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.

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