July 26, 2009

Stockpiling, Emergency Preparedness, and Food Security

Just a few minutes after I posted my weekly update on stockpiling last Monday, I caught the end of a news story on stockpilers. The story was discussing how many more people are paying attention to food security in the wake of the recession. There was a definite negative slant by the reporters on how these measures are driven by fear and anxiety. While I didn't see the beginning of the report, I found myself frustrated that they were so negative and emphasized hoarding behaviors in the piece.

What bothered me the most? That so many people I know personally do not have even the Red Cross recommendation of 3 days worth of food, water, and first aid supplies in their homes. Pieces like this tend to discourage them from taking precautions rather than encouraging them. What did I like about the piece? That they noted that emergency supply retailers are having more sales. I'm glad that there are more companies and retailers making products that are helpful. Years ago, I would not have been able to afford a solar powered, crank flashlight with radio. Now we are seeing these in mainstream stores.

In discussing the news piece with a friend, I said that if for no other reason having these supplies on hand makes my life a little easier. We all were sick with a winter cold this year, and it was so nice to not have to go out and buy food and treatments. During this experience with my grandmother this summer, it has been nice to know that we have food in the pantry and freezer so that I do not have to rush out to the grocery. Stockpiling also saves us a great deal of money. If I can get free canned pineapple with a coupon and sale, why wouldn't I? "I don't eat canned pineapple" you say?? Well, what about donating it to all of the food pantries around the country who are in serious need of help? Stockpiling has allowed our family to donate thousands of dollars worth of food and supplies during the last year. (I know because I keep a tally of how much we are able to donate)

I hope this better explains my purpose for these weekly updates. I hope very much that nothing ever happens in your family to warrant need for your emergency supplies. If it does, though, hopefully these coupons and deals will help you to have the things you need on hand. I've had too many people I know in circumstances when supplies and preparation were vital to not take precautions for my own family.

Below are shelf stable items that can be purchased free or cheap at stores this week:
  • Kroger Atlanta/Knoxville area: Thursday, July 30th Kellogg's cereal/cereal bars, Keebler or Sunshine cookies and crackers, and Eggo waffles are on sale for 50% off. These deals paired with coupons and the Kellogg's rebate can make for some very good buys.
  • CVS--Kashi cereal is on sale 3/$10. When you spend $10 on Kashi you get $5 ECB. Go here to view the coupons available.
  • Ingles Markets--Ingles brand of vinegar is on sale for $1.98 for 128 oz (large size). This is a little less than I paid for the same size at other stores. I use white vinegar for everything from house cleaning to making pickles. Ingles brand white rice is also on sale 2/$1 in one pound packages. Remember how I told you about making the rice bags here? This might make that craft project a little cheaper. White rice is a good stockpile item because it stores longer than brown rice.
  • Three Rivers Market (or any Co-op Advantage Store, go to the last page here to find one near you)--if you go into the store during the last 3 days of the month, you can take advantage of the Double Days Sale. You will be able to get the items from both the July and August flyers on sale. The August sales flyer shows some great buys on bulk goods. The organic rolled oats at 99cts and the organic yellow popcorn at $1.19 are the better of the deals on the ad. Remember that popcorn is a great stockpile item because it can be used for popping and grinding into grain.

Emergency Preparedness--Do you know how to perform CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver? Because I work in health care, I'm blessed to have those refresher courses paid for by my employer. Even if you are not in health care, ask your employer if these are ever offered or offered at a discounted rate. If not, contact the local branch of the Red Cross to see when classes take place. I performed the Heimlich maneuver recently at a church function, and I was so happy that I knew what to do in the situation. In debriefing with the ladies present, I discovered that none of them knew how to perform the Heimlich on themselves if they were to choke alone. When you are in the training, be sure to ask your instructor to demonstrate this procedure as well.

Food Security--I've recently encouraged you to be thinking about your fall vegetable garden. This week, I encourage you to think about adding edible plants to your landscape this fall. We had to take down a silver maple last year, and this fall, we hope to plant pecan or another edible in its place. Last fall we added blueberries, and this year we are already munching on a few. They have been lovely in the landscape, and I can't wait to see how they form a hedge in the next few years.

1 comment:

  1. So many people think that we are nuts for storing/prepping. Yet in the same breath these same people ask just how I keep my food bill for 8 people at around $100 per week. What these people do not know is a portion of this $100 goes to storing. Some weeks it is a small amount, some weeks it's a LOT.
    I just think too many think that preppers are like the guy in Tremors. So serious about his security that he can't function in the real world.
    I myself do not own one article of camo clothing. And frankly, do not want any. I'd rather not eat an MRE, but I will. See, we're not like him ;)
    Thanks for all you do and I can't wait to dig into your site even more!