MESSAGE FROM TESS
Happy Friday the 13th Everyone,
For the past 31 weeks, we have been steadily moving towards a more self reliant state of being. Having the ability to take care of yourself and your family is essential in any emergency situation, so we explore many do-it-yourself options. I continue to write this newsletter because even beyond emergencies, I believe self reliance is the only true path to freedom. Perhaps you are also finding freedom in preparedness.
In the coming weeks, we will really concentrate on longer-term food storage. That means clearing some space in those closets and pantries to get prepared for storing these bulkier items. So, inventory management will be the subject for the Prep of the Week. I will suggest the best ways to organize your preps, as well as provide you some tips on creating an inventory list to fall back on and tips on how to stay organized.
Missed any issues of the 52-weeks to preparedness series? We’ve got you covered! You can view the 52-weeks to preparedness series online at Ready Nutrition.Help friends and family become more prepared for emergencies in 2012 by sending them the 52-Weeks to Preparedness page. They can easily begin their own preparedness journey using our food storage calculator on Ready Nutrition to create a customized chart telling them how much food storage would be required to sustain their family in the face of an emergency.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 31 of 52: Inventory Management
Keeping your preps organized can be very challenging to say the least. Most of us do not have ideal storage areas and are putting our preparedness and food supplies in every free nook and cranny that is available to us. If you’re not careful, this can lead to an unorganized mess. However, in order to know how much you have and how much more you need, you must to be able to account for it. The reality of this situation is if you are ever truly in an emergency, you want these preparedness items and equipment to be accessible and easy to find when you need it the most.
There is no clear cut way to store preparedness supplies. Some store their like preparedness items in groups (i.e. stored foods, tools, equipment, tack and household items), while others store them according to need (baking needs, short-term food supply, long-term supply, etc.) Whichever way you choose to organize, ensure that the area chosen is free from natural elements and insects. This also helps reduce other pest issues. The best way to keep track of your preps is with a master inventory list. Here are some suggestions for organization and for creating a Master List.
Organizing the Storage Area:
- Take out all your preparedness items from the area they are being stored in.
- Thoroughly clean the area you are storing your preparedness items and food.
- Ensure that the area you are choosing to store your food is free of the enemies (natural elements and insects).
- Label each container, bucket, tub or package with it’s contents, pack date/year and any necessary instructions.
- Assign locations in storage area helps to keep items more organized (Med. Supplies, Baking, Sanitation, Breakfast, Canned Goods, etc.).
- Grouping items that are used together can be convenient. For example, keep baking needs such as flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, etc. next to one another for easy access.
- Place goods with the longest expiration date in the back and work forward to the closest expiration date.
- Systematically rotate and organize your storage.
- Food storage inventory should be checked every 6 months to make sure that food items are properly rotated and are used within their expiration date.
Creating a Master List:
- Use Excel or a spreadsheet software program to better organize and categorize your preps.
- List everything! Nothing should be exempt from your inventory list.
- Add the location of where the prep items are stored.
- Alphabetizing the list and including the location of where it is stored can be helpful when you’re in a pinch.
- Store your Master List in your Emergency Binder.
As you have found in the last 30 weeks, preparedness involves acquiring a lot of gear, tools and food. Knowing what you have, how much you have and where to find it is imperative in keeping track of your preparedness supplies.
To learn more tips for organizing your emergency preps, click here.
To find out how to better inventory your preparedness supplies, click here.
- Take all of your preparedness items out of the storage area and thoroughly clean the area.
- Organize your preparedness supplies.
- Develop a master list of your inventory supplies.
- Store the master list in your Emergency Binder.
Preps to Buy:
- Three Ring Binder (the larger the better)
- Printer Paper
- Highlighter Pen (optional)
- Printed Out Information
- Plastic containers or bins or under bed storage containers
- Shelving units
WHAT WE’RE UP TO
In the Home:
It seems that a mother’s work is never done… sigh. The kids have not been as forthright in helping me put up Christmas as they were helping me get Christmas out. So, it has been up to me to un-Christmas the house and attempt to clean the house at the same time… which sounds a little counter-productive now that I am writing this. Hmmmm.
This week, I made some small purchases. It seems my family is always running out of juice, so I bought a few extra jugs. I have also started bulking up on my stored water supply (you can never have too much of this), so I bought 5-gallons worth of bottled water at the store and plan on purchasing 5 more gallons next time I am at the store.
My big prep purchase was some tea tree oil. This has been on my wish list for quite some time, so I decided to get a small amount to see if I like it. I have heard such wonderful things about this essential oil. I’ll let you all know how it goes and maybe even write an article all about it.
In the Garden:
I am leaving my garden alone this week. It seems to be doing just fine after the rain we had earlier this week. So, I am going to let it be and see how it does.
STATS AND FACTS
I think it is safe to say that winter is in full gear. I just wanted to remind all you how important it is to be ready for these winter storms and anticipate the effects that severe storms have on homes and cars. As the cold weather brings unexpected scenarios, be as prepared for them as possible whether you are in your home or in your car with these important preparedness tips:
- Anticipate the power going out. Have alternative power and heating sources ready to go along with the extra blankets. An emergency generator with extra fuel could be a life saver in this situation.
- If your electricity goes out for a long period of time, have some food stored for short-term emergencies. And don’t forget to prepared for your pets needs.
- When dressing for winter weather, use the layering principle. A large majority of body heat is lost at the back of the neck and at the top of the head, so make sure that you have a warm hat to go a long with the heavy winter coat and mittens. I learned this lesson last year.
- Winter car accidents are sometimes hard to avoid due to the dangers of blizzards, snow flurries, skidding off the road, “black ice,” and other weather related accidents. Having a preparedness kit for your vehicle in the instance that you are stranded in your car is a great way to prepare for cold weather mishaps.
LETTERS TO TESS
Do you have a preparedness question? One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s question addresses white flour storage:
Can white flour be successfully stored for a long period of time outside of the freezer? What we want to do is every time we buy flour (50 lb.) place 15 or 20 lbs. in food storage. Any help in this area would be helpful since we have none in storage at the moment.
If white flour is stored out of the freezer in its original packaging, it will last about 12 months. Although, it can be extended if you keep it away from the natural elements and re-package the contents in a more durable food packaging material. My family uses a lot of flour each year. So, we have a fairly good amount stored in our short term food supplies. To make it last, I re-packaged the flour in either plastic food saver bags or mylar food liners and sealed them. Some of my stored flour reserves have been as old as 3-4 years, and the taste is just the same as it would be if I bought it at the store.
Another way to prolong your flour supply is to buy in wheat berry form and ground it as you go. Wheat berries last 20 years or longer, if packed properly. The only extra prep item you would need is a flour grinder (Which would be a good item to invest in anyway).
I hope this helps. Thanks again for the great question!
Be The Change You Wish To See In The World!