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Share and share alike

With Xmas just behind us and with our liberal sharing of wine, food and chocolate we feel very comfortable that we have a nice tight family unit where we can share and get along well. It has worked over the last few days so it must be fine.

We don’t need to think that there are many different ways of sharing your preps among your community and most have us have not really thought about it much. It is just something that will happen and it will all work out. Or will it? Xmas is a bad example because shops are open if you are really bothered and most people can do without their favourite chocolate or sweets for a day or so and nothing really runs out. You just shrug and wait till the shops are restocked or open and it is no big deal but when you know that what you have is the last you are ever likely to purchase then you look at things differently.

When you consider that there are several ways of allocating scarce resources you can also consider that not everyone will agree that your chosen method is the best. In a unit you will have different views, yet all will think they are being fair and sharing. Some sharing methods are;

  1. Everyone can call on it method of distribution until there are no more left.
  2. Everyone is allocated a fixed amount. When it is gone it is gone.
  3. A quota system is in operation, an amount per period, until stocks are depleted.
  4. There is a price allocated per item, you buy what you want and if you have no ‘money’ you can’t buy it.
  5. Allocated as needed until it is gone.
  6. Allocated by a controller until it is gone.

Most of us will use a combination of these allocation methods and some are more suitable to certain items than others. For example;

  1. General everyday supplies like food, water and medical supplies.
  2. Again general supplies.
  3. Luxuries like coffee, cigarettes and toilet paper.
  4. Again general supplies but also useful for luxuries.
  5. Specialist items such as tools, supplies and equipment.
  6. Specialist items.

Think about it. We consume resources at a different rates. What is suitable for one may not be suitable for another. Some people require more water, some more food and some need medical attention. Does one person use all your medical supplies whilst the remainder have none for when they eventually need to call on it? Someone likes a cigarette every now and again and will hold on to some but someone else is a chain smoker and burns them all up over a few weeks.

Some things are easy. The joiner needs the tools to work the wood, the mechanic needs the tools to build the water wheel, but not everything is so black and white. Clearly we can see some sort of control is required but which one are you thinking of for each resource. Is that the same way your partner and family see it? I can assure you the chain smoker does not see it the same way as a casual smoker who can do without for months and then likes an occasional treat. They will see you as selfish because you can do without, they can’t. You will see them as selfish because it is a treat to you and they are hogging all the treats. A third person will see them as a shared commodity, they don’t want them but there are worth something as money was spent on the acquisition and they can use them to barter for what they really want.

Look at every item in your prep and consider how it should be allocated knowing it will never be replaced, how do others think about it? Those extra items you added whilst you were shopping just in case may be the spark for an argument, why didn’t you get more of my favourite alcoholic beverage instead of more of yours, why are you getting all the soft on your bottom toilet paper and I have the normal Asda cheap stuff. Your argument that you drink more or you have a very sensitive bottom will not fall on very receptive ears. Nor will your plea that your bad back needs all the painkillers hold much sway when others know that they will have none to look forward to when they hurt themselves.

Even the most basic items will become valuable commodities that need to be fairly allocated. Best start talking about it now and discover your differences whilst you can adjust your buying habits add some more supplies to your preps.

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