Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Pantry Suggestions

My ponderings this week have much everything to do with the terrorist attack in Boston this week.  Although I was already thinking down this line...

Hubby and I had already been talking about the empty shelves we sometimes find at Wal Mart, when I saw an article online about it being a nationwide problem.  As a Quality Assurance Engineer, he worked a lot with the JIT (Just In Time) concept and he's said for years that it could cause challenges for a company as big as Wal Mart.

"Just In Time" is when a consumer company (from grocery stores to automobile plants) no longer stock parts or products in a warehouse but order just what they need for a particular day or week.   Which sounds good in theory but has caused significant problems for some stores and companies.

When we first heard about the terrorist attack in Boston and later how the city was on lock down, Hubby said that is (on a small scale) what could happen on a much larger scale should their be multiple terror attacks at the same time through the country... which would mean semis cannot get into a city to resupply grocery stores.

Now, what is amusing (and I realize it is not a funny subject) to me is that he never used to think that way.  While he agreed with keeping a pantry... for both our mothers went through the Great Depression and always had a pantry... he wasn't so sure about keeping a deep pantry.  Until world events begin to shake the security of one who grew up in the 1950s and whose family did not build a bomb shelter.  ;)

Where he was talking about major disruptions to supply lines... my thoughts were more toward how everything changed for the people in the Boston area... suddenly!

Our need for a pantry or using emergency provisions (such as flashlights, lanterns, food that does not need to be cooked, etc.) usually happens without warning.  Even with a certain amount of warning as one would receive in a hurricane watch, by that time everyone else is on the same hymnal page and clamoring for what food and products are available, which often can be just a few products on the shelves.

It just makes good sense to invest in at least a little food and provisions to have on hand.  Especially if it ever comes to a time when we can't leave our homes.  I imagine the people in the Boston suburbs never thought in a million years that an entire town would be on lock down.

Even the best of us can assume nothing will ever happen in which we need to be prepared.  People have asked me how I became interested in preparedness.  Well, partially because my mother (having gone through the Depression and who grew up on a farm where they were self sufficient) didn't preach it as such but she lived it.

However, it was also one chapter in a book I read around 1980 called How to Prosper in the Coming Bad Years that caught my attention.  Ruff wrote a chapter about stocking up on food and necessary supplies because of an experience he went through.  He was in his car (but not near the town in which he lived) when he heard on the radio about what became the Cuban Missile Crisis.

He called his wife and told her to drop what she was doing and go to the grocery store and buy necessary food right then.  He admits to being embarrassed because he's a Mormon but had never stocked up as was recommended.

If I remember correctly (and it has been awhile since I perused the book), the store was busy but there was food on the shelves.  Very soon after that, the shelves were empty as more people became aware of the implications of the crisis.  After that experience, he included the purchase of food and supplies in addition to any other investment.

Well, you know how some books become the one everybody is reading, that happened to this book and Ruff's writing became numerous in magazines and such.   Somewhere in his writings, he also gave advice I thought was really good, also from his experience with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The advice was to keep a list of what you would purchase if there was a sudden emergency and you had to go to the store at the last minute as his wife had done.  We all know what it is like to go to the store even when we're not rattled and come away without buying the actual object we went there for in the first place (or has that only happened to me?).

I have often had such a list and I carried it with me in my purse.  I stopped doing it when my budget became so tight but it's still a good idea and all it cost one is the time to write it out.

It also comes in handy (when you have it tucked away in your purse) if you stop by the grocery store for just a few items...  as a reminder if there is an essential item you have forgotten.

The Seven Core Areas of Preparedness... here

I came across this article last week and thought it very informational for people who want to be more prepared for an emergency... or even a situation like long term unemployment.


Teri said...

Dear Brenda ... just want to thank you for your thoughts and for the wisdom that you share! I have been reading here for a very long time and I am sorry to say that I have not commented before. I felt inspired to do so as you so faithfully share from your heart in all of your postings! Spring Blessings to you and your family ... it seems as if I know each one personally as you have shared the happenings from your home! Weekend Blessings ♥ Teri

Keri said...

I've been having similar thoughts in regards to Bostonians suddenly stuck in their homes with whatever supplies they have on hand...

I should take this opportunity to thank you for awakening me to the subject of preparedness. I can honestly say that it had never even crossed my mind until I began reading your blog several years ago. As I mentioned once, I fell away from blog reading for a while because of busy-ness, but now that I'm back, your deep pantry/prepping posts are helping to shape my thinking, planning, and purchasing. And praying. :-) Thank you very much for your writing here on that topic.

La Tea Dah said...

Wise counsel. It is a way of life that we all need to heed.

Nana said...

Hi Breanda;
You certainty have gotten me thinking about being prepared and I have followed thru to some extent. We can never be to prepared. Love and Hugs to you and your family. Nana

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Good advice as always! You never know what will happen that will make you happy you have a stocked pantry.

Vee said...

Oh I thought of you, Brenda and the post that you would write on this. The whole "sheltering at home" idea was just incredible to me. I hoped that people had the, toilet paper, and Tylenol. That's correct, isn't it? ☺ It is so true that there is no way that we'd ever have thought that an entire city would be told to stay at home with the doors and windows locked. Incredible. Boston did get some good practice with this earlier this year in one of the big snowstorms where everyone was told to stay home or they'd be arrested. Hmmmm...I won't think about that too long. I could come up with a conspiracy theory.

Thanks for all you do to make us all aware. We never know.

mdoe37 said...

Great Post!!

My mother always kept a bit extra and we always canned produce, but we had a local grocery store. That store is now nothing more than a "party" store with a few essentials.

What really struck me on keeping a pantry was looking out the window one day and seeing the neighbor man walking back from the store with ONE roll of toilet paper. Um, it was him, his wife and three children in the home.

I thought, "How dumb is that." And vowed never to be him!! I went to Sam's at the next opportunity and bought a case.

Its a 15 mile round trip to a Family Fare (spartan brand) store. Too far during a power outage, ice storm, or I forgot the cream of whatever soup. Or worse, stomach flu in the middle of the night. Gas being the price it is, its not prudent. I have friends that don't understand it at all, but then again they live within walking distance of a Meijer and several major stores.

(But still trying not to be like Granny!!!)

Mrs.Rabe said...


I need to work on batteries, but we do have camping lanterns, and the gas bottles necessary to run them. Oh and more water - though we have a well and could get water from there.


My Simple Life said...

hello brenda,

thanks for the wonderful post!!!

blessings regina

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I do hope having to be locked into their homes has caused many to think of some pantry staples to have at home always. They didn't even have time to rush to the store if they were out of something. In that situation if you already knew your closest neighbor it would help too! We had neighbors who came over if they needed a bandaid or aspirin or anything. They had 4 kids but nothing basic in the house it seemed. They were the first I had encountered who lived like that...but not the last. We are prepared on several levels but not all.

I too stared at the boy's face. There is no set look for someone who could do evil. Yet he looked so innocent and he was like our children and their play mates at one time. Yes,.. did anyone influence him to the good? What was the turning point in this thinking? His brother was much older than him,..perhaps he had a lot to do with it? Now those adults,..and children, who were hurt or witnessed the will their life and thinking change and who will influence them?

When your children are grown and talk about their growing years they bring up things you had totally forgotten. Little acts of kindnesses you did or situations from every day life. Likewise people we influence with a smile , a cookie or a kind word even will remember some of them and be changed or influenced. As you say you never know how we can change a life by our acts. ..both big and small. Changing the world for God even. It is a sobering but wondrous thought. Sarah