Look over your supply of toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc. Decide if you are storing enough. Make a note about which items you want to increase, and periodically increase your supply.
STEP 1: 3-MONTH FOOD STORAGE per person:
15 lbs. White Flour
White flour has a pantry shelf life of 1 year. If you have a family of 4, a 3-month supply is about 60 lbs. Costco sells 50 lb. bags of flour for about $13.50. If you don't bake often, you could store a small amount of flour on your pantry shelf, and more in #10 cans from the Home Storage Center which have a 10 year shelf life. Note: Wheat flour does not store without refrigeration and loses its nutritional as it sits on your pantry shelf. It's better to grind your whole wheat into flour and store in your refrigerator or freezer.
STEP 2: 2-WEEK SUPPLY OF DRINKING WATER:
Accumulate 14 gallons of emergency water per person. That's about 4x24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles. If you refill your own containers, they need to be changed every 6 months; whereas commercially bottled water can be stored indefinitely. But it will taste better if you use it periodically, then buy more. Water is an absolute necessity! You will need more for hygiene, cleaning and cooking.
STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE OR EMERGENCY FUND:
Start small, but be consistent. Add $2.00 or more per person each week. And only use it for emergencies. This is not an investment fund.
STEP 4: LONGER-TERM FOOD STORAGE:
Do this step if you have completed STEPS 1, 2 and 3. Throughout the year I will suggest long-term items in STEP 1 with (LT) after their name. You can purchase a larger amount for your long-term storage, but they should be stored in #10 cans, buckets or Mylar bags for these items to have a 20 to 30+ year shelf life.
HOME STORAGE: Vinegar for cleaning
You can purchase a two gallon sized containers at Sam's Club or Costco for about $3.50 total. An inexpensive household cleaner. Go to VinegerTips.com for more ideas.
72-HOUR KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)
AUTO EMERGENCY KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)
EQUIPMENT FUND: Many of you have been working on your 72-hour kits and auto emergency kits with me for the past 9 months. So, for the next 12 weeks you will see a suggested amount to save for a more expensive equipment item to be purchased at the end of December. However, if you are not ready to do this and want to continue building your emergency kits, go back to my older monthly lists and look for items you want to purchase each week. We will start over again in January.
- Decide on an item such as one of the following that you want to save for: Electric Pressure Cooker $100, Pressure Canner/Cooker $100, Tent $150, 2-Burner Outdoor Propane Stove $100, Volcano Cook Stove $100, Indoor/Outdoor Heater $100, Electric Wheat Grinder $250, Chain saw $200-300, Solar Oven $300, KitchenAid Mixer $300, Bosch Mixer $420, or Generator $800+
- Divide the dollar amount by 12.
- Put aside that amount each week.
- Purchase your item at the end of December.
During winter power outages, non-electric indoor portable heaters can disappear from store shelves quickly. If you can afford one, consider the Mr. Heater Big Buddy Heater (about $130.00) which heats up to 400 square feet. Carefully read the reviews and instructions. It also comes in a smaller size which heats a 200 square foot space. It could also be useful on camping trips.
PREP GOAL: Find out where the closest evacuation center is to you. Obviously this could change depending on the disaster, but what public locations near you could be used as evacuation centers? Your local school, a county building, or a church? Contact your city to find out and make a mental note.
HOW TO USE THIS LIST:
1. Decide on a monthly or weekly home storage budget.
2. Realistically decide what you want to gather or do from the list.
3. Multiply amounts by number of family members.
4. Adjust amount for younger children.
5. Adapt, adapt, adapt. These are only suggestions. Pick and choose.
6. Each week look for store sales that match your goals.
7. Carry your list with you or put it on your cell phone notepad.
If you want to see the entire month, go to the November Monthly List.
You are never behind if you take one step forward.