This article is part of a complete guide to preparedness - Getting Prepared, An Untrained Housewife's Guide. Everything you need to have a simple survival plan for you and your family!
What does the future hold? Hopefully sunshine and lollipops! But have you watched the news lately? While I always hope for the best (who doesn’t?) I am also preparing for the worst.
At the Survival Spot, they have a list of the Top 100 Items to Disappear First During a National Disaster. Generators is number one on their list. While it may be the first item to disappear, Iit is not the first thing on MY list to worry about. In NW Arkansas, my family can survive being cold or hot, but we cannot survive with food and water.
Preparing Food Sources
In the event of a major national disaster, chances are good that the power grid will go down and we will not have access to our usual sources of energy. Pretend there is a power outage. (A good preparation tip is to turn off the main power source for 3 days a couple of times a year and see how you fare!) Do you have food on hand that does not need to be cooked? Do you have drinkable water? In the short term, you’ll be fine with just those two things. Aftger a few days, though, you will want some good food, and you will want to freshen up a bit. What then?
As an independent consultant for Shelf Reliance, I am a bit biased towards many, but not all, of their long-term Thrive food products. Fresh fruits, veggies, meat and dairy are all items I recommend purchasing from Shelf Reliance. Other basics may be found elsewhere for much much less money. I am thinking of wheat, beans, rice, etc. However, consider that those items must be cooked in some way. First store what you already use, and then build your home store around your menu and your menu around your home store. Wouldn’t it be a huge comfort, as well as convenient, if during a major national disaster, your family’s eating habits could remain the same? What a great morale booster that would be!
Obviously we cannot live without water, and if it is not free of harmful bacteria, we cannot live with it. Water is very difficult to store in large quantities for a long term disaster. But there are ways to handle this.
I store water in empty bleach bottles that I do not rinse out first. This could be drinkable if necessary and certainly good for washing. I also store water in glass jars, pressure canning them for long-term storage. That is quality drinking water, but again, it is impossible to store enough for an entire family for months.
For long term water storage, a water purifying system of some sort is absolutely essential. There are many ways to accomplish this. There are small kits to purify individual servings. There are filtration pumps, purification tablets and 55-gallon supply kits. Just go shopping! Again, Shelf Reliance is one resource; there are others that you may like better.
Some things to think about when considering a water supply without electricity:
*We do not need to bathe/shower as much as we do. All that really needs to washed daily are the ‘stinky parts.’
*We do not need to launder our clothing as much as we do. If we are in a survival situation, we should probably just prepare ourselves to be dirtier than usual. (I know, yuck!)
*We generally waste an enormous amount of water in our daily activities. A fun family project would be to catch all water that is normally wasted and place it in a barrel. See how long it takes the family to fill it up. Think about running water while brushing your teeth, emptying out ice from glasses after meals, and running individual baths. Learning to conserve water will help a lot in a survival situation. It will boost your morale if you are already used to conserving water.
*Consider how you will water your pets and livestock.
*Consider how much pure water you will need if you have a baby on infant formula.
*Consider how you will wash diapers . . .
It is scary to consider how life could be. We are so spoiled as citizens of America at this particular time in history. But history does repeat itself, and with current events what they are, we should probably prepare ourselves for a bumpy ride. And if nothing at all ever happens, we will have gained positive experience and had some fun life lessons with our kids!
Nobody likes hard times, but the key to getting through them, besides the obvious prayer, is preparedness! And if you are planning ahead anyway, why not plan for as many comforts as you can!