So how’s it goin’? An update…

So, here we are just a couple of months into our preparedness foray. We’ve done some research and some reading. And, as of last week, we had socked away three days’ worth of food for two women.  We  had about $10 invested in 12,000 calories and four gallons of water. We felt pretty cool. But we knew then, as we know now, that we are just getting started.

This week, we added more calories to our shelf (it’s WAY too early and too small to call it a stockpile). And we added some “medicine cabinet supplies” as well.

For food this week we added about 21,000 calories to the shelf:  10,000 calories in pasta (a whopping $6), 1,000 calories in tomato sauce (for making marinara – at another $6), 5,000 calories in peanut butter ($2 – we caught a sale) and 5,000 calories of Nesquik (for $6 – chocolate in my coffee or hot chocolate will be sources of comfort in an emergency). For $20 we added five days’ worth of calories. Add that to the three days of food already on the shelf and we’ve accomplished our first prepping goal: being able to weather out a week or so at home without access to the store.

A week's calories

You’ll note that we have feminine hygiene products on our emergency supply shelf. Of all the survival provisions we’ve stocked away, these are the most expensive. Those three packages cost almost  as much as everything else put together.  About $36 for what you see in the picture (not including the water). As much as that costs, it’s enough for two women for two months. What are feminine hygiene products worth? For the right woman on the wrong day, they could be priceless.

This week, we started the “medicine cabinet” section of our shelf. First aid kits aren’t pictured here. As I said, this is the medicine cabinet. There are two quarts of hydrogen peroxide (for treating wounds – $3), two quarts of isopropyl alcohol (for wounds and sterilizing things = $2), ibuprofen (for those times when it hurts = $9), a bottle of stool softener ($5) and a couple of bottles (in the box) of anti-diarrheal medication ($5).  This section of the shelf set us back about $24. We added the anti-diarrheal  just to be on the safe side. We added the stool softener because emergency situations are incredibly stressful. And nothing messes up your normal bowel functions quite like stress, an irregular diet (or a bunch of MRE’s) and an abnormal routine. It’s important for your health as well as your comfort to keep your elimination working as normally as possible.

At this moment in time, we have four gallons of water on the shelf. It’s tough to judge how much water we have on hand by what we have on the shelf since we usually have three or four gallons on the shelf at any given time, plus a gallon or so in the car, and a  gallon in total in the form of smaller water bottles here and there. But, we have four gallons of water on the shelf. At our current customary rates of consumption, that’s enough water for the two of us for two days – not including bathing and toilet flushing. To have enough water for a week , at our current levels of consumption, we’d need to store another ten gallons at the minimum.

Truth be told, I should probably drink more water. My sensei was fond of saying that you should drink a couple of ounces of water for every pound of body weight – more if you were exercising strenuously in hot weather. For me, that would mean close to three gallons of water a day. I don’t drink that much water a day. I probably should but I don’t. My actual consumption is much closer to one gallon. Cody Lundin recommends drinking three gallons of water per day at minimum. Drinking more water every day is one of my New Year’s resolutions. But, right now, I hover around drinking a gallon a day. If we were to store three gallons per person per day, we’d need to store 42 gallons to get us through that week we were planning on. We’re not there yet. But this is a process, not an event.

A few years back we had quite the winter storm here in Albuquerque.  I had two feet of snow in my front yard.  My neighbor claimed he hadn’t seen anything like it since 1959. The city pretty much ground to a halt for the better part of a week. At the time, we had plenty of food in the pantry and the deep freeze. The power stayed on and the water mains didn’t break so we did just fine. We stayed home,  watched movies, played games and periodically went out to knock the ice out of our trees so that they wouldn’t take out the power lines. Now we still have plenty of food in the pantry and the deep freeze. But we’ve added the dimension of mindfully preparing in case something like that winter storm happens again.  So, our first prepping goal was to be ready for a week – and to know that we were ready for a week.

And well, here we are at two months in, and we have a little under  $100 invested in emergency food and supplies.  We have a week’s worth of food (plus a little), a couple months’ of feminine hygiene supplies, some basic medicine cabinet items, and a couple of days’ water. It’s a start.

Remember, if you don’t start, you’ll never be ready. And, however far behind you may feel like you are, you’re miles ahead of someone who hasn’t done anything. And however little you feel that you have set aside, you’re still better off than the guy who’s doing nothing.

As always, thanks for reading.

~ L.



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