News roundup for Fri, Sep 09, 2022

In short:
  • Europe is heading for a recession and will also see winter food shortages and price increases.
  • 90% of the world’s countries saw their living standards decline in 2021.
  • The Australian parliament passed the first climate change legislation in a decade.
National Preparedness Month Challenge

Each Tuesday and Friday throughout September, the news roundups will feature a section of TP’s beginner’s checklist and introduce a conversation topic or a challenge. After reading the highlighted section in the roundup, follow the instructions, and join us on Discord to discuss and get support. Read the introductory post and the previous topic here.

Today’s topic: 72 hrs vs. 2 weeks.

Until recently, emergency preparedness guides typically recommended having 72 hours’ worth of supplies. They’re wrong. Surviving for 72 hours is better than nothing, but most modern experts believe you should be prepared for at least two weeks to handle most likely events. Our emergency systems, first responders, and community supplies can be quickly overwhelmed. The system isn’t designed to handle sudden and widespread disasters, hence the 2 weeks rule.

For the challenge:

  1. Keep reading the 72 vs. 2 weeks short paragraph.
  2. Join us on Discord anytime after 1 pm ET for prompts and to discuss today’s topic.
Economy, food security, supply chain

US job growth was solid in August, and the unemployment rate rose almost 4%, easing fears of a recession. The Fed is likely to continue raising interest rates until the job is done:

Report: Over one-third of US families earning full-time year-round do not earn enough to cover a basic family budget. Black and Hispanic families face even more dire conditions. More than half of black families struggle to meet basic needs, compared with 25% white and 23% Asian and Pacific Islander families.

Europe is almost certainly heading toward a recession and will likely face winter food shortages and price increases. Natural gas and electricity price increases are hurting agri-food production cycles and, therefore, the ability to deliver essential agricultural commodities, foods, and feeds.

Britain will freeze consumer energy bills for two years and provide billions to support businesses. This is the biggest fiscal intervention in post-WWII British history.

There is concern that rising electricity prices will impede the uptake of electric vehicles in Europe despite rapid growth in the EV sector. New registrations of battery electric vehicles in the UK reached 10,006 in August 2022, a 35% increase from the previous year.

The White House unveiled its plan for bolstering domestic chip production. It will use the $50 billion funding from the CHIPS and Science Act passed this summer. The administration will use around $10 billion to increase the production of current-generation semiconductors. An additional $11 billion will be invested in research and development.

Climate change, environment, extreme weather

Hurricane Earl will likely create dangerous surf and rip currents on the East Coast:

While Hurricane Kay will bring heavy rains and flash floods to the Southwest:

Click the image for the latest forecast. Via NHC

Typhoon batters South Korea, and preparations minimize casualties. Typhoon Hinamnoor hit South Korea, killed at least six, and dumped 3 ft of rain. Thousands were evacuated, and 66,000 homes were without power. Despite this, the death toll could have been higher if not for proactive evacuations and school closures. The government put the nation on high alert for days, so there was also greater public awareness about the storm and its risks.

The heaviest rains in 30 years have caused catastrophic floods in Chad. The floods had affected more than 442,000 people as of the end of August. In West and Central Africa, above-normal rainfall has submerged vast areas.

California likely managed to avoid rolling blackouts because enough people followed ” flex alerts.” Flex alerts are calls to save energy voluntarily during critical times. This is what a Flex Alert entails (the page also has good residential energy-saving tips):

Via Flex Alert

The Australian parliament passed the first climate change legislation in a decade. The bill includes national targets of cutting emissions by at least 43% by 2030.

Study: The Thwaites Glacier is melting faster than expected. Its collapse would cause sea levels worldwide to rise by 3 to 10 ft (0.9 to 3 m) and put other parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet at risk.

Study: Large parts of the Amazon rainforest may never recover. Large swathes of the Amazon rainforest have reached a tipping point and might never recover from environmental destruction.

Fishing industries in Japan, China, South Korea, and the US are the common culprit behind the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.


CNBC put together a helpful primer on where to find the new omicron-specific Covid boosters, from Walgreens and CVS to local pharmacies and clinics.

And if you’re wondering when to get the latest booster, here’s a thorough explanation by Katelyn Jetelina.

The US plans to shift to annual coronavirus shots, similar to the flu vaccine.

China approved the world’s first nasal Covid vaccine booster. The inhaled booster is the first approved alternative to an injectable COVID-19 vaccine.

Report: Pediatric Covid cases increased 14% over two weeks prior, as children are getting back to school.

Study: More than 10 million children worldwide lost a parent or caregiver because of Covid.

The rest

90% of the world’s countries saw their living standards decline in 2021, according to the UN Human Development Index. Globally, the index has declined for two years since it was first calculated 32 years ago, erasing the gains from the past five years. According to the UNDP, Switzerland is the most developed country, followed by Norway and Iceland. The US is in 21st place. Read the data with caution, as even the UN knows that not all indicators are available for all countries. Here’s a quick summary video:

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. F. Scott Fitzgerald


    • Eric

      Join us on Discord anytime after 1 pm ET for prompts and to discuss today’s topic.”

      Starting about a week ago, most of ThePrepared’s conversation has been on Discord. Join us today for a discussion on preparing for 72 hours vs 2 weeks. 🙂

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    • brownfox-ffContributor

      What you can do about it:

      • Review your skills and supplies. When was the last time you checked on your Go Bag, food stores, or water stores? Document your inventory and see if it is correct. Mark your calendar to do it again next year, or next quarter.
      • Store some more water
      • Keep hustling your finances. Are you wanting to look for a job? Improve your skills to work toward a raise or promotion? Do you have a monthly budget? Times are tight, but any step taken helps.
      • Check your First Aid Kit. Do you know where it is? Having some supplies and training will be helpful if you are forced to wait for professional help.
      • Take a First Aid class. Are there any organizations in your community that run them? Could you partner with one to host a class at your work, church, school, or group?
      • Keep building your pantry as you are able. Reminder of this free PDF cook book for recipes: “Good and Cheap”
      • Check in with a friend or family member – how are they doing for food? Do they have a plan? Are they able to build a pantry? Do they need your help? Helping each other and our community may help you feel good, shed stress, and build a positive relationship.
      • Check your winter clothing. Do you have clothes or blankets if you need to keep warm? Could you ‘downsize’ to using less space, or one room in your house if you needed to conserve heat?
      • Review your hurricane preparations if you are in an affected area.
      • Plant some trees. If you live in the northern hemisphere – there may still be time to put some roots in the ground before winter. Check with your local greenhouse or volunteer planting group.
      • Get some exercise
      • Review your entertainment
      • Practice gratitude. What’s one thing that went well this week?

      Have a productive weekend.

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      • Alisa Felix brownfox-ff

        Thank you for the reminder to check my winter clothing before winter comes. 

        This was a good news roundup!

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      • Captain Peanut brownfox-ff

        Love these calls to action! In response to the review your entertainment point, I have been trying to read more often and decrease the amount of TV time that spend, and the biggest surprise to me is how relaxing and stress relieving it is. I look forward to my book time each night now.

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    • Doug Mengers

      Re: Omicron booster – I had an appointment for mine at a southern California Walgreen’s this week. They called and cancelled at the last minute, wouldn’t have the boosters yet at that location till this weekend. They said the online system should not have allowed appointments, but it didn’t sound like they were implementing any fix. I’d recommend calling first to check availability.

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    • Hardened

      Let’s talk about The Prepared’s habit of using services like to bypass The Washington Post‘s paywall.  The Washington Post produces excellent journalism (which is why it is referenced in The Prepared’s blog frequently) and is struggling financially.  Is it ethical to circumvent the Post‘s request to be paid for its work?  Is supporting a source of information we value not a good, self-serving idea?  As a fellow publication does The Prepared want to encourage a precedent of discounting the value of journalism?

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      • Carlotta SusannaStaff Hardened

        That’s a very good point, Hardened. We often debate internally how to make things accessible for everyone while at the same time respecting intellectual property, etc. I am a subscriber to WP myself, and try to use Archive only when cannot find a similar article for free. I will make some adjustments going forward so hopefully, there will be a better balance.

        Edit: words are hard.

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      • Captain Peanut Carlotta Susanna

        I appreciate the paywall-less links because I am such a minimal consumer of news that I may only skim one article every few weeks, and if it is behind a paywall there is no chance I would pay for it just because I just don’t care that much. 

        But if you do read a lot of news and like a particular group, you should support them.

        These news roundup summaries are excellent and are how I like to take in my weekly news. Thank you Carlotta Susanna for the time you take searching for, organizing, reading, and summarizing them.

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      • Carlotta SusannaStaff Captain Peanut

        Thank you for the kind words, Peanut!

        And thank you for the feedback re paywall vs free–it’s always very helpful to know what you folks think and want.

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    • Karl Winterling

      I got my COVID booster at a Southern California CVS pharmacy in a Target store on Tuesday.

      What I’ve (recently) learned about vaccines is:

      • It’s probably fine to get the shot 2-3 months after another COVID booster or an infection. But waiting 4 months might optimize the “bang for your buck” immune response.
      • Questionnaires that ask about receiving other vaccines in the past month are interested in knowing if you’ve had a vaccine in the past month that increases the risk of myocarditis, specifically the monkeypox vaccine. This isn’t a “too many vaccines” issue.
      • Vaccines are usually injected into a muscle and then spread through the bloodstream, which has nothing to do with fluids like sweat that naturally leave your body—so you won’t “lose” the vaccine by sticking with your normal routine. If a fluid like sweat has antibodies, your body will just make more antibodies. Any advice that sounds related to this is, I think, probably (again) for people who really want to minimize any type of risk related to myocarditis. Probably getting the Pfizer booster is enough for most people who are worried about myocarditis (i.e., your doctor hasn’t specifically told you that you have a condition that heightens your risk).
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      • Carlotta SusannaStaff Karl Winterling

        I didn’t know about the questionnaire being related to myocarditis, thanks for explaining.

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