Well, so you are going to prepare for disasters. Good for you.  Now if you are like most people, you need to make your money count, and I will start with shelter.  SIP or shelter in place is the least expensive form. If you have a basement, even better.  However, a full, underground basement has limited access and egress, so you want to  think about being trapped. Don't want to stay at home? Consider A canvas tent, although they are more expensive than a tent you buy at walmart, they last a lot longer. But we will touch on shelter in detail, later, You just need to think about your options now.There are ways to fortify your home or apartment, but that is another blog.  Secondly, water. You need 2 quarts of water per person per day and water for  our pets as well. Water weighs 7lbs per gallon.  Those 55 gallon water barrels seem great, but try to move it. However, there are smaller 5 and 15 gallon units out there and they are on wheels. They run around $40.00 and you can store several of them as you can afford them .This is a good start as the barrel is around $199.00 and then you need the siphon, etc.  You will need water stabilizer.  This will kill off algie and that lovely slime that sets up in water that sits too long. Don't use milk jugs!  They will eventually errode and start to leak, however, thicker bottles that juce comes in are fine for a cheap alternative. Water bob, is a huge bag you place in your bathtub and fill for short term use. and costs around $30.00. Because if it's in the tub, you have to bathe somewhere else. Speaking of bathing, solar showers can be found for under $10.00.  You will need to bathe. You can also get adult baby wipes.  Potable water is water you can bathe in or use to flush the toilet. you can store it without stabilizer, just remember to keep them labled, The average toilet takes3-5 gallons to flush. And yes, you can use the toilet if the water is off. However...in a long term situation where the city/county wast treatment plant isn't puming, sewage may back up in the lines. This is a good reason to have a back flow valve on your lines near the street.  If you have septic and a pump, better get a solar generator for backup power.  They are pricey, but fuel generators will eventually run out of fuel, depending on how much gas you can store safely. We have a dog pen in our back yeard, and we store our gas cans in it, inside a rubbermaid chest.  We lock the chest and the pen door. Also a tip, if you have a riding lawn mower, it will hold 5 gallons or more of gas, and most thieves don't think to ssteal gas from a lawnmower. Remeber to use gas stabilizer for gas that is stored more than a month.  Northern tools has 2 large, rolling gas cans thaat hold 14 gallons of gas. you can get the gravity fed nozzel  tank or one with a battery pump on it, but it costs more. Storing gas is a good idea now, while prices are low. Just remember to rotate all supplies, gas, food, water.

Food! you can go up to 40+ days without food, but the longer you go, the weaker you get, and if you are a diabetic, you can die even sooner. There are several foods that never go bad, kept cool and dry. Salt, sugar, honey, rice, vinegar, cornstarch, hard liquor, and pure vanilla extract.
 Cheap food..first, know when food goes on sale. Condiments go on sale every 4th of July and Mememorial day, stock up on them then.  Canned sweet potatoes, green beans, etc, go on sale around Thanksgiving.  Shop those sales! Walmart now has many canned vegetables for 50 cents a can.  Make sure you check the experation dates. Canned food, kept in a cool area, can even be eaten a year after it expires.  Buy food you eat all the time, then buy some food you eat once in awhile, to give you variety. Food boredom is something you have to consider, especially with kids.  Spices. get them at the dollar stores, and seal them. A food sealer is a good investment. the thicker bags keep out more than frostbite. On non parishable goods like spices, rice, sugar, etc, they keep out critters.  Coolers!  they aren't just for beer. They make great critter proof storage for dry goods.  We go to auctions and pick up even huge coolers for cheap. You have to protect you food, or when disaster strikes, and you go to your food storage and find rats, weavels, cockroaches and ants in your food, you won't be happy. Don't forget the pickles! pickled food has been around since the middle ages, but get them in glass jars, plastic leaches oxygen and even picks up flavors from sitting on cement floors.  So pickles and add some sauces, like steak sauce, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, salsa to add to foods and kick up the flavor. Mustard keeps a long time, too. Get mustard with tumeric in it, for the added health benifit. Remember, in a long term disaster, you will need your vitamins and fiber. Make your food count!  Get foods like sweet potatoes and carrots that have betacarotine in them , add dried fruits ando your food preps, and don't forget to add something sweet. Chocolate, honey, jams and peanutbutter are good things to have on hand for your sweet tooth and comfort food needs.  Yes, MRE's and freeze dried foods like Mountain House are also a good investment, sign up on sites selling those foods, and watch for their sales. The pilot crakers are good for cheese, peanut butter, meatloaf, and any mini sandwich you desire, even with gravy.  Big Lots stores have a Buzz Club you can join and a few times a year they have a 20% off coupon they will email you for anything in the store, and that's for everything you buy.  Hodgkin Mill gluten free mixes can be bought there, libby brand sausage gravy is great, and is also found there. 

 So this will get you started.  Shop the sales, sign up for sale emails and discounts, think ahead and get going! Next we will talk about bug out bag
 


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    ER is a single female, over 40, been a disaster victim and responder. 

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    November 2014