"We don't worry, but we do want to be prepared". Those were some of the words with which I grew up.
In that spirit, I suggest that with the continued war funding and the recession, there is a possiblity that things could go from bad to worse (and just as good a possibility that the economy will recover, too. Let's not forget that positive possibility too!)
For the event that we end up in a depression and not only a recession, here is an emergency preparedness kit. Feel free to add to the list, by posting comments below. Thanks for pitching in, everybody! And please feel free to pass this on.
But before I begin, let me add a note that since so many politicians have resigned to avoid scandal, obviously our voice does count when it's in the greater masses. Therefore, with anti-war sentiment as widespread as it is, there is a good chance that our collective voice will be heard if we make a loud noise to stop this war---and the recession----right now. Use your pens! Use the power of truth. Write your editors a letter! Post to blogs. Send out emails requesting that they be forwarded, asking your friends to contact their Congresspeople telling them that they MUST stop funding this illegally-declared war and that----imagine the need for such a reminder----even Congresspeople need to eat! (Smile!) That ought to get their attention. You could even write that in letters to the editor, asking readers to contact their local Congresspeople and reminding them of that same statement: (Deliberate repeat) "Even Congresspeople have to eat!"
Here the emergency preparedness kit, and I hope you will add to the list then pass this on:
1) I called Lundberg Rice Farms and found out that rice can be stored in air-tight containers for up to a year in a cool, dry place. (Though there is a risk of bugs getting into the rice, or rhodents: Be sure the container is absolutey air-tight! I suggest glass rather than plastic, because the plastic flavor leaches into foods stored for the long-term). Better yet is to store it in the freezer, where they said it would last for years, even as long as five years!!!
Don't forget that some grocers will give you discounts for bulk orders. Some healthfood and smaller grocery stores will do this for you.
2) I called Tinkyada Pasta Co. (a really good gluten-free rice pasta) and they said the shelf life of their product, stored in a cool place, is three years! What does this mean for ordinary wheat pasta? I would imagine similar shelf life. Stock your pantry with an extra bag or two of spagghetti every time you shop, and bingo! Your cupboard will soon have enough for a year's supply.
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3) In Chinatown one can get insulated steel thermoses which keep liquids hot for as long as 48 hours. And they're not too expensive, ranging around $25 or $30. One can actually cook soups in them: Use the fresh chopped ingredients, dump in hot water and let sit for two days. The result is a soup richer in nutrients than stovetop cooking, plus it saves energy. Bingo!
4) Emergency foods: Obtain liquids from canned soups, applesauce, spagghetti sauce, canned tomoatoes, etc. to supplement the water supplies and for nourishment. Stock your pantry with a week's supply of canned foods every time you go shopping, and before you know it you will have a year's supply on hand.
Be sure to check expiration dates and to stock according to those dates, so you know which food to eat first and which will last the longest. You can even label your boxes/shelves by date. (For those living in a small apartment, don't forget that under your bed is a forgotten storage space! Under your couch may be too. Hide the boxes underfoot with dust ruffles or a nice couch throw, and you've got it made. Also think of overhead storage space in your closets. You might even be able to create some space by putting an overhead shelf inside any closet which lacks that shelving. And although the top of your refrigerator may be a warm place, it could work as storage space for boxes of canned food, spagghetti et al).
5) Eat beans and rice and corn, which together form a complimentary and complete protein and are very inexpensive. And which store well, especially in the freezer. For those allergic to corn, rice and beans together make a complete protein as well.
Protein builds muscle tissue, so in the event of hunger that's an important thing! Because when the body is starving, first it burns off the fat but then it turns to its own muscle tissue for sustenance, burning off muscle itself in the process. Don't forget that "Muscle tissue" means heart and digestive organ tissue, not merely the muscles on your bones. To keep your muscle tissue healthy, protein will be one very important nutrient in times of low food supply, as will zinc, selenium, vitamin C, E and A-rich foods for immune system upkeep. Keeping your immune system hardy will be terribly important especially if there is bacterial contamination in the waters or other disease-causing situations. Plan ahead now!
To look up food nutrients, you can consult Earl Mindell's Vitamin Bible or the Nutrition Almanac, which has a table of foods and their nutrient contents for chart-like reference.
Green algae and spirulina, available in capsules (no taste!) from healthfood stores, are single-celled algae which are readily digested, are packed with super nutrients (perhaps the most nourishing food on the planet), are high in chlorophyll which has some immune boosting effects, and are used in countries with starving people because they are so easy to digest. Note that they have a limited shelf life: Check the labels before storing them! But these could come in handy as a health supplement during food shortages.
6) Buy a food dehydrator now and start dehydrating fruit, carrots, etc for storage for later emergency food. Can be cooked with water to make applesauce and such. Dried fruit is rich in iron.
You can also sun-dry fruit and vegetable slices or use your oven at a very low temperature (but I advise that you consult your cookbook for instructions because I have never done it!)
7) Buy seeds to start a vegetable garden if you have land. Even apartment dwellers can grow some food in pots: Ask your local nursery expert (be sure to tell them about the lighting conditions in your apartment).
8) You can get a water purifier from Multipure either as sinktop or under the sink model, which will remove chemicals from the water leaving only 5% of any chemicals as the highest figure, including MTBE. Most chemicals are filtered out down to as little as 0.5% with Multipure. And they are marvellous too for removing bacteria from the waters: This could be very important during emergency times! The same thing holds true for their pitcher-style filter, which could come in handy during an emergency when power supplies are low or zilch.Be sure to purchase extra filters, whether for your sink or pitcher models. Sometimes Multipure as "Filter mania" sales in which you can get as many as nine filters for the price of one: Ask the company or your distributor.
9) Be sure to have a first aid kit on hand which is well stocked, with disinfectants, bug spray, aspirin, anti-diarrheal medication, burn medication, bandages and handy wipes. Blankets. Warm and hot weather clothes. Medication. Sunscreen.
10) Flashlights with batteries. Candles. Matches. Kindling. Charcoal and/or firewood. Extra newspaper to start a fire. A barbecue grill or small hibachi. Lighter fluid if necessary or a chimney-type starter which bypasses the need for lighter fluid.
11) A ten speed bike with basket-type metal racks for transporting food or goods (if you aren't in good physical shape, start biking now to acclimate yourself and build up good health while you are at it!)
12) Extra gasoline
13) A backup solar-powered generator www.kensolar.com (Thank you, Matt Kjeldson, for this great tip!) Opednews blogger Matt Kjeldson also adds that one can purchase foods independently of grocery stores (in case they are closed) at www.efoodsdirect.com thank you Matt!
14) A gun or pepper spray to ward of looters.
15) God in heaven forbid your home is taken away from you under foreclosure...perish the thought! But if it is, what is your backup plan? Formulate one now and you will be less panicked later. Ditto as regards any bank accounts: Now may be the time to consider overseas banking, should the banks look like they are about to close down. Don't lose your money!
16) To keep your stored food rhodent free, remember this: Because rats are comprised of cartilage and not bone, they can shrink down and fit through a hole the size of a nickel (or dime? I forget which). To safeguard against rat or other rhodent invasions of your food, be sure to use very airtight containers, put wire mesh on any holes anywhere in your shelter, and hire a rat person to spray a special foam into any gaps where rhodents may chew through that wire mesh. Or, just hammer wood to tightly cover the hole and you've got it made. (It's wise to hire a rat specialist though to be sure there are no hidden entry points, such as below eaves et al).
17) Last but certainly not least, store water, water, water! You can purchase PVC-free plastic storage containers at Whole Foods which though expensive (about $5 for a one-gallon container, ouch!) also will keep your water PVC-free. With PVC's being carcinogenic, it's not a bad idea at all to protect yourself. Or, use glass jars to store water, being sure that they are stored on a shelf with a "lip" to prevent tipping and falling during an earthquake or some other accident.
18) Stuck without power? Don't forget that you can make sun tea. Just take a handful of your favorite herb such as peppermint or use your favorite tea bags, add to a pitcher of water and let stand in the sun for a day or two. Done!
19) Please add to the list......thank you!
Again, don't worry. Just be prepared. There you go! You've got it made. So long as you start now, you will have nothing to worry about later on. So start your footwork now, because action takes care of any worries, and please pass word along! Thank you all.