A while back I was in a novelty store, looking at humorous refrigerator magnets. One of them read: “I haven’t had my morning coffee yet. Don’t make me kill you.” Another read: “Coffee… because crack is not allowed in the workplace.” Yet another read: “Give me coffee or give me death.”
Movie scriptwriters have also taken advantage of Americans’ obsession with this caffeinated beverage in a variety of comedy films, including Airplane II: The Sequel. Peter Graves plays a flight captain who takes in stride the news that two of his crew members have died after being sucked out of an airlock. But when a flight attendant informs him that they’ve run out of Joe, he goes ballistic, loudly reminding everyone how many times he’s asked for extra coffee to be stored on board.
We laugh at these refrigerator-worthy phrases and comedic movie moments, but they bring up a valid point. Who wants to live in a world without coffee? When a disaster strikes it will be one of the items many people will wish they had stockpiled. And not just for the enjoyment of the taste or because of the headaches they will experience without their daily “fix.” They will also crave it for it’s ability to help them stay alert in night watch situations and for its use as a bartering tool.
When a crisis causes supermarkets to run out of food and other items quickly, coffee will be a coveted commodity because it is seldom included in personal stockpiles of food and water. It might be considered a luxury item by some, but others are convinced they need it to survive the day. Regardless, making it a part of your food stockpile is a great idea that will pay dividends.
(Editor’s Note: APN’s editor enjoys the Folgers Single Cup Bags. They allow you to make one cup at a time which cuts back on the smell of brewed coffee as you can cover your cup. It also makes it much easier to keep track of exactly how many cups you have. Let’s say you drink 2 cups a day; there is 365 days a year x 2 = 730 singles packets. On amazon (Follow the link above.) you can get 113 bags for around $28.oo
Here are five reasons for including coffee in a survival stash:
- Coffee will disappear quickly from store shelves in an emergency. Those who stockpile food and water for emergencies are in the minority, and even many of them do not include coffee in their stashes, so it’s likely to be swept up right away by people who thought of stockpiling everything else except a good cup of joe.
- Stay alert in night watch situations. A disaster that causes power outages will also cause people to behave in ways they would not otherwise. Some families and groups may be forced to have one person stay awake at all times. Coffee not only keeps you awake, but also more alert and able to concentrate.
- Use as a bartering tool. During the Civil War, Southern soldiers had plenty of tobacco but little coffee, while soldiers in the North had a lot of coffee but little tobacco, making for a perfect bartering situation. When stores run out of the necessities, there will be plenty of trading going on. Coffee will once again be a valuable bartering item following a disaster.
- It’s good for you. Once considered harmful, coffee is now known to be rich in flavonoids, a group of antioxidant compounds. Some studies show that coffee can actually protect the heart, lower the risk of several forms of cancer and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. And it puts most people in a better mood, which can be helpful in a stressful situation.
- Enjoyment. Smiles and laughs in a post-disaster society will be few and far between, so people will want to occasionally savor something simply for its taste. Coffee lovers will argue that their beverage choice is delicious. And if coffee is as addictive as they jokingly say it is, they’re going to need it as much as want it.
Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.