Approximately 30 people gathered at local cafe Thomasina’s on Tuesday, Jan. 17, to learn about preparing for disaster.
Jeff McCaskill, a former US Army sergeant who teaches urban and wildlife survival courses, was invited as a guest speaker to the informal event.
McCaskill, who lives between Vancouver and an off-grid permaculture farm near Princeton, told the group that every household should have a pantry of food that would last 30 days in a disaster.
“If you haven’t begun one (a pantry) I encourage you to start buying multiples of the things you already buy…It’s amazing how fast your food piles up.”
McCaskill shared different ways of packaging and storing food, including using specially treated paint cans to preserve beans and rice.
He suggested that anyone creating a ‘prepper pantry’ should be sure to purchase food they enjoy.
“You don’t have to buy anything fancy.”
People should be prepared to treat elderly members of their families, and children, differently in times of disaster, even if that means letting kids eat Kraft Dinner for a month.
Organization is key, he added, as people may be “under duress and dealing with a lot”
During a question and answer period following McCaskill’s address, the conversations centred around the value of growing your own food, and working cooperatively with neighbours to stretch resources.
Jerome Tjerkstra hosted the event, saying the idea for the presentation grew out of a Monday morning coffee chat between people of shared interests. It was agreed an invitation would be circulated in two weeks for a discussion about gardening in Princeton.
Tjerkstra said networking through ideas is one of his goals in providing a suitable venue, and he would like interested parties to initiate their own projects.
“We really want community. We really want friendship and we want to decrease our vulnerability to outside forces we can’t control.”
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