In all the years I’ve worked with preparedness one of the biggest problems I’ve seen is people storing food and not knowing what to do with it. It’s vital that you and your family become familiar with the things you are storing. You need to know how to prepare these foods. This is not something you want to learn under stress. Your family needs to be used to eating these foods. A stressful period is not a good time to totally change your diet. Get a food storage cookbook and learn to use these foods!
Looking at the state of the world, being prepared is more important than ever. Terrorism is on the rise around the globe. Rogue states like North Korea become more dangerous as their stability fails – and North Korea has nuclear weapons. The USA’s neglected power grid is vulnerable to a solar flare that could wipe out electricity across most of the country for a decade. The climate’s changing – calm down, Al Gore, it’s been changing constantly for 4.5 billion years – and that could lead to major storms or even larger scale disasters. Imagine the chaos if a freak wet spring devastated the US wheat crop. That’s a real risk; it’s happening in France right now – but France can replace its crop with imports. We can’t.
It helps. I’ve never had to panic-buy when snow’s been threatened and everybody else has raced to the supermarket. And I could cut back on the food shop when my husband was temporarily asked to work three days a week instead of five, reducing his pay. Perhaps it’s hereditary. My parents have a year’s worth of food in their store cupboard, including 50kg of wheat, which they can soak to make a vegetarian supplement or grind to make flour. My eldest daughter keeps a 72-hour bag in her car.
I confess that  I can go for days eating the same meal of baked potatoes over and over again.  That said, most people need and want variety.  This is especially true for children, the elderly and the infirm who may already be picky eaters.  Plus, you need a variety of foods items in order to get a full complement of nutritional value from your meals.
Of course, each of us should prepare for poor health, loss of job, loss of home due to local conditions, but you have support systems in place for localized problems. The area where I live was burned out four months ago. Over 1,000 homes were either destroyed or damaged. People have moved on. Reconstruction has started. Road are being cleared of mud and debris. We may have more local devastation, but it won’t affect 99.99% of the folks reading this post. An atomic attack, an EMP attack, a CME burst from the sun over a widespread area, a 1918 type of flu epidemic, all of those things will affect 99.99% of those reading this post. I don’t think those are bogus in the least nor hype just to get readers on this list. I sincerely hope that you re-consider your position that they are just hype to get readership.

We have a fourteen year old Yorky mix.  Anyone comes around during the day she barks, we praise her.  At night, however, she justs emits a low growl to wake everyone up.  We are sailors out of Alaska.  On this trip I am sure we would have been boarded at least twice in the last four years if not for Mollie.  When we move ashore we will have another small, intelligent dog backed up by a War Dog , or two.  I know one old boy that if he were to give the word, you be dead.  My brother’s dogs will all begin barking on command.  He has a good mix of dogs.

She started searching for ways to make the family’s grocery budget stretch further — including using their sizeable plot of land to grow the majority of the produce they consumed. “I started using the coupons and the store discounts, and it made a huge effect in our budget,” she says. “And with the money I saved, I invested in a rain catcher — a water system — and that helped us put the water bill down.” Today, she sells eggs and home-baked goods for extra cash and teaches private classes on how to build what she calls “survival items,” including the aforementioned rain-catching system and solar ovens.
Include a few boxes of variously sized nails and screws and you are ready for impromptu construction, extrication or repair.  Add tarps and plastic sheeting and you have the ability to create water proof enclosures or seal openings against movement of air. A multi-tool or Swiss Army knife is incredibly handy to keep on you or when you are traveling and do not want to pack the kitchen sink.

After 9/11, my dad filled a duffel bag with some energy bars, a couple gallons of water, some penicillin, and a map. Amid scaremongering headlines about imminent anthrax and “dirty bomb” attacks in the city, he wanted to have some supplies on hand in case we needed to get out of Brooklyn fast. Were he to assemble such a bag today, he’d likely stumble on a number of companies promising a more wholesale brand of disaster preparedness: a box full of shelf-stable freeze-dried meals, to be revived from their dessicated state with the addition of boiled water.

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