If an ice storm can cause this much panic in our major cities, what will a real crisis look like?  The biggest news story in the United States right now is the “historic ice storm” that is hammering the South.  Travel will be a nightmare, schools and businesses will be closed, and hundreds of thousands of people will lose power.  In fact, it is being projected that some people could be without power for up to a week.  But at the end of the day, the truth is that this ice storm is just an inconvenience.  Yes, the lives of millions of Americans will be disrupted for a few days, but soon the ice will melt and life will be back to normal.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for people to start behaving like crazed lunatics. 
As you will see below, the winter weather is causing average Americans to ransack grocery stores, fight over food items and even pull guns on one another.  If this is how people will behave during a temporary weather emergency, how will they behave if the financial system crashes, stores are empty, and the just in time supply chain is broken indefinitely?

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From The Economic Collapse Blog:

This is a perfect example that shows why it is wise to always have emergency food supplies on hand.  According to CNN, all that is left on the shelves of some grocery stores in Atlanta is “corn and asparagus”…

As the skies turned heavy, Atlantans cleaned stores out of loaves of bread, gallons of milk, bundles of firewood and cans of beans and beer. In some stores, all that was left were the apparently less-popular corn and asparagus.

And according to an Infowars report, some people down in Atlanta were actually getting into fights over basic essentials such as milk and bread…

Atlanta residents ransacked neighborhood grocery stores in frantic preparation for their second major snowstorm of the year, waging fights over food items and leaving destruction and empty shelves in their wake, a stunning precursor to what will ensue once a major crisis impacts the U.S.

After three inches of snow shut the city down two weeks ago, causing major havoc and leaving miles of cars stranded on immobile roadways, the residents of Atlanta took heed and shopped early.

According to people who Tweeted photos of barren store shelves, residents went crazy over essentials like milk, bread, water and eggs, and in some cases “people were fighting. Yes fighting,” alleges one user.

The photo that I have shared below was posted to Twitter by Kris Muir.  It shows what the bread aisle at a Kroger in the Atlanta area looked like as the storm approached…

Bread aisle of a Kroger in the Atlanta area

So what would happen if this was an extended crisis and you had not stored up any emergency supplies for your own family?

That is something to think about.

And just like during the last major winter storm in the South, there are reports of hundreds of vehicles being abandoned on the side of the road in major cities.  For example, just check out what has been happening in Raleigh, North Carolina

“I live and work in downtown. I was able to get from my office back home. My wife works in Morrisville, about 25 minutes away. She left the office at 12 p.m. and is still on the road. I am coaching her home with Google Maps. It appears that, from WRAL TV, the ramp from Wade Avenue to 440 is blocked by abandoned cars. That is a HUGE ramp (downtown Raleigh to highway).”

We are also seeing quite a few reports of “snow rage” as this cold, snowy winter drags on.  In fact, on Sunday someone actually pulled out a shotgun and threatened to shoot a snow plow driver on Long Island

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday, people have found themselves fed up with the hassle of plowing, shoveling and salting. In fact, they have been pushed to the edge, to the point where they have been taking out their frustrations on plow drivers.

Eric Ramirez, a snow plow driver on Long Island, said an irate man went so far as to rack a shotgun Sunday and threaten to shoot him because he was piling snow in front of the man’s Manorhaven home.

And a similar incident involving a pistol was recently reported in Union Township

The incident happened Monday afternoon along Underwood Street in Union Township.

Police say Eckert became angry when the self-employed driver, John Abraham, accidentally pushed some snow into his yard while cleaning a neighbor’s driveway.

“I went like this to put it in park and there was a gun right here in my face,” Abraham said.

Eckert is then accused of taking a .22-calibur pistol out of his coat, and pressing it against Abraham’s cheek, telling him to remove the snow.

As I write about so frequently, the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is starting to disappear.  A whole host of surveys and opinion polls have shown that Americans are angrier and more frustrated than ever.  Our society has become a ticking time bomb, and it isn’t going to take much for it to explode.

When it does explode, most people are going to be depending on the government or someone else to take care of them.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo

Despite warnings from FEMA, as well as the prevalence of popular preparedness TV shows, Americans still don’t seem to understand how susceptible we are to a complete destabilization of life as we know it. It boggles the mind that most people seem to think that when disasters strikes they’ll be able to depend on someone else to provide them with assistance.

Fortunately, at least a few people seem to be learning some lessons about the importance of being prepared from these winter storms…

“Last time I was totally unprepared, I was completely blindsided,” said Lisa Nadir, of Acworth, who sat in traffic for 13 hours and then spent the night in her car when the storm hit Jan. 28. “I’m going to be prepared from now on for the rest of my life.”

What about you?

Are you prepared?

We live at a time when our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and it doesn’t take much to imagine a bunch of scenarios in which this nation would be facing a major crisis for an extended period of time…

-A major eruption of Mt. Rainier or the Yellowstone supervolcano

-The “Big One” hits California

-A massive earthquake along the New Madrid fault line

-A highly infectious pandemic that kills tens of millions of Americans

-Hackers bring down the Internet or crash the banking system

-A massive tsunami hits either the east coast or the west coast destroying numerous major cities

-A major war erupts in the Middle East and the United States gets involved

-A crisis involving North Korea sparks a major war in Asia

-A terror attack that specifically targets our power grid

-A terror attack involving a weapon of mass destruction in one of our major cities

-A terror attack or a major natural disaster causes one or more nuclear facilities in the heart of the United States to experience a “Fukushima-like crisis

-A massive EMP blast that fries our electrical grid and our communications systems

-Last but certainly not least, a massive economic collapse that fundamentally changes life in America on a permanent basis

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    • @Marchas45
      Indeed we have, Charlie.  Stacking is a lot more inclusive than just PMs.  Those of us who have been without electricity for days or even weeks at a time because of severe weather well know the value of having what we need to get through even those short times, let alone what we would need to handle several weeks or longer.  
      Food, water, and meds stacked will see us through long periods of economic disruption, from whatever cause.  A supply of seeds is also good in case problems go on for several months or longer.  
      My plan involves having a 3-way split of the food that we have on hand for emergencies: this is divided evenly among canned goods, freeze dried foods, and fresh food grown in our own garden or purchased directly from local farmers.  I am still getting this system running and need to increase the amount of freeze dried food we have on hand.  
      We have a good supply of meat in a large freezer in the garage but we would have to can or smoke most of that if electricity was lost for more than a few days.  I don’t have a canner but plan to buy one soon.  I have read up on this and used to help my Mom way back when.  She was a good cook and knew a lot about canning.  We ate a lot of home-canned food back then.  Yes, it can be hazardous if one does not follow the instructions precisely but that’s not a problem when one realizes just how vital it is to do that.  Home canning is an excellent survival skill that will likely see a significant rebirth one of these days.

  1. I got into a discussion over on a gun board about this. Majority say there is no need to have more than a few days supplies on hand, anymore than that and your neighbors will rob you anyway. Well yes if you live in one of Obama’s hellhole democratic cities where half the people are on EBT. Out where I live 90% of the town is prepared with 6 months food, about half are at 1 years worth or more. Little 10 million bushel grain elevator too that us usually at least 1/3 full all year long and in fall it is full to overflowing. The few who are not prepared live in the HUD section 8 apartments, they will be given a choice of working or get out if SHTF.
    People in big cities need a hardened bunker with everything they need to survive a year, after that they can think about getting out. Or they need to bug out well in advance. Small town USA is well prepared to survive but big cities are where we will see the animals.

    • You’re right, Mary…small community of like minded people is the only way to go.  Cities large and small will burn like no other when the time comes, as frustration, starvation, and violence set in.  For a dramatic vision of the possibilities, James Wesley Rawles book Patriots paints the picture pretty well. Boy Scout/Girl Scout motto is the order of the day: Be Prepared.   

    • “The few who are not prepared live in the HUD section 8 apartments, they will be given a choice of working or get out if SHTF.”
      I foresee an exodus from your area of these people towards the nearest big city.  They will not realize just how awful things will get in them and will only be thinking about the benefits they can tap into.  If they make it to the nearest big city, they will be surprised to discover that the freebie pipeline is empty and the valve has been welded shut.
      “Small town USA is well prepared to survive but big cities are where we will see the animals.”
      Indeed.  I am convinced that any “FEMA camps” that exist or that come to be will be used to cage a lot of the inner city gang members.  If not, then they will run wild with the usual looting, raping, burning, murdering, and pillaging.  That will only take them so far, however.  After that, they will be out of food and could well revert to cannibalism.  No, the big cities will NOT be the place to be or go.

  2. Every one of these incredibly MINOR situations should make every normal thinking American take action to get prepared.  Hell, in a couple key strokes one can find prepper websites that will educate on what to do and how to do it.  Its pretty easy, really. 
    Anyone that is not getting prepared is going to need a flak jacket and associated body protection.  Because when you try to take what you should have been prepping for from someone who has, your gonna get shot!

    • “Because when you try to take what you should have been prepping for from someone who has, your gonna get shot!”
      Yep… and survivors WILL be shot again!

  3. “If an ice storm can cause this much panic in our major cities, what will a real crisis look like?”
    It will be bad… incredibly bad… MUCH worse than most people today can possibly imagine.  It is so far out of the living memory of most Americans that most cannot even ask the above question, let alone formulate a reply to it.  That this keeps happening, time after time is astounding.  The pattern so far has been, “storm is announced as approaching… people in the soon-to-be-affected areas do nothing… more announcements follow… still nothing… storm is nearly upon them… people rush to the stores and empty the shelves!  How many times must this repeat before people pull their heads from the sand, or wherever they have them stuck, and GET prepped???
    “As I write about so frequently, the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is starting to disappear.  A whole host of surveys and opinion polls have shown that Americans are angrier and more frustrated than ever.  Our society has become a ticking time bomb, and it isn’t going to take much for it to explode.”
    This is something that remains unacknowledged by any level of Gov in the US.  We’ve been in a depression for 5+ years now.  Things are not getting better on Main Street like they are on Wall Street.  Many people have great anger over this, especially those who cannot find work that can support them.  It will not take much additional stress for this anger to boil over into rage, which will quickly translate into mindless violence.  Instead of addressing this, the Gov wants to play with gun control laws, as if that will somehow cure the REAL problem rather than a few of the symptoms.  This is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic in order to avert a catastrophic collision with an iceberg.  It will not end well.
    “Last but certainly not least, a massive economic collapse that fundamentally changes life in America on a permanent basis”
    Of all of the possible disaster scenarios, this one and a solar EMP seem to me to be most likely.  We see the signs of an approaching economic crash of epic proportions on a routine basis.  The financial mismanagement of this country is staggering.  We know with absolute certainty that the current system is not sustainable, yet the only changes that are politically possible seem to be those that exacerbate the problem.  Spending more money on unearned benefits seems to be the only answer, yet it is clearly the wrong answer. We should have frozen the US Gov budget years, if not decades ago.  Interest rates need to be higher.  The Fed has already cut them to too low a level and held them there for far too long.  This is typical Fed behavior… too little or too much for too long.  People don’t save any money any more.  They have no reason and / or no ability to do that.  Interest rates are too low to make saving pay.  Inflation at the consumer level is 5-6 times the current interest rate one can earn on their money and the interest “income” is likely further reduced via taxation.  Savings are the life-blood of a vital economy.  This is what forms the pool of capital that business and industry needs to get started, to grow, and to hire people.  Because higher interest rates make borrowing more expensive, people in business and industry think very carefully before borrowing money and deploying that capital.  When rates are super low, there is less need for this and lots of cheaply borrowed capital is misallocated.  This almost never works out.
    While I very much enjoy the shows on TV about Doomsday prepping, bunkers, and castles the part that really puts my teeth on edge is when the people who created these shows quote “economists” saying that an economic collapse or hyper-inflation is unlikely.  Hold it a second!  Aren’t these the very same economists who were advising people to jump into the stock market right before the 2008 crash and who advised people that real estate was the best investment right before that market went TU?  How about those internet stocks and tech stocks in 1999?  Yep, they were hyping those as well.  OK, so how about today with the US dollar and UST bond bubbles?  Nope, not a word out of any of them about this, even though it has become obvious to many of us and the Austrian economists have talked about this a great deal.  Hmmm.  Seems to be that the record of success for Keynesian economics pretty much sucks.  So, why should we listen to them?  
    The short answer is that we shouldn’t because economists are largely in a captive profession.  Their livelihood depends completely upon those institutions that will be responsible for the crash… namely government, financial institutions, and universities that teach the crap Keynesian economics that is proving itself to be a complete failure in the real world.  It is only when we look to those who use classical / Austrian economics, such as Peter Schiff and John Williams, who truly understand how real-world economics actually works and not how we would like it to work, which is what the Keynesians and Marxists do.  In fact, give me someone who understands “street-o-nomics”, who has a practical grasp of money, saving, careful shopping, who makes the best economic choices his / her income forces upon them, and has the sure knowledge that if they do not handle this correctly, they WILL go hungry.  THAT is the person who has their economic act together, not these egghead economics professors / bankster and Gov allies.
    Bottom line:  prepare for a significant reduction in US living standards due to economic collapse of several possible kinds.  The danger of not being prepared for this greatly outweighs the cost of it.  All we really need to do is convert our dying fiat into gold, silver, and the things that we need to preserve our families.  This has very little cost, since these preps will not be lost if nothing happens.  The food can still be consumed.  The PMs will still have value and should help protect the part of your wealth that is in PMs from inflation.  PMs can also be passed down to children and grand children to be their financial insurance should economic collapse happen in their lifetimes.

  4. Ed, your “Bottom Line” is wise counsel, however I do think that people will evacuate the cities in droves. There is this idea that the countryside is loaded with food and that it is easy pickings.  Rawles talks about “refugee lines of drift”, the main corridors through which hordes of people will move -main interstates and other highways.  Best to be 300 miles out of any major city if possible and off of these main lines of drift. Cities and main arteries are where it will get ugliest first.

    • Here on the west side of Puget Sound, across the water from the city of Seattle, we will be sitting on the beach in our lawn chairs eating beany-weenies out of a can while shooting the floating refugees just before they make it to shore.

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