Today I want to go over how you and your family can prepare for a food shortage.
Where do you even start?
How intense do you go?
What if it all blows over into a nothing burger?
What if it’s worse than I ever expected?
Part of our motivation for moving to the farm was to build a life where we could be more self-sustainable. Maybe you could even accuse us as having some “prepper tendencies”
Not that it’s anything to be ashamed of!
That said, we have learned a few things about how to protect your family during something like a food shortage while not giving into the fear.
1.) Start Here: Define the problem. Define the Win.
In order to make it through any crisis we need to define the problem, and define the win. The more specific you get the more likely you are to win.
For instance, preparing for an EMP attack is entirely different than preparing for Snowgeden 2021. Remember when we all dealt with record freezing temps ERCOT dropped the ball and left us in the dark for a week?
Think through not just the fact that there will be a food shortage but we need to answer questions like: “How bad is it going to be?” “What are the stages it will go through?”
I could be wrong, but I see prices rising substantially and grocery stores running out of key items. Some of this will be due to hoarding and some will be a true shortage. Either way it won’t be there. (The Problem)
Then limits will begin to appear in stores and we will all begin to wish we bought that deep freezer last Christmas!
It will be uncomfortable, but overall I don’t see many starving due to pure lack of food throughout most of America. I can’t say that for the rest of the world, sadly.
A win for my family will be to make it through this without paying the huge price penalty at the store and without giving up many of the items that have become staples in our house.
Don’t ask me to give up my bacon! (The win)
2.) Dealing with Mass Psychological Trauma
Back when Covid started in 2020 I was still doing campus ministry. All of us were feeling the strain and couldn’t quite function at 100%
One of my co-workers witha counseling background pointed this out.” Wow, we are all experiencing the effects of trauma to different levels.”
She noticed our behavior was the similar to what she sees from those who had just experienced a traumatic event.
What was different is we were ALL going through it at the same time. Therefore, there wasn’t someone whose world hadn’t been rocked, and could serve as our guide.
During the “shock period” where we experience trauma, we need to learn to have grace with ourselves. We aren’t going to predict every twist and turn. Instead, we can focus on the next best thing we can do.
During Snowgeden 2021 we were helped by a propane salesmen who filled up our tank for heat because we had a 1 month old baby girl to keep warm.
My city friends were part of groups who went house by house fixing plumbing issues with their home supplies.
Unity and love are always helpful in a crisis. Don’t be afraid to give help. Don’t be afraid to receive it!
3.) Planning Your Action
Again. Get specific!
What actions are going to help your particular family in a food shortage. Only you will know that!
Here is a place to start:
- Do you have 3 to 6 months of family staples like maybe oatmeal, eggs, or ground beef?
- Do you have a way to store food like a large pantry and/or a separate deep freeze? By the way, you can always buy a used freezer on the cheap on Facebook Marketplace. We do!
- Do you have a relationship with farmers and ranchers in your area who can supply you when grocery stores run out?
- How large is your emergency fund? As in cash on hand in a savings account or under your mattress…
A couple of things to stay away from:
- Don’t buy things you won’t use on a normal basis. If it all blows over, what are you going to do with canned peas? You don’t even like peas…
- Don’t go overboard and blow ALL your money.
- You can’t “prep” your way out of a long term crisis. The smarter thing will be to develop relationships where you can build local supply lines.
4.) Take Your Planned Action ONLY
In the middle of the madness its normal to feel some fear and anxiety. When I would roam around Sam’s in the middle of the 2020 toilet paper madness, I threw all sorts of stuff in my basket. Some of it is still in our pantry.
I’m not sure what we are going to do with 100 lbs of rice and beans!
My point is once you make the plan. Stick to it!!
You thought through the plan while you were level headed and logical. Our emotions shouldn’t be ignored, but neither should we make large decisions in the midst of strong emotions.
Unless something has changed, stick to your original plan. Remember the words of John in the the Bible: “Perfect love casts out fear” 1 John 4:18. You have a God that loves you.
Caution is useful. Fear is playing up scenarios we don’t even know to be true. Rest in love. Be courageous. Stick to your plan!!
Doing this, and methodically moving to each stage of your plan will build your confidence. Then you will have the space to lead your family well within your own peace.
5.) Stay Informed
I have said this a couple times, but allow me to repeat it.
You cannot prep your way out of a long term crisis!
Circumstances will change. Variables will become more influential or never play out. The best thing you can do is find a few sources of information you trust and keep informed.
I do lean Conservative, but BOTH sides have their propaganda. When I am looking for a source of information I look first at their character and then at their connections & resources.
Choosing to see character 1st means the person is very unlikely to willingly lie to you. At the very least, it will tell you where their possible blind spots are and allow you to take their information with a grain of salt.
Do your own homework and verify, verify, verify.
Bonus Prep: Build Key Relationships
As much as we want self sufficiency, that is a lie!!
Back in the day, people lived in small but deep communities. Today we have the same needs. Our spirits yearn for human connections we can trust.
On top of that, we can’t do everything. We can’t be good at everything. Trust me, I’ve tried haha!
That’s why I let my parents grow their huge garden and I’m more than willing to trade my beef to them.
I have a friend who is big into prepping and we store his goods for him so that his family has a place to go if the city gets bad.
Remember, you will need people. Relationships are key.
We want to be your people! Consider this an open invitation!
Until Next Time,