Friday, April 24, 2015

Emergency Preparedness: Week 3 - Storage

Here I am... hair in a messy bun, on top of my head...
No makeup.  Tshirt and yoga pants.
Its 5:45 in the evening, and the phone rings.
 
 
 
 
It is a friend that I haven't seen in a while.
She and her family are in my area, and want to stop by for a visit.....
They'll be at my house in 30 minutes.
 
I take a quick glance around.
Everything that is out of place gets shoved in a closet put back where it goes.
 
 
 
I have 20 minutes to spare!
I throw some war paint makeup on my face.
The messy bun will have to do.
I change into some jeans and a tshirt (with fewer stains... ha!).
 
Woohoo!  15 minutes left.
Why not throw something yummy together, and have it baking while they are here?!
At this point I'm just trying to convince them that we are civilized.
 
I have a frozen lasagna (hello Stouffers) and salad in a bag...  That'll do for dinner...
 
 
 
I still have 10 minutes, y'all!
 
I remember that I have the ingredients for a millionaire pie (recipe on the blog tomorrow), and it only takes 5 minutes...
 
I grab the graham cracker crust...
the coconut...
the crushed pineapple... and my heart sinks.  The crushed pineapple that I rarely use, is expired.
I toss the can (It was in the back of the cabinet, I never see it, and the can even looks a little rough).
I decide it'll just be a millionaire pie, minus the pineapple....
 
BUT - then I grab the condensed milk, only to see that it, too, is expired and looking tired.
...you simply cannot have a millionaire pie without condensed milk...

 
The doorbell rings.
No millionaire pie.
 
Only frozen lasagna and bagged salad.
Gah!  June Cleaver was just within my reach!
 
If only.... if only I had kept up with my food storage a bit better, and noticed that those items were out of date....
 
Sigh..
 
The past few weeks in the Emergency Preparedness Series I have discussed food and water, and this week I am going to talk about storage.
 
 
 
 
Storage is a critical component in emergency preparedness.  What is the point in purchasing items, and stocking up, if only to find they're expired or inaccessible come time to use them?
 
 I agree... a millionaire pie may not be considered a natural disaster, but, if a tornado had ripped through my town, and groceries were unattainable, outdated stored food would be a big issue...

 
5 Tips for Storing Emergency Preps
 
1)  Have a system in place to monitor inventory... (Week 7 I will share a family binder, and include an inventory section)  Understanding what you have and monitoring it will ensure that you use items before they expire, and rotate your stockpile.
 
2)  Use long term storage methods...  Canning, vacuum sealing, etc., are great ways to store items for a longer period of time.
 
3)  Make your storage practical...  I understand the need to make every inch of your home purposeful.  I live in a small home, and we just don't have a lot of storage... so, we have to improvise.  But, it is important that the items you have stockpiled are easily accessible, otherwise stockpiling for an emergency can be stressful and unorganized.
 
4)  Don't overdo it...  I know, I know.  Many people tell me that, "you can't have too much..."  I disagree.  If you have more than your family can eat, and don't have someone or a charity you can donate to, it is wasteful.  If you end up with more than you can eat, rotate your stockpile by taking some to a food pantry or share with family members and neighbors.  In the end, though, you'll find that buying way more than you'll use can be expensive, and you may be creating a financial burden for your family... it defeats the purpose.
 
5)  Don't put all of your eggs in one basket...  If you have all of your food storage canned in glass jars, and a mishap occurs (the shelf falls over, etc), you'll lose all of your stored food.  If you have only food stored, but no water, you'll be frustrated when an emergency happens.  Having a well rounded, well organized stockpile will reduce stress...
 
 
 
Those are the basics... honestly;  but, they are important, nonetheless.
 
 
Several storage items that I have found to be useful in my quest for emergency preparedness are:
 
-backpacks (for "Evacuation" - week 6)
-binders (for "Family Binder" - week 7)
-easily accessible shelving
-rain barrels (for "Water" - week 2)
-Rubbermaid containers (for out of the way storage)
 
 
Next week's post will be all about power!
 
Until tomorrow, I hope your day is full of joy, and your emergency preps are organized, y'all!
-Heather
 

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1 comment:

  1. Hey friend another great post love the way you framed the subject. I have a suggestion you prompted: Have you thought about researching the whole subject of "use by" "Best By" expiration dates on grocery items...there's more to it than I ever thought..it would make a good item and fit perfectly into what you are covering in this series... feel free to delete my unsolicited advice :)

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