Many of you are probably like me. My husband goes to work, does the chore list that I prepare for him, and spends time with his family. He has no clue on how our household is run, he just knows that is running smoothly. My job is running the household. That is the way that it should be, but that is another post altogether. I started wondering awhile back what would happen to my husband and children if something happened to me. So I prepared a how to manual for him and my children in the event that the worst happened and mom was no longer around. I know this is a morbid subject that none of us want to think about, but reality is morbid and things do happen. I would much rather think about it now and have peace of mind that they would have an inkling of what they need to do to care for themselves. So I prepared a binder much like my home binder that I use. I keep it on the bookshelf in the den and everyone knows where it is. It gives me peace of mind and even though he doesn't want to think about it probably gives my husband peace of mind also. Here is a look at that binder in a general nutshell, so that you can think about doing this for your family also.
It is a 3 ring binder with dividers in it.
Section 1: Stockpile information
This includes a list of all the food that we have stockpiled. It also included instructions on survival eating and how to eat properly for maximum nutrition on the least food possible. This section also includes information about bartering for things that we might need and don't have.
Section 2: Cooking
This includes recipes and how to cook using the solar oven and what can be cooked on the grill. It also has instructions on how to dehydrate meat using an open fire. I also included instructions on how to use the kitchen appliances.
Section 3: Gathering
This section includes descriptions and photos where possible of wild nuts, berries, and plants that are edible. It also has descriptions on some ways to prepare them.
This section is about the garden. What to plant, how much to plant, how to harvest seeds for the next planting, and growing a garden indoors during the winter for year round food supply.
Section 5: Water
This section is fairly simple. It includes how to find clean drinking water and how to purify water you are not so sure of. It includes instructions on how to use minimal amounts of water and what a person's daily water intake must be to prevent dehydration.
Section 6: Wilderness Survival
This section includes instructions on what is in our backpacks and the horse packs in case the family needs to leave the house and take to the wilderness. How to build a temporary shelter and what areas to stay away from. More detailed information is in the backpack. I keep this as cryptic and coded as possible in case this information ever falls into the wrong hands. Things are color coded and no actual written explanation given. Both my husband and daughter are instructed as to what the color code means.
Section 7:Self Defense
This section is mostly in how to make the farm look as if it is abandoned. Invisibility is a person's best self defense. I do not list weapons here, again information could fall into the wrong hands. My daughter is being taught how to use some of the weapons in self defense.
Section 8: Hunting and fishing
This section is all about small game that can be killed and eaten. It also has detailed explanations about butchering what is caught and killed as well as livestock here on the farm. This section includes instructions on how to use a snare to catch small game.
Section 11: My love for them all
This was the hardest section for me to write. I wanted this section to be a source of strength for them. So even though I may be taken from them now, we will soon be reunited. I tell them all here how much I love them and how much our Lord and Savior loves them and understands their pain and loss. Like I said this was a hard section for me to write and still is hard for me to think about.
Section 12: How to run the home
This section is basically things like how to use the washing machine, recipes for household cleaners and toiletries, and a basic look at our routines, and where all financial records are.
Section 13: Homeschooling
This section is kept updated with what the children are learning and have learned and where to find information and examples of work if no other choice but to put them in school.
Section 14: Business
I have a lot of stuff going on. I am a freelance writer, artist, and I sell handmade items in specialty shops. I also sell collectibles on ebay. So this tells my husband what I have and where I have it so that he knows to either bring it home or check to see if they have sold anything. There is no way that just through our daily conversations he could keep up with everything and how much I have out. I deal with several different specialty shops in a couple of different towns so even I have to have inventory sheets to know what I have and where.
So there you have it. You will notice that I left out 9 and 10 as they are on a personal note. This is an all inclusive all encompassing notebook and I modify it on a regular basis. There are some areas of this notebook that my husband knows more about than I do, but I felt the need to put it in anyway. So just put in what you feel is important and that your family might possibly need to know.