From the most frightening experiences comes education and clarity. How often during the pandemic, did you say, “I wish I were better prepared?” At this moment, each of us can change our lifestyle to reflect the next unknown situation. And, yes, something unexpected will arrive, perhaps, in the form of a blackout, extreme weather or virus. In thinking about the long list of items that would help a wide range of situations, consider allocating a set amount of money each month towards the cause of preparation.
The term “emergency” implies a panicked and hurried moment when you can find the current needs in one centralized location. It may be a closet or shelving unit, which contains various light and energy sources, first aid and medical supplies, blankets, portable and drinkable water, and food. Have open conversations with your family to ensure each member can feel safe.
Food and Toiletries
Reflecting on our grandparents’ minimalist lifestyle, they stocked pantries with canned foods, gardened and stored vegetables, and made clothing and quilts. The detailed knowledge can live on if we start adopting those invaluable habits. For instance, start purchasing two as canned and papered goods, cleaning supplies and other everyday items run low.
- Food saver vacuumed sealers aid in eliminating waste and prolongs the life of dry goods and meats.
- Invest in oxygen absorbers, Mason jars, food-grade buckets and Gamma lids to store flour, sugar, Jasmine rice, dehydrated soups and other items.
Wellness and Health
Prepackaged foods, while convenient, do not inform consumers of the full list of ingredients; therefore, when possible, make homemade meals. Ask family and friends for their most requested recipes. You can tweak flavoring by adding a variety of spices to each meal. Consider investing time to learn about medicinal herbs, which boost immunity and overall health.
In the current times of limited access to medical help, start planning for situations involving dehydration, fever, wounds and infections. While you will need antiseptics, gels and creams, individualized packets accommodate storage and practicality. Add to the list gauze, tape and liquid skin sealer. Gatorade in powdered form would aid thirst. Do you have access to clean water? Perhaps, invest in a purification system, such as a Brita. And, start growing medicinal plants, such as aloe, echinacea, basil and peppermint!
Learning New Life Skills
Despite your profession and career, you have essential skills that serve during times of need. Perhaps, it relates to medicinal herb knowledge, soap making, archery, hunting, animal husbandry, cooking, sewing or wood-working. Share your skills by creating a how-to video through social media. More importantly, resources are available for you to start learning a new life skill. Is now the ideal time to become a beekeeper or raise chickens?
Money and Trade
Have you noticed the number of businesses that no longer use credit cards due to the incurred cost of each transaction? As consumers, we have modified our means of payment by bringing along our checkbooks or cash, on occasion. The need to have quick access to money may become a future need. Try to think about having enough cash on hand to afford gas, food and other essentials. Even if you can budget $25 to $50 monthly, the growing nest egg will come in handy! In thinking outside the box, do you have items for trade, such as tools or knives, off-road diesel or gasoline? In not knowing what could occur, it’s good to have an open mind to consider a wide range of possibilities.
The Needs of Children
Between consignment stores and yard sales, take the opportunity to stock up on clothing for your growing child. Use a Rubbermaid container to store essential items, such as underwear and socks, cotton clothing and, especially, shoes. While the necessities of toiletries are vital to the household, it’s important to remember children’s toothpaste, vitamins and pain medicines.
Podcasts and Books
A large quantity of information is available in a variety of forums. Google “The Survival Mom,” “The Patriot Nurse,” “The Homesteading Family” and Jack Spirko’s “The Survival Podcast.” Learning how others plan to live a self-sustained lifestyle can only encourage you to start thinking outside the box, whether you live on a small or large plot of land.
Start today to create a feeling of security! Engage in an open conversation with your spouse, extended family and best friends to see how you can work together in the endeavor of preparedness!