If you’ve happened to read back through my blog, you’ll find some posts about storing food, water and other essentials to prepare for times of crisis. Whether that crisis be a temporary job loss, an illness or a natural disaster, I believe that it’s important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for an extended period of time without having to rely on others or the government.
If ever you needed a reason to begin to lay in a store of food, water and at least a bare minimum of first aid, I came across a translation of a blog entry from one of the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.
To read the whole translation you can go to News from Sendai over at the blog, Be*mused.
The part that really struck me was this paragraph:
“For the time being I’m still in my house and we’re without power, but I’m grateful that we have water and gas at least for now. Shops and convenience stores are only opening here and there, and lots of people are lining up outside. The car lines are incredibly long for those few gas stations that have opened. Each person is only allowed 20 liters. Today we stood in line at a nearby supermarket for four hours, where each person was only able to buy five items at a time. Well, that’s what life is like on day three.”
Can you imagine what it would be like to stand in line for four hours to buy some food and only be allowed to buy five items? And then to know that you’d have to do that same thing the next day and the next and for who knows how long. My heart goes out to that person and to all who are facing the days ahead as Japan strives to recover from this disaster.
No one could have foreseen the devastation that would be caused by the earthquake and tsunami; entire towns wiped out, farmland devastated and now the possibility of meltdowns at some of their nuclear reactors. You may say that it would be impossible to prepare for something like that. And no one can ever be totally prepared.
But there are things we can do now and in the future to make sure that we have a supply of food and a way to prepare that food if there is no electricity or gas.
We can have clean, safe water stored.
I grew up in the country. We couldn’t drive to town every time we ran out of something and so my mother always had an extra supply of food in the house. And I carried on that tradition after I got married. But even I had times when I felt overwhelmed when I really started to think about everything that needed to be stored to ensure our family’s safety during a natural disaster or other crisis.
But by taking one small step at a time, I’m getting there and so can you.
If times are tough and money tight, (and I know they are for many people) start by adding just one extra can of food or box of pasta or container of juice to your grocery cart. Rinse out that juice container once it’s finished, fill it with water and store it in a cupboard or closet.
If you can afford more, buy more. If you find a good sale on an item you use regularly, stock up.
Don’t buy things that you or your family won’t eat, even if you get them for free or nearly free. If you or your family won’t eat them now, they certainly won’t want to eat them during a time of crisis when they are facing other stressful events.
One blog that I’ve found particularly helpful in getting prepared is: The Just in Case Book Blog by Kathy Harrison. She is the author of the book Just in Case and I’m highly recommend borrowing it from the library and if it’s within your budget to buy it.
A simple search will turn up many more blogs and websites out there with all sorts of valuable information. In my search for preparedness information, I’ve bookmarked and subsequently deleted numerous blogs for a variety of reasons. Hers is the only one that remains. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything she writes, her down-to-earth, non-panicked, practical approach to getting prepared compliment my own way of approaching the future.
As I mentioned in my anniversary post yesterday, one of the goals I set for this blog was to share skills and knowledge. If you have questions on how to get started beyond what I’ve mentioned here, I’ll try to answer or barring that to direct you to other resources.