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By August 24, 2012 Read More →

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night, and my flash light was nowhere to be found – except the one with dead batteries.  I have in my hands, warped candles, but not a match.  The worst disaster of all is that I cannot find my chocolate!  The lightning is tearing the black sheets of sky, and the roaring thunder is so loud that the dog’s bones are rattling … and she is still alive – I think.  And then there comes a banging on the door … the cellar door.  It’s getting darker and darker; the only way I can see to find my way across the room is during the lightning flashes, so progress is slow.  The banging is persistent.  I know it’s not the wind blowing the shutters because they blew away in the last windstorm.  Louder banging, louder thunder, more lightning — fear is increasing with the pounding of my heart.  I still can’t find a light. AARRRGGGGHHHH I have to close my eyes now …

You can slowly turn the page now.

We should also be talking about personal preparedness, which includes all kinds of non-foods and equipment.  NOW is a good time to organize and categorize your “stuff.”  You don’t have to go into debt to do this, nor make your home or garage into an upscale store window.

The more organized you are, the easier it will for you find items when you need them – even in the dark.  The more categorized your items are, the more you will be able to stretch you money.  If you can check what you already have on hand, before hitting the yard or store sales, you will be able to manage your budget better.
It is good to put time and effort to keep your prepper supplies clean and safely stored.  This will discourage mice and bug infestation, as well as breakage, as well as save your investment.

Let me share with you a few Salsbury ideas that work for me.  Right now, our preparedness non-food supplies and equipment are kept in a little shed out back. You can use your basement, garage, wall, closet, attic, nook or cranny that will work for you.  I use labels and a lot of permanent black markers. (This ink will come off with acetone nail polish remover if you tend to write large and want to change a label.)  Most everything that is medium to small sized is in a container, tub or box that is labeled.  A RULE for us: every tub or box or packaged item IS LABELED!  The labeled end is always out so that it can be immediately read.  And yes, I have a working flashlight stashed on the wall studs, just inside the door.

Stoves are grouped together.  Parts, mantles, wicks, gaskets, etc. are in a tub.  Lanterns are grouped together.  One wall of shelves holds the blankets and sleeping bags, rolled tightly and squished into heavy white trash bags.  The emphasis is on white trash bags.  The dark green or black kinds sometimes have insect repellent in the plastic.  This can be absorbed into the material of objects inside – thus compounding problems.  All blankets and sleeping bags are put away washed and clean, ready to use.  If they are used for camping, scouting or sleepovers they must be put away clean.  Some may look as if they survived World War I, not necessarily ragged, just old and not in style.  But I haven’t figured out what warm has to do with style anyway.

Clothing for layering and warmth is sets of irregular sweat suits bought at clearance sales.  They are kept in a labeled tub;  in the same area as the blankets.  The same thing applies to the rain suits and extra ponchos.  In another apple box, you can find our emergency cooking gear.  It is not my regular set of pots and pans.  They are second and third time around thrift store bargains that can be used over a campfire, fireplace, barbeque or any outside fire.  Blackened in this case does not refer to Cajun cooking.  It’s what the outside of the pans resemble in the aftermath of an Aftermath.

All sizes of batteries are kept in a tub, on a shelf, in the laundry room.  That way they are not exposed to extremes of hot or cold weather.  Expansion and contraction will cause the seams to split and acid to be exposed.  Besides, I can get to them in any weather.

We have a second home.  It is not a condo or cabin in the mountains, nor a retreat along a river bank.  We don’t own a motor home.  However, we do have a wonderful, sturdy family sized tent just in case the great big bad wind, huffs and puffs and blows the wall down or windows in. It is stashed in the loft or rafters.

These are a few ideas to adapt and put into practice.  Convert them to your style, your closet, your carport, but do something now.
I strongly suggest this takes place before you are caught in the middle of a dark and very stormy night without a working flashlight …

Yay, I found my chocolate! :)



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4 Comments on "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night"

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  1. stevenswilkins says:

    ALREADY DONE! :) 

  2. jedi1111 says:

    I’ve mentioned it before, if you have women in the house, and you are making your emergency supply list Chocolate is at the top of the list ahead of water and flashlights and batteries.  You can have every supply and gadget but if there is no chocolate to be had there will be chaos.  So your list in order of importance: 1) M&M ‘s 2) water 3) flashlight. Ladies, please educate your men, because their life will be a living Hell if it is not available. 

    Organization, and protecting your supplies are very important.  I do question storing the tent in the attic because if there is a hurricane or tornado  and your roof gets blown off, or a tree falls on it, your tent will be inaccessible. But otherwise, sounds like a plan.

  3. rick says:

    I agree with Barbara on her prepping except for storing every thing in the house and garage and rafters. As she describes the weather as dark wind blowing and in the cellar. Not a good idea. This point was brought clear by the tornados in 2011. My belief is to have a place were one can get to the items were wind and fire or flood would not effect them As these are the major threats one faces. My suggestion would be to put them in a cellar away from the house, above the flood line. Be it just outside the door with fire proof doors or 50 feet up a hill. Or just a hole in the yard with items sealed in protective totes or bags..