Now to the fun part of the challenge (mind you, last week was fun). You would have put aside a space somewhere by now if you have been following the challenge, however before you rush off to the food co-op to stock up on goodies, lets start at the very beginning.
What do you already have on hand? What do you really need to get you through a short interruption or an extended one for that matter? Do you honestly need 24 cans of Spam in your pantry?
Task #1 – Inventory.
So, these questions need to be tacked before we start to acquire anything at all. The very first thing I suggest you do as task number one for this week, is to perform an inventory! Sounds boring, but believe you me, it is essential if you want to do this as effectively and efficiently as you can. As Bec will be covering the budgeting aspect of being prepared, I will not repeat it here, but it you have a tight budget this will be an essential task.
Get out a pad and pencil, and go through your existing pantry/storage area and write down exactly what you have at hand. How else will you know if you already have items stocked up already for a rainy day? Don’t include stuff you have in the fridge, because in an emergency, consider that the electricity supply in your area to be either unreliable or non-existent.
It doesn’t matter what the food item is, write it down. If it is out of date, this will be a good time to throw it away. As you work through this process, think of things that you could make with it if cooking facilities are turn out to be primitive. You may have to resort to an open fire, barbecue, or solar oven to cook your food. However, don’t be tempted to jump ahead and start writing down a whole bunch of recipes. Just keep it in the back of your mind for now.
Then sort it out into “meals ready to eat” and “needs preparation”. Have a think about how you would need to prepare it to make a nutritious meal out of the item. Do you have other items currently in stock that you need to achieve this? Add notes to that effect.
This task could take from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on how prepared you may already be. Once you have an inventory of your food, move on to essential items like personal hygiene, water, and fuel. Think about all the things you use in your day currently, and see if you have these things on hand. Now, they may not help you in an emergency, but just add it to your list for now.
I too will be participating in this part of the challenge, because even though I have already done all this before, it is good to know what you currently have at hand. We have been stockpiling food and essentials for about 3 years now, however sometimes these things get out of hand, and you buy too much of one item and not enough of another essential. We already have our budget each week for our groceries, so I can personally skip that part of the overall challenge.
Anyway, what are you waiting for? There is no time like the present! I bet you find all sorts of goodies that you didn’t realise you had.
Later on in the week, both Bec and I will discuss what essentials may be required, covering food, water and your emergency kit. Until then, have fun.