Several people have told me they are buying extra food so they will have a stockpile if there are shortages in case of a second wave of the virus, civil unrest or even — God forbid — a new civil war that disrupts the food distribution system.
As someone who worked in emergency management for a decade, I think having a stockpile of supplies is a good idea.
Everybody should have enough to survive at least a week or two. That is just common sense.
Those who are preparing for a zombie apocalypse or something similar are hoarding dried food, frozen food or freeze-dried food to last a year. The word overkill comes to mind.
During the ice storm of 2000, many people in this state could not get out of their homes because up to five inches of ice covered most of the state.
A surprising number of people didn’t have enough food — including baby formula — or medicine to survive 24 hours without outside help. Members of the Arkansas National Guard had to risk their lives driving on the ice to deliver food.
Besides the rare ice storm, Arkansas routinely has tornadoes and floods that can disrupt the food distribution system. Being prepared is never a bad thing.
However, I have a word to the wise about stockpiling food — don’t go around bragging about it.
The mainstream media likes to label people who are prepared with extra consumable supplies for emergencies as “preppers.”
Think back. Preppers are always portrayed as bad people by the national media.
If the supply chain breaks down for any reason people will not have enough to eat. Hungry people will quickly prioritize their needs above all else. If you have not exercised OPSEC — that stands for operation security — people you have told about your stockpile will come to your home to take whatever supplies you have.
Hungry people see you as a bad person for hoarding food. It eases their conscience when they forcibly take food supplies — and perhaps even your life away — so they can eat.
But hungry people are not the only danger if your loose lips let it be known you have food and supplies when others don’t.
If an emergency causes the government to declare martial law (note it is not “marshal law”), the government can search your house without a warrant, seize your stockpile of food intended for your family and even put you in jail for hoarding.
Under martial law, you can be held in jail as long as the government official in charge thinks you are a danger.
Having an emergency stash of food, water, medicine and other supplies won’t do you any good if the government confiscates it “for the greater betterment of the country.”
Some of you may be saying “but I have rights.” Normally you do, but not under martial law. In 1994, then-President Bill Clinton issued an executive order that combined a number of laws that would take effect in the event martial law is declared.
One of these laws included in his order, EO 10998, permits the federal government to seize hoarded food supplies from both public and private holders during an emergency.
Anybody with even a basic knowledge of the Bill of Rights knows the Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.
The only time I know this country had martial law was during the Civil War. Most people are not aware of it but any declaration of martial law essentially nullifies any constitutional protections and civil rights and allows government to do what is considered necessary to preserve public safety.
In 2012, Barack Obama signed the National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order. That order grants the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor, the Department of Defense and other agencies complete control of all U.S. resources.
That means during a time of martial law, agencies of the federal government can confiscate all American resources, materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary.
So for those of you preparing for the worst, my advice is keep your mouth shut about what you are doing. If you don’t, the results will be scary.
If your friends and neighbors who know you have an emergency stockpile don’t swarm your house and take it away from you, your own government could take it.
What will happen to the stockpile you had the foresight to put back? The government could take it from the prepared and give it to the unprepared.
Originally published in the Saline Courier by Jim Harris. Reprinted with permission from Jim – Thanks Jim for the great article and advice!