Can you believe it? Less than a week til the end of October. The weather this week has been pretty mild: up into the mid to high 60’s in the day time, which means we’ve been able to keep heating bills pretty low. Thank you, Jesus, for small favors. 🙂 My October challenge has met with mixed results: food wise I’m still doing really well: Had sugar once (fell prey to a DQ chocolate covered cone this week. 🙂 ) and flour three times this month. Total weight lost? I’ll tell you in a week. 🙂 Money wise we’re not doing so well. More on that later, but I keep thinking about how people talk about how goals are better obtained when you do one goal at a time.
The subject of food stockpiles is on my heart this week. So many people think that the idea of or need for food stockpiles is ridiculous. I mean, after all, we’ve got a plethora of grocery stores and restaurants everywhere in this country, right? It’s obvious that there’s no shortage of food in this country, based on the poor health and obesity rate of the majority of American citizens, so why would food stockpiles be necessary for the people?
Back in the pioneer days, everyone had food stockpiles. Stores carried only the basics, such as flour, sugar and spices. Everyone either raised and processed their own meat and veggies or bartered with neighbors who did so. There was also a different mentality back then about preparedness. Without all of today’s modern conveniences, people needed to be prepared, because the store wasn’t 10 minutes away and piled high with food and necessities of every kind.
However, did you know that your local big box grocery store only has a 3-day supply of food on hand? How fast would that supply be gone if, for instance, the trucking industry went on strike? Or if a major storm was coming, or had hit, your town? Or if a pandemic hit and everyone was preparing to be quarantined to their homes. What if the stores had to close down because power was out and they had no way to ring up your purchases?
If you happened to be at the beginning of your menu planning period, this likely wouldn’t affect you too much, but what if you were at the end and your once-a-month big shopping day was just around the corner? Would you have enough food, water and milk to feed yourself and your babies? Would you have enough of any medicines you need to get through your day if you have a medical condition? Would you have enough toilet paper? No? So what then, would you do?
Not trying to be an alarmist, folks, but the pioneers knew something that we in our modern day easy-peasy life have forgotten: that circumstances can change at any time and because of that we need to be prepared. Our friends who lived through Hurricane Sandy learned that first-hand. We got a teeny taste of that when we lost power for six hours, had no access to heat and water, and had very little food on hand. Although we were in no real danger, thanks to having friends and family close by and a car with gas in the tank, that six-hour experience really got us thinking about what we would need to have if we were to experience a real disaster. And it made us realize that we didn’t have nearly as much supplies as we would need to have to feed our family of six and our animals. Knowing that food, water and basic necessities were in short supply in our house in the case of a long-term disaster was a scary feeling, as we wondered how we would keep everyone watered, fed and warm should our small disaster turn into a BIG disaster.
And it got us thinking more clearly about why pioneers and the survivalist/preppers of today work so diligently to have long-term stockpiles, most at a minimum of six months worth of the food and supplies they need to live.
If the CDC came to your doorstep today and said you were legally quarantined to your house for the next three weeks because Uncle Fred who was over at Thanksgiving came down with Ebola from his plane trip the week before, would you be prepared? I’m not saying that someone couldn’t bring you food, but we need to think in “what if” terms when it comes to prepping and homesteading. What if someone couldn’t bring you food? Would you have enough supplies to be well-prepared for the next three weeks? Or would you be stuck eating only noodles, using reusable toilet squares, and rationing out your meds until the quarantine was over?
Although this type of scenario may be unlikely, I myself would want to be prepared, just in case. Wouldn’t you?
Stockpiling of food and necessities doesn’t need to be an unobtainable task. Dump your stuff, adopt a minimalist lifestyle and make room in your home to have a nice stockpile of supplies in your home. Pick up a few things on each grocery store trip so the stockpiling task doesn’t overwhelm your budget. Just start. Do something to get yourself prepared for “just in case”.
Do you think it’s necessary in today’s world to have a stockpile? Have you ever been in a situation where you wondered if you would have “enough”?