Learning From Venezuela
Knowing how to prepare for such a crisis can be a bit uncertain, but we can look to a recent example to help us make the best choices for preparedness for our families. Venezuela has been in upheaval for the past couple years. They have been experiencing everything from riots to food shortages. It is estimated that over 75% of their country is living in poverty and uncertainty. So, what can we glean from these recent events to help us in preparedness?
Water: In some areas of Venezuela, water may be available only once a week, and it may not even be clean. Many families bathe or shower, wash the dishes, wash clothing, and fill up water containers for the coming week in one day. The water they do receive is most likely brown. The people are sick and have sores on their bodies from bathing in the dirty water.
For us, having stored water will only get you so far. While that clean water is important, and you should in fact, store as much water as possible, you must also have a way to purify water at home. Fortunately, there are many options on the market.
Importance Of Food Stores
Food: Although they have plenty of oil, Venezuela has little else. Rationing food and water supplies has become common. People will stand in line for hours at the grocery store to try and get what little they can. Oftentimes coming away with only a couple of cans due to the shortage. When it comes time to checkout, you’ll need to produce birth certificates to prove you need any baby supplies, and you may be told you can only have 2 cans, instead of the 3 in your cart. All the while, you’ll need to watch for thieves that will steal straight from your basket.
Power: Last year the Venezuelan government issued mandatory blackouts for their citizens. Power was shut down for 4 hours a day for 40 days. In some cities, it was even out for up to 12 hours a day. Temperatures can soar and without electricity, you may be forced to leave your home like some Venezuelans.
Depending on what time of day power is out, it could be okay. While most people could be fine without electricity, it can still be disconcerting and inconvenient. Your jobs may depend upon power, or you need power for cooking and light. Have a backup power source that is powered by a renewable source such as solar to recharge devices and power any medical equipment.
During the past couple of years, Venezuela has had to ration their electricity. One way that they have done this is to close public areas. Many public offices were only open for 2 days a week and even schools were closed for 1 day a week. This forced people to stay home. It also meant that many of those that were dependent upon those jobs for income, were suddenly, without.
Money Is Still Important
Savings: Having savings can help cushion the fall. Setting aside a small amount each paycheck or each month can add up over time. This money could be used in the event of a loss of income. In addition to having a savings account, you can learn new skills, or turn your hobbies into jobs as well. Preparing for the future is always uncertain, but with a bit of forethought and preparation, you can help create a small safety bubble for your family during a disastrous event.