November 17, 2009

Stockpiling, Emergency Preparedness, and Food Security

Wondering why you are seeing this post on a couponing site?  View my posts here and here to find out why I believe these issues are important.

StockpilingI haven’t had a chance to gather the best deals this week yet.  Since the week shows no chance of slowing down, I’ll encourage folks to consider taking $1-$5 from your weekly grocery budget to use for building your stockpile.  There are some great buys on Thanksgiving items this week just about everywhere.  If you are inclined to donate to food pantries, they are often in need of shelf stable meats.  This week Walgreens is running a sale on their canned ham at $1.99 each.  No coupons are needed for the deal. 

Emergency Preparedness—How much self defense do you know?  How cautious are you?  My best friend in high school was a black belt in Taekwondo and her father was an instructor.  I took for a few years and learned a tremendous amount during that time (plus it was fantastic exercise!)  If you’ve never taken any self defense or form of martial arts, I encourage you to seek out classes in your community.  Many offer short courses specifically geared towards self defense.  Not only will you be supporting a local business, but you will also learn a very important skill.  Even if you have taken in the past, you might want to brush up on your skills or simply go for the exercise.  Below are a few more steps that I take to be cautious.  I’m by no means an expert.  These are tools I have learned through both martial arts and basic self defense taught at work. 

  • When I’m working at night or have to go to my car in the dark, I ask a security guard to escort me out.  If I know it might be dark when I leave, I try to park close to the building and near a light. 
  • I often carry my keys in between my fingers if I needed to use them for self defense. 
  • I make a habit of locking my car doors when traveling.
  • I try to remain alert and without distractions when walking in vulnerable situations.  (No cell phone talking.  I look around and remain aware of the situation. I make note of where I am and how to get to my car or the building as fast as possible.  Don’t look like an easy target).
  • I’ve heard to scream “NO!” at the top of your lungs if ever attacked.  The speaker instructed that it often brings more people to help you than saying “Help”. 
  • I’ve heard that the secondary location is almost always a worse situation.  My instructor said to fight and do whatever you can to get away if someone is trying to take you or your child to another location. 
  • I keep my cell phone available if I need to phone for help.  

Food Security—This week I encourage you to check your food storage.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • As part of checking the food storage, check the temperature in your refrigerator and freezer to see if they are at proper temps. 
  • Check the seals on the fridge and/or deep freeze to make sure that they are sealing properly.  Use a damp cloth or one soaked in vinegar to clean around the seals so that they are free of debris that might interfere with their sealing. 
  • See what might need rotated out of your freezer to be used this week. 
  • In your dry storage, check to make sure you do not have any bugs that might have infested your foods. 
  • Make sure your dehydrated foods do not have any mold or signs of moisture. 
  • Check your shelf stored vegetables and fruits for spoilage or sprouting. 
  • In  your refrigerator, check for what you can use up this week to make room for turkey dinner.  Jars of pickles or olives with only a couple in the jar are taking up valuable storage space. 
  • Give your fridge a wipe down so that it is neat and clean for when holiday guests come for a visit. 
  • Make a little extra room in  your food storage/pantry for the holiday sales on canned goods, spices, extracts, and stuffing mix. 
  • Try to organize your shelves so that you are able to see how much you have of a given items.  Group like items together.  Keep the “first in, first out” mindset.
  • If you use baking soda to help keep odors at bay in  your fridge and freezer, now might be a good time to change out those boxes.

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