How I Started My Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness
Submitted by Rebecca from Minnesota
I have been taught since I was a child to be prepared, store food, water, and learn to grow my own food. Growing up in a city it was hard to do! Now that I am in my 30s I realized the time is right. Better late than never.
food storage. My biggest fear was not knowing what to do with all the grains, beans and powdered milk. Living in a household with no children yet, many nights we ate on the go. Our lunches consisted of going out to eat with our colleagues, breakfasts consisted of a quick bowl of cereal or a piece of toast. Dinners sometimes were takeout, or a quick boxed meal. This 50-lb bag of grain was just not going to cut it.
So, I searched my options. At first I tried to learn how to cook beans and wheat. Every loaf of bread I made was hard as rock. My dough wouldn’t rise. The taste was horrible. I found out you have to pick through the beans to take out rocks and pebbles. I didn’t want to do this! I was frustrated to no end, and scared that I wasn’t going to be able to do this “food storage” thing after all.
Then I came across freeze dried and dehydrated foods. I can do this! Finally, something that I know how to do! I started purchasing freeze dried foods, and I have a huge closet with shelves completely dedicated to my food storage. One shelf is for dairy products – dehydrated eggs, powdered milk, cheeses, butter, etc. Another shelf is for my freeze dried veggies and fruits, and various potatoes. Another shelf is for my gravy mixes, soups, bouillon, and meats. I also have my necessary wheat and rice and oats, along with beans. But now I feel comfortable making dishes with rice and putting in some meat and flavoring. I also have gotten a little better at making bread, though perfection is years away!
And the next thing I addressed is my water storage. I have a water delivery service (bottled water). I always have at least ten 5-gallon jugs on hand, which I rotate. Beyond that, we are looking at getting a manual pump for our well. We have two freshwater ponds on our property and a freshwater lake across the street. We purchased water purification tablets, we have liquid water purification supplements, and filters. If necessary we can use the water on our land to sustain us. I now feel comfortable knowing that I have a supply of food and water to last over 6 months. According to the Food Storage Analyzer from Emergency Essentials, I have almost 7 months of food for my family. This was all done in the past year, and I hope that in the next year I can make it to a full year.
Another thing that is important is learning to grow your own food. We have some land now that I don’t live in the city, and we are learning to garden. Last year was our first year, and we ate green beans, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini and peppers from our garden. This year we are planning on planting more, along with adding more berry bushes. We added strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and grapes to our landscape, and this year they should start to produce more than just the handful that they did last year. We also have a dozen fruit trees hardy to Minnesota, and hope to be able to learn to can and preserve.
The last important thing that I considered essential was our toiletries and bath products. We have stocked up on toilet paper, shampoo, soap, cleansers, deodorant, lotions, medicines, first aid supplies, and vitamins.
We still need to work on some items. We only have about a 3-month supply of food stored for our animals. We hope to have at least a 6-month supply before the end of this year.
This is how I got started being prepared. It was very difficult in the beginning, but I got the “bug” and started getting into it, it was fun! And, I can sleep better at night knowing my family and I won’t be going hungry anytime soon!