The following was originally published on the Emergency Essential blog.
Venezuela is on the brink of collapse. With food prices skyrocketing, people are struggling to feed their families. Crime is on the rise. Long lines of people wind endlessly around the supermarket in the hopes of securing just the bare necessities. Oftentimes they go home empty handed.
Citizens are now revolting against the leaders that brought them into this mess.
This report by the Washington Post shows just how delicate the situation is in Venezuela. Led by President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s socialist-inspired revolution used to provide plenty of government funding to “create a more equal society.”
Looking at what’s happening in Venezuela now, that didn’t work so well.
For a while, things were fine. People thrived, and much of that success was due to their strong oil economy. During the Chávez era, governments helped subsidize mothers in extreme poverty, helped people finish construction on their houses, and even help youth receive scholarships – all great things.
Then the money dried up.
Oil prices tanked, and the government-run supermarkets that provided the basics at subsidized prices are practically empty, and due to 700% inflation, even these subsidized supermarkets are forced to sell their goods at exorbitant prices. Food is scarce, many children don’t have the energy to even attend school. One Venezuelan journalist eats only one meal a day which consists of one egg. With empty supermarkets and no hope on the horizon, things are certainly not what the people of Venezuela had expected from their government.
“We’re tired,” said one woman as reported by NBC News, “tired of hunger and humiliation.”
Thousands of people from all across the country gathered in Caracas to protests against the worsening economic crisis. A coup was even attempted, but failed. People want change, because with change comes more access to food. PBS reported that Venezuelans are “losing hope that their government-controlled system will supply key items.”
The situation in Venezuela is a warning to the United States – and every other developed nation. While the U.S. may not be in the same dire straits as they are, a look back can show just how gradual it was. Venezuela prospered for many years. Then, slowly, things worsened, until the food crisis arrived in full swing, increasing its intensity until food was nowhere to be found.
How does one prepare for such a crisis? It can be difficult to predict something like this happening, especially during the good times. But it’s during the good times that we as a people must prepare for the difficult times.
Food prices have soared in Venezuela. A dozen eggs now costs $150, according to the official government pricing. This is where emergency food storage comes into play. No matter what the prices jump to in the future, your food storage maintains its value. In fact, it’s like an investment in that when food prices rise, you’re already prepared so you don’t have to spend $150 on twelve eggs.
Likewise, only eating a few eggs a day will get old fast. By stocking up with food, you can ensure you have the food you actually want to eat, rather than rely on the supermarket to provide you with the very basics, assuming the shelves haven’t been stripped bare by the time you arrive.
Food prices spiking and many different stages of civil unrest can make acquiring food not just difficult, but nearly impossible. Take the time now – before a crisis – to prepare for any emergency scenario.