Monday, March 21, 2011

Planning Ahead

Before I start in on "Planning Ahead", if any of you are struggling a bit with staying focused on the true meaning of Lent (other than trying to maintain self-control if you've given something up), please visit, Kim's blog.  She is posting concise and challenging Lenten devotions each day and I highly recommended them.


I am the Queen of the Plan.  I love knowing what to expect in the days ahead so I can prepare for whatever is coming.  Nothing stresses me out more when something comes up unexpectedly and I'm not prepared for it in the way that I could have been.  Yes, I know life is unpredictable, but I am wired to anticipate what's coming and respond.  It's just who I am.

Because of my Queen-of-the-Plan tendencies, I find it interesting that while we plan our garden and plan how much food we want to put up, very little of our motivation to preserve stems from a desire to "be prepared" in case of a food shortage of some kind or an event that makes it difficult to obtain food from the store.  In reality, none of what we do stems from this motive.

We grow and preserve our own food because we think it's better for us and more economical so it frees up funds to share with others and is better for the earth (local food).

That said, in light of all the talk of rising gas and food prices AND the tragedy in Japan, it does make one think (yet again) about the issue of preparedness and planning ahead.  And, honestly, I struggle with this issue some.  On one hand, I want to trust God completely to provide.  On the other hand, He gave us brains to plan and think ahead.  On one hand, I don't want to live with a bomb-shelter mentality/paranoia.  On the other hand, of course I'd love to help provide for my family and neighbors if such a need arose.

So where does this leave me?  Well, Jamey and I have been talking more about this lately (in a very informal/casual way) and I've decided to start doing a couple things that will help better prepare us.  My friend, Amy, over at Homestead Revival recently challenged her readers to be deliberate about this and I'm taking her up on her challenge and will begin calling out what I'm doing each week (Saturdays, on her blog) to get ready for whatever may come our way.

Some ideas of simple things I will be doing are...

Storing water in used gallon milk containers.
Buy an extra bag of rice or beans each week and stash it away.
Think more about canning versus freezing (in case of loss of electricity).
Make sure we have clean water storage containers available outside to catch rainwater.
Identify a family meeting place in case of an emergency.
Stash matches and candles.
Create or buy a first aid kit with a battery operated radio.

I read what I'm writing and while it sounds just like me to plan, it's not like me to turn paranoid- and that is NOT what I'm doing and NOT want I want you to do.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
Matthew 6:25-27 New International Version

So, just to be clear, we are NOT worrying here, okay? We are planning ahead in a reasonable manner.  We are not building a bomb shelter or adopting some ancient alien theory.  We are just planning ahead :-).

Capiche? Pin It


  1. We have a food storage of sorts. We try to have at least six months of the basics on hand. Powdered milk, wheat berries, oatmeal, salt, yeast, flour, sugar, and water. Plus toiletries and other ingredients we use a lot of. I think being prepared is really important and personally I'd rather be the one helping others out than being the one in need.

    I've been reading Amy's blog too - it is great to hear that people are working on their food storage.

    I have heard that gallon milk containers are not the type of plastic you should store water in. It is better to use the plastic that apple juice comes in or other juices. Just thought I would share that little tidbit. I am sure there is somewhere online where you could find that info . . . sorry I don't have the reference for that!

    Have a great Monday.

  2. I saw something on GMA the other morning about having an emergency kit. This item really caught my eye. It's a hand cranked or solar operated light/radio/cellphone charger from LL Bean. I'm going to ask for it for Christmas! :-) (Hopefully I won't need it by then. HA!)

  3. Capiche. ;) (I love that you said that...)

    I'm doing the same thing...water in milk jugs (which is such a good idea that I read in the comments on Amy's blog, hadn't thought of that!) Extra rice and beans. Candles...matches...pretty much same as you...not panicking...just preparing. I think it would be such a shame to KNOW these things...but to ignore them...and NEED them later. I don't want my family to suffer because I didn't pay attention.

  4. Hate to sound paranoid and overly particular here, but....
    Just putting in my 2c--I agree with Judi in that milk jugs are not the safest thing to store water in. It is almost impossible to clean them properly and sanitize them sufficiently to store water at room temperature for the long term. Gallon juice jugs are safer. Or, the 2.5 gallon water jugs at the store are quite inexpensive, and designed to go long-term as long as the seal isn't broken. There are also containers of varying sizes designed for long term storage, which goes against the frugal nature of the project, I know, but probably would provide a better, more palatable product in the long run.

  5. Judi and AmyD.,
    Thanks for the information on water containers!

  6. I too struggle with the "not worried, but prepared" issue. I think your plans sound great.

  7. This is a very interesting idea. I will really need to think about this. It would be a good idea to try to imagine what those things are that we'd miss 'first' in case of an emergency. Obviously water! And then, if we lose electricity!? Much of our food would soon spoil. I don't think we're ready for medical issues either, so that's a good consideration.

  8. I'm a big believer in food storage. At the top of my list is 5-7 cases of water,25lbs of rice, 25 lbs of beans, packets of tuna fish,dehydrated fruit and CANDY... let's not forget about the candy!

  9. I just really love that you ended this post with Capiche. I just taught my 4 year old that word this week and she's been using it... in the right context even! I haven't heard anyone else say it in a very long time.
    I enjoyed the post, too, and will be thinking about it as I plan.

  10. I've found you somehow as I was off hunting down square foot gardening planners. I am enjoying your blog. It's quite relaxing...I can almost hear your voice. Weird I know, but that's just me. :)

    Anyways, I wanted to share that if your interested in storage made easy is a great site. Every summer they do these...tests where you 'pretend' x happens so you can learn what needs to be done and how to make x better if it ever happens. Ex: There's an earthquake and all your glass canning jars in the basement toppled over and broke. You need to turn off the gas (where's the big wrentch to do it?) so there isn't a fire. And, you also can't drive out of your area so you have to shelter in place. It's interesting and freaky-weird-fun. I know it helped me realize that having an 'er potty' is not "wasteful or a sign I'm too good to pop a squat" especially when you're pregnant. We added it to our kit.



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