Thursday, October 16, 2008

Be Prepared!

I like to be prepared. I have this fear that something tragic might happen and there will be a mad rush to Costco. Huge lines would be streaming out the door and people would come out telling the latecomers that the essentials were all gone. Pushing and shoving, worry and guilt would then ensue as thoughts such as, "why didn't I just do all of this yesterday, or last week, or even last year when there was no frenzy," would flood all of our minds.

Those of us who have lived in Northern VA long enough know what a predicted snow storm will cause...a mad rush for milk, bread and eggs. Shelves are bare within hours. You cannot find a snow shovel, snow boots for the kids, anything snow related for miles. I hate that panic feeling. Even when I have all of these things already, I feel like I need to get more since everyone else seems to be stock piling.

I have a 72 hour kit for each family member. Problem is the last time I updated it was 3 years ago. Today I decided it was time to go through all of it. I found that all of the food had expired (I need to rotate the blasted food every 6 months but I forget), so we would have starved. Calvin and Ethan had no Ziploc of clothing and Ashton and Tate would have been wearing baby clothes. Garth would have to go naked and I would be blind once my contacts withered away (I have disposable ones). All of the flashlights had been stolen by my kids playing "spy." I will be going to Target and Costco tomorrow for new supplies.

Earlier today I was chatting with my dear friend Maleen. She happens to be her ward's emergency specialist. Her husband works for Senator Bennett on the hill. They know everything politics. As we were chatting about food storage (our church encourages us to have a one year supply of food and 14 day supply of water for each member of our family, as well as 72 hour kits), she mentioned that after the past three presidential elections we have had some sort of terrorist attack. She asked about my water supply. I told her I had 3 huge 60 gallon barrels and some smaller ones as well. She asked me if I had used a garden hose to fill those up. I told her I had a few years ago but I was planning on emptying them this weekend and giving them a fresh batch. She told me that garden hoses can collect mold on the inside thus contaminating the water. I had never heard that before. I ran over to Lowe's today and bought a cheap new hose to use only for water refilling. THIS WILL HAPPEN ON SATURDAY (I am telling myself). I have put it off for 2 years. I think water needs to be rotated as well. What is the point of storing it if 1. The water is undrinkable or 2. You have empty containers with no water.

My storage area in the basement is full of canned food. I am not good at rotating it. I have decided that the cans will remain as is and in the event we are in true need, I will cross my fingers that the wheat, oats, sugar, and whatever other surprises I canned 7 years ago will still be edible.

Next week I am going to stock up on the things I know we eat regularly and can rotate easily. Items such as mac-n-cheese, peanut butter, canned corn, canned beans, pasta sauce, soups, etc will be purchased in larger quantities.

If any of you ever want to talk food storage, let me know. Years ago we had a group that met once a month to share ideas and I loved it. I am not perfect at it, but I know a little something. And I know people that know even more.

Our church has an amazing website if you want to take a look: click here. And our local ward in Gainesville has a great blog: if you want to take a look at we have been doing throughout the year. Each month, we have some great ladies who give us a small goal to tackle in hopes of having it all done within the year.

I love the talk given by our former beloved prophet, Gorden B. Hinckley, "If Ye Are Prepared, Ye Shall Not Fear."


Hannah said...

I found your blog when I was googling food storage and yours came up since you mentioned it.

If you ever need any more food storage tips, feel free to check out our blog! We even did a whole series on different methods for rotating your food (over on the righthand side of the blog, scroll down a little - it's under the "topics".

Good luck!
Hannah @

Trisha said...

This is a topic so on my mind lately. I did an inventory and realized that Rusty and I would be great on the food storage, but nothing for the little kiddos! Time to update and get prepared! We just filled our water barrels as well...

Rebecca said...

Yep, great timing. I think all of us are revisiting our food storage needs. A great website for those of you looking to build up your food storage is They sell yummy freeze dried food, which is great for long term storage!!