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Minimalism and Disaster Preparedness

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

For a long time I did not store anything for natural/man made disasters because it was too much stuff. I recently have realized that's pretty stupid considering I have 3 little kids who depend on me for survival. I was seriously struggling with how I could reconcile storing food, water, other supplies and minimalism.

 

Then I realized that because I have gotten rid of so much unnecessary stuff, I have several huge cupboards in the kitchen empty, empty space in closets, underneath the beds is empty, etc. So in getting rid of things that are not necessary for survival, I have gained space to store some stuff to keep us alive in case anything happens. I just thought I would share that. I am still not looking forward to moving things like stored food- hopefully we end up staying in this area.

 

Please no posts like "I'm not worried anything will ever happen so I don't do anything"- I'd like to hear how other people who keep minimalist belongings balance that with preparedness. I used to think they were opposites of each other, but now I think they compliment each other.

 

Also, it's not about worrying or being fearful, just being better safe than sorry. In fact, I feel a lot more peaceful and secure knowing I will be better prepared to take care of our family when something happens.

 

I'm thinking about getting a nearby storage unit that could be walked to in an emergency, then we could use it like a cache and store stuff there instead of here. We kinda need it if we want to store any gasoline because we live in an apartment.

post #2 of 4

Having lived through Katrina, I can say that being a little prepared helped, but in the end, everyone ended up relying on external aid anyway, so unless you've got water-proof, fire-proof, theft-proof and easily mobile supplies, you have to accept the chance they'll be unusable. The other thing we got a lot of cautionary advice on, as people returned and wanted to be better prepared, was to really do your research on what is useful, how long it lasts, and how to store it properly. For example, the gasoline is very tricky, and you need very specific containers. Also, with food, how OK are you with tossing it out at certain intervals? How will you keep track of how fresh and safe it is? Just some thoughts. 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Actually all of that is easier than you'd think.

 

The goal being to NOT ever have to rely on government aid. FEMA is a scary organization that I will avoid contact with at all costs.

 

Having evacuation drills where you load up supplies and a vehicle ready at all times solves the mobility issue. Security is always something to plan for when storing supplies. Food grade 5 gallon buckets are good because they are easy to throw into a back of a truck and they are waterproof. Fire would be an evacuation situation, so we plan to have supplies in the car, plus some by the door ready to grab, plus the back up caches off site.

 

Gas - you get containers made for storing gasoline and you add a gas stabilizer. Then rotate your supply every 6 months or so.

 

Food - same thing, only store what you eat and then eat what you store to rotate through it. Then you never have to throw anything away. There are also foods that last 25 years or more (when all oxygen is removed). Tracking inventory can be done on paper, marking packages with dates and keeping the oldest in certain areas.

 

Natural disasters aren't the only issue- there are financial disasters that everyone is vulnerable too.

 

As far as minimalism, I am seeing how valuable it is in this context-

 

1. Learning to live with less prepares you more for a future where you  might have to live with less. Psychologically this will be huge if the changes are not as drastic for you and your family.

 

2. Storing less unnecessary belongings makes it a lot easier to store important things.

post #4 of 4
We have a box of these mainstay emergency food bars.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000B43JI0
& We keep a lot of water on hand, make sure our first aid kits are fully stocked.
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