It’s so easy to say that we are ready to handle a disaster but when we actually start to physically account for it we quickly realize that maybe we are not. Again I am acting as a visionary through the idea of an Emergency Management Professional walking through my home and asking me to show him my plan and proof of my preparations. I am going to call my imaginary friend “John” and we will be taking a journey into my plan for preparedness at the first stage which would be staying in my home and surviving for 30 days.
Today is my first visit with John and with clip board in hand he asked me if I have a staging area to track all of the things I will need to make it through the next 30 days. I show him the shelving units that I constructed in the garage and explain to him the plan I have.
I plan on creating area’s on these shelves for certain things which I started purchasing a while back from Home Depot. The were a bit costly so I purchased them in stages until I was able to complete what you see above. I also found a locking file cabinet on Craigslist for $25.00 that will provide for additional storage of things that need to be in closed spaces.
I have a lot of work to do, but my intentions are to break down different area’s of these shelves to create categories of survival. I will create area’s for water, food and bathroom supplies to start off. John said that there would be plenty of room on these shelves for these items and loved the idea of breaking things down into specific categories. He asked me what all the crap was up on the top shelf and with a little embarrassment I explained that they are certain items that I haven’t yet moved to a better storage location yet. He then asked me what tool I had in mind to physically track these things and I responded by telling him that I would be using a simple notebook to keep track of each category. “Excellent” John said, too many people try to create a small database on their computers or cell phones. The truth is that when there is no power the last thing we want to do is use up battery power to track inventory. The old faithful notebook is more than enough unless eventually you decide to turn it into a printed excel spreadsheet, but for now the notebook is perfect. John said he was going to wrap things up for today but will return tomorrow to discuss each one of these categories that I am creating for my storage area.
Before John left I stopped him and said, “I want you to understand something before we continue, I am a minimalist”. John’s eyes widened with excitement and told me, “Perfect, one of the things that most people forget about is the importance of purchasing in bulk. Too many people who proclaim to be minimalists simply keep the minimum amount of things which they use each day in their homes. The truth is that they drive to shop more and usually end up spending more than they need to when they do. Although it would seem controversial to store the maximum amount of these things it is actually a minimalist opportunity to only purchase those things that you actually use, while not purchasing those things that we really don’t need.” “Even if a disaster doesn’t happen we still need the basics to survive our daily lives.”
Great blog my daughter Kate runs a decluttering service in the West Midlands in the UK at http://www.roomtobreathe.org.uk and is always helping people to sort and store the things they need and use but equally helps them to get cash back by selling a lot that they don’t
Excellent! Thanks for the link. I will check out your daughters site. 🙂
I look forward to the rest of this series. Having an inventoried and well-thought-out set of supplies in case of, say, earthquake or other disaster has always been something I’ve put off until later. As someone who moves around a bit I can’t bear the thought of having to set up a new cache with every move. It’s one of those things that you don’t need it until you really need it.
For one who moves around a lot I would set up preps in a backpack. Maybe not 30 days worth, that would be ridiculous, but maybe enough to get through a few days and plenty of cash on hand.
Yes it is very good to store. I have done TP too and been going through older food to use it and then I am going to find more particle everyday food to store. The issue is using the old food requires other things to prepare it that, will be hard to find over the next 2 months. Next time I will have it so that everything that is needed to make it will be stored! For example: organic cans of stuff to make gumbo, is of no use if you do not have some kind of meat stored.
I know what you mean. I’m quickly learning that the staples are the most important because they store longer.
You are on the right track. We use this pantry rack to store canned fruits and vegetables. We also try to keep 6 months worth of dried foods like pasta, rice, beans–only the foods we regularly eat anyway, and no more than we would currently use in that time, and just replace as we use so it stays fresh. I also try to keep a supply of canned ham, chicken and tuna. In the event of a lengthy power outage, we would have frozen foods that would need to be eaten up (or preserved) as well.
I love that rack. It makes it easy to rotate canned goods. I’m currently looking at alternative sources of energy and putting together a 12 volt system that would provide light, electronics charged like phones and laptop, and even a small freezer.
I like the idea of having a John come walk through my home with me too…I san say that we could survive for at least 2 maybe 3 weeks without help….we have toilet facilities in the RV and a dull tank of cooking and heating gas, (for the life I cannot think of the name of the gas right now…LOL) so I can give us another 10 days at least….feels good to think about it and have a plan in place…I will go over this more tomorrow with my husband….never hurts to be ready for the worse….thanks for the great post and letting me borrow John….Happy Holidays to you and your family…keep dry up there in the Northwest…..make snow angels when you can….XXkat
Thanks Kat, Winter is upon us. 🙂
As a survivor of Hurricane Ike, I chose to “bug in” to protect my home from looters. Here’s what I would do differently today:
If I stayed (which I would never do again):
*Have a gas generator for minimal electricity to hear any news in English. Wind-up radios and flashlights suck. Your cell phone may not work.
*Have a Jet Boil to heat food (cold, canned food gets so depressing by day 3)
* Have a ton of bottled water
* Not count on my freezer to keep food cold st all
*Have lots of petrol on hand
* Have a chainsaw at the ready if downed trees trap you in your neighborhood
Next hurricane, I would bug out. It’s not the storm that’s scary, it’s people acting funny afterward, long gas lines, price-gouging of water, looting and constant din of chainsaws and helicopters.
*Have a paper map of back roads to take to drive to Dallas or Waco
* Take all Rx meds that need to be stored at certain temp with me
* Check road and traffic conditions post storm and check on house a week or 2 later.
I would also ad to have all important documents and valuables in the same location and ready to go if needed. What do think about having an RV or small motorhome as a bug out source?
The water in your water tank is an often an overlooked source of emergency water…
Wow, I never thought about that!
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