Originally Posted by jennlyn
I find that spending too much time on the "gloom and doom" forums is enough to make you run to the store and stock up on everything. As I do not plan to stock up on weapons and ammo to defend a stash of worldly goods, I question the necessity of having more than enough to outlast a possible natural disaster or to supplement in case of unemployment . Also, my children are all older. When they were smaller, I did have a stockpile of clothing and shoes in various sizes for them to grow into. I stopped doing that when I realized that teens will not necessarily wear what you have chosen for them, they'd rather wear three things over and over that they chose themselves.
Good point about teens - I don't have any yet. But as long as they have not yet established a preference, and as long as I am given hand-me-downs, I will keep tubs a couple of sizes ahead of my oldest.
Also, I do not think it is selfish to keep things you already own if you can anticipate a need for those things. If you know someone in dire need and can help them out directly without compromising your own family's needs, that is great. But (for example) our local homeless support organization is overflowing with clothes - they periodically offer them on Freecycle to whomever wants to come get some.
I think you may have misunderstood what I said about the economy. I'm not predicting that the economy will collapse and people will get violent toward their neighbors, or assuming any kind of doomsday outcome. But times are hard and getting harder. I know of lots of people who are unemployed and struggling and have been for awhile. Oil was very expensive two winters ago, and we seriously reconsidered our heating options (and ended up just turning the thermostat waaay down - but our extra blankets came in handy). I know people who choose to live without electricity because a cabin is their best, most affordable living option (it's not all that uncommon here). Having a backup plan with some basic tools to make it easier isn't the same as hoarding stuff we'll most likely never use.
I'm not talking about filling a closet with ammo and guns or anything like that. Nor defending a stash of anything at all. We had an ice storm last winter that left us without heat, phone, electricity, or safe roads for three days. Some areas near us were out for up to two weeks. That isn't unusual to expect here. We were able to carry on because we had what we needed - food, warmth, lighting, water, sawdust toilet, entertainment.
I'm coming back to this to correct a typo and add that I think most or all of the people here deserve credit for being thoughtful, intelligent readers. I may sometimes find myself reading about economic or cultural "doom and gloom," but it doesn't make me go out and do anything out of fear. And neither does anything I read here at MDC. I think MDC's readership is based in great part on people who are extremely thoughtful and resourceful parents who do not make choices blindly, and I expect that carries over into other areas of their lives as well, including how much or how little they choose to prepare for any number of possible scenarios (or not at all).