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Saturday, February 28, 2009

car emergency kit

so we'll kick off march - emergency month - by starting small, with a car-kit. small, but still very very important. ask anyone who's been stuck out on the road, with or even without kids, and it cam be super stressful, super cold, super hot, super scary, super long and so on. creating and stashing a car kit in your trunk can give you peace of mind and perhaps even save your life. hereand now, in the '00s, we pretty much all have cell phones, but what if your battery died? what if you had no service? if you had an emergency, hopefully you could call someone, but i wouldn't bet on it.
so what should be in your car kit?:
  • water
  • some emergency food and snacks
  • cell phone charger - you can even get a hand-crank charger in case your car has no power
  • lightweight wool blanket or emergency reflective blanket
  • hats and gloves
  • extra clothing
  • hand and body warmers
  • waterproof matches
  • flashlight with extra batteries OR a handcrank charging flashlight
  • road flares or light sticks
  • 100-hour candle
  • reflectors
  • gas can (with extra gas)
  • cans of oil
  • jumper cables
  • jack and lug wrench
  • tire pump or fix-a-flat
  • tire chains
  • tow chain
  • basic tools, small shovel
  • ice scraper
  • extra fan belt, radiator hose, fuses
  • first-aid kit
  • multi-purpose knife
  • toilet paper
  • emergency money - at least $20 in small bills and coins
  • short rubber hose for siphoning

a few other tips -

  • always make sure your gas tank is at least 1/2 full,
  • in case of a gas leak it would not be safe to light a match,
  • if you have special needs in your family - such as an infant, diabetes, hypoglycemia, asthma, those with chronic illnesses, and the list goes on - you need to make sure you have planned for them as well
  • customize your car kit to meet your needs - think about what you would need and get started!

Q: but i really don't want to gather all this stuff myself, can't i just buy it somewhere?

A: yes! you can purchase pre-made car kits.

  • from emergency essentials by clicking here
  • walmart also has a variety of emergency kits; you can browse by clicking here
  • disaster necessities also has some, click here
  • if you don't like any of these, google it. you'll find more, i promise.

where do i put all this stuff?

we also talked about how and where in your home to create your food storage. here are some tips for storing:

  • if you can't find it -you don't have it! know where you put it.
  • your sharpie is your best friend. label the tops and the sides of your buckets, boxes, etc so you don't have to move heaven and earth to find stuff; make sure labels are facing out
  • keep like items together
  • come up with a system - any system at all - that you will use. for example: always take from the left of the shelf and stock on the right... this will ensure that your food is getting rotated and you use the oldest items first - and be consistent

some ideas for storage if you're challenged for space:

  • under beds in boxes or on cardboard flats for easy retrieval
  • under baby cribs hidden by dust ruffle
  • between the couch and the wall
  • along the wall of a closet underneath hanging clothes
  • install a shelf on the top of your closet above the hanging clothes
  • look for unused space under the stairs or odd-shaped rooms
  • mount 12" deep shelves, floor to ceiling, along a wall - cover with drapes hung from the ceiling
  • convert an extra closet or half or a large closet to shelves -- either built-in or free-standing
  • buy or build a free-standing cabinet or armoire

a few words of caution:

  • do not store food in your attic if it heats up in the summer, as texas does, the food will spoil quickly in hot temperatures
  • remember, the further you store from your kitchen, the less likely you are to rotate and use it
  • make sure you have inspected any storage areas for cracks and/or crevices - bugs and/or rodents will find it, if you don't find it first and seal it up
  • if anything spills - clean it up immediately to avoid encouraging pests
  • if you are using a space with dirt or cement floors, do not put anything directly on the floor; use a wooden pallet or shelves. moisture can seep in from the floor and cause rust or spoilage
  • do not use any containers that were once used to hold chemicals, cleaners, paint, etc.
  • do not use trash bags; many have been treated with pesticides and are not food-safe

the following are enemies of your food storage:

  • oxygen
  • bacteria
  • insects
  • light
  • temperature
  • humidity and moisture

now, onto the can racks - we talked about these, and they were a hit. i am posting the link so you can get step-by-step instructions for how to build your own can-rotating racks. so for the tutorial with pictures, see here.


in case you missed it

for those of you who didn't show, we partied hard with powdered (dry) milk this week. so here's the info you missed:
we taste-tested and the verdict is in - morning moo is (relatively) delicious. it is powdery and when chilled, can just about pass for actual milk.
Q: but my family won't drink the powdered stuff. why should i store it?
A: good question. you can use dry milk in tons more ways than just to pour on cereal or wash down a cookie. you can use it for:
  • Mashed potatoes – stir dry milk in with dry potatoes, add milk mix and the water to replace the same amount of milk. (1/8 c. moo milk mix and 1 c. water = 1 c. milk)
  • Cream based soups,
  • white sauce,
  • smoothies,
  • Orange Julius,
  • Pudding,
  • fudgesicles
  • Light cream,
  • Evaporated milk,
  • Sweetened Condensed milk,
  • Buttermilk (add lemon juice)

Here are the recipes that were handed out:


3 c. flour ¼ c. sugar
1 c. wheat flour 1 T. baking powder
1 c. non-fat dry milk 1 T. baking soda
½ c. cornmeal 1 tsp. salt
½ c. wheat germ (or oat bran or wheat bran flakes)
Optional: add ½ oatmeal and a Tablespoon ground flax)

Mix together and store in a ziplock or airtight container for up to 3 months. Makes about 6c. mix.


2 eggs 1 ½ c. griddle mix
3 T. oil or melted butter ½ c. berries, grated zucchini, or nuts
3/4c. water

Mix together eggs, oil and water. Add the pancake mix and stir until blended. Gently fold in berries or other additions. Cook and enjoy! Makes about twelve 4 inch pancakes.
(use in place of Bisquick)

8 ½ c. flour 1 tsp. baking soda
4 T. baking powder 1 ½ c .non-fat dry milk
1 T. salt 2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 ¼ c. shortening
(variation: use 4 ¼ c. flour & 4 ¼ c. whole wheat flour. Increase baking powder to 5 T.)

Mix all dry ingredients together. With a pastry blender or heavy duty mixer, cut in shortening, until mixture resembles cornmeal in texture. Makes about 13 cups.

2 c. Quick mix 2 eggs
½ c. cornmeal 1 c. milk or water
2/3 c. sugar ¼ c. melted butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square pan. Mix Quick mix, cornmeal and sugar in a bowl. Combine eggs, with milk or water in another bowl. Add to dry ingredients and blend. Add melted butter and stir to blend. Pour into pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 8-10 servings.
(tastes like a Frosty)

1 ½ to 2 c. ice water 1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ c. non-fat dry milk 1 to 1 ½ trays of ice cubes
2/3 c. sugar 2 T. vegetable oil
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa 5 second squirt of non-stick spray

Place all of the ingredients into the blender, including the oil and the non-stick spray. (remember your milk is non-fat and the oil is needed to make it creamy and thick, the spray emulsifies it) Use less water for thicker shakes. The blender should be ¾’s full. Place the lid on and process for a full 2 minutes. Pour into cups and serve. Makes 4 – 12oz. servings.

Variations: add a banana, or a big spoonful of peanut butter, add a few broken red & white candy mints for chocolate mint. For vanilla omit cocoa and reduce sugar to ½ c. and add 1 T. vanilla.

5 ½ c. non-fat dry milk 1 1/3c. powdered non-dairy creamer
1 ½ c. powdered sugar ½ tsp. salt
½ c. heaping unsweetened cocoa 2 c. instant chocolate milk mix (Nestles)

Mix all ingredients well. Store in air tight container in cool dry place. Mix 1/3c. (or 3 heaping Tbsp.) mix to 1 cup hot water.


On the stove, bring to a boil:
½ c. water 3 Tbsp. margarine
1 c. sugar dash of salt

Stir the mixture every now and then. When it comes to a full rolling boil, remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly. Add 1 c. non-fat dry milk slowly, using a whisk. Stir until smooth. Makes 1 can, store in fridge for 2 weeks or freeze.
Fast Fast Fudge
1 pound powdered sugar (3 ¾ c)
½ c unsweetened cocoa
½ c butter (one stick, unmelted)
½ c reconstituted powdered milk
1 t vanilla extract

Sift powdered sugar and cocoa into bowl. Add butter and milk. Do not stir. Microwave 2 minutes on high. Stir. Add vanilla, stir. Pour into 8” square baking dish. Refrigerate one hour before cutting and serving.
Serves 16
for more information on how to use or order "morning moo," see


For the noobies.

This post is for those who haven't started prepping yet. With all the crazy stuff going on in Washington, the Middle east, North Korea, etc. doesn't it seem like a good idea to have a head start? Never mind natural disasters like ice storms, blizzards, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.

Ok so you finally have an uneasy lump in your stomach. Your worried for your families safety and food. Excellent! Now we begin.

1) RELAX! sit down have a nice cold glass of water.
2) Make a list. Walk through the house and note roughly how much food you have in the house. Don't be too exact, your looking for a rough number. Also check how many days worth of prescription meds you have.
3) Now talk to your family. You'd be surprised how all this doom and gloom from the real world news manages to percolate through the nation's consciousness. Try to work out a plan together.
4) I personally feel it's too late to head off for the hills if you don't currently own a retreat property. So that means riding it out in your home or a relatives in the country. That's one of the harder decisions, but as a family work it out.
5) Now pick a date and a goal. Plan on having enough food and water for 2 weeks for the whole family. Set a date to accomplish this goal. Be sure you have enough prescription meds for this two week period as well.
6) Reduce your debt. Don't build your supplies up by going into more debt. This is a terrible mistake. Just ask all the nitwits that maxed their credit cards just before Y2K. Do your best to reduce debt by selling junk you don't use or need.
7) Now you met your primary goal. You can live for two weeks without support. Now go and add the items that make life bearable. Band-aids, Asprin, toilet paper. Baby wipes are unbelievably handy to have. You can give yourself a bath with them. Also don't forget garbage bags and stuff to cook your meals with. Eventually you will need to address security, but for now worry about food and water first.

Now you are well on your way to saving your family from a FEMA camp. Notice I don't suggest buying 3 guns for each family member. You don't need 20,000 rounds of ammunition, hospital beds or bomb shelters. If you want to go that far down the preparedness path, by all means, but don't put the cart before the horse. Work on shorter goals before running willy-nilly to the higher level goals. In other words work your way up the ladder, rather than trying to ride an elevator.

This summer is going to be pretty interesting. We may see wide scale riots. We may see a economic collapse. We may see nothing out of the ordinary. But now is the time to start. Starting a small garden isn't that much in the way of money, or even time, but you'll learn something. that's another step on that ladder.

If you tackle this in a systematic approach, like two weeks, then three months, then six, then nine then a full year.Then you can fill out your preps with the other necessities on the way without killing yourself. Slow and steady wins the race.


Paying Your Bills With Micro Businesses

When I was a kid there was a lady who lived next door to my grandparents. She had a small farm, raised chickens, and we called her the Egg Lady because she had a thriving business selling excess eggs from her chickens. One day I overheard her telling my grandmother that she used the money raised from selling her eggs to pay their monthly electric bill. She would read her meter monthly, estimate how much the bill would be, then put that amount aside from her small egg business so that she could pay the bill when it came in. She also used the money earned from her U Pick strawberry patch for Christmas gifts. Another set of neighbors recycled beer and soda pop cans to pay for their cigarettes. They smoked A LOT. They also had A LOT of cans around. They would let the neighbor kids come over and use the sledgehammer (this was entertainment in those days) to smash the cans so they would take up less room in the bags they used to haul their loot to the recycling plant. If they needed more cigarettes, they simply collected more cans. These people may have been on to something.
Many people look at their bills as one big glob. They think "I need a job that pays X thousand dollars a month so I can pay my bills." That can seem pretty intimidating, especially during this time of mass layoffs. What would happen if your broke your bills down individually and looked for income sources to pay each bill? For example, part time work will pay for your house payment. Watching the neighbor kids for a couple of hours after school will pay for food for the month. Mowing lawns or shoveling snow can pay for the cable bill. These kinds of "micro businesses" are good for a couple of reasons. First, if one source of income dries up, it isn't as devastating as having all of your bills dependant on one source of income. Second, you will know how much work you need to do. For example, if your cable bill is $100 a month, and you can mow five lawns for $25 each, you will be able to recoup your expenses (mainly gas for the mower) and pay the bill with work that you can conceivably do in one day. If you need to pay off a $2000 credit card bill, you could do something similar--take any crappy job and put all money earned towards paying off the bill. The high point? You have a definite goal--you won't need to work the crappy job forever, just until the bill is paid (you can even mark the days on a calendar until you can quit). Also, the lousy work will instill in you each time you go to work why you will never want to incur credit card debt again.

The idea of having a number of micro businesses doesn't only pertain to manual labor. A friend of mine drives a school bus during the school year and puts that money towards the family's summer vacations (and they go on some pretty nice vacations). If you are a web designer, you may want to set a goal of finding one new customer a month to create a website for. The initial income from the website design can go towards a debt you are trying to pay off and the smaller monthly income from the maintenance and updating of the website can go towards your monthly Netflix subscription.

Try this today if you are having difficulty paying your bills. First list each bill and it's approximate monthly amount. You may want to look over your list and cut unnecessary expenses as this will be one more source of income you won't have to drum up. Next, use your imagination to come up with ways to earn enough money to pay for just one of these bills. Next month, after you are successful with creating a micro business to pay one bill, you may want to shoot for two or three bills. Pretty soon each of your bills will have a source of income coming in to pay for it.

Note: you may want to devise businesses/work that can recur on a monthly business. Seasonal work may be used to pay off a debt completely or you can save the income for a special purchase. You want minimal cash outlay to get the business/work effort going, and you definitely want to keep track of the numbers--your income minus expenses needs to make the profit you need for one of your bills or it isn't worth doing.


Medical Care Options When You Don't Have Insurance

One problem that I see come up fairly often (more often lately as people are losing jobs left and right and their associated health insurance coverage) is lack of options for medical care. Here's some ideas if you find yourself in this situation:

  • COBRA. If you become laid off or in some cases, fired, you may be eligible for COBRA coverage. This basically keeps your current health insurance in affect for a set period of time (sometimes up to 18 month). The catch is that you have to pay for this coverage which can be pretty expensive (especially if you just lost your job!).

  • Spouse's insurance plan. You may have been covered by your own employer's health insurance plan but if you lose your job, the first place to look for coverage may be at your spouse's health insurance plan.

  • Get another job that has health insurance. Back when Starbucks used to offer pretty good medical insurance for even part time workers, many people who found themselves without medical insurance would get a part time job at Starbucks just for the insurance coverage. While jobs with great medical benefits are getting fewer and fewer, this may be another option if medical insurance is high on your priority list.

  • Other health insurance plans. You can purchase your own health insurance, although this isn't an inexpensive proposition. You may get a cheaper rate if you go through an association or organization that you belong to (such as the Writer's Guild or Small Business Association) or you can just check in the yellow pages under "insurance, health"). Be sure you completely understand the coverages, co-pays, and percentage that the insurance pays for various things such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and major medical procedures so you aren't surprised by a big bill.

  • Community clinic. There are a range of community clinics available depending on where you live. Some offer low cost doctor visits, some are "free clinics" and offer free or low cost medical care, whereas other clinics may offer free or low cost specialized medical care (ie: pregnancy clinics, immunizations, etc). Most of these clinics base your costs on a sliding fee schedule based on your income.

  • DSHS. In our state DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services aka welfare) offers medical options such as coupons for children's medical care for low income families, various plans for chronic medical care, etc. Simply go to your state's welfare office and see what you qualify for.

  • Emergency medical care. Most hospitals in the US fall under EMTALA; this is a congressional act which states that anyone needing emergency care must be treated regardless of ability to pay. This basically means that if you have an emergency medical situation, get yourself to the ER and get treatment. You won't have to pay then but you will get an armload of bills after the fact which can sometimes then be paid for by the hospital's charity care program.

  • Specialized medical centers. There are a number of medical centers that cater to specific populations such as veterans, American Indians, Shriner's Children's Hospitals, etc. which may be able to treat you if you fall into a covered category. If you are a veteran or have served in the armed forces at all, check with your local VA service center to see if you qualify for care. If you are an American Indian, check with Indian Health Services or your associated tribe to find out more about any health care you are entitled to. If your child has specialized needs, check with your local children's hospital for a referral to a hospital that may provide free or low cost specialized treatment for your child's condition.

  • Overseas Medical Care. Medical tourism is getting to be big business. The reason? You can often get prescriptions, medical care, and even major medical procedures done for a fraction of the cost compared to the US. Places such as India, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, and other countries with a lower cost of living are doing a booming business treating the medical problems of Americans and Europeans. Google "medical tourism" and remember, buyer beware.

Three things to remember: if you are very ill or dying, get medical care first and worry about the bills later. Second, research your options and turn over every stone looking for help. Third, take care of yourself; preventive medicine is better than medical treatment for something that could have been avoided.


Off grid health care

Home medicine cabinets could look like this apothecary shop Having just experienced a nasty medical situation in my household this week, I thought I’d blog about the health care grid…and options for getting off of it, or getting health care if you are not on that grid at all, as too many people are.

For average day-to-day small health problems, there is lots of information on the internet. If you’re interested in time-honoured tips and techniques, you could take a look at My Home Remedies which is kind of like a wiki of things people have done to address everything from toothaches to athlete’s foot. Another great resource is this herbal prescriber database.

For a very broad-based approach, you might want to take a look at Where There Is No Doctor and Where There Is No Dentist . One might hope that you’ll never have a real need to use the information in these most excellent books, but having copies on hand couldn’t hurt anything. There’s also a book called Ditch Medicine, but the validity of the information in it is controversial. Of course, getting current CPR and First Aid training and keeping it up to date would be a first choice. Hesperian’s OnLine Library is also a valuable resource.

In my area, there is a free medical clinic that anyone can go to. I’ve been; they treat you like a person, and are entirely concerned for your well-being. If they cannot meet your needs there, they have referral sources on site for all sorts of things. Free medical clinics can be the difference between being under the weather for a while and having a debilitating condition. If you need them, use them.

What basic resources do you use if you are not operating on the health care grid? Any tips you can recommend by commenting here could keep someone healthier and better able to take care of themselves, their people, and their community. Got a recommendation?


Granola Recipe

Granola is very easy to make. I make it a couple of times a week. All that is needed for standard granola is a few basic ingredients: oats, wheat germ, salt, oil, and sugar.

I flake my own oats, but you can skip that step and simply purchase rolled oats.


2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup optional ingredients
1/4 cup liquid sweetener such as maple syrup, honey, or molasses
3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
1 Tb. water

I mix the dry ingredients together and put into a hot oiled pan on the stove. Often I do all of this in one huge cast iron skillet, which can go from stove top to oven.

I combine the wet ingredients and stir them into the dry. I squeeze together pieces to make them “clumpy.” If I am using flavorings (listed below), I add them to the wet ingredients.

After they have cooked for about 15 minutes, I place them into a dry oven (about 250-300) and allow it to dry (about 15 minutes). I stir in any additional ingredients and let them cook in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Let it dry and cool before storing.

Optional Additions:
sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, coconut flakes, raisins, dried fruit (blueberries/ cherries/ apples/mangos/etc)

optional flavorings (about 1/2 - 1 tsp):
ground ginger, almond extract, orange zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon, etc

Once you get used to making it, don’t forget to have some fun and try different variations of flavors!

Posted in food, simple living


Don't Stress!

I recently read a blog posting on a diet blog about how stress is the number one cause of over-eating, and how, now with the economy and other problems in the forefront, the stress eating situation has been pushed to the side, but is increasing in frequency.

Thought I'd do a little blog posting of my own about the subject of stress:

If you're a prepper, you are probably under stress. You're concerned about the economy. About food prices. About inappropriate dictatorship government. About our children's education. Illegal drugs. Obesity and diabetes in preschoolers or younger. Global warming and other earth changes.

Here's a few ways to recognize stress:
Stress symptoms include mental, social, and physical manifestations. These include exhaustion, loss of/increased appetite, headaches, crying, sleeplessness, and oversleeping. Escape through alcohol, drugs, or other compulsive behavior are often indications. Feelings of alarm, frustration, or apathy may accompany stress.

Stress management is the ability to maintain control when something makes excessive demands.

Here's a few ways to manage stress:
  1. Seek help.
  2. See if you can change something or control the situation.
  3. Set realistic gols for yourself.
  4. Reduce the events in your life to reduce "circuit overload"
  5. Make a plan. Make a list. Make a lot of lists. Get it all down - what you need to do, what you can afford to do, what you think needs to be done first, who has to do it, when it has to be done ... all of it.
  6. Exercise! A little daily exercise can work wonders for your frame of mind.
  7. Take yourself out of a stressful situation whenever you can. Even if it's only for a short while each day.
  8. Don't worry. I know, easy to say, hard to do. Figure out if the earth will stand still if you don't worry about the situation.
  9. Prioritize the worrying situations and let the rest slide on by.
  10. Learn how to chill. Relax. Breathe deep. Meditate. Do yoga (also a form of exercise). These are very effective in controlling stress.
  11. Can you look at your stressful situations in a different way? Stress is basically your reaction to events or problems. If you can see something from a different perspective, perhaps it will help you cope better with it. If you'd prefer, get opinions from close friends, or other people you trust.
  12. Avoid reactions to situations what are extreme. If you are anxious, perhaps a little bit of nervousness would do better. A bit of anger instead of rage. Sadness instead of depression.
  13. Do something for others - like buy a homeless person a cup of coffee - to help you get your mind off your own problems.
  14. Get enough naps and sleep. When you don't sleep well enough or often enough, it just increases your stress.
  15. Alcohol, pills and drugs, whether prescription or illegal, mask stress symptoms. Deal with things before they get out of control, or compounded by the drug/alcohol use.
  16. Did you write those lists? Pick one of the most urgent stressful situations, and make a plan to work to resolve it. Lay it all out. Step by step. Then start following your plan. Adjust as you go along, if need be. Don't overwhelm yourself; baby steps will do just fine.
  17. Work on being positive. Smile everything you remember to. And remind yourself by drawing a little smiley face on your favorite finger. Or wear a silly ring. Or jingling earrings. Or a big red bow or tie.
  18. Remind yourself that you are a great person, and you can deal and work with anything that comes along.
  19. Did you know that "Stress causes more glucose to be delivered to the brain, which makes more energy available to neurons. This, in turn, enhances memory formation and retrieval. On the other hand, if stress is prolonged, it can impede the glucose delivery and disrupt memory." All Stressed Up, St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch, p. 8B, Monday, November 30, 1998 - so... how can you work this to your advantage?
  20. Back to number 1 - seek help. If you feel like you are absolutely overwhelmed and can't seem to do anything about anything, and if it's interfering with your life, seek professional help. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Believe me, I'm sure in these economic and stressful times, the psychiatrists of this world are making money hand over fist!

Or... you could start a blog or comment on someone else's about things that are REALLY ticking you off ... believe me, it helps sometimes just to vent!


What Do You Tell People?

You have boxes of storange/dried foods mailed to your home. Twice a week you bring lots of bags into the house from the dollar store or grocery or camping store. Friends and neighbors walk to your house to see boxes and storage buckets neatly labeled "peas", "sugar", "rice", "first aid". You practice regularly at the range. You attend gun and ammo shows every chance you get. You order special supplies over the internet. You subscribe and have delivered to your home several militant magazines. You have a warren of rabbits and cages full of "quiet" quail that increase and decrease on a regular basis.

What do you tell people?

That you're planning for the end of the world? For the s*** to hit the fan? For earth changes? For the next blizzard or earthquake or flood?

Yeah, right.

If you tell them all or any of that, chances are they'll be the first people on your doorstep when anything hits the fan. Gas prices go up again? They'll be 'round asking for a couple of gallons from your big reservoir that you'll never miss. Grocery store has a run on bread and milk just before a storm? Hi... can we borrow some bread, milk, meat and rice... just until all of this blows over?


Here's what we do... since, for the most part, we're kinda anonymous with our blogs. We aren't impossible to find, but still.. our friends and families know we're store some things but ... we just say, our main purpose is to prepare for the next blizzard. For the most part, that's accurate

What do YOU tell people who ask "what on earth do you have all this for?"


Surviving the Unexpected- Mentally

Natural disasters are apparently on the rise. People are beginning to panic at the thought of the global economic collapse. Fear is driving gun sales and bulk food purchases. Several people that I know are afraid of what the future holds. Talk of FEMA camps, military drafts, civil unrest, and chaos is making many tremble with anxiety.

While the unexpected can and does occur its not really something to fear. An excellent tool in overcoming the obstacles life throws at us is to prepare for them. As devastating as hurricane Katrina was, I still cannot comprehend how unprepared the people of New Orleans were. It was no secret that they lived in a hurricane strike zone. It was no secret that they lived below sea level, at the edge of the sea. Common sense and logic would dictate that this is a recipe for disaster. The people had plenty of advanced notice, yet they still refused to prepare.

I don't put much stock into psychiatry. I think it is, more often than not, for weak minded people. Yes, I know there are people with medical conditions, who are chemically unbalanced, etc. but I think that the majority of people seeking a shrink have a problem with their ethos, not their mind. Especially since our society has been trying to turn our boys into the soft, sensitive, metro-sexual types. Somehow I just can't imagine Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clarke, or Paul Revere laying on a couch, talking about how their mommies mistreated them.

With that said, I recently read an article claiming that psychological devastation will affect more lives than the physical or economic toll, warns the Australian Psychological Society in reference to the recent fires. Below are a few quotes from that article.

“During and immediately after a disaster of this magnitude the focus is understandably on sheer survival and rescue,” says Professor Bob Montgomery, president of the APS.

“But soon after, most people will naturally show signs of distress. At this point, survivors benefit most from simple practical and emotional support. Getting some order and control back into their lives and having their emotions validated as the normal reactions to severe stress. These are basic components of psychological first aid, to help people heal themselves,” he says.

“People have a great capacity for healing themselves and most don’t need any special professional help to deal with the psychological impact of a traumatic event, just practical and emotional support,” he says.

“However, there will always be some people who are at risk of prolonged and serious reactions, usually in the form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“This involves flashbacks and nightmares of the original event, disturbed sleep, increased anxiety and tension, avoidance of normal activities, especially those that may include reminders of the trauma. PTSD is a potentially serious psychological problem, associated with depression, anger, strained relationships, excessive use of alcohol or other drugs, and suicide.”

The best way survivors and those around them can help is to keep an eye on themselves and each other for persistent signs of distress. If a survivor is still showing signs of distress three or four weeks after the trauma, like those noted above, then it’s time to seek some professional help before the problem becomes chronic.

Again, let me be clear there are people who are unbalanced and will need medical help. However, sometimes I think what people need is a swift kick in the pants. Some people are just sniveling whine bags who couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

Folks, we are in for some hard times. It's time to cowboy up and stop sniveling. Men, it's time to put down your Loofahs and hand creme and man up. They are afraid of the American man. That's why they have done their best to feminize our society. They know a country full of Marlboro men will kick their asses. They also know that a country full of metro-sexual's will be so overwhelmed by the fact that they can't get their manicures and eyebrows waxed that they'll be cowering in the corner in a pill driven, psycho babbled, hissy fit. Decide, today,who you are America and then eat hardy for tomorrow we dine in Hell (quote stolen from the movie 300). Source Article: Manage the Stress of Natural Disasters

Additional Reading:

Warrior Mindset

Re: Warrior Mindset by Brick

"Survival Panic" Expected to Spur Crime and Violence

Mental Emergency Preparedness


What Are Water Purification Tablets?

By Mathew PatersonWater is one of the most essential needs of the human body and represents 50% of humans bodily functions. Impure water can thus damage the human body a lot and the working system of the body can decrease in performance due to bad water which contains some harmful contaminants.

A water purification tablet can be used to purify from contaminants and harmful chemicals. It cannot however clean the large particles, but those can be cleaned and removed by the process of filtration. These tablets can mostly work at microscopic level and can neutralize the chemicals and viruses which can affect the human health.

These viruses and chemicals do need removal because many of them can cause different types of diseases like diarrhea, hepatitis, and some other harmful and dangerous diseases as well.

Water purification tablets can be made mostly of either chlorine or iodine. Chlorine is a common purifier and small amount of chlorine can also kill harmful bacteria in the water. Iodine can also help in cleaning. Tablets for purification may contain mainly one of the mentioned elements i.e. chlorine and iodine.

Companies that make purification tablets recommend using two tablets in a liter of water. This means that one tablet can purify half a liter of water. Using a tablet can also not be said as a difficult task. The tablets can be thrown in a container that needs purification. The container of water can then be shaken so that the tablet's ingredients can be mixed with the water evenly. The water should then be allowed to remain stationary so that the tablet can work on its job of killing harmful microscopic elements. After a few minutes, the water can be used for drinking purposes and the danger of a person getting any diseases through water can be significantly lessened.

These types of tablets can come in handy at the time of disasters as well. After an earthquake, the water present in the surrounding can be contaminated by harmful contents and clean water can be hard to find. A purification tablet can be used in such a situation to help in providing drinkable water to the victims. These tablets can also be taken on a trip to a forest in case clean water may not be available there for drinking.

Mathew Paterson or Matt is an outdoor enthusiast, who loves hunting and camping. If he's not outside he's spending he's time writing and sharing his experiences about the two subjects. He hopes to help people improve their hunting strategies, how to best enjoy the outdoors and how to better plan for an emergency crisis. is an online store that specializes in the latest Emergency Preparedness equipment, 72 Hour Kits, First Aid Experts, Survival Food and water. To purchase surival products visit:

For more information about this article and other articles related to this topic please visit

Article Source:

Additional Reading:

Why Store Water?

Food Storage Mistakes

The Importance of Safe Water in an Urban Survival Situation

Dying of Thirst-Recognizing the Signs of Dehydration


Friday, February 27, 2009

Home Made Crank Generator

This is pretty spiffy!



Fresh Ingredients

1 lb. lean ground beef

grated cheddar cheese

Storage Ingredients

1 lb. penne pasta (or you could substitute macaroni)

1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce (26-32 oz.)

1 can Hunts basil, garlic and oregano tomato paste (6 0z.)

1 cup water

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning spice blend

dried parsley flakes

garlic salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef. Drain fat if needed, then season the meat very well with garlic salt and pepper. Add the spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, water and spices. Blend well then simmer on low heat while you cook the pasta. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Cook the pasta according to package directions in salted water, then drain and return to pot. Mix the sauce with the cooked pasta, taste for seasoning, and add more garlic salt and pepper if needed. Spoon into casserole dish and top with the grated cheese. Sprinkle parsley flakes on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on pan size and whether pasta has been refrigerated before baking. The penne pasta dresses it up a little bit but macaroni from your long-term food storage works equally well.

This recipe comes from my great friend, Bonnie, and I appreciate her sharing. She told me that she’s been making this penne pasta dish for years but never thought about it being a food storage recipe, until recently. “It’s a great Sunday dinner or company dish as it can be assembled a day or two ahead of time, it makes a lot so there are always yummy leftovers for lunches, and my kids love it.”

Bonnie is a highly trained, skilled nurse and mother of three small children, AND she really cares about the food she prepares for her family. Six months ago, Bonnie asked me to answer some food storage questions for her. She came to my house, sat on my couch, and let me walk her through the system that’s worked for me. Now she’s making regular trips to the dry-pack cannery, working on her food storage binder, and learning all the wonderful advantages of food storage. She’s designing what makes sense for her family.

Thanks again, Bonnie. You’re a great example!


top ten new garden suggestions

1. Don't plant too much. Inevitably you will plant too much. I will too but at least if you try not to plant too much you won't plant waaay too much and find yourself harvesting squash in the dark or asking your in laws to fly from out of state to help you weed. They already think you're crazy enough don't they?

2. Plant your first garden close by. Try to plant your new garden in a location you'll see regularly or better yet walk past everyday. This might be outside your kitchen window or next to the garage where you'll notice that the tomatoes are infact beginning to ripen or that that the asparagus patch really does need more mulch to help keep down the weeds.

3. Plant what you eat. I am all for experimentation but if you're just getting started plant mostly vegetables you know you like and can cook. Or limit yourself to a few new vegetables. You want this experience to be as rewarding as possible for you and your family.

4. Set a schedule. Try to plan time to spend in the garden. Maybe it's 15 minutes each day after dinner or a half hour in the morning before work. Maybe Wednesdays and Saturdays will work best for you but if you have a set time for being in the garden you're more likely to go there and get things done.

5. Keep good records. This is a tough one for many people, myself included but it will help you be successful more quickly. Despite your best hopes you will not in fact remember when you planted peppers last year or which varieties you grew or how many each plant yielded.

6. Make mistakes. Here's your license to mess up. If you're not making mistakes you're not trying hard enough to "grow your comfort zone" as Van Jones suggests. Stop worrying about being perfect and get to work. You'll succeed in ways you couldn't have guessed and you'll fail some to. That's how you'll learn.

7. Get help. Especially for those big projects like building raised beds or planting trees get your family, your friends or other people in your neighborhood to help. The permablitz model isa great idea.

8. Grow good soil. I know on the surface this topic might seem boring. When I talk to people in person about the importance of good soil I can see their eyes glaze over. Resist the urge to take this lightly! Healthy plants and a sustainable garden are a productive first and foremost of good soil.

9. Share food. Grow a few extra tomatoes or zucchini specifically so you can give the produce away. Give it to your local food bank or to people in your neighborhood as a way to get them excited about growing food. Ultimately you're only as food secure as your neighbors.

10. Include the kids. Try to share this new experience with young people so that they may grow up with a better understand of where food comes from. This is the ultimate way to help make the future a healthier, happier, tastier place.


Items to Hoard

You’ve heard the announcement on the TV of a pending emergency. What’s your first reaction? Well, if you’re like 95% of the adult population it’s to go to the store and stock up. But if you already have key items on hand and know how to discern between that which is needful and that which is foolish, you’ll avoid the chaos that will inevitably be present at any store after such an announcement.

Want to know what to be sure you have on hand in the event of an emergency? Here is a list of items that typically were scarce or flew off of the shelves first in other areas of the country when a disaster hit. Obviously, if these items are the first to go when doom and gloom is forecast, then it is logical to believe that these are items that people will value most in an emergency. However, while I will highlight these items as those which individuals hoard in an emergency, I will also address why you may be smart to avoid the hoarding inclination.

NOTE: I don’t typically post blogs this long, though I realize people may want to print this off as a reference. This is a very thorough list, but if you read nothing else, read #58.

  1. Generator: If you must get one of these, do not skimp. Get a good quality one. However, I don’t recommend that you waste good money on this when you don’t have everything else ready. A generator should be the last thing you acquire because it is a luxury item. And worst case scenario, you can trade some of the many other valuable items you have for the temporary use of a generator. In order to use one of these, you will need to store gasoline which does not have a long shelf-life. It will also be a target of thieves and it makes its share of noise too. You will also need to be prepared to perform repairs on it as well.
  2. Water Filters/Purifiers: Iodine tablets, charcoal based purifiers, gravity fed purifiers, etc, are ideal. You can also use a solar oven to pasteurize your water. Also, store regular Chlorox to purify your water as well.
  3. Portable Toilets: This item has been increasing in price on a regular basis. You can purchase an inexpensive 5 gallon bucket and a “toilet lid” for it as well. Be sure to store lye or some other available products to break down the waste. Chlorox is useful for this as well. Also store plenty of heavy duty plastic bags to line the bucket with. It’s smart to have shovels on hand as well to provide alternative resources or to dispose of the waste as well.
  4. Seasoned Firewood: While it doesn’t necessarily need to be seasoned, that’s simply what hoarders go after. It usually costs about $100 per cord; Your regular wood can take between 6 to 12 months to become sufficiently dried. It takes a great deal of wood to use as a heat, light and cooking resource. I recommend that you store alternative types of fuel instead such as propane, kerosene, or Isopropyl alcohol. Obviously, whichever fuel you have you’ll want to make sure that you have the appropriate items which USE such fuel.
  5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps: Too often folks forget to have multiple wicks. I’ve read and seen situations where there were plenty of oil, but not enough wick. Considering they are inexpensive it’s a shame not to have the on hand in abundance. Be sure to buy clear oil. You will be happy to have as much of this as is legally possible to store. I store lamps which function on kerosene instead of the more traditional expensive lamp oil.
  6. Coleman Fuel: I’m not advocating this particular fuel specifically, it’s just the first to go in the event of a looming emergency. While this may not be important to you, it may be urgent for your less-prepared neighbors. The cost is between $2.69 to 9.00 a gallon, depending on where you go. Ultimately, Coleman fuel is white gas. It burns hot and clean. You can also purchase MSR fuel which is more expensive, burns hotter and cleaner. In fact, if you have a problem with a stove that’s not burning right you can burn MSR fuel through it and it do better. This is definitely something that I would have plenty on hand!
  7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats, Slingshots, etc. Ok. If you’re going to store guns, then be sure you have stored at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each gun. Yes, one thousand. If all heck breaks loose, your ammo supplies will be worth more than your cash! Whatever it is that you store to ensure you are not the victim of civil unrest or lawlessness, be sure you know how to use it properly (see for more information on this topic)
  8. Hand-Can openers & hand egg beaters, whisks: If you’ve relied on these items electrically, be sure you have the skills to get the same task done without the electricity.
  9. Honey, Syrups, white and brown sugars Honey is your bet all purpose sweet item. It stores well longer then sugar and has a better glycemic affect on the body than sugars. Consider storing the sugar in a 5 gallon bucket, but use one of the stone sugar preservers (mine are all in the shape of gingerbread men). They keep the sugar soft and nice.
  10. Rice; Beans; Wheat: White rice is now $12.95 - 50# bag. Sam’s Club. White rice stocks in store all over are depleting often and then being replaced with the more expensive Jasmine Rice. So bottom line, when you see it on the shelves for a price that doesn’t feel like our national debt, get it. Rice, wheat, and beans will cook faster and with less hassle in a Pressure Cooker. I highly recommend you embrace this way of cooking. You may also want to consider adding flax seed or millet to your collection of grains as well as they are an asset to your digestive system as well.
  11. Vegetable oil: for cooking, baking, maintenance, etc. You’ve got to have oil so that your hormones and joints will function properly, so don’t try to skimp on using such a commodity. Peanut oil burns very hot and can store for a long time. We’ve stored ours for as long as 5 years, and that’s after using it. Olive Oil also has a good shelf life and is also good for you. However, the best oil to store is expeller pressed coconut oil. It doesn’t taste like coconut in your foods, and has a very, very long shelf life.
  12. Charcoal & Lighter fluid: While this may be OK for an immediate source of cooking, it’s unrealistic to think of this as a long-term solution. Being able to store enough is not likely and the lighter fluid is combustible, so not ideal to store either. Think in terms of more long-term solutions such as the fuels I’ve mentioned previously. However, these two items will become scarce very, very quickly if a news report breaks out of a coming catastrophe.
  13. Water containers: In my opinion, if you wait for the news report to try and obtain these, then you’ve waited too long. You should be acquiring these now. Only use hard clear plastic. Do not use milk bottles as they break down very quickly. It’s important to think in terms of all different kinds of sizes so that you can have portable water as well as primary sources. You can live without food for 3 days, but you cannot go very long without water. It’s necessary for the 200,000 gallons of blood your heart pumps through each day, and the several thousands of gallons worth of water than your kidney and liver go through each day as well.
  14. Fuel-based heater: It would be a shame to have plenty of food and water on hand but still perish due to cold weather. Cold weather will also compound any illnesses that you and your family may be experiencing as well. If you use a kerosene heater, you can use it inside in an emergency situation, but you will need to have ventilation as well.
  15. Grain Grinder: Yes, these get hoarded in an emergency situation. You need to have a non-electric one on hand. Flour will fly off the shelves with the right newscast. And it’s significantly more expensive than the whole grains of wheat, millet, etc. So start looking now for the ideal model while you have the luxury to do so in order to not have to do with whatever is left.
  16. Propane Cylinders: Another highly hoarded item is the grills that go with the propane cylinders. Be sure that you have a quality grill on hand now and some spare propane cylinders as well.
  17. Lamps such as Aladdin, Coleman, etc.: YOU will not successfully be able to light your environment without something more substantial than candles. A human being will function an average of 8 hours each day when there is no natural light on hand. You’re probably more reliant on light that you realize. So be sure to think in terms of long-term lighting solutions now. Be sure that you have appropriate hardware to hang a lantern someplace as well.
  18. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula/ointments/aspirin, etc. These items were some of the most asked for items when the Teton Dam broke. I would suggest that if you have little ones in diapers that you at least store some cloth diapers and pins for an emergency as well. Even though we do not have children, we have put them in our storage as a great trade item should things come to that.
  19. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer: Sanitation is critical in an emergency. And having clean clothes is a serious component of maintaining a sanitary environment. There are also small hand-cranked clothes cleaners you can purchase at emergency preparedness supply stores. Your biggest downfall will be if you think in terms of “short-term survival” and think that you won’t need clean clothes. Be sure that you have liquid laundry detergent on hand as well!
  20. Cookstoves: such as propane, Coleman, and kerosene. I would suggest that you get these now while you have the luxury of selection and also be sure that they operate properly. Having to live off of such a small cooking surface can be daunting. The use of a pressure cooker will help you conserve fuel as it takes less to heat them up and keep them hot. And you’ll still end up with very hearth and satisfying meals with them as well.
  21. Vitamins: I’m relieved that such an item is hoarded. Do not underestimate this asset. It is critical. Due to the lack of serious diseases in our culture so many of them are off our radar, but in an emergency when you are making your meals from what’s dead and processed on your shelves, supplementing that food with sheer vitamins is critical. Vitamins C, E, and B are the top of my list. If you’re involved with a nutritional network marketing company, be sure to store a year’s supply of the health product of your choice! (I prefer Reliv to everything else I’ve tried out there over the last 3 decades… Not only is it the highest quality of nutrition I’ve found, but I could live off of it too if I had to.)
  22. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder: Small but important. The small canisters are actually dangerous to use without them.
  23. Hygiene products: such as feminine products, shampoos, toothbrushes and paste, floss, deodorants, and lotions. There is a reusable product called a menstrual cup made from either latex or medical-grade silicon. They work much like a diaphragm. They are sold at Also be sure you have combs and brushes on hand. For some reason there was a run on women’s hair bands after the Teton Dam broke as well. Guess when you don’t care what you look like, you just want to pull that hair back and get back to work. Be sure that you also have baby wipes also. Using them to “bathe” with will conserve your water and your energy. So will anti-bacterial liquids such as Purell.
  24. Thermal underwear: Remember tops and bottoms.
  25. Bow saws, axes and hatchets & Wedges: Remember the honing oil as well.
  26. Aluminum foil: If you have to select between regular or heavy duty, get the heavy duty. You can wash it and reuse it under many circumstances. (Great Cooking & Barter item)
  27. Gasoline containers: I completely disagree with this item, but if you’ve got to flee in your vehicle, it is smart to have on hand. However, for long-term survival, gasoline is impractical. It’s dangerous and it will only put a target on your back from looters who can’t think to survive any other way.
  28. Garbage bags: This is one item that you do not want to skimp on. If we fail to take care of sanitation, then everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 90 days. It’s impossible to have too many of these.
  29. Paper products: such as toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels. Do you even know how long one roll of toilet paper lasts in your home? Better find out. Also paper plates and plastic cups and utensils will help to conserve your water supply as well as your energy.
  30. Milk: Think in terms of powdered or condensed milk. Be sure the shake the canned milk ever 90 to 120 days. You can make a whole lot of your ideal dairy products with powdered milk such as cheese, yogurt, sour cream, butter, etc.
  31. Garden seeds: (Non-hybrid) Do not buy canned seeds – they must be aerated.
  32. Clothes pins/line/hangers: This should be a “duh” item, but most of us take our electric dryer for granted.
  33. Canned meats: Thank goodness for the big wholesale warehouses that sell quality canned beef, chicken, turkey and tuna. Also, I’d rethink your negative stigmas of the canned “meat” Spam. I’ve made several great dishes with this recently. And Spam stores for a very, very long time.
  34. Fire extinguishers: Where there’s chaos, there are fires. Be sure you’re prepared. It would also be smart to have very large boxes of baking soda on hand for the same purpose as well.
  35. First aid kits: Ideally you can also have a military field surgical kit on hand as well. This is an area that is significantly underrated and will be used more times that a toilet in an emergency. Be sure to remember aspirin, ibuprofen, and cough syrup as well.
  36. Batteries: You’ll want to be sure that you have all different sizes on hand. In my opinion though, you’re best off if you have rechargeable batteries and invest in a solar battery charger. Be sure to be mindful of the expiration dates on the batteries your purchase.
  37. Spices and baking supplies: Be mindful of flour, yeast, salt, garlic, and other spices that you use on a regular basis. Be sure you have bouillons and soy sauce, plus mixes for soy sauce, vinegars, gravy mixes and soup mixes on hand as well.
  38. Matches: While matches are an asset, you’d be better off getting a magnesium stick with a striker. However, if you’re going to purchase matches, be sure to get the “strike anywhere” kind. Keep in mind that the boxed and wooden matches will go first in an emergency.
  39. Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators: Don’t make me expound on this one. Just make sure you have plenty paper and writing utensils on hand J
  40. Insulated ice chests: Ice chests have a dual purpose in both warm and cold weather. In the warm weather they obviously can prevent items from overheating, but in the cold, they can keep items from getting freezer burn or just plain getting too cold. Think of them as an insulator for what ever temperature you want to maintain.
  41. Labor attire: such as work boots, belts, gloves, jeans, etc. You’ll find yourself much more active in an emergency. So your everyday clothes that you may wear for fashion as opposed to function just aren’t going to cut it.
  42. Flashlights, light sticks, and torches: Portable lighting will be invaluable in an emergency.
  43. Cast iron cookware: When you’re cooking on raw open flames you definitely don’t want to you use your standard cookware. Be sure you have cast iron cookware available.
  44. Fishing supplies/tools: While this is a resource for getting “protein” in your diet, the likelihood of fishing supplies really coming in handy during the initial phase of an emergency is slim. Waters could be poisoned in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack, and you will be much more focused on taking care of your family right where you are rather than expending energy to forage for food in the lakes and streams. This is yet another reason why you need to have food stored that you can use in your home, and not kid yourself into thinking that you can fish your way through a disaster.
  45. Pest and Insect repellents: Consider sprays, creams, or lotions. The oil made by Avon, called Skin-So-Soft is actually a VERY effective mosquito repellent and obviously has multiple purposes. In the event of a disaster which requires you to live without your standard comforts, get ready to make friends with the bugs. Keep traps and bug sprays on hands as well. When all heck breaks loose, the varmints will come from everywhere they normally are foraging for survival just like you.
  46. Duct tape: You will NEED duct tape. And lots of it for a whole lot of reasons. We have purchased cases of it at the warehouse places.
  47. Shelter Materials: Be sure you have heavy tarps, stakes, and rope on hand to ensure that you do not go without shelter. You will also need the tarp to section off rooms in the cold so that you’re heating just small spaces instead of your entire home. You’ll want to be mindful of screen patches, glue (super glue, craft glue and fabric glue), nails, screws, nuts and bolts.
  48. Candles: While these do run in short supply very quickly in the event of a looming disaster, they are extremely ineffective as a source of light. See comments on lamps for more details. Spend your money elsewhere.
  49. Backpacks & Duffle bags: in the event that you’ve got to leave your home and travel with sufficient supplies elsewhere, backpacks are necessary. These are also ideal for a 72 hour kit if you choose to have those handy as well.
  50. Sewing supplies: Clothes will need repairs; fabric will need modified, so be sure that you have a really good quality of scissors. If you don’t know how to sew, it will serve you well to take a couple of basic classes. Regardless of what your financial circumstances are that may prohibit you from purchasing the preparedness items you need, you have no excuse not to hoard knowledge. You’ve got the internet, the library, and a whole lot of cheap or free classes available so that you can learn these types of necessary skills.
  51. Canned goods: such as fruits, veggies, soups, etc. Be sure to have your own canning supplies on hand as well such as the jars, lids, and paraffin wax. This makes plug #3 for a pressure cooker a wise investment so that when you do can foods, you ensure your jars seal properly.
  52. Knives: Be sure to have the foresight for sharpening tools as well. Obviously these are good as weapons, tools, cooking aids, etc. Don’t skimp on something so critical. My husband periodically takes solely a knife and hikes into the wilderness. It’s the most important tool he takes with him.
  53. Bedding: While you may believe your own bed is comfort enough, you’re very likely to be taking others into your shelter in the event of an emergency, or to need to flee elsewhere with transportable bedding. Think of having sleeping bags, cots, self-inflating mattresses, pillows, sheets, blankets, and ground mattresses on hand. You’ll be useless if you can’t get quality rest at night.
  54. Games: such as board games, cards, dice, etc. I love seeing that these are items that are in high demand in the event of an emergency. Many have the foresight to take care of the mental needs of themselves and their loved ones.
  55. Water enhancers: such as chocolate or strawberry powder, Tang, Kool-Aid etc. While it takes much less energy to add a flavor to stored water to make it taste good, it’s not the best way to intake your daily dose of water, especially in an emergency state. Your body even treats water with a simple lemon in it completely different than it does straight water. It has to exert energy to filter it prior to it being used by the kidneys and the rest of your body. Your body needs WATER. Just plain WATER to function properly. Try to avoid relying on flavors to get your necessary intake. Instead try pouring the water from one container to another to aerate it to make the taste more pleasant.
  56. Easy foods: Such as graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, trail mix, beef jerky, peanut butters, and nuts.
  57. Lumber: 2 x 4s and sheets of plywood are the first to go. Having a few of these pieces on hand will save you a great deal of stress later.
  58. And last, but definitely NOT least… Guns and Ammo: While many so-called emergency preparedness experts tend to shy away from discussing this need, it’s naïve and frankly derelict in my opinion to do so. If there’s an emergency, chaos will ensue. There’s no guarantee that those behind bars will stay there. And there are PLENTY of persons who are not prepared for such a disaster that will be desperate and highly motivated to get the resources they need—from your supplies. You can say to yourself that you would be willing to die if someone needed your food and other supplies that badly. That’s fine. That’s your choice. But are you willing to make that same choice for your children? It’s naïve to believe that only your supplies will be targeted by those who would harm you for what isn’t yours. Are you willing to watch idly by while those you love have their virtue threatened at the hands of violent criminals as well? In order of priority, get a handgun first, then a shotgun, and then a rifle. Be sure that you have at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each gun type you have. And last but not least, be sure you get sufficient knowledge so that you can actually use a firearm in an emergency. Mark my words, there will come a time in which ammo is worth more than the currency you carry in your purse or wallet. So even if you have no intention of defending yourself, you may want to at least have something of value on hand to get what you need. If you don’t believe that these items will be important in the event of an emergency, understand that sales have increased over 40% from last year just because of an administrative change in our government. People will be more aware of this need in the event of a disaster. Having the supplies are one thing. Being assured that you get to benefit from them is another.

Using Dry Ice to Store Your Emergency Foods

By Joseph ParishWhen storing up food we have to have some sort of way that we can preserve the food. Many times you will hear survivalists saying how they have placed five oxygen packets in their 5 gallon bucket in order to preserve their wheat or flour. Well, this is all well and good but using the oxygen packets is not the only way to preserve your food. In this article I am going to briefly explain to you how you can use dry ice to accomplish the same thing.

In many cases the use of dry ice works much better then placing oxygen packets into your storage containers. An example would be if you are storing food in one of the 5 gallon buckets and you do not make use of a Mylar bag to put the food in. You could in this case merely place dry ice in the bucket and it would seal the unit for you.

Often people are totally confused when it comes to using dry ice. For one they may not know where to obtain the product at. Secondly, many people are simply afraid of using it. They feel that the necessary procedures may be a bit complicated and thus they try to avoid using the method all together. They are honestly petrified of making any sort of mistake when using the ice.

Well, lets get to the meat of this article and you will quickly realize that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of when working with dry ice. It takes only a tablespoon of dry ice for each gallon size container so you would require a small chunk of dry ice approximately the size of a one-third cup measuring spoon for each 5 gallon bucket you are sealing.

When sealing grain in one of your buckets the procedure to follow is to pour about three inches of the grain into the bucket. Next add the dry ice. The three inches or so of grain is to prevent the dry ice from freezing and cracking the bottom of the bucket. After placing the dry ice in the bucket you can then fill the bucket up with additional grain. Set the lid loosely on the top of the bucket and wait patiently for approximately one half hour. Now push the lid onto the bucket firmly. You can check it in another half hour for any possible bulging, In the event that there are any types of bulges you merely have to "burp" the lid. This is accomplished the same way as you would burp a Tupperware lid when you put one in one of their containers. You simply lift up on one small area to allow the excess air or CO2 to escape and then you push the lid back on.

The procedure is not complicated in the least and you can not make a mistake if you leave your buckets where you can watch them for the first few hours. Check them regularly to ensure that you are aware of any changes that may be occurring. After a few hours has past you can use a rubber mallet or perhaps a regular hammer along with a piece of wood held across the lid to tap the lid completely in place. Presto you are now finished.

Keep in mind that dry ice tends to evaporates rather quickly. If you were to purchase a pound of dry ice one evening there is a very good chance that it will evaporate by the next morning. It makes no difference if the ice is stored in a freezer or not as it evaporates rather quickly. The best procedure to follow in this case is to get all your buckets ready at one time and then go get your dry ice. When you return with it you can put it in the buckets and then finish filling them up.

Now you can readily see that there is no magic involved with using dry ice. It is simple, easy and does not take a rocket scientist to use it properly. Good luck in your storage goals.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish

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