I was in High School in the late nineties when I first heard about Y2K. I am sure you remember how people were making predictions that everything was going to crash and set technology back 100 years. Maybe it even had a profound effect on your life, like it did mine.
I was just getting started learning to cook with whole foods and experimenting with whole grains. We didn’t know what was going to happen. But we figured it never hurts to be prepared. So we got ready just in case.
Since then, in the United States, we have seen terrorist attacks, weather disasters and the great recession. We use terms like survivalism or prepping to describe the activities involved in getting ready for unforeseen problems. It used to be normal.
A hundred years ago when we didn’t have the transportation system we have today, people had to be able to store food or buy it much closer to home. In todays modern world we can make multiple stops at the store in one week or even a day and think nothing about it. That was not always the case. Our access to the food system is easier than ever before. We don’t want to ask what would happen if we lost that access.
As Christians we are told in 2 Timothy 1:7, that we are not given the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound Mind. Jesus also said, “Do not worry about tomorrow.” Yet we are also told “Go to the ant,…[for she ] Provideth her food in the summer” (Proverbs 6:6-8) And “A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself…” (Proverbs 22:3a) The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 is characterized as someone who has planned ahead.
So we need to be aware of what is going on around us. Bad things are going to happen and we will go through some suffering in this life. But God did not call us to be unwise in dealing with life’s problems. We have the ability to be prepared, we should be ready.
Here are Four things that I do in order to be prepared.
- Have an alternative heat source.
We use a wood burning stove. You might also choose a pellet stove or an outside wood furnace. Wood is cheap and can be sourced close to our home and is available during any type of blackout situation. Other types of fuel might have to be purchased at a special store or supplier. So just be aware of the costs involved.
Also it might be a good idea to be able to use your source without electricity unless you are planning on using a generator. With any type of fuel it is good to have a years supply stored ahead. So you will need some space for keeping it. And make sure you are using it regularly in order know how it operates.
We use our woodstove all winter long to supplement our propane furnace. Last year when propane went up to $4.00 a gallon we were sitting pretty with a locked in propane rate and a pile of wood to give us a little bit of security.
- Have an alternative cooking source
Again we use our wood cook stove all winter long. I feel independent knowing that I can make a good meal from wood we got from a local source. It makes me feel good knowing that I can create something without having to be connected to modern technology.
I also have a gas grill and a charcoal grill. Other options might include a camp stove, a rocket stove, or mastering the art of cooking over an open fire. Just be sure that you have fuel stored for whatever you choose and learn to use it.
- Store some food
The principle rule here is “Store what you eat and eat what you store.”
We have always had a large freezer and cupboards full of canned goods. With a large family and not a lot of money my mom was always looking for deals. It just makes sense to buy things when they are on sale or in large quantities and store them for later use.
When we were getting ready for Y2K we bulked up our storage. We bought a few more cases of canned goods, bought a couple of hundred pounds of grain, and bought a couple of cases of MREs.
As I mentioned before, I was just getting started learning to cook and bake with whole grains, when we bought our first food stores. So it took us awhile to use it up. In fact I just used up the last of the barley this last year. Although, it was still good 15 years after we purchased it, I would not recommend storing grain that long.
The best thing to do is to store products that you already use. Otherwise learn how to use them before buying a year’s worth.
- Grow some of your own food.
This is one skill probably brings the most sense of independence. It is great to have a year’s supply of food stored and of course you have to have a means of preparing it. But what if you have to leave your dwelling where all you food is stored. In a long term situation, what do you do when the food runs out. The answer is, grow some of it yourself.
I live on a small hobby farm. So I do have a slight advantage here. I can have a few cows and several chickens, a large garden, Etc. But no matter where you live you can grow something. Put some tomato plants in your landscaping, or put some containers on your porch. If you can grow one thing, you can grow another and another. The important thing for survival is the skill you will gain, not the produce in of itself.
I hope that you will implement at least one of these things in the next year. If you do or have let me know how things are going with it.