Just today it was all over the news about yet another string of storms that had triggered tornados and left a path of destruction. A couple weeks ago it seemed like the whole world was erupting in a series of earth quakes. Then there is the economy….wow! It’s true that the only thing that is certain is change, so in an effort to feel a little safety and comfort lets store some basics.

It takes a minimum of 3 days, that’s 72 hours for help to reach us in a disaster. You always hear on the news the whining and crying of people who have no food or water and they wonder….where is the government? Why aren’t they helping us? Well people it takes 3 days or 72 hours to organize and reach a disaster to provide help. So a 72 hour supply of food and water is a must, pack it in something you can grab and run with in case you have to get out. We’ll discuss more on this later.

A 3 month supply of basic food and water can help with money issues, emergencies, temporary unemployment or illness. The relief of not having to worry about what your family is going to eat while you recover is fabulous!!

Then there is the 1 year food storage plan. This sounds daunting, not only where to start but where to store it? Well the only thing we’re going to talk about right now are the very basics of starting. So relax, take a breath, it’s not hard to start and the payoff will be great.

Step 1: Designate a area in your home where you can keep your food storage. Ideas…..the back of a closet, the top shelf of the closet or the pantry, add a shelf in the laundry room, stack boxes of stores and cover with fabric to use as end tables, look for space under your bed, I have seen people stack 10lb cans of storage then place plywood over top and then the mattress for a very efficient platform bed, we all have a little space somewhere.

Step 2: Each time you go grocery shopping, pick up a few items that will store for several months to add to your storage. Start with food items, but don’t forget to begin to add things like personal hygiene items, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.

Step 3: Stock up on items when they are on sale, and buy in bulk when practical. Be sure to check expiration dates when you purchase, will they last several months?

Step 4: Buy only items you know you’ll use so you can easily rotate through your food storage. When you start your long term storage you’ll want to look into food basics such as wheat, rice, beans, life sustaining foods. But to start, buy things you know you will use within a reasonable time, such as 3 months

Step 5: Store water in sturdy plastic juice or soft drink bottles that you have emptied and rinsed completely. All kinds of scary stories about bph in the news, check labels and packaging materials. You should have enough water for a very minimum of 1 gal per person per day for 3 days to survive. 3 gallons per person would be so much better. Use it, rotate it, every few months, replacing bottles as needed.

Step 6: Order basic long term food storage such as wheat, oats, flour in bulk from a trusted organization. Places such as preparedness.com. There are lots of them out there, watch your budget and focus on your family needs. Don’t panic and get scared into buying way over your head.

Step 7: Designate a percentage of your monthly budget for food storage. It’s just like we are always taught to pay ourselves first by putting money in the savings account, put food in your pantry.

Step 8: And here we nag you about putting a percentage of your budget into a savings account, pay yourself! It’s also very handy to have a little cash on hand in a safe place. If you have a disaster, or have to leave suddenly you may not be able to get to the bank

Step 9: Help each other with food storage by giving food storage items or money for savings accounts as gifts. How many times do we get a gift that we have no idea what to do with or maybe even what it is? Why not give the gift of peace of mind.

So start with a 3 month supply, then begin to add another 3 months and then add to that until you have at least 1 year of storage. We’ve been through extended unemployment and found that with some creativity our food storage lasted much longer that we thought it would and brought a great deal of peace of mind. Times are tough, money is tight, but start now and start small and start smart! We don’t know when things will get better or if things will suddenly take a down turn in our own lives, so prepare a little each payday and buy yourself some peace.