Monday, August 18, 2008

Food Storage Ladder

I often think of my food storage preparation by envisioning a ladder. As best I can I place the rungs in the most likely to occur order of events. This helps me to prepare for every needful possibility.

I start at the bottom and think of the things that I would like to have on hand if there was only a temporary, regular shift in our life like that of a job loss. An emergency that took our funds and forced us to shift focus, like medical bills or car repairs would be another example of the bottom rung. These kinds of emergencies would mean that I could still use all my freezers, refrigerators, stoves, appliances, electricity, have running water, etc. I just would like to have as much on hand as possible so that we could live on the comforts to which we have grown accustomed.

The second rung on the ladder is to prepare for a power outage. Still a normal inconvenience that happens in regular life. Whatever the case may be that caused the power lines to be down temporarily, I would like to know that I have the necessities to still feed my family without a stove, keep the house warm, running water (in the case of an electric well-pump), and have a way to keep my frozen food frozen.

The third rung on the ladder is a natural disaster like earthquakes and tornadoes. Many times we are forced to evacuate during natural disasters and so my ladder should also include Faith to prepare me for events that would cause my preparation to be outside of my own house. I would find that circumstances requiring that I leave home will be the ideal time to be thankful for our 72-hour kits.

When the disaster allows me to stay home I still must be prepared for inconveniences that are caused by them. Perhaps the grocery stores are down, electricity and water are interrupted. Maybe the rumbling of the quake or the proximity of the tornado caused all my foods that were canned in glass jars to break. Whatever the case may be, I would like to be prepared. Do I have alternate energy sources, water storage, ways to heat my home, and a source of food other than total reliability on home-canned foods?

The fourth rung on the ladder is a water outage. Perhaps this is more than a minor inconvenience, like a drought. Am I prepared to take sponge baths, cook and serve with dishes and utensils that do not need washing, and be excessively frugal with stored water? Concerning all of my dehydrated foods, did I use them first while I still had water available so that when it came to this rung I had foods in my pantry that didn't require so much water? Perhaps I have canned beans instead of relying on those that need to be soaked. This is not the time to put pressure on my food storage plans by requiring an unreasonably large reserve of water. I would like to maintain my water for hydration and sanitation.

The fifth rung may have even been combined with one of the previous rungs, or may only now be an issue. Most likely the grocery stores are no longer available. I know that during major natural disasters, even for those folks who were not directly effected, find that the grocery stores are not available for miles. Am I prepared to be self-sufficient when I have no back-up by quickly running to the store to grab something I overlooked in my preparations?

The sixth rung means that I have none of the previous rungs and now even the garden is off limits. For some reason the ground isn't producing food for us and we have no fresh produce to enjoy or to replenish our stock. This is when wheat grass juice and sprouts will be a life-saver, so long as I can water them. Most of all, I will be gratefull for the life-sustaining foods that the Church has counceled me to store and have a 30+ year shelf life. Now, I must utilitize the remaining storage to its fullest potential. Do I know how?

Finally, we reach the seventh rung. This is where my total reliability is on the Lord. My obedience and preparation beforehand will now allow me to have the faith that I have done all I could and now it is up to my Heavenly Father to provide for me and my family. If he chooses to do so through leading us to a source of food that I may have been unaware was available, or to provide us with manna or quail, then this is the time for miracles. Once I have done all I can, it is no longer in my hands. It will be the time that I must rely wholly on the faith that I have followed the counsel to prepare in every needful way and to have gotten my house in order, which includes the faith that we will be taken care of in the time of great need.

That is my Food Storage Ladder. I hope that as you obtain your food storage that you keep in mind the various rungs so that you are not caught unaware and can be prepared in everything you need physically, mentally and spiritually.