Friday, September 27, 2013

My Food Storage Story - The Experience That Woke Me Up!

How I Began Food Storage
Babies Need Their Bottles!

A Little History
Shawn and I had been married for a few years, had a 6 month old baby and had just found out that another baby was on the way! My husband had also just barely taken another job in a different city, so we moved from a small house into an even smaller apartment. I had collected a little water storage in plastic juice bottles, but I gave those to my neighbor when we moved because he saw my stash and asked for them. I knew I would not have room for them in our new tiny apartment, so I gladly gave them to him.

The Dreaded Experience
I didn't think anything about it until almost a week later when my baby woke up at 5 a.m. for his morning bottle. I was no longer nursing him because I was pregnant again. So I turned on the faucet in the kitchen to make his bottle, and no water came out! I ran to the bathroom, and found the same problem! We had no water! I usually kept a pitcher of water in the refrigerator, but I had washed the pitcher the night before and there it sat empty and clean in the dishwasher. The only other thing I had was orange juice and apple juice frozen concentrate, and you definitely can’t feed that to a baby! I had some rice cereal that he was just starting to eat, but you have to mix that with WATER!!!

My baby was used to me being pretty quick with making those bottles, so by this time he was rather upset with me and really wanting to eat! I hurried to wake up my husband, explained the problem, and asked him to run to the store to get us some water. I know he was trying to be quick, but it seemed like he S-L-O-W-L-Y got up, put his contacts on, found his keys and moseyed on out the door. The whole time he was gone, my baby screamed his head off, and I cried too. I was holding a hungry baby and could do nothing to help him!

A Feeling I'll Never Forget
That is the worst feeling I have ever felt in my life! It was a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I hope none of you ever have to feel! During those minutes that my husband was gone and my baby was screaming, I prayed and asked for forgiveness. Here I was a mother, and expecting another baby, and I was not prepared to take care of the precious child Heavenly Father had entrusted to me.

The Promise
That was a life changing experience for me. I promised my Heavenly Father that I would never be found unable to take care of my children. I spent many sleepless nights that next week wondering, thinking, praying and figuring out what a year supply of food was, how I was going to get it, and where in the world would I put it! (Those were the days before it was common to have computers and internet access in your home!) It took me 7 years from that date to get what I considered was a year supply of food for my family. We kept adding more children to the family, so my needed amounts kept boosting up, but we finally obtained our goal, and we have maintained a year supply of food ever since! I have learned how to use it and rotate it and absolutely LOVE it! Heavenly Father has blessed my efforts, and I am grateful to Him for that.

The Challenge For You
I hope that you will get started on your food storage on your own, and that you will not have to have a terrible experience like I did to spur you to action! You will be blessed as you follow the wise counsel we have been given.


  1. I never get tired of hearing or reading this story. It was a gift to you, but to us as well.

    1. Thanks Tracy! I didn't see it that way when I was in the midst of it, but now I can look back and see it as a huge blessing! It changed my life! : )

    2. Melissa, I vividly remember you sharing your story, at a Relief Society meeting, in Charlotte, NC. I want to say maybe 14-15 years ago. I am pretty sure I have a video somewhere! I loved reading it tonight!

    3. Christine, it's so good to hear from you! Good memories from our associations so many years ago! : ) Thanks for your sweet comments!

    4. Your story is familiar to me! Summer of 2003, in graduate school in Cleveland, OH. I was no longer nursing 10-month old twins, as I was pregnant with baby #3. A failure of the electric grid caused a major electricity blackout over a huge portion of the East. The power outage cut water service as well, as water was pumped to our town, uphill from Lake Erie. We had a couple of gallons of water under the bed, but went through that in the first two days. There was no water to be had in the stores. As with most emergencies, the store shelves were cleared within the first day. Compounding our frustration was the empty water barrels sitting in our basement. We'd just started to learn about preparedness and had recently obtained our first two 55-gallon water barrels, which we hadn't bothered to fill, so we had 110-gallons of air. :-(

      On day three some neighborhoods started to get power back. I found a friend half an hour away who had water and power back. Even after her services were restored the city remaind under a boil order for over a week, so for the next week until my power was restored, I would pack up the twins, drive to 30 minutes to her house, boil water in the four small pans the two of us owned, and then lug it all back home. All this when I could've had water right there in my own basement!

      We were one of the last neighborhoods in the city to get power back – 10 days without potable water, pregnant with twins drinking formula. Certainly enough to teach me to always keep my water barrels filled! We have moved three times since then, and filling the water barrels always happens the day after we move in! :-)

      We never really know what it will be that will cause us use food storage or our emergency supplies. Five years ago my husband was laid off, the day after baby number six was born. We went into conservation mode, and lived completely off our food storage for three months until he found a great new job. What a comfort that was to know I had food and water for my family in a time of need!

      Thanks for sharing your story! I love to hear how people use their storage for every day times of need. Food storage is our safety net *now* – not some doomsday future event.