I talk about staying calm frequently. Calm doesn’t equate to doing nothing or walking around with rose-colored glasses on. Ominous economic and other dangerous storm clouds are headed our way. I urge everyone to take preparedness seriously.
The point I keep trying to drive home is be purposeful in what you do. Even if you haven’t thought about preparedness until just today, it’s still not too late to start working on being better prepared.
I watched a young lady working on her garden and stocking up efforts recently. Her YouTube channel is called Acre Homestead. She said this is her third year gardening and that she’s still learning. I’m always learning… and relearning stuff as I make mistakes, where I shake my head and tell myself I knew better. In one of her videos she mentioned a book, A Year Without The Grocery Store, that motivated her to build her own food storage. I ordered this book and read it – it’s a short read, but filled with lots of practical information. The author, Karen Morris, explained how her food storage really saved her family a great deal of stress and anxiety after her family with 5 kids was displaced when a F-4 tornado hit their home in Ferguson, MO. They packed up three weeks worth of food from their food storage and used it in their hotel. Her family also relied on their food storage during the Ferguson riots.
I packed up more than a week’s worth of food when we evacuated for a hurricane several years ago and went to our son’s house. My son kept telling me that wasn’t necessary, but I was glad that I could cook meals at his house without having to spend a lot of extra money, plus I worried that if the power went out at my house, we’d end up having to throw away a lot of food. Having extra food and water stored is the most basic form of insurance in your home.
My son told me during that week that bringing that food was a good idea. Now if only I could convince him shelf stable milk is safe and a good thing to have on hand. He drank Parmalat as a child when we lived in Germany, because shelf stable milk is very common in Europe. At Easter this year, he arrived and he likes to make green bean casserole for holidays when he gets here. I was low on fresh milk and my other son had gone to the store to pick up milk and a few other things, so I got out a container of shelf stable milk and sat it on the counter. I told my son to use the shelf stable milk if there wasn’t enough fresh milk left. He acted like I handed him poison.
I buy my shelf stable milk at Dollar Tree, because $1.25 a quart is cheaper than $2.57 at Walmart for Parmalat. I have evaporated milk and powdered milk too, but I prefer the shelf stable milk, if I’m low on fresh milk and don’t want to run to the store immediately. Once I open a quart I keep it in the fridge and use it in my coffee until it’s gone. Shelf stable milk is handy to have on hand, but it doesn’t have as long a shelf life as other canned goods, so I keep 4-6 quarts on hand, then buy more as I use it.
The Covid craziness in 2020 followed by the civil unrest motivated me to completely change my attitude toward emergency preparedness. I was fairly well prepared for the most common weather emergencies where I live and I was prepared for everyday emergencies like the car breaks down, but I was not prepared for a pandemic, government lockdowns, or civil unrest.
At whatever point you’re at, you can improve your preparedness and you can move forward with a hopeful attitude, but be purposeful in what you do. Assess your own life, your own finances and most of all you and your family’s needs.
Be in it to win. That will require each of us to stay calm. By nature I’m a worrier and scared of lots of things, so staying calm has always been something I have to work on.
I’m back to gardening, but I’ve also sourced out local farms for fresh produce and other items too. Thinking about alternatives and learning new things makes me feel more hopeful – and calmer.
I’m enjoying the container gardening effort and I’ve given away quite a few plants – interestingly I gave some to the guy who mows my yard. I continued having this guy mow and weed-eat after my husband died and I didn’t know if I could handle a garden, but this container gardening is working so far. I’m an insulin-dependent diabetic and have heart problems, so I have to get outside early in the morning or in the evening, because the GA heat is already hitting during the middle of the day.
Even the container gardening is taking some work every day and gardening isn’t just throwing some seeds in the dirt and you’re done – it’s an ongoing process and it’s always dealing with problems from pests, heat, critters and even heavy rain or hail can take out plants. Plus I’m planning for more things to plant later this summer. I planted more radishes this morning and some more flower seeds for my container garden area.
I’m not really a “prepper” though, because I’m not sure what that even means and I kind of think liberal media (Hollywood) turned that term into a negative with shows like Doomsday Preppers. I’m kind of touchy about labeling Americans these days – “ultra-MAGA” anyone… I have always embraced being an American. America is about the idea of personal liberty that lives in our hearts. Even if you’re not an American, anyone can have personal agency, work hard and move forward with a hopeful heart.