What is preparedness?
For most of us, the world took an odd turn in the year 2020. One day we’re going about our day-to-day lives and the next we’re behind closed doors wearing a surgical mask. Was anyone prepared for that change?
Most of us probably were not prepared, or at least not as prepared as we wished we were. I remember my first trip to the local grocery after the state I live in went on lockdown. The empty shelves were sobering proof we had more than a medical crisis. The stories told to me by my grandparents of living through the Great Depression echoed in my memory.
It became clear to me that I needed to become more intentional about preparedness. I was lucky. I had meat in the freezer, canned goods on the shelf, and I’d recently purchased toilet paper in bulk at one of the big box stores. I thought we’d be fine if I stayed diligent. I was wrong.
It didn’t take long for some of the items we used on a regular basis to disappear. All manner of boxed pasta and spaghetti sauces became unavailable. First aid items such as isopropyl alcohol and peroxide disappeared. All paper products vanished from the shelves. Eggs became hard to find, even for those of us in the country with chicken-raising neighbors. It took months for flour and yeast to become available again, something the bread-baker in the house whined not-so-good-naturedly about
Rather than bemoan the fact there were holes in my meager pantry, I gave thought to what I could do to protect my little household of two regular humans and two furry little humans. I panicked over having enough dog and cat food on hand before I gave much thought to having enough human food.
I made up my mind we would become better prepared all the way around.
My goal was to have a well-stocked pantry that would supply us for about a year on most things not dairy or fresh produce. I made a few lists and started with those items that were available at the time. I have enough trash bags to last several years, and enough laundry detergent to keep me washing clothes for even longer. Why those items? Because I needed them at the time and since they were in the stores, I bought ahead.
It didn’t happen overnight. There wasn’t a magical shopping spree where I was able to purchase everything I needed or wanted. I set my mind to intentional purchasing, little by little, a few items at a time until I’m now in a place where I’m more comfortable. I took the time to identify what I needed to do within our particular circumstances and began a determined journey to pantry preparedness.
Preparedness is to me nothing more than being prepared to ride out circumstances beyond my control. Preparedness is having enough food, hygiene, cleaning, and pet supplies on hand in case we need to isolate again. Or in case of a blizzard. Or if a flood takes out our bridge and we’re stranded until our county government can repair it.
Preparedness is a stress alleviator, not a prelude to Doomsday. I won’t be stressed about my wonderful canine companion running out of food if I have enough of his favorite kibble in the pantry. He won’t think he’s been a bad dog because all his treats are gone. I may have to ration his doggie bones but he won’t go without because I can’t get to the supermarket for a month, or the grocery is out of stock on the snackies he loves.
Thinking, planning, and preparing according to your circumstances will help you to avoid some stress when unforeseen events occur.
What preparedness is not, to me, is Doomsday prepping like you may see on television or on the Internet. It’s not being frightened or panicked. It’s being prepared on as many levels as possible so you don’t panic. It’s being able to take care of yourself in an emergency situation, and give aid to your loved ones who may need your help.
That leads me to the next page: Why concern yourself over preparedness?
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The Lady of Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway)
Holly Tree Manor, The Hideaway, preparedness, home food preservation, gardening, being prepared, shortages, pantry prepping