Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Next Step

Originally posted on June 18, 2010

When most people think of emergency preparedness, they think of food storage, water storage, batteries, flashlights, maybe even a radio. But there is so much more. Not to overwhelm you, but there are also 72 hour kits (families need a separate one for every person!), clothes, blankets, planned escape routes, predetermined meeting places, code words, emergency out of state contact, plan "b" (or maybe even "c"), back up fuel, alternative cooking methods, alternative heating methods, back up generators, medicines (including daily prescriptions), toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrush, hair brush, sanitary pads, etc... There are so many "little things" that we use day to day that we just don't think about but are necessary for long term. There are larger items, like a cook stove or generator that may not be feasible to store in your situation, but maybe someone you know has one you can use with them in an emergency or maybe they'll store it for you in exchange to use it with you.

This weeks goal is to record every day for two or three days, all the items you use or ingest from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. The list may shock you. Make sure you are including these items in your storage kits. Gals, remember mother nature. You don't want to be caught without a plan!

Use last week's tip and just buy an extra something here and there when on sale, and put it away. It's an easy way to get prepared.


Originally posted on June 11, 2010

Food storage? Emergency preparedness? Family plan? What are these? Why do I need them?

Ummm, how do I put this nicely.... YOU NEED THEM! No matter where you live in the world, what station of life you are in, these are part of life's essentials that I don't see being taught enough, if at all, in a lot of areas. My church is very big on being prepared and doing it correctly. You don't want all your efforts wasted. Case in point- why save and store up 50 pounds of dried black beans if you don't eat or like them, let alone know how to cook them? Store what you have in your normal diet. If an emergency arises sure people take what they can get, but why purposefully be mean to yourself?

We will start with the beginning... Do you have ANY food storage? How old is it? Go look. If the can's dates are older than what's in your pantry, switch them! Make sure you are rotating properly. Just like you're supped to check and replace smoke detector batteries, check and rotate your food at least every 6 months. If you have the funds to, there are nifty shelves I saw an ad for in LDS Living that rotates for you. I'll have to find the magazine and put the link on here later (if you want instant gratification, try googling it- "rotating food storage shelves". There's lots of ideas of how to build it yourself or buy a system.)

Don't have anything saved up? Easiest way to start is to buy a couple extra bottles of ketchup, box of noodles, cans of tuna....whatever you eat and can afford. Put it in a different place than your normal foods (garages usually work... or under a bed... in a closet, you get the idea) just as long they are not going to get eaten just because you haven't had time to go shopping yet for the week. These are meant for EMERGENCIES (loss of job and no food stamps or money for food constitutes as an emergency). It's amazing how much a little here... a little there... really ads up! Please do not have instant gratification for this process. Yes, there are kits out there to buy a whole year supply of food at once and be done, but they cost thousands of dollars. Unless you have that amount of funds (NOT CREDIT) available to go do that, I advise you not to.

Costco and Cash-N-Carry are great places to get bulk foods and cases of canned goods for a very reasonable price. If you shop there normally, buy an extra case or two and stash them in the garage...under the get the idea.

There are also a few companies out there that specialize in food storage and freeze-dried foods. These would also be awesome places to consider buying from since fruits and veggies cannot be stored fresh, and home-canned or store cans can take up a lot of room. Freeze dried foods just need to be reconstituted, so keep that into consideration as well (you'll need to store EXTRA water).

Goal time! This week check your stock, rotate, and add 3 full meals worth of non-perishable food items (include spices used in the recipes!)