The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Preparedness and Pantries 2017.

During the last few months of 2014 I started to have a feeling that I should do some things to be more prepared and to build up my pantry.  I already had reasonably sensible basics like a first aid kit and a pantry that would have kept us fed for a good few days if I couldn't go to the shops.  But that was about it.



I also had a tiny little cellar that was empty and I had never been in it! When we bought this house I considered it an unused wine cellar and it was set up that way. It was dusty and the steps were steep.  I wasn't going down there!
As I started to consider building up supplies so that we are much better prepared I realised I had an asset that was wasted.  So I made it my goal in 2015 to clean up, add shelves and fill this cellar. And I did it! Like everything else I did it a little bit at a time and week by week. By the end of the year it was well stocked.  I bought specials and mostly saved in one area to build up another... and took every opportunity to add to it. You can read about it in my 2015 series Pantries and Preparedness.



In 2016 I knew I wasn't done. Last year I still added to it. We went further and bought a generator, a new BBQ and spare gas bottles, we worked on our emergency fund and tried to learn more and more.
As it turned out all year we had demonstrations all around us to remind us why we were preparing.
In our own state we had massive storms, floods, hail that destroyed crops, the entire state went off the grid in a massive power failure, several more blackouts that lasted days in some towns, banks had glitches and online banking and ATM's didn't work, phone networks had breakdowns and phones and internet didn't work...
Meanwhile I had friends in the path of a hurricane and some that were facing huge price hikes that were crippling. And several friends who's husbands came home one day and with no warning at all had no job. Or car. Or phone.  Just like that.

In our own city we had the big blackout and massive storm and roads blocked from flooding.  While I had been trying to learn more about preparedness it turned out I got a practical real life crash course!
Because we had been working on this we were able to listen to the battery operated radio and hear what was going on, what had happened and that was really helpful. Without a battery operated radio you could be completely in the dark in more ways than one!
That is because phones also went out.  I thought if I keep things charged they will work.  Not so. The towers that transmit mobile phone signals are run on.... you guessed it ... electricity! They have a battery back up but it didn't last and soon phones didn't work.  I didn't know that!
In our city trains are electric. So the trains stopped. People went to fill up their cars with fuel and the fuel wont pump without electricity.  People got stuck in lifts and even on the trains as the doors are ELECTRIC.  The shops soon shut as the cash registers are .... electric. Most just closed.
But before they closed every battery, torch (flashlight) candle, match sold out and so did basic foods etc. If you don't have these things before a crisis you are pretty much going to have to go without. They also took weeks to be restocked.
People couldn't get home, there were cars that had run out of fuel and then there were no traffic lights! And then the railway crossing signals and gates also failed and got stuck shut.
In a short time everything stopped.
We even had a hospital that had no power and peoples life support stopped.  Hospitals have back up generators and the generator didn't work either.
To say it was a mess and frightening how unprepared we are is an understatement.
No power means no money, no shops, no fuel, no food, no communication.
It was an eye opener. More and more things depend on electricity than even a few years ago.



We did ok. We had fuel and we started up our generator. I cooked dinner on the BBQ and we had hot water heated up there as well.  We stayed in, the generator kept the fridge and freezer ok. We were fine.
I couldn't reach Lucy as her mobile network went out but I could reach her husband so I found out they were ok.
As things happened I wrote them down. Since then we added a lot more to our preparedness.
I have come to think of being prepared as better than money in the bank.  When something big happens you are on your own. In a mass event no one is coming to help you as the demand is just too high. It might be days or weeks or more before there is assistance.


Rachel routinely cooks over a fire as she has no electricity.  
This is her having a cook up!  
I had to share her picture as these kind of things are skills that are really good to have! 

This year we are still trying to improve our position and learn more. And if I can influence you to look at your preparedness then I will be very happy as it could make a world of difference to your family.


This was my recent side of the road find (repainted) and it is now part of my pantry. 
You wouldn't know it as it is in the lounge room but it holds back up supplies.

One thing I am doing this year is joining in a class that Patsy is running on A Working Pantry. She is running a disaster preparedness class starting Feb. 1.  I am signed up for that. It is a totally free class.  Her experience is much greater than mine so I am in! She still has spaces and I know this will be a lot of fun as well as a learning experience.
She also has a free ebook. If you would like to build up your pantry this year download this book and study it. It is called Yes you Can have a well stocked Pantry.  I printed mine and refer to it often.


We want to have a pantry that will keep our family fed for quite some time. At first I aimed for a week, then a month  and then three months.  Many families aim for a year.
But that is not all. We are going to think about first aid supplies,  what to keep in your car, alternative ways to cook and heat water and many other areas that make us much more able to manage when things go wrong.

Each week we will have a different topic.   I am not an expert. I am a homemaker trying to be prepared.  Together we can make a lot of progress this year!
Some subjects  I am working on right now and are coming up first are:
Things you can do to be more prepared that cost zero.
How to be prepared when you don't have much space.
Making an action plan which you can use if you are blessed with a warning.
How to fit more into your pantry.
Learning the skills you need now and not trying to learn them in a crisis situation.

This week think about why you want to build up your pantry and how it could help you in so many circumstances.  Think about what are the greatest threats where you live? I would prepare for the most common things in your area first. I feel ours are power outages and storms followed by job losses.

It is not doom and gloom is it wonderful. It is making hay while the sun shines! It is why the Proverbs woman was not afraid of the winter. She had brought in food from far away places and was the guardian of her home. She knew there would be good times and times of having to stay indoors, shortages etc. Think back then how hard she worked to achieve this kind of security!

What are you preparing for you your area?  Have you experienced something that made you decide to be prepared in the future?

I have already found out that little by little and week by week a year makes a world of difference so let me know if you want to join in.  2017 will be a year that puts us in a much better position and we will have fun doing it!







63 comments:

  1. Annabel, long time reader, first post ever! I really enjoy your blog and have learned a lot. Many thanks for all the time and effort you put into it! I especially enjoyed today's post, and got me to thinking about what I need to anticipate.

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    1. Welcome to the bluebirds community Hilogene, it is a lovely group here. I love every post Annabel writes, she has a great writing style ,but is like we are all having a conversation here.
      I look forward to more of your comments in future as I am sure you have a lot to offer us here in the way of support, advice, wisdom etc.
      BarbW.

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    2. It's a joy to have you posting here, Hilogene. Never underestimate the worth a comment can have!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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    3. Hello Hilogene and welcome! Thank you so much! xxx

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  2. I so agree with all you said. We have been plugging away on our preps for a few years now.
    One thing to have here in US is a phone charger for your car. At least you can run the car a while and recharge your cell phone. I am anal about keeping the car full of gasoline.

    We have been working on health, first aid, food, alternative cooking and heat. We also have plenty of funds hidden and we have personal protection to protect our home and lives.

    Excellent post and a great reminder for the start of 2017!
    Have a great week.

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    1. Cheryl, you have been tackling quite challenging areas of preparation. I think health, itself, is a major obstacle for many people.
      Considering fuel in the tank is a great reminder. For some, considering changing to diesel (which can be safely stored) is an alternative to our Aussie 'petrol'!
      You may have some details to share as the series carries on!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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    2. Dear Cheryl, Both keeping the car full and the car charger are excellent points. Here at least no electricity means no fuel as the pumps don't work. Let alone other circumstances that could see fuel shortages. Many thanks, Love Annabel.xxx

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    3. Cheryl, I have insisted on the cars being full of gas since Hurricane Katrina knocked out the gas pumps for 2 weeks. We weren't even in the direct path of the storm!! We had electricity, but the trucks supplying gas couldn't come to our area.

      I need to get myself a phone charger for the car. It's important even on regular days. I have more than once been somewhere and not been able to call because the phone was out of batteries.

      Thanks for the reminders.

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    4. There is all a little auxillary charger for the phone it is about the size of a c battery you charge it before you
      leave home and carry it with you if you are camping or
      on a hike if the phone runs low on batteries you plug it into this little booster.(we now keep it charged as an additional power source for our phones. Also one of my daughters friends brought a solar charger for her phone great idea. We also have my aunt Geri that is our emergency contact. If we loose cell service in this area and can not contact each other. We will use a landline to let her know we are OK or need help. She is out of state and this worked well during the wild fires.
      Blessings,
      Patti

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  3. Hi Annabel!

    It looks like we're travelling the same way with respect to pantries and preparedness! I might just be on a bushier track!! I am learning so much, and loving it!!

    I hope to check in again later! Weeds await!!

    Rachel

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    1. Hi Annabel and gentle mob!!

      Well, I'm checking back in, and replying to myself at the same time!! Ha ha!!

      I thought your preparedness and pantry pictures were beautiful, Annabel - candles, baskets, a potential fireplace in action .... Just ask the animals whether they'd like money or food. They choose food every time!!

      In 2011, our area had a storm cell that dropped awe inspiring volumes of rain even on the ranges. This washed out major roads with incredible force. We nearly didn't have a way home that day, and, if it wasn't for a hair-pin bend detour road, access would have been highly questionable! I think of smaller transport options in place of cars, and, also, fire lighters to replace matches that don't work in these wet, humid conditions (& gas lighters that just don't last!)

      Whereas we don't need to prepare for deep winters, it sure helps to prepare for hot summers and times when all sorts of systems fail us, as they do!! At the same time, I like to work toward simplifying life, and using money-free ways! It is so much more enjoyable that way!

      This is going to be a worthwhile series!!

      With very warm regards,
      Rachel Holt
      P.S. Everyone, your replies to any comments are highly valued and welcomed here!! Thank you!

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    2. Rachel we were up here on holiday as the horrible weather of 2011 unfolded. We headed back to Victoria earlier than originally planned and that weather followed us all the way down. I can remember our daughter saying that there was no bread and of course very little of anything else in the supermarkets. She is not her mother's daughter, when we stayed at her place after Christmas I noticed that the cupboards were distinctly bare. Being as far away from her as we are, even though we are in the same State I will not be able to get to her to help.

      Lynette
      XXXXX

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  4. Dear Annabel, A subject very dear to my heart! I love being prepared and will most definitely join with gusto. The past year I have not been overly into it due to this and that, but a goal for this year is to re-create what I have had in the past and to improve and learn more. So I'm in! Looking forward to it. Fi xx

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    1. Fiona, I always watch your comments with interest! I will be watching as you follow your goal!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  5. Although I don't like to worry your situation reminds me we need to be prepared at all times. Before we go on our next trip I want to put in bags for everyone with essentials (including boredom busters). You never know how long you could be in a traffic jam. My husband's Christmas gift was a generator. He requested it when he seen it on sale. It gets very cold here and although we build fires they don't keep the whole house warm. We have also learned to keep our woodpile stocked. One year we had to go and buy some from our neighbors when the power went out. Lesson learned.

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    1. Vickie, I'm sure you're right. We're not meant to walk a path of fear, yet we are meant to keep on our toes in preparedness! It is our test!!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  6. Preparedness for hard times (whether large scale or strictly personal) has always been something that hubby and I have had as a priority! Not only has it helped us during financially challenging times, but it has also given us the ability/opportunity to share with others who have not been as blessed as we are!
    These times we live in are truly wonderful for the abundance of information and instruction on how to increase our skills and reserves and I learn so much from so many like you who have shared your wisdom! We are never too old, too busy to be able to learn new ways to become more self reliant!
    Thank you for your contributions to this work of preparation!

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    1. Dear Gardenpat, This is so true. If we are prepared ourselves we can help others and also not need to be helped and that means the helpers can get on to others that need it and we are doing ok already, at least in some circumstances. That means it is a help all round.
      I love learning new skills. I think I have had a few eye openers in the last couple of years as well! With love Annabel.xxx

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  7. Dear Annabel, I am also in. I have not really got a very great stockpile - my husband and I are both retired and I think it is a very good thing to be prepared for whatever life may have in store. Thank you for your most helpful posts. Lyn

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    1. Lyn, if it is any encouragement, sometimes it is not the quantity of what we have, but the usefulness for the situation at hand that makes all the difference. May you find wisdom to prepare what is relevant for your household!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  8. Such a good post Annabel! Thank you for mentioning the Working Pantry disaster preparedness class and for mentioning my free e-book. If 2017 is anything like 2016, we're all going to need all the preparedness help we can get.

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  9. Dear Annabel and my fellow bluebird crew,
    Thank you for another excellent blog post today. I have a pretty decent pantry but need to be a lot more prepared than I already am so please count me in.as you know Annabel I have similar drawers / cupboard to yours and mine is in my kitchen , I will be using my drawers and baskets for pantry and preparedness too and I already have batteries and light bulbs in my drawers so that'a a start , I also have a battery operated radio ( I have two of them actually) and torches and I have a BBQ , so I want to learn how to use it safely and not be scared to do it by myself. It is an old BBQ and I would eventually like to replace it but there are other things to save for first!.
    The biggest issues in my area and also relevant to me are storms( to some extent) and heavy / strong wind , we have a huge heritage listed tree in the units car park/ driveway here and I am always frightened it will lose a limb and cause a lot of damage.also there is my health and mobility and my lack of transport, I need to be prepared some I don't get caught out if I am not well and cannot go out and also I need to be prepared for when my parents are not able to help me for whatever reason, their health, car troubles, them going on holidays etc.i hope that is ok to include in my preparedness Annabel?.
    I hope everyone has a good week. Love Barb W.

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    1. Dear Barb,
      I love how you and Annabel make practical storage so beautiful! I am speaking of those storage baskets in their shelving.
      Your thoughts toward contingency plans really is very good. We all should develop alternative plans for when our usual systems fail!
      You're great at replies!!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  10. Annabel, like you I have had some experience with the natural world causing major issues. I grew up on a river so experienced extreme flooding, I lived for 10 years in central Aus and dealt with flooding and extreme heat. I lived in the Top End for 20 years with fire, flood, crocodiles and cyclones. We learnt to deal with all of this by being prepared. Since becoming townies, our level of preparedness has diminished significantly. We have enough for at least a couple of weeks but no more. It's time to look at clever ways to manage the extra foodstuffs I want to bring in. Looking forward to all that we can glean from each other in this series.

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    1. Jane, I reckon that, by looking after Bluey, you've got half of your preparedness tasks sorted!! He's a clever fella!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  11. Ahh Annabel now these are my areas of skill! During one of these situations what others might consider rustic I consider it comfort! To have what you need to make any situation more tolerable makes for less anxiety and more confidence that we can get through. LOL My family makes fun of me because of what I carry in my purse most of the time too, but even with the small things I do carry could be very helpful. And cellars, spooky places that get cleaned up and filled with all kinds of lovely food!
    XOXO
    Vicky

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    1. Vicky, what's wrong with rustic?!! It's my preference, too!!

      My newest pantries stand outdoors on trunks! When I'm out of peach leaves, I just toddle out and pick them! I think I'd like to visit the apple leaf pantry next! It is important to avoid overcomplicating pantries, I think!!

      Regards,
      Rachel

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  12. In our town we have water main breaks and have to boil our water or buy bottled water for a few days until the water tests clean. We have lived here 5-6 years now and this has happens at least 1-2 times each year. I have realized recently how much easier it would be to be prepared, so I've tried to keep jugs of water on hand. The other things likely to happen would be power outages due to storms. So far we have not lived in an area where that has happened in the winter time, but we have had family members that have experienced that. I'm looking forward to learn more about this topic!
    Amy

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    1. Dear Amy, Some of the ladies can water... and use their empty storage jars to keep water on hand. It takes up no more room than keeping the empty jars. I keep every gap in the freezer full of bottled water. In the simmer it would mean the freezer stays solid frozen longer but after that there would be icy water to drink as well. I also refill empty bottles that are suitable with water and keep them on hand... you never know! Many thanks! Love Annabel.xxx

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  13. Hi Annabel,this subject could not have come at a better time as i recently bought a car it wont be in the shop again till Friday for the few things to be fixed for the roadworthy it only has a few issues,so then it will be Monday before i take it to be registered,disaster struck this morning as johns car,now has to have a new radiator,iam lucky work have been understanding in this situation,as i cannot work without a car iam hoping for a loan car tomorrow,till i have my new car on the road very soon,so iam in looking forward to your future posts xx.

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    1. Dear Melissa, You commit made me think that is true such an ordinary thing as our cars being out of action can be a crisis if we arent stocked and suddenly stuck without transport. Not to mention sudden unexpected expenses. Even being able to live from the pantry and freezer for a week or whatever means we might meet a bill that is unexpected! I hope they help you out with a loan car! With love Annabel.xxx

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  14. Hi Annabel, I am new to reading your blog, and I don't think I've commented before. I just wanted to say what a great post, I think I have a false sense of security about this topic, and I will certainly put some thought into it. I have a very well stocked pantry, but it would only last us weeks not months.

    One different way I am preparing is to get way ahead on our mortgage, firstly because I want to be debt free, but also it is a given that interest rates won't stay this low forever. I for one do not want to be caught out with a big home loan and sky rocketing interest rates. It's just another angle when considering preparedness.

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    1. Dear Cheryl, Welcome and thank you! I agree with you! The faster we are debt free the better from so many angles. I think that is really wise and as you say interest rates have been so low but this could change!
      My daughters mortgage was in discussion and I have always told her to get as many weeks ahead as possible to cover an illness or something else. Thank you Cheryl! With love Annabel.xxx

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  15. Dear Annabel,

    I'm blogging again and "I'm in!"

    *hugs*
    Kelley~

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    1. Hello Kelley! Really?! I will come looking for you at Kelley Highway! Thank you! xxx

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  16. I have recently started to put more effort into being prepared, and am at the moment stewing and then bottling free plums and homegrown rhubarb. I am also slowly building up my pantry, food, medical, craft and of course a small library including books of how to make do(reprints from WW11).
    Also looking forward to joining you and Patsi.

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    1. Dear Meg, What you are doing with the plums and rhubarb is using every opportunity! This really works. Slowly building up adds up to more than we think! How wonderful having plums! These are great ways to get ahead. I love plum cobbler. I will look forward to seeing you in class! With love Annabelxxx

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    2. Meg, if you are able to send photos of your bottled plums and rhubarb, I'm sure we'd all love to see them! Good job!!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  17. Hi, I'm a fairly new reader of your blog and living in the Scottish Highlands. In previous years I was more prepared when we had extremes of weather and lost electric for a week, we had a little wood stove we could cook and heat water on and plenty of candles and food stores. I have now moved to another house in the village and not got the stove so your blog is now making me think about the need to be prepared in different ways again as the winter weather moves in. Thank you and I look forward to reading more on this topic :-)

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    1. Welcome! I was just posting how we are not used to the snow and freezing conditions. Your set up with a wood stove sounds like it was really good. I hope you can come up with a good system in your new home! I know it must get extremely cold there! I haven't even experienced below freezing. And here we are just out of a heatwave! Thank you so much for posting.xxx

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  18. Thank you everyone for being on board. Our circumstances and weather conditions etc vary widely! But the security of being able to go to the pantry and whip up a meal is beneficial to anyone. My niece Allie just got back from New York. She said it was so cold! We have not experienced that kind of cold! That I am sure is why so many US ladies and English ladies are good on being prepared. It is taught as being snowed in has been a possibility for generations. Thats my theory!

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    1. Annabel, This is a topic near & dear to my heart, so I'll enjoy learning new ideas from all of the Bluebirders around the world. You are correct that in many parts of the U.S. being snowed in is a possibility, and it takes a surprisingly small amount of snow to do it if the land is flat and the wind blows the snow into drifts. (Guess what the land was like where I grew up?) ;)
      Blessings, Leigh

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  19. Excellent post! Even with working cell service there is no guarantee that you can get through. About 12 years ago we had a tornado touch down less then two blocks from my home. My 20 minute drive home from work took 2 hours! Hubby was off that day and I keep trying to reach him but it keep saying all the circuits were busy. This was pre-texting. I have heard that in an emergency it is better to text then call. Lots of damage and homes destroyed, thankfully no lives lost, and we were spared. It was a scary 2 hours as I had no idea what I would find when I returned home. I just remember the main road that led to my street being packed and the closer I got to my turn off I could see further ahead all the electric poles snapped in half. Although all the preparations in the world may not help if your home is destroyed it did change the way I thought about things. At the time we ate dinner out every Friday evening and I shopped every two weeks buying only what was needed. This happened on a Friday afternoon when we had plans to dine out and go to the grocery. The closet grocery to us was closed and due to the roads we could not drive any where. We were able to walk to a pub and get a meal. Our meal conversation was about how lucky we were and how unprepared we were. That was a turning point and I started to realize the things my grandmother and mother had done as far as canning, pantry building and being frugal were done with a purpose.

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    1. I think you make a really good point. Sometimes emergencies happen at the end of the month. That's all I plan for, so when things happen then, it catches me in a way that it won't at other times of the month. Something to think about. :) Thanks for sharing your story.

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  20. Hi everybody, I really love this place! I have been reading for a long time and feel like I "know" some of you. I followed the prep posts way back when you first posted them and we have done a very good job. However, instead of participating in your new challenge, we are actually going to be relying on said preps. We were expecting some serious expenses and income changes this year and I am really glad that we were able to start preparing for them ahead of time.
    The link that goes with my name goes to a facebook page for a budget cooking class that I teach for free in my community, in case anyone gets bored one day. I love teaching this class, as it is sponsored by our church, so it doesn't cost me anything, and we are creating a little community of people trying to eat healthy on a budget. I look forward to more posts!
    Sarah

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  21. Timely post! Just a few days ago our city declared a state of emergency due to the massive snowfall. It forced me to recognize the gaps in my pantry (many!!!). Thankfully, we are all safe, fed, and warm, but now we're looking at flooding as the snow melts. Once these extreme conditions pass, I will really be working to build up my pantry! Happy 2017 everyone from snowy Idaho (USA).

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    1. We drove through a tiny sliver of your beautiful state this past summer, Teresa, as we did a major cross country trek with our kids...I can imagine winter in those passes is awe inspiring! And long!! We live in the foothills of two different small, by western standards, mountain ranges and get very cold winters sometimes lots of snow, sometimes lots of ice. We've been prepping for hardship, illness, social upheavals and whatever else might come to pass for many years now but I always love to gather more ideas from other people. Thank you to everyone and happy New Year!

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  22. I am also a fairly new reader here and I love this blog. This post was right on time for me as I am also thinking we need to be more prepared. I've always kept a well stocked pantry that has served us well through many job losses and other unexpected things. But I know we could be doing a better job in other areas. So I'm in too.

    ShelliaJean

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  23. Hi All, Great post Annabel. Having some cash on hand is vital. Everything we do to prepare can make difficult and potentially dangerous situations much better. Peace of mind and knowing that we have done the best we can is also really important. Sharing ideas and strategies, thinking, planning and actions will all have a positive impact when we are dealing with whatever happens! Thanks for the support and encouragement. Cheers Jo

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    1. Hi Jo,
      You're so right in how vital it is to have cash on hand. Banks have been known to close and/or if the power is out they won't be able to access anything. Cookie

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  24. Dear Annabel,
    Wondeful post. Preparedness in all things is so very important. We've experienced both ends of the weather scale, be it blizzards in the winter, or storms in the summer and flooding. I'm much like Vicky in what I keep in my purse and the car with family kind of laughing.

    When I was a child there was a huge blizzard and power outage where we lived. Every house on our street was "all electric" except ours. We had a gas stove which provided us some warmth and a way to prepare food. I well remember all the neighbors who trudged through the snow to use our stove to heat things. This event made a huge impression on my young mind and preparedness is something I carried into adulthood and with my own household. There's always more to learn in this area and I look forward to reading what everyone has done or is doing. Blessings. Cookie

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    1. Cookie, I've heard Annabel mention 'car preparedness' (the women's non mechanical version, anyway!!). Maybe another topic could cover preparedness tools and supplies in a purse or 'possible bag', or even pockets! I love pockets!!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  25. Dear Annabel and Bluebirds,
    As you know, this is a subject that I love to talk and write about :). We've been prepping for over ten years now and there is always a lot to think about and cover.
    I am looking forward to everyone's input this year and, especially, interested in seeing what people have to consider first in the different areas of countries and the world.
    Your thoughts and ideas are always excellent. Everyone's input here is so valuable. What an awesome group we have that shares such caring and concern for each other.
    Many blessings to all of you.
    Love and hugs,
    Glenda

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  26. Sarah, I tried to get on your facebook page to read about your cooking class but it would not work. Nancy

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    1. That is weird. I am not computer savvy, so I am not sure why it isn't working. I bet you could go to facebook and search Budget Cooking 101 and find it. Sorry about that!

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    2. Or you can just type www.facebook.com/budgetcooking101 into your browser. I just tried that and that worked. Sorry!

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  27. Wow heaps of interesting stories here (and thank you Rachael for the nice words). One thing that I face is bushfires. That would be devastating in itself but I'd hate to lose all the preparations. Annabel you will appreciate this - I am sitting outside with the chooks reading under the trees. As the girls raced up to me to say hello and get their bread scraps, one laid an egg on my foot!! I have never seen or heard of this before. I think she was on the verge of laying and raced over for her bread and then had no choice but to lay. It was very funny. Fi xx

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    1. I love my chickens and find them to be an endless source of entertainment. She gave you a gift--personally! So funny.

      I have never had a fire, but for some reason it sounds really scary to me. I have heard that planting rosemary around your home keeps the fires from the door. I don't know if it works, but you'd have plenty for cooking with that way. :)

      I can see why you would focus on the fires for your prep work.

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  28. Thanks for the challenge in this post and the inspiration from the last 2. Loved your response to my last comment, Annabel. I do appreciate your responses, but Rachel is right about too much is too much.
    Been enjoying some Laine's Letters lately. Her words remind me that we all have so much to share from our own experiences. I now have lived in four different regions in the States: California desert, Colorado mountains, Ozark backwoods, and now Ohio farmland. Each one has unique weather and natural disasters, let alone economic challenges. Looking forward to this shared adventure, ladies! Happy Birthday, Annabel...I'm enjoying mine!
    Blessings, Leslie

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  29. The life support stopping at the hospital makes my blood run cold. Hubby had a heart attack on 12/27 and was in a coma and on life support for 10 days before he woke up. The thought did cross my mind during that time that we were totally dependent on electricity. He is now on the mend, My pantry served us well during the crisis and still is as I do not have to go to the store for anything and friends have picked up perishable food for me and put it in my fridge.

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    1. Dear Lana, It is terrifying. I am glad your husband was ok! And your story is a reminder of another reason a good pantry is handy too! With love Annabel.xxx

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  30. I've been a decent planner for disaster having grown up in earthquake country. And I did quite well when I was tested. That said, there's always room for improvement!

    I would like to suggest whistles to go into emergency kits and various locations like your car, purse, etc. Keep them on a shoestring to wear around your neck. One good chirp could be invaluable in many scenarios. I put one on anytime we have severe weather. I figure if I get buried in the basement, it might be the only way people could hear me.

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  31. Golly Lana, that is scary. Glad he is on the mend.

    Debby, I have a tiny whistle on the tractor key and one on my house keys. Have told my partner and ds if they hear the whistle, come find me. I'm in trouble. Haven't had to use it yet, but I agree with you that it would be useful. Fi

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