Congratulations! Sister Angelita Vivo won the August FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing. She one a Tri-fold shovel, a 3-in-1 ax, hammer and crowbar, and a multipurpose tool. Each time you answer the question in the weekly blog posting and email me the answer your name is entered into the FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing. Four chances to win each month if you answer all the weekly questions.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints we have been blessed with a most marvelous gift, the Gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which brings us constant guidance, comfort, peace, protection and understanding. I often speak about temporal preparation, but another very important part of Emergency Preparedness is spiritual preparation. A woman I know related how being spiritually prepared helped her in at a very difficult time in her life....She has been going through some very rough trails, but because she is spiritually prepared, she is better able to handle them.
In a recent August 2012 Ensign article, "Natural Disasters", Elder Stanley G. Ellis (2005 Area Seventy for North America Southwest Area) stated..."As we seek Heavenly Father's guidance, the Holy Ghost will help us prepare for, endure, and recover from natural disasters. As a storm (hurricane) approached, a major question we asked was whether or not people should evacuate the area. The Spirit directed me not to make a general recommendation for the whole area but rather to seek each stake leader, each bishopric, each family to prayerfully consider the situation and receive their own inspiration as to what they should do as events unfolded, it became obvious that the Spirit knew what was best for each individual family."
We each need to be close to the Spirit to receive personal revelation and guidance from the Holy Ghost for our individual family. What may be best for one family may not be best for another. Spiritual Preparation is so key to Emergency Preparedness! There is no doubt temporal and spiritual trails will come our way, but if we are prepared both temporally and spiritually we will be able to endure our trails, we will be lifted up, held up, strengthened and guided by our Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost.
National Preparedness Month
New September Goals: Emergency Supplies and Adding Breakfast Items to our Food Storage
Besides needing food and water, we need to store emergency supplies in case of a disaster, pandemic or other emergency situation. Think of all the things you use and tasks you perform daily. What if you did not have use of them? Here are some things to consider:
1) How would you cook? You will need ways to cook, be it either one way or several ways; gas or propane BBQ, Butane stove, fire pit, Dutch oven, Solar oven, etc. You will also need fuel for the type of equipment you are storing. See under "Postings" on the right under "Cooking, Heating and Lighting".
2) What about electricity? You will need ways to see at night and possible run appliance and other equipment. You need some type of lantern (either propane or LED battery operated), candles, matches, a gas portable generator or a Solar fuel-less generator (mention in last week's blog posting), gas for the gas generator, and flashlights with extra batteries. See under "Postings" on the right under "Cooking, Heating and Lighting".
3) What if you could not stay in your home or had to evacuate? You will need some type of shelter. A tent large enough for your family, or several smaller ones to accommodate the family. A large heavy tarp with rope and duck tape could make a shelter. You will need a sleeping bag for each family member or blankets to make a bed roll. We keep a 3 person tent in our car just in case if we are away from home and need shelter. See under "Postings" on the right under "Shelter" and "what to do in an evacuation".
4) What about sanitation? You will need a portable toilet if you cannot use your house toilet (no water to flush it or it is broken). See under "Posting" on the right under "Sanitation".
5) What about a way to do laundry? If you have no electricity and running water you will not be able to use your washing machine. How will you clean your closes? You should have a large tub, preferably metal, an old fashioned scrub board (ACE Hardware has them, maybe Home Depot or Lowe's), laundry soap, a clothes line and clothes pins (your dryer will not work if no electricity and gas), a hammer and nails to hang up the clothes line.
6) What if there is a pandemic or you are advised to stay in your home due to a chemical spill and you need to seal all your doors and windows? You will need large heavy plastic (enough to cover all your windows and outside doors), duck tape and scissors to seal up your outside doors and windows. Cut a piece of heavy plastic large enough to cover the window or door you are trying to block out and seal all the way around it with duck take.
7) Gas for your vehicles. If there is a disaster or loss of electricity, the gas pumps will not work. Always try to keep a half of tank of gas in all your vehicles at all times. If there is an emergency and you need to leave, you should have enough to get you safely away. If you have a garage, or a side of your home where there is no sun hitting it, store two or more 5 gallons gas cans of gas. Make sure they are for gasoline. (WalMart has them for about $10) You will need to rotate the gas every 6 months. When your vehicles get low in gas, fill with the gas in the gas cans and then refill them immediately.
8) Have maps on hand of your local areas. If you are told to evacuate, have local maps in all vehicles and in your 72 Hour Emergency Backpacks so you will know the routes to take in case of an evacuation.
9) Shovel, ax, hand saw, strong knife, crowbar, screw drivers, pliers, wrenches. You may need these in an emergency situation.
10) Wrenches to turn off your gas. Know how and where to turn off your main electricity, water and gas. ONLY TURN OFF THE GAS IF YOU SMELL GAS. Keep the gas wrench taped to your gas meter so you can access it immediately when needed. Only turn them off as needed and if instructed to do so by local government officials.
11) Water filtration. Have some way to filter your water if need be. The Seychelle Water Pump Filter filters out 99.9999% of all contaminates and bacteria. Each filter filters out 100 gallons of water. Also, have extra filters on hand. If the water is really dirty, run through a t-shirt first, then filter. If you do not have one check out Seychelle Water Filtration on Google.
12) 55 Gallon Water Barrels. If you have a place you should have at least two or more, depending on the size of your family and needs, 55 gallon water barrels, or bottled water stored. Rain barrels are good to have too. Check on line how to make and install one. See "Postings" on the right side under "Water". You will need a syphon or water pump to remove the water from the barrels as needed and to replace.
13) First-aid Kit, Family Medical Supplies and Prescription Medications. You will need medical supplies for your family in case of an emergency or disaster. Each vehicle should have a first-aid kit. Keep extra prescription medications and supplies any family members take on hand.
14) Cash on hand in small bills and change. If there is no electricity you will not be able to get cash from your bank or an ATM. You should have cash in small bills and change because people and stores may not be able to make change or either tell you they cannot to make more money off of you. The rule is, in your home, you should have equivalent to one month's salary, if possible, in cash. It is also a good idea to keep small bills and change in your car for emergencies. You should also have some in your 72 Hour Emergency Backpacks.
15) Hand can opener (in case no electricity for your electric can opener). Keep with your canned and #10 dehydrated/freeze-dried canned Food Storage.
16) Fire extinguisher. Each household and vehicle should have a fire extinguisher to put out small fires.
17) Radio. Each household and vehicle should have a battery or solar operated radio with extra batteries.
18) Important papers like deeds, documents like passport, birth and marriage certificates, and insurances (auto, homeowner/renters, etc.). Keep all these together in one place in fire proof box in case you have to evacuate quickly. Each family member should know where these are and 1-2 family members should be responsible for getting them when you need to evacuate.
19) Video tape and take photos of all your belongs inside your home, garage and vehicles. Open closets and drawers and video tape and photo too all your belongs. Keep a copy at home, one at work or with your family or close friend out of the area or state. It is also a good idea to make an inventory of your belongs and their value for insurance purposes, and keep a copy with the video and photos.
20) Passport. Each family member should have an updated passport just in case you need to leave the county. You have to have a passport to enter Canada and Mexico. You never know when you might need it.
Each family is different and has different needs. Make a list of the things your family uses and does daily. Of course, you cannot do all the above at once. Some will be easier to do right away than others. Set goals as a family to accomplish the items above, maybe one or two a month. Try to keep similar items together in the house, garage or a shed, like all shelter items, all lighting items, etc..
Adding Breakfast Items to your Food Storage:
Breakfast items are cereals, oatmeal, granola, granola bars, breakfast drinks, Tang, orange and fruit powdered drinks, non-fat dehydrated milk, Almond and Rice milk in cartons that do not have to be refrigerated until opened (Trader Joes and Whole Foods carry these, possibly Costco and Sam's Club.), hot chocolate and apple cider mixes, muffin mixes, dehydrated powdered eggs, pancake mix, Bisquick mix, syrup, jams and jellies, bottled juices, juice boxes, dehydrated powdered butter/margarine, and canned and dehydrated fruits. Remember to store breakfast items for babies, children and the elderly in your family.
If you store your breakfast cereals take them out of the box and seal them in Mylar pouches/bags for longer storage. Google how to seal Mylar pouches/bags and on EmergencyEssenitals.com. Best price I have found for the Mylar pouches/bags and oxygen absorbers is EmertencyEssenitals.com. Non-fat dehydrated milk you purchase from the regular grocery store only keeps for six months. It needs to be sealed in the #10 cans or Mylar pouches/bags for longer storage. Of course, watch expiration dates, especially at discount centers and rotate as needed.
EmergencyEssentials.com is the best place I have found, lowest prices and low shipping cost, for breakfast items as mentioned above. They come in #10 cans, and some in Mylar pouches/bags. You can also can oatmeal and non-fat milk at the LDS Dry Pack Cannery. Click on the link below for EmergencyEssenitals.com---
Weekly Assignment, Adding Breakfast items to your Food Storage:
Assess the breakfast items your family eats. Figure out how much you eat a month, then multiply that by the number of months you have set your goal, example: 3 months.
1) This week add 1-2 months supply of one of the breakfast items above your family eats. Keep in a dry cool location.
Weekly FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing Question: List 3 items you need in your Emergency Supplies. Please email me your answer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please enclude your name if not in your email address.
Food Storage Ideas:
I came across a great idea...Dinner Is In The Jar! I love this idea. You place all the ingredients in a Mason canning jar, or possibly a Mylar pouch/bag. You can set up 90 days of meals in a jar from your Food Storage. A great way to rotate your Food Storage and make it easier to prepare meals during a disaster emergency situation, or busy day. I have ordered the book and will share recipes from it once I get the book. Or you can order it for yourself on Google at "Dinner Is In The Jar", now on sale for $14.98, plus $4 shipping. What a fantastic idea!
If your area is hit by a major disaster, there's a good chance that you will not have any access to emergency supplies. Stores do not keep a large amount of supplies (about two weeks worth), shelves will empty quickly, and there will be looters, as tens of thousands of people in your community and others literally break down the doors of stores to get their hands on supplies, food and water. This is not a good time to be on the streets. If you are prepared with emergency supplies, you and your family should be safe at home. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."
Comments: All comments, idea and experience are welcomed!