It happens at least a couple times a week. I'll be sitting in the living room, knitting or writing on my laptop or doing some other ordinary Amy thing, and I'll hear it - a rumbling sound. My head pops up from what I'm doing and I freeze in silence, waiting to see if the rumbling sound is followed up by actual rumbling in the earth.
In reality, it's just another big truck driving down our street, sounding more threatening inside our old house than it really is. Until one day when it wasn't, and the rumbling sound WAS followed by actual rumbling. My youngest boy was home with me that day and he froze too. We both knew what it was. My mind jumped to the backpack of emergency supplies I would grab from the hall closet. And then, just like that, it was over. Mere seconds. No damage done. We thought it was exciting, my son and I. I jumped onto Twitter and Facebook to find out the magnitude and see if my friends had felt it too. They had.
We kind of expect earthquakes on the west coast. It's just part of life here, but in the ten years I've lived out here I have only felt that one. It's easy to become complacent, even though we hear predictions of the Big One and what will happen to our homes, our bridges and our communications systems when, not if, it happens. How long will we be without power? How will we feed our family? These are important questions for parents or anyone responsible for the lives of other people, really.
Planning for emergencies can be fun, though! And that's why I'm so proud to be telling you about the #DisasterDining contest with the Canadian Red Cross and Walmart Canada. From October 3rd to the 13th, you can share a photo, video or recipe using non-perishable foods using the #DisasterDining hashtag for a chance to win a $25 Walmart gift card or an emergency preparedness kit. See some other non-perishable cooking creations and enter the contest on the #DisasterDining contest page.
Since 2003, Walmart Canada has raised and donated nearly $29 million in disaster relief funding. In the last year alone, some of those funds helped the Canadian Red Cross support flood relief operations in Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as well as other crisis situations affecting Canadian families.
For my part, I'm sharing this absolutely delicious recipe for In-A-Crunch Cranberry Almond Oatmeal. It's quick and easy to make on a camping stove, which you can set up outside if you are without your usual cooking facilities in an emergency. It's made with simple non-perishables you can keep in your emergency kit - dried cranberries, almonds, oats, bottled water, honey and small cartons of shelf-stable almond milk. You can even trim off the top of the almond milk container to measure your water and oats.
Find the recipe below...
In-a-Crunch Cranberry Almond Oatmeal
Makes 2 servings (can be doubled, tripled or more)
1 small carton (250 mL) shelf-stable plain or vanilla almond milk
1 cup (250 mL) safe water such as bottled
1 cup (250 mL) rolled oats
1/3 cup (75 mL) dried cranberries
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup (75 mL) sliced almonds
2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
Pour the almond milk into a medium saucepan. Add the water, oats, cranberries and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and continue cooking for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon the oatmeal into two serving containers. Top with the almonds and drizzle with the honey. Serve hot.
Tips: Small almond milk cartons are usually sold in packs in the juice box aisle. After you pour the almond milk into the saucepan, you can trim off the top of the carton and use it to measure your water and oats since it holds 1 cup (250 mL).
Are you prepared for a disaster? What would you make with the non-perishables in your emergency preparedness kit? Good luck to everyone entering the #DisasterDining contest!
Disclosure: I am being paid my usual recipe development fee by the Canadian Red Cross for this post.