What comes to mind when you hear the word “prepper”? A mountain family living off grid? Someone with a remote underground “bug out” storage and living area capable of supporting several people for a year or more? Well, let me broaden your vision a little today.
To me, prepping simply means being prepared. For a bad blizzard, tornado, flooding, electrical outage, chemical spill, evacuation order, or whatever might mean sheltering in place for at least several days or leaving home for parts perhaps unknown for some period of time. Having to leave is a much more complicated subject, so today we’ll discuss sheltering in place.
First, there is food. If your supply of fresh, purchased food were cut off even for a few days, do you have a plan for what you would do? Several years ago, I started with this book: “Cooking with Food Storage Made Easy”, 2009, by Debbie G. Harmon (https://amzn.to/2Iagkfg). She explains how to determine which foods you should store and includes many recipes using commonly stored items. Obviously, you would adjust your lists based on what you and your family prefer to eat and how frequently you would eat each item/recipe. Go through the storage lists and revisit them from time to assure that your items are not expired and that they match your ongoing needs. Be sure to have a good supply of culinary essential oils to add flavor to your dishes and beverages and to add nutrition equivalent to the very best fresh food to your diet. An extra month or two of daily nutritional supplements is also a good idea, especially for times when you might have to live mostly or entirely from preserved food. If you don’t have your own very safe well that is accessible from inside your home, you should also consider water storage. Let me know if you have questions about that.
Then there is exercise. I have yoga mats, a mini trampoline, a set of hand weights, a wobble chair, some big rubber bands, etc. Nothing that takes up much room. Oh, and our home has LOTS of internal stairs –three floors. Depending on what you like/need to do, figure out what you can (and WOULD) do to keep active inside your home if you had to be inside for an extended time. What would you do to keep flexible and strong? Be sure to have a good supply of essential oils and daily nutritional supplements to keep you flexible and able to breathe deeply and easily, to minimize discomfort, and to optimize your energy levels and ability to process foods that are different from what you might eat otherwise. Exercise will help food processing, so it is absolutely necessary in a shelter in place situation.
You might think that you wouldn’t have to worry about getting enough sleep and rest if you are sheltering in place, but that’s often not the case. When you are not able to go about daily activities, it is easy to begin to feel a bit restless and even claustrophobic. If you are not used to having all of your loved ones at home every hour of every day, you may start to lose focus and feel distracted. If you also have pets, it’s especially good to have a plan for keeping them exercised, fed, and watered during an at-home emergency period. I am basically an introvert and need lots of alone time to maintain my energy. Since my husband is the same, we spend most of our at-home time in different parts of the house. We did spend a couple of years living in a small, 4-room apartment (bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchenette). If that would be our situation again, it would require definite adjustments. What would you do to keep everyone occupied, yet with opportunities for alone time when needed? I have board games, puzzles, books and magazines, musical instruments, maps, blank paper and pens/pencils, yarn and knitting/crocheting needles, and more. Think about what you and others would do, and perhaps supplement what you already have on hand. Needs change over time, of course, so review you plan from time to time.
Managing stress/mood/emotions would be a key part of any shelter in place plan. As mentioned above, inadequate outdoors exercise, poor sleep, not enough alone time, a limited or unusual diet, and boredom can lead to frazzled emotions. This is probably the area where essential oils are the most obvious solution. Even if you have no electricity, you can diffuse essential oils easily throughout your home. Keep oils for a wide range of moods. One easy way to make sure that you have everything covered is to keep a set of doTERRA’s emotional aromatherapy oils (bottles and/or roll-ons) with your other prep items. If you’re not sure how to choose a blend, print out this article and keep it with your oils: https://www.doterra.com/US/en/brochures-magazines-emotional-aromatherapy-how-to-choose-a-blend
First aid and other health and wellness care. This is where essential oils SHINE! Imagine if you couldn’t get the over-the-counter or prescription medicines you may be used to taking now. Would you know how to support yourself, at least in the short run? Many individuals and families seek out doTERRA essential oils because they want to learn how to be more able to care for 80+% of these daily needs at home. Not only is it smart to have a variety of oils on hand to address the issues that you know will or may arise, but it’s practically mandatory to have one or more detailed usage books so that you can look up useful protocols as things come up. There are also mobile apps and many online resources, but – remember – you may not have electricity when the need for action arises.
Good to know:
Every bottle of doTERRA essential oil has an expiration date stamped on the bottom. The dates on the bottom of those oils designated as nutritional supplements (they can be taken internally) are there because of government regulation and not necessarily because the potency of the oil will begin to diminish after the expiration date. In general, if you keep oils in dark colored glass containers at cool room temperatures and away from direct heat and light, the shelf life is many years. I have found that citrus oils sometime evaporate over time, since they are the most volatile. The oils in the Touch blend roll-ons and some other oil blends are pre-mixed with fractionated coconut oil, which normally does not get rancid.
Always store essential oils in glass containers or plastic that has been designed specifically to stand up to their potency. When using them in beverages, use only glass or stainless-steel containers.
Never ingest essential oils unless the label specifically states that it is safe to do so (and not under age 6). Follow all directions before ingesting.
Always follow age and skin guidelines when applying essential oils to the skin. It is normally best to pre-mix an essential oil or essential oil blend with a pure carrier oil before applying it to the skin. Do not expose skin to direct sunlight for at least 12 hours (or as directed on the label) after applying a citrus oil.
Would you like to learn more about being prepared for emergencies and how essential oils and nutritional supplements can help?