With the disasters and tragedies of last week, I have been trying to make sure that I have been as organised as possible, and that we had plenty of food and supplies to see us through in case we were cut off. I purchased frozen vegies in the week prior to the floods, and I have also stored some milk in our freezer and we have plenty of powdered milk as well. I re-stocked the bulk supplies cupboard last week, and we have plenty of meat in the freezer. I also purchased a large bag of bread flour the week prior to the floods, so I can make bread if needed. The shops have been in very short supply of flour and bread and milk, so it is reassuring to know I have plenty here to see us through a number of weeks if needed. We are also lucky enough to have our own generator, in case of power failure, to keep the fridge and freezer running. However, I would like to have some rainwater tanks here for water storage, and that will be a priority this year. There were some rumblings on a forum that I follow that our water supply in this area had been comprimised, so to know that we have our own water supply would be good. Our girls provide us with plenty of eggs, even though they aren't laying a lot at the moment as 6 of the girls are still to start laying so I only have 5 regular layers, and I am only getting 1 - 3 eggs per day at the moment as they are a bit off the lay, I think with all of this horrible weather, they are a bit out of sorts, but we still have enough eggs for us.
I have been trying over the last 18 months or so to scan all of our older photos, so that I have an electronic copy of them all, so that if ever disaster does happen, those memories are not lost , I haven't got them all done yet as it is quite time consuming. Our computers are all backed up a couple of times a month, so that data isn't lost either. I am also currently filling out our home organisation manual, which will hold all of our information on bank accounts, loan details, super details, card information etc etc. So in an emergency it's just a matter of grabbing the folder, and my external hard drive and we can leave. It is reassuring to know that I am at least this organised. I still have to get together an emergency kit, but that is something I will concentrate on next.
One thing that has been quite disappointing is that with all of the wet weather, my vegetable garden has been basically wiped out, other than a few of the long term plants like the asparagus, shallots, strawberries, chillies, and the sweet potato. My rhubarb was decimated, but it is starting to come back now that we have had a few dryer days. Everything else has either gone to slush or is in the process of doing so. So I am not prepared enough in keeping fresh produce coming from the garden, at a time when produce is going to become quite expensive. So I have been busily sowing some seeds over the weekend, to try and get things coming along again. I have filled a pot near the back door with pick and eat salad lettuce, so that should start to sprout soon. I am also going to put another pot in the same spot with some grape tomatoes, so I can just pick these and throw together a salad for lunch, without having to wander up the back to the vege garden.
We also purchased another few chickens yesterday, I managed to get hold of some plymouth rock girls from the markets, I have been wanting some of these, they are still quite young, so it will be about 3 months before they start to lay, but they have some attitude that's for sure! I don't think too many things will give these 3 a hard time. I kept them in a separate cage in the chook house yard overnight, and I have let them out with the others this morning, and they have been loving having a big scratch around, and I have left the cage door open so they can retreat in there if the big chooks start to harrass them at all. One of the new girls has a sore eye, I think it has been scratched, she is keeping it shut and it was weeping...I have bathed it this afternoon with salty water, and have put a tiny bit of Rawleigh's above and below her eye to try and pull out any infection, so I am hoping it looks a little better in the morning, but I will keep bathing it until it looks better.
There was basically NO fresh produce at the markets yesterday. It just goes to show that the bigger sellers that are usually there get all of their produce from the rocklea markets instead of being local growers, so that is disappointing. I will have to try and source some more local growers, as I would like to support local farmers and know that the food hasn't travelled from god knows where...lots to think about here, and lots of things still to organise.
Even though some of what has happened here in Qld over the last week, happened so fast that all of the planning wouldn't have helped anyone in those areas where tragedy struck, a large proportion of areas had some notice to be able to move a good amount of property out of harms way, but not having a bulk storage of food and essentials, or backups of photos and computers etc. have left a lot of people very vulnerable and with a huge amount of loss of precious items. So many people who were able to stay in their homes, but were isolated, seemed to run out of food and essentials within a day of the floods, I am glad that I could rest easy knowing that if we had to, we could get by for a number of weeks on what we have here. It does make you realise though, just how reliant we all are on other people to provide goods for us....and how far off being anywhere near self sufficient most of us really are....