Friday, November 5, 2010

Emergency Preparation

I just received my new toy: a dehydrator! So for the next few months I will be dehydrating meals and storing them in #2 (food safe) five gallon buckets. I guess I'm finally taking the emergency preparedness seriously. I posted on this subject quite a while ago, but very little progress was made. I was distracted with moving, traveling, etc. But for some reason I feel it is time to put some things together - just in case. We live right on top of a fault line, so all this activity may be moot, but you never know when you might need to be able to care for yourself and your family during an emergency. My goal is several buckets worth of dehydrated organic veggies, beans, rice, canned tuna, a water purifier, some medical supplies and medicines, maybe a tootsie roll or two - then I will feel I've done all I can. I can forget about it, and go on with my life.

Here is a great video, that is part of a series of videos found here, that shows how dehydrated foods can be used. I like them better than freeze dried because if the emergency never arises, I think we will actually eat this food. Plus there is no need to throw out veggies you won't be able to consume before they go bad  - just dehydrate them! Most of the packets will be meals, for instance - a soup with all of the ingredients in one vacuum-sealed package.

You can also find my other post on this subject here. The comment section had tons of great ideas from all of you. Is anyone else feeling the urge to prepare?



Addendum: This video appears when viewing this post through Safari but is absent with Firefox! ??

32 comments:

Expat From Hell said...

Brilliant idea! I think we should all be prepared for disruptions in our food chain - and your taking the lead here is a great example. Thanks. EFH

Nancy said...

Expat - I hope people take your ideas to heart - I've gone back to re-read them.

ellen abbott said...

this is such a great idea. When I was a kid during the cold war, my mother had an auxiliary pantry for emergencies. Of course we raided it until eventually nothing was left. we had a dehydrator once but not having central air at the time and living in a very humid environment, it didn't work so well. Now I have central air so maybe I'll try it again. But you should get one of those seal a meal gadgets that creates a vacuum.

Gaia said...

This is so interesting thank you for sharing.

Land of shimp said...

Very cool! We were just talking about this very subject, Nancy, Rob and I were. We were talking about how it is a good idea to keep disaster supplies around. We have freeze dried foods, and a water purifier here, just in case.

It doesn't even need to be some hideous disaster. Out here, plenty of times there have been snows that take out the power for a week as crews struggle through the snow to get into repair them.

Thanks for the link on the dehydrated food, I will check that out. There are so many ways to just up our feeling of safety, aren't there?

Hilary said...

You always put the best ideas and discussions out there. Thank you for that.

Nancy said...

ellen - I remember my grandmother doing the same thing. After surviving the Great Depression, I think many people learned to plan for an emergency. Expat is right - all it would take is a temporary disruption in the food chain and most of us would be in trouble.

Gaia - You're welcome. :-)

Shimp - I think the water purifier is very important. Now I'm looking at solar ovens or some kind of cooking stove that wouldn't rely on electricity.

Hilary - Thanks! :-)

Brian Miller said...

intriguing....better to be prepared...you never know what the future holds...

Pauline said...

I'm darn sure if I lived on a fault line I would be doing exactly what you are. But I think we should all be prepared for some natural disaster or other. Last time my emergency supplies were tested (cut off for seven days by flooding) I couldn't turn the knob on the little one plate gas cooker I keep for just such an occasion. So now I not only check my food supplies, I also check the equipment!
By the way, I've juct check the Christchurch earthquake after shock register and the count has now reach 2607. I had no idea aftershocks carried on for so long (2 months) and that some of them are so severe. You really do need to be prepared.

Jayne Martin said...

I'd just like to know where you live so if the shit does hit the fan I know where to go for a meal. Otherwise, I'm screwed because I will never get it together to be that organized. ;)

Linda Hoye said...

I've been thinking about getting a dehydrator for the purpose of eating in a more healthy way; this is a perspective I hadn't considered. It may push me into getting one. Thanks!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

OK, off to buy one of these. You're an inspiration.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

i thihk that's a great idea. ron would like a dehydrator but he wants me to make jerky...

lakeviewer said...

I've dried fruit, but never whole meals. Cool.

maggie's garden said...

Thanks for the excellent information. I do like the water filters, and will be looking into one for my kitchen. I have a dehydrator cycle on my oven and have never used it...the videos have been a huge inspiration. Thanks again.

Nancy said...

Brian - If you don't - by the time you need it, then it's too late.

Pauline - That's what happened here - dozens of small quakes that rattled nerves for months. Nevada is the third most seismically active state after California and Alaska. Finding a stove is my next purchase. You're smart to check everything.

Jayne - LOL! You would be very welcome!

Linda - My daughter wanted one for the same reason. She gets a CSA box once a week and can't seem to keep up with it. She sees this as a way not to waste food.

Trish & Rob - :-) Some instinct tells me...

Teresa - You can make jerky, too. My husband would like that, as well.

lakeviewer - I like the idea of the recipe and the ingredients being all together. I figure in an emergency I probably won't want to look for how it goes together.

maggie - Very cool to have one built in!

Rob-bear said...

This is all very thoughtful and wise. It's not something I'd considered very much.

Besides dehydrating food, one ought to have some home-made wine on hand. To augment the water purifier.

One question. Will you new tool (or toy) help one develop a "dry" sense of humour?

DJan said...

I had a friend in Colorado who used one of these faithfully. Used it for everyday. I liked the dehydrated fruit the best.

Amanda said...

this is fabulous nancy! i think if i got my hands on one of those i'd be dehydrating everything in sight! (after reading your post, maybe i will! ;-)

Mental P Mama said...

Well color me impressed! We are on a fault line here in New England as well. But I know noone--myself included--who ever gives this a thought.

Jo said...

At work, we all have emergency preparedness kits stored underneath our desks, because we live in an earthquake zone too. Unfortunately, I don't have any provisions at home, and I think what you're doing is a great idea! And Tootsie Rolls are definitely a necessity of life, aren't they!? :-)

Nancy said...

Rob-bear - I think I'm going to slip a small bottle of "something" (Jack Daniels?) into the buckets. :-)

DJan - I think this is a great way to keep food you would use everyday. The videos show you how to store, and how to store food in jars for everyday.

Amanda - I'm hoping to have some fun with it. A project that might come in handy some day.

Mama - Where we live seismic activity is pretty common, but not everyone is prepared for an earthquake. But I figure if you live with severe weather, or where power commonly is disrupted, it is a good idea to have something set aside in case of emergency. Power outages are fairly common here, too.

Jo - Great idea with the packs under your desks! And yes, tootsie rolls are extremely important. I figure if they are sealed they will last at least a few decades. :-)

Rob-bear said...

Jack Daniels in the bucket? Hmmmm. Oh, yes, of course; for medicinal purposes only!

Pat said...

My parents always kept a lot of dry goods in the basement on shelves. Maybe it more because of living through the Depression. Because of our lifestyle, we live more day-to-day.

Reya Mellicker said...

What do you think might happen?

Kathy G said...

Thanks to your post, I was inspired to dry pumpkin, something I've never done before (and linked back to your blog as my inspiration): http://kathys-second-half.blogspot.com/2010/11/pumpkin-pumpkin-whos-got-pumpkin.html

Nancy said...

Rob-bear - Exactly! :-)

Pat - We do too, normally.

Reya - Not sure. Just a feeling.

Kathy - Very cool - will come check it out.

Sarah Lulu said...

Hmmm I have not considered doing anything like that before.

Shrinky said...

Gosh, what a great contraption! I have to confess it's never even crossed my mind to "prepare", other than to always have a fully stocked "store-cupboard", and us being self-sufficeint in growing our fruit and vegetables (the crops I barely can keep up with). The worst I foresee happening over here is being cut off from the mainland ferry supplies during the event of stormy weather - which does occur fairly frequently.

Good luck, keep us posted!

Marguerite said...

I've always wanted to have a dehydrator and the water purifier is a great idea, too. During the cold war, my parents actually had an underground bomb shelter on their property, completely stocked with necessities for a disaster! And living in hurricane country, I am always prepared for those.

Deborah said...

I bought a dehydrator years ago and had great plans to use it for fruit, mainly. The idea was to have nutritious snacks on hand, but like most of my enthusiasms, it lose momentum and the thing ended up just taking up space in the cupboard for years. However, I didn't live on a fault line, which might have given me more incentive! Hope you never have occasion to use these as emergency rations, Nancy!

This also reminded me of the emrgency preparedness we went through in the early 60s, even in Canada, because of the Bay of Pigs issue. Lots of talk about air raid shelters and how fast we could get home from school...

i'im.z said...

nice info nancy...=)