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Monday, May 30, 2011

Why The Need For Food Storage?


As many of you already know, I'm hosting a party for Shelf Reliance this week.  They are a company that sells emergency food storage and supplies.

I first became acquainted with and interested in the idea of food storage in 2009.  When it was first explained to me, it made perfect sense.  But to some, I realize that it seems kind of crazy and even apocalyptic.  To help you understand it better, I've decided to explain my own frame of reference to you.

First off, as the granddaughter of farmers, I realize that our grandparents used to grow and can their own food.  My grandparents didn't have Wal-Mart.  They had to be self-reliant.  Today we have things super easy! And sometimes I think that's to our detriment, because we aren't nearly as prepared for hard times as our grandparents and great grandparents were.

So what do I mean by hard times?

Well, for starters, there's inflation.  If you've been to the grocery store in the last year, you've got to notice the rise in prices.  It may not seem like a big deal to some to pay 10 cents more here and 50 cents more there, but when you add it all up, it can put a huge strain on your pocketbook.

Another thing that affects so many people right now is unemployment.  In 2008, my husband's business was hit hard, causing him to seek employment elsewhere.  He was lucky to find a good job, which he trained for for 3 months, only to be laid off, after about a month.  This layoff was the last thing we ever expected, and I wish we had food storage at that time.  It would have made things a lot less stressful just knowing that we didn't have to worry about what we're going to eat.

The Recent Disasters

And finally, another thing that seems more relevant to myself and many others than ever before, is the possiblity of weather disasters: floods, tornadoes, hurricane, tsunamis, even the snowstorms from earlier this year. 

I never thought we'd have a serious weather emergency here.  And yet we had a power outage all over the city 2 years ago due to storms.  Then this past winter we had a snow storm.  Our snow storm would be no big deal to those of you who are used to it, but we don't do snow down here.  It shut down our entire city...no, make that the entire county and surrounding counties for days!  Lucky for us, we had food, and we didn't lose power!

The same cannot be said for us during the tornadoes.  Just in our part of the state alone there were half a million people without power, and many were without power for over a week!  Very, very few stores were open.  And most of the ones who were only took cash (no checks, no debit or credit cards!).  The wait at our local Publix (once you're in line) was about 3 hours, and they were not allowed to sale refrigerated or frozen items due to the risk of food poisoning.  It was total chaos at the stores!

It was so crazy, we actually left town to visit my husband's family.  And we drove 70 miles before we came to an open gas station. (And yes, the gas station were chaotic too.)  While we were out of town my mother-in-law explained that they were without power for 2 weeks during one of hurricanes years ago. (Yikes!)  Now practically everyone in their area has a generator.

My Conclusion

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that you never know when something's going to happen.  We have fire drills in school, even though the chances of having an actual fire are very slim.  We buy health insurance, hoping (and often thinking) that we'll never use it, and so on.  A few years ago, I never thought I'd need extra food supplies, but I've already seen so many instances where it could have been useful to us.  And in the event of another disaster, I want to have the peace of mind, in knowing that we are prepared, that we'll be self-reliant, and I don't want to have to count on relatives and/or Publix to save us.

For more information on emergency preparedness, check out Ready.gov

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