Canning and Preserving | Sustainable Living

Stocking Up

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8 Items to Stock Up {Preparing Your Home for Emergencies} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Family Preparedness

You can find the rest of the series here.

I recently read a poll that suggested parents are doing very little to educate and prepare their families in the even of an emergency. And this info graphic shows what parents are or aren’t doing to prepare. So, this week I’ll be sharing ideas on how you can prepare your family for a crisis, national disaster, weather emergency, or economic collapse.

Today, I’m sharing my Basic List of supplies to stock up on – because you just never know how bad things will get before Jesus comes to take us home. And I believe with all of my heart that this is the last generation. 

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Each day this week, we’ll look at ways to prepare for short-term and long-term emergencies. These are things that I’m wanting to stock up on, but may have not had the finances to do it all yet. Nevertheless, having a plan – goals – will help me make good decisions when I do have a little extra spending money.

So, what am I doing to prepare our home?

I trust in God – believing that He will take care of us. I know I cannot rely on my own means to care for my family. I have to do what I can in the here and now to make sure that we have the things we need, but also prepare my family with the knowledge that our home, our food, our belongings do not really matter. We need to be ready to walk away a moment’s notice and leave all of our earthly possessions behind.

I cannot wait to see Jesus, so I am definitely ready! How exciting this time we live in is! Like the great hymn… It’s a Grand and Awful Time.

Stocking Up – The Basic List

8 Items to Stock Up {Preparing Your Home for Emergencies} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

So here is a list of things that might be important to have. This is my own list, you might find a better one some where else. You might want to add to it, or take away from it.

1. Water. They say 1 gallon of water per person per day. We don’t have that much – there are a lot of people in our family and keeping 20 gallons of water per day for even a month would take up too much space – that would be 500 gallons a month! We get our water free from springs here in Harlan County. The spring we get our water from is about 30 miles from here, though, so we would need another water source.

2. Rain Barrels. If you are not able to store enough water, rain barrels are a viable option – if you live in an area where it rains on a regular basis. This water will not be pure so you will need to have some way to purify the water. Boiling, bleach, or filters will work. In the event of an emergency, you can rig a tarp to catch water and drain into a barrel or large bucket. For every inch of rain, 1 square foot of space on your tarp or roof will yield about 1/2 gallon water. So, a 10 x 10 tarp could produce about 50 gallons of water for every inch of rain. That’s a lot of water!

3. Activated Charcoal. We use activated charcoal on a regular basis in our home. We use it mostly for stomach/ intestinal upsets. Once I drank some water that was contaminated (I didn’t realize it until after I drank it) and I took charcoal then. Activated charcoal can be used to purify your water if you need to. You can actually just stir in a teaspoon into your water and drink. Activated charcoal is tasteless and odorless. You can mix the powder into your water and drink or you can fill gelatin capsules with the powder, or you can buy it in tablet form. I prefer the powder. You can find activated charcoal in your local health food store.

4. Toiletries. Think about the basics: toilet paper, feminine products, soap. You might want to invest in cloth feminine napkins, or have supplies on hand to make your own. Cleanliness would also be an issue – how would you wash cloth napkins if there was no pure water source?

If there is no water running in your house, toilets would not be operating. They teach us in Pathfinders to dig a hole and bury it – and to not “go to the bathroom” within 100 feet of a water source. We own and love our Luggable Loo for camping. You can use Double Doodie Bags {I use these when Primitive Camping} but you would need a clay kitty litter and plastic bags or just bleach  and water to wash the bucket in the event of a longer crisis.

If you have a baby in the house… what about diapers? You should have a stock of cloth diapers (about three dozen) on hand – and not the really nice thick ones. If you are needing to wash diapers out by hand, thin birdseye cloth diapers would be ideal – and they dry quickly. These are available at any Wal-Mart.

5. Cleaning Agents. In this country we are so used to having running water {FYI: in most places – here in Harlan County where I live, 1/3 of the county still does not have running water!} that we have no real idea about what it means to have to haul water from the nearest source in order to clean ourselves and our homes. A large pot that would be suitable for a fire pit would be good to have on hand. And some of the basics – vinegar, baking soda, borax, plain soap, bleach, and a wash board. I have a large sink in my basement that has a washboard on it.

6. Medicines, Herbs, and More. What would happen if the economy collapsed and you had no way to get your medicines? And then there are the basics: Tylenol, aspirin, cough syrup. If you had an injury you might need: hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, bandages, bandage tape, gauze, burn ointment, calamine lotion. In our house we rely often on herbal medicines. We make our own tinctures and ointments. I recommend that everyone have on hand: Cayenne Tincture, Dried Ginger Root, Lobelia Tincture, Garlic.

7. Food. We can’t live without food, right? I suggest you stock up on things that will last. Dried beans, grains such as rice, oats and wheat, cornmeal, sugar, TVP, popcorn kernels, powdered milk, canned foods. There are some great websites about food storage that I have recently found. One of my favorites is the Food Storage Made Easy. This group of ladies teaches you how to store what you eat and eat what you store. Maybe I am the only one, but I didn’t know that the Mormons have always stored up food for the time of trouble!

On Food Storage Made Easy, these ladies have even provided a handy worksheet for helping you plan a 3 month supply of food for your family. Again, remember that if you have a baby and you do not breastfeed, you need to stock up on formula. Food grade buckets with gamma seals are ideal for storing food. If you do decide to stock up on a large amount of food, you need to rotate your food and keep your supply updated regularly. Eat it or by the time you need it, it may be no good.

8. Lighting. If we have no electricity, candles and solar lanterns would be really good to have on hand. My son has a neat flashlight that you can shake and it recharges itself.

What would you add to this list? What are you doing to prepare your family for emergencies?

Like I said before, I am preparing for the worst with the idea that if/when I need to “flee into the wilderness” that my heart is also prepared for that. Jesus said:

“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

“For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.” Mark 13: 14-23 (emphasis mine)

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8 Items to Stock Up {Preparing Your Home for Emergencies} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

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11 Comments

  1. I've been reading/studying your posts on sustainable living. I'm reading many of the books you've suggested. I agree wholeheartedly about being prepared for an uncertain future. Specifically, concerning this post, can you lead me in the right direction to learn more about herbal medicines and how to make/store our own. I've searched my public library, but I often find that most of the books on herbs have a New Age undertone. How did you learn of herbs and their healing properties etc?
  2. I used to have a guilt-ish sort of feeling about stocking up, etc. and wondered if I was hoarding. Don't worry Melissa, as long as you can give to those who ask you are actually serving the Lord. You are not one of those end time survivalists that are preparing for war, you are preparing for your family and sharing with others just as a "virtuous woman" does.
  3. Hi, I just found your site today. I have not read everything but liked what I saw. I can see we are like minded in a few areas, I live in Kentucky, I homeschool and I am also preparing. I prepare because I feel led to. I have faith to believe the Lord will sustain me. I also know he prepared Noah. It is not really needful to have all your water stored now if you have something like a Big Berky. I own one now. Really important piece of equipment to have for good water. This system can filter out muddy water. It will not filter salt water because it is designed to only to remove bad stuff from water not minerals. You can use creek water, lake water, puddles, pool water etc even toilet water if needed. For those who are serious look into one. (about $200.00) I am right now going through and picking up items every week to put in storage. I think simple is best. Sometimes Dollar General has bleach (1gal) for $1.00. Buy 10 when you can find it. Bless you
    1. I read my comment and wanted to say one thing about hoarding, be in the spirit when purchasing. Don't leave shelves empty of important items. But many times stores that move merchandise can order more at a cheaper amount. I use wisdom when I buy items in quantity. I also live very far out in country and choose not to shop weekly for items. I usually shop items that are long lasting monthly. It is better for me to get 5 of something and not get that item for awhile. I save on gas, time, and tire wear. Hope that clears up any challenges that someone might have in regard to buying more than one thing at a time.
      1. I agree, Shari. We live out in the middle of nowhere and have to drive hours to get to major shopping centers. We stock up while we're there and purchase items we will use. When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, we won't be selfish!
  4. This was an interesting post and has given me lots to think about but I was a little concerned about your tip on putting bleach in water! Surely this isn't a safe thing to do? Or did I miss something?
    1. Hi Julie, I'm glad you asked this question. Purifying water with bleach is not something I would do on a normal basis - but in an emergency situation, you can safely purify water with bleach by adding 5 drops of bleach to each quart of water. The water should be clear - not cloudy or muddy. So, for instance, if you store up tap water in re-used containers for any length of time, you would need to purify the water because it would be considered non-potable. You would need to be sure that they water was not filled with pollution or other contaminates that bleach would not kill. So, I suggest using it, like I said for water that you've stored in re-used bottles. You can read more here: http://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/EmergencyPreparednessandResponse/Factsheets/WaterPurification
  5. One other quick note on bleach. We used to raise dairy goats and bleach was something we used everyday in multiple applications, including teat dip. Be aware that not all bleach is created equal. Only Clorox bleach is pure, clean bleach. Generic brands can contain additives and contaminants (like heavy metals) that are bad for you. We only use Clorox brand.
    1. Hi Patti! I did not know that about bleach. Thanks so much for telling me because we tend to buy the cheap stuff since our budget is so tight. I'll keep that in mind next time I go to the store to pick some up! I had no idea!
  6. Bleach has a short shelf life,and I agree about CLOROX. If you contact Clorox they will confirm the short shelf life.

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