Thursday, November 08, 2007

Disaster Preparedness

Glenn Reynolds notes the sudden popularity of emergency preparedness. Maybe it's sudden for the rest of the country, but Utahns, particularly Mormons, have been doing it for years. For our family, it is absolutely essential. Because of my kids' food allergies, if something were to happen and FEMA were to bring us rations, it's a good bet those rations would contain things they're allergic to. Nobody wants to have to choose between dying of starvation and dying of anaphylactic shock. So having at the very least a goodly supply of spare food is an absolute essential for anyone on a special diet, just as having a supply of insulin would be important for a diabetic.

As always, the principles of food storage are:
  • Store what you eat (not stuff you don't like or don't know how to cook)
  • Eat what you store (rotate the food for freshness; know the expiration dates)
  • Plan what you need to get, and carry out your plan
  • Buy it in bulk and repackage it yourself whenever possible
  • Make sure you have food cooking equipment that can be used independent of fuel supply from the outside (e.g. hand grain grinder, portable stove)
  • Start with a complete week's worth of food, then a complete month's worth, etc. Don't get a year's supply of one item, then a year's supply of another item, unless you already have 3 months' complete supply.
  • STORE WATER TOO. We put one of those blue barrels in our extra window well.
  • Protect from other little critters that might want to eat your food too
The easiest way to build a food storage is to buy a little extra. Picking up a can of chili beans? Buy two cans of chili beans. Buy a case of 12 cans of corn when they're on sale. At our house, we have a whole little "convenience store" in our garage that stocks the items we use most frequently. If we run out of something in the house, we put it on the grocery list... but then we go out to the garage and bring one in.