Taking Baby Steps in Preparedness
In breaking down your preparedness goals, the first step is to determine exactly what you want to accomplish. If you plan to set aside a little money each week or month to go towards your family's preparedness, you will be surprised what you can afford. Now is the time; make the goal to be prepared.
To start, you could plan a budget for buying emergency supplies that deal with water. A reliable water storage system, such as a 55 gallon barrel or smaller buckets throughout the house, is essential. Water is something that people often forget to store or procrastinate, perhaps because it's usually so accessible; we have a hard time imagining what life would be like without a working, clean water supply, and it's also hard to estimate how much water we're actually using. In fact, water should be the first item on your list of goals, because it is the most crucial item to have available during an emergency. Evaluate both portable and stationary water sources. You could also plan out a budget and save up to buy a great portable water filter or purifier. There are also different types of prepackaged water you can purchase, such as water in pouches or foil-lined cardboard "juice boxes." These small containers are excellent for small children and babies.
Another step to reach your preparedness goal is to set up a schedule of certain things you want to buy each month Maybe you want to be prepared by having 72-hour kits for everyone in your family. Perhaps you want a total preparedness package consisting of 72-hour kits and a year's supply of food storage for each member of your family. These kits and packages can cost a pretty penny, but when broken down into "baby steps," the cost becomes quite manageable.
One month, you could focus on researching and buying emergency preparedness items that deal with on area, such as warmth. This might mean looking for emergency blankets, sleeping bags, hand and body warmers, and wool blankets. Another month you could focus on purchasing items that deal with emergency lighting, such as 100 hour candles, kerosene lamps, light sticks, matches, or flashlights. It seems like a lot, but purchasing these items in stages will help ease the stress on your pocketbook and your time.
Once you've gotten to a comfortable place with emergency items, the next step is saving enough money to build up your food storage. You can accomplish this by setting aside a weekly amount and using the save money to buy canned food and cooking essentials at the end of the month. By rotating your food storage into your daily recipes, you can eat the foods you enjoy without worrying about expiration dates. One good way to rotate food is to buy 2 or 3 cans of canned goods, especially when they are on sale. This way, you stock up gradually rather than in one big splurge. If you actually use your food storage, the cost will never exceed the original investment. Remember, normal canned vegetables and fruits come in smaller cans, have a shorter shelf life, and can only stack so high. They are also packed with excess water, which makes them weigh more while also reducing shelf life. Freeze-dried or dehydrated #10 cans of food are packaged compactly and efficiently, and they can be stored over 5 to 30 years (compared to the 1 year shelf life of store-bought canned food). There are also plenty of resources that can teach you to preserve and can fresh food for use when it isn't in season. Check out your local library or an internet search for some pointers.
Another goal could be to encourage your neighbors and family members to start preparing for their own families. When figuring out gifts for holidays or birthdays this year, consider gifts of preparedness to help your family members and loved ones plan for the future.
Think about setting goals for food storage and preparing for emergencies. If you make a plan and a budget, it will be easier to get the things that you need without added stress and worry. Now is the time to get prepared. You can do it!