September is National Preparedness Month, and this is part of our “Being Prepared” series.
If you already have the bug out bag, then you are ready to get started on getting the family prepared. So why not get started on your food and water storage? Don’t stop reading! The benefits far outweigh the cost and energy if these resources are needing to be tapped. Just think about some of the natural disasters that could occur. Hurricanes and tornadoes can devastate a community. What if someone in the family finds themselves unemployed? If you have food and water stored, not only could your community benefit but so could your family. And it can be done without relying on the government to hurry in and help.
How do you get started? I mean, when you really think about storing food in “prepper” fashion you automatically want to shut down. Don’t! When you realize the impact of having your own storage, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t started sooner.
- Baby Steps: Getting started is the tricky part, but when you start small it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. You are already at the grocery store getting a weeks worth of stuff, right? Well, if you know you’re going to get 3 boxes of mac-n-cheese, get 4. If you are picking up pasta, get another pack. It’s as easy as that! But don’t fall into the trap of using up all of your hard work too soon. If you find yourself needing to borrow from your storage, replace it with two.
- Use Coupons: This little tip can help you in your baby steps. If you are buying an item and have a coupon, use that savings toward getting another just like it. The plus side to coupons is that more and more stores themselves are giving out store coupons. You can double the savings at most stores if you stack a store coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon. Add to that, stores like Target with the Cartwheel App and Walmart with their Savings Catcher App, you can find yourself even more savings that can be used toward building your food storage.
What will you store?
- Store What You Eat: As you are just getting started, the best thing to do is start with what you normally eat. You don’t make everything from scratch do you? Then don’t start your storage that way. If you make box cakes or brownies, then start there. Remember, you are just starting out. You have to crawl before you walk.
- Build From Scratch: This is a little more advanced than most people are ready for. Don’t start here unless you cook from scratch. You know? Flour, sugar, wheat, oats and more. While these things are okay to have as part of your beginning stages of storage, start small and build from there.
Storing water? As crazy as that sounds, it is of equal importance to have enough water stored. Not only to drink, but you’ll need it to cook and clean with also. So how do you get started storing water?
- Easy vs. Hard: As you did with starting your food storage, start out simple. There’s really no easier way than stocking up on bottled water. You can also stock up on gallon jugs and those Culligan-style jugs. The hardest part of storing water is storing it! It does have a shelf life. The more advanced style of storing water is done in 55 gallon barrels.
- What you need: It’s pretty obvious that you’ll need water. You need containers to store it in, and a way to treat the water. When you are storing water long-term, it must be treated! You can do that with iodine tablets or bleach. Another method would be to filter the water when ready to consume, but costs go up with this method. Do your homework when it comes to treating and storing water.
There are a ton of great resources out there to help with food and water storage. Once you start looking, you’ll quickly find out that it would be almost impossible to list them all. So, here’s a few to get you started: