Why You Need to Prepare (#3)
When people hear the term preparedness or prepper, they think crazy people who live in the woods and have enough beans and rice to last until the next century. While those people certainly exist, that’s not what I'm talking about.
It was only a few generations back that preparedness was a way of life. Our great-grandparents and beyond would have found the idea of being dependent on just-in-time delivery unthinkable.
If you aren’t familiar with how just-in-time (JIT) delivery works, it is a manufacturing technique used by companies primarily to reduce costs. They receive supplies just in time to create their products and ship the products out to arrive just in time. The biggest reason JIT exists is to cut inventory costs. If manufacturers don’t have to store materials, they don’t have to pay for the inventory space.
This is great for the companies, but leaves the consumer in a precarious situation.
Since JIT became the operational norm, the amount of stock on grocery store shelves has dropped significantly. I am old enough to remember when every product had many more available on the shelf. Now you are lucky if there is a dozen or two at any time. How often do you go to the store and intend to purchase something on sale only to find it completely sold out and with no new inventory expected for a couple of days? JIT contributes significantly to this problem.
While this doesn’t matter much in your day to day life when everything is flowing well, it can be a tremendous problem if the JIT process is disrupted for any reason. Why?
This is a link to a paper published by the American Trucking Association (ATA) in 2015. It offers an outline of what would happen if the trucks stopped moving goods around our country and how quickly it would happen. In When Trucks Stop, America Stops, they describe the impact on food, healthcare, transportation, waste removal, retail, manufacturing, banking, and other areas. I’m linking to the PDF because they give such an excellent overview of the reality we would face if the trucks stopped for some reason.
Please take the time to read it. It is sobering to think how much we depend on trucking alone to get what we take for granted every day. Now imagine ships, airplanes, rail, etc. having difficulties making their deliveries. We are incredibly dependent on goods moving around this country constantly, all day and night, every day.
JIT has its benefits for the companies. I imagine the consumer benefits slightly with lower prices if inventory costs are lower. But it also leaves your family and mine vulnerable. It's time to consider how to minimize the impact negative events could have your family.
Thankful wife of David for 22 years and momma to Caroline for 13 years - Relaxed/Unschoolerish - Lover of books - Seeker of wisdom - Drinker of too many coconut milk mochas from Starbucks