This morning, I was directed to this new site found on LDS.org on self-reliance: Self-Reliance.
It's not got a ton of information, but there are some great quotes and ideas about becoming self-reliant. I love that half of the content under self-reliance resources talks about the importance of being self-reliant so we can, in turn, help care for the poor and needy.
Preparedness doesn't always happen in ideal conditions or situations. It was very difficult for our family to collect and store a three-month supply and even harder to store longer-term storage items while we moved around the country and lived in small, temporary spaces. We tried to take as much storage as possible each time we moved. In some cases where moving storage was not practical, we sold or gave away some of our storage supplies.
Properly packed home storage products were very difficult to find when we lived in New York. I remember spending hours calling around and contacting companies just trying to find storage buckets and barrels (which I never found). In the end we participated in a group home storage purchase and items were delivered in a huge truck for many of us. I left some of my storage with my friends in New York when we moved, but I actually wish I would have given them all of it. It's so easy for me to get it here in Utah now.
My husband tells a story of incredulous looks as neighbors, not familiar with home-storage, helped to move their family. They responded to many questions of "why do you have all this food/wheat?" It was a wonderful opportunity to share their beliefs and testimonies of having home storage.
I love this talk where Sister Silvia Allred, 1st Counselor in the General Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explains how they adapted their home storage to many moves and less-than ideal conditions. "My husband’s job required our family to move to Guatemala City. I had to leave behind our food storage. Once we were settled in our new home, I began to plan our food storage. The first thing we did was buy wheat. To our dismay, the 200 pounds we bought were moist. We had to dry the wheat before we could store it. It was the rainy season in Guatemala, and it rained a little almost every day. I found myself spreading wheat in thin layers out in the sun for what seemed like forever. We learned to be more careful about what we bought for food storage. Six months later, we moved to Costa Rica and again had to leave my precious wheat behind." (Principles of Self-Reliance, Silvia Allred, BYU Women's Conference 2008).
You may not have to dry your own wheat like Sister Allred, but you might be in the military or at college. You might be living with family or struggling from job to job. You may be in a situation where you change locations every few months. In any case, you can start and restart your home storage as much as needed. All you need is an extra can of something to start over. Something is better than nothing. Even a college student can keep a bag of extra food supplies under their bed. And who knows, you might bless others with difficult-to-find storage items if you have to leave your storage behind.
Sorry about the multiple posts teasing this topic. We've continued to be sick and busy.
Recently I read stories from several individuals who lived off their food storage either out of necessity or as experiments. The surprise? They all felt like their food storage was very bland. They missed things like ketchup and spices. They also missed fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, and butter.
It's worth a little time to consider how you can add these items to your home storage. Eggs and butter are difficult and expensive to store. They also require fairly regular rotation. But ketchup, sauces and spices are all easy to store with some-what lengthy shelf lives. A garden can help you supply your home storage with those fresh fruits and veggies.
Here are two links with personal experiences:
Lessons I've Learned While Living on our Food Storage for the Last Two Years (Deseret Saints Magaine, Brandy Simper, July 2009)
Has anyone had to live off their preparedness supplies? (Pinching Your Pennies, various authors, February 2009)
Labels: Three-Month Supply
Once again, we've been sick with the stomach flu. And once again, we were glad for our food storage. The lessons that I learned during the first round of sickness paid off. We had chicken noodle soup, crackers and soda on hand. We even had enough for our guests who were also sick.
We did make a trip to the store for some over-the-counter medicines over the weekend. I actually had just cleaned out my medicine bin and discarded quite a bit of expired medication - and consequently had not replaced some things. I need to remember to rotate and replace those medications more regularly so as to not be caught without them.
I was also diagnosed with pneumonia three weeks ago and it's taken quite a while to bounce back. I was quarantined for about a week. For treating the pneumonia, I was glad to have a working humidifier as well as bleach and vinegar to clean it with.
I needed to wear a mask in order to protect others around me while I was contagious. I discovered that I'm not a fan of the more-firm n-95 masks that I stored. They were quite uncomfortable and not very adaptable. I ended up choosing to use the surgical-style masks that I was given at the doctor's offices. So, I'll be looking to add some of those to our storage once I'm fully recovered.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you've avoided all the sickness that seems to be circulating.