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food crisis
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Should You Prepare For A Food Crisis?
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Should I prepare for a food crisis? Just the implications embedded in that thought are frightening. Most people are of the mindset that a food crisis happening in the United States is impossible. However, a crisis can take many forms, and any of these, or combinations of them, are, indeed, worth preparing for.

The most common situation is weather related shortages. Having failed to prepare during the winter of 1978 when a huge blizzard hit northern Indiana, it became very obvious that not having a well stocked supply of food on hand, at all times, was a mistake. While having planned to shop after work that day, it was impossible to do so. Many sections of road were already heavily drifted or closed and just the ability to get home was uncertain. Upon arriving home, a quick check of what was available for the next several days wasn't encouraging. Among the few assorted canned goods, there was a small amount of milk, a few eggs, no bread, a frozen squirrel and a left over pork chop! Needless to say, the next few days were less than pleasurable!

Weather related events can take the form of blizzards, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes, ice storms and power outages resulting from severe conditions and can disrupt one's access to food outlets as well as effect stores' ability to restock their grocery shelves. Most of these types of disruptions are short-term but can have serious consequences to those who fail to prepare for an emergency. The standard emergency preparedness plan suggests having supplies to last at least 3 days without outside help. That is a good starting point for those without emergency supplies at all.

Other circumstances that can cause a food crisis include inflation, unemployment, political and civil unrest, terrorism and bio-attacks, an energy crisis, even commercial farming methods can endanger our food supply. Having emergency food storage helps protect your family from having to "go without" when an unexpected problem arises. A person is in trouble in 3 days without water or food. What would you do if you were suddenly denied access to your local supermarket? Would you be be able to sustain your family for any length of time?

In our world today, there are many threats. Most are out of our control. But preparing for them is certainly something we are all capable of and should take seriously as a responsibility to ourselves and families. Having emergency food storage helps hedge against inflation, removes part of the stress from an unexpected job loss, protects you from having to leave your home during a period of civil unrest, provides a secure food source in the event of terror attack and helps you control your food supply when gas prices are high.

To avoid a food crisis, evaluating your family's needs is important. In addition to the obvious food needs, include special needs like medications, personal and feminine hygiene products, comfort items, emergency items such as flashlights, blankets etc. Start buying extra supplies of food items most often used. Take advantage of sales or buyers clubs, make bulk purchases and store extra portions away. Begin with a 3 day supply, build it to a week and then continue to build a reserve as money and space allows.

Consider a garden as well. Gardens traditionally played an important part in most families' home food supply. With the busy schedules that most of us now have, gardening has become more of a hobby than the important food source that it should be. People who garden seriously would have a difficult time imagining what a meal would be like without the taste of great food grown in their own gardens. Many people think they don't have space for a garden but with many new types of containers, a small garden is possible anywhere you have a sunny porch, deck or patio. Gardens are a great way to supply your family with great-tasting and nutrient rich food at a cost unmatched at the supermarket.

Most importantly, it takes an honest look at your current situation and you must ask the question "What if..." How long could your family sustain itself in the event of an unforeseen event? Should you prepare for a food crisis? Absolutely! But what if a crisis never happens? Well, you have a well stocked pantry of food that you are using and rotating on a regular schedule. Food that could also be used as a blessing to others. Food banks always need donations. You could be called on to help with someone else's emergency. Another family member could fall on hard times. The real question should be, " What if a food crisis does happen?" Would you be ready?

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