Saturday, September 08, 2012
Saturday Pantry Suggestions
My pantry ponderings came in an unexpected way this week. I was in the Surgery Waiting Room of the VA Hospital in Danville while my husband had surgery (he is still in pain but otherwise recovering well).
I was the only person in the waiting room so I was able to sift through the various channels on the TV and came upon a docudrama about a pandemic hitting a major U.S. city.
The words I heard an expert saying drew me in immediately. He said, "We are only nine meals away from anarchy in America". What... ?
It turns out, the average family only keeps three days worth of food in their home and if any emergency should happen that stops commerce (trucks, railroads, etc.), experts say we would see riots after a few days. I knew there would be food shortages in an emergency but that statistic alarmed me.
I should have turned the station at that time because the docudrama became more unsettling with scenes from post-Katrina New Orleans (where society broke down into riots quickly).
The story had begun when a passenger with the illness flew into the city from another country showing only flu like symptoms. One of the points they were making was that such an emergency would be sudden, with no time to prepare ahead. Grocery stores would become empty within hours of the epidemic being known.
I must admit, I did turn the channel to watch something a little lighter as soon as the roving gangs hit the suburbs and the electricity went off because there were no people willing to work the power plants. I was already uptight as hubby's surgery was taking longer than expected.
Now, I know they were showing a worst case scenario but even then... I couldn't get it out of my mind after I arrived home.
I had read that in the Spanish flu epidemic, families who survived included those who did not have to leave their home during the infectious period. They literally boarded up their homes.
I wondered what it would be like if something were to happen and we suddenly could not leave our home for two or three weeks. Not out of fear, more... curiosity. I know I'm always talking about stocking up and living a Pantry Lifestyle but this is a little different.
What did I find?
Well, we have almost no extra water so the electricity to the well pump had better stay on... or make certain I store more water. I only have a case of bottled water because they were on sale at Kroger.
I have surprisingly little on my pantry shelves that would require no cooking. That should be a priority for the next time I can stock up a little.
We've considered building a fire pit since we have a large yard. I thought how it would provide a good way to cook if needed. I already have some cast iron cookware (in our area, we could most likely go outside... unlike the city).
I realized it would be a good idea to have bread and baked goods in the freezer not only for hospitality but should they be needed in an emergency situation.
I have some extra short term insulin (the most important) but I should ask my doctor what would happen if I couldn't get any long term insulin for awhile. I only receive two weeks worth of it at a time.
I have only one half bag of kitty litter... enough said.
While I don't have a very deep pantry, the canned goods I do have need to be organized better so I know exactly what items I actually have on hand.
For instance, Hubby thought we had plenty of canned chicken stock mixed in with the rest of the soup (he needed to stay on a liquid diet for a couple days) and was quite shocked to find we had used it all! I had to go to the grocery store and purchase a few cans... using gas and time.
The matches I have are very old and are becoming difficult to light. New matches need to go on my grocery list! It is one thing to go through a few matches to light a scented candle, it is another to go through matches quickly when they are needed for an emergency.
These are just a few conclusions from thinking through what would happen if we could not get to a grocery store for a few weeks. You may find it interesting to do the same.
I'd love to know what others think about this subject.
When I was watching the docudrama, I thought I was totally prepared for staying inside a few weeks. As it turned out, not nearly enough!
Picture: Apple Pie Harvest by Janet Kruskamp