The world around us seems to be in a constant state of turmoil of lately. For a year now we have battled COVID-19, civil unrest, and demands by certain groups to have changes made. With an uncertain economic future both on a large scale that at times has been devastating for some families. The political climate has been less than favorable with all the bickering and uncertainty of the truth. Lest we forget the natural disasters that have taken place with tornados, hurricanes, floods and polar vortexes.
Right now is a good opportunity for us to take a good look at where we stand preparedness wise. We need to establish plans that cover our basic needs of water, shelter, food and health. Once these needs are met then we’re able to focus on other things.
Do you have a good source of clean drinking water? As we witnessed in Texas this winter with the frigid temperatures and power outages, clean drinking water was hard to obtain and many were left without until shipments of bottled water were delivered. Then came the second hurdle of how to keep the water from freezing. The very same scenario could unfold here given the right circumstances. The power grid can be a very fragile system at times. Please view the picture depicting a well bailing bucket for drawing water from a well when the power is out.
Most municipalities have backup power sources for their water plants, however depending on the severity of the event their fuel sources may run out or be limited. It is a good policy to have in place a way to filter and purify questionable water for consumption, along with alternative water sources. Having these processes in place is beneficial even if a boil order has been declared for events.
Shelter is a very important facet of life. Do we have plans in place in place to seek shelter in other places due to an emergency or disaster whether they are natural or manmade? Do we have a plan for alternate safe heat or to downsize to conserve what precious heat we do have? Some tips for sheltering in place, acquire extra blankets to cover windows to lessen heat exchange, stop drafts around doors. Ensure you have enough low temperature sleeping bags and extra sleeping blankets. Have a small tent or construct a small tent fort in one of your main rooms to conserve heat. In the old days large four poster beds with drapes were widely used in cold climates with drop down drapes to conserve heat in the colder months and was switched to netting in the warmer months to keep insects at bay so windows could be left open for night time breezes.
Right now is a good time to take stock of our provisions. Build up a pantry with multiple layers of redundancies. We all maintain at least some perishable stocks like fresh produce, milk, eggs, bread and so on. The next level would be our boxed and canned goods, these are items we should refer to as our food stocks with a couple months’ to even a years’ worth and these would depend on the shelf life of the products you maintain. Always rotate these stores to maintain that shelf life. In this same category should be hygiene and cleaning supplies. If you have food but no way to clean dishes and cooking utensils you’re not prepared. FEMA has long stated a 72 hour kit is what we need but recent events have shown 2 weeks is a more viable minimum with 2 months as we witnessed with last year’s lockdown that 2 months is really where we need to be from a practical standpoint. We were all fortunate that during last year’s lockdown most grocery stores remained open, however there was then and still are some items that are hard to obtain. 72 hour kits are still an important part of preparedness in the event of evacuation there should be at least 72 hours of supplies for each person. For even more preparedness, having long term food storage such as freeze dried foods that only require water to rehydrate if fuel sources are limited.
We are approaching spring here locally and with it brings the opportunity to develop alternative food sources such as a victory garden and quite possibly establishing fruit and nut trees instead of ornamentals in your landscaping plans. Now is a good time to think about getting a handful of chickens for eggs and possibly meat or other animal husbandry projects to supplement your stores. Always remember most places have rules you’ll need to follow in regards to these enterprises. Also remember to have a means to process and store the goods you raise unless you intend to consume fresh. There are many good resources available to learn how to homestead and make oneself more self-reliant.
How about healthcare during this COVID-19 pandemic? Access to healthcare was threatened due to the overloading of the system. What would you do if this came to fruition and you or a sick family member or friend wasn’t able to get the care they needed? We need to prepare ourselves to care for the minor to medium afflictions and save the more serious medical needs for the medical professionals if the system becomes overloaded. Everyone should take a good comprehensive CPR-First aid course and learn how to at least stabilize sickness and injury until professional medical services can see them. There can’t be enough emphasis expressed on the importance of self-reliance for anything we might encounter.
During the previous year we have seen many acts of civil unrest. Thankfully we’ve been spared any such actions here locally, however there has been some activity not far away. We need to stay ever vigilant. Learning skillsets to protect lives and property is one that should be ever evolving.
Prepare for the future. Make preparedness an enjoying and satisfying part of a self reliant lifestyle. Two main objectives should always be Quantity and Quality of life.