Not too long ago one of my children announced that there would be dinosaur-drawing as a suitable way to make use of some rather large poster paper that I had purchased for a project. All fine and good, and the creativity began. What was a little surprising to me was that the undertaking entailed drawing the remains of a dinosaur--the fossilized bones in all of their archaeological (at least according to a child) detail, not a huge rendition of a spotted/striped/purple prehistoric creature in a stark habitat. What really surprised me was that when the child showed me the final results, the bones had been drawn one by one, cut out meticulously, and taped together to form the dinosaur. A lot of thought had gone into the artist's rendering, and the dinosaur that emerged was distinctive and something of which the child (ok, and the mother in this case) could be proud. Amazing what people can come up with when they have limited resources (common household items like writing utensils, paper, scissors, and tape in this case) and are left to their own devices.
It occurred to me that the dinosaur project in this case is a lot like putting together our food storage and emergency supplies. Let me count the ways:
1) Everyone has to have a motivation to build their food storage, just like my child found motivation to "build" the dinosaur. The motivation for the dinosaur was the possibilities seen when presented with a huge blank piece of poster board. What are the possibilities that you see that will motivate you to build up your emergency preparedness supplies? Some that I see have been mentioned before, but they might not be the same for you: pandemic, transportation of goods that we are used to purchasing coming to a halt, crops not producing due to weather, etc. Your motivation (or lack thereof) when you see possibilities of an emergency will greatly influence what your food storage looks like, in terms of what you store and how much you store. For example, if your focus in on surviving a pandemic, one of your supplies may be a humidifier, while if your motivating concern is surviving the winter weather in the case of a power outage, your preparation money may go to heating supplies. Whatever the motivation, I certainly hope no one who has the opportunity leaves a space in their house that could be used for storage as a blank canvas...
2) You are always able to identify a dinosaur. I really can't think of an exception to this--dinosaurs may look really different when you do a side by side comparison, but I don't remember ever not being able to say that I understood that the drawing or creature on a show, etc., was a dinosaur. With food storage, there may be differences when you put the supplies side by side, but you will always be able to tell that it's storage, because we all need the same basics to survive: food, water, shelter, warmth--you get the idea, though in an emergency the needs might not come in exactly that order. The "building blocks" of our food storage are going to be the same, even if you decide to store your water in a 55 gallon water drum, and mine is stored in much smaller containers. That's one of the reasons that I'm so glad that there are more and more people putting information out about their own food/emergency storage methods--you can store what will work for you, cook what will work for you, and prepare the things that you and/or the people for whom you would be responsible for in a crisis situation would need. Though the details may be different, the underlying materials will be very similar...
3) Finally, the details, and the real reason that motivated me to write this particular post. If you are still reading, the little things of your emergency food and supplies storage are going to be what set your final product apart---what are the meticulous portions of your food storage/emergency supplies that will make a difference to you and yours if you find yourself in the midst of a crisis? Are there particular products that you use that would make life easier in the short term if they were available during emergency conditions? I'm not talking about medical supplies--those are essential supplies that hopefully everyone will manage to have available no matter what the situation. But for example, is there a particular lotion that works especially well on someone's dry skin? If any lotion will work, a preferred type may have the added benefit of improving morale in a difficult situation. I've mentioned this before on this blog, but are there particular brands of food that would serve not only to feed you and/or family in an emergency situation, but to comfort them as well? Is there enough variety of things that your group likes so that you can stave off appetite fatigue as much as possible? If the answers to any of these, and others that you may think of is yes, then you know what the details of your "storage dinosaur" could be, and it is this type of preparation that will set your particular storage apart from that of others.
Of course, you need to work on the basics at first, based on your situation and what works with your financial situation. When comparing the dinosaur drawing to emergency supplies, some people may be able to build a dinosaur immediately, complete with colorful details and a nice habitat. Some may only be able to put together the bare basics, one little fossil at a time. Whatever the case, if you have started your emergency supply storage, you no longer have a blank canvas, no matter how small your emergency supply "dinosaur" currently is. Do what you can--a little at a time, or if you have the means, as fast as you can. If you haven't started your emergency supply project, think about the possibilities that motivate you, and act accordingly.
What does your emergency preparation dinosaur look like? Is it almost finished, or a pile of fossils waiting to come together in usable form? As long as it looks like it will see you through hard times, it's the dinosaur that you need--after all, this isn't an art contest.... :)