Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ready? Set? Are you prepared?

So we survived December 21. We proved those Mayans and those doomsday preppers wrong! I never thought the end of the world was near (and if it was, how the heck was a stockpile of food going to help those people? Apparently the term "end of the world" was lost on them. Just sayin'.)

Anywho, the whole debacle got me thinking about our food supply. We've all been to our local Wal-mart before a big snowstorm or heck, even a major holiday and have seen practically bare shelves. Big trucks making daily treks to those stores, yet they aren't stocked. What if those trucks couldn't get there or if the trucks didn't have anything to bring?

Let's be honest, our food supply is delicate and volatile. I won't go into the nitty gritty of our food supply, but I'm sure we can all agree it could be easily disrupted by a major natural disaster, gasoline shortage or heaven forbid, a major terror attack. Of course, the thought of our cushy American lives being disrupted in any way is not a pleasant thought, but for me a proactive approach to a potentially negative situation is always comforting.

We all need to take some time and a bit of money and get prepared. I'm not talking hoarders style prepping, but simple common sense prepping. I've realized in our own family that we are really ill prepared. So, I've decided to set a goal to prepare our family for a short term "disruption", whatever that could be.

What better time than tax season to tackle this project? Most of us with families will get some sort of refund.(If not scrounge up some cash. Skip your Starbucks for a month or something! You can do it!) I've decided to take just $100 and get prepared. At this point I'm focusing just on food. At some point I'll tackle the other stuff like an emergency kit with first aid supplies, batteries, etc. Sorry, but in the event of a disaster, food will trump a flashlight for me. Haha!!

I checked out for some guidelines. Here are some of the basics:

  • Store at least a 3 day supply of food. (This is per person! We are going to try and prepare for a week.)
  • Remember any special dietary needs. (Think allergies, diabetics, etc.)
  • Choose foods your family will eat. (I bet someone with a highly advanced degree thought of that one.)
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty. (Okay, now someone put a little thought into that. Give that guy a raise...)
  • Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals and canned foods with high liquid content.

**Following a disaster there could be power outages. Be prepared with a manual can opener and foods that do not require cooking, refrigeration or water. Suggested foods include-

  • Ready to eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables
  • Peanut butter
  • Dry cereal, or granola
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods (This is my license to buy chocolate!!!)

On you can also find information on food safety and sanitation, as well as, cooking and managing food without power. Probably some good things to print off and keep in an emergency binder (if that sounds Greek to you, check out what should be in an emergency binder. Just Google it.)

The site also has a whole section just on water. And since it's been pounded into our heads since grade school that we can go longer without food than without water, this is an extremely important section. Since we have a well (which means no water without power) and have had several times of no water following power outages, I have a new found respect for the amount of water one needs to live a semi-normal life. Drinking, brushing your teeth, washing your hands, dishes etc. We use a TON of water. Please make sure that your preparation includes at least a gallon of water PER PERSON, for at least 3 days. 

I really urge you to check out or other sites that discuss emergency preparedness. This is certainly not a comprehensive list. While prepping has gotten somewhat of a bad rap, preparing for the unexpected doesn't make you a crazy person, it makes you smart. Except if you have a bunker and a hazmat suit. Then, well, all bets are off...

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