Looking forward in 2012 - this guide will give some food for thought to the original guide written in June 2011 and the possible outlook for 2012 . For clarification I don't believe the world is coming to an end in 2012 and advocate emergency food storage as back-up plan to life's financial, polictical, social and emergency uncertainties - particularly in light of the ever increasing financially challenging times we live in.
LOOKING FOR MYLAR BAGS & OR OXYGEN ABSORBERS?
CHECK OUT OUR SELECTION OF MYLAR BAGS IN OUR STORE VIA THE LINK BELOW:-
In my original guide I advised more and more everyday people, like your sister, your neighbour your friends are storing food for emergencies. It is no longer an American, African, bush-tucker or anti-establishment culture. More and more ordinary (perfectly sane!) people are storing food for emergencies. Why? - because many are now realising that emergencies come in MANY forms that can have an immediate impact on income and one of the last things many want to be faced with is lack of food to eat in your household, which can be very distressing when dealing with reduced income, job losss, illness, natural disaster or extreme weather fluctuations.
WHO STORES FOOD?
In my original guide in June 2011 - I advised an emergency is not just about natural diasters but:-
WHY STORE FOOD/EMERGENCY PLANNING
- Job Loss
- Illness resulting in loss or reduction of Income due to sickness
- Inflation - which reduces the value of your money - in short you pay more for the same product
- Weather - Drastic weather fluctuations which can result in your household being cut-off for a period of time
- Financial Uncertainty - 2011 saw vast fluctuations in financial markets, high job loss, and huge uncertainity
due to government(s) debt around the world
- Natural Diasters - with increased natural disasters immediate needs such as shelter and food are required and should be in place in case a natural disaster does take place in your area.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2012Emergency Food Planning/Storage is almost a necessity for those who are not rich and earning very high incomes. It is said "the average person is one paycheque away from homlessness and starvation". Now more than ever this is true in the current econmic climate (worldwide) no job is secrure and if you are lucky enough to have a job your salary may just about pay your bills, and for some, salary stagnation or cuts are now are harsh reality. While you may prefer to take a salary cut than be out of a job - the harsh reality means there is less disposable income meaning either you cut back on food or struggle to pay your household bills.
In addition to pay cuts, coupled with reduced benefits due to government cuts - things are getting tougher not just in the UK but all over Europe and the world.
Many things have taken place around the world in 2011 that will impact us in the UK and indeed Europe in 2012 and if you are not convinced that your family needs to have some kind of emergency food storage & indeed back up plan in general I urge to consider the following:
Since the beginning of 2011 we in the UK and Europe have seen massive job losses. In 2012 with the UK economy with poor to no growth many private sector companies are now laying off staff or have halted hiring, reducing investment and any potential expansion - in some cases going into administration.
In short the job you are going to today may no longer be available tomorrow. Unfortunately the government seems to have no job growth plan with figures ever increasing nearer to the 3 million mark in the UK - the outlook for 2012 seems set to become another 1982 in terms of unemployment figures. In 1982 the UK had around 3,072,000 unemployed by end of January 1982. Today 18/01/12 we have 2,685,000 this does not include the impending job loss of temporary christmas staff, Peacock's, Royal Bank of Scotland, Premier Foods, Little Chef, Lloyds TSB to name a few not including further public sector losses and less well known small to medium sized companies.
2012 may well see the worst jobless figures either matching 1930's depression or surpassing it - Why? because the economic and social culture of our society has changed in the following ways:
- In 1932 the social culture of Britons was resilience - today many, particularly in the younger generation have an expectation attitude of work and benefits. There are many that prefer to be unemployed and stay on benefits than do ANY kind of job and build up a portfolio of work and develop a good work ethic resulting in a something for nothing culture - hardwork, resilience, flexibility and creativity are characteristics that for the most part, is a rarity in some parts of soceity in the UK today.
- Loss of manufacturing - The UK after the the 1930's became a world wide manufacturing powerhouse - this was distroyed in the 1970's and 1980's and we manufacture VERY little in the UK - therefore trade skills have been lost for generations. Added to that, outsourcing to cheaper Asian countries has resulted in the UK (along with many western countries) giving away the blueprint to our manufacturing industry to Asia which has a massive workforce which can now produce the same item cheaper and quicker than we can if we tried to get back into manufacturing.
- Worldwide competition - With globalization, doors were opened to all sorts and size of businesses in the UK allowing trade with almost anyone in the world. It is fantastic especially for small businesses. However the flip side is now we are competing for the same customers with everyone else in the world - resulting in some sectors in the UK being priced-out of the market resulting in closure of the business and job losses. Customer loyalty to anyone one business rarely exists as households are struggling to balance their budget and look for the same item as cheap as possible (mostly online) resulting in many physical business facing closure.
- Europe - Europe is in crisis and austerity is not working - it needs be balanced with growth and many European countries including the UK have little or nearly no growth except for the "select" few - ironically those that have a good manufacturing base are doing well. A huge amount of trade in the UK depends of the prosperity of Europe - unforutnately Europe is in crisis and protectionism may begin to kick in resulting in fewer or no contracts for UK companies that provide either a service or product for their European customers - resulting in job losses.
In July 2011 the RPI inflation rate was 5.2% CPI inflation rate 4,5%. As of today December 2011 Inflation rate is RPI 4.8% CPI 4.2%.
The Bank of England predicts that inflation will drop sharply in 2012 it will not.
WHY INFLATION WILL NOT TRULY DROP BACK TO 2% in 2012? (the figures are fiddled for polictical reasons)
The cost of food is not the only thing that is a factor for inflation and therefore to suggest because of cheaper food (christmas price war between supermarkets) and shop sales they predict that inflation will sharply drop as at best questionable. The base interest rate remains unchanged and therefore those that have mortage rate tied to the base rate will have no reduction in their mortage payments. Rents are not being reduced - if anything some are going up because of the 2012 Olympics - rent and mortgage payments are factored into the RPI rate NOT the CPI rate.
Petrol prices are at their highest in years and there is no anticipated reduction for 2012 as unrest continues in the middle east with oil output in countries being disrupted, thus affecting the price of oil. Added to this with rising tensions with Iran and Syria the UK, Europe and the US have decided to introduce sanctions on oil imports from these countries - the knock on effect is the increasing cost of oil, which not only provides fuel but affects every aspect of our lives - if it costs more money to import food then that cost will be passed to the consumer- setting the stage for higher inflation.
The Bank of England have clearly not had a clue about inflation as they have been proven wrong over the last 2 years - I guarantee you they will be proven wrong again as inflation will go up not down to 2%, their reasoning and basis for the projections for inflation to go down are unsubstainated and not factoring all the various factors as a whole that impact the UK economy - the old adage of if the government says don't panic - PANIC.
The reality is that governments deliberately skew information, particularly financial data to try and create a positive outlook - the real financial data on most economies (for the most part) are provided by independent analysts, which don't have vested interests, therefore I would encourage you to look at ALL THE FACTORS that are affecting the UK economy so you and your family so you can make an informed choice about food storage. Financial data provided by government bodies are restropective - they are not current. You, the consumer, will have the current information, based on your job market, your grocery bill, your heating & gas bill and general cost of living. Many times you can get a truer gauge of the economy when factoring all these elements than the government. Therefore don't buy into the hype that the Bank of England give about inflation as there is disconnect between the information they are analysing the the time frame in which it is analysed AND MOST IMPORTANTLY what is is factored in the calculations to come up with the current CPI and RPI rate.
Gas and Electricity Prices were increased by 15-20% by all the main utility companies in August 2011. In Jan 2012 though some are now advising they will immediately drop EITHER THEIR GAS OR ELECTRICITY prices by 5% or 6% - that still leaves your utility bills 10-14% higher than last year. Only Ovo is dropping BOTH their prices - however the big six ARE NOT DROPPING BOTH their utility prices - thereforefore your utility prices will stay nice and high - still 2-4 times higher than inflation.
While SOME food prices may be cheaper - have no doubt the price is being marked up on other products to balance the profits of supermarkets. In addition I came across a shocking yet well known marketing ploy by supermarkets. Mark the product with a higher price and show its reduced to the original price it was selling for all the time - giving the "illusion" of lower supermarket prices. Though in fact there has been no reduction at all.
An additional tactic devised to rip off british consumers is to create smaller sizes products (most products like cereal, fabric softner, soap powder, etc - with the price remaining the same - hence you are being charged more for less!!
The TRUE reality of inflation is more in the range of 25%-30% - no government is going to ever say this! - But if the average worker works out the ratio of their income in relation to their outgoings year on year they will actually see their expenditure has actually inflated in cost and (see example below) - THIS IS WHY most average households are feeling the pinch everyday and are struggling to pay their bills and buy food - so while the government quibbles over 0.01% growth or increase or decrease in inflation - this has no real bearing on the average income earner whose salary simply cannot keep up with the massive leaps on increased prices of REAL everyday cost of living. This is why the economy is seriously stagnating - households are simply are struggling to find any surplus income to spend - and if they are spending its usually via debt -not necessarily disposable income (unless you have 2 earner households bringing around £40,000 or well off - the everday man is really struggling.
Salary in 2011 vs 2012
Everyday household usages
Gas increased by 16% on average in 2011 ALONE! - increased a further 5- 9%
Electric increased 15% on average in 2011 ALONE! - same as above
Water Rate average increase 6% (mine increased by 8% this year alone from 2011)
Food average increase 30%
Fuel average increase 15%
Rent/Mortgage 15% (rent) rents as predicted as the time of starting this guide in January 2012 is
going UP! not DOWN! due to the Olympics like so many other Olympic
hosts those that can least afford it always seem be the ones that get shafted in
in the process of the financial extravagance. While I am all for sport - very
little legacy is left for the everyday man on the street - and some how those
closest to the Olympic venues always seem to be worse off!
Added the housing benefit cap - the cost of living is
pretty much unsustainable in London - if you are able to pay the rent with the
massive increases in ultities most might have to live by candle light at the rate
things are going!
Stamps increased by 60% in April 2012 from 2011 alone!
Travel (tube/Rail) average increase 6%
Taking as a whole the most everyday used items in relation to YOUR salary inflation is certainly not 3.2% or 3.5% I gurantee you with the increases that have taking place from 2011 to 2012 alone your household certainly knows it does not feel like inflation is 3.2% unfortunately things are going to get worse - with a stagnating economy, rising unemployment, rising inflation - households will seriously struggle to buy food in the next year
FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTYIn 2008 there was a recession - though in 2011/2012 the real effects are now being felt - as advised in my Part 1 guide - many governments are struggling, if not grasping at straws to balance their budgets. We have already seen in the UK and indeed all over the world that when cuts are being made it is the poor/less well-off having their incomes reduced.
Therefore if you are not very well off I would encourage you to not only have emergency food stored but to get out of debt as quickly as you can, so you are not trapped in a spiralling system. I urge you to begin to take a SERIOUS look at your outgoings and your spending - do you really need that £400.00 ipad? When you lose your job can you eat it?. When you resell it can you get the same value for it? Food is a necessity, technological accessories are a want.
We need only look at Greece to see what happens when an economy is struggling - the conditions of "help" can be so brutal that one wonders which really is the lesser evil? The tragedy for ordinary Greeks is that those that can ill afford such brutal cuts are the ones bearing the largest load.
A few years ago many would laugh at the thought of emergency food and prepardness - though the events of the last 4 years, even more so, the events of the last 12 months, has many now realising that it possible for a western country to fail. When you are begging you have little choice in the terms of which you receive help (if at all) Many Greeks would not have expected 2 years ago to have lost their jobs, their homes and be lining up for food on a daily basis.
Though you may say the UK is not Greece, I think all bets are off when it comes to the world economy. There is too much economically and politically happening all over the world to be ignored.
The disparity between rich and poor is growing world wide. As Panaroma highlighted in a recent pogramme called "Poor America" aired on 13th February, 2012 (please do type in Panaroma Poor America and watch this shocking story) - no one would ever think there are people now living in tent cities in the woods in the US because they have lost their jobs, or the money they are getting is not enought to live on. The homeless shelters are full and therefore the only option to have a roof over your head is to live in the woods in a tent (this issue was also highlighted with a contestant on American Idol season 11 who lived in a tent because she could not afford to rent.
Yes the UK may have housing benefit, but this is being capped - but rent prices are not- therefore the shortfall has to come from somewhere, coupled with increased travel, food, utility, petrol costs, it leaves very little disposal income - again if you can afford I would encourage you to reduce any unneccessary debt if you can so save your money going on interest payments to service debt and into your pocket.
As the caous of Europe continues and little or no leadership on dealing with the problem effectively, the USA have started to make new alliances with Austrialia and China etc. Even as Europe was going with their begging bowl to China for help, China was ensuring they distanced themselves from Europe. The Latin American Countries also were busy reinforcing their alliances as they are now the new emerging markets along with the Asian countries. One of the fastest developing economies is the Brazillian economy. Therefore where the once mighty Europe (UK included) reigned supreme, we are now scampering to see if we can get in the action to save our own economies - but Europe (UK included) is fast becoming a political (social) pariah - the reality is when one is drowing it is every man for themselves and only the strong survive. In Europe's weakend position any new alliances can demand numerous favours, in order for us to get a piece of their financial pie - however in the process of doing this, it means that many things will be promised, and not necessarily in the best interest of the country (which means me and you). The impact is usually financial which usually hurts - yes you guessed it! me and you the ordinary man and woman who can ill afford additional costs.
The template is Greece - in order for Greece to "save face" and remain solvent (techincally) they have bartered the soul of Greece - its people - who are now living in misery and virtually abject poverty. Those that had the foresight to reduce their debt or get rid of unwanted and necessary material possessions and stocked up on food are the lucky ones - we are now getting reports that people are committing suicide because they cannot live on 600 Euros per month (to pay ALL THEIR BILLS INCLUDING FOOD).
Because of this it may be difficult to make any meaningful new political alliances (to help bolster our economies) - in short if we cannot increase exports or investment in Europe, growth slows down and inflation goes up. and as I predicated since January 2012 at the time of starting this guide that inflation will go up NOT down, it is now back up to 3.5% CPI, 3.6% RPI. Though as advised earlier, these figures are fiddled with so much that it truly does not reflect the TRUE rate of inflation in our UK economy as MANY factors & costs are deliberately omitted - given a false sense of security.
WEATHER / NATURAL DISASTERS
As 2011 was closing Texas and Mexico were suffering from drought, reducing corn. and wheat yields. - The result is that the cost of flour, cereals and many food products have increased in price. In 2012 there is drought in the UK worst droughts for over 30 years in USA - and government has already advised this may affect food prices (which are already at an all time high) coupled with the fact that since early last year the pack sizes of our food products are getting smaller (very deliberately) but the cost of the item stays the same or in most cases are actually going up in price.
In short we are paying more for food due various factors like sneaky manufacturing and grocery manipulation and extreme weather conditions that are affecting crop yields. Coupled with all the various oil spills polluting our waters, which turn is affecting the food supply and increased pestide use which is reducing the bee poplulation, which in turn is reducing crop yeilds - the reality food is increasingly going to become unaffordable for those on a regular or low income. You are getting alot less for your money and I urge you to begin to serious think about stocking food while it is generally affordable I would defy anyone who can honestly say that they are now paying the same price for their food within a 2 month period.
URGENT WARNING FOR 2013!! URGENT WARNING FOR 2013!!! URGENT WARNING
THE EFFECT OF DROUGHT IN RUSSIA, & USA ON CORN AND WHEAT YIELDS
It has been well advertised due to the worst droughts in 30 years in the USA and Russia this has affected corn, wheat and soyabean yields. The UN and farmers and a wide variety of food agencies have already put an alert out that with increased cost of corn due to subtantial yield loss, the price of meat, like chicken and pork could go up anything from 20% - 35% (please look this up on the internet). It is advised the true effects will seriously kick in by mid 2013. the USA and Russia produces 60% of the worlds corn and wheat.
Corn is not just used in animal feed it is used in oil, cereals etc. Though Russia has advised that they will not ban the export of wheat - the realiity is that they need to ensure they feed their people first and there is no guarantee this will stay the same. In 2008 export bans were put in place by Russia increasing the cost of bread and a whole host of food products
Once animal feeds to up - dairy items will also go up - so start stocking up!!
If you can bulk buy milk, cereal, meat, oil and flour - I would encourage you do so at your earliest convenience If you cannot afford to pay between 20% - 35% more for your meat and suddenly be faced with the possibility of paying £4- £5.for a box of cereal - STOCK UP - flour, cereal can be stored in mylar bags for years. tinned corn and veg can be stored 3-4 years. Buy meat in bulk and freeze. Buy powdered milk and store in mylar bags with absorbers or buy long life milk that can be stored for months without refrigeration!!
Please bear in mind apart from drought there has been massive increase in floods not just in the UK affecting our crops but all over the world affecting the price of food. FOOD INFLATION IS ON THE RISE AND WILL CONTINUE TO RISE PARTICULARLY IN 2013!!!!.
In addition you are paying more for less product on a whole range of items- hence its costing YOU.
A sample of how your everyday products are getting smaller!!
Comfort fabric softner standard size in 2011 -2L new size in 2012 - 1.5L
Lenor fabric softner standard size in 2011 - 2L new size in 2012 - 1.4L
Rice Crispies Cereal Family size in 2011 - 650g new size in 2012 - 510g
Hellmans Mayonniase large size in 2011 - 800g new size in 2012 600g
Fairy Soap Liquid family size in 2011 - 1250ml new size in 2012 1200ml
This is just a VERY small snapshot of how our products are getting smaller and smaller but the price remains the same or in fact being increased!!
With everything going up all at once, stark choices are being made in the UK - dont make food be one of the difficult choices you need to make! Buy in bulk and save, go to farmers markets and get more for your money.
BBC recently had a documentary called Britains Hidden Hungry, which was shown on 30th October 2012 - which highlights more and more households are relying and Food Banks to get by - while this can help - there is a limit to how much a Food Bank can give, because their resources are limited -
If you are new to emergency food storage - please do to read my guide: - "How To Start Emergency Food Storage" - this gives a step-by-step practical guide
In short there is huge financial turmoil taking place in the world - specifically manufactured (I believe) to rob individuals of their wealth, of their health (with all the stress of trying to make a decent living) of their independence and quality of life - while the rich continue to do very well without a concern on making the stark decision of how to pay their bills for fear of baliffs coming to their door and taking all that they have worked for all their life.
I personally do not believe it is a coincidence that austerity was unilaterally adopted by all of the Europe including the UK essentially all at the same time - in short this method is mass poverty deliberately and calculatedly and systematically implementated to rob hardworking and hardsaving people of their wealth, their health (with all the stress of trying to make a decent living on reduced income), of their independnce and quality of life.
It is no coincidence that in Greece, Spain, Portgual, France and UK sucide, depression, poverty and homelessness is on the rise- this is not covered by mainstream media particularly in the UK - please look on the internet and do your own research of what is taking in Europe and the UK - please do not believe the propoganda of that is taking place in Greece or anywhere else in Europe because THE TRUTH is that the poor and the everyday man is paying the price for the wealthy that has milked the system with tax evasion,. super inflated salaries and greed.
Please begin to put an emergency plan in place for your family with regarding to food, heating and lighting as this may well save your life as the European population is being squeezed beyond humanity
I HOPE THIS GUIDE HAS BEEN HELPFUL TO YOU IN NOT ONLY PREPARING FOR AN EMERGENCY AND EMERGENCY FOOD PLANING BUT ALSO HAVING A MORE CRITICAL LOOK AT THE SYSTEM WE LIVE IN