When the apocalypse comes, will you have enough food? OK, in all seriousness, an emergency food supply is a good thing to have just in case the power goes out or there’s a state of emergency and the roads are closed for an extended period of time.
At the same time, long-term food storage can get to be expensive. Here’s how to get started without breaking the bank.
Start Slow And Plan
Plan first before you do anything. This is probably the biggest mistake newbies make. You don’t need to go “all out” on your food storage in the first month. In fact, this might be a huge mistake. There’s a learning curve involved in finding the right kind of food, rotating stock, and keeping an inventory.
If you overwhelm yourself, you’ll waste a lot of money and food. Long-term food storage is also sometimes seen as a chore. If you look at it that way, you won’t want to do it. Every cent you spend on it will feel like money going down the drain.
Finally, if you rush this, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with sub-par food because you went out and bought something that was cheap (and doesn’t taste good). Remember, you may actually have to eat this some day. You want it to be nutritious and tasty.
A basic plan for food storage should include replacement meals for food that you normally consume. Think about how much you eat now. Then, once you have an idea about how much food you need, you can make a plan for how much food you need to buy and how long it should last.
Create a Storage Place
Create a storage space for your food. Most people clean out a space in their basement or in the shed. If you choose to keep food outside in a shed or garage, make sure it’s insulated and fully protected from the elements. Also, make sure that you have some kind of protection for your food so that moisture doesn’t get to it.
Some food can be vacuum sealed, but even those foods need to be watched carefully, because the seal can be broken if the food is jostled or moved around too much.
Ideally, you will store your food in a cool, dry, dark place in the house that’s away from the main living area and where it will be (more or less) out of sight. At the very least, you want it out of the way and somewhat hidden so that it’s not in the way and guests that come over to your home won’t see it (it’s easier to not have to explain it than launch into a spiel every time you have guests over).
Budget For It
Don’t spend money on long-term food storage haphazardly. Make a plan for it, and stick to it. Let’s say you have an extra $20 a month to spend on storage food. Set that aside and buy what you can, when you can. Keep budgeting for it every month, even if you end up not buying food in a particular month. Some food items will be expensive and so you’ll have to save up for a while. That’s OK. Just don’t go cheating yourself by robbing from your food storage budget.
Buy High Quality Food
It’s really tempting to buy low-quality food and save a buck now. But, that’s pretty short-sighted. If you do ever need your food, you won’t want to be suffering with barely-editable rations. Get high-quality, organic emergency food that will last 20+ years without rotation.
That’s the “gold standard” and only a few companies out there offer anything even remotely close to that.
High-quality food should be fully cooked or mostly cooked, taste good (you shouldn’t hesitate to give it to your fussy 3 year old, and he or she shouldn’t blink an eye at it), and durable.
Believe it or not, high-quality, dehydrated, food can last nearly a lifetime if it’s stored properly.
Keep A Detailed Inventory
Last, but not least, keep an inventory. Inventories help you sort and organize what you have. Make a detailed list of how many of each item you have. So, if you have stored, dehydrated pasts dishes, you would write out the number and kind you have, grouping similar dishes together.
Every time you use one, make a note of it on your inventory.
While creating your inventory, think about how much food you normally eat, and how much you could realistically survive on if you had to. Whatever you do, do not short yourself food. Starving is not fun.
Keeping a projection of food usage will help you restock and plan out how long you can survive on your current supply.
Allen Baler is a Partner at 4Patriots LLC, a Tennessee based small business that provides products to help people be more self-reliant and more independent. Allen founded the company in 2008 after 14 years as a corporate executive leading profitable business for the Easton Press and the Danbury Mint. He graduated with honors from Harvard University and resides in Nashville with his wife and 3 daughters.
Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy
Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.
Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.
Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.
How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:
- They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
- They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
- They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
- They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.
Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.
Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use
The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.
Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.
Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers
Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.
Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.
Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy
Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:
- Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
- Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
- Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.
You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.
How Going Green Can Save Your Business Thousands
Running a company isn’t easy. From reporting wages in an efficient way to meeting deadlines and targets, there’s always something to think about – with green business ideas giving entrepreneurs something extra to ponder. While environmental issues may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, it could save your business thousands, so let’s delve deeper into this issue.
Small waste adds up over time
A computer left on overnight might not seem like the end of the world, right? Sure, it’s a rather minor issue compared to losing a client or being refused a loan – but small waste adds up over time. Conserving energy is an effective money saver, so to hold onto that hard-earned cash, try to:
- Turn all electrical gadgets off at the socket rather than leaving them on standby as the latter can crank up your energy bill without you even realizing.
- Switch all lights off when you exit a room and try switching to halogen incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes as these can use up to 80 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent and are therefore more efficient.
- Replace outdated appliances with their greener counterparts. Energy Star appliances have labels which help you to understand their energy requirements over time.
- Draught-proof your premises as sealing up leaks could slash your energy bills by 30 per cent.
Going electronic has significant benefits
If you don’t want to be buried under a mountain of paperwork, why not opt for digital documents instead of printing everything out? Not only will this save a lot of money on paper and ink but it will also conserve energy and help protect the planet. You may even be entitled to one of the many tax breaks and grants issued to organizations committed to achieving their environmental goals. This is particularly good news for start-ups with limited funds as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is keen to support companies opening up their company in a green manner.
Of course, if you’re used to handing out brochures and leaflets at every company meeting or printing out newsletters whenever you get the chance, going electronic may be a challenge – but here are some things you can try:
- Using PowerPoint presentations not printouts
- Communicating via instant messenger apps or email
- Using financial software to manage your books
- Downloading accounting software to keep track of figures
- Arranging digital feedback and review forms
- Making the most of Google Docs
Going green can help you to make money too
Going green and environmental stability is big news at the moment with many companies doing their bit for the environment. While implementing eco-friendly strategies will certainly save you money, reducing your carbon footprint could also make you a few bucks too. How? Well, consumers care about what brands are doing more than ever before, with many deliberately siding with those who are implementing green policies. Essentially, doing your bit for the environment is a PR dream as it allows you to talk about what everyone wants to hear.
Going green can certainly save your money but it should also improve your reputation too and give you a platform to promote your business.