We can all prepare without hoarding toilet paper or stocking up on 80 zillion rounds of ammunition. No offense to those who do that, you have a different calling. My call is to lead others to be prepared and support a revolving provision of donations to hungry people in our communities today, sans disaster. If each of us is at least minimally prepared with 2 weeks of water, food, and basic supplies we can stay calm and get through a crisis or get through the first part of a more prolonged disaster.
The plans I’m sharing will help ensure that you will always have the freshest stock available for your family and your neighborhood while being able to regularly donate to local food pantries. You can’t donate 200 hundred year old Jell-O® or evaporated milk past the “best by” date so keeping your stock fresh and rotated is key. Canned and dried goods last a lot longer than the best by date or even an expiration date may indicate, but why hold onto something that you may need tomorrow but for sure can be used today to benefit someone?
You can start today. If canned corn is on sale for .33 cents buy a can and put it in a special spot. Behind your sofa, in a cabinet, under a bed. Once you purchase your first canned good be sure you own or buy a hand-operated can opener. You can get a really solid manual can opener for under $10 or as little as a $1 from a dollar store. Please get one.
Get excited that you came here today for a reason! Take an action to prepare for your family. Click around to see budget plans, ideas to build your water supply, menus, a donation schedule, and more.
Do two things right now:
- Fill an empty plastic jug or two-liter plastic soft drink bottle with water from your tap (faucet). This will be for sanitation use, not drinking. If you have it, add about 8 drops of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach to each gallon. That’s about 4 drops for each two-liter bottle. This may make the water drinkable in an emergency.
- Buy bottled drinking water today on your lunch hour, on your way home from work, or add a trip to the store to your other errands. This will be the start of your drinking and cooking supply.
Store this water in your designated emergency storage area. (See the article on Storage for more information.)
Next, take action to intentionally add to your water supply until you’ve gathered a 2-week supply for your household.
Remember that’s 56 gallons (about 12 cases) minimum for a family of four or 14 gallons (about 3 ½ cases) minimum for an individual.
This supply will be mainly for drinking but there is also an allowance for very basic hand-rinsing and food preparation. (That’s for any of you who determined that most people need to drink eight 8 oz servings and quickly deduced that to be about 4 typical bottles per day, making a case of 32 bottles enough for 8 days. Good thinking. Now add in the other things you’ll need water to accomplish like brushing your teeth, rinsing your hands, rinsing anything…..we haven’t even addressed getting the toilets to flush yet.)
You’ll be able to donate bottled water regularly to keep your supply fresh. Local food banks and pantries almost always need bottled water. Your donation rotation schedule will ensure that you donate water within the best by or expired by dates to the food pantries in your community and be a blessing the others.
Check out the budget plans for building your 2-week emergency water supply:
The Get it All at Once Plan (Water)
The No Money Plan (Water)
The A Bit at a Time Plan (Water)
The Money is Not an Issue Plan (Water)
RESOURCE – Check out the International Bottled Water Association website at: http://www.bottledwater.org/education/bottled-water-storage for more information on bottled water storage and more water-related education. I know!! Who knew there was an association about bottled water?