Fasten Your Seat Belt…it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

For years our church has preached Emergency Preparedness. They didn’t just preach it…they warned us of just such a time as we are experiencing now. Hard times are here. Let me share with you the knowledge I have gleaned about Emergency Preparedness.

We’re talking survival. Think about this…if you had a year’s supply of food, clothing, and other essentials put away for an emergency, how much easier would it be to withstand the economic chaos we are seeing and experiencing now? If you didn’t have to worry about feeding your family, buying toilet paper and cleaning products, buying clothing, perhaps even heating your home and cooking, how much easier would it be to pay your rent or mortgage? All the money you would naturally spend on these necessities could be used to keep you in your home.

You think it is too late now? It’s never too late to make a plan and activate it. So, how do you begin?

The first thing you need to do is go through your cupboards and list everything you have in them. Note things you use all the time. Note things you use occasionally. Note staples. Note special items. Then, the next time you go to the grocery store save the receipt. Start making a list of those items you purchase. Figure out how often you use them. Start figuring how much of that item you would need to take you three months. Three months is a good start. It’s doable. Don’t think you have to do it in record time. Taking your time is preferable to speed. You want to make sure that what you are getting is what you will actually use.

Now that you have started figuring out what your family likes to eat, you need a place to store it. You can consolidate the items in your cupboard to make more room. You can use 5 gallon buckets with lids to store bulk items. Just make sure that they are stored in a cool, dry place. You may want to purchase items in #10 cans, (dehydrated foods are wonderful for this). Waltons on the internet is a good source for dehydrated products. You can purchase everything from powdered milk to wheat to dehydrated apple slices to chocolate milk, etc.

Not only do you need food, but you need other necessities. You will need cleaning supplies and personal products like toilet tissue and feminine products, shampoos, toothpaste, etc. You will need tooth brushes, combs, brushes, lotions and facial items. You will need spray bottles, bleach, soap, laundry detergent, dish soap, etc. Don’t forget garbage bags and storage bags.

For those who are gardeners, don’t forget the seeds. Make sure you have plenty of linens, towels, dishcloths, dishtowels, and fabric, if you sew. Denim is a good fabric to have on hand. Simple fabrics like cotton is best for shirts and blouses. Make sure you have patterns and sewing supplies such as elastics, needles, thread, etc..

You should also have plenty of oil for your car–Windshield wiper fluid– anything you might need in an emergency.

Now that I have overwhelmed you… you don’t have to have all of this right away. This is a plan over time that you can work for. This is not a quick fix, as you can see. This is simply a road map to being prepared in an emergency.

We started small. When we went to the store we would buy a few extra cans and set them aside. As we grew more comfortable with the idea of storage, we started buying in the #10 cans from Waltons. We used the the shelves in our home library to store the items we purchased. We added space as we needed it. We utilized our walk in closets. We put up shelving in the study. We even have plans of turning a spare bedroom into a butler’s pantry as soon as my daughter and her children are able to get a home of their own. All in all, we found room by reorganizing and clearing out the clutter. We simplified our life.

It is amazing how many things I collected over the years that were never used. We donated them to the Good Will and Salvation Army. I got rid of broken items I always meant to fix and refurbish. I amazingly found lots of space that I could use for storage. Clearing out the clutter is a very freeing action.

Now we are back to being prepared. I have a supply of emergency candles. We have a fireplace for heat if we had to use it. We are slowly thinking of creating a solar unit that could run the refrigerator, stove, microwave, tv, and maybe even a computer. Of course we want to also convert our water heater to solar. Don’t forget the matches. What good’s a candle without a match? Survivalist I am not!

Don’t forget the emergency medical supplies.

So, my suggestion is to start small. Alternate between non food and food supplies. One month purchase food items. The next, soaps and shampoos, etc. You will have your list of priorities and a budget to work with. Don’t forget to use coupons. My husband does that. I’m just not into them though I know I could save money. It’s a personality thing. Decide which one of you will handle what part of the plan. Utilize each family member’s best traits to be more productive and successful in your endeavors.

Oh, and cut back unnecessary spending. Reduce the waste in your budget. Less eating out, less trips to the store. I even throw change in a jar. I can usually save $20.00 a month just by doing that.

For those in the throws of the emergency, you may have to ride out the storm and become stable again before implementing your plan. But don’t let the present crisis stop you from making one and doing what ever you can to implement it, such as buying one extra can of tuna, or an extra tube of tooth paste. Do what you can but do something.

Your plan is your plan. Good luck and may your New Year be better than the last! Chris

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~ by womenstudycenter on December 30, 2008.

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