I just had a can of Beanee Weenee for lunch that was over two years old. Since money has been tight lately (hasn’t it been for everybody?), we’ve been making our grocery budget stretch by dipping into our emergency stores, and it’s a good thing. Since making sure we had several weeks’ worth of canned goods on hand (a lesson we learned thanks to the 2007 ice storm that blanketed much of the midwest) shortly after we moved into our house three years ago, we haven’t touched that food ever since.
So here’s something that might not be obvious to everybody (as my over two-year-old lunch makes it plain that it wasn’t obvious to us): canned goods and other types of stored food don’t last forever. Most canned goods start losing both flavor and nutritional value after about two years. Much longer than that, and they can start to become unsafe to eat. That’s why it’s important to rotate your emergency stash.
I’m finding that an important aspect of preparedness is doing everything you can to be healthy and in good shape. Not only do you not want to be dealing with health issues if you find yourself in a situation where going to a doctor is difficult to impossible, but you also need to think about all of the physicality involved in a survival situation. Being able to run, at least in short sprints, is important, as it may just save your life some day. Endurance is also important, since you might find yourself needing to cover long distances on foot. And it’s just as important to have good strength for the physical labor that will no doubt accompany a survival situation.
I guess I’ve always had a tendency toward preparedness, even without giving it a lot of thought. I’ve always carried certain items in my purse that would help me tackle common, every day emergencies, such as headache medicine, Band-Aids, safety pins, Kleenex and an umbrella. I also usually keep a protein bar in my bag to help regulate my blood sugar (and keep me from becoming a cranky beyotch) when I am stuck out running errands between meals. So it wasn’t that big of a stretch, once I became more preparedness-minded, to convert my purse into an every day carry emergency kit.
So here, along with my wallet, cell phone and umbrella, is what’s in my purse at all times: Continue reading
The increase of tremors here in Oklahoma have prompted me to put together an earth quake readiness kit. Hopefully, we’ll never experience a large enough quake that I will need to put it to use, but as most things preparedness-related, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Prompted by a post on The Survival Mom that left my head swimming with visions of my husband and I having to stand around outside in the cold in our skivvies in the middle of the night while we watch our home get shaken off its foundation, I put together a grab-and-go bag that contains the following: Continue reading
If you’re not new to disaster preparedness and survival, then you probably already know about James Wesley, Rawles’ SurvivalBlog (and no, that comma in his name is not a typo); but if you are new and you haven’t checked out this resource yet, you should. It’s a little hard-core, but as such it’s loaded with great info for preparing to survive anything from tornadoes to social upheaval to zombies (okay, I made up the part about the zombies–but seriously, the stuff here would probably help you survive zombies, too).
This is not coming from a survival expert or a seasoned prepper. I myself am barely more than a beginner. Of course, living in Oklahoma, land of tornadoes, wild fires, intense heat and drought, devastating ice storms, large hail and now earthquakes, you generally grow up knowing to be at least somewhat prepared for disaster. But as far as seriously preparing to survive a true, out-of-the-ordinary SHTF scenario, my husband and I are just getting started.
One lesson I’ve learned is how overwhelming it can be, once you’ve made the decision to try to reasonably prepare as much as possible for every disaster, terrorist attack, zombie invasion or breakdown of society imaginable. Suddenly, you find yourself able to imagine a LOT that can go wrong, and it’s easy to become discouraged once you realize it’s simply not possible to prepare for every single possibility that you read about or that crosses your mind. There’s also a tendency to panic, to want to do everything possible to get ready NOW, even if it means running up a lot of debt or spending all of your savings to make sure there’s a year’s worth of food and water in your pantry. Just last week, my husband had to talk me down from wanting to sell our house immediately and move in with my mom out in the country and start a mini farm in her back yard.
Here are some steps I’ve learned to help mitigate the sense of panic and overwhelm.
The world is a scary place, and so is Oklahoma. Living in Tornado Alley, you learn early on to be ready to take cover at a moment’s notice. Most people around here have their hidey-holes prepped with weather radios, flashlights and batteries and enough food and water and clothes to get them by if their home gets blown away.
Even so, I always took it for granted that if something happened, we’d get by. If I was ready to weather a tornado, then I guess I thought I was ready for anything. Then, in 2007, we had a devastating winter ice storm that blacked out a large portion of the state and left thousands of people stranded with no power, many for as long as several weeks. A lot of people died during that ordeal simply because they weren’t prepared and they turned to unsafe means of trying to stay warm, resulting in fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.