Preparedness

What I am going to write about today might offend you. Please don’t let it. I am simply making an observation and saying we need to do better…

 

Because I make bread and mill my own wheat, I am constantly looking for improvements in both my products and the prices.  I don’t know if you are aware of this, but many of the websites associated with these topics are affiliated with the LDS faith.  I am not LDS. In fact, we are non-denominational Christians and my hubby happens to be a pastor. Now that I have given you that small background, I’m going to tell you: The LDS church does a GREAT job with preparedness. It’s not just something they kind-of believe in …they are serious about it. They are so serious, they have pantry and storage and canning centers all over the US. They have brochures and websites telling you what you should have and why to prepare yourself and your family and even your neighbors.

We are experiencing a freak icy weather time down here in South Texas. Many of my friends and family in North Texas are on day 4 or 5 of a winter storm that has caused them to lose power and be homebound because of the roads. There was panic at our grocery store – you could feel it. You could see it in the “emergency” Gatorade and Doritos that were being thrown in to shopping carts. 🙂 Most people I have spoken to in our old stomping grounds have run out of food and some are risking personal safety to get to a store.

What would we do if something major actually happened? How would we cope if we couldn’t get to the store or the stores weren’t opened? How would you and your family survive? I read a fictional book once where there was no power due to electromagnetic pulses. Fiction, but it really started me thinking.

Well, I want to get better at this. I don’t want to be crazy about it, but I do believe we can learn something from the LDS church. They recommend a 72-hour kit supply of some items, a 3- month supply of others and a year supply of even more. Why am I not doing this?

Here’s what I already do and where I am going to try to make improvements on:

Wheat: I buy this in 125-150 lb increments. I am about to get another order of 150 pounds. Most grains, when stored properly, will last for many, many, many years.  You can make breads, tortillas, rolls and even cereal with wheat.

Oats: Oat Groats don’t last quite as long as wheat will, but still are a great thing to have in your storage. You can run them through the blender or food processor to have steel-cut oats, or flake them for oatmeal or mill them for flour. Yum.  I am trying to order these from Azure Standard and convince my sister to pick that order up since Azure doesn’t yet deliver closer than 4.5 hours from me.

Powdered Milk: I almost always have a large box of this in my freezer. I am going to be honest: I won’t drink it. When we lived in Alaska in the 70’s, my Mom got on a powdered milk kick because regular milk was so expensive and now I can’t stand the taste of a glass of it. I am just recently okay with smelling it. However, I use it all the time in cooking and baking. In fact, last night I made delicious (and I mean DELICIOUS) potato and ham soup and used all powdered milk. You couldn’t tell at all. In an emergency, however, I am pretty sure I could drink it if I felt I needed it…

Beans: This is tricky ( and I am going to hope Mr Darcy doesn’t read this post) because my guys won’t eat beans. I suspect the boys would if they had never seen their Dad turn up his nose at them. I digress…I just used lentils in chili to increase the protein and was so thankful for my immersion blender. I pureed the tar out of those beans and it just made the chili so nice and thick. Yeah, for Mom! I am going to do more of this-cook beans on the sly, puree them and add them to things. More good protein for my boys. This kind of protein will come in handy as a meat replacement, if needed. I can also grind beans into flour. (Did you know you could do that?)

Canning: Okay, you know I am a novice at this, but I am on my way! The goal is to can lots of things so we have them when veggies (and fruit) are not in season and in case of emergency. Imagine if you had no power, but you could still open a jar of canned peaches to serve with your makeshift meal?

Pastas: I am going to try to purchase an extra box each time I shop for long-term storage. Yes, I could make my own pasta – and I have. I just don’t like to . There, I said it. It’s not fun. It’s a lot of work for something that’s pretty cheap to begin with.

First Aid Kit: okay, not technically food, but do you have a GOOD kit at your house? We do. In fact, I also keep one in the car and have used it many times. We were blessed by a big kit from my Mom one year and it really gave me peace of mind when we had our first hurricane come close. You can find them at Amazon.com as well as other places.

Water: Here is an area I need to make a huge improvement in: We do a poor job in storing any water. I have started doing some research in water filtration systems – do any of you know anything about Berkey Water Systems? Any of you out there have tips or info on water storage for me? 🙂

Finally, fuel: We own a camping stove and keep butane for it and are blessed with a natural gas grill. I don’t know anything about how the natural gas lines would hold up in a real emergency so I am going to have to do a little research on this as well. Mr Darcy and I have had an eye out for a generator as well. Unfortunately, we usually have that eye out during hurricane season…not the best time to be shopping for a good deal on one of those when EVERYONE is looking for one!

We live in an area where we could actually lose power during hurricane season. It’s happened as recently as last year in parts of our city and several years ago, many lost power for a week or more. I believe that my job as homemaker (aka: COO of our home) is to plan for this kind of thing as well as the regular operating procedures of our house. Big companies and small companies have an emergency plan – we should, too.

 

That’s all. Enjoy the winter weather, if you are getting it. Enjoy spending time together.

~Janna

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ashleychristian
    Feb 04, 2011 @ 12:41:50

    I agree with you, as Christians we should strive for excellence in all we do, to honor our Savior. I was looking for a cute, modest swim suit and found a lot of great places to order, all LSD. Strangely the LSD compulsion to earn salvation has motivated them to excellence far greater than the Christian’s motivation to bring glory to God out of a grateful and needy heart. That should not be so! We had to get an emergency kit put together for our foster/adoption license which included supplies of food, water, and emergency necessities. Even though it wouldn’t last more than a week or two max, it’s a start and I’m glad I had something that forced me to do it!

    Reply

  2. Teresa
    Feb 08, 2011 @ 18:51:40

    Sigh! I wish we lived closer – I need you to teach me all this stuff. Miss you.
    Teresa

    Reply

    • Janna
      Feb 09, 2011 @ 10:51:27

      I doubt I need to teach you anything, T!! But I still wish we lived closer…you have much to teach me, wise one…

      ~Janna

      Reply

  3. Katie
    Feb 08, 2011 @ 19:45:23

    Janna, I do most of my cooking only 2 to 3 times a year. I do huge batch cooking and freeze in portions in a large upright freezer. I fill large (freezer safe) containers with water and place them on the outer edges of each shelf. If I do lose power then the large blocks of ice would keep the food safe for a longer period of time. I have at least 10 gallons of clean, filtered water for drinking ready if I need that too. In the meantime, it helps save energy by keeping the freezer at a constant cooler temperature.

    Reply

    • Janna
      Feb 09, 2011 @ 10:53:34

      Katie-

      Okay, I need to hear more about this 2-3 times a year cooking. Do you freeze in Ziplocks? What all do you make? Do you hook up with a friend for your cookathon or do you go solo? I love the idea of the blocks of ice to help regulate the temp. Why have I never done that? It would be so helpful down here in hotland. Seriously, tell me more…

      ~Janna

      Reply

  4. Cassie
    Feb 08, 2011 @ 20:47:32

    Kenny and I were just discussing this the other night. We want to get better at it too. I do keep a good stock on hand. I literally fill my car to the brim with groceries when I go to TX. I just shop my way out of town. 🙂 It takes forever but it sure saves in the pocketbook as its crazy expensive here to buy groceries. We’ve been living off my last trip in mid-Nov and other than perishables we are still fine.

    Reply

    • Janna
      Feb 09, 2011 @ 10:57:06

      Cassie –

      Almost every time we go up to DFW, I hit grocery stores. This includes a run to Central Market and I try to fit in Town Talk as well. We brought a cooler at Christmas. It was worth it on the way home! I actually have been planning a summer trip that revolves around grocery shopping. And thrift stores.

      ~janna

      Reply

      • Cassie
        Feb 09, 2011 @ 18:59:54

        Janna, I found using those cold/freezer bags you can find at Sams/Costco great for this. You can put a lot more into the car because they are flexible unlike the cooler. Also, I will buy a chunk or 2 of dry ice at the Kroger in Bedford (cost is about $10-15) then break it into large pieces and put it in the bags. That will keep my frozen stuff frozen for 8-9 hours.

      • Janna
        Feb 09, 2011 @ 19:50:27

        Cassie –

        I never even thought of that! I have not purchased one of those bags – but I have one on my list now! Our road trip is 9.5 hours so if my stuff is frozen hard, do you think it would stay cold? Haven’t used dry ice in a lonnnnnng while… 🙂

        ~janna

      • Cassie
        Feb 09, 2011 @ 23:14:30

        If you use the dry ice, it would definitely keep it frozen. I have used ice put into ziplock bags to keep water from going everywhere. To handle the dry ice I bring some extra plastic grocery sacks. I just drop the dry ice in its bag to break it into smaller pieces, then carefully using the extra plastic bags put some in each cold/freezer bag. I put a few pieces on the bottom then put some on the top. I’ve got like 6 or 7 of the cold bags and 4 for no refrigerated. When you get one of the cold/freezer be sure to get a good one. Some are cheaper and don’t zip all the way up and if they don’t zip all the way you can’t keep them as cold. FYI, don’t put dry ice in with fresh vegetables, it will freeze it! Ask me how I know!! LOL!!!!

      • Janna
        Feb 11, 2011 @ 17:35:54

        THANKS!!
        🙂

        (And I’ll remember the bit about the vegetables!

        ~Janna

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