December, 2010

Where To Get Started in Food Storage Containers

There are three types of containers that are excellent for storage. The standard five or six gallon plastic bucket is the most common. They come in a variety of colors, some use blue for water for example. These are ideal for storing supplies such as food and non-food items. Examples include: Toilet paper, soap, shampoo, flashlights, batteries, etc. Spend a week or so and jot down what you use. Items that moisture will affect but temperature will not can be stored in the garage or storage shed. Give serious attention to how your family will cope when power is out and plan accordingly, utilizing pails to put books and games in.

There are two types of lids to use with the standard plastic bucket.  The less expensive alternative is a lid that you will need a hammer to put on. This seals the contents from moisture and bugs. To remove the contents the lid must be removed with a special device. The other type of lid is a “Gamma” lid. It is a lid that can easily be screwed on and off. Both lids come in a variety of colors.

The second type of container is a specialty bucket. It comes primarily in white. This bucket/pail has a removable lid. It is more heavy duty than the first plastic bucket. In fact, these buckets can be used to dispose of waste if need be.

The last type of container, which continues to gain in popularity, is the “grain vault” type. This container is typically oblong, made of durable plastic, and comes with a screw on lid. All of these are reusable and ideal for food storage. Water storage containers are generally different and we will discuss them next time. Until then, enjoy practicing self-reliance and getting prepared.

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Glenn Beck – Part 2

Picking up where I left off a couple weeks ago from Glenn Beck’s FB fan page (http://cot.ag/bZ3KH1) over 1700 men, women, and children responded with comments and a Justin Bieber like 12,000+ “liked” the post! Many comments were a sort of hysteria, which continues to plague preparedness in general in my judgment.

Some on the FB site complained about being broke and not being able to pay their bills as it stands.  I have some who buy my containers who have spent thousands of dollars on preparedness. Most customers buy what they need – some pails or containers for food storage for example. Some like the Gamma type grain vaults. Others like five and six gallon pails with Gamma lids. It does not matter.

I know men and women who refuse to be educated in matters of self-reliance because they are convinced they cannot afford it. Truth is, there are just as many who have figured out a system and they get everything they need without paying anything out of their monthly food budget. How can this be true you ask – let me share a few ways.

As I wrote on November 23, a disaster is NOT a prerequisite to making self-reliance a natural part of your food and water budget. Preparedness is about paying attention, and not following a certain religious practice. Mother nature is not a bigot or prejudice as demonstrated this past year in Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and California. Man made setbacks in Massachusetts (Boston’s “boil water order”), a well meaning construction worker in your neighborhood breaks a water main, etc. happens every day of the week. Having spare water and full pantry is just plain smart as situations arise regardless of your religion or income bracket.

Information is free and readily available at your fingertips. Here on the Internet, at your local library, and in some cases your local Church. The Red Cross and other organizations and companies have free classes you can attend to increase your knowledge, self-reliance skill set, and help you make a plan.  Applied knowledge is freedom from the bondage of status quo.  Preparedness is simply about being ready for those changes in such a way that you can adapt in a good way despite them.

Being prepared takes some effort. Most of us, including the person typing this, is hard wired for getting what we want, when we want it. That being said, what most of us are not aware of is that in some way we are already practicing preparedness. You carry a spare tire in your car right? You have insurance right? You watch the ads for sales to buy things for a good price right? You try to manage your money by watching what you spend and how you spend it, cash or credit card, etc. right? Being prepared adequately is about widening your circle. Increasing your own sense of comfort that allows you to be more present to the needs of those around you. It is a powerful way to live. The word is charity.

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Why Food Storage?

An Anthropologist from Notre Dame recently discovered people were storing grain long before they learned to domesticate crops.  The circular vaults were some 11,500 years before Christ walked the planet. More and more we discover storing food in today’s economic climate makes as much sense in 21st century America as it did over 13,000 years ago outside of Jerusalem.

Repeatedly I re-discover that which I believed were stable are anything but. One thing that I can count on is I will get hungry – daily. Food is something I cannot live without and next to water, it is one thing I will be needing when times are good or bad, emergency or not.

There are a community of men and women who are getting the preparedness message out. They have devoted websites, Facebook pages, and regularly tweet messages about being prepared. When you start to think about it, there are many reasons to store food and water.

Emergencies are but one reason, but often the reason most point towards. Another great reason to store food, cooking at home and making meals are but a fraction of the cost of eating out. Truth is, most of us already have a pantry and in some form or fashion we are practicing food storage. We buy the foods we like. We rotate food to eat only that which has not expired. Even the few “stick it in the microwave” meals I buy from time to time are rotated.

I recently started hanging out with a group of people who like to go camping or on long backpacking trips. Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are a staple in their bags (and they pack easy as well). This came in handy for me as I summitted the Grand Teton earlier this year. Getting the right balance of protein and carbohydrates were critical for our 20 hour car to car day. But if you are in an emergency situation, freeze-dried foods are easier to prepare and so have an advantage over dehydrated foods in certain situations.

Most do not understand our local grocery stores have enough food for about a week, based on normal purchases. In other words, to rely on the supply chains may backfire on you. It is prudent to have a week’s worth of food stored in your house. That way you will not be impacted during a natural disaster, which could mean a food shortage and out-of-sight prices for the food that is available.

Start today by taking an inventory. Get prepared. Utilize your storage space to stock the foods that will keep you and your family healthy and happy.

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