“Just In Time”

By , March 19, 2020

“It’s folly to think of preparedness as last-minute goods grabbing instead of a way of life.”  —Sean Maidy

My friend and, until quite recently, Borough Assembly Member, Sean Maidy, thought this up in the shower recently, along with several other nuggets shared on social media he calls “Coronavirus Epiphany List.” They’re all good, but the one above hit me where I live. Where we live.

Maidy’s quote above explains why we watch or listen to the news and shake our heads in wonder. The rest of the country seems to finally be (trying) to catch up with where we’ve been for years.

Sean's List

My friends complete list (so far) (Screenshot).

For us, preparedness has become a way of life. I have to remind myself of this every once in a while (see Social Distancing the Homestead Way).

The problem, as I see it, is our economy’s reliance on “just in time supply.” Anything/everything one wants or needs is, ideally, supplied just in time for us to buy it. No sitting around on shelves or in storage waiting to be wanted or needed.

In theory, that’s fine. But, in times of shortage or stress? It’s not good. In fact, it’s hard to criticize those who indulge in “last minute goods grabbing” when that’s what our whole consumer economy has become based on. Even our medical service providers participate in this—how else to explain the critical shortage of simple items like swabs and face masks? “Just in time” may/will ultimately prove to be too late.

Of course, Southeast Alaska was already feeling the pinch from our governor’s disastrous cut backs to our ferry system, literally our region’s state highway (see Save Our Ferries!). I imagine our region will have an even larger lag in help from outside than most regions of the country.

Thankfully, the common people are stepping up in many ways to help themselves during this crisis, rather than waiting passively for government help that may never come.

This is why we maintain “Bug Out” Bags (see Assessing the Bug Out) why we keep a disaster notification warning radio set and powered (see Emergency Ready: Eton FRX5). This is why we prepare in so many other ways to help ourselves out of trouble, rather than waiting for help from outside (see Living On the Edge: Security through Insecurity).

For us, like many Alaskans, it’s not “last minute goods grabbing,” it’s a way of life.

Vernal Equionox 2020

Meanwhile, it’s the official Vernal Equinox, and a lovely day on the homestead (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

4 Responses to ““Just In Time””

  1. Angie says:

    One good thing about living in a small town: Nobody can buy all the toilet paper because we all know who you are. You don’t want to be THAT guy.

    Just remember, the single best thing to stockpile is the goodwill of your neighbors. But I think you may know that already.

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Never hurts to remind everyone, though. We miss you!

  3. Ekij says:

    The problem with “Just in time” is that whenever anything happens at any point in the supply chain it becomes “just too late”.

  4. Mark Zeiger says:

    Well said, Ekij!

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