Planning Food Storage

When I first started out on the path to building a food storage plan, my initial thoughts were along the lines of “Oh, I’ll buy lots of canned vegetables, some MREs, and some freeze dried food. Then I’ll be good.” I also only was planning for two weeks of food storage, everything fit in our kitchen pantry, I had no idea of how many calories I had on hand, I didn’t know how to calculate daily caloric needs for our family of five, and in general I didn’t even know how much I didn’t know.

That was three years ago. Today, we have around six months of food storage at any given time. It’s all inventoried, shelved, organized, and in a dedicated store room that’s kept relatively cool to increase the shelf life as much as possible. The kids actually joke about it, occasionally asking if they can “go to the store” to grab a can of fruit for dessert. 🙂

I’ve made a number of mistakes along the way, but I feel that I’ve learned enough to put my knowledge out there in the hope that someone else can avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made. Before I talk about suggestions, let’s get the mistakes out of the way…

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Winter Preps Tune Up Time

winter photo

With the possibility of a major storm headed towards the Pacific Northwest, combined with the knowledge of a multi-week power outage that occurred in the area I live in December of 2006, I decided today is a proper time to make sure my winter preps are all tuned up and ready to go. Luckily after thinking it through, there really isn’t much I need to do as I’m pretty solid on preps at the moment. Here’s my list of things to take care of tonight:

  1. Change the spark plug on the generator. It’s definitely time as it’s never been done before while I’ve owned it. Yes, I know. Bad Prepper.
  2. Top off the gas storage for the generator. I have enough on hand right now to run it for a couple days, but that’s it. I’ve been meaning to add to my gas storage for quite some time now, so we’ll top off the 14 Gallon Fuel Caddy I picked up last year, and treat it with Sta-Bil so it stays fresh in case we don’t need to use it immediately.
  3. Make sure the propane tanks are topped off for use with the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy. It’s indoor safe and on high it warms up the entire living room and surrounding rooms nicely.

My winter preps are likely lighter than most as it doesn’t get too cold here, so with all this I’ll be set for an extended power outage. What do you have to top off for winter?

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What Ron Swanson Taught Me About Prepping

RonSwanson2

For years, I traveled the country hearing about this show called Parks & Recreation and I couldn’t help but ask myself “Why the f**k would I want to watch a show about a parks department?” Then about two months ago my lovely wife and I were sitting on the couch trying to find something to watch together. I saw the show pop up on Netflix and, since Netflix was recommending it to me, decided to give it a shot. I’m very glad I did. It was good enough that we finished all six seasons in a month, but I have to say that the driving force behind me watching it is Ron Swanson, the Director of the Parks & Recreation Department. He’s distant and as a staunch libertarian, a strong advocate for small government, and therefore believes that the parks department should not even exist. He’s turned into something of a cult figure, with a huge following outside the show. What I found while watching the show, though, is that a lot of the things he says and does are remarkably preparedness minded. Since I’m a prepper, I couldn’t help but point out a few of them.

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