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Now, lest you think I’m kidding, I’m not.  The zombie apocalypse is coming.  I have it from the best of sources (those who kill zombies in video games) that they’re preparing for The End and will protect us from The Zombies (who want nothing more to eat your brains, by the way).  And if you need more proof, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have gotten in on the act.  For serious.

The CDC has a blog post and is launching a preparedness campaign based on a Zombie Apocalypse.  It’s not April 1, so it’s not a joke.  The blog post in question appeared on May 16 and has gotten quite a bit of buzz on Twitter and in other forms of social media.

What’s the CDC doing?  Educating people!  By using the common language of “zombie apocalypse” and linking to brain diseases (that are supposed to be at the root of a zombie’s problems) like prions, mad cow disease, and measles, they’re getting people’s attention.

And by talking about making an emergency preparedness kit, they’re encouraging people to think ahead.  In the midst of talking about the coming zombie apocalypse, they’re also talking about preparing for a natural disaster. Under the heading of “Better Safe Than Sorry,” the post talks about how much water is needed per person, per day; what hygiene/sanitation is needed, how much food to store, what medications to have on hand, and other aspects of preparedness.  The author of the post assures readers that he will be assigning disease detectives to the field if indeed the zombies come out with sharpened spoons to eat our brains.

The approach is novel, but I love it.  Not that I’m a-feared of zombies (I know too many people who are versed in killing zombies who would protect me), but I love that the government is using a bit of current culture to reach people with the message of preparedness.  Of course, it’s my belief that by the time the government jumps on the “be prepared” bandwagon, there’s probably not adequate time to actually prepare properly, but hey!  At least it’s something.

Preparing a little is better than preparing none at all, because at least you’re thinking about things like supplies, evacuation routes, and caring for yourself and your family in a time of emergency.  Will zombie-killers be prepared for an EMP? Probably not.  But will they be better prepared than those who don’t read this ad campaign and think about being ready for a crisis?  Most likely.  And that’s a good thing.

If you want to read the whole article, you can find it here.  In the meantime, I’m going to go listen to “Re: Your Brains” by Jonathan Coulton and pack up my food storage for our impending move.  I’ve included a fan video here of the song – hope you enjoy!  :)

After an unexpected 2 week “break” from writing (I’m not really sure what happened, but apparently I needed that break just to get stuff straightened out here), I’m back.  It’s been a while since I’ve written about food storage specifically, and I’m getting my groove on and building it up.

At last count, using the handy-dandy Food Storage Analyzer from Emergency Essentials, I was at 162.91 days of food stored for my family.  I’ve added a bit since then, plus water, and now I’m up to 211.09 days – which makes me pretty happy.  I’ve crested the half-way mark and although there’s still a lot more to do, I’m happy with the progress I’m making.  :)

I use the Analyzer as a guide, but I don’t freak out about the nutrients, because we eat primitively and primitive-diets don’t “look good” on the nutritional labels.  It’s higher in fat and other things and since I know what I cook is whole food and nutritious, I simply don’t worry about the rest of it.  If you do pay attention to nutritional labels, the Analyzer will have excellent information for you – including the fat content, sodium content, and the overall nutrient-density of what you’re storing.  One thing I wish was included was almonds – I recently added about 20 pounds of almonds to the food storage for a new recipe that we love and I haven’t been able to include them in my tally because I don’t have the nutritional info to plug in and almonds aren’t on the list of foods in the Analyzer.  Ah well.

The water-storage question has been a severe thorn in my side since we lost water last Easter, but even more so since we moved to the desert.  I’ve read about storing 55gal drums for water, etc., but honestly – we’re in an apartment.  And we know we’re not here long-term.  I don’t want to put water in a barrel (or 2) and then have to empty it just to move in 7-9 months.  Plus, the garage is still full of boxes of things we’re not using (house-to-apartment, by the way, is a tricky adjustment.  Just sayin’.), so adding drums in to the context of navigating the garage is just not happening.

The water-issue was solved, conveniently enough, by Fry’s Food Stores, which is an affiliate of Kroger out here.  They had a special on 3L containers of water – each was $.49.  I calculated generously that we need 3 gallons per person, and for 10 days of water-needs, that’s 40-3L bottles.  So all told, it was less than $25 to store 10 days of water in the garage and because the bottles are compact and stack on each other, it doesn’t take up a lot of room.  I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have that part of my food storage done and off of my mind.

I’m not in any way done with this adventure – I still want 72 hour kits for us, in case we have to bug out for any reason, and I still have other emergency-prep things to do.  Plus there’s still the issue of the last 145 days of food to procure and store, but I’m getting there.  :)

I am also happy to let you in on this deal as well – if you try the Food Storage Analyzer from Emergency Essentials (it’s free) and review it, you can earn a $10 gift card toward purchases at EE.  Pretty cool – here are the details for your perusal:

Gift Card Giveaway

One thing I really like about living in Arizona (besides the lack of allergens to plague me) is that with the high LDS population here, it’s not ‘weird’ or ‘strange’ to practice food-storage habits.  It’s just another version of ‘normal’ here, and there are seemingly lots of opportunities to build my food storage.

Thanks to The Survival Mom (who is a local celebrity in the world of food storage here), I now know there’s a Honeyville store in the town where we reside.  Even though Honeyville’s shipping charge is very reasonable ($4.49 for any size order), I really like being able to go in a store and pick stuff out without having to pay shipping and waiting for it.

And Fry’s is the local division of the Kroger Company, which is my grocery-store of choice these days.  So far, I’ve not seen any “case sales” at Fry’s, but in typical Kroger fashion, they do a 10-for-$10 deal on staples and often have a “Buy 8 Get $4 Off” promotion running.  These two things make it easier to add to my food storage than otherwise.

A few days ago, The Survival Mom posted about a contest at Emergency Essentials.  I’m not so much in to entering contests (although if I actually WON something, it might entice me to enter more!), but the tool behind the contest intrigued me greatly.  I keep meaning to take an inventory of what’s in my food and I thought moving would be a great opportunity to do just that.  I mean, I’ve got a rough idea of what’s in my food storage, but being a checklist kind of girl, I’d like it on paper.  But the craziness of moving got to me and I haven’t taken an inventory.  My food storage is set up in 4 different places; 2 in my kitchen, one in a supposed “coat closet” (who needs coats in Arizona?!), and the canned goods in the garage on shelves.

So when I saw the Food Storage Analyzer and checked it out, I realized it was a great fit for my wannabe inventorying-self.  :)  It’s free to use and by creating a user name, my information is stored.  Just since using it, I added a bit more to my inventory and today’s calculations are that I have … (drumroll, please) 162.91 days worth of food stored.  That’s almost halfway – I’m shooting for a full year’s worth of food for the three of us.  I’m definitely getting there – and this was a huge encouragement to keep going.  :)

The Analyzer took a bit of time to list out what I had and it’s designed to give you a shopping list for Emergency Essentials (which, not coincidentally, sells food storage items), but I think it was entirely worthwhile.  I’ll continue to add to it as I add items (I think the next big procurement is a bulk order from Redmond Salt – they sell their Real Salt in 25# bags at a price which is a huge savings off of the Whole Foods price).  There’s nutritional content and analysis in the returned results, as well.  I’m not big in to those numbers – but because I already have my bouillon and other seasonings, my “sodium content” on the nutritional chart is sky high.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that we’ll eat ALL of the bouillon in the number of days allotted, but that’s the risk of letting a computer program tell you what the nutritional analysis is.  I’d prefer to focus on the “whole food, whole grain” aspect of my storage plan and use the seasonings (bouillon, salt, etc.) sparingly and as needed.

If you practice food storage, I highly recommend this Analyzer – it’s a great first step, especially if like me, other things have gotten in the way of you taking a solid inventory.  😉

Here’s a link to try it out yourself – and you can earn a $10 gift card at Emergency Essentials for trying the Analyzer and reviewing it!  :)

Gift Card Giveaway

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