We Must Protect Our Food/Supplies
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
As Salaam Alaikum
On March 31, 2011, The Honorable Minister Farrakhan held a Press Conference warning us that a "Major Earthquake" is coming to us here in America. In this lecture, he warned us to store 2 -3 weeks to 2 -3 months worth of groceries, food, and water in our homes. But then right after he said this he said, "When this great earthquake comes it won't matter what you have in your pantry. It's sad, it's very sad." See Video Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGUTVj1jGYs
I think about this quite often.
I listen to this lecture over and over again as I ask Allah why He would warn us in one sentence to try our best to prepare, to stock up on food and water in our homes, and then in the very next sentence say that it won't matter what's in our pantry. And why did he differentiate between the two?
Homes and Pantry.
We all know that Allah is mathematically precise and so are the words coming from the mouth of His messenger. I kept feeling like I was missing something. As if there was more meaning to what he was/is saying in this lecture to us. So I keep replaying it listening to those words. I even wrote them out, so I could look at it.
There are some of us who will focus on the latter statement and use this as an excuse not to prepare, and even worse, suggest to others that they should not prepare either. Which is the dumbest thing that you could possibly do. Besides being a hypocrite and/or agent against us.
Because the earlier statements refute this claim when he says, "And I pray that we try our Best to be prepared...." If we are believers, that is an order. And even if you don't believe, yet, it still makes more sense to err on the side of caution and prepare. There are just too many earthquakes going on all around us for you not to consider the possibility that it could eventually happen where you live. Soon.
Are you trying your Best to be prepared for what is about to happen?
"It won't matter whats in your pantry." Why mention "Pantry?" What Image is he putting in our minds?
Could it mean that we should not store all of our 2 - 3 months worth of food/water in our pantry? Maybe in some other parts of our home? And if we are, is there a way of storing it where it will not be destroyed by the earthquake and its after shocks?
As I reflect on what he is saying to us, the word "Protect" comes to mind.
When he used the word "Pantry" he was drawing our attention to a specific area of our homes. If you can think about your pantry right now. Or your cupboards, or cabinets. What do you see? Can you see the small bags of navy beans and rice on one shelf. Maybe your spices on another shelf. Black pepper, cayenne pepper. Your cans of tomato sauce, soup, cans of this, cans of that. Maybe you can even imagine your bottles of juice, ketchup and chips that you have on the next shelf.
As you picture what you have in your pantry or cabinets, or if you can even see it now, ask yourself this question, Are these items secure sitting on the shelves like this?
Do you store your emergency food supply with your every day foods?
If a major earthquake happened right now, would your food stuff stay on those shelves? If you have cupboards or cabinets, are the doors secured to keep those items in there or would it all spill out on the floor during an earthquake? Did you know that you can buy those "baby latches" for cabinets that will keep them shut during an earthquakes? Or earthquake latches. See page: http://preparedness.com/earprep.html
If you have never experienced a "Major" earthquake just imagine someone throwing everything that you have on those shelves on the floor. Then stepping on it. And maybe even bringing the shelves down too.
Now look down on the floor of your pantry or the floor of your kitchen beneath your cupboards/cabinets. Imagine your fridge flipped over on it's side with all of the contents all over the floor. There were several reports during the Northridge quake of refridgerators shaking right through the walls and falling outside. And Imagine everything thrown from the shelves onto the floor all in one pile. What of your food would you be able to salvage?
What would be in that pile? Would there be cleaning supplies thrown down in the mix from cabinet A? Glass from dishes from cabinet B? Other liquids? Water flooding the kitchen from the broken sink? During a major earthquake everything that is not secured will be destroyed. We must find a way to protect our food/supplies before this earthquake comes as well as the many other calamities that may befall our communities.
We cannot simply leave our foodstuff on the open shelves and think that is sufficient enough for our preparations. It is a start. A good start. But we must secure our food and supplies, OR, "It won't matter whats in our pantry." Because it will all be destroyed when it all comes down on the floor.
I wrote another article on how to secure some of the things in your home to prevent them from being destroyed or hurting us during an earthquake. Here is the link to that article. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150318837589784
So How Can we protect our foodstuff Better than the way it is now? I will tell you a story of how I learned the hard way the importance of protecting what you buy now so you wont have to suffer as much later.
One day I was at the grocery store when I thought to myself "What if there was a major earthquake tonight and this was the last time that I would ever be able to actually shop in this store, what should I get?" I do this every time I go into any store. I always ask Allah what should I get today. The more I thought about it I realized I was short on quite a few things. But my focus for the week was to get more food. More nutritious food that would last a long time and was fairly cheap.
So I turned down the aisle where the Navy Beans were and they were on sale for $.79 cents a bag. (I bag equaling 1lb.) So I bought 30 bags of Navy Beans, 30 Bags of Lentils, and 30 bags of brown rice.
Yes, I know I could have gotten it cheaper had I bought it wholesale somewhere else, I know I could have bought it cheaper in bulk somewhere else, but I was there right then and the "what if" scenario I was running in my head dealt with that particular moment. I did not know if I had another day. I get like that sometimes, the urgency to prepare is always with me. And every day that comes and goes without any destruction in my life I thank Allah for another day to get right with Him and get some more stuff.
So 90lbs of Navy Beans, Lentils, and Brown rice is enough food to last one person at least five to six months. A family of four it's about maybe two months worth of food. Even though It's just me, I ALWAYS buy way more than I need because I am always thinking of that Believer who is not able to prepare right now, or that neighbor or family member who will need food on that day. Many of us wait until disaster strikes to think about helping others, I think about it beforehand. How can I be of service During and After disasters? So I always buy extra and I'm always urging everyone else to do so.
So the cashier bags all of my stuff up looking at me like I know something that she doesn't. She asks if I want paper or plastic, I say plastic. I figure I can always use the plastic bags later to store the stuff I just bought.
I get home and I take ten bags of each, and put them on the shelves in my pantry. The rest of them, I put back in the bags they came in, tie the bags up really tight, then put them in a larger, thick garbage bag tying it tight as well. I take that bag and put it in a closet in the back of the house. I never want to keep all of my stuff in the same room or part of the house in case a part of the house gets destroyed or I am unable to get to that part of the house, I will always have food and water in other rooms.
So maybe a week goes by and I decide to make some navy beans. I grab a bag off of the shelf in the pantry and open it. When I looked closer I saw a bunch of bugs. I mean alot of little bugs. I threw that bag out and grabbed another. Same deal, filled with bugs. I started to panic, and started going through all of the bags on my shelf. Yes, all of them were filled with bugs. How did they get in the bags? Upon inspection of the bags I had not opened, they had no visible holes that I could see. But sure enough, the bugs were in there. And they were not in there When I bought them, Because I checked. And they were not in there when I put them on the shelves, because I checked.
I looked all around on the shelves, no bugs anywhere, only in the bags. And then I thought about the rest of the beans that I had put up in the back.
My heart stopped and I held my breath. No way.
I ran back to the back, ripping open the big, thick, plastic garbage bags. No bugs so far. I felt a bit of relief, for a second.
I ripped open the bags the beans came in, and upon inspection, no bugs.
But when I started to inspect the individual bags, All of them were filled with these little bugs. I was totally defeated.
And I was really trying so hard not to curse so much. But I lost it.
When you are throwing away nearly $80 worth of food you just bought it is hard on the spirit. But through the swearing and disgust at these little bugs I asked Allah why He allowed this to happen. And how can I prevent this from happening in the future?
Although the lessons I learned from this experience was costly, It taught me a lesson that I want to share with you so that you won't have to go through what I went through. And Allah willing, you will not have to go through it AFTER a disaster.
And that is We Must Protect the food AND supplies we are storing.
We must protect it, check it regularly, and rotate it.
Because the Rotation part is the easiest part I will go over it very quickly. You should not even buy what you are not already eating. Don't start stocking up on things you have never had before. Only buy what you eat. So as you buy more, you can just put that up, and take some from your storage. As far as Navy beans, you really don't have to worry about those ever going bad if you store it properly. (Airtight container)
There are people buying all types of food, especially these "disaster ready" foods that they have never had before. I would strongly advise against this. Much of it is made with stuff that is not good for our bodies, and we do not know how our bodies will react to it. That is the main reason you only buy what you eat. You do not want to start trying anything new when there are no hospitals. After a major earthquake is the wrong time to find out you are allergic to almond milk. If you are going to spend a bunch of money on MRE's, you'd better open one first, eat it on an empty stomach, and see how you feel afterwards.
Only buy what you eat. I know people who have went out and spend hundreds of dollars on specially made "disaster foods" from these "disaster sites" that specialize in foods that you do not have to cook. And when I asked them what it tastes like, they did not know. When I asked them what was in it, they did not know. And when they tasted one, they stopped talking to me.
We eat beans, we eat rice, we eat bread and lentils and garlic. These things we know are good for us, we know they will not make us sick. Stick with what you know.
Checking your supplies should be common sense. But, go look at it anyway. Check for bugs in the area and other pests. Check for damaged container. Check for spoilage and dented cans. You never know what you may find. And it is always better to find it BEFORE you need it so you can replace it.
PROTECTING YOUR SUPPLIES
The plastic bags that your beans, lentils, rice, etc come in will not keep bugs out.
The plastic shopping bags will not keep bugs out.
Thick plastic garbage bags will not keep bugs out.
Take it from me. After you buy your beans, you have to put them in a STURDY AIRTIGHT CONTAINER.
Why airtight containers? Because bugs can't live without air. There is very little on this planet that can survive without oxygen. So if your food is put in airtight containers, and there are no bugs in there when you close it up. There will be no bugs in there.
Whatever you use, must be airtight and should be waterproof. Something that keeps the sun out is a plus too. But you can always cover it with something.
5 GALLON BUCKETS WITH LID
5 Gallon plastic buckets are great for storing your food and supplies in. You can get them from Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Most hardware stores have them and they run anywhere from $4.99 to $6.99.
These buckets are very thick and besides a really determined rat, not too much is getting in there. But if you do have rats, get some mint and put it on the floor all around your buckets. Rats Hate Mint. If you have not done so, you may want to check out the article I wrote on "How to Deal with Pests after a Disaster." I can email it to you or you can read it here. http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150200322699784
A 5 Gallon bucket will hold up to 45lbs of Navy beans, Rice, Wheat, or lentils.
There is one thing to remember when buying Plastic buckets for storing food in. It MUST be Food Grade Plastic.
How can you tell if your bucket is "Food Grade". It will either have the number TWO (2) in the middle of a Triangle at the bottom of your bucket, AND/Or the letters HDPE. Oft times they will usually have both.
99% of all food grade buckets are White. They may come in other colors. I just have not seen any. You really want to stay away from having your food in any buckets with any kind of colors though. In extreme heat these colors will leach into your food. Nearly all grocery stores have/use food grade plastic buckets that they throw away everyday. If you go and ask for them, most times they will give them to you or sell them for about a buck. Usually these buckets contained some sort of cake icing or something from the bakery. Keep in mind that if you go this route, whatever was in these buckets before you got them, will have to be cleaned out. And it will pretty much always keep a hint of that smell. That's the nature of plastic. That's why I just buy new ones.
There are many sites online that sell food grade plastic buckets as well. Many times they are very cheap if you buy them in bulk.
With all of your food kept in buckets, on the floor in your pantry, even if every shelf of your pantry came crashing to the floor with everything else on top of it, your food would be kept safe and protected.
You can store a months worth of food in a 5 gallon bucket. And they stack neatly on top of each other. Even if you don't think you have any room in your pantry for them, they fit on the floor in the closets, behind your couches, or you can neatly put them in the every corner of every room in your home. Even if you live in a studio apartment, you have four corners, you have four places to put buckets. Just cover them with a sheet or something. And that's four months worth of food.
They are not only good for food, you can store most of your survival stuff in these buckets. And with a Marker, you can clearly mark what you have in each bucket. One for first aid supplies, seasonings, stationary, socks, batteries, etc.
Most of the places that sell the buckets will also sell lids to go with them. Usually for $1.99 or less. Now while these lids will work, for the most part, they are not air tight. And even the ones that are, over time with repeated opening, they will not be airtight for long.
There are also specially made lids called "Gamma Seal Lids" for buckets that you can get that make your bucket airtight. These lids will cost about as much as the buckets ranging from $5.99 to $7.99. But they are amazing. They add extra protection on the top of the buckets and make them structurally twice as strong. And once you get them on, they make going in and out of your buckets very easy. Because they just twist off. This is a very short video on you tube that shows how to put them on. It's really alot easier to put on than this video. But it gives you a good idea of how they work.
Depending on where you live they may sell them at your local stores. But for the most part, you are going to have to get these lids online. If you buy them in bulk, the price comes down. And one thing is certain, once you start using 5 gallon buckets for your stuff, you will end up buying more and more buckets because they are just so easy to stack and they really protect your food. And if you buy One Gamma Seal Lid for one bucket, you will want them for all of them.
Here is a link to see what the lids look like. There are many places that sell them online. http://beprepared.com/category.asp_Q_c_E_444_A_Gamma+Seals_E_
Another great place to store your food/supplies is under your bed. Especially when dealing with earthquakes. The bed offers another added level of protection over your food. Even if the roof comes down on it, the mattress acts as a buffer and will not completely destroy what you have. You will be able to dig through the rubble and get your food. (That's why safety gloves are always important to have IN your "Go Bag")
You are not going to get a 5 gallon bucket under your bed but they make all kinds of airtight plastic containers, "Tupperware", etc that you can put your food in and it will keep the bugs out as well as another layer of added protection from water, in case of flooding. Remember, you want to keep all of your food in airtight/water proof containers.
The key is "Protect" your food. Leaving your food out on the open shelf is not wise. I've seen many people turn entire rooms into food storage rooms for survival. But all they did is add a bunch of shelves to the walls and piled a bunch of food on these shelves. One major earthquake, all of that stuff is destroyed.
Even canned goods can stack neatly in 5 gallon buckets and it adds a great amount of protection for your cans. Yes I know we should not be using anything in cans and I strongly urge us never to buy cans. But IF you have them you need to protect them. A dent in a can makes the contents of that can bad for you to eat.
If you are canning your own food (jars), then you definitely want to put those in something else besides leaving them on the shelf. Wrapping them in news paper, you can put them in the buckets and they will be safer than putting them on any shelf.
This earthquake may bring many of our homes to the ground. Or cause much damage. If we protect our foodstuff now, that is one less thing we will have to worry about. Even if our homes are completely destroyed, we will be able to get our food. And it will be easier to carry in the buckets.
One thing is for certain, no matter where you have to go AFTER this earthquake, you will be welcomed if you have food already.
If you are storing food under your bed, besides the plastic airtight containers, they also sell "Mylar" food bags. They come in Ziplock and regular. Once sealed, these are airtight and water proof as well. And bugs are not eating through it. While these bags are "Tear" proof, meaning they wont rip open, and they are pretty tough to get into, they are NOT puncture proof. Here is a link to a sample here. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002E4TT98/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B001Y0Y8C6&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1ZESDK2VPGZ9R2XDJ003
While you may not have to deal with Pests now, after a disaster they may become a problem. Black Pepper and Cinamin are pretty cheap and it would be wise to stock up on extra. They keep ants away.
Protect your food. Put your food in containers that will withstand damage from water and heavy objects falling on them. Put your food in containers so if they are thrown down to the floor it will not be damaged to where you can use it afterwards.
Because many of us have never experienced a earthquake, we cant imagine the chaos that will take place in our kitchens. This is why I am trying to show you a glimpse of what we may face, so that we can better prepare for it. If you will watch this very short video below, it will give you a glimpse of what you may have to clean up in a few days if you do not make the necessary preparations now. As you look at the floor of this kitchen, you may see the importance of securing your food now so on that day, you will be in better shape.
The earth beneath our feet is about let loose soon. Let us all try to prepare for it now, And protect our food as best we can.
If you have any questions feel free to ask and please forward this on to your family and friends so that they too can prepare.
Here is one of my recent articles, "Snow Doom: Preparing for the Great Freeze"