We try to each contribute to every post. Our differing experiences, methods, where we live, and everything else that makes us individual can help our readers. These are our stories.
Kate’s Story: I began prepping because I am a mom. I have three kids; a boy, 15 and two girls, 12 and 6. And as any mom can tell you the idea of not being able to feed my kids or keep them safe is terrifying. My family began storing extra food as the result of two storms, eight months apart.
The first was a November wind storm. It left my city neighborhood looking like a war zone with all the downed trees and downed wires! We were without power for 4 days. Then the next June/July we lost power for 2 days. The power was restored but then went out again for another day.
The first storm was more widespread. Most stores, restaurants, and gas stations were without power and were closed. The stores that had generators were open but the shelves were almost immediately emptied of essentials. I couldn’t even find a loaf of bread. They were out of milk, eggs, cheese, meat, ice, diapers, formula, and baby food. We lost all of the food in our refrigerator.
The second storm hit very late in June and the outage lasted into July. We had a chest freezer but it was in our back porch/mud room which warmed up very quickly in the summer heat. I believed that not opening the freezer would keep everything safely frozen but we lost everything. The food in the refrigerator was saved only because we moved it into coolers very quickly. Because the outage wasn’t as widespread as the first we were able to find ice.
Both times the food loss cost hundreds of dollars and I became aware we were woefully unprepared. We’d believed that, living in the city, we were protected from long power outages and that assumption cost us a lot of money!
It also showed us that we were just days away from not having enough food in the house to make a full meal. I was certain that, even though I tried to keep a good deal of food in the house, we would be eating vegetarian after a week without power. After 2 weeks we wouldn’t have much more than Ramen Noodels to eat.
I began to wonder what if something bigger happened that kept our power out for even longer. How would we feed our children? How would we feed ourselves? What about our dogs? I began to look up information on how to keep long term food storage. A 72 hour kit wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted to be able to thrive if we were without power and without being able to purchase anything for a month, 3 months, 6 months or a year. My goals became larger and larger as I continued my research.
I see too much going on in our world and that cements my decision. We are one catastrophic event away from needing our food storage to sustain us long term.
Emma’s Story: I became disabled in 2000 due to a doctor’s mistake. We lost more than half our income when I could no longer work and our sons were still teenagers. And teenage boys can go through a lot of food! One day I looked in our pantry and realized there was almost no food. It terrified me! Although we were unable to purchase extra food at that time I was determined, like Scarlett O’Hara to never be hungry again. After my husband retired we were actually in a better financial situation and I began to purchase extra of the items my family ate. If I used a jar of something I added 3 to my grocery list. That way I was replacing what we’d used and starting to build a little stock. I did this with everything from food to cleaning & paper products.
My husband tolerated my extra purchases but he wasn’t really enthusiastic. Then came our epic ice storm. In the wee hours of the morning, before dawn, I let our dogs out. Instantly we heard what sounded like gunshots. That’s not uncommon in my rural area but we’d never heard them so close and coming from every direction. The dogs hightailed it back inside and I was left wondering what had spooked them so much. When the sun started to rise I could see why they didn’t want to be out there. Everything was covered in thick ice. Major branches from nearly every tree on our property had snapped under the weight of the ice. As I stood in the doorway even more branches broke causing that gunshot sound we’d heard earlier.
The roads were, of course, all but impassable. Just getting out of the driveway would require moving some major tree limbs. And it was impossible to begin clearing the driveway until the last of the trees broke and it was safe. My husband looked a little worried about not being able to get to town but I reminded him that I’d stored enough food and water that we could, except for fresh produce, get along nicely for weeks. But that statement made me realize there were gaps in my stock and so my preparations continue. But with more support from my once reluctant husband.