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I’m not sure why Summer seems to be the time of year when we pay more attention to preparedness, but I know that’s been the focus for my congregation this past month; it’s worth noting that leaders of the LDS Church have advocated preparedness for something like a hundred years, but there does seem to be even more emphasis recently on being prepared, both spiritually and temporally…  (heck, even the US federal government has jumped on the preparedness bandwagon in the last few years, so that’s really saying something since Washington is usually the last one to the party on most truly significant issues…  😛 )

I think preparation is something that you have to integrate into your lifestyle, make it part of who you are — there are some exams in life that you just can’t cram for!

for spiritual preparedness, I refer you simply to Exodus 20:1-17, which contains the Ten Commandments (altho’ most people — even those who profess to be Christians — have relegated them to the status of the Ten Suggestions; see Isaiah 29:13 and also Isaiah 5:20)…

for temporal preparedness, there’s an abundance of resources online, starting w/Ready.gov (sponsored by the US Dept of Homeland Security) and Provident Living (sponsored by the LDS Church); I also recommend Googling “Project Noah” for suggestions on getting started w/short-term storage.

I dislike calling it “food storage” b/c a whole host of other necessities — toilet paper, soaps and detergents, feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, water purification products/equipment, batteries, candles, medicines, money, etc. — are easily overlooked when the focus is on food, so I generally just refer to it as “storage” (whereas anything that I might put in a storage shed away from my home somewhere I tend to refer to as “household storage” to distinguish between the two)…

storage should ideally consist of three tiers:  emergency preparedness (such as 72-hour kits), short-term storage (things that your family usually eats that could be used in case of job loss, prolonged illness, etc.), and long-term storage (survival-type basics like flour, rice, legumes, salt, sugar, cooking oil, etc.)

DO NOT go into debt to buy items for storage, but instead make a plan for your family and then buy items on that list a few at a time (I usually just add mine in w/my regular shopping) — don’t try to build your storage overnight and place undue financial burdens on your family to do so…

if you live in a small home or apartment where you may feel like you don’t have enough room to have any preparedness storage, do what you can w/the space you have by maximizing space under beds, in closets, under stairs, etc. — something is ALWAYS better than nothing…  when I was a single mom living in back in TX in a small flat w/my DD, I was able to use some of my water storage (which I kept in my little laundry room) when the apartment complex shut off the water one day for an emergency repair to a water main that had been damaged during road construction…  believe me, I was VERY grateful to have my little water supply!

I’m NOT the world’s most accomplished storage expert, but my DH and I did spend last night going through our 72-hour kits, updating them (he started them before we were married, and now we have a family of 5 to provide for), disposing of things that were outdated, and making a list of things we need to fill in the gaps, including spare clothes for our 3 kids; what we had on hand we’ve already resupplied, and the other things are on lists (one for him, one for me) for us to purchase and resupply over the next week or so (the few gaps we did have were pretty small)…  our short-term storage is continuing to slowly expand as I make extra purchases along w/regular shopping, as is our long-term storage  (I just bought 20 lbs of flour last month; I already have modest quantities of sugar, salt, and rice on hand)…  our next preparedness purchase will have to be a major one:  shelves for the basement, or we won’t be able to get into the cold storage anymore…!

I’m sure it’s obvious that storage (and preparedness in general) is something I’m pretty keen on — I’m sure there will be additional posts on this topic from me in future, so be prepared!  😉