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Fun on Friday: Getting Prepared

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Hurricane season started this week. That means those of us who live in Florida are in preparedness mode – or at least we should be.

For you landlocked readers, the notion of a hurricane kit is probably foreign to you. But for those of us who live in hurricane-prone coastal areas, updating the hurricane kit is a right of passage from spring into summer.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, a hurricane kit consists of basic items you might need in an emergency situation. In fact, it’s probably not a bad idea to have have some supplies on hand in the event of a disaster no matter where you live. During hurricane season, we keep several weeks of non-perishable food on hand, along with batteries, tools and lots of bottled water – all in a single easily accessible place. We’ve even taken things a step further. We also have solar chargers that will keep our electronics up and running, solar lights and other nifty gadgets that will make life bearable if we face a long spell without power.

Now, some people might think this is overkill. It’s not. You want to be prepped for the big blow before the big blow arrives because I can assure you — you don’t want to be at Publix or Walmart trying to buy bottled water when there is a hurricane approaching.

It blows.

Imagine being shoulder-to-shoulder in long lines with masses of sweaty, grumpy people bitching about the fact there is no more bottled water and whining about “price gouging.” You don’t want to do this. Trust me.

Here in Florida, the state actually incentivizes you to prepare. We have a tax holiday. This year it began on Friday, May 28, and it extends through Sunday, June 6. There is a long list of items you can buy this week without paying any sales tax.

On a side note, I’ve always found this kind of tax policy interesting. On the one hand, politicians swear up and down that raising taxes doesn’t really hurt the economy or change anybody’s behavior. But on the other hand, every time these same people want to incentivize people to buy something, they cut taxes. (Or in other cases, they raise taxes to stop people from doing undesirable things.) I kind of feel like if taxing things is a bad idea sometimes, it might be a bad idea all the time and they should just get rid of the taxes completely. But that’s sane person thinking – not politician thinking. So, I just have to be content to take any little gift that my benevolent overlords in Tallahassee might send my way.

Anyway, whether you have to pay the sales tax or not, it’s a good idea to be prepared for disasters ahead of time. It’s really hard to prep in the middle of a melee. Sure, the disaster may never happen. You can roll the dice. That’s your prerogative. And a lot of people will. But don’t come crying to me if the numbers don’t come up in your favor. Sure, I might let you have a spoonful of my peanut butter, but then again…

Of course, preparedness applies to other areas of life as well. I write about potential economic disasters here all the time. And pretty much every time I close out the Friday Gold Wrap, I ask the question: are you prepared for what’s coming down the pike. Now, I could be wrong in my economic pessimism. But I’m probably not. And if I’m not, wouldn’t you rather be prepared and shielded from any eventuality? Just like you don’t want to be standing next to a sweaty bubba at Walmart trying to buy bottled water as a tropical cyclone churns toward you, you don’t want to be buying gold when the economy is in full meltdown. And while I probably would give you some peanut butter in the aftermath of a hurricane, I can assure you I won’t give you any of my gold.

Just some food for thought!

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. I dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The opinions expressed are my own. They are 100% correct – but not necessarily shared by anybody else here – including Peter Schiff. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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About The Author

Michael Maharrey is the managing editor of the SchiffGold blog, and the host of the Friday Gold Wrap Podcast and It's Your Dime interview series.
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