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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wake up and Prioritize

by Kellene Bishop

Having a nice house isn't everything photo c/o www.merchantcircle.com
The party was so wonderful. The house was warm with hugs, greetings, and shared tales of joy and heartache from the previous year. So and so had a new baby on the way. The hostess had just received a new customized dining room table so that she could seat her burgeoning family at meal time. A young man had just been honorably advanced in the military. Seeing old friends and making news ones was a great way to start the New Year. So why was I so distraught as I walked home? What was it that was interrupting my happiness from attending such an event? What a beautiful home. The food was scrumptious. What a choice person—such great hosts. What a great family. I was thrilled that they had opted to show me what they had done with all of the new food storage space they had built into their basement. That’s practically my favorite part of any home. As I reflected back on what I saw, I realized the source of my distress. A thriving family of nine. Plenty of space. Beautifully decorated. But a large food storage area that was frighteningly sparse.

As I had mentally viewed the intermittent stores of food, my mind quickly calculated that starvation would come to this family within only six weeks if they were required to survive on the fruits of their preparedness efforts. To add insult to injury, it would be a very boring and unappetizing six weeks as well. Oh how I didn’t want that for this family. Fifteen years of friendship makes me feel like an aunt to their children and a sister to her. I adore her. I look up to her. I cringed as I recalled her answer to my question. “Is this your entire food storage?” “Yep”, she replied. I couldn’t tell by her voice…was I detecting a sense of good intentions to rectify the situation or was it a sense of being overwhelmed with the task?

A half-empty pantry won't be as much of a comfort in times of need as a full one would be photo c/o www.mlive.com
What good is a lovely home when an unexpected need for food, water, clothing, and fuel hits you? Who cares whether or not the sofa is frayed or if there’s a spot on the carpet when your family is hungry? I don’t know about you, but I’ve moved heaven and earth when I’ve had a specific craving for something. Imagine such a craving occupying your mind regularly, except it is simply for food and water. I realize that it requires some mental work to accept that such a scenario WILL occur in the future, but I promise you that it will. The Wii games, the latest reality show, the latest action-adventure film, or even what shenanigans the Administration pulls that week will be meaningless when one is unexpectedly thrust out of their modus operandi and has to actually THINK “how will I provide food for my family?” Most of us have never had to question the availability of food and water. For those of us who have, there has usually been a ray of hope right behind such a question in the form of an anticipated new job for the one lost, or even the ability to move in with family until things get better. But will the same hope be present when the supply of food, water, clothing, and fuel seems to be solely reliant on our own previous preparedness efforts?

I completely believe in being content and nurtured by ones surrounding. A home should be a person’s castle, inviting, comfortable. I love to spoil my family members and friends with gifts of love and acknowledgement. I like to look nice and wish that more “preppers” would portray a more polished and intelligent image to the community lest their message be minimized as an unrelatable and unreliable one. But just as the priorities for college students need to be their education—and thus traditional corners of comfort are cut to survive—so should we do the same in our basic preparedness efforts, sacrificing luxury for the security of being prepared.

As yourself before buying anything--Need or Want?
So here’s my rule of thumb. Don’t even think of gidgets, gadgets, generators, and the non-essentials in your life until you have at least the very basics of food, water, clothing, and fuel (where permissible) taken care of. Yes, you’ll never be satisfied that you are fully prepared for whatever may come your way. But yes, there IS a finite amount of food and water, etc. that you can at least start with and know that you’ve got a great foundation. THEN you can start building on it.

Newlyweds, let me address you specifically. No, you can’t afford a new television or cable or unlimited text messaging until you have your basics obtained and stored. It is a matter of life or luxury. Yes, I know that you’ve been quite accustomed to the leather upholstery, the beautiful automobile, and the abundance of comforts as you grew up in your parent’s home or when you were the sole beneficiary of your salary, but marriage is different. It’s a new life. It’s not a continuation of the one you had with your parents. Start new. Make it yours. Make it self-reliant. Make it solid by a good foundation of spiritual and temporal strength.

Ok. So what’s the absolute bare minimum emergency survival amount of food, water, clothing, and fuel (where permissible) you should have on hand?

■400 pounds of grains (i.e. pasta, wheat, rice, barley) per person per year (whole grains are preferred in order to benefit from sprouting)

■40 pounds of honey (or sugar, or molasses) per person, per year

■60 pounds of dry milk per person, per year

■5 pounds of mineralized salt, such as RealSalt (not iodized) per person, per year.

If you only had these 4 food items, you would at least survive a year in the midst of a major food crisis.

■60 gallons of water, per person MINIMUM. (This amount may at least get you through until you can find another water source—again, remember this is bare, minimum, emergency, survival amounts. In actuality, every person needs one gallon, per person per day just to take care of the minimum requirements of hydration, sanitation, medical, and cooking.)

■2 sets of appropriate, rugged, warm weather clothes and 2 sets of cold weather clothes per person. Anticipate the upcoming year. Store these clothes away, not have them be a part of the everyday fashion repertoire.

■52 cans of butane and a small butane stove for cooking and cleaning.

■Enough fuel for warmth during the winter months

■Enough fuel for light for about 4 hours a night, for one room, for a year.

So, here’s my challenge to you. It’s the very beginning of a new month. How about you put yourself on a non-essential fast when it comes to spending this month? In other words, if it’s not absolutely necessary (such as utilities, groceries, diapers, etc) don’t spend money on it. Instead use that same money on what you need to be prepared with at least the bare minimum amount of preparedness. If you’re already prepared in the basics that I’ve outlined above, how about you focus on adding to your preparedness this month?

Copyright 2010 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved. You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to www.PreparednessPro.com & Kellene Bishop

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Nevada Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Nevada Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.