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Old 08-31-2011, 10:05 AM
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Default Lessons from a pre-Irene shopping trip



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Like many other members here on this forum I had to deal with a hurricane this past weekend. I was lucky this time and the impact was rather light, where I live, with the exception of some rain and a few hours of strong wind gusts.

Three days before the storm I took a trip to the local walmart for some extra supplies. I have quite the stash already but figured I'd double up on some things to keep from having to tap into my preps.

When I got there the place was packed. Literally every single flashlight in the entire store was sold out, Not a single package of "D" cell batteries to be found, water was running low, camp stove fuel was almost out, candles were low. Big crowds in the food isles. I could only imagine how it was the next day.

The produce section was untouched. The ammo bin was still full and I grabbed a gallon of chain saw bar oil making the only gap in a full display.

The trip did have some pretty big benefits though. I was able to pick up some extra preps. It's a great idea too join in with the sheeple for that one last shopping trip before the storm. The big lesson learned was to make sure you have everything you need before hand. For me it was a casual shopping trip because I didn't really need anything that I bought but for many of the people there it was a panicking rush.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:17 AM
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Flashlights, batteries, candles, bread, milk, and bottled water. Those are the first things to go in a disaster.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:15 AM
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I had the same experience in OK a few winters ago. We were iced in for 11 days without power, heat or water. Even in an apartment, in the city, we did just fine. Around the 4th day, we got some cabin fever and decided to take a hike to the closest store. The store was deserted. The doors were locked, but looking through the windows we could see the bare shelves. We were the only people around as far as we could see. There was no traffic, only the sound of trees and utility poles snapping under the weight of the ice, like distant gunfire. It was an erie moment.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:18 AM
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Here we tend to get cyclone items in bulk in the stores. Kind of like easter with the chocolate.

I did notice AAA batteries were not sold out.(I tend to use them for my BOB stuff) was that the same over there?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontbuypotteryfromme View Post
Here we tend to get cyclone items in bulk in the stores. Kind of like easter with the chocolate.

I did notice AAA batteries were not sold out.(I tend to use them for my BOB stuff) was that the same over there?
same situation with the batteries here. tons of AAA.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:48 PM
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And that's exactly why we prep. It will be utter chaos at your local empty-mart come shtf time. People will be fighting over the last scrap of anything. They'll be using comic books for toilet paper. God help us.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:53 PM
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I avoided the stores before the storm, I have what I need ahead of time.

Sheeple are pains in the butt.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rule4 View Post
same situation with the batteries here. tons of AAA.

so many people were hunting for D batts - all my lights are AA or AAA LED goodness
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:21 PM
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My little experience here in south Florida was generator related. We had purchased a generator as part or our overall prep plan. I had not purchased the SO cord and cord cap to connect the genny to the panel. On the day Irene was classified a hurricane every 30amp, 4 wire twist lock sold out. I tried every big box store, all gone.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHER View Post
so many people were hunting for D batts - all my lights are AA or AAA LED goodness
I've seen an overabundance of D cell flashlights at the checkout lanes where I am. If you actually go to the flashlight section though you see much less of them. It's the panic buying mode, people grab them on the way out, then they haven't ever owned a flashlight before so they buy 30 D-cell batteries, not realizing that will last them several years of moderate use. Voila, no more D cell batteries, but tons of AA and AAA for the people who actually have used flashlights before and own several.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:55 PM
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Visiting your smaller stores during these events can pay off. While most people flock to the big boxes, the smaller stores don't get swarmed until later!
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:23 PM
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One of the things you will find as you get really prepared is the way your spouse reacts to an emergency alert. there is no panic. You have a plan in place. You have supplies in place. You have food water and fuel. You can cook when others are sitting in the dark wondering when the lights are coming back on. You have your solar/crank radios in place so you are in touch with what is going on. If you do go to the store as you did it is for more the little things you might want to add. I love to get some fresh produce on one of these trips. It is interesting to watch the panic people get in when they PREP at last minute.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:24 PM
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I was at a Wegman's grocery story in Fairfax, VA Saturday morning about 8:30AM, and they had two carts near the registers with batteries in them and a sign made up with prices and "Sorry, no D batteries". That afternoon I went out to Winchester, VA and did not find any D batteries at the Martin's grocery. Both stores, plenty of AA and AAA batteries, some C's, 9V. So, I went over to Tractor Supply nearby and they had no name brand D batteries, just some "Job Smart" alkalines made in China, 6 for $5, so I got 2 packs for my friend who had a battery powered lantern and asked me to bring batteries (I don't use them much, so none in stock in my supplies).

Then I heard on the radio on Sunday after the storm passed the DC area that there was some convenience store open Saturday afternoon on some road on the way to/from (I forget) Ocean City, MD that had one pack of D alkaline batteries on the shelf and they wanted $12.97 for them.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:25 PM
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You can take all of these lessons a couple different ways.

#1. Prep in advance. Supplies at the last minute may no longer be available.

#2. Buy extra. Sell when demand is high, and make a profit yourself. I saw the same with surgical masks / avian flu, and iodine / Fukushima.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:29 PM
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I buy large packs of D and AA batteries from Costco. I purchase a lot of prepping items there.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:30 PM
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Well how was the beer cooler looking like? I imagine that sales of beer spiked as it always did when I lived in FLA.

I tend to purchase items offseason so in the summer I buy winter supplies and vice versa as it saves some coin and hassle.
I buy most items at the lowest price not when I am getting low on it. Thats part of prepping right?
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontbuypotteryfromme View Post
Here we tend to get cyclone items in bulk in the stores. Kind of like easter with the chocolate.

I did notice AAA batteries were not sold out.(I tend to use them for my BOB stuff) was that the same over there?
There were plenty of AA and AAA available.

I just finished buying 8 AA to D cell battery converters and 8 AA to C cell converters on ebay. They let you use the AA batteries in devices that use the larger size batteries. Not going to get stuck without the batteries needed to power my portable shower and portable bilge pump.

I had D batteries but wanted to get more of them and they were nowhere to be found. Converters are about a dollar each for the AA to D and 50 cents for the AA to C, worth every penny in a situation like we just had.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreyamanning View Post
Flashlights, batteries, candles, bread, milk, and bottled water. Those are the first things to go in a disaster.
I know its true, but I have never understood the whole bread thing.

Its perishable, delicate, not generally in water tight packaging, voluminous (ie, not a compact form of calories) so why does everyone run to buy bread?
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
I know its true, but I have never understood the whole bread thing.

Its perishable, delicate, not generally in water tight packaging, voluminous (ie, not a compact form of calories) so why does everyone run to buy bread?
Maybe to make Peanut butter, Spam or Tuna sandwiches, easy to make with no power and kids like them.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
I know its true, but I have never understood the whole bread thing.

Its perishable, delicate, not generally in water tight packaging, voluminous (ie, not a compact form of calories) so why does everyone run to buy bread?
My family loves peanut butter sandwiches - easy, does not take water to cook, and no heat needed for them. Would not want for days on end but for a couple of days really easy food.
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