It’s been a stay at home week … we’ve been spring cleaning … the garage, clearing the gardens & yard, organizing & taking inventory of needed items in the freezer and food closets. Yes, that’s right, food closets (no they aren’t in the kitchen nor are they our pantry). These closets are for our food storage. Why do we have closets of food and water, batteries, candles, first aid supplies, etc. etc. etc. ? That’s easy … being self-reliant and being prepared for emergencies or unexpected life events important to us. One of my motto’s is If not me, who? Will I give my responsibilities to care for myself and my family away with a wish or a hope that ‘someone’ will help, ‘someone’ will come and ‘take care’ of us? That’s a big Nope!
When people find out that I have extra food and water stored they laugh and ask if I’m a “prepper”.
I guess in a way I am, but not in that lame reality television or zombie apocalypse survivalist way. I have no urge to move off-the-grid into a cabin in the woods nor have I begun to crave squirrels for dinner. I also have not installed an underground storage bunker for guns and ammunition and I totally refrain from wearing surplus military clothing. Also, learn hand to hand combat is not on my to-do list, nor is digging a moat around the house or hanging surveillance cameras and motion sensors in hidden places across the perimeter of our property … and I have not developed a phobia toward dentists.
I believe that being self-reliant and being prepared are two halves of a being a responsible person, parent, friend, and citizen. Self-reliant … taking care of myself. Standing on my own two feet. When I divorced with 5 children it never once crossed my mind to ‘go home to mom and dad’. I figured it out, I worked it out and never gave up (even if all I wanted to do was run away). I learned those lessons from the examples of my pioneer ancestors, grandparents and parents … during the great depression one Grandfather herded sheep and the family lived in a cave for a while, the other lost his businesses and worked at odd jobs, kept a cow and grew gardens to support his family. My dad’s work schedule was 5 to 5 every day including an hour & 1/2 commute each way. I learned to work hard everyday, no excuses. I learned that doing the hard things brought reward … not only monetarily but internally; peace of mind and self-respect. Self-reliance is taking care of myself and my family being always aware that at anytime something may/could/will happen; job loss, economic or natural disasters, accident or illness can change life in an instant.
That’s where being prepared comes in. I don’t worry that something may/could/will happen because we’re prepared. This past winter hundreds of thousands of people were without power, roads closed as did grocery stores and gas stations, even water and sewer treatment plants stopped functioning when monster blizzards put the eastern half of the United States in a deep freeze. Every time the meteorologists predicted another storm … people in fear would race one another to the grocery and clean everything from the shelves.
I like knowing I don’t have to panic. There is peace in being prepared .. food and water, and a bit of cash set aside for staying in place emergencies. We also have 72 hour ‘bug out’ kits ready if we have to leave home in the event of evacuation for a flood, wildfire, earthquake or riots. There are hundreds of legitimate websites that share excellent information on how much and what foods to purchase & how to store it. I learned a hard lesson … avoid buying food you don’t eat now … you won’t eat it later … no mater how hungry you are. Have you ever tried to get a 3 year old to eat canned peas?
If you’re interested in some home storage and preparation … here are a couple of sites to get you started in building your own preparedness closet … then we can all be Closet Preppers!
http://www.thefoodguys.com/foodcalc.html A Food Storage Calculator