The last two years have been a parade of difficulties. In 2020, COVID lockdowns began a streak of panic buying that lasted for several months. Most notable was the much joked about rush on toilet paper. However, it certainly wasn’t the only thing that was hard to find. Grocery stores struggled to keep up with demand for meat, canned goods, cleaning supplies, and even short-term storage items such as produce and dairy. It only took a few days to strip the stores clean, and those who were late to the game, or didn’t supply well enough in the beginning were soon scrambling to find the basics.

Because of the hard times related to COVID, many people have entered the preparedness and self-reliance arenas after finding themselves dependent on those who cannot be counted on. There has been a huge interest in canning, dehydrating, freezing, gardening, livestock production, and of course, many have rushed to get a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. Delivery times are improving again after the company was inundated with orders for months.

Well, Harvest Right, hold on to your gaskets. Snowmageddon 2021 has again shown the populace that preparing for these events is critical. What was forecast as an arctic blast became a full-blown life-threatening emergency for much of the nation.

In Texas, where I am, many factors combined to create a real mess. Water lines, which aren’t protected from arctic blasts, froze. City pumping stations faced broken lines, failed pumps, and no backup generators for many stations.  Water went away early on for many.

Power outages for some people were days in length. Others faced rolling blackouts to help leverage the high demand as folks tried to heat their homes as the suppliers faced failures of the grid. Powerhouses shut down and wind turbines sat unmoving. Folks faced temperatures in their homes of teens and twenties. Some areas had warming shelters, but many of the places which could have been used were caught up in the water and electric issues and couldn’t be of any service.

Many tried to get in ahead of time and get extra food, but didn’t think about lack of electricity to cook it. There were many asking for help who had food and no way to prepare it. Several didn’t even own a manual can opener. Others didn’t have the water necessary to cook or clean. What was left in the stores when the power started failing had to be disposed of.

We are not the only ones; this storm covered over half of the nation, and also hit Mexico with arctic temperatures. Like Texas, they were not prepared. We are just beginning to warm up. The damages will mount for many days yet. In the cities, damage to buildings will be high. Loss of life will be high as people struggled to stay warm. In the rural areas, livestock will have perished. One rancher was posting his frozen livestock for those who could get them processed. He lost over half of his herd. I am sure that is going to be typical.

Again, there will be a rush of awareness. We are realizing that we are not invincible, and we must be ready for the unexpected, in whatever form it comes at us. Two major catastrophes in 12 months; very different, very serious.

Freeze drying is not the only thing that will get us through, but having home cooked meals available with the simplicity of boiling water gives us peace of mind, and the ability to focus on the other issues that must be dealt with. If you haven’t considered the many reasons why you need this appliance, consider the last year. Give Harvest Right a call and get in line for your own freeze dryer.

Donna Hoaks and her husband retired, sold off their possessions, and relocated to Texas to partner with friends and co-homestead an 11-acre farm.

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