With everything that's going on in the world today,between wars,battles over oil,food recalls and an unstable economy,what does one do exactly to try and protect themselves from what could become another depression,or as many have come to call this The Great Recession?
There are a few steps you can take to protect you and your family.
First I would sit down and have a family meeting,or household meeting,keep everything out in the open,talk about finances,keeping the pantry stocked,who's responsibility it is to do what as far as chores,etc go.IF you are highly invested in the stock market and you're panicking as you watch the prices continue to fall,stop....just stop.....
For safety sake,now might be a good time to talk to an investment specialist,since I am not one,that's the best advice I can give you as far as the stock market goes.
Now,at home,that's a subject I can give some open advice about.
Let's take stock of what you have in the pantry.Get out your pad of paper and a pen or pencil,and make a list of everything you have a full package of in the pantry,cupboards,upstairs,downstairs,where ever you stash your stuff.Don't forget the freezer as well.
Depending on how many people live in your house,your numbers will vary widely.
Now that you've taken an inventory of what you have,let sit down and figure out what you need.The average American household only keeps about a one day supply of food in the house,that needs to change,right now....
Start by making a list of everything that you normally buy(excluding fresh produce and refrigerated items),from applesauce to bottled water and everything in between.List everything,ketchup,toilet paper,batteries.etc..anything you normally purchase on any given shopping trip.
Now take a guess at how many of each item you would normally go through in about six months.This is going to be the starting point for building up your pantry.There is nothing more comforting during an emergency than knowing that you don't need food,water,batteries,etc,etc.
I am not going to tell you to go out right now and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars and buy everything you need all in one trip,that would be insane...BUT you need to start building up your pantry.It doesn't matter if you're a pro coupon queen,or just an average shopper,but you need to build up your stash of non perishables(non refrigerated or frozen items),so that you and who ever lives in your house have about enough to get through six months.
To do this,you can simply buy a little extra every time you shop,let's say you need 12 cans of corn,but can only afford 2,so get two,put them in the pantry,and next time get 2 more....build it up as you can without causing any hardships anywhere else in the house.
If you garden,or can/dehydrate foods,that's even better.The sense of comfort that comes from having a pantry well stocked with food you grew yourself is priceless.
I'm keeping away from cold or frozen foods for one major reason,in a power outage,without a generator,you will not be able to keep that stuff cold or frozen for a long term emergency,period.By filling you pantry with canned,or dried foods,you will still be able to sit down to a good meal,and not worry about keeping things cold.If you have a generator,great,but for many it's too costly to be included in the list of needed items.
You also need to keep bottled water on hand,although six months is a little hard to plan,try to store as much as you have space for,figuring on one gallon per person per day....but you also need water to be able to cook and keep clean.In an extended emergency,quite often just being able to stay clean is extremely important,especially if the local water supply has become contaminated.
This post is getting a little long,so we'll stop the lesson here,and continue on in my next post.