First, to all of you with canned butter questions, go visit ol remus at the woodpile report.  He has a great set of pictures and more information than I included.

Now that you have scheduled all of those appointments with the doctor, dentist and eye doctor-you did schedule your appointments, didn’t you- it’s time to move on to your paperwork. I don’t know about you but we can get lost in the paper maze if we aren’t careful. So much just gets recycled, it really is criminal how much is just junk, but a lot is important and you need to be able to put your hands on it when you need it.

I am going to tell you to pick up a few things but understand what I mean by “pick up”. I mean go to freecycle or craig’s list or a thrift store or a tag sale. Ask around. Maybe someone has what you need sitting in the garage. Only when you have exhausted every option should you head to an actual store which you will probably need to do for this first thing. Get a safe. You need one that is fire proof and water proof. It has to be big enough for lots of folders. Since you will be using this forever and then handing it down to your kids, spend the money and get a good one. Now gather your really important papers and put them in labeled files. Our safe hold our wills, durable powers of attorney, health care proxys, adoption decress, birth certificates,  marriage liscence, social security cards, contracts, deeds and copies of credit cards, insurance cards, titles to our vehicles and so on. I keep on file for each person, another file for the house and a third general file. I keep copies of most of this with my attorney as well. I also keep some cash in small bills. The safe is bolted to the floor in a secure location. It would take an hour to get it out and then it weighs a ton. This stuff sounds so boring and I guess it is. It certainly doesn’t hold the same satisfaction that a full larder does but it still a necesary part of a preparedness program. About the cash. You need to keep enough on hand to see you through a time when the power is out and cash is king. How much is up to you. I think it would be hard to have too much.