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LDS Preparedness 101: The Wrong Way and the Right Way to Shop for Emergency Equipment

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The Wrong Way and the Right Way to Shop for Emergency Equipment
What you need to know when shopping for emergency equipment.
You hear on the nine-o’clock news that military emergency equipment stores are selling out of gas masks. According to the news, prices of these gas masks have doubled, in some cases tripled, and they’re flying off the shelves. In fact, the only place you can get one right now is probably on eBay. What do you do?

Panic-Induced Shopping
If you run to your computer to bid on a gas mask, willing to pay ten times what it’s really worth, you’re shopping for emergency equipment the wrong way. Emergency equipment is something that needs to be shopped for with a level head, not with panic-induced hysteria.
The Right Way
So in this scenario, what should you do? First find out why gas masks are flying off the shelves. Is there an imminent threat? Has the government suggested that everyone go out and buy a gas mask or other emergency equipment? If not, then you probably don’t need to be bidding on eBay for the best gas mask you can find. In fact, you probably don’t need a gas mask at all.
It Happened
While the above scenario may seem like a cute little piece of fiction, it actually happened. After the events of 9-11, panic-stricken Americans were buying gas masks and other emergency equipment as though their lives depended on it, and they thought their lives did. It’s four years later. Where are those gas masks now? Probably collecting dust on some basement or garage shelf forgotten.
How to Avoid the Same Mistake
If you want to avoid the same mistakes that the gas mask connoisseurs made back in 2002, you’re going to want to approach your emergency equipment shopping with a bit more finesse. Don’t buy something on impulse and definitely don’t buy it based on emotion. If you’re going to buy emergency equipment, do it based on cold hard facts or because you really would like to have one on hand, even if you don’t need it.
Is the government suggesting that you buy it? Then it’s probably a good idea to do so. Are emergency equipment experts telling you to buy it? Then maybe you want to go ahead and go shopping. Did Tom, Dick and Harry run out and buy one just because they heard they were selling out at the XYZ Emergency Equipment Supply? Don’t let your panic get the best of you!

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Posted by Ryan Edgerton on January 14, 2006 10:48 AM | Permalink

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