Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Building a Basic One Month Preparedness Pantry ... part 1

Before I get started with this post I want to thank Martha J. and Vicky S. for their generous contributions.  Your donations were literally an answer to prayer!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you! 

Previous posts in this series can be found HERE.

(Photo is of some of the many boxes of food and basic supplies that were distributed to victims of Hurricane Matthew in our area.)

We’ve spent the last week recovering and helping others recover from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.  In some ways this past week has been surreal.  I’ve seen so much and learned so much and it is the experience of that ‘much’ that I want to draw on and share with you.

I hope you take this series seriously, the information I’ll be sharing and the things I’ll be suggesting you do could very well someday make a big difference in your life.  I want you to be able to take care of your family's needs in an emergency instead of having to stand in long lines for several hours just to get the basic necessities.  

Okay, the first thing you need to do to build a basic one month preparedness pantry is ….

Assess what your needs would be!  If you had to depend solely on what was in your pantry for one month, without electricity, what would you need to have?

Remember that your pantry is more than just food.   It’s the food and household supplies that keep your home running smoothly readily available when needed.

Everyone is in a different season of life so our lists are going to look different, but getting prepared starts with assessing and making a list.  Here is what ours looks like …

Medication (over the counter and prescription)
First Aid-Kit
Nourishing food
Comfort food (don’t underestimate how important this is)
Batteries
Non-electric lighting
Paper products (disposable plates, plastic wear, paper towels)
A non-electric way to cook/prepare meals
Drinking water
Household/bathing water

BOB … Bug Out Bag (in case we have to evacuate our home at a moment’s notice), also known as a 72 - hour emergency kit

Remember this is your one month preparedness pantry; it won’t work for you if it’s not tailored to your specific needs.

So, what does your ‘list’ look like?

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

Thank you for using my Amazon affiliate link when placing your Amazon orders.  I earn a small percentage that doesn't increase what you pay.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means.

A Working Pantry is more than just about food! It's about household items needed to keep my home running smoothly readily available when needed.  It's about keeping a gift trunk so that I'm ready for any gift giving occasion.  It's about a lifestyle.  It's about keeping my home and looking well to the ways of my household and it's about doing it all as frugally as possible.  I hope you enjoy what you read here.



34 comments:

  1. We would have all those items on your list, Patsy. We have lots of water tanks here which were bought during our long drought so water shouldn't be an issue. We lose power quite often here for a short while so have alternative lighting but we probably need some more that would last long term. Lots of Aussies in rural areas have generators which often come in handy. It pays to be prepared as you never know what is around the corner.

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    1. Nanna Chel, so glad you are prepared. I wish everybody took it that seriously!

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  2. Having been in your situation I know that having some sort of entertainment is also invaluable. When the children were little and the storms were raging we had a portable dvd player for movies. This charged on the gen set. Our bug out bag is actually a large plastic clip lock lid box. It can be picked up and thrown in the back of the car at a moments notice. Our State Government has a website with all the info needed to get ready for storm season ( we are just coming into this season). It's got lots of really good information.

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    1. Dear Jane, I agree... the hours seem long if we don't have things to do and keep occupied. I am building up my printed reading material because of this! Love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Jane and Annabel, this is another important aspect of preparedness for us as well. Jane, I like the idea of using a large clip lock lid box.

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  3. Dear Patsy,
    Given all that has happened at your end and here in SA I am really upping the anti preparedness wise. Even in our relatively short outage I found out a few things. One is people get upset and desperate after a few hours so how would they be after a few days? I think it wouldn't be particularly safe to be out and about.
    Also I had an idea more Americans were well prepared, more than Australians. I have looked on your government website and it has lists of what everyone should do etc. But obviously not everyone does! I think conveying to people some of the situations you found might be good... to make people think what could happen and to motivate them to get ready to look after themselves.
    I agree with Jane... on one hand things are busy as there is a lot to do in a crisis but then you have the waiting it out time and plenty of reading, crochet, puzzles or whatever will pass them time is really important!
    I will enjoy this series very much! Love Annabel.xxx

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    1. Annabel, I am planning and preparing a post on the unpleasant side of what we've seen and experienced. Anger, desperation, deception, greed ... it was all out there. I know that this will not be a pleasant post, but if I'm going to help people prepare, they need to know the whole story. Safety needs to be a high priority!

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    2. Patsy I look forward to your post on the unpleasant side of what your experienced. It might just give me some information that I can use when talking to the locals as part of my voluntary position with the disaster management team. We are about 4 hours south of Jane and apart from possible cyclones have the potential for fire due to the pine plantations near by. We get cut off at least once a year, depending on tides and rainfall but only for a few hours to a day so far. Even then we have potential for disaster as people drive through the flooded roads ignoring the order to not do it.

      Lynette
      XXXXX

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  4. Patsi I hadn't thought about keeping a stock of plastic or paper plates but it makes sense. Why waste power running the generator during an emergency to wash dishes when I could use paper plates which I could compost after use. As Jane pointed out above we are just heading into storm season in our area. This year we have been told to expect a more active cyclone year.

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    1. Sherri, I agree completely, that's why paper products are part of our emergency preparedness.

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    2. For our emergency paper goods, we buy the holiday/celebration plates/cups/napkins AFTER each holiday or season when they are marked down to 70- 90% off! I figure that if we need to use them, it will lift our spirits to be using "congratulations, graduate" or St. Patrick's Day logos, etc.!!!

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    3. gardenpat, we do the same thing!!!!

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  5. Patsy, thank you for doing this post. I looked down in my pantry and as of now, there is plenty to get my husband and I through for a month but there isn't enough to help all the elderly neighbors around us. At this point, I would be able to help a few but not nearly enough. We are getting ready to go into winter and the farmers are saying we will have a bad winter. If that is so, we could be without power. Everything we have is electric with the exception of the BBQ grill and my one burner butane stove. I have been talking with my husband about getting a generator and hopefully we will be getting one soon. My biggest concern is getting my husband to let me stock the things I am learning we will need. He is getting better but he's not there yet. When he goes down to the pantry and sees what we have and then we go to the store, he is always telling me "We don't need that, you already have plenty in the basement." I have learned that I have to buy for the pantry when he isn't with me. But that is only for food, paper products and health and beauty items. It really takes some doing getting the other things like a generator. I am looking forward to this series because even though I think I am prepared, I haven't been through anything like this and I know there will be big holes where I need to get busy. Paula in Kansas

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    1. Paula, we helped several families during the past week and a half. Thankfully we were prepared and able to do it. I am blessed that my husband is on board with my preparedness mindset and he has been very thankful this past week and a half that we were prepared.

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    2. Paula, don't get discouraged. Your husband probably does not understand how much it takes to run your household. He will very likely come around after he sees how convenient it is to have a grocery store in the basement. In the meantime, you might want to spread your supplies around in different storage areas of the house so it does not shock him when he sees it all piled up. Keep doing what you are doing. It will pay off.
      Jeannie

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  6. Hi Patsy!
    I agree that this is good work that you're doing here! We can all do so much more to make preparations, and that is my direction. People don't know that they can easily go days without food, so safety certainly is an issue. Hiding reserves might also be something to consider. At any rate, enjoying just living a simpler life is worthwhile in the preparation task!! Also, having backups for backups is something to continually learn!
    Regards,
    Rachel Holt

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    1. Rachel, backups for backups is absolutely necessary. When it comes to preparedness we don't need to put all our eggs in one basket.

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  7. I had lost the link to your blog when I got a new laptop some time ago and not all my bookmarks transferred. Glad to have found you again through Annabel's site.

    Even though we are far inland and did not have much wind and only an inch of rain, it was a comfort to know that we were prepared. Not so with our kids who evacuated to here from the SC coast. Before they went back home they did buy extra drinking water and food but I wondered what would have happened if they had not had the parents homes to run to. It seemed that the biggest concern with their friends who did not evacuate was food as they do not keep much on hand and did not really think the hurricane was a big deal. This is a battle we are working on with all our kids. They just do not think that anything bad could really happen. All of them would be hungry in a very short time. Thank you for helping those around you.

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    1. Lana, I'm glad you found me again! Unfortunately, a lot of people don't see the need to have more than just a few days of food in the house. We handed out food boxes to lots of them this past week and a half.

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  8. Twice a year (we do it for daylight saving time to use as an easy reminder), we evaluate and rotate our 72 hour kits and short term storage. That way, food items in the kit get eaten and replaced with new ones and emergency clothes get checked for current sizes and replaced if sizes have changed!! This has worked for us when we had growing children at home and now, even as we are only a household of adults, still works as our sizes and needs change!

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    1. gardenpat, that's a good idea about changing/rotating 72 hour kits when the time changes!

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  9. If water gets low don't forget to stock hand sanitizer and wipes and even the larger ones you can even find at some dollar stores a for full body wash. And plastic eating utensils! In the bug out bag a deck of cards is small but gives a lot of entertainment for all ages. Kids can sort by kinds or add the numbers etc or play fish etc. A deck of cards can be found with one side regular cards and the other side good and bad local plants for extra knowledge too. Don't for get to include copies of important family and home information in your bug out bag. Also a good first aid book and some supplies should be kept. While there is time a CPR or such class could be taken. Just a thought.... Sarah

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    1. Sarah, you've given us some good ideas/suggestions.

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  10. For those of us who truly don't know, what ARE some good, non-electric ways of heating/cooking food? My husband found some silly thing he called a "spirit stove" at a tag sale and tried to use it during a power outage to boil some water. It produced a nasty, thick, black crust all over the outside of my pot. There have to be better ways, and I would appreciate learning about them.
    Sue

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    1. Sue, I'm going to do a whole post on this topic for this series, we'll delve deep into this subject soon.

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    2. Many years ago when we cooked on the campfire we covered the pots with soap to avoid the black crust. I remember we rubbed a bar soap on the pots, but we probably used a liquid dish or laundry soap too. I hope this helps.

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    3. I am 81 and live in an independent senior apt. I do my own shopping, cook from scratch and freeze meals, soups etc. Have an emergency stash of canned foods, etc. I live on the 2nd flr. and do not have a balcony and my apt is all electric. My question: What can I use to heat water and soup? Thanks, Shirley from Pacific NW

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    4. Shirley, I think a fondu setup would work well for you. You can stock extra fondu fuel, even an extra pot. I have this as one of my backup plans. I also have a thermos at the ready, to fill with hot water from the fondu to save time later in the day. For some reason, at the first sign of a storm, my emergency prep always includes boiled water!
      Marnie

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  11. Hi Patsy,
    I can't think of a more important practical issue right now, than preparedness. Thank you for your posts and I am looking forward to reading the reality of what happened.
    We have been preparing for about five years now. We try to have a six month minimum of all items, but I realize that space is a huge issue for a lot of people. We are blessed that we have the extra space.
    It is always amazing how much space we can make if we get rid of the unused and unwanted "stuff" and focus on the items we use and need. Under beds, in closets, extra cabinets, wire shelving are all great places for storage.
    Paper supplies, as you mentioned are really important. We stock the paper cups and lids from Sam's, as well, along with straws for the younger one's. The lids work great with a straw stuck in the hole and no accidently tipping.
    We, also, stock food, water, bathing and washing water, dog water, dog food, dog treats, medical supplies, household supplies, lots of sewing supplies and extra fabric, gas cans with gas, etc., etc. When we moved into this house my husband had a natural gas whole house generator installed, so as long as the natural gas flows we are okay. We, in addition, have a free standing back up generator. We store extra seeds for planting, soil, mulch, etc for growing our own food. I have a water bath canner and a pressure canner, along with lots of canning jars. We have an electric grain grinder and a hand crank grain grinder. A wide variety of grains stored in the large buckets last for years and years. We have a stainless steel dehydrator that we use a lot, then I vacuum seal the jars we put the food into.
    We have four extra cooking sources that either run on propane or wood. We have a wood burning cook stove in the kitchen/dining area, along with our other stoves in the house. We stock normally about eight cords of wood.
    I hope this isn't too long. I tend to go on and on about preparedness (LOL). Thanks again, Patsy, for making this subject an important part of your blog.

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    1. Glenda, sounds like you are well prepared! I am impressed!

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  12. Just a note for those who live in areas that have cold winters, don't forget to prepare for no heat in the dead of winter! A couple years ago around Christmas time, a large section of Toronto lost power for about a week or so. Those apartment and condo dwellers had to get pretty creative to keep warm and to make food!

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    1. Rhonda, that is a very important aspect of being prepared! Thanks for bringing that up!

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  13. Awesome posts and I really learned a lot from the comments. One thing people don't realize is the grocery stores don't have an unlimited supply of food ~ actually only enough for a couple of days. And people panic and wipe shelves clean of all the food ~ You would think here in GA, that at the word SNOW...people are just going to drink milk and eat bread the way the store shelves look. And neither would be top on my list ~ I would want hot chocolate, soup, etc. Marshmallows would be a bonus! Excited to keep reading! donna

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  14. Don't forget manual or gas power tools. After Sandy people didn't have power for weeks. We had a large branch fall on our shed. My husband had it cut up and stacked the next day. Others had to wait for power to come back on. Couldn't go to school or work. Might as well do the honey do list. Great list.

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