As a follow up to my first article on Orthodoxy & Preparedness, I want to use this article to focus on a specific area. Beginning and maintaining a preparedness lifestyle can be very overwhelming and there is no shortage of information available online. Many folks I speak with regarding preparedness, backup food storage, and/or EOLAWKI (end of life as we know it) talk mostly about ‘storing food’, first aid, fuel, etc. The issue with this approach is it presupposes a ‘survival’ scenario and not the ‘day-to-day living’ as many of us do. Things eventually expire and/or go bad. Weather and many other factors can impact your stored items. In many methodologies, FIFO (First In First Out) is a good continual storage and use method for the freshest and most sustainable processes. This is where I would propose implementing a layered or waterfall approach and make preparedness part of your every day process.
I’ll attempt to explain. If you rely wholly on your back up food supply only when an event happens, you are likely to be surprised when you discover that your back up food supply has either gone rancid, been infected by insects, and/or ravaged by animals since your approach was one of static necessity and not dynamic utilization. Altering your approach slightly and adding multiple layers to your process you will find that your daily foods, raw materials, and back up supplies are utilized in a manner that yields a better return. Let us take a look at this waterfall approach a little closer.
Layer 1 – Fresh Food
Growing and harvesting your own food is a wonderfully rewarding hard work. Learning to utilize all that fresh foods have to offer makes this layer all the more important. This layer consists of growing, harvesting, consuming, drying/curing, and saving/storing. (Repeat) Think fresh produce (during growing season), eggs/milk (year round), and meat (beef, chicken, pork, goat, fish). One of the key aspects of this layer is to recognize that your efforts do not stop at harvest. God created plants to give seed which can be dried and planted during the next season. What great mercy towards us!
Layer 2 – Ready to Go
Our modern society produces no shortage of ‘buy-in-large’ warehouse big box stores. These stores provide great resources in abundance and some even provide long term preparedness food buckets. Some of these resources are perfect day in and day out staple foods for your household. Ready to go foods like pastas, sauces, canned fruits and vegetables, nuts, and granola bars are all great resources to have on hand. These foods can help offset your consumption of your harvested foods. Many of these foods offer long shelf lives and can even spill over into your stored goods.
Layer 3 – Raw Goods
Raw goods are resources your average household should keep on hand. Many of these goods are consumed daily, sometimes multiple times a day, but how many of us think of any of these goods as being long term survival based goods? Before the advent of ‘grocery stores’ settlers in the west would occasionally travel to the nearest town and purchase items like sugar, salt, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol. Grains were grown locally, harvested, and stored for later use, but items like sugar, salt, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol were usually imported or brought into a local. In todays society, these items are highly available and with both modern and ancient techniques can be stored for long periods of time. Additionally, these goods support day in and day out activities, not just stored for later.
Additional items to consider for your day in and day out activities as well as long term storage are fuels. What type of fuels do you use daily? Are you dependent on natural gas, liquid propane, or wood for heating and cooking? Do you keep additional vehicle fuels on your property and if so, how do you store them long term? Do you have sufficient space to store these items effectively? Are they exposed to the elements or hidden away. These are questions for you to consider since these resources play key roles in your day in and day out activities. Lastly, what is your strategy for protecting your resources from plunder? Do you have sufficient ammunition for defense or even for hunting?
The most important thing to remember with all this is right size these helps to your lifestyle. Don’t rush out and finance a bunch of gear or resources out of fear. Doing anything in a spirit of fear will only complicate things. In prayer and careful planning, move towards your desired goals for sustainability. Include people you trust (mutually) in your journey and discuss ideas amongst yourselves to help you make the best of what you have. Remember, the Lord God Himself fed and gave drink to the Israelites in the desert. He feeds the birds of the air, how much more will He take care of you +