Getting Prepared: A Primer for Beginners Series, part 2

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Today, you get to learn more about yourself and those who live with you.  Following is a list of skills your household will need if an event  requires you to survive on your own without outside resources.

  • cooking (from scratch, not convenience foods)
  • sewing
  • mechanics
  • first aid
  • security

This is a partial list of skills needed.  The list will changed based on your situation.  For instance, if you live in a rural setting and have to maintain your water supply system, you will need plumbing skills.  We’ll get more in to situational skills in later issues.  For now, add the assessment of skills inventory to your notebook.

Now we will examine the skills listed above in more depth.  Most people would look at that list and think “no big deal” when it comes to cooking and sewing.  Those people would be mistaken.  My wife is an accomplished cook and seamstress.

My wife can feed a family of five for less than $5.00 and we walk away feeling full and satisfied.  On top of that, she makes delightful dishes to eat.  During the most difficult financial situations, she has been able to put meals on the table when others thought there wasn’t any food in the house.  She is talented at using what we have on hand to come up with a meal for how ever many people happen to be sitting down to dinner.  She knows how to use spices and seasonings to make even the most lowly dishes taste heavenly.

This is all important because in our modern society with financial cutbacks in education, many schools have shut down home economics classes.  Our students are only going to learn these skills in homes where their parents have time to teach them.  While many families do attempt to teach their children how to cook this or that dish, few families actually teach their children how to effectively and efficiently manage a kitchen.  And that is the skill you need in an emergency or survival situation.  You need someone who can manage the most precious resources of food and water.

The only way to get that skill is to learn all you can about cooking and kitchen management.  If you are the person designated to manage the kitchen, read everything you can get your hands on.   Cookbooks are great, but you need food textbooks.  Check around for high school home economics texts from 1940 to 1955.

Now about the sewing, during the years our children were being raised, she sewed all their clothes until they entered junior high school.  The only clothing we purchased for them were shoes, undergarments and jeans.  Actually, she sewed her own clothes since she was in high school.  Her ability to sew saved our family thousands of dollars.  On top of that, the kids enjoyed going with her to choose fabrics and patterns.   Our daughter liked that no one else could ever have the clothes she had.  The boys took pride in that they had custom made clothes.  Even in high school, she made clothes they loved and that other kids asked her to make for them.  I’ve watched my wife sew.  It’s amazing.  She can take a piece of fabric and “see” what it will be and look like when she is finished.  If there is a design she wants. but doesn’t want to pay designer prices, she simply sews it.  She says anyone can sew.  She doesn’t lie.  Anyone can buy fabric and a pattern, then follow the instructions to create clothing.

Tomorrow we will discuss mechanics, first aid and security.  Tune in!