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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Be prepared

Something I have mentioned in posts before is my family's goal to become more self sufficient. We want to become as debt free as possible as well as be prepared for any future emergencies, fiscal or physical. Part of this is being prepared for any kind of emergency or world changing event where life as we know it is effected. There are a few keys to our plan and I thought I would share them here. They arent eco-friendly per se, but I do believe they are important.

72 Hour Kits
A 72 hour kit contains everything you would need to survive for 3 days. We have the one pictured above as well as one we put together ourselves. We throw these in the car whenever we have to evacuate from a hurricane and since we have 2 cars, we have 2 kits. You can find basic lists for what to include in your kit but it is important to include comfort items for your kids as well. A blankie or special toy to calm their fears as well as a sippy cup, favorite snack and some form of entertainment are all important considerations. Medicines, diapers, communication tools(like walkie talkies), tents and other supplies are very important to a functional 72 hour kit. The individual items are inexpensive enough to buy a few at a time and slowly build your supply.

Food Storage

Thrive Basic 3 month food storage

There are many reasons to keep food storage and just as many ways to do it. A great article called Six Reasons to Keep Food Storage does a great job at quickly outlining why food storage is a good idea. Just in the last 10 years that Adam and I have been married we have seen natural disasters as well as man made catastrophies strand many people without food, water or basic supplies for weeks, if not months on end. To think that this could not happen to us would be foolish. We have been slowly building our food storage in a few ways:
*Taking advantage of BOGO(buy one get one free) offers at the grocery store to stock up on items we use every day. I shop for the week and while I wont need 4 jars of peanut butter for one week, buying it on BOGO will save me money for next week's groceries.
* Buying bulk on items that don't go bad at warehouse stores. This can be tougher if you don't have a ton of storage space but you can be creative on how you store your bulk items, just make sure to research the shelf life of what you store so you can rotate it out.
* Buying freeze dried food supplies. The freeze dried #10 cans of food storage are our pick for food storage because they last 20 years if stored correctly, taste yummy enough to rotate through our regular meals and are light enough to move quickly and easily. When we have a bonus or other unexpected excess in cash we try and buy some food storage. Buying it in kits is not only a good way to get started on your supply but a way to save extra money as you usually save a little more money than buying one can at a time.

A long term plan
What happens if the disaster is going to change your way of life? How would you survive? Do you have a plan? People to team up with?
I am a planner. A 'what if' asker. It helps to calm my mind to know what I would do in any possible situation. So my husband and I have made our plan. I've had long talks with my dad about our plan as well. We have a meeting place and are starting a list of what supplies to bring in case of an emergency. A few things on our list:
1. Guns. It freaks me out to even write that word down. We do own a gun. It is a gun that will not only help us defend ourselves and family but would also help us secure food by hunting if need be. I need to go to the range so I know how to properly use the gun, I can't count on my dad and husband always being there to do it but obviously I have not taken that step yet.
2. Seeds. Food supply will not last us forever. It is only designed to get you to a point where you can provide for yourself. An understanding(or a book) of farming for your climate as well as seeds of plants that will survive in your area will not take up much room but could be invaluable in an instance where food is scarce.
3. Currency. More than likely, in a long term survival scenario your paper money will not be as valuable as things like cigarettes, coffee, alcohol and other staples that are hard to make on your own. Think prison mentality. What can you trade? We don't smoke or drink coffee or alcohol but  our plan is to build our store of these items to allow us to trade.
4. An understanding of long lost trades. Can you sew a shirt or pants? Do you know basic first aid? Do you know the ratio for bleach and water when trying to treat the water you have stored? Do you know how to build a shelter? These are all important things to try and learn(or at least buy a book about to put in your emergency supplies).

It may seem like I am looking at the glass half empty here but it helps me sleep at night to know we have a plan. There are millions of resources on the internet to help you and your family become more prepared for any situation. Here are some of my favorite links:

Shelf Reliance
The Ready Store
Backwoods Home
Provident Living*

I would love to hear your preparedness or emergency tips!

*Both Jodi and I are Mormon, Provident Living is an LDS(or Mormon) website dedicated to helping members and non members alike be more prepared and self reliant.


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