What’s your threat? What is your biggest concern today? I teamed up with some of my favorite experts in the preparedness world a few years ago to provide each of my readers with some very worthwhile information. Let’s all be prepared for the unexpected…..
Mine is food storage……and water.
A threat is not knowing how to be self-reliant
Hi, I’m Linda Loosli, with Food Storage Moms. The name of my website may seem a little strange, but I came up with that name based on past life experiences and much of the focus of who I am and what I do. I’m the proud mother of four beautiful women. Although as a family we never went without, early on we really did not have much to live on. We tease each other that we lived on “beans and franks”. Both my husband and I came from blue collar homes with parents who tried hard and did the best they could for us kids. I remember eating well and the pantry was stocked with food items, most of the time. Growing up, I remember neighbors who had fruit cellars and basement storage shelves. My parents felt we should try to have a year’s worth of food on hand in case of emergencies, yet I doubt in the best of times we had much more than three months of food set aside. One significant threat is not only our need to be prepared with some food storage items but having neighbors who are not prepared and who think they’ll just rely on people like you and me who are.
A threat is not having a garden
I always loved to work in our backyard garden. We tried to plant every spring and then harvest and can the results in late summer or early fall. Our girls took pride in telling their friends we had the biggest garden in the neighborhood. They also got some early lessons in how and why you can food. Back then you could purchase fresh fruit from the fruit stands along the highway at a pretty reasonable price. We canned all kinds of things like peaches, pears, apricots and many vegetables like green beans and tomatoes. One year we made juice from the grapes on our very own vine. We’ve always liked tacos and other Mexican delights, so we’d take the veggies and make our own salsa and spaghetti sauce. We kept our dehydrator running almost non-stop well into the fall of each year. We also made all kinds of jams for sandwiches and pancakes. One of my favorites was raspberry jam. Gotta love fresh jam right from the plant to the jar and then on your plate. It makes you feel so good to have your own prepared foods ready to eat. A threat we don’t often think of is having the stores closed due to bad weather, like the families right now in the Northeast where they’ve had over 100 inches of snow the past few days. Supply trucks just can’t get from the warehouses to the stores, in many cases. We can’t kid ourselves, not having a backup plan truly is a threat to consider for your own family.
A threat can be not knowing how to make bread
My mom taught me to make homemade bread when I was in my early teens. That tradition carried on as we raised our girls. Although at the time the kids asked me if we couldn’t purchase that “white bread all the other kids eat at lunch”, I stuck to my guns and continued making the bread I knew was more healthy for us all.
I’ve always been surprised when I hear so many people don’t see the need or advantage of having a reserve of food on their shelves. It seems that most folks think family emergencies only happen to other people, or that feeding your family in a time of need just magically happens. I learned at an early age that the unforeseen can happen to anyone at any time, and if we are not prepared we can really struggle. A threat I never expected to see is a new generation of young people who haven’t been taught some basic self-reliant skills, like baking bread and other food items from scratch. One of the reasons so many Americans are overweight is their reliance on packaged/prepared foods that are easy use at meal time. These are the new “staples” that young families, and older folks, eat every day. Talk about a threat to healthy living.
Once Every 100 Year Snow/Ice Storm Emergency-Threat
I had the chance in my mid-teens to live with my aunt and uncle in the Chicago area for much of one school year. That particular winter was a memorable one, not because of the fun school, great holidays or anything like that. It was one of those “once every 100 years” winters where Northern Illinois was blanketed with more snow than the city could deal with, and on top of that, they had a series of ice storms that made street travel impossible. My aunt had a new baby, and so it was critical that we have enough baby food and other items to make those early days safe and comfortable for the little ones, along with my cousins and me. I was sent by foot to the store to buy what we needed, and to my amazement, they would only sell me one quart of milk and a pound of ground beef. They also informed me that that was all we could buy for a week. Although my uncle was fairly well off financially, we found ourselves having to strictly ration the little bit of food on the shelves at home to make things stretch until the roads opened and the stores could be stocked again. I was so scared for myself, and for the family. I made a promise to myself then, and have kept it in my heart all these years, “I will never let that happen to me and my family!” Keep in mind that storms of all kinds can be a threat.
Threat: Loss of job/Loss of income
The most recent recession has had an adverse effect on so many millions of people in the most prosperous country in the world, the United States. If you combine the challenges families face from losing their job or having to cut back hours, with the increased cost for everything from hamburger to healthcare, having food on the shelf to help tide them over until they are back on their feet is critical. We have neighbors going through health crisis right now. They can’t work because they either physically can’t perform their normal career tasks, or have so many treatments going on that work schedules can’t be met. We often think that it takes a flood, earthquake, tornado or another disaster to prompt the need for emergency preparation, but every day you read in the paper where a family is unable to provide financially for their needs due to job loss, accident or disease. Who knows what might be OUR next challenge. The threat from financial changes and challenges are real.
A threat can be not knowing how to use your food storage
Once people realize that there is a need to be better prepared for emergency and they start their journey to learn about what foods to store, they then need to be trained on how to properly store the right amounts based on family size, what foods the family is willing to eat, special/unique requirements for family members with food allergies, diabetes and other ailments and much more. They also need to understand the need to rotate the food items being stored and put to use what they have on the shelf. Can you imagine having all this food available and then not knowing how to reconstitute dehydrated or freeze dried foodstuffs. There is also the need to learn how to cook and prepare foods if you lose power to your home. Again, picture trying to cook dinner without lights or electrical power on the stove. Many areas of the country have only electrical appliances, so if the power is out you are dead in the water if you do not have a secondary power/fuel source as back up. If your family of one of those who relies on the power always being available, think today about what you can do to be better prepared and not be faced with the threat of not having enough food or not knowing how to use it.
A threat is zero food storage: just start with one #10 can
I have always suggested to my family, friends and blog followers, start small, but start today. Go get that first #10 can and take pride as you put it in the designated food storage area in your home. You will also find as you plan storage purchases you’ll be looking for the best deals at stores and at seasonal times of the year. You will also be learning how to put the stored wheat and other true staples to use in so many ways. That will carry over to the fruits, vegetables and canned meats that are just waiting on the shelf to be discovered and put to use. This food storage goal will prove to be an adventure you grow to love and get excited about, just watch.
My biggest threat is having empty stores. Another threat is having families not prepared. The hardest thing is getting people to understand they need to be self-reliant.