Sunday, July 24, 2011


I am new to food storage and emergency planning. I started less than a year ago. I have read and read and looked and searched and questioned. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there. I am still in the process of learning what works best for me.

But the one thing that remains consistently the same when searching information is WATER. You need it for survival and there is no way around it. Water is also my biggest weakness. On many levels. I do have water stored. Just not nearly enough. I am not a water drinker and never have been. If I drink one glass of water a week it is an accomplishment. Yes, I know that's bad. My husband on the other hand drinks LOTS of water. He will drink tap water. I won't. I do not want to taste anything when I drink water. Even filtered I find the taste awful.

So here are my problems.
  1. I just don't think about buying water.
  2. Water is heavy and bulky.
  3. I use more water than I realize, just not to drink. 
  4. I live in Texas and water is a scarce resource here. (We are in extreme drought conditions right now.)
FEMA recommends 1 gallon of water per day per person. Twice as much for really hot temperatures. So I need two gallons each here. I am going to count my pets as 1 person for each 2 pets. I need to store 8 gallons for one day. An absolute minimum is a three day supply. (From what I have learned this is the average response time for emergency workers to reach you in a disaster.) Alright, I am at a 24 gallons for my minimum. However, I don't trust that water would be available in three days so my minimum is a goal of 7 days to start with. That is 56 gallons of water!

That is for basic needs. I know in one month my household uses around 3000 gallons of water. Where on earth could I ever store that much water? I can see a lot of cutbacks on water in an emergency situation. I would hope that we could find a potable water supply nearby, but again we live in Texas. The ground is so dry that it is split with wide cracks. Even with daily watering it still cracks from the extreme heat.

Another problem we have is that we do not currently own our home. We are a military family and until recently I didn't want to own a home because we never know where next year will take us. I am searching for a retreat location with a water supply. Of course our ultimate goal is to move to Ecuador but the same stipulation applies. We want to be off the grid, in the country and as self sufficient as we can be.

For now I have to hope that the water I do have stored will be enough at least for the minimum. I would like to have a couple of 55 gallon barrels soon. That would at least give me a deeper sense of security. Shelf Reliance has some great items for treating water if we can find it. But they will still be in my supply even if I think we can't find water.

How is your supply? Do you have the minimum? Do you feel comfortable with the amount that you do have stored?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Building your food supply

When I first started getting interested in emergency preparedness it was all so overwhelming. The price of long term food storage was crazy and there was no way I could buy all I wanted all at once. So I searched and searched. I finally discovered Shelf Reliance. Not only does the food taste great (even straight from the can) it can be worked into any budget.

The 'Q' was so unique and worked perfectly to get me started. I am still a very long way from where I want to be but the Q is getting me there.

Based on the information you provide, the Q Planner will automatically create a plan designed specifically for your family. You can determine the THRIVE foods your Q sends to replace your monthly groceries. You can also decide the amount you want to store.

Determine the monthly dollar amount you want to invest on your THRIVE food. By simply reallocating part of your current budget to THRIVE foods, you can create your home store without increasing your monthly expenses.

While the Q does all the work of managing and shipping your orders, it also gives you the option to customize your orders to meet your specific needs.

If you don't know where to start and feel the same way I did then check it out. Go in and add everything you want, then take out things, then add more. Play around with it. It is fun to see the end result.  Always feel free to email me if you have any questions or get stuck. Just don't be afraid to change things up, look at different budget amounts, different foods etc.

Check out the Q now.

My Passion

I'm going to get busy on this blog. I wrote this post for another group of people but it inspired me to get busy over here. I guess I was uncertain as to what I had to offer, but I won't know if it's beneficial if I do nothing at all. So here goes nothing.

Perhaps it started with 9-11. Perhaps hubby reenlisting in the Army and being exposed to certain things increased my passion. The November 5th shootings. Yeah, that helped it along too.

All around the world the fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, they all contributed.

So what IS my passion? Emergency preparedness. Strange passion huh? Not really. It is merely a passion that has put me and my family in a more stable position. There are many facets to emergency preparedness.

There is no right or wrong way to prepare for an emergency. Let me take that back. There is a wrong way. It's called doing nothing and hoping that your neighbor (or FEMA) will be there to help. Think back to hurricane Katrina. Look at what happened in New Orleans. In a matter of 3 days the society broke drown and anarchy abounded. The videos scare me, but they are very real. It DID indeed happen. No water, no food, no medical supplies. No people to help. The only one anyone could depend on for a long while was themselves.

That's where being prepared comes into play. It is different for each person. If you live in a hurricane zone you need to plan accordingly. Same for tornadoes, floods or whatever natural disaster would likely occur where you live.

My biggest 'disaster' concern is our countries financial situation. Yes, that is a big one. If a budget deal isn't work and people don't get the checks from the government whether it's Social Security or military or any other reason there are going to be many people hurting. It will be a trickle effect. Or more like a flood of financial instability. The cost of everyday things will sky rocket overnight. I would hope that this type of thing could be worked out quickly, but I still want to be ready. I don't want to be in debt and have money to survive on if needed.

There are also extremists. The ones that prepare for everything. I guess that would be nice but it would be very costly and very time consuming to be ready for every possible contingency. You really have to think about where you are and go from there.

For the sake of covering the most ground I will write about a natural disaster. It seems this has been the year for tornadoes so I will focus on that. The picture is a before and after of Joplin Missouri from a tornado that hit May 23, 2011.

A tornado rips through your town during the day. Almost everyone is at work or school.

Power is out.
Phone lines are down.
Cell towers are knocked down or the lines are too busy and you can't get through. 
Roads are blocked with debris.

It could take days before your power is restored. Your water supply might be contaminated or not working at all.

Does your family know where to meet up? What if your house was destroyed?

The food in your refrigerator will start to spoil after 24 hours.

If there is flooding that came with the tornado it could make the situation even worse.

If people don't have water or food they will go looking for it. The store shelves will empty fast. It doesn't take long for looting to start. Desperate people do desperate things. It is sad but it is true. I want to be someone who is not desperate.

The CDC recommends to store at least a 3-day supply of water for each person and each pet (try to store a 2-week supply if possible). Please, do not forget your pet. They get hungry and thirsty too.

You need to have at least 3 days food that is shelf stable or made for long term storage. I will go into more detail later about long term food storage. (It is there that lies the heart of my passion.) Think of foods in a can that be eaten uncooked. There are always MRE's but they are my least favorite food. I've tried most of them out of curiosity and suppose if I had to live on them I would. But there are much cheaper alternatives.

Have a well stocked first aid kit. One of those little kits will work great if someone gets a sliver but your first aid kit should be stocked enough that at a minimum it fills a tackle box. Pain relievers, gauze, tape, antibiotic, alcohol, peroxide and many other things I could write a separate blog about. Toss in a deck of cards or small activity books along with pad of paper and pencils too. Those can go a long way toward mental health when there is no television or your books are ripped to shreds laying in your neighbors lawn.

Keep a bag packed for each member of the family with quick foods, water, change of clothes and first aid too. If your home is destroyed or facing destruction you might not have time to grab what you need to get out. Having bags ready and checking them every three months (as the seasons change) you can ensure they are supplied with the right clothes and replace food so it doesn't get stale or spoil.

I realize as I'm writing there is no way to cover everything I want in one single post. I also won't overwhelm you with going on and on. Which I've already done. If you want to learn more or follow me along on this passion journey of mine then check out my other blog (just getting starting but I will be covering all sorts of topics from preparedness to self reliance and financial independence)

If your interest is piqued about long term food storage being my deepest passion check out Shelf Reliance. I will also be at the Fort Hood Army Wives Expo on September 10 at the Killeen Civic Center if you are in the area and want to see first hand.

CDC is a great resource. Check them out too.