Saturday, 2 September 2017

08:56 – It was 51.6F (11C) when I took Colin out at 0650, dim with heavy fog and drizzling. We’ve had about 1.6″ (4 cm) of rain in the last 24 hours or so. This is supposed to clear out later today. We’ll see.

Frances and Al had originally planned to spend the holiday weekend here, but given the weather they decided to stay home. Probably a good thing. Yesterday afternoon, at about the time they’d have left Winston, our visibility was down to about 50 meters.

Science kit sales are holding up. Month-to-date, we’ve already done 11% of the revenue we did in all of September 2016. We’ll be working on science kits today, of course, to get more built for stock. First up is to fill another 120 bottles of bromothymol blue, which is the limiting item on building more chemistry and biology kits. After that, we’ll continue knocking off other limiting items until we’re in good shape on finished-goods inventory.

Interesting email yesterday from a reader who wanted to know what I’d consider to be an “advanced prepper”. My short answer was someone who had the critical needs of themselves and their immediate family taken care of for a period of at least three months, and had begun to make provision for the needs of non-prepper extended family, friends, and neighbors.

This is borne out by recent events in Texas. Despite the supply chain being unable to cope with the sudden increased demand for food, bottled water, and so on, most of those who were better prepared have been sharing their stores with friends and neighbors, regardless of the political persuasions of those involved. Prepared Clinton voters are sharing their supplies with unprepared Trump voters, and vice versa. (Although Trump voters, on average, are probably much better-prepared than Clinton voters.)

With the exception of a few scumbags taking advantage of the situation, everyone in the affected area is co-operating, sharing supplies, having community cookouts, offering refuge to friends and neighbors, and so on. One of my readers, for example, is running his Big Berkey water filter constantly to provide safe drinking water for his neighborhood, as well as sharing his stocks of rice, pasta, canned meat, and so on. Another is lending out his numerous Coleman stoves and other items that are desperately needed by the folks affected.

That’s great, and illustrates the advantage of having at least one well-prepared person in a larger group, but I’m afraid this spirit of cooperation is going to start breaking down as more and more people exhaust their supplies and resupply continues to be problematic. It’ll be interesting to follow this over the coming weeks and months.