Monday, January 29, 2018

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (February 2018)





Suddenly . . .

Sometimes we get a warning before a natural disaster strikes, like hurricanes and flooding. Sometimes there is no warning, like earthquakes and tornadoes. Even when there is a warning how prepared are we? I find in most cases, no matter how far in advance a warning can be some people do not heed the warning and are found unprepared for what is coming their way. When is it sudden they are lost. Those who live in natural disaster areas like the South and East Coast, U.S., are often not prepared for their seasonal natural weather like hurricanes, blizzards and flooding. Many run to the grocery stores and local hardware stores for supplies, only to find many items they need are not available, or long lines at the gas station. How many hurricane seasons does it take to be prepared ahead of the storms? Why do people go through this nightmare experience each hurricane, each natural weather season? WHY?

I do not get it! Why not be prepared ahead of time with food (canned goods), drinking water, candles with matches, flashlights with extra batteries, a battery operated radio, at least a half of tank of gas at all times in each car, emergency supplies, an evacuation plan, supplies to secure and board up the house? The same thing goes where ever you live where there are seasonal weather situations that could become a natural disaster very quickly, and other natural disasters or man made situations.

We are admonished in the scriptures to be prepared over and over, and if we are, "there is no need to fear". Why not prepare ahead of time? 


This blog is all about being prepared before the storm hits. Having peace of mind knowing you are prepared for what may come your way. Of course, there may be some things we cannot prepare for, but we can prepare for most of them. Why not do it now???



There is an old saying, I love old sayings, they are true and to the point. "You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink". I can share with you my knowledge about being prepared but I cannot make you do it. You have to have the desire and see the need.
 
Things we learned from our parents about self-reliance . . . 


Our parents were a great example of always being prepared, being very frugal and taught us to be 
self-reliant.  They  organized and planned way ahead. 
  •  Our mother grew her own vegetable garden and froze the vegetables so she had them throughout the year. She bought fruits in season and froze them for throughout the year. She bought a side of beef each year, had it cut up and kept it in her deep freezer, not only saving a lot of money, but having meats for the family throughout the year. 
  • She would take her old clothes and make them into play clothes for us. They never wasted anything. They believed in the old saying, "Use it up, wear it out or do without". 
  • They were wise and frugal, teaching us to make wise choices and the consequences there of.
  • They saved money for rainy days. They lived on less than they made. They taught us the difference between "wants and needs".  My Dad, and Mom, knew how to fix things when they broke, not having to pay someone to fix it or buy a new one, again, saving money. 
  • They taught the value of hard work and not to be afraid to work hard. 
  • They taught us to be as self-reliant and to take care of ourselves and our own needs. 
I am grateful for the things our parents taught us! 

Self-reliance . . . 


Sunday we had a special Stake Conference with a Broadcast from our General Authorities. Our Stake President spoke first.  I am grateful for his wise words of advise on self-reliance.

In Doctrine and Covenants 104: 11-15 we read, "It is wisdom in me, therefore, a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall organize yourselves and appoint every man his stewardship (11). That every man may gave an account unto me of the stewardship which is appointed unto you (12). For it is expedient that I , the Lord, should make every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures(13). I, the Lord, stretched out the heaves, and built the earth, my very handiwork; and all things therein are mine (14). And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine. (15)."

"He will provide temporal blessings and open the door for self-reliance. Self-reliance invites and helps members (people) in faith, education, hard work and trust in the Lord. Blessings of self-reliance are hope, peace and progress. We need to council with the Lord on our finance, in family councils, council with our spouse and listen and follow our church leaders who are there to guide us and protect us." (Torrance Stake President, Roy Olsen)

February Monthly Assignment


3-Month Food Storage  . . . 

This year we are working towards a 3-Month Food Storage supply. Each families will be unique in that not one family eats the same things. You will tailor your food storage according to what your family will eat. Do not purchase items just because they are sale, your family will not eat foods they do not like, and you have just wasted valuable money that could be put towards foods they will eat.

A 3-Month Food Storage supply consists of commercially canned and packaged food and home canning foods. You can also include frozen foods.

Last month we worked on keeping track of what your family eats in a month. Go back to January 2018 posting to see the details and a printable chart to keep track. Now that you have figured out what your family eats in a month you can set up an inventory notebook.

Of course, you should already be purchasing cans and packages of commercial foods like in the photo above. Hopefully, you have cleaned out a cupboard, linen closet or some other places to store your food. See last month posting, January 2018, for ideas.

Setting up a Food  Storage and Emergency Supply Inventory Notebook . . .

Here is how I set ours up  . . . 


First, I purchased a light weight 3-ring binder from a local stationary store for about $2 and a package of dividers for about $4. I used my label maker to make the titles. 


Next, I inventoried our commercially canned and packaged foods, frozen foods and home canned foods. I set up this chart using a table/chart on a word documented. You can use Microsoft, Excel, Open Office (free app you can add on your computer) or any word document that allows you to set up a chart like this. I used Open Office, loved it and found it easy. Some of you may find Excel easy.

 
Note: Some of our children have small deep floor freezers for frozen foods. They keep the freezer in their garage or basement. When items go on sale then stock up. This also becomes your 3-Month Food Storage. Rotate to your regular refrigerator freezer when needed.  You could have a separate inventory chart for the deep freezer. Cost new $200-$300, used less than $200.

You can set up your inventory anyway you want.  You can set it up by categories; vegetables, fruits, meats, pastas, seasoning, etc.. Or, where they are stored; what cupboard, what shelf, etc. Each table should include the item name, how many of them you have, servings (optional), date/expires and where stored (5 columns across). I got about 25 rows down  on the first page due to the title. It is really up to you and how you want to set up your inventory notebook, what works best for you.

You should inventory your 3-Month Food Storage about every 3 months since it can change. If you use something from the 3-Month Food Storage replace it as soon as possible. Write it on your next grocery list so you do not forget to replace it. The new cans or packages need to go behind the older ones so you use the older ones first. Rotation is the key to any good food storage.  How I do it--When I use something from my regular pantry I replace it from items in my 3-Month Food Storage then I replace those items as soon as possible. This way you are continually rotating your food storage.

Note: I also set up a separate inventory chart for your long term food storage the same way. On our Miscellaneous and Emergency Supplies I only used 3 columns; "Item", "How many" and "Where stored". These items usually do not have expiration dates to be concerned about. I divided them by the type; Lighting/Electricity, Cooking, Sanitation, Fuel/Heating, Shelter, Communication/Radios, Water, Paper Products, Cleaning Supplies, Hygiene Products, Medical Supplies, 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks, Emergency Family Bag, Tools, Miscellaneous, etc.

Rules for the 3-Month Food Storage:

1. Never purchase dented or bubbled commercial cans of food. 
2. Watch for expiration dates on all commercially canned, packaged and frozen foods. Especially, if you purchase them at discount stores like the 99 Cent Store, the Dollar Tree or Dollar General. Many times they are selling them because they are either already expired or will expire shortly (with in a few months).
3. Most commercially canned foods expire 2-3 years from the purchase date. Frozen foods are usually 1 year. Packaged foods 1-2 years.  
4. Even if a commercially canned food has expired it is still good as long as the can is not dented or bubbled. The only problem is that the nutritional value diminishes over time. So use them as quickly as possible by placing them in your regular pantry and replace them in your 3-Month Food Storage immediately. 
5. Store all foods in a cool (70 degrees or cooler), dry, dark place.  Never store in garage or attic, they are too hot. If in a garage attached to the house store along the wall attached to the house. 
6. Rotation, rotation, rotation is the key to any food storage.

Blessings of a 3-Month Food Storage:

1. You feel peace of mind knowing you are prepared.
2. When there is a disaster and others are running to the grocery stores to stock up you hare already prepared.
3. When you find you are missing an ingredient for a dish for dinner in your pantry you do not need to go to the grocery store, you can pull it from your 3-Month Food Storage, then replace it the next time you go grocery shopping.  This has happened to me many times. 
4. You can purchase items when on sale and stock up. 
5. Heavenly Father will bless us when we following the admonishing of our church leaders and the scriptures because we are being obedient.
6. You can help others in time of need.

Below I have attached 3 PDF files in case you do not have a computer to set them up or want to print them  . . .



 



February Monthly Assignment
Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Lighting/Electricity/Power  . . .


A few days ago I woke up a little after 1:00 AM and found our electricity was out. The house was pitch black so I reached for the small LED flashlight on the night stand by our bed. I checked our neighbors across the street and they had electricity. I checked our neighbor next door and hers was out too, she leaves a front room light on at night. Our electricity was out for hours, downed electrical wires. So it got me thinking to make this month's emergency preparedness supply lighting.


If you already have emergency lighting items in your emergency supplies, check them to make sure they are working properly and you have extra batteries or fuel for those items that require them. Each room should have a small LED or regular flashlight near by.  You should have at least one LED lantern or propane lantern, candles with candle holders and matches. Warning: Do not light candles if you smell a gas leak, there will be an explosion. Candles can also cause fires, use with great caution.


If you do not have any emergency lighting supplies purchase at least one like a LED Lantern or a propane lantern and small LED flashlights for each room in your house. I also keep one in the glove compartment of the car and one in my purse. You can also attach one to your key chain. I purchased these at my local discount store for $1. Just remember to store extra batteries for the LED Lantern and fuel for the propane lantern. 



Another good one to have is the emergency plug in lights for your hallways and other rooms. When the electricity goes out, they come on.

For more information on lighting click on the link under "Postings" on the right of this blog posting, "Cooking, Heating and Lighting". Scroll towards the bottom for the Lighting information. 

Emergency Preparedness Ideas
Emergencyessentials.com always has some great emergency tips on their blog. Please click on the links below :
"Prepared with Prescriptions: 5 Tips to Being Medically Prepared"
"Financial First Aid Kit: 5 Tips for Financial Preparedness"
"Preparing for Minor Emergencies"
"Preparing Pets for Emergencies"
The Haybox: Revisiting a Vintage Cooking Method 
How to Prevent and Respond to a House Fire
Smart Tips for Avoiding a Flood in Your Home

Note: If you want to subscribe to this blog go to the top of this blog on the right, put in your email address and submit. Each time I do a blog post you will receive an email.  

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignment (January 2018)



May this new year bring you an unabiding faith in our Savior Jesus Christ, answer to your prayers, love, more time with family, a desire to service others more, forgiveness, peace, happiness, joy, prosperity and all you hope it to be. 

The Ark 2018 Emergency Preparedness Goals

 This past year 2017 has been overwhelming hearing about all the natural disasters just in the United States, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and wildfires.

This 2018 we have set goals for our Torrance California Stake and Wards. Anyone following this blog is welcome to follow our 2018 emergency preparedness goals to become better prepared. We will be working on these goals throughout 2018.
  • Each family acquire a 3-Month Supply of Food and Water (We will be working on this for 2018. See the Monthly Assignment below.)
  • Each family member have a 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack (See last years monthly assignments from January 2017 to December 2017 if you have not completed yours or need to update.) 
  • Each Ward offer a First-Aid/CPR Class for its members (Information on how to set this up to following in a few weeks) 
  • Each Family have at least one items in each Emergency Supply Category (Cooking, lighting/electricity, heating, shelter, sanitation, etc.) 
  • Each individual and family become better prepared for the type of disaster in your area

First, my heart and prayers go out to all those you have lost loved ones, property and who have experienced devastation from the disasters throughout the United States.  May you find peace and comfort.
 
2017, in the United States alone, has been a year hit by devastating natural disasters and other disasters . . .

What will 2018 hold? 


 
Hurricanes:



Hurricane Harvey, category 4, hit Texas, Louisiana and Alabama causing devastation, torrential rain and record flooding for millions of people.  84 deaths.





Hurricane Irma, category 5, hit the US Virgin Islands, Cudjoe Key, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia coasts and Puerto Rico. It destroyed one quarter of the buildings in the Florida Keys. There was devastation and flooding. 95 deaths.



 
Hurricane Maria, category 4, hit Puerto Rico head-on causing devastation to the island and its infrastructure, flooding and mudslides. Many areas are still without the necessities of clean drinking water, power, shelter and food. As of today they only have 50% of their power restored. Authorities say it will takes months, maybe years to rebuild and resources to return. It also hit Dominica and the Bahamas. 38 deaths.



Tornadoes:



Southern States were hit by 79 tornadoes across the Gulf States and South Carolina causing devastation and 24 deaths.




 



Central/Southeast States where 70 tornadoes swept across causing widespread damage and 6 deaths.





  


Midwest where 11 states sustained damage and 2 deaths. 






Floods:


 Northern and Central California where heave rains caused massive damage from floods, mudslides and erosion. 5 deaths

 

California Oroville Dam spillway causing 180,000 residents to evacuate immediately when it was damage, fear of massive flooding.

 
Missouri/Arkansas where rainfall breached levees and caused disastrous flooding along rivers in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois and other states. 20 deaths.

  


 Wildfires:

Northern California where 210,000 acres burned destroying thousands of homes, business, and forcing evacuation in the state's wine region. 42 deaths.




Southern/Central California where many homes and business were lost. One firefighter lost his life and others. Burned for days, weeks from Ventura to Santa Barbara.




 

 Oregon where 1,069 wildfires burned over 450,000 acres. The fires were mostly along the coast making it hard to travel the 101 highway and smoke traveling past the Interstate 5 making it hard to breath.







Montana where 48 wildfires burnt 1 million acres. Farmlands were damaged and homes. In California we hardly heard about these devastating wildfires. 





(From USA Today article, Natural Disasters 2017, October 2017)



With all that has happened this past 2017 what can we expect in 2018? Are you ready?  Are you prepared for what may come your way? 

What will happen if a 7.8+ earthquake hits California?

I think we have no clue as to how much devastation the major earthquake will cause. Watch the video below to see what can happen and if you are ready . . .




Will you be ready when "The Big One" hits, or whatever natural disasters you have in your area?
The postings on the right side of this blog and the monthly post and assignments will help you be better prepared. Once the disaster is upon you it is too late! We need to be ready for the aftermath.

January Monthly Assignments


3-Month Food Storage . . .

Many years ago members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints were admonished to store a years supply of food, mainly the basics: wheat, oats, beans, rice, honey, powdered milk, salt. A few years ago the church realized this was overwhelming for many members and the First Presidency announced that each house hold should first work on getting a 3-months supply of commercially canned (and home canned) and packed foods, foods their family eat on a daily basis. This year we are going to work on our 3-months supply of food (and water) storage. 

Assignment: This month keep track of everything you as an individual or family eats in a 2-4 week period. Most families eat the same thing within a 2 week period. Attached below you will see a chart for each week to print and put on your refrigerator. Each time you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks write down the items. Once you have done this write down the ingredients for each meal and dish you make, include all ingredients in the dish, including seasonings and spices. Also, include when ever you eat out. This will give you a basis of what your family eats in 2 weeks. You can do it for 4 weeks to get a better list. Once you have done this start adding those items to your food storage. You can start adding canned and packaged items to your food storage before you finish this assignment.

First work towards a 2 week food supply, then a month, then 2-months, 3-months. You will be amazed how fast it will accumulate by adding extra cans and packages of food each time you go grocery shopping. Especially pay close attention to sales items. Then you can buy more. Keep an inventory of what you have. If you have already started your 3-month food storage, take inventory of what you have and continue to add until you reach your goal.

YOU CAN DO IT!




DO NOT PURCHASE DAMAGED OR DENTED CANS OR PACKAGES!  

WARNING: Watch purchasing food from discounts stores like The 99 Cent Store, The Dollar Tree, etc. They are usually selling items that will expire very shortly, a waste of your money. You are looking for longer term storage, 2-5 years.

ONLY STORE WHAT YOUR FAMILY WILL EAT! Do not waste your money on buying something just because it is on sale, full well knowing your family will not eat it. 

Where to store your commercially canned and packaged food storage . . .



Be creative. This is the time of year when we tend to clean out closets and reorganize. One idea is to move linens to a drawer and use the linen closet for your commercially canned and packaged foods. Under the bed storage containers also work well. Living/family room side lamp table and coffee tables should be purchased allowing storage space. You will probably have your food storage in various places throughout the house. In your inventory keep a record of where they are stored.  If you can keep from it, DO NOT STORE YOUR FOOD IN THE GARAGE OR ATTIC, it is too hot. If you must store in your garage, store along the wall attached to the house. (See under "Postings", Food Storage, on the right for more storage ideas.)

How to store: Store in a cool, dry, dark place, under 70 degrees if possible. The cooler the storage place the longer the food will last.  The warmer the shelf life diminishes faster.  You can eat  commercially canned and packages foods past their expiration dates as long as they are not dented or the lids are bubbled. The food nutrition value diminishes over time after the expiration date. 

ROTATION, ROTATION, ROTATION is the main rule of food storage. When you purchase new cans or packages of food replace them with ones in your food storage that will expire soon.  

Do not worry about long term food storage at this point. First acquire your 3-Months Food Storage. Once you have done that then start adding long term freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. 

A promise from Heavenly Father . . .

"And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; . . . " (1 Nephi 17:3)

"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he had denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1Timothy 5:8)

In other words, it is our responsibility alone to provide for our own, our family, it is a commandment from Heavenly Father. And, if we do Heavenly Father will provide a way when we keep his commandments.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas

Winter Emergency Car Kit  . . .

Now that winter is upon us each house hold car should have a Winter Emergency Car Kit. 
 


Everyone should carry a Winter Survival Kit in their car. In an emergency, it could save your life and the lives of your passengers. Here is what you need:
  • a shovel
  • windshield scraper and small broom
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • battery powered radio
  • water
  • snack food including energy bars
  • raisins and mini candy bars
  • matches and small candles
  • extra hats, socks and mittens
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • blankets or sleeping bag
  • tow chain or rope
  • road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
  • booster cables
  • emergency flares and reflectors
  • fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter
  • bag of cat liter (when put behind a tire stuck in the snow, gives you traction to get out)

(From Ready Wisconsin, Wisconsin Emergency Management Team)

Great item to add to your 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack  . . .


My son gave this to me for Christmas, I love it. It is a mini camping stove that you attach to a fuel canister.

You can purchase them on amazon.com, One for about $12, 2 for about $18.  It comes in a case. A great gift idea. You need to purchase the fuel canister separately from Walmart or any store that has a camping section. 

Apology: I apologize with this posting. My coding is off and hope to have the issue resolved before my next posting. I felt it important to get this out now. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (December 2017)

Merry Christmas 


May you find time with family, loved ones, joy, peace and love at this Christmas season. May you remember the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our dear Savior, Jesus Christ, and time to reflect on His birth. May Christmas also be a magical time for you and your family and to carrying on those feelings of joy, love, serving and giving with you throughout the coming new year.

"Light the World" 



With all the turmoil in the world today, with all the natural disasters we have faced, with the terrorism throughout the world, through all the sadness and sorrow, may we find a way daily to lift those in need, to encourage, to love unconditionally as our Heavenly Father loves us, to serve each other as our Savior Jesus Christ taught throughout his ministry and time on the earth. May we each bring peace, love, caring and understanding to all those around us and throughout the world.  Go to lds.org each day to see the new video for the day.


 Torrance Stake and The Ark
2018 New Year's Goals

  • Each family acquire on a 3-Month Supply of Food and Water (See next month's January 2018 posting for the assignment)
  • Each family member have a 72 Individual Emergency Backpack (See last years monthly assignments from January 2017 to December 2017 if you have not completed yours.)
  • Each Ward complete a First-Aid/CPR class (Information to following in a few weeks)

  • Each family have at least one item in each Emergency Supply Category (Cooking, lighting/electricity, heating, sanitation, shelter) 

 We will be working on these items throughout 2018.


December Monthly Assignment

Emergency Preparedness . . .
          72 Hour Individual Emergency 
                 Preparedness Backpack . . . 
                                    

Updates . . .  
  
Backpacks: Several people have asked me where I got my backpack from. I found that the ones from emergencyessentials.com are really good. They have 3 different size, small, medium and large. I purchased the medium size one. It is great and has enough room for your 3 kits (food kit, hygiene kit and stressor kit), extra clothing and other needed items I will list after we complete the 3 kits. There backpacks are now black. Click here to see them. 

Congratulations! If you have been following the monthly assignment since January 2017 you should have completed each house hold member's Food Kit (including water), Hygiene Kit and Stressor Kit. If you have not completed them go back to January 2017 and scroll through the postings through October 2017.  

Now we will work on adding the last items that should be in each family member's backpack:

Note: Last week we added a change of clothing. This needs checked periodically because our sizes changes over time.

Add the following each week:

1st Week: Seychelle Water Filtration Bottle. One for each family member's Backpack. These bottles filter out 99.9999% of  bacteria and contamination. Each filter filters 100 gallons of water. You can purchase them at store.lds.org  for $16.50 (comes with 1 filter) or $20.50 (comes with 2 filters). Shipping $3 no matter how much you order. Click here for the link. Note: You could have one
filtration bottle for each adult in the family so you can filter water for each family member, or each family member can have their own in case you are separated. I fill you will need more water that what is in the food kit.









2nd Week: Camping Mess Kit--One for each family member's backpack. I found them at Big 5 Sporting Goods store for $10. Check in other department stores such as Walmart, Target, etc. in their camping section. Amazon has them too. Prices vary.








3rd Week: Quick Fire Starter Packets/Pouches(2) and Water Proof Matches--You should have at least 2 pouches per family member's backpack. Starts fires instantly, can burn on water and snow, burns about 15-20 minutes. You can purchase them from emergencyessentials.com for $6.95 (12 pouches) and $12.95 for 25 pouches. Click here for the link.  You can also purchase the water proof matches through them about $3. 

 
 



4th Week:Camping Eating Utensils Kit or a metal fork, knife and spoon in a plastic zip lock bag. One set for each family member's backpack. You can purchase the camping eating utensils kits at most sporting goods stores and department stores in their camping section. Big 5 Sporting Goods store has them for about $5.



 
Note: These items make great Christmas gifts.  

Emergency Preparedness Ideas  

Christmas gift ideas  . . .


Emergency preparedness items for the 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks make great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. Your family may not appreciate them at the time, but when the need comes, they will be happy they have them.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See you next year!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Emergency Preparedness, Food Storage and Monthly Assignments (November 2017)

Claims after a disaster, Document, 
                       Document, Document  . . . 


The most important thing you can do after a disaster when filing a claim is to document, document, document and cross all your "t" and dot all your "i". Why do I say this? Having worked as an insurance agent for a major company for several years this is one thing I have learned. Recently I also read an article in the South Bay Daily Breeze regarding people in various parts of the country who suffered from natural disasters, but because they did not document well enough, their claims were denied or appealed. Yikes! All because they did not document enough or correctly? Yep!

Here are some tips to help you if you experience a natural disaster or some other type of accident (car accident or home fire, etc.).

1. Know what your insurance policies cover and do not cover. Read your insurance policies carefully. If you do not understand what they are saying, sit down with your insurance agent, ask questions and make any adjustments that need made.

2. Most people in the United States do not realize their homeowners policy does not cover flood, mudslides or earthquakes. Those are separate policies. Flood Insurance comes from the National Flood Insurance. Earthquake Insurance comes from your current homeowners insurance company or possibly your state earthquake insurance. Home insurance includes, renters, homeowner condo, homes and rental dwelling property. Businesses are covered under a commercial policy.

3. Most home insurance policies only cover up to a certain amount on personal items like jewelry, computers, sports equipment, art work, etc.. You may need a Personal Articles Policy if they are over your current policy coverage limits.

4. Before a disaster happens, take photos and videos inside your house. Take photos of all your belongs, even open closet doors and drawers to take photos. Keep an inventory of all your personal possessions. Take photos of things like crown moldings, granite counter tops, custom cabinets, etc. Any thing that would need replacing back to its original condition. Keep copies of receipts for upgrades and remodeling. Keep copies of the photos, videos, inventory and receipts in your home, a safe deposit box, and at a family member or friend's home who lives out of state. If you have cash registered receipts, make copies of them, they fade over time.

5. After a disaster happens, call your insurance agent as soon as possible to file a claim.

6. Document, document, document all conversations with dates, time called, who you spoke with and what you and they said. Keep a note book. Note: It is against the law to record a phone conversation without some one's permission. Save all email and text correspondence. Personal experience: Our daughter was in a car accident at the beginning of the year where there were injuries to her and her 2 children. Having a mother who worked in the insurance industry I told her to document all conversations, emails and text. Because she did this they received a good settlement.

FEMA and insurance companies have denied claims due to unsatisfactory documentation. FEMA has been known to ask for money back if the claim is not documented to their satisfaction. (dailybreeze.com, Sunday, October 15, 2017. "FEMA rejects $1.2B in appeals", by David A. Lieb and Ryan J. Foley, the Associated Press) Make sure you are covered when a disaster or accident happens to you. It only takes a few minutes to document things that are important to you.

Nancy Cuppett
Emergency Preparedness Specialist


November Monthly Assignments
 
Emergency Preparedness . . .
          72 Hour Individual Emergency 
                 Preparedness Backpack . . . 
                                    

Updates . . .  
  
Backpacks: Several people have asked me where I got my backpack from. I found that the ones from emergencyessentials.com are really good. They have 3 different size, small, medium and large. I purchased the medium size one. It is great and has enough room for your 3 kits (food kit, hygiene kit and stressor kit), extra clothing and other needed items I will list after we complete the 3 kits. There backpacks are now black. Click here to see them. 

Congratulations! If you have been following the monthly assignment since January 2017 you should have completed each house hold member's Food Kit (including water), Hygiene Kit and Stressor Kit. If you have not completed them go back to January 2017 and scroll through the postings through October 2017.  

Now we will work on adding other items that should be in each family member's backpack:

Note: Last week we added a change of clothing. This needs checked periodically because our sizes changes over time.

Add the following each week:

1st Week: Small LED flashlight with extra batteries. I found these at the 99 Cent Store or other discount stores. Keep in a side pocket for easy access. Keep the extra batteries in a separate small zip lock bag and check periodically to make sure they are alright. 





2nd Week: Copies of all insurances (medical, car, homeowners, etc.), copies of ID cards (driver's license, student ID cards), copy of passport, list of medications the family member takes, list of allergies. Keep in a small zip lock bag. You can put these in your Stressor Kit or someplace in the backpack (maybe safety pinned inside). You may need to shrink them down to fit on one page.

 

3rd Week: Pocket knife or multi-purpose tool:  Age appropriate. Keep inside the backpack or a side pocket. emergencyessentials.com has them for about $6-$7. Click here to order.


 
4th Week: Para-cord bracelet: I have seen these for about $5. Find a Boy Scout and he may be able to make you one. Keep in the backpack or a side pocket. Or, you can purchase some para-cord by itself. Para-cord is a strong light weight cord that can be used for many things. emergencyessentials.com has the cord for $5.00. Click here to order.


Note: These are great items and next months are great Christmas stocking stuffers. 

December items to add just in case you want to get an early start:

1) Seychelle Filter Water Bottle--can be purchased at store.lds.org for about $20.
2) Mess kit--can be purchased at most department and sporting goods stores in their camping section.
3) Eating utensil set--can be purchased at most department or sporting goods stores in their camping section. 
4) Firestarter--great product that starts instantly. Go to emergencyessentials.com to order. $2 a pouch. Each backpack should have 1-2. 

These 8 items finishes our 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas

The Seventy2 Emergency Backpack Kits  as seen on 
                            Shark Tank . . .


I saw these on Shark Tank last month. Personally I would not purchase them. Then are too expensive, $350-$370. I think you are more paying for the fancy pack the emergency supplies come in. Plus there is not enough food and water to sustain for 3 days.

It would be a lot less expensive to purchase the items individually and set up your own personal 72 Hours Emergency Preparedness Backpacks. Most of these items can be purchased in discount stores, emergencyessentials.com, other online companies and other retail stores.

Since January we have been working on the 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks, including the Food Kit, Hygiene Kit and Stressor kit. Ours provides much more for a lesser cost. Be wise, be smart!

Why store ingredients for your food storage?

1. A readily available source of food
2. Insurance for the next economic crisis
3. Peace of mind knowing you are provided for, no matter what
(emergencyessentials.com blog)