MR says: We all know what we should do for food storage--and maybe feel a little guilty that we don't--but do we often think of the big mistakes we could be making even when we are trying to get prepared?
In a real emergency, no one is going to ride in and rescue us if the calamity involves the whole community. Government, church leaders, prophets, and emergency response organizations all tell us to prepare – and to expect that in the aftermath of a disaster we will be on our own for 72 hours at least, and possibly for days or weeks after that.
Coping with natural disasters is one thing–coping with a slow drain on our backup reserves is another. Food storage and emergency preparations require planning, continuing education, and awareness of our changing needs. In this time of downsizing and economic disappointment, it is more urgent than ever before in our lifetime that we commit to self-reliance and stay on top of our family emergency plan. Don’t be left wondering when that crisis comes, “what have I done?” Here are 17 ways we could be sabotaging our own best efforts.
- Move too fast. That’s right, just go right ahead and jump into emergency preparedness – blow a thousand bucks on off-the-shelf solutions before you’ve educated yourself. Or… Slow down. Take the time to understand your needs. We are all planning for the same things: food, water, shelter, hygiene, sanitation, and medical needs. The challenges we are preparing for may differ. Some live in earthquake country, some in the path of hurricanes, some in tornado alley, some for ice storms or power outages. It really doesn’t matter. The items we store will be the same, but with slightly different priorities and proportions. The knowledge we need to deal with such emergencies is a matter of awareness, study, and organization. Analyze what your family needs before you begin purchasing. Create a list, plan and budget for priorities before buying anything.
- Follow someone else’s plan. There are many plans floating around on the Internet. Be careful. A common plan challenges you to spend five or ten dollars a week for a year and provides you with a list of items to purchase each week. Take a careful look at those lists. One such list included only a few jars of peanut butter and a few cans of tuna for protein and no veggies or fruit We have already discussed storing from all the food groups and that should always be your goal. Even with the plan we are following on the Totally Ready facebook page you have the option of choosing the fruits your family likes and while you and your best friend may be working together and encouraging each other, each week their fruits will not be the same ones you choose for your family. Each plan will be unique to the family storing, or at least it should be. Following your own plan also allows you to consider any special dietary needs in your family and only you can determine what to store for those family members. Again, think food groups.
- Overlook comfort items. Yes – chocolate, candy, and popcorn all have their place in a good, well-constructed food storage plan. Did you know popcorn is also the corn you will want on hand to grind for cornmeal? Real popcorn, not the microwave variety. During a time of stress, comfort foods can provide the catalyst that transforms kids from whiners to helpers. This is a chance to continue family food traditions in a crisis. Birthdays come even during difficult times, and a birthday cake can really lift the spirits.