Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Stockpiling Revisited

I wrote about stockpiling back in May 2009, the first month I was blogging. Today Rina has a post about stockpiling on her great site, Gotta Little Space and asked what her readers stockpile and whether she'd missed anything.

I've commented but I thought I'd write a little more about the kinds of things I stockpiled several years ago, since my earlier post was kind of a "stockpile lite" version of some things I was planning to stockpile again.

Water is vital. You can live for weeks without food but for only a few days without water. It's also one of the first things that will likely not be available in an emergency. Since I don't drink tap water (I'm allergic to chlorine and my rural home is in an area where there are periodic "boil water" warnings) I always have bottled water on hand. The 2 litres/person/day amount that Rina refers to is for drinking and cooking. You also need additional water for bathing and handwashing, dishes and laundry. You may also need water to flush your toilet if the water supply is off. The usual recommendation is that you store 1 gallon/person/day for a minimum of 3 days. While it can all be commercial bottled water, it's also possible to store bottled water for drinking only and to store tap water in approved containers for washing. I try to keep 3 to 4 of the 5 gallon bottles on hand, one in use and the others in reserve and I rotate them so the oldest one is always the next one to be used.

Coffee beans (regular and decaf)
Coffee, instant (regular and decaf)
Grape juice (case of 750 ml bottles)
Instant hot chocolate
Tea bags (Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Chai, all decaf)
Tetra paks of Almond Breeze, especially the chocolate one
Tetra paks of soup (Tomato)
Wine, red and white

Dry groceries
Whole wheat pasta (elbow macaroni, rotini, spaghetti, linguine, lasagne noodles)
Wacky Mac (mac & cheese)
Basmati rice
White beans
Ramen noodle soups in a cup
Oatmeal bulk and instant, packaged
Sugar, granulated

Canned items (tins or jars)
Jam, jelly or marmelade
Peanut butter
Chocolate spread (like Nutella)
Olive oil
Sunflower oil
Tomato sauce
Tomato paste
Chili tomatoes
Kidney beans

Butter (2 lb per month)
1/2 Salmon
French fries
Hash browns

Ready-to-eat food
Cold cereal
Soft granola bars
Fruit rollups

Dental floss
Feminine products (3 months per female)
Cotton swabs
Contact solution, if needed
Diapers, disposable & 12 flat flannelette plus pkg of diaper pins (if there are babies or toddlers)
Baby wipes (even if there aren't babies, always useful!)
Toilet paper
Liquid soap
Waterless hand cleaner, antibacterial
Multivitamins (even if you're not a vitamin person, very useful when your food is limited & you're under stress)

Cleaning Products
Dish soap
Laundry detergent
Multipurpose cleaning product for counters and floors
Toilet cleaner

First Aid Kit
St. John's Ambulance makes a good one.

Migraine meds
Children's Advil
Prescription meds (3 months supply if possible)
Anti-diarrhea medication

Other (very important!)
Manual can opener
Bottle opener
Aluminum foil
Ziplok bags (heavy)
Coleman camp stove with at least 3 small cans of propane (or big tank and converter)
Candles, Shabbat (72 to a box)
Candles, yahrzeit (in metal tins, burn over 24 hours)
Candles, tea lights (from IKEA 100/pkg)
Matches and waterproof container
Manual coffee grinder (I have my grandmother's)
Coffee filters
Stir sticks (I buy the long hollow ones that double as straws, they come 1000/box)
Garbage bags (many uses in addition to holding garbage)
Space blankets 1/person (in case of extended power outages during cold weather)

Dry food
Water (2 litres/pet/day)
Any meds
Litter for cats (I don't have cats now, but have in the past)

So, those are the types of things that I have stockpiled or would stockpile. My ideal is to have a year's worth of stuff stored. This is not because I believe we'd go through a year long emergency but there could be a series of emergencies or the family breadwinner could become unemployed for several months or we could need to provide for more than our immediate family.

As Rina said, the easiest way to stockpile is to do it a little at a time, buying doubles or triples of items you use when they're on sale. Always rotate your stock and make sure you don't have a cupboard full of expired food! This is the biggest reason for stocking items that your family will actually eat. Eat your stockpiled food on a regular basis and keep replacing it. Then, you won't have a problem convincing your family to eat something new during an emergency. The food I've listed is food we eat.

What would you do differently? Is there anything you think I've omitted?

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