As a writer, I seldom write in first person, but this blog has a purpose. As I drove to work this morning, I was thinking about the day, and what it would bring.
When I teach basic preparedness, I point out the fact that each thing you can do during normal times is one less thing to worry about when your energy is directed to critical life events. I talk about things like loss of income, a death in the family, a natural disaster, or family emergencies. Knowing that certain things are done and checked off the list allows us to focus where we must. Right now, my life is a perfect example of this.
- My daughter and grandchildren live in Morehead City, NC. As I write, Hurricane Florence is barreling directly for her. Those of you who are “up in years” know that the only thing worse than having a child in a critical situation is having grandkids there. I have given advice on protecting what they can, and we are glued to the Weather Channel. They have evacuated, but we wait now to see what they go home to.
- My mother, 83, was admitted to the hospital yesterday, and today will be filled with tests, and hopefully a diagnosis.
- My sister has a second surgery this morning to repair a detached retina, and will be immobilized and lying down for a week while it heals.
- My husband’s best friend is in a hospital two hours away with a major back surgery. He has no family, and hubby is helping him.
- These things are in addition to the normal full-time job, teaching night school, and doing the basics of home life.
Preparedness isn’t about zombies and gas masks. It is about knowing that I can tear open mylar bags of my famous smoked macaroni and cheese and sliced ham, and put a healthy, comforting meal on the table in minutes when I am too mentally exhausted to think about full-blown cooking. Years ago, I would have been stopping at a drive-thru, but now I can hold onto our money in case we need to travel or help our daughter.
It means that I can easily pack a huge box of meals and send them to her with very little cost, since the food weighs almost nothing.
It means having a kit in the car in case I need to stay at the hospital. One of the things I stock my kit with is a selection of freeze dried fruits, veggies, meats, and even casseroles and soups. Hospital food isn’t my favorite thing.
Preparedness is about life. When I load my Harvest Right, I don’t really stop to think about the part it plays in days like today. I just know that it has totally changed my food storage game. The missing piece for me was the desire to store large quantities for situations like Hurricane Flo. While it was possible, it was a toss-up between needing it and wasting it. Not anymore! A shelf life of 15 to 25 years allows me to put plenty away, knowing I have my bases covered. And this evening, I will once again whisper a prayer of gratitude for the simplicity of a great meal in the midst of many of life’s storms.
An Indiana native, Donna Hoaks’ passion is preparedness and self-reliance, and she has presented her thrifty ideas to many around the country. She is a master food preserver and loves teaching fermentation, canning, etc., as well as passive energy, foraging, and medicinals. In her free time, Donna loves developing her homestead, spending time with her husband, Dean, their kids and grandchildren, and riding their Harleys.