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The conflict with Iran has many people very fearful. To be honest the whole thing has made me do a lot of thinking. I don’t want to go over the politics of the situation with you because guess what: there are a lot of things that all people have in common if they want to stay safe and protect their families from hardship on all levels.
A lot of the things I am going to talk about are things that you may already have covered and honestly should be prepared for anyway. One of the beautiful things about well planned prepping is that you can use a lot of the things that you put back even if you are lucky enough to never experience any major event. As the old saying goes, better safer than sorry.
Some of you may have read my article about Iran during the tanker attacks. I hoped that I was wrong about a strong escalation but time has proven that things are at a dangerous point.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there at the time regarding the most recent attacks on US bases. Hopefully, we know more today.
If the Strait of Hormuz is closed to oil trade, this could lead to rises in fuel costs.
There doesn’t have to be a war for this to happen.
The Saudi Arabian oil tanker company Bahri has already suspended any oil tankers from traveling through the Strait of Hormuz. Other major companies such as Petrobras have followed suit. It is too early to know how long this will continue to be the case.
Even though the Strait is not technically closed, companies are not able to get their shipments insured easily at this time so the risk of financial loss is too great to send tankers through.
The cost of oil went up 2% briefly and then came back down. That doesn’t mean it is not possible for prices to spike again as the situation in the Middle East plays out.
Experts are predicting that if the Strait of Hormuz is closed to oil shipments, the price per barrel will go over $100. To put it in perspective, this morning, January 8, 2020, the price of a barrel of crude is hovering around $62.70.
I can’t tell you for sure what is going to happen but I would say that we should expect to pay more at the pump. It takes a little time for these prices to start percolating through the American economy, but the laces will start to tighten on the budget of Americans if this happens.
Any economic strife in the USA will affect a lot of countries that rely on our economy for revenue on any level.
Rising Anti-American Sentiment and Terrorist Acts
The effects of this can be far-reaching. In modern times people travel a lot for not just pleasure but for business. This conflict could cause vast reaching economic consequences for the entire world. Business relations may be strained and many Americans may choose that it is not safe to travel for any reason.
In America itself, the fear of sleeper cells of terrorism combined with porous borders makes for a situation where people will be on edge due to the possibility of attacks within the USA on infrastructure, business, and other civilian areas to make their point.
The economy will be affected on all levels from a continued conflict. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail and all this calms down as soon as possible.
When people are more fearful it can lead to people being fearful of attending public events or even being in cities. That means a drop in people buying goods and services. Someone may think twice about going to a festival with 10,000 other people if there is fear of terrorist activity. Hey, I get it. To be honest with you crowds were getting more dangerous well before all this.
Increased Cyber Attacks
The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to businesses and individuals that Iran is capable of cyber attacks that could have an impact on infrastructure. You can read the full announcement or download the pdf by following this link.
While cyber-attacks on your own computer may be a temporary annoyance, a cyber attack that has an effect on the infrastructure of the USA or disrupts economic activity could have a ripple effect across many areas of daily life.
Supply Disruptions and Delays
I am not going to predict the major reasons for any supply disruption but I think it is very possible that we see shortages or at least delays in some deliveries. My basis for this is that people regularly report this happening at many brick and mortar stores now.
The “Death of Retail” is a common headline already across both mainstream and alternative media. I hope I am wrong about this but nearly a year after my bare shelves article over at The Organic Prepper, I have seen countless reports of supply disruptions and bare spots on shelves from people all over the country. I just can’t see how a conflict in the Middle East and rising gas prices couldn’t make disruptions at least slightly more common.
Don’t let your gas tank get below half full.
Some people say that everyone buying gas at once is the real problem when there are shortages. I don’t see it as that simple. For starters, it is always good to keep your tank topped off so you can either get out of dodge if needed or at least make it back home if the pumps are not working.
The Biggers’ live at the end of the gas supply chain in the USA so while it is easy for some to write in and say “all this seems to happen to other people and not me”. Well, I think it is best to plan what is best for you and your loved one’s unique situations and I am going to do the same for mine.
Have 7 days of food and beverage on hand.
I think a person should ideally have a few months of food even if they live in an apartment but that is a lot for someone that is just starting on preparedness today or is new to it. Start with 7 days of food and beverage and then add extra food as you can afford it. Everyone has to start somewhere and 7 days is twice as much food and beverage as most people keep around. Just a little encouragement there.
Consider what you would do if there was a power and internet outage that lasts more than 3 days.
You can make your life and that of your family. I advise doing some or all of the following depending on your personal situation and preferences.
- Buy a small battery bank for keeping a phone or small device topped off.
- Load some e-books, music, video, etc, onto a device to provide entertainment
- Purchase some flashlights and small emergency lighting. These are useful for many different disasters.
- Consider buying a system to charge AA or AAA batteries. Small solar chargers are inexpensive.
- Larger power centers are more affordable than ever and when combined with a small solar panel, they can provide you with some reliable power for an extended period of time. I have a Jackery 500 and it is great.
- Are you comfortable with having no method of contacting others if your cell phone can’t make calls or internet communication is not possible? Options include radios and HAM radios. Anyone can buy a radio but HAM is more complicated. For more info on HAM, follow this link.
- Make sure your emergency radio for getting info is charged or has batteries. If you don’t have one, Kaito offers some great options.
- Consider what you have for entertainment and morale if you have to sit at home without power and the internet. I have a small library of used books that I am working through. I am just in that habit now. You may have a favorite hobby or pastime that is doable without power. It is a bonus if your hobby is something that can really help out during tough times.
Check and make sure that you have a supply of any prescription medications you require and a decent first aid kit.
There are a lot of reasons this is a good idea, especially if you are the type that waits to the last minute. I used to live in Ketchikan. Alaska and I remember that sometimes some meds had to be substituted for people. They just ran out of some strengths and some pills in particular. I say this because it shows that it can happen even in good times with modern fast shipping.
Some medications are very harmful to come off of suddenly.
You can get a decent small first aid kit for 1-2 people for very little money. I recommend the First Aid Only Kit and that you add Benadryl and Ibuprofen Liqui-Gels.
Purchase a water filter or several different styles of water filters if you don’t have one already.
A Sawyer Mini is often less than $20. For family use, you can use a Sawyer inline with a hydration bag or buy a combo system like the Hydro Blu. I recommend these brands for their affordability and versatility for individuals and families as well as their proven reliability out in the bush.
Consider your heating needs and how you would stay warm without electricity.
In my area, it is the cold season. What if electricity was not available? How would you stay warm. Kerosene or propane heaters are one option. If you have a wood stove and some wood on hand than you are in a good position. Those without these things may consider some mylar emergency blankets and maybe a sleeping bag. It is amazing how good of a sleeping bag or bivvy you can get for your money nowadays and they store in a very small space.
If you are already a prepper, now is the time to go over your preps and see what you are lacking.
Everyone should go through their preps occasionally. It can be easy to lose track of what you have. You may be better or worse prepared than you might have thought. Little things can make a big difference in your comfort and survival during a very short or long term emergency alike.
Think before you speak.
We all have things we would like to say but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea to do so. I have to think about that many hours of the day. Emotions can run really high during a time like this. This is not to say the country was not already on edge before and divided in many ways. Consider that despite differences, there are some core basic needs that we all have to address and that matters a lot.
Ask yourself it is worth it to say something controversial on any level. What is the end goal? Will it achieve anything besides fueling pride and ego? Is now the time to have petty disagreements with loved ones? You may need each other more than you realize.
Consider what you can do for defense.
I get a few emails in my line of work. Sometimes they are from older ladies that say they are alone and sometimes they are in countries where SHTF is in motion and a firearm is impossible or only for the very wealthy. I wrote an article on using everyday objects for self-defense. There are things you can use all around you without even spending anything. A lot of being prepared is being resourceful.
Like I have told the ladies before, some of the women in my family have used a frying pan to great success. A lady in Chili told me that young people sharpen screwdrivers for weapons.
Consider if it is worth it to be in large crowds if you don’t really need to be.
People are on edge and that can lead to panic. You can get trampled in a crowd. Also, larger places are more likely to be targeted.
Related Article: Panic: Staying Safe In A Society On Edge.
Consider shopping at smaller local stores rather than the huge big box stores.
Large shopping centers and Wal-Marts have been the scene of more than one dangerous situation.
Keep living your life. Events are in motion that we have little control over.
For the new reader, I will tell you that I am a homebody anyway. My farm and all my work are done from my property. Matt and I started out up here in a tent and built a house. We choose to avoid highly populated events and areas as much as possible anyway. At the same time, this is not possible for everyone due to work or school. I do think it is a good idea to take some precautions during these trying times.
Some may feel the need to accuse me of spreading fear during this crisis or overreaction but as I said before, many of the things I recommend are preparedness basics that are valuable to your comfort and survival during all kinds of other situations. It is just that now is a time to reinforce these ideas and for us that have been at the preparedness thing awhile to consider what we are lacking.