Monday, October 7, 2013

Home Survival Week- Hits and Misses!

Sometime last year this family decided that we needed to be more proactive in emergency food storage.  We were living on the east coast at the time and saw the devastation of several huge winter storms and hurricanes.  What stood out for us the most at the time was how poorly prepared most of the population was for an event that may cut them off from basic necessities like the grocery store, even for a matter of a few days.  On the east coast when a storm approaches everyone runs to the store to buy bread, milk and water. The water I understand, the bread and milk- not so much.  The same thing would then happen AFTER the storm.   Power would be out, massive flooding, you name it, and people were desperate to get to the store to get food.  It was mass mania and it was then that we decided that we wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem in a time of emergency.

If we were one less family that was in desperate need of food and water, then there was maybe a little more for those that really had a need. We did not and do not ever want to add to the mania.

Our plan was pretty simple.  Have four plastic tubs for food storage in case of an emergency.  Again, we are not stock piling for a zombie apocalypse or any such nonsense, but rather a natural disaster or state of emergency that would prevent us from leaving our house for a few days or more.  Preparedness- not hoarders.  Each tub would have enough food for a week to feed our family.  Four tubs, four weeks.  We felt like that was enough.  We do not live, after all, in a terribly remote location.  (though some would argue that South Dakota is such a place)

Since food does not last forever, we also decided that about every four to six months we would rotate those storage tubs and live off one for a week.  This would keep food from going bad and also allow us the opportunity to see how we would do. This past week was the first week of our Home Survival Week!  The rules were simple-

Eat only what was in the tub or what we had on hand in the house for seven days!
Yep, that's it.

Let me share with you our hits and misses!

Misses first!
-All of that prefab food.  There is a reason we do not buy it on a regular basis.  It is NOT delicious! And that is why it is easy to store with a million year shelf life.
-In the event we are stuck at home for any length of time our family could possibly die of scurvy!  I knew we ate a lot of fruit, I did not know just how much a lot was.  Our fresh fruit on hand was out in the first two days.  Our canned and frozen supply was not enough to keep this family happy.  At all!
-I should invest in powered milk or eggs.  (or a chicken and cow!)
-Our furry friends could possibly be out of luck!  Yep, I forgot that they were low on food and did have to go get them food.  Could not let them starve in the name of scientific experiments.
-Pasta may be easy to store but you do eventually get tired of eating it.

-Prepackaged lunches are great! I know, I said they were not delicious.  So says me.  My kids, on the other hand, think they are awesome.  They love this Home Survival Week stuff- it's like having a big 'ole party with food mom usually says NO to.
-Other than the fruit shortage, I calculated pretty well our food needs.
-There were no meals that the family revolted on eating.
-I can be creative when I need to.  I even took food to a church potluck and no one suffered or questioned what I brought!  Yea for our freezer and stocked pantry.
-We survived.

A few extra thoughts-
The next time we do this the thought process is to take away the convenience of stove and microwave as well as water.  (the kids can't wait)  As my dear husband pointed out, those things would most likely be gone in an emergency.  Pasta is great, but takes a lot of water to cook.  We are reevaluating what is in the bins for that reason.  I need to learn to pressure can!  I would much prefer to have those types of foods to eat off of rather than the processed store bought stuff.  Baby steps.  We also need to invest in water.  During hurricane season in the east we always had several cases of bottled water.  When we did not need it, we simply used it after the season.   I was pleased to find that we could probably survive on our own for about two weeks just on the stuff we have on a regular basis in the fridge and freezer.  Taking that into account, we could probably be fine for about 6 weeks on our own. Bored maybe, but not hungry.  Of course, if we are snowed in for that long, I WILL be moving immediately! I like the pioneer spirit, but I am not a pioneer woman, yet!

Overall, we had a lot of fun with our Home Survival Week!  Each night at dinner we enjoyed a lively conversation about what we had eaten that day and other survival "stuff".  We talked about what we would do if we had no heat (something our western SD friends just experienced for two days after their snow storm!) and what we would take with us in case of an evacuation.  We want our kids to learn to be prepared for anything life throws at us.

What about you?  Do you keep emergency storage kits at your house?  Have you experienced Hits or Misses in an emergency situation?  We are still learning and would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. There is always room to learn and grow!


1 comment:

  1. I may be in big trouble if I tried that from Poppa down to Little Man. :)


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