Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Walking the Walk

I have a confession to make.  I am not nearly as prepared as I would like to think I am.  I realized this when I discovered I didn't even have a nine volt battery in the house for the smoke alarm, and when I had to wait a day or two before I could do some canning because I had allowed my stash of canning lids to nearly run out.  I know these are only two small things, but if I don't have on hand this small, necessary  stuff, then it stands to reason that I am probably lacking in some of the bigger, more important supplies.

Minnesota can be beautiful in the winter with a blanket of snow on the ground and the tree branches covered in frost.

But Mother Nature can turn mean and throw a blizzard at us almost in the blink of an eye.  The Halloween blizzard in 1991 featured wind gusts up to 60 mph.  My area received over 28 inches of snow and other areas got over 36 inches of the white stuff before the storm blew itself out, leaving 10 foot snow drifts in many places.  I have seen temperatures drop into the minus 30 degree range during the first week of November.  Mother Nature can give us some glorious days, but she can also sneak up on us and smack us upside the head, just to remind us who is really in charge.

It is the memory of those winter conditions that should have made me pay better attention to my preps.  I am well stocked in some areas like home canned and dehydrated foods.  I have water stored, but not nearly enough.  And I have yet to buy a decent water filter system.  I have medical supplies stashed away, but recently realized I didn't have enough of the supplies I needed to treat cellulitis, which if left untreated, can become life threatening.  And I don't have nearly enough of common medical needs like aspirin or vitamins.

Seems I am better at talking the talk than I am at walking the walk.

It doesn't matter much what a person is preparing for.   Each of us have a scenario in mind.  Could be our economy winds up in the dumpster.   Might be we get a bat-guano crazy elected president this time around.  Or that jokester Mother Nature may just toss us curve ball.  Maybe nothing will happen, in which case we will have what we need on hand without having to run to the store every couple of days.

Sometimes I have been known to use the excuse of my age or my medical conditions to put off what I need to do.  That is really stupid.  Should my grands show up here in a crisis, (And they will.  Grandma is the one with all the extra food.) how on earth will I look them in the eye if I don't have the basics of what they need.  After all, it is for them and my children that I prepare.  Oh, I prepare for myself, too, but Moms tend to do for family first.  That's how we are wired.

So if you will excuse me, I need to get busy.  It seems I have some work to do.


  1. You know where they say to start - "make a list." As for water, here's a paragraph from my yet unpublished book on preparedness:

    A quality basic filter can be found for as little as $20 for a “LifeStraw” you suck on, to almost $300 for a Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter for filling water containers and canteens. But, if you want to also filter viruses, the excellent Sawyer Point Zero Two system(s) start around $130 for a not-so-portable kit to around $200 for a highly portable one — and go up from there.

  2. Gorges...I have the lists. I just haven't been paying close enough attention to them.

    As far as water filters go, what I need is one for my apartment. I don't need anything portable because for me, bugging out is not an option. Thanks for the suggestion. This evening when I set down for some computer time, I will do my research and find out where to get a filter.

  3. Yes, you can say that you ran out of 9-volt batteries and canning lids. Or, you can just figure that you've been rotating your stock!! At least you're using what you're stockpiling, and isn't that one tenet that many people forget?
    I got the cleaning bug the other day and worked on my tiny 'linen' closet in the bathroom. Unfortunately, I had to toss some over the counter meds because they were past there expiry date. I know some people will question those dates, but on some things I'm more of a purest. But at least for today, I have the opportunity to buy more and replenish.
    I'm fairly confident that I am way ahead of most of my neighbors. I, too, have a buy list. In fact, I just bought some gamma lids for my buckets. I finally just did it, even though they're spendy. The area I'm lacking in my tiny apartment is alternative power. Just a little power to recharge my batteries for the flashlights and such. My point, I suppose, is to be gentle with ourselves and just do what we can given our limitations. Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

  4. You are right, SJ...many folks stockpile supplies but never use them. I use what I have all the time as I am sure you do. There are some things like your out of date meds that I won't use, either. Depends on what it is. If it is something I know will keep, I buy in quantity. Others, I buy a few and replace as they are used. Except when I forget. :)

    I have been thinking about one of those little solar powered chargers for things like batteries or my Kindle or for those with cell phones. I'm not sure on brands or prices without looking it up, but that seemed like a reasonable way to handle the need for a little bit of power. I'm also checking on solar lights in addition to candles or oil lamps. I have read about some folks using those solar garden lights that are normally used for lighting outdoors by walkways, etc.

    I expect that I am way ahead of most of my family and neighbors when it comes to being prepared, like you are. I guess I just become irritated with myself when I realize how much there is left to do. Especially when I am so vocal about being prepared! But I will try to spend less time beating myself up about it and more time filling in the gaps. Even when it takes me longer these days. :)

  5. Your not the only one. I too have lapsed. i was ahead and the shopping trip I said I don't need that, I went behind. I was ahead on so much, and now I'm behind
    i'm more worried about what winter will be like then a crash of banks.

  6. Rob...You are right. We know for sure winter is coming. The rest is a crap shoot. We are about due for an ugly winter and like you, I don't want to get caught unprepared. I really would like to be able to get caught up by the first week in November. At least, that's what I am shooting for.

  7. The problem is no fear of execution. the turd will sit in prison, free health care, 3 meals a day, etc. I blame the liberals for lack of the death sentence. I understand some get convicted wrongly, but you kill, you die. No appeals. within a week you get shot or hung. No injections. Why because you know the victim suffered.

  8. You may be right, Rob...I have read that people who will do something that terrible, especially to a child, literally have no conscience. They know right from wrong but just don't think any of the rules apply to them. Self gratification is the only important thing to them. So perhaps execution is the only solution. On the other hand,if a person does have a conscience, I would think that life in a prison cell with lots of time to live with what they have done, especially if their cellmate is a big old Bubba who thinks he is just the cutest thing, might be better.