it is very expensive to hold and store inventory, so most manufacturers and retailers rely on a continual flow of deliveries that are scheduled to arrive “just in time”, and this significantly reduces their operating expenses.

This is considered to be good business practice for manufacturers and retailers, but it also means that if there was a major nationwide transportation disruption that our economic system would grind to a halt almost immediately.

Oh oh, this dude’s starting to make sense.  This is how many inventory systems are run.  And for that reason – reduce operating expenses, ie. increase profits.

Once store shelves are picked clean, they would not be able to be replenished until trucks could get back on the road.  In the event of a major nationwide disaster, that could be quite a while.

So what could potentially cause a nationwide transportation shutdown?

Well, it is easy to imagine a lot of potential scenarios – a volcanic eruption, a historic earthquake, an EMP attack, a solar megastorm, a war, a major terror attack, an asteroid strike, a killer pandemic, mass rioting in U.S. cities, or even martial law.

If something caused the trucks to stop running, life in America would immediately start changing.

Now I disagree that the reasons outlined above would cause a disruption that is both major and long-lasting.  Simply because one of these have happened, ie. major terror attack.  Which one was that?  Quickly, someone call Giuliana, … the first words out of his mouth is always the same 2 numbers (he even answers the phone that way).  Mass rioting?  What is meant by “mass”?  Numbers?  Length of time?  What about war?  Someone remind me how many wars we are in now?  I bloody lost count.  Is anyone keeping that total going?  Do they mean war on US soil?  So ya, don’t know about that.  But the “just in time” inventory systems are concerning in some aspects.  What else you got broheim?  Timeline you say, … interesting …

A Timeline Showing the Deterioration of Major Industries Following a Truck Stoppage

The first 24 hours

• Delivery of medical supplies to the affected area will cease.
• Hospitals will run out of basic supplies such as syringes and catheters within hours. Radiopharmaceuticals will deteriorate and become unusable.
• Service stations will begin to run out of fuel.
• Manufacturers using just-in-time manufacturing will develop component shortages.
• U.S. mail and other package delivery will cease.

Syringes and catheters within hours?  I don’t know about the “hours” approximation (I’d say more like 2-3 days if the hospital did not have reserves).  But running out of these basic medical tools would be bad, as in catastrophic, as in thousands dying daily.  Catheters?  No more IVs.  No IV meds.  And IV saline … say bye bye.  Syringes?  can’t inject any more drugs.  Bye bye ICU (Intensive care units) patients.  Bye bye NICU (neonatal ICU) patients.  Bye bye burn patients.  Bye bye ER patients.  The surgery patients will be “fine” because there will be no more surgeries.  So they will not die in surgery.  They will die because they can’t get the necessary surgery to save their lives.  Medical intervention now consists of gauze and dressing (and maybe good feelings, happy thoughts, and group hugs).  How long before those run out?

Lions, tigers, and elephants … oh my …

Within one day

• Food shortages will begin to develop.
• Automobile fuel availability and delivery will dwindle, leading to skyrocketing prices and long lines at the gas pumps.
• Without manufacturing components and trucks for product delivery,
assembly lines will shut down, putting thousands out of work.

Food shortages?  The human body can survive for 2-3 days without any water and 2-3 weeks without any food (approximate based on average person).  Fuel dwindling?  Luckily we don’t depend on fuel, or some by-product or derivation, for … oh I don’t know, everything (thankfully the whole economy and our lives aren’t dependent on it, *wink*).  So that’s bad.

Within two to three days

• Food shortages will escalate, especially in the face of hoarding and consumer panic.
• Supplies of essentials—such as bottled water, powdered milk, and
canned meat—at major retailers will disappear.
• ATMs will run out of cash and banks will be unable to process
transactions.
• Service stations will completely run out of fuel for autos and trucks.
• Garbage will start piling up in urban and suburban areas.
• Container ships will sit idle in ports and rail transport will be disrupted, eventually coming to a standstill.

Ok, also not good.  Now until now I’ve been patient.  But why aren’t they talking about the really “important” stuff?  Hello, how does this affect me able to watch American Idol?  Or Dancing with the Losers (I mean Stars)?  How about the Kardishans, huh?  What about them?  And lest we forget, Khloe and Lamar.  (But really, like intestinal parasites, can they ever be forgotten?)  What about Teenage Idiot (oops, I mean Mom)?  Celebrity Douchebags (aka Celebrity Apprentice)?  Get to the good part.  “Me want to hear the good part.”

Within a week

• Automobile travel will cease due to the lack of fuel. Without autos and busses, many people will not be able to get to work, shop for groceries, or access medical care.
• Hospitals will begin to exhaust oxygen supplies.

Within two weeks

• The nation’s clean water supply will begin to run dry.

Within four weeks

• The nation will exhaust its clean water supply and water will be safe for drinking only after boiling. As a result gastrointestinal illnesses will increase, further taxing an already weakened health care system.

This timeline presents only the primary effects of a freeze on truck travel. Secondary effects must be considered as well, such as inability to maintain telecommunications service, reduced law enforcement, increased crime, increased illness and injury, higher death rates, and likely, civil unrest.

No more auto travel?  Finally, the hippies win.  And on the plus side, no mention of Khloe and Lamar (OMG!), so I guess we can still watch (thank you magical genie in the sky).  The clean water thing is really bad.  GI illnesses are minor issues these days.  But without syringes and IVs to deliver meds for serious cases … kiss your sweet Shakira-esque azzes good bye (honorable mention to TBogg).

Secondary effects?  The ones mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg.  Hope we have a lot of police horses, because without them, and no gas, … well let’s hope you’re packing some heat.  No food and no clean water?  Gee I wonder if crime rates will sky rocket?  Not to mention the civil unrest.  And O2 supplies exhausted?  So what?  Just have them take a deep breath.  It’s not like nasal cannulas or non-rebreathers actually help (more hippie voodoo science).

Ok, so I can still The Kardishans (OMG!).  So what should I do about the “minor” inconvenience with the other “stuff”?

An article by Tess Pennington entitled “Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First” contains a list of 100 things that are likely to disappear from store shelves first.  The following are the first 10 things on her list….

1. Generators (Good ones cost dearly. Gas storage, risky. Noisy…target of
thieves; maintenance etc.)
2. Water Filters/Purifiers
3. Portable Toilets
4. Seasoned Firewood. Wood takes about 6 – 12 months to become dried, for home
uses.
5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First Choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile
ANY!)
6. Coleman Fuel. Impossible to stockpile too much.
7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats & Slingshots.
8. Hand-can openers, & hand egg beaters, whisks.
9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugar
10. Rice – Beans – Wheat

You can find the rest of the list right here.

Good list for the wannabe-Prepper.  #11. Box Set Blu-ray/DVD Khloe and Lamar (OMG!).

 

[In all seriousness, Note:

I recommend reading the original pdf.  Although the original article may seem reactionary, the original pdf goes into much more organized and detailed information on the consequences of issues.  There's also an included Case Study: The Effect of Border Delays on Auto Manufacturers Following
September 11th.  The pdf is split into the consequences of such areas as the food industry, healthcare, transportation, wast removal, retail sector, manufacturing, and banking and finance.  Thus I recommend everyone reading the original pdf for the information.]