Do you remember, somewhere in the far, far past, hearing the nursery rhyme about Old Mother Hubbard and her dietary deficient dog? I bet it wasn’t the dog’s fault that he had to go hungry. Have you ever wondered why Old Mother Hubbard had not taken advantage of the case lot sales on dog food? Can you believe that history has recorded this sad tale of cupboard neglect?

Mormon Family DinnerWhat? Are you saying that your cupboard might resemble this scenario, even a little bit? I’ve heard rumors that there are many people who have to go to the store on the way home from work in order to have something to eat for dinner. But of course, that is just a rumor.

Today’s blog is going to discuss another kind of cupboard, one that needs more than dog food on the shelves. Of course, that will be your emergency cupboard.

At this point I think I will offer a little encouragement. Well maybe it will be a BIG encouragement. Sometimes, for many of us, the idea of attempting to obtain and maintain a preparedness program is so overwhelming that nothing gets accomplished. To comprehend the amount of food needed to sustain a family with growing children can be daunting – if we let it. Or with today’s rapidly escalating prices the thought of being able to find additional money to stock a cupboard seems nearly impossible. But may I share a thought with you that hopefully will influence your actions and response? It is possible to create an emergency cupboard that holds the things you need to sustain you and/or your family. It requires faith and the consistency of moving forward a little bit at a time.

A scripture that is applicable to this situation is found in the Doctrine and Covenants 64:33, “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” Apply these principles to you and your preparedness cupboard. Go forward with faith setting aside a small amount of budget each payday, buying a small amount of foods to fill the niche and you will accomplish a great thing. Don’t weary of the time, effort and sometimes sacrifice required. Don’t be discouraged that your cupboard might not resemble your neighbor’s or Barbara’s. You will be blessed for your small efforts as they begin to add up. When the need arises you will have the supplies and things required to get you through. And you will consider it a great accomplishment.

I need to set the parameters as to what we really will be talking about – or not. This discussion is about a disaster preparedness cupboard, NOT, home storage, or long-term storage items or a having a ton of wheat under the stairs. In a serious disaster situation you will most likely be without all normal utilities, but still able to be in the shelter of your home.

Usually in a disaster, such as an earthquake, you will be living in a powerless situation. (Pun intended). The old stand-bys of dry, uncooked beans and grains could leave you mighty hungry for a long time. Even then, the drastic thoughts of chewing on grain leave a lot to be desired.

Balanced meals, planned menus and counting calories are not necessarily the main concerns as you prepare to deal with this kind of emergency.

Besides providing nourishment, the “eating of meals” during a crisis has a positive psychological effect. It helps us feel as if we have some control in an otherwise out-of-control situation. Being prepared assures existing as close to the security of normalcy as possible.

Just like the other sections of personal preparedness, the food you choose to keep on hand will be based on individual factors. These factors make your selections appropriate for your own situation, and different from what your neighbors would select. There is no one type of food or food program that is “best” or better than all of the others for everyone! The best food choices for you are the ones that suit your needs.

Foods that require no refrigeration, little or no cooking and little preparation are a must. It is extremely important to assess the individual needs of your household members. Will you be providing for an infant, invalid, elderly person or someone with a severe allergy? (I’m not talking about simple hay-fever. These are life threatening food triggers.) These considerations will make a huge difference as to what kind of food products you keep in your emergency cupboard.

Don’t be misled into complacency because you happen to have several candles and one container of canned-heat. Remember to choose food and food preparation methods that will get you through tough situations where you have to do without those essential services that we take for granted, such as power, running water, light and a supermarket on the corner to run to for supplies. In an emergency situation you may be limited to cooking on a Sterno-type stove by the light of a flashlight. Your fuel usage may be restricted, your water cautiously rationed, and you maybe dealing with these in the middle of chaos. Your food choices should be a comforting relief not an added catastrophe. Note: disaster relief should not be interpreted to mean the store on the corner has food.

And be sure to remember the goodies. During crises,especially on going ones, treats are not a luxury! The morale boosting power of something that tastes good and cheers you up is not to be underestimated. I guarantee chocolate covered wheat will not work. I would even suggest that you begin with your next shopping trip, as you fill the emergency cupboard, consistently fill boxes on the treat shelf. They should be kept up high, out of sight and difficult to access. Label those boxes in bold letters, such as – Pepto Bismol or Tums or Metamucil. That will insure that there is something in the boxes when the need arises. If you buy chocolate, buy double, just in case you can’t resist the temptation. After all you are the only one who knows what is really in those boxes.

Oh yes, don’t forget the dog. I’ll know you and your cupboards are doing okay when I see you in the store with a large bag of M&M’s and an empty Alka Seltzer box in your cart.

About Barbara S

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