As the weather grows colder, and finances become a little tighter, I am grateful today for the fact that I grew up in a religion that counseled its members to prioritize obtaining (and maintaining) a food storage.
Growing up, I always thought that the whole counsel of “keeping a one year’s supply of food” was a bit much. I had this image of women sitting around happily making bread with 50 year old hard red wheat. (Okay, let’s be honest, some of the ladies were a bit like that.) I felt like we were being told to prepare for some apocalyptic doomsday (we weren’t). I thought it was overkill.
However, as both times and the economy changed, the church amended its advice to starting with a three month’s supply of food that you would eat on a normal, everyday basis, plus 72 hours worth of emergency supplies that are easily portable (medications, toiletries, food, life saving items like space blankets and water filters, etc). Then, if you choose, you can slowly grow your food storage to a year’s supply if you like.
The thing is–it has NOTHING to do with some Doomsday Prepper thing. It has EVERYTHING to do with a faltering economy (I’ve experienced it), job loss (my loved ones have suffered from this), inclement weather (ask me how many times I get snowbound out here in No Man’s Land), extended power outages (which actually was the impetus behind our even starting a food storage–we felt the whole thing was silly until we found ourselves without light, good food…we had lots of things for our then baby and some generic granola bars…that was about it), and so forth. These are everyday crises that can happen to anyone. And in these moments, there is no guarantee there will be money available or the resources open to buy what you need.
We’re slowly growing our storage–we have a decent amount of “everyday” foods, a 72 hour kit, a freezer full of frozen meats and vegetables (and other items), and we keep staples like flour and sugar in bulk. We also buy some items in metal #10 cans for long term storage. I’m not sure how long our storage will last, but if we need it, it is there, and we use a little of it every day.
So, today, I am grateful for the counsel of putting food by, and the blessing it has been in our lives. This counsel was the starting point for us to try to make other changes in our lives to become more self reliant and to live a more sustainable lifestyle.