PREPARATION has been encouraged for years by the Harborview Fellowship leaders. We usually do it in September, which is annually recognized as National Preparedness Month. During this month, an annual effort is made to raise awareness regarding the importance of preparing for emergencies that could happen at any time.

This year appears to have an additional impetus toward preparation. It is becoming increasingly evident from multiple and diverse credible sources that food shortages this fall and winter are inevitable. There are also reports of potential fuel shortages and possible power brownouts depending on where people live.

As elders, we have been cautious in addressing this issue lest we be associated with Chicken Little. Chicken Little foolishly cried out the “sky is falling” when it was only an acorn that fell on her head. The lessons from that story are 1) don’t form incorrect conclusions from insufficient data; 2) don’t stoke inappropriate fear in others.

After our own research and allowing some time to pass, we believe we can no longer hesitate as the warnings continue. The evidence appears substantial that such shortages are a strong possibility. Therefore, we want to encourage our church family to take the need to prepare for possible shortages seriously.

What can we do to help navigate such times? The following are a few suggestions adapted from Dr. Joseph Mercola’s recent article Get Prepared with Shelf-Stable Food. 
  1. Community is an essential resource in such times. One of the reasons for our promoting Neighborhood Groups in our church family is for such times. 
  2. Securing a potable water source and the means to purify less-than-ideal water. This could include water purification tablets and/or personal portable water filtration systems https://theberkey.com/ and https://www.sawyer.com/product-categories/water-filtration#0
  3. Buy shelf-stable and nonperishable foods in bulk — freeze-dried foods, for example, have a shelf life of 25 years or more. Canned foods such as canned fish and chicken and dry staples such as rice and beans can also stay viable for long periods https://mypatriotsupply.com/collections/emergency-survival-food
  4. Securing energy backups may be needed in preparing for possible energy shortages, brownouts, rolling blackouts, or a complete power grid shut down for a period of time. A gas, diesel, or propane-powered generator is an excellent option if for no other purpose than keeping your food at the appropriate temperature in your refrigerator and freezer. 
  5. Cooking backups are needed during a loss of power. Options can include small rocket stoves, propane camping stoves, volcano stoves, etc. https://volcanogrills.com/. 
The key regarding such times is to not panic but to prepare to the best of your ability. Let’s not forget who our God is. He took care of the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years, and Jesus fed thousands by multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread. With God, we are in good hands! But we want to do our best in doing our part in the human-divine cooperative.

The better prepared we are, the better prepared we can be to help others in difficult times. Also, let’s pray that the potential difficult times that could be on the horizon are mitigated by God.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Blessings on behalf of the HF elders,
Mike