Some people go crazy “being prepared”. They feel that if they stock up enough food/water/medical supplies/whatever else, then they’ll be able to ride out any potential scenario. This is true to some extent. Having enough of life’s essentials for your family to survive in the event of an emergency is smart and prudent.
However, there is a problem I’ve noticed with this approach. First of all, not everyone has the money or space to store years of food and supplies for their family (including us!). But second is this: so you store up on beans, wheat, rice, and other long-storing foods. When the time comes to use them, will you know how? Do you know how to soak and cook dried beans? How about how to grind wheat into flour with your grain mill? (Hopefully you were smart enough to get one of those if you stocked up wheat!) Or, if you stored up flour, do you know how to make a loaf of homemade bread that your family will actually eat? (It’s taken me three years and I still don’t have the perfect loaf!!!)
Don’t get me wrong: storing up on food and other goods is an important thing. We all take for granted our steady twenty-four-hour access to a grocery store (or Wal-Mart).
But our family chooses to take a little different approach. We choose to live a prepared lifestyle now. And while storing up is all well and good, we want to live a life now that reduces our dependency on others, consumes less, conserves precious resources, and is just generally more simple. Yes, we have food items stored up, but we’re learning how to use them in our everyday cooking. When I go to the grocery store, I’m mostly buying fruits and vegetables, and a few other things that we can’t (or choose not to) produce on our own. Everything else I try to buy in bulk and use as we need. And this summer, when the garden is in full swing, I expect that my grocery cart will feel downright empty each week!
I used to compare our amounts of food storage to other friends who were also storing up, and felt like we were so far behind. But you know what? I don’t feel bad anymore. I came to a realization not too long ago that we’re getting closer to the point that if the power went out for weeks because of an ice storm (not this winter!)—or the economy tanked and everyday provisions were not as readily available—we’d hardly skip a beat. We’d make it. And not just survive, but be able to more forward with relative joyfulness and ease!
What is your family’s approach to “being prepared”? I’d love to hear about it!