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.
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.
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.