Is your family ready for another long winter?
We all need just a few basics in life, food, water and shelter from the elements. Due to the fact that we all live in different geographical areas
that all experience their own climates I will just focus on the basics.
There is a lot going on in the world right now, a lot going on in our own country that is just getting stranger as time goes on. It has always been a
theory of mine that any major life changing national event might take place around this time of year. It is simply easier to control a cold and hungry
populous who are in need of food and basic services. I have thought this for many years, and this fall seems to be fitting the mold, but we will see.
I really hope not.
However, it is always a good idea to be ready regardless. I know a lot of people around here practice preparedness. I personally inventory my home at
this time of year and plan accordingly. Food and water are the most essential, so I will start there. Here is a link to a food calculator that can
help you to determine how much you may need of your basics for the number of people in your family or group.
Food storage calculator
We all need protein, carbs, fats, and fruits and veggies to stay healthy. In a survival situation we need to try and make sure that we have what we
need for our bodies to stay healthy. Multi vitamins are always a good idea to fill in the gaps that may exist in any emergency situation. It is also
important to realize that in most cases our physical activity levels will probably increase just to take care of the daily business of living.
This is harvest season, picking up what you can on sale and processing it yourself can make it cheaper and give you peace of mind that it is healthier
for your family. I have been canning and dehydrating for weeks now. For example dehydrated carrots and apples weigh next to nothing and can't go bad
on you. It is one way to have the preserved produce without spending huge amounts of money on the purchased emergency foods. I also can a lot of my
own food, I am up to almost 150 jars so far this year, and I have more to go. I am glad I found half gallon jars. One of my cheapest has been my moose
stock. A friend who went hunting gave us a ton of soup bones that would have been thrown away. Those along with 5 pounds of celery, 10 pounds of
carrots and onions each have given me almost 10 gallons, yes, gallons of homemade stock. That's not to mention the veggie stock that I made up with
just water and produce from my gardens that were not enough in amount or good enough in quality to do anything else with.
I have also discovered though that those #10 cans of powdered whole eggs and butter powder can be a life saver for stocking otherwise perishable
essentials. Powdered milk is also a great food storage essential. With those items and flour, I can still make bread and other sustaining meals for my
family without refrigeration. They make great camping food too, lightweight and easy.
Water is the most vital resource that we need to have access to. Living with regular power outages (we are under high wind watch now) I store my
water in stages. I have 3-5 gallons stored in my kitchen and pantry for drinking water. During the summer months I also have my rain barrels outside
with up to 30 gallons each in them. They make great toilet flushing and wash water for muddy kids. I have had to dump them for the season now since we
are freezing some nights. I also have 70 gallons of potable water stored in my crawlspace, just in case the outage lasts more than a few hours. Then,
in the event that any outage lasts longer than my 70 stored gallons of water, I have a freeze proof hand pump for my well.
Shelter can mean different things for different regions. I lived on the beach in
Hawaii briefly, and all I needed was a sweatshirt, a tent and a tarp. Now, at home in Alaska, and with kids to worry about, I have set my home up to
run as efficiently as possible without power. We have a woodstove, and at least 6 cords of wood split and stacked under cover. We also have another 4
to 6 cords of tree segments cut and under cover. Ideally, the intact logs will be next years firewood, but they are available if needed. Just make
sure you have plenty of matches. We also installed a Jotul gas stove that will continue to work without power. It runs manually or on a battery
powered thermostat. That was an investment in itself, but when our house was still 70 degrees after a 27 hour power outage during below freezing
weather, it was worth it.
My family has been working toward this goal for years, I understand this can't happen overnight. However, any back up that we can have could prove to
be invaluable. We actually lived off of what we had in our home for a winter due to several chaotic events in our lives. That also showed me where we
were lacking and what else I might want in the house.
It's also a way to insure that we can be in a position to help out our friends and neighbors, as well as any family that might be able to get to us.
We have a heated home regardless of circumstances. I have also acquired extra blankets and bedding to accommodate any unexpected house guests.
We live in an uncertain world. Weather and governments alone are unpredictable enough for me to go into any winter season ready to come out the other
side on my own. Hopefully some of this can be helpful to somebody. I will be happy to discuss any of this with you all in hopes that just maybe it
can help someone.