Tuesday, April 12, 2011

longest post ever about...food storage?

Food storage has been on my mind a lot lately.  Why?  I dunno.... maybe because I'm getting old?  Is food storage what old people think about?!  ..... awkward.....  ANYWAY!  I was taught to have at least 1 year's worth of food storage in my home and with all these natural disasters happening, that seems like the BEST idea!  The problem I've had with that is this:  when do I start building up my food storage? 
The first year of our marriage we lived in a box.  Haha seriously, a studio apartment.  NO room for food storage.  When we moved into a 2 bedroom apartment I was just starting to feel comfortable with the food we had in our home.  I didn't have to go to the grocery store and buy every ingredient for a recipe, I had most of it on hand.  Now my excuse is... our parents!  Our parents have food storage so we'll be ok.  Um...hello Courtney?!  We don't live by our parents!!  It is time to start filling our home up with food, not kids.  Haha...kidding!  Seriously though.  Here is an email I was forwarded from an American who is stationed in Japan:

Hi Everyone,
We're doing "fine" here. Considering what is going on around us.
When the first big quake hit, around 2:45 in the afternoon on Friday,
I ran to baby's room and grabbed him out of his crib. We've had
plenty of earthquakes in the 2.5 years we've been here, but this one
was huge. Boy started crying and calling for me --I got him too and
we huddled on the stairs away from windows and light fixtures. The
two boys were walking home from school and came in while the
house was still shaking. They thought it was exciting. I yelled at
them to "GET BACK OUTSIDE!" because I'd just been told if you're
outside, you're supposed to stay outside! I sat on the stairs
praying: "Please protect my kids, please protect my kids, please
protect my kids..." It seemed to last forever (around 5 minutes I've
heard) and then the aftershocks just kept coming and coming. They're
still coming.

They evacuated the hospital and Husband was able to come home around 4.
[I can't tell you what a relief it was to have my whole entire family
safe and together. And how upsetting it was/is to think of people
all over Japan who have family unaccounted for. It's really hard for
me whenever one of the husbands has to leave.]

Since then, the power has been out and we haven't had any heat or
access to phones (to the states) or Internet (except Husband getting one
e-mail out from the hospital.) Yesterday they opened the commissary (No lights, cash only) and we grabbed some extra food, water and diapers. Since we
have the standard Mormon "food storage" I wasn't too worried about
running out of food or water, but I didn't have any spare diapers so
was happy to buy three big boxes yesterday for Baby. (And yes,
I bought two big cans of hot chocolate. Priorities, people!)

We were asked at church to see what extra coats, blankets, food and water we can round up to donate to the Japanese people nearby. I feel heart sick thinking of those who've lost homes and loved ones. Although you probably know much
more than me, I hear the devastation is extremely great. We were
lucky to be so safe on base and grateful our off-base friends and
neighbors were okay.

The earthquakes (aftershocks) haven't stopped and I spent all night
last night having nightmares about running from collapsing and
buckling buildings. The kids are on edge and tantrums are at an all
time high. They keep busy playing during the day, but when it gets
dark and we have to ration flashlights and candles it gets extra hard
to keep the peace.

A few things I've been wanting to tell people and note for the

*Get an old school, corded phone. If the power goes out, your
cordless won't work.

*Speaking of accountability, in an emergency, if you're going to
leave your house--leave a note on the door saying where you are going
so when guys from church or work coming looking, they'll know where
you are.

*When the power went out, people off base couldn't get their cars out
of their garage. Turns out there is a special crank to use but most
of our friends didn't have it or know what it was.

*We've been cooking with our camping equipment. Note to self: Buy a
20 pack of small propane tanks. We've also used our outdoor BBQ (in
the cold) and I'm wishing I had a spare tank of Propane for that.
(We still don't have power and don't know when it will come back on
On Base. Estimates have said 24 hours (we're way past that) to 1
week, to indefinite.)

*Do you have an extra refill of your prescriptions in your 72 hour
kit? It's terrifying to imagine running out of the things you take
every day. Also, the thought of my kids getting sick and not having
enough Children's Advil and/or Tylenol made me pretty nervous until I
verified we had some of each.

*For ONCE I was glad to be doing Dave Ramsey yesterday when we had
plenty of cash on hand to shop at the commissary. But we also have a
cash and yen emergency fund hidden in the house for back-up which was
very comforting.

*While I'm making notes to myself: Buy a hand crank wheat grinder
and blender! (We have a freezer full of frozen fruit to make
smoothies but no way to blend anything.)

*Also, I'm buying all my kids a down comforter. We have one on our
bed and we've been fine at night, but the kids need 20 blankets piled
up to stay warm.

Again, it takes something so tragic and devastating to kick my butt into gear!  I'm not going to go out and spend all of our money on food storage.  We just can't do that right now.  This is what Eric and I decided we can do: 
*Instead of buying 1 or 2 canned goods, buy 3 or 4. 
*Each time we go to Costco buy a case of waterbottles. 
*Each week put $5-10 (small bills) away for emergency cash. 
*Put money aside to save up for a shopping trip to complete 72 hour kits for the both of us.
*Make a list of where everything of importance is in our house in case of an emergency, I won't be thinking clearly and won't remember where I stashed everything.
What other ideas do you have?!
Congratulations if you're still reading...this may be the most boring post I've ever done.  But it's so incredibly important.  I need to be prepared for my family!  So I'd love input, ideas, anything you've got for me! :)

Because every post needs a picture, and I failed to have one with my last post, enjoy this picture of our little, crazy, happy family! ;)


Randi Gardner said...

what a great post/reminder! This has been on my mind too, but there were some really good ideas here. Thanks Court!

Jessica and Trent said...

Oh Courtney! I didn't think this post was too boring at all! It had some great advice that I hadn't thought about! We need to get a move on on our storage too :) Great post!

Stout Family said...

Hahah I had a nightmare that it was the end of the world & we didn't have food so I panickedly ran to walmart & bought everything I could and it was terrifying & exhausting. I now buy one item of food storage each week (like at walmart they have a food storage aisle). I'm slowly building quite a little stash, but at a rate we can afford. It gives me peace of mind & eliminated future bad dreams:) Your cute.

Ashley from Sloanbook said...

My husband and I bought a few months of freeze dried food storage after we got married...we financially shouldn't have bought that much but we did- we were so dumb with our money when we first get married haha. In the future look into that stuff- I think we have Wise Food storage! We tried one and it was legit- almost better than my cooking ha! Of course they're are tons of those companies around in Utah though!

Karen said...

Hi Courtney! I teach classes in the stake about food preservation and food storage. I'd be happy to help any way I can! Aunt Karen

aftonbrooke said...

Oh so true !! I think this is something Gregg and I will have to start thinking about. I guess I've always taken our 72 hour kits for granted here. On that note , My mom always had a change of clothes that she kept updated in our sizes packed in our 72 hour kits. She also ( since we were kids) Had little travel games packed in our 72 hour packs.

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons said...

It's not boring - it's important! I need to do the small bills saving and also the water stock up! the rest I think I do already! =)

Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

Megan said...

I totally read the whole thing, woot!! This has been on my mind a lot lately too and I was actually just talking to my husband about getting stuff together for food storage. Does that make me old too?? I've been trying to look for tips and ideas on how to get started on a small budget but have enough stuff. So you if you have any more tips/ideas please please share!

mary said...

Totally true. A lot on the mind this week, this world, this now...hugs! xox!

The Terry's said...

my mother in law has been telling me to do this as well. i guess i better get busy.

Megan said...

I totally need to start doing this! It really is realistic and something that we all need to think about!

Amy Nielson said...

i'm totally the same way! it's totally off my mind until something happens like a power outage. then i'm all, holy crap my cell phone is the only lifeline outside, what if my battery dies? i can charge it in my car. but what if i run out of gas? crap, i need gas. and it goes on.


Amy said...

Totally not boring -- I loved this post, the reminder, and that you shared the letter. Thank you!

Tatiana said...

Man, the beginning of that letter is almost heartbreaking. I'm so glad that they were ok. And those tips are great. Thanks for the reminder girly :-)

Ashley {hudson's happenings} said...

Sometimes it takes tragedies to learn that we need to be prepared in life....that letter broke my heart. :(

Love that CUTE picture.

Melissa: Write it in Lipstick said...

this sort of stuff does not bore me in fact yesterday I stared at my 72 hour kit and thought I need to repack that thing.

Write it in Lipstick

Ash said...

Oh my gosh, such good ideas. I really really really need to work on our food storage and emergency kits. Thanks for the great ideas!

Tess @ Pro-tography 101 said...

I need to do that as well!
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Jillian said...

emergencies are no fun to think about.... but it certainly is important to be prepared

Ulrich Family said...

hi court, Love the post. I have been thinking a lot about food storage lately and it sounds like most of your friends have too. The great thing about food storage is you don’t have to wait for that crazy huge natural disaster to use it. This summer we are supposed to have major inflation and I am sure you have already noticed the price of groceries are sky rocketing. These are some scary times we are living in Thank goodness for our sweet little prophets who give us such great council like food storage. A tip about things to pack in your 72 hour kit GARMENTS! Hello if you are without water to wash your clothes or bath how awesome would a clean pair of garments feel!(Ok that tip is from my R.S. pres but I think it’s a good one)

Mrs W said...

Wow this was really interesting! Definitely learnt a lot! I'd add on here too as another tip to buy stuff you usually eat...nothing worse than sitting with a masses of wheat and beans and you don't even like it...gross.

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