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Sunday, February 1, 2009

No Go

Winter travel is often curtailed, and for good reason. Here in the Pacific Northwest, particularly on the wet side, two inches of snow will lock this place down. I know that people in the Mid West will snicker into their sleeves when they read that, but it’s true. This winter there’s been alternating flooding and snow to contend with, all the way up to and including shutting down Interstate 5, the primary north-south freeway through the state, for several days. Interstate 90, the primary east-west freeway, has been closed several times, too, for a day or more at a time.

There are a couple of aspects of self reliance to the above scenario. Firstly, if the big trucks cannot get through, the shelves at your local grocery are going to get thin in pretty short order. I’ve heard that the average large chain grocery store (around here, that’s Safeway , Fred Meyer’s and Albertson’s ) only have about three days of groceries on site at any given time—and that’s the groceries that come in from their local distribution centers. Those distribution centers have about two weeks of groceries to send out to the stores before a lack of semi truck deliveries from much farther away shuts them Big Truck stuck in the snowdown. Looked through your back stock shelves lately? And how much of that can you prepare without the electrical grid or possibly not even with piped-in gas? We’ve got about three more months of winter, folks.

Another aspect is whether or not you can get yourself to the grocery store at all. If you don’t have a proper vehicle or know how to drive in the snow, ten or twelve blocks can get very expensive once you’ve uncrumpled your quarter panel—and maybe that of the person you slid into. Your best bet is to stay home to the best of your ability.


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