Grocery Store Shelves Empty, What Will be Next?

Jun 15, 2023 | Educational Series, Health

Grocery Store Shelves Empty, What Will be Next?

A few weeks ago, I went on a weekend trip to an upscale mountain resort town not too far from home. Since hiking was on our itinerary, we headed to the local grocery store for some snacks to take on our hike. Arriving at the grocery store, what I saw shocked me.

Grocery Store Shelves Empty, What Will be Next?
Grocery Store Shelves Empty, What Will be Next?

Bare shelves. Everywhere. From canned food to meat and dairy the shelves looked like the food truck had missed this store on its route.

I asked the salesclerk if the store was going out of business. She stared at me and after a spell, asked me what I meant. I replied that most of the shelves were void of product- and being the beginning of summer season in a resort town, I was surprised to see the shelves so empty. She continued to look at me with a blank stare.

What is the rest of the nation experiencing? What has been going on with medication shortages? It has been very quiet on the domestic front- I see this as the calm before the storm.

Unfortunately, I believe many, just like this clerk, have been lulled into a false sense of security and that life has returned “back to normal”. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  It has been very quiet on the domestic front- But the storm will soon be here.

  • The national UPS strike is likely to happen despite several agreements reached. As of this writing, the Teamsters union, representing 340.000 UPS drivers and workers is holding a vote this week to strike. They aren’t just holding a vote; they are urging a “yes” vote to strike. The strike is expected to take place when their contract ends July 31st. This would devastate the entire economy, not just your delivery of Amazon purchases. Medication supplies, car parts, food and many everyday items would be delayed, sent to another carrier to be delivered, or not delivered.
  • Frank Yiannas, former FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response summed up how fragile our system is.  In 2022 he appeared to the House Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services to discuss the causes of the infant formula shortage. “In other words, the nation remains one outbreak, one tornado, flood or cyberattack away from finding itself in a similar place to that of February 17, 2022. These reasons apply to all supplies- from groceries to clothing and everyday necessities. When the supply chain is disrupted for any reason, the entire economy is affected.
  • Medication shortage and supplies- are an ongoing problem. Lifesaving medications such as injectable epinephrine used to treat ventricular fibrillation- are on the current medication shortage list. Amoxicillin suspension, a common antibiotic, continues to be in short supply.
  • Hurricane season is underway. This season lasts from June 1 to November 30. Along with hurricanes, storm surges, which occur right after a hurricane cause devastating damage and cripple ports and surrounding infrastructure. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy produced a 14 foot storm surge into the Port of New York and New Jersey and surrounding communities. It caused oil and other hazardous materials to carry into shipping channels, severely damaging 180 commercial waterfront facilities. In addition, this hurricane destroyed over 300 homes leaving thousands displaced and many more without power. Are you prepared to evacuate your home? Wildfires, floods, and other emergencies could force you out of your home.
  • Rising tensions across the world, with World War 3 a real possibility. The dystopian effect a world war would have is so overwhelming it cant be overstated.
  • Cyber attacks are probably our most devastating and crippling of our economy and way of life. Attacks on our aging electrical grid would take our power down for an extended period. In fact, U.S. energy grid critical infrastructure components operate in a digital environment that is internet accessible and vulnerable to attacks. The General Accounting Office (GAO) states that everything from our electrical grid , GPS, banking systems, local water supplies, EMS systems and more could be down in a cyberattack. The threat continues to grow daily.

Do what you can now- before it’s too late

  • Have an emergency medical kit well stocked and ready to go at a moment’s notice. You may not be in a hurricane prone area; however, any number of natural disasters could require you to leave your home. A supply of your and your family’s medications along with ample shelf stable food, water and extra clothing (don’t forget pets needs) in a to go bag could be life saving if you ever need to evacuate. Remember to pack your Jase cases, also.
  • Review your supplies. Can you make it a month or more if supply chains are down? What if there were no more groceries being delivered? How about medication and medical emergency supplies? Stock up now, while you still can. Buy quality, nutritious food and rotate the stock, eating the oldest food first. Get your years supply of medications at Jase Daily if you haven’t already.

Be prepared. Don’t find yourself without the necessities to sustain life. It is a matter of when- not if-disaster in the form of a job loss, natural disaster, supply chain disruptions, or health crisis will come knocking at your door.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

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