Monday, March 29, 2010

Stocking Up for Emergencies

I think it was last month I promised to write a bit about stocking up for weather related emergencies. I never did get around to doing this, and I am glad I waited. I realized, last week, how important being prepared in your freezer or pantry is no matter what! My whole family came down with a stomack bug that one, by one, wiped us all out. Even my husband, who rarely gets anything more major than a nasty cold, was downed by this. I was stocked up pretty well with Jell-O, but as for other things, not so much. I had made meatballs ahead of time when my 1st child came down with this. They were in the freezer, ready to go. Well, Friday I made them-threw them in the crockpot and let them reheat. Guess what, Friday night is when Mom got the bug! By Saturday I was eally wishing I had more stocked in my freezer. I do have precooked hamburger and chicken, but nothing that my kids or I could just throw together. My husband was still down for the count and I didn't even have canned chicken noodle soup on my shelves!

SO, I realized, not only is it important to be ready for a weather emergency, which can happen any time of the year, but also for down times like illnesses. These may not even have to be down times or emergencies in your own home. How about if a family member or friend gets put down by an illness or emergency. You could dig into your stockpile and help them out a bit.

I know if you are really paycheck to paycheck like we are here, this can be hard to do at times. But, picking a time of the month when you are able to buy extra items here and there could help. My time of the month is the middle of the month. I plan to buy extra things like children's pain relievers, canned soups, dry milk, etc. Also, things that are easy for my kids to fix in case I am down and cannot cook-pizza fixings (I can even make some mini pizzas ahead and put them in the freezer), mac n cheese, tuna, etc...

I also plan to really get busy with my garden this year and having lots put up in the freezer and to also learn to can. A friend has blessed me with an abundance of canning jars that I will learn to use this year :) We use frozen peas alot here, so I have already started some in my flower beds (big garden not ready yet) for the Spring planting and will grow more in the Fall, along with some other Fall veggies. But, gardens are a great way to stock up on fruits and veggies!

But, I also plan to get back to my freezer cooking! I really need to learn to implement my extra fridge/freezer in our garage for things other than just extra loaves of store bought bread! I want to plan some precooked dinner foods or need to be cooked foods that can be just dumped into the crockpot or thrown into the oven.

And, beyond that, non-food items for those weather emergencies, or just periods when things like the electric goes out, plan for those as well. Make sure you have working flashlights, batteries, candles, ways to stay cool or warm (depending on the year), hand can openers, bandages, medicines, etc...Keep a list as you go along on the essentials you might not think about before an emergency hits or when it actually hits! Go through your medicine cabinet and look at prescriptions, medicines you would not like to do without or 1st aid items. Buy those things that you can little by little.

Be prepared as much as you can. When the time comes, you will be thankful you did!!

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