Thursday, January 30, 2014

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness and Weekly/Monthly Assignments (Week of February 2nd)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Trapped for hours! What would you do?



Many of us have heard about the story regarding the major gridlock on the Atlanta, Georgia USA interstate and surface street due to a frigid winter storm with 2+ inches of snow and ice. People were trapped for many hours, some 16-20 hours, on the interstate in their cars, most without food or water or needed medications. What was an inconvenience turned into a dangerous situation very quickly.




One man with diabetes and no food was in a very dangerous situation. One woman was 8 months pregnant with her 3 year old son without food or water. One woman even delivered her baby on the interstate with the help of her husband, a police officer and later on an emergency response team. Children were trapped in
their school buses without food or water. There were no bathroom facilities. Children were trapped at school where parents could not get to them, they spent the night at their school. Many kept their cars running so they could run their heaters to deal with the extreme cold, only to run out of gas. Others ran out of gas due to low gas tanks.

No federal, state or local government system is perfect, things can happen. What we can do is be prepared for things like this. We need to always plan on taking care of ourselves.

You may say I do not live in an area like this, but it can happen to all of us. Let me share a story about our daughter.

Several years ago our daughter was on an Orange County, California USA  freeway. She was just running some errands that would not take long. She had just turned off onto an overpass to get onto another freeway, when all of a sudden the freeway came to a halt. She and her 4 small children, one of them a baby, spent the next 5-6 hours sitting on the overpass, there was no way out. She only had one diaper, a few Fishy crackers in her purse left over from Sunday church, and no water or food for her children. After this experiences she has always kept food and water in her car. She also kept things in her car to entertain her children, they are much older now.

What could you have done ahead of time to be prepared for a situation like this?

As most of you know from reading my blog that when a disaster or emergency situation like this happens I watch the news, especially CNN, to find out what I can learn from this experience and pass it onto each of you.

The best thing any of us can do is to always be prepared, even if you think it will never happen. As I have always said, "Why not have what you will need and never need it, than need it and not have it."
 
Be prepared by keeping these items in your car(s) at all times...




1) Keep food and water in your car at all times. We keep our 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks in our car. You will need to rotate the food kits more often if the car or trunk gets hot, every 3-6 months.
2) Keep your Emergency Family Bag in the car at all times. We are working on this one right now.
3) Keep a blanket in your car or trunk. We also keep a warm sweater for each of us in our trunk.
4) Have some sort of a way to construct shelter, those items should be in your Emergency Family Bag. We also keep a small tent in our trunk.
5) Keep items to entertain your children. Example: travel size board games, card games, books.
6) Keep a first-aid kit in your car with a first-aid book, there could be injuries.
7) If you have a cell phone with texting, text family and friends exactly where you are. I loved how the one fellow set up a Facebook site for those trapped to communicate with others.
8) Always keep your car gas tank at least half full. That way you will have gas to run your heater for awhile.

Weekly Assignment: Emergency Family Bag

  
Why do you need an Emergency Family Bag? You cannot get everything you might need into your 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks. This bag should be kept in your car(s) or with your family's 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks. We prefer our car since there are items we might need. You can use a sports bag or a backpack. Use one you already have, check out a thrift store or purchase a new one.

This week add the following:

 1) Crowbar 

2) Small wet stone (to sharpen blades)
So far you should have the following in your Family Emergency Bag: Portable regular or solar radio with extra batteries, street maps of local areas/cities, emergency flares and candles, water proof matches, 2 heat cells, flat fuel folding stove, a first-aid kit with a first-aid book, sun block, insect repellent, small tool kit (regular and Philips screw drivers, wrench, pliers, small hammer), Venture 6 Tool, an extra large water proof tarp, roll of duct tape, hand can opener, crowbar and a small wet stone. See previous blog postings for information regarding these items and where to purchase them.

In the next few weeks we will add the following: 2 mess kits, basic chow set (fork, spoon, knife), small sewing kit, small hand mirror, compass, travel size board game/card games, good set of Walkie Talkies. Note: You may already have the small hand mirror and compass if you ordered the 5 in 1 Whistle when we did this in Carson Ward, on emergencyessentials.com.)

Monthly Assignment for February: Emergency Lighting/Electricity

This month add some type of emergency lighting:

It could be a Coleman or propane lantern, a LED lantern that requires batteries (store extra batteries). Store extra of what ever you need to run these types of lanterns. You may even want to consider purchasing a gas or solar generator, a more expensive item.  You should have a flashlight with extra batteries in ever room, especially your bedrooms. A good idea is to put the flashlight in a plastic zip lock bag with batteries and tie it to your bed post under your bed. This way if there is an earthquake you will be able to find it quickly.

If you already have emergency lighting equipment then check to make sure it is working properly, purchase extra batteries. Store all emergency lighting equipment together.

Check out the postings link, "Cooking, Heating and Lighting", for different types of lighting equipment and ideas. 

Electrical: Know where your main circuit breaker or fuse box is and how to check it and replace any needed fuses (if you have that type). Keep a flashlight by it so you can see it if the electricity goes out.

Personal Story: A friend of ours was on his way home from work when his wife called to say their electricity was out, which turned out to be the whole neighborhood. Their electricity was out for 5 hours. But because they had prepared they had lanterns, flashlights, candles and even a battery power backup for their computer. They were able to have dinner, gas stove, have light and watch a program on their computer. You never know when you might need backup emergency lighting. Warning: If you use candles make sure they are not near anything that could catch fire and never leave a candle unattended.

Warning: Remember, if you have a gas generator follow the instruction on the generator and in the instruction manual. Never, Never, Never use it inside your home, an enclosed area or next to an open window. The fumes will kill you. If you have a gas generator you will need to store extra gas in only regulated gas cans away from your house in a cool place. Solar generators are great because they require no gas, use the sun to charge them and can be used in the house.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas:

4th Dry Pack Canning Method: Purchase Commercial Dry Pack Dehydrated and Freeze-Dried Foods

Most food storage companies like Emergency Essentials, Thrive Life, Food for Health International, Food Insurance, Honeyville and the LDS Dry Pack Cannery and store.lds.org offer dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. I find emergencyessentials.com, store.lds.org and the LDS Dry Pack Cannery offer the best prices. Watch for sales, request a catalog. Most companies offer the #10 cans. Emergencyessentials.com also offers smaller cans called "MyChoice" ( #2.5 can) and large buckets called SuperPails (6 gallon buckets).

If you want to purchase food from the the LDS Dry Pack Cannery contact the one closest to you. You may need to place your order ahead of time to make sure they have the amount you want. Effective November 2013 you can no longer can for yourself at the LDS Dry Pack Cannery except for 10 LDS Dry Pack Canneries throughout Utah, Idaho, and Arizona USA.

Non-Food items you might want to consider storing...

Think of things your family does not want to be without that you use on a daily and weekly bases...Examples:

Toilet paper
All paper products
Pain relievers
Soap
Laundry, cleaning supplies
Feminine hygiene products
Diapers
Batteries

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


Friday, January 24, 2014

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness and Weekly Assignment (Week of January 26th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

In this posting...
  • Emergency Preparedness...What I learned from 2013
  • Another reason to have Food Storage...
  • The Winters of our lives...
  • Weekly Assignment
  • Monthly Assignment
  • Emergency Preparedness Ideas

Emergency Preparedness...
               What I learned from 2013


2013 was an interesting year filled will different types of natural disaster, unusual weather and unrest around the world. As I observed each one and followed the stories and experiences of the people in those areas hit I learned a very valuable lesson...being temporally prepared is very important, but it can all be washed away or destroyed in just a few seconds. Do not get me wrong in thinking I am saying do not prepare by having food storage, water storage and emergency and medical supplies on hand, that is not what I am saying. Those things are very important and will save our family's lives and show our obedience to our Heavenly Father.

The most important thing I learned, we need is to be spiritually prepared. In all those disasters it was the faith, hope and testimonies of Jesus Christ that each person possessed that got them through the terrible disasters, loss of life and many other things they experienced. Many times I heard stories from people about how they had been warned ahead of time what they needed to do to be protected. It took days, weeks, even months to get the needed food, water, emergency and medical supplies needed, but without their faith and hope in Jesus Christ it was even harder to handle.

A few weeks ago I discussed what each of us needs to do to become better prepared spiritually. Go back to that week, week of January 12th, and re-read my comments. Hopefully, they will help you and your family be better prepared spiritually, as well as temporally.


I often ask myself if I am spiritually prepared enough to get through what I might experience. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) I have a very strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I think my faith and hope in Him is also strong. But is it strong enough? I sure hope so! We are continually preparing spiritual by praying and reading the scriptures daily.


 
Those who were temporally prepared with food storage, water storage, and emergency and medical supplies, that did not loose them, were able to help their family and those around them. I have also learned it is not about if it will be all washed away, but is is about my faith in my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ and my obedience to the commandments. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."

Another reason to have food storage...below 0 frigid temperatures in the Midwest USA and East Coast USA and drought in the West USA. How will this effect our food prices and supplies in the USA? The news channels are predicting food prices could rise and there may be less crops this year, which could effect the supplies and prices at our local grocery stores and farmers markets. In California USA farmers are concerned about their tomato crops. The Governor of California USA has called for a State of Emergency concerning our drought and is asking all Californians to conserve water the best they can, if possible by 20%. Now the meteorologist are predicting that the cold weather in the East Coast USA and Midwest USA could last until the end of January and possibly into February, the West USA will probably not see rain all the way through Winter and Spring. Rationing will probably start soon.

Also, due to the long lasting extreme cold weather on the East Coast USA and Midwest USA they are running out of propane to fill propane tanks for residences and businesses, and the propane tanks are freezing, no heat. Another reason to have emergency supplies like a way to heat your home, or at least one room. Cool idea if you have no heat in your home and it is extremely cold--Take all your mattresses and line the walls of the smallest room with the lowest ceiling in your house. The mattresses will insulate the room and keep the heat inside the room and your family warm.

Food storage and emergency supplies are not just for disasters, but for any time their is a shortage of food, water or emergency supplies and high prices. Why not be prepared ahead of time?

The Winters of our lives...


Heavenly Father put a natural instinct in animals to prepare for the winter. They gather items they will need for the long winters. What can we learn from them? That we all need to prepare for the winters of lives...natural disasters, economic collapse, loss of a job, health issues that keep us from working, etc. Many of us think these things will never happen to us, but they do and they only take a second. Why not prepare ahead of time with extra food and water, emergency supplies and medical supplies? Why not prepare for the winters of our lives?



Weekly Assignment: Emergency Family Bag

This week add the following:






1) Duct tape


 




2) Hand can opener (only if you have canned foods that will need opening)




So far you should have the following in your Family Emergency Bag: Portable regular or solar radio with extra batteries, street maps of local areas/cities, emergency flares and candles, water proof matches, 2 heat cells, flat fuel folding stove, a first-aid kit with a first-aid book, sun block, insect repellent, small tool kit (regular and Philips screw drivers, wrench, pliers, small hammer), Venture 6 Tool, an extra large water proof tarp, roll of duct tape and hand can opener. See previous blog postings for information regarding these items and where to purchase them.

In the next few weeks we will add the following: 2 mess kits, wet stone (for sharpening blades), basic chow set (fork, spoon, knife), crow bar, small sewing kit, small hand mirror, compass, good set of Walkie Talkies. Note: You may already have the small hand mirror and compass if you ordered the 5 in 1 Whistle when we did this in Carson Ward, on emergencyessentials.com.)


Monthly Assignment: Emergency Cooking Equipment with Required Fuel





This month purchase some source of a way to cook if you could not use your stove, oven or microwave. It could be a Butane 1-2 burner stove with several cans of Butane fuel, a Coleman stove with several containers of propane, a charcoal BBQ with several bags of charcoal (including matches, kindling and charcoal lighting fluid if not the self-lighting type), a gas BBQ with extra cans of propane, a fire pit with wood, or a solar oven. For ideas regarding cooking equipment check out the posting under "Postings", or click on the link,"Cooking, Heating and Lighting".







If you already have one of these sources of cooking then check them to make sure they are working properly, purchase any additional fuel you might need so you can cook for 2-4 weeks, gather everything together and put in a safe place in your back yard storage shed or garage It is a good idea to use these items before a disaster or emergency situation happens. 

Remember:  Propane, by California law and for safety purposes, has to be stored away from your house, not in your storage shed or garage.

If you already have one of these sources of cooking equipment, possibly consider purchasing another type of cooking equipment with the needed fuel. It is a good idea to have more than one source of emergency cooking.

Carson Ward Sign-up for Venture 6 Tool

Carson Ward Family--This month, January 2014, we have a sign-up sheet going around in Gospel Doctrine, Relief Society, Primary and Priesthood for the Venture 6 Tool (shovel that converts into a hammer and hatchet, plus pulls nails and opens bottles). We already added this to the Emergency Family Bag a few weeks ago. If you are interested see the sign-up sheet at church or email me at theark.carsonward@gmail.com. The cost is $20, includes taxes and shipping. If there is a large order the price could be $16-$17. The deadline to sign-up and pay me is Sunday, February 2nd. If I do not have your money by February 2nd I will not order it for you. I will refund you any money not used of the $20.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas:

3rd Dry Pack Canning Method... Using food grade buckets, Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers

This is a great video to explain how to dry pack your grains (wheat, oats, barley, rice, etc.), pastas, dry beans and dry legumes. This would be a fun activity to do as a family for Family Home Evening or with another family or friends. You can purchase the grains and dry beans in large quantities at local LDS Dry Pack Canneries and box stores like Costco and Sam's Club.  The LDS Dry Pack Cannery tends to have better prices. Call them ahead of time to order the amount you will need. You can also purchase some items at store.lds.org under Self-Reliance. You can purchase the food grade buckets with their lids, Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers at emergencyessentials. You can also purchase the food grade buckets at WalMart. Make sure they are food grade. The orange ones at Home Deport are not food grade. Make sure you collect all your supplies before starting. Remember: You cannot dry pack whole wheat pastas, brown rice or brown sugar this way, they have too much moisture.Watch the great video below to show you this method.

This may look difficult but it really is not. My son did this and he said it was not hard to do.




Note: See the last two blog postings to see the other two ways to dry pack for long term storage.

12 Common Food Storage Mistakes:

Click on this link to view the article.

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

Friday, January 17, 2014

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness and Weekly Assignment (Week of January 19th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

It makes my heart sing...when people come up to me and say they are working on completing a 72 Hour Emergency Preparedness Kit/Backpack for each family member, when they say they are working on their Emergency Family Bag, when they say they purchased items for their food storage, when they say they had a way to have light when their electricity went out for 5 hours, when they say they purchased some water barrels at the address on the blog under "Water Storage", when they say they read this blog and are applying the information, when they say they are trying to be prepared. Great job everyone! Keep on trying to become prepared for what may come your way and using the information in this blog. Things can change in a just a second!


What would you do if you lost your municipal water source for 3 and half days?

We can all learn a lesson from the West Virginia area, 300,000 residence in nine counties were unable to drink, cook, bathe, and wash clothes due to a chemical spill were about 7,500 gallons of chemicals leaked into the Elk River in Charleston. Stores sold out of bottled water within hours.


How many times have we been warned to store drinking water and fail to do so? How many of us have enough drinking and bathing water on had to last for 3 days to 2 weeks? It only takes a second for something like this to happen to our lives. When will we realize it can happen to us and do something about it before it is too late? We cannot rely on our family, neighbors, community or others. We need to be prepared to take care of our own family immediately. Many were up set that the local government could not provide enough water for them. It is not their responsibility, it is ours. Many stood in long line for hours to fill up small containers with water.



Water is the most important emergency preparedness item to store. You can live without food for many days, but you cannot live without water for more 2-3 days.

Check under Postings on the right, "Water Storage and Water Barrels" for information on different types of water storage containers, their benefits and how to store and preserve water for long periods of time. I was so happy to hear on Sunday a family who went to the fellow on Santa Fe Springs in Long Beach, listed in the "Water Storage" posting, and purchased some of his large water barrels. But remember, find a place to store them and fill them as soon as you get home. They will not do you any good if they sit empty.

Note: Another thing important to store is paper supplies. You may not be able to use your tap water for washing dishes as was the case in West Virginia. 

Weekly Assignment: Emergency Family Bag

This week add the following:

1) Extra large waterproof tarp--I have seen these on sale at Harbor Freight for about $5-$6. Watch for coupons online, in the newspaper or in the local mail ads. This is good to have so you can construct another type of shelter or use in other ways.





So far you should have the following in your Family Emergency Bag: Portable regular or solar radio with extra batteries, street maps of local areas/cities, emergency flares and candles, water proof matches, 2 heat cells, flat fuel folding stove, a first-aid kit with a first-aid book, sun block, insect repellent, small tool kit (regular and Philips screw drivers, wrench, pliers, small hammer), Venture 6 Tool, and the extra large water proof tarp above. See previous blog postings for information regarding these items and where to purchase them.

In the next few weeks we will add the following: Hand can opener (if you have cans that will need opening), 2 mess kits, wet stone (for sharpening blades), basic chow set (fork. spoon, knife), crow bar, small sewing kit, small hand mirror, compass, good set of Walkie Talkies. Note: You may already have the small hand mirror and compass if you ordered the 5 in 1 Whistle when we did this in Carson Ward, on emergencyessentials.com.)


Monthly Assignment: Emergency Cooking Equipment with Required Fuel




This month purchase some source of a way to cook if you could not use your stove, oven or microwave. It could be a Butane 1-2 burner stove with several cans of Butane fuel, a Coleman stove with several containers of propane, a charcoal BBQ with several bags of charcoal (including matches, kindling and charcoal lighting fluid if not the self-lighting type), a gas BBQ with extra cans of propane, a fire pit with wood, or a solar oven. For ideas regarding cooking equipment check out the posting under "Postings", or click on the link,"Cooking, Heating and Lighting".







If you already have one of these sources of cooking then check them to make sure they are working properly, purchase any additional fuel you might need so you can cook for 2-4 weeks, gather everything together and put in a safe place in your back yard storage shed or garage It is a good idea to use these items before a disaster or emergency situation happens. 

Remember:  Propane, by California law and for safety purposes, has to be stored away from your house, not in your storage shed or garage.

If you already have one of these sources of cooking equipment, possibly consider purchasing another type of cooking equipment with the needed fuel. It is a good idea to have more than one source of emergency cooking.

Cool Idea:

Great easy fun way to separate eggs--Love this!



Emergency Preparedness Ideas:

Another Dry Pack Canning Method...FoodSaver machine using bags or Mason jar attachment--

Note: In the video he says you do not have to put the rings on the lid but I would do it to preserve longer and in case water gets in the area where you are storing them. A good place to store these jars in the box is under beds, needs to be in a cool, dry, dark place. The garage is gets to hot! I purchased my FoodSaver and sealing caps on EBay, FoodSaver for about $20 and the sealing caps for about $10. If you use the bags the food will keep about 1-2 years, or possibly more. Remember: You cannot store brown rice this way, too much moisture. Warning: I would also not do any powdery foods like sugar, pancake mix, cake mix, etc, will get sucked up into the FoodSaver as it takes out the air and ruin your machine. You can do these by oven canning, not the sugars because they will melt. I will explain this method next week.



Last week I talked about quinoa as a great grain to store. You can Google for some great ways to cook with quinoa. Here is a simple recipe that is like oatmeal.

Breakfast Quinoa

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 green apple, chopped, optional
1 cup fresh or dried unsweetened blueberries or cranberries, option
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, option

Place the quinoa, water, cinnamon, salt, apples and/or berries, if desired, in a 1 1/2 quart sauce pan over medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed.

Add Stevia to sweeten if desired.  Serves 4-6.

My husband eats this with green apples and walnuts almost every day for breakfast. Great source of protein and no carbs.

Note: I store the remainder in the refrigerator and warm up in a sauce pan with a little added water as needed. If not using pre-washed quinoa, rinse several times before cooking. You can find quinoa at Whole Foods, Sprouts and Costco.

I just discovered Thrive.com carries quinoa in the #10 dehydrated cans, which keeps for 20-25 years. It is on sale this month for $31.19 for 4.56 pounds. Costco carries it in a 4 pound bag for about $15.00 but only keeps for about 1 year and needs to be refrigerated once opened. Whole Foods and Sprouts carry it in 1 pound bags for about $8-$10. See how to use quinoa below...



Even I make mistake after doing Emergency Preparedness for 35+ years and stressing "rotate, rotate, rotate" your food... 

The other day I got out our 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks to replace the food in the food kits. As I was checking the expiration dates I notice the Trail Mix had expired in September 2012, over a year go. Not good! Not sure how I missed this. It is important to check your Food Kits every 6 months to make sure the food  has not expired or will be expiring shortly. Replace as needed and eat the not expired food. Important: If you keep the backpack in your car, you may need to rotate the food every 3-6 months depending on how hot your trunk or car gets. Do not forget the ones you have at work.

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

Friday, January 10, 2014

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness and Weekly Assignment (Week of January 12th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Faith and Hope...A Part of Emergency Preparedness
As I have mentioned before, spiritual preparedness is just as important as temporal preparedness (food storage, water storage, emergency supplies,  medical supplies, etc.). In this month's Ensign, January 2014, there is a great article, "Face the Future With Faith and Hope" by Elder M. Russell Ballard (Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), pages 25-29. I would like to quote some of this article below...

"The conditions in the world are uncertain and dangerous, and the economies of the world are unstable and unpredictable.

We should not be surprised at these circumstances of our time because the scriptures and prophecies about our day testify of what will happen in the world if people turn their backs on God. We will yet experience more unpleasant things, for the devil continues his attempts to accomplish his evil designs.

The calming and assuring words spoken by the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith came to mind: 'Be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours..., and the riches of eternity are yours' (Doctrine and Covenants 78:18)."

Note: To read the entire article click on the title link above.

This past year, 2013, the world has faced hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, wars, droughts, extreme heat and extreme cold weather. Through all these disasters it was the faith and hope in Jesus Christ that helped these people get through these devastating events in their lives. Yes, their temporal preparedness also helped, it helped a lot, but many lost their emergency supplies, but it was their faith and hope that got them through these experiences and is still helping them.

Personally some of us have experienced the loss of a child, a spouse or a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of our home,  health issues and economic issues. But it is through being spiritual prepared ahead of time and our faith and hope in Jesus Christ that helps us get through these trails.

If we stay close to the spirit and spiritually prepared the Lord will lead us. Just like He did when the 10 LDS Sister Missionaries who were caught in the 2013 Philippines typhoon.

How do we become spiritually prepared? 

Through personal daily prayer, reading the scriptures daily, obeying God's commandments, being a full tithe payer, and developing an unshakable faith in Jesus Christ. 

"Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring us joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith." (President Thomas S. Monson, "Be of Good Cheer," Ensign, May 2009, page 92.)

I found  a great article by President Henry B. Erying titled "Spiritual Preparedness...Start Early and Be Steady". To read this entire article click on the title link.

I hope each of us this new year 2014 will take the time to become spiritually and temporally prepared for what ever might come our way. Remember, "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear".

I found this wonderful Mormon Message video. "How can you find true peace and comfort when change and confusion in the world becomes overwhelming? You can find solace by turning to God in prayer. Learn how the words from the hymn 'Abide with Me' can strengthen you during times of despair."




Weekly Assignment: Emergency Family Bag
 
The week add the following:

1) Venture 6 Tool (converts from shovel to a saw, hammer and hatchet. Also, pulls nails and opens bottles) You can purchase this item at emergencyessentials.com for $15.95 plus tax, $6 shipping. Maybe go in with a friend or two to save on shipping cost.




So far you should have the following in your Family Emergency Bag: Portable regular or solar radio with extra batteries, street maps of local areas/cities, emergency flares and candles, water proof matches, 2 heat cells, flat fuel folding stove, a first-aid kit with a first-aid book, sun block, insect repellent, small tool kit (regular and Philips screw drivers, wrench, pliers, small hammer), and the Venture 6 Tool above. See previous blog postings for information regarding these items and where to purchase them. 

In the next few weeks we will add the following: Hand can opener (if you have cans that will need opening), extra large water proof tarp, 2 mess kits, wet stone (for sharpening blades), basic chow set (fork. spoon, knife), crow bar, small sewing kit, small hand mirror, compass, good set of Walkie Talkies. Note: You may already have the small hand mirror and compass if you ordered the 5 in 1 Whistle when we did this in Carson Ward, on emergencyessentials.com.)

Monthly Assignment: Emergency Cooking Equipment with Required Fuel


This month purchase some source of a way to cook if you could not use your stove, oven or microwave. It could be a Butane 1-2 burner stove with several cans of Butane fuel, a Coleman stove with several containers of propane, a charcoal BBQ with several bags of charcoal (including matches, kindling and charcoal lighting fluid if not the self-lighting type), a gas BBQ with extra cans of propane, a fire pit with wood, or a solar oven. For ideas regarding cooking equipment check out the posting under "Postings", or click on the link,"Cooking, Heating and Lighting".



Note: I have found a one burner Butane stove for about $15-$20 at some discount stores. The cans of fuel are about $1.50. 






If you already have one of these sources of cooking then check them to make sure they are working properly, purchase any additional fuel you might need so you can cook for 2-4 weeks, gather everything together and put in a safe place in your back yard storage shed or garage It is a good idea to use these items before a disaster or emergency situation happens. Remember:  Propane, by California law and for safety purposes, has to be stored away from your house, not in your storage shed or garage.

If you already have one of these sources of cooking equipment, possibly consider purchasing another type of cooking equipment with the needed fuel. It is a good idea to have more than one source of emergency cooking.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas:

Another great idea for using Mason canning jars for long term shortage...love this!

A few months ago I shared a way to use Mason canning jars to preserve our long term storage grains. I just found out there is another way too.

Using Mason jars and oxygen absorbers couldn't be easier and doesn't require any special equipment. Put your product in a Mason jar, place 1 or 2 - 300cc oxygen absorbers in with the food and put on a new lid and screw the band tightly. It will take approximately 30 minutes for the air to be removed and top to "plink". You will need to decide if you have enough storage area for this method, it will take a lot of area to store 50 pounds of rice this way. You can purchase the oxygen absorbers on the Internet, emergencyessentials.com carries them, but the lowest they have is 500cc. You could use just one 500cc oxygen absorders instead of 2 300cc ones. You can store this way for 10-20 years depending on the temperature. Keep these jars in a cool, dry, dark place. These would be easy to place under beds in a box or under bed plastic containers.

Note: This type of long storage method can only be used for wheat, rice, sugar, oats, beans and legumes, other grains, and flour. Important: Be careful with baking mixes that contain oils, shortening, brown sugar or other ingredients that may have moisture in them, they will go rancid quickly. You cannot use this method for whole wheat pastas or brown rice, too much oil content. Keep those types of pastas and rice in a plastic zip lock bag in their original package. Will keep up to 1-2 years.

Another way is Oven Canning for Long Term Storage which I have shown how to do before. Clink on the "link" to see how to do this type of Mason jar long term canning.  There are some great mix recipes too.

Quinoa...Another great grain and how to can for long term storage

Quinoa has become a very popular new food item which can be used in many ways. It is great for people who are gluten intolerant. It is high in protein and essential amino acids. I have been enjoying cooking with it and trying new recipes. I have not been able to find it in large quantities other than at Costco, 4 pound bags for about $11. For awhile I have been wondering if you can store quinoa for a long time, it has a oil content similar to brown rice. The bags I purchased at Costco give the expiration date a year from the purchase date. After some research I ran across an emergency preparedness blog which tells how to store quinoa for a longer period of time, unfortunately this blog just did their last posting. Click on "Quinoa" . It stores up to 8 years, possibly longer.No one has stored it longer than that so far.

5 methods you might consider for Dry Pack Canning...
  • Mason Jars with oxygen absorbers
  • FoodSaver machine with bags or Mason Jar attachment
  • Food grade buckets with Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers
  • PETE Bottles with oxygen absorbers
  •  #10 cans from a LDS Church  Home Storage Center or from other companies like emergencyessentials.com, honeyville.com, self-reliance.com, Thrive.com, etc. (dehydrated or freeze-dried)
Each week I am going to discus one the these methods. Next week we will discus using a FoodSaver machine.

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

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness and Weekly Assignment (Week of January 5th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Congratulations! The Owen Family, The So'o Manai Family, and the Sherri Fa'alafua Family all won the December Free Monthly Giveaway Drawing. The each won a  Venture 6 Tools which includes a shovel that converts to a  saw, hammer,and hatchet, and pulls nails and opens bottles.



2014 New Year's Resolution vs 2014 New Year's Goals...

We all do it, at least most of us! Each year we make New Year's Resolutions, only to break them in just a few day, a few weeks or a few months: lose weight, stay on a budget, spent more time with the family, get the house/garage in order, clean up the yard, plant a garden, personal daily scripture reading, Family Home Evening, daily family scripture reading and prayer, attend the temple more often, magnify our church calling more, be better prepared for an emergency situation, be kinder to each other, etc.

Why not set New Year's Goals instead of New Year's Resolutions? To me goals are more permanent, more long lasting. I know for myself, when I set "GOALS" I am more likely to keep them and accomplish them. Resolutions, in the back of our mind, we know we will probably break them.

Each of us are so busy with family, work, our homes and yards, church callings, community and church activities, being involved in our children's schools, and so on. We feel overwhelmed to add one more thing to the "pot".

But we all need to make food storage and emergency preparedness apart of our lives, a part of our New Year's Goals. I am going to try and break it down for you to make it easier. This year we will have "weekly" and "monthly" assignments/goals.

Concerns...

Last Sunday in Relief Society a sister leaned over to me and asked how do I do it, how do I set up my food storage and prepare for an emergency, it is so overwhelming and cost money. She is a single mother trying her best to take care of her children and provide for their needs. I explained we do not have to do it all at once, one step at a time. It has taken us 42 years and 6 children later to get where we are today, a little at a time. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints admonishes its members to not go into debt for our food storage and emergency supplies. We should set goals and work forwards them a little at a time.

Sometimes I wonder, where are our priorities? As I watched many of our Ward members in Sunday School pull out electronic devises (iPads, Tablets, Kindles, etc.), which they did not appear to have before Christmas, I wondered if these devises were really a necessity or just a want. I would have rather taken that money and put into food storage and emergency preparedness supplies for the future to make sure my family was protected. It is just my opinion! In fact, this year my husband and I decided not to give each other Christmas gifts, but thought of something that would help us in an emergency situation. For a long time I have been wanting a cooking devise that cooks by the sun. We decided after some consideration to purchase the item for our emergency supplies. We are so excited to add this item to our emergency cooking equipment so we will be able to cook during an emergency situation. Next week I will try it out and let you know how well it works.We found the best price at emergencyessentials.com.

Ideas for your 2014 New Year's Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Goals... 

A) Food Storage--1 to 3 months supply of food and water

1. First, figure out how much your family eats in a month. Keep track of everything you make (each meal), even when you go out to eat, what you drink, including snacks, everything. Keep a chart on the refrigerator divided into categories; Protein (meats, chicken, fish, peanut butter, eggs, etc.), Dairy (cheese, butter, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour scream, etc.), Vegetables (all fresh, canned and frozen), Breads, Grains and Cereals (flour, oatmeal, rice, breakfast cereals, etc.), Beans and Legumes, Sugars and Honey, Snacks, Fruit, Condiments, Oil and Fats, Seasonings, and deserts/treats. I know this sounds like a lot, but if you do it each time you make a meal or go out, you will have an idea of what your family eats in a month. If your goal is to store 3 months supply of food multiply by 3 and then you know what to work towards. If to much, do a month at a time until you have 3 months. Do not forget to store drinking water, enough for a month or more. Note: See the postings on the right under "Postings" for "3 Month Food Supply", "A Years Supply of Food" and "Water Storage" for ideas and help.

2. First rule of Food Storage--ONLY STORE WHAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WILL EAT! Do not purchase something thinking they will eat it, they will not! Note: Watch the expiration dates. Places like discount stores (99 Cent Store, Dollar Tree, etc.) many times sell items that will expire in a few days, weeks or months. Most canned foods will last 1-3 years if purchased at a regular grocery or box store.

3. Next, after you have the amount your family eats in a month, each time you go grocery shopping purchase a few extra cans, packages or items you will need. For fresh meats consider canned chicken, beef, tuna, etc. Of course, while you are figuring out how much you eat in a month, you can go ahead and start purchasing canned foods you know you use.What for items on sale!

4. Store all canned and packaged foods in a cool, dry, dark place. In your pantry, under beds, in closets and cupboards.Your garage is usually too hot and the food will not last as long as the expiration date.

5. Second rule of Food Storage--ROTATE, ROTATE, ROTATE! Do an inventory monthly of your food storage to see what will expire soon. Use if expiring soon and then replace it immediately.

B) 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks and 72 Hour Emergency Family Bag

Every household member should have their own 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks (some call them Bug Out Bags) and each family should have a 72 Emergency Family Bag. We worked on the 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks all last year and are completing our 72 Hour Emergency Family Bag. See the posting on the right under "Postings", "72 Hour Kits" or go back to December 30, 2012 to follow along until you have complete all 3 kits.

C) Emergency Preparedness Supplies--below are some ideas. We would like each family to set a goal in each category to purchase at least one item in each category, or check the items you have to make sure they are working properly. Add any fuel needs to run the equipment. Also, arrange them in your garage, back yard storage shed so they are all together. For information and ideas see the postings on the right under "Postings" for each category below or click on the links below.

1. Lighting









 
2. Cooking








3. Heating







 

4. Sanitation








 

5. Shelter







  

6. Family Emergency Medical Supplies Kit (working on a "Posting" for this). We worked on this about two years ago. We will work on this again once we complete the 72 Hour Emergency Family Bag.






D) Evacuation Plans--These are good to work on in Family Home Evening or a Family Council.

1. Have an evacuation plan in place for your family. Practice your plan 3-4 times a year and discuss often with the family. See the postings on the right "Postings", "Disaster Situation and What to Do" and "Earthquakes".

2. Have a fire escape plan for your home and know what to do at work. Have family quarterly fire drills in your home.


Carson Ward 2014 Emergency Preparedness Goals

1) Complete the Emergency Family Bag, only a few more items to add. 
2) Complete the Family Emergency Medical Supplies Kit. 
3) Have a Ward Emergency Preparedness Activity in the Spring of 2014.
4) Have a "weekly" and 'monthly" assignment. 
5) Make sure each family member in the Ward has a 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack and a 72 Hour Emergency Family Bag by the end of 2014.
6) Make sure each family household has at least one source of emergency supplies in each category above by the end of 2014. 
7) Make sure each family has an evacuation plan and has fire drills in their home often, especially those with children, seniors and the handicapped. 

Weekly Assignment: Emergency Family Bag

This week add the following:

Note: Since we are all recovering from the cost of Christmas gifts I will make this one inexpensive, about $5.

1) Small tool set (flat head and Philips screw drivers, pliers, wrench, small hammer)--Keep them all together either wrapped in a small towel or a large plastic zip lock bag. Place them in your 72 Hour Emergency Family Bag. You can purchase these at discount stores like the 99 Cent Store, the Dollar Tree, etc. Many of you will have these in your house or garage. Gather them together and place them in your bag.

Remember: Your 72 Hour Emergency Family Bag is kept with your family 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpacks or in your cars. 

Monthly Assignment: Emergency Cooking Equipment with Required Fuel


This month purchase some source of a way to cook if you could not use your stove, oven or microwave. It could be a Butane 1-2 burner stove with several cans of Butane fuel, a Coleman stove with several containers of propane, a charcoal BBQ with several bags of charcoal (including matches, kindling and charcoal lighting fluid if not the self-lighting type, a gas BBQ with extra cans of propane, a fire pit, or a solar oven. For ideas regarding cooking equipment check out the posting under "Postings", or click on the link,"Cooking, Heating and Lighting".

Note: I have found a one burner Butane stove for about $15-$20 at some discount stores. The cans of fuel are about $1.50. 

If you already have one of these sources of cooking then check them to make sure they are working properly, purchase any additional fuel you might need so you can cook for 2-4 weeks, gather everything together and put in a safe place in your back yard storage shed or garage. Remember, propane, by California law and for safety purposes, has to be stored away from your house, not in your storage shed or garage.

If you already have one of these sources of cooking equipment, possibly purchase another type of cooking equipment with the needed fuel.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas: 

1) Always be aware of your surroundings, a way to exit or a place to go to be safe.
2) Know what kind of natural disasters you have in your area and we prepared for them.

Helpful Food Storage Articles by Leslie Probert, Food Storage Essentials writer for the Deseret News...click on the link for great ideas and information. Provided by "Prepared LDS Family".

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