Saturday, March 26, 2011

Preparedness Challenge #2

I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see so many participate in the first Preparedness Challenge! Way to go, everyone! I've had so many thoughts on this all week, I don't even know where to begin.

First, I want to say what you probably already know... Preparedness is a lifestyle, not an event. It's a decision to live prepared on an ongoing basis. It would be so American of us to believe we can just go out and purchase a preparedness "kit" and be done, wouldn't it? Yeah, I'd get it, too, but it just isn't that simple, is it?

Food stores will need to be used and rotated, water will need to be replaced, medications will expire, and wood will be burned up each winter. Things will constantly need to be replenished and procured.

Second, by getting into the habit of preparing, we will have less gaps over time, be able to take advantage of good sales, and at least have the basics tucked away to hold our own for a  period of time. And while help may or may not come, having at least a few weeks worth of food (at the minimum) can make a huge difference!

I just happened to catch an episode of Glenn Beck this week where he listed a few things we could do to be proactive for the coming collapse (at least I believe that's how he put it). What caught my attention the most? When he mentioned that during a crisis where food, water, and shelter are absent, fear sets in and people don't make rational decisions. However, if they have just these three basic things, they are able to remain somewhat calm and make better decisions. By being prepared, you're giving yourself time to think clearly in a crisis situation. And that could be life saving! 

Third, I received an email from a friend who is a missionary in Japan. To get a realistic non-news story idea of what it's like there, I thought I'd share some portions of their letter...

"The team's location... is approximately an hour and half drive north of Tokyo.... the whole northeastern region of Japan... is without any means of heat for their homes or for food preparation. Many of the oil refineries in Northern Japan have been shut down since the earthquake making propane, butane, and kerosene unavailable. Gasoline rationing has also begun in many cities. As a result, everyday supplies are in want due to the disruption of normal delivery of goods and damaged roads... they do not have internet access... they do have cell phone service there thankfully."

Perhaps here this information from someone on the ground will help you this week as you think through your own preparations for an emergency situation.

Photo Credit

Finally, on another note, I had a reader ask a great question this week regarding preparedness. Basically, she wanted to know if I had $100 and was just starting to get prepared, what would I use that money on? This particular reader had some limitations on her $100 because it was in the form of a gift card from a certain retailer, but it got me to thinking... where would I begin if I had $100?

While I feel that having a minimum of 3 months of food is crucial, I would rather build this up by picking up a few extra items each time I go to the grocery store. In fact, one thing you might consider doing this week is to purchase enough ingredients to make two of the same meal instead of just enough to make one. For example, if you're going to make spaghetti, pick up an extra jar of sauce, an extra package of pasta, and anything else you might need. Cook one and add the other to your food storage.

But back to the $100. It's not that often that we have a large chunk of change to spend on a single item. What would you use it on? 

My top pick would be to purchase something that I could use now and in the event of a crisis... 

• A garden is a fabulous way to be prepared long term, especially if you work toward year 'round growing of produce. What tools do you need to get that going? I recently purchased a non-gas powered tiller to help me work in the garden. This can be used now and even if I can't afford gas or it isn't available. (And there is little to go wrong with it!) Other items could include a cold frame, seed house, or mini greenhouse for extending the harvest.

• Do you have a water bath canner or a pressure canner? I think either of these would be an excellent preparedness choice. 

• How about a proper set of knives (dont' forget the hunting knife) and a honing steel? I've used dull knives for way to long and it's amazing how much more efficiently I can work when I have a proper edge on my knives!

• A rain barrel would be great for additional water storage. You can use it right away for watering pot plants or for cleaning in an emergency.

• Having a library of books to help you plan and prepare now or in the event of an electrical outage is a great idea. Reading what others have learned over the years might save you a ton of money and headache in the long run!

• Consider purchasing an extra large gas can for extra gas (instead of the small kind that holds only 2 gallons), a couple of back up propane tanks for a cook stove, or some extra firewood!

There are a lot more ideas out there, but these should get you started if you find yourself in a similar situation. And be sure to read through some of my posts on Preparedness (see right sidebar). 

How I Prepared This Week!

Wilderness Family Naturals
This week, for the Preparedness Challenge, I purchased a one gallon size of coconut oil (so many uses!), bought lots more seeds for sprouting fresh greens (good for nutrients in winter!), an extra set of sprouting lids, and more beans! I also researched and learned how to make lye from ash, consulted a ton of recipes for making soap, and will pick up some final supplies to make my first batch of soap today when I go to town. I would have made the soap this week, but weather kept being an issue for our homesteading group to meet

The Sprout People

The Sprout People

This challenge is sooo good for me! It has me thinking all week on what I'm going to do for the next challenge and that's exactly what I needed to keep me moving on it! How's it working for you? 

Want to share what you did this week to meet the Preparedness Challenge? No requirements, just finish the sentence below and leave a comment or write a post and connect up with the Linky below! (Don't forget to add the picture above!)...

"This week, for the Preparedness Challenge, I _____________________..."

I going to close with this thought from Michelle at Give A Girl A Fig. She wrote on her preparedness challenge this week, "We're not fretting or frantic here. Just acting on that sense of 'calm urgency'.


Related Posts with Thumbnails