They also need emergency things such as medicines, medications, first aid supplies etc because leaving someone untreated for the time it would take to get help wouldn't be an option. In fact Mum has treated people over the years that has saved lives from having a decent first aid kit.
Most of our Grand Mothers had pantries or supplies, maybe even a cellar. It was just the normal way of life to store up in times of plenty for times like winter, drought or maybe other hard times like sickness or unemployment. I love all of that! Nan used to make jam and pies from every bit of fruit in the orchard and lined up on her shelves they looked wonderful. Pumpkins were stored along the bottom of the pantry on the floor. If the power was out Nan didnt mind she used her wood stove. She made the best scones ever and always in her wood stove as she preferred it. And it attracted people, the warmth, the smell of cooking, we would all hang around the stove!
Somewhere along the line supermarkets and 24 hour shopping came in and made us all think if we want anything we can just run to the shops. We were slightly lulled into a sense of security that the supermarket was our emergency supply room. Except there are images of empty supermarket shelves in times of emergency like a massive storm approaching or a flood coming. Nothing on the shelves and nothing to buy! ATM's not working, shops boarded up, no power .... what then? People wandering around with no money as plastic is not working when there is no power! What would you do then? In the last couple of years I've noticed this happening so many times that I have lost count.
Common sense tells us we need some cash on hand, candles and matches incase the power goes out, emergency numbers listed, some emergency meals when plans go wrong, a first aid kit and some basics to address the most common scenarios. But still I know people who go into crisis if the power goes out for a couple of hours.
We have had things so that if things went wrong we have enough food to not shop for a week or two and manage to cook it without power. Enough candles to manage for a week or so for evening light.
I think having come from generations and generations of food storers, emergency preparers and planners it is in our hearts to be the same. That's why we look lovingly on pantry shelves of beautiful bottles and oils, jams and chutneys and jars and think ahhhh how beautiful. Sarah Ban Breathnatch wrote in iImple Abundance about the joys of "putting things up" in our pantries and making preserves as something good for the heart and soul. Something deeply satisfying about it. And sure enough my happiest times are summer when free or cheap fruit has come my way and I work my way through it making things! Joy!
Proverbs 31, being amongst my favourite verses, I know the woman is not afraid of the winter because she is prepared. And the Bible references how the ants work and how we should be. Well, the ants work like little maniacs storing up food for when the rains come. They are prepared and work so hard to be that way. Boy are they busy!
So with all this in mind and my long history of loving all things in jars and bottles something recently happened. This last couple of months I have had so many thoughts on food storage. I have felt a prompting, borderline nagging.
When we moved into this house three years ago we found there is a tiny cellar. It has been used as a wine cellar as it is set up for bottles. While I thought how handy, we have not used it. For one it is steep steps with no rail. I had a serious fall off a ladder several years ago and so ladders are not popular with me. But there it is, it's about the size of a walk in closet, room for one person, two if you are very friendly.
A couple of weeks ago my nagging feeling had me reading some preparedness blogs and gathering information. On blogs I read comments. Comments often are fabulous sources of information. I had checked that the page I was reading was current and it had just been written in November. And I start reading the comments and something happens....
The first one I read I feel a great sense of de ja vu. The lady is saying for the last two months she has felt a constant prodding to start a storage system. She feels very convicted that she has been prompted to do it. As I read more the next person and the next say the same thing! This is a US blog... so all of these people have felt an urgent prompting to stock up a couple of months ago. Well, they are all covered in record breaking snow now! Roads are cut, people are isolated inside in freezing conditions!
Can you even imagine how those that acted on their prompting and stocked up necessities are so glad they did. How wise were they!?!
So I feel prompted. And I doubt a giant snow storm is coming here but in the last year I know of so many reasons people have done better if they are prepared. From job loss, extreme weather, water contamination that happened to a blogging friend, shortages on the supermarket shelves and crazy prices due to shortages... in all these circumstances being prepared and having a built up pantry are the biggest help.
The final straw came for me when two friends I respect very much said things to me. One, when she found out I have a cellar, said that would be her dream come true! And another said she has been thinking the exact same things and has already purchased a storage system to build up her supplies... So that is IT!
Step one has been to get my husband to help me. We opened up the cellar and went down to plan. As I told him this whole story he was quick and happy to agree what a good idea it is. That's handy as I thought he might think it's silly! He will make the cellar better for storage, a system to get things down and back up again so we don't have to carry them while going up and down a steep ladder and a lighting system for if the power is out.
I am looking at this as a challenge and am going to post as I make progress and learn. If you would like to build up your supplies and preparedness then please join in, tell me what you do and how you do it and if you have problems with it lets try to find answers!
Loving challenges as I do this is quite exciting! Hopefully our supplies will eventually serve as a saving and insurance policy for us and our wider family as well.
Many of you will be well ahead of me, or even need restocking. Please give me any tips or advice you have. Lots of the blogs I read that are most excellent on pantries and storage are by Latter Day Saint ladies. As I understand their church encourages them to first work towards three months supplies in their pantries then to work towards one years supply. They are full of knowledge and wisdom on this (and experience!) If anyone is reading with this experience please share as you would be invaluable to me!
Normally I post on the blog Mondays then we have Feather your Nest Fridays. I will add to this series as I go in between sometimes as well for those that are interested.
I have to tell you a little thing. My friend yesterday mentioned how hard it is to find similar people to herself. She is a Christian lady, family orientated, loves crochet, sewing, keeping her home beautiful, gardening (pretty much the same as me) and I thought really it is through the internet that I have been able to cast my net wider and have made friends with similar interests and values. Location becomes kind of irrelevant! But on my own street I don't know of anyone who would even think sewing and crochet still exist, let alone cooking. Thankfully birds of a feather really do flock together and we can meet and chat regardless of where we live! And there is something else... there is an affinity as if God is the Father we are all sisters and that explains a lot of experiences where I feel such familiarity and understanding that seem surprising!