Wednesday, October 31, 2012


{I wrote this post several weeks ago to be posted, not knowing that Hurricane Sandy would affect so many on the East Coast.  This is extremely link-heavy, but I found some really great resources out there that I wanted to share.}
One of my favorite blogs about a homesteading family is also very big on preparedness.  Kendra, the author of the blog, is also aShelf Reliance Consultant.  Shelf Reliance is a company that helps others to prepare for disasters and emergencies.  In a post written back in September, Kendra documented on how to build food storage on a budget  Let me tell you, this post instilled a bit of fear in me because I know this is what I should be doing but I have always put it off thinking “this won’t happen to me.”  The truth of the matter is that it could happen to any one of us!   Ohio is not known for its tornadoes or natural disasters, but our little town was hit severely backin 1985 and the locals are still talking about it 27 years later!

Shelf Reliance has a tool on their website that helps to determine how much food a family would need in case of an emergency.  Of course, the food is all Shelf Reliance food.  I was curious to see how much it would cost hubby and me to eat for 6 months off of Shelf Reliance food.  The number was astonishing.

For a family of two, one eating 2400 calories a day and the other eating 1800 calories a day, Shelf Reliance estimated that we would need $4,301.18 in food!  I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw this number.  That is $716.86/month in food which is nearly triple our monthly grocery budget.

This got me to thinking about what we could do in our home to help prepare for a natural disaster on much less money, and this is what I’ve come up with:

·         Decide on either a non-motorized well pump or a rain catcher for water.   

·         Solar Panels with just enough power to use for emergency purposes only

·         Buy and store seeds to plant a large garden (these are good for 5+ years)

·         Continue to add perrenial fruits and vegetables to our homestead each year

·       Stock up shelves with canned goods (the shelf life on canned goods is typically 3 years: I would like to focus on stocking up on canned meats)

·         Buy rice in bulk and vaccuum seal into individual pouches

·         Stock up on dried beans

·         Stock up on the items that “last forever

·         Increase our flock of chickens (for meat & eggs)

·         Master the chicken garden – a garden that will nourish the chickens without the need for commercial chicken feed

·         Learn how to butcher chickens

·         Make a root cellar

·         Consider getting a gun for hunting (something hubby thinks we should get – but I’m not sure how I feel about it)

Shelf Reliance has brownie mixes and baked goods as part of their 6 months survival kit; however, I don’t feel that these items are necessities. If there were ever an emergency, the last thing on my mind would be baking a fresh loaf of bread!  I would like to think that I’d try to survive with filling, nutritious food in my belly like rice, beans, eggs, fruits and vegetables.

I feel we could easily build our pantry to prepare for an emergency for well less than the $4,000 Shelf Reliance suggests it would cost in freeze dried foods and bulk grains.  I would say we could easily stock the pantry with 6 months of essentials for less than $1,000. 

Even though the foods I will be stocking in the pantry will not last 20+ years, we could easily rotate our stock after a year or two to make sure nothing goes bad.  This will help keep our grocery budget down in these months, and will ensure that nothing is wasted. 

The other items like the well pump and solar panels are much more expensive, but are things that we definitely need to look into anyways.  It doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan in case of extended loss of power. 

What are you doing to prepare for a natural disaster?


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