Interesting points made in this article and, as is often the case, in the comments below. I especially liked this post by a commenter named "Grey Lady":
These folks have the right idea about being prepared. You never know when something will happen - natural disasters or smaller scale catastrophes. I lost a job, but was able to provide quite well for my family for several months until I found a new one because I had lots of food in the pantry and freezer. We turned the heat down to 50, but pulled the extra blankets out of storage and kept warm. If I hadn't had that, we would have had to go on food stamps and welfare. It isn't hard to stock up slowly.