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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Real Expiration Date for Common Foods

Original Article

by Contributing Author

The regulation guidelines for expired foods are few and arbitrary, really. They are also voluntary. They sprang up in the 1970s for more consumer information and perceived freshness. Expiration labels are only required by law for infant formula and baby foods; other laws regarding dairy are left up to some states and vary. There is waste before, during and after a food item’s grocery stay. Now, more than ever, when throwing out food we’re unsure of, it feels like trashing bags of money – and most of it is completely unnecessary. But nobody wants to read yet another scolding article about it. So…
Now that we know our expiration labels don’t tell us anything at all – where do we go from here? What can we eat with confidence?
First, let’s define some terms for the dates printed on food products:
Expiration - This is an estimated date for when the item is expected to go bad and the consumer is expected to proceed with caution. Still, a surprisingly large amount of these can be expanded, with some exceptions.
Sell by - That’s for the retailer, not for you. It’s about peak quality, like with flavor. It’s for store display and maddeningly, much of this gets tossed – prompting a “dumpster dive” revolution. Wouldn’t it be nice if people didn’t have to relegate themselves to a dumpster to get this perfectly good food? But in the dump it goes first.
Best if Used By/Before and Use By - Again, these refer to quality, not safety.
Pack or Born On - This is the manufacture date stamp and often refers to canned goods and beer.
Guaranteed Fresh - This is mostly the baker’s way of letting you know how long you can enjoy the baked good before it possibly goes stale. It doesn’t mean it’s harmful, but could be stale.
Yogurt and deli meat can last a week to 10 days more than the “sell by” date. Salami at two to three weeks. Most fresh meats, especially poultry and seafood, should be cooked and eaten within days. Eggs a whopping five weeks after expiration. When in doubt, gently place eggs in a big bowl of cold water filled to the top. If the eggs float, toss them. If they “stand up” that just means they are not as fresh but are still okay to eat.
Packaged items can last a long time after expiration but after months you may notice a staleness and waxy taste which could be rancid oils. Packaged and canned items can generally last a year or more after the stamped date.
The key to keeping storable foods the longest, is cool, dry and airtight. Canned goods included. If you see bulging cans – do not open! It’s rare, but it could be botulism. Bill Nye made this crystal clear to me as a kid.
Real Simple and iVillage offer a list of items and a “true” expiration, some lasting for years, but again, take with a grain of salt. Throwing out opened juice after a week in the fridge? No way! Of course if you make your juice yourself, ideally, it should be consumed immediately for best benefits. Whole, natural foods and drinks do not generally last as long as the grocery store – but you knew that! For instance, when I buy homemade bread I know to freeze it, otherwise mold is great indicator I waited one day too long. Lesson learned. Raw honey can last forever and honey and brown sugar indefinitely.
Cheese can have a long fridge life too. According to one naturopath, Kerrygold cheese from grass fed cows can be bought in bulk at Whole Foods and sit in the fridge for six months – mine is still fine after one month.
Is it really a great idea to be eating old food? Debatable. Some fruits like bananas can have added benefits with age. Ayurvedic principles frown on old or rotten food for its effect on the body or biorhythms (except for items better with age or fermentation). But, I’ve seen depression-era folks charge through their 80′s having lived a frugal life eating the bad fruits first, expired foods and keeping the fridge well above the suggested 40 degree mark. (Where can I get an immune system like that!)
The bottom line is that expiration is perception and to follow your nose and your gut. If something smells or tastes funny, do not risk it! Common sense and intuition are our friends and thankfully, we are much less likely to get sick in a clean home than from a restaurant. If you think you might get food poisoning, immediately take homeopathic Arscenicum Album 30c and Activated Charcoal.
What have you noticed that you can eat after the stamped date?
Two websites devoted completely to real expiration dates:
All Recipes allows you to type in what ingredients you currently have and pulls up recipes you can use. You can save favorite recipes in your own online recipe box.
Love Food Hate Waste is an English web site devoted to helping people use food on its way out
Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Free download – The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide – Childbirth

Original Article

by Cynthia J. Koelker, MD
Suppose you were at sea and went into labor.  What would you do without a doctor on board?
The same question could be asked of any situation where a woman went into labor without a doctor or midwife available.  I’ve been reading through The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide and want to encourage you to download the entire guide, or at least selected chapters.
According to their web site,
English: A download symbol.“The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide is intended primarily for use on ships where no doctor is carried and it is necessary for laymen to assess and treat injuries and to diagnose and treat ill health. The Guide can also be recommended for use in other situations where professional medical advice is not readily available, for example on expeditions.
“For the 22nd edition the Guide has been comprehensively reviewed and updated. It contains a wide range of authoritative advice – from birth to death, from first aid, general nursing, hygiene and the prevention of disease, to the treatment of injuries and diseases. The recommended measures for prevention and treatment can be safely carried out by an intelligent layman.”
Chapter 10 entitled Childbirth covers labor, delivery, and immediate care of the newborn, enough for a layperson to help with a normal delivery.  It can be downloaded for free at the web site below.
Note – This publication is intended for UK ships, and mentions giving ciprofloxacin or erythromycin to a mother if she has a fever.  In the U.S. it is unlikely that ciprofloxacin would be given to a nursing mother, but is safe for non-nursing mothers.  (Ciprofloxacin is excreted in breast milk and may pose a risk of joint damage in children.)  Erythromycin is considered safe for both mother and child.
Related articles
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Monday, April 28, 2014

TRUTH: It is time to mourn a friend…..

Original Article

by Rourke

An Obituary printed in the London Times…..Absolutely Dead Brilliant!!

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– And maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
– I Know My Rights
– I Want It Now
– Someone Else Is To Blame
– I’m A Victim
– Pay me for Doing Nothing
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

© 2014, Rourke. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Respirator Masks, Do You Need Them?

Original Article

by Mike Yukon

The 3M-8511-N95 Particulate Sanding Respirator with Valve

The 3M-1860-N95 Respirator and Surgical Mask (Bird Flu Mask)

My opinion is yes we do for certain conditions.

Example; My home was less than two miles from a forest fire a few years ago and the burnt ash particulate falling from the sky looked like a light snow fall, with every breath you could feel it in your lungs and could taste it in your mouth. At that time I did not have any masks in my prep stocks (I'm more focused on surviving hurricane threats). Either of these masks would have helped especially if I had to be outside for any length of time.

We are also, I believe, at the beginning of a climate/weather shift and dust storms and forest fires will become more common in the years to come. Small volcano eruptions can pump out massive amounts of choking dust to name just a few scenarios where a particulate filtering mask would be needed. Live Prepared for them!

Then to complicate things we have animal virus's such as the Bird Flu and now pigs have a virus that "if it mutates" and becomes infectious to humans it will be far worse than the bird flu. 
A simple respirator mask may save you from a lot of health issues and have you breathing easy in dusty conditions.

Some people will say just stay indoors. Well for people with live stock or family issues where you must travel outside the home a mask is a very wise choice.

Which Mask Do We Need?
There are two common prepper types of respirator masks to have in our prep stock. I have these two in my stock.

One is primarily a dust/particulate mask, commonly referred to as the "N95":
"3M 8511 N95 Particulate Sanding Respirator with Valve".

The other is for what has been referred to as the "Bird Flu" mask:
"3M 1860 N95 Respirator and Surgical Mask/Bird Flu".

Why does the 3M 8511 N95 mask have a breathing valve and the other 3M 1860 N95 surgical mask does not?
The breathing valve only works during your exhale and is beneficial when you're working hard and exhaling/breathing heavily, your exhale will freely pass through the valve and not create pressure that could lift the face sealing perimeter of the mask from your face. During inhale the mask will be sucked tighter about the face sealing you from the atmosphere dust you don't want to inhale.

The surgical mask is not normally used in those heavy work load conditions so it doses not have a valve. This mask also serves as a dust/particulate mask.

Neither of these masks are perfect, but both are rated 95% efficient hence the "N95" designation. However when you need one these masks they are very good and far better than nothing or a homemade bandana over your face.

Long Term Storage:
These masks will last for decades if you simply store them sealed in a Zip-Lock or Mylar sealed storage bags. Just keep them free from moisture that could lead to bacteria growth. Use a zip-lock bag for in the car or bug out bag, a few of them is just smart.

Where to buy?

N95 Particulate Mask:

N95 Surgical Mask:

(above are just two sources, there are many more available so Google search for the best pricing and shipping for your area)

Respirator Fitting to Face Instruction Videos:

For additional facts visit the 3M website:
There are many masks to choose from. This 3M site will explain in detail how each mask 3M makes including these above will protect you in the environment you must deal with.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Q and A: using tins to store food, seed starting mix, and canning horseradish

Original Article

by Jackie Clay
Fresh Horseradish - Colonial Fresh Markets - C...Using tins to store food
I have been buying all the popcorn tins and smaller tins that I can find at the thrift store as I recall they are great for storing stuff to keep it away from mice. Now that I have them can you give me some advice as to what is good to store in them and more of what NOT to store in them? How do you label your tins so you know what is in them, since most are bumpy with pictures.

Lisa C.
I store a huge variety of foods in my tins: popcorn (unpopped), white rice, noodles, spaghetti, rolled oats, wheat berries, sugar, “store” cornmeal, masa harina, pearled barley, dry beans of all kinds, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, bags of chocolate (and other flavors) chips, and a whole lot more. I DON’T store opened bags of brown and powdered sugar as they get hard or clumpy. Left in the bag, they’re fine. Once opened, I store them in glass jars that have screw-down lids. I also don’t store our own fresh ground wheat flour, cornmeal, or brown rice. Whole grain products will get rancid pretty fast.
I use a peel-and-stick label and write on that. Big box stores are now carrying computer-friendly labels that are pretty and some canning product areas also carry pretty peel-and-stick labels. Everyone loves the look of my tins and I sure love the ease of having lots of food right at hand. — Jackie
Seed starting mix and canning horseradish
Do you make your own seed starting mix? The purchased ones are always so hard to get moist and I’m wondering if you have a recipe for a better mix.

We are in a cold climate, although not as cold as yours! Cracking on our fingers can be a problem and I’m wondering what you do for this.

A while back someone asked about canning horseradish. Here’s the recipe I use:

Horseradish for canning

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt or pickling salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ascorbic acid crystals (Fruit Fresh)
3 cups lightly packed, peeled and finely grated horseradish (2 to 3 pounds horseradish root) * Take your food processor outside to grate the horseradish.

In medium glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and ascorbic acid crystals. Stir until everything is dissolved. Stir in horseradish. Ladle the horseradish into hot jars, leaving a inch headspace. Using a plastic knife, remove any trapped air bubbles. If necessary, add more horseradish to maintain a inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and rings. Process half-pint jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Makes about 4 half-pints.
Cynthia Popeck
Hudson Falls, New York
While I have made my own seed-starting mix, using 1/2 good, sifted well-rotted compost-laden garden soil, 1/4 Perlite and 1/4 vermiculite, I’m now buying Pro-Mix seed starting mix (you can get it from local nurseries and greenhouses, sometimes Menards, too). When you use your own homemade mix, you must sterilize the soil by putting it in the oven in a large pan. This kills any pathogens that may cause disease in your tender seedlings. You need to heat it at 250 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, then let it cool before mixing it with the Perlite and vermiculite. The Pro-Mix is very good and DOES accept the water easily, where Jiffy Mix seed starter doesn’t.
For cracked hands, I use bag balm for cows. I put it on my hands before I go out in the morning, then a heavier coat in the evening. It keeps them as good as my hands ever get. Pinetree Garden Seeds ( carries a great selection of natural ingredients if you wish to make your own hand cream as well as books of recipes. — Jackie
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Whole Wheat and Barley Pancakes*

Original Article

by Mike Yukon

Another breakfast food using your long term stored Wheat and Barley Grains.

Ingredients: Yields 3, 5 inch diameter ½ inch thick pancakes
1/2 cup whole wheat flour milled flour from hard white wheat grain
1/2 cup pearled barley flour milled from pearled barley grain
6 oz water
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
shortening for frying pan

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.
Add the water to the dry ingredients and blend to make a batter.
Into the hot skillet add about a teaspoon of shortening, melt it, then immediately add a scoop of the batter and smooth it out.
Cook each side until it browns.

Serve with honey drizzled on top and they are simply outstanding!

What makes these so interesting is the use of shortening to cook/fry them in, gives them a crispy crust like a properly made waffle.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wearing a Trauma Ready Belt

Original Article

by Travis
I recently attended a conference with speakers who served in EMS and incident command at the Boston Marathon bombing. They gave inspiring speeches about crisis leadership, but something they said got me thinking… They stated that many people used expedient materials to form tourniquets to stop massive hemorrhages from the blast injuries. Many of us, especially men, wear the perfect tourniquet every day… our belts. The problem? You cannot secure most belts down to the diameter of the average sized arm or leg because there aren’t holes that close to the buckle.
Considering the increasing frequency of active shooter situations, it would almost seem our duty as preppers to be ready to respond to these types of situations. One easy way is to make sure that you are wearing a “trauma ready” belt that has extra holes drilled closer to the buckle. See the image below to see where you should drill an extra 10 or so holes to ensure that you can secure your belt firmly around an arm or leg to stop severe bleeding.
Trauma Ready Belt

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stockpile These Foods

Original Article

by Code Name Insight
When it comes to stockpiling food for an emergency, you want to make sure that you get the best bang for your buck when it comes to purchasing this food.  Here's where you want to put your money in order to reap the most nutrients:

Top 10 foods with the most protein

  1. Meat (beef, pork, chicken, etc)
  2. Fish (tuna, salmon, etc)
  3. Cheese
  4. Tofu
  5. Beans
  6. Eggs
  7. Dairy (milk, yogurt)
  8. Nuts (almonds, peanuts, etc)
  9. Seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc)
  10. Spirulina

Top 10 foods with the most fat

  1. Animal fat (beef tallow, lard, etc)
  2. Fish oil (cod liver oil, herring oil, etc)
  3. Oil (olive, corn, peanut, etc)
  4. Butter/margarine
  5. Cheese
  6. Nuts/nut butter
  7. Fatty fish
  8. Dark chocolate
  9. Dried coconut
  10. Avacado

Top 10 foods with the most carbohydrates

  1. Sugar
  2. Grains and cereals (rice, oats, etc)
  3. Dried fruit
  4. Crackers, potato chips
  5. Flour (cakes, cookies, bread, etc)
  6. Jams and jellies
  7. Potatoes
  8. Soda
  9. Pasta
  10. Starchy fruit and vegetables (bananas, apples, etc)
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Monday, April 14, 2014

27+ Ways to Use Dandelion

Original Article

by Angela
Hold off on the weed spray! Make dandelions your friends with these 27+ ways to use them!

Hold off on the weed spray!  That shining yellow flower that pops up all over creation in the spring doesn’t need to be eradicated.  Although dandelions are typically thought of as a pesky weed, they are entirely edible from root to bloom and have many other uses as well.  So if your world is being overrun by dandelions, check out some of these fantastic ways to put them to use for you!

Using Dandelion Roots:

How to Cook Dandelion Roots
Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots
Dandelion Root Coffee Substitute
Dandelion Root Tea

Using Dandelion Leaves:

Put them in a fresh salad
Cook them like spinach
Try this Wilted Dandelion Salad
Use them in this Avocado Herb Sandwich
10 Ways to Use Dandelion Greens (includes a recipe for pesto!)
Another version of Dandelion Pesto
Juice them
Make a green smoothie
Dandelion leaf tea

Using Dandelion Flowers:

How to make Dandelion Wine and Dandelion Cookies
Another recipe for Dandelion Wine
Dandelion Jelly
Dandelion Syrup
Dandelion Bread
Dandelion Flower Cookies
Dandelion Flower Tea
Iced Lime and Dandelion Tea

Medicinal and personal care uses:

Dandelion Salve
Dandelion Oil for Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief
Dandelion Tonic for liver, bladder, and gallbladder cleansing (video)

Dandelion Recipes:

A roundup of Dandelion Recipes Includes recipes for Cream of Dandelion Soup, Dandelion Egg Salad, Split Pea Dandelion Bud Soup, and more.
Get cooking with dandelions with the Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook!
And if you don’t want to eat the dandelions, you can always use them to Feed your chickens!
More information on using dandelions in these articles:
Dandelions: The Weed You Need
10 Wild Plants You Can Eat
Who knew there were so many fantastic ways to use dandelions?  So when those beautiful yellow flowers pop up this spring, try some of these uses and make dandelions a friend instead of a foe!
The post 27+ Ways to Use Dandelion appeared first on Food Storage and Survival.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Growing Green Onions 8 to 9 Times Faster

Original Article

by Travis
Growing food fast is key to survival in any SHTF scenario. While growing most vegetables from seed takes anywhere from 50 to 125 days, re-growing certain vegetables from left over stems can take significantly less time in a very basic hydroponics system. Green onions are one of the easiest vegetables to re-grow in water. However, there is a little more to it than what most “Suzy homemaker” blogs claim. I have found that green onions will re-grow in a glass of water very quickly and successfully by adding just 2-3 drops of all-purpose plant food with each change of water, which should be done at least every other day. This addition of nutrient will help the onions grow fast and healthy. Without this addition, the onions simply won’t prosper because most drinking water if all but void of nutrients needed for plants to grow. However, it’s important to note that too much of a good thing can also be bad, so don’t add more than 2-3 drops of plant food or you will kill your onion.
So how quickly will they re-grow? I have found that it takes about two weeks to re-grow a green onion from the stem of one previously used. All you have to do is save the root and about 1-2 inches of the stem. Place the root and stem in a tall glass with the nutrient dense water coming about ¼ inch from the top of the stem.  Soon you will have a new set of healthy, nutrient rich onions to eat! Best of all, these stems can be used over and over again as long as you maintain the water and don’t allow any mold to build up on the plant.
Green Onion Hydroponics

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Q and A: what to grow in a shady area and storing canned goods with rings on them

Original Article

Under Pressure
by Jackie Clay
What to grow in a shady area
Our homestead is very small, and in a biggish city, Youngstown, OH. We bought a fixer-upper here about a year ago. The back yard is very small, and it’s on a hillside. Our back and side yard blends into a large park here, Mill Creek Park. I don’t mean a manicured garden park, I mean small lakes, at least one waterfall, wild critters, etc. It’s beautiful! But, while our yard is cleared of most trees, huge, towering maple trees, lots of them, are right on the boundary. So it’s a pretty darn shady hillside a large part of the day. It’s on the north side of the house.

Personally, I think we could grow some herbs there, since I have better luck with partial shade than full sun, which seems to burn my herbs up. I think green would grow well there. But what about fruit trees and bushes? When I was young, I found elderberries, raspberries, etc, in the woods, and on the edges of forest and meadow. So I am going to research what I might plant there, since fruit, in and out of season, is very expensive (to me).

Sorry I am so long-winded. I see in some catalogs trees that are grafted with a few different kinds of one fruit, such as apples, or even with 6 different fruits, like apple, pear, nectarine, etc. Do you know anything about this kind of tree? Are they a good idea? This would be fruit for the table, since I expect that I wouldn’t get a canning amount of any one of the fruits. Do they produce enough to be worth the space? Are they a hardy, long bearing kind of tree?

Barb Mundorff
Youngstown, Ohio
Yes, your herbs should work in your partially-shaded yard. Many other garden plants from salad greens to even green beans and tomatoes will often work. Yes, some fruits, too, will grow in partial shade. In Michigan I had a pie cherry that grew in the dense shade of a huge weeping willow in the front yard. It produced very well, too! Elderberries, plums, paw paws, and persimmons also grow quite well in shady areas.
The “fruit salad” grafted fruit trees can work well for many urban homesteaders. All varieties on the tree don’t ripen at the same time so these trees are quite useful. And you will get enough to can jelly, jams, preserves, or sauce (depending on the fruits!). They do eventually produce well and are as hardy and long-bearing as any other kind of fruit tree meant for your zone. They prefer a more sunny yard but I sure would give it a try. It’s amazing at how many things folks have told me I “couldn’t possibly grow” did very well, indeed. Homesteaders are an experimenting bunch! — Jackie
Storing canned goods with rings on them
I have been canning for about a year now, careful to follow all of your instructions, and those in the Ball Blue Book. Once I am sure my jars are sealed properly I have re-attached the ring to some of them as a sort of insurance & a way to “store” the number of rings I am collecting. I have recently read that this can be dangerous – that should a jar unseal the ring will hold it on and allow bacteria to grow and re-seal the jar. Is this cause for alarm? Do I have to discard any jars I have with rings on them?
Judith Almand
Brandon, Florida
Jars that have become unsealed will NOT reseal if you screw the ring back on a jar lightly. Once unsealed, a jar remains unsealed. As always, when opening a jar, first look at the contents, open the jar, being sure it IS sealed, smell the contents, then bring to boiling temperature for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes a “bad” jar will pop “sealed” and “unsealed” several times but when you open the jar, the lid comes off very easily and you can sure tell it isn’t normal. I frequently store my washed jars that I’ve taken the rings off and washed both then dried, with the clean rings back on, lightly, just to store them without clutter. — Jackie
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Essential Items for the Prepper First Aid Kit

Original Article

by Guest Author
firstaidA first aid kit is a sensible item which no US home should be without. Your basic kit can treat any number of ailments with just a few simple items, from cuts and sprains to insect bites and allergic reactions. A prepper’s first aid kit, however, is intended to help you stay fighting fit in a survival situation. You should therefore aim to obtain the majority of the following items, which will keep you safe in both a ‘bunker down’ situation and when you’re on the move.
Cuts and Abrasions
Minor cuts and scrapes may not sound like a big deal, but when you’re in the wilderness any kind of trauma to the skin can quickly turn into a much bigger problem. The first kind of items you should have in your kit include band aids, gauze and antiseptic cream.  Make sure to include sticking plasters which have some padding behind them, as these are ideal for when you develop a blister and are extremely easy to transport. Sticking plaster will also help you to secure a bandage.
Larger Wounds
Treating a larger wound is often tricky, particularly if you have no medical training. Having the right items in your first aid kit will, however, go a long way to ensuring that a large wound will heal on its own. Your first step is to clean the wound. Many preppers carry water sterilization tablets in their first aid kit for this purpose. Large wounds should be left relatively open in order for infection to drain, but this doesn’t mean leaving them exposed. Your gauze will come in useful here, as will sanitized medical-grade dressings.
Top Tip: Many experienced survivalists – both men and women – will often include sanitary towels in their first aid kits. Whilst this may sound distasteful, sanitary towels are super absorbent which makes them perfect for larger wounds. They’re also waterproof and make for excellent padding.
Good oral hygiene is vital in a survival situation. Your teeth can be used for a variety of different purposes, and if you end up with an infection in your mouth this can be incredibly painful and hugely debilitating. Dental medic kits can be pre-purchased and contain everything you’ll need to practice dentistry in the field. Make sure you don’t get to the point of needing it, by including a toothbrush and tooth powder in your first aid kit.
Bugs and Bites
A can of bug repellent spray and a pair of stout boots are vital items for any serious prepper. But being able to treat a bite once it occurs is also essential, which is why you should always include an EPI-pen, snake bite kit and inhaler in your first aid kit. Malaria pills are also recommended for anyone who lives in an at-risk area.

Author bio: Sam Butterworth is a writer and someone who likes to be prepared for any situation. He works for the UK Safety Store  – a favorite firm with preppers the world over, thanks to its comprehensive collection of first aid kits and emergency aid essentials.
The post Essential Items for the Prepper First Aid Kit appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

20 Inexpensive Ways to Safeguard Your Home

Original Article

by Code Name Insight
Protecting your home and property is a given.  You want the things that you buy and the home that you live in to be safe and secure which has made home security a multi-million dollar industry what with home alarm companies, home protection camera systems, and even private security guards/security companies.  Here's some simple, inexpensive ways to safeguard your home.

  1. Choose a reasonably safe place to live.  If you are moving to a new house or apartment, do a bit of sleuthing around and figure out which neighborhoods are safer than others (start here).
  2. Put up a "beware of dog" sign.  You don't need an actual dog as the sign itself can be a deterrent.
  3. If you like and want a pet, choose a dog.  I know that there are dog people and there are cat people but dogs make a better guard/alarm system for your home than a cat.
  4. Buy new locks (or re-key your current locks) if it has been a while since this was done, especially if you have lost track of who has keys for your place.
  5. See if your neighborhood has a neighborhood watch program.  If such a program is available in your area, join up.  If it is not available, start one.
  6. Get to know your neighbors.  Ask them to call you and report anything unusual they see happening at your home and offer to do the same for them.
  7. Make sure basic repairs are made ASAP, especially if it impacts your home security.  Make sure all window and door locks are secure.  Make sure the garage door is secure.  Make sure outbuildings can be locked down tight.  Replace outdoor light bulbs as soon as you notice them burned out.
  8. Landscape for safety.  Make sure your doors and windows are visible and not hidden by overgrown bushes and shrubs.  Plant roses or other spiky/thorny bushes beneath windows.
  9. Light up for safety.  Install motion detector outdoor lights around your property.  Add flood lights at various places around your property if needed.  Make sure you can light up all of the property around your home with the flick of a switch from inside of your home.
  10. Hold regular home lock down drills in which your family locks down your home as quickly as possible. 
  11. Before you leave your home or go to bed at night make a sweep of your home to make sure all doors are locked, necessary exterior lights are turned on, all windows are closed and locked, the stove is turned off, nightlights are turned on, etc.
  12. See if your local $1 store or hardware store offers cheap window and door alarms.  These are basically two plastic pieces that attach to the door and the frame or two parts of a window.  There is a battery which creates an electrical current and if the pieces are jarred or moved a shrill alarm is set off.
  13. Set up a fake video security system around the exterior of your home (this is the cheap option and is a slight deterrent).
  14. Set up a real, wireless video security system around the interior and exterior of your home (this is more expensive).  Many of these systems can be monitored via computer or smartphone.
  15. Don't make it easy for burglars/intruders to enter your home (make sure they can't enter through a dog door, can't pull out a window AC unit and enter than way, that you don't leave your garage door open unless you are actively coming or going in this area, that you don't leave your front or back door unlocked--both while you are at home or while you are gone, that you don't "hide" a key outside in case you get locked out, etc).
  16. Don't do stupid stuff (like posting your vacation plans on Twitter or Facebook, never changing your alarm system code if you do have an alarm system, leaving a stack expensive looking stuff at the curb on garbage day like a MacBook box, an iPhone box, a box from your new 60" TV, etc).
  17. Hide your valuables when you leave your home (ie: stick your MacBook air under the sofa when you leave the house instead of leaving it on the table where it can be seen through a window; if you do have a safe, don't just stick it in your bedroom closet, hide it in the attic under a blanket of fiberglass insulation, etc).
  18. Keep your wallet, cell phone, and car keys on your nightstand instead of sitting by the front door or on the kitchen table where someone can see these items through a window or door.
  19. Be aware of who you let into your home.  Your home can be "cased" for a future burglary by your teenage kid's friends, door to door salespeople, etc.
  20. Make it look like someone is always home (don't allow mail or newspapers to pile up, keep the radio or TV on when you leave to make it sound like someone is home, use timers on your interior lights to make it look like someone is home/awake at various times during the day and night, etc).

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Six Important Steps to Prepare Your Family to Survive Without You

Original Article

by Angela
Six Important Steps to Prepare Your Family to Survive Without You--Food Storage and Survival

In preparing for the end of the world as we know it, most of us envision facing that future with our families.  But what if something were to happen to you?  Even if there is no widespread disaster, your death or the death of a spouse or other family member can be the end of your family’s world as you know it.
Don’t think you’re too young or fit for something to happen to you.  And please don’t brush off these important preparations because they are tedious or not as glamorous as stocking weapons and ammunition or a year’s supply of toilet paper.  Nobody is invincible and accidents happen leaving families to move on without a family member who has died.  So even though it is uncomfortable to think about, here are six important steps to take to prepare your family to survive without you.

1.  Get Life Insurance.

If you are the wage earner for your family and your income suddenly stops, how are your spouse and children going to pay for their necessary expenses?  How will they make the house payment, pay for car repairs, food, clothes, utilities?  If your job provides the health insurance, how will they replace that?  Even a small life insurance policy can give your family a financial buffer, allowing them time to make good decisions for their future.
If you are not the primary wage earner, your spouse will still have extra expenses without you there like paying for childcare while they are at work.  Plus you have the expenses involved with the funeral itself.
Help secure your family’s financial future by getting life insurance on yourself and your spouse.  It may seem like an unnecessary extra expense, but it is a crucial step in getting your family started in their new life if you die.  Here is an interesting article about what kind of life insurance is the best investment.  And an online life insurance calculator to help you figure out how much you want to get.  Your insurance agent can also help you determine what you need.

2.  Have a Will.

You may think you don’t need a will.  Everything that is yours will just go to your spouse, right?  Well, not exactly.  It can get complicated.  Your jointly owned assets will pass directly to your spouse, but without a will, your personal assets may be divided between your spouse and children and it can get even more complicated if you live in a state that requires a trustee to keep the children’s portion if they are minors and that trustee cannot be the surviving spouse.  So your spouse can end up with a lot less than you thought with someone else watching over the rest until your children are grown.
A will is even more important if you have minor children in the event that both parents die.  Then your will and not the state will decide who will finish raising your children.  Be sure to list the same person as guardian of your children and as secondary beneficiary of your life insurance, ensuring the money will be used for the support of your children.
Talk to a lawyer, write a handwritten will (legal in most states), or purchase a will kit like Quicken’s WillMaker Plus to get your will written.
Your will, life insurance policy, and other important information should be kept in a location that is secure and known to your spouse, parents, and responsible children so they will know what you have and where to find it if you die unexpectedly.  Many people use a safe deposit box at a bank for these documents.  Here is an option for keeping them at home.

3.  Share Your Passwords.

Can your spouse access your bank account?  Your online profiles?  Your phone or other electronic devices?  There may be some important information they need to access or they may just want to be able to see your photos.  Keep a list of your passwords where they can find it.

4.  Share Your Preparedness Gear and Plans.

Do your spouse or children know where the food storage is?  Do they know what tools you have and how to use them?  Are you caching gear in locations other than your home?  If your spouse is not supportive of your preparedness efforts, be sure someone close to you knows what you have and what it is for so it doesn’t end up being left behind or sold in an estate sale when you’re gone.

5.  Teach Skills.

This is one you want to be doing anyway in order for your children to be able to provide for themselves when they leave the house.  Can they cook a meal, wash laundry, keep a house clean, hunt, budget, build something, change a tire?  Can your spouse perform the responsibilities you normally do in the home?  Helping your spouse and children learn the skills they need to be able to take care of themselves is important even if you don’t die.

6.  Provide Opportunity for Education.

Allow your spouse and older children the opportunity to learn job skills that will make them employable in the event that you are no longer around to provide an income for your family.  Support them in job training or side work they may want to do.  The corollary is that if you are not the primary wage earner, work to have enough education and skills that you are able to earn an income if your spouse dies.
You never know when your time is up on this earth.  It does not matter if you are only 25 years old and still believe you are invincible, taking these steps to prepare your family to survive without you can be one of the most important preparedness efforts you make.
The post Six Important Steps to Prepare Your Family to Survive Without You appeared first on Food Storage and Survival.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Preventing Public Health Emergencies when the SHTF

Original Article

by Travis
For fans of The Walking Dead, it’s clear that secondary public health emergencies, like outbreaks of flu, tuberculosis, cholera, etc., can be a big problem…even if the primary catastrophe at hand is an outbreak of a zombie infection. On season 4 of The Walking Dead, we have seen many in the network of survivors fall prey to a disease outbreak that is causing flu like symptoms, including a disturbing bloody cough known in the medical community as Hemoptysis. Diseases like this can easily spread in post SHTF conditions where reduced hygiene, malnutrition, and close quarters promote the immunosuppression and disease spread. Therefore, at the first sign of any disease outbreak, it’s important to take action and prevent it from taking hold and causing a serious secondary disaster. Some of these actions include:
  • Maintain distances of at least 6 feet between individuals in your group. Many diseases spread through the formation of tiny droplets of saliva during sneezing or talking or by physical contact, such as hand shaking. Maintaining distance helps prevent these droplets from reaching another person’s nose, mouth, or eyes through the air or by transfer through contact.
  • Every member of the group must continually remind and enforce regular hand washing by all members of the group. Hand washing is especially important after someone covers their mouth during a cough or sneeze. A hand washing should involve warm water, soap, and at least 25 seconds of vigorous scrubbing.
  • Every member of the group must continually remind members of the group not to touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces or surfaces contacted by bodily fluids, including knobs, buttons, handles, toilet seats, sinks, eating utensils, etc., with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Bleach is cheap to stock, so stock up!
  • The use of surgical masks helps contain any coughs or sneezes and also serves as a great reminder not to touch one’s own face. Surgical masks are not thought to be sufficient to protect someone from getting infected, rather they serve to contain infections to an infected individual.
  • Boost the immune systems of members in your group by promoting plenty of sleep and taking supplements like vitamin C and D & E, St. John’s Wort, and Green Tea. These supplements boost the immune system, serve as anti-virals, and block cytokines that are often responsible for an overreaction of the immune system that can cause death. For more information on these suppliments and what is known as “cytokine storm,” check out my article entitled “Preventing ‘Cytokine Storm’ Death from Pandemic Flu”.
  • Anyone who exhibits symptoms should be quarantined away from others for a period of 7 days. Those who bring food and provide care to these individuals should wear appropriately fitted N95 masks, gowns, and gloves. These basic personal protective equipment require a bit of training, including the following:
    • Anyone wearing an N95 mask must put it on correctly and conduct a user seal check. Some key aspects to wearing a mask correctly include: placing the top strap of the mask above the ears over and around the temple areas of the head, placing the bottom strap of the mask below the ears and around the back of the neck, pressing and conforming the nosepiece to the nose by pressing from the nasal bridge down towards the cheeks. Conducting a user seal check by quickly inhaling or exhaling while feeling if any air is leaking between the mask and your face and thus, bypassing the filtering mechanism. Re-adjust the mask until no air can be detected passing between the mask and your face.
    • Gowns should be removed and disposed of prior to removal of gloves. o Gloves should be removed according to the following video instructions
    • Disinfect any tools, dishes, or utensils used to care for the individual with a bleach solution. o Wash your hands after providing care.
The information, concepts, or opinions from are intended for informational purposes only and must be evaluated by the reader, in consultation with a professional, to ensure viability for their individual situation.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Survival Food: 10 Things

Original Article

by Code Name Insight
Most of the time I am not a "sky is falling" type of person.  There are times, however, when a little warning is a good thing.  So today's warning will be about food.  Or the possible lack thereof in the coming year.

If you haven't heard about the massive drought in California, well, you probably should have.  And since California is where a lot of food is grown that feeds the people of the United States, this is something to worry about.  Add to that the fact that food prices keep rising.  The price of meat, for example, has risen exponentially over the past couple of years ($8 for a single chicken??? Some years back I was paying 39 cents a pound for chicken!).  Here are 10 things to consider about the current food situation:

  1. Start a food garden.  Even if all you have is a window sill where you can grow herbs, being able to produce any sort of food for yourself is liberating.  Planting a flower pot of lettuce and a couple of tomato plants is even better.  Obviously I don't expect that many people will have the space/inclination to grow the majority of their produce but growing a few things is better than nothing.
  2. Fill up your freezer.  Whenever I find loss leaders or sale meat, I always plan for the future and buy as much as we can reasonably consume within a year or so.  Needless to say, the freezer is full of meat and vegetables.
  3. Ditto for your pantry.  While there are a lot of sale items at the grocery store that we simply don't buy no matter how low the price (processed anything basically), there are times, such as when stores have case lot sales and such, that we make a haul and fill the pantry with canned soup/vegetables/fish/etc.
  4. Hit up the $1 store and 99 cent store.  There are some items in these stores that you can find cheaper elsewhere but there are usually plenty of items that are a bargain for $1 and deserve to be bought in bulk.
  5. Canning, freezing, dehydrating, smoking, etc.  Buy a giant, cheap, box of something and experiment.  A friend delivered a huge box of bananas that he got on sale for a couple of bucks and said "what can you do with these?"  What we did: canned banana baby food.  Froze most of the bananas for smoothies and banana bread.  You don't want to spend a fortune on something to experiment with but you can often find cheap items that are worth trying to process for your future food needs.  FWIW smoked fish is tasty and has along shelf life.  Also, canning and jelly making isn't as hard as it seems.
  6. Learn how to procure your own food.  Hunting and fishing are fun hobbies which also provide you with a lot of protein for little more than the cost of a license and a bit of your time once you have the necessary equipment and knowledge.
  7. Learn how to forage.  Have you ever eaten a cattail?  These plants are prolific in some areas and were once a staple food for many Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest.  There are literally dozens and dozens of edibles that grow wild that can be had for just the effort needed to gather them (warning: know what it is you are harvesting, take a class to learn if necessary and/or go with someone who knows what they are doing until you know what you are doing).
  8. Procure seasonally.  Old timers probably remember that food used to be seasonal.  There was no such thing as a watermelon in January or a fresh tomato in February.  You can still flow with the seasons, however, and get dirt cheap prices on food just by buying or harvesting when items are in season (wild berries in late summer, mushrooms in the fall, smelt when they are running, super cheap watermelon at the grocery store in summer, etc).
  9. Buy grains in bulk.  Dried grains (oats, rice, wheat, etc) tend to have a long shelf life, are easy to store, are cheap to buy (ie: a bag of dried beans are much cheaper than the same amount of beans in canned form), and are endlessly useful.
  10. When you do buy/grow/harvest food items to last for a long time (unlike just buying enough groceries to tide you over for a week), learn how to safely and effectively store them for the duration (the LDS folks are genius at this, info here) so you don't waste your time, money, and most importantly the food.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Q and A: butter beans and rendering beef fat

Original Article

by Jackie Clay
Butter beans
I am so glad it is starting to thaw where you live. I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog and articles. I know you can let butter beans dry in their shells, but is it possible to dehydrate fresh shelled butter beans or peas? If so, will the finished product taste more like fresh shelled when rehydrated? Thanks for your help. I hope spring comes early for you.
Shirley Toney
Liberty, Mississippi
Yes, you can dehydrate fresh, shelled butter beans and peas. And, yes, they’ll taste just about as fresh as newly shelled beans/peas. We’re hoping that Spring comes gently so all this snow doesn’t turn to slop. But any way it comes, we’re sure ready for it! — Jackie
Rendering beef fat
We bought some beef and took all the fat as well (to can for use with dried beans which taste awful without some sort of fat for flavoring). However, how does a person can raw beef fat? You say it’s tallow is not as good as pig fat for making pies and such however I didn’t want to throw it away. So do we render it first and then throw the hot fat in a cool jar and put a lid on it? That should seal itself. Then pressure can it? Or water bath it? What do you think? Or just put the raw stuff into jars and pressure can as for meat? (Probably not recommended I think.) Or process it as you do the bacon by rendering it a bit first and then canning it while it’s still hot? Thanks for your help on this! And spring finally showed up here too! Happily it won’t be a 6 month winter like last year!
Louise Sandy
I would render it down just like lard, then put into hot, sterilized jars while very hot, then put on a hot, previously-simmered lid, and screw down the ring firmly tight. Just like you do lard. No further processing is necessary. Keep in a cooler, dark place. It should remain good for a long time. Why not can up some of those dry beans with a bit of your beef fat, before rendering, for flavoring? I also add onions and spices to my canned beans to perk up the “blah” taste. I’m sure glad Spring is showing its face at your house, too. We’re all pretty glad for warmer weather. Now if we just don’t get the March or April blizzard! — Jackie