I don’t watch a lot of news. It is too depressing and this time of year I’m way too busy. But even as someone who doesn’t watch the news I know about the newest flu scare as well as the economic woes our country is facing. As I was out planting beans in the garden I was mulling over thoughts as to the plight of my family and of my loved ones if there was ever a reason that we could not or should not go into town.
Sweet Girl and I are also in the middle of ‘The Long Winter’ by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which as you know will give anyone pause to think about their personal preparedness.
I know that in this modern age it is hard to imagine having to rely totally on what is in our homes for survival. But if we had to…could we? Can the modern family be really prepared to sustain themselves with no outside help…at least for a while?
As a wife and mom what is my personal responsibility to my family in the case of an emergency? Could I feed my children in the case of an earthquake, flood, epidemic, or unforeseen tragedy?
After some serious thought and many rows of beans later I came to the conclusion after doing a mental inventory of my pantry, that yes I could feed my family if I could not run to the local market…in fact I believe that I could feed them for at least a couple of months….but there are some catches!
What I would do if the power was out for a long time and I could not grind the wheat? I have wondered about this. I have tinkered with the idea of buying an inexpensive hand grinder but haven’t gotten around to it.
If the power goes out we are also without water. I have enough stored for a short time, maybe a week at most. I need to to something about this….
I could feed my kids but what about my animals? I usually buy hay and grain every couple of weeks in the winter for the big animals. We don’t have much hay storage so I would be in a world of hurt if I could not go into town to buy for them. I also only keep a couple of weeks chicken feed around (mice, bleck!)….another thing to consider!
We heat with wood mainly and cook with propane, but bake with electricity. Could I learn to bake bread with my wood stove like ma did that long winter? Another thing to at least do a little research on…
We have oil lamps, but I need more oil, I have candles, but no matches…
The one place that I feel totally prepared is in the garden department, the seeds I bought this year have for the most part a 2 to 3 year shelf life. I also grow mostly open pollinated so I could do more seed saving than I do. Being in the Pacific Northwest I could pretty much garden year around with a little protection…at least we could have lots of greens and root veggies all winter.
Then again could I garden without water?
Do I have first aid supplies? Enough for anything but the big major omgoodness we have go to the hospital situations? I will have to check on this.
What about personal hygiene supplies…I have too many men in my family to go for months with the deodorant and soap all gone, ughhh! Toilet paper, I would hate to run out of that!!!
OK…here are my conclusions
- I need to check to make sure my pantry supplies are adequate for 6 months
- I need to store more water as well as catch more water into rain barrels (which I have and have not set up yet…bad me!)
- I need to learn to bake with my wood stove, or at least have some idea of how to.
- I need to buy a hand-grinder
- I need to find more storage area for hay and feed for the animals
- I need to check first-aid supplies and also should take a class to brush up on basic first-aid…its been two years
- We need an emergency plan since we have kids from 23 to 2…we need to devise a plan of where to meet and how to get a hold of one another.
I am a very optimistic person by nature. I am not scared by the new flu or the economy. But I am also prudent enough to realize that unforeseen things can and do happen and I for one am going to do my best to be ready to take care of my family just in case….
I am also going to get my flu shot next fall!!!
Just for fun here are my pantry must haves…the bare minimum of items I would need just in case!
- Wheat for grinding
- Oil for cooking and baking (vegetable and olive)
- Canned Tomatoes
- Whole Wheat Pasta…I need to learn to make this!
- Dried Beans of all kinds
- Home Canned Fruit
- Home Canned Jams and Jellies…ok not a need but a very big want, yum!!!
- Peanut Butter, crunchy…of course
- Baking Powder/Soda
- Yeast…which I actually keep in my freezer but could keep in my pantry if I had to
- Seeds…actually kept in the garage but I had to include them!
What are the things that you consider your necessities to have on hand at all times?
What about a generator? Do you have one? Then there are those that store fuel, or stockpile guns and ammo, what about having prescription medicine for an extended period of time? Oh the list could get very long!!!
Are you prepared for the unforeseen?