After my recent chance to chat with the manager of our local largest supermarket (that I reported a few posts ago) I ended up with more questions. The main was that if there is nothing stored out the back then do they have a central warehouse here in Adelaide that does? (and the same for other states). Do they have some massive storage facility that supplies all the stores and where there is in fact a back up of goods should a supply chain fail?
I heard that there is a massive warehouse at Gepps Cross. So I thought this is possible. Surely this is filled with goods and this would serve as some kind of back up right?
And so as luck would have it I bumped into the poor unsuspecting manager again. lol
So I said to him I had been thinking about what he had said and battered him with another round of questions :)
The short answer was NOPE. The big warehouse is big alright but it runs on the same "just in time delivery system" and it is not a storage facility. Things are all timed to come in ready to go out to various stores pretty much immediately. So we are back to the 12 packs of candles and no reserves reality!
I did say to him that surely this system is very vulnerable to one thing going wrong ie power down, computer glitch, fuel shortage, truckie or staff strike and so on. And he said "it sure is" and that it was like dominos if one thing falls over the whole supply ceases. I asked if this gives him a headache and he said "it sure does" and that there isn't anything he can do about it.
So there you go...
The flowers in this post are from my Aunts garden. See her the size of the flower in comparison to her hand!?
Next thing... I found a rain barrel on the side of the road! It was next to a compost system which I looked longingly at too... but I picked up this barrel which is 100 liters and was a fantastic find. Especially given I had said on Patsy's blog that adding to our water storage was my aim for the week.
Our supermarket has added notices to the baby formula shelves. Half are in English and half are in Chinese. There are no other notices in Chinese anywhere in the store just here. I took a photo...
Previously they have stopped more than four cans being sold at the check out, now they have added rows of these notices along each shelf. If the Greek crisis persists it would be entirely possible that Australian Greeks will be posting baby formula to relatives with babies in Greece. Just as I would do if I had family there with a baby. We will see but I think if their problems are not solved and they already have shortages of imported goods and medical supplies etc this could happen. Will be watching the shelves carefully.
When I visited my aunt we had a conversation that started when she said that in a crisis you really need friends. This got a whole subject going right there! I would put it that we all need a support network. And in a crisis of any kind we need it more than ever. Building up our support network is as wise as building our pantry. At any time people helping each other and wathcing out for each other is such a help in life. I am very lucky with a supportive family and friends. But all sorts of things can get in the way... what if we have no family or they are far away? What if we are isolated in some way?
There might be a few steps we could take to increase our support systems and this is a good idea anytime but a good investment as well. In an earlier post we covered writing up all your emergency numbers somewhere as well as having them on your phone. All the numbers you might need on hand is a start. I have the local police number, after hours Doctor number, poisons information etc all listed (apart from 000 which is our version of 911) Also usual contact numbers need to be written somewhere in case you lose your phone.
Some simple steps to increase your backup might include getting to know your neighbours. Even if your neighbours will agree to a "I will keep an eye on your place and you keep an eye on mine" this is helpful. You would think it goes without saying but I know people who dont know their neighbours. And some neighbours maybe it's better not to know lol. We are pretty lucky. Of one on each side and two over the road two of these families would help us in a crisis, watch our place, pick up or mail etc. One would feed the pets , water etc if we are away. And we would do the same for them.
If we needed somewhere to stay, other than home, we would have a fair few choices. And the same goes if we were in dire straights of any kind.
But how can we build up a network, a backup? If you don't have a family around a church family might help in this way. It is worth thinking about, even a really self reliant person is going to need help sometime. Back in my own home town I knew of two scenarios that scared me badly. One was a woman who had a child seriously ill and in hospital for some time. She had no one to take care of her other children and they went into foster care. I didn't know her but when I heard this I felt ill over it. And another time there was the reverse, a woman who had no one and she stayed home with her children while the little one was in hospital alone for a week. Again this just made me want to cry.
I examined my life then thinking of "what ifs" but I realized I had several friends who would help me and several Church families at the very least and all apart from my parents who would have my own children in a crisis anyway. That was a good scare for me though to always have plan A, B, C and D!
Thinking about this subject last week I made a few discoveries that actually increased our back up system in just a couple of days. Just by asking questions I found some things I never knew! One of these was that our doctors surgery (clinic) has an after hours number. Calling that will get you a Doctor who will come to your home at any hour and it is free. I never knew this! I knew there was an after hours number but I assumed that would come at a cost that would be worse than the disease you were calling for. But it is bulk billed and a wonderful service.
The next thing I leanred is that if you can't get a Doctors appointment (which is the case it is usually a few days wait at least) then you just go in and say you are worried and ask to see a nurse. If the nurse sees you and thinks you need to see the Doctor then you will! And I never knew that. I have been on deaths door and waited.
So this little bit of information is helpful to us. It added to our support systems.
In day to day life friendship is such a big thing. I have to say I have found that you can have friends far and wide thanks to the interent.That has been a huge blessing to me.
But in times of unemployment, sickness, storms etc family and friends might be life savers. Imagine the help of a neighbour who will give you a hand, a friend who will mind the baby, simple old fashioned things like sharing the produce off the lemon tree! The things we normally manage all on our own we may not. We may need help. And vise versa we might know others who are usually just fine but they may need our help. It is like checking on your elderly neighbour in a heat wave. We need to keep an eye on each other!
Having a few good friends, the type who will drop everything to come to your rescue is a huge thing. I have been lucky this way. The kind of friend you can call in the middle of the night who will arrive minutes later in their pyjamas with a jumper over the top! Money can't buy this kind of help!
It is just worth thinking about. We can be very determined to manage on our own. But the reality is the wheels fall off for everyone sometimes. Things happen. In a crisis or hard times having a bit of a network could be a life saver. Can you think of ways to build up relationships both in friendships and professional ones that would be mutually beneficial?
In my life we have had some miraculous friendships that made all the difference. My Dad's best friend is a Consulting Physician. That is like a specialists specialist. He is a brilliant man and literally medical specialists come to him with their problems. One time Dad had a heart attack. In the country, hours from anywhere. It was all looking like the end of the line for Dad. An air ambulance flew him (eventually) to the city and as that plane landed and the door was opened guess who was there to greet him with his own medical team? Yes, the best friend!
Possibly this is a tough act to follow! But contingency plans, emergency plans, Plan B, C and D and good things to think about. Friends who are Doctors or have other useful or life savings skills can't hurt either nor can friends with farms or good pantries!
Actually think if you were out of action who might step in? If emergency services were too busy to get to you who would help you? If we were living in Greece right now who would support and help your family? Those kind of questions... getting back to the days when people helped each other.
We have developed our own little support community. I know any question I have someone will help me with it. But we also need to think when the power is out, notthing is working, who nearby is out network of support?
Just take some steps to increase your back up plans. Think of it as part of your pantry and preparedness.
How have you build up your pantry this week? And what can we do to built up our support networks?
Tomorrow we have a post by Teri! This will be how to increase your pantry by dehydrating your own goods and different methods to do it. A big help as each way we preserve food that is not the freezer we both save freezer room and add things that are going to be just fine in a power outage. Also dehydrated foods take up very little space.
I hope you are having a great week! xxx