PREPARING IN SUBURBIA
by Mary Pittman
[photo Derek Jensen via Wikimedia Commons]
[published: August 22, 2011 (7:30PM CST)]
On Tuesday, August 9, I found myself at collapsenet having watched "Collapse" late the night before. My only prior experience to the Internet was playing pinochle on line years ago, an activity I gave up because it became a black hole that consumed too much of my time with nothing to show for it except a deep aching in my neck and shoulders. I decided that if I was going to spend that much time hunched over something, it was going to be my sewing machine (I'm a quilter) and at least I'd have something tangible to show for my tired, aching muscles.
All efforts from my grown children to join Face-book have been and continue to be resisted. Something about having people I didn't know finding their way to my page didn't feel right to me. I only mention all this because it illustrates how abruptly my life has changed. I've gone from a woman who checked her e-mail maybe twice a month to one who has begun each and everyday by logging on to collapsenet. It's now my lifeline. The genuine sense of belonging and acceptance has been overwhelming. I'm not sure if I have enough time left before TSHTF to prepare completely. My only goal now is to not be the slowest camper.
Having said all that let me tell you what I did yesterday. Gathering enough food and water for my husband, two dogs and me for three months seemed like an overwhelming task. I really had no idea what three months of food would look like. It occurred to me that if I broke down the three months into twelve weeks, I could readily see what I was doing and how my progress was going. I completely cleared out a closet and bought 12 ten-gallon tubs that stack nicely together.
I figure one full tub will hold about one week’s worth of food. I had already bought some bulk rice and beans. Instead of trying to figure out how long they would last us, I measured them out into smaller, 2 portion sizes and sealed them up and divided them among the tubs. Each tub will have veggies, fruits, crackers, dried milk and canned meat for 7 substantial meals and snacks. As each week gets filled, I can easily take inventory and see what needs yet to be bought. The other advantages as I see them are it will allow me to rotate out my stock easily if collapse takes longer and actually eat the food before it passes its expiration date and the 10 gallon tubs are easily portable should we need to bug out.
By my estimation, I will be at this until the first week of November, mainly because that's all our budget will allow at this time. My husband doesn't know it yet, but on Week 13, he's going to be eating exclusively what's now in Tub 1, sort of like a dry run to see how well I've prepared. Hopefully, I'll have time to tweak if I've made errors in judgment.