Posted BY: Susan Duclos – All News PipeLine
Food shortages are not the only supply chain issue Americans have faced and are still facing, although we freely admit we focus more on food because one can live without certain household products, yet they cannot live without food and water.
With that said, winter is coming, and there are other shortages and severe price hikes that are already affecting tens of millions of Americans.
Some far more deadly than others, some that can make life extremely difficult to live in the manner we have become accustomed to, and others simply more of an inconvenience.
No heat in a state with extremely cold winters is deadly. Certain appliance shortages could be an inconvenience or, depending on which appliance, could be far more of a problem. A game console would be nothing more than an inconvenience, while a refrigerator could be far more problematic, yet both require certain parts that there have been shortages of for two years and we are told the “worst is yet to come.”
There are things consumers can do to lessen not only the pain of energy inflation with skyrocketing costs for electric and gas, but to also to lessen the money spent on heating/cooling bills in order to afford to continue putting food on the table.
Trending: What’s Going On in America
TSUNAMI OF ELECTRIC SHUTOFFS COMING
With 20 million U.S. homes being behind on their energy bills, Bloomberg reports we are looking at a “Tsunami of Shutoffs” during a brutally hot summer, and leading into what is expected to be an equally brutal winter.
California’s PG&E Corp. has seen a more than 40% jump since February 2020 in the number of residential customers behind on payments. For New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group, the total is up more than 30% for customers at least 90 days late—and that’s just since March.
The average price consumers pay for electricity surged 15% in July from a year earlier, the biggest 12-month increase in the data since 2006. A jump of that magnitude isn’t typical, and the gains are only poised to continue. Even in the free-market-oriented US, regulation of electricity rates makes it hard for providers to immediately pass on higher fuel costs, so the recent hikes may be just the start.
For those that think there is any chance that their electricity could be cut off, they should quickly prepare to keep warm during the winter, as well as methods to cook food.
A wood stove that can be used indoors can both offer warmth and a method to prepare food, and there are a wide variety with some that costs less than most one month electric bills and other more expensive ones that would pay for themselves in just one season, so this can also be used for heat even if your electric hasn’t been turned off to limit your electric bill.
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Also for warmth, remember to have a good stock of Mylar blankets, because a nasty winter storm can knock out the electric temporarily and they are handy to have.
They are cheap, warm and can be used for more than just blankets, such as room dividers to lessen the space of the area you want to keep warm.
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APPLIANCE SHORTAGES CONTINUE
During the lockdowns not only did we see massive food shortages with many stores limiting the number of purchases for things like meat, hand sanitizers, toilet paper and other paper products, but the lockdowns also caused a chain reaction along the supply chain and every day household appliances started seeing shortages, where some items could take months to get delivered or made available to purchase.
While we don’t see much about this in the national news, the shortages are still here.
On August 8, 2022, a piece titled “Tips for Handling the Appliance Supply Shortages“, explains that these shortages aren’t expected to go away any time soon.
Luckily Independent sellers still have online stock although that too is seeing the strain, but the delivery dates are far faster than what we are seeing from major retailers.
Toaster ovens, waffle makers and such are not things that are must-haves, so I am not bothering with the little stuff that can be made just as easily on a stove or an oven, but a refrigerator and/or freezer, are something almost every household has, and needs.
CONTINUING FOOD SHORTAGES…
According to a new survey, “Ninety percent of Americans are concerned about inflation, and with disruptions with supply chains and shortfalls with crop flows, 71% are worried about food shortages.”
More than 2,000 adults were polled in June, and asked about their feelings regarding food insecurity during these inflationary times. Of those surveyed, 87% of Americans said they are particularly concerned about the rising cost of groceries, and 76% said they are seeing more empty shelves at grocery stores now than at the beginning of 2022, which concerns them even more.
“Within the next three months, a quarter of a billion people will have less access to food,” said Patrick Lockwood-Taylor, president, Bayer U.S. and president, Consumer Health, North America in a statement. “That is starting to approach starvation conditions. As always, it is the most underserved populations who are at greatest risk.”
Here is the key paragraph:
Some experts don’t expect supply chains to return to normal until the first half of 2024 or beyond. In a recent survey by New York-based investment bank Carl Marks Advisors conducted from May-June of this year, U.S. supply chain executives across various industries were asked to chime in on supply chain issues. A smaller percentage (22%) said they don’t expect to see improvements until the second half of 2023, while more than half said it would be more like 2024 or longer until things get back to normal.
Despite the rose colored glasses the media is using to portray how well things are going, the food shortages are here to stay.
Aside from meats, there are other shortages we have been hearing rumblings about, and now it is being reported that the potato shortages have arrived, which means the price are going to get higher, at grocery stores and when eating out.
While there are emergency survival buckets of vegetables that include potatoes, and we will list them, the best bet is to get some grow bags, some lights, mulch and just grow them yourself. Potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow.
Note: The grow bags can also be used to grow tomatoes, which is yet another shortage that is on the rise, according to CNet.
Tomato-based products like salsa and ketchup could be hard to find in the coming weeks, joining the list of grocery items like popcorn, Hershey candy and Sriracha sauce.
With potatoes, use a grow light, find one with an eye showing, set it under the light for a week or two and the sprouting should be enough where you can plant.
For the tomatoes, seeds are best.