Why am I what my in-laws call “A fanatic”? Actually, I see it as the more normal station in life. I grew up in a family of humble means. My mom brought with her a family legacy from pioneer times, and depression era struggle. She had grown up in a family that knew how hard life in a depression was. My dad was the consummate woodsman, nothing could keep him out of the wilderness, or from figuring out how to do anything himself. With this combination, my siblings and I were brought up “the old fashioned” way. We had clothes that our mom had made, we ate food that was part of the rotation of our storage, we fixed things that broke, we grew and raised quite a bit of our food.
I meet people nowadays that can only see these activities as quaint, something not done anymore. And can you fault them? Who really does that at all? My family is far from fully realizing all of the things my parents managed to have us do. Why would we after all, I make a much higher salary than my parents did, we have a world of products at hand that were barely dreamed of just those few years ago.
And yet for the last several years I’ve felt the need to somehow bring my life back into line with many of the values my parents gave me by their example. And never has that need been so apparent as it has in the last couple of years.
Food storage has been a prime example of what I’ve needed in my life. Several times my wife and I have striven to hold some food reserves in our home for whatever the need may be. Several times we’ve had to rely on that food, which always seemed to be just enough to get us through whatever tight spot we were in. Layoffs to “tough times” seemed to always happen, bringing our reserves back to nil, but thankfully keeping us from getting into any serious trouble. Looking forward, with the tough economy, it’s nice to know that I have some food planned out that will sustain my family in any times of need, as well as enough to provide a buffer around food inflation, given a 16.3% annualized inlation cost this year alone (and a one-month amount that hit 72% on some items. Layoffs are my worst experience in needing to use this reserve, but what about any kind of disaster situation? I have family members that comment that nobody in the USA will *ever* need any kind of long term food reserve, that it’s unecessary in our world today. Yet people like this cannot see the disasters that have happened for the warnings they were. My faith has long taught of the importance in a food reserve, and I fully believe in the divinity of that council.
But simply having some cans of food is not all that is necessary. Knowledge is the most important thing. With food, what good is a sack of wheat without knowing all of the options it provides for feeding your family? You must be aware *ahead* of time how to use any food, tools, gadgets or whatever you have put in place.
I am glad that I am at least familiar with the things I think my family might need in the worst of cases, to the best. From some sci-fi end of the world situation, to just being strapped for cash because of a medical emergency. And while I take comfort in what I know, I am smart enough to realize that I have only started, and there is a world of information that I must learn to apply. As my parents taught me, I must teach my kids, by given them a lifestyle that is sustainable, and teachable. At worst, my kids become adults that are well rounded individuals. At truly worst, they are alive, and able to take care of themselves.
Sure, I’m odd, but people think that about me even if they don’t know I’m a “Prepper” (not, not a preppie ). Yes, I can be as fanatical about a bullet caliber as I can about a programming language. I may discuss gardening tips vs SQL tips. I like to be who I am, and I try to have that person be ready for *whatever* may come.
Hope for the best, Prepare for the worst.
Oh, and check out Utah Preppers for upcoming information on how you to can begin to get ready for anything.
The past couple of months have had me running around forever busy, and especially in regards to work, unable to *do* things. With the change in employment I’ve been kept out of being able to do any development work, which as most of my friend will probably agree with is something that begins to drive me batty.
So this weekend turns into the first time in a while that I am home with no outside commitments, so I had to do *something*. My wife is out in Colorado for a baby shower, so I’ve been a bit constrained watching my 3 kids, but still managed to get phase one of some new shelving done.
My basic premise was this wall in my garage. Previously here was some old thin metal shelving, totally overloaded with assorted cruft. It also made the “outside” fridge sit in front of other shelving, and was about “Windows ME” in terms of stability. It also made access to my kayaks a bit difficult (you can see the end of one there in the top corner). With my growing food storage, I had run out of other areas to put in cans, and wanted to improve the ability to rotate commonly used staples. Systems such as the “Shelf Reliance” products are very nice, but were quite out of my budget. Especially considering my needs in this situation. I wanted the can rotation, but I needed the ability to have standard shelving also. This would be much more apparent if you looked at the rest of my garage, which is stuffed, much of it the contents of the shelving I just pulled out.
Now I say Phase 1 with this project because this is not complete, in fact I plan on doing more tonight as my children hit the actual “sleeping” stage. Right now they are *going* to sleep which means I have to stay in earshot to refill water and the like. The next phase will be building out standard shelving from the wall I have just built, encaging the fridge, and providing storage on its side. The beauty of this project is the can rollers take up so little space, and then provide a wall in which I can do something like this. Heck, I could have surfaced it and just had it look like another wall.
With my wall size, this will accommodate 96 cans (I could add one more row at the top, but it’s a little to tall for anybody in the family except me). That’s a lot of food I’m able to move out of my basement, under-the-stairs closet, which I can’t get to most of the time anyways. Given that this is just outside the kitchen <-> garage door, it makes it a nice accessory to the pantry. And since my garage is well insulated, and I know the temperature ranges in it, I can put in a pretty wide range of foods without them being affected adversely.
All told, the materials were $61 for this project, including the wood to frame out the front end shelves which aren’t done yet. Not a bad price for largely increased storage, with can rotation.