On the subject of preparedness, a lot of fellow bloggers have really got me thinking lately about how to make being prepared (to take care of not just my immediate family in an emergency, but also potentially extended family, friends, & neighbors, & lets not forget our animals) a way of life. Natural disasters are nothing new and will continue to happen anywhere with little to no notice (our weather may continue to cause issues as well since I've heard the Japan earthquake shifted the earth's tilt on its axis). We live in earthquake country and also in a small community in the mountains which means that relief supplies may not be able to get to us as quickly (& we may not be high on the priority list due to our small population and frankly looking at response time for hurricane Katrina I think we all learned we can't assume that our government will be prepared to offer assistance quickly).
So, for this week's preparedness challenge, I thought about the animals on our little homestead. We have a couple dogs that offer protection (and companionship of course). We have chickens that provide us with eggs (and soon, meat). Soon we'll have goats supplying us with milk (and possibly meat). In an emergency, fresh organic eggs & raw milk will be more valuable to us than they already are (as will fresh meat if our electricity should fail & spoil our freezer stores) in supplementing our dry food stores. Animals producing fresh food would also very likely be at risk of theft by those not prepared in an emergency, which is where the dogs come in as a deterent (ok, and also a gun or two). This week I realized that I must not forget about preparing food & water stores for our animals while I work on our own stores. So, I decided that at a minimum, I would strive to have at least a month's worth of extra food for our animals. In addition, I'm in the process of sorting through the recycling, pulling out gallon sized juice jugs which I will work on washing & filling with water for the animals. Its a bit of a blow to the budget though to buy double the amount of feed in one month, so this month I focused on the chickens & ordered extra feed in our co-op order, though given the fact that we've doubled the size of our flock this month, what I ordered probably doesn't quite amount to an extra month's worth.
Next trip to Costco, I'll add an extra bag of dog food. And I plan to work on an animal first aid kit. And, despite the ever rising gasoline prices these days, I'm going to try to make it a habit to keep our vehicles' tanks not less than half full. The reality is that my to-do list grows each week, and while that could easily start to feel overwhelming, I'm determined to feel good about the progress we've made, while staying focused on what still needs to be done.
This week, for the human members of our family, I also added extra pasta & legumes to my co-op order and picked up a dozen gallon sized jugs of water, extra juice, & canned goods at Costco.
Visit Homestead Revival for more tips on preparedness.