Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Emergency Ideas (Week of March 31st)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Happy Easter!

Congratulations to the Carson Ward Jay Jensen Family! They won the March FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing. They won an emergency LED Lantern for emergency lighting. They use 4 "D" batteries. Good idea is to not keep the batteries inside the lantern until needed and tape the batteries to the lantern. Also purchase more and keep them close by. Batteries usually last about 7 years per the Duracell package.

Spring is upon favorite time of the year. Everything is new, trees are getting their new leaves, flowers are popping up and beautify the earth, in California the sun is out and there are blue skies, new little creatures are being born and the birds are chirping away with the excitement of Spring. And most of all, it is time to plant my vegetable garden again! Next week I will toil the earth, gather up my vegetable plants and seeds, plant my garden and anticipate a new crop of wonderful organic home grown vegetables in the late summer and fall to can and freeze in the Fall!

Vegetable Gardening: Instead of posting all about vegetables gardening again this year, I will just refer you to previous blog postings. All you need to do is click on the links below and learn all I know about vegetable gardening.

I love new ideas. I have also posted a video of a new exciting way to plant a vegetable or herb
garden with very little space and money, Pallet Vegetable and/or Herb Gardening, see the video below.

Vegetable Gardening (Posting on the Right under "Postings")
March 4, 2012 Posting (Great idea for planting a Vegetable Garden in rain gutters)
March 11, 2012 Posting (Container Vegetable Gardens and Fruit Trees, Natural way to get rid of ants)
March 20, 2011 (How to fertilizer your vegetables)

How to build you own Pallet Garden video (on the Chew, March 20, 2013)--Just skip the commercial. A little silly, but a great idea.  As mentioned on the video, you can get pallets from most stores free because they have of the cost of getting rid of them themselves. These are also great if you have just a little space, like a balcony. You will only be able to grow vegetables like radishes, lettuce, green onions, regular brown or white onions, cucumbers, etc. because of their small root system. You can lean it up against a wall. I love this idea.

Weekly Assignment: 72 Hour Individual Emergency Food and Snack Kits...
Because this Sunday, March 31st, is Easter and the following week is General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (April 6th-7th), I have decided to let those who have not completed their weekly assignments of adding items each week to their 72 Hour Individual Emergency Food Kits and Snacks Kits a chance to catch up. Click here December 31, 2012 to go back to the first posting of 2013
where we started adding an item each week to our Food Kits and follow through the postings up to last week March 24th posting where we finished up the Snack Kit to see what you missed and need to add. Starting April 14th we will start on our 72 Hour Individual Emergency Hygiene Kit for each family member.

Emergency Preparedness:

Seriously think about some type of vegetable and/or herb garden this year, be it either a garden you plant in the ground, a raised garden, or some type of container garden. It can be a large garden or as small as you have room for it. It is a low cost way to add vegetables to your food store. I either can or freeze mine and have them for all year long. Click on the links above to see how easy and profitable it can be.

Comments: Please leave your comments, suggestions or ideas. All are appreciated and may help someone else.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness (Week of March 24th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

I Believe...

in being both temporally, mentally and spiritually prepared
in being self-reliant
in following the prophets and our church leaders
in emergency preparedness
in having a 72 Hour Individual Emergency Kit for each family member
in having a car 72 Hour Emergency Kit in each household car
in having extra food and water on hand
in having a way to have light, cook and heat if the power goes out, or there is a disaster
in having shelter for my family if my home is uninhabitable
in having extra emergency medical supplies on hand if there is a disaster
in being prepared for whatever natural disaster might hit in my area
in not being complacent
in having each family person having an out of state contact person in case of an emergency
in this blog which will help you become prepared, or better prepared
in being prepared

Why "I Believe". Because I believe in being prepared for whatever may come my way! We have been in an emergency situation without electricity and not being able to leave our home for a week due to very bad weather, flooding and down power lines. We have had an emergency financial situation where we have needed to rely on our food storage so we could pay other bills when my husband was in a serious car accident while driving for his job. We have watched on television natural disasters unfold that caused individuals and families to rely on their emergency supplies, help from others and suffer tremendous loss and sorrow.  I have seen people loose everything, but their spirit is still strong and they know Heavenly Father is in charge and will bless their lives. I believe in being prepared because I know it will bring me and my family peace of mind, comfort and security.

Weekly Assignment...72 Hour Individual Emergency Snack Kit

This week add the following, the last item:

Fruit snacks---2-3 small packages or one large package per family Snack Kit. If you add the large package remember to spread it over the 3 days. You can either add apple or banana chips or the gummy type for children. Remember to add according to your family's likes, ages and diet. If you have a small child or baby, there are great new products of baby food that come in packages not instead of the glass jars.

This is our last item to add to the Snack Kit. You should have the following; 12+ pieces of hard candy, a small pack of gum, turkey or beef jerky, and fruit snacks. Adjust according to your diet. Next is our 72 Hour Individual Emergency Hygiene Kit.

Emergency Preparedness:

A few years ago our son emailed me the link to this great 200+ page emergency preparedness manual put together by a LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Ward in Utah. Here is the link for the updated 2012 version: LDS Preparedness Manual. You will need to download it, free and save on your computer or print out. It has awesome information in all areas of emergency preparedness. I often refer to it.

Comments: All your comments, ideas, suggestions and experiences are welcome! We all learn from each other. Thank you for your comments.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness (Week of March 17th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

It's not complicated...

Many people feel overwhelmed when it comes to Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness. It's really not complicated! You just need to make a plan and start with one step at a time. Having parents and grandparents that came from The Great Depression and WWII, my mother and grandmother always had extra food stored, and they always grew a vegetable garden. When difficult times come, you will be glad you have food storage and emergency supplies. As I have mentioned before, food is not going to get cheaper, but more expensive. Let me try and simply things for you...

1) First---The most important thing to start with is water. You can live without food for a month or so, but you can only live without water for about 3 days.You should have at least 14 days of emergency water supply for each person in your household. The rule is 3 gallons a day per person. Then you might ask, "How do I store it?", "Where do I store it?", and "How long will it store?". The answers to all your questions regarding water storage is under the "Postings" on the right of this blog under "Water Storage...".

2) Second---If you have no Food Storage or Emergency Preparedness supplies, then start with a 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack for each family member in your household. At the beginning of this year we started preparing a 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack. We started with the 72 Hour Food Kit. We added one item at a time. Go back here to start at the beginning. Each week add the assigned food item to your 72 Hour Food Kit. Before you know it you will have it completed. We are currently working on the 72 Hour Snack Kit (only 4 items). Then we will move onto the 72 Hour Hygiene Kit and then the 72 Hour Stressor Kit.

3) Next---Start an Emergency Cash Fund. This fund is used only for emergencies. Put aside a little each week, each month, or each pay check. Try $1.00-$2.00, or what ever you can afford, for each family member in your household. Keep the cash in a safe place. The best place is a fire proof safe. Make sure the cash is in small bills ($1, $5) and change. If there is a disaster and things are not available, most stores, even though it is against the law in the United States, will start price gouging and they may not be able to make change if the electricity is out. And those with items for sale will tell you they cannot make change because they want to charge high prices. There is a great pamphlet put out by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called "All is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances" that has some suggestions. I have been told we should have at least one month's income in cash in our home. But some cash on hand is better than nothing. If there is no electricity, bank cards will not work, the ATM machine, banks and stores will not be able to issue money.

4) Next---Start working on a 3-Month Supply of Food and paper products. If that seems overwhelming, then start with a 1-Month Supply of Food and then work up to a 3-Month Supply of Food. Here is a great 
"3-Month Food Storage Supply" chart from "" that may help you. Of course, you will need to adjust according to what you and your family eat. The best way to start is keep track of everything your family eats in one month and then multiply it by the number of months you want store. Once you have the 1-3-Months Supply of Food, then work on a 1-3-Months Supply of paper products (paper plates, plastic silverware, etc.).

5) Medical Supplies---Have on had a least one month or more of emergency medical supplies and medications.

6) While working on your Food Storage think about things you would need to survive if there was a disaster; electricity, a way to cook, shelter, a way to stay warm if winter, etc.). Survey what you already have, then add items as needed. So you do not become overwhelmed, add one source for emergency light, one source of a way to cook and type of fuel needed, enough shelter for your family, a sleeping bag or warm blankets for each family member, etc.. Then add more as you go along. See the "Postings" on the right regarding

7) After you have accomplished the things above, then work toward a years supply of food and emergency supplies as your country allows. Use all the "Postings on the right side to help you accomplish your goals.

8) Remember to inventory and rotate your food storage and medical supplies as needed. Learn how to use your 20 year shelf life dehydrated food storage before you need it.

I ran across a good article, "How To Prepare For The Difficult Years Ahead", that has some good ideas and common sense. He stresses getting out of debt, saving money, becoming independent, building up food storage and emergency supplies, and being prepared both mentally and spiritually. Take some time to read this article. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also had a good pamphlet, "One for the Money, Guide to Family Finances", that shows how to get out of debt and save money.

The best thing to remember, take one step at a time by making a plan and following it.
You can do it!

Weekly Assignment...72 Hour Individual Emergency Snack Kit:

This week add the following...

1) Beef or Turkey Jerky---You can add a package or one long stick. Add to each family member's Snack Kit. I found the stick jerky at the 99 Cent Store. The stick jerky will bend to put in the large plastic zip lock bag. I found in most grocery stores the packaged beef or turkey jerky is about $5 for a 3.25oz package. Remember, do not eat it all at once, it needs to last for 3 days. Add the beef or turkey jerky with the hardy candy and gum. Note: You can substitute for another snack item for young children, it will be hard for them to chew.

Note: Only one more item to add to our Snack Kit.

Emergency Preparedness:

Home Safety during an emergency situation...

It is so important to teach your family about home safety during an emergency situation like a house fire, an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, tsunami and other natural disasters. Click here to learn and teach your family what to do in an earthquake and here to know what to do during a disaster situation. Sit down with your family and review this information often and practice what to do often. Mark a date on the calender as a reminder to review and practice this information with your family regularly. It could save a life!

When our children were younger we had a monthly fire drill. First we instructed them what do if there was a fire. To make sure they new and remembered, we had a monthly fire drill. It could be during the day, at night, the middle of the night (that one we did on the weekend). We would yell "FIRE" and say where the fire was located and what was blocked. The back of each bedroom door had two evacuation plans on it. A flashlight should be keep in each bedroom so if dark they can follow the evacuation plan. Since we had 3 children in each bedroom, the older two were in charge of the younger one.

What we taught them:

2) If the door is shut, feel the door to see if it is hot, if hot, do not open it, the fire may be just on the other side. Follow the evacuation plan on the back of the bedroom door, which usually meant they went out the window.
3) If you can go out the door drop to the ground and crawl out following each other and holding onto the younger child since smoke rises.
4) If the door is blocked, go out the window. First open the window and remove the widow screen. If you cannot open the window, break it with a shoe or some other object. Knock out the glass around the window edge with the shoe. Place a blanket over the bottom of the window. First one of the older ones crawls out, the other older still  inside hands the younger child to the one outside, then they crawl out.
Note: Of course, we teach them to not break the widow in a practice fire drill, we will open it for them.
5) If they can escape through the house, stay low, follow each other and hold onto the younger child, get out of the house either through the front door or the back door following the evacuation plan, or a window if the door is blocked.
6) Once outside, go to the neighbors house on the left and wait there. DO NOT GO BACK INTO THE HOUSE TO GET SOMEONE! Ask the neighbor to call 911 if we have not already called them.

How to protect your family from a fire:

1) Have working smoke detectors in each bedroom, hallways, and if a two story house, at the bottom of the stairs and other locations. Replace the batteries once a year, mark on your calendar as a reminder.
2) Have a crowbar in each bedroom. Tie it to the bed leg in case of an earthquake and push it underneath the bed along the wall if possible. Make sure the children know this is only for emergencies.
3) Have a working fire extinguisher. Make sure everyone knows how to use it and where it is kept.
4) Have a working flashlight in each bedroom. Duck tape it to the inside of the closet wall. Make sure your children know were it is and it is only used for emergencies. Tape low enough so the children can reach it. Check quarterly and change the batteries if needed.
5) If you have a second story home, there should be a fire ladder in each bedroom. Make sure the children know where it is, they can reach it, know how to use it, and it is only used in an emergency. Practice with it.
6) Teach your children how to drop and roll if they are on fire.
7) Practice the family fire drill (and other emergency situation drills) and your escape plan on a regular bases.

Comments: All your comments, ideas, suggestions and experiences are welcome! We all learn from each other. Thank you for your comments.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness (Week of March 10th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

It is to late to prepare when...

the earthquake has happened
the hurricane is upon us
the tornado has caused its destruction             
the tsunami has hit
the storm has flooded our home 
the pandemic is here
the civil unrest has started

The time to prepare is now!

"Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes."   President Gorden B. Hinckley (October 2001 General Conference, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

How can we have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes? It comes from when we are prepared both temporally and spiritually. I know I say this many times in this blog, but it is true, "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear." (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30). I also know that if we are striving to be prepared the best we can, Heavenly Father will bless us and our family, but we have to do our part!

Weekly Assignment: 72 Hour Individual Emergency Food Snack Kit

Last week we finished our 72 Hour Individual Emergency Food Kit for each family member and placed the Food Kit and Water in each family members 72 Hour Individual Emergency Backpack. Now we will start the Snack Kit (which is a part of the Food Kit). I keep the Snack Kit separate because some of the odors from the snacks can get into the food in the Food Kit. As we add them, place each item in a separate large plastic zip lock bag and write the family member's name and Snack Kit on the bag. There are only 4 items in this kit. This will only take 3 weeks to complete.

This week add the following:

1) Hard candy, individually wrapped, about 3-4 pieces a day x 3 days  per person's Snack Kit     
2) Gum, about 3 sticks a day x 3 days  per person's Snack Kit  

Note: If you buy butterscotch or mint hard candy, place the candy in a separate smaller plastic zip lock bag, the flavor will be absorbed into the other food. The best place to purchase the hard candy and gum is at a discount center like The 99 Cent Store, The Dollar Tree, The Dollar General, etc. If you have small children who cannot eat hard candy or chew gum, substitute with some type of sugary snack food they can eat. Sugary foods help clam us down in a disaster or crises situation. Use them wisely so they last the 3 days. Only two more items to add to the Snack Kit.

Emergency Preparedness:

If there is a disaster or emergency situation, do the following:

1. Your Priorities---Take care of your family, neighbors and home first using your personal disaster plan and supplies. It may be days before help from anyone arrives. Once your family's safety and basic needs are met, proceed with the next step. Click here to go directly to the "Positing" "What To Do and Not Do During a Disaster Situation".
2. Gather Information---Use email, text messaging, radio, face-to-face contact, and written messages to assess the needs of others (family in other areas, neighbors, church friends, work friends who live near by). Avoid placing voice calls unless you need to call 911 for someone with significant injures or illness. If power is unavailable save your batteries by turning your cell phone or radio off when not in use.
3. Your dwelling/home is uninhabitable---Check the radio for nearby shelters. Remember to leave a note on your door where you went and who is with you. If you can stay, the best place for you and your family is your home.
4. Verify Your Information---Make sure your home number, cell phone numbers and email addresses are correct at your children's schools, your place of employment, church records and with family and friends. Update your Out of State Contact Card person's number as needed.

Disaster Information Sources in California, USA

Tune to AM  1070, 980, or 640 or satellite emergency radio at SIRIUS XM channel 184 or 247 to received disaster emergency broadcast communications. DO EXACTLY WHAT YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT TELLS YOU DO. DO NOT HESITATE IF THEY TELL YOU TO EVACUATE.

Know the radio or satellite emergency radio stations for your area. Keep them with your 72 Hour Emergency Kits.

Information may also be available at:
http:// in your zip code)/

Note: The above sources are listed for informational purposes only!

Good video to watch: Click on this link to watch a good video regarding what do to if there is civil unrest. Listen carefully, there is some good information here that may help you and your family. Skip the commercial and start at the 2:22 minute mark.

Comments: Your comments are appreciated. We can all learn from each others experiences and ideas. Thank you to all those who leave comments on the blog postings.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness (Week of March 3rd)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Congratulations to the Gracia Family. They won the February Carson Ward FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing last Sunday. They won two 72 Hour Emergency Individual Personal Hygiene Kits for their 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks. In January the Adrianna Compos
Family won 4 hand squeeze LED flashlights for their 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks.

Setting Goals to become Self-Reliant...

Heavenly Father wants each of us to become self-reliant.  Self-reliant means "taking responsibility for our own spiritual and temporal welfare and for those whom Heavenly Father has entrusted to our care." (Robert D. Hales, "A Gospel Vision of Welfare: Faith in Action", 2009). When we set goals to become spiritually and temporally prepared (self-reliant), Heavenly Father will provide a way for us to accomplish our goals. First make a list of items that will help you and your family become self-reliant. Then set small goals, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, that will help you accomplish them. One goal might be to have a one month supply of food, and then expand to three months.

Temporal self-reliance is working hard, teaching your children how to work, gaining a good education, taking care of our own welfare needs, and food (and water) storage.

Spiritual self-reliance is having a firm spiritual foundation of the gospel/scriptures and faith in our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ, which will bring us peace, comfort, reassurance and greater faith when trails come.

If we are self-reliant we will be able to take care of ourselves and our family when a natural disaster hits, we are faced with unemployment, or financial turmoil. It is each of our responsibility to be self-reliant, not our extended family, not our neighbors, not our church, not our community, not our government. We need to set goals as an individual and as a family on what we need to do to become self-reliant: get a better education, work harder, teach our children the value of hard work, build up our food storage and emergency supplies, and build a stronger spiritual foundation. If you follow this blog it will help you become more self-reliant. If we set goals to become self-reliant we will have peace of mind.

There is a great article and story in this month's Ensign, March 2013, page 64-65, "Living the Principles of Self-Reliance".  Click the link to read this insightful article.

Weekly Assignment...72 Hour Emergency Individual Food Kit:

This week add the following...this is the last item to add...

1 two liter bottle of drinking water per each individual family member's food kit. This water is for drinking only, and preparing any foods that require water. Add this item to each family member's 72 Hour Individual Emergency Food Kit.

The rule is we need at least 1 gallon of water per person a day. But in this instance, that would be 3 gallons of water, which no one could carry. Water is heavy. How I get around this is I have a Seychelle Water Filtration Water bottle strapped to the outside of each family member's backpack. You may only need 1-2 Seychelle Water Filtration Water bottles per family. If you are at work you should have one strapped to your 72 Hour Emergency Backpack Kit. The Seychelle Water Filtration system filters out the dirtiest water 99.9999% of all bacteria and contaminates. See the blog "Posting" on the right under "Water Storage" for information on this great product and links where you can purchase them, or click here  to go directly to the posting.

Congratulations! If you have been following along on adding one food item each week to your 72 Hour Emergency Individual Food Kit, you have just completed the Food Kit. If you have not completed your Food Kit, you have missed some weeks, or never started, go back to the first week, click here and scroll through the weeks to this blog posting (March 3rd) to see what to add each week.

You should have the following in each individual Food Kit.

3 granola bars
3 juice/fruit box drinks
3 small boxes of raisins
3 packages of instant hot chocolate
3 packages of instant oatmeal, 3 small fruit cups or apple sauce
3 packages of peanut butter or cheese crackers
3 packages of instant dry soup mix
3 small bags or 1 large (1#) bag of trail mix
1 two liter of bottled water

IMPORTANT: If you add 1 large package of trail mix, also add 2 small zip lock baggies. Once you open the large package, divide into thirds, eat the first third per the menu, and then put the other 2 into the 2 small zip lock baggies for the next 2 days.

Where and how to place the food kit items: Place all the above items in a large plastic zip lock bag. I double mine for safety from water damage. It will all fit, you just have to work with it. If you get too frustrated with it, then place all the food in an extra large plastic zip lock bag. Do not place the 2 liter water bottle in with the food, it may leak. I place it in a extra large plastic zip lock bag and then put it in my 72 Hour Emergency Preparedness Backpack. Important: If you store your 72 Hour Individual Emergency Backpack in your house or work place the food should be good until the expiration date, usually one year. If you store it in your car trunk, which can get hot in the summer months, you may need to rotate the food and water sooner. I usually rotate ours every 6 months, and put the non expired food and water in our pantry to eat now.

3 Day 72 Hour Emergency Food Kit Menu

Make a copy of the menu below and place inside each Food Kit. It is the same menu for each day. I found that trying to do a different menu for each day was to complicated and cost more money.

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Raisins, Hot cocoa
Lunch: Peanut Butter or Cheese Crackers, Fruit Cup, Trail mix (1/3 of the large package)
Dinner: Soup, Granola Bar, Fruit Drink

Remember: If you have a special diet due to allergies, diabetes or other health/medication issues, consult with your doctor first regarding the menu. This is a high calorie and high fiber diet because this is all you will probably eat for 3 days.

Next week: We will start on the Snack Kit, only 4 items.

Emergency Preparedness:

Great News! We found out that Costco has a Costco Business Center near us (12530 Prairie Ave, Hawthorne, California).  If you have Costco in your area, you may have a Business Center near by too. It is open to public, you just need a Costco card. The lines are not crowded. This Costco is meant to serve businesses, so most of their items are in large containers, example: canned vegetables like green beans come in #10 cans. Great if you are having a large party and you do want to open 20 small cans. Go there and check it out to see what is available. They also have fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy and meats. It is worth a trip to check it out. You might find great things to add to your Food Storage.

Example of Savings: We love popcorn, in fact, we have had popcorn almost every night since 1971!. One day while at our regular Costco we found Orville Redenbacher popcorn in an 8 pound container for $11.99 (Item # 48551). At the regular grocery store you pay almost $7 for a 1 pound 14 ounce container. What a savings! The only bad thing, after that we could not find it again. My husband called around to see if other Costcos had it. This is when we discovered the Costco Business Center. We were able to purchase several for our Food Storage.

Comments: All your comments, ideas, suggestions and experiences are welcome! We all learn from each other.