By Beth Buck
Well, now that Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to prepare for the New Year. Many of you reading this blog are probably interested in upping your preparedness game come January, and I applaud you. 2018 has seen a lot of natural disasters and other emergencies that tend to inspire one toward 72-hour kits.
But then, the trouble is acquiring those 72-hour kits. As you can see by perusing the content of this blog, there is a lot of preparedness information to soak up. There’s a lot of knowledge to be had and a lot of work to be done. Not only do you need to purchase and put together a kit for each family member, plus customize them for your individual needs, plus rotate the contents every six months; there’s also food storage to consider, and the requisite cooking from scratch that often goes along with it. It’s a tall order. If you take a look at what needs to be done and throw up your hands in frustration, you wouldn’t be the first.
That’s why how you assemble your emergency preparations is just as important as what you do. The tried-and-true methods of effective goal-setting work well here. With any New Year’s Resolution, it’s not enough to simply state, “I am going to lose 40 lbs this year!” You need instead to establish a new pattern of behavior. Saying “I’m going to get all my Food Storage together this year!” is not going to be effective. You’ll burn out by February, just like all the people who bought gym memberships at the beginning of the year.
It’s tempting to drop a large amount of money on your supplies and never think about it again, feeling content that you have achieved your goal. Don’t do it. If you leave your wheat moldering and forgotten in your garage, you are not really meeting your goals. Not only is your garage the very worst place to put wheat, but food storage out of sight is out of mind, as well. If you purchased your food storage a year ago or ten years ago and never thought about it again, you may very well have to start over.
Instead focus on small, achievable preparedness goals that have concrete results. Here are some examples:
- I will set aside x amount of money every month to be put towards food storage or supplies for my 72-hour kit.
- If I have a 72-hour kit or kits, I will go through them two times this year to rotate out expired items and exchange clothing.
- I will learn to bake bread from scratch so I have a use for all my food storage wheat. (As with learning any new skill there is a learning curve. Don’t give up if your first batch of bread doesn’t turn out the way you want it to.)
- Once each month I will assess my food storage, determine what needs to be rotated immediately and make an effort to replace things that I eat.
- I will go camping three times this summer as a means to become familiar with the gadgets in my 72-hour kit.
If you adhere to these goals, then if you don’t have everything all together by the end of 2018, you will certainly be well on your way. More importantly, you will have established a habit of making emergency preparedness part of your life. You will have learned new skills, and you will become more familiar with your family’s preparedness needs. This is going to be a lot more effective in the long run.
What are some goals you’ve set for 2018? What preparedness goals have you set in the past that have worked well for you?
Beth Buck has been involved with emergency preparedness since her very earliest years. She enjoys hiking, martial arts, reading, and writing about food storage. Beth lives in the Intermountain West with her family.