Yeah, I kind of thought that might get your attention... :)
I will just preface the following by saying that the idea that if people buy food/tools/heating sources/your emergency preparation supply here to fill their store rooms they are "hoarding" them has always rubbed me the wrong way. After all, when people buy big screen TVs/new stereos/new DVD players/your favorite luxury item here to fill their living rooms, I've never heard the word "hoarding" come into the conversation. Credit goes out (entirely) to Idaho Homesteader for a brilliant response to the "prepping vs. hoarding" question, left in a comment on my previous post:
"Prepping is NOT hoarding. By purchasing your mask, gloves, etc. in advance, you are enabling the stores to order more for the shelf. Thus when an emergency happens, you are not part of the problem (i.e. mobbing the store). "
OK, so as I understand this, prepping doesn't only benefit you and yours, although that is definitely the major component. The brilliance here, is, that by prepping, you actually help to ensure that there are more supplies available for everyone else---not less. The stores will order more emergency supplies because they will see that there is an increased demand, leaving more supplies available for that unfortunate last-minute run during emergency situations by those who were unable/unwilling to prepare. Of course, you may never know exactly how many people you were able to help, because you will be able to remain at home, and avoid the stampede... :)
Oh, and about the economy....stores having a greater demand for their supplies also helps their business. Helping their business helps their employees, who will be able to keep their jobs/hours/own money for prepping/financial stability if the business stays solvent. I'd say that's good for the economy. No, I'd say that's excellent for the economy.
And I will say again that I find this to be a brilliant response to the "prepping vs. hoarding" issue. If people bring the subject up, I now know how to answer in a more positive, rather than confrontational or defensive way. (Kind of hard, previously, since the word "hoard" just naturally has a negative connotation for me...)
Thank you, Idaho Homesteader--brilliant. Hard to say it enough.