Monday, September 1, 2014

Preparedness? Sure... in a healthy way

In sharing about my life, I'm pretty sure I've shared the fact that my daughter is on the autism spectrum, and that I strongly suspect I am also based on the reading I did after my daughter's diagnosis.  I have this weird mixture of craving attention and recognition while being completely anti-social.  And aren't blogs perfect for that?

I've been reading a lot of books lately, mostly because of Amazon's new lending program, Kindle Unlimited.  With a Prime membership you can check out ten titles at a time, turn them in when you're done, and check out more.  One at a time, or all ten at once, it makes no difference.

I cannot tell you how much money this has saved me, especially in the cooking, gardening, and prepper genres.  I no longer have to spend $10 on a title, only to find out the person has poor taste, poor writing skills, created a deceptive title for quick cash, or is Paranoid Beyond Belief.  Seriously, some preppers think the National Guard is going to be marching down our streets *tomorrow* grabbing the Big Macs and rifles out of our hands and making us stand in line to beg for a cup of rice.  Some of those people are freaking scary.

BUT... being the person on the spectrum that I am, I am a big enough worrier that I DO believe in being prepared.  I have no expectations about WHEN I'm going to need these things, but the scary preppers do, and that's the difference.  They're motivated by the panic that they may already be too late.  Me, I'm motivated by the adage "better safe than sorry".  To be honest, after living through Hurricane Katrina, then Hurricane Ike just a short time later, and a couple of instances where utilities just went out for days with no apparent reason (other than the local electric or water company was abysmally incompetent), I prepare because I do not like the feeling of scrambling to make sure my family stays healthy and fed.

I mean, what would you do if you opened the kitchen tap tomorrow, and nothing came out?  You'd run to the store and buy a jug of water, right?  But what if you're in the midst of an emergency, like a hurricane or storm watch, got to the store and it was all purchased already?  Or worse, the stores were closed?  You'd be standing in the yard with a bucket, praying for rain.  Not a happy feeling.

So I prep where I can.  I believe in having a pantry of food that you can draw from if your spouse loses their job.  I believe in gardening for your own food.  Not only is it therapeutic, but with grocery prices increasing on an average of almost 50% over the last five years, it's an economic necessity.  I still haven't managed to make rain barrels to capture and store water yet, but I plan to.  You'll get the necessity the first time you cut up a chicken, go to the kitchen sink to wash the salmonella off your hands, and nothing comes out of the tap.  Yeah, that was a fun day.

At the very least, I believe every grownup in America, whether you have a family or not, should have enough food in the house to live for at least a month.  Even if you are responsible enough to have money saved up in your account, if you lost your job tomorrow would you want to see that money dwindle away on food?  You may need that to go job hunting... new suits, running to Kinko's for a nice resume printing, or gas money.  Plus, canned or stored food can be more convenient than fast food when you're tired from hitting the job market.  I mean, it's already in your house, how much more convenient can you get?  And then if you haven't got a job by the end of the month, you will have saved money otherwise spent.  Am I right?

So I say be prepared.  Don't make me trot out the story about the ant and the grasshopper.

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