The Benefits of Stockpiling

I was having a SMS conversion with my Sister in Bribie Island, Qld which is very close to the flood action up north of Brisbane.  She said that the island nearly cut off from the mainland as the road to the causeway are flooded.  They have to make do with what they have, and she was so proud that she followed my previous advice about stockpiling in case of emergency.  Well done Sis.  All those people that laughed at you must be thinking twice about your forethought it light of what is happening.

She told me that all of the supermarket shelves were bare and that people not even close to being affected by the floods were stocking up in panic.  I can certainly understand the panic part of it given the media coverage, but I still cannot understand why people do not have at least a weeks food on hand at home.  This type of situation is often solved by the practice of stockpiling food and essentials.

Our stockpile consists of about 3 months worth of meals and things like toilet rolls, soap and the like for personal hygiene.  We stockpile basics like flour, rice, beans, sugar, salt, tinned tuna, dried pasta, tinned tomatoes, corn, baked beans, tinned spaghetti.  You get the picture.  Things that you can make meals out of quickly, and a few items that you do not have to cook at all.  Add to that lot all of our home grown preserves, fruit, eggs from the chooks, extensive veggie patch that you can always scrounge a meal from, then you are well fed for what ever comes your way.  If the power goes off, we still get to eat.  If the gas goes off, we still get to eat.  BBQ’s are an amazing backup cooker.  Just make sure you have a spare LPG bottle at all times.

Of course all of the preparedness in the world does not help if you house gets trashed by an inland tsunami, or caught on a flood plain, but it does help if you are cut off from normal services for longer than a few days. 

I believe that this is the year of being prepared, and as I have written before, we are all only 9 meals from anarchy.  It doesn’t matter what the crisis is, if the trucks stop rolling we are in a world of hurt within just 3 days.  Whether it be a natural disaster caused by climate change, or oil shortages due to peak oil, these days it pays to stock up well before the emergency, and get on top of the situation with one less thing to worry about when the crisis actually hits.

I may sound a little bit like a doomer, but so be it.  I believe I am more of a realist that anything else, and if I can save my family and friend anguish in their time of need, than I have the piece of mind that we will eat well, and can share with others if needs be.

Now, the easiest way to stockpile is to keep a list of everything you have on hand.  When a certain item gets used then you put it against the list to pick up next time you are in town.  We use good shelf management, and put the new stuff to the back and bring the stuff that needs to be used first to the front.  The other tip I will give, is make sure you use the stockpile constantly.  Don’t just buy food that you don’t normally use.  Make sure that it is incorporated into your diet, so that when push comes to shove, you are not scratching you head trying to figure out what to cook with all this stored food.  We use every single item we stockpile in the course of our normal menu planning.  This certainly helps with stock rotation and keeps it all within the use by dates.

Another added bonus of stockpiling is that when you buy in bulk you often save quite a bit of money.  Why buy smaller quantities of items when the bulk quantities are often significantly cheaper.  It just makes common sense.

Other than those few tips, the only other suggestion I have is make sure you take appropriate action and actually start to create a stockpile yourself.  It doesn’t matter how small you start off, just start.  You will be amazed how often it will save your bacon.  There have been many times when I have been incapacitate, and we have had to use it in earnest.  No panic required, just pop over to the stockpile cupboard and see what is for dinner!

Be Prepared, please.

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  1. Anonymous says

    Hi Gav
    we are also very grateful for the stockpile that we have because as of two days ago we have been flood bound and so we have enough food for quite a long time even tho our veggie garden is desimated by the water a lot of veg was cooked and frozen and now we are safe and well fed it was good advice that you posted on this blog thanks
    Love Mum

  2. says

    As always, Gavin – fantastic advice!

    One of the things that encouraged me to be “prepared” for weather-related emergencies was losing power in the middle of winter. At the time, we had an oil furnace with an electric blower, and when there was no power, there was no heat – a not insignificant event in Maine (USA) during the winter.

    Since then, we’ve touched every aspect of our lives from food to heat to lighting, and now, if the power goes out, we go about our lives, mostly, as if nothing has changed. Some things are different, but mostly, it’s no big deal. In fact, a few years ago we lost power for four days, and in the middle of it, my husband’s nephew came over (because school was canceled), and he asked what we would be doing if we had power. I couldn’t think of anything that would be different ;).

  3. says

    Hi Gavin,

    I’m glad to hear Miss40 is OK, I was going to email her when I saw some of the photos from her area.

    I live in one of the areas that have already been flooded. The floods in the SE are also affecting us because of the highway been closed. Shelves are bare and people are lining up for 20mins for petrol. Basically panic buying is in full swing.

    I shop by the week, not by the day like most people seem to now and I always have extra on hand so I’m not too worried, yet. I don’t stockpile, I hoard which means I have heaps in my pantry but little of any real use. One thing I have learnt from the last month is that I need to be a little more organised.

    It might 50 years before we see weather like this again but that’s what Emerald thought last year after they had their 1 in 100 year flood. Preparing for such events is not been a doomer it’s called been practical, to say the least.

  4. says

    I am wondering what has happened to society when the idea of being prepared for an emergency makes one a ‘doomer’. Is this how they thought a hundred years ago? Then again, perhaps it is just human nature to not do something unless we are forced. That’s just a poor way to live. For myself, I’m stocking up. And having fun doing it!

  5. says

    Hi Gav,

    Relieved to hear Miss40 is doing well.

    I think that Aus is going to need a whole lot more “wakeup calls” before most loose faith in the system and start seriously looking at buffering their families. I really hope that you are right though and this is enough of a kick in everyone’s security for them to consider.

    Kind Regards

  6. says

    @ Mum,

    Great to here you safe and well, albeit isolated. And I thought it was I who was supposed to take advice from my mother? :-)

    @ Wendy,

    Cheers, I bugs me that so many people just don’t have a clue when it comes to being prepared. Sounds like you are well catered for, and have really thought ahead. Well done!

    @ Nevyn,

    Texted her this morning, and she is fine. I am so glad that you held up well. One thing I didn’t mention in my post was petrol. I suppose it is because I use so little of it, that it slipped my mind as being an important part of peoples life.

    @ Sandy,

    I agree. I have had a bit of negative feedback via facebook about this post. I was informed that I was telling people ‘I told you so’ when people had lost their lives etc. It certainly was not meant that way, and you make a good point, that there was not such thing as a doomer 100 years ago, just people with common sense!

    @ Dixiebelle,

    I agree. I hope more people prepare once it is all over.

    @ belinda,

    You are dead right. Linda W @ the witches kitchen summed it up well, that she is considering this a dress rehearsal of events to come.


  7. says

    I completely agree with you. Even if the idea of having a calamity seems far-fetched, there’s nothing wrong with always being prepared. You can never tell what will happen next.

  8. says

    I completely agree with you. Our small town in North Georgia of USA received 7 inches of snow that we are not prepared to deal with. Because of the snow and ice for 3-4 days no trucks were able to bring food in from surrounding areas to restock the grocery stores. Shelves were bear and may still be. Haven’t ventured out. So I can see how panic could set in if food were not available at a moments notice.


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