From Helen


My husband and I are getting close to retirement, and live in a mobile home without much storage space. Would like to prepare for coming problems, but am not sure where to start.


A good place to start is with decluttering.  In fact, I’m getting ready to write a short article about the benefits of decluttering later today!
If you start going through drawers, cupboards, closets, etc. and pulling out what you don’t need, you have the start of a good yard sale right in front of you!  Not only will a yard sale bring in some money, but you’ll be getting rid of unwanted junk AND have more space for storing extra food, water, and supplies!  As you start cleaning out all those areas, you’ll also find things you DO need for survival and preparedness and that will save you money from buying duplicates of those items.
Once you have some open storage space, start stocking up on foods that don’t require refrigeration or even cooking.  You can download a list of some of these foods at this link, Print it out and start stocking up on things that you and your husband like to eat.  Buy enough for at least a two week emergency.
The reason I recommend buying things that don’t require refrigeration or cooking is because many emergencies cause power outages AND if energy prices skyrocket due to government regulations, we may all be looking for ways to save on our power bills.
Water is easy to store, especially if you can get your hands on those 2-liter soda bottles.  They are actually recommended by FEMA as a reliable water storage container.  Just clean them out with a tiny bit of soap and some water and refill with clean water.  You can store them just about anywhere.  (Make sure they’re tightly capped.)  If you can buy a 55 gallon water drum, that will hold enough water for the two of you to last a little over a month.  You’ll need water for sanitation and drinking, primarily.
If you don’t yet have a garden, start a container garden.  There are lots of websites with information about how to do this, even if you live in a mobile home or apartment.  Growing fresh produce will help you both, and if you grow extra, you can always can or dehydrate it.

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