Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Be Prepared

Last week, I ordered five pounds of powdered whole eggs. For the curious among you, that's the equivalent of 340 whole fresh eggs. That should last us a year or two.

Be Prepared. Growing up in a good Scouting family, I heard that a lot. But to my young mind, that meant things like taking an extra pair of socks on a hiking trip, and making sure the first aid kit always had bandaids in it.

Now I'm a grownup, and being prepared has taken on a whole new meaning. As an adult, I have to wonder about things like terrorist attacks. Earthquakes. Bird Flu. Not worry, because I can't worry about things I can't control or I'll drive myself batty, but wonder. Will it come? When? What will my world look like if it does?

I read a lot of forums. Some just for fun, some for tips, some for serious discussions about saving money and getting out of debt. A couple have whole sections about being prepared for emergencies. And these people are PREPARED. They have their stockpiles. They have food, water, cash (because in an emergency plastic will be hard to use), some have gasoline, they have car kits, backpack kits, stay-at-home-without-leaving-for-a-month kits, all kinds of kits. Me, I'll have my powdered eggs. And I'll bow to their level of preparedness, because I'm not sure I can do it.

I've read some articles about Bird Flu. Some say that the reports are overblown and there's nothing to worry about. Some say that every chicken in the world will need to be destroyed (this explains my five pounds of powdered eggs). Some say that when it hits, no one should leave their house for a while. But, it'll take two years for it to run its course. Our own goverment says that water, electricity, and other services could all be disrupted for an unknown period of time. So we all have to be prepared. Put together our 72 hour kits and then some.

But how much is enough? How much is too much? At what point have we slid down that slippery slope from rational precautions to end of the world, Chicken Little, mass hysteria?

Being a compulsive grocery shopper, and a sometimes bargain hunter, we always have about a month's worth of food on hand. We have no water saved up, however. Sometimes this bothers me and I wonder if I should start stocking up on 10 gallon bottles or something. But where would I put them? Space is already at a premium in our 1200 square foot house. It would take some creativity to figure out where to put 10 days worth of water for the two of us plus our three animals, which is the number I've read on some websites. If disaster happens and we can get to the inlaws', we can get water from their well, so maybe that's why I'm not overly concerned on this point. Of course, I should be thinking "what if we CAN'T get to the inlaws'???"

Another area I'm not ready is pet food. They eat it all, we buy more. Unless a disaster happens when I've just made a Petco run, Hershey and Ringo are going to have to send Puck out hunting for them.

So I guess I can say I'm halfway ready for a disaster. I still feel like a good Scout. I'm prepared. Maybe not completely, but at a level I'm comfortable with. I'm cautious, but not panicking.

How prepared are you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Okay, we are semi-prepared. We have a wood burning furnace. It works like a gas furnace, connected to heating ducts, so it heats the whole house. If an emergency should occur, we could all hang outin the basement, as the furnace would keep it warm down there, probably no where else in the house. My house is roughly the same size as yours, plus we have 3 kids, and 2 dogs, and a cat. We have no water saved. I think we may have to store it in glass, though, as I have heard plastic can deteriorate. I have a lot of canned goods, but we have had to go through them lately, We have some, but not the usual amount which I can look at and feel satisfied. DH keeps cash on hand, but probably not enough. Never over a grand. (that I know of)... we have lotsa squirrels in this neighborhood-it might get to be time for the bbgun, lol! Really, like you said, we are not in control, God is.
'nuf said.