After fully subscribing to the idea that our world is headed towards a financial collapse that will rival the Great Depression, I’ve become obsessed with insulating myself and my new family from the eventuality that it actually happens. My first order of business has been finances. Since I feel that the greatest threat facing us right now is of an economic nature, I have been focused on things like educating myself on the economy, paying down debts, getting out of the stock market and other “paper assets”, eliminating unnecessary living expenses, and reducing my exposure to banking risks. Until now, this has been the extent of my “prepping” and for more thoughts on the matter, see my posts in The Financial Clan.
Well, for a while now I’ve been telling people how important it is to prepare for emergencies and I’ve realized I haven’t really done so myself. So – time to put my money where my mouth is. Now that my financial plan is set into motion, I’ve officially launched myself into the more stereotypical aspects of prepping: building stockpiles of water and food. Last week, I received four 5 gallon stackable food-grade opaque jugs, which are now filled with water and tucked neatly away in a relatively unused corner of the house. The rule of thumb is 1 gallon per person per day, so we’ve got enough to last 10 days. The first thing I thought after putting them in the house was just how little space they take up! It really is a no-brainer to do this, and I’m contemplating ordering another 20 gallons.
I’ve also begun to dabble in the food storage arena. There are typically two approaches to storing food, short of preserving the food yourself (which we’ve set out to learn). The first is called the “deep pantry” method, and basically entails buying lots of canned goods and putting enough in your pantry to last at least a couple weeks. The other method is more of a “long-term storage” approach where you purchase food that will literally last 30 years. Usually this means dried food you need to rehydrate, but not always. I’ve opted for the deep pantry method since I’m not sure how long we’ll be in Australia, it seems significantly cheaper than the alternative, and I can eat from and replenish it routinely without feeling like I’m eating space food. I’ve started off by loading up on canned chickpeas (mostly because I love chickpeas) but will continue to slowly diversify and beef up supplies as I continue to take trips to the grocery store.
A friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook of grocery store shelves being completely depleted in advance of the latest blizzard. This made me feel so smart for deciding to take the plunge into prepping. Most grocery stores only carry 3 to 4 day’s worth of food, and there are so many reasons why you could wake up one day to nearly zero access to food: blizzards, hurricanes, supply-chain interruptions (like that time oil prices spiked so high truckers went on strike), and that’s not even getting into things like bank failures, economic collapse, war, or whatever else could come our way. I’ve decided I’d rather feel paranoid and silly now rather than desperate and hungry later. Of the three big reasons why prepping is smart, number three is my favorite:
- It’s easy
- It’s cheap
- Your great-grandparents would say you’re insane if you don’t!
Eventually we hope to be self-sufficient (see WWOOFing While Pregnant), but until that time my pantry’s going to get progressively deeper, and a healthy supply of water will always be one room away. Here’s to sleeping easier at night.