Almost everyone accepts the concept of being prepared for emergencies. However, when it’s time to do the actual planning and acquiring the necessary items, most people are simply overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. Let’s face it, most of us have a difficult time getting organized for a Saturday afternoon barbecue, much less planning for and procuring adequate foodstuffs and supplies to feed ourselves for an entire week, month—or longer!
Your thoughts may be like mine: It could take years to acquire all that stuff…and even if money weren’t an issue, where and how can I store food and supplies so they can be used and not go to waste? More basic than that are the details of what to store, how much of each, and which items to buy first. The solution to the problem is found in an age-old saying: A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
Preparedness and In-Home Storage
The basic concept of being prepared is having the resources located in your home (or at least on your property) to be able to live in a near-normal manner for up to a year when natural, people-caused, or personal disasters impact your geographical area, your neighborhood, or your own home. This effort is a choice you make to become self-reliant far in advance of need. Once you make this choice, the negative impact of any disaster is mitigated by your preparedness, and you can provide your family continuing security.
The goal is to be prepared in excess of the potential risk! Creating a one-year inventory of foods and nonfoods from which a family can live without need of constant replenishment is no small undertaking.
We recognize that the average American family may not be financially capable of having a full-fledged, one-year supply of foods and nonfoods, but every family can do a better job of utilizing its resources to attain security—it’s simply a matter of choices.
If you are overwhelmed by the magnitude of what it would take to sustain you for a year, then think more in terms of what it would take to keep you alive for a few days, weeks, or months in case you didn’t have anything else to eat except what’s on hand. Be honest with yourself in both your expectations and the reality of what resources you can commit to creating an in-home store.
There are only three things to remember about building your in-home storage program with the Basic concept:
- Store what you eat!
- Eat what you store!
- Use it or lose it!
The biggest challenge in procuring an in-home storage supply is financing its acquisition. Creative use of current household items, wise budgeting in accordance with the family’s income, and smarter shopping will help maximize your ability to accomplish your goal.
But, until the in-home storage program is established as a primary financial priority— after planning the repayment of current debt, of course—it will not become a reality.
We’ve found that creating an in-home convenience store is both a journey and a destination. Begin planning your journey by determining:
- When you want to start your journey to preparedness,
- Where you want to be in your progress of achieving preparedness, and
- How you plan to arrive there.
Once you identify where you are now, commit to move consistently towards your destination, and learn as you progress, you’ll get where you’re going.
You don’t have to do it all at once—just tell yourself, I just have to begin, and then I can continue from there. Most importantly, get everyone in the family involved in the family’s food storage program, particularly in decisions about food purchases, because you want to buy only those items your family will consume. As family funds, living and play space, family work assignments, and many other assets may require redistribution, indeed, family discussions about change and agreement to changes are important.
A family food storage program is an opportunity for family members to have a common destination and be on a joint journey—generating shared enthusiasm, building family unity, and instilling a feeling of self-reliance for the entire family.
In my upcoming articles, I will give you practical ways and means, as well as some methods and tools to set up your own in-home storage plan. You’ll discover:
Build a basic in-home convenience store;
Know what items to store for best nutrition, health and morale maintenance; and
Select a balance of food and nonfood items and the appropriate quantities of each.
Chart inventory quantities needed
Compute a simple numerical value to determine storage quantities
Prioritize storage selections and budget your money for purchases
Use time units to make your storage program more manageable.