Thursday, May 26, 2011

Taking Inventory

My personal opinion is that from time to time (perhaps once per year) it is a good idea to take a personal inventory of your storage items. How far you take it is certainly up to you, but DO it. How else will you know if you've got enough to survive 3 days? 3months? a year? 3 years? You might find you have weak areas or that you've completely overlooked certain items. Having a chance to take care of those things when there is no real emergency is definitely preferable!

Whether you hand-write a list or just look at your pantry and think to yourself, consider what you've stored.

Do you have flour/sugar/wheat?
Do you have cooking oils?
Do you have bottled fresh vegetables? fruits? meats?
Do you have dehydrated vegetables? fruits? meats?
Do you have freeze-dried vegetables? fruits? meats?
Have you thought about eggs and butter?
What about spices to make your foods taste good?
Did you remember adequate water? (at least 1 gallon per person per day for drinking, more for cleaning/cooking)
Did you consider sanitation? Toilet paper, baby wipes, soap/shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine needs, diapers?
Do you have sufficient first aid items in a kit and do you know how to use them all?
Do you have a well stocked 72-hour kit? (The FEMA type people say that "The first 72 are on you" and THEN they will consider helping your needs.)
Do you have clothing and blankets and a tent?
Are your flashlights holding fresh batteries?
Do you have extra batteries?
And a battery powered radio for emergency communication?
Do you have copies of important documents (birth certificates, insurance forms, medical info, etc) in waterproof storage bags and in a handy location?
Do you have a few dollars set aside in case you have to evacuate?

If that's not enough, I have more for you to consider...
Do you have a recipe booklet to help you cook up those foods you stored?
Do you rotate those items so that your body accustomed to them and you won't suffer diarrhea?
Do you practice fire drills or evacuation steps or tornado drills so you can take cover quickly?
Do you maintain enough fuel in your vehicle to get you out of the area at a moments notice?
Do you check your home regularly for little safety problems you can fix and avoid hazards?
Do you have an escape plan in place for your home? Church? Workplace?
Do you have emergency phone numbers posted and up-to-date?

If you think that you've stored plenty and haven't checked it to ensure it is still free from water damage, bugs or spoilage...if you feel comfortable that you have enough and have no need to store more,....I hope you will take a moment and re-evaluate. If are always preparing, or improving your preparations, you will come out much further ahead should the need arise.