As natural disasters are becoming more frequent I decided it was time to talk about how we can survive during one. As we all know during a natural disaster we have to conserve food, water, and supplies. This was the case during the Great Depression and WWII when I was raised.

 The Great Depression ended and not far ahead of came WWII. At First America did not participate in the war until that gloomy day when the Japanese bombedPearl Harbor. This woke up the people ofAmericaand now they were forced to join the war efforts in order to protect our country.

 What it was like growing up during WWII

Growing up during the WWII left all ofAmericain short supplies to feed their families. The stores were very limited on food, clothes, shoes, and gas was considered a comedy. Each family was issued ration coin and points to buy food, gas, shoes, and clothes. All families looked at food as the number one necessity for their families. Clothes, gas, and shoes took extra rations points and families needed to save a few points each month in order to buy these luxury items for their family..

 We enter a grocery store today and see the isles and shelves stocked full of different types of food. We can not imagine that how it would be to not have food we want when we go shopping. This was not the case in WWII. You would walk into our stories and see the meat counters empty. There was limited beef and other meats that we loved to eat each day. At times the meat counter only had chicken, rabbit, and port chop. We were forced to plan our week’s meals around what was available in our stores.

 Canned items such as tomatoes sauce, vegetables and other items we now purchase in cans were not available. Each family had a “Victory Garden. Each family was required to do all they could to aid in the war efforts asAmerica send most of the food supply over seas to feed the troops.

 What happens when you have no more sugar:

Can you imagine not being able to purchase sugar? During the war sugar was very scarce and hard to come by. We were very limited on the amount of sugar we could purchase each month. Today sugar is so much a part of the America Diet it is hard for us to imagine that we can not have our 4 teaspoon full of sugar in our coffee or tea each day.Americauses so much sugar today where during WWII we hand none to use. Home baking without sugar took on a whole new meaning. We found other ways to sweeten our teas, coffee, cakes, and cereals. Honey and molasses were used to replace sugar in our foods.

 Stores no longer have supply of shoes and clothes

Can you imagine going to a shoe store and not finding any shoes in the store? I am sure you can not think about this one at all. What about needing a new dress, skirt, or shirt and you go to the clothing store and there is nothing there? This was how it was like during the war. Women were forced to learn how to sew clothes for their families. Material was scarce and hard to find. But one item that we had access to was our flour sacks. The material from these sacks made clothes for your family. Mothers would sew their children shirts, dresses, skirts, and other items to dress their family. People learned how to respect the clothes they had, cleaned them with care, and mend the holes they had in them. Today I see so many young just throwing clothes and shoes in the trash. Our land fills are filling up becauseAmericais spoiled and we have what ever we want.

How we stored our foods:

 During the late 1930’s and early to late 1940’s we used ice boxes. We had an ice company delivery to our house each day that delivered us a large block of ice to use in our Ice Boxes to keep our food cold. When we shopped it was only possible to buy food for 2 days at a time. When we shopped we had to carefully choose our food and just enough to make our meals for 2 days.

 In our home we had a vegetable pantry to store our fresh vegetables in. We could not put them in our Ice box there was no room. The vegetable pantry was constructed like a wood framed box and chicken wire was used for the sides of the box. Inside were shelves to put fresh vegetable on. The air was allowed to circulate inside the box so the food did not spoil.

 Bread what do you mean no more bread

We had rations on flour. Breads were made from other grains such as cornmeal, barley, and other multigrain other than wheat flour. Most bakeries were closed during this time and cakes, and pies were made from scratch at home. We ate a lot of puddings in our home for the lack of flour to make cakes and cookies.

 The world ends the war and new technologies start

Around 1948 came the first electric refrigerators. The new generation of refrigerators allowed us a small ice compartment where we could now make all our ice at home. There was not much room in this area to store frozen foods. The first one my Mother bought was amazing. I could stand in front of this new refrigerator opening and closing the door for hours trying to figure out how the light came on and went out.

 We should all consider ourselves lucky today. We have the connivance of stores that are fully stocked; meat, chicken, and pork are always available for us to eat. What would happen one day when all this was gone? How could you feed your families? We need to consider what is taking place now around the world. Take a look atNew Orleans, and just recentlyJapan. They were hit so fast with a natural disaster no one was prepared for what happened. The stores were emptied in no time and food was not replenished.

 We need to look at our lives and think what we can do to save money; not only money but also how home canning can prepare us for a natural disaster. Making a garden in our yard, harvesting the food, canning what we can not use right away will allow for a food stock in our homes. If one day we happen to face a natural disaster we will be prepared for this. We can feed our families and take care of ourselves until help arrives.