Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Food Storage, Emergency Preparedness and Weekly/Monthly Assignments (Week of March 16th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

This blog is not just about Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness...It is about so much more!

Each week I post a posting on this blog. Yes, it is mostly about food storage and emergency preparedness, but it is also about your family having peace of mind knowing you are prepared, family, neighbor helping neighbor, vegetable gardening, how to can and freeze vegetables, how to videos, ways to organize your food storage and emergency supplies, natural ways on how to get rid of those pesky ants and insects, how to budget your money, medical information, first-aid, personal stories--how others survive natural and other disasters in their lives that might help you, the importance of the right type of insurance, being safe and protecting your loved ones both temporally and spiritually. It is so much more!

Emergency Preparedness should be a part of your everyday life. Every time you go out you should have it on your mind, finding great sales items that you need and can add to your food storage and emergency preparedness supplies.Keep a list of food and emergency supplies you need in your purse or wallet. When you budget your bills also budget in money for food storage and emergency preparedness items.

Weekly Assignment: Emergency Cleaning Bucket

Have you ever thought about needing emergency cleaning supplies? For the next few weeks we are going to work on setting up an Emergency Cleaning Bucket. Each week we will add 1-3 items. Most of these items can be found for a dollar each at a discount store (99 Cent Store, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, etc.). You want to purchase small-medium bottles so all of it will fit in one bucket. Watch the video below. As we add each item place it into the bucket. Mark the bucket with a permanent marker--Emergency Cleaning Bucket. You can keep this in your garage or home storage shed.

This week add the following...

1) Purchase a 5 gallon bucket with a reusable lid (hardware stores like The Home Depot, Lowels, ACE Hardware, etc. carry them)

2) Dish soap

I know some people like to purchase everything at once or several items when out shopping. Here is the entire list of the items we will be adding to our Emergency Cleaning Bucket

Emergency Cleaning Bucket...
1) 5 Gallon bucket with a reusable lid
2) Dish soap
3) Laundry soap (small-medium size)
4) Disinfectant cleaner
4) 2 clothes lines/rope (100 feet)
5) Clothes pens
6) 7 dry sponges
7) 24 large sturdy 30 gallon black trash bags (all rolled up together)
8) 18 clean reusable towels/wipe (blue ones)
9) Can of spray air freshener
10) Insect repellent spray
11) 2 pair of latex rubber gloves
12) 1 pair of heavy work gloves
13) 5 scrubber pads
14) Cleaning brush
15) 5 dust masks
1) Old fashioned clothes wash board (I have seen these at ACE Hardware. Other hardware stores may carry them.)
2) Old fashioned round metal tub or heavy plastic bin or tub (I have found the round metal tubs at estate and garage sales. You can also find them online and at some hardware stores.)
3) Mobile Washer (emergencyessentials.com for $14.95)--helps agitate the clothes in the metal or plastic tub)

Note: You may find some of the items below are also repeated in the Sanitation list below. You will need these items in each bucket. 

Watch the video below to see how to put all the supplies into the Emergency Cleaning Bucket


Monthly March Assignment: Sanitation

This month add items for sanitation in case you cannot use your regular toilet...

1) Portable toilet (emergencyessentials.com for $14.95)
2) Enzyme Packets (You will need several. You can purchase them at emergencyessentials.com, 60 cents a packet). The odor is quite strong, keep them in a large plastic zip lock bag. I store ours in the zip lock bag in our portable toilet.
3) Cat Litter (You can purchase them discount stores like the 99 Cent Store or other stores, you will need several bags.)
4) Large heavy black trash bags (Costco or Sam's Club size)
5) Toilet paper & paper towels (Costco or Sam's Club size)
6) Baby wipes (You can purchase these at discount stores like the 99 Cent Store, Costco or Sam's Club. You should have several stored)
7) Disinfectants--Clorox bleach, Lysol, hand sanitizer, etc. 
8) Privacy Shelter (you can purchase this at emerencyessentials.com for $89.95 or construct your own with a large blanket or ex-large plastic tarp, rope, clothes pins, duct tape, nails and hammer) 

Keep all of these items together in your garage or a home storage shed.  Some of these items will fit inside the portable toilet to keep them organized and together.  Keep those items that will not fit into the portable toilet together with the toilet.
Important Information: Check out the posting "Sanitation" under Postings on the right for more information, why you need these items, how they work (example: enzyme packets), how to use the portable toilet correctly and how to dispose of human waste. 

Gardening Ideas...It is that time of year again

Those of us living in Southern California USA have been advised to go ahead and start planting our vegetable gardens and not wait until April due to the extreme hot dry conditions here. Here are some great ideas on vegetable gardening besides others I have posted before. Click here "Vegetable Gardening" to learn how to plant a vegetable garden and maintain it.


This is great for those of you who have limited space, live in an apartment or condo with a small patio area or a balcony.  Just need to make sure it gets enough sunlight, about 6-8 hours a day.  Limited space, you can plant several different types of vegetables listed below in one bag. 

How to prepare the bags and soil: This is a weed free way to grow lettuce, spinach, radishes and even green onions! Take a 2 cubic bag of potting soil (Miracle Grow is the best), rumple it around quite a bit to loosen the soil, poke quite a few holes in the back side for drainage, then lay the bag, with the holes down, on a smooth surface that will allow drainage and not get too hot. In the picture they are using metal saw horses with a wire grate on top, or you could use 2x4's with just a little space between them so the water can drain through. The saw horses allow you to reach your vegetables without having to bend over so much, they should be waist level. Then cut out the top, leaving about a 4 or 5 inches border all around as seen in the photo above.

Planting the seeds: Lightly rake through the soil to even it out and loosen it even more, then carefully and evenly sprinkle the seeds around. You can put the seeds (they are small) in an old spice bottle with large shaker holes, add some cornmeal, shake it all up to mix well and sprinkle them out of the bottle holes. The cornmeal allows you to see that you covered the soil evenly. If doing radishes or spinach, just make the lines the depth mentioned on the seed package, plant the seeds and cover appropriately. Do not bury them to deep or they will not germinate. Sprinkle just enough soil over the seeds and cornmeal to cover the seeds. Then spray mist them to water them.

Watering: Spray mist the seeds and plantings at first when watering, until they are established, then you can water more vigorously as the plants mature. You will probably need to water more often, since the depth of the bags are not as deep as a regular in-ground garden. Keep them moist, not sopping yet.

Harvesting:  When harvesting the lettuce and spinach all you need to do is use scissors and cut what you need--magically they will grow back. You do not have to pull out the whole plant. The radishes and green onions you will pull out when mature.

Love this idea too...Here is another way to grow a salad garden or herbs without using yard space. These are rain gutters attached to the garage wall. Drill holes in the bottom of the rain gutters for drainage before attaching to the wall. Fill will potting soil, plant the seeds (lettuces, radishes, green onions, spinach, etc. and herbs). At first spray mist to keep damp but not sopping. Once they germinate you can water a little harder.

Tips on Drought Gardening...

For those of us living in drought areas with a vegetable gardens this may be very important information. I am  a little concerned about my vegetable garden this year and if the county calls "water rationing" again.  Would my vegetable garden receive enough water to flourish? California vegetable gardeners are being advised to start planting their vegetables gardens now and not wait until April due to the extreme hot dry weather we are having. Click here and  here to read articles about ideas on drought gardening.

I know you are not suppose to the "covet thy neighbor", or envy them, but this came pretty close...

A few weeks ago I went to a friends house and notice their large back yard. Oh, how much I want a yard that big. Behind their garage I would put a chicken coup with 6+ chickens for fresh eggs every day. They would be free range, no hormones. Then I would plant a very large vegetable garden and then still have room for a couple of fruit trees. Being we live in sunny California they would be orange and lemon trees. Or, you could do fig, peach or apricot trees. Apples do not do very well here because our winters do not get cold enough. What a blessing to have such a large back yard! But I am grateful for my medium size yard, our vegetable garden which did produce enough vegetables for us for the whole year until this Fall and room enough for one orange tree.  I hope any of you who have a yard will think about planting a vegetable garden and a fruit tree or two. No matter how small your yard or condo patio area you can grow some type of vegetables, in the ground, in raised beds, and even in containers.You can even have a dwarf fruit tree in a large container.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas

Food Storage Ideas...

15 Steps For Food Storage (from emergencyessentials.com)

Click here to read about the 15 Steps. Personally I love Emergency Essentials long term food storage products and their emergency products. I find them reasonably prices, shipping is $6, $9, or $12 (depending on how much you order) and their food and other products are  great.


10 Mistakes I've Made with Food Storage (form Prepared LDS Family)

Click here to read about great information and the cautions to be aware of concerning food storage.

How do I use the powdered milk in my food storage?

Here is a great link below to those questions. Great ideas on how to turn powdered milk into other types of milk, a powdered milk conversion chart and some great recipes.

Powdered Milk Cooking Tips and Recipes

Great Idea...Keep a Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness notebook or set up a file folder on your computer

When ever you read something on this blog or other information that will help you in your food storage and  emergency preparedness either print it out and put it in a Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness notebook with dividers or set up a file folder on your computer Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness. That way you will have easy access to them without having to search through years of postings on this blog and other things you what to save. Example: Like the information above on powdered milk.

Note: If you want to print it, highlight the area you want to print, click on print in File on the tool bar, click on selection, print. Sometimes to get it all you have to change your paper from Portrait to Landscape under printing preferences. Even sometimes that it does not print all the information, sometimes you have to hand write the missing words in the sentence.Or, you can cut and paste it to Micro Soft Office or what ever you use, then print.

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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