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Leslie Probert
How much food storage progress will you make this year?

January is a good time to take stock of what was accomplished in your food storage last year. It's also a time to be personally motivated to be prepared. If quality food storage progress was made during the previous year, celebrate that success. If, on the other hand, little was done about it or it was forgotten entirely, now is the time to consider a game plan for the year ahead.

Decide how much peace of mind to have

That’s really what food storage is all about. Planning “food insurance” for the unpredictabilities of life brings a tangible feeling of peace. Britanny Hansen, who has been married for four years and living in Utah County, recently caught the vision of storing food. After her first shopping trip she said, “I was not prepared for the feeling of peace I felt as I came home with my supplies. It was very tangible. I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders.”

That feeling of peace has been motivation for her to continue working on her food storage. She liked the feeling of security and wanted more of it. She has been trying recipes and found some that both she and her husband really like. It’s been exciting for them to make their food storage grow and to find delicious recipes they can fix with it.

Is it worth the risk to think food storage is not important?

Watching the news is a good way to assess the need for food storage. This last year, the world witnessed another major natural disaster where people were starving because of a lack of food and water. In one news report, a woman was begging for food to be sent. Governments can be very slow to respond to critical needs in major disasters. People survive better when there are supplies to share among them and they work together to get through severe hardship. Being in a position to help others in a time of great hardship is emotionally beneficial in recovering from a disaster.

We have seen a large number of people who lost their jobs last year, even in cases where jobs seemed secure. Will your current employment always be available? Is it worth risking you are safe from job loss and ignoring food storage?

Chrissy Boyack, of Olathe, Kans, and mother of five children, decided after having her first child “there is nothing material in this life that I want more than being able to feed my family.” That thought kept her from becoming too busy to think about food storage. Over the years she has gathered food to take good care of her family.

Is self-sufficiency in a time of difficulty a priority?

It is hard to ask for help from others after having been self-sufficient all one’s life. Sometimes requiring help from others is unavoidable. However, there is a sense of personal accomplishment that comes from having been wise enough to plan for emergencies and being able to take care of oneself and one’s family in a time of difficulty.

One well-educated friend lost his job and was mortified when he could not find work after nine months. He had, however, with his wife, planned to sustain their family with food storage. She had acquired some good recipes to prepare.

One day when he was terribly discouraged she took him to their food storage room, pointing out that he had provided well for his family and that they were able to get along well because of his hard work, even during this time of unemployment. That was a boost to his spirits and gave him confidence to pick himself up and keep going until he found a job.

Decide on a plan for the coming year

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Set aside money for food storage in a weekly or monthly budget. Make a goal to find a good tasting food storage recipe every week or two. Organize some space for storing food. Consistently making monthly purchases and always looking for sales and good recipes becomes a habit for success.

How much could be accomplished by this time next year with some focus on food storage? It can be personally rewarding to see what progress is made. The benefits of taking food storage seriously are significant and the peace of mind is indeed tangible.

Leslie Probert, a graduate in home economics from Brigham Young University, has been a speaker and is co-author of "Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition" with more than 400 fast recipes. Email: foodstoragechick@gmail.com