First of all I have to confess there is just nothing picturesque about my cellar just yet. So I am going to share some photos of the week! It was my birthday and I have to tell you what Andy did. He asked me what I would like to do and I said sleep in. Yep, that is a good start to me! So he snuck out of bed when he woke up and quietly shut the door. Now he has no van (as you know) and so he did mental calculations and estimated what time he thought I would wake up and how long it would take him to walk down the road to the shops, buy me a fancy breakfast and coffee, from a store he doesn't like (but I do) as a birthday treat! His calculations proved correct (and how predictable I am apparently!) and he had hot coffee, a lemon tart, roses and a card the mimute I appeared. This was what I got delivered in bed...
Inside the card was a little card Andy made on the computer with Bluebirds! :)
My family took me out to dinner as well so it was a really lovely day.
This is Mum and me... it is nice to get a picture with Mum. Lucy took this I think. It was just lovely!
Ok back to pantries...
Today I want to add something to consider. We have all seen images of empty supermarket shelves when there is just nothing left at all! Before a cyclone hitting or flood coming people move in and buy everything they can get their hands on if they think this may be their last chance.
But what are the items that are the first to go? The things that become valuable commodities in a crisis? This is something with a lot of variables. You can google this for your area as climate comes into it. And some areas are more prone to certain things... your area might experience flooding. Our area (the farm at least) it is bush fires.
This list will also vary according to the type of disaster about to hit. Is the power likely to be cut? Is drinking water affected? Maybe its a cash or supply crisis in which case it may be food and supplies that are low rather than utilities.
In a situation that means the power will be out for any length of time generators, torches, candles, matches, lamps, lanterns, wicks etc all fly off the shelves.
If clean water is going to be an issue every bottle and box of water will be gone from the shelves in record time. These are things we can't really even hope to find on the shleves by the time we make it to the store! Thats why preparedness is vital.
Funnily people rush to get all kinds of things. In an emergency they say beer, spirits and cigarettes are the first thing lots of people rush for! So I guess people rush for what they value the most and it's not always what you think!
It is worth while to think over what would fly off the shelves first in your area. Add these things to your pantry list and keep them on your emergency shopping list as well until you have them. This just gives you double the chance of having these items when you need them. If there is something vital to you that you know would fly off the shelves and be in shortage that is something you really need to stockpile if you can.
Some areas to consider are:-
Water. Drinking, cooking and for washing.
Food. You might be able to have a few days worth of fresh items then canned and long life goods, dried goods. If you have a baby this might include formula.
Fuel. Gas for cooking or wood for your fire.
Communication. Batteries for radio. Car charger for your phone.
Light. Torches, candles, matches, lanterns.
Warmth. Blankets, wood, gas burner.
Sanitation. Toilet paper, soap, feminine products, nappies if you have a baby. Plastic bags.
Medical. If you have warning filling your prescriptions is on your to do list. Fist aid kit. First aid book.
Comfort. The thing we know is if you are depending on your emergency supplies SOMETHING has gone wrong. Whether its a financial crisis or weathering a storm things are not usual. There is no time more than these that some comforts could mean a lot. It might be the ingredients to make a simple thing like pancakes or pudding. Or a stash of chocolate or the ingredients to make hot chocolate. A tin of sweets. What can you add to your stash that would bring some delight and comfort?
Pets. Think of stashing some dry or tinned dog food or whatever it is your pets need.
Sanity. Books, things that require no power to entertain the children. We used to play marbles and board games in long power outages. The kids thought this was fun! A deck of cards is really good.
Your own personal not negotiable list. mmm we all have things that we would be in dire straights without. Think of these and stash spares. One of mine is pain relief tablets. Bad headaches and migraines in a crisis is just not going to help.
Anyone who has been through a crisis will tell you things like toilet paper, deodorant, water to wash in, a toothbrush and tooth paste suddenly are worth more than gold to you. The things that keep us feeling human! The things we take so for granted but without them life is just awful.
It is impossible to be prepared for everything but thinking over these things and adding what we can, when we can, we can really improve all kinds of eventualities.
This last week I have seen THREE of my lovely blogger friends are having a very hard time affording food. And in two different continents. One wrote a very good artcile about it called Nobody's immune. And no one is.
And as I watched people targeted in Paris for going to their local grocery store I felt that if I was there I would not be going to the sotre for a while. That is terrible I know, we must not lose our freedoms from intimidation but I would still be thinking twice if I am honest.
So all around I am seeing convincing reasons to get my pantry and supplies built up to the best levels I can. It's as if I am being reminded how important it is!
I do have a photo offering of actual progress on the cellar. This is Andy fitting the shelves we found. After a clean up he got them down into the cellar and secured them so they are stable once loaded up. Amazingly they fitted just perfectly. So for zero cost we have good strong shelves. So I have these shelves, a bottle rack on the left and an area behind the steps that will fit buckets or boxes. All up I should be able to fit in a lot. Where Andy's hand is on the right is a kind of square cubby hole that is quite deep. I have stacked tarps, masking tape, candles and matches into that space.
Every step is a step in the right direction. I hope in my next post my shelves will have started to fill!
On Friday I am visiting a friend and getting to her place involves going right past a discount grocery store. I will visit there with my stockpile purse and high hopes.
In everything I find that taking lots of little steps gets you there. Whatever you can do this week to add a little to your pantry, build up your first aid kit, print out emergency numbers, set aside some food for storage, add a 10 litre box of water to your pantry... it all adds up week after week. At the end of the year we will have amazed ourselves!
I hope you are having a good week! xxx