Survival Preparation at Home

An introduction to survival preparation for those interested in storing—as opposed to hoarding—emergency provisions.

| September/October 1974

In a previous issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, William Earwood mentioned "a year's supply of emergency rations that would meet human nutritional requirements." I have spent the last several months studying this subject under highly qualified people—the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons, who have been concerned with long-term food storage for at least 35 years—and would like to pass on some of the information I've gathered.

The whole business of survival preparation is far more extensive than Mr. Earwood's question suggests, because it touches so many phases of life (just as the gasoline shortage—so-called—affected much more than transportation and heating). Several decisions must be made before such a program is begun:

[1] First of all, are you "storing" or "hoarding"? This is the question you'll have to answer—and the one which may stop you in your tracks—as soon as a few critical friends hear of what you're doing (and somehow they will).

[2] Are you gathering items for long-term storage, or will you just augment your provisions and use and replenish them as you go? (I might as well inform you that—once started—emergency storage becomes a never-ending project that extends your thinking farther and farther into the future. This is so because of our country's real or imagined shortages, in which we little people are always caught up.)

[3] What emergencies are you planning to be prepared for? Once you know, you'll have a better basis for picking your supplies.

Some helpful reading to get your project launched: Robert L. Preston's How to Prepare for the Coming Crash ($2.95 from Jefferson House) is the best starter book I know. USDA Bulletin G77, Family Food Stockpile for Survival, gives a nutritionally sound program for a two-week period and could be multiplied to cover a year's time.

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