Be Prepared. And Be Charitable.

I’ve always been pretty bad about stocking up on extra food and water supplies in case of emergency. I’m the guy who three days before Y2K bought two jugs of distilled water. I think they finally got used this year as water for Nolan’s hermit crabs. While I’m still not ready to dig a bunker in my backyard or head to the hills of Montana, it is a good idea as a matter of practicality to prepare. I was a Boy Scout after all and that is the motto. Be Prepared.I read an article today on Spirit Daily that talks about taking steps to prepare and offers what struck me as a unique way of looking at it. It’s a great idea and provides an additional motivation for taking such steps in preparedness.

It is always wise to have extra food and water on hand. Due to hurricanes, we have "meals-ready-to-eat" (and other supplies). It doesn't hurt to be prudent. And it isn't just cyclones or solar events. A huge ice storm can likewise knock out power for a large region. We are entering a period of heightened circumstances, including societal unrest. When events come, they will occur in ways that were not prognosticated. And so, how to be prudent?

"It's very simple; just do this," states Kate Saunder, a teacher in St. Louis.

1. Buy one extra case of canned goods, peanut butter, or bottled water every month.

2. Mark these with the expiration dates in an obvious, visible place.

3. Store these in a safe place.

4. Rotate goods so that the oldest are the easiest to access (newest on the bottom).

5. Use the oldest goods first, if needed.

6. Several months before the expiration dates, donate the cases of close-to-code-dated goods to the poor. If we do so, we will be accomplishing this:

1. Our personal, corporal security by having access to fresh food and water supplies for up to twelve months in the future.

2. Our charitable, spiritual well-being by feeding the hungry.

3. Our reduction of waste by avoidance of spoilage.

What a great idea. You’re not only storing up for emergencies, but in a sense becoming a mini-food pantry of your own. How many of us think often about how we’d like to contribute more to the food pantries and shelters in our area but don’t make that commitment? This is a sort of “forced savings” if you will, where by rotating the goods in and out of your own pantries, you are being responsible for caring for the needs of your own families, but for others less fortunate than you as well.

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