We have luckily missed out on all those nasty tornadoes that have hit Oklahoma. We still have caught the edges of the storm systems though. Enough that we had a tornado watch the other day. I’m still learning this stuff. Apparently the watch just means the conditions are right for a tornado to form. A warning means one has been spotted. All this is making me more and more aware of things I need to prepare for.
I’d rather not be a doomsday prepper but I don’t want to be stuck without resources should we get hit with a tornado or even a simple power outage. Right now I have stuff but it is scattered all over. There is no central location at the moment. I do have some basics down in the basement. Mostly water and blankets. My husband is building a home theater in there so I’m hoping I can get him to build me some shelves as well. Then I’ll work on getting more stuff down there. We’ll also be putting in a wood stove upstairs. This will give us the ability to cook and heat the house should the power go out. I’m not too worried about heat in the summer and we can cook on the bbq then but come winter I worry about heat.
As the summer progresses and the garden and CSA start bringing me goodies I’ll put up food too. It is expensive to stock up all at once so I’ll do it in little chunks. One thing I’d like to store but don’t have some tools for is wheat berries. It makes no sense for me to store it since I don’t have a grinder. Oh, I have my old coffee crank grinder that would work in an absolute emergency but it would not produce much flour for the amount of work one would have to put into it. It would take forever to get my standard of 25 pounds of flour. I bake enough that I start to get worried about having enough flour when I’m down around 5-10 pounds. Same with my butter. I get nervous when I don’t have several pounds of butter in the freezer.
I think this is all because I was raised to stock up when you can and then when things get tight with money or the power goes out there is nothing to worry about because the pantry and the freezer is full. I’m hoping to fill our freezer with at least half a hog this Fall too. I wouldn’t mind a pile of beef burger either but not a whole beef. We don’t eat that much red meat and it would end up going to waste. That would be sad. For the burger I’m thinking about talking to my neighbor that has cows. He’s talked about wanting pasture. I may see if he wants to trade a month or so of pasture for some cow/calf pairs for some burger come butcher time. It may end up being pasture for the horses too. I don’t know yet.
I’m not great at getting this stuff organized. I see all sorts of prepper blogs where they have such nice label and shelf systems. I find it difficult to spend money on that stuff. It seems to me that you should be able to do that without forking over hundreds of dollars for a system. We’ll see how I do I guess. I can see that mostly I need to get cleaning and labeling. That would help a ton.
I think I will start working on a prepper plan. Mostly getting the basics in one place (the basement). This way if something does happen I know where to look and I’m not running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I feel like this is more of a necessity since I’ve got the kids and plan on having animals. I’m responsible for them so it is my job to take care of them.
As far as groceries go I do need to come up with a good list of what our family will eat and what of that will keep. Also, in all the prepping lists/advice that I see it seems like they are headed for the backcountry with a pickup to carry it all. I see the being prepared as not just having a bunch of stuff but knowing how to use a few key items. Little things like a pocket knife (so long as it is kept sharp) can do pretty much all of your knife duty including emergency surgery if it came to that. Why do you think cowboys always carry one and mountain men always carried a knife? They didn’t have an eating knife, a scalpel, a butcher knife, and a veggie knife. They all carry one, maybe two knives. You say that is gross and what about the germs? Wash it well, dry it well, and sterilize with heat and/or alcohol. Any good knife should have a good edge and be razor-sharp. That being said, I’ve never done any good with getting my knives that sharp. I always watched my dad get his knife sharp enough to shave with. I’ve never been able to be that good. I think patience is the key to that.
Besides a good knife I think one should know how to cook from scratch, sew, and probably hunt and fish. You could survive if you know plants well but emergencies don’t care what time of year they happen so it could be that the emergency happens when the edibles are buried under snow. Then you’ll probably need to find food some other way. Depending on where you are that might be hunting or fishing. At the same time I think we live in a modern enough time this will only be in the most extreme situation or you live far enough from town that going to town is not an option. A good dose of herbal knowledge would be good too. If nothing else it helps identify plants you either want to eat or really want to avoid. Little things like knowing that the leaves of rhubarb are poisonous. Funny that you can eat the stems but not the leaves. Funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha.
So what I’m saying is that I need to work on my being prepared for tornadoes and power outages. We live far enough from town that this becomes a serious consideration so I need to get organized. There is so much “help” out there it can become overwhelming to me. I’m trying to not read it all and just go by what my folks taught me. I can expand after that. At least that is what I keep telling myself.