Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Three Month Supply

Being prepared is a hot topic of conversation these days! And it's no wonder, if you are watching the global political scene, Mother Nature's fury and our national and world economies. I think things are going to get much worse before they get better. But we can be prepared. We don't have to live in fear if we are prepared. Preparedness is peace of mind.

For over 50 years now, the leaders of our church have urged people to have a supply of food and other necessities on hand. Since I was young, my parents have kept and maintained about a 1-year food storage supply, and I've continued that in my own home since I've been married. At times when the income is low, we have food, toilet paper, cotton balls, tooth paste or whatever we might need. Even when there isn't an urgent situation, we are buying things in quantity when a good deal is available and are living a year ahead of inflation, and that adds up to a lot of saved dollars!

A good place to start, is with a 3 month supply of everything you normally use. A few considerations will need to be made, like fresh produce will have to be substituted for canned or dried, and milk may have to be powdered. Just keep track of everything you use each day, week or month. Whenever you go to the store, buy an extra item here and there until you have enough food and supplies to last you and your family for 3 months.

Both the federal and state governments, and many medical emergency preparedness organizations, have web sites concerning pandemic preparations. A recent government article I read said that "not if, but WHEN a pandemic hits" we should be prepared to self-quarantine for about 3 months. That means we stay in our homes and don't leave. No one comes in and no one goes out. A self-quarantine means we have the option to protect ourselves that way, but there are no police or military enforcing it. People who are living hand-to-mouth and have to go to work or to the store will be doing so at their own risk. If you have everything you need in such a situation, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that you can keep from exposing your self and family to the dangers outside.

I have always been passionate about preparedness and am very often approached by others wanting help. They say they just don't know how to get started because it seems so over-whelming, or they are stocking up on things but don't know the best way to store it so it will last longer and be safe from bugs and moisture. Keeping track of it all - rotated and inventoried - can be confusing and they want to know how to manage that. It is my intent to help as many people as possible to become as prepared as possible for whatever may happen down the road. As each of us becomes more prepared, we can then help others.

Write down a menu for one week and list all the ingredients that would be needed. Then multiply it by 4 and you know just what you need for a month's worth of meals. When you have one month, double it and then triple it. Each time you are at the store, grab an extra item or two, like another tube of toothpaste or roll of paper towels or bottle of aspirin. Watch for sales and bulk items. Before you know it, you'll be feeling less worry and enjoying life a little bit more! You'll have greater peace of mind.

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