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Basic Preparedness Note

Greetings

March 15, 2005
If you're reading this...
 
Please, do me a favor to ease my mind. With gas prices the way they are, I think it would be prudent to have some 
basic food stores on hand. To that end I have told Becky that  we should encourage people in the family to procure 
the following staples over the next week. This is a basic list and should not require over $100 of initial outlay 
to obtain.

1. 20 pounds of rice
2. 20 pounds of assorted dried beans
3. 10 pounds of sugar
4. 10 pounds of salt
5. 2 large boxes of powdered milk, as high calorie and fat content as is available

The following should be accumulated as is convenient:

Gather a stock of canned goods in quantity. I suggest getting a flat/case of 12 cans minimum each time you go to 
the store. You can do this for about $5-10 or less every trip. Get a variety. Vegetables AND fruits. Try not to 
get any vegetables that are too exotic. Straight canned corn, peas, carrots, sauerkrout, etc. without glazes and 
spices will last longest. Creamed corn and more processed types will have more things that can go wrong.

Bleach is another item. It should be unscented and pure. Clorox is good, but the wal-mart stuff is just as good. I 
think they are the same concentration, or the brand name might be slightly more. Buy a new bottle once a month and 
mark the date on it. 

If you have time, make sure all your gas tanks are full. This includes lawnmowers and other yard equipment. Make 
sure the reserve or gas cans are full too.

Meat and cheese staples should be bought as you can consume them. Or if you get a large amount of meat to put in 
the freezer you should also get another 10 pound bag of salt in case the need to preserve it without refrigeration 
arises. My estimate is to have 10 pounds of salt for every 50 pounds of meat you have in the freezer. That still 
might not be enough, which is why you should have the extra 10 pounds listed at the top.

As a family we should probably try to accumulate some current manufacture canning supplies also. Jars, rings, 
lids, and other things.

As for cheeses, they will last a few days without refrigeration. If we are concerned about long term dairy 
products it might help to add a couple boxes of dried milk to the staples list at the top. I have found suppliers 
for canned butter and cheese. These are the sorts of things that Europe has used forever, but are specialty items 
in the U.S. I will see about getting a catalog for one of these places if I can.

The point is not to have any one thing in great quantities, but to have a variety of items that will be impossible 
or nearly impossible to make or acquire locally when shortages are common.

If we stick to the basics at the outset, we should be able to lay in a significant buffer to any economic 
hardships we are likely to encounter over the short term.

In the long term we need to look at major lifestyle changes and preparations that will prove sustainable and 
sufficient for the duration.

Like I said, this is just for my peace of mind. All preparations may be completely unnecessary, but It would be 
foolish to do nothing at all based on our hope that no crisis will occur.

Thanks, 
Joe 

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