Food—A Worthy Distraction

“In a crisis, your food supply is everything” claimed the front and center advertisement on a popular news website.  Adding to the ridiculousness of the ad, a military scene is featured in the background, overtly attempting to insinuate that our nation’s faithful military will be helping those in need during an emergency scenario. Two things are really wrong with this picture. One, food is definitely NOT your “everything”  in ANY crisis, and secondly, when there is a legitimate crisis, there’s absolutely no evidence that we have any reason to expect that the military will be present to render aid.

Let’s get back to the fundamentals here folks.  Ask yourself this. When was the last time you were really, really scared? How about the time before that?  And before that?  Did ANY of those occurrences involve a dire need for food?  Exactly. Just as I thought. This should tell you something about being better prepared.

You betcha it’s important to be self-reliant in the matter of food. In fact, I strongly suggest that everyone who reads this cease making any kinds of excuses and diligently work on getting a supply of nutritious, shelf-stable, and self-sustaining food that will last you and your family for a year.  But food is not your “everything.” In fact, it’s not even your “secondary everything.”

Last weekend I received a phone call from my friend who’s been battling breast cancer. She’s finished her chemotherapy, and had a double mastectomy and is now readying herself for her radiation treatment.  When I answered the phone I couldn’t really tell if she was crying, panting heavily, or what. All I know is that she asked if I could come right over.  Not quite ready for my day I quickly threw on my track suit, pulled my hair back into a ponytail, grabbed my purse and cell phone and left.  I can assure you I never once thought to myself “Oh, I wonder if she’s eaten already. Perhaps I should take some food to her.” Nor did I think, “Oops, I haven’t eaten yet today. I better take something with me.”  Instead my mind played through the scenarios of what could be going wrong, why this stalwart and courageous woman would need to call me for aid. I uttered a prayer of a sharp, clear and calm mind and safe travel.  I ran through the mental checklist of what I might need to address for her.  When I let myself into her home, she was sitting fully clothed on her toilet, leaning over the nearby sink—as if it was all that was holding her up off the floor, gasping in pain, breathing quickly, and speaking to someone on 9-1-1—barely able to pronounce her name.  I could feel my pulse quicken immediately, as I grabbed the cell phone, uttered assurances to Susan (not her real name) and communicated with the emergency representative. I’ll stop relaying the details at this point, but suffice it to say I had my first ride in an ambulance and spent the greater part of the day in an emergency room.

I can assure you that there were a heck of a lot more important Principles of Preparedness that came into critical play this weekend than food.  This is why it’s so concerning to me to hear so many who are interested in becoming more self-reliant, focusing primarily on this one, single principle—exhausting the majority of their financial resources, energy, and time on this one principle at the risk of completely ignoring the other, more critical principles. You don’t need me to tell you what the prioritized Principles of Preparedness are. All you need to do is to think back on when you were fearful or seriously concerned and remember what you did and thought about first. That will be a good indicator and evidence to you as to what should be a priority for you.

Next, let’s just briefly address the second part of this advertisement—that which would allude to the presence of military personnel coming to our aid.  You know, we have several instances in history in which we have an overwhelming amount of evidence which proves time and time again that the military have a very specialized purpose in assisting us. That purpose is primarily our protection and if there is ever a scenario which is so dire that they are needed for protection, chances are they will be battling at the root of that aggression, not policing the streets on which we live. There are so many scenarios which would require us to have had the foresight and action to be self-reliant in spite of an interruption of our present comforts.  And of those scenarios, I can think of very little in which it would be appropriate or realistic for our military to be involved. Additionally, the wider the impact of the scenario, even one that is appropriate for the military involvement, the less likely it is that any one of us will be among the fortunate to have them right there to “save” us.  Think about it. When the bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor, there were numerous civilians killed regardless of the strong military presence. Even the notable skills of the Navy S.E.A.L.S are no match for an earthquake or a financial collapse.  We’ll all do well to remember that the military and our other government and municipal workers are just people—people who have families, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities which are no match for most truly serious scenarios. The Hurricane Katrina experience did a good job of reminding us that when things really go south, many of these public servants are understandably inclined to see to the needs of their own families first.  After all, families are forever, whereas a job is oh, so temporary.

As a reminder, the 10 Principles of Preparedness are as follows, in order of prioritization:

  1. Spiritual
  2. Mental
  3. Physical
  4. Medical
  5. Clothing/Shelter
  6. Fuel
  7. Water
  8. Food
  9. Financial
  10. Communication

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Reading your post took me back to the days of Katrina and the funny thing is that you are absolutely was NOT the first thing I thought of immediately after the storm struck. I'm not surprised that once again, you are right on the mark. Our group is holding a preparedness seminar later this month and I only wish I could persuade the organizers to pay attention to your advice on all aspects of preparedness. In the event of an actual emergency, none of them is going to care or remember that I demonstrated how to use my solar oven or that I know how to sanitize water with a "Jungle Bucket." At least not until the disaster has past and we're left picking up the pieces, then they might wish for a hot cooked meal. That said, I'll do my best to AGAIN present the 10 Principles of Preparedness to our folks and hope that they heed your wise words. You are a bright spot in the dreary things that we're dealing with and I hope you know how much you're appreciated by those who follow your blogs. Thanks for all you do to help your brothers and sisters. God Bless you and your message!

Thank you Sharon for your kind words. I too pray that you'll be able to share the 10 Principles of Preparedness. Action without wisdom is destined for failure and misery, right?

Absolutely! Thanks again, Kellene!

Bravo, Kellene, as usual!

And, by the way, I told my husband last night about your article referring to what is going on in PA. And no, we will not let them in! :)

Glad to hear it, Beth!

Great Aricle and exactly on point. So much attention is paid to material things that though necessary won't get us through he early hours/days of the disaster.


As a person that did most of my prep in the wrong order. I love the reminder of the top 10 checklist of priorities. Thankfully I had time to correct my mistakes. I think we get caught up in getting stuff for our pantry and forget about the stuff we need for our brains and souls.

Which area would you put self-defence/protection under?

Physical as well as Shelter.

I have to admit I am one that has had a narrow focus in my preparedness efforts, but that is no longer the case since finding your website and subscribing to your feed. While I still have much to do to be truly prepared, I am making small strides, so feel good about that. Thanks for all the info you share with us.

Thank you Kellene for listing the 10 principles in this post. Short and sweet, to the point without the full article on each principle. You ought to prominently post just this list somewhere and link it back to individual articles. Clicking the link on the (10 P's)sidebar brings you to a slew of articles where the first stop ought to be this list IMO.

Hat's off to you for the Spiritual aspect on the top of the list. As the saying goes, "there ain't no atheists in foxholes" and without faith your "crisis load" is that much heavier to bear. The mention of a quick prayer on your way out the door was nice too.

Keep 'em coming...

You know I recenly read that during crisis or times when adrenaline kicks in there are actually hormones that stop digestion etc. Giving us extra energy to put to the emergency at hand. So yeah probably NOT going to be thinking a lot about food. I like your 10 Principles I have shared them with my husband he asked me if fuel should really come before food. I told him I don't know let me think then I thought about how cold it gets here and how much I like being warm. I do though feel like 5-8 are on a pretty close playing field.

Fuel refers not just to propane or something of that nature, but your heating source, cooling, cooking and light. So, let's look at your daily activities, Tammie. As you get up in the morning and go through your daily activities, looks at how the temperature of your environment plays a role, your lighting conditions, the temperature of your refrigerator, etc. The safety of your drinking water may be determined by your fuel(power) availability. You may starve in a number of weeks, but you can suffer fatally from hypothermia or heat stroke a lot faster.

I recently just heard of your site and wondered if you expound anywhere on what preparedness in each category looks like? And the things you need to do to feel satisfactly prepared in each?

Tamra, you'll discover that there are over 500 articles on this site, each of which deals with at least one of the specific areas of preparedness. That's what I do every time I write, address a small component of each one. Additionally, every Wednesday evening we have a radio show in which we focus on either Medical Preparedness or Financial Preparedness since those seem to be rather overwhelming areas to those who become more aware of what's necessary. Check in at the top of our blog each week for the link so that you listen in live or archived. We also do a radio show every Saturday morning. I think you'll find plenty of information to expand on what you've learned with this article.
Take care!

Love all the great information you come out with.

Thanks for the reminder Kellene although I think that in the immediate emergency the others are probably of most need but in the long run I just think of those places where people are rioting over not being able to find bread or rice or whatever is the mainstay in the diet of the culture and how many NEED that food.
Not disputing your point just if that is one thing I can be ready with then at least I can check it off sooner LOL

are you still doing classes locally in UT county? I'd be interested incoming to onenow that i'm living here again :) thanks!

I haven't been invited to do one locally for a few months. I think folks got so busy with the holidays. We'll keep everyone posted on here when we have upcoming ones.

I needed this reminder that other things may be more important than food. I must copy the list in order and post it in a prominent place, so I can be continually reminded. Thanks.

Very good article and you are absolutely right. Each emergency has its own solution and in order to be prepared we need to play some serious games of, "what if". Thanks for your wisdom.

I am new to this website and am enjoying reading the articles. Thanks for mentioning the radio show. Could you mention the call letters of the radio station where we can listen?

The link is posted above. We're on Wednesday nights for the Self-Reliance Revolution Show and we're on Saturday morning's for all other things preparedness.

Thanks for the great reminder...there's SO much to learn and do!

Best wishes to your friend. There is rarely much truth in advertising, however, some blogs such as yours try to keep the truth at the forefront.

I love your articles. They are always so timely and written so clearly. I hope your friend is doing better. How lucky she is to have someone she knew would drop everything and be there for her! I'm so grateful for all you have shared and continue to share with us. I have learned so much from you! Thank you for learning and sharing your knowledge!!

Well of course, Patty. I know YOU would do the exact same thing.

Kellene, Thank you sooooo much for all your hard work and dedication to this great cause. I follow you faithfully and love your blog radio talk show.

Great ideas, Kellene. Always enjoy being reminded of what's most important.

I think I am doing pretty good on the list.. My first half of number five is lacking (growing children!) and number ten I haven't started. I have researched communication products, what would you suggest Kellene? As always I appreciate your imput.

I'd recommend doing a search on this blog about communication preparedness as it's much more than just products. It's about plans, knowledge, alternative language skills, Morse code perhaps, etc.

This is a great reminder and example of what is important immediately in a time of crisis and what will make things turn out better for us.

We need to be reminded of this every now and then. It is easy to get stuck on one aspect of preparedness.For me anyway.Thank you for all your hard work

It is nice to remember that there are other things we can work on, especially when money is a little tight. But i think people focus on food so much because it (and water) is the easiest to bring up and help people see the need. It's also pretty easy to define. I always bring up food first to people that aren't yet persuaded, because it's so easy to see the wisdom in stocking up, whether for convenience, saving money, inflation, or whatever.

1. Spiritual
2. Mental
3. Physical
4. Medical
5. Clothing/Shelter
6. Fuel
7. Water
8. Food
9. Financial
10. Communication
In weird way Kellene hit all of these in an emergency. Of a friend asking for help.
1. A friend called for help. Well someone thinks that Kellene has a handle on 1st aid, also a caretaker and cover 1-4 in an emergency. I'm guessing the person was in a house and had food, energy and water at least for the day. knowing Kellene she made sure for 3 days. She had some coms. But I may be wrong.
But I think the top 10 works in a lot of situations. Just think about a bit. It will tell you what to prioritize. It's not easy but it's simple.

The first reply by Sharon mentioned sanitizing water with a jungle bucket. Is she just joking or is this a real sanitizing method? Looked it up on the archives-could'nt find anything- I hope its real- having a hard time saving for my Big Berkey! Thanks for the all the great info!

Kellene---I read a reccommendtation for non-hybrid seeds (a website) and went there to buy it and wanted to wait for money to come in this week--now I can't find the link anywhere and cannot remmebr the name (and lady!?!) I want to buy seeds---was there a place you recommended for best price?!! THANKS

Thanks Kellene. I sure am enjoying your blogs and podcasts. You know you do things to be spiritually prepared but how to dyou know you have enough spiritual strength to get through a tough, maybe long-term situation.

Thanks Kellene.....for the reminder of what is really important....sometimes we just lose site of this.....I have been focused on the spiritual,food,cooking (volcano stove/sun oven etc) I now have the berky it!!!!! but there are things that I have to catch up on....more fuels...and more medical supplies......I can tell you that I now have more than I should.....but now I realize the true importance.........I also need more ammo and more info on everything.....After your article on sewing.....want to get another treadle....But my next big purchase will be a I am on oxygen ....from time to time.....I know this is not your area of expertise.....but I am trying to figure out what to or life could depend on this....any suggestions, where to look, sites articles or any help would be appreciated....from anyone.....but especially from have never steered me wrong!!!! Praying for your friend and for you ... for your friends recovery and for you too keep your strength you help so many people

You never do know. So you keep stocking up on the Spiritual strength and then believe that you'll never be given more than you can truly handle.

Oh, and if it were me, I'd purchase a solar generator first. If you end up in a luxurious position of owning two, then go ahead and get the gas for a back up.

What is the article called that explains the reason of priority for preparedness?

I really enjoyed this article. It made me really think about the other areas of preparedness rather than just the food part!

Granted one must have a survival mentality...but shelter and water are top priority. Exposure to elements and lack of water can have one deceased in minutes (extreme cold), hours (extreme heat) and 3 days max (dehydration though longer is possible in shade/shelter but severely reduced function). Fuel should be way down the list.

Hey Jamie...we've got a new one. :-)

I just wanted to say "Thanks!" for all the info. I am trying on a limited budget to get supplies for an emergency. I will just focus on what I can afford for food, fuel, water, etc and work on the free stuff--knowledge! I went to my library today and checked out some more books. So, thanks! :)


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