Peaceful Forest Homestead's Forest
Someone recently asked me the question, "What is the most important things to stock up on if you are trying to prepare for future emergencies?" It is not such an easy question to give a one word answer. My answer is water, shelter, food and some kind of fuel for cooking and heating. There are other things to consider such as clothing, I mean we all need that too. But your four top basic needs are water, shelter, food and fuel.
So how do you store them for the future? I can only tell you what I do and my experience with it. As anyone knows who reads my blog regularly, we have a hand dug well out front with a pitcher pump. Even so, I store water inside the house. Something can......and has, happened to our well in the past. When you have a pump break on a holiday or week-end you need to have some stored water on hand. I hate plastic, but I have it stored in plastic bottles since that is really all that is available to me. I don't use the milk containers. What I use are some two liter soda bottles, plastic gallon jugs that had vinegar in them, and I have been known to buy Hawaiian Punch, just to get the container it comes in. I love them even though they are plastic.
Georgie Girl LOVES her water fresh & cold!
Having three horses makes it so we have to have water for them too. Each horse drinks a five gallon bucket or more almost every time we fill it. Sometimes you are just refilling it over and over till they are done. It seems like they like it best when we first bring it to them. Fresh and cold. We are fortunate enough to have a spring about two miles up the road that has a pipe and a place for people to fill water containers. So if something happened to our well or pump we have water available not far from us. It is a pretty busy spot. I have even seen people filling those water jugs that are used in offices. It runs all year long, even in the winter. It is amazing to me how many people will not worry about having water stored until there is an emergency. If your power goes out will you have running water?
Shelter is usually our homes. But what if you had to leave your home? Is there someplace you could go? In the summer, I imagine if you have some tents you could use them. Or a vehicle. I'd hate to have to sleep in my truck cab. The truck bed would be okay. For now, I plan on staying here unless our forest was burning with no hope of us surviving. Our horses though, I would want to take out of here in advance of the fire getting out of control. We have no horse trailer, though our neighbor does and if we had to borrow it or have him do that for us, he would. But he lives less than a mile away and would probably have issues with his own horses. Luckily, our climate here in upstate New York has been pretty wet most of my life. Our forest is usually not that dry.
Food, now that's the biggie! If you grow and raise as much of your own as possible you should have food stocked up in your pantry and root cellar. I wrote about the root cellar in this post, Our Root Cellar. I don't have to stress this point too much to my fellow homesteaders, as they are already doing this. The people who run to the store when there is a storm brewing know who they are. Are you doing that? Then you really need to work on this aspect of preparing. I am not trying to alarm you. Just thinking of what you will do when there is no way to get to that store for that food. If you have pets or livestock, think about them too. Having horses makes that harder for me. Too bad you can't buy canned horse food in the store!
Hauling wood in my garden cart makes it easier for me.
Fuel for us is our wood stoves for heating and cooking. We also have a propane gas stove that has absolutely no electrical parts at all. So it works as long as I have fuel in the tank. If it ran out, I would not have a problem. It wouldn't matter, as I have a wood heating stove that I cook on often. I also heat water on it daily. So no problem there. I also have a little oven that I can set on that stove for baking. Plus, I have a wood cook stove in the kitchen. So I am covered there. Plus, I live in the forest and there is always a way to get wood. What about you? What if your fuel tank ran out? Would you be able to heat and/or cook with another source? Not a pellet stove either. Do you know how to build a fire? That is one of the most important skills that everyone in your family needs to know.
These are just a few things to get you started. Start learning what to do before you need to do it. Start stocking up supplies, and I am NOT talking about hoarding, I am talking about preparation. There is a difference. Know what you need to do BEFORE you need to do it! That is the best piece of advice I can give you. Good luck!
Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole