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.

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Tuesday 9 December 2014

Preparedness. Part three.

Progress is being made!  Last week I cleaned out the cellar. I went down there with my vacuum and cleaned, wiped things down and boy was it dusty. This is why wine cellar bottles of wine are covered in dust apparently! Also all of this going up and down got me used to it. I don't find it scary anymore and that is a good thing!

So my goal of doing something every week towards building up my pantry and emergency supplies was achieved by cleaning out the cellar, establishing strong basket to use for carrying things up and down.

Also I added hand wipes, pasta, tins if tuna and batteries to my supplies. Already in week three I can see that by doing something every week it is amazing how you can see your progress and how it adds up! My mission is to fill all my jars over the next few weeks as well.

Last week I stuck all important and emergency numbers on the inside of a kitchen cupboard and another list to refer to when and if we know something is going to happen... it could be a storm is coming or it could be anything but the circumstances where there is a warning and time to prepare. I know in QLD when a huge cyclone was coming there was a couple of days to prepare. But that can happen in all kinds of circumstances. How to use wisely that period of grace to prepare?  Having a plan is so helpful. Rather than run around in a panic you know what to do and you can even give everyone tasks to get it done and in time.
But what? What would you do if you knew you were going to be snowed in, flooded in, or there were going to be shortages of something? Of course this is going to vary according to the weather, your families needs, the impending problem, your pets and a heap of things. So you have to tailor make this list to your family and home. Now we don't always get a warning but when we do it is good to make the most of any time it might allow us to prepare. 

Here are some things to consider if you have a warning...

Fill your car with petrol.
Prepare a kit for each person incase you have to leave the house. 
Fill prescriptions. This is on my list as my husband has prescriptions he must have. Imagine running out?
If you think power loss is possible fill the spaces in your freezer with containers of water. Providing it will have time to freeze. This extends the time your frozen food will stay frozen and provide water after that.
Turn your fridge to colder.
Cook raw items that will spoil otherwise.
Clean your gutters, secure items around the yard.
Check on neighbours.
Charge your phones and other things that need charging.
Ensure you have batteries and spare ones for your radio and torches etc.

If you know what you have in your supplies you will also know what you don't have. Have a list of what to stock up on while you have the opportunity. A prepared shopping list would save a lot of time and help you not forget important things in the rush.
Don't forget pet foods. Our pets are small so they are super easy to have supplies for. Chippy doesn't eat much.

Another aspect of this is having a plan in a crisis is better than panicking. People remain calmer. I am better if I have things to do and go about doing them. Constructive activity is a good thing.

Once you start a list over time you can add to it as you think about things and learn more. A basic list is better than no list at all. An imperfect list is better than nothing! This list is next to our emergency numbers list, inside the kitchen cupboard door.

Quite often our own local areas will have information on what to do to prepare for an emergency. Be sure to follow that and to listen for updates and be informed. Our own climates and other conditions have a huge impact on what we need to do. Knowing what stations to tune into for weather updates etc in your own area is really important. Hopefully there is expert advise available to you that helps you with your plan. Last week I said we have loads of candles as part of the decor. I lit some up and realised that the lighting is actually very comforting and being out all the time it takes a minute to light and do the job. My outdoor "chandelier" has solar fairy lights. I could easily bring this inside as well. I have placed a couple of candles to light on a shelf in the cellar with matches next to them.

So that is my progress for the week. I am dying to see some food specials that make it worth buying a dozen of this or that or even a whole box. But pre Christmas just ins't the time. After Christmas I think there will be specials like this.  Several of my savings friends keep a purse especially for use when they see massive savings. So they are always able to take advantage of them. It also means you always have some cash with you. I have started that and any time I feel I saved some money I add a little bit to this purse. Hopefully when I see a great sale I can invest in it. I thought this is a great system.

Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences and memories too of pantries. I love hearing this! Next week I am going on with this on the subject of all the things we can make by having some basic supplies. 

Have a good day and rest of the week! xxx


  1. Good article!
    In Oklahoma when we have ice storms and think we may be without electric power, we fill up our bathtubs to have emergency water for flushing.

    I am glad you have made progress with your cellar and are not afraid of the steps. Please be careful though.

    1. Thank you Rhonda. Its a good idea filling the bath as that is a fair bit of water.
      I will be carefully. It crossed my mind that a mattress at the bottom might be a good idea instead of a mat! But Ill be cautious.
      I cannot imagine what an ice storm is even like! I think we would be terrified as we are not used to it. But these things would sure teach you how to be prepared. I love hearing this!! xxx

  2. Annabel, great post. I love that you're going beyond a list of food and household items, and including actions to be taken in the event of a warning. I guess I've always lived in a state of preparedness really. Having a family member in a wheelchair, just makes you hyper alert to these things. So we've always had a file of emergency numbers and actions, and a stockpile of drygoods, and carefully filed and documented so that it not only made sense to US, but to anyone who came into the home to assist with my disabled sons care. So much so, that I don't even think of it as preparedness anymore, it's just common sense. Your series has reminded me that having a disabled child has made us so much more organised in ways we never imagined. What a wonderful resource this series will be now, for those who haven't had to think of it before. Job well done. xxx

    1. Mimi between you being responsible and also on your own with a child with special needs you probably learned a lot and became very practical. I would say these things stood you in good stead for the rest of your life! Also QLD seems to have more than a fair share of weather related events and I love how the QLD gov has preparedness ads and the website etc. i think its excellent. It is common sense but many people havent got much common sense, so many practical skills have been lost. Not by everybody but by many. I notice though there is a return to people wanting to learn everything from cooking and knitting to growing your own food et. Its a good sign! Have a great weekend after a busy week!.xxx

  3. I was going to say the same about the bath tub of water as Rhonda shared. Here in the deep South we do get the occasional snow or ice storm and power outages happen. When they do power can be lost for up to two weeks while damage lines are repaired. I also keep 1/2 gallon jugs (2 liters more or less) of water under a kitchen cupboard. I fill the jugs then use to water plants or rinse things off and refill with fresh water so there is always a fresh supply. Reminder to myself, I haven't done that in a few weeks so must return to it. I also keep a supply of matches on hand which makes lighting candles and charcoal so much easier.

    We put in a ventless propane gas heater a few years ago and have a gas stove which is a huge help, too.

    I also keep a list of the numbers in my cell phone on a separate sheet of paper. If we lose power, I could lose those numbers if I'm unable to charge my phone. And our phone does not require electricity. It is an old fashioned sort that you plug directly into the wall jack, not cordless, so if the power is out we might be able to use phone if phone lines are not down.

    1. Terri I messed up and your reply appeared a couple of comments down! Thank you for your comment! xxx

  4. Dear Annabel and friends,
    I'm just loving this series! One of the bits of information I picked up through the week was the box of Kraft Blue Cheese. You know the one that we grew up with. I was so surprised to read that it lasts on your shelf in your pantry. I looked it up and Coles still sells it. It says once opened to refrigerate it.
    I started getting a couple of things together this week and one of the items was two tins of dog food for our little dog. Honey normally has fresh meat, but what a good idea to build up a little "Honey Pantry" for her needs. I also thought it would be so handy if you had the household sick with flu, so you don't need to go to town for something like this. It's wonderful hearing your story as well Mimi.
    Thanks for the series Annabel. By jointing this group, it breaks this job down to steps that I can manage. Love Helen

    1. I remember that cheese! It was in a blue box and when you opened it there was a foil wrapper. We had it all the time. What a memory! I had forgotten about it!
      A little bit of progress each week will get us there. In a year we will be amazed! xxx

  5. Power out for up to two weeks is a long time! The old style phones are very handy in emergencies. Many people lose all their numbers the minute the mobile phone goes missing or is dead! You past experiences would have taught you a lot I appreciate your comments thank you!

  6. One of the things I did this week Annabel for my preparedness was copy 13 recipes into my cookbook that you gave me. They are favourites but I always look them up on the computer, and it dawned on me that I should have them written some where. I wrote out a few at a time, and today when I made your impossible pie and economical cake, it was lovely having the cook book open on the bench instead of running back and forth to the computer. A win win. Love Helen

    1. Helen I need half a day of doing that. Maybe one hot day I will... I take screen shots of recipes and they are on my phone. I need to copy them out into my book. I have a lot of 4 ingredient ones that look promising. xxx


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