Friday, 3 April 2015

07:36 – This can’t be good. With less than one week to go until it crashes out of the euro, Greece is on the edge of the precipice. Greece draws up drachma plans, prepares to miss IMF payment

Here’s what I did to prep this week:

  • I ordered another case of 12-count 28-ounce cans (21 pounds total) of Keystone Meats canned ground beef. Including shipping, it costs less than $5/pound, versus $4/pound for fresh ground beef at Costco. That’s not much of a premium for shelf-stable meat. Keystone gives a best-by date five years out, but as usual that’s a gross understatement. We don’t like it as well as fresh ground Costco beef, which is probably a higher grade of meat and definitely contains less fat, but the canned stuff is fine for spaghetti and casseroles.
  • I ordered a case of 24-count 11-ounce cans (16.5 pounds total) of Crider Chicken Bologna, which is basically ground white-meat chicken with some spices added. It can be sliced as lunch meat or diced for use in chicken casseroles and other recipes. I wanted to order one case to try. If Barbara and I both like it, great. We’ll order more. If she doesn’t, I’ll eat it with crackers for lunch. At $32/case, it’s not much of a risk. The best-by date is listed as two years out, but again that’s completely imaginary.
  • I ordered more Augason Farms dehydrated foods, including two more #10 cans each of Chicken Bouillon Powdered Extract, Cheese Blend Powder, Butter Powder, and Dehydrated Diced Red and Green Bell Peppers Mix. I would also have ordered two or three more #10 cans of Egg Powder, but they were out of stock. Note that all of these are “meal extenders”, things that can be used to make bulk dry staples like rice, flour, and instant mashed potatoes palatable.
  • I added about 20 liters (5 gallons) of Costco bottled water, which is about a 5 person-day emergency supply, and another 20 liters in recycled bottles.
  • I put in another couple days’ work on the non-fiction prepping book. I’m up to about 400 manuscript pages and I’m nowhere near finished. I’ve already decided to make it two volumes, with the first covering through the end of one year and the second covering long-term preparation. I wish I could put in more time on it, but doing taxes will occupy a lot of my time for the next couple weeks and keeping the kit business running and getting ready for the summer/autumn rush is already a full-time job.

At this point, I’m reasonably comfortable with our level of preparedness. We can keep the five of us–Barbara, me, Frances, Al, and Colin–in food and water for several months, and would be able to help friends and neighbors in a shorter term emergency. From this point on, it’ll be replacing what we’ve consumed and making incremental additions to our longer-term stores. With the weather getting better, we’ll also spend some time making day trips to several small towns to the northwest of us to see what they’re like.

So, what precisely did you do to prepare this week? Tell me about it in the comments.