As a quick recap from part 1 & 2 where we discussed the commonality of making preparations based on this threat matrix.
Individual – Localized – Large Scale – National Scale – Global
In part one we looked at the scales of events and how each might affect us as individuals.
In part two we started to look at the specifics we need to work on for our individual preparations depending or our location.
So back to the question where is the commonality? No matter what the level of the event, be it something as simple as a job loss, a localized disaster or major global event items number 2 through 6 that we talked about in the prior post are constant needs.
As a beginning prepper we start at the beginning, that highest probability thing most likely to happen to us individuals, a job loss.
In this scenario we need water that is clean and drinkable, we need food, we need shelter, and we need energy and we need security. If it only takes you a month to find a new job you really only need to have a month’s worth of food on hand and money the bank to pay your bills for the next month. For a short-term power outage perhaps from a storm or transformer failure, if you have a small generator to keep your freezer and refrigerator a few lights running you probably only need enough gasoline to run a generator for a couple of days. If your local water supply becomes contaminated but your local water company is working to correct the problem you only need to have perhaps weeks worth of stored water on hand and a small filter system is a backup. Basically as you move up the scale and the size of the event or disaster you increase the number of days you can operate autonomously from outside support and utility companies.
In many “Prepper” discussion groups and circles one of the topics that gets the most attention is guns and ammunition. Don’t get me wrong on this, they are both high on the list of things needed and we will cover them later. In my opinion top of the list should really be food. After all, most of us eat three meals a day and stop and ask yourself, when was the last time you were in a gunfight? For the majority of us the answer is never, for others in the line of duty, way too often. So if for whatever reason the grocery stores run out and the restaurants are closed, what will you do when it’s time to eat?
It has been reported in a number of places that the average household in America has less than 1 week of food in their home at any given time. I have not been unable to verify any research or credible report that it is a fact, but don’t find it too had to believe.
Let’s step back to our earlier, most likely personal disaster scenario where, you or your spouse has lost your job. If you had 30 days of food stored in your home, would that help with your cash flow until you were able to find another job? What about 60 days, or 6 month’s worth stored? If you don’t have at least a month’s worth stored right now, there are many ways to build your food storage over time and within a budget. Copy canning is one way, stocking up on sale items is another. It is not a good idea to buy a years supply of canned goods all at one time. For one thing it’s expensive and the second is canned foods have an expiration date. (That’s another topic for another post later on). By purchasing your storage food over time, you can buy a newer expiration dated food and put them into a rotation behind your older cans.
The most important things to keep in mind as you begin and maintain your stored food, is you MUST store what you eat, AND eat what you store. If you don’t already have a grocery list that has what your family commonly eats now, start one. Goggle copy canning and it will give you a basic way to build up your food storage over time. Just because Spam is on sale, but no one in your household will eat it, don’t buy it. Same goes for macaroni & cheese, canned spinach, Captain Crunch or any other thing that you’re family won’t eat.
Dried rice, beans, pasta, wheat, and corn are inexpensive, high in calorie count and will last almost indefinitely when packed and stored correctly. They are the basic staples most of us are storing but it is going to be some pretty boring meals within a couple of days if that is all you have. Having a good variety of canned vegetables, canned meats and fruits will help you create some variety in your meals and avoid food boredom. Another thing to keep in mind for food storage is does anyone in your family have specific food allergies that should be avoided. And as a final storage thought, do not forget the dried spices.
The advantages to having your own garden can be easy to list. How about knowing what you are eating has not been bombarded with chemicals and pesticides or the varieties that you chose to grow are not GMO’s. A little exercise and time in the sunshine and fresh air is good for most people as well. Depending how much area you can devote to a garden, and how much time you have to manage it, you may be able to substantially cut your food bill at the grocery store. A fair amount of fresh vegetables and root crops like potatoes and carrots can even be grown in containers if you don’t have the yard space for a full blown garden. Even small trees will produce in containers. My wife has two dwarf Meyer’s lemon trees in large pots that give us dozens of fresh fruit every year. Although they have to be moved inside during the winter months here, (we’re in middle Tennessee), but with them in a container it’s a fairly easy project with a two wheeled hand dolly.
Fishing and hunting equipment along with the experience, training and skills are another means to put food on your family’s table. Both are great hobbies and a day in the woods or on one of your local waterways beats sitting in front of the TV any day of the week.
Links for topics we covered in this post
Water Storage & Filtration:
Food Storage Calculator: