Has it been 13 weeks already? Sometimes I feel as though I am just getting started on my mission of preparedness and at other times, I feel as though I have made a huge amount of progress. Back in January, I wrote about my plan to get serious about creating self-sufficiency here at my island abode.
In “Fast Forward to 2011. This is the year to embrace self-sufficiency” I wrote about my stroll around the house, yard and garage as I prepared a personal readiness inventory.
“So much can happen: our transportation system could disrupted, the long predicted big earthquake could hit, and yes, there is even a possibility of anarchy and civil unrest if our economic challenges slide further into a depression.
My work is cut out. Over the next months I will share my progress. What about you? Have you taken your own preparedness inventory?”
So fess up time. How are you doing? Are you able to tackle one preparedness project a week? I can only speak about myself when I say that this has not been as easy and I anticipated. Work (my day job) is busy to the point of being frantic, the weeds are coming up all over the garden, and oy! I have not done laundry in three weeks. Being prepared takes time!
But as the events of 2011 unfold, I am convinced the effort and the expense have been worth it. Things to worry about?
1. The number one concern on my list is the effect of radiation fallout on sea water. Common sense tells me that radiation will be picked up by the jet stream and get into our seafood. As of 2009, about 65% of the global tuna catch came from the Pacific Ocean. The time to stock up is now. And what about the salmon that I so adore?
2. The cost of fuel (for transportation and to heat our homes) is beginning to cut in to take-home pay on many levels. When the cost of filling up a tank of gas goes up by $20, something has to give. That something is most likely to be consumer products (clothes, electronics, household goods and appliances) as well as dining out and various discretionary services. The trickle down effect of less disposable income will be further job costs in both manufacturing and service industries.
3. The cost of food has already skyrocketed. In my opinion, it is going to get worse. I have seen the price of a 20 pound sack of russet potatoes at Costco go up 30% since the first of the year. A single head of lettuce now costs $3.00 and change. And the famers at our local farmer’s market are on the same bandwagon, charging $5 and more for a small bunch of lettuce greens.
4. States, counties, and cities are broke. So far, I see a lot of political posturing going on in my state (Washington) but politics aside, budgets are being zapped and some vital services (such as food stamps for low income legal immigrants) are going by the wayside. In some respects the cutting of services and the dismissal of public sector employees who are retired on the job is good, but I am afraid a lot of hard working, dedicated people will also be slaughtered in the process.
5. Our planet earth appears to be going through a sustained period of instability. I do not know enough about the science to assess whether the multitude of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions are part of a normal 10,000 year cycle or whether this is the beginning of the end. I do know that weird weather patterns have emerged, global warming is happening, and that no place seems 100% protected from the ravages of mother nature.
So what does all of the mean? The jury is out. As I look at my cluttered office with client files stacked all over the place, when I peek at the overflowing laundry basket, and when I anguish that my tax return has not even been started, I think about being prepared, and how preparing for the unthinkable – be it a natural disaster, an ecological crisis, or manmade crisis – is still my priority one for 2011.
Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!
Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day: This tip is for removing car grease or paint from your hands. Pour a bit of olive oil and sugar or salt into the palm of your hand. Rub over your hands and between your fingers for several minutes then rinse well. You hands will not only be free of gunk, but they will also be nice and soft.
(Did you know that many expensive jars labeled “salt scrubs” are merely oil and salt mixed together with essential oils for fragrance? How the companies can charge $10 for a jar consisting of a buck’s worth of ingredient’s is beyond me. Even worse is the thought of someone paying that much!)
From the Bargain Bin: There are just a few days left to take advantage of the March specials from Emergency Essentials®.