As most of you know, thanks to the miracle of adoption, I have seven kids. Two still live at home, three are across the country and two are local. The two local, one a single dad with full custody of two children and one married with a wife and toddler, would most certainly land here in the event of a major event. When I plan for storage, I do keep that in mind but I think I have made an error in not asking that they be more responsible for their own preparations. I have been working on a list for each family that outlines what steps they should take in a disaster. A disaster is defined as something that disrupts food supplies or causes civil unrest for a period of time. I would not consider an impending winter storm a disaster (they could all ride one out here without a problem) but a collapse of the US dollar, a  terrorist attack that involved biological weapons or a dirty bomb or a severe pandemic that closed down most commerce would be. I think they need a list of what they should pack because, if something serious enough to warrant leaving their home happened, they would likely be fighting panic and need some clear direction so they do what needed to be done without hesitation. I already harp on the car theme. Keep the tank half full. It’s an important point. If electricity was out, they could not stop at a filling station and get gas. The pumps won’t work. A half tank minimum would make it possible to get home.

What would I want them to pack? Not much actually. Their clothes and any medication of course, concentrating on foul weather gear and work clothes. I hope they have irreplaceable pictures on a flash drive or in an album they can grab. I would want them to bring bedding and sleeping bags and towels as well as food and toiletries. I gave my daughter-in-law a canner for her birthday and I would want her to bring that and hand tools would be a good idea. That’s really it. They would certainly know to take back roads here and to come first and worry about looking foolish and over-reacting later.

I am also talking to them about contributing to our family preps. If I give them a list, they could pick up a couple of items each time they shop. They could leave them at home or bring them here and we will store them. I do the big things that are bulk purchases like wheat, oats, sugar, salt, oats, rice and corn but some of the other stuff is inexpensive and usually purchased in smaller quantities. I would suggest canned juices, baking supplies, peanut butter, cooking oil, canned milk, toilet paper and things that are shelf stable and often go on sale at 10 for &10.00 like canned fruit, tuna and soups.

My son is self-employed and works from home. He hires out people to do his shopping usually (plus he is the typical absent-minded professor type) so I would not expect him to do this but he easily give me $300.00 dollars a month that I could put towards food supplies. I am looking at canned beef and chicken form Lehman’s. It is $100.00 for a case of 12, 2 pound cans. This is not cheap and it’s not local so I would ordinarily not consider it but if my son wanted to pay for it, it would be a way to get a good supply of shelf stable protein. The money could also help with the purchase of more six gallon buckets and gamma lids. They are usually a  lot more expensive than whatever I store in them.

This may seem a bit over the top, even for me, but I think it is important planning. How many times have those of us who prepared hear the same thing. If  anything happens I’m coming to your house. No. Actually, you aren’t. I have a large family that I’m responsible for and a limited amount of room. I can direct you to the nearest shelter but I can’t take in every friend and relation who could have prepared and didn’t.