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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Task #5- Buy Food for Emergencies and Something to Cook With

This particular task may take awhile to complete, but it's worth it to work on this.  Amazon has many of these items online that will work well for emergencies, but you can always just decide to pick up an item or two each week at the grocery store to set aside.  Remember to only buy items that you and/or your family will actually eat!  Mountain House and some other companies make breakfasts, lunches and dinners that you can just add a little hot water to and then serve.  Canned soup, lean protein (tuna, clams, salmon), fruit canned in water, vegetables such as green beans- all great items to set aside.  Peanut butter, granola bars (get the kind that won't melt if it's hot and humid), trail mix, dried fruit...there are loads of options here.  Powdered milk (I prefer whole dried milk, personally), tea bags, ground coffee or beans that will work in a stovetop coffeemaker- don't forget these items.  If you have pets, don't forget to set aside some extra food for them.  Don't go berserk.  Gather up enough food for the 72-hour period I've been talking about first.  Put a few granola bars and some other snacks in the car, too.  Watch expiration dates.  If you end up not needing these items for an emergency, plan to finish them up in your family's normal meal plan before the items expire.  Some of these items, though- especially foods from companies such as Mountain House- have a very long shelf life.  Some people also buy seeds so that they can plant a garden.  This is a great idea, but not everybody has the land to do this with. 

Also think carefully about the items that you'll need to prepare food without electricity, such as a stovetop coffeepot, a butane cooker that's safe to use indoors, the butane fuel itself, a teapot, etc.  Every household is different.  If you have access to a fireplace that you can cook in, consider getting some cookware that you can use in there.  While these are an additional expense, look at it this way- when an emergency strikes, you won't be totally reliant on neighbors, extended family, the government and more to provide your most basic needs.  There's no way to prepare for every single disaster that may come your way.  But if you're stuck at home without power, you don't have to just sit by and let your home and family go crazy.  The peace of mind that you'll gain from knowing you're prepared for an emergency will be worth the expense and time spent on preparedness.  If you start using a fireplace to do some cooking on a regular basis, for example, you'd be learning a valuable survival skill and would cut back on some electrical/gas use, too. 

I recommend buying some paper plates, plastic flatware and plastic or paper cups so that you'll have less dishes to wash in the event of an emergency.  You may want to go ahead and set aside some extra paper towels, napkins, Wet Wipes for clean-up, too. 

Here's to being a prepared organized minimalist,
Liz

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