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08/23/2005 Archived Entry: "How many will you be feeding?"

HOW MANY MOUTHS WILL YOU BE FEEDING when TSHTF, TEOTWAWKI, the big one, or whatever it is that youíve prepared for comes to pass? I learned recently that the answer, for me, was ďA lot more than you think.Ē

I was having dinner at a restaurant with some friends, who were discussing the upcoming departure of their second daughter to college. The oldest daughter, on her own for two whole years now, had assured the parents that ďif anything bad happens, Iíll pick up Sally and get her safely home.Ē ďOh no,Ē the parents said. ďIf things get bad, you both go to Silverís house, and weíll meet you there.Ē

Years ago my wife and I had agreed to act as godparents for the three daughters, but with their growing into lovely young women that responsibility was at least changing, if not lessening. But I hadnít thought about supporting the entire family in a crisis.

My family and friends know about some, not all, of the preparations Iíve made. The most obvious is the extended pantry, a basement area that holds enough food to feed the two of us for 6 to 12 months. This isnít an emergency-only stash. By stockpiling, Iíve learned what we actually eat, what we donít, and what keeps. We use up stuff in this pantry and then replenish by buying in bulk, which is why I say "6 to 12" months.

My sister-in-law was impressed by the pantry, as much for its convenience and savings as the preparedness aspect. She asked her husband if they shouldnít do the same. ďHeck no, if anything happens weíre going to Silverís.Ē


Iíve approached friends and family with gentle suggestions that we talk a bit about plans and supplies. I get no response; I think some of them are afraid that Iím going to ask them to buy guns, or gold, or something else they arenít comfortable doing. In fact, I would start by suggesting that we stock a monthís supply of any medicines or other real necessities that might not be in my stash. I wouldnít mind some advance planning about who can bring what, cash, and a host of other issues, but Iíd be very pleased just to have a serious conversation about their plans to make my home their refuge.

None will, or at least none have, yet. Iím not going to rant about people who wonít plan and donít take responsibility for themselves and their loved ones. These people are my neighbors, my friends, my family. If they show up at my door in a time of need, Iíll let them in. I donít think Iím made of the stuff that would send teen-age girls off empty-handed.

So I started counting. Those within an hour or so travel (under normal conditions) will swell the population of my little abode from 2 to 13. Throw in family members within a dayís travel (both my wife and I come from large families) and the number swells to 24. I can imagine even more.

Iím not sure how this new understanding will change my plans. I need some time to think about a whole host of issues that will come with one or two dozen people in this place. But I know I must start, and I suspect that most people who prepare will find that they have more company than they had originally planned for when the fateful day arrives.

Posted by Silver @ 04:52 AM CST

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