Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back to Business

I’ve had a nice little vacation from food storage and preparedness activities but it is time to get back to business. I actually have been doing some preparedness things in the last few days. I have been cleaning cupboards (to make room for new kitchen gadgets) and trying to make an organized place for the foods I’ve dried this year and am now trying to rotate into my daily food preparation. I want them to be easily accessible so I am not tempted to substitute prepared foods instead. I think that organization is the hardest part of the actual food storage thing for me. More about that later.

I enjoy reading other people’s experiences and view about food storage and emergency preparedness. I learn a lot that way and found an article I’d like to share with you today. This article is from Emergency Essentials a preparedness distributor headquartered in Utah. After reading it I was ready to get going again on my preparedness.

The Wisdom of Food Storage

America is the land of plenty; a place of security and shelter for its citizens. Would we ever really need to use food storage here? Research has shown that the average American household has less than a week’s supply of food on hand. This is also the case with the average American supermarket. Without being paranoid or panicked, there are many valid reasons to put extra food away. We are all vulnerable to events beyond our control. But most situations are probably closer to home: loss of power, unexpected or unplanned interruptions of life such as unemployment, loss of income due to illness or injury, or high medical bills due to an accident. Food storage is a form of insurance protecting your family from the unexpected. It is a wise investment for anyone.

Food storage becomes a wise investment when you practice storing what you use and using what you store. Making food storage a life-style rather than a make-do will help you maintain your investment. Food storage that matches your family’s lifestyle is food that more likely will be used. Using and rotating your Freeze Dried Foods and Dehydrated & Dry Foods on a regular basis maintains the original investment and prevents it from being wasted.

It is recommended to always start your food storage program by storing the basics. Grains, legumes, dehydrated milk, sugar, salt, oil, and garden seeds have come to be known as the "basics." Do not underestimate the power these foods have, as they have been shown throughout history to sustain life. It is important to know how to prepare and use the basics, especially ways that your family will enjoy. If you are familiar with the food you have stored, you will be better prepared to use it during times of emergency.

If a person has a year supply of wheat on hand it would be an additional 1374 calories per day. If a person had a complete year supply of basics it would add 2000 calories a day more. It is easy to see the value of storing basics and the variety of fruits, vegetables, and mixes as found in our prepackaged year supply units.

Having your food storage can help you have a greater degree of confidence and security. It is important to do your best to prepare your family to be able to eat no matter what happens to the national economy or your job in particular. This confidence in times of crisis can be a most precious commodity. An adequate food supply for your family is a major part of economic security, and possibly the key to survival.

Food storage helps you become self-reliant as in the case of the first three days of an emergency or providing for your family when you lose your employment. With food storage you are better prepared to endure times of adversity without becoming dependent upon the government. Your family’s way of life may be preserved with proper preparation. Self-reliance is often contingent upon a willingness to work. Work can become a source of happiness, and self-esteem, as well as prosperity. Storing, using and knowing how to produce and prepare food and other items that are essential for life create security and stability for you and your family. If a disaster does occur, and you were forced to temporarily change your normal life style, you could do so with minimum discomfort.

Some people are apathetic about preparedness, often because they aren’t sure what to do or where to begin. They may become overwhelmed at the prospect of a crisis and the responsibility of self-reliance and become discouraged before they begin. Others are frustrated by contradictory advice, not sure whose ideas to follow. Still others do nothing, figuring that if trouble comes, an emergency disaster organization will rush to their rescue. A common misconception that can be refuted is that the government will immediately come to the rescue. When a large population is relying solely upon any organization, it is virtually impossible to provide for specific or individual needs of everyone. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises, "If a disaster threatens your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you. But you need to be prepared as well. Local officials may be overwhelmed after a major disaster, and emergency response personnel may not be able to reach you right away, or depending on the scope of the emergency, at all. What you do to prepare can make a difference."

Preparedness is everyone's job. Not just government agencies, but every individual citizen--should plan ahead for disasters. One woman recently remarked, “I have a half a loaf of bread, a can of green beans, half a gallon of milk and part of a box of cereal in my house. If there is an emergency, the government or my church will come to my aid and I’ll be fine.” What a narrow-minded and ridiculous way of thinking. Aside from the fact that this woman takes no responsibility for her own safety and security, is the fact that the government or a church is not obligated to provide for anyone, even if they could. Being prepared for the unexpected is wise. It provides confidence knowing your family is better prepared to be safe and secure. Families who are prepared can reduce fear, inconvenience, and losses that surround a family crisis or a natural disaster.

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