I love to travel. I got the bug back in 2001 when my mother, sister and I visited Italy. While it wasn't my first international trip, it was my first real glimpse at how other people live. Up to that time, my only other international travels had been to Canada and touristy Caribbean hot-spots via a cruise which really didn't give me the true flavor of a different culture. One thing that I noticed is that, here in the U.S, everything is super sized. Huge grocery stores, huge refrigerators, big houses, big yards, big cars, and generally just lots of stuff. The Europeans go to the market multiple times a week, many even on a daily basis. The majority don't have big homes. They do not have the Costco to stock up in mass quantities, at least that I saw.
Gone are the days where much of our population was more self-sufficient: growing our own food, cooking, canning, hunting, building, and sewing. For most of us those only stories from the days of our grandparents and great-grandparents.
Let me pose to you a question: what would you do if you could not get groceries at the grocery store for a week? What about if you couldn't get groceries for two weeks? Four? What if you couldn't afford the food once you got there?
What types of situations might make this an issue?
1. Natural Disasters - the Red Cross, FEMA, and other entities all recommend having a minimum of three days supply of food, first aid, water, light, and more. We never know when an earthquake, flood, storm, or other disaster might deprive us of the ability to head to the store. In my opinion 3 days is very short sighted. Just days ago we had a uncharacteric snow storm here in the Puget Sound, with temperatures hitting the low teens. People all over the area had power outages lasting more than 3 days! I remember the "Inaugural Day Storm" on January 20, 1993, where over 600,000 people lost power; some in outlying areas didn't get power back for weeks. (My boss at the time lived out past Black Diamond and didn't get her power back on for nearly 2 weeks.)
On the bright side, we CAN do things to prepare and be ready. If nothing happens and life goes on, same-old-same-old, then we simply use up the resources we've gathered. Nothing lost; peace of mind gained.