After our decision to get started I worked on a plan. This is developing as I learn more but it's a start.
These are the things we DO have:
Emergency numbers in our phones.
Important phone numbers copied somewhere other than in my phone. If we lose our phones many of us have no copies of numbers and don't know them by heart.
Copies of licenses, banking, passwords and all that kind of stuff.
A reasonable first aid kit and first aid guide.
A reasonably stocked medicine cabinet.
Gas for cooking when no power.
Candles that would last a few weeks if there was no power. These are mostly part of my decor. Plus matches etc.
Several torches and batteries.
A battery lantern with spare batteries.
A pantry with food that would see us through a couple of weeks.
A radio that will run on batteries. In a crisis a radio that doesn't need electricity is your news of what to do and whats happening. This is how the government lets you know what to do!
I have tons of shampoos, soaps, basic cleaning supplies and don't need to worry about things like that.
From a bit of a stock take and think I decided to add some water supplies to this as that is the first thing we lack. And to build up my existing pantry as much as I can. I had a clean out, re arrange and stock up. I am still doing that. Filling my jars, adding to my canned goods etc.
This week I wrote up all the emergency numbers in a place other than my mobile phone. I will keep adding but I have the basics.
I wrote up a plan of what to do if we know something is coming, a storm, power cut, shortage... (this list and details I will share next post)
I copied what Mum does. She keeps all emergency charts on the inside of her kitchen cupboards. What to do with a snake bite, emergency first aid... it's all on the inside of cupboard doors. We all know it's there and it's right in front of you when you need it.
I added three tarpaulins and three rolls of masking tape to our supplies. This is for in case in a storm windows break. We have a big tree out the back that belongs to the neighbour so this is very possible.
The next thing is to improve our first aid supplies and medicine cabinet. Things get used and not replaced or expire etc so getting that all up to scratch and adding things so that it really is pretty good.
I am just trying to do that even if it is one thing per week. Also since changing cars I realised I have no car first aid kit. So another thing to do.
The Later Day Saint blogs are so helpful. One thing I keep reading is that they encourage you not to feel overwhelmed and do something, however small, to make progress. Feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start can cripple us from starting at all! It is better to do something than nothing. It will add up. And to save some money in the same way, a bit at a time, as you can. Just start.
Our cellar was set up to be a wine cellar by previous owners. We decided to keep one wall like it is for bottles as that can be water and all kinds of things in bottles and that might fit there. We decided to make one wall shelves and have sealed buckets behind the stairs which can contain packets etc.
This is the view when we open the door which looks like floor boards...
Possibly you can see why I found it intimidating. It looks like the pit of doom...
It needs a good clean, it has years of dust, cobwebs down there! But it is dry, no signs of any dampness at all.
Once it's clean and it begins to fill with good things, I place a nice mat at the bottom and whatever else I can think of to make it less scary and instead an exciting treasure trove!
Having decided we needed shelves (or to build some) we were out driving and we found this on the side of the road! Sturdy metal shelving perfect for canned goods and all kinds of things. How amazing and what timing! Aside of needing dusting it is perfect! What a bonus and good start. I looked online and metal shelving units for storage were around $200.
Not everyone has a cellar and we are really lucky to have this. My friend who is also building up supplies has purchased a metal filling cabinet to use to store food. Laine used to use under the bed spaces. You could use an old suitcase, a trunk, a linen press type cupboard. Install narrow shelves along a hallway, convert a wardrobe or walk in robe to be a pantry, convert book shelves ...you can be inventive. The Prudent Homemaker (a lovely blog) has a section of her shed as a pantry. (and it is one of the best pantries I have ever seen!)
Besides having supplies on hand the extra storage space means when things are on amazing specials you have room to buy up big. Some specials are so good this is your big chance! My friend Helen will see an incredible special and buy 50 cans of this or that. She saves so much money and has one of the best grocery budgets I know. Having storage space allows you to do this. Some huge savings come at times from a bulk buy and it depends on having that storage.
Next post I am going to cover making a list of things to do if we know a storm, a shortage or an emergency is coming our way. Knowing what to do first can save a lot of time and panic and help us to not overlook something obvious that in a crisis and brain fade we might forget!
Thank you so much for all the comments and things you shared after my first post on building up my pantry and preparedness. A lot of you have experienced first hand all sorts of emergencies and seen empty shelves from panic buying and amazing experiences. I am really grateful that we can encourage each other. This is a learning process and like all things you learn a bit then you learn a bit more! But encouragement is a big thing. You can know everything about a subject but do nothing. It is better to take baby steps and begin than do nothing and study. We have to put in practical steps. (Says me who has been thinking about this for a little while!) Even if you store one small thing this week and do something that will contribute to better preparedness I will be thrilled as getting the ball rolling is often the very hardest thing, then we get going we are ok! I often do better when I join in with someone else on a challenge and report in. So that's what I'm doing here with you!
So that is my progress this last week.
This week I will get the cellar clean and sparkly, the shelves installed and some water stored. I am thinking after Christmas the sales will help me get some food stores.
Have a good week and just do a little bit toward your preparedness. xxx