Friday, December 28, 2012

Are You Prepared for a Major Port Strike – Like the One That Might Happen In a Few Days?

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Earl Griffin, Contributor
Activist Post

In a recent article I asked the question, “Are You Prepared for a Nationwide Strike?” I hope you were not one of those who scoffed – as it now appears likely that this Sunday could see 14,000 dock workers walk off the job at container ports from the east coast to the gulf coast.

Do you work in manufacturing or retail? What will you do if you are furloughed or laid off from your job because there is no work as a result of the resources and products you need sitting idle in port?

Have you been saving for just such an emergency? Can you pay your bills even if you are out of work for a while? Remember you won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits until you are out of work for as long as 30 days. Even then the benefit usually only covers 60% of the pay you are accustomed to – that’s just over half – and you may still have to pay taxes on it!

The fact is most of us are not saving and preparing for hard times. Will you just throw your hands up and accept whatever fate awaits you? I don’t recommend it. Waiting in line for FEMA handouts – if there are any FEMA handouts, is no fun. Set money aside for hard times. Do what your grandparents did: Save your money – even if it means doing without the cool toys that many of us have come to believe are necessities.

A cell phone, an Internet tablet, and cable television are not necessities.

I’ve said that before and have been accused of promoting austerity.

I do not support austerity. I support personal responsibility – which often includes difficult choices.

My council, to anyone who cares to heed it, is to develop a philosophy of self-reliance.


Sacrifice teaches self discipline. Self discipline enables one to follow a sustainable path of self-sufficiency – to the degree that one’s circumstances allow.

Of course a major port strike may well be averted – I hope it will be. But what if it isn’t? The best we can hope for in that case is a very short strike. If a major port strike proved to be protracted it could shut down much of our nation’s commerce and trade. You are likely to be affected to one degree or another. Depending on how long it goes on you and your family may be seriously impacted.

Do you have food stored? At the moment workers claim they will not stop the movement of food. What if that changes? What if, as a means to gain greater leverage, workers halt the movement of food as well as other items?

You would do well to have enough food in your pantry and on your shelves to see you and your family through a rough patch. If food becomes difficult to get, everyone will suffer and the union will see its support decline. If just a relative few people suffer, say those working in a sector of the economy that is seriously impacted by a major port strike – like retail or manufacturing, such a strike may prove ongoing. A day or two might not break you. Would a week or two? Would a month or two break you?

The nights are cold when there is no heat. If you can’t pay the bill because your job is affected by a major port strike how will you stay warm? Do you rely almost exclusively on the furnace or do you have plenty of warm blankets, sleeping bags, quilts, afghans, and long underwear? Now is the time to think of these things before you find yourself in a bind.

Let me be clear – I neither approve or disapprove of a major port strike, that is a matter of conscience for those involved. My concern is for those who will be affected and their level of preparedness in the face of such an event.

You and your family need to have something to eat. You need clean water to drink. You need to be able to stay warm in case it is very cold. If it is possible for you to do so, you should acquire any medicines that you will need in case they become unavailable. You do not need to go out and spend lots and lots of money – just think about what you really need and start setting it aside – now.

Simple foods with thoughtful seasonings will keep you well fed and healthy.

Clean water is always your friend.

Your entertainment does not need to light up. A good book - better yet a nice selection of good books - help pass the time happily. Board games and card games are a wonderful way to entertain groups.

A recent article that caught my attention asked, “Is It Too Late To Start Prepping?” It is an article that is worth reading. I do not believe that it is too late. However I do believe that as the economy continues to stumble and the price of food continues to rise, the current window of opportunity may well be closing.

If you are inclined to prepare for difficult times – like the very real possibility of a major port strike – now is the time. Delay no longer.

Please share your comments about the potential port strike and preparedness below.

This article first appeared at Barking Window

Earl Griffin's site Barking Window presents news that affects us all. Real news. Real issues. You’ll like some of the sources. You’ll hate others. You’ll probably feel the same about the articles. But it’s all here for a reason – to inform. You won’t find partisanship here. You will find news that defies the right/left paradigm. You will find articles critical of government and industry. More still, you will find news here that rails against tyranny – in all its ugly guises. Make Barking Window part of your day, everyday.


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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I tend to agree with many of your points, just one reminder (for us all): the phrase "Save your money – even if it means doing without the cool toys that many of us have come to believe are necessities" reflects several fundamental assumptions that contradict what we know about today's economy. Many people gave up those "cool toys" a long time ago, and their lack of $ savings reflects the ever-shrinking buying power of our dollar, and continued SIGNIFICANT inflation (just because the government stats don't count basic needs like food, shelter, and heat for our homes and gas for our cars in CPI doesn't mean inflation is low). When I was a kid, most households were single-earner, and we had MORE "discretionary" spending than today, where two-earner families are a necessity for survival. And many people are unemployed (again, those who quit a miserable job and can't find another one are not eligible for unemployment comp., and those that are either not eligible, or whose benefits have expired, are deleted from count of unemployed, where the government just says they "decided to drop out of the workforce." ... like people decide to become homeless etc. (3.8 million homeless in US and counting). So we need to be more sensitive and avoid phrases that (even unintentionally) blame the victims, so to speak, or that imply those who don't have "extra $'s" are "too ignorant to know how to cut expenses and save." Just because the pop-psych self-defined gurus (like Suzie Orman) regurgitate this mantra doesn't mean we need to fall prey to the same sociopathology.

Anonymous said...

Port strike.....hmmmmmmm.....hopefully the crazy people don`t set off a nuke while everyone is gone. Rumor was there is one in Houston.

Garrack Kert said...

You are right. People need to realize that to preparing for trouble needs to happen BEFORE the trouble happens.

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