I know this blog title is an oxymoron.
If you had sat me down me this time last year and asked if I would consider having a stockpile, I would have been shocked. SHOCKED I say. And disappointed that you asked me, if I’m honest.
Fast forward to coronavirus (or Covid-19) and here I am, a self proclaimed minimalist with a stockpile in my root cellar. Note: Im calling it a root cellar, but in all honesty it’s just our storage room. Root cellar sounds more dramatic though so I’m going with it.
Disclaimer: Please note this blog post is for information purposes only. I am not suggesting or implying you should run out and start a stockpile. Please research what is right for you and your family, as every person will be different on what they choose to store or if they even want to store.
Amazon Associate: Please note that there may be links on this blog post that connect to Amazon. For more information about my Amazon associate status please click here.
How in the world did this happen?
I started thinking of a stockpile after the 2019 wildfires hit our area in Northern California. At that point it was just a thought, rolling around in my mind. During the 2019 fires PG&E shut off power to our area for several days, along with the power to all other buildings including grocery stores and banks. I’ll give our grocery store credit, they were able to bring a generator quickly. However the ability to use credit card and debit card was minimal. Cash became more than necessary, lines were huge to check out for food and ultimately it was a bit of a disaster.
And then covid crashed onto the scene. Which sent the world spiraling. And my anxiety, let’s be real.
The basic necessities became hard to come by. As we all know, toilet paper became a hot commodity, selling out almost instantly everywhere. Following suit you became hard pressed to find Isopropyl alcohol, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and yeast (which became the rockstar of all ingredients). Now, I had a problem because all those ingredients are what I use to clean our home (not yeast, that would be weird I was just illustrating my point that yeast is a rockstar now). Luckly, I had a couple extra supplies hanging around which I was able to lean on until they brought in more supplies. But not being able to find what I need for my family spooked me. So I began planning and setting aside money to purchase items I felt we needed for our stockpile in case things hit the fan, as they tend to do. And today I thought I would share my process so you could start your own stockpile if you wanted to.
Note: I didn’t use coupons for this. I know one of the big reasons WHY people stockpile is they are able to secure coupons to make the purchase incredibly cheap. In my mind I didn’t have time to research and wait for coupons, nor the physical store’s to go into. I leaned on Amazon and ordering directly online from companies. If you’re a couponer stockpile rockstar I apologize, I think I let you down on this one.
Okay let’s get this party started!
Step 1 - Where are you going to store this stuff?
Decide how much room you’re willing to give to these items. That’s the first step in figuring out how much you are actually going to purchase. Do you have a cupboard? Closet? Storage room like I do? Take a good look around your home and decide on the location. You can’t buy stuff to add to a stockpile that isn’t large enough to accommodate it. Then it just becomes clutter. And we are NOT down with clutter.
Also consider your climate, and natural disasters, you may have in your area. If you’re in a high flood prone area you probably want to rethink a stockpile in a basement?
Step 2 - How much do you want to spend?
I specified how much I wanted to spend on our stockpile. I added a category into my Quicken budget for stockpile and started saving what I would need. I wanted to have a solid start in collecting items that we actually use and can utilize during the wildfire season, which is always my main driving force when I do this kind of planning. Note that I am still working on my stockpile, and figuring out what I need to add to it daily.
How much you want to spend is totally up to you, your family, and your location in the world.
Side step - What’s your situation? Something to consider.
As I mentioned for us wildfire season is a regular occurance, and loosing power will now be the common practice when that season comes along. Last year was almost a trial run, to see what worked with no power, what we could rig up to get power and where we may be lacking.
With the power off we still have a working stove and hot water. We purchased a plug for our electric VW Golf so we could charge devices, and we recently purchased a small solar panel charger. This means we can pretty much make whatever we want on the stove, however we will have no refrigeration available. At this time we are not down with spending money on a generator, it’s just not in the budget. So something to consider is what you can actually utilize in an emergency.
How about you? What still works / doesn’t work if a natural disaster hits your home?
Step 3 - What do you need?
After I decided where I would have my stockpile and how much I wanted to spend, I took a good hard look at what my family would require if we had no power or couldn’t physically leave the house. Here’s what I came up with:
Toiletries - toilet paper, kleenex, toothpaste and personal hygiene items.
Cleaning - Ingredients I need for my homemade cleaners: Isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, distilled white vinegar, bleach, laundry detergent.
Canned food including fruit, vegetables, soup.
Dry good’s like pasta, cereal and grains.
Anything non perishable. For example spaghetti sauce, salsa etc.
Water - I am not a fan of bottled water, it’s just not right. However, I purchased a box incase we had to evacuate our home. If we’re driving for long periods of time to evacuate then we need water to go with us. So, that’s that.
A note on food.
Don’t buy food you’re not going to eat. If you and your family don’t like the taste of peas for instance, for heaven’s sake, don’t buy peas. Even in an emergency situation if the thought of choking down peas makes you physically ill you’re probably not going to eat them when the time comes.
While you’re compiling your stockpile please keep in mind the following:
Medication. If medication’s need to be stocked ahead of time then don’t forget to add that into your list as well. I keep a supply of cold and flu medication in our emergency bin, however if you or a family member has specific medical needs you must take that into consideration. Adding to that, ensure that the medications will be shelf stable, and make sure to check on what you do have frequently throughout the year to ensure medications and prescriptions are up to date and not expired.
Pet food and supplies. Your furry family members need to be planned for as well. Include food, any vitamins and medication they may need.
Are you growing a stockpile?
Mine continues to be a work in progress, and I’m continually adding to my list and searching for items. If you do start your stockpile be sure to tag me on instagram so I can share it as well!
Stay safe friend,